Anyone doubting the futility of onshore wind farms as an effective way of reducing carbon emissions need only look at a few figures.
The three existing turbines of the Blaen Bowi wind farm near Newcastle Emlyn can generate a maximum of 3.9MW annually, a saving in CO2 emissions of 25,000 tonnes. A single jumbo jet, flying from London to Miami and back every day for 17 days, releases the climate change equivalent of 25,000 tonnes of CO2.
Thus to compensate for the damaging effects of a single jumbo jet taking this daily route for a year, Blaen Bowi would need 63 turbines to operate at maximum output. However, I understand Blaen Bowi is working at only 35 per cent of its rated output (not untypical for wind farms), so 63 turbines becomes 180 turbines running for one year to pay the environmental cost of one jumbo jet.
When planning decisions are being taken, the true cost to the local environment and the true benefit in reducing global carbon emissions should be put into honest perspective. Would the people of north Carmarthenshire be prepared to host 180 wind turbines at Blaen Bowi to offset the damaging effects of one jumbo jet?
In my opinion, onshore wind farms are just a conveniently high-profile con-trick promoted by the Government to deflect criticism of its failure to take more effective, but unpopular and expensive decisions on carbon emissions.
If we allow ourselves to be conned on this issue, we deserve both the ruined landscape and the global warming we will undoubtedly get.
Cwm Morgan, Newcastle Emlyn
25 April 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding