LETTER: Ludicrous subsidy system for wind farms

I am so glad that your correspondent Patrick McCausland welcomes the decision to approve the Rampion Wind Farm eight miles out to sea off Brighton. I presume he has a generous income and is not concerned about costs to the ordinary consumer.

I have been involved in the Public Inquiry against the refusal for three turbines on the outskirts of Polegate and gave evidence last week. Some of the figures I gave may interest your readers. These come from scrutiny of the fine print in E.on’s website regarding Rampion where it admits that due to the intermittency of the wind the actual output of this £2 billion scheme will at best average only 240MW. To see how derisory this is, the latest gas-fired power station opened by another German firm, RWE, at Pembroke two years ago, at only half the capital cost, £1 billion, can reliably produce nearly 10 times as much electricity, 2000MW, all the time. No one would actually consider such building such a gargantuan wind farm at Rampion if it were not for the ludicrous subsidy system. It may earn E.on some £325 million a year but £220 million of that will be subsidy, paid for by all of us through our electricity bills. While the power from the Pembroke plant is costing us only £50 per megawatt hour that to be fed to the grid from Brighton we cost £155 per megawatt hour, more than three times as much. (I am obliged to Christopher Booker, a well known investigative journalist for this information).

Now we are told we have enough gas under our feet to last for many generations but I suppose this is a different story.

Michael Clewett,

Old Drive, Polegate,