The Scottish Government has set a target of 50% renewable energy by 2015 and 100%
by 2020. There are a number of days every year when there is no wind at all, so what
happens then? The lights will go out - all of them, including traffic lights. Many
people no longer have ordinary telephones, they rely on mobile phones, these will
all stop working. If there is no power for a prolonged period even landlines will
cease to operate, making it difficult or impossible to contact the emergency services.
Shops, including supermarkets will have to close - unless they have a backup generator.
Petrol stations will be closed, so cars will run out of fuel. People will be trapped
on the Glasgow Underground, the new £1,000,000 Edinburgh tram system will be a useless
pile of junk, electric trains will stop running, leaving passengers stranded, sometimes
in the middle of nowhere. It will become difficult for most people to get to work
and even if they do, many will not be able to do anything without power. There will
be few, if any, internet connections - most people rely on the internet for daily
use. It will become difficult to obtain money from banks, or use credit/debit cards.
In an instant, the country will be plunged back into the dark ages.
While some of these wind-free days will occur in the summer, some of the most prolonged
wind-free days occur during the middle of winter, often on the coldest frostiest
days. When it happens during winter then thousands of people could succumb to hypothermia.
There is one solution though, and that is to spend billions of pounds on pumped-storage
hydro facilities. This requires two reservoirs, one higher than the other. Electricity
is produced by releasing water from the upper reservoir to the lower passing through
electricity generating turbines. When this electricity is not required, the turbines
are reversed and the water is pumped back to the upper reservoir (using wind produced
power). The electricity required to pump the water up hill is much higher than the
amount produced when generating, so this method is not very efficient. During winter,
these reservoirs could freeze, making them either inefficient or useless. SSE has
recently announced plans for a £800m -30 GWh pumped storage facility at Loch Lochy
in the Great Glen. Loch Lochy is on the Great Glen fault line, with the upper reservoir
nearby at Loch Choire Ghlais, which will require a dam, and flooding of a large area.
Constructing a pumped storage facility on a seismically challanged fault line is
probably not the most appropriate site, the Great Glen has been the site of a number
of earthquakes. An earthquake at the Zipingpu dam in China (on a fault line) killed
over 80,000 people in May 2008.
LETTERS SENT TO NEWSPAPERS
We cannot put all our eggs in one basket. Often, the coldest & frostiest days have
little wind - just when we need electricity the most.
There are also at least two cases (both unlikely but not impossible) which would
render wind-farms unusable. the first is a solar electromagnetic pulse (EMP). These
have happened in the past, in 1859 damaging much of the new telegraph system in the
U.S. Even worse occurred in March 1989 which blacked out large parts of Canada for
up to 9 hours. Wind turbines, often being at the highest points of hills and mountains,
would be much more affected than conventional power stations. These wind turbines
could take several years to be repaired. The sun is expected to become much more
active from 2013.
The second case is a volcanic winter. We’ve all seen the effects from a minor Icelandic
volcano (Eyjafjallajökull). There are many active volcanoes in Iceland, Hekla, Katla
& Laki are usually much more destructive than others. Indeed Laki was believed to
have been one of the triggers for the French Revolution. During a volcanic winter
the sun will be totally blocked out and the temperature will fall dramatically. These
volcanic winters can last for a few weeks but sometimes as long as ten years, it
will usually be too cold for wind-turbines to work, and may even be cold enough to
freeze the oceans as well, making it difficult to import oil & gas for fuel.
The Met. Office has now reached the conclusion that Global Warming hasn’t occurred
for the last 16 years, and any change in the next 7 years could be accounted for
by purely natural means. This means that we no longer need to pay the extortionate
taxes to prevent something that is not happening. The government must immediately
cancel the ‘hidden taxes’ - 20% added to electricity bills and 10% added to gas bills,
especially as so many people can no longer afford winter heating, in addition they
must return the money already stolen from the consumers in the past. The government
must also remove subsidies from the totally useless and superfluous windfarms, cancel
all new windfarms, and arrange for the progressive dismantling of all present windfarms
as soon as possible. The now unnecessary toxic tax on motor fuels should also be
gradually removed until there is no tax on them at all, as this tax harms everyone
- it causes an increase in goods purchased and inhibits tourism.
Wind farms kill birds reportedly over 400,000 every year in the US alone, many
more go unreported. If the US reaches 20% wind generation then over 1,000,000 are
expected to be killed yearly. In Germany over 200,000 bats are killed yearly-bats
are protected in the U.K.
Low frequency noise from wind farms can cause medical problems - it needs the proper
instruments to detect them. Wind turbines require backup power for the days when
the wind just doesn't blow, to prevent blackouts, the power stations require to be
running all the time - it can take up to an hour for some power stations to start
producing power from a switch off state, so many of them have to keep running without
producing electricity, but using costly fuel.
GLOBAL WARMING STALLED
UNUSABLE WIND FARMS
1 modern nuclear plant can save us from over 3,000 wind turbines. Westinghouse (once
owned by UK, but misguidedly sold to Fujitsu of Japan) has a 4 turbine model which
produces electricity for around 2-3c/KW (around 1-2p), construction costs would triple
that to around 5-6p/KW. At these costs, using 3 reactors we would have enough electricity
for all Scotland with some to spare for export, without blotting out the landscape
that 9,000 wind turbines (assuming that these produce electricity all the time).
Many people are (of course) worried about nuclear power after Fukushima , however
the Westinghouse reactor is designed to keep cooling for 3 days after any power loss
to the cooling pumps (what happened at Fukushima). It is unlikely that a tsunami
of the magnitude which destroyed Fukushima would hit Scotland.
Modern nuclear power stations have a design life of 60 years, unlike wind turbines
which has a life of 20-25 years. Some insurance companies have reported that they
are reluctant to insure wind turbines unless they replace the gearboxes every 5 years
which would dramatically add to their running costs. (As they actually cost between
£1,000,000 to £2,000,000 to build, the electricity they produce is not free).
NOTE: Some of the letters have been edited by the newspapers to fit into available space.
SAVE US FROM THE TURBINES
COASTAL BLUE CARBON
Coastal Blue Carbon is a very effective means of removing CO2 from the atmosphere,
The habitat includes seagrass, mangrove swamps and salt marshes. Seagrass and salt
marshes are found around the United Kingdom. Some research shows that these ‘Coastal
Wetlands’ are around 4 times more effective than tropical rain forests at removing
CO2 from the atmosphere, and, unlike trees and plants, store (up to five times the
amount that trees do) the carbon in the soil rather than in their biomass.
These wetlands are very delicate though, and can be easily destroyed by development
around the coastline. It is unclear what effect building large numbers of off-shore
wind farms will have on the wetlands and their effectivity, however it is possible
that they could be severely damaged or totally destroyed. Until more research has
been carried out, there must be a complete ban on any more off-shore wind-farms.