Library filed under Impact on Economy from UK
The true cost of Britain's massive expansion of wind farms has been revealed.
The Leader of Dundee City Council has said it is now imperative that the city does not lose out on the offshore wind farm jobs bonanza. Estimates suggest anything up to 145,000 manufacturing jobs could be created in the UK to make offshore turbines while another 10,000 posts will be needed to maintain them.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, historically the biggest commercial lender for renewable energy projects, has scaled back loans to the industry since the U.K. government bailed out the company in 2008. ..."The government of course will get pilloried for it -- you say you're a green government, you're running the banks, and they're not lending enough," Keith Pilbeam, professor of financial economics at London's City University, said in a telephone interview.
A major expansion of wind farms around the coast has been called into question due to a shortage of engineers and fluctuations in wind levels. The plan was to power every home in Britain with electricity generated by 6,000 new wind turbines, mostly in the North Sea. The Prime Minister announced today nine new farm zones today.
Households will be paying £500 a year to subsidise wind turbines and tidal power stations by 2025, the energy regulator warned yesterday. Almost a third of the average domestic fuel bill will be siphoned off to fund the construction of renewable energy sources and other Government green initiatives, according to Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan.
The Government's renewable energy strategy is in tatters after a report exposing the true costs of generating electricity by wind power. An internal document from the National Grid, seen by the Sunday Express, says wind turbine energy will at times cost over 3,000 per cent more than conventional power. Industry experts say over-reliance on wind power could mean fuel poverty for consumers, as older power plants reach the end of their working lives while Britain's new generation of nuclear stations is still a long way off completion.
Arbroath fishermen voiced their concerns with regard to proposals for the creation of a wind farm in the Bell Rock area off Arbroath when they met with Angus MP Mike Weir. They had expressed worries that the wind farm could interfere with their traditional fishing grounds. After the meeting Mr Weir said it was vital that the interests of fishermen be taken into account in planning offshore wind farms.
Leaderdale and Melrose councillor John Paton-Day has called for a halt to wind farm developments in the Borders. The Lib Dem from Earlston was reacting to a letter in TheSouthern last week (October 29 issue) from Mr S. Wilson from Blairgowrie, who described how he had advised a party of 20 hillwalkers from Austria not to visit the region because "the hills have been destroyed by numerous wind farms with a lot more to come".
The firm must apply to the Scottish Government rather than the local authority because of the scale of the plan. But Moray Council must be consulted and, if it objects, a public inquiry will be held. The government is due to make a decision on September 29.
The Government's plans to increase the proportion of Britain's energy generated by "green" sources is set to cost between 11 and 17 times what the change brings in economic benefits.
Danish company Vestas Windsystems, the owners of a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight have fenced off the entrance to the site, where about 25 staff are on the third day of a sit-in. ...The company said the factory was being closed next week due to reduced demand for wind turbines in northern Europe. ... A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said the plant made blades for the US market which were not the right specification for onshore or offshore wind farms in the UK.
Miliband’s citing of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in support of his policy of subsidising the construction of many thousands of otherwise uneconomic wind turbines might appear grotesque, even comical; but not if you genuinely believe that Britain’s switching from coal to wind power for its electricity generation will save the lives of countless Africans. I have no idea whether Miliband truly believes that it will - but if he does, he is deluded.
On Wednesday Mr Miliband acknowledged that low-carbon energy would be more expensive for consumers, but pointed out that high-carbon fuels like coal and gas could also be expected to get more expensive because of increased demand from China and India. "We are going to minimise the costs as much as possible, but it is true there is not a low-cost energy future out there.
The Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown will host a major public meeting in Moray against plans to site a wind farm in the heart of the whisky trail. ...Tourists have flocked to Moray's famous whisky trail for decades, but owners of the distillery fear visitor numbers could dry up if the plans for nearly 60 turbines get the go ahead on the nearby Glenfiddich estate which is owned by London financier Christopher Morran.
A multi-million-pound scheme to promote tourism in the South Wales Valleys will be undermined if plans for two new wind farms get the go-ahead, campaigners claim. Plans for the wind farms straddling the Ogmore and Rhondda Valleys are due to go before councillors in July, when protesters will make their feelings known by marching on the council offices in Bridgend.
Bosses of a historic Northumberland estate told a wind farm inquiry the turbines would damage tourism. Trustees of the Ford and Etal Estates also revealed they had been close to allowing turbines to be erected on their land, before pulling out of negotiations following a "backlash of public opinion". ...The estate asked the developer to consider reducing the height of the turbines but this approach was rejected. As a result, the trustees pulled out of negotiations in early 2006, incurring "considerable abortive professional fees."
This year has not been a good one for renewable energy, despite promises by politicians all round the globe to make it the centrepoint of economic recovery. Vestas chief executive Ditlev Engel began 2009 by warning that the economic downturn had left it with a 15% excess in global manufacturing capacity.
The amount invested in British renewable energy schemes, including wind, solar and wave power, fell from £377 million during the first three months of last year to £79 million during the same period this year, according to figures from New Energy Finance, a research group that monitors industry trends. The figures have raised fresh questions over the Government's ability to fulfil its pledge to slash Britain's carbon emissions and produce more than one third of the country's electricity from green energy by 2020.
Firms and households are facing significantly higher electricity bills over the next five to 10 years as consumers shoulder the cost of renewable energy targets. Analysts estimate that households are already paying up to £10 extra a year through their utility bills to subsidise alternative forms of energy. At an energy conference in Edinburgh last week policymakers admitted that the financial burden on households and businesses will only increase as governments push to achieve ambitious renewables targets.
According to the Financial Times, E.ON UK, the British arm of the German energy group, said the viability of its London Array project, a planned 1000 MW wind farm in the Thames estuary, had been called into question by the falling prices of oil, gas and carbon dioxide emissions permits. ...Centrica, the owner of British Gas, estimates that each megawatt of wind power capacity costs about £3m to build: more than the equivalent cost for a nuclear power station.