Wind Power for Scotland is a Load of Hot Air
From The Scotsman
By Tony Trewavas
There are costs and benefits to everything in life. The costs of wind energy are high and the benefits few. Every country needs a cheap, reliable supply of electricity and wind energy is neither.
A cheap supply is needed because: money spent on expensive electricity is not available to spend on education, health and infrastructure; electricity is essential for heating and cold houses kill every winter; the price of our goods in global markets is underpinned by electricity price; and because only a vibrant, creative economy using the cheapest energy will survive in an uncertain future.
Our future lies in nuclear and gas, because it is more reliable and cheaper than wind. If you want more gas-powered electricity, you burn more gas. You can’t summon up more wind.
Twice as expensive as nuclear, gas or coal
The Royal Academy of Engineering calculates that per unit of energy, onshore wind is twice as expensive as nuclear, gas or coal; offshore threefold.
Why is wind energy so expensive?
Intermittency and the low density of air are one reason. The capacity average (generated energy/installed energy) of Scottish wind farms is about 25 per cent: for nuclear or gas it is 75-90 per cent.
To match the output of a conventional power station, such as Cockenzie, requires the average output of 2000 turbines and about a 300-fold bigger land area. Large-scale landscape damage is thus implicit when wind is used.
Whereas a new gas-fired power station costs about £0.9 billion, 2000 turbines cost about £3 billion. A power station will last 40 years, a wind farm only 25 years.
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