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Reply To Hugh McNeal

November 6, 2016

By Paul Homewood 


As mentioned earlier, the Telegraph today printed this letter: 


SIR – You report that “wind farms can harm sleep”.  

We welcome the Government’s report on turbine acoustics, a useful addition to work already being done to help minimise the impact of wind farms. Industry proposed a new planning condition over three years ago, and developers have been using this to engage with communities and resolve problems.

However, the report also confirms what every other peer-reviewed study has found – that there is no evidence of a direct link between wind farms and health, stress or sleep problems. When acoustic issues have been raised, our industry aims to address them swiftly and effectively.

A recent poll put the level of public support for onshore wind farms at 71 per cent. Onshore wind is the cheapest form of new-build power generation available in Britain, offering home-grown electricity and a pipeline of shovel-ready projects. We are not asking for special treatment – just a chance to compete.

Hugh McNeal
Chief Executive, RenewableUK
London SW1



This is the letter I have just sent in reply:


Hugh McNeal, head of the lobby organisation Renewable UK, states that “Onshore wind is the cheapest form of new-build power generation available in Britain” (Letters, Nov 6th).

Yet the latest batch of CfD contracts awarded to wind farms, which are currently being built, guarantees index linked prices of up to £87.40/MWh, more than twice the market price.

If onshore wind really is so efficient, why should not future projects compete on the open market, just as the newly commissioned gas power plant at Carrington is?


We’ll see if they print it next week!

  1. Ernie permalink
    November 6, 2016 6:59 pm

    Don’t hold your breath

  2. November 6, 2016 7:06 pm

    A good letter. But the continuous propaganda from the wind industry is repeated on all media as if it were the truth, and the sheeple believe it, hence 71% of the sheeple think wind power is good and that the wind is free.

    The truth and the facts make no difference to public opinion.

    • November 7, 2016 10:21 am

      The wind itself is free – and so will be the power cuts when it fails to blow and there are too few power stations left to bail out the national grid system.

  3. Graeme No.3 permalink
    November 6, 2016 7:31 pm

    Philip Bratby:
    It is not only the wind industry but the government spinners as well. Here in South Australia we are told regularly by senior ministers that “wind is the cheapest electricity”. I must admit that since the blackouts that message isn’t being well received.

    • Robert Jones permalink
      November 6, 2016 8:57 pm

      I thought that the Australian experience of wind turbines imposed on rural communities was that they do bring evidence-based risks to health, stress and sleep?

  4. November 6, 2016 7:33 pm

    Carrington adds 1 GW of capacity by the simple process of addition, at a cost of around £1 billion. To get 1 GW of extra peak demand capacity via wind (on average, sometimes much less) you would have to double the existing £20 billion “fleet”.

    I suspect that the Carrington fuel and operating costs will be much less than the total maintenance costs of wind.

    • November 6, 2016 9:39 pm

      And when the wind isn’t blowing an infinity of windmills still isn’t enough whatever the price!

  5. manicbeancounter permalink
    November 6, 2016 10:08 pm

    If wind power had to compete on equal terms with gas it would command a much lower price than gas, as it supply cannot be guaranteed when the electricity is required. The only way this could happen is if wind power was sold on the open market as a package with pump storage schemes and/or alongside diesel generators. That would make it even more expensive.

  6. John F. Hultquist permalink
    November 7, 2016 3:02 am

    Folks such as Hugh McNeal are proof of the parallel universes concept. Soon the reality he and fellow travelers are in will separate from Earth and all of them and their big spinning towers will suddenly vanish.

  7. Athelstan permalink
    November 7, 2016 8:21 am

    I wouldn’t attempt to play Poker with a bloke like Hugh McNeal, he’d insist on, that, his rools wuz fair innit, him having half the deck – cards up his sleeve.

    • Streetcred permalink
      November 8, 2016 9:02 am

      … and the markings on those cards would be crudely altered with a Sharpie pen … all aces!

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    November 7, 2016 8:25 am

    Glad to have been able to read the letter here. I can no longer read them online since the DT moved them into Premium view. (£90 a year to read them!)

