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Yup, desperate

A few days ago, I noted some rampant misrepresentation of Gordon Hughes GWPF report by the Chief Executive of RenewableUK, the self-help group for subsidy junkies. It now appears that responsibility for this onerous task has been passed down to the deputy CEO, Maf Smith. In an article in the Express, Mr Smith is quoted as follows:

We want to keep electricity bills as low as possible. So we have to stop importing massive amounts of expensive fossil fuels from abroad as we have no control over how much they cost. We know exactly how much wind costs: just 2p per household per day – that’s according to independent regulator Ofgem.

I'm speechless.

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Reader Comments (70)

Why is it ok to just ignore all the costs of 'renewables'?

Why is it acceptable and allowed to say wind power costs 2p per household per day, when it is orders of magnitude more if you just look at the authorities' own numbers?

The consequences of the EEG Renewable Energy Feed-In Act.

The following statements originate from the publication of the 4 electric power grid operators (UENB) of October 15, 2010 here (in German). They are required to calculate the EEG-compensation for the following year each year on October 15 – compensation that is the additional costs caused by the EEG that the consumer is saddled with:

“The UENB has... based on prognoses from independent reviewers, calculated an EEG feed-in tariff of about 16.7 billion euros for the year 2011 (Remark: an unbelievable 8.38 billion euros go to photovoltaic operators although these contribute just a measly 1.9% of Germany’s power generation). The projected value of the fed-in electricity is 4.7 billion euros. Additional difference (from 3 quarters of 2010): 1.1 billion euros. Thus all in all about 13 billion euros are refinanced via the EEG.”

This sum is what consumers have to pay additionally for green electricity.

“As the 4 UENB tells us, this means a burden of 3.350 cent per kWh in 2011. In 2010, the EEG apportionment was 2.047 cent per kWh.”

That’s a rise by 73% in just one year. For a household with a yearly consumption of 2500 kWh this means: 88 euros additional costs caused by the EEG in 2011 compared with 51 euros in 2010. However, much more interesting is the forecast for 2012. Chancellor Merkel explained just last summer (here):

"EEG payment should not rise above today’s level. Today it is about 3.5 cent/kWh.”

Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen promised the same.
Following this, the Federal Power Grid Agency announced that the EEG payment will be 3.6 cent/kwh. 

Now the new prognosis of the grid operators from October 15th, 2011 shows for 2012...

“...that the range for eco-green power payment is between 3.66 and 4.74 cent/kWh.”

The German Energy Agency DENA also contradicted in early December (here):
“It will not be successful to limit the EEG payments at 3.5 cent per kwh,” DENA spokesman Stephan Kohler told the Frankfurter Rundschau.

According to Kohler, the DENA calculations show that the payments in 2013 will be just under 4 cents/kwh, and in 2020 5 to 5.5 cents. For a three-person household, this means additional costs of 210 euros annually.

“This prognosis shows clearly what is driving the energy supply transition costs.”

Page 24 of this.

Aug 21, 2012 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

Yes, explains a lot, he has gone far in his chosen career.
and guess where he started - "Recycling & Local Agenda 21 Officer "
makes me wonder !!

Aug 21, 2012 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

Aug 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM | Jack Maloney

see for a very nice dashboard showing UK Generation by technology.

Surely the cost of all the ROC that conventional power generation has to buy is part of the cost of producing renewables ? or is that what they are on about trying to work out how much ROC for wind actually costs.

In which case the claim of 2- a day is an outright LIE. The true cost MUST include building the things; paying the landowner the bribe; building the infrastructure (pylons/underground cables) ; building the control system to join the things to the grid; MAINTENANCE - an annual cost; and last but not least the COST divided by the years of actual service being achieved of each of the windmills themselves.

That total cost can then be compared to the same costs calculated for conventional plant (note that ROCs should not show in conventional cost; they are a cost of WINDMILL/Renewable generation). ANy attempt to add ROC costs onto conventional generation cost is fraud

Aug 22, 2012 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterpeter_dtm

David: "Meanwhile, back here in the real world..."

May I add: Wind (and Sun) do not send bills, they send for the insolvency administrator.

Aug 22, 2012 at 1:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterJan Stunnenberg

Maf Smith, according to his LinkedIn profile, was previously employed as a consultant at Xero Energy

Xero, Zero, all the same to me.

Aug 22, 2012 at 2:29 AM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

The Whigs they do say,
"Wind - just Toupee a day"
Despite any hold on,
logic and reason
they peddle their wares
impervious to scorn

(pause and refrain)
and the political classes keep taxing our asses
while telling us just, how lucky we are!

The Tories pont-if-icate
'bout the 'Big Soci-ety' state
while fiddling their expenses,
f***ing our senses
still lying and cheating,
the same as before

(pause and refrain)
and the political classes keep taxing our asses
while telling us just, how lucky we are!

New Labour has no issues
In fact they have no policies
but they cling on to power
'cos the rest are a shower
Seems opposition is not as bad as it seems!

(pause and refrain)
and the political classes keep taxing our asses
while telling us just, how lucky we are!

We used to be proud
Yes, our nation was loud
But we had a sense of right
that's now just a crock o' sh*te
and we've all let it happen
so we're all, just to blame

(pause and refrain)
and the political classes keep taxing our asses
while telling us just, how lucky we are!

Think it's to the tune of "I predict a Riot". Anyone think of something more appropriate?

Aug 22, 2012 at 3:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Perhaps Renewables UK should be reported to Trading Standards for misleading potential customers. .

Aug 22, 2012 at 8:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger


"what about expressing the price as p per kWh"

2p/kWh sounds a lot more like it. Perhaps Ofgem didn't know what a kWh was.

Aug 22, 2012 at 10:09 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

The 2p being quoted is not the cost of wind but the extra cost of wind. The lie is the proportion allocated to industry/commerce being omitted from the sum.We all know,except those who deliberately wish to hide the truth, that any increased cost will be passed down to the consumer so the extra cost is actually 4p/household/day. In 2010/11 wind capacity was about 3MW but by 2020 wind energy will be 10x greater. At that point each household will pay 40p/day, or £146 pa. And that is just the ROC's payments. All other subsidies and costs(transmission lines + OCGT backup plants +backup energy costs) created by wind turbines will be extra.

Fuel poverty and dark,cold, nights anyone? Or will sanity prevail in the end?

Aug 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

Sorry. In my post above I should have said GW, not MW.

Aug 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

Petition to reduce subsidies for windfarms

Aug 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

David Porter:

In 2010/11 wind capacity was about 3GW but by 2020 wind energy will be 10x greater.
I suggest that's misleading in two respects:

(1) Capacity v. contribution. Today wind power contributes an average of about 3.5% to the UK's energy demand. Demand is typically 35-40GW, so wind typically contributes around 1.3GW. (It can be as much as your 3.0GW but, as happened a few days ago, it can be as little as 0.0GW.)

(2) Position by 2020. The Coalition plans that, by 2020, 30+% of our electric power is to come from "renewables". That means wind as little else is planned. (30% would be about 12GW.) But the plan is delusional: it means we would have to commission nearly 10 huge wind turbines every day for the next seven years.

But, if the plan was achievable, we wouldn't be facing just "dark, cold nights". Unless there was full back-up (and I know of no plans for it), we'd be facing disaster. As I said on another thread recently, "few people appreciate, for example, the fragility of a modern city: in periods of extreme heat or cold, it’s electricity that prevents disaster. And, throughout the UK (and this can extend to much of Europe), the wind typically doesn’t blow in periods of extreme heat or cold."

Aug 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Scottish Renewables membership is at least as heavily government/local government departments, quangos and fakecharities as the actual recipients of the subsidies. I assume the same applies to RenewablesUK. They are thus actually mainly a government propaganda organisation merely masquerading as subsidy junkie lobbyists to make themselves look better.

Aug 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

"We already get five per cent of our electricity from wind turbines"

I looked up the statistics for UK electricity generation. 2011 figures show total renewables were about 5%, with wind about half of that.

Its just sooooo easy to be flippant with the truth.

Aug 22, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterImranCan

Wind Turbines may produce for 80% of the time but even 1% of rating is counted as producing.

Never seen any figures showing how much they use but recently on a trip southbound at 6am down the M74 all the wind farms I saw had turbines facing in all directions as there was no wind to face, however a good 30% were turning no doubt to protect their gearboxes from seizing and using up Electricity.

Aug 22, 2012 at 2:18 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I am not versed in your ROCs, but looking at it seems to me that it is a kind of bureaucratic surcharge - extra tax - on the electricity bill. Why is this called the cost of renewable energy? It seems to me to be the cost of the bureau dealing in these ROCs.

Aug 22, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlbert Stienstra


"Why is this called the cost of renewable energy?"

Because it is passed back to the windmill owners/operators. If they didn't get it, they wouldn't bother putting them up in the first place.

Aug 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

The figure of 2p per day comes from

It is based on £7.74 per household per year, divided by 365 days.

Aug 23, 2012 at 8:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Bishop Hill

Cost of wind power: Source of Maf Smith's figure of '2p per
household per day'

See Bishop Hill thread 24 April 2012: 'Representative of what?'

A figure of 2p per household was recited by Ipsos-Mori in
one of the questions of a poll that they conducted on behalf
of Renewables UK between 13 and 17 April 2012:

Mailman picked up on the figure, and for anyone who is
interested, I attempted in full detail to source it.

The figure of 2p per household is RenewableUK's calculation
from Ofgem figures of the direct additional charge that is
levied upon the consumer in respect of wind power for the
financial year 2010/2011.

The figure seems to be correct on its terms.

Thus it is possible to calculate from Department of Energy
& Climate Change figures an estimated figure of the charge
similarly of 2.8p per household for 2011.

But to calculate 'exactly how much wind costs' one must also
add in the further charge that is levied indirectly upon
the consumer by way of general taxation to pay for the
subsidy by Government and EU of the development, generation,
transmission to the consumer and backup of wind power.

Maf Smith writes in the Daily Express under the title of:
'Why I don’t think wind costs the earth'.

To pass off the 'exact cost' of wind power to Express
readers, under such a title, as 'just 2p per household per
day', as Maf Smith does, is therefore wrongly to mislead his
audience, and he should publicly correct himself.

Stephen Prower


Thursday 23 August 2012

Aug 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Prower

Bishop Hill

Cost of wind power: Maf Smith's figure of '2p per
household per day'

Further to my comment yesterday, I followed up by a web
search to find a calculation in simple terms of how globally
the incentives and sanctions that the Government and EU have
put in place to encourage a switch-over of electricity
generation from burning coal, gas or oil to harnessing the
power of the wind, sun, tides, running water (and nuclear
fusion?) have affected the price of electricity to the
consumer 'at the pump', as I may put it.

I failed to find any such calculation, let alone a
calculation that also went on disaggregate a separate figure
of the effect of wind power on its own.

But it is almost certain that the disaggregated incentives
and sanctions in favour of wind power of the Government and
EU in question do impact directly upon the consumer through
an increased price of electricity, and not just indirectly
through a reduced yield of general taxation.

And of course, as other commenters have mentioned, whereas
commercial firms can pass on the extra price that they pay
for electricity--plus the cost of the '2p per day' wind power
levy (or whatever they pay)--to the consumer, the consumer
cannot do the same in return to them!

Stephen Prower


Friday 24 August 2012

Aug 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Prower

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