Are households paying more for green energy?
Believe it or not we welcome the kind of headline that appeared over the name of journalist Sean Poulter in the Mail on the 7th March. Households will pay “ten times more for green energy....” Why not 100 times more? Or even 1000? When no facts are presented to back up the headline why not get really aggressive and fully enter the Matrix world of virtual reality? The only figure presented in the article indicated a cost of 1.66 times (£250/150). Why do we welcome the headline? Because it presents us with an opportunity to debate the facts and let the reader make up his own mind. The most important thing that wind energy does is to produce electricity. It does this by using the power in the wind to force blades to rotate against a magnetic field. This generates electricity which enters the national grid to power homes, offices, factories, street lights, hospitals, in fact every facility that uses electricity. It does this with free fuel. Once built the wind farm produces electricity at a marginal cost of ZERO. When the wind blows the cost of electricity falls. In fact in northern Europe where there is a lot of installed wind power the cost of electricity often goes below zero for periods when the wind is blowing strongly. Wind power produces electricity with energy that belongs to the UK. It matters not a whit what the state of international relations are; what Israel, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia are doing to themselves or to anyone else. The wind is ours, and cannot be interrupted by any foreign power. Wind power replaces imports of gas and coal, and when we have electrical vehicles, wind power will replace oil. The money earned from wind power is circulated in the local and national economy. There seemed to be an implication in the article by Sean Poulter, that it was a bad idea for landowners to be paid for the rental of their land by the owners of wind facilities. A figure of £850 million is mentioned as being paid to landowners. Is there some implication here that wind farm developers should be able to build on peoples land for free? I would really be interested in finding out what the opponents of wind energy think is wrong with paying rent for the use of peoples’ land. When earnings from wind power replace foreign imports there is a dramatic impact on the local economy. A study is being carried out on what this effect is and it would be premature to anticipate the results. All that can be said now is that it seems a great idea to employ people in the UK with money earned in the UK. Where did Sean Poulter get the idea that spending £120,000,000,000 on wind farms will save 2.8% of carbon emissions? (as stated in the article). Even if we allow that it costs £3,000,000 to install a megawatt of offshore wind, we would be able to install 40,000 megawatts for this £120,000,000,000. This would substitute all the UK’s coal fired generation, and much of its current polluting gas generation, replacing over half the UK’s fossil fuel power plant, and cutting emissions from the power sector by half. Up and down the East coast of the UK there is an unfolding employment miracle happening as we write. The UK leads the world in offshore wind, and the courage of successive governments is being paid back in enhanced employment opportunities. The local entrepreneur is standing up and is responding to the opportunity created by Government. I have spoken at events along the coast and I have found a great British enthusiasm for offshore wind. New ports are being developed. New ships are being built and serviced. New foreign investment is happening. New apprenticeships schemes are starting. Universities are educating new generations of technical and business leaders in new courses. New research and development facilities are creating the technology to allow the UK to supply most of Europe’s future electricity requirements from the North Sea and the North Atlantic. Nothing would please me more than to debate the issue of a sustainable energy future with Lord Lawson. Why hide behind the walls of a think tank funded by who knows which big oil company? My vested interest is clear. I want to create a sustainable future. What do the vested interests that support the GWPF think tank want?