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      November 7, 2016 6:39 pm

      I downloaded the free telegraph android app which is currently allowing me access to letters. Not sure how long it will last.

  9. NeilC permalink
    November 7, 2016 11:26 am

    Common sense does not apply to this climate change scam. As someone once said, common sense is not common, as is proved by people like McNeal and many of our politicians,

  10. Tom O permalink
    November 7, 2016 3:18 pm

    I will admit his letter was the first time I have actually read that there was NO acoustic related problems with wind generators. And I thought that was the reason they had to be located so far from residences – that they DID cause problems with sleep and irritation. I am reasonably sure that the reason isn’t because of the slaughter of animals that they don’t want seen. I think Mr. McNeal needs to buy a 1000 acre plot, build a home on it and allow wind generators to be built all around him, and then I will believe there is no acoustic problems.

    • John189 permalink
      November 7, 2016 5:19 pm

      There are a number of reasons why wind turbines should not be located close to dwellings. There is the whooshing noise which can be focused by wind direction and topography in different directions and intensity – unlike traffic noise it is a constant repetition of the same noise pattern as the blades go round. Whether or not this hinders sleep or interferes with circadian rhythms will always attract for and against arguments, but this obscures the point, which is that their noise is a plain and simple nuisance. A clearer health danger is shadow flicker, the repetitive flickering shadow on interior walls, computer and TV screens when the turbine blades are in the eye of the sun. Shredded birds have been ignored in the planning process by claims that stopping climate change is more important. However, there is also potential for shredded humans. When idle turbine blades which have gathered layers of ice on bitter nights begin to turn again they are apt to rain ice bombs on their surroundings. Planning guidelines in the UK have therefore sought a 250 metre distance between houses and turbines. Beyond the question of proximity there are issues surrounding the weight of concrete foundations on peaty upland soil, altered water drainage, the despoliation of upland habitat by access roads. And at the end of all this, onshore wind is only between c. 28 per cent efficient. Wind Farms are an ecological disaster, a financial lunacy and a power-generating nonsense. Rant over!

      • Mark Hodgson permalink
        November 7, 2016 7:16 pm


        Thank you – my sentiments exactly!

      • Athelstan permalink
        November 7, 2016 7:42 pm

        A heartily said, thoroughly warranted, totally accurate rant though, John189.

        Ruinables will be the death of us all.

      • November 7, 2016 8:24 pm

        Not to mention the ongoing stress of having an industrial level of technology, which cannot be ignored, visually or aurally, obtrusively planted in your immediate vicinity over your strenuous objections as well as your neighbors.

        And since it involves subsidy of some kind, knowing that you have to pay for it one way or another.

        I am not kidding. Stress is accepted as a significant condition that must be acknowledged, when assumed to be present, in virtually every other situation in life. But somehow it doesn’t exist when giant, noisy wind turbines are imposed on people.

  11. tom0mason permalink
    November 7, 2016 7:06 pm

    Dear Sir,
    Please be aware Hugh McNeal is only in it for the money.

    • Don B permalink
      November 7, 2016 8:46 pm

      So is Hillary Clinton.

  12. Don B permalink
    November 7, 2016 8:45 pm

    I used to believe that a future edition of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” would have a chapter on carbon dioxide phobia.

    One chapter will not be sufficient. There will have to be a Volume II.

  13. November 7, 2016 11:29 pm

    Nov 7 Telegraph Wind farms could be killing 80,000 bats a year, new study finds
    “Researchers at the University of Exeter used sniffer dogs to locate the bodies of stricken bats near turbines to find out the scale of the problem.”
    “operators should be encouraged to switch turbines off during peak migration and breeding seasons, such as summer nights.”

    “First author on the Current Biology paper, Dr Paul Lintott, said that although wind farms do kill bats it is important to remember the wider benefits of renewable energy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the positive impact that this will have on global biodiversity.”

    • November 7, 2016 11:31 pm


    • tom0mason permalink
      November 8, 2016 3:28 am

      Dr Paul Lintott’s head is obviously a resonant cavity of cognitive dissonance. 🙂

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