Green response

Joseph Bulmer

SIR - Firstly I would like to thank Anna Grabis for coming all the way from Holsworthy to Barnstaple to attend Peter Crone’s presentation on November 8. The three lectures the North Devon Green party set up for the series ‘’The Practice and Politics of Wind Power’ were designed to attract those who were confused by extremes of opinion and were looking for clarity.

However, to respond to the seeming informed technicalities of Ms Grabis’ letter, it’s best to start where she finished, with ‘the Facts’, as she put it: she refers to the electricity generating figures for November 14-15th, when wind generated only two per cent of total electricity on those two days.

Unfortunately Ms Grabis’ facts were cherry-picked, quite a common practice with those opposed to renewables, in that she neglected to include the ‘fact’ that there was very little wind on those two days anywhere in the country. With so little wind, I consider it pretty creditable that wind turbines supplied as much as two per cent.

However, on average, wind already provides five per cent which means that on a very windy day they could provide more than 10 per cent. This is admittedly still an embarrassingly low percentage and hardly inspiring in terms of ambitious national, regional and local targets – but presumably those opposed to wind, on-shore or off- don’t really mind that. I’d love to hear of their ‘fix’. Please let us know if it’s nuclear.

Regarding Ms Grabis’ point about biomass; here she seems to have misunderstood what Mr Crone was presenting. He presented the Government’s figure from the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap that was published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in July.

Please take a look. It is stated here that 35 per cent of the 2020 target for renewable energy would come from biomass; in other words, 35 per cent of the 15 per cent target, which means that just over five per cent of all energy would come from biomass. So those unfortunate enough to be in hospital on life support machines need not worry, particularly as hospitals always have their own backup generators, which incidentally could easily and reliably be powered by biofuels.

It is abundantly clear from Ms Grabis’ letter what she is against; unfortunately she doesn’t say what she is in favour of, assuming that she wishes to continue using electricity and be able to drive from Holsworthy to Barnstaple. The whole point of Peter Crone’s presentation on November 8 was to examine the looming UK energy crisis from 2015 onwards, when old coal and nuclear power stations will have to be de-commissioned – at colossal expense, by the way, underwritten by, yes, you’ve guessed it. These old stations supply us with 25 per cent of our electricity. What method of energy generation is going to make up this short-fall?

We have a choice: to continue our reliance on imported gas from Russia or from various unstable parts of the world or invest in the limitless sources of renewable energy that surround us, particularly in the seas around the British Isles. Homo Sapiens has been around on this planet for tens of thousands of years and we have already used up most of the easily available fossil fuel resources in less than 250 years. We will not be able to rely on fossil fuels for the next 250 years, let alone for generations beyond. So we will have to kick the habit and wean ourselves off the dirty brown stuff and onto the clean, green sources of energy, replenished each and every day by our very own great ball of fire.

Ricky Knight,

Secretary, North Devon Green Party

Bishops Tawton