CPS Research Fellow Tony Lodge is today published on the Letters page of The Telegraph with an insightful piece on wind farms.
“SIR – Although Britain has relatively good wind resources, they are not uniform across the country. Less than one third of onshore wind energy developments in Scotland achieved a load capacity of 30 per cent or more; in Northern Ireland only 25 per cent did so; in Wales the figure was less than 20 per cent; in England the figure was just 15 per cent.
This low performance means that there are more wind farms than necessary to produce a given output.
Public confidence in wind farm efficiency can be increased by making onshore wind farm developers share wind data with local communities before turbines are erected. This should be combined with a 30 per cent minimum load capacity threshold for all new onshore wind farm developments.
Existing wind farms which receive subsidies but achieve load capacities well below 30 per cent could be scaled down or withdrawn. By rewarding output instead, we could increase the incentive for wind developers to focus on high-performance schemes on the best sites, and thus address the failing case for wind energy.
Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Studies
Visit the letters page at The Telegraph website.
Date Added: Tuesday 7th February 2012