You can’t write off the contribution of wind energy | @guardianletters

As well as the coal miners killed in disasters, Simon Jenkins (A dash for renewables won't rid us of the horrors of coal, 16 May) could have added their occupational illnesses, as well as the diseases suffered by everyone as a result of breathing air polluted by burning coal. The great London smog of December 1952 killed more than 15,000 people. Electricity has a high political profile but only represents about 12% of end user power consumption, and unlike other fuels, electricity cannot be stored, so generation and consumption must be simultaneous. As peak electricity use only occurs for about 20% of the day, there are idle generators for more than 80% of the time.

The biggest UK energy problem is not supply but waste. By 2026 100% of German houses will be zero energy consumers. In the UK it will be under 5%. Thirty years ago more than 60% of electricity was coal-fired; today the figure is 38%. Electricity generation wastes nearly 60% of input energy. Other EU countries have combined heat and power stations that are 70% efficient. The most wasteful sector is transport at nearly 80%, and 99% dependent on oil. Indeed, more than 80% of all UK oil is now used for transport, as other oil uses have been replaced mostly by gas. There is as yet no economic alternative to oil for transport, but there needs to be: toxic transport fumes kill about 29,000 people a year, and all UK cities breach both the WHO and EU air standards.
Professor LJS Lesley

Continue reading...

View full post on Wind power | The Guardian

Be Sociable, Share!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply