The renewable energy industry is this morning considering lodging a complaint with the Press Complaint Commission (PCC) over reports in the Sunday Times yesterday accusing “feeble” wind farms of failing to deliver as much power as expected.
A misleading story in The Sunday Times? You can guess who is responsible. Leake tries to make a case that wind farms are a “feeble” source of electricity by cherry picking the ones that perform the worst:
The analysis reveals that more than 20 wind farms produce less than a fifth of their potential maximum power output.
Nowhere does Leake report the average load factor for wind farms in the UK. Businessgreen reports the number that Leake would not and which show that average wid farm performs well:
While some older wind farms have delivered relatively low levels of efficiency, recent government figures show that overall load factors for British onshore wind farms adjusted for new wind farms coming online during the year stood at 29.4 per cent in 2008. Load factors for offshore wind farms were higher still at 34.9 per cent.
The Sunday Times then uses Leake’s article in an editorial to argue:
As we report today, however, a detailed study of some of Britain’s onshore wind farms suggests they do not come remotely near providing an efficient and reliable source of supply.
This does not follow at all from the report.
James Murray comments:
Why did the Sunday Times fail to offer a more balanced view, providing similarly in-depth information on the wind farms that are working well and delivering an increasing proportion of the UK’s energy mix?