August 20, 2016
Letters, Scotland

Wind cannot provide reliable power source

Imagine the scenario. The wind is blowing harder and harder.

The wind turbines spin faster and the windfarm operator is biting his nails.

It is getting close to when the turbines should be shut down to protect them from damage.

A game of dare ensues. Will the National Grid order the windfarm to shut down to protect the grid from blowing and plunging us into darkness before the turbines have to be turned off for their own survival?

If National Grid comes up trumps it will be enriching the wind operator by 30% or so more than if they had been generating normally and funnily, we pay for it: the huge subsidies, the eye-watering constraints and the grid upgrades.

We see our environment and wild lands ripped up to accommodate this land-hungry energy source.

We witness the giant pylon lines needed to cope with volatile wind striding through our glens and over our hills.

We look on in astonishment as monster sub-stations rise up from the ground to try to cope with power surges on the few occasions wind generates anything like its installed capacity.

Most of the time it doesn’t but the grid has to be enlarged to gigantic proportions just in case it does.

Of course, we can never predict when that will be and, as other countries are finding out fast, too much wind on the grid can lead to blackouts.

The tedious trumpeting by the wind industry, the Scottish Government and the likes of Lang Banks of WWF when wind manages to supply Scotland’s energy needs on a warm balmy Sunday, when the country’s needs were low, is more ludicrous each time they roll out another press release.

Luckily it was a Sunday. Cooking the family roast and watching the Olympics may well have saved the grid from blowing and even more constraints being paid.

Lyndsey Ward.
Darach Brae,

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