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Even old coal has a role in power mix; LETTERS.

L J Jenkins (letters March 5) follows the adage that, if your argument is weak, resort to insult. However, as one of society's 'gullible green-washed innumerates', may I offer an alternative perspective on coal v wind? We GGWIs never claim that wind power, on its own, will or can provide all our energy needs.

It can make a significant contribution though and, lo and behold, this contribution comes from an infinitely renewable, non-polluting, indigenous, predictable and inflation proof energy source.

Even generating at around 20 to 30% of the rated output the power produced is clean.

On the other hand, dirty old coal fired power stations operate at around 30 to 40% efficiency.

Thus 60 to 70% of the coal energy is wasted, typically as steam or heated river/sea water.

Every 1MW of electricity generated requires over 3MW of heat from coal combustion releasing pollution products of carbon, nitrogen, particulates, etc to the atmosphere.

Around 50% of this coal is imported, helping to keep the UK dependent on foreign energy supplies.

Current coal powered generation plant really is old technology. To make it environmentally sustainable will require development of un-proven carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at massive expense and not insignificant risk.

Mr Jenkins may find it odd, but this GGWI believes that coal has a role in the generation mix for the foreseeable future, along with wind and other renewable sources.

I am not so gullible, however, as to think that this can be achieved without becoming smarter in the way we manage supply and demand or without higher energy costs.

Peter Leach, Nercwys, Mold
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2012
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