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Media Finally Wakes Up To The Problems With Wind Power

October 10, 2020

Boris’ speech promising 40GW of offshore wind power by 2030 has predictably been widely misreported in the media. The pledge has not just been dreamt up by the PM, as has widely been implied, but was actually written into the Conservative Manifesto last year.

5dda924905da587992a064ba_Conservative 2019 Manifesto.pdf

It is also only an increase from the existing target of 30GW.

Furthermore it is of course in line with what the Committee on Climate Change have been calling for, and is much less than Labour’s target of 52 GW.

In short, Boris could fall under a bus tomorrow and nothing would change. Such massive expansion of wind power is an inexorable consequence of the Climate Change Act and subsequent Net Zero Plan.

It is of course good that renewable policy is now attracting the media’s attention, with questions raised about cost and intermittency. However the media have been grossly negligent in not addressing these issues years ago, when we might have avoided many of the problems we have now.

That may in part be due to the fact that most coverage has been left in the past to the useful idiots of the environmental lobby.

Predictably the buffoon Ed Miliband has complained that the Tory record on rolling out renewables has been poor. If only! Sadly the opposite is true.

Since 2010, offshore capacity has increased from 1.3 to 11.2 GW. With the contracts already in place, capacity of over 20 GW will be operational by 2026.

With nearly 6 GW of contracted at last year’s auction alone, getting close to 40 GW by 2030 or soon after should be achievable from a construction point of view.

The real problem is cost. Again many media reports wrongly imply that the government will build and pay for these wind farms. There is clearly a lack of understanding of how the system works, that they are built by private capital, and ultimately paid for through energy bills.

The cost is reported as £50bn, which is consistent with BEIS projections of £1630/kw, based on 29 GW (40 less 11).

But as GWPF analysis has pointed out, recent CfD prices simply are not viable given known capital costs. According to BEIS, operational costs alone for offshore are £22/MWh, nearly half the strike price of £48/MWh agreed for Dogger Bank and other schemes due on line in 2024/25.

GWPF believe investors in these projects are gambling on wholesale prices rising, in which case they will simply renege on their contracts, and sell at market rates.

Two years ago, power prices were £60/MWh, and expected to carry on rising. Now they are below £40/MWh, and, with fossil fuel demand weak, likely to remain low for sometime.

How many investors will be willing to make the same gamble now in the hope that power prices double?

One final thought. Despite all of this expenditure, offshore wind will still only be supplying about 8% of UK energy come 2030. Hardly a gamebreaker!

  1. Broadlands permalink
    October 10, 2020 6:27 pm

    So using the energy bill monies from the masses they will now be putting sails on the PV vehicles that go out to maintain those offshore suppliers of energy when the batteries wear out or rust out?

    Yes, a silly question for a silly industry.

    • John Palmer permalink
      October 10, 2020 7:15 pm

      No, not an Industry, BL…. a huge nett drain on our Economy for decades to come!

  2. cajwbroomhill permalink
    October 10, 2020 7:59 pm

    Stupidity, ignorance, irresponsibility, corruption, gross carelessness are admixed in the politicos’ policies in this issue, as in so many others in Greenery.
    Do they know or care that 1) the UK’s greenhouse gas output is negligible, 2) wind power cannot possibly help the climate, even if the CO2 speculations have any basis in fact, 3)We have no money, and 4) fossil fuelled energy production is near infinitely preferable to “renewables” in every regard.

  3. Gerry, England permalink
    October 10, 2020 8:11 pm

    And the City of London Corporation is going to waste £68m over the next 6 years on changing the climate. They claim to create 800 green jobs, claims which we well know are never likely to deliver. The claim is that their strategy is based on science. The City was already struggling with a lack of money even before covid and is shedding jobs so one wonders where this money is coming from.

  4. October 10, 2020 8:11 pm

    Well that is $44 billion GBP. The amount of power you will get is on average 10 GW. A good deal? Makes one feel warm and fuzzy doesn’t it doing your bit while China and India displaces it every two or three months!

  5. David permalink
    October 10, 2020 8:47 pm

    Surely for every watt hour of energy consumed including that provided by wind will contribute to climate warming as all energy ends up as heat. Have the boffins assumed that this is all radiated into space and any global warming is caused by CO2? I think this effect may be masking a fundamental global cooling caused by a weaker sun.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 11, 2020 11:38 am

      electroverse has pointed out that using official data the US is currently cooling at a rate of 2C per decade. As I am honest and not a warmist I will say that is for the last 5 years but we have always been told the cooling is coming. Jackson Hole, Wyoming has 2019 as its coldest year evah, and the earliest snow evah arrived on 3 August. So the masking is being done by the likes of NOAA who make statements in reports that contradict their own date. Just as the MetO do and Paul uses their own data to show they are lying.

  6. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 10, 2020 9:09 pm

    It’s always been a scam – for those who can make it to get rich off the backs of the voters (yes, I mean people like you Deben and Davey – and many more so called socialists). If the Cash or Ash scam wasn’t enough then maybe the story in today’s DM – in NI again!! – should make them aware of the Mafia-style corruption that Green energy clique want to promote.

  7. October 10, 2020 10:37 pm

    TheSundayTimes Special Report
    “How Green Is Your Energy”
    How energy giants pay 30p to label their dirty fuel as green
    Just because you have an eco tariff, don’t think you’re saving the planet.
    There are 111 energy tariffs now classed as renewable out of 282 on the market, 39 per cent of the total, and the cost of these deals is falling. But a Sunday Times investigation has found huge confusion over what renewable really means because suppliers can “greenwash” fossil fuel energy by buying certificates.

    Who does it quote ?
    “Tom Steward from Good Energy, which generates renewable power from its own wind and solar farms”
    so it’s PR for them

    The comments mostly say : “we already know it’s a con”

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      October 11, 2020 9:09 am

      Nothing more than modern-day indulgences. But everybody knew that already. It’s pathetic that the media think it’s some kind of revelation.

  8. October 11, 2020 9:13 am

    Who’d be a national grid manager? With these one-eyed government policies our electricity supply is going to be under ever-increasing strain in the next few years.

  9. October 11, 2020 10:51 am

    Wow stunning Daily Mail investigation into corps exploiting windfarm subsidy loopholes by Sam @S_Greenhill

  10. Steve permalink
    October 11, 2020 12:45 pm

    Oh dear. The Spectator leader this week tells us that the Dogger Bank farm will be producing electricity at £40/MWh. No mention of the inflation allowance or the costs of gas ramping or grid distribution.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      October 11, 2020 11:25 pm

      The current CFD values for Dogger projects are £45.83/MWh and £48.09/MWh. Grid stabilisation and transmission network costs will add substantially to that, along with the rising cost of backup.

      I think we can expect the market to be rigged via a substantial increase in carbon tax. Sunak is supposedly going to say more about that in the New Year.

  11. October 12, 2020 6:06 am

    A study of the effectiveness of climate action

  12. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 13, 2020 12:36 am

    The first floating offshore windfarm is Hywind, run by Statoil Equinor. It gets a subsidy of 3.5 ROCs per MWh, worth around £175/MWh, on top of market price.


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