North Holland Province Says “No” To New Windparks: “Mega Money Pit With Virtually No Merit”

The Dutch province of North Holland has realised that windparks are a complete and useless eyesore that blight the landscape, and they save very little CO2. Therefore, the province has decided to forbid their construction. Hat-tip Science Skeptical here.

The North Holland region would seem to be ideally situated to take advantage of the windy North Sea. Indeed it would be difficult to find a more suitable spot for windmills. So if windparks there don’t make sense, what does that tells us about other places? Read here (in Dutch).

As a result, 20 planned windparks have been recently forbidden. Only a single planned token windpark in the Wieringermeer may be built.

The senselessness of the wild construction of weather-dependent windparks is revealed by a Dutch study here. Science Skeptical writes that experts “found out that the real fuel savings, and thus the reduction in CO2 output, is a whole 1.6% of the windpark’s rated capacity.”

Adding it all up, one must conclude that under the present conditions in the Netherlands a 100 MW (Megawatt) ‘name plate’ capacity wind development produces on average 23 MW because of the capacity factor. 4,6 MW (20%) of this has to be subtracted from the final net result because of initial energy investments. From the actual Statline production figures we know that 27% of this 23 MW = 6,17 MW represents the actual fossil fuel and CO2 savings. But from this figure we need to subtract the amount of energy invested in the construction works: 4,6 MW. The net total of fuel saving electricity provided by our wind turbines therefore is 6.17 – 4.6 = 1.57 MW on average over the year. That is ~ 1.6% of the installed capacity. It makes wind developments a mega money pit with virtually no merit in terms of the intended goal of CO2 emission reduction or fossil fuel saving.

This conclusion needs to be made known to anyone thinking about installing a windpark.

Are you listening, Renewables Guy?


16 responses to “North Holland Province Says “No” To New Windparks: “Mega Money Pit With Virtually No Merit””

  1. Mindert Eiting

    The Amsterdam Alderman, Van Poelgeest (Green Party), will do juridically everything to revoke this decision, ‘he cannot explain to his children’. He had the plan to build sixty windmills in his city, but Amsterdam is subordinate to Noord Holland. In the Netherlands the Green Party is now good for about three seats in Parliament, according to the opinion polls (next week we know more), comparable with a religious splinter party.

  2. DirkH

    “from this figure we need to subtract the amount of energy invested in the construction works: 4,6 MW. ”

    That’s what I expected (purely from the price signal). Nice to have confirmation.

    A question to Mindert: The Netherlands are densely populated. Is it not difficult to find a place to erect wind turbines while maintaining enough of a distance to the next settlement? What are the rules?

    1. Mindert Eiting

      Don’t know the rules but you see them everywhere in parks in coastal areas. In some cases there has been considerable opposition. Our Labour party has promised that they will invest billions in windmills on the North Sea and a distribution net. Apparently, they are not convinced by economic arguments.

  3. Ken Smith

    I was glad to see this report. More and more, the promise of efficient, environmentally beneficial industrial-scale wind energy is being seen as the smoke-and-mirrors illusion it is. I will be happy to see this awareness spread in the United States (and my state of North Dakota), as is inevitable.

  4. John F. Hultquist


    An interesting euphemism. Johnny Carson used to do a skit on the theme of “Let’s call it what it really is.” He would then hold up a sequence of products and skewer each item with a sarcastic renaming. In many countries these things are called wind farms. There is some logic in the wind farm term in the same sense as there is in, say, corn farm or pig farm. What, do you suppose, would a pig park be? When farm animals are made available in a setting for young folks to learn about and touch them, it is called a petting zoo.
    Instead of ‘windparks’ let’s call them wind zoos. Perhaps wind-wastes would work. Other ideas welcome.

    1. DirkH

      Bird blender?

      1. Ed Caryl

        That’s what I call them.

      2. Bernd Felsche

        Bacon launchers.

        Pigs will fly!

  5. DirkH

    New biohybrid solar cell. Breakthrough and all that. Handelsblatt also reports.
    It turns out that the system produces 2.55 W/m^2.
    They carefully hide it in the article, talk about Volts and Amps but don’t use basis SI units anywhere. Maybe the American press release hopes to confuse American readers so much they give up – they use mA instead of A, cm instead of m etc. Never mention W/m^2.
    Or maybe the journalists have botched the numbers.
    Can’t believe how bad this is.
    Somebody please check my result.
    0.3*0.85*0.001= 0.000255 (W/cm^2)
    0.000255*10000= 2.55 (W/m^2)

    1. Ed Caryl

      A breakthrough in that it worked at all. The efficiency is about 2% of a commercial cell at 12%. It probably has a half life of a week.

      1. Bernd Felsche

        Eye-popping performance!

        But probably works better with Olive Oyl. 😉

  6. archaeopteryx

    It took me a while to understand it… They get paid for MWhrs “produced” while they are not really subsituting fuel. The backup is hot and running, consumes fuel even on idle, and the losses of ramping up and slowing down outweigh the benefits of the random wind power (never mind the inefficiencies of open cycle turbines). Best shown in the Falklands (small, isolated, measurable grid). The “40% energy savings” became 13-15% of the electricity consumption, BUT ONLY 4-8% of actual, measured, diesel fuel saved. I bet dimes against dollars that the 7% wind contribution into the German electric grid does NOT correspond to 7% of any actual fuel saved. And I still recommend E.ON’s 2005 paper, which ever so politely said that wind may substitute 4-6% of the actual requirements, with diminishing returns: The more wind generators, the smaller the percentage. Counterintuitive, but so is the difference between MWhrs for which the sWINDlers get paid vs. the fuel they actually substitute. A tax. That’s all it is. With a high cut for the tax collector.

  7. Pascvaks

    “Dutch Treats” (ca.2012) – def. Bottomless Mega-money Pits with No Merit, exp “North Holland Windparks”

  8. The jury is in! ….. “Wind experiment a colossal failure”… why then is McGuinty pushing ahead with it????? « The Big Green Lie

    […] North Holland Province Says “No” To New Windparks: “Mega Money Pit With Virtually No Merit” […]

  9. dave ward

    “When farm animals are made available in a setting for young folks to learn about and touch them, it is called a petting zoo.
    Instead of ‘windparks’ let’s call them wind zoos”

    This one has an observation deck which you can climb up to – does that count?

  10. Bernd Felsche

    BTW: More stories of the renewable energy “boom” in Germany:

    “Das sächsische Werk mit 143 Mitarbeitern sei bereits geschlossen, sagte Schüco-Sprecher Thomas Lauritzen. Die Solarmodulfabrik Malibu in Osterweddingen bei Magdeburg mit 105 Beschäftigten stelle den Betrieb Ende September ein. “Auch ich hätte ähnlich reagieren müssen”, sagte Dirk U. Hindrichs jüngst am Rande einer IHC-Veranstaltung in Bielefeld. Immerhin sei die gesamte Solarbranche in einer schweren Krise.”

    Last sentence: “The entire solar industry segment is in a difficult crisis.”

    (And I heard that there was lots of sunshine in Germany!)

    From the whole article; about 450 “green” jobs gone/to go in just one company.
    143 already gone after closing a factory in Saxony, another 105 by the end of this month when closing another factory, with another 25 to go from thin-film development works, and another 200 shed from around Bielefeld.

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