Letter: Expectation is not fact

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After a further letter it is now Messrs Boyle, Milborrow (Advisor to Renewable UK) and Durling I must answer. I’ll try to cover all letters as briefly as possible.

Fact 1: If the wind speed is about 35mph to produce 700MWhr 450,000 individual households’ share is 1.55 units. I agree it is nonsense even more so if load factor is used but that proves my point that the statement is meaningless and misleading.

Fact 2: I used a factor of 33 percent against E.ON’s “expected” 34 percent. Glyndebourne’s expected factor in the planning application was 28 to 30 percent. After a year’s wind speed check the possible factor is significantly less than 20 percent. Expectation is not fact.

Fact 3: If a new nuclear plant would cost £5 billion it is worth noting that based on latest cost figures the London Array rated at 1000MW is likely to cost the same amount. Fact 4: Pseudo-science. I have not used science pseudo or otherwise, just mathematics however if I had used Mr Milborrow’s 35 percent factor my number of households would have been 477,000 compared to his 475,000.

Fact 5: Offshore subsidies are double the current onshore but the PM has announced that onshore subsidies may be reduced so I doubt that offshore wind will see any increase.

Fact 6: Renewable UK who represent the wind power industry have said an 80 to 90 percent backup from the grid is necessary to cover wind speed variations. During the cold and wind calm period Christmas 2010 the total contribution from all UK wind farms was just over 1.0 percent of total power generated. By 2020 and certainly 2030 the backup won’t be there if the government continues its energy policy

Fact 7: Power stations “load factor” – if it is 50 to 55 percent, it is because they only operate at a level needed not through shortage of fuel (unlike wind). Fact 8: Work for the area – UK offshore farms awarded around 90 percent of contracts to non UK firms and recently one of the benefits listed by Thanet was that work had been provided for 21 local people.

Brian Beck, Lewes