Theft of wind from the south coast

Andy Ormsby's picture
Submitted by Andy Ormsby on

I'm sure many LSC members are already aware of the proposals to build a wind farm off the south coast, to the west of the Isle of Wight.  If you are not aware, you can find lots of information at the Navitas Bay Wind Farm website.

The wind farm proposals will doubtless face strong opposition, but one aspect to the plans that I have not seen any discussion of is the effect on wind speeds downwind of the site.  

An article in The Register refers to this research paper suggesting that these effects are indeed signficant.  While the research concerns the overall productivity of wind farms at scale, there are clearly important implications for those of us who make use of wind power for boat propulsion.

Perhaps we should be thinking about buying some more light weight sails to cope with the wind shadow we will doubtless suffer in the Solent, given the prevailing south westerly winds? Or accept that we will have to run our engines more often in the interests of being green?

Or maybe we should just lobby for the reinstatement of the 1960s plans to build a nuclear power station in Newtown Creek as being the lesser of two evils. If the nuclear station is large enough, the wind farm will not be needed and we can all benefit from warmer water in the eastern Solent.