Library filed under Energy Policy from UK
Apart from anything else, by 2020 our Government expects us to pay £100 billion for a further 10,000 useless, subsidised windmills, plus £40 billion to connect them to the National Grid. These costs alone would almost double our present electricity bills.
"Not every country in the world has the same commitment to climate change [as the UK] and therefore you may feel commercially disadvantaged," Sir Roger says, adding: "That gives you cause for thought as to where you want to invest." ...Dr Constable said last week: "The consumer interest is being sacrificed in efforts to meet arbitrary targets, apparently at any price. This is not a sustainable policy."
Mr Davies described how the problem is not only the turbines, but the need for two vast substations and 100 miles of steel pylons, up to 150ft high, to carry the electricity into Shropshire to connect with the National Grid. But although he may have spoken eloquently about the visual and social impact of this project, he failed to spell out its nonsensical economic implications.
Welcome to the neo-medieval world of Britain's energy policy. It is a world in which Highland glens are buzzing with bulldozers damming streams for miniature hydro plants, in which the Dogger Bank is to be dotted with windmills at Brobdingnagian expense, in which Heathrow is to burn wood trucked ...We are going back to using the landscape to generate our energy. Bad news for the landscape.
The wind industry has traditionally claimed that turbines have an average capacity of around 30 per cent, but the research shows this is much closer to 20 per cent. Even more disturbing, data shows that between November 2008 and December 2010 turbines operated below 20% their capacity more than half of the time and below 10% for more than a third of the time.
"Nuclear, for the foreseeable future, looks like it will be the lowest cost low-carbon technology," David Kennedy, chief executive of the committee, said in London. "It's only as you get to the end of the 2020s and the beginning of the 2030s that the cost of renewables starts to converge."
Britain could save 12.5 billion pounds ($20.6 billion) by scaling back ambitious wind projects around its coastline, the London-based research group said in an e-mailed report today. The U.K. should "renegotiate its commitment" to the European Union renewable target, the report said.
At the moment, developers have no incentive to set up in windy places and nothing stops them from bidding for taxpayer-subsidised turbines in sheltered areas. Ministers are now reviewing ways to encourage the establishment of farms where high wind speeds ensure as much electricity is generated as possible.
So riddled with environmental hypocrisy is the lobbying for wind energy that a recent newspaper report exposed the immense human and ecological catastrophe being inflicted on northern China by the extraction of the rare earth minerals needed to make the giant magnets that every turbine in the West uses to generate its power. Here in a nutshell are some of the reasons why people are beginning to wake up to the horrific downside of the wind business.
Plans to pay communities to erect wind turbines are already in doubt because of increasing chaos caused by the Government's review of green subsidies.
In a paper entitled Windfarms: Time to Change Direction? the Northamptonshire branch of CPRE said the organisation should "re-evaluate" its support for [wind farms] in the light of new evidence suggesting "that the generation of electricity from wind is not an effective way of reducing carbon emissions". There are lots of reasons for believing this, but the main one is probably the fact that there is as yet no economic way of storing electricity.
According to Britain's politicians, covering the landscape with wind farms is still the future. Last month Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, promised a "seismic shift" to wind and other non-carbon forms of generating electricity. The failure of the wind industry to generate much electricity during last month's extreme cold snap has been widely reported.
In private, the best-informed analysts now agree that Britain's environmental policies have put the country on track to have the world's most expensive electricity. This is mainly because our competitors are almost certain to choose cheaper routes to emissions reductions, such as natural gas, or to shun emissions reductions altogether.
Jeremy Nicholson, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group, which represents major companies employing hundreds of thousands of workers. He was speaking after new figures showed that during the latest cold snap wind turbines produced less than two per cent of the nation's electricity.
Concern is rife that the huge investments required in the UK's aging energy infrastructure in the decade ahead may not materialise in an uncertain investment climate, despite relative buoyancy within the energy sector, analysts say.
Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing. It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate. Even on a good day they rarely work.
Arguably the biggest change contained in the bill are new rules allowing for local referendums where people, councillors and councils can instigate a vote on any local issue, including planning proposals. The new referendum powers are likely to present a major challenge to wind farm projects, some of which have faced fierce opposition from local groups.
Experts say the plans will cost around 1 per cent of the UK's gross domestic product by 2030 - the equivalent of £30billion a year. The report also called for the end of the free market for electricity companies and the return to a centralised planned system of power generation.
Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers are paying enough for investment in extremely expensive and inefficient wind turbines here in the UK without having to finance expensive energy abroad as well."
Scotland is in "serious danger" of suffering power shortages over the next decade thanks to Alex Salmond's "bonkers" green energy policies, the head of one of the country's largest generators has warned. Rupert Soames warned Scotland will be in 'deep trouble' if it relies on green energy.