Anti-wind cranks

Alison Rees (Letters 9th May) repeats the myth that wind turbines “produce more CO2 than a gas-fired power station”.

This claim, which appeared in a report by a think-tank concerned with social policy rather than energy issues, has been dismissed by the renewable energy industry as “the work of anti-wind cranks” .

More significantly, Dr Robin Groves of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), has been extremely critical of the report. He points out that the UKERC has undertaken a thorough review of the evidence and that this “demonstrates conclusively that wind does reduce emissions”.

He particularly criticizes the think-tank report for ignoring the large body of evidence that shows that “the costs and impacts of intermittency are modest and that wind is an effective fuel saver”.

Alison Rees also repeats the myth that wind energy is heavily subsidised, conveniently ignoring the larger subsidies handed out to fossil fuels.

The International Energy Agency has shown that, globally, fossil fuels receive six times more subsidy than renewable energy . And in Britain, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, fossil fuels receive five times more subsidy than wind energy .

Added to this ought to be the cost of the damage to human health and the environment caused by the burning of fossil fuels. A study, published by the New York Academy of Sciences, concluded that the price of electricity generated from burning coal would have to be at least doubled if it took account of these “external” costs.

More Britons than not regard subsidies for wind power as a good deal. An Ipsos-Mori poll last month found that 43% regard this subsidy as good value for money against 18% who do not .

Gordon James Pembrokeshire Friends of the Earth

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