Green energy plan costs ten times its benefits

A story tucked into the Telegraph Business News (Aug 10th) deserves the widest circulation.  The government’s Renewable Energy Strategy, published last month, gives figures for both the costs and claimed benefits of the plan (of which the largest element is, of course, a massive increase in electricity generation by wind power).
The plan, according to the government, will cost around £4 billion a year over the next twenty years.  But the benefits will be only £4 to £5 billion.  That’s not per annum.  That’s over the whole period.  So the costs will exceed benefits somewhere between eleven and seventeen times.
The government claims that the loss (of around £65 billion) will be compensated by the “non-monetary benefits”.  Yet those benefits were presumably estimated and included in the proposed “benefits” of the plan.  That is what eco-economists do when they estimate the notional cost of CO2 emissions.
These figures illustrate the massive and disastrous costs of the government’s plans.  British industry will be using the most expensive electricity in the world, while the French benefit from prices probably only a third of ours, with electricity from nuclear power (which, if it matters, also produces no CO2).  We are of course pursuing this daft plan because our masters in Brussels have told us to.
This sounds like a worst-case scenario.  But it gets worse still.  The government’s plans for building wind capacity are, according to industry sources, entirely fanciful and unachievable.  So rather than getting very expensive electricity, we risk getting none at all.  Expect power outages and rolling black-outs.  This is where our green obsessions are taking us.

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10 Responses to Green energy plan costs ten times its benefits

  1. Tim Lennon says:


    I’m intrigued by your stance on climate change. Have you read the public paper issued by the Royal Society? (

    Because I have to confess that I find it hard to accept that vague arguments about minor temperature changes over ten years actually weigh up against the massive pre-ponderance of science (and scientists) who are extremely worried about climate change and how we deal with it …


    Tim Lennon.

  2. Mark Demmen says:

    Roger – Will the Conservative leadership give it any circulation? Have made any comment? The political classes seem strangely silent on this matter. Indeed, they now want to extend this sort of ridiculous eco-cost to food production.

  3. Roger Helmer says:

    Tim, these are long and complex arguments, and rather than summarise them here I would do better to refer you to my Bruges Group book “Cool Thinking on Climate Change”; Lord Lawson’s “An Appeal to Reason”; Prof Ian Plimer’s “Heaven and Earth”; and Christopher Booker’s “Scared to Death”. Indeed there is a growing tide of books making the sceptic case.

    In brief, it just isn’t true that a “Massive preponderance of scientists” are extremely worried. Independent research shows that views in the scientific community are very mixed. The IPCC is not a scientific consensus: it’s a lobby group.

    Mark: There are a handful of Tory MPs and MEPs arguing in the Party for a rational approach. We’re doing our best.

  4. Tim Lennon says:


    I have friends who can suggest to me a long list of sites which they claim come from ‘proper’ scientists, etc., providing data and argument on the issue: I’m not keen to rush out and buy any more books at the moment, so perhaps you could share some links to these arguments?


  5. Derek Tipp says:

    Tim, there are vast numbers of sites arguing against the current hypothesis. The arguments made by the Royal society are lengthy, bu very vague. Hardly any science in them. My blog has a large number. For a start I recommend reading the words of Richard Lindzen, one of the world’s leading scientists on the subject.

  6. Roger Helmer says:

    Thanks Derek. Good advice. Tim: Try, and especially note their current lead story about the Aussie Senate rejecting their government’s climate bill.

  7. Editor 1 says:

    Roger – why dont you take your nonsense and go and join UKIP? There is no place for this drivel in the modern Conservative Party.

  8. Tim Lennon says:


    I read Richard Lindzen’s paper, and it doesn’t look like he’s actually arguing against the essential thesis of the Royal Society or the IPCC – that climate change is happening, and that the vast preponderance of evidence suggests that human activity is a major factor in this climate change.

    Lindzen does seem to argue that science has become ‘politicised’ in this area, but I’m not sure when science hasn’t got politicised in most areas of major impact on society, frankly.

    And, while it seems reasonable to argue that the IPCC is effectively a pressure group because of the political impact of its research, I’d just draw your attention to page two of the Royal Society summary, where it says “In 2001, the United States National Academy of Sciences was commissioned by the Bush administration to assess the current understanding of global climate change. Its report, published in June 2001, stated:
    “The IPCC’s conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the
    scientific community on this issue.”

    I’m certainly no scientist, and I find all sorts of things coming out as a result of climate change concerns to be worrying, but viewing the Australian cap and charge plan (which doesn’t seem the most convincing of proposals, it has to be argued) as a pile of manure doesn’t detract from the essential, apparently massive, consensus about climate change and who’s causing it …

  9. Tim Lennon says:

    Sorry – the Royal Society summary pdf is here: (I say ‘summary’, there’s 20 pages of it!)

  10. Roger Helmer says:

    Tim: There are a number of good summaries of the nature of the IPCC way of working, the way it ignores differing opinions from its own panellists, the way that lead writers are often not specialists in the relevant field, or indeed not scientists at all. Indeed some are zealous green activists. It’s all there in the books I mentioned — I’m not prepared to type it all out again.

    You might also try watching my Climate video, accessed through my home page at

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