In their defence of wind power, Jérôme Guillet and John Evans state: “You end up paying less for your electricity when wind power is part of the mix” (24 July, p 24).
This is simply untrue. Industrial-scale wind power is so capitally expensive per megawatt-hour generated that it would not be commercially viable, in the UK at least, without the Renewables Obligation, which obliges electricity suppliers in the UK to source a proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. The CEO of the UK power and gas company E.ON UK is on record as saying: “Without the Renewable Obligation certificates nobody would be building wind farms” (The Daily Telegraph, 26 March 2005).
The Renewables Obligation in effect delivers a subsidy that more than doubles the value of electricity from onshore wind farms, and in some cases more than trebles it offshore. It also compels the sale of renewably generated power, which because of its unpredictability, would not otherwise be marketable.
John Etherington, Llanhowell, Pembrokeshire, UK
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