Letter; Offshore wind farm

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THE centre two page spread by E.ON UK about the Rampion offshore wind farm shows in the third paragraph an example how these proposals are dressed up to make the public think that they are the answer to our future energy problems but closer inspection shows that to be not so.

With a little bit of mathematics and some electrical knowledge readers can see flaws in the figures stated:-

Output – Up to 700 megawatts (MW) (this is in household terms 700,000 kilowatts)

Will supply – the equivalent needs of 450,000 households ( therefore the kilowatts per house is 700,000 divided by 450,000 = just under 1.55 kilowatts enough for a very small electric kettle)

But it gets worse, let’s assume that this project beats all existing offshore installations and achieves a load factor of 0.4, that is 40 percent of 700MW so each household “need” would be 620 watts.

So there you have it. It has been a constant puzzle to me how most of our politicians, including the departed Chris Huhne, and celebrities can fall for this and our current PM has decided that the UK will set an example and exceed the EU directive for the amount of power to be generated by renewables. I guess most of them failed to achieve an acceptable standard in maths and science.

Even E.ON UK have admitted that we would need a 90 percent backup of installed renewable electricity capacity from power stations to ensure supply when intermittent renewable supplies were not available. But due to successive governments energy policy these power stations won’t be there.

Just to further spoil your weekend the Labour government doubled the subsidy for offshore wind farms with the result the subsidy paid through our electricity bills for a labour factor of 0.4 would be £245 million per year and if by some chance it goes full blast when the grid doesn’t need the power the owners are paid to shut down the farms.

All these subsidies and payments are included as part of our electricity bills.

There has been a lot media coverage on banker bonuses payments but these pale into insignificance when compared to £245 million paid per year for only meeting 40 percent of it’s design capacity, my bet is that it might reach 30 percent which would yield just under £184 million.

Compared to phase 1 of London Array which only went ahead when the subsidy was doubled Rampion could cost circa £3 billion.

Now how many wind farms would there be offshore and as “tourist attractions” around our coast if they had, to coin a phrase, stand on their own two feet?

Brian Beck, Lewes