Following your useful review of wind power I was disappointed to see some incorrect comments in the letters pages.
First, wind turbines have an energy 'payback' of only 6-9 months, (ie the time required to generate all the energy used in manufacture), against a design life of over 20 years.
Secondly it is not true that wind turbines require pitch control and low rotor speeds to avoid structural failure. The large modern wind turbine is designed for fail-safe survival to winds of around 240km/hr and can be uprated for extreme locations. Also the rotor speed is optimised for efficiency and cost so that a modern 65m diameter, three blade rotor will turn at a leisurely and quiet 20rpm.
In Germany, for example, installed capacity of these 'conventional' wind turbines will reach 8,000MW this year and the world market up to 2006 is put at £30bn. Wind power is not the only solution to our future energy needs, but it will be a major player. The UK must not lag behind.
Peter Hinson (M), EMPSquared Consultants, 30 The Fairway, Burnham, South Bucks, SL1 8DS