Monday, February 14, 2011

UK Energy Minister Admits Wind Power May Never Break Even!

UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry told MPs governments had spent £2.2 billion supporting wind power over eight years - and it was impossible to predict when, or if, the energy source would prove profitable without grants.

In December last year dramatic plans to erect up to 20,000 wind turbines and put millions of electric cars on the roads were unveiled by the British Government’s climate experts.

The costs of switching to green power and transport would be covered by new environmental taxes and higher fuel bills.

Experts say the plans will cost around  £30billion a year.

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Meanwhile in Australia more than $5.5 billion of taxpayers money has been spent by federal governments during the past decade on climate change programs that are delivering only small reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Wind power is intermittent, unreliable and hard to predict. 

To cover the total loss of power when the wind drops or blows too hard, every wind farm needs a conventional back-up power station (commonly gas-fired) with capacity of twice the design capacity of the wind farm to even out the sudden fluctuations in the electricity grid. This adds to the capital and operating costs and increases the instability of the network.

Why bother with the wind farm – just build the backup and achieve lower costs and better reliability?

There is no justification for continuing the complex network of state and federal subsidies, mandates and tax breaks that currently underpin construction of wind farms in Australia. If wind power is sustainable it will be developed without these financial crutches.

Wind power should compete on an equal basis with all other electricity generation options.

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