Winds of change

Professor Trewavas (Platform, 30 December) brings to our attention a new concept for harnessing power from the wind – small, densely packed rotation devices on a vertical axis providing an order of magnitude increase in electricity generated per square metre of land used.

Inquiring minds who have sought more details from CalTech will have found that the theory comes from mathematical analysis and that the concept has already been demonstrated through construction at a trial site.

This renders the enormous horizontal axis turbines, currently still increasing in size, true dinosaurs of the 21st century.

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Under natural selection they would die out in favour of their highly efficient little cousins.

Instead of allowing the erection of large size turbines, which will soon be obsolete, and continuing to allow them to be financed for the next 25 years, the government should place a moratorium on such wind farms and thereby adapt to changing circumstances.

The dream of harnessing power from the wind, albeit with complete fossil-fuel backup, can remain and the goal could be achieved in a much better way – better for the economy and better for the landscape.

It requires no U-turn from government on renewables – just adaptation, a characteristic dinosaurs just did not have.

(Prof) Bruce Hobbs

Peebles Road

Penicuik, Midlothian