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What happens when the blades stop spinning.

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.


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.




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



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.