The Independent’s Renewable Energy Deception
By Paul Homewood
h/t Patsy Lacey
Fake news often appears as stories that only include half of the facts, and thus totally mislead. This report which originated in the Independent is a classic example:
UK ranked 24th out of 28 EU member states for renewable energy
A windfarm in Sweden, where more than half the energy used is from renewable sources: Getty
The UK has one of the lowest rates of renewable energy consumption in Europe, according to new figures.
The European Union has a target of 20 per cent of energy use coming from carbon-free sources by 2020.
However there is a vast difference between the best and worst performing states.
Sweden has the highest rate with more than 54 per cent of its energy coming from renewable sources in 2015, following by Finland on just under 40 per cent and Latvia on 39 per cent.
The UK’s figure is just 8.2 per cent, putting it in 24th place out of 28 and not far ahead of last-placed Luxemburg on 5 per cent.
However the European Commission said the EU as a whole remained “well on track” to meet it 2020 target, with an average figure of 16.4 per cent in 2015.
Miguel Arias Cañete, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, said: “Despite the current geopolitical uncertainties, Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition.
The message is clear – the UK is lagging behind everybody else and should be building lots more subsidised wind and solar farms.
And when you look at the figures, you can see that we are well down the list. (These numbers are based on BP’s Energy Review which uses Primary Energy. This gives slightly different results to the EU’s figures, which I believe are worked on Final Energy)
But when you actually look at the facts, you find a totally different story. In reality, most EU countries have, and have had for a long time, plenty of hydro power. So naturally their renewable contribution will be much higher than ours.
If we exclude hydro power however, we get the real story:
The UK comes out as 9th best, out of the total of 21 countries. (The BP list does not itemise the other 7 smallest countries)
As can be seen, we are well above the likes of France, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands, but you would not have guessed that from the Independent’s fake news story.
As for the caption about Sweden getting half of its energy from reception, along with the picture of a wind turbine, the Independent’s readers might be interested to learn that, excluding hydro, renewables only actually account for 11.7%.