Wind Power Problematic?

Wind farm off the Norfolk coastBBC Technology — A report from the world’s biggest wind power producer denouncing wind farms as too expensive and inefficient has been widely dismissed in the UK. Money would be better spent targeting energy efficiency to combat greenhouse gases, the German Energy Agency said. It comes as UK wind power grows at the fastest rate in the world, with the government aiming generate 10% of energy from renewable sources by 2010. A government spokeswoman said the UK was in a different position to Germany. The report by the German government-backed agency says it will cost Germany 1.1bn euro (£700 million) to link its wind farms to the national grid – which it must do if it is to reach its target of 20% of energy coming from renewable sources by 2015. With more than 15,000 turbines, the nation has the most wind farms in the world. But, says the report, almost the same cuts in carbon dioxide emissions – at nothing like the cost of wind power – can be achieved by installing modern filters at existing fossil-fuel power plants. Anti-wind farm groups say the revelation, from a country which in some areas already has 20% of its energy supplied by wind power, confirmed their views. They also said government grants paid to the sector meant the taxpayer was subsidising “this madness”. “‘Green’ tariff consumers in the UK believe they are saving the world. In fact they are causing a heavy penalty to be transferred to all other consumers as this so-called ‘green’ electricity costs up to three times what they actually pay,” said Angela Kelly, director of Country Guardian, which campaigns against wind farms. “The UK’s plans to rely more heavily on wind power onshore, and especially offshore, will bring the huge extra costs of more transmission lines. Public opposition to wind farms has risen rapidly as the facts about wind power become known and consumers realize that they will be landed with the cost.” (02/28/05)
more…