Wind subsidy is a price worth paying
STUART Young complains about an annual wind subsidy of £27 a head (your article, 31 August).
This is mostly a reward to early risk takers rather than the true cost of wind production and is steadily declining as the industry matures. It seems tiny compared with my present energy bills.
Every kilowatt hour generated by a wind turbine, however intermittently, will leave gas in the ground for the use of our descendants.
I am happy to pay my share for their benefit but less happy to pay a similar amount every year to clean up just Sellafield. What does Stuart Young think that his descendants will think about him when there is no gas left?
decommissioning nuclear power plants in the UK is not subsidised, so why persist in perpetuating this myth (Comment, 31 August)? The cost of decommissioning is met from a fund accumulated by the operators from the price they get paid for the electricity supplied. So why ignore this?
THE proposed installation of hundreds of wind turbines, at enormous costs in money and environmental damage to the North Sea and its floor, is very risky indeed, especially for a greatly indebted nation whose resources must be put only to constructive uses.
This is clearly a brainchild of First Minister Alex Salmond, a man who has proved resistant to complaints about the uselessness and damage associated with onshore renewables, except nuclear power generation.
The voters, who pay through their electricity bills, are entitled to know if the contracts with the developers will contain any guarantee about power yield in amount and timeliness and concerning failure rates for equipment which, though not quite experimental, having been used in places such as Denmark, would make huge demands on an engineering technology liable to disastrous mishaps and with a probable short lifespan in ferocious marine weather.
Essentially, are we being asked to buy a pig-in-a-poke. Is offshore wind power an unfathomable liability?
(Dr) Charles Wardrop
Viewlands Road West
Your report (31 August), suggesting that if an offshore wind farm is built in the Moray Firth it could produce the same amount of electricity as a conventional power station, merely regurgitates the fiction peddled by wind turbine operators.
It would have been more accurate to say that this wind farm could never produce the same amount of electricity as a conventional power station as for significant periods, when there is only a breeze or no wind, it will produce very little or no electricity at all.
I have to disagree with your editorial “North Sea wind power is a priceless resource” (31 August). The true position is quite the contrary – wind as a method of large-scale power generation has a very substantial negative value.
At its simplest, the more electricity we generate from the wind, the poorer we as a nation will be. The reason for this is that taking full account of the capital costs the unit cost of electricity from wind is very substantially higher than that from coal, gas or even nuclear generation.
It follows from the higher unit cost of electricity that more people will be forced in to fuel poverty and that our businesses will suffer a competitive disadvantage compared to foreign companies – the French come to mind – with lower power costs. This means fewer jobs here and more jobs in other countries where power cheaper.
However, wind power is very good at one thing – transferring money from the poor to the rich. Whilst ordinary people get colder and poorer, large landowners, wind farm companies and foreign makers of turbines get richer.
To cure this madness we need a repeal of the climate-change legislation, an end to subsidies for renewable energy and respect for the price mechanism, which sustains all honest wealth creation.
To suggest North Sea wind is a priceless resource (31 August) has the same logic as setting out on an unknown road to drive to London with a pint of petrol in the tank, hoping to find a filling station within a hundred yards.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east