LETTER: Wind turbine powerpromises not what they seem

HARTLEPOOL Borough Council Planning committee approved the construction of three giant wind turbines in Hartlepool (Mail, February 26).

The developers said that these huge machines will provide enough electricity to meet the maximum requirements of 4,833 of the town’s 41,000 houses.

But that is only true when the wind is blowing at the right speed.

Because wind speeds are constantly changing these turbines will only generate about 25 per cent of that amount.

And the electricity they produce will be very expensive.

The latest forecast by the International Energy Agency confirmed that over the next 20 years there will be a worldwide increase in demand for energy of 37 per cent, with natural gas and coal providing most of that increase.

Carbon dioxide emissions will grow by 25 per cent over that period with nuclear power, wind, solar and hydro power providing about 10 per cent of the world’s total energy needs by 2035.

The other 90 per cent will increasingly come from coal, oil and gas.

Looking further ahead they said that, by 2040, total energy use will have increased by 56 per cent, with most of that growth coming from Asia and Middle Eastern countries where the increase will amount to 90 per cent.

In the developed countries the increase will be about 17 per cent.

It follows that global carbon dioxide emissions will continue to rise over the coming decades, with climate scientists continuing to debate the extent to which this will cause changes in the earth’s climate.

All three main political party leaders in Westminster have decided that wind farms must be built in this country so “we can play our part in preventing global climate change”.

Even though on a worldwide basis coal, oil and gas will continue to be burned in ever increasing quantities over the coming decades.

So we are continuing to subsidise the construction of intermittently operating wind turbines which will only provide a small proportion of our electricity needs and do almost nothing to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions.

Jim Allan,

Hartlepool.