lördag 9 januari 2010

North Sea energy generation folly

Power companies awarded contracts to build 6,400 wind turbines off the British coast have warned that they will need a "super-grid" connected to Europe to guarantee a steady power supply.

The government proposes that these wind generators should be built in locations far out in the North Sea. These politicians ought to spend a couple of weeks on a North Sea oil rig, or make a ferry crossing on a rough night (photograph).

How do they think these things are going to be constructed and maintained? How would the workmen gain access to a generating tower? Unless each tower has a helicopter landing pad, maintenance crew will have to go by boat and somehow climb onto a landing stage, probably up a ladder or steps. Have the advocates of this project tried transferring from a boat to a vertical steel rung ladder - and back - in a heaving sea? What procedures would Health and Safety advise?

How much energy will be consumed in building and maintaining these generators? How long will it take to recover the energy used for construction?

One suspects that this "green energy" generation will turn out to be anything but. It may even consume more than it ever produces.

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