Putin Hearts Wind Power

Blair’s government is diverting investment into wind power that would be better spent on nuclear. That’s a shame because wind power needs gas power to back it up – and soon that’ll all come from Russia. Without love.

Brit wind power:

British electricity suppliers are now required by law to provide a proportion of their sales from renewable sources such as wind power or pay a penalty fee. Currently, the proportion is 6.7% in England and Wales…

….onshore wind farms in the UK generated 769 GWh in 2005, while offshore farms generated 204 GWh. This compares to a total electricity consumption of 407,265 GWh for the same year, meaning that the combined on and offshore contribution to UK electricity generation was less than 0.25%.

Here’s the latest scheme:

An offshore wind farm capable of supplying more than the electricity needs of the population of Suffolk was given permission by the Government yesterday.

The Greater Gabbard scheme, 12 miles from the Suffolk coast, will occupy 90 square miles and supply enough electricity for 415,000 homes…

The project…will generate 500 megawatts of electricity.

What this piece doesn’t say is those 500 megawatts will only be there when the wind blows – about a third of the time. And that in consequence this farm, like all others, will need 500 megawatts of conventional power stations that can ramp up and down very quickly as the wind fluctuates. In practice they’ll need to be gas, since coal and oil take too long to spin up.

And every £ spent on wind power is a £ not spent on nuclear power, North Sea gas is running out, so soon the populations of Suffolk and elsewhere will depend on Putin’s Russia to stay warm when the wind doesn’t blow.

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