WAG Havard Prosser ministerial briefing Sept 08

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					Dr Sarah Myhill MB BS, Upper Weston, Llangunllo, Knighton, Powys, Wales, UK LD7 1SL
Tel: 01547550331 Fax: 01547550339 E-mail: Website:
                                                                                         September 3rd 2008

L Burr
Planning Division
Welsh Assembly Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ                                                                               Your ref: FoI 36/ATI 2761

Dear Mr Burr,

Re: Request for Information – FoI 36/ATI 2761

Thank you very much for your letter of 18th August 2008 in response to my request for
information with respect to carbon savings on wind farms in Wales, and in particular carbon
equation undertaken for Cefn Croes.

In your reply to my letter you kindly send me a Ministerial Briefing note from Havard
Prosser, Chief Environmental Science Adviser ref MB/JD/0515/08.

I would like to put the following questions to Mr Prosser arising from the Ministerial

   1. What is the evidence base for the statement that the average output of a turbine is
      30% of peak capacity? My figures indicate that the figure is nearer 24.2% and that
      very few wind farms in Wales achieve a load capacity of 30%.
Although the British Wind Energy Association has for years claimed that a 30% load factor
should be the basis for calculation, the BWEA’s Director of Communications wrote on
November 22, 2007, in a complaint to the BBC, that this figure is: “an arbitrary and
inaccurate threshold”.
   2. What is the evidence base for turbine lifetime being 25 years? We know historically
      from turbines here in Mid-Wales that they rarely last more than 12 years.
   3. What figure is Havard Prosser using for the capacity credit? This is variously
      calculated by BERR at 15% and E-on at 10%. As wind generated power comes on-
      line, other sources of generation have to be turned down to accommodate this. There
      is a further loss of efficiency from such conventional power back ups as well as
      increased wear and tear within conventional generation. What is the carbon cost of
   4. What are the electricity losses in transmission between generator and consumer? This
      is likely to be large and explains, of course, why most power stations are sited close
      to consumers, i.e. immediately outside cities and towns. This is reflected in the
      transmission costs of electricity which are much higher for sites distal to consumers
      compared to sites proximal. What percentage of electricity is lost per mile of
      transmission line? So if, for example, a power source generates 100MW of power,
      and the consumer is 100miles away, how much power does that consumer actually

                  Sarah Myhill Limited Registered in England and Wales         Registration No: 4545198
                      Registered office: Upper Weston, Llangunllo, Knighton, Powys, Wales LD7 1SL
   5. What is the carbon cost of grid connection? This is likely to be significant since wind
      farms are necessarily sited in remote areas. For example wind farm proposals here in
      SSA C Newtown South will require a 400KV connection from Oswestry. What
      would the carbon cost of such a construction be?
   6. What is the carbon cost of the necessary highways upgrading required to import
      turbine parts at the business of manufacturing and construction of wind farms? For
      example wind farm proposals here in SSA C Newtown South will require extensive
      highways upgrading to import turbine parts. What is the carbon cost of such
   7. With respect to Cefn Croes, you have made a calculation for loss of carbon in soils
      and you come up with a figure which indicates that carbon loss from soil and peat
      would be covered by the electricity generated by the wind farm in the first year of
      operation. This figure is very much at variance with other comparable wind farm sites
      built on peat using calculations established either by Renewable Energy Systems or
      by the ECOSSE report 2007. Please, can you send me the algorithm and calculations
      that you made in order to justify this figure?
   8. I note that the Ministerial Briefing omits to put in the carbon cost of building and
      construction. I know from the recent wind farm applications at Llandinam that it is
      estimated that the carbon cost of building and construction is likely to take 3.5 years
      of electricity generation to be recovered. Do you agree with this figure?

I look forward to receiving this information as a matter of urgency because it is my view that
wind farm developments are not carbon friendly.

Yours sincerely,


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