As I was driving back from St Andrews …

Comment posted Hilarious case of wind business dollar chasers threatening law over cut subsidies by Dr Douglas McKenzie.

As I was driving back from St Andrews today (after some very interesting conversations about novel ways to capture and process solar energy and dodging T in the park) there was a guy on Radio Scotland representing the North Sea industry. Basically, his message was that the industry needed further economic incentives (not subsidies, no sir) to develop the more marginal projects in the North Sea.

The Telegraph the other day had approving coverage of a Parliamentary report calling for significantly more investment (possibly called subsidies) into nuclear energy.

Just what is so special about wind energy that gets people so het up about it?

Dr Douglas McKenzie also commented

  • But my point is that the time for national pride was before we sold off our utilities. (However, it works both ways: I remember the huge disapproval of the German public when Vodaphone (a UK company) acquired Mannesman (the largest German mobile phone company at the time if my memory is serving me correctly.

    As for jobs, all of the SSE and SP engineers and managers I meet tend to be Scots. SE also provide about 400M to the exchequer in tax (and a further ~120M in pension contribution mostly within the UK.

  • In terms of percentages, hydro makes a much bigger contribution in Scottish terms than it does on the UK stage. Biomass also contributes a perhaps surprisingly large percentage. However, in essence, I agree, wind will be the major renewable component in Scotland by 2020 (though still smaller than “conventional” sources).
  • Re: Plinian Victory, if you Google Plinian Victory you get first a Wikipedia reference to Pliny the Elder but then the rest of it relates to your FA post. I think you may have invented a new phrase! (in English at least).

    I cannot find anything in Pliny’s military career that would match your description. I confess that I thought you might be getting confused with a Pyrrhic Victory (to win but at an unacceptable loss).

    Pliny famously died tried to rescue friends of his from the eruption of Vesuvius (probably from a heart attack) so a Plinian Victory could be defined as one where you win but lose your own life in doing so (shades of teh Earl of Douglas at Otterburn).

    There is nothing in the military careers of either Pliny the Elder or the Younger that fits your description so I’m still puzzling where it comes from.

  • German local councils are obviously more efficient with finance than ABC!
  • How is wind going to replace that lot?

    It isn’t. Nobody is proposing that the UK generates all of its electricity from wind (nor for Scotland). But it is an important component – already more important than hydro and growing.

Recent comments by Dr Douglas McKenzie

  • Rustle with Russell
    More utter rubbish from Lynda Henderson. Have you actually spoken to Bob Allen? Whoever told you the story sold you a pup and in your arrogance you cannot admit to be wrong so you make up this story that he was persuaded not to resign.

    Your position is completely untenable.

  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    I’m afraid you condemn yourself by your own words. I don’t think that anyone reading what you have written here and the language you have used would conclude anything other than that you have a deep dislike for Mr Russell and that dislike is leading you to basically lose all sense of either proportion or impartiality. It doesn’t matter how well (or otherwise) you know Mr Russell you are clearly exercised by your interpretation of his actions and it is leading you well beyond the pale in what I would consider fair comment.

    This vendetta against Mr Russell and the SNP is destroying FA’s credibility and I have to confess that I’m seriously considering whether or not to continue reading FA (which will cheer Malcolm up if nothing else). I for one am becoming increasingly disenchanted by the constant negativity and sheer nastiness that has crept into this blog. I say that with a lot more sorrow than anger because I think that FA could have been great and indeed still could but there has to be a degree of balance, civility and indeed humour. All we are getting here is bile and it is causing me heartburn.

  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    To be honest, this post clearly shows that you are speaking from your personal dislike of Mr Russell rather than an unbiased analysis of the man. Phrases such as “publicity hungry coward” are well beyond what is reasonable comment.
  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    You don’t seem to understand the separation of a MSP’s duty to his or her constituency and their responsibilities as a Government Minister.

    Yet again, this is another instance where a member of the Government can do no right: speak up and be condemned as “desperate” or stay silent and be accused of not serving your constituents’ interests.

    It is just as well that Mr Russell has broad shoulders!

