Wind Power is Built on Mountains of Coal & a Sea of Oil

The Green Dream. More dream than green. Convert Moneypoint to biomass, now!


coalminevn Where wind turbines really come from.


The wind-worshipper rails at sites like ours, screaming – in a kind of hopeful hex – that we’re backed by BIG Oil and BIG Coal and will, accordingly, rot in hell for our temerity in challenging their infantile world view.

Maybe we will bunk-up down below in the next life, but that’ll be due to more enjoyable sins, than spending our days pointing out the insanity of trying to rely on a medieval power source, that was ditched Centuries ago, for fairly obvious reasons.

Armed with a mirror, and a little common sense, the wind cult would see that it is, in fact, the wind industry that exists, and only exists, thanks to mountains of coal, oil and gas – as this little wrap up neatly points out.

To Get Wind Power You Need Oil
IEEE Spectrum
Vaclav Smil
29 February 2016

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About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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4 Responses to Wind Power is Built on Mountains of Coal & a Sea of Oil

  1. fclauson says:

    Take a read of

    see quote below – a wind turbine produces a magnitude less CO2 than does a Coal fired powerstation.

    However there is no data available on the embodied CO2 of coal [fired powerstation]. This was out with the scope the thesis to calculate the value for that also. Therefore the value for the coal signifies the CO2 produced when it is burned. This value is 97975kgCO2/MWh. Perhaps this cannot be compared directly to the wind turbine result but it helps to quantify the answer, showing that the cradle- to- grave value of the turbine is relatively small to the coal power station.

    • Neil van Dokkum says:

      An interesting read. The shortest thesis I have ever seen! One must also bear in mind that the turbine is always backed up by coal power, whilst the converse is not necessarily true.

      • fclauson says:


        if one owns a bike one could argue it’s backed-up by ones car but at least when you use the bike it creates negligible pollution which cannot be said for the car. (both have embodied CO2 in their construction but the bike has much less – very synonymous with windfarms and power stations)

        It can also be said with the current weather prediction models you can be around 95%+ correct in your choice of transport so please do not use the argument “but you need the car always running and following your just in case” which is often leveled at wind farms that they always need backup – they only needed it when the weather model shows there will be insufficient energy available to meet demand.

        On any transmission system you will always need spinning reserve for your largest single generator (usually Moneypoint) at around 450Mw+ so wind or no wind there is often 450Mw of energy spinning doing nought just in case (called security of supply)

        the facile argument that wind farms need Coal etc to be built has little grounding when the maths for overall emissions during the lifetime of a wind farm vs power station are studied

        Emotional headline grabbing cherry picked clap-trap often gets in the way of hard numerical facts

      • Neil van Dokkum says:

        True enough, that much is trite. The blog that I quoted is making the point that the claims by the wind industry of “clean and green” are not accurate, that is all. Power stations do not claim to be either, they would admit to being dirty. The mini thesis you quote says the same.

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