Is Wind Power Ineffective and Costly?

There has been another spate of articles about wind being costly and ineffective. How much do subsidies for wind cost? Well according to the London School of Economics about £6 per year on the average household bill1. This is slightly lower than the estimate of £7.74 given by the RenewableUK2. These figures also ignore the fact that an increase in renewables cuts the demand for gas and therefore lowers prices.

When you look at proper studies a lot of the other arguements against wind also evaporate. The claim that it is ineffective in cutting CO2 emissions has been dismissed not just by theoretical analysis but also by empirical data3.  “What happens when the wind doesn’t blow” is not a problem according to the UK Energy Research Council4. The deadly effects of ‘wind farm syndrome’ has recently been discussed in the New Scientist5.

This is why new wind capacity is far outpacing nuclear capacity even in supposedly ‘pro-nuclear’ China6 and India7.

It is true that the UK imports some French nuclear generated electricity, however, that is for purely economic reasons and nothing to do will shortfall of supply as the data clearly shows8.

Meeting our energy needs and tackling climate change is not just about the ‘wind or nuclear’ arguement and there are many things that need to be looked at. However, to those critics of wind who bring up spurious arguements with no proper studies to back up the arguements could you please cut the hogwash.

1 The Case For and Against Wind Power In The UK, London School of Economics, 2012

2 New Ofgem figures show tiny investment in wind energy reaps huge returns for UK, Press Release, RenewableUK, 15 March 2012

3 Beyond the Bluster, Institute for Public Policy Research, 2012

4 The Costs and Impacts of Intermittency: UK Energy Research Centre, 2006

5 The sickening truth about wind farm syndrom, New Scientist, 08 October 2012

6 Nuclear / Wind Power In China

7 Nuclear / Wind Power In India

8 Importing French Nuclear Generated Electricity


2 Responses to “Is Wind Power Ineffective and Costly?”

  • Pete says:

    What subsidies, what tax breaks, where is the data on them going out of business. As I said

    “However, to those critics of wind who bring up spurious arguements with no proper studies to back up the arguements could you please cut the hogwash.”

  • klem says:

    Yes wind is costly and ineffective. Where I live the wind farms receive large subsidies every year, and big tax incentives. Yet they still lose money and go out of business. Banks won’t lend them a cent anymore because the banks get left holding the bag. If wind was any good these companies would survive, but even with the subsidies and tax breaks they still fail.

    Wind power sucks on so many levels.

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