Regen responds with the facts after Western Morning News publish a negative article on wind turbines
03 October 2012
A letter in yesterday’s paper suggests wind turbines do not, in fact, cut carbon emissions.
Detailed analysis of National Grid statistical data over the last three months provides conclusive evidence this is simply wrong.
The sceptics argument runs that wind power does not reduce emissions because of the need to keep fossil fuels burning as back-up for when the wind does not blow.
From analysing National Grid data of more than 4,000 half-hour periods over the last three months it is clear that a megawatt hour of wind typically meant the UK grid used one less megawatt hour of gas-derived electricity. This means that actual CO2 savings can be calculated from the data with a high degree of accuracy – these are not guesstimates from models, but observations of real-world data. The evidence is clear - expansion in offshore and onshore wind is good news for carbon emissions and can be accommodated without major problems by the grid (www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/26/myth-wind-turbines-carbon-emissions).
The westcountry is fortunate to have excellent renewable energy resources including wind, solar and wave energy. In an uncertain world with rising fossil fuel prices it is common sense to make the most use of these local resources - not only to reduce our carbon footprint but to make our energy more secure, whilst ensuring that the energy income stays within the local economy.
Cornwall Council’s recently announced plans to develop wind power on its own land are an excellent example of what can be achieved. Regen is also supporting many community groups now installing renewable energy schemes through our Communities for Renewables initiative (www.communities4renewables.co.uk).
‘Delivering sustainable energy’