Thanet Windfarm: it’s an ill wind

Yesterday saw the opening of the UK’s largest windfarm at Thanet off the Kent coast, capable of supplying up to 200,000 homes with electricity. “The key word is capable,” said an industry source. “On a normal day we expect the 100 turbines to supply enough electricity to recharge the batteries of a remote control, thus saving an unemployed person in nearby Margate from having to get up off his sofa to switch off Jeremy Kyle.”

“It’s a huge step forward for the UK,” said the minister for renewable soundbites, “with only 80% of the money spent on this going abroad, compared with 90% for the even bigger London Array, which will dwarf Thanet. When you add in government grants, subsidies and kickbacks, this is a huge boost to other European economies at a time when they’re struggling. It’s a win-win for the industry. The Swedish owners win with Thanet and the German owners win with the London Array. The advantage of this kind of offshore wind generation is that future profits from this venture go straight overseas without even landing in the UK. It’s great that we can provide a leg up to valuable R&D  jobs overseas.”

“The fact is that British windfarms are 50% more efficient than German ones,” said a wind-power lobby. “That’s because British politicians blow so much wind out of their arses. Concerns about noise are over-played,” he added. “Most of the time these turbines don’t even turn. And when the wind gets above about 30mph we have to turn them off anyway.”

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