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Wind inefficiency  

Your article included comments on possible problems if the wind-turbines proposed for Seamer affected traffic control at the nearby airport (D&S, May 9). In passing, your reporter said that the turbines could produce 5m kW a year. This is nonsense.

Output is measured in Kilowatt hours (kWh). The site is scheduled to have five large (probably 2.5mW) units with a total capacity of 12,500 kW. Operating at full capacity they will produce 4.56m kWh/year but experience shows – and the proposers admit – that actual output will be around 27.6% of this or 1.25m kW hours.

To put this in context, a modern electric cooker can take up to 11kW, so if we all cook Christmas dinner at the same time only 1,000 houses, not the 8,000 in your article, can be supplied and then only if all the house lights and heating are switched off and the wind is blowing at the right speed.

The cost of electricity produced by these wind farms is very high. In reply to a parliamentary question in September 2007, the Government stated that onshore wind cost 5.4p/kW hour to produce (gas cost 2.2 pence, nuclear 2.3) and wind power was subsidised by 5.01 pence/kW hour in 2006/7.

The nation cannot afford this yet the Government now proposes 33gW of wind power by 2020. This would require the building of about 17 wind turbines a week for that period. Of course this is unachievable and would, at a cost of about £9bn/year only produce an effective output of about 13 per cent of current electricity use. It is however the reason why proposals like that of Seamer are being made. Hambleton needs about 75 wind turbines if it is to satisfy its share of the Government’s renewable energy target – yet Hambleton is a low wind area.

If the £9bn a year were spent more wisely, it would provide enough capacity to produce the nation’s entire requirement of electricity.

CPRE has been protesting about the absurdity of the energy policies that have led to this situation for some time. We have been successful in resisting some proposals on environmental grounds though it is not clear that protests about the Seamer project would be successful on such a basis. It is however clear that the Government has made terrible misjudgments and we are all suffering as a consequence.

The proliferation of wind-turbines is one example of a complete failure to understand the best way of producing affordable energy for the future and they should be resisted on these grounds as strongly as possible.

DAVID CLARKE Campaign to Protect Rural England Hambleton District branch Gardenstone Farm, Hutton Rudby

Darlington and Stockton Times

16 May 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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