Group of MPs to Oppose Wind Farms

There is growing opposition to electricity produced by wind, with commentators pointing out that it is intermittent, several times the price that it should be, and intrusive in areas of natural beauty.

It is reported today (23 Jan 12) that a group of MPs has been formed from all parties to oppose the spread of this technology.

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, still wants a substantial expansion of onshore wind energy to meet bureaucratic emissions targets. There is no mention, however, of what a good energy system should actually supply: plenty of electricity at an affordable price, so that our companies can prosper.

This seems to have been ignored.

The new parliamentary group has been set up by Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative MP. He said that ministers need to look again at wind power; it is an inefficient technology which adds to the bills of consumers, and it is the wrong renewable for the UK.

There are about 3000 onshore turbines in the UK so far, with a few hundred off the coast, erected at enormous cost. There are plans to erect 32,000 more. They will last about fifteen years, after which time they will be scrap. They generate approximately two percent of the nation's power so far and produce energy around thirty percent of the time - when the wind is blowing at the correct speed. When the wind is not blowing, or blowing too fast, other sources of electricity have to be used; mainly gas and coal.

A pledge to which our former Prime Minister signed up, written into law in the Climate Change Act, requires a large expansion of wind farm development, regardless of expense or effectiveness in providing the energy we need. I have written repeatedly about this for several years.

A number of independent groups have pointed out that spending money on wind farms raises electricity bills enormously, for industry and for domestic consumers. However it seems that no-one is listening.

Here are some estimates of the EXTRA money we will have to find each year in the name of 'man-made climate change' (an unsubstantiated assertion), on top of what we already pay for energy.

300 per household (estimated by Cambridge University researchers, July 2011)
300 per household (estimated by Ben Moxham, Mr. Cameron's energy adviser, Sep 2011)
280 per household (Mr. Huhne, Nov 2011)
550 per household (KPMG accountants, Nov 2011)

In case you are unaware, let's look at the cost of making electricity in different ways:

The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates the current cost of energy production (pence per Kilowatt hour) as

Gas Fired 2.2
Nuclear 2.3 (including decommissioning)
Coal 2.5 to 3.2
On-shore Wind 5 to 7
Off-shore wind 15 to 21

These figures make the planned expansion of wind energy difficult to understand or justify.

One can only conclude that in the UK, wind farms do not have to follow the normal rules of commerce.

ND, habitat21

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