Letter: Numbers are plain wrong

Brian Beck’s letter opposing offshore wind power is full of facts and figures.

Unfortunately the numbers are just plain wrong. His intention to confuse the public seems clear however.

Fact 1 – E.ON expect a capacity factor for the offshore wind farm of around 34 percent and an annual output of 2million MWh. It is this figure which is the key for deciding how many households it can support, not the wind farm capacity which Mr Beck uses.

Fact 2 – to throw in the idea that the wind farm can only support an electric kettle per house is a nonsense. If he bothered to test out his theory by measuring his electricity meter he would discover some facts. How long is an electric kettle used each day – 15 to 20 minutes? And how much electricity is being consumed at night? Very little. So over the 24 hours and the year the ‘average’ electricity consumption figures used by E.ON are accurate.

Fact 3 – all power plants receive direct or indirect subsidies in some way. Coal plant is indirectly subsidised by not paying for us for the lottery of adding carbon to the atmosphere. Nuclear power is a ‘mature’ 60-year old technology now offering new plant at £5 billion a pop and rising. To be viable they will require massive carbon price subsidies, written off decommissioning costs, and under-written insurance policies in the event of accidents.

The level of subsidy offered to offshore wind needs to be higher right now to bring on board new technology. On a declining curve of support the costs are falling. Onshore wind is of course a lot cheaper, but people like Mr Beck who oppose every single turbine like the Glyndebourne project cause massive delays and cost increases.

Why not come clean Mr Beck. If your pseudo-science is simply a cover for your denial of the existence of climate change and you think lots of nuclear and coal plants plus shale gas fracking is good news, then admit it. If not – what exactly are you proposing as a solution to climate change? Let’s have the real energy debate now.

Stewart Boyle, Ringmer