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Lunacy on wind power  

It seems that Government will use any means to impose its will upon the electorate. A Labour MP, prior to the invasion of Iraq, told me she had “been shown” the weapons of mass destruction. Subsequent events proved otherwise.We are now bombarded with instructions for saving the planet, many of which will prove similarly ill-founded.

Switching off your TV standby and electronic gadgetry is demonstratively not a simple matter of saving electricity. In most homes the central heating is on for six months of the year and while it may not be an efficient use of electricity, the warmth from standby will save fuel via the heating thermos.

Admittedly standby seems a waste in summer, but then remember all electronic safety systems are left switched on 24/7 to promote reliability. It is switching which does the damage and if every TV lasts for a few months less, the extra manufacturing energy will far outweigh the saving by repeated on/off switching.

Across the board we are being misled. Wind power is said to displace fossil fuelled generation “unit for unit”. This is manifestly untrue.

As the German wind industry has told us, very substantial conventional back-up is needed, negating some of the wind contribution. Furthermore, most large wind farms are remote from the centre of consumption, thus causing substantial power loss.

The National Grid’s comment on the present north to south power flow is, “To reduce bulk flows would require a general movement of economic generation . . . nearer to the major load centres (eg the south).”

This is the very antithesis of government policy for wind power. It is both engineering and economic lunacy.

John Etherington




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