100 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for every politician's Christmas stocking.
John Etherington explains the shortcomings of wind energy with a clarity that cannot be refuted. Only environmentalists of the sickest green hue could find anything to argue with in this book.
The Wind Farm Scam answered all my questions, it laid out in clear, easy to follow tables and charts the reason why we should stop building wind turbines today. Technical...
Published on 11 Nov 2009 by J. Keal
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing...
As the author is an accomplished ecologist I expected a lot from this book. In line with another reviewer, I expected the writing to be solidly referenced in an authoritative way...not least because of the author's background. So naturally I expected the chapter on landscape degradation and wildlife to be a mine of information and opinion with perfect referencing. What's...
Published 1 month ago by Nigel
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100 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for every politician's Christmas stocking.,
This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)John Etherington explains the shortcomings of wind energy with a clarity that cannot be refuted. Only environmentalists of the sickest green hue could find anything to argue with in this book.
The Wind Farm Scam answered all my questions, it laid out in clear, easy to follow tables and charts the reason why we should stop building wind turbines today. Technical details which I have previously found hard to get to grips with were explained in plain language, clarifying the mystery of such things as the national grid and load factors.
If all of our politicians read this book we might at last get a well balanced and realistic policy on energy for the UK. For too long we have been subjected to propaganda from the wind industry trying to convince us that the only way to save the planet is to cover all of our wild uplands with machines reminiscent of H G Wells 'War of the Worlds'
Please read it and come to your own conclusion. The government is advised on energy by the very people who stand to benefit from the subsidies. How can that be right?
65 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Only Common Sense,
This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)Dr Etherington's book explains, at the technical level, what many people know at the level of common sense - that wind power can't possibly save significant levels of CO2, that wind cannot produce reliable base load energy and that wind power is hugely expensive compared with other main forms of energy production. For arguments sake, lets suppose a fleet of wind farms can produce between 10GW (when wind is blowing at its optimum speed) and 0GW of electricity (when the wind is not blowing much at all) - where is the shortfall of electricity going to come from? You've got it, it has to come from dependable power stations which can be cranked up quickly to fill the gap, and the only power stations that can do that are fosil fuel ones. But hang on, what happens to their output when the wind farms are producing their maximum 10 GW? If you down scale the fosil fuel (best being gas) generators which have been built as dedicated back up for wind, then not only are they going to be run incredibly inefficiently, but they are going to operate at a whacking great loss - unless of course they are heavily subsidised by the general public, just like wind farms.
The bottom line is that for every GW of wind energy generated we have to duplicate that investment by building dedicated back up fosil fuel generators which will be run very inefficiently because of the need to constantly ramp them up and down in order to fill the wind energy gap. This will inevitably lead to near zero saving in CO2 emissions and a cost of electricity (remember to add on the billions of pounds required to upgrade the electricity distribution system) which will force millions in the UK into fuel poverty.
If you have swallowed the wind industry and political propoganda that wind energy is the answer to our energy and CO2 problems, then read Dr Etherington's book which I am sure will change your mind.
45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is wind power the answer to our energy problems?,
This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)This is a timely book! The UK government is trying to drive through a massive programme of wind farm construction over the next 10 years - usually in the face of huge, democratically-expressed, local opinion against them. The population at large up till now has been willing to go along with this policy, which threatens to despoil large tracts of our beautiful countryside and cause misery to those who are obliged to live close to the huge new generation of turbines around 400ft in height, because it seems the 'green' and 'noble' thing to be doing. But will this policy actually make a real difference to the UK's carbon emissions? What is its real cost to the consumer? Will this policy prevent the lights going out? Do wind farms actually produce the goods?
In the face of the stream of propaganda from politicians and energy companies telling us how wonderful wind farms are, there has been a lack of authoritative independent advice for those who want to come to a balanced judgement. Now Dr John Etherington, a former editor of the 'Journal of Ecology', has produced this handy 200 page summary of the key issues involved. His conclusions are clear from the title of the book: it is a 'scam'!
