The Infeasibility of Wind Power

An Oxford Uni professor takes a stab at talking sense on the windpower delusion. Of course, he is Emeritus Professor of Physics – a status which allows him to review the data objectively.

The Inadequacy of Wind Power (

Because the power carried by the wind depends on the third power of the wind speed, if the wind drops to half speed, the power available drops by a factor of 8. Almost worse, if the wind speed doubles, the power delivered goes up 8 times, and as a result the turbine has to be turned off for its own protection

I keep thinking about those future Chinese historians working on their third edition of “The Decline & Fall of the West”. They are going to uncover vast amounts of data showing that people were warned in advance that their reliance on so-called “green” energy was technically infeasible. And yet they proceeded at full speed over the cliff, reducing Europe & North America permanently to poverty and backwardness. Explaining that particular madness of crowds is going to push events like the South Sea Bubble out of future textbooks.


He does not address the other elephant in the room for wind and solar and other eco products. They almost never get near their asserted lifetimes.

I just replaced 3 of 4 brand name “13.7 years” life LED bulbs bought barely over a year ago.

Whereas I can just get new bulbs, it’s not the same with wind and solar when 10% of the turbines or panels fail two years after installation and the originals are no longer in production. The available replacement solar panels may be incompatible with interconnecting in the existing array. Turbine repair and maintenance costs increase with the numbers of different types that must be maintained.


If one would prefer a Cambridge professor instead, Sustainable Energy – without the hot air is an excellent book by one of the geniuses of this era, David MacKay. On the topic of wind farms:

Let’s be realistic. What fraction of the country can we really imagine
covering with windmills? Maybe 10%? Then we conclude: if we covered
the windiest 10% of the country with windmills (delivering 2 W/m2), we
would be able to generate 20 kWh/d per person, which is half of the power
used by driving an average fossil-fuel car 50 km per day.

The book ends like this:

Because Britain currently gets 90% of its energy from fossil fuels, it’s no
surprise that getting off fossil fuels requires big, big changes – a total
change in the transport fleet; a complete change of most building heating
systems; and a 10- or 20-fold increase in green power.

Given the general tendency of the public to say “no” to wind farms,
“no” to nuclear power, “no” to tidal barrages – “no” to anything other
than fossil fuel power systems – I am worried that we won’t actually get
off fossil fuels when we need to. Instead, we’ll settle for half-measures:
slightly-more-efficient fossil-fuel power stations, cars, and home heating
systems; a fig-leaf of a carbon trading system; a sprinkling of wind turbines;
an inadequate number of nuclear power stations.


Madness. It’s utter madness. “But they’re renewable! And it’s free energy you don’t have to pay for!” Yes, as if capital is free. As if installation is free. As if repair is free. As if covering for their intermittent nature is free.


Ive spent the last week in Provence. As you know they frequently experience the mistral, a legendarily strong wind—and when they do, as you say, they have to shut the windmills down, it’s too powerful. Wind energy is like the Biblical manna: it must be consumed when it appears, can’t be stored—and you don’t want an over abundance of it. Quelle bétise!


Ah, if only we could capture the hot air ejected from Washington DC! Or the heat of the indignation emanating from the same source. Those would be full time, uninterrupted, sustainable sources.


A little known fact about nuclear fusion in the core of the Sun is that its power production is around 276.5 watts/m³, which is comparable to the heat generated by a compost heap of cattle manure. The Sun generates so much energy purely because it is so large, not due to the power of the fusion reaction.

Here is article about a farm in Vermont which generates hot water for heating from composting the manure of 2000 cows, “Extracting Thermal Energy From Composting”. The system produces 120,000 British Thermal Units per hour, or around 35 kilowatts, which is around the average electrical power consumed by 175 homes occupied by families of four.

With the amount of bullshit generated in Washington, that should be enough to power the entire East Coast.


This is truly shocking to read! From any other source than John Walker, I would be skeptical.


It gets worse, CW! Pound for pound (or gram for gram if you prefer), the computer chip in your phone gives out more heat than the sun. And it is in your pocket!


If I were a different gender, I would be getting a case of the vapors about now.


Nah, that town would even mess that up.


To our great loss, David MacKay died in 2016.

I corresponded with him for several years. After he wrote the book, he decided that power satellites should be considered.

They have advantages, but if they are to become a serious energy source, the traffic into space takes something like 25,000 StarShip flights a year.