Britain’s largest wind farm company has just announced that the price of building offshore wind-turbines has doubled in the last three years. The building costs of wind farms are now more than five times the cost of building nuclear power stations.
The government’s plan is to build 7000 wind turbines around the coast of Britain.
A comparison of costs shows that six nuclear power stations would produce more electricity than all of these wind turbines at one fifth of the cost.
It is seldom acknowledged that if we build wind turbines we must also build the same electrical output of other power stations. The other stations are needed to supply electricity for no wind or very high wind conditions, when wind turbines do not work.
In other words if we build wind turbines we must also build other power stations. If we build other power stations we do not need to build wind turbines. Wind turbines clearly incur a huge additional cost in addition to their high building cost.
The conclusion has to be that wind is the wrong choice of renewable energy. It is not predictable and therefore cannot replace other power stations.
There is a form of renewable energy that is predictable. Its use would enable a reduction in numbers of other power stations, and an attendant reduction in price of electricity. Tidal power is that energy and a steady flow of electricity could be produced from its use.
It is not necessary to wait for a barrage, as tidal power turbines exist and operate well. A trial tidal turbine has operated successfully off Countisbury Head for several years now, working for in and out flowing tides. Times of high tide are staggered around the coast of Britain enabling a substantial and reliable supply of electricity, unlike wind turbines. Nuclear and tidal power in combination would be an excellent way to fight global warming.
Wind turbines are being built because some people make a lot of money and others wish to display green credentials. They are not the right choice and if we build them now we will regret it in the future.
Peter Farmery Grove House Shurton Stogursey Bridgwater
1 April 2008
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