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Fri Mar 06 00:31:26 SAST 2015

Wind power a lot of hot air: iLIVE

KH Irwin, Tokai | 14 February, 2013 00:20
Wind farm
Image by: PASCAL ROSSIGNOL

Ian Macdonald of the SA Windpower Association claims that "wind is cheaper than coal". You can make this claim only as long as you gift wrap it in an environmental agenda to be assured that the press will swallow it hook, line and sinker.

Most studies show wind power to be about four times the cost of conventional power generation. Wind power will never make up more than 3% of the grid as, after that point, the cost of hot-running standby required to take up the slack if the wind drops puts out more carbon dioxide than the windmills save.

If we keep looking at environmental problems through rose-tinted glasses we will continue to make very bad long-term choices.

As an engineer who has read extensively on this subject, I see little future in wind turbines - but then I'm not selling them.

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