True cost of marine wind

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - COMMENT -

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.

Min­is­ters fall­ing on their swords be­cause of their im­moral be­hav­iour, and rightly so, are ad­ding to the al­ready-to­tal dis­trust in politi­cians in this coun­try

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