Anti-wind report creates a storm

The on-going debate over the cost of renewable technologies took another turn yesterday as the director of policy and research for the Renewable Energy Foundation gave wind power a battering. […]

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By Tom Gibson

The on-going debate over the cost of renewable technologies took another turn yesterday as the director of policy and research for the Renewable Energy Foundation gave wind power a battering.

Speaking on BBC 5Live John Constable said: “You have to bear in mind that all the subsidies and extra costs imposed by wind are paid for by the consumer… It’s costing well over £1 billion a year at the moment to subsidise renewables. By 2020 it will be somewhere in the region of £8 billion a year and then there are the integration costs.

“This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do any wind energy, but it does mean you have to be realistic about the scale and pace of development and right now Government plans look set to impose very, very high costs on the consumer in 2020. On our calculations we reckon it’ll be well over £10bn, possibly as much as £15bn a year.”

The debate heated up with the release of a report by thinktank Civitas yesterday. The report claims the UK’s drive for wind power was “draconian” and costs much more than alternative sources of energy such as gas or even nuclear.

Gordon Edge, Director of Policy at RenewableUK however defended wind and blamed rising prices on volatile fossil fuels: “The prices everyone pays through our bills has been going up through the roof not because of renewables, which only provide £20 on an average bill, but due to the rising price of gas, so we need to get away from being dependent on these volatile sources.”