The Duke of Edinburgh did not mince any words when he was given an opportunity to express his opinion about wind farms this week. He called them very simply a fairy tale.
He blasted those in favour of sinking more of other peoples’ money into the wind. The calculations, it would seem, have been based on the wind always being at an optimum level. It has meant the capacity for producing electricity from wind farms is inaccurate, said the Duke.
In very cold conditions with high winds, the turbines have to be turned off to prevent damage. There are other periods where there is simply no wind at all, making them totally ineffective.
The option of storing energy when there is a surplus supply does not come cheap either. In order for a city to not run out of energy a gas or coal plant has to operate anyway and that has to be kept in mint condition complete with a complement of staff.
Perhaps the Duke of Edinburgh has had the courage to say what few have wanted to say as clearly before or have had a high enough profile to say with as much clout.
He criticized the industry’s reliance on subsidies from electricity customers read those who are often the ones who can least afford to make a contribution to the cause.
Nobody had even got the Duke started on the effect on wildlife yet another cause close to his heart.
(Gillian Slade is a reporter with the Medicine Hat News. You can comment on this and other editorials online at www.medicinehatnews.com/opinions.)