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Duke of Edinburgh 'seriously misinformed' over wind farms

Trade body RenewableUK has labelled the Duke of Edinburgh as “seriously misinformed” following remarks criticising wind farms this week.

The Duke of Edinburgh criticised onshore wind farms as “a disgrace”, and also slammed the industry’s reliance on subsidies in comments made to the Sunday Telegraph.

RenewableUK said the time has come to “bust the myths peddled by anti-wind campaigners” with support for wind costing £10 in an average £600 electricity bill.

The wind industry currently employs 11,000 people, including many engineering positions, which is expected to rise to 90,000 by 2021, according to a study by Cambridge Econometrics.

RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery added, “the irrefutable facts are that wind energy is providing a clean, secure supply of electricity to more than 3M homes in the UK, displacing 6.5M.t of carbon dioxide every year”.


Readers' comments (8)

  • Well they would say that wouldn't they!!! Fact is wind turbines only work when they are not shut down for maintenance and repair, and the wind is between 8 and 55 mph. Below a wind speed of around 30 mph, however, the amount of energy generated is very small. Wind turbines produce at or above their average rate around 40% of the time. Conversely, they produce little or no power 60% of the time. So, bearing that in mind, and the fact that wind turbines have a shelf life of only 20 years, one can only conclude that wind turbines are a complete and utter waste of time and money, to say nothing of being an horrendous blot on the landscape. They are the biggest white elephant the world has ever seen, even square wheels would be more useful than a bloomimg great propeller busy doing nothing.

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  • Total Wind Farms Systems' electricity costs, including Wind Turbines, cabling, Gas Turbine standby plants, and inefficient Gas Turbine operation, and the total “subsidies” paid, are far higher than suggested. Using them to replace UK Coal Fired Plants - the most efficient use of Wind Turbines for reducing CO2, will at best reduce UK total 1990 CO2 by only 2% more than by using Gas Turbines alone.

    The UK's emits 1.5% of global CO2, i.e. the global benefits from UK Wind Turbine are at best 1.5% x 2% = 0.03% of global CO2 emissions. Yet global CO2 is increasing at almost 6% p.a. and rising.

    China's CO2 increases alone are over 10% p.a. at a similar per capita rate as the UK. It has built over 60GW of coal fired stations p.a. for several years and has a similar long term programme for more - i.e. almost more than the UK's Generating capacity. Add to this CO2 increases from their other new fossil fuelled power plants, industrial plants, road and rail transport and industrial/commercial and domestic heating etc - and the same from all other developing countries!

    The UK Wind Farm investment is wasted money: - providing unnecessarily over-expensive electricity and totally ineffective in reducing global CO2 emissions.

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  • Good on the Duke. The figure of £10 on the average electricity bill is diufficult to understand. Policy Exchange have recently produced figures indicating that by 2020 green subsidies will add up to £160 per annum per houshold electricity bill! Out of interest, this morning the 3731MW of wind connected to the grid were producing 321MW, 8% of theoretical capacity and contributing 0.8% of power demand of 46,000MW. This woud be about 0.3% of total energy demand. A long way to go to reach 15%!
    Derek Limbert (F)

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  • It is simply another term in the great rip-off equation imposed on the long suffering British public by successive administrations which are proven to be out of their depth when it comes to effective patriotic policies and strategies for our economy and the society within. The word that we never hear of and which if tackled effectively would solve a great deal of our problems is WASTE. If these public sector pygmies had to run anything competitively then they "would not last five minutes" to use a phrase.
    Jim Barrack

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    Please, NCE, do a better job as journalists and ask the chief executive of Renewable UK what subsidy is currently being given to wind farm developers to build their turbines, instead of printing their press releases. Currently the subsidy is approximately 75% of the cost of producing the power.

    As usual the Duke is quite right. If 11,000 jobs depend on this subsidy - which all taxpayers are paying for - it would more than likely be cheaper for the country to pay all these 11,000 people to stay at home!

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  • John Ferguson

    Oh dear, we get the usual party propoganda churned out by RenewablesUK. I would suggest that the vast majority of informed individuals are delighted with the comments of the Duke of Edinburgh. At least these comments have received the publicity denied to the many who express similar sentiments, backed up by facts and figures, but who are completely ignored by the main stream media and the BBC.

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  • From reading the above comments, it is pretty obvious that we should be concentrating efforts on energy generated by tides ... which are very predictable ... and guaranteed. However these are mega capital intensive BUT will last much longer than those roman sewers still in service today.

    Good on the Duke ...

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  • Why has it taken so long for the truth to out?
    All wind farms do is produce subsidies. They even have to be shut down in some areas because of the noise they produce.
    Anyone can build an industry on 100% subsidy. It would be better if those employed in the turbine industry made tent pegs. At least their production would not hoover up expensive rare earths, of which the main supplier is China.

    No doubt our editor, Mr Oliver, will be writing a pro wind farm editorial in the next NCE. I worry about him sometimes!

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