  • Atlantic Islands Centre for Luing: biggest investment in island’s history
    Well done Luing – an inspiration to all of Argyll’s communities.

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63 Responses to As I was driving back from St Andrews …

  1. I have also been amused by some bloggers on this site who believe that energy consumers are only paying towards the subsidies directly through their bills to the energy suppliers and therefore it has nothing to do with the Westminster Government. We are also paying for the subsidies through our taxes as this recent development shows. The cost to consumers is very much under the control of Westminster.

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    • Lowry – I think you may have misunderstood with: “We are also paying for the subsidies through our taxes as this recent development shows.”

      You correctly state that the subsidy level is set by government. However, the government does not handle the money and it is not part of the taxation system.

      In other words your phrase “energy consumers are only paying towards the subsidies directly through their bills to the energy suppliers” is correct.

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  2. A more general comment – if the subsidy is cut, the first projects to be abandoned will be those which are least profitable. This is likely to be the smaller (e.g. community) scale projects and those in more remote areas where the cost of a grid connection is higher.

    The large-scale projects involving giant turbines in large arrays, where economies of scale lead to lower costs/MW capacity, are likely to be quite profitable enough to cope with even the larger subsidy cut, and will therefore be built anyway.

    I’m never sure whether those who are implacably opposed to wind power object more strongly to the sight of big wind farms in the countryside, or to the principle of consumer subsidy for electricity generation. If it’s the former, they should pause for thought about the likely detailed consequences before crowing too excitedly about subsidy cuts. If it’s the latter, they’d better get some warm blankets and candles ready, because none of the power plants required to replace all those retiring in the coming decade can be built without the consumer and/or taxpayer footing the bill.

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    • Tim: here is a novel idea, if the sheep want to buy into man made global warming then let them pay for it.
      Its time all subsidies from government stopped. Time to take pathetic puppet governments out of all forms of business

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      • Keith – no subsidies for any generation plant means that none will be built at all (least of all nuclear) and then the lights really will go out.

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        • Tim: Let go of the fear mate its not real its just a tool the government use, if they were that bothered they would push HHO or Overtunity funny when asked about funding it was not available but they can throw millions at windmills LOL
          We have no shortages, the planet is not overflowing and man made global warming is a joke (sorry again we changed the name to Climate change best to hedge your bets)
          You have been lied too mate, the government just want your service they don’t care about you or your kids it’s just the money and your voluntary servitude
          The government is now your employer and guess what you pay to work for them, but bet you still think the government is the servant of the people

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    • “This is likely to be the smaller (e.g. community) scale projects and those in more remote areas where the cost of a grid connection is higher.”

      Not quite right…look at the Tiree model…community wind or renewables need not necessarily suffer especially if the electricity is sold and used locally from Tiree Renewables Ltd

      http://www.tireerenewableenergy.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=31

      Reform is needed now..not more foreign built and owned large scale commercial wind power stations.

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      • Karl – thanks for the link, interesting website.

        My point was that community renewable projects rely just as heavily on ‘subsidies’ in the form of ROC or FIT income as do the large investor or utility-owned wind farms. Arguably much more so, since large wind farms cost less to build on a per-MW basis.

        There is a section on the Tiree Energy website which clearly acknowledges the ROC as a (presumably important) part of the income from the project. In fact based on their estimates in 2006, the total ROC income was expected to be around £134k per year, which is more than their expected net profit of £70-£100k.

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        • Agreed…maybe I should have used Eigg as a better example.

          Anyhow, we on Tiree have long harked after de-regulation…reform.
          We all had to sit and watch the turbine go around for several months doing nothing but swatting flies…the cable to the mainland was down…we used the huge diesel genny instead…
          If reform was in place the turbine would have supplied the island directly, and longer term be totally self-supporting. Initial funding you will note was raised and not begged for…the site is well out of date now…hopefully at some stage it will get updated (I will ask them).
          By the way Tilley, generally is the most consistently producing turbine in europe..which cancel’s out the ROC…she would in fact be in profit without.
          Karl

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  3. Pingback: Fight on for wind power subsidies – BBC News | Lenta Asia

  4. There has been much debate about windfarms on here, some interesting, some not so, some full of facts and figures, some less so and whilst I have tried to keep up I feel some benefit could be had from an article which sets out some of the basics so more people can try and tune in to what is being argued about.

