Blowout week 33

18 stories this week below the fold.

The UK had some weather this week as the remnants of hurricane Bertha passed over. This caused flooding, and perhaps coincidentally, another major power cut took place during strong gusting winds. Image BBC.

BBC: Parts of Scotland affected by ex-hurricane Bertha

Parts of Scotland have been badly hit by high winds and heavy rain in the wake of what was Hurricane Bertha.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has almost 40 flood warnings in place, covering Aberdeenshire, Speyside, Moray, Caithness and Sutherland, and Tayside.

BBC: Power cut hits 27,000 on Western Isles, Skye and west Highlands

Electricity supplies have been restored to about 27,000 properties following a power cut that affected the Western Isles, Skye and the west Highlands.

The power loss lasted for several hours before engineers managed to restore supplies.

Energy giant SSE said a transmission fault had been the cause of the power cut.

In April, a power outage affected more than 200,000 properties across the north of Scotland.

Telegraph: Oil and gas company debt soars to danger levels to cover shortfall in cash

The world’s leading oil and gas companies are taking on debt and selling assets on an unprecedented scale to cover a shortfall in cash, calling into question the long-term viability of large parts of the industry.

Handelsblatt: The West on the wrong path

Did it all start with the Russian invasion of the Crimean or did the West first promote the destabilization of the Ukraine? Does Russia want to expand into the West or NATO into the East? Or did maybe two world-powers meet at the same door in the middle of the night, driven by very similar intentions towards a defenseless third that now pays for the resulting quagmire with the first phases of a civil war?

NY Times: Now Arriving at Pittsburgh International: Fracking

For salvation, airport officials are looking down — about 6,000 feet. The quiet runways, it turns out, are sitting on enough natural gas to run the whole state of Pennsylvania for a year and a half, and this month, Consol Energy will drill its first well here to tap the gas, which county officials say will bring them nearly half a billion dollars over the next 20 years.

IEEE Spectrum: Germany Takes the Lead in HVDC

To fill the gap, Germany is considering an aggressive plan that would push high-voltage direct current, or HVDC, from its conventional position on the periphery of AC grids to a central role. The primary reason is simple: For the first time, HVDC seems cheaper than patching up the AC grid.

Telegraph: Wind farms paid record sum not to produce electricity

Wind farms were paid a record sum of almost £3 million in a single day this week not to produce electricity.
Strong winds amid the remnants of Hurricane Bertha left the electricity network unable to cope with the amount of energy being produced by turbines on Monday.

Bloomberg: Europe’s Green Energy Rules Cost U.K. $156 Billion

European Union laws that reduce pollution and ensure energy security may have cost the U.K. as much as 93.2 billion pounds ($156.5 billion), a group campaigning to renegotiate membership in the bloc said.

Reuters: Mexico’s Round Zero and Round One oil projects

Mexico’s energy ministry announced on Wednesday that the country expects to attract $50.5 billion in new private and foreign investment by 2018 as part of a historic oil sector opening next year that will begin with a first round of contracts.

Telegraph: Wind farm ‘needs 700 times more land’ than fracking site to produce same energy

A wind farm requires 700 times more land to produce the same amount of energy as a fracking site, according to analysis by the energy department’s recently-departed chief scientific advisor.

Prof David MacKay, who stood down from the Government role at the end of July, published analysis putting shale gas extraction “in perspective”, showing it was far less intrusive on the landscape than wind or solar energy.

Telegraph: Ofgem ‘to blame’ for high energy prices

Ofgem may be to blame for high profits and prices, five former regulators have warned competition authorities investigating the sector.
The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an 18-month probe into the energy market at the request of Ofgem, after the energy regulator concluded that millions of households were paying too much for their gas and electricity because of a lack of competition across the sector.

BBC: Scottish independence: Government reveals green plan

The Scottish government has published a report which, it said, highlights the environmental benefits of independence.

The paper stresses the SNP’s commitment to ensure environmental protection is at the heart of a written constitution.

The move has been welcomed by environmental campaigners.

NY Times: In Britain, Nuclear Reactors to Be Shut Down in Fault Investigation

EDF Energy, the British subsidiary of the French state-controlled utility, said on Monday that it was shutting down three nuclear reactors and that a reactor with a fault that has been shut down since June would remain so. The facilities, which are being investigated as a precaution, generate nearly a quarter of nuclear capacity in Britain.


The Scottish government has commissioned a report into the health effects of wind farms at 10 sites across the country, following concerns that many people may be suffering from the effects of infrasound emitted from the turbines.

Westmorland Gazette: Ship leaking oil after colliding with Morecambe Bay wind turbine

A SHIP is leaking diesel after crashing into a wind turbine off the coast of Morecambe Bay.

