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« Far unfit to bear the bitter cold | Main | Behind the windfarm scenes »

Array awry

The splendid news this morning is that the Atlantic Array, the monster wind farm planned for the Bristol Channel is to be cancelled "because the economics do not stack up".

Much the same could be said of most green initiatives.

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Reader Comments (36)

Phil Bratby: The Array Slayer! Rock on!!! Or as they say on other blogs: Props!

Nov 26, 2013 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

I'm not sure why you linked to the Grauniad. Better to link to the horses mouth, RWE here

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Array of hope?

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPMT

Thanks Snotrocket, but I can't claim to be responsible for the death of the scheme.

Copied from unthreaded:
My interview about the Atlantic Array on Radio5 Live can be heard here
It starts at about 01:13:09 and lasts till about 01:15:50.
Not bad I thought for 7.13am.
You can be sure that in the south-west we will be milking it for all it's worth, newspapers and radio.

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Press release from Slay the Array yesterday evening.

Slay The Array hails ‘sensible and realistic’ RWE decision to abandon Bristol Channel windfarm project

The decision by developers RWE npower to abandon plans to build a huge offshore windfarm just 9 miles off the North Devon coast has been hailed as “sensible and realistic” by campaign group Slay The Array, who have fought the project for the past two years.

Slay The Array’s spokesman Steve Crowther said: “I am delighted that RWE have recognised the fundamental unviability of this scheme. We’ve been saying throughout this year that RWE should cut its losses and go home.

“The inshore waters off some of the UK’s most important and protected wild coasts, in a unique Maritime Conservation Zone, was never the right location for this project. Even the government’s own environmental assessment cast severe doubts over its suitability.

“It was clear from the record 1775 interested parties who signed up to the enquiry – eight times more than for any other offshore scheme – that this one was a dead duck.

“It is disturbing that the Crown Estates, having selected this site within the 12-mile limit against best advice, then continued to chase the money, pushing for its development despite the huge opposition it attracted from all quarters. This plan brought together an unprecedented array of opponents, including many people and organisations who have never before opposed a renewable scheme. I would like to pay tribute to all of them, especially the Slay The Array partners and supporters.

“Groups fighting similar inshore developments, such as the Navitus Bay proposals for Dorset’s Jurassic coast, will take heart from this decision. Massive wind arrays may have their place in the energy mix, but it certainly is not spread across the horizon of some of Britain’s finest coastal beauty spots.”

“It’s time that the isolated Energy Secretary Ed Davey realised that the ‘big wind’ idea has had its day – no-one now believes it will solve our looming energy crisis, and it is increasingly seen as a personal obsession of his own.”

For further information contact Steve Crowther on 01271 813844/07775 787579

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:14 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Excellent news.

The next bit of good news I'm hoping for is long, long jail sentences for the self-righteous Greenpeace scum who tried to bully Russia. Fingers crossed these terrorists all get the full seven year tariff.

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

"Array awry" has to be the best headline of the year. Maybe add: Hurray.

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMatt Ridley

I linked to the article and looked at some of the comments on Komment macht Frei. Don't do it. You will just get angry/depressed/both.

What is the collective noun for a group of ignorant, uninformed misanthropes with extreme prejudice?

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterEpimenides

The Beeb meekly repeat's RWE's deliberate misinformation/propaganda that the Array would have provided juice for 'up to 900,000 homes'. Only if the homeowner wanted inconsistently intermittent power.

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Great news.
Their excuse is that the sea floor is not as expected and foundations are much more costly. Reality--- subsidies are being cut.

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Epimenides - don't take the Guardian readers too seriously, after all what else to Guardian readers do but make silly comments.

The comments in the Guardian are pretty funny, from the intelligence of DrAnanda

"Kill the planet - vote Tory!
Kill the vulnerable - vote Tory!
Kill our childrens future by not only destroying the planet but selling off vital services - vote Tory!
For short term benefits of the already wealthy and long term destruction of what is really important - vote fucking Tory!
And no......Labour are not as bad, not by a country mile."

I wonder if he is allowed out on his own yet?

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

The bad news this morning is that it's reported, in the Guardian, that

31,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2012-13 – a 29% increase on the previous winter

Correlation isn't causation but higher fuel bills, the obscenely regressive green taxes, do appear to lead to people dying.

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterGardner

What is the collective noun for a group of ignorant, uninformed misanthropes with extreme prejudice?

It's called a greenpeace.

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Now this is very strange, very strange indeed. I thought we'd been told that the cost of off-shore wind farms was set to fall as experience and knowledge progressed. I'm sure Ed Davey promised us that (as well as the fact that gas prices was set to triple by 2020). But here we have RWE reporting:

" . . . that the government might have to raise green subsidies – and thus increase bills or the burden on the taxpayer – after admitting that technical difficulties had pushed the price up so far that it could not be justified under the current subsidy regime"

Nov 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Apparently, accordnig to the article, the problem is "political uncertainty" and "poltical turmoil".

The editors at the Grauniad have a congenital commitment to anti-journalism. The hiding of facts and truth.

Nov 26, 2013 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered Commentergeckko

Don’t give up on KommentMachtFrei.
Comments are at 600+ on the Guardian article and coming in faster than you can read them. Informed critics are few, but the government’s energy policy is getting attacked from so many directions at once that Cameron’s Big “Cut the Green Crap” Idea will probably come out as the winner. An alliance of enlightened engineers, deep green twitchers and anti-big business reds has the government in disarray. Hooray.

