There are a few contenders for the title of the maddest thing that has happened in our lifetime. But a front-runner must be the way in which politicians of all parties have been seduced by the La-La Land promises of the wind power lobby.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER, Daily Mail 15th July 2010
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MASSIVE subsidies for the onshore wind industry have again been called into question by a new study which found that the effective lifespan of turbines is much shorter than has previously been claimed.
Download the full study here
The wind rarely blows all year, so turbines produce only a limited percentage of their total capacity.
In the UK, wind turbines have typically produced at between 27% and 30% of their potential, in line with predictions.
However, in the last year there has been far less wind than normal and turbines have produced less electricity.
Research by the Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity which commissions research into the area and has been sceptical of wind power, found some onshore wind farms produced less than 20% of their capacity.
The still weather meant wind's share of electricity supply only increased slightly in 2010 - to just 3.1%.
During a frosty, windless week in the depths of winter this year, the turbines almost stopped completely.
But later, on a warm, windy night in Scotland, there was plenty of wind available and relatively little demand.
Cost of uncertainty
During some of these nights the National Grid found it had too much electricity and was unable to move it south.
Figures produced by the Grid show that in May it spent more than £2.6m paying wind energy providers not to produce electricity.
The Renewable Energy Foundation, which monitors the figures, says a further £1m was spent the previous month.
The money was used to compensate producers who were unable to sell electricity to the grid.
Wind Farms are Unviable
And unless we come up quickly with an alternative, the lights WILL go out. Not before time, the Confederation of British Industry waded in, warning the Government it must abandon its crazy fixation with wind turbines as a way of plugging this forthcoming shortfall and instead urgently focus on far more efficient ways to meet the threat of a permanent, nationwide black-out.
CRISTOPHER BOOKER, Daily Mail