How Big A Footprint Does Wind Power Require?

It’s not a particularly pretty number

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.

His intervention was welcomed by fracking groups, who are battling to win public support amid claims from green groups and other critics that shale gas extraction will require the “industrialisation” of the countryside.

This is nothing new, just more proof

That’s from the Mad Mad World Of Climatism (which you should most definitely read), and wind has the lowest power density of all the big power methods.

Prof MacKay said that a shale gas site uses less land and “creates the least visual intrusion”, compared with a wind farm or solar farm capable of producing the equivalent amount of energy over 25 years.

Nothing like fields full of wind turbines and solar panels to ruin the country side and water ways. Not that gas drilling rigs are particularly beautiful, they just take up less space. This in no way means we should abandon looking at wind power. What it does mean is that there needs to be quite a bit more R&D before just slapping wind turbines all over the countryside, and, as I’ve noted many times, perhaps we should be looking at wind and solar more for individual building usage.

BTW, we also need to be careful in drilling. Just to be clear.

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15 Responses to “How Big A Footprint Does Wind Power Require?”

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  2. Jeffery says:

    I suspect the carbon footprint of shale oil/gas is significantly more than that of a wind farm. And that’s the important point.

    It’s naïve or dishonest to suggest that major energy sources will be free of any and all negative externalities. It takes energy and natural resources to manufacture wind turbines and solar arrays. Hydroelectric dams require man-made lakes that flood thousands of acres. As you point out, wind farms require a large physical footprint and many people find them unsightly. Nuclear power has its own unique set of short- and long-term risks.

    But for those understanding the risk of adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, the positives of slowing global warming outweigh the negatives associated with low CO2 emitting technologies. Those that think CO2 emissions are trivial do not.

    The science is clear, the political battles are ongoing.

  3. Casey says:

    No, the science is not clear, you uneducated twit.

    They’re not even sure what the actual CO2 climate sensitivity is, much less how much humans contribute to the equation.

    As usual, you mindlessly parrot the AGW line, which includes using the highest sensitivity values estimated based on models which have never been validated.

    You can “suspect” all you like, but until you provide hard facts (neither models nor estimates) about the opportunity costs of various power systems, you’re just talking out of your fourth point of contact.

  4. Jeffery says:

    Crasey,

    I must have touched a nerve with my bland comment. Why are you so angry you ball-sucking pseudo-intellectual?

    So what do you have a problem with? Do you think CO2 is not a greenhouse gas? That the planet is not warming? Do you not think that burning fossil fuels emits more CO2 than wind farms?

    I’m not mindlessly repeating anything, I’m mindfully telling the truth. The Earth is warming from our addition of gigatons of CO2 to the atmosphere. Climate “Truthers” Deny the concept of AGW as a giant conspiracy between scientists, governments, liberals and the UN.

  5. Jeffery says:

    Teach,

    “What it does mean is that there needs to be quite a bit more R&D before just slapping wind turbines all over the countryside, and, as I’ve noted many times, perhaps we should be looking at wind and solar more for individual building usage.”

    So you want further government regulation of the private wind turbine industry because turbines aren’t esthetic? Certainly, you’re not suggesting that entrepreneurs be limited in erecting turbines and selling electricity.

    Interesting.

  6. gitarcarver says:

    So you want further government regulation of the private wind turbine industry because turbines aren’t esthetic?

    I know that you believe that companies like yours should live off the government teat, but no where was Teach advocating more regulation from the government. No where was he advocating more tax payer dollars to be dumped into wind turbine development.

    First you show that you cannot read in your response to Casey’s post, and now you follow that up with a post once again showing that you have comprehension issues.

  7. Jeffery says:

    gc,

    yawn…

  8. gitarcarver says:

    jeffery,

    I have heard where people who cannot understand subjects get bored easily.

    Thanks for proven that for me.

  9. I suspect the carbon footprint of shale oil/gas is significantly more than that of a wind farm. And that’s the important point.

    Really? So you’d be cool if a giant windfarm was slapped up where you live? I call bullshit on that. You’d be pissed as hell with the resulting loss of property value, the noise, the dead birds (you Warmists are a funny lot, not giving a crap about all the dead birds), the shadows from the moving blades.

    Hydroelectric dams require man-made lakes that flood thousands of acres.

    And extreme enviros are not only trying to block new construction, they want existing dams torn down.

    But for those understanding the risk of adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, the positives of slowing global warming outweigh the negatives associated with low CO2 emitting technologies. Those that think CO2 emissions are trivial do not.

    Good news! Despite all that CO2, there has been an almost 18 year “pause”! Hooray!

  10. jl says:

    Great! 700 hundred more times the land so we can kill more birds. Liberals-the ultimate hypocrites. “The earth is warming..” Oh, no- not this again. No, it’s obviously not, but anyway- where is it hiding?

  11. Jeffery says:

    You’re all welcome to lobby for more regulations on wind farms if that’s what you want. It will increase the cost of electricity, but if you find the turbines too ugly it’s your right to try to dictate their placement so you won’t have to look at them. (I just pointing out your obvious hypocrisy on this issue.)

    But back to your original meaningless comparison between the footprint of wind farms vs shale oil fracking…

    Here’s what the energy analyst in the article concluded: “The visual impact of fracking isn’t really the main issue – everyone knows that wind turbines are taller than drilling rigs, so you can see them from further away, but government figures show three times as many people support wind power than shale gas, and that difference just gets more pronounced when it’s in their local area.

    “That’s partly because of the risk of localised air and water pollution, partly noise and inconvenience, but most importantly, because shale gas is a high-carbon energy source, which is exactly what we need a lot less of.”

    Does the fracking analysis also include the area taken up by a 1000 mile long pipeline? I didn’t think so.

  12. Jeffery says:

    j,

    You should read the linked article and realize how foolish you’re being.

  13. Jeffery says:

    Teach,

    “Good news! Despite all that CO2, there has been an almost 18 year “pause”! Hooray!”

    A direct question for you and I’d appreciate an answer. Why do you rely on only the RSS dataset as the recent temperature record?

  14. Nighthawk says:

    And again with the CO2 is causing the planet to warm BS. You keep asking Teach about the dataset he uses to show the warming pause yet you never address that it has been proven that in the past, increases in CO2 levels have ALWAYS lagged increases in temps. NEVER have CO2 level increases preceded temperature rises.

    I also call BS to the claim that people favor wind power and that increases when the wind farm is in their local area. There is a wind farm not too far from where I live. They are wanting to expand it into the surrounding counties. In almost every yard in these counties are signs that say; “Say No To Wind Farm”. Doesn’t sound like to support to me. It is also obvious that you have never been around one of these things and if any were placed near your home you would definitely be bitching about it. They are ugly, very noisy and very inefficient.

  15. A direct question for you and I’d appreciate an answer. Why do you rely on only the RSS dataset as the recent temperature record?

    Uh, because it is one of the primary datasets used by the Met Office, IPCC, and others.

    A direct question for you: why won’t you and other warmists give up your own big carbon footprints?

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