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Renewables "most expensive policy disaster in modern British history"

The Centre for Policy Studies has been taking a look at Britain's energy policies and has concluded that they're not actually very good.

In fact, they are a disaster.

The true cost of wind farms and other green power projects is far higher than ministers have admitted, a new Centre for Policy Studies report claims, claiming renewable energy will be "the most expensive policy disaster in modern British history".

This is not news to BH readers, but it never hurts to reiterate these things.

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Reader Comments (60)

It doesn't add up...

wow ... the government are starting subsidy negotiations for a project that hasn't been properly costed and has not been demonstrated to be even economically viable. Don't you just love them hosing your money at pointless gestures towards the "eco-voters".... The Greenest Government Evah!

I see no costing in the scheme for 100,000 litres of white paint or any mention of constructing the largest pair of fibreglass elephant tusks ever fabricated - perhaps they can draft in Damien Hurst or Anthony Gormley?

Mar 18, 2015 at 3:17 PM | Registered Commentertomo

It doesn't add up....

I expect emergency diesel generators are rather common features of Government Departments. Their diesel tanks probably have a label on that says 'Bio Diesel' and the tanks may well be green in colour aswell. Therefore, they do not actually exist, a bit like Big Green Lies.

Mar 18, 2015 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie


The subsidy "negotiations" were started a long time back. The figures of £168/MWh and 35 years appear in a Pöyry report from last March.

Mar 18, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...


It is of course a nice question as to what tanks labelled "bio-doesel" actually contain. Given its engine damaging and short life (rapidly oxidizes in storage) properties, it might be best if it really wasbiodiesel (then they could I suppose claim they had been raped) - but if it turned out to be undesulphurised Russian gas oil that might equally be a lesson. The dye for off-road diesel is red, not green though.

Mar 18, 2015 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Got to love the quote in the DT article:

A spokesman for the Department of Energy Climate Change said:

“The figures in this report don’t add up and ignore the urgent need to cut our carbon emissions. We are making sure we can keep the lights on, cut carbon emissions and keep bills down for consumers.

Is patently and self evidently a pile of steaming lies ... "figures don't add up"? splutter - somebody at DECC has the brass neck to use that line ....? double splutter.

If you haven't been there yet the Swansea Barrage web site ....

Mar 18, 2015 at 4:51 PM | Registered Commentertomo

It doesn't add up....

What owners of bio diesel storage tanks don't know is that it is even more prone to 'diesel bug' than ordinary diesel. There are life forms that live in any moisture in a diesel tank, and more life forms, in bio diesel. It blocks the fuel filters, and the engine will stop.

The problem does not manifest itself on routine 1/2 hr engine run ups. It is only during sustained use, when required in an emergency, that things go wrong. As a yottie, I have first hand experience. Prevention is with biocides. Cures and treatments are messy and time consuming, but Green accountants do not like spending money on smelly diesel.

It is the same with Uninterruptible Power Supplies, by the time they are needed, the batteries are knackered.

Mar 18, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

The reason this will make no difference is that when an investment is buying a devotional object, it's actually an advantage if it has explicitly no (dirtying) economic value.

It's just the same with 'urban light rail' in the US: the more clearly you show that it's an economic disaster the more brightly the enthusiasm of its core proponents burns.

The only way you can really halt a project like this is by demonstrating a way in which it is offensive to a value or belief its supporters hold dear, rather than some value scale such as value-for-money that's important to you but not to them.

Mar 18, 2015 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterSeen It All Before

I clicked on the Guardian Environmental section a very short time ago and was almost undone by an article lauding alternative energy and its associated technology penned by Briony Worthington. I could only skim-read it as the mad concepts and utter loopiness of the Baroness bounced off each other in the furthest recesses of my brain, making it difficult to read, weep and laugh simultaneously. I have a vision of Brunel's ghost spinning fast enough to create a warmish Springtime in the UK.
Why do sentient Britons take this madwoman seriously?

Mar 19, 2015 at 2:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Baroness Worthington, of Cambridge (aka 'Bubble')

Mar 19, 2015 at 5:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

" If windfarms (and the like) cannot achieve a meaningful reduction in CO2 what is their point?"

Their point is two-fold:

1. Funnel lots of lovely money to the friends and connections of various politicians
2. Be seen to be "doing something", ie pointless sacrifices as practiced by all religions including this one.

Mar 19, 2015 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

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