Wind power - just the facts, please

IN response to the letter from D Kearns (“Wind-power could be the whole answer”, January 19), I did not express a view for or against wind farms in my letter to the Hunts Post of December 29. I simply tried to put their efficiency in harnessing the wind to generate electricity and the financial cost of producing electricity by this means into context.

In reply to this, D Kearns suggests that a 2.5MW wind turbine’s ability to generate enough electricity to make 230 million cups of tea per year is proof of that turbine’s efficiency. But this 2.5MW wind turbine is generating only the same amount of electricity that would be generated by a 0.75MW turbine in a conventional power station.

Why? Because, as acknowledged on the Department for Energy and Climate Change website, wind turbines typically generate between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of their capacity – and 30 per cent of 2.5MW is 0.75MW. Is this efficient? Clearly not, which confirms my original argument.

But D Kearns did not actually address the issue of efficiency; he or she simply copied his or her reply verbatim from the Renewable UK website at http://www.bwea.com/onshore/index.html

Could wind power be the whole answer? As far as I am aware, even the British Wind Energy Association is not proposing a 100 per cent wind-power solution, so for the foreseeable future both base-load power stations, powered by coal, nuclear, biomass etc., and fast-start peak-lopping power stations will be required to overcome the generation deficiencies of wind farms.

JOHN HICKMAN

Bramley Avenue

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