Barrage not the answer
12:45pm Friday 17th January 2014 in Letters
Whilst I totally agree with Mr. L.J. Jenkins recent letter on the current manic clamour of many who should know better to seriously promote the building of these ghastly windmills particularly in places of outstanding natural beauty and to filling individuals pockets from grants paid by the government for these monsters from taxpayers money in the name of totally unsubstantiated 'climate change', see also page 18 of Tivyside, tidal barrages are not necessarily an answer.
A tidal barrage would be a man made structure which has to be able to withstand the forces which Nature decides to throw at it under any possible combination of wind and tide. As we do not know what the ultimate of this could be, then to design such a barrage would hypothetical and an extremely expensive venture which could not be practically justified. A figure of £25 billion has been mentioned as a budgetary cost of the Severn Barrage which equates to the unit cost of windmills but if it were to go ahead, would probably be much higher with no guarantee of ultimate stability.
Electricity is a relatively new addition to human life. Many parts of the globe still satisfactorily exist without it and although currently very convenient is still not an absolute necessity. Certain people seriously believe that base load power stations contribute to global warming and climate change. Had you been reading this 25,000 years ago from exactly the same spot, you would have been under one and a half miles of ice. This ice cap melted in about 12,000 years due to global warming which was not due to power stations, motor cars, aeroplanes, cattle or any other human influence.
If we must have electricity, the modern design of nuclear power is the way to go. Unlike windmills and barrages, they are reliable. The safety of these has increased enormously since Chernobyl. It is just very sad that this once great engineering country that was the envy of the World particularly in the building of power stations and ships, apart from Rolls Royce Aero Engines and one or two others, can barely now manufacture a nut and bolt and has to rely on foreign companies for most major engineering construction.