Wind power - why bother?
THE recent mass circulation of a brochure in the larger Swansea area by npower Renewables contained a lot of propaganda about their proposed wind turbine power station in Mynydd y Gwair, north Swansea, owned by the family trust of the Duke of Beaufort, one of the UK's senior and wealthiest of aristocrats. Let's get to some facts that npower did not say in its brochure.
A survey conducted in November and December, when it is generally windy and cold, when power is seriously needed, revealed the following factual statistics:
Wind turbines produced below 20 per cent of their capacity for more than half the time; wind turbines produced below 10 per cent of their capacity for more than a third of the time; wind turbines produced below 2.5 per cent of their capacity for the equivalent of one day in 12; wind turbines produced only 1.25 per cent of their capacity for the equivalent of one day a month; a third of the time they produced significantly less than 10 per cent of their capacity. This is not security of power and will need significant, prompt back up to cope with the vagaries of the wind.
So why bother? Well it is worth bothering for foreign-owned npower, which will use foreign manufactured wind turbines brought to Swansea by foreign ships with foreign crews delivered by non-Welsh hauliers to site and erected by foreign construction crews.
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Why? Because of the massive subsidies wind power gets. Where do these subsidies come from? The UK public, including the poor of Swansea, pay via levies on all our existing energy bills — at the last check it was revealed that about 12 per cent of all our energy bills go to "Government environment projects", of which wind power subsidy gets the lion's share. If that does not convince you, then think of the environmental desecration of that beautiful upland common in north Swansea which will be filled with steel and concrete and crisscrossed with service roads providing just two jobs on site for two men in a van to visit the site once a fortnight for a two-hour inspection.
K I Richard (Mrs)