Tag Archive | video gaming machine

Turbines out!

JUST when I thought it was safe to read the letters page of the WT, up pops Mr Jessop with one of his pro-wind turbine/ anti-fossil fuel letters.

Can Mr Jessop, with his vast pool of knowledge, tell us if a fossil fuel power station has been replaced by a wind farm, anywhere in the world, without reducing the total availability of electrical supply?

The reason the UK came within six hours of running out of gas last winter was due to several factors.1) A fault in an import pipeline from Europe. 2) Stupid policy, that is obeying EU directives on CO2 emissions, therefore allowing the premature closing of efficient fossil-fuelled power stations last year.  3) Having only a 20-day gas storage capacity at the start of winter.

Since then, led by green fanatics and so called energy consultants, the coalition has allowed a further eight coalfired power stations to close, meaning that our electrical generating spare capacity has dropped from 14 per cent to about four per cent.

It’s laughable almost, that at the time of most demand for power, and very low temperatures, the wonderful wind turbines went on strike!

Remember, NO WIND-NO ELECTRIC! As Mr Shepherd wrote, the average on-shore wind turbine is only about 23 per cent efficient. It has been recently announced thousands of dirty diesel generators are being secretly prepared all over Britain to provide emergency back-up to prevent the national grid collapsing when wind power fails. And under the costly scheme, the national grid is set to pay up to 12 times the normal wholesale market rate for the electricity they generate.

Last month a national newspaper revealed that for the 12 months up to February this year, a little over 1.2 billion was paid out to wind farms through a consumer subsidy financed by a supplement on our electric bills.

During that period the industry employed just 12,000 people, which means that each wind farm job cost consumers 100,000, very cost effective, I don’t think.

The UK, and the rest of the world is awash with shale gas and there is no need to build stupid wind turbines.

A British Geological Survey’s report states that there is between 50 and 140 years of shale gas supplies recoverable from onshore fields and ten times as much offshore in the Irish and North seas.

There are scare stories about gas coming out of cold water taps and fracking causing earthquakes in America. The Royal Academy of Engineering and the chairman of the Environment Agency have declared fracking to be safe.

Of all the millions of fracking operations carried out in the USA, there has not been one tremor big enough to cause any damage.

If any of our readers out there are still worried about CO2 emissions, I will repeat what myself and several other knowledgeable people have written in past letters.

Trying to reduce our CO2 emissions (two per cent of world total) to save the world, when India, China, Germany etc. are building new coal-fired power stations by the week, is like trying to empty the Cleddau with a bucket.


Answering claims over wind turbines

The operators of the Shooter’s Bottom wind turbine make some interesting claims in your article published on February 14. Let’s have a closer look, and see what these claims tell us.

Firstly, we have 23 million units (kWh) of electricity produced since June 2008. What this actually means is that it has been running at 28% of its 2 MW rated capacity. Worse, this is only an average, because the output has been very intermittent.

Now look at the microcosm of the 1,250 “average” homes which it supposedly powers. The use of the word “average” is the giveaway weasel terminology here, because homes do not run at their “average” consumption level. They have peaks and troughs of demand during the day and night.

How often do we have a coincidence of output and demand in our little community, and what happens when we don’t? Rarely, is the answer to the first question, and failure is the answer to the second. When there is no “coincidence of wants”, we have what the economists call a “want of coincidence”, and this is what we have here. Does this problem go away in the macrocosm? Doesn’t it all just mix in, somehow?

Germany’s renewables experiment provides the answer. Now building 23 coal-powered stations, increasing emissions, and getting into trouble with its neighbours for trying to dump unwanted surges of electricity into their grids.

Whether in the microcosm or the macrocosm, wind turbines are actually heavily subsidised parasites on the grid. Conventional power needs to be fired up at all times for “load following”, rendering the sporadic output useless.

More and more people are waking up to this, but the politicians dither. The reality must prevail in the long run, but in the meantime, let’s just stop any more being built while we still have our beautiful countryside intact.

The utilisation of wind to generate power is a major priority for nations all over the world and it seems that the industry in Japan is set for a boom in the coming years.

Solar capacity has increased dramatically in the nation in the past 12 months and now energy experts are predicting a similar number of wind power installations to pop up in 2013.

Shinzo Abe’s government has increased subsidies to businesses looking to get involved and expand their operations in Japan and Arthur Mitchell, senior counselor of White & Case LLP in Tokyo has told domestic and foreign investors that this area will boom in the next 12 months.

Despite the Chosi project coming online and further developments scheduled, some companies looking to get involved in sector have been hampered by difficulties in obtaining the land for turbine farms.

The most likely places for new wind power facilities would be national parks and offshore, both places that the government is looking to make it easier for large-scale construction, which would be needed if the industry is to continue growing in Japan.

The government introduced an incentive program for clean energy back in July 2012, but wind power has failed to take off, despite strong onshore support.

Mr Mitchell believes that investment in wind power will flow to the industry once more bankers understand the risks and how to structure loans for clean energy projects.

Excitement mounts at potential of proposed wind energy hub

THE multi-million pound proposal that brings Grimsby’s Royal Dock further into focus for the burgeoning offshore wind industry has been greeted with excitement in the sector.

