A Swansea councillor has claimed the wind turbine at Swansea docks has generated enough electricity to power just 19 kettles continuously.
Ioan Richard quoted statistics which showed that the 43-metre turbine has generated 1,216 megawatt hours of electricity in the 41 months up to 2010.
Mr Richard said this was enough to power 19 standard kettles on a continuous basis.
The turbine has also earned tens of thousands of pounds in subsidies, funded by bill payers.
The generation statistics, seen by the Post, suggested that the turbine had on average worked at its full capacity for only 14.5 per cent of the time.
The turbine, operated by the Swansea Bay Energy Partnership, began spinning in 2006.
The group said that in the past 12 months the turbine had been more productive, and had been working at full capacity for 19.5 per cent of the time.
Wind turbines cannot work at full tilt all the time because wind is intermittent, and they have to be shut down for maintenance – something that also applies to conventional power stations.
Wind turbines qualify for financial incentives under the Renewable Obligation scheme. Developers sell certificates for every megawatt hour of electricity generated to energy suppliers, which must source an increasing amount of power from renewable sources.
These certificates are traded, and are currently worth £40 to £50.
Ofgem confirmed that, to date, the Swansea docks turbine has earned 1,299 certificates. If those certificates were sold at £40, revenue totalling £51,960 would be generated, in addition to the electricity sold.
The docks turbine was funded partly by a £70,000 grant from the Energy Savings Trust, which estimated the turbine would generate in excess of £400,000 over its 20-year life- span for community energy projects.
A spokesman for Swansea Bay Energy Partnership said the scheme’s cumulative profit was £16,998 to the end of June 2009.
“These funds are held by the Environment Centre on behalf of SBEP Ltd who help to administer the fund,” he said.
“We anticipate further funding of around £8,000 to £10,000 being made available for the financial year ending June 2010. The accounts for this financial year will be finalised by March 2011.”
He added: “We are in the process of finalising a programme to promote energy efficiency in Swansea East which will be launched by the end of November.”
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