YOU report on an SSE claim that the Beatrice wind farms should “ inject
£2.4bn into the economy over its lifetime” (“Wind farm to give UK £2.4bn
economic boost, says report”, The Herald, July 26) and that it can supply
450,000 homes (or none as the case will regularly be).
This appears to be a new breath-taking level of spin from an energy company
presumably designed to turbocharge its volatile share price and convince
the public that huge value for money is somehow being ensured through
large-scale offshore wind farms. Consider only that they will have to be
disconnected upon a local grid failure and be impotent to re-start it.
The Contract for Difference escalable strike price agreed for Beatrice in
2014 was £140/Megawatt hour for 15 years, updated on May 1 this year to
£158.73 now payable. Compare this with Hinckley C, whose escalable strike
price agreed in 2012 was £92.50/Megawatt hour over 35 years with a design
life expectancy of around 60 years. Like Beatrice,the public purse is not
funding the plant and, specifically, the French company EDF also carry the
responsibility for project cost overruns and all
decommissioning/storage/site clean up costs – reassuring given their
commissioning issues with their design. Beatrice will be life-expired well
within 35 years or would need to be re-fitted with new turbines costing
For each megawatt of electricity generated the developer is paid the
difference between the strike prices and the Market Reference Price ( a
composite of wholesale price indices) for electricity sold into the market
for the duration of the contract.The generator pays back the difference
should the market reference price rise above the strike price. For Hinckley
that is a 35-year speculative risk they carry, with Beatrice almost
certainly dead and gone in the interim.
One looks better value for public money than the other.
DB Watson, Cumbernauld.
WITH its huge tracts of wind turbines, it will be claimed that Scotland has
become wind energy-sufficient. But only for private homes, which are
low-demand, and only when the wind blows. But the real problem starts when
the wind turbines have to be replaced. Who pays for the removal and
disposal of the old ones, and who funds their successors? Certainly not the
original installers, who will have moved on to avoid the only downside to a
fine subsidy harvest over the years, while we have become increasingly
dependent on wind and sun, while reducing our fossil and nuclear capacity.
Does the Government have a plan for that dismal future scenario?
Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood.