2011-08-16 22:36:03BBC coverage of offshore wind farm installation
Paul D


The BBC are spending some time with live coverage of the installation of offshore wind farms today:


Trouble is, there is a negative aspect in that they are emphasising the higher costs, without looking at the long term aspects or the reasons for doing it. The page reflects the TV coverage abou costs.

Am tempted to lodge a complaint.

Apart from that, the photos and video coverage are impressive.

2011-08-16 22:40:52
Paul D


Actually, just noticed they have a form on the page where they ask for feedback.
Not sure how long this form will remain live though, they often close forms after a period.

2011-08-17 06:50:40


I saw this on the BBC news.  They allowed a spokesperson for one of the companies involved an interview. He mentioned that costs would reduce and that they would help to mitigate against climate change and so provide a long term benefit to society, or something like that.

I received a reply from the BBC on my complaint about the Top Gear programme on electric cars where they decharged the vehicle battery to stage a breakdown.  They just reiterated Andy Wilman's (Executive Producer of ‘Top Gear’)  statement. ............“In conclusion, we absolutely refute that we were misleading viewers over the charge/range, and we stand by the consumer points raised in the film.”

"Nevertheless, we’re guided by the feedback we receive and I can assure you I've registered your complaint on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's made available to all BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers. Thanks for taking the time to contact us"

Lets face it if they can get away with this they can get away with anything!

2011-08-17 06:58:22
Dana Nuccitelli

I read a story about Top Gear running down the LEAF battery a couple days ago.  I've been pissed at the show since they basically did the same thing to the Tesla Roadster.  The BBC is supposed to have standards requiring accurate reporting, but apparently they don't apply to Top Gear because the show makes so much money.  Personally I refuse to watch it since the Tesla incident.  Now it's abundantly clear they have an anti-EV agenda.

2011-08-17 07:22:51


This was my complaint

The Programme-makers of Top Gear recently faked a breakdown of two Electric cars, one of which was the Nissan LEAF.   They achieved this by part draining the battery before setting off and driving around in circles so they would run out of charge.  This gave the impression these electric cars would not be able to complete a typical trip to the 'seaside'. 

When Jeremy Clarkson was challenged about this, he admitted that he knew the car had only a small charge before he set out. But, he said, “That’s how TV works”.  However, when introducing the test he said ...." James & Me carried out a sensible test, no cocking about" .... "on a perfectly ordinary run to the seaside".

Top Gear Executive Producer Andy Wilman launched a robust defence of the episode, largely centred on the idea that it wasn’t about limited range, but also about the lack of public charging infrastructure and what a pain electric cars are to charge.  If so, why was the distance and route not clearly indicated so we could verify that there were no charging points on route?  In fact the range and charging points are part of the same issue and these cars would be more than sufficient to reach the coast from the most central location in the UK.  Also Top Gear suggested the charge would be expensive, in fact the cost of a full charge is sometimes free at these charging points!


Whilst I recognise many of the ‘sketches’ on Top Gear are intended not to be taken seriously, this one clearly was and would influence many drivers.  This programme has severely damaged the electric cars reputation, whilst promoting far less practical and more expensive technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells. 

I suggest a robust and serious apology from the presenters, preferably Clarkson stating the following.

  • The typical length of an average car trip in Britain, and that many motorists never drive long distances
  • The distance this test was actually performed over, and precisely why the cars didn’t make the distance:
  • The  charging points which could have been used on route http://www.newride.org.uk/recharge.php
  • That that test was NOT in any way sensible or serious but in fact a complete fabrication and a lie.  In fact it was a biased attempt to mislead the public against electric car technology.
  • What hydrogen fuel cell vehicles cost and the number of charging points for this technology in comparison with electric cars.
  • That in future, for any test comparisons, Top Gear will explain any relevant facts about a technology which could bias the viewer’s opinion
  • Apologise for blatantly breaking the BBCs guidelines which are intended to “ensure that the corporation achieves the highest standards of due accuracy and impartiality and strive[s] to avoid knowingly and materially misleading our audiences.”
2011-08-17 07:25:14
Paul D


The turbines that are being filmed by the BBC are amazing pieces of engineering. The nacelles are huge, the size of a large house or a small factory. I think they are about 5MW each. Amazingly they install a turbine in one day.

Are the videos on the page working outside the UK??

2011-08-17 07:30:33
Paul D


I just noticed that the BBC have already removed the form for sending in feedback.

This was the comment I sent in. It's not brilliant, but given that the form has already gone, I'm glad I didn't spend ages refining it:

The reporting by the BBC is very biased and ignores important reasons why offshore wind farms are necessary as part of the total mix of electricity generation sources in the UK. The tone of the BBC report suggested it was attempting to attract public opinion against offshore wind farms by emphasising the cost of installation and maintenance.

The BBC has neglected to give the scientific, energy security and long term reasons why the establishment of offshore wind farms is required now.

The BBC reporter only asks about drawbacks and costs during the interview with Prof. Dieter. This is biased and gives a distorted picture.

The problem with only looking at costs is that it neglects the reasons why we have to invest in offshore wind farms and renewables in general.

1. Energy security is an important factor, this includes less dependence on foreign fuel imports which will be subject to foreign nations priorities and territorial claims. But also renewables represent a more distributed system which is inherently more secure than 'putting eggs in a few baskets' such as large power stations (it should be pointed out that Prof Dieter only viewed eggs in an economic context and in no other way).
Japan invested money in nuclear energy, with 4 power stations located in one place, that was an economic catastrophe that is taking them decades to recover from. That can never happen with a distributed energy system.

2. Despite the BBCs reluctance to accept that carbon emissions are a problem these days, they are and the science clearly shows this.

3. The technology needs to be established and matured starting now and not when gas starts to run out.

BTW I think the distributed nature of renewable energy systems is a missed opportunity when selling the idea to those that might be more interested in security (the political right).

2011-08-17 09:41:26



Why don't you start up a petition to nail the BBC on this program? This is a US site: http://www.signon.org/create_start.html?add_id=1&id=29907-17256494-KG4zbPx . There must be a UK site that is similar.

2011-08-18 03:55:28
Paul D


Not sure a petition for a specific article or item is appropriate.

However there maybe justification for a more general petition about the BBC...

According to the i/independent newspapers today, the BBC is investigating a company that made documentaries for it, The company FBC took money from the Malaysia government and made documentaries about Palm oil and rain forests in Malaysia. eg. it apears to have received back handers and didn't tell the BBC about it.

Which sort of puts a question mark over the BBCs judgement.

I think I watched the documentaries but don't remember my reaction to them.

Apparently NBC have withdrawn a show called 'World Business' made by FBC because it featured Malaysia a bit to often.

2011-08-18 04:30:48
Paul D


Independent article about the BBC and FBC:


Article about NBC cancelation of World Business:


Also today, the BBC are selling off most of their magazine publications, but keeping some. They are keeping, yes you guessed it... the Top Gear magazine????!!?

But selling off the Wildlife and Radio Times magazines???