ENERGY: Pollution is a global threat

editorial image

I welcomed recent letters on the wind farm, but fear they revealed some confusion.

If wind power is “inefficient”, why is land-based wind power not only the cleanest, but also just about the cheapest way to generate electricity?

If it’s still in one place, it’s probably blowing a gale in another.

And if it isn’t, there are contributions by solar, hydro and biomass, with energy storage coming up fast, and tidal and wave power on the horizon.

As a ‘mature technology’ and one easily replicated, wind power is making remarkable contributions.

It provided 22 per cent of Portugal’s electricity in 2015, up from 7.5 per cent in 2013, and 42 per cent in Denmark. It’s probably more now, and it shows what can be done with government commitment and public support.

Catherine Richardson refers to “the wrath from the eco-warriers”, but we have something significant to be wrathful about – the pollution of the global atmosphere and the ruination of millions of innocent lives.

Ms Richardson is wrathful because her view of the lighthouse has been spoilt. If she’d taken a brief walk north, she’d have been rewarded with an “iconic view” of the lighthouse, from which turbines are absent.

Finally, we seem to lack any sense of urgency.

“We know what needs to be done. We cannot wait until it is too late.

“We cannot wait until what we value most is lost,” stated 20 Nobel prize-winners, our finest scientific minds, in 2009.

I referred to various sources of clean energy – we need to deploy them all, and we need to do so fast.

Dr David Golding CBE

Newcastle University