Largely useless eyesores, these towers have a limited lifespan and what happens after they expire? As we have said fo years: “the only wilderness left in Australia is between a greenie’s ears”
What is the carbon footprint of a wind turbine with 45 tons of rebar & 481m3 of concrete?
Its carbon footprint is massive – at 241.85 tons of CO2.
Here’s the breakdown of the CO2 numbers.
To create a 1 tonne (1,000 Kg) of pig iron, you start with 1.8 tonne (800 Kg) of iron ore, 900 Kg of coking coal 450 Kg of limestone. The blast furnace consumes 4,500 Kg of air. The temperature at the core of the blast furnace reaches nearly 1,600 degrees C (about 3,000 degrees F).
The pig iron is then transferred to the basic oxygen furnace to make steel.
1,350 Kg of CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg pig iron produced.
70% of steel is made from Coal: A 1 MW of wind turbine capacity requires 220 tonnes of coal.
A further 1,460 Kg CO2 is emitted per 1,000 Kg of Steel produced so all up 2,810 Kg CO2 is emitted.
45 tons of rebar (steel) are required so that equals 126.45 tons of CO2 are emitted.
To create a 1 tonne (1,000 Kg) of Portland cement, calcium carbonate (60%), silicon (20%), aluminium (10%), iron (10%) and very small amounts of other ingredients are heated in a large kiln to over 1,500 degrees C to convert the raw materials into clinker. The clinker is then interground with other ingredients to produce the final cement product. When cement is mixed with water, sand and gravel forms the rock-like mass know as concrete.
An average of 927 Kg of CO2 is emitted per 1 tonne (1,000 Kg of Portland cement. On average, concrete has 10% cement, with the balance being gravel (41%), sand (25%), water (18%) and air (6%). One cubic metre of concrete weighs approx. 2.4 tonne (2,400 Kg) so approx. 240 Kg of CO2 is emitted for every cubic metre.
481m3 of concrete are required so that equals 115.4 tons of CO2 are emitted.
Not included are the emissions of the mining of the raw materials or the transportation of the fabricated materials to the turbine site. So the emission calculation above would be on the low end.
Extra stats about wind turbines you may not know about:
The average towering wind turbine being installed around beautiful Australia right now is over 80 metres in height (nearly the same height as the pylons on the Sydney Harbour Bridge). The rotor assembly for one turbine – that’s the blades and hub – weighs over 22 tonnes and the nacelle, which contains the generator components, weighs over 52 tonnes
This stands on a concrete base constructed from 45 tonnes of reinforcing rebar which also contains over 481 cubic metres of concrete (that’s over 481,000 litres of concrete – about 20% of the volume of an Olympic swimming pool).
Each turbine blade is made of glass fibre reinforced plastics, (GRP), i.e. glass fibre reinforced polyester or epoxy and on average each turbine blade weighs around 7 tonnes Kg each.
Each turbine has three blades so there’s 21 tonnes Kgs of GRP and each blade can be as long as 50 metres.
A typical wind farm of 20 turbines can extend over 101 hectares of land (1.01 Km2).
Each and every wind turbine has a magnet made of a metal called neodymium. There are .5 tonnes of it in each one that have just gone up around Australia.
The mining and refining of neodymium is dirty and toxic – involving repeated boiling in acid, with radioactive thorium as a waste product – that only one country does it – China.
All this for an intermittent highly unreliable energy source of electrickery
Now, considered the manufacture of the thousands of pylons and tens of thousands of kilometres of transmission wire needed to get the power to the grid. And what about the land space needed to house thousands of these bird chomping death machines?
Renewables like wind turbines will incur far more carbon dioxide emissions in their manufacture and installation than what their operational life will ever save.
Doesn’t the false pollution “cure” of using wind turbines sound worse than the problem? A bit like amputating your leg to “cure” your in-growing toe nail?
Germany’s Renewable Energy Fail: German CO2 Emissions 10 Times Higher than Nuclear- France
Germany has added 30,000 wind turbines and millions of solar panels to a coal fired grid and its carbon dioxide gas emissions continue to rise and are magnitudes higher than its nuclear-powered neighbour, France.
The bit you missed was the amount of Electricity that the turbine generates, and the equivalent amount of Co2 to generate it using the current Australian mix of mainly Coal.
It should be about 5-7 Gwh per year and for Aus that translates into about 2,500 to 3,500 tonnes of Co2e per year, so payback in months, if you put it in a windy place.
Apart from that, nice calculation illustrating that Steel and Concrete are a big issue, and construction using wooden low rise is much lower carbon.
PS Solar is now less than 4 cents per Kwh, and there is enough of Australia to power the whole world. The new energy super power, shipping energy to Asia during their winter.
PPS Back in 1992 UK and Aus were both 92% coal fired. Today UK is zero coal and 50% renewables (mainly wind) Aus is still back in 1992. UK wind is cheap, companies now buy plots rather than get subsidies.
The article below expresses things in terms of tonnes of CO2.
Prof Ian Plimer in his book “Not for Greens” expressed it in kilowatt terms.
He wrote the result of his research and calculations, namely, THAT the “payback” period for investing all that energy in kilowatt terms in manufacturing a wind turbine and getting into positive territory for net kW is _TWENTY YEARS _(by which time some turbines have failed, and some need expensive maintenance etc)
Don’t forget when you agree to have a wind turbine on your property, your council will change your rate scale from “rural” to a much higher “electrical generation”
labor and the greenies will never accept this information because it contains fact.labor and greens thrive on absolute BS.like wise the current activistists.
I honestly don’t know how much co2 is produced building solar panels, batteries etc., but there are two points worth mentioning at this time.
As with centralized food production, properly cultivated ordinary 1/4 acre blocks of land will produce 90% of the food required by the occupants of that block, so with power. I’m “off grid”, I can’t begin to calculate the co2 emission result of producing my solar panels, batteries and cabling, but I don’t think it would even compare with the figures quoted in this article. So, the answer to power is the same as food. each to produce his/her own.
The second point is, co2 is NOT a pollutant, flora of ALL types need it to survive, local empirical experiments have proven that an increase of 30% co2 results in an increase of 20% growth, (i.e. more crops,…better food production)
Lastly, but by no means least, there is no more co2 on this planet that there was 2 billion years ago. all this co2 BS, is just that, BS……….but hey, it’s a good way of justifying a tax!