What do you think? If you care about the despoilation of our countryside; if you care about the direction of our country's energy policy; if you are threatened with a wind farm development (and make no mistake, they are coming soon to a field near you); then read this book.
39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must-read' for all political decision makers, & fascinating for the rest of us.,
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This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)For many years I've had this gut feeling that wind power cannot be the salvation to our future energy crisis that it is made out to be, due to its unpredictability as a power source.
I knew I needed facts, and John Etherington provides them in abundance in this fascinating book which, despite the title, is low on hype, simply letting the facts speak for themselves.
Virtually every statement is supported by source literature as noted in the footnotes at the end of each chapter. It must have taken John years to have unearthed so much information - on the inefficiency of Aerogenerators (as he says, they're not turbines); the numbers of birds and bats killed by blades moving at tip speeds of up to 150mph; the huge subsidies paid to companies to build these towers (or they wouldn't be built); the noise nuisance; the need for the building of more thermal backup power stations 'just to be on standby', and much, much more.
Every politician; each and every member of each County's planning committee in England, Wales, Scotland & N. Ireland needs to read this book to understand just a little of the complex delusion which is being foisted on us all. There is more to the story than John has been able to cram into this 190-page book, but it is simply a must-read for anyone who is prepared to step out from the all-encompassing bandwagon of 'Climate Change' hysteria to learn some of the facts for themselves.
'The Wind Farm Scam' provides one of the most concise routes to understanding some of the truths about 'Global Warming', and the current deeply flawed and supremely expensive schemes being used to attempt to address this current challenge. I can't recommend John's book highly enough.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb,
This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)There is little to add to the positive reviews about this wonderful little volume except the following: Concerning presentation, literary style, clarity of argument, logical structure, etc., etc. this book is certainly one of the very best I have ever read. It's all straight to the point, no waffle or superfluous information whatsoever. This volume is - in a word - lean!
A must read!!!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wind farm scam,
This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)Wind turbines are currently thought to be one of the technologies with which we can generate
'clean' electricity. The UK government is planning that by 2020 15% of the total energy used will be generated from renewable sources: with current technology most of this must come from the generation of electricity using wind power. Therefore the plan is to generate 30-40% of UK electricity from wind power; currently (2009) 1.3% of our electricity is from wind turbines and to meet this target more than 4 large wind turbines (4 MW) need to be built each day.
This is a venture into the unknown, so Dr Etherington's book is a much needed, well written, introduction to the problems involved. His central thesis is that wind power on this scale is an expensive option that will not necessarily provide a reliable source of electricity, and may not even reduce carbon dioxide emissions significantly; hence in 2020 we could be in a worse predicament than now.
The first three chapters provide an excellent, brief introduction to wind turbine technology, including a discussion of the problems associated with the vagaries of wind energy. The following seven chapters set about debunking the conventional wisdom that wind turbines provide an important and relatively painless method of carbon-free electricity generation. There are good discussions on landscape degradation, the effects on wild-life, noise, shadow and flicker effects and on property prices.
Of all of these problems perhaps the most important is the effect of intermittent generation on the complicated system that generates and supplies our electricity, which most of us take for granted. It is this, and the relatively low load factors of UK wind energy, about 26%, that makes wind energy expensive.
Climate change issues are rarely reported dispassionately, and this book is no exception, so one is tempted to be sceptical about many of the assertions made, despite the evidence provided. However, there are many current discussions, on the Web, about the Danish and US experience of wind energy and all those that I have seen support Dr Etherington's case; moreover, apart from the official wind energy web sites, I have not seen serious counter arguments against his case. For the UK the 2008 House of Lords report "The Economics of Renewable Energy" suggests that by relying on such a high proportion of wind energy we are moving into unknown territory and, at the very least, electricity costs will be far higher than is otherwise necessary. The implication is that in the absence of a break-through in electricity storage the UK should rely on only a small proportion of wind energy; which is, I think, consistent with Dr Etherington's view.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a serious discussion of the important problem of the UK energy supply.