    By this I mean setting out what is meant by ROCS, what the subsidies are, or more importantly what they are supposed to cover etc etc. Hopefully someone will be willing to do this and do it from a neutral perspective as I think it would aid the debate. There are some on here who clearly have in depth knowledge of the matter (on both sides of the camp) but it can be tough to follow the arguments some time due to the complexity and technical nature of some of the language. Anyone willing to draft something that Newsroom might publish (think of it as a ‘Dummies Guide to Windfarms!)

    I would also be interested in seeing whether those opposed to windfarms are blanket opposed to all regardless of ownership or whether there is a more ‘sympathetic’ view on windfarms which are entirely community owned rather than being predominantly owned by developers with a small percentage of income being handed over to the local community.

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    • I support community wind projects and community renewables 100%…maybe I have socialist roots ? I believe that energy is in this modern world a given right, much the same as water, food, shelter and peace.
      Commercial wind takes the cream and most of the milk…the little that is left we pay through the nose for. we live in a commercial world at the whims of bankers/multi-nationals and politicians who in general have lost credibility. We are been sold commercial wind via the inroad of saving the planet from global warming…any reduction in CO2 is welcome…but the fact is these multi-national coglomarates are in it for the commercial returns that ultimately end up in the pockets of their CEO’s and shareholders.
      Community renewables give benefits to the community, the benefit of clean energy, energy security and pay dividends to the people who really matter…you and me.
      The grid can cope with community renewables…the landscape can absorb scattered small clusters, the strategic impacts to migrating birds and other species are reduced.
      “The MP for Howden has called for a sharp cut in subsidies for future and existing wind farms, describing them as “modern monstrosities”.Following a meeting with the minister for the department of energy and climate change stated: “It is time for a sensible debate to take place about the future of energy and how it is to be funded,” said Mr Davis, “So that the country can benefit from energy reform rather than the pockets of the renewable companies being further lined.”
      Hear ! Hear ! REFORM !

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  5. Good article.

    Yes, its all about money.

    Those chasing and pickpocketing the taxmoney of honest hardworking families through the windscam, and all their misguided fellow travellers, are no better than certain bankers.

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  6. Direct or indirect…our TAXES are been used to support commercial wind, from Alex jetting around the globe to spread his messianic chundering (what about his Co2 Miles ?) to the amount of work councils are forced to do in planning…to the work of Marine Scotland, SNH et al…committee meetings, public enquiries we are footing the bill…millions of quid. For what ? we don’t build these industrial behmoths, we don’t own the companies who operate them…environmental issues aside what are the real benifits…employment is certainly not on the list, they employ less personnel than conventional or nuclear..and the service industries are smaller…the construction companies in general use foreign labour….where is the sense ?

    Which one of these companies is UK owned: Areva,Dong Energy,EDF,E.ON,Mitsubushi,RWE,Scottish Power Renewables,Seimens,Statkraft,Statoil,Vestas ???? why are they here (rhetorical)? more to the question is why are two super large oil companies in the frame ? simple init.

    If Scottish Ship building/steel had the same support we would still have the industry…not a stand alone industry but at least an industry that kept folk in jobs, gave them the chance for some respect…

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    • Oh Karl! Are you really the person to be attacking the First Minister on his carbon footprint? It would be interesting to actually see if you or Mr Salmond actually have the greater carbon footprint.

      Better to stick to the subject of debate rather than try and score cheap political points methinks!

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      • Necessity ? :) is the taproot of my journeys.

        Mr Salmond does not need to embarass us in the middle east, he’s quite capable of doing that from home, by helping to import 450,000 pound a year panda’s an the likes…

        Really doctor you sound like Mr Bowler.

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        • Sorry – who is Mr Bowler? (and while we are at it, what did you mean by a Plinian victory the other day – I have been wondering about that ever since?).

          So, your argument is now that your carbon footprint is more necessary than the First Minister’s?

