December 13, 2011

Wind farms and solar energy slammed in report

The Journal, 12 December 2011

Wind farms and solar energy have “no prospect” of becoming economically competitive and will do little to reduce carbon emissions, a damning report claims today.

The study by the respected think tank the Adam Smith Institute and Scientific Alliance is a blistering attack on the Government’s current energy policy which it warns will lead to “an energy crisis by the middle of this decade”. And it says Government ambitions for renewable energy are “unrealistic” and “these technologies cannot provide the secure energy supply the country needs”.

Last week critics launched a renewed attack on wind farms after two turbines in Scotland were damaged during the high winds that battered the country.

Martin Livermore, joint author of the report, said: “For too long, we have been told that heavy investment in uneconomic renewable energy was not only necessary but would provide a secure future electricity supply.

“The facts actually show that current renewables technologies are incapable of making a major contribution to energy security and – despite claims to the contrary – have only limited potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

The report is especially critical of the reliance on wind farms to help meet renewables targets for the UK. It says that, to achieve current targets for wind turbines for 2020, almost five wind turbines must be installed every working day, with the majority of them offshore. “This is unrealistic,” it says.

The report adds: “No matter how much wind capacity is added, there is no way of storing the energy long enough to avoid the need for backup generators. It cannot ensure the lights stay on, so there can be little reliance on it.” It says that wind farms in the UK have a capacity factor of only 25% and says that investment in them would not be a commercial proposition without subsidies.

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