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Communities and Politicians Should Welcome This Contribution,
This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)Thank goodness for this timely contribution. As a professional engineer and academic I was recently faced with the task of educating myself and fellow villagers on the numerous issues surrounding industrial wind turbines. We needed to rapidly acquire and assimilate the information on turbine capital costs, electrical output, revenue streams, subsidies (including the Alice-in-Wonderland `renewables obligation certificates'), health issues (particularly noise) and claimed contributions to carbon-reduction.
All this was required to counter the `steamroller' tactics of developer and lobby groups, both apparently determined to despoil the new South Downs National Park landscape and (as it transpired) to charge us for the privilege! We spent many weeks collating information, then promulgating to residents and planning authorities and at public inquiry. Dr. Etherington's monograph would have dramatically eased and speeded our learning experience.
Etherington's book will surely come to be recognised as the immediate source of reference for communities such as ours when faced with proposals for industrial wind turbine farms. From painful experience our community now knows that they are indeed a `scam'.
Hopefully `The Wind Farm Scam' will also be required reading for all MPs in the 2010 intake; particularly so for ministers who thus far have failed spectacularly to grasp the scientific and environmental issues which John Etherington so adeptly assembles and analyses.
It is no exaggeration to say that none of our legislators (with the honourable exception of Lord Lawson) has thus far grasped the futility of wind turbine economics. If appropriate early action is taken to modify current policies it would save our nation tens of billions of pounds that we can ill afford - and all this with no harm to the environment!
We all owe Dr. Etherington a debt of gratitude for his timely publication - let us not waste the opportunity to revise our strategy.
Dr. Tony Parker
The Wind Farm Scam
An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming
Scared to Death: From BSE to Global Warming: Why Scares are Costing Us the Earth
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CLIMATE, THE SCAM, AND THE WARDROBE,
This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)Given the controversial nature of this topic, the first thing to establish is the credentials of the author. Dr John Etherington was Reader in Ecology at the University of Wales, Cardiff until retirement in 1990. He is also a Thomas Huxley medalist (Royal College of Science), and a former editor of the Journal of Ecology.
He asserts that climate scares and EU targets drive the industry. Even basic independent research into the EU funding of wind power and enthusiasm for carbon taxes will back this up. Part of the EU agenda is to create a common power `super grid' using wind power as a Trojan horse to force change. In conjunction with EU 20/20 legislation and energy targets, Tony Blair bound the UK to energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets which may mean the UK will be forced to join a future European `supergrid' to prevent blackouts.
The 'ABS Windpower Report' (2006) noted that 'Wind power has been promoted for politico/environmental reasons and wind developers have benefited from substantial subsidies, leading to exaggerated claims. A reality check is needed.' (p.152) The frightening conclusion is that the UK will be at the mercy of European power supply if we join such a grid. Leaving the EU will be made economically highly dangerous and damaging for us if this occurs.
However, this in no way states the real objection to wind power, whether with modern generators or not. Wind power simply cannot supply predictable and reliable energy to the national grid: the reason being that the wind stops and starts, and sometimes blows too hard. Unless the wind is just right, there is no power generated. The electricity cannot be stored and must be used as produced and supplied to the grid, thus making grid regulation more complex, and in some cases dangerously unstable. Power generation does not cut in above a wind speed of about 10mph, and is cut off in gales and storms as the rotors may fail and the generator be damaged. Even so, wind generators may be blown over in storms.
