Have yourself…

… A merry little Christmas.


We all thought that killing our birdlife was bad enough, but apparently the local wind turbines have other targets at Christmas time.
Caledon is likely to be strewn with reindeer parts tonight. Great for biltong.

And while we don’t all believe in the story of babies in mangers and gift-giving shepherds, whatever you’re doing over the next few days, I hope it’s enjoyable and relaxing.

(Thanks Tina for the image)

Welsh Wind Turbine Fails To Impress

This just in from the BBC News website:

A wind turbine that cost the Welsh government £48,000 to buy has been generating an average of just £5 worth of electricity per month.
The turbine has been at its Aberystwyth office since it was built in 2009. It was one of several features that contributed to the building being rated “excellent” in an independent assessment of its sustainability.

At today’s exchange rate [weeps as he looks it up], that’s R82.48 worth of electricity each month from a wind that cost R791,762.21 to buy and install.


But amazingly, the Welsh Government have defended the turbine’s performance, indicating that a mechanical error meant that it was only operating at 26% of its capacity:

Some improvements have been made and as of January this year it has been operating at 68%. But if it continues to operate at 68% capacity then it will generate 55.25 kWh per month – electricity with a value of £8.84.

Oh, well that’s SO MUCH better.

At that rate it would take around 452 years to offset the cost of buying and installing the turbine.

Magnificent value for money.

Apparently, the true issue lies in the siting of the turbine, away from clean air flows and… well… wind. And apparently, the Welsh Government were warned of this before the turbine was installed. But they went ahead anyway, probably on the grounds that:

1. It looks trendy.
2. It got their building a better green rating, and
3. It wasn’t their money that they were spending.


UPDATE: Maybe it got up to a tenner given the weekend’s weather:

A clean-up operation is under way after huge waves damaged Aberystwyth seafront and dumped shingle on the promenade during the weekend’s storms.
Local photographer Keith Morris said the scene resembled a war zone on Sunday morning with some seafront businesses hit by flooding.

Wales battled winds of 89mph (143kph) at the storm’s height on Saturday.
Gusts brought down trees and power lines leaving 10,000 properties across south and west Wales without power.

“I have not seen a storm as big as that for decades in Aberystwyth,” said Mr Morris. “There were big granite blocks lifted feet into the air. It did look a bit like a war zone on Sunday morning.”

(If it’s still standing, that is.)

Wind Turbine Kills Really Rare Bird – WHAT NEXT?

And continuing with matters electrifying

“OMG! We’re all going to die!” So say the environMENTALists anyway, citing global warming and coal and fossils and whatnot. Thus, they are all behind the wholly barmy plan to only generate electricity through “green” means, namely wind and solar. And while I have no issue with the renewable energy thing per se, their instance that it should be at the exclusion of everything else is short sighted and, frankly, stupid.
Also, it irritates the hell out of me (and there’s a lot in there) that I have to listen to their constant whining on the internet, which (here at least) is fuelled by dirty black stuff from Mpumalanga.

And anyway, as 40 birdwatchers found out this week,  renewable methods aren’t that green anyway, as they watched, dismayed, as an extremely rare white-throated needletail, sighted only 8 times in the last 170 years get killed by the fast rotating blades of a wind turbine in Scotland.

Dead. Not resting. Not pining for the fjords.
Dead. No more. Shuffled off this mortal coil. Gone to join the choir invisible.

About 30 birdwatchers travelled to the island to see the unusual visitor, which has only been recorded five times in the UK since 1950. However, they then saw it die after colliding with the wind turbine.

Birdwatcher David Campbell, from Surrey, told the BBC Scotland news website that the incident took place late on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Campbell, who is now making his way home to south east England, said: “We just watched the whole thing with dismay.”

Horrible. What a way to eliminate a species. And while the authorities say that they place wind turbines thoughtfully and carefully to prevent this sort of incident, it didn’t prevent this one, now did it?

However, while I blame the wind turbine, it does seem that Mr Campbell has a bit of a history around rare birds:

He added that on a previous bird watching trip he had seen a migratory wryneck hit by a train.

And I think we can probably work out who emerged from that little encounter more unscathed, can’t we?

But, Mr Campbell aside, there’s a serious message for South Africa here, especially since Eskom has just got the go ahead to build a monster 46-turbine wind farm  just down the road from the beautiful Namaqua National Park. I suspect that you, dear reader, can do the mathematics here.

The wind farm is to be called “Sere”:

…the Nama word for “cool breeze”

Does anyone know the Nama word for “widespread and horrific massacre of migratory birds”?
Just asking.

And then there’s the solar thing. Because the bunnyhuggers insist that wind is safe (which it’s obviously not if you’re a rare bird or if you don’t like explosions) and they also insist that solar is safe too. Why on (what’s left of the) earth would you believe them?

What if the last of our already endangered rhinos stumbles into its local solar array? I don’t think that it take a huge amount of imagination to see that it would almost certainly be cooked instantly. And while it would probably make a very tasty snack, it would be gone. Dead. No more. Shuffled off th… look, you get what I’m saying.

“Oh. That will never happen!” say the greenies.

Ja. Right.

Just like the white throated needletail “will never” fly into a wind turbine.

It’s plainly obvious from the white-throated-needletail-sliced-to-death-in-a-wind-turbine incident and the hypothetical rhino-scorched -by-concentrated-sunlight issue that we need to shelve these sort of dangerous projects until independent research has shown exactly how much of a hazard they are to our endangered species.

I’m almost tempted to launch an online petition.


UPDATE: Does anyone have any data on wave power killing dolphins?