UK wind resources 'best in Europe'
Trade body slams claims as 'nonsense' and 'bizarre pseudo science'
Thursday 30 August 2007
Leading UK renewable energy trade body, BWEA today criticised 'ill informed and disingenuous' claims on the viability of the UK wind energy industry.
Responding to reports on the BBC that UK wind farms are underperforming the BWEA Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said:
"The UK has the best wind resource in Europe. These claims are absolute nonsense, the wind energy industry is investing billions of pounds to produce clean power in the UK to tackle climate change."
The BWEA Chief Executive rebutted claims about wind energy as 'bizarre pseudo-science', specifically she pointed out that:
* There is no Government subsidy for building wind farms. As much as £2 billion of private investment has been made in the UK wind industry.
* The support mechanism – Renewable Obligations Certificates (ROC) - is only available for electricity that wind farms have already produced and supplied to utilities
* In 30 years of monitoring there have been no days when the wind has not blown throughout the UK.
* Wind farms generate power for approximately 85% of the time.
* The wind supplies over 2 GW of electricity in the UK, which is 1.5% of UK electricity needs.
McCaffery added "Wind speeds vary across the country, which is why most wind farms are concentrated in key areas. No-one in their right mind would build turbines where they wouldn't produce a viable amount of electricity"
"These claims are ill informed and disingenuous. There is no robust scientific base for these assertions."
Ali Sayigh Director-General of the respected World Renewables Energy Network supported the BWEA stance. "I am outraged that this statement has been made. I apologise on behalf of WREN and wish to make clear that we are wholeheartedly in support of wind energy in our own efforts to promote renewable energy projects in the third world."http://www.bwea.com/media/news/070830.html
Note this is for wind resources at 25 metres above ground level, wind speeds are much greater at higher altitudes. Currently large wind turbines are on towers of 100m and above.