I was most interested to read in the Journal (November 22) the article by Andrea Foster about the explosion of wind farms in Devon, however some of the figures quoted didn’t seem to ring true, so I borrowed my daughter’s calculator and set to work.
The nine proposed turbines at Batsworthy Cross we are told will produce 22.5MW of power sufficient for 10,900 homes; very impressive until you realise this works out at just over 2KW per household, not even enough for an electric kettle. The four turbines proposed at Bickham Moor will supply 12MW enough for 6,700 homes; alas this is even less per household at around 1.8KW. This second example will be sufficient for 20% of Mid Devon’s domestic electricity, so in total 20 turbines should be all Mid Devon needs. I really do think somebody has done their sums wrong, yet they are quite willing to release these figures expecting people to believe them.
I believe an article in a national paper recently quoted the maximum output of wind turbines could only be expected for something like 5% of the time due to the unpredictable nature of the wind. Are any of the proposers of these wind farms brave enough to give realistic figures for outputs obtained in practice and the true costs involved? I don’t mean loss of view or noise, but the real money spent on roads, installation and maintenance. I for one would love to see them.
It has been said before I know, but if these wind farms are such a great idea, why have they not been built before now? The technology has been available for many years. The only reason for their popularity now is that grants are available for any project that appears green and I believe they are an easy way to make money at the expense of – guess who?
6 December 2007
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