Experts criticise wind farms as energy prices continue to rise
The latest expert to speak out against wind power is Professor Gordon Hughes from Edinburgh University where he is a professor of economics; he is also an energy advisor for the World Bank. His detailed analysis of the current economic policy shows that if Britain continues with is aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent of the current value by 2050 then the cost will be £124 billion. This equates to £5,000 per household and covers the cost of building the turbines as well as the cost of providing back-up power stations for when the wind fails.
If the government dropped these emission targets, then the cost would be reduced by an order of magnitude. Using combined-cycle gas-fired power stations instead of wind turbines would provide the same capacity by the cost would be just £13 billion.
An additional and equally disturbing finding is that the back-up power stations needed to supply power when the turbines are unable to will be highly inefficient as they need to be ramped up and ramped down depending on wind conditions. This means that their carbon dioxide emissions would increase considerably and offset any emission savings created by the turbines; in fact it is possible that overall emissions would increase.
The government's intention to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050 will have many knock-on effects too. The new carbon tax will increase our electricity bills by 17% next year and will double them by 2020. Energy intensive industries will face a doubling of costs which will make them uncompetitive. Currently the UK produces only 1.6% of global emissions, less than China's annual increase, and only 3% of our electricity comes from wind power, and that is on a good day; frequently it falls to below 0.5%.
With ever more people entering energy poverty and with a shrinking economy, the plan to commit £18 billion a year to reducing emissions would seem to be a luxury that we cannot afford, particularly when it seems that current strategy is unlikely to work.