Further to the ‘Martian tripod wind turbines’ and the ridiculous proposal by Manx Utilities to build a wind farm on the south of the island which would power 30% of the island’s electricity needs; the question is, for how many days in the year would it do this?
Official figures from the United Kingdom show that, on average, offshore wind farms operate for around 25% of the time, ie one day in four – onshore is 15%.
Assuming that an onshore wind farm on the island would be equivalent to ‘offshore UK’, where would we get the power from for the other three days?
A geologist/geophysicist ex-colleague of mine and I have made proposals to some MHKs, including the chief minister, to conduct a feasibility study into the potential of geothermal power production.
The island is sitting atop hot granite and that could be used, in a closed circuit system, the generate steam to power steam turbines/generators and produce a constant and reliable supply of electricity.
We have shown, from figures obtained from the United States of America, that, over a 20 year lifetime, which is what wind turbines last – although they may need a change of blades during the 20 years – the cost per megawatt hour is one third of the cost of electricity generated by wind turbines.
Have the MHKs/CM taken any notice of our proposal? The answer is no.
They seem hell bent on installing wind turbines, notwithstanding how unreliable they are.
Also ignored is the fact that they kill thousands of birds, some of which are protected species, and also in the case of the offshore turbines, marine life due to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the cables on the seabed.
(The reported reduction of numbers of gulls around could well be attributed to offshore wind farms!)
The role of government is quite simply ‘to provide the infrastructure necessary to allow the country to successfully operate’.
I mean infrastructure in the widest sense including fiscal and legal systems, security etc, but also ports, airports, roads, ferries, and water and electricity supply.
All decisions taken by our MHKs should be measured against this.
Do wind farms meet the criteria?
Get real, MHKs.
We do not want windfarms on this island. They are unreliable, destroy the environment and wildlife.
Commission a feasibility study on geothermal energy.
If it can be made to work on the Island, and we do not see why it would not, then we would have a reliable supply of electricity for decades to come, not subject to the vagaries of the weather, and not damaging the environment and wildlife.
And in line with the Role of Government.
This letter was first published in the Isle of Man Examiner of August 1.
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