By William Mills
Former Energy Secretary Lord David Howell slams the idea of wind farms as a dangerous fantasy in an exclusive interview with the-news.co.
Lord Howell said;
“We are pursuing in this country at the moment an energy policy of an extremely dangerous, expensive and inefficient kind. Largely because this is confused thinking by Liberal Democrats which leads them to believe they are helping save the planet.
Of course it won’t do any such thing – all it’s doing is penalising millions of very poor families who already can’t pay their huge energy bills and subsidising a number of very rich interests, landowners Chinese manufacturers, makers of wind pylons, and huge international oil companies at the expense of the rest of us.
This is a most extraordinary, anti-progressive, regressive taxation piling taxes on the poor to pay the rich and it’s urged on by the Liberal Democrats who think that all our electricity should come from wind farms.
The Green idealists will say batteries will be invented that will store the electricity when the wind blows so when it stops, as it often does, the electricity will be there, but as no-one has yet worked out how to do this sort of storage on the scale required, which is industrial scale – huge gigawatts of electricity – it’s all pie in the sky.
It’s actually worse, it’s a vicious policy hurting a lot of poor people.So there we are, we have a very, very bad and dangerous energy
policy. And it’s failing. It’s failing. Visibly.
Wind turbines only produce 10 per cent of our electricity when the wind blows, otherwise it has to be backed up with gas fired turbines which have to be ready to clonk on and clonk off according to the wind. That actually generates more CO2 than a normal smooth running gas turbine producing electricity all the time. So the wind farms result in generating more CO2 than if they’d never been built.
So they are not contributing in any way to reduction of CO2, not that UK reduction makes a slightest difference to global CO2, but they’re not contributing even to our little slender targets and they are costing a great deal of money and causing a great deal of harm. They are environmentally deeply offensive on land. Off-shore they are wildly expensive and the money has to be paid to the very rich oil companies that can afford to put them up.
It’s a very good example of muddled Liberal Democrat thinking imposing itself on this Government. That is a great pity and it’s very damaging. If you think of America, where they have got cheap natural gas, it’s an economy which I think is going to recover from the present recession quite quickly thanks to cheap energy. Here, we are going for expensive energy. It’s a big mistake which is holding this country back.
The right answer is that there is masses of gas around. The world is discovering that there is a so-called shale gas which is recoverable at commercial rates – all round the world in countries either side of Africa – Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya – all over the West Coast, Ghana, obviously Nigeria and so on, and in addition to Qatar and the Middle East having almost unlimited quantities of the stuff – that is natural conventional gas and shale gas – so there is masses of it.
The Norwegians are very happy to supply us with unlimited gas which they could do that via a pipeline. The rest has to come in frozen form by ship. There is enough gas to keep this country warm, efficient and industry’s wheels turning for two, three, four hundred years. Probably longer. Almost indefinitely.
And that is where we should be going. Instead we’ve diverted money into wind farms, which won’t work. Why does one want expense when we have natural gas which is 50% cleaner than coal and oil?
Why not just take what the good Lord has given the world … plentiful, plentiful gas which will see us through forever.”
A.C. or D.C.?
Electricity. What is the difference between AC and DC? The first attempts to harness electricity date back many centuries to electroplating of jewellery in ancient times. Traces were found of stone jars filled with vinegar, pieces of lead immersed and copper wires connected.
Nowadays a lead acid battery is filled with hydrochloric acid into which lead plates are suspended. The resulting electricity is called Direct Current. Its advantage is that it is cheap and easy to produce on a small scale, such as on a boat or electric car.
It can store electricity for long periods and is replenished by charging either with an engine driven alternator or by a plug in mains battery charger. DC’s drawback is it’s small scale and doesn’t travel well needing thick cables which loses power the further it has to travel.
A.C. or Alternating Current is the mains electricity we are all familiar with. It is produced in power stations and travels many miles down cables to our homes and workplaces. Its drawbacks are it cannot be stored and the generators use massive amounts of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, which in turn creates pollution. Nuclear power stations were heralded as a cleaner alternative however these are fantastically expensive to build and get delayed by planning restrictions for years on end.