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Wind-blown costs

The letter of Jan. 4 headlined “Wind power for Maryland” requires an answer. The increases in cost for electric energy cited have several causes. A government requirement that the power providers must obtain an increasing percentage of the power produced from “renewable sources” can account for a good part of the cost increases cited.

The cost per installed power from wind is approximately 10 times the cost of that produced by a thermal power plant. It is common knowledge that the wind doesn’t always blow. Therefore, some standby power source needs to be on hand to handle that condition. More costs for the power company, i.e., the customers.

Recent history of wind power in the United Kingdom has shown that the maximum power provided has been of the order of 15 percent of the installed capability, with a typical value of 7 percent more likely. We could expect similar results here in the United States.

JOHN C. VAUGHAN

Mount Airy