In his May 22 opinion article “Coal versus wind power: Which is safer?” Gideon Forman makes a common mistake of energy critics. He looks at one facet of the question without examining how it fits into the overall picture. Of course, a properly designed wind generator is healthier than burning coal, but the relevant question is: How do we meet our energy demands in Nova Scotia?
Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and tidal provide highly variable amounts of power, whereas our demand is relatively constant. The latter is referred to as the “base load” requirement. To utilize variable power sources, you must either have a base load capability approximately equal to the power sources that would be required if the renewable ones did not exist, or have the means to store enough energy to compensate for the natural dips in the output of the renewables.
What is needed is a plan encompassing renewable sources and base load requirements, with realistic consideration of the environment, health and cost, as well as esthetic considerations. It is not rocket science. The government should have one.
Henry M. Bradford, Wolfville
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