As a young man I witnessed planning permissions for power stations repeatedly being forced through, usually against strong local opposition.
With hindsight, there was an advantage. The whole of our 21st century civilisation now pivots on an uninterrupted and steady electricity supply – and indeed, some of us older folk are still alive because of it.
Furthermore, even a modest power station provided local employment for a hundred or more workers.
What of the new arrival in energy planning – the wind farms, which it is becoming impossible to oppose?
There is no uninterrupted supply, and no wind farm can function without the constant availability of conventional power generation – not only to back up periods without wind, but also to balance its continuous variation.
Despite the distress inflicted on lovers of the countryside (Letters, October 16), all of our wind farms in 2005 provided no more electricity than one small fossil-fuelled power station – about one per cent of national generation.
Adding insult to injury, no significant employment is created, especially as many wind farms are now remotely controlled from their “home” countries – not a single big wind turbine being built by UK industry.
As we were told for Causey Mire wind farm in Caithness, the only job will be “a technician in a white van visiting occasionally”.
Dr John Etherington,
23 October 2007
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