About

Ontario Wind Performance is a blog by J. Richard Wakefield and other guest contributors. The purpose of this blog is to show the public the true performance of wind power, which is far from the message the current Liberal Government, wind companies, and environmental NGOs would have you believe.

You can contact me at jrwakefield [at] mcswiz [dot] com.

25 Responses to About

  1. jon Boone says:

    Richard:
    Thanks for doing such a great job here. It is much appreciated. You likely are keeping abreast of data from the BPA, that does break wind output down to 5-minute realtime increments, where one can also see the routine wind flux–the key to understanding why wind won’t work.

    As I said, if wind had higher capacity factors, the cycling problem it would impose on the grid would be staggering, even with hydro to balance it.

    Cheers for what you’re doing!

    • You should know – several countries (Denmark, Germany & Spain) have already exceeded 10-20% wind penetration on the grid without any of the problems you suggest. Your analysis is flat out proven wrong by over a decade of real-world experience.

      • jrwakefield says:

        10-20% of CAPACITY, not physical output. There are a number of links on EU countries who are having major problems with wind, like Germany who are building 23 new coal fired plants. As for “Your analysis is flat out proven wrong”, no, my analysis is based on the actual physical output data anyone can download from the IESO website. Do it yourself and you will see the simple analysis of the hourly data shows what I have shown. Its pathetic. If I’m wong, SHOW me where the analysis is wrong. BTW, a UK study, which is in the TOC, found exactly the same thing I did.

  2. Fred Winterburn says:

    Mr Wakefield,
    Thanks for doing your bit to expose the fraud that wind power is. I’m an Authorized Nuclear Operator at a Candu plant and I know what real energy production looks like. For me the fraud of wind power is obvious, but it should be for the average consumer too. There is no upside when one considers possible adverse health effects, property devaluation, and the huge price for intermittent, unreliable power. In a society where the average joe researches the heck out of the latest in televisions before buying one, how come the average consumer is completely fooled by wind power? Good luck educating the masses. Fred Winterburn

    • wow. Nuclear power is really on the ropes isn’t it? No one wants to build them any more because:

      1) Expense (new nuclear estimated to be 17-34 censt/kw/hr)
      2) Complexity
      3) Inflexibility (causing surplus-baseload problems)
      4) Danger (Fukashima)
      5) Nuclear waste (what happened to yucca mountain?)
      6) Insurance (no one but government will cover liability)
      7) Decommissioning (more expensive than building them)

      This whole blog is just nuclear people desperate not to have their market share eaten up by cheaper, safer, smarter technology like wind power.

      • jrwakefield says:

        “This whole blog is just nuclear people”

        Nope, its just me. I have nothing to do with the nuclear industry. The future is going to be Liquid Flouride THorium Reactors. None of the problems you noted occur with them.

  3. mark bell says:

    Fred: I agree with you and jon on some very good analytics presented here from Mr Wakefield. Before you get on your nuclear high horse however, I would like Mr Wakefield to do a similar expose on nuclear – effect on the grid when nuclear has a ‘cycling’ issue (800 MW to zero…for a year…) and some detailed analysis concentration of costs. Leave any environmental considerations out of the equasion -I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and let’s call it a draw between wind and nuclear on that issue.

    • jrwakefield says:

      You can’t compare nuclear with wind. Nuclear is base load, wind can never be. All one can do, which I have considered doing later, is comparing wind with coal, natural gas and hydro, and see when they cut off a cheap renewable power source, Niagara, for wind when the wind blows.

  4. mark bell says:

    To declare nuclear ‘base load’ lets it off the hook for when it goes off line – that was the point I was making about ‘cycling’. We are living with the result of Ontario’s nuclear cycling problem (debt retirement charge).

  5. willr2010 says:

    My understanding is that Wind is considered “Base Load” power — because it is a preferential supplier and must be taken before all other power due to the requirements Feed=In-Tariff program.

    …so we need not discuss reality here.

    Mark Bell:

    As a wind Industry executive you certainly have the time and funding to do the research. Requesting unpaid labor to do research that you would like done is probably impolite.

    However if you are offering funding — please be clear. Maybe we would be interested in doing paid research as long as we can publish whatever results we obtain. In the meantime as it is our time and our money… I guess we will continue as we are…

  6. Broke-By-Wind says:

    Mark Bell:

    Your information is 6 years out of date. In 2004 our Darling Dalton changed the mandate of the Ontario Electricity Financial Corp from one of stranded debt retirement to one of sole financier for both OPG and Hydro One.

    Since that time, the Ontario Liberal Government has saddled the OEFC with an ADDITIONAL 39 BILLION in debt. Over 36 BILLION has already been paid to the OEFC and their current debt holding is still 27 BILLION. The original nuclear created 30 BILLION in debt was paid off years ago!

    And what did all this new debt purchase? Things like Big Becky, new natural gas generation, and new
    grid ties to USELESS INDUSTRIAL WIND TURBINES!

