Turbine has power

IT IS with much regret we have to continue the correspondence concerning wind power.

However, yet another correspondent, Mr Hunnikin, writes confidently but with questionable facts and the qualifier ‘up to’.

The general impression given is that wind turbines spend most of their time not generating.

This is not the case and an average turbine will operate for 80 per cent of the time over the year.

In addition wind patterns across the UK vary and it would be a rare occasion when all UK turbines were not generating.

This mitigates against massive spare capacity.

The important part of justification for any chosen site is the load factor. Fossil fuel plants have a load factor of approximately 50%.

There has always been a requirement for excess capacity in terms of extra Power Stations whether powered by fossil fuels or nuclear.

In fact in the recent gales a line was lost to a Scottish nuclear station cutting off power for almost 24 hours.

We would also ask Mr Hunnikin to beware relying on reports generated by EON, Centrica or any other power generator.

They all continue to get fat and rich on the proceeds of fossil fuel generation.

Proposals for wind farms are required to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment as part of the planning application.

They are required to determine the impact on birds and bats.

Input is also given by such organisations as the RSPB. Planning permission would not be granted if the environmental impact was unacceptable. As an example planning permission would probably be refused on a bird migration route.

Generally wind turbine operators are required to put a financial bond in place for the removal of turbines and re-instatement of the land.

Concrete foundations for wind turbines are generally no more than four metres deep ( not 100 feet ).

The Environmental Impact Assessment required for planning must assess the environmental impact of the foundations.

The cost of wind generated electricity is not 22 times more expensive than gas generated electricity.

If this were the case then the renewable obligation certificates provided by the power generation companies would have to be higher by this order of magnitude, which the generators would not agree to and so the developers would not build them.

We would like to point out that we are NOT part of the renewable energy industry nor part of any pressure group. We are just two people concerned about climate change and the state of the planet when inherited by our grand children.

We also would like to be less reliant on supply of our energy from potentially hostile countries like Russia. These concerns have caused us to research the available facts assiduously.

David and Geraldine Wood

Oakstead Pine Grove, Chichester