Douglas Carswell

Is the case for wind power running out of puff?

As regular readers will know I abhor wind power.

It is for a number of reasons…visual pollution, noise pollution, their bird and bat destroying un-green-ness and the fact that wind power doesn’t work unless it is subsidised.

The UK more than most countries has ‘invested’ billions in wind technology, which has proved spectacularly useless at producing power.

UK electricity demand hit its highest level this winter on Monday – while wind turbines generated their lowest output, official figures show.

Cold weather saw UK demand hit 52.54 gigawatts (GW) between 5pm and 5.30pm, according to National Grid.

At the same time, low wind speeds meant the UK’s wind turbines were producing just 573 megawatts of power, enough to meet only one per cent of demand – the lowest of any peak period this winter, Telegraph analysis of official data shows.

Earlier on Monday wind output had dropped even lower, generating just 354 megawatts at 2pm, or 0.75 per cent of Britain’s needs – the lowest seen during any period this winter.

The analysis will fuel concerns that despite receiving billions of pounds in subsidies, Britain’s wind farms cannot be relied upon to keep the lights on when they are needed the most.

Britain now has about 12 GW of wind capacity installed on and offshore – meaning during Monday’s peak demand period, wind farms were generating less than five per cent of their theoretical maximum output.

Gas, coal and nuclear power plants instead provided the vast majority of the UK’s electricity needs.

A spokesman for National Grid said that Britain’s spare margins – the safety buffer between supply and demand – had remained “adequate”.

On average, UK wind farms produce about 28 per cent of their theoretical maximum power output.

But critics warn that cold snaps when demand soars can often coincide with periods when the wind doesn’t blow.

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The Best Argument Yet Against Gay Marriage

This is the best argument yet presented by anyone against gay marriage. And it isn’t from Clin Craig, or anyone from teh clergy, or moral crusaders or any of the usual bigots..it is from James Delingpole…and his argument has nothing at all to do with morals, religion or the sanctity of marriage and other such bollocks:

Have a look at this chart and then ask yourself a question. “Which do I care about more: the fact that Rupert and Tarquin currently can’t get married in Holy Trinity, Brompton or the fact that the pound in my pocket is worth 20 per cent of what it was twelve years ago thanks to cynical and deliberate debasement of our currency by the ever-burgeoning state?”

Well, call me a great big homophobe but I know what bothers me more. Sure, Rupert and Tarquin are almost certainly thoroughly delightful chaps, who’d like nothing better than to have their partnership solemnised in the eyes of God, perhaps at an all-singin’, all-dancin’, all-smiling happy clappy ceremony presided over by some grinning OE Alpha Courser. Or Catholic priest. Or ultra orthodox rabbi. Or imam. Or Jedi. But I just don’t think it’s any of parliament’s business to be concerning itself with such essentially private matters. In fact, more than that, I think it’s an insult to the electorate and that it represents grave abuse of parliamentary responsibility.

Indeed, as I argue in more detail here, for David Cameron to be wasting parliamentary time talking about gay marriage is a bit like Winston Churchill, on the eve of the Battle of Britain, deciding to throw his weight into a vitally important new Bill on the practice of docking the tails of pedigree dogs.

Does no one in parliament get this? Passing few, it would seem. We know that Douglas Carswell is with the programme. Steve Baker, too. But how many other MPs are there out there who understand that the world is facing not just the worst economic crisis since the Thirties but the worst economic crisis in history, that few if any governments anywhere in the world are taking the necessary measures to deal with it, and that, as a result, we are still slouching towards Armageddon?

The Armageddon he speaks of is not moral, but financial…and he says our priorities are all wrong.

Then again, I may be wrong and the Tim Montgomeries may be right. Perhaps, rather than slashing the size of the state it really is more important that the Conservative party shows how fluffy and nice it is by making sure that every dole-scrounging tossball has at least one, decent flat-screen TV in his council house, and perhaps even by working towards the glorious day when all of us – gay, straight, bisexual or transgender – can be bound in holy union by the lesbian bishop of our choice.