Householders are facing soaring energy bills and winter power cuts thanks to the “folly” of relying on wind power, experts said last night.
The green crusade of successive governments is set to double electricity bills for households and cost homes £26billion a year by 2030, it was claimed yesterday.
The cost of renewable energy and carbon taxes will put an extra £983 a year on household bills by then, compared to relying on a mix of nuclear and new gas-fired power stations, three experts told a Lords committee.
They also said the “foolhardy” green policy will do little to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
The Scientific Alliance report highlights warnings by the regulator Ofgem that the margin for electricityproduction for the 2015-16 winter will be at an all-time low of 2 per cent compared to the pre-privatisation requirement of at least 20 per cent.
It means that in times of high demand, such as during very cold weather, Britain would be at risk of power cuts.
The alliance argues that wind power – which is the main renewable energy source depended on by Government – is unreliable.
One of the experts, Sir Donald Miller, former chairman of Scottish Power, said: “The blind reliance by successive governments on unreliable, intermittent renewable energy has reduced the margin of safety to a critical level.
“This has brought the country to a position where power cuts could become a regular feature of cold winters for several years.”
The written report has been submitted to the Lords Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the nation’s electricity infrastructure.
At the inquiry’s launch its chairman, the Earl of Selborne, said: “We are set to see our safety cushion between demand and supply drop to particularly low levels over the next two winters.”
And yesterday’s report stated: “The foolhardy policy of replacing reliable and efficient gas, nuclear and coal power stations by expensive and inefficient wind turbines and solar farms has raised energy prices while doing little to cut emissions of carbon dioxide.
“The total costs are some £12billion per year more in 2020 than an optimum programme of gas turbines and nuclear, and almost £26billion per year more by 2030.”
The alliance calls for new nuclear power plants to help plug shortfalls caused by the closure of ageing coal-fuelled power stations and rising demand.
The report was released as former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson prepares to deliver a lecture tonight urging the Government to stand up to green bullies and go nuclear.
Last night Dr Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum said: “The irony is that energy prices around the world are falling, particularly for oil and gas.
“But households are not profiting because Government policies are making energy more expensive.”
The wind energy body RenewableUK said the study was “out of line” with other research.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change said onshore wind is cheaper than coal, gas or nuclear energy when the costs of factors like air quality, toxicity and climate change are taken into account.
“Our policies are designed to keep the lights on, cut energy use and reduce polluting emissions, at the lowest possible cost to gas and electricity customers.”
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