HOW heartening to read a contribution from Dave Christian published in the Echo over Christmas where renewable energy is being promoted for the Isle of Wight.

Like Dave I always hoped the Isle of Wight had the potential to be self-sufficient in electricity.

When Vestas started building wind turbine blades on the island around a decade ago I thought they were being handed the chalice of opportunity and we would see a vast off-shore wind farm surrounding the island.

In truth the island is dominated by Conservative politicians and like Bournemouth folk who shunned the 970 MW Navitus Bay Wind Park, the island community do not encourage working wind turbines on or around the island.

The IOW did have a strategic partnership under the umbrella ‘eco island’. The aim was to be carbon neutral by 2020.

The target then changed to creating an area with the lowest carbon footprint in England by 2020.

There were also goals to stop residents smoking and improve education.

A new golf store was also being talked about.

Scottish and Southern Energy had an idea which way the wind was blowing and in 2014 they spent £13m on a new submarine cable with interconnection between Lepe and Thorness so they could sell the largest island in England as much power as possible (around 600 GWhr in any year ).

Readers will note that a 1GW wind farm (a Navitus Bay sized project) would have to supply the island for at least 25 days at maximum output in order to fulfill the island’s own shortfall in energy needs.

If working only 10% of the time the energy requirement is fulfilled in 250 days, on average, with battery storage.

The extra 110 days can then produce 264 GWhr to export to the mainland.

I believe the EWEA work with a 41% efficiency so the Island surely must be missing out on more.

I understand there is a biomass burner over in Parkhust prison (I personally do not consider biomass that eco friendly), however It would be interesting to hear from any island residents how much solar, tidal and wind has been added to the grid over recent years.

Joe Cox