LETTER: Wind farms and renewables are essential

I would like to respond to the letter from Mr Grysa of November 20th, however, there are so many misleading and unsubstantiated claims it is difficult to know just where to begin .

Wind farms in the UK are an essential part of our efforts to combat man-made climate change by offsetting carbon dioxide emissions that would otherwise be produced by fossil fuel power generation. Wind power is variable in nature, and not intermittent as claimed, unlike nuclear power stations that may need to be shut down in an instant, which creates huge problems for the grid, or perhaps do you think that thermal generation plants work 365 days of the year and never break down or need scheduled or unscheduled maintenance ?

The UK’s growing wind farm fleet has been able to generate up to 20% of our electricity, and as I write this letter, it has averaged 11.3% over the last 24 hours, this will increase as more wind farms, both onshore and offshore are built. With regards to the number of wind turbines that would be needed to meet the demands of households in Horncastle, Lindhurst wind farm near Mansfield in Nott’s, which numbers 5 x 1.8MW machines is able to meet the demands of some 5400 homes annually, I believe that there are 3200 dwellings in Horncastle and as far as I am aware there are no plans for a wind farm nearby, unless you know different Mr Grysa, perhaps you can enlighten us ?

Wind power must and will play a vital part in our energy mix alongside other renewables such as wave, tidal, solar and energy efficiency. Incidentally, wave and tidal power are far more expensive than wind power and can not deliver energy on a large scale at present but wind power can, however I do support wave and tidal power in principle.

Subsidies for wind, the latest figures, according to RenewableUK wind adds less than £20 a year to consumer bills, less than 5p a day, hardly a substantial figure and lets put that into context, dealing with the growing nuclear waste in the UK will cost £100 billion, this will be paid for by the tax payer, George Osborne pledged a £3 billion tax allowance for large and deep oil fields west of Shetland, the government have announced generous tax breaks for the shale gas industry, this would mean cutting tax on some of the income generated from producing shale gas from 62% to just 30%, the list goes on. Mr Grysa.

You asked for evidence of funding, how about the £10 million given by the American tycoon in Scotland to anti wind farm groups?

Noise from wind farms, studies into wind farm noise and how it may affect residents have been carried out by the UK government. Acoustics researchers at Salford University investigated complaints created by aerodynamic modulation ( AM) It was discovered that the number of complaints from wind turbines is relatively insignificant, compared with noise complaints from other sources. The study found that 239 formal noise complaints over a 15 year period ( an average of just 16 a year) for the whole of the UK, were made in respect of wind turbines, this compares with the national average of 300,000 for noise complaints in general. I see that Mr Grysa has cited the case of Jane Davis, one thing he did not mention was that a formal noise complaint was made to the local authority who after monitoring the noise concluded that “there was no evidence of a statutory noise nuisance.” I have visited many wind farms and stood beneath the turbines and I would not in anyway describe them as noisy and would say to anyone please visit a wind farm and hear for yourself. Certainly there is no comparison with traffic on a busy road which affects many thousand of homes in the UK, including a number in Horncastle.

The UK has 40 % of the European wind resource and the potential to be a world leader in this technology and according to RenewableUK there is the real potential for skilled jobs, in fact as many as 88,000 in the wind and marine energy industries by 2021 and yet we are falling shamefully behind other countries when it comes to exploiting this truly sustainable and carbon free form of energy, by opposing wind farm developments we are also denying the potential for green jobs and that is unacceptable.

Finally, we have a commitment to international legally-binding carbon emission and renewable energy targets and these must be taken seriously The publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report into climate change adds to the already compelling evidence that global warming is happening and the severity of the consequences we face if we do nothing to address the situation

Jonathan Lincoln -

UK Coordinator, Sustainable Energy Alliance (SEA), 
Stanhope Road, Horncastle