Much attention was paid to the vote by a huge majority of MPs for the HS2 project, the main objections to which are that it will cost a staggering £50 billion and cause immense environmental damage, to much less useful purpose than is claimed for it.
But no one seems to have noticed that the same is true for another of the Government’s projects: its bid to meet our agreed EU target that, within six years, we must treble the amount of our electricity derived from “renewables”. Ed Davey, our energy and climate change minister, claims that his £12 billion plan, centred on six giant offshore wind farms, will add “4.5 gigawatts” to our generating capacity.
What Davey concealed, as I wrote last week, is that, thanks to the unreliability of the wind, the actual output of his project will be half that, 2.2 gigawatts, a mere 4 per cent of the electricity we use.
So, to meet our EU target by 2020, we would need four more projects of similar size,
at a total cost of £60 billion, paid for through subsidies hidden in our electricity bills equating to £3,000 a year for every home in the land. We would need to spend billions more on connecting these wind farms to the grid, plus further billions on gas-fired power stations to provide back-up for the times when the wind isn’t blowing at the right speed.
When people finally wake up to what we are being let in for, their anger will make the row over HS2 look like chicken feed. But fortunately for Mr Davey, none of our MPs have yet done enough homework to grasp that what he is proposing is utterly insane.