          I’m actually not getting at you Karl. Lot’s of people have to travel long distances and quite frequently. The only way to do this is by jet and that has a huge carbon footprint. But it is, perhaps, a bit disingenuous to criticise someone else’s carbon footprint while not acknowledging your own.

          We could also look at economic benefit to Scotland v carbon footprint for both yourself and Mr Salmond if you wish but I caution against going down this route as you end up just looking silly.

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          • refer you to my last.
            Mr Bowler=Mr Webcraft.
            There we go again doc putting Mr Salmonds economic benefits (questionable) in front of the environmental damage that he is allowing in regards to commercial wind development…
            Plinian Victory is a phrase used by the Italians…it means do destroy one thing in the belief that you will gain another (I believe it refer’s to Pliny the elder..who sacrificed his own legions to save the war or Rome…or the likes…when actually the war was lost)Destroy our Scottish environment to save the planet.etcetera…
            It’s also a type of cataclysmic explosion…Volcanic…a bit like the explosion of commercial windfarms we are seeing I suppose…etcetera.
            Lets move on this is getting a little predictable.

            PS: done my bit for the environment this last few months…introduced a no flareing policy for testing new wells…Thank you Weatherford…all we have to do now is persuade the Iraqi’s to use their gas flares to power the proposed new power station here…could take a few years…in fact there is more chance of seeing snow here at the moment…toodle pip

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          • Re: Plinian Victory, if you Google Plinian Victory you get first a Wikipedia reference to Pliny the Elder but then the rest of it relates to your FA post. I think you may have invented a new phrase! (in English at least).

            I cannot find anything in Pliny’s military career that would match your description. I confess that I thought you might be getting confused with a Pyrrhic Victory (to win but at an unacceptable loss).

            Pliny famously died tried to rescue friends of his from the eruption of Vesuvius (probably from a heart attack) so a Plinian Victory could be defined as one where you win but lose your own life in doing so (shades of teh Earl of Douglas at Otterburn).

            There is nothing in the military careers of either Pliny the Elder or the Younger that fits your description so I’m still puzzling where it comes from.

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  7. Pingback: » Fight on for wind power subsidies – BBC News » Energized Energized

  8. As I was driving back from St Andrews today (after some very interesting conversations about novel ways to capture and process solar energy and dodging T in the park) there was a guy on Radio Scotland representing the North Sea industry. Basically, his message was that the industry needed further economic incentives (not subsidies, no sir) to develop the more marginal projects in the North Sea.

    The Telegraph the other day had approving coverage of a Parliamentary report calling for significantly more investment (possibly called subsidies) into nuclear energy.

    Just what is so special about wind energy that gets people so het up about it?

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    • Could it be that a lot of people who take pollution and global warming seriously, and who initially welcomed the concept of energy from the wind, are now becoming disillusioned at the way government management of the industry has led to the growing proliferation of wind farms – but the relative failure in Britain to ensure community benefit. There’s also the dawning realisation that too often the developers are reaping excessive profits at the expense of the rest of us.

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      • Robert: There was a very interesting section in that paper from the Renewables industry that we cited the other day suggesting that the UK (and the Netherlands) were pursuing the wrong approach to wind in that it was indeed far too top down and this was hindering deployment of wind compared to both Denmark and (interestingly) Germany. I was at a talk recently where the (Dutch) speaker showed a Google Earth overfly of the Dutch/German border with wind turbines marked ion the map. On the Dutch side there were isolated pockets of wind farms representing (probably) “corporate” wind deployments but on the German side, literally metres away from the Dutch side, there was an almost solid wall of wind turbines. This difference may be down to differences in approach between the more “Anglo-Saxon” corporate model pursued by the Netherlands and the much more communal approach pursued by the Germans.

        The same sort of point is made in the SAC report kindly cited by Malcolm (though for obscure reasons). The SAC report argues for farm based wind turbines as more compatible with the scenery and a better way of ensuring wealth flows to the local community (ie the farmers, which may not be exactly the same thing!).

        As I have said before, I’m a great fan of community ownership of, well, pretty much everything but communities generally don’t own their land nor do they(usually) have much capital so community ownership of wind farms depends again on , surprise, surprise, subsidy – either in supporting community buy outs and/or in supporting the capital costs of the turbines.

        Tim put his finger on things nicely: if you are against subsidy then you have to explain where our electricity is going to come from. If you object to the technology then fair enough but then let’s directly compare it with the alternatives on a matrix of cost/benefits.

        The bit about “foreign” greedy investors amuses (and perhaps worries) me. The reason our energy companies are by and large foreign owned is that we sold our energy companies to the aforesaid foreigners. Ownership is actually pretty much a red herring. My worry is because this smacks of xenophobia.

        Anyway, tea on the table so Malcolm is spared more of my pompous, self important, god like, self opinionated and boring prose for now.

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        • Xenophobia is something that I worry about for myself – I wonder at the ability of a consortium of German local councils to take a half share in the An Suidhe development, and at the ability of a serial wind developer (maybe a front for others?) based in leafy north London to find it worthwhile to promote a single turbine above Kennacraig. But what has me completely gobsmacked is the ability of the French state – through Electricite de France – to acquire a huge chunk of ‘privatised’ British power generation (and gas production) and distribution (EDF energy). Surely some mistake?

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      • Some good points Robert. I’m sure everyone would agree that it would be better if we had, as a nation, got our act together 20 years ago when wind power was in its infancy (and we still had the best wind in Europe). We could, with some government encouragement, have built an industry which would by now be able to supply our needs in terms of turbines and expertise as they did in Denmark. We could also have pioneered the localised ownership models which are common in Denmark too.

        However, we are where we are. We may have a good opportunity now to develop world-leading expertise and manufacturing capacity in offshore wind and tidal/wave power if we avoid previous mistakes and get our act together this time.

        In the mean time, we still have the best onshore wind resource in Europe, so it makes sense from a national economic point of view to develop that.

        As an aside, when the oil & gas industry first arrived in the north east, there wasn’t exactly a huge amount of locally-owned industry expertise or capacity – the industry got up and running on exactly the ‘foreign investment’ that some folk are complaining about so loudly in relation to wind power. Look at how that has changed over the decades – there is now a large population of locally owned SMEs servicing that sector and contributing a great deal to the Scottish economy.

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      • As said before…communities should lead renewables…not the behmoths of power generation…wherever they come from ! unfortunately they are not… if the industries were British (Scottish) the jobs and the revenue would be British (Scottish)…nothing at all xenophobic about this, it’s called national pride.

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        • But my point is that the time for national pride was before we sold off our utilities. (However, it works both ways: I remember the huge disapproval of the German public when Vodaphone (a UK company) acquired Mannesman (the largest German mobile phone company at the time if my memory is serving me correctly.

          As for jobs, all of the SSE and SP engineers and managers I meet tend to be Scots. SE also provide about 400M to the exchequer in tax (and a further ~120M in pension contribution mostly within the UK.

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    • Totally concur !

      Hijacking of a noble cause by big business and political agenda’s me thinks ?
      It may not do the first ministers green dream much good if the subsidies are cut by more than 10%, his foreign chums will soon be gone…and he could also kiss exporting wind generated energy out of an independent country too.
      Interesting times

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      • I just hope it doesn’t frighten off the offshore Aberdeen developers – that would just encourage another ‘foreign chum’ – of the utterly obnoxious sort.

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        • Aye…and though the Donald managed to highlight the commission…people only remember the Trump factor now…a lot of well meaning people can learn that death by association works both ways. Pro-commercial wind, anti-commercial wind and the politic…

          Anybody know when the final approval is happening…? I have through rational reasoning distanced myself from our septic friend.

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      • I could have said septic fiend…or septic tank..or sceptic yank…best stop there…

        Good article, sums up the situation very well… :)

        It’s bloody hard using an arabic pey bord…

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  9. OK – so can someone please explain:
    I pay extra on my electricity bill, directly to my provider, to help subsidise renewables.
    Mr A who has PV panels on his roof gets so much per annum from FITs.
    Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has stated:
    “We found that the uptake of solar pv an FITs generally for microgeneration was much greater last year than aynone had expected – it was ginormous and was busting the budget dramatically, so urgent action had to be taken…”
    Are you saying that the extra I pay on my bill is not connected to FITs? Some on this site have said that FITs and the government are not connected. I beg to differ.

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    • Lowry – the FITs are funded by consumers through their electricity suppliers, just like the ROCs. I think Mr Davey was referring to a ‘cap’ on the total amount of funding that can be provided by FITs, which was in danger of being exceeded by the rapid uptake of PV, although I’m not quite sure of the details.

      Find out more here:
      http://www.fitariffs.co.uk/FITs/principles/funding/

      To clarify – Governments set the rate of subsidy to be enacted. I didn’t say there was no connection between the government and the subsidies – just that they don’t fund them out of taxpayers’ money. You are indeed paying for Mr A’s solar panels – I suggest you take that up with him, ask him if he has a community benefit policy :-)

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  10. One aspect of the debate on how to shape our energy industry which doesn’t seem to have got a mention, is the power we have as consumers to vote with our wallets (market forces should appeal to those who object to ‘incentives’!)

    It’s easy enough to compare the generation mix from one supplier to another and choose the one we feel most comfortable with.

    Personally I am attracted to the philosophy behind Good Energy who state:

    “Good Energy is recognised as the leading supporter of small and medium-sized renewable generators. It believes that decentralised generation, where energy is generated at home and in the community, is better for our future energy security, as assets remain owned by the community rather than in the hands of a few big companies”

    I’m ashamed to say I haven’t yet got around to switching to them, but I did get as far as a price comparison which revealed them to be less than 10% more expensive than SHE (my current supplier). Given that they are not dependent on gas or oil for their generation, this 10% has every chance of shrinking in coming years (and I think they say they have not raised prices since 2009, which must be fairly unique amongst energy companies).

    http://www.goodenergy.co.uk for anyone who wants to check them out.

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    • Way to go…Saving what we waste, home generation, community generation…leave the Big commercial wind to the industrial users…you see how long it would last then…

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  11. What I meant was that whilst it may be very laudible to sign up to ‘green’ energy providers (which I believe they are not) what is received through the grid comes mainly from other sources. It is very unlikely that the Scottish Gvt. will achieve its target for renewables and highly likely that, even if it does, it will be dependent on imported electricity from nuclear power at times when renewables fail.

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    • The way I see it is that Scottish Gvt can achieve its goal by erecting 4 times the number of wind Turbines that exist at the moment, which would cost us about £1.6 billion pounds per annum in subsidies, guaranteed for 20 years, plus perhaps another 40% for the Grid to be extended up hill,down dale,and out to the Islands. Then if the world was to change sufficiently that the wind blew consistently at say 30mph, all day and all night,every week,every month,every year, then at the claimed output figure of 30% Scotland would possibly have all the electricity it needed. However – you’re ahead of me – the wind doesn’t blow steadily day and night – in fact as we are all aware the wind doesn’t blow at all for long periods. Existing wind turbine output in fact is way short of the 30% needed and always will be, therefore alternative suppliers -coal/gas/nuclear – will always be required. So why waste billions on so called ‘renewables ? There are alternative ways to cut CO2 emissions and given another 10 years or so, that will be achieved. Producing electricity will never be cheap but we need day and night, year in year out, reliability.

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      • Malcolm – I think you’re getting a bit confused. The 30% average load factor is BECAUSE the wind doesn’t blow constantly – if it did, the load factor would be close to 100%.

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        • You are absolutely right Tim – too much rush on my part – so apologies. The £ billions quoted however are for a 30% output so very much still apply, and my argument against renewables remains as clearly stated above. You might be interested to know that between 15.30 this afternoon and 15.30 yesterday, our UK electricity supply was created from 32.3% Gas – 36.6% Coal – 21.6% Nuclear – 2.0% Wind – 2.6% France – 2.2% Netherlands. How is wind ever going to replace that lot ?

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          • Malcolm – it won’t. The UK target for 2020 is 30% contribution from all renewables. The current average is a little under 7%.

            The UK government has today consented a total of 1,000MW of wind off the coast of Norfolk which, if built, will make a significant contribution.

            Also remember as I pointed out before that NETA figures exclude embedded wind & hydro, which they estimate to contribute as much again as the percentages shown in the table.

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          • How is wind going to replace that lot?

            It isn’t. Nobody is proposing that the UK generates all of its electricity from wind (nor for Scotland). But it is an important component – already more important than hydro and growing.

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    • Important component! it’s the only substantial component if the current Scottish government expects to meet its aspirational and highly questionable 100% renewable baloney by 2020.

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      • In terms of percentages, hydro makes a much bigger contribution in Scottish terms than it does on the UK stage. Biomass also contributes a perhaps surprisingly large percentage. However, in essence, I agree, wind will be the major renewable component in Scotland by 2020 (though still smaller than “conventional” sources).

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  12. Can I remind you that the £400 million per annum subsidy I use (and is correct) is only for onshore Scottish Wind Farms @ 3383MW. Heck knows what the subsidy is for all onshore and offshore wind farms in the whole of the UK but given time it should not be too difficult to work out. Also I emailed Scottish Renewables just yesterday about embedded output not being metered – reported to be up to 50% in Scotland alone – they replied today saying that the non metered output was no more than about 3% so there seems to be considerable hype from both sides. I would be genuinely interested if you considered that 3% could also be applied to the NETA readings.
    Murray won the first set – back to telly !

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    • http://www.actionforrenewables.org/user/register?dm_i=B1C,VE7Q,2MYFVC,2LAPK,1

      Amazing Spin/spam however did they get my address !

      Karl Hughes, will you help the Department for Energy and Climate Change stop George Osborne from undermining our green energy future?

      You made George Osborne’s email address overflow with demands to call off his 25% slash to wind power investment. Your support has made it much harder for the Chancellor to try and undermine clean British energy.

      But there’s still more to be done to make sure that cheap political point scoring doesn’t jeopardise our cheapest low carbon energy source.

      We need you to tell Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to stand up to the Chancellor, and make sure that the government sticks to its plan to reduce public investment in a sensible way.

      Here’s a reminder of why George is wrong to push such a massive cut to wind power investment.

      Wind Power is a vital part of the UK’s energy mix. Cutting investment would put jobs at risk to save you less than £6 per year.
      We are legally bound to meet our 2020 carbon targets. cheapest renewable energy source, onshore wind is by far the best way of achieving this.
      Slashing investment might actually push your bills up by forcing energy production back onto expensive, imported gas which made up over 50% of consumer bills last year.
      Ed Davey’s department is already working with wind energy providers to reduce public investment in onshore wind power. These sudden unpredictable changes make it very hard for them to plan for the long term.
      It will be much easier for Ed to stand up to George Osborne if he has your backing.

      Click here to tell him not to back down.

      As always, thanks for all your hard work and time.

      Together we can make our energy clean and sustainable.

      Jonathan Pyke

      Action for Renewables Coordinator

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    • Having been stalked by phone, I am now stalked by internet…why hassel anyone if they are not either:
      a) Right
      b) Right
      Anyway Malcolm, if I should disapear pelican brief style…scatter my ashes at Skerryvore LOL :) alternatively set me adrift in my 39 year old Contessa, viking style…well alight…the black smoke will be my final carbon footprint.

      11 days and I will be home thank ye gods !

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      • I might even send your ashes through the Great Gulf of Corryvreckan on the tide on a burning straw bale (which is the tradition here) but damage a beautiful old Contessa – no way mate ! Hope to have some new costs to post tomorrow !
        Goodnight !

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  13. Good Morning – From;- http://www.ref.org.uk/roc-generators/ it can be established that there is 5443MW of total output from UK Wind Farms today – excluding FITS earning turbines. It is possible to get higher figures from other sites. Using the same method to work out costs as previous, this comes to £643,570,790, and that’s just for the turbines working at this moment with hundreds more already through planning or on their way through. Add Tim’s proposed new 1000MW (above) and that adds a further £118,238,250 = £761,809,040 per annum guaranteed 20 years.However – spot the error – I have used the cost of onshore turbines to calculate the cost of offshore turbines simply because I do not have a correct figure for offshore. Tim’s 1000MW may very well cost 50% to 100% more than the £118 million subsidy figure I’ve calculated.
    For those disappointed with the 2% wind contribution to the UK’s electrical consumption for the previous 24 hours up to 3 pm yesterday (above), take heart. With the inclement weather presently crossing the British Isles the contribution from wind for the 24 hours up 7 am this morning was 4.8%. Consistency was good as well, especially from late afternoon yesterday throughout the night – repeat – throughout the night – get it ? And no doubt if any of the turbines had to be turned off because they were flooding the Grid with useless unwanted electricity,we still have to pay out, to make up for the operators ‘losses’.

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    • Malcolm – you are right, offshore wind is up for 2 ROCs per MWh, reducing progressively over the next few years.

      When you write out “761,809,040″ it does sound like a big number! I read the other day that the DECC’s annual budget for decommissioning the current ageing fleet of nuclear power stations is £2.9bn That’s the old ones that aren’t going to be producing any more energy at all, never mind the subsidies required for the new ones that have to be built to replace them.

      That’s £2,900,000,000 per year, guaranteed burden on taxpayers for… god knows how many years, and probably increasing all the way through. Wind has no monopoly on big numbers.

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  14. Tim – How up to date are you – a report in the last 24 hours says that they have already saved £1 billion on the estimated cost of cleaning up Dounreay:- http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/quick-clean-up-of-dounreay-set-to-save-taxpayers-1bn-1-2398558. I am not up to date on Nuclear Power Station decommissioning – how many others are we spending the money you suggest on, at the moment ? Incidentally, just passed a News headline saying China is to build many more Nuclear Power Stations ! Should help with their C02 problem. I sincerely believe there will be many ways of controlling CO2 output over the next 10 years without the waste of money that are unreliable renewables. Taking the annual figure I offered for all known present day turbines at £644 million – if I worked out the offshore % of that at double ROC ( I don’t have time) would you accept a guestimate of £800 Million per annum ? Now, all UK Governments want to quadruple that figure over the next few years : 4 x 800 =£3.2 billion per annum guaranteed for 20 years for a highly unreliable source of electricity:- 20 x £3.2 billion =
    You can build a modern Gas Fired Power Station for £0 .5 billion and a huge nuclear Power Plant for £5 billion – both giving a constant supply day and night – summer and winter. I have no technical knowledge but I would suspect that the cleaning up necessary in 60 years time of a new build Nuclear Power Station today will be a lot more efficient and less expensive than we are experiencing in cleaning up very old technology ie. Dounreay.
    Add squillions more for extending the Grid here,there and everywhere.

    That dreadful man Booker is at it again – bottom half of the page:-
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9383356/Britains-only-EU-hope-lies-hidden-in-Lisbon.html

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  15. A Dr E O Maxwell points out in the letters column of this morning’s Sunday Telegraph in answer to another Doc’s letter : ” —- states that all forms of electricity generation require new transmission connections. This does not apply to new nuclear power stations,as they are built on existing licensed nuclear sites which already have connections to the national grid.’
    Good point !

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  16. More facts:- Over the last 24 hours (up to 7am) wind generation contributed 1.3% of the electricity demand in the UK – a lot less than we imported from Europe. As the generation was a mixture of onshore and offshore we paid approx two and a half times the price we pay otherwise for our electricity supply. WHY ?
    The other generators could quite easily have covered that 1.3% and saved us zillions !
    Well not quite – £429,255 to be exact. Think about it !

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  17. Good grief, not another anti-wind diatribe – and the usual suspects banging the usual drums. It’s all getting a bit tedious, and it’s not going to change the big picture one whit.

    Karl, if you are going to ‘reveal’ my ‘real’ identity to people at least get it right.

    You do realise, don’t you, that some might see your effusive support for community renewables as hypocritical, being no more than your justification for the financial benefit Tiree receives from Tilley at, as Malcolm pointed out, the expense of electricity bill payers Nationwide.

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