Azara Blog: UK a windy country (even ignoring the politicians)

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Date published: 2005/11/14

The BBC says:

The UK's wind is better for generating electricity than that of its rivals, according to a government-backed study.

Steady stiff breezes had meant a more reliable supply than the more extreme blusters of Denmark and Germany over the last 35 years, researchers found.

UK turbines had produced 27% of their maximum possible energy, compared with 20% in Denmark and 15% in Germany, the Oxford University study said.

Ministers want more turbines; opponents say they are an inefficient eyesore.

The study, for the Department of Trade and Industry, analysed hourly wind speed records collected by the Met Office at 66 locations across the UK since 1970.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: "This new research is a nail in the coffin of some of the exaggerated myths peddled by opponents of wind power.

"We have a vast and dependable wind resource in the UK, the best in Europe."

Well not many people would argue against wind turbines because there is no wind, so as usual a Labour minister is being disingenous. The only interesting point of this study is that it shows how inefficient these wind turbines are. But for the UK it is almost certainly the case that wind power is a better source of energy than solar power (i.e. the latter is even less efficient). The real point of most of the opponents of wind power is that the people affected (those who live near wind farms) are not compensated for the financial loss they suffer. (Of course some people oppose wind farms because they are luddites who believe a landscape shaped by agricultural industry is beautiful but that shaped by any other industry is horrid.)

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