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Time to put a dampener on the latest wind generation figures

There has been much in the media about the increase in wind generation of 2017 compared to 2016 (“Huge rise in wind power supplying electricity to Scots homes”, The Herald, January 9). In part the reason for this is that an unprecedented number of new turbines were commissioned to gain subsidies before the subsidies were scrapped.

The reader also needs to understand that there are good wind years and bad wind years; 2010 and 2016 were bad wind years, and more will follow.

Even in good wind years there are many days when there’s little wind across the UK. An average for wind generation over a year can easily be calculated. In the “incredible” wind year of 2017 there were 53 occasions when UK wind generation dropped below 25 per cent per cent of this average, 17 occasions when it dropped below 10 per cent and two occasions when it dropped below five per cent.

A question arises. What will fill the electricity shortfall if such occasions coincide with the hours of darkness in the much-vaunted future 100 per cent renewables future, particularly with plans to force us to change our heating and cars from fossil fuel to electric?

Some people claim that batteries will power Britain. Well, Leighton Buzzard, which when commissioned was described as the biggest battery in Europe, would power Britain for less than one second. It cost £19 million and is the size of three tennis courts.

Geoff Moore,

Braeface Park, Alness.