When you’ve been setting out, for many months, a clear and comprehensible case for a rational energy policy, a policy based on achieving reliable supplies of affordable electricity, it comes almost as a surprise to find that some people out there still seem to be in blissful ignorance of the basics. Yet they are.
In Sunday’s papers I saw reports of the battle by Bill Cash MP (sound fellow) to oppose two massive turbines next to his historic and listed home, Upton Cressett. I Tweeted: “Good Luck to Bill Cash MP in his battle against wind turbines at Upton Cressett. It’s time to slay the monsters”. But the PeterM, a.k.a. @pooky2483, replied: “Why are you against them? What alternative would you choose?”.
Basic false assumption. He simply assumes that wind turbines make a positive contribution to our electricity supplies, so that if we shut down wind farms, we’d have to replace them with something else.
But they don’t make any significant net contribution to energy supplies. Recent work by Professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University, and others shows that intermittent wind requires conventional back-up; that the back-up also has to be run intermittently to complement the wind; that it is therefore run very inefficiently (and for the accountants out there, it represents a very inefficient use of capital); so it uses more fossil fuel, and creates more emissions, than if it were run properly. Indeed the system of wind plus back-up uses about as much gas, and creates about as much CO2, as if you’d forgotten about the wind and just built the gas.
So there’s your short answer, Pooky2483.
But as you can see, it won’t really go into 140 characters for a Tweet. So I replied “See UKIP energy policy at www.ukip.