And for one of the town’s early pioneers, today’s headlines are hugely satisfying, with all involved keen to see the vision become a reality, with contracts signed and firm commitments made in the weeks and months to come.

John Fitzgerald , Associated British Ports’ port director for Grimsby and Immingham, stands on a bridge that could soon make way for a new harbour entrance to support the offshore wind farm industry within Royal Dock.

As Danish Consul for South Humber and Lincolnshire, Kurt Christensen flies the flag for Denmark and Britain with equal measure, from his office at the stone’s throw from the Royal Dock itself, where he has brought in several project vessels.

With a strong background in fish, he is now at the forefront of the wind sector, with a fleet of crew transfer catamarans, and a strong agency arm looking after the boats used to build the turbines.

The recent recipient of a first class knighthood from his native country, state-owned Dong Energy is a company he is familiar with.

Mr Christensen, managing director of Windpower Support, said: “This plan we have got here has real potential. Any plans that Dong has for future investment in offshore wind are going to be of benefit. The fact they appear to have chosen Grimsby is great, it really is brilliant.

The march of the wind turbines continues in the European Union, with the total wind power capacity growing more than a tenth (12.3%) last year.

Total wind capacity in the region “breezed past” 100 GW in 2012, the statistics from EU-backed research group Eur’Observ’ER show.

Denmark leads the country for wind power per person charts – with 745.8kW for every 1,000 Danes – followed by Spain and Portugal, with 488.8kW and 429.2kW per 1,000 inhabitants respectively. The EU’s average per 1,000 people stands at 209.7kW.

The UK installed the third largest amount of wind power capacity out of the EU countries last year with more than 8,000 MW worth of turbines put up, behind the Germans with more than 31,000 and Spain which installed around 22,000.

Ex-pat hotspot Malta was the only EU country which installed no turbines, while just above the bottom of the wind power league table Slovenia and Slovakia each installed tiny amounts of wind power.

The “build-up” of British offshore wind installations should push up the EU’s wind energy production past the 200TwH threshold, stated the report.

“The Fish Docks has developed at pace. This is establishing Grimsby firmly as an operations and maintenance centre, and the one thing I really do like, is that Dong is looking to use this for both construction of the wind farm and the maintenance of it.

“When you get involved with the construction you get so many people coming in and out of the town, it is really good, a real shot in the arm. Make no mistake, Grimsby will have been in competition with a lot of other East Coast ports. People are realising what I have said for a long time. The sheer work ethic that exists in people in Grimsby, in the locality, the can-do attitude is helping to attract these people. You cannot take the strategic element out of it – geographically it is as good as it gets – but there are other areas that could be of interest. We have shown what we can do, first with Centrica and others following.”

York County sheriff, crime commander

A statewide battle over whether some gaming machines assumed illegal by authorities do not violate the state’s ban on video gambling has made its way to York County.

Two lawsuits filed against Sheriff Bruce Bryant and Marvin Brown, the commander of a countywide drug enforcement unit, challenge recent police actions against the owners and operators of such machines.

In one lawsuit, video game company GM Co. claims officers with York County’s Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit confiscated four of its Palmetto Gold machines from two York County businesses despite knowing a judge had declared them legal.

In another, a Rock Hill business owner on Porter Road alleges Brown and deputies came in and threatened arrest in an attempt to stop him from operating the machines, which had been declared legal.

“Unless you’ve got probable cause to believe that somebody’s done something wrong, you don’t have the right to seize his property” or threaten prosecution, said Jahue Moore, a Columbia attorney representing both plaintiffs.

“The question then becomes, what conceivable fact did you have that these machines were operated any differently than the ones that had been already ruled upon as legal?”

Brown and Bryant reject the allegations, saying that in confiscating the machines the officers were following the lead of the State Law Enforcement Division and the state attorney general’s office, which told them the Palmetto Golds were illegal.

The lawsuits are among many in a statewide battle between the gaming industry and law enforcement and prosecutors over the legality of gaming devices.

The state outlawed video poker in 2000, shutting down a nearly $3 billion industry. But in recent years, the video gaming industry has introduced new machines and is challenging authorities when they seize them, claiming the machines are legal.

The difficulty of defining the difference between legal games and illegal gambling machines also complicates matters.

While state law prohibits any slot machines or coin-operated devices “pertaining to games of chance,” the law allows skill-based games – a definition Moore applies to the Palmetto Gold machines and police reject.

Proponents of another type of video gaming machine offering sweepstakes or products say they’re also legal under a section of state law that allows beer and wine permit holders to offer games of chance. The games must be offered in connection to the sale of a product or sweepstakes, the rules must be clearly advertised and offer free participation.

But while gaming interests say the exception allows for their machines, police and a state prosecutor say Moore and other advocates of the gaming industry are misreading the law.

The exception for beer and wine permit holders, which says nothing about gaming machines, doesn’t negate the ban on video gambling and make the machines legal, said state assistant attorney general Jared Libet. It’s intent is to allow, for example, a soft-drink company to offer a bottle cap promotion or sweepstakes.