The BBC loves to talk about wind farms, but not about the glaring matter of their costly inefficiency.
When the BBC runs one of its propaganda campaigns in favour of windfarms, as Farming Today was again doing recently, the only point of interest is how many of the basic facts they leave out. One thing they invariably try to conceal is how derisory is the amount of electricity these windmills produce.
Although Farming Today interviewed one of the sternest technical critics of wind turbines, Dr John Etherington, a retired environmental academic who has just published an excellent book on the nuts and bolts of wind power, they asked him with seemingly wide-eyed disbelief how he could justify his claim that turbines generate less than 30 per cent of their capacity.
Yet, as any half-way competent journalist should know, this information is freely available on the climate change department's website. The very last thing the BBC ever wants to admit – though the information is available from the same source – is that the total amount of power produced by all the 2,300 turbines so far built in Britain amounts on average to a mere 900 megawatts, barely the output of a single medium-size conventional power station.
The other point the BBC is always careful to conceal is how much money the developers make from these windmills, thanks to the near 100 per cent hidden subsidy we all pay them through our electricity bills. Farming Today was quite happy to encourage farmers to lease their land by telling them that they could hope to make up to £20,000 a year from each 2 megawatt turbine. What they did not explain was that the same turbine will yield its developer around £400,000 a year –a cool £10 million over its 25-year life. Something else Farming Today neglected to mention was the title of Dr Etherington's book, The Wind Farm Scam.