True cost of marine wind
Sir, – So Scotland is to have a sea-borne windfarm off Fife Ness, and one to be built by an Irish company who will doubtlessly be given generous grants by the UK (or Scottish) Government. Two billion pounds is a lot of money in anyone’s terms and £827 million is the projected gain on the whole enterprise.
That sounds grand until you look more deeply into the true cost of sea-borne windfarms. The timing for a financial examination of such offshore turbines could not have been better for all such schemes have a life-span (usually regarded as 25 years) and a major report on the closing down of the world’s first two such schemes was published by M.J. Kelly of Cambridge University only last month and can be found online.
The Danish Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm shut down last year, after 25 years. Having initially cost £7.16 million, its “post-mortem” considered that it had generated only 55% of the projected amount of electricity.
Apparently, there was no overall financial gain whatever on the entire project... and no one can say what it will take to clear up the site.
The smaller Lely Wind Farm Project (off Holland), which also lasted 25 years, is now known for having cost far more to build than it ever made from selling electricity.
Those two initial post-mortems on offshore windfarms do not make happy reading and, in hindsight, appear to have been both a waste of time and money. Archibald A. Lawrie. 5 Church Wynd, Kingskettle.