The facts on wind farms
I WRITE in response to two letters that appeared in your newspaper on Friday 28 September, entitled 'Anti-wind? Here's why...'.
They contained a number of factual inaccuracies that I would like to address.
Most wind turbines will be active and producing power for about 70 to 85 per cent of the time, albeit not at full capacity. A typical turbine is expected to generate 20 to 40 per cent of its theoretical maximum output over a year.
Conventional power stations likewise produce only about 50 per cent of their maximum output across the year.
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A recent report from the IPPR (Institute of Public Policy Research) stated that due to advances in weather and power forecasting it is inaccurate to describe the output from wind power as 'unpredictable' and concluded that wind power can play a major role in a secure and reliable future electricity system.
The UK has approximately 33GW of installed wind capacity and the National Grid has stated that only around 7 to 10GW will be required as backup, which is around 30 per cent, not the 90 per cent as quoted by Ceinwen Rees.
Most increases in electricity bills are due to rises in fossil fuel costs and the cost of electricity generated by wind is low. Ofgem's figures show that the current cost to UK households of developing all forms of renewable energy, including wind, is under £20 a year.
The planning and construction of UK wind farms is financed entirely with private capital, no matter what the costs are. It is only when the wind farm is fully operational and delivering electricity to the grid that it qualifies for any incentives. Wind energy producers receive a payment for each megawatt hour of electricity they generate for the national grid. All sources of renewable energy qualify for these payments, which fluctuate according to the wholesale electricity market price. They are a necessary incentive, protecting and encouraging investment in low-carbon energy technologies and ensuring a secure, cost-effective supply in the future.
Renewable UK Cymru