The lights are going off all over Europe
NEARLY 10,000 wind turbines will be spinning on land and sea by 2020 if Britain is to meet a new renewable-energy target announced yesterday.
The estimated fivefold increase in the number of turbines would be required to meet a new renewable-energy target for the UK under a plan detailed by the European Commission.
This could potentially mean a total of 5,200 turbines on land and 4,000 on sea, plus a mix of about 5,000 wave, tidal, and small run-of-river hydro and biomass devices by 2020, generating up to 46 gigawatts – or around 37 per cent of electricity demand.
At present, there are 1,800 turbines on land, producing about 1.9 gigawatts of electricity, while offshore schemes are only starting to be developed.
There were conflicting estimates of how much the plan, which also affects gas for heating and transport fuel, would cost.
José Manuel Barroso, the EC president, claimed it would cost every European £2.20 a week, but a Eurosceptic think-tank pointed to a leaked government document which stated the package could cost UK households up to £730 a year. However, the EC said the measures were a vital step in the fight against global warming and other countries must now join the effort.
The Telegraph reports it as:
A family of four will pay £465 a year more for energy by 2020, on top of any hike caused by oil prices, as a result of proposals announced by the EU.
The Times : The commission’s own estimate of the cost to consumers of low-carbon energy looks disingenous; a rise in electricity bills of 10-15 per cent is suspiciously low given the need for a high carbon price to justify investment in new technology. Moreover, the target for renewable energy imposed on Britain, 15 per cent, will be very costly, if not impossible, to achieve.
It means raising the share of renewables from 5 per cent to 36 per cent by 2020. According to the British Wind Energy Association, it implies an extra 30 gigawatts of wind power. That suggests that another 12,000 wind turbines need to be built, at a cost of some £30-40 billion.
The engineering challenge in building such a vast turbine fleet is enormous, at a time when the Government is also backing a nuclear revival.
National Grid has given warning that a big extension of the power grid will be needed to deliver power from disparate wind farms to urban areas. There are simply not enough trained power engineers to build this infrastructure. However, the regulations that will force us to pay the bill are already on the way to becoming a reality.
The offset cost of CO2 is about £7.50 a tonne today, so if we accept the EU's figures then we are being forced to compensate for 62 tonnes of CO2 a year. I don't know about your fuel bills, but astronomic as mine are I don't get through over a tonne of coal every week of the year, do you? It wouldn't just be a rip off designed to consign us back to the dark ages, would it?