Your reporting of the Government’s energy policy focuses on the supply problems that make the building of 7,000 wind turbines onshore and offshore by 2020 infeasible (News & Christopher Booker, June 29). But there is worse hidden in the 267-page consultation document.
It largely swallows the industry’s complaint that planning delays for wind energy developments are the root cause of problems in the UK. In fact peer-reviewed literature concludes that planning conditions are similar in Germany, slightly more risky in Denmark, and significantly longer in Spain.
However, in two short paragraphs, the document admits that supply chain constraints could have a significant impact, especially for wind energy. It admits that supplies of blades for turbines take up to three years to be delivered and it understates turbine delivery delays at only 18 months.
It is not until page 228 that the document says: “We will also need to consider the potential environmental impacts such as those on biodiversity, landscapes, air quality, soils and land as well as the marine environment.” So much for our landscapes and historical assets.
Why does the document not state unequivocally that for most of England average wind speeds are insufficient for onshore wind energy? In one stroke most of our landscapes and historic assets would be protected, much of the opposition quelled and there would be a chance to place turbines where they will do the most good.
We could also get on with maximising electricity generation and carbon emissions avoidance where it would be most effective. This (if they would only admit it) would be in the best interests of the Government, as well as consumers of electricity.
(Prof) Michael Jefferson, Melchbourne, Bedfordshire
6 July 2008
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