No Wind, No Power

Despite high demand for electricity as people shivered at home over Christmas, most of the 3,000 wind turbines around Britain stood still due to a lack of wind.

Yesterday, when conditions were slightly breezier, wind farms generated 1.8 per cent of the nationís electricity ó a third of usual levels.

The failure of wind farms to function effectively during December forced energy suppliers to use coal-fired power stations to keep the lights on.

Scientists know that as the Government moves towards a "target" of generating 30 per cent of electricity from wind, whilst at the same time closing gas and coal-fired power stations, we are also moving towards a situation where power cuts will be unavoidable.

Prof Michael Laughton, emeritus professor of engineering at Queen Mary University London, said that wind turbines became still just when they were needed most, making the country more reliant on imported oil or coal.

There are 3,000 turbines in Britain and the Department of Energy and Climate Change plan to have 10,000 more by 2020.

It was confirmed yesterday that December had been the coldest since national records were first kept in 1910, with the average temperature approximately -1.5C.

ND, habitat21 website

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