It is not widely realised that the Government’s new proposals for the installation of 5,000 wind turbines in Britain requires them to be 400 ft high, which is more than double the usual 150 ft that most existing turbines reach. This is a considerable extra blot on the landscape, by any test.
These giant turbines are considered by many to be clean power’ but wind turbine enthusiasts seldom take into account the hundreds of miles of roads that will have to be built to create transport links to these machines. Then there are the electricity sub-stations and miles of power lines and pylons that will be needed to connect these monstrosities to the grid. In addition, readers may be interested in the following exchange in the House of Lords, when I questioned the Government about wind turbines: An extract from Hansard: 23.6.08.
Lord Stoddart of Swindon: My Lords, have the Government had discussions with the national grid about their policy of building thousands of wind turbines? Is not the national grid concerned about the connection of these wind turbines and will it not require additional conventional capacity to be built to cover the time when the wind is not turning them?
Baroness Vadera: My Lords, my noble friend makes a valid point. In answer to the question that was asked earlier, wind generation is intermittent and therefore needs – may I use a technical term? – base-load capacity, which means we need to build for coal and gas to back up the wind. That is why it is not the most effective source in terms of energy security of supply, but it is very effective for climate change.
In other words, even the Government admits that not only is wind power grossly inefficient but we also need to build more coal and gas fired power stations to support all these new turbines when there is no wind. I hardly think that our grandchildren will thank us for tearing up vast swathes of our most picturesque countryside to install highly inefficient wind turbines that contribute a tiny fraction of our energy needs.
LORD STODDART OF SWINDON
Independent Labour Peer
House of Lords
21 July 2008
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