Just when you think our Government’s obsession with wind power could reach no further heights of absurdity, we learn that it now plans for us all to shovel billions of pounds into the pockets of the Irish wind industry.
The idea proposed by Chris Huhne and Charles Hendry, our energy ministers, is that the Irish should build thousands more onshore and offshore windmills, heavily subsidised by British electricity users, to help us to meet our EU commitment that, within nine years, we must derive 32 per cent of our electricity from “renewables”.
The Irish Times reported that the head of the Irish Wind Energy Association said these windmills could have the “capacity” to generate an extra 10 gigawatts of electricity, half of it to be exported to Britain, earning Ireland “£1.6 billion a year”. But, as he knows, 10GW of capacity would only produce some 2.5GW of actual power. So for our £1.6 billion a year – more than half of it in subsidies – we would only receive some 1.25GW. This could be generated much more reliably, and at a tiny fraction of the cost, by a single large gas-fired power station.
In other words, this lunatic scheme will do little to help us meet our fanciful EU target of 14GW, which we haven’t the faintest hope of meeting, anyway.
The bonanza for the Irish wind industry will offer little consolation to Ireland’s turf cutters, who have been told by Brussels that all peat-digging must stop because the bogs have been designated by the EU as “Special Conservation Areas”. Ireland’s bankrupt government has thus been sending out aircraft, helicopters and a small army of officials to spy on illegal peat-diggers, lest it is faced with whacking fines by Brussels for allowing such criminal activity.