June 25, 2008

Wind Farms ‘Are Not the Answer’

THE massive increase in wind power planned by the Government is not the answer to meeting a looming energy gap or renewable power targets set for the UK, a report claimed yesterday.

A study published by the Centre for Policy Studies said wind was an unreliable and expensive source of electricity and the plans for a 20-fold increase in power production were over-ambitious and impractical.

The report comes ahead of the Government's renewable energy strategy to be published tomorrow, which is expected to propose a huge increase in offshore wind power as part of a bid to meet the EU target of sourcing 15% of all energy from renewables by 2020.

According to a leak of the document, the push for a green energy revolution will cost something in the region of pounds 100bn.

Yesterday's report from the Centre for Policy Studies warned that Britain faced a 32GW energy gap by 2015 as older coal and nuclear power stations are paid off.

But the report's author Tony Lodge urged that rather than pursuing wind to fill the gap, the UK should develop nuclear and clean coal which he said were cheaper, more reliable options. He said the high costs of offshore wind, because of problems such as access to the grid and maintenance, would mean energy suppliers would be looking to build onshore - where turbines had negative consequences for the environment and local residents.

He urged the development of tidal power.


GREEN fuel policies of rich countries have dragged more than 30 million people into poverty, it was claimed yesterday.

Oxfam said renewables like biofuels are not solving the climate change crisis but are contributing to the global rise in food prices and hitting poor people the hardest.

A new report, Another Inconvenient Truth, from Oxfam calls on EU governments to axe the proposed EU target to meet 10% of transport energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.

"It may have once looked like a good idea but clearly now is the time to rethink and drop the target," the charity says.

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