Spinning out of control?

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I READ Ffinlo Costain’s letter (Examiner, February 15) with mounting frustration.

He seems to be acting both as a spokesman for the Energy and Climate Change Committee and as a biased advocate of on-shore wind.

 His statement that ‘the cost of installing wind turbines compares very favourably to the cost of developing coal and oil infrastucture’ is irrelevant.

Neither we, or as far as I know, the UK, are contemplating building oil or coal power stations or have done for the past 25 years.

Why didn’t Ffinlo compare the cost to CCGT such as Pulrose? According to the recent AEA report, wind farms would be more than twice as expensive to build as a replacement for our CCGT, but if Ffinlo Costain’s estimate of a 30 per cent output is taken into account the economics become much worse.

Per unit generated, wind farms cost seven times as much to build as gas turbines.

Mr Costain continues to assure us that potential developers would be able to make a profit without government money so why, in the UK, are those same companies reliant on ROCs for half their income?

We are assured that ‘our wind farm will cost the Treasury next to nothing’. Please Mr Costain, don’t be vague, how many millions is ‘next to nothing’ and how much will the MEA lose by introducing wind into the mix?

Finally Mr Costain, you are well aware of the fact that wind farms need to be shadowed by conventional power stations. This means that wind will always need 100 per cent backup to cover calm periods.

Our choice is between 12 per cent wind plus 100 per cent conventional power generation or just 100 per cent conventional. 

Please leave the spinning to the turbines.

D. HOPKINS,

Address supplied.

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