Wind turbines are a poor deal for all but big business

YOUR report about the epidemic of wind turbines in the county is pretty horrifying (No wind of change, October 26).

From an investment point of view wind turbines are a good ‘deal’ because the owner gets paid four times the normal price for every kilowatt hour of electricity generated, through the Feed in Tariff.

Electricity supply companies are compelled to buy this ‘renewable’ electricity under the Renewables Obligation regulations (Climate Change Act 2008). To do this they purchase Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) to prove they have done it. The cost of these is passed on to the consumer. This makes everyone’s electricity bills 40 per cent higher than they should be as 10 per cent of our electricity has to be ‘renewable’.

Wind turbines require instant 100 per cent spinning back up at all times from conventional power stations (gas, coal or nuclear). They seldom generate more than 20 per cent of their rated power.

The claim, often made, that ‘the wind is always blowing somewhere’ has proved totally unfounded: last December, for example, during the extremely cold period, not one turbine was generating as there was no wind over the whole of northern Europe. This is normal during very cold periods as they are associated with stable high pressure weather systems which produce still, freezing days and nights. During still periods turbines must be turned with power from the grid as leaving a turbine stationary puts extra stress on its main bearing.

South Cambridgeshire District Council has a two kilometre rule. No turbine within two kilometre of any dwelling because of noise pollution and flying debris, including ice shards, sliced up birds and bats and broken blades. This is in line with many countries’ regulations around the world and also the recommendation of turbine manufacturers.

When a turbine blade breaks or ice on the blades starts pinwheeling across the countryside, nearby roads will become a killing zone.

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Properties near wind turbines fall in value or even become unsaleable.

Who is investing? Answer, large multinational companies. They will install the turbines and then sell them on to some smaller (gullible) company as a supposedly good investment. It will not be. The new company will go bankrupt and the county will be left with appalling, useless eyesores which no one can afford to dismantle.

Rev Philip Foster

Common Lane

Hemingford Abbots