SIR – Further to Mr Ricky Knight’s letter in the North Devon Gazette on 30 November 2011, I would like to make the following comments:
I would like to clarify that I am fully aware of the Government report Mr Crone’s presentation was based on. I personally feel that these targets are neither realistic nor economically viable or even necessary, nor will they achieve the aim of reducing emissions (that is if you actually agree that CO2 is a pollutant).
Maybe Mr Knight can explain what we will be eating, if such a large proportion of our electricity will come from biomass?
The electricity generated on November 14-15, 2011 shows a relatively average output for wind power. There are many days and sometimes whole periods when the wind does not blow across the UK and parts of Northern Europe and output is close to zero. The problem is that this variability and unpredictability will ensure that wind power requires back-up to be available at all times. Back-up is currently provided by traditional power stations and the assumption that everybody will drive electric cars and power the grid when these cars are not in use, is in my view still ludicrous.
I doubt very much that wind power provides on average five per cent of our electricity needs and even if it did, it is not reliable or controllable output, which is what the UK needs.
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On another point, Mr Knight would maybe like to justify why lives are being destroyed for something that is overly expensive, unreliable and requires back-up (which can increase emissions)? Maybe, Mr Knight would like to explain to the people who live near Fullabrook or other wind power stations in Devon and the rest of the UK, who have their lives blighted by noise and shadow flicker, why they have to suffer for a trickle of expensive electricity, which could be provided by just one power station?
I really cannot see why Mr Knight wants to know what my fix is, but I can confirm that it certainly is not wind power and it never will be. I have no issues with nuclear and for those who oppose the use of uranium, maybe thorium could be the answer?
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One thing is for sure: I am all in favour of reliable, low-cost electricity generation and I do not believe that the economical and ecological impacts of wind power will ever be outweighed by the tiny trickle of expensive electricity. The ouput from all the turbines in the UK could be replaced by one power station – that seems the logical solution to me and billions of pounds would be saved (together with our wildlife) and fuel poverty would be reduced.
Mr Knight wants to wean us off the dirty brown stuff? I can only smell one sort and I hope Mr Knight will enjoy sitting in the dark, when the lights finally do go out, should this reliance on wind power go ahead…
Has he not realized that Germany has an enormous number of turbines – that CO2 emissions have increased and that several new coal-fired power stations are being built? Wind power has been tried and tested and it just does not come up to scratch…