Promises of electricity blowin' in on the wind in Britain:
The claimed benefits of wind energy are called into question today by a study that finds few wind farms in England and Wales produce as much electricity as the Government has forecast.
....Despite millions being spent on wind turbines, the study by the Renewable Energy Foundation shows that England and Wales are not windy enough to allow large turbines to work at the rates claimed for them. ....
The study shows that even wind farms in Cornwall on west-facing coasts, which might be expected to be the most efficient, operated at only 24·1 per cent of capacity on average.
....John Constable, an adviser to the foundation, said: "All the Government's targets are based on wind farms running at 30 per cent of capacity. It is quite clear that if they are built anywhere on land south of the border, the targets will not be met."
The foundation's report found some real "turkeys" in lowland England – some attached to the offices of high profile companies. Worst of all is the turbine close to the M25 at Kings Langley, Herts at the HQ of Renewable Energy Systems, the green energy division of Robert McAlpine group. This produces 7·7 per cent of the electricity it would if there was enough wind for it to run continuously at full power.
The study says the turbine at GlaxoSmithKline's pharmaceutical plant at Barnard Castle, Co Durham, which is in a built up area and uses second-hand turbines, operates at 8·8 per cent of capacity. "We are really talking about a garden ornament, not a power station. These are statements about the company's corporate social responsibility, not efficient generating capacity," Mr Constable said.