SIR - I listened in disbelief to the radio as a Downing Street spokesman described windpower as a cost-effective energy source!
If this is true, then why is it necessary for this Government to subsidise the construction and operation of these wind turbines?
In 2009-10, wind energy companies received over �520 million in subsidies, which came not from a special government fund, but from a surcharge on our business and domestic electricity bills.
This Renewable Obligation Charge currently adds �26 to everyone’s annual electricity bill and this is predicted to increase to �50 by 2016.
There could well be good environmental reasons for supporting windpower development – but in truth I am not able to think of all that many. Let us, however, not kid ourselves that it is a cost-effective source of electrical energy.
You may also want to watch:
There are two major electricity generation projects proposed for the South West which bear comparison – the Atlantic Array offshore wind turbine farm and the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.
Each will cost around �5 billion to construct and have the capacity to produce approximately 1,500 megawatts of electrical power.
- 1 Jealous Barnstaple boyfriend made divorcee get rid of wedding dress
- 2 North Devon business signs up to 1 billion tree project
- 3 The Plough announces Open-Air Theatre Festival
- 4 Holidaycottages.co.uk celebrates launch of new office in Braunton
- 5 Criminal damage at Fremington Football Club - Police appeal
- 6 Little Leo’s big challenge for Children’s Hospice South West
- 7 Bungling Northam burglar facing jail
- 8 Boris Johnson - Time between Covid jabs cut in response to Indian variant
- 9 North Devon sign West Indian pace bowler
- 10 'ThINK it through before you tattoo' urges council
However, Hinkley C has a working life of up to 60 years and capacity for electrical energy output of over 80%, while the Atlantic Array will only have a working life of 25 years and struggle to achieve 20 per cent electricity output.
If we are seeking a cost-effective investment then it is clear that the privately-financed Hinkley C nuclear power station has the edge over the Atlantic Array which will continue to require subsidies from electricity consumers. The answer is still not blowing in the wind even if the Downing Street spokesman is adding a puff!
Giles Chichester MEP
Conservative MEP for South West England and Gibraltar