Letters: Wind power comes at a high price for upland scenery

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Carno wind power station (report, 23 october) marks yet another nail in the coffin of British upland scenery.

For what return? Thirty-three megawatts, when the wind blows hard, is less than 2 per cent of the output of an average power station. Powys may well generate 40 per cent of its electricity from the wind but it has a population density of 23 people per square kilometre, one hundredth that of the new Cardiff area.

For England and Wales as a whole, even 10 per cent of total power demand would require an average of more than one wind turbine for every two square miles of countryside. The constraints of physics and meteorology would cluster these on the coast and uplands, mostly in areas statutorily designated for their natural beauty. To supply this meagre 10 per cent the total number of turbines would be about 40,000.

We should stop now: a far greater reduction of CO2 emission could be achieved by a properly financed programme of energy saving. The political will is lacking because this is not a source of income for the privatised utilities and multinationals.

JOHN ETHERINGTON

Solva, Pembrokeshire

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