Turbine corrections

JUST a few corrections and clarifications to Jon Tait’s letter about wind turbines.

First, the subsidy is not £300,000 per turbine per year, but a rather more modest £25,000.

Here’s the boring calculation: Assuming typical loading, a 3mw wind turbine generates a little over 5gwh per year. Multiply that by just 0.48p, which is the cost added by the Renewable Obligation per kwh of electricity and £25,000 is your answer.

At a household level, these subsidies add £20 per year to a typical bill.

By 2020, this will rise to £54 a year, but investment in renewables and other energy measures will save householders £94 on the alternative of doing nothing and paying more for imported gas (all these figures come from the Dept of Energy and Climate Change and Ofgem).

Second, Mr Tait approvingly cites a report from the Renewable Energy Foundation about the costs of wind. But he fails to mention that this is a misleadingly-named anti-wind organisation set up by no less than an engineering authority than, er, Noel Edmonds.

Mr Edmonds is too busy with Deal or No Deal nowadays, but the organisation continues to push large volumes of scaremongering tales which your correspondent has swallowed whole.

Third, it is true that Vestas has issued a profit warning. But if a profit warning were a reason not to buy a company’s products, we would not buy any other form of energy, travel, eat food, drink beer, or use banks. Actually, maybe that last one would be a good idea.

Anyway, apart from the above, Mr Tait’s arguments were correct in every respect. Which, distilled, appear to be that he really does not like looking at wind turbines. I guess he’ll get used to it, though.

David Farrar,

Swansfield Park Road,

Alnwick