Scottish windfarms not providing good return

The John Muir Trust (JMT) has released new figures which show that the energy output of the country’s wind developments has been much less than expected.

Output from wind turbines is generally stated to be 30 per cent. But figures provided by analyst Stuart Young, who runs Caithness Wind Information Forum which campaigns against the spread of windfarms in that area, show that for 80 per cent of the time between February and June 2010 Scotland’s turbines were operating at less than this. For almost a third of that time they were producing virtually no energy, operating at less than 5 per cent of their maximum output.

Helen McDade, head of policy for the JMT said, “Wind developments are increasingly impinging on the UK’s wild land. We have to take a step back and think about whether sacrificing our natural heritage for a small amount of expensive electricty is really worth it.”

“The amount of land in Scotland unaffected by built development fell from 41 per cent to 31 per cent between 2002 and 2008. Wind turbines were a major factor in this decline. If the projects currently planned go ahead this figure would again be dramatically reduced.”

The JMT says that the figures also demonstrate that output from wind is dramatically changeable and the JMT has concerns that the UK’s energy system does not have the capacity to deal with such high variations.

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