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Hidden cost of wind 

Credit:  New Scientist, www.newscientist.com 18 August 2010 ~~

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

Source:  New Scientist, www.newscientist.com 18 August 2010

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 educational 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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