Winding up the arguments over the potential of turbines

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From: Ian W Murdoch, Spring Hill, Welbury, Northallerton.

THE gap between the two sides in the debate about national energy policy was clearly brought out in various articles (Yorkshire Post, April 4 and 5).

On the first day, Bernard Ingham’s column presented an excellent summary of the disastrous state of the country’s energy policy and gave a very timely reminder that the nation will face major power shortages towards the end of this decade. His article used clear data and established facts to show how reliance on wind energy will put security of supply in grave danger.

The following day, John Meehan presented a rosy view on the Silicon Valley of green energy, the Humber Estuary, without any data on what, if any, carbon savings will be achieved. He quotes Dr O’Connor, hardly an independent voice on such matters, who again puts forward the totally discredited view that “the wind always blows somewhere”, and suggests that the natural proven intermittency of wind can be overcome by a “global supergrid”.

Perhaps Dr O’Connor could produce some data on where the wind has been blowing in the last three weeks, and how much it would cost to construct his “supergrid”? I know exactly how much wind generated electricity has been fed in to the National Grid in those weeks and it wouldn’t have supplied many households!

Successive Energy Ministers have failed to address the strategic need to approve plans for replacement generators to ensure electricity supplies through the next three decades Their disastrous and futile concentration on wind energy, which can only make a marginal and intermittent contribution to our energy needs, has put the security of the country’s electricity supplies at risk.

As Sir Bernard points out, the only significant new generators the last government approved were the 20,000MW of gas-fired power stations they approved just before they left office. This capacity will be essential to back up the planned wind generators, at times like the last three weeks, when the wind has produced very little power.

Strategic thinking, followed by decisive action to build reliable generators, is essential but there are no signs that this government will get on with the obvious task of securing our electricity supplies for the next 30 years.

From: Charles Taylor, Hemingfield, Barnsley.

IT really is time that the subject of wind turbines is brought to the forefront of government and public awareness.

As far as I can judge, the pros and cons have not been properly examined at national level, nor have any reasoned and conclusive arguments in favour been put to the public. All we have heard are vague musings about “green energy” from the politicians.

The danger now is that people are starting to believe that the case is already proven and the installation of wind turbines inevitable in the quest for alternative energy. The promotion so far has been very surreptitious and in most cases people have only become aware of the true horror of these on-shore installations when, almost overnight, they appear in their field of vision (anything up to 20 miles) or even their own back yard! Before it goes any further, the subject should be exhaustively examined by impartial technical experts so that the generating capacity can be weighed against the cost and the visual and other desecration of the environment, and the findings laid before public and government alike for their appraisal and judgement.

It was interesting to contrast the well-balanced assessment by Bernard Ingham (Yorkshire Post, April 4) of our future needs for power generation, along with his condemnation of the blinkered vision of the politicians, with the article the following day by John Meehan who deliriously praises turbines – on the strength of the jobs they may create in manufacturing – just the sort of PR spin the politicians fall for.