Nov 26, 2013 at 12:18 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

From the Guardian

"UK's green plans dealt blow by shelving of Atlantic Array, which would have powered 1m homes and created thousands of jobs"

This propoganda should be countered every time we read it.
It might have powered up to 1 million homes, some times. Other times it wouldn't power any.

And didn't the Scottish government (or an independent group) recently say that the vast number of green jobs expected hadn't materialised?

Nov 26, 2013 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterNial

Wonder how many Hiroshimas per second this array would have been worth? Perhaps a more appropriate unit would be Trebuchets/s?
Widget required!

Nov 26, 2013 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

In fact there are quite a lot of sceptical comments at CIF. They are easy to spot because they are usually the ones with the most recommendations.

The 'power 1 million homes' lie from the industry is regurgitated without question by almost everyone in the media, for example here from the BBC.

Nov 26, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Excellent news.

The next bit of good news I'm hoping for is long, long jail sentences for the self-righteous Greenpeace scum who tried to bully Russia. Fingers crossed these terrorists all get the full seven year tariff.

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka>>>>>>

It's about time someone cut these ecothugs down to size.

I remember in the 70's when like minded louts decided it was ok to go beyond the law, in the name of 'the cause', and raided mink farms to let loose the animals into the wild with the resultant near extinction of much loved native animals. It's interesting that BBC programs like springwatch never mention these idiots when they lament the loss of wildlife to the now virtually endemic mink.

Nov 26, 2013 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

Nov 26, 2013 at 11:46 AM | Rick Bradford

greenpus, surely? Stinking & redolent, with just a hint of yellow (reminds me of something ........ Oh yes, the Coalition!)

Nov 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterEvil Denier

Proper job..!

As an official 'objector' and therefore on their mailing list, I got an e-mail from Dr Carter (CEO of the project) with the official letter attached ('technical' problems; 'not the right time' etc etc) - which gave me the opportunity to reply. I did so - fairly politely - saying how delighted I was that they would not be despoiling this wonderful seascape.

Incidentally - isn't it time the Crown Estate was taken to task for allowing/encouraging these massive offshore developments - and presumably making a healthy profit into the bargain..?

Nov 26, 2013 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

Now we need to get the Jurassic Coast Navitus Array scrapped. This is a real boost to the Challenge Navitus campaign.

Nov 26, 2013 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commentersteve

Evil Denier - aren't they already being referred to as 'GreenP*SS'...?

(That's yellow - so should appeal to Ed Davey...)

Nov 26, 2013 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

I echo Ridley's Hurray and Chambers' Hooray. Who cares about the po-tay-to po-tah-to differences, which will always be with us, the punchline is unequivocal: let's call the whole thing off. Wind farmers and other purveyors of renewable crud, please survey a sneak preview of your doom.

Nov 26, 2013 at 2:26 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

A long and winding road which led to this good news. Well done Phil, Steve and everyone else involved in the campaign.

This, coming on top of the Hinkley C deal, has completely upset the Green Meanies' Christmas.

Nov 26, 2013 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

This is a rare win-win-win outcome - no ugly and possibly dangerous array; no extra taxes and levies; no payments to foreign investors.

Nov 26, 2013 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Spilligan

The next battle is to stop the proliferation of giant and extremely ugly 50 acre solar farms set in open country that are earmarked for the West country.

Anyone got a less cuddly name for 'wind farms' and 'solar farms'?

Nov 26, 2013 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb



The Greens have a general lack of private sector funding and very little public support for their silly schemes.

It’s looking more and more like an episode from ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ - with Grand Designs gone array.

Nov 26, 2013 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterFay Tuncay

Fantastic news. I also got the news by email last night via email, as one of the many who submitted objections. Congratulations to those that put in the hard yards.

Nov 26, 2013 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy Scrase

Fantastic, happy news!
As many have said, now to stop the Jurassic Coast Navitus Array.
And also, as tonyb says, we must stop these solar farms that seem to be the next green initiative du jour and being promoted across some beautiful bits of countryside.

Nov 26, 2013 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

A small correction should have been made to RWE's statement per Capell above:
"technical difficulties had pushed the price up so far that it could not be justified even under the current subsidy regime"

Nov 26, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

These Green-Nazis,including all the scientists,Pollies and the Al Gores of this Scam,should pay for this.

Nov 26, 2013 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterclive

Solar Farms, Wind Farms, generic name is Subsidy Farms.

Nov 26, 2013 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

I think you are spot on Paul Matthews.

Let's analyse RWE's figure of 900,000 homes, slavishly regurgitated by the BBC: the Array was to have consisted of 2,400 turbines with a capacity of 5MW each, thus 1,200 MW in total. But this represents their maximum capacity but in reality they would deliver about one quarter of this due to wind variations, maintenance, grid payments not to produce, etc.; thus 300 MW on average. The average power consumption of a UK household is 2.25 kW (source: ONS).

So the Array would have supplied 135,000 homes on average (just 15% of the quoted figure).

By comparison, a single modern combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station generates 900 MW continuously without interruptions, enough for 400,000 homes, and produces one third of the CO2 emissions that produced by an older coal-fired station per MW.

Happy for readers to check my calculations.

Nov 26, 2013 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterwellers

Hooray Array Awry!

And this, kids, is the victory cry of giant-slayers in universal language.

Nov 27, 2013 at 2:36 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

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