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Wind Turbines: really green?

Editorial Staff

They were claimed to be the solution to fossil fuels. Acres of land and sea have been devoted to the alien structures that make even power-grid towers seem inconspicuous. Now about two decades into what was the future, has the promise of Wind Turbines turned into reality? Are there unintended consequences and are they good or bad?

In 2013, an article in UK Newspaper The Telegraph said "when the wind does not blow and the turbines fail to do their job, consumers have to fall back on the very fossil fuels they were designed to replace." And when those windmills stood still, they still resulted in a cost: the article went on "The figures show that for 12 months until February 2013, a little over GBP1,200  million was paid out to wind farms through a consumer subsidy financed by a supplement on electricity bills. During that period, the industry employed just 12,000 people, which means that each wind-farm job cost consumers GBP100,000 – an astonishing figure.... According to the Renewable Energy Foundation, the subsidy is likely to rise to GBP6,000  million by 2020 if the Government is to meet its target of providing for 15 per cent of the country’s needs with renewable energy."

With 2020 just up the road, it's time to look at whether wind farms, as the collection of windmills is called, have made the grade - especially as the UK Government recently announced its intention to expand the scheme.

Supporters of Wind Turbine Technology are having to face uncomfortable realities: even if they work, they don't work for long but they hope that will change.

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