Further to the learned letters recently published in The Rasen Mail relating to climate change, renewable energy and wind turbines in particular it seems to me that a fundamental problem remains to be addressed.
Even given that there is climate change caused by man’s activities, the experts predicted effects varied within such wide limits that a realistic energy strategy would have been all but impossible to devise.
About 15 to 20 years ago the theory was that the earth’s mean surface temperature would increase by between two degrees Celsius and six degrees Celsius within the following 20 to 50 years.
That statement in itself did not produce the howls of derision that a theory having a variability factor of 300 per cent deserved.
We have now all but reached the first time milestone with no appreciable increase in the earths mean surface temperature. So that bit of the theory was incorrect; now what happens?
The same degree of elasticity seems to apply to wind turbine “science”.
According to manufacturer’s brochures the biggest turbine available is 12 MW but the largest built and installed to date appears to be only 6MW.
It is not clear whether the figures quoted are gross or net. The official Department of Energy figures suggest that the net output of the turbines installed in The United Kingdom to date averages 1.2 MW per unit.
The largest coal fired power station in The United Kingdom is Drax which has an output approaching 4000MW.
Being frivolous of nature, I will offer a prize to the first person who can, from the above figures, calculate the precise number of wind turbines required to replace Drax.
Hint: The answer lies somewhere between 330 and 3500 depending upon which set of figures you choose to believe.
So after 20 years of “research” we would appear not to know which pitch we are playing on let alone in which position. It’s a good thing that the original theory seems to have been flawed.
To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher “One could not run one’s household on that basis”.
Being one of the older chaps I can remember the mid nineteen sixties, when those who were probably the mentors of the current crop of climate change zealots, sorry I meant experts, not only predicted that we were about to enter another ice age but could also provide “evidence” to back up their assertion. Ho hum!
The more things change the more they stay as they were; experts and politicians all at sixes and sevens with poor old Johnny Taxpayer footing the bill for questionable fashions yet again.