Fait accompli?

Joseph Bulmer

Sir - Let’s quit all the talk about a “proposed” array. There is no longer anything “proposed” about it, it is already going ahead whether we like it or not.

Initial work has been completed on the preparation of the seabed, drilling has taken place and tidying up completed. Nobody spends this kind of money on a ‘punt’.

It is a money making operation plain and square. Who for? Ask yourselves the simple question to apply to all such ventures, “Who gains?”

It certainly isn’t the consumer; we will end up paying more per unit of electricity than for any other generation method. The beneficiaries here are the people who design, build and install the turbines. Pockets are being lined with no concern for the poor consumer whose pockets are being emptied.

Good for the planet? Of course not. It never ceases to amaze me how many of our “green” friends overlook the simple fact that if you remove energy from a system then the system is altered.

If you place a massive array of wind turbines in the path of the westerlies and extract many thousands of megawatts of energy from the flow then the weather downstream of that flow WILL be altered. Only a tiny bit but it is unarguable. Just the same as if few tons of carbon are released into the atmosphere it WILL change things a tiny bit.

In a recent article in New Scientist it was calculated that if all the coal fired power stations in the world were shut down and replaced by sufficient wind turbines to equal their output, the heat generated by the “green” alternative would be the same as generated by the coal fired stations.

Granted, we wouldn’t have to mine so much coal, but the plundering of the earth’s resources would continue as the need for massive quantities of Neodymium escalated. Neodymium being a rare earth element used in the manufacture of the alloy from which the huge magnets in the turbines are made. Mixed with iron and boron it typically produces, weight for weight, a magnet 12 times more powerful than one made from conventional iron. So there’s someone else making money out of it – the specialist miners.

Even some of the engineers concerned voice the opinion that it would make more sense to turn the turbines upside down and take the energy from the tide (it runs at about 5-6knots in those parts). More dependable than the wind, the tide will continue to run twice a day until the moon drifts off. But no, everybody has got excited about wind power so on we all go, rinsing as much cash out of the idea as possible before it is finally debunked.

Atlantic Array? We must be mad.

D I Brett