Thursday, 27 November 2014
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Last week's poll: Atlantic Array

Which option is closest to your reaction to German developer RWE Innogy’s decision to cancel its planned offshore windfarm in the Bristol Channel, The Atlantic Array?

We had a wide spread of opinion on our poll last week about the implications of RWE Innogy’s decision to cancel the offshore windfarm, Atlantic Array. The largest group of the 637 respondents, 44 per cent, chose the option saying that it was an indication of the government’s failure to create a stable investment environment for renewables, while the next largest, 30 per cent, chose an even harsher option, that it spells hthe beginning of the end for large offshore wind projects. A little over 15 per cent said it was a serious blow for the UK’s ability to maintain its generating targets, while 11 per cent said that the wind resource in the Bristol Channel was too promising for the project to lie fallow for too long.

Atlantic array

We omitted the option to say that the technical difficulties of the site were too high for the project to be feasible, but if this is your view, please tell us below — and let us know why you think this. We’d also like to hear any other opinions you may have on this project.


Readers' comments (12)

  • what good are wind farms they are unreliable subject to the weather ie wind
    we still have to run powerstations to maintain a constant supply. don,t we or has someone invented a way of storing Ac electricity that I don,t know off ?

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  • Electricity can't be stored as AC or DC - only transmitted. Indeed, electricity can't be stored at all - only converted to another energy form.

  • I am glad they havent gone ahead because as an island nation we should not be investing any money in wind turbines but in water turbines and getting the 85% availability of tidal flow turbines instead of the 25% availability of wind turbines.

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  • You can call it Nimbyism if you wish, but as someone who lives within line of sight of the proposed Array, and is charged nigh on £1000 a year by South West Water to help keep the sea and beaches free from unsightly pollution, this is definitely the right decision and points to the need for some joined-up thinking. We already have the beginnings of a major wind farm less than 2 miles inland from the North Devon coast (which is most definitely in my back yard). Expand this if necessary but let's keep some of nature natural, please.

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  • Agree entirely re tidal energy. I've bored the pants off everyone I know for the last decade that we should invest in tidal and not wind.

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  • Solar energy and wind enrgy produces power at low voltage. The cost of raising voltage and transmission is a capital and maintenence intensive proposal.

    The right solution is to have these facilities very close to demand of power to eliminate these problems. In India , In my town Vadodara, India a 200 bed hospital is working on solar power facility in their compound. The idea of traditional generation and transmission like conventional power of coal, nuclear , hydro is not cost effective.

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  • We really should be thinking in terms of coastal tidal lagoons. Much of the Bristol Channel coast could be improved by holding water near to the coast in Logoon lakes that could generate power and improve the appeal of the coastal environment while leaving the area outside of the lagoon free for wetland birds to feed.

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  • Take a look at our Q&A on a Severn barrage for more info on tidal lagoons:

    http://www.theengineer.co.uk/civil-and-structural/in-depth/your-questions-answered-building-a-severn-barrage/1015485.article

  • Offshore wind power needs huge subsidies that are extracted from all electricity consumers. So, to a large extent, the poor people subsidise those rich enough to invest in this particular method of extorting money from other people.

    Wind power is unreliable, unpredictable and very often is not available when it is needed. It is supposed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions but, when analysed, is a very expensive and ineffective way of doing this. It is also quite dangerous – two people were killed recently when in a nacelle caught fire. At Fukushima, no one – repeat no one – has died or will die of radiation effects. (UNSCEAR)

    If, in spite of the fact of the world has stopped warming, people still want to reduce carbon dioxide, nuclear power will provide a reliable supply of CO2 free electricity at much lower cost.

    All wind power is crazy and offshore wind power is the craziest.

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  • Wind power is so erratic that it unrealistic as more than a small percentage of total generation. In New Zealand we have a lot of hydro so we can effectively store electricity by leaving water upstream of a dam, and hydro is pretty good as a swing-load generation source. This helps us mitigate some of the problems with wind but few countries have this option. Tidal generation at least is predictable and has a better availability. For base load generation in most countries I would favour Thorium-based reactors.

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  • We need all the renewable energy we can get. Wind is tried and tested and still developing. Whether it was cancelled for technical reasons or because Osborne just announced this was no longer going to be the greenest government ever, more a murky brown, we will probably never know. I hope tidal will be able to compete with more development.
    Perhaps The Engineer could work on fixing the posting difficulty.

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  • Dear Mr. Editor

    Re-your comment on the storage of electricity. Does this mean I waste my money every time I buy batteries?

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