Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID BANKS

ANY day soon it's all going to kick off down at the old Red Lion. April, we're told, perhaps April the First ... All FUELS Day!

Ever since Klondike announced that his wind turbines were only a couple of months away from being 'planted' there's been hell on down at the auld henhoose. The Byreman won't have a bar of it. "What happens when the wind doesn't blow or when it blows too hard and the turbines shut down?" he asks.

Simple: we shovel enough dirty coal and convert enough deadly uranium to cover the shortfall and hope that it doesn't happen on a day when a death in the royal family coincides with England's World Cup Final win over Uruguay (2-1, by the way).

We have been down that route before, when miners stopped hewing or power workers shut down the reactors. At least with wind-starved turbines we know the wind will be back at work tomorrow or the day after. And the news on that front is good.

The National Grid announced that on January 6 wind power alone was generating an astonishing 14% of the UK's power supply, enough for more than one in every ten homes in the nation.

It was what one might call the perfect storm: while most of the county was battening down the hatches between the deluge of gale force winds and torrential rain January 6 was a record day for 'usable' wind power.

Usable? Apparently while no wind produces zero power and any gust greater than 56mph automatically shuts down the blades there exists between the two a sweet spot which was consistently hit on January 6. Try telling that to the Byreman and his pals in the wind power denial lobby and you will have scorn heaped upon you. Others don't want to get involved: Klondike's racing buddy, Billy the Kid, is in a tight spot; he's the Byreman's golfing partner and can't be seen to take sides.

He's hoping his rams will have sprung a spring surprise that demands his attendance in the lambing shed the night the newlyminted billionaire Klondike makes good his pledge to buy bubbly for the boys, The Lawnmower Salesman, on the other hand, has a genuine excuse: his boss Fast Eddie is getting the lad retrained to handle livestock so he can demonstrate Jethro Tull's horse-drawn hoe and seed drill at this year's Kelso Show. …

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