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HomeNewsWhen (if ever) will wind turbines become carbon-neutral?

When (if ever) will wind turbines become carbon-neutral?


THE public were told that wind turbines would ‘save the planet’, or at least the UK’s minuscule 1.13 per cent proportion of it. What they were not told was that huge emissions would be created by the manufacture, shipping, haulage, site preparation and erection of wind turbines.

The fact that nearly all the turbines in the UK were not manufactured here has no relevance – greenhouse gases are greenhouse gases no matter where created. A small 2.3 MW wind turbine has 1,300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of glass fibre and four tons of copper plus rare metals which create pollution in the countries where they are mined. 

On a national scale there are 2,620 onshore wind turbines with a  generating capacity of 3,679 MW. This is before we even start on the offshore wind farms. How much greenhouse gas was created for all the turbines in the UK and how many years will it take until they are carbon-neutral?

In addition there are the emissions caused by manufacturing the cabling to transmit this ‘green’ electricity to where it is needed, often hundreds of miles. 

Our politicians are betraying the public by failing to ask the awkward question of how many years it will take until the existing turbines and proposed turbines are carbon-neutral. Could it be they want to keep us in the dark? This, of course, is a real possibility when the wind does not blow or blows too much. 

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Clark Cross
Clark Cross
Clark Cross is a retired chartered accountant, finance director and managing director. He lives in Scotland.

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