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Proceeds with caution


It is unfortunate that Ben Tatham (NCE letters last week) didn't attend the seminar at the ICE on 24 January to debate Hugh Sharman's Proceedings paper on restricting wind power.

At the well attended meeting the paper was criticised for being based on selective and incorrect facts.

I made the point that, as engineers and designers, if we select only data which supports our personal prejudices, then the results can be fatal. Sharman's links to an anti-wind lobbying organisation reduce his credibility and if his paper had been subject to peer review it would not have reached Proceedings.

All technologies are intermittent to some degree which is why we have a grid system and balancing mechanism. The myth of this limitation on wind and other renewables has been dismissed again most recently by a report issued on 5 April by the UK Energy Research Centre.

Only about 4% of our electricity comes from renewable sources against the long-term need to achieve 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

There is no panacea for our future energy needs and all low-carbon options must be developed of which wind power is currently one of the most cost-effective.

Peter Hinson (M), renewable energy consultant.

PEMP2@ care4free. net l The editor of Proceedings confirms that all papers appearing in that journal are subject to peer review

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