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An Ill Wind Blows

May 22, 2016

By Paul Homewood 


Christopher Booker




Last week, I ran a post about the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm, showing how more than two thirds of their revenue came from ROC subsidies.

Booker takes this as a starting point for a hard hitting piece on wind power in today’s Telegraph:


Eleven miles off the Norfolk coast 88 giant wind turbines rise 446 feet above the sea, taller than the spire of Salisbury Cathedral. This is the Sheringham Shoal windfarm, built at a cost of £1 billion by the Norwegian state, which has just published its accounts for 2015.

Last year it earned its owners £140 million, all paid for through our electricity bills. But more than two thirds of this – nearly £100 million – came through subsidies. In return for which we got, intermittently, only a comparatively tiny amount of power, averaging just 113 megawatts. This is barely a 20th of the 2,000MW available whenever needed, at less than a third of the price, from the German-owned gas-fired power station in Pembroke, Wales, which cost the same money to build four years ago.

So much tax does the Government now wish to impose on gas-fired electricity, because it comes from fossil-fuels, that we are unlikely to get any more Pembrokes. Offshore wind, in which we “lead the world”, is now the absolute centrepiece of the Government’s energy policy. The 26 offshore windfarms already built are almost all foreign-owned, led by the Norwegians and the Danes, so that virtually all their profits end up abroad.

The companies making fortunes from the world’s most generous “low carbon” subsidies may largely be foreign-owned. But at least some of the crumbs from that lavishly spread table are staying in good old British hands.

But a few Britons are doing well out of this multi-billion-pound bonanza – led by four former ministers of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) who helped to shape this policy. No sooner, for instance, had Charles Hendry stepped down as minister of state for energy and climate change in 2012 than he became chairman of Forewind, another largely Norwegian-owned firm, given permission by the DECC last year to build the world’s largest offshore windfarm over hundreds of square miles of the Dogger Bank.

Hendry succeeded Lord Deben (aka John Gummer), who had to stand down when David Cameron appointed him to chair the supposedly “independent” Climate Change Committee, the group of climate alarmists which advises the Government on its energy policy.

Because Hendry was then still an MP, bound to declare his financial interests, we can see that in 2014, as chairman of Forewind, he was paid £3,300 a day for one day’s work a month, totalling £48,000. In addition he received £18,000 for 36 hours advising another company, Atlantic Superconnection, which, under a deal arranged while Hendry was still in office, plans to bring electricity made from the heat of Icelandic volcanoes 650 miles to Britain. Hendry also that year earned £35,000 for 47 hours as consultant to another energy company, Vitol.

Since he left Parliament, we no longer know what Mr Hendry earns from his renewable energy interests, any more than we do what our former Lib Dem energy secretaries Chris Huhne and Ed Davey receive for their services to various “low carbon” energy firms which benefit from policies adopted while they were at the DECC – or that other former minister, Greg (now Lord) Barker, now busy on behalf of the solar energy industry which benefits from a policy he championed while in office.

The companies making fortunes from the world’s most generous “low carbon” subsidies may largely be foreign-owned. But at least some of the crumbs from that lavishly spread table are staying in good old British hands. Isn’t it odd how rarely we hear any MPs questioning this?

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    May 22, 2016 11:26 am

    Did you spot the letter from Bob Ward in today’s Sunday Telegraph?

    • Mick J permalink
      May 22, 2016 12:28 pm

      Did not find the letter but there is an article at Business Insider said to be from Jeremy Grantham claiming that due to accelerating temperatures this last year is a bad one for sceptics.

      • Billy Liar permalink
        May 22, 2016 2:54 pm

        Next year is going to be a bad one for Grantham – La Niña coming.

        Presumably, Grantham is also ignorant of the fact that GISS can hardly be described as a reliable record of earth’s temperature.

  2. Don B permalink
    May 22, 2016 11:58 am

    Congratulations to you and Booker, The truth and common sense will eventually win.

  3. May 22, 2016 2:30 pm

    It would take 300 or more Sheringham Shoals all working at once to supply UK average demand, and then only when there’s some wind blowing.

    Apart from the insane cost, there would be nowhere to put them all and nowhere near enough technicians to build and maintain them.

    They call this an energy policy?

  4. NeilC permalink
    May 22, 2016 2:40 pm

    Make up the science, make up the scare, make up the rules, make a fortune, all paid for by the poor tax payers and poor energy users. Sniff sniff, now what’s that I smell?

  5. May 22, 2016 4:02 pm

    Prof Sir David MacKay, in his book ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’ showed the futility and cost of offshore wind. None of the PTB listened then and they are not listening now. With DECC full of incompetents advising a succession of incompetent ministers we are stuffed until the lights go out.

  6. Bitter&twisted permalink
    May 22, 2016 4:38 pm

    Crooks and fraudsters. Every last one of the green parasites.
    When are these scams going to be investigated?

  7. May 23, 2016 5:54 am

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

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