Empty wind

The Independent   6 October 2010 - letters

Empty wind

In the context of "cuts" it is interesting to assess the benefits or otherwise of the £1bn a year being spent subsidising "wind farming".

Windfarm generation of electricity will not result in the closure of any conventional electricity generators . The standard response is that wind power "helps to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions". The only way this can be achieved is if windfarm electricity can be can be used to replace some of the output of fossil-fuel power stations. But the capricious nature of wind limits this reduction to no more than 30 per cent. If, as the Government intends, fossil-fuel power stations are to be rendered "clean" by carbon-capture techniques then the whole purpose of wind farming becomes void as there are negligible carbon emissions for it to replace.

It would therefore appear logical for the Government to declare a moratorium on the building of further windfarms. Furthermore, since most of the building costs of windfarms goes to foreign firms and foreign workers, the £1bn a year can be diverted to circulate within the UK economy, thus assisting the Government in its efforts to lift us out of the recession

William Oxenham