As an occasional visitor to Spalding, Councillor Tetherton’s Churchillian: “We’ll fight then on the beaches ... we’ll never surrender” anti-wind power letter caught my attention.
It was let down badly however by two patently false statements.
Wind power isn’t “the most expensive and unreliable source of electricity yet invented”. The Government’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) concluded recently that wind costs currently ranged from 7.5-11p/kWh and were trending downward to 7.5-9p/kWh.
They conclude that: “Onshore wind is already close to competitive, although investment has been limited by the planning framework”.
So-called ‘clean coal’, new nuclear designs and some renewable options such as solar and geothermal are far more expensive than wind power.
As for reliability, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Operations and Maintenance (O&M), costs have been falling an average of eleven per cent per year since 2008.
It’s one thing to admit you don’t like the look of wind turbines, or that a very small number of people believe they hear low wind noise.
But in return admit the fact that wind is now hitting 10 per cent of electricity supply and that’s remarkable given the short time it has been developed in the UK, particularly up against the opposition of those like our councillor.
Perhaps in truth Councillor Tetherton doesn’t believe in climate change – in which case he should go and talk to the Mayor of a devastated New York City.
If he does believe, what exactly are his solutions?
We do need some Churchillian leadership right now.
Not running disingenuous and petty ‘compensation claim’ campaigns against wind turbines, but getting massive amounts of low-carbon options – including wind, efficiency and other renewables – into the energy economy.
Leadership failure with that would have very dire consequences for us all indeed.