Turbines in Germany

Posted on 12 June 2012

Letter to the Press and Journal, Aberdeenshire

Sir, I was interested to read the comments made by David McAllister, Minister President of Lower Saxony, and his summary of the German experience of wind power, turbines and tourism.

Recently, I drove across Germany on my way to Poland and couldn’t help but notice the wind turbines we passed along the way. On the drive back, we counted the windfarms. Between the Polish and Dutch border, there were 85 complexes within site of the motorway. I estimated that the average number of turbines in each complex was about 25.

Simple arithmetic suggests we passed approximately 2,000 turbines, and those were only the ones visible from the road – say a narrow 40-mile band across the country.

If the anti-windfarm lobby are correct, and energy production from wind resource doesn’t work, then the German nation has made a colossal mistake and its economy should be in tatters by now. However, I suspect that the Germans would never make that kind of error.

The conclusion I draw is that we are years behind the Germans – and the sooner we catch up by investing more in this technology the better – especially offshore, where I think we can do better than the Germans ever could.

Incidentally, I was travelling as a tourist and I can’t say that the turbines spoiled the enjoyment of my holiday in any way.

Jim Smith, Inverness