Windpark To Nowhere…22,000 Litres Of Diesel Fuel Burned Every Month To Keep Windpark From Rusting Away!

Germany has ambitious plans of erecting huge offshore wind parks in the North and Baltic Seas with the hope of generating lots of natural, climate-friendly energy. The Riffgat offshore wind park, comprising 30 monster turbines located some 15 kilometers from the North Sea island of Borkum, is such a wind park.


The Riffgat offshore wind park has no transmission lines to take the power onshore. More than 22,000 liters of diesel fuel are needed each month to keep the idled turbines from rusting away. Photo

The dream is that Riffgat will power tens of thousands of homes and businesses with clean energy, and so become a model for the rest of the world. And now that construction of the wind park is finished, the dream also includes leading politicians inaugurating the wind park amid massive media attention, and thus looking like responsible heroes who are rescuing the planet.

That was the dream.

But now comes the reality. Number one German daily Bild here reports that the wind park is indeed complete, but it isn’t going to be supplying any green energy anytime soon. Bild writes:

The wind turbines aren’t operating, They are not allowed to run. This is because the wind park is still not hooked up to the power grid. 15 kilometers of the 50 kilometers of underwater power cable needed to connect the park to the mainland are still missing!

And because the wind park is not allowed to remain idle, diesel generators must keep the wind park in motion: The sensitive motors that are to convert the wind into energy must run continuously. Otherwise there’s a threat of corrosion from the salty air.

The consumption is enormous: According to BILD information Riffgat needs over 22,000 liters of diesel. A month!”

It isn’t possible to lay the last 15 km of sea cable because that section of the seabed is still littered with old bombs from WWII. Special ships are required to find and defuse the old munitions. Unfortunately these ships are booked out and it’s going to take months before any become available. Bild adds that the park isn’t going to get hooked up until February 2014 at the earliest.

Until then, and likely much later, 22,000 liters of diesel fuel will be burned each and every month to keep the turbines from rusting away.


11 responses to “Windpark To Nowhere…22,000 Litres Of Diesel Fuel Burned Every Month To Keep Windpark From Rusting Away!”

  1. jorge c.

    Dear Mr. P. Gosselin:
    I perfectly know that this question is o/t, but: Have you read this article?
    I’m a spanish speaking person, who could barely read articles in english, but in german…
    what is the problem with Prof von Storch?
    thank you very much!!

  2. Jimbo

    Shouldn’t they have laid the cables first? CAGW insanity at its finest. 🙂

  3. Bernd Felsche

    I know that I mentioned this story earlier this month in Joanne Nova’s blog, linking to a Spiegel-Online story. (mea culpa. I should’ve shared the link with you on FB on the 2nd of August)

    I originally got the link to the Spiegel from a thread at Bishop Hill wherein I quoted a line from Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer:

    Wer baut auf Wind, baut auf Satans Erbarmen!

    The Bild story adds a litlle information but more significantly; increases the visibility (readership) of the fiasco.

  4. Richard111

    I didn’t know those things had diesel generators built in. They will be able to sell that electricity at a huge profit. Here in the UK the government is encouraging the setup of secret diesel generator parks to help keep the lights on.

    1. DirkH

      They don’t have Diesels built in; as they are connected to the grid anyway they can use electricity to keep moving. But an offshore windpark always has a platform containing the power electronics for the central grid connection; I guess they have installed a Diesel there.

      Here’s a photo of such a platform.

  5. Rog Tallbloke

    Great post Pierre. The stupidity of politically driven energy policy burns… lots of diesel.

  6. Rog Tallbloke

    Is it possible the unexploded munitions story is a cover for the real reason?

    1. DirkH

      I don’t think so. We already have huge variability due to the many onshore windmills in Eastern Germany. On many occasions surges threatened to topple the grid. In these instances the grid operators phone the wind mill operators and urge them to switch off. According to German law they will get paid for the energy they could have fed in. So that is already SOP.

  7. 22,000 Litres of Diesel Fuel burned every month to keep offshore wind turbines from rusting away | Quixotes Last Stand

    […] The consumption is enormous: According to BILD information Riffgat needs over 22,000 liters of diesel.   A month!”    Read full article, here….. […]

  8. mwhite

    “Scottish grid unable to cope with variable input from wind turbines”

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    […] Windpark To Nowhere…22,000 Litres Of Diesel Fuel Burned Every Month To Keep Windpark From Rusting … […]

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