Do wind turbines reduce carbon dioxide (CO2)?

October 5, 2013

Conditions are right for wind turbines to generate electricity about 30% of the time. When they’re not generating electricity, wind turbines are in stand-by mode & actually consume power from the grid. However, let’s assume that wind turbines generate more electricity than they consume. The question is: do they reduce CO2? Consider the amount of CO2 generated by each of these processes: Read the rest of this entry »

How much gravel / concrete for Ontario’s wind turbines?

August 26, 2013


  • 670,000 metric tons (tonnes) of gravel for access roads
  • 9,648,000 (almost 10 million) tonnes of concrete for foundations

Calculations: Read the rest of this entry »

Area the size of 4 mega-quarries consumed for turbines

October 24, 2012

Soupstock at Woodbine Park in Toronto…  a sequel to last year’s protest, Foodstock

An estimated 40,000 people were served bowls of soup in Toronto during a mega-quarry protest, Sunday. TEB

the project would directly affect an estimated 2,300 acres of farmland Torontoist

An additional 10,000 acres of vegetation are being cleared to install wind turbines in Ontario (details below). This number doesn’t include the thousands of acres of transformers & substations. It doesn’t include the thousands of km of access roads. It doesn’t include the thousands of km of transmission lines.

With an average 45 m radius, an area of 6362 square metres or 1.6 acres of vegetation is cleared around each turbine. With 6,500 utility-scale turbines proposed for Ontario, this can be extrapolated to 10,218 acres cleared of vegetation:

At the Criterion Wind Project in Maryland,  Post-Construction mortality monitoring studies were conducted.

The monitoring study period was from April 5 to November 15, 2011. Search plots were established around all 28 turbines in the project and the carcass search schedule was for daily searches at all turbines (weather and safety permitting). Search plot size varied in shape and size, due to habitat constraints, but in most cases areas up to approximately 40-50 m (~130-165 ft) from the turbines were cleared of vegetation for access and construction purposes and this area was used as the search plot.

This quote was received by email so there’s no web source referenced.

6,700 km of new transmission lines for Ontario?

October 23, 2012

Prince Edward County’s White Pines Wind Project requires 29 km of transmission lines just to connect to the grid, not including the power lines within the project itself. That’s 1 km of transmission line for each of the 29 turbines proposed. If this is typical, then it would mean about 6,700 km of new power lines to reach the 6,700 turbines proposed for or installed in Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

Do wind turbines reduce Ontario’s low emissions?

October 10, 2012

A newly released study… notes the limited capability of industrial wind turbines to reduce emissions… Some perspective is necessary here as the percentages for CO2 reductions provides relate to a grid with 500 CO2eq/kWh: the emissions intensity of Ontario’s total generation in 2010 was 130 g CO2eq/kWh: as minor as the benefits noted in the study may be, the benefits are far lesser, or non-existent, in Ontario. WCO

Wind turbines generate some electricity (when not consuming electricity in standby mode), but do turbines increase or decrease CO2 emissions? How many CO2-consuming trees & food crops will no longer grow on land replaced with turbine access roads & electrical infrastructure? How much CO2 is generated by the manufacture, transportation, installation & operation of wind turbines?

Let’s look at the Kingsbridge 2 project in Ontario (some numbers based on Kingsbridge 1):

  • 100 acre farm converted to electrical infrastructure (substation)
  • 140 access roads to install/maintain the turbines
  • power lines for 140 turbines
  • 5,000 metric tonnes of fiberglas blades & hubs – for each turbine blade produced, one TON of hazardous and toxic waste is created QLS
  • 9,000 metric tonnes for nacelles (generator, gearbox, cooling system, electronics and transformer)
  • 27,000 metric tonnes of steel (towers)
  • 30,000 cubic metres of concrete (foundations)

How many buses does it take to measure a wind turbine?

July 13, 2012

How big is a wind turbine compared to a 48 passenger school bus that is 12 m long?

2.5 MW Wind Turbine

Some 2.5 MW GE XL turbines have a 100 m tower. Lying on the ground (as they do during assembly), this would be the length of 8 school buses parked bumper to bumper. Each of the three 50 m blades is the length of 4 buses for another 12 buses. The nacelle is the size of one school bus. Therefore, it would take 21 (8 + 3×4 + 1) school buses to measure all of the components of a wind turbine as they lie on the ground during the construction phase.

1.8 MW Wind Turbine

Note that this image shows the scale of a different turbine. It represents a 1.8 MW Vestas turbine from Denmark:

4,500 kilometres of wind turbine access roads in Ontario?

May 23, 2012

… assuming that each of the 6,000 or more turbines installed or proposed for Ontario require 750 m of access road to support construction and transportation vehicles to each turbine site and for use during the operation phase. Access roads are approximately 5.0 m wide post-construction.

  • 6,000 x 750 m x 5 m = 22.5 million square metres
  • 22.5 million square metres / 4046.86 square metres per acre = 5,560 acres consumed by turbine access roads, not including turbine foundations, power lines, substations, transformer stations etc.