Stop these subsidies

With all of the arguments against wind farms, surely the most telling is the fact that the taxpayer is subsidising to a massive extent the installation of and the running by the energy companies.

Taxpayer subsidies are paid to build wind farms – mostly to foreign companies.

Taxpayer subsidies – renewable obligation certificates – are paid for the energy supplied.

Taxpayer subsidies are paid to existing power stations to provide back up power when the turbines are stationary.

Taxpayer subsidies are being proposed for wind farms when their power is not required.

Various studies, including by Ofgem, say that onshore wind farms only achieve between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of the stated output given by the energy companies. An extremely poor return for these subsidies.

A proposed and turned-down wind farm near Shap in the Lake District had a claimed output of 67MW from 27 turbines in a five-mile line.

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Didcot power station near Swindon has an output of 1,900MW.

To achieve this output at 30 per cent efficiency would need turbines over about 400 miles. Didcot is soon to be decommisioned.

The report about the proposed wind farm at Knowstone mentions payment of �360,000 returned to the community over the lifetime of the turbines. This is not a gift from the energy company, only a small return of taxpayer money.

I spent 33 years in control systems engineering, including commercial heating, air conditioning and ventilation, where increased efficiency was obtained by better time and temperature controls and increased insulation, thus reducing the energy requirements.

Perhaps the energy industry should be renationalised – no taxpayer subsidies, with profits and dividends returned to the public purse.

JA Shuttleworth


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