I write to comment on Jeff Rice’s letter of February 29 on wind turbines. His “facts”in favour of wind farms are not well researched and his attack on NIMBYs unjustified.
Let me quote from the minutes of a House of Lords Select Committee meeting in 2004.
“I am Chris Shears. I am Development Manager with Renewable Energy Systems, who are one of the main developers in the UK and internationally and part of the Sir Robert McAlpine Group. I am also Vice Chairman of the British Wind Energy Association”.
In answer to a question from Baroness Perry of Southwark Mr Shears replied: “I cannot say I have a particular problem with NIMBYism, if it is right next to you you are going to fight your corner.”
The turbines can lead to sleepless nights and can render some homes uninhabitable as occurred in the case of Jane Davis, a Lincolnshire farmer, who had to leave her home, which is now only worth the value of the land it sits on because of the noise from wind turbines 900m away.
The Davis family are not the only ones to suffer. According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors house prices can be depressed permanently. The regulations specifically designed to control wind turbine noise are obviously failing to protect the public and the Davis family are powerless.
“Wind power can easily provide 20% of UK electricity before its variability becomes an issue” is false. The 20% figure refers to a generating capacity that is not achievable day in and day out. As a result of wind variability only about 6% of our electricity will come from this source. Furthermore, conventional power stations must be able to take over when the turbines cannot function because the wind speed is too low or too high.
The statements advanced by Mr Rice could well have been made by the developers of wind farms.
Dr Roy Faust, High Wray Close, Sheffield S11
26 March 2008
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