“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.
Those thou seeest there, I reply. Those with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long. Those that attract giant subsidies costing UK electricity consumers more than £1 billion a year according to a recent Ofgem report.
The subsidies have prompted a mad dash by (largely foreign owned) energy companies desperate to cash in on the UK wind bonanza. The result has been a frenzy of proposals for wind farms even in sheltered areas that are totally unsuitable.
In its efforts to meet the EU target of 15 per cent energy from renewables by 2020, the government has imposed a scheme described by Dr John Constable, director of policy and research at the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), a green energy think-tank, as “very expensive, very difficult and ultimately very costly.”
People living close to the turbines have suffered ill health effects caused by noise. Bats and birds, particularly larger species such as eagles, have been killed. Echolocation helps bats avoid collision with the blades, but they have been found to suffer a condition known as barotrauma, lung damage or internal bleeding caused by the sudden drop in air pressure near the blade tips.
Wind farms may be a relatively safe form of technology but there have been cases in Britain where turbine blades have collapsed or sheared off. Other hazards include hubs catching fire and ice flying off the blades when the temperature rises above freezing in winter.
The average wind speed in the UK means that turbines produce electricity for no more than 30% of the time. The power generated when wind speeds are below 30 mph is negligible and the turbines have to be turned off for safety reasons when wind speeds reach 55 mph. We could never rely entirely on wind farms unless we were prepared to tolerate an unreliable and intermittent electricity supply. It’s estimated that it would take 3000 turbines, spread over 20 square miles, to match one typical nuclear reactor. As alternative power sources have to be kept running at all times as insurance against the wind dropping, it’s very debatable whether they will even contribute to a net reduction in CO2.
So, Sancho, my judgment is now clear and unfettered, and that dark cloud of ignorance has disappeared, which the continual reading of those detestable books of green literature have cast over my understanding. This is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.