Energy - obfuscation and muddied waters

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Peter Gardiner made the following points in his letter (March 13)

1. Rampion will produce low carbon electricity almost every hour of almost every day.

What that really means in plain English is we don’t how much or when electricity will be produced.

Also in his terminology for a number of years it will be “repaying” carbon debt incurred during production (steel and cement), fabrication and construction.

2.Rampion will offer 300 real Newhaven jobs for real Newhaven people.

Originally, it was 400 but now 300 but the jobs will be for relevant technical engineers and trades. How many real Newhaven people will meet those requirements? Interestingly, the Kentish Flats wind farm provides 28 local jobs.

3. Challenged that Rampion, as with all windfarms, will need back-up he avoided saying that the back-up peculiar to wind farms is that the fuel (wind) cannot be guaranteed in terms of quantity or timing. His reply was so do other machines.

Not so, where continuous operation is essential some mechanical equipment have installed stand by to cover maintenance that is scheduled and possible breakdown, never back up through lack of fuel.

4. Climate change – no one doubts that. We all have heard of the Ice Ages and the warm periods, so why not say humans caused global warming (AGW)?

5. 2014 was the warmest year on record since 1629. The Met Office report on 26 January, 2015, after some wordage on data uncertainties stated “We can say with confidence that 2014 is joint leader with 2010. What does that tell us? The World Meteorology Organisation tabled the temperatures for the years from 1997 to 2013,that showed 2005 and 2010 were warmest followed by 1998. All the other years were lower which means for 17 years there has been no global warming. During that period the CO2 levels rose 25%.

Here are a couple statements from the Green Party.

When pointed out on TV that wind farm power provision is intermittent Natalie Bennett said “so is demand”.

Green MP Caroline Lucas when challenged by me on the wind farm large subsidies replied “the purpose of subsidising a nascent industry is to give it the opportunity to compete technically and economically with for example the fossil fuel and nuclear industries”.

The first UK wind farm Delabole was commissioned in 1991, that is 24 years ago.

Nascent definition – adjective: just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future promise.

Here endeth the epistle according to

Brian Beck

Lewes