Letters: Negative spin on turbines
Madam, Colm McCarthy's recent article on wind energy and pylons (Sunday Independent, December 1, 2013) does not display his usual insights on policy and economics. Instead he has succumbed to a populist and simplistic analysis, sprinkled with provocative half statements that leave him with plenty of room to manoeuvre if he is proven wrong.
Ireland has one of the best wind resources in Europe. We can generate wind energy at prices comparable to natural gas, cheaper than both peat and oil, and cheaper than coal when its carbon cost is included. Wind also boosts Ireland's balance of trade by positively impacting our need to import €6bn in fuel and increases the security of energy supplies.
Since commissioning Gaelectric's wind farm at Skrine in May 2011 it has been available to generate electricity for over 98 per cent of the time. This less than two per cent down time includes planned maintenance and so any 'unreliability' comprises a mere fraction of this two per cent downtime. Our wind turbines generated electricity for 94 per cent of the time.