Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Windpower and Sydney to Hobart: reaching the limits

By Graham Young - posted Friday, 4 January 2019

To add insult to injury, Wild Oats also has a diesel engine which has to be used anytime it is sailing. This runs the canting keel, and substitutes for men on the coffee grinders raising and lowering sails!

To equal the performance of a cruise ship, a super-maxi would need to do the Sydney to Hobart trip in around 30 hours at a speed of 21 knots. This doesn't ever seem likely as, while super-maxis can do more than 33 knots in the right wind conditions, they have to be right.

Happy to revisit this post in 10 years, and see whether anything changes, but my guess is that the days of hundreds of percent gains in efficiency are over for wind, and that while some incremental improvements might be wrung out it will be small percentages.


I think the same is also likely to be true for wind turbines. Physics and budgets are not infinitely elastic.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. Page 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

29 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Graham Young

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Graham Young
Article Tools
Comment 29 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy