Why wind farms are way forward as a source of renewable energy

An offshore wind farm on the Solway Firth in Scotland which Mike Hodgson argues is the way forward
An offshore wind farm on the Solway Firth in Scotland which Mike Hodgson argues is the way forward
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Have your say

I WRITE in response to the recent letter to the Gazette from Mr and Mrs Drake which begins “The threat of wind farms off the Sussex coast prompts us to ask your readers to consider the following propositions in relation to wind turbines”.

I would also like them to consider an alternative view of these propositions:

l They do not work when the wind is insufficient.

Provided there are enough wind farms in different locations, there will always be sufficient wind in the UK. The height of the windmills is necessary to make use of the greater amount of wind available at the blade tip.  

l They do not work when the wind is too strong.

They work across a reasonable range given prevailing conditions in the UK. Renewable energy as a whole will not work when the wind stops blowing , the sun stops shining, waves stop and tides fail to move and people no longer produce waste.

l They seize up when the weather is cold. They can catch fire when the weather is too hot, etc.

Wind turbines caught fire in strong winds in Scotland last year. Similar events happen with other power generation.

l They destroy the environment.

Climate change is destroying the environment. Renewable energy is helping to solve this problem.

l They are noisy

At 300m, the sound from a wind turbine is 40db about three quarters of the sound of normal conversation. As your letter is about offshore windfarms, miles out in the sea this is a complete red herring.

Notwithstanding that objections to onshore farms, such the Shepham Farm proposal on noise grounds seem to be unaware of the much greater noise from the nearby dual carriageway.

l They are a health hazard.

No rigorous scientific studies have shown this. Again, how would off shore turbines have this effect?

l They destroy bird life.

The transport of crude oil frequently harms bird life. Domestic cats, and cars harm wildlife more.

l They need replacing after 25 years.

Planning permission is granted for this length of time. If it were for longer, you would doubtless use it as an argument against them.

l They regularly break down.

No more than conventional sources of power. Conventional power stations can also break down, Tilbury, Kingsnorth and Sizewell have also had unscheduled interruptions of supply in the last year.

l They need a vast network of new power lines.

Any new source of power, including conventional power stations need new power lines, Hinkley Point for instance. By contrast, the Rampion proposals involve an underground cable from Shoreham to Bolney.    

l They are manufactured abroad.

The Germans and Danes make them. If they can so can we. It simply needs political will. Nuclear technology is made by the French.

l They are horribly expensive.

They cost less than nuclear power when properly accounted for, ie. when the state underwriting nuclear’s uninsureable risk is taken into account. I welcome the opportunity presented by wind farms and other renewable sources of energy are not a threat. I hope that many of your readers will too.

MIKE HODGSON,

Windsor Road, Hailsham.