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Britain Can’t Afford to throw Money at Wind Power

The Telegraph (UK) — June 29, 2013

We make no apology for returning once again to the subject of wind power – as our Letters page illustrates, it is a topic that greatly concerns Sunday Telegraph readers, some of whom find themselves at the sharp end of the controversy when wind turbines are proposed or erected in their neighbourhoods. As we have emphasised before, we wholly sympathise with the laudable objective of making energy provision environmentally friendly; although ”green’’ activism may have been hijacked by the Left, conservation and conservatism are natural allies. That said, nobody with a sense of fiscal responsibility could endorse the massive subsidies being lavished on wind power which, as we report, are being maintained despite the Government’s proclaimed culture of austerity.

The Government has agreed onshore wind farms should receive at least £100 per megawatt-hour in subsidies, which is twice the market rate for electricity; offshore farms will get triple the market rate. This arrangement will remain in place for at least another six years, paid for by subsidies levied from consumers’ electricity bills. Market analysts have claimed that the costs of wind power, so far from declining as we had been led to believe, are actually rising. Over the year to last February, slightly more than £1.2 billion was paid to wind farms in consumer subsidies. But the Renewable Energy Foundation expects subsidies to rise to £6 billion by 2020. Are we getting value for our money? Hardly, when during the last winter the electricity supply from all our wind farms at times amounted to as little as 0.1 per cent. As for job creation, last year the wind industry employed just 12,000 people, representing a £100,000 subsidy for each job.   Continue reading, here….

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