Articles filed under Energy Policy from UK
It is not just wealthy Scots who are opposed to wind power. If the Scottish Conservatives offered a different policy on wind turbines it could bring many affected voters to the party, writes Brian Monteith.
Some of the world's biggest wind companies, who are considering expanding their business in Britain, say they are reviewing their investments due to a growing backlash against the technology.
"The more the true full cost of wind energy is exposed the more you have to ask why we continue to back such an expensive and intermittent source of energy. All this money ends up coming from consumers at the end of the day and this raises the question: how many people will be forced into fuel poverty because we continue with such a high level of direct and indirect subsidy to the wind industry?"
The attractions of the "anti-wind" letter are emphasised by the apparent difficulty in organising a counter-demonstration of support. Heaton-Harris took just three days to collect his signatures; weeks later, nobody has got an equal number of MPs to sign support for onshore wind - although a group of pro-renewable interests is mustering backing from more predictable interests, including renewable companies and environmental campaigners.
The heads of some of the world's biggest wind companies have told the Guardian they are reviewing their investments in the wake of growing political opposition to wind energy that culminated in this month's unprecedented attack on the government's policies in a letter signed by more than 100 Tory MPs.
"The government's own data shows that in spite of its unpopularity the wind industry is in fact having an easy time in planning, with the vast majority of schemes being forced on unwilling local populations. "Very high subsidy levels have resulted in an overheated market and a rush of development that is inappropriate and environmentally damaging, as well as being extremely expensive for the consumer."
KPMG is refusing to publish the full findings of a controversial study examining the cost of the government's green energy policies, which was originally used as a basis for a series of media reports attacking the cost of renewable energy. ...They claimed Britain could meet its 2020 carbon reduction targets more cost effectively by building nuclear and gas-fired power stations instead of wind farms.
The REF claimed the figures showed that the price of the constraint payments was often many times more than the loss in subsidy payments for wind farms, which are withdrawn for the period when they are taken off the grid, "suggesting that the market is not functioning in the consumer interest".
MPs have grown alarmed by a trend for onshore wind farm applications to be approved on appeal because of Mr Huhne's target, even when inspectors concede they will be a blight.
This powerful piece written by Maurice Newman, former chairman of Deutsche Bank, the Australian Securities Exchange and, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is a must read by anyone involved in the wind energy debate.
"Following the recent undemocratic decision of the planning inspector to overturn the council planning committee's resolution and approve the application to build two wind farms at Watford and Kelmarsh, in line with Government policy, was a step too far.
Official figures disclosed that 17 operators were paid almost £7 million for shutting down their farms on almost 40 occasions between January and mid-September. Continuing to make payments at that rate would lead to householders paying out £9.9 million in 2011 for operators to disconnect their turbines from the National Grid.
"Offshore wind is a higher cost energy because we are where we are in the learning curve," said Anders Søe-Jensen, president of the offshore division at Vestas. "We are at risk but we all have to commit to bringing down costs otherwise we're going to kill our industry."
Energy produced at a horrendous cost that drains the budgets of households and depresses spending elsewhere is neither a rational energy gain nor a "stimulus boost". It is edifice economics, founded on sleight of hand taxation and powered by a gale of hope. We are going to need more than this to have a hope of keeping the lights on.
In eastern Germany, turbines in strong wind can produce more than all German coal and gas plants put together, while the need to switch off turbines in high winds causes a drop-off in electricity of 12GW - equal to two nuclear power plants. Outages are likely if there is too little demand or storage capacity to accommodate the jumps in supply.
The Duke of Edinburgh has made a fierce attack on wind farms, describing them as "absolutely useless". The Duke's views are politically charged, as they put him at odds with the Government's policy
LONDON -- While natural gas could play a significant role in greening the British economy, renewables will remain part of the energy mix, the energy secretary said.
Government plans to cut pollution by a third by 2020 rely heavily on wind power and will cost £108billion to implement, an accountancy firm has calculated. But shifting the emphasis away from turbines and towards nuclear and gas-fired power stations would slash the bill by £34billion, according to KPMG.
"The Scottish government needs to lay out a very clear, engineering-based plan on how they're going to have an energy mix which is secure and affordable for Scotland," he said. "At the moment, there is no clear vision for the engineering of this infrastructure."
Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, is planning to deploy an extraordinary range of insults to describe people who find fault with wind, solar, tidal and wave energy. The minister's hardline support for renewable energy is understood to have antagonised senior Conservatives, including Chancellor George Osborne.