Just when our English, Welsh and Scottish governments (as we must now call them) are going overboard for wind power, a shocking new report shows just what make-believe it is based on. A London-based consultancy, ABS Energy Research, cites new studies from Germany and Denmark, Europe’s two leading wind generators, which vividly illustrate the inefficiency and unreliability of wind power, not least because the very times when electricity demand is at its peak, in very hot or cold weather, are when the wind is least likely to blow.
A report from German energy giant E.On quotes an estimate that, although by 2020 Germany plans to have 48 gigawatts of “installed wind capacity”, the vagaries of the wind mean that in practice this will equate to a pitiful two gigawatts of stable fossil fuel capacity. Germany is also having to build an additional 1,700 miles of costly high-voltage transmission lines to connect turbines to the grid, because most are in remote parts of the country.
As for Denmark, where wind accounts for a fifth of electricity production (the highest proportion in Europe) in 2004 only 6 per cent of this could be used by the Danes, due to the mismatch of supply and demand. Eighty-four per cent was exported to Norway, which relies largely on carbon-free hydro-electric power, so that it represented no carbon savings.
Most shocking is the evidence that the switching on and off of fossil fuel power plants, to provide back up for wind turbines, results in more carbon emissions than keeping them running, thus negating any carbon savings from wind. Alas, only when our governments have allowed, by the grotesque bending of planning rules, thousands more turbines to disfigure Britain’s countryside, will the futility of the great wind scam finally be recognised.
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