Wind farm: the facts

CORRESPONDENT Mr Pratley suggests the Observer runs a campaign against tghe wind farm off the Sussex coast. I would hope, if it does, it researches his stated facts which contain the following errors.

1 Wind turbines work for 80 per cent of the time, not 25 per cent, given offshore wind profiles.

2 Government does not subsidise offshore wind farms although incentives are available via the power generating companies. (Incidentally, other forms of energy production are subsidised in one way or another, particularly nuclear power).

3 He asserts wind farms create a monotonous penetrating noise. A study for The Scottish Office prepared by noted acoustic consultants showed that for onshore turbines, the noise level at 350 metres was considerably less than a busy general office. Is this a major issue for offshore where distances would be greater than 350 metres?

4 With regard to design technology, the latest direct drive machines were introduced in 1999 and are the latest concept in design technology.

We support the development of tidal and wave generation and funding is available.

However, I am sure there will be opposition to these from some quarters as there will be some impact on coastal features.

Clearly wind power will never provide all the energy we need and a mix of climate-friendly generation will be required.

We need a mix that will protect us from being reliant on imported gas and oil.

Geraldine and David Wood,

West Broyle, Chichester