Wind fails yet again. Generation out of breathe and provided Ontario only 0.5% of its generation mix in the middle of a work day.
Germany began installing wind turbines in earnest some 20 years ago. Now that their lifetime has been exceeded, many are being ripped down. But there’s a big problem about what to do with the leftover carbon and glass-fibre reinforced blades
A recent report on ZDF German public television explains that currently there’s no plan in place on what to do with the turbine blades, which weigh up to 15 tonnes each.
There’s no way to recycle them to use as raw material for new blades. Currently the old blades are being shredded and the chips mixed in with concrete. “You need too much energy and power to shred them,” says Hans-Dieter Wilcken, the operator of a German recycling company.
Burning them is also not an option.
The problem with chopping them up is that dangerous carbon fibre particles are produced and pose a threat to human health. Used wind turbine blades have been designated hazardous waste and no one knows how to deal with them.
Currently 30,000 wind turbines are in operation across Germany and many will have to be dismantled over the next 20 years. That volume alone means over a million tonnes of hazardous waste (30,000 turbines x 3 blades/turbine x 15 tonnes/blade = 1.35 million tonnes).
By 2100, with wind turbine use expected to rise, millions of tonnes of non-recyclable hazardous waste will be left for future generations to deal with – that’s in Germany alone.
Bloomberg: Massive waste “forever”
In the USA, Casper Wyoming is currently serving as a landfill for used blades, Bloomberg here reports:
‘The wind turbine blade will be there, ultimately, forever,’ said Bob Cappadona, chief operating officer for the North American unit of Paris-based Veolia Environnement SA, which is searching for better ways to deal with the massive waste. ‘Most landfills are considered a dry tomb.’
‘The last thing we want to do is create even more environmental challenges.’
On top of the hazardous wind turbine blade waste, there’s also the problem of the massive steel reinforced turbine foundations, which are simply being swept under a layer of dirt as well. These too will forever have an impact on ground and ground water.
Legacy of waste, breathtaking stupidity
Future generations will wonder how dumb their ancestors must have been to opt for a form of energy that blighted the landscape, destroyed ecosystems over vast areas, killed avian wildlife, was an unreliable and expensive energy source, made nearby residents sick and left millions and millions of tonnes of waste behind.
Never mind ll the solar panel waste that is about to added to that.
CREDIT: NoTricksZone| By P Gosselin on 21. November 2020 |1.35 Million Tonnes of “Hazardous Material”, Germany Admits No Plan To Recycle Used Wind Turbine Blades
“The larger point is that a decline in the performance of offshore turbines due to ageing at a rate of 4.5% per year means that the effective economic life of such turbines is little more than 15 years. Power prices and operational arrangements after that period will have a very small effect on the decision to invest or not to invest in offshore generation.”
Two reports; Professor Gordon Hughes, School of Economics, University of Edinburgh on 4 November 2020
Industrial Wind Turbines on Canada Day In Ontario
“As is often the custom in Ontario on hot humid summer days, most of the IWT (industrial wind turbines) took the day off so the 4,800 MW of capacity they have was virtually silent. Had they operated at 100% of capacity they would have delivered 115,000 MWh but instead they only managed to puff out 7,440 MWh and had 400 MWh curtailed (at 11 PM) meaning they operated at a level of capacity of 6.8% including the curtailed MWh. As the morning broke at hour 9 AM they generated 8 MWh or 0.017% of capacity. Fortunately, we didn’t need their power as nuclear, hydro and gas easily supplied our needs throughout the day even though total market demand reached 22,641 MWh and Ontario demand peaked at 19,342 MWh or 402,000 MWh for the full day. Our net exports were north of 45,000 MWh which earned us ratepayers only about $750,000 while costing us close to $7 million.”
Rants about Ontario’s electricity system; Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives July 6, 2020
Begs the question; What happens to wind turbines if they were put into our Great Lakes?
Video | Keltbray demolishes huge wind turbine with explosives
Keltbray has demolished a giant wind turbine at Hunterston in Ayrshire.
“It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”
by: LINDSEY BAHR, Associated Press|Posted:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — “What if alternative energy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? That’s the provocative question explored in the documentary “Planet of the Humans,” which is backed and promoted by filmmaker Michael Moore and directed by one of his longtime collaborators. It premiered last week at his Traverse City Film Festival.
The film, which does not yet have distribution, is a low-budget but piercing examination of what the filmmakers say are the false promises of the environmental movement and why we’re still “addicted” to fossil fuels. Director Jeff Gibbs takes on electric cars, solar panels, windmills, biomass, biofuel, leading environmentalist groups like the Sierra Club, and even figures from Al Gore and Van Jones, who served as Barack Obama’s special adviser for green jobs, to 350.org leader Bill McKibben, a leading environmentalist and advocate for grassroots climate change movements.
Gibbs, who produced Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11,” didn’t set out to take on the environmental movement. He said he wanted to know why things weren’t getting better. But when he started pulling on the thread, he and Moore said they were shocked to find how inextricably entangled alternative energy is with coal and natural gas, since they say everything from wind turbines to electric car charging stations are tethered to the grid, and even how the Koch brothers are tied to solar panel production through their glass production business.
“It turned out the wakeup call was about our own side,” Gibbs said in a phone interview. “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”
Both know the film is going to be a “tough pill to swallow.” It was a difficult eye-opener for them as well……
Although the findings will be disheartening, both Gibbs and Moore say they hope that it inspires people to reset and start thinking differently.”
“Now we can begin to come up with the right solutions that might make a difference … The film doesn’t have the answers but it will get us asking a better set of questions,” Gibbs said. “I really do trust that when millions of people are discussing an issue, answers will emerge … This is what we do as humans, we solve problems, but we’ve got to have the right questions.”
What goes up will come down
End of life for the Pickering wind turbine. Ironically its demise serves as a metaphor for illusions peddled that wind turbines are a viable means for on demand electricity generation. Waiting for the winds to be just right (not too fast or slow, or no wind) turbines fueled by the wind produce out of sync with demand. It is also plagued by generation that is variable and intermittent in nature. Introducing wind powered generation creates increased need for fossil fuels (usually gas) for back- up generation capacity that can be there when needed. Turbines have an eye watering, otitic throbbing 20 years or less operational life cycle.
Credit: Ontario Power Generation|News Update May 30, 2019
Later this year, Pickering residents will see a change as they stroll along the Waterfront Trail at Alex Robertson Park. Ontario Power Generation’s wind turbine has reached its end of life and will soon be dismantled.
While the turbine has produced clean, renewable energy for many years, it’s important that we make smart investment decisions that will return good value for Ontario. And because the cost to replace the turbine’s older parts is too high, and leaving the turbine in place but not operating would present a safety concern, we’ve made the decision to move forward with dismantling it.
Did you know?
The turbine has operated for almost 20 years
At full power, it could produce enough energy to power about 330 homes
While located beside the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, it’s actually operated and maintained by our Niagara Operations team
Once work begins it will take about two weeks to dismantle the wind turbine. We’ll publish the date here once it’s been determined.
Just another turbine needing repair. This one is located near Kohler and Rainham Road in Halidmand County. The turbine was constructed only a few years prior, so much for the touted 20 year life expectancy claims. Note how big the structure is in comparison to the size of work vehicles and a person was spotted at top of the structure while crane work was underway. Newer projects have much larger turbines being installed.
May 19, 2019 Haldimand County, Ontario
Aftermath of giant wind turbine explosion filmed by drone close up
Giant wind turbines have been springing up on horizons all over North America for the past decade. They have been around much longer than this, but they are becoming more commonplace as we seek an alternative to fossil fuel and nuclear power. Still controversial, these turbines present a viable way for power to be derived from wind, a completely renewable resource with no end. Opponents to wind power are concerned over appearance, health concerns, costs, effects on land value, and the affect on humans and animals that live in close proximity. Those in favor of harnessing wind power point to the obvious problems associated with other power sources. The debate rages on and we have yet to fully investigate both sides of the argument.
Similarly, people stand divided on the aesthetics of giant wind turbines. Some see them as majestic structures that are magnificent to behold. Others see them as an eyesore among the natural features of the landscape. But regardless of one’s opinion, there is no denying that their sheer size and structure is a marvel of engineering and technology. To look up at something that towers more than 400 feet above us, creates a sense of awe and wonder. The cost to erect such a turbine is approximately four million dollars. The blades alone cost almost one million dollars and they weigh a staggering 12,000 pounds. They are made with layers of fiberglass pressed together in a long construction process that requires extreme precision. Yet, these massive blades are designed to spin and generate electricity from wind.
This giant wind turbine was erected almost three years ago between Pontypool and Bethany, two small towns in southern Ontario. They are much like many other wind turbines that have been erected, but there is one big difference here. In April of 2019, one of the blades on this one exploded, sending huge sheets and chunks of fiberglass shrapnel raining down. Other sections hung precariously, fluttering in the wind. The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined. A drone was sent up near the tower to film the blade close up, producing this video that gives us a rare and fascinating look at the damaged blade and the pieces that hang from the hub. The wind turbine has been shut down for obvious safety reasons to await repair. The cost to dismantle and replace this turbine will also be staggering.
Ironically, the drone that was filming this disaster experienced an unexplained loss of control and it came in contact with the turbine tower, resulting in it making a high speed descent to the concrete below. The drone was completely smashed in the incident, but the footage that was recorded prior to the crash was recovered.
Credit: WildCreatures Published April 25, 2019