... UK Offshore wind farm the biggest in the World By: Nicholas KirkwoodSeptember 27, 2010 3:26 PM
Here is a view from Nicholas Kirkwood's
Last week the UK press covered the announced completion and opening of the 100-turbine Thanet Offshore wind farm lying approximately 12Km off Foreness Point on the Kentish coast. This will make it the world’s largest installation of it’s kind, that is until the adjacent London Array 340–turbine offshore wind farm is completed, work on which is due to start in March 2011 with phase one due to be completed in 2012.
The promise of all this renewable energy sounds fantastic and if you read and believe all statistics that can be found it all looks good, but to temper that take a look at the two articles I have linked to from the Guardian and the Telegraph which highlight a very different spin on things, green jobs, costs and outputs.
To quote David Mackay (David John Cameron MacKay, FRS, (born April 22, 1967) is the professor of natural philosophy in the department of Physics at the University of Cambridge and chief scientific adviser to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change.), Offshore wind is tough to pull off because of the corrosive effects of sea water.
At the big Danish offshore wind farm, Horn Reef, all 80 turbines had to be dismantled and repaired after only 18months’ exposure to the sea air.
The Kentish Flats turbines seem to be having similar problems with their gearboxes, one third needing replacement during the first 18months.
So what do you think ? Who is right ? What is the true cost to the tax payers who ultimately pay ? Is this just a huge pay off in ROCs for the investors ? How can the UK become a bigger stakeholder?