This week’s New Scientist has a comment piece entitled Wind power delivers too much too ignore. Written by Reg Platt of the left of centre think the IPPR it perpetuates a number of not quite true talking points that wind advocates for some reason think are worth airing.
For example, in response to claims about intermittency, Platt writes the following:
Output is surprisingly stable across the country’s entire network of wind farms: when the wind isn’t blowing in one area, it usually is somewhere else. The relatively small changes that do occur are well within the capabilities of existing systems for balancing supply and demand on the grid.
The “when the wind isn’t blowing in one area, it usually is somewhere else” line is a horrid cliché, and I find it hard to take seriously anyone who uses it. It should be the reserve of waffling politicians, not policy analysts. And how about the surprising stability of the output from the UK’s nature of windfarms? Well, below are 6 consecutive months of hourly output from the UK’s wind farms from October 2011 to March 2012
One would have to set the bar rather low to call this stable. Yet Reg Platt says it is stable, and The New Scientist saw fit to publish this claim. There is a good case to be made for wind power in the UK, but wind advocates continue to prove incapable of making it.