TURBINES: Wind power is welcome

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I’m celebrating the installation of the Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm off our coast, which has a new type of foundation structure manufactured in the Neptune dry dock on the Tyne.

It will provide renewable, non-polluting power for about 34,000 homes.

In 2008/9, I led the fight against a new coal-fired power station at Blyth. It would have polluted the atmosphere with about a billion tonnes of CO2 in its lifetime. We won that one and now the site is being used to construct the electrical substation for the wind farm.

We should all welcome the wind farm. Just as St Mary’s Lighthouse acted as a ‘beacon of safety’ for a previous generation, so now the wind farm can be welcomed as a ‘beacon of sanity’ for ours.

The financial cost of wind power is falling at the speed no one predicted ten years ago, likewise solar, and it generates electricity at amazingly little ‘carbon cost’ – coal is nearly 200 times as polluting.

We cannot continue to treat the atmosphere as an open sewer into which to discharge our waste, at least not if we want our children and grandchildren to have a half-decent world.

The reality and threat posed by man-made climate change is now beyond reasonable doubt, having been endorsed by 80 national academies of science and 195 nations who signed the Paris Agreement. The latter’s outcomes are achievable only “if everyone fully supports them and helps bring their ambitious goals to life with real action”.

By doing so, we may be able to bequeath to all the world’s children “a safe and prosperous world”.

Anyone who opposes such non-polluting and non-harmful developments surely forfeits the moral right to use electricity.

Dr David Golding CBE

Newcastle University