Britain’s ‘obsession’ with wind farms will push up family electricity bills by more than £300 a year, a report said today.
The Government’s green energy plans for the next eight years are a £124 billion ‘blunder’ that will hit every UK household, a senior British economist has also said.
In a stark warning Professor Gordon Hughes, who has produced a study on how wind energy will hit energy costs, said that British consumers simply cannot afford to subsidise wind power.
By 2020 average electricity bills will be around 58 per cent higher – a £320 increase – just because of the flood of wind turbines planned for Britains’s coastlines, fields and seas, he said.
Completing the gloomy picture, Professor Hughes believes for all the huge investment in wind farms Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions may not even fall.
Wind energy provides almost 2 per cent of global electricity worldwide, a figure expected to approach 10 per cent by 2020, costing Britain an estimated £124 billion.
‘The key problems with current policies for wind power are simple,’ he said.
They require a huge commitment of investment to a technology that is not very green, in the sense of saving a lot of CO2, but which is certainly very expensive and inflexible.
‘Unless the current Government scales back its commitment to wind power very substantially, its policy will be worse than a mistake, it will be a blunder.
‘The average household electricity bill would increase from £528 per year at 2010 prices to a range from £730 to £840 in 2020.’
The report has been published by former Chancellor Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation.
Their study has been handed to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change study for the Economics of Wind Power Committee.
Meanwhile, Professor Ian Fells, who is Professor of Energy Conversion at Newcastle University and an advisor the Commons and Lords, also said that windfarms are too costly.
Instead he claims that combined gas cycle plants could produce the same amount of green energy for £13billion – nearly 10 times cheaper than wind power.
‘Wind energy is the most expensive way of generating renewable electricity,’ he said.
‘It will also cost jobs. We are already seeing some industrial firms packing up and moving abroad. The increasing price of energy is going to be the next big political problem.’
However, the Government was keen today to defend its green energy policies.
‘Wind power is a homegrown, secure and sustainable source of energy with an important role as part of a balanced energy mix,’ a spokesman said.
‘Over-reliance on any one technology could have serious consequences for consumer bills. That’s why we want to see a diverse energy mix with renewables, nuclear, clean coal and gas all playing a part.’