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London, 6 August: The Global Warming Policy Foundations has warned policy makers that wind energy is an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of reducing CO2 emissions. In fact, there is a significant likelihood that annual CO2 emissions could be greater under the Government’s current wind strategy than under an alternative Gas scenario.
The necessary investment for this Wind scenario would amount to about
£124 billion. The same electricity demand could be met from 21.5 GW of
combined cycle gas plants with a capital cost of £13 billion – the
latter option is cheaper by an order of magnitude.
According to Professor Hughes, “the average household electricity bill
would increase from £528 per year at 2010 prices to a range from £730 to
£840 in 2020 under the Mixed Wind scenario. These figures amount to
increases of 38% to 58% in the average household bill relative to the
baseline under the Gas scenario. The equivalent ranges for the other
scenarios are 29-46% for the More Onshore Wind scenario and 40-62% for
the Future Offshore Wind scenario."
"The key problems with current policies for wind power are simple. They
require a huge commitment of investment to a technology that is not very
green, in the sense of saving a lot of CO2, but which is certainly very
expensive and inflexible. Unless the current Government scales back its
commitment to wind power very substantially, its policy will be worse
than a mistake, it will be a blunder,"
Professor Hughes said.