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Wind energy education centre a benefit

PUBLISHED: 12:02 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:42 05 July 2010

WHILE I concur with Bob Blizzard that Lowestoft could benefit from the development of windfarms and the siting of a wind energy education centre, I feel that before we are all led down the path to Eurekadom, some basic facts need to be clarified.

WHILE I concur with Bob Blizzard that Lowestoft could benefit from the development of windfarms and the siting of a wind energy education centre, I feel that before we are all led down the path to Eurekadom, some basic facts need to be clarified.

The euphoria surrounding the development and cost effective use of wind as an energy generating force, appears, prime facie, to be driven by a rather illusory concept.

Perhaps Mr Blizzard and the various companies supporting this technology, could explain to the public a few basic facts on costings and operation:

1) Research and development costs;

2) Total installation costs;

3) Operating and maintenance costs (10 year);

4) De-commissioning costs;

5) Environmental costs, such as emissions from construction barges, transporters etc;

6) Direct and hidden subsidies paid by taxpayers;

7) Inflated end user costs to renewable obligation certificates (ROCs). This process can more than double the price to the consumer when power generation companies are forced to buy wind-generated power.

8) Are the figures quoted for wind generator output (will supply N thousand homes, actual or theoretical? Only 10 to 30pc of wind energy is ever converted to usual power.

These costs, over the actual value of the electricity generated, probably do not equate to a very good deal, either for the environment or for the taxpayer who is funding and subsidising this programme.

I do not believe I hold a cynical view in suggesting that the idea of windfarms is not in any significant way a solution to negative climate change, or able to influence environmental degradation.

The government approves the commissioning of gas-fired power plants and supports the development of nuclear power. Eventually, the pointless and over-priced production of energy by wind generators will be so expensive, marginalised and peripheral that they will fade into obscurity, or as a government face-saver, be re-branded as public art.

We all want a clean and less polluted world, but this must not be based on the principle of the more taxes you pay, the more expensive illusions a government can produce.

T TRELAWNY GOWER

Windsor Road

Lowestoft

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