I could not believe my eyes when I opened last week’s Southern to read about Bill White calling for Galashiels to cash in on community funding available from wind farm projects.
Let’s put wind power into perspective. It is far more costly to produce “renewable” energy than conventional sources such as coal, gas and oil. The Renewables Obligation Certificate and Feed-in Tariff forces energy suppliers to buy electricity at higher cost than the wholesale price of electricity on the market.
Wind farm operators and landowners receive an extraordinary amount of money which comes chiefly from electricity bills, so it you and I who are paying.
The Duke of Roxburghe receives approximately £720,000 per annum from the 48 turbines on land that he owns, the energy company £34,058,880 and the subsidy given is a whopping £17,029,440.
Whilst wind turbines at face value are “carbon free”, the environmental damage caused in their construction is immense.
The foundations of wind turbines require the removal of huge quantities of earth which is replaced by many tons of carbon-emitting concrete. More concrete is used in the construction of roads to create access for carbon-emitting heavy industrial machinery such as cranes and digging equipment.
The CO2 emissions from coal-fired power stations could be halved by replacing them with gas-powered alternatives. It would take as many as 4,000 wind turbines rates at 1MW to replace the output of just one nuclear power station such as Sizewell B.
As at November 2011 there were 310 wind farms in the UK with 3,421 wind turbines between them.
Is this worth a paltry £63,000 and the destruction of our local environment?
Sherry M. Fowler