The operators of the Shooter’s Bottom wind turbine make some interesting claims in your article published on February 14. Let’s have a closer look, and see what these claims tell us.
Firstly, we have 23 million units (kWh) of electricity produced since June 2008. What this actually means is that it has been running at 28% of its 2 MW rated capacity. Worse, this is only an average, because the output has been very intermittent.
Now look at the microcosm of the 1,250 “average” homes which it supposedly powers. The use of the word “average” is the giveaway weasel terminology here, because homes do not run at their “average” consumption level. They have peaks and troughs of demand during the day and night.
How often do we have a coincidence of output and demand in our little community, and what happens when we don’t? Rarely, is the answer to the first question, and failure is the answer to the second. When there is no “coincidence of wants”, we have what the economists call a “want of coincidence”, and this is what we have here. Does this problem go away in the macrocosm? Doesn’t it all just mix in, somehow?
Germany’s renewables experiment provides the answer. Now building 23 coal-powered stations, increasing emissions, and getting into trouble with its neighbours for trying to dump unwanted surges of electricity into their grids.
Whether in the microcosm or the macrocosm, wind turbines are actually heavily subsidised parasites on the grid. Conventional power needs to be fired up at all times for “load following”, rendering the sporadic output useless.
More and more people are waking up to this, but the politicians dither. The reality must prevail in the long run, but in the meantime, let’s just stop any more being built while we still have our beautiful countryside intact.
Keith Brown East Horrington Wells
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