not deliveringPublished Date: 01 August 2010

I REFER to the article by Jenny Fyall (News, July 25) “Windfarms only giving half power”.

Windfarms are actually increasing carbon emissions. In a paper published on the website Master Resource, electrical engineer Kent Hawkins has shown that when wind power surpasses 5 per cent of power generated, the frequent ramping up and ramping down of the other base-load power sources (either fossil fuel or nuclear) to compensate for wind’s unpredictable variability causes such inefficiency in power generation that overall carbon emissions rise.

Hawkins found this when studying power sources in the Netherlands, Colorado and Texas.

The energy company E.ON in its evidence to the Lords parliamentary committee noted that for every 1,000 MW of installed wind capacity another 900 MW of back-up capacity, fossil fuel or nuclear, is needed for times when the wind does not blow.

These back-up plants are run intermittently so they will increase carbon emissions.

Germany has about 20,000 turbines which has meant that five extra coal-fired plants have had to be built. Not one coal-fired electricity plant has been taken out of service as a result of building these wind turbines. Also wind turbines operate at efficiencies of about 25 per cent at best, so 1000MW of capacity will give only 250MW of electricity at best.

Dr Richard Dixon is wrong to associate 20 per cent of Danish electricity with wind power. In fact, about half of Denmark’s electricity is produced at the wrong time, when it is not needed, and so has to be exported to other Nordic countries, at a loss to the Danish economy.

Terri Jackson, Bangor, Northern Ireland


AK) Access:

to read some well-informed comments.

The intellectual argument, already won years ago, is gradually replacing the “greenwash” which has enabled

the powerful lobbying of the wind industry get “a head of steam” before the public became better informed.

As Simon Hoggart wrote in The Guardian (Saturday, May 17 2008) :-

“When are people – governments and councils I mean,.. . . . going to realise what a
useless blight these onshore wind turbines are? Not only do they help destroy the
very environment they are supposed to protect, but also they are roughly as cost
effective as putting thousands of hamsters on wheels.”. .  . .

“It’s a classic example of the law of unintended consequences. The best thing to do
would be to take the lot down, now, but there is too much money and too much political prestige at stake.”

First we had Cameron’s useless roof top wind turbine (since removed thanks to pressure from his neighbours) and

second the wind farm now spinning mega bucks for his wealthy father-in-law, Lord Sheffield. – see:

So the rich get richer by ruining the environment at the expense of the consumer who foots the bill.

Many consumers cannot afford the rapidly rising electricity bills which are helping to provide easy money

for rich landowners.

I had understood that the Coalition government (especially the Liberal Democrats) were pledged to “fairness for all.”

Is this Chris Huhne’s (LibDem, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) idea of “fairness” ?

Thanks be there are still true custodians of the countryside like the Duke of Northumberland who recently stated :

“Ruining a countryside of which we are supposed to be custodians is a step too far, particularly for something as ineffective at providing power and as useless at reducing CO2 emissions as wind farms.”

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