Friday, November 09, 2012

Renwable Energy Foundation on Wind Power

The Renewable Energy Foundation  are regularly getting their distorted views on wind power published. Here is a letter that i had published in a local paper as a response.

Dear Editor,

On Monday you carried a story claiming wind farms will cost electricity bill payers £400 a year.  A lot of people are really struggling with energy prices, particularly in rural Aberdeenshire where mains gas isn't accessible. The story was based on work by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) and this should provide some relief.

The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) was set up in 2005 by Noel Edmonds (yes that one!) and has been called a "anti-wind lobbying group" by the wind industries trade body. It is not an academic institution nor an impartial party.

So where does this number come from? This £400 number is what you get if you estimate the subsidy due to all of the UK's wind farm projects likely to be built in Scotland by 2020 and then allocate all of that cost to Scottish electricity bill payers. Even if Scotland becomes independent it is far from clear how the issue of subsidies would be resolved, not least because everyone will want to take credit for the carbon saving. All of the UK's nations have carbon targets.

REF clearly want people to be disgusted by the cost of wind. The only problem is that wind power produces low carbon electricity in a safe manner at a cost only marginally higher than fossil fuel sources. As the cost of fossil fuels goes up and the cost of wind power comes down London School of Economics (1) predicts that onshore wind will become cheaper that traditional forms of energy. Wind power has the potential to create large numbers of jobs in Scotland and despite what REF wants you to believe alternative forms of power may well become cheaper than traditional forms. If you don't like the look of wind turbines i cant argue with that but the economic case is far from as frightening as REF portray it.

Yours faithfully,
Calvin Jones

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At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Commercial Biomass said...

This is a brilliant article. It will help a lot of people. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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