Liverpool Coastguard has been in attendance since just after 9am this morning co-ordinating the recovery of the stricken vessel which collided with part of a turbine at Walney Wind Farm.

Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog: The Failure of the UK Climate Change Act

The Belgian think tank Bruegel points to data showing that the United Kingdom’s GDP has returned to pre-economic crisis levels, as shown above. This allows us to do a quick and intuitive examination of how much the UK economy has decarbonized over that time period, and how that rate of decarbonization compares to that implied by the UK Climate Change Act.

Natural Gas Intl: Mexico Energy Reform Opportunities Begin to Take Shape

In ongoing energy reform, Mexico state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will hold on to the majority of its currently producing oil fields, but in the months ahead, bids will be taken from parties that want to participate in the development of reserves in four packages outlined by Pemex.

Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time has his usual roundup of stories from Russia-Ukraine and MENA.

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6 Responses to Blowout week 33

    • Willem Post says:

      This is even more convincing regarding the genetic damage of infrasound from wind turbines:

      Rhode Island Noise Study:

      Some of the conclusions (p.53) of this

      Wind turbines produce measurable infrasonic and low frequency noise in the 1 Hz to 100 kHz band.
      These levels were measured at an average of 84 dB SPL over this band with variation in time of up to 16 dB.

      The dB(A) scale masks these levels (de-emphasizes infrasound levels by -20 to -150 dB from 100 Hz down to 1 Hz).

      The guidelines in this section (p, 51) are as follows:
      Standards – Noise standards should:
      • State the level at which noise must be limited and the limiting criteria in dB(A) above ambient:
      – Example: daytime and nighttime. ”X” dB(A) above ambient.
      – dB(G) should also be considered
      • State the period of time for noise averaging:
      – Examples: 24 hours, 8 hours, or 1 hour
      • State at which point noise shall be measured:
      – Example: at the property line
      • State the standards that noise must be measured and modeled according to (ANSI, IEC, etc.)
      • State the procedures to address noise complaints from neighbors along with procedures for curtailment or shutdown of the turbine if standards are exceeded.
      • Consider and implement penalties for low-frequency noise, amplitude modulation

      Here is an event that recently received much press in Denmark, for good reasons. No woman is safe with the country blanketed with wind turbines.


      Below is an article, which details the impact on newborns when wind turbines are placed too close to people and animals. The article is food for thought/introspection for Shumlin, Klein and other wind turbine aficionados.

      Wind turbines adversely impact the fetuses of pregnant women and other fauna species susceptible to low frequency vibrations from wind turbines, a.k.a. infrasound with frequencies less than 20 Hz. Infrasound cannot be heard, but is felt. Infrasound travels much longer distances than audible sounds that have higher frequencies.

      The PSB, so-called “Protector of the Public Interest”, refuses to:

      – Admit adverse health effects exist, despite numerous reports to the contrary
      – Measure and regulate infrasound, despite numerous complaints from nearby people
      – Regulate and enforce minimal setback requirements of about 2 km from a residence.

      Excerpt from the article:

      “Politicians, and wind industry shills who … deny the risks to health, are now liable to be successfully sued by wind farm victims. And so are governments, as they still refuse to measure infrasound emitted by modern wind turbines.”

      In Denmark last month, 1,600 animals were born prematurely at a mink farm. Many had deformities, and most were dead on arrival. The lack of eyeballs was the most common malformation. Veterinarians ruled out food and viruses as possible causes. The only thing different at the farm since last year has been the installation of four large wind turbines at a distance of 328 meters, or about 1,000 ft.
      The wind farm consists of four 3 MW turbines, VESTAS model V112, reaching out to 140 meters in height at the tip of the blades. When they became operational last fall, a first mishap was reported by the mink farmer at a parliamentary committee on wind farms in January 2014.

      • Thanks for this. I’m not sure we should be farming minks, but I will pass this on to wind people I know and see what they say. But with 330 GW or so of wind now operational globally I would have thought that there ought to be some clarity about any impacts, not just a few isolated examples of problems. Could it be some machines in some locations can effect some members of some species?

  1. Roger Andrews says:

    An alternative perspective on the Pielke article:

    With a bit of help from the 2008/9 recession the UK has met its first carbon budget (2008-12), looks certain to meet the second and should have little difficulty meeting the third. Meeting the fourth, however, could be a problem:

  2. Luís says:

    Hi Euan, the Evans-Pritchard story is pointing to the BBC website. Also, nice post on the magnetic field – I’m pretty sure CO2 is the culprit.

  3. That’s the old bridge at Carrbridge I think? Looks like it is in danger of being washed away! I went by there on a cycle tour (it’s on NCN7) in 2005.

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