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United Kingdom

A few simple questions

From Robert Woodward, Vice-president, Country Guardian, London, UK

It is not our style to call people like Mike Harper (Windpower Monthly, March) woolly and starry-eyed. Perhaps we can instead try to concentrate minds by asking a few simple questions.

¥ Is it true that we are going to have in Britain a 39% surplus generating capacity by 2000? Will the creation of wind power stations not merely exacerbate the problems of over-supply?

¥ Is it true that to generate the energy supplied by a medium-sized gas power station would require a wind plant covering approximately 650 square miles (1690 sq km) and that to generate 15% of our energy from wind would require an area of 1,500,000 acres (6100 sq km) ?

¥ Is it true that the map of optimum sites for wind power stations in the UK more or less overlaps with the map of designated areas -- National Parks, etc?

¥ By what percentage would we reduce total emissions of greenhouse gases, ash and other by-products if 15% of our energy were produced by wind?

¥ Is it true that the Department of Energy calculated that a 30% saving in energy use could be achieved immediately from better management or from investment justifiable in purely economic terms? What would be the percentage reduction in emissions?

¥ Is it true that public attitude surveys with positive results (in areas where there are wind farms) were conducted when such plants were so rare as to be isolated curiosities?

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