Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
We have enjoyed some wonderful late summer days during this last week, which have given us great views across the Channel. Not only have we been able to see the French coast clearly but the wind turbines of the Thanet Array have been highly visible, too. When the sea is blue they stand out, clean and white on the horizon, emphasising the low carbon energy that they will generate.
The Thanet Array is the world’s largest wind farm with 100 turbines set to produce 300MW of electricity, enough to supply heat and light for about 200,000 homes. The array, operated by Swedish company Vattenfall, is going through final testing now and will join together with other producers to supply power to the National Grid which had 10% of its supply generated by wind last week. In time, it will be dwarfed by the London Array which will eventually consist of 340 turbines.
At last we seem to moving forward in the production of clean energy but we must not be complacent. There are huge distances to go before we can hope to produce all the energy an industrialised society needs to survive. This means a widely varying mix of means of production, using the natural phenomena this country has in abundance. The tidal race in Deal is amongst the highest in the UK which makes it ideal for the production of tidal power. We are lucky in the south east to have more hours of sunshine than other parts of the country and so producing energy from the sun, be it heat or electricity, is a viable option.
The present economic climate must not distract politicians from enabling companies to invest in renewable technologies. Investment in these industries can generate much needed employment at a time when many jobs are disappearing.