Even worse, as wind power stops and starts, all wind power WHICH IS RELIED ON must be backed up by equivalent conventional power stations kept on standby - these are gas and coal-fired stations normally. Blackouts in Spain and the USA have occurred where this has not been the case (p.68). Of course, where the wind generators are NOT RELIED ON but are merely cosmetic there is no need to cover their output with stand-by power. This problem is one which the manufacturers of wind generators in Denmark, Germany, and elsewhere are always quiet about. So, where we bring more and more wind generators online in Europe, we ensure that more and more conventional power stations will be kept idle, just waiting for a lull in the wind over Europe.
Wind power is very expensive to build and run. This extra cost is hidden by the legalised RO (Renewables Obligation) subsidy, and tax breaks which are added to every electricity bill in Britain. The enthusiasm of the UK government is seen in that the Exchequer actually benefits from the 'green' tax of renewables collected by the 'Non-Fossil Purchasing Agency', and has done since at least 2005. Some is used to promote renewable energy, the rest goes into the general Consolidated Fund (p.150), estimated at about an extra £1 billion in 2010. The UK wind power excess cost per household per year was over £80 in 2008 (p.81)
Wind power does very little to reduce emission of CO2, the reason it was initially pushed. The amount it does save is grossly exaggerated by its proponents. Whether manmade CO2 is bad, or even significant as a greenhouse gas, is a moot point in science. The visual impact on the landscape reduces tourism, damaging jobs and income in areas such as Wales, where tourism contributes about 7% of GDP. A Spanish study found that the huge EU subsidies given to create 'green' jobs such as wind power destroys 2.2 existing jobs by displacement per 'green' job created (p.147).
The irrational and deceitful 'green' opposition propaganda to nuclear power in the UK is one of the reasons people are afraid to oppose wind power. France gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power and has a superb safety record. Britain buys off-peak nuclear power electricity from France because it is such reliable baseload supply. Finland and France are both currently building large (1,600MW) pressurized water design nuclear reactors (p.190). We cannot assume that this is all done in the name of concern for the environment. Protected species of birds such as golden eagles and red kites are regularly killed by the rotor blades in Germany, the USA, and Sweden, violating laws protecting these species (p.103-9). Bats, also protected species, are killed by lung damage and shock when hit by flying in the blade vortices (air-wake of the rotor).
The health impact on humans is still being studied. The thumping noise and earth vibration of wind 'turbines' is unique and these effects are still being studied. Many people react badly to the low frequency hum (infrasound), which cannot easily measured physically by any of the decibel scales, the effect is psychological as much as physical. The sound and vibration effects penetrate easily into dwellings. The visual flicker effect of the rotor can be psychologically disturbing and is very intrusive inside dwellings. Reductions in Council Tax ratings have been won on the basis of reduced property value (p.119).
As common sense would predict, property values near even small wind 'farms' decline, a reduction of about 50% has been recorded (p.143). The Ministry Of Defence have often successfully blocked planning applications for wind 'farms' as they interfere with military radar (and commercial radar), and jets on low-fly exercises may hit the rotor blades. The commonest danger is of rotor blade failure, with other dangers such as friction fires igniting oil sumps, falling ice, lightning strike, and electrocution are downplayed. The life of a wind generator (so-called 'turbine') is 20-25 years, but few if any have usefully run for their lifetime to assess the full hazards and maintenance costs.
There is a foreword by Christopher Booker, an author's preface, a glossary of acronyms and abbreviations, and an index.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wind Farm Scam,
This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) (Paperback)The Wind Farm Scam calls into question the amount that wind energy can contribute to solving our need for renewable energy and the degree to which the UK government is relying on wind to meet its 2020 commitments. This book should be read by all who have an interest in renewable energy in order to keep claims made by pundits in perspective
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading,
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This review is from: The Wind Farm Scam (Kindle Edition)Essential reading for anyone fighting a planning application for a wind turbine(s). Anyone who believes the propaganda generated by the government and wind turbine companies should read this and they will hopefully see the truth behind all the lies.
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The Wind Farm Scam (Independent Minds) by John Etherington (Paperback - 1 Sep 2009)
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