Apologies to Benjamin Disraeli, who spoke of “Lies, damned lies and statistics”. But there are few lies as mendacious and insidious as the oft-repeated claim that “The wind is free”.
Wind is only “free” in the same sense that coal or oil or gas are free. They’re just lying there in the ground waiting for someone to collect them and turn them into electricity. Trouble is, it’s quite expensive to do that. But it’s even more expensive to collect wind power and turn it into electricity — about double, for off-shore wind. Far from being free, wind power is very expensive. And wind power is less useful than conventional power, because it’s intermittent and unpredictable, and requires conventional back-up.
Our obsession with wind is driving up domestic electricity bills at an unprecedented rate, leaving millions of households in fuel poverty, and forcing pensioners to choose between heating and eating.
It is undermining our economic recovery; making energy-intensive businesses look at moving off-shore, taking jobs with them; and making investment in the UK less attractive. Our current energy policies are a disaster, and unless we change course they will lead to the de-industrialisation of Britain.