Wind power v fossil fuels

I write in reply to the letter written by Mr M.R. “Trewe”.
One of the new generation of giant wind turbines. Picture by Chris LawtonOne of the new generation of giant wind turbines. Picture by Chris Lawton
One of the new generation of giant wind turbines. Picture by Chris Lawton

The letter is clearly designed to provoke and intimidate Mr Penney and others and, as such, the context is in bad taste and is unnecessary. Because some people prefer renewable energy over fossil fuels and nuclear power, is not a reason to dumb them down.

The energy needs of our country can only be met by a combination of energy sources. There are very good reasons to be anti-nuclear energy. We don’t have to look back that far for the devastating impact on British farmers from Chernobyl.

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Coal, gas and oil are expensive. We have to buy them in as we don’t have the fields and mines any more. The environmental impact of coal mines, gas works and oil storage tanks is far greater than any wind turbine or wind farm.

You’re quite right that if the wind isn’t blowing, turbines don’t generate any energy. But if we don’t feed coal, gas, oil or fuel rods into other generating power stations they will not produce energy either. No fuel in means no energy out.

You’re right that if the wind blows too strong, the turbines stop. This is to protect them from overheating and is for safety. If we put in too much coal, don’t regulate the gas, inject too much oil and don’t cool the fuel rods then we have a major risk with these power stations, too. We wouldn’t want an explosion, would we?

Landowners get a specific deal based on the wind performance of the site. There is no open cheque book; money is not paid unless the turbines are working; this is what the Feed in Tariff is about. You only get FiT payment if the site is registered, approved and generating. No wind means no production, equals no subsidy! The landowner may, however, be paid a rent if the turbine belongs to an energy company. This varies on the turbine size.

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Since the energy companies pay for the turbines up front, there is no “money-wasting”, no generation means no FiT and no return on investment.

“Tax raising”, yes! Energy companies have to pay import tax and VAT on buying and installing the turbines! You should worry about the £70 billion tax-payer funded decommissioning of Sellafield!

They do create jobs, exact figures I haven’t got. I have a small business which is growing and will need to employ people soon for my contribution to wind energy.

You need to blame your friend Margaret Thatcher for why manufacturing has diminished in the UK. That’s why we have to look abroad for our nuclear power, gas and oil! However, Endurance now manufacture wind turbines in the Midlands.

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You’re right about the shortfall. We may not have the generating capacity to maintain demand. It’s nothing to do with wind energy, other than we haven’t enough turbines up and running.

I would like to invite you to an Endurance wind turbine open day on September 14th at Huddersfield. I am sure the facts about efficiency, production figures and scale of the 50kw E-3120 will blow you away! Please supply your correct name and address.

Jon Roche.

Director, Ripam Agri Ltd

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