Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Wind Energy distortion

I consider myself to be as passionate about environmental matters as anybody but I am very free thinking about the problems we have here on Mother Earth and won't support a policy just because mainstream opinion considers it be "green". A case in point that I have alluded to in the past concerns wind energy. Conventional thinking seems to be that the more wind farms we have the better in the search for environmentally friendly power generation. I beg to differ.

Last week the early morning 'Farming Today' programme on Radio 4 was concentrating on the vexed question of wind turbines in the countryside, on the Saturday they have a sort of omnibus edition of it pulling together some of the strands in the programmes of the previous five days and I was awake enough on Saturday morning to hear at least some of this. What really fired me up was the interview on it with Chris Tomlinson from the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA). Talk about arrogance! He was questioned by the interviewer, Charlotte Smith, about the fact that wind farms aren't delivering power all the time. He really didn't want to answer this one and she had to press him for a reply. He said something about them working 80 to 85% of the time. He very hurriedly went on to another aspect whereas Charlotte should have gone further and got him to admit that out of the time the mills are turning it is only a part of that time that they are delivering their maximum output. The way he tried to duck the questioning told me all I needed to know.

What really does make me irate is when the wind power proponents talk about a windfarm producing the energy for so many homes. This is so misleading because there are many occasions in the course of a year when it is yielding either no power at all or something below the theoretical maximum. Going back to Mr Tomlinson it wasn't just me who was dismayed by his attitude - there is a message board on the BBC's 'Farming Today' website and there are many listeners on there who have taken issue with his approach. Definitely not good.

1 comment:

Anne said...

My son's property value dropped an estimated £60000 because a neighbour put up a small wind turbine (very debatable planning decision). Surely there ought to be some compensation for this - I believe there is on the continent.

I am all for effective wind use, but a blight of small machines is not the way.