    Oh sorry! That’s right! Industrial wind turbines do have a single use; they make OODLES OF MONEY for the snake oils salesmen that own them at the expense of the RATEPAYER, TAXPAYER, ENVIRONMENT
    AND ECONOMY!

    The only “green” in green energy is the vast amount of the people’s money being STOLEN to subsidize it!

    B.B.W.

  7. jrwakefield says:

    Sean, do you have evidence of this? I talked to a lawyer about the stranded debt, that it wasn’t getting paid down. He said that was fraud to have it on the bills but not applied to the debt. He wants evidence and is willing to take Hydro One to court over this.

  8. Lorne White says:

    Your arguments about wind are quite interesting.

    However, how about a Chapter on STORAGE (which the OPA will soon[?!] mandate for the variablility of both Wind and Solar)? This will allow whatever Wind and Solar produce semi-predictably to be stored for reliable use at peak times.

    By now, there are probably 10+ methods of Storage existing successfully or being invented. No discussion of Renewable Energy is complete without a Chapter on Storage.

    Here are some of the methods to explore:
    – pumped water reservoirs (eg. overnight at Sir Adam Beck)
    – flywheels (eg. Beacon Power in NY State)
    – underground compressed air (eg. US mid-west)
    – power trading (eg. Minnesota’s winter wind for Manitoba’s summer hydro)
    – Vanadium Redox Battery (eg. Tasmania; also used with windfarm in Ireland)
    – other types of large-scale, chemical battery banks, either at the generator`s or consumer`s site
    – capacitors
    – compressed air balloons at bottom of Lake Ontario (OPA-funded research project)
    – bio-gas creation and storage

    Hopefully, Storage will allow us to more cheaply replace the health hazards of both Coal and Nuclear.

    • jrwakefield says:

      Storage by pumping water at Beck? You’re kidding right. Why would we use expensive wind power to pump water into the reservoir when Niagara River can do it for free? Other storage options are bogus, and nothing but experimental. Energy loss in storage is huge. Return less than half, that makes wind even more expensive. Why spend money and energy on complicated systems which will fail, and shut the grid down, when we can just build more coal plants?

  9. Lorne WHITE says:

    1. Beck storage was only mentioned as one existing & successful method of storing electricity to duplicate elsewhere.
    I wonder if -but doubt that- Beck shuts down overnight while the water is pumped up into the reservoir? If they do, are they using Nanticoke coal to power the pumps?

    2. What evidence do you have for your ‘Other storage options are bogus’ comment ? OR are you just being rude & rhetorical to avoid discussion of serious storage ideas that actually exist elsewhere or are being seriously explored? (I outlined them as a courtesy in order for you to critique them individually, without needing to take time to research them.) They may not turn out to be engineerable or economically feasible, but Research is Always important.

    3. Explain ‘energy loss in storage is huge’. The whole concept is to achieve Peak Shaving to improve the economics. Peak Shaving avoids building expensive new power plants, by storing power when produced at times of low demand (overnight+holidays), to use when needed (mid-weekday).

    4. Did my mother die of Alzheimer’s from the mercury in Nanticoke’s coal smoke? We’ll never know, but ending coal smoke will sure help my asthma. 50% of USA states have mercury health warnings, and their EPA just issued emission requirements (2011-Dec) which are expected to shut down several coal plants.

    5. Finally, why are you so far behind the latest technical/economic situation? Fracking has reduced clean Natural Gas costs so much that we’ll soon be building a new NatGas-powered plant near your home where the power will be used (not Coal).
    Oops! NIMBY! McGuinty wouldn’t do that would he (Oakville & Mississauga)? Instead we’ll build huge, distant plants with inherent major Line Loss.
    Someone said that from-generator-to-home, Line Loss is ~40%. That’s one of the reasons for encouraging small-scale Distributed Energy.
    (Almost forgot the Fracking problems of potential ground-and-surface-water contamination and earthquakes. Will they be solved? Or will Fracking be banned as ‘complicated systems which will fail’?)

  10. jrwakefield says:

    1. Beck storage was only mentioned as one existing & successful method of storing electricity to duplicate elsewhere.
    I wonder if -but doubt that- Beck shuts down overnight while the water is pumped up into the reservoir? If they do, are they using Nanticoke coal to power the pumps?

    ———–

    No. If you look at the IESO website on output you will see coal is dropped at night, so too is much of Niagara because the demand is low.

    ————

    2. What evidence do you have for your ‘Other storage options are bogus’ comment ? OR are you just being rude & rhetorical to avoid discussion of serious storage ideas that actually exist elsewhere or are being seriously explored? (I outlined them as a courtesy in order for you to critique them individually, without needing to take time to research them.) They may not turn out to be engineerable or economically feasible, but Research is Always important.

    ————–

    They are bogus because they cannot be scaled up to meed the requirements. They are experimental only.

    —————

    3. Explain ‘energy loss in storage is huge’. The whole concept is to achieve Peak Shaving to improve the economics. Peak Shaving avoids building expensive new power plants, by storing power when produced at times of low demand (overnight+holidays), to use when needed (mid-weekday).

    ————-

    It’s called ERoEI, Energy Returned on Energy Invested. If you put 100 joules of energy into a battery you get less than that back when you need it. That return is as low as 10% for some, but rarely above 50%. That means you have to put at least double the energy into storage to get back what you expect. Here in Ontario we don’t need any of that. We already have a huge storage device — Niagara.

    ————–

    4. Did my mother die of Alzheimer’s from the mercury in Nanticoke’s coal smoke? We’ll never know, but ending coal smoke will sure help my asthma. 50% of USA states have mercury health warnings, and their EPA just issued emission requirements (2011-Dec) which are expected to shut down several coal plants.

    ————

    It is far less expensive to put scubbers on coal than it is to build wind and solar. Germany is going back to coal since they decided to shut their nukes (STUPID!!). Ross McKitrick did a paper on smog related deaths since the 1960s, it’s greatly down since then. We can make coal safe and cheap to use. Besides, if you are so worried about coal then shut down our steel industry, oh, right we already have, and shipped all those jobs to China where they are building a coal fired plant EVERY WEEK.

    ————-

    5. Finally, why are you so far behind the latest technical/economic situation? Fracking has reduced clean Natural Gas costs so much that we’ll soon be building a new NatGas-powered plant near your home where the power will be used (not Coal).
    Oops! NIMBY! McGuinty wouldn’t do that would he (Oakville & Mississauga)? Instead we’ll build huge, distant plants with inherent major Line Loss.
    Someone said that from-generator-to-home, Line Loss is ~40%. That’s one of the reasons for encouraging small-scale Distributed Energy.
    (Almost forgot the Fracking problems of potential ground-and-surface-water contamination and earthquakes. Will they be solved? Or will Fracking be banned as ‘complicated systems which will fail’?)

    ——————

    I am very aware of new technologies. I keep up with it. The route we should go is Liquid Fluride Thorium Reactors.

    So do you dispute my analysis on wind here?

  11. billothewisp says:

    Congratulations Richard on a great site. It is amusing to read some the negative comments above, I can almost feel the frustration in your replies!

    It is interesting to note how quickly the pro wind dreamers when trying to defend their junk technology descend into wishful thinking regarding energy “storage”.

    As for nuclear being “on the ropes” your commentator clearly follows the propaganda rather than the truth of the situation. After taking a small dip after Fukushima, nuclear utilisation and particularly current nuclear build commitment will exand the nuclear base by 30% by 2020. (see the IAEA site for the figures)

    As for LFTR’s … yes great idea but until we can get somebody to fund the development they will remain on the back burner. It would be great to see money currently wasted on junk technology like wind being diverted to development of potentially massively beneficial technologies like LFTR. But hey, that me just dreaming.

    Regards
    Billo

    • jrwakefield says:

      Thanks. Both India and China are pursuing LFTR. Looks like something else we will import from them. Sad.

      Richard

  12. rverhoeve says:

    hi all. is there a newer version of this site, or the data presented. everything i am seeing in the TOC is pretty old. am i missing something? don’t get me wrong, what i am reading is very, very interesting, but we need some material newer than 2010. thanks.

    • jrwakefield says:

      I havnt done any analysis since. The results would be the same, just bigger numbers. I may consider updating it in a few more years to compare, but again, the physics wont change, so the end results would not change. If anything, output from older sites would drop as the turbines age. It may be as much as a 15% drop per year. But at this stage it’s too early to see that.

  13. inspiREDmaple says:

    One of the better anti wind sites…thank you. Stumbled on this in my quest to be better informed as I watch my parents lose property value, etc.,etc,etc on both Amherst Island and in Prince Edward County. You’ve summed up a lot of info into tangible arguments in a format that i can digest,rsrch further, and take action on. Muchly appreciated as i try to impress the REAL impact (with alternatives) on friends who think these super size, stomach churning behemeths are ‘Green’.After looking thru a ton of websites this one gave me a bit of hope.

    Ps. Also needs to be said that the comment about this site having ‘outdated’ material…maybe that person complaining could step up and offer some new stats…just sayin’?!

  14. Ben Acheson says:

    This is a fantastic blog. It really is. Keep up the fight!

    You may also be interested in this new video – WIND ENERGY: CHALK IT UP AS A LOSS:

    • jrwakefield says:

      Thanks, watched it.

  15. Great site! Perhaps adding some humor might help counter the frustration of dealing with renewable idealists who refuse to do the math.

    Here’s a little ditty:Terry the Turbine

    And here’s one that delves into German self-reflection: Brieitbart: Germany discovers sense of humour, loses faith in green energy – James Delingpole 23 Apr 2014

  16. larry says:

    Simple as KISS is that it is all based on fraud. The bird kill,environmental destruction,health issues,to community disfunction. It is just an outright nightmare. But most greenies cannot accept this as they listen to disinformation provided by the governments that promote this without full disclosure of ALL risks and costs and proper studies without the mafia behind this government puppet bought run scheme.
    The days are getting shorter that these mischievous racketeers will fall. The triple crown or Babylon is starting to fall. It actually is,hurray!

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