Wind-power could be the whole answer

IN response to Mr Hinkley (Letters, December 29), the UK is the windiest country in Europe, so much so that we could power our country several times over using this free fuel.

A modern 2.5MW turbine at a reasonable site such as Woolley Hill will generate 6.5 million units of electricity each year, enough to meet the annual needs of over 1,400 households, make 230 million cups of tea or run a computer for 2,250 years – that’s just one turbine, which sounds pretty efficient to me.

Every unit of electricity from a wind turbine displaces one from conventional power stations. In January 2009, wind turbines in the UK had the capacity to prevent the emission of 3,682,563 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum – also pretty efficient. Can pulverised coal plants do that? I think not.

Since the first wind farm in the UK was built at Delabole in 1991, onshore wind energy has established itself as a mature, clean energy-generating technology. In 2007 wind energy overtook hydropower to become the largest renewable generation source, contributing 2.2 per cent of the UK’s electricity supply, with onshore wind comprising the bulk of this.

Wind has been the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and this trend is expected to continue, with falling costs of wind energy, rising costs of fossil fuels, energy security threats and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.

The Government’s renewable energy strategy states that the ambitious target of generating 15 per cent of all the UK’s energy from renewables by 2020 means that 35-45 per cent of electricity will have to come from green sources.

The lion’s share of these renewables will have to be wind, some 33GW of capacity, delivering over �60billion of investment and creating 160,000 green-collar jobs.

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