Letter to the Editor of the West Somerset Free Press

Tuesday, 28 February 2006

Dear Sir,

Wind-farms are still very much in the frame as far as all the major environmental groups are concerned and, according to the World Wildlife Fund, are part of an energy mix which is cheaper once nuclear power is phased out. So I'm not sure where Mr Farmery gets his figures (It is absolutely clear, 24th February).

Even the Government Energy Review in 2003 said onshore wind-energy will cost 1.5p per unit, comparable with coal and far cheaper than nuclear at 4 to 4.5p per unit by 2020. Last week the European Parliament also gave a thumbs-down to nuclear and reduced its planned annual subsidy on nuclear fusion from a colossal three billion Euros (£2billion) down to 300 million. The original unfair provision had been three times that for all European Union research into renewables and energy conservation.

And wind-farms are popular, except with a vocal few. A survey this month in South Gloucestershire, which, like West Somerset has an old nuclear power station, showed 74 percent of 1,500 residents want more wind-farms.

Mr Farmery's sums also seem out on the size of an impending Hinkley 'C' on his doorstep. At 1.4 kilometres by 750 metres excluding car-parking etc, a Westinghouse AP1000 would occupy the British Energy-owned field originally reserved for 'new build' and swallow the space of three turbines of the West Hinkley wind-farm. This coincidentally is the number of wind-turbines objected to by British Energy.

An energy policy expert will discuss these and other options in Watchet Methodist Hall next Monday evening, adding to the pool of information during the current Government Energy Review.

Jim Duffy (Stop Hinkley Coordinator)

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