Aware of my experience fighting the wind industry in Devon, friends from Sheffield brought to my attention Jeff Rice’s letter advocating Sheffield City Councils’ plans for industrial wind turbines at Westwood Country Park.
First off I would like to say that Mr Rice appears to have very little understanding on how wind turbines work, even at 20% installed capacity they will never produce more than around 6% of our electricity, as much as most green advocates would like us to believe the laws of physics rather than spin apply here, and the wind only blows at the right speed for turbines to produce around 28% of their installed capacity on average.
Mr Rice is also wrong in stating that developers would not install them if they do not work. Near the M25 around London, RES have installed a turbine which produced just 7.8% of its installed capacity last year, that means it effectively works for just one month a year. The only reason for building turbines is that the government think the public are fools, and will think that these ineffective “green publicity totems” can save the planet. Mr Rice is correct about the subsidy, it is so high that even this mostly stationary turbine will pay for itself in subsidy alone.
Sheffield City Council the planning authority are now liaising with wind developers regarding building wind turbines in this a beauty spot along the Trans Pennine Trail. Bearing in mind that Westwood Country Park is council owned, how can that planning authority which has an obvious conflict of interest make a non bias decision on whether to approve or refuse this planning application? What say will the public who are the true owners of the land have in the decision? Sheffield City Council should look at the true massive impact and small benefit of wind turbines and protect the public they are employed to serve rather than continue with this preposterous proposal for these heights of folly.
People of Sheffield be afraid, wind turbines are huge and noisy and will not make any measurable difference to global warming, allow the turbines to be built and you will have a green elephant and not something that will make a real difference. Insulating all the homes in Sheffield will cost less and mean we need to produce less electricity and burn less gas, coal and oil, the only way to solve global warming. Be truly green say no to this development, don’t allow more money and our beautiful countryside be wasted doing so very, very little.
By the way, has Mr Rice not heard of NIABYS, not in anyone’s back yard?
Neil Harvey, Tiverton, Devon
25 April 2008