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In need of backup  

It is only weeks since Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform John Hutton committed the UK to 33 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power and the supporters of this madcap scheme mocked those of us who asked the logical question: “Where shall we obtain the backup?”

This truthful answer is that we shall have to provide real power stations to permit the building of so many wind farms because the intermittency of wind means that none of its output is available at a predictable time.

On January 9 Mr Paterson, MP for North Shropshire asked: “How much despatchable capacity has been installed as a result of the renewables obligation?”

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks answered 2046 MW, which he then specified as from technologies of high despatchability (hydro-electricity and biological fuel combustion).

Mr Wicks specifically excluded wind and solar which are never despatchable to order.

So we are to build 33GW of offshore wind turbines and yet not a single megawatt of their output will help to bridge our energy gap. This is why several gas-fired power stations are in the pipeline, the first recent permission for a coal-fired station has been given and we are now going ahead with nuclear power.

John Etherington

Parc-y-Bont, Llanhowell Pembrokeshire

South Wales Evening Post

21 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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