Adam Smith Institute UK energy report incorrectly states that wind does little to reduce carbon emissions, when it powers more than 3.2 million UK homes, displaces 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, says RenewableUK trade body
December 12, 2011
– RenewableUK, the trade association representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, has strongly criticised the report "Renewable Energy: Vision or Mirage", to be published on 12th December by the Adam Smith Institute and Scientific Alliance.
The report fails to recognise the hugely significant role that wind energy already plays in generating clean electricity in the UK.
The report states incorrectly that wind "does little to reduce carbon emissions"
The fact is that we have installed enough wind turbines to provide clean electricity to more than 3,200,000 homes in the UK, displacing more than six and a half million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
The report says wrongly that "nuclear and gas are the most viable energy sources for the near future"
The fact is that wholesale gas prices have risen by 40% over the last year. Depending on expensive imports of gas leaves us at the mercy of market forces we cannot control. Gas prices have driven domestic bills sky high - we need alternatives.
It is impossible to build a nuclear power complex in a short time frame, and no new nuclear plant is due to go operational in the UK before 2020. And the cost of disposing of radioactive waste will always make nuclear expensive.
The report claims that as renewable energy sources "produce power intermittently, they cannot replace gas, coal and nuclear."
This demonstrates that the ASI have failed to understand the role wind can play in our power mix. Wind turbines generate electricity 80-85% of the time, allowing us to use the power of the weather when it's available to cut the quantities of fossil fuels we need to burn to generate our electricity. Without wind cutting our gas consumption, it's difficult to see how we'll be able to afford the enormous volumes of gas that the ASI's preferred option would require. It's not wind that needs backup - gas needs a wind supplement in order to avoid consumer bills skyrocketing.
Dr Gordon Edge, Director of Policy at RenewableUK said:
"This report is simply another example of the same little clique of people repeating the same tired old arguments against renewable energy, regardless of the facts. Their report cannot be seen as an impartial piece of research - it was written by anti-renewables campaigners.
Astonishingly, they seem to be suggesting that we should generate electricity by importing vast quantities of expensive fossil fuels from abroad, rather than utilising a free low carbon source - wind - which is abundant throughout the UK, onshore and offshore. We will continue to forge ahead with the successful deployment of wind energy".