Prof Jack Ponton: Our wind turbines hardly make a dent in global warming. There are between 3,500 and 4,000 wind turbines in Scotland. Visitors coming up the A1 pass numerous wind farms on the Lammermuirs; those coming over Carter Bar are treated to a fine view of these and others in the central Borders. Why have we covered so much of our countryside with these machines? They do not give us cheaper electricity. Turbine builders receive a subsidy, guaranteed for 25 years, which doubles the cost of the power they produce. They do not provide reliable energy; windless days can occur at the coldest times of the year with all these turbines generating little power when it is needed most. No, these turbines are supposed to help “decarbonise” energy production, reducing our carbon dioxide emissions, and so “save the planet” from global warming. But can they really? The world’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 were 32,500 Mte (million tonnes). Britain ‘s were 375 Mte and Scotland’s about 10 per cent of these. So Scotland contributes about 0.115 per cent of the global total. What is this likely to mean in terms of a contribution to increased global temperatures, and so how much could Scotland’s decarbonisation contribute to climate change amelioration?
Times 29th Jan 2019 read more »