A further huge question mark has been raised over the Government's plan to build 7,000 offshore wind turbines round Britain's coasts, to help meet its EU target of 15 percent of our electricity from â renewables' by 2020. The director of renewable generation for Centrica, our largest windfarm developer, last week revealed that the cost of this plan to create 33,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity has doubled in three years, from £40 billion to £80 billion. But since, thanks to fluctuations in the wind, offshore turbines generate on average only 27.5 per cent of capacity, the actual power produced by these turbines would be only 9,000MW, putting its price at £8.8 million per MW. The latest nuclear power station being built in Finland at a cost of £2.7 billion will produce 1600MW, 24 hours a day, representing £1.7 million per MW. In other words, six nuclear power stations could produce more electricity than all those windfarms for only a fifth of the price. If Centrica really wants to help Britain keep its lights on, it could, for £80 billion, build 30 "carbon-free" nuclear power stations to generate 48,000MW of electricity, more than the average 47,000MW now produced by all Britain's power plants. But since this would not count towards meeting our EU renewables target, to do anything so sensible would put us in serious breach of EU law.
Monday, March 31, 2008
The Real Cost of Wind Power
I've just caught up with Christopher Booker's Sunday Telegraph column from a week ago - yes, I know I'm a bit slow - but it demonstrates what I have always thought about wind power. It's a complete waste of money. It may make environmentalists all warm inside but it's costing the rest of us a pretty packet in subsidies, to say nothing of the visual pollution the giant wind turbines cause. Here's Booker's piece in full...