This is a summary of the report by Charles Clover in the Daily Telegraph on 9 Dec 06.
An independent study by the Renewable Energy Foundation shows that
despite millions of pounds being spent on wind energy, England and
Wales are not windy enough to allow large wind turbines to work at the
rates claimed for them. Few wind farms are producing as much energy
as the Government has forecast.
The foundation is a charity which aims to evaluate wind and other
forms of renewable energy impartially. It based the study on data (from
around 500 working turbines) supplied by companies to Ofgem, the
FINDINGS: % of rated capacity - some examples
31.5% Southern Scotland
32.9% Caithness, Orkney and Shetland
32.6% Offshore: North Hoyle
32.6% Offshore: Scroby Sands
24.1% Cornwall, west-facing coasts
24.9% Yorkshire Dales
8.8% Glaxosmithkline, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham
7.7% Kings Langley, Herts, near the M25
The report concludes that the best place to site the turbines is at
sea near major cities, so that transmission losses are minimised.
John Constable, an adviser to the Foundation, commented that
the Government's targets are based on wind farms running at 30% of
capacity, and that for turbines built anywhere south of the
Scottish border, the targets will not be met.
the Glaxosmithkline turbine, he said "we are really talking about
a garden ornament, not a power station. These are statements about
the company's corporate social responsibility, not efficient generating
....I wonder if the figures above are measured
(megawatt-hours of electricity delivered to the grid), or
worked out in some other way....we would
welcome input from any wind farms on this subject.
Let's have more data made available so we can have a decent
energy policy based on evidence. Making wrong decisions benefits no-one.
Nigel Deacon / Habitat21 website
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