True costs of green energy

I continue to read with interest the arguments about the siting of wind farms in our region.

I am writing regarding my own opposition to wind farms and the convincing arguments provided by various respected sources and data regarding their inefficiency, most operating between 15 and 25 per cent capacity with owners receiving huge payments even when the turbines are turned off.

One landowner said recently that he would be a millionaire within 10 years, obviously not concerned about the cost of higher domestic and commercial bills, the lost landscape and absolutely no concern for the damage that building these turbines does to the environment both here and abroad.

These ecological problems are inflicted usually on poorer communities with few or no health and safety rules. In northern China, the extraction of minerals needed to produce the magnets for every wind turbine is causing untold damage. The construction of the turbines generates large CO2 emissions as does the mining and smelting of metals and the carbon-intensive cement required for foundations and roads – not to mention the large amounts of CO2 released in peat bogs which are dug up and destroyed.

I completely accept there will be ecological damage and increased costs whatever alternative power sources we use but I am completely against a failed system or government that compensates landowners and power companies for providing less that 25 per cent of a product which still requires a back-up system (coal, nuclear or gas) and pays them even if the power is turned off.

Imagine buying a car and being told it will only operate 25 per cent of the time, so that you will need a second car for back up. Yet the company providing the car still gets paid its money regardless of whether it works or not. Does anyone know of any other businesses that operate in this manner?

I have read that renewable energy costs will add £300 to utility bills by 2020. My electricity bill rose by £40 a year with the recent 10 per cent increases, with most of the increase added to the standing charge, over which I have no control, not to the cost of power consumed. No matter how I try and make my home fuel or energy efficient (which it is), if large increases are continually added to the standing charge my efforts will make little difference to my bills.

In my work, I see a lot of people in fuel poverty. If we have a winter like last year’s, I predict many more, with the elderly and families on fixed incomes or benefits having to choose between heating and other necessities.

With more than 10 per cent of all bills going on green energy policies and lining the pockets of landowners and power companies, where is the government’s pledge before the last election that they would tackle soaring energy prices by giving more power to the regulators?

The government and local authorities must look towards other sources of energy as at the moment the only winners are the land and wind farm owners, with the consumer and environment paying too higher price for too little energy.

Carol Berry

Midlem