Back in 2013, a London mayor by the name of Boris Johnson declared wind farms could not “pull the skin off a rice pudding”.
Today, a Prime Minister by the name of Boris Johnson used his Conservative Party conference speech to claim that “offshore wind will be powering every home in the country” by the end of the decade. Johnson assured us this would be “cheaper than coal, cheaper than gas”.
Sadly, however, Old Boris was right. The capital and operating costs of wind remain extremely high. Wind cannot provide reliable energy, causes substantial broader grid costs and risks blackouts.
We are now continuously told by green activists that renewable energy no longer needs to be subsidised. Followed shortly by demands for subsidies for construction and prices. Just today, Johnson committed £160 million to upgrade ports and factories to build turbines. In March, the Government removed restrictions, imposed by David Cameron, on onshore wind farms accessing subsidies. The total subsidies for renewable energy are over £10 billion annually, and growing year-on-year.
The biggest flaw in wind and solar – and the reason why they cannot provide energy for every home as Boris has promised – is that they only provide intermittent electricity. This creates substantial and complicated grid balancing costs, to ensure supply precisely meets demand.
When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, we need backup coal, gas or nuclear. This means funding the cost of maintaining equivalent backup capacity. (Despite improvements, batteries remain far too low capacity and expensive to make up for the intermittency of solar and wind.)
via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)
October 6, 2020 at 10:05AM