Return to Website

Number Watch Web Forum

This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

Number Watch Web Forum
Start a New Topic 
View Entire Thread
Re: Environmental journalists

My respect for finding the Sun story on "duff Turbines"
Without the link that is an incredibly difficult story to find using Google.
I finally did find the problem referenced on an energy website but it simply said they had had some weld problems on the monoliths.

Interesting is that the US and the UK have both told the public we have to have wind farms because "its for our own good and the good of the planet" and besides, "it will create jobs".

There has been some debate about these jobs, do they really exist or what? and there seem to be far more of them in the green energy sector than in the real energy sector.... that ought to suggest that this is a far less efficient way to produce energy, which of course it is or that someone is being creative or both.

(It appears the Dutch have decided not to subsidise wind energy any longer, 30 years has proven enough for them.)

But when you come down to it, where are these jobs?
The wind turbine factory on the Isle of White has closed, the UKs steel industry is falling around our ears as foreign owners focus manufacturing else where and here we have the towers being produced in China and shipped on special vessels (built and operated by others) to be installed by others.

The reader's comments in the Sun article further revealed that in fixing the weld problems the British welders were laid off and Chinese welders brought in (and the inspector reported he was seeing some of the worst welding in his 30 year time as an inspector).

Why are these turbines being delivered to Denmark? Because that is where the local (European) content is sourced?

It would seem that pretty well every part of this scheme is being produced by some one else. If jobs are being created then it seems they are being created in China and Denmark but not in the UK.

The irony is that we are heavily subsidising an inefficient energy producing method. Money is no object. But when it comes to placing contracts, all of a sudden money is important and hence low bidder gets the deal... and then we have a problem with quality.

These Wind Turbines have marginal (dubious) cost effectiveness to begin with and claims for life expectancy are believed to be some what exaggerated even without compromised quality.

If the tax payer is bleeding money into these projects then he should be entitled to get value for money and to have some of that money spent on doing the work at home.

There is another article (lost now) which talks about wind energy being a marvelous opportunity for the UK to re-establish itself in heavy engineering but this is simply froth.

The vast great skyscrapers going up round the world seem to trail with them a crew of engineers and workers who migrate round the world doing the job with little or nothing left for the locals to do whether it is Moscow or Dubai.

Wind Farm projects look set to be the same... the major capital investment going out of the country with a few token contracts going to cable suppliers or cement companies.

Re: Environmental journalists

I think it is inevitable with Green technology, with its emphasis on mass produced items like solar panels and wind turbines, that ultimately the 'Green jobs' will gravitate towards a country like China with cheaper labour and production costs.

This article describes how jobs in solar panel manufacturing are moving to China:

Ironically one of the main reasons China can make solar panels more cheaply is that they're not bogged down with the increased costs resulting from the environmental regulations associated with the developed world. Manufacturing solar panels is quite a dirty industry and the main nasty chemical it produces, silicon tetrachloride, can just be dumped where you like in China.