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We must back wind turbines

By Shepton Mallet Journal  |  Posted: August 23, 2012

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I would like to correct Councillor Judy Bartlett's comments in the Journal ("Wind Turbine wins support" August 9) when she states that "these things don't make much more energy than it takes to run themselves".

On average a wind turbine will pay back the energy needed to make the turbine in three-five months. This is favourable compared to conventional power generation such as coal or nuclear.

For more facts on wind energy readers should visit the Renewables UK website at ww w.bwea.com/energy/myths.html. As the supply finite fossil fuel resources diminish, we need to secure new sources of green energy generation for the future.

Wind energy is a fully reversible form of development which can be easily removed after 20 years of energy generation, the land restored and most of the components recycled.

We should be championing this clean and effective form of energy generation.

Steve Allen


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  • johndavies  |  August 25 2012, 10:56AM

    Steve I see you get your "Facts" from the renewables website, that used to be called the British Wind Energy Association, it's not the first place I would go for objective facts !! It's like asking a tobacco company if it's ok to smoke. Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and installed cost is roughly $3.5 Million (Say £2 Million). For a typical 2 MW windturbine;- The foundation will contain 400tonne steel +1,500 tonne concrete the steel tower will be approx 100ton 3 carbon fiber blades at 10 tonne each = 30 tonne, hub at 12 tonne & nacelle with generator + controls at 90 tonne. The cost of transportation of this lot is reckoned to be 1/3 of cost. These machines are erected using 1,200 tonne cranes (the kind that come on 10 huge lorries ) so you need to carve out new access roads & crane pads. ALL this carries a huge energy/carbon foot print. Back of envelope maths- commercial-scale turbine 2 MW in size Say £2 Million installed 24x365 = 8760 hrs/yr Average Price of electric (no subsidies) £45/MW (Elexon neta Grid commodity site) According to Government DECC figs onland wind has a capacity factor of only 26% so 2MW = 0.52MW So 0.52MW x 8760 hrs = 4555.2 MW/yr x £45/MW = £20,498 income/yr from sale of power. Cost = £2,000,000 installed You need some very creative accounting to make that look good… ...but wait … we can get every bill payer to subsidise it – slap a 16% on every bill, call it a renewables surcharge ( & theres another 9% going on in a few weeks) & give it to the wind farmers TAX FREE You mention "We should be championing this clean and effective form of energy generation" WHY ?? Far from being effective, it is intermittent & unreliable, it requires an 80% backup by fossil fuel power stations having to run inefficiently to follow the wind fluctuations thus producing excess CO2 so there is in general no net reduction of CO2. And clean !!! The construction of these units is a filthy carbon intense business, but as it is mainly done in China & India we don't see that bit. See - http://tinyurl.com/4u2xjst for just a bit of it. Windmills are a bad way to make electricity, but a very good way of making cash for the few via obscene subsidies. It's a scam of biblical proportions.

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