Dave Cameron sends wind power offshore and consigns Brits to economic dustbin

offshorewindturbines

Even more expensive than they look.

****

David Cameron’s so-called “Conservatives” have seemingly ditched plans to roll out thousands of giant fans across the hills and dales of Old Blighty.

Faced with a brewing voter backlash from their own rural constituents about the negative impacts Britain’s great wind rush has had upon the landscape, property values and the ability of neighbours to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep, Cameron’s crew has, apparently, retreated.

Instead of lobbing fans far and wide across its bucolic landscape, the Conservatives have decided to plant them out to sea, instead.

The cost of delivering offshore wind power is INSANE – with generators guaranteed obscene returns – being able to charge “three times the current wholesale price of electricity and about 60% more than is promised to onshore turbines.”

In January the Economist reported that “offshore wind power is staggeringly expensive” and “among the most expensive ways of marginally reducing carbon emissions known to man”. But that is merely to compare the insane costs of onshore wind power in the completely insane costs of offshore wind power (see our post here).

While backing away from his planned onshore onslaught might save Cameron a few rural seats at the next election, it will not immunise his party from the consequences of forcing power punters to pay for a policy which is already sending power prices spiralling through the roof – punishing families and crippling business. By backing offshore wind power, Cameron will only accelerate that process.

Britain has struggled to regain any serious economic traction after it was forced to bail out its bankers in 2008; and the European banking crisis struck it and its European trading partners in 2009: GDP growth has been anaemic; and, away from London, unemployment rates remain stubbornly high.

By plumping for the most expensive form of intermittent and unreliable electricity generation known to man, Cameron has consigned Britain to a very dark and very grim future, indeed. Here’s The Telegraph’s Chris Booker on just how dark things are about to get in Britain.

Why does Ed Davey want to keep us in the dark?
The Telegraph
Christopher Booker
26 April 2014

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary is trying to hoodwink us over the value of wind farms

We may think we are so used to politicians trying to pull the wool over our eyes that we accept that this is just what politicians do. But we are still right to think that deliberately trying to deceive people is wrong – on some occasions more than others.

Two examples of this last week again brought home just what a dishonest and disastrous mess Britain’s leaders are making of our national energy policy. The first was the announcement by Ed Davey, who runs the Department of Energy and Climate Change, of eight flagship projects he has chosen to play a leading role in helping to meet the European Union’s requirement that, within six years, we produce 32 per cent of our electricity from “renewables”.

Five of these are giant offshore wind farms. Three more are power stations burning what is known as “biomass”. And most commentators seemed happy to take at face value Davey’s claims that these will bring in £12 billion of private investment, to generate “4.5 gigawatts” of electricity, create “8,500 green jobs”, help give us “energy security”, and enable us to lead the world in the heroic fight against climate change.

Let us look, however, at what Mr Davey carefully didn’t say. For a start, of course, because the wind only blows intermittently, his five wind farms – covering, incidentally, 200 square miles of sea – will not provide anything like the 3GW of power he mentions. He is playing the old trick of confusing “capacity” with actual output. Even using implausibly generous figures from another part of his department’s own website, we can see that the average output of all Mr Davey’s £12 billion worth of projects would only be around 2.2GW: much the same as that of the single gas-fired power station recently built by RWE at Pembroke for a capital cost of just £1 billion.

Because the wind is so unreliable, we would still need 3GW of power from the fossil-fuelled power stations the Energy Secretary so hates, just to provide back-up for when it isn’t blowing at the right speed (on Thursday, for instance, all our 4,500 existing turbines combined were only giving us 215 megawatts, less than 0.6 per cent of what we were using). Mr Davey may pretend that all his projects will help meet our 32 per cent EU target. But those 2.2GW would only raise our output from renewables from 11 per cent to 15 per cent of the total, so we will still have to spend a further £40 billion before 2020.

Mr Davey is similarly not keen to explain why these wind farm companies, all foreign-owned, are so eager to join the bonanza that has made Britain such a magnet to the world. This is because we pay the world’s highest subsidies for electricity, which therefore costs us, through our bills, more than three times that from conventional power stations (and six times more than that from coal).

Even more absurd are Mr Davey’s “biomass” plants, easily the largest being Drax in Yorkshire. This is being driven by subsidies and George Osborne’s “carbon tax” to switch from coal to burning millions of tons of wood. This is specially grown across the Atlantic, then shipped 3,000 miles, and carried by train to the middle of the now-closed Selby coalfield: a process so energy-intensive that even green lobby groups protest that it ends up saving no CO₂ emissions at all.

So Mr Davey’s projects will do little or nothing to achieve any of their declared aims – instead producing, at colossal expense, a comparatively derisory amount of electricity, and adding a further £1.5 billion a year to our bills, equivalent to £60 for every household, which is even more than what we are already paying for Osborne’s “carbon tax”.

But we can get little comfort from the week’s other announcement – the Tories’ pledge that, if re-elected and no longer hamstrung by Mr Davey’s Lib Dems, they will halt the building of onshore wind farms. This is just a cynical bid to allay the ever-growing unpopularity of windmills among the Conservatives’ rural supporters, overlooking the fact that the party’s leaders still favour the offshore wind farms, which get subsidies that are more than twice as high as those onshore.

So yet again we must conclude that only when the lights go out and our computer-dependent economy seizes up – despite all those diesel generators being secretively hooked up in a bid to keep the National Grid “balanced” – will our politicians finally be forced out of their crazy bubble of groupthink, to confront a very dark, cold and hostile real world.
The Telegraph

For the dark days ahead, Dave Cameron is unlikely to be treated well by either British voters or by the pages of history.

SWITZERLAND-WEF-DAVOS-CAMERON

Intent on leaving a lamentable legacy.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. cornwallwindwatch says:

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

  2. This is all because we have the most obstinate, half witted politicians in government who have no idea how to say ‘We screwed up’. They are trying to extract themselves from the dung heap of stupidity while clinging on to a morsel of credibility. Game’s over guys – you are only fooling the blinkered mung bean consumers that litter our cities and even they are beginning to see through the propaganda and are protesting against the insanity of biomass. One more push and they too will see what a monumental cock up wind power has been from start to finish.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Dave Cameron sends wind power offshore and consigns Brits to economic dustbin.Because the wind is so unreliable, we would still need 3GW of power from the fossil-fuelled power stations the Energy Secretary so hates, just to provide back-up for when it isn’t blowing at the right speed (on Thursday, for instance, all our 4,500 existing turbines combined were only giving us 215 megawatts, less than 0.6 per cent of what we were using). Mr Davey may pretend that all his projects will help meet our 32 per cent EU target. But those 2.2GW would only raise our output from renewables from 11 per cent to 15 per cent of the total, so we will still have to spend a further £40 billion before 2020. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: