Britain is heading for a winter power cuts crisis that will see people shivering and transport and industry disrupted. You are probably thinking it will be Mr Putin turning off his gas or France cutting its connection to us from its nuclear reactors – but the disruption will be due to the Government’s failure to have a clear energy policy and its knee-jerk reaction of building masses of wind farms to appease Brussels.
It is estimated that our power stations have about 20 per cent spare capacity to cope with failure of a major power station or a section of our National Grid, but when we have a large number of wind farms that can only produce about 30 per cent of their installed capacity, that spare power advantage will be used to back up turbines, leaving us vulnerable to power cuts. This is when the wind power industry’s hollow promises and overstated facts will come home to roost and we will see that even if the wind blows for 85 per cent of the time it does not always blow hard enough.
Many in rural areas will be able to huddle around our smoky wood burners to keep warm but it may not be so comfortable if you live in a flat or modern house in the town.
The Government could have spent money on insulating our homes and encouraging energy saving, but instead chooses to give billions to wind power companies in subsidies. Building more wind farms is an example of the distorted thinking of a Government that says it will tackle climate change, because none of the turbines has to work to satisfy Brussels; it is only interested in the installed capacity.
You may say the Government’s promise to build low-cost zero-carbon houses will help, but low cost and zero carbon do not always match up, and the question is: When will this happen?
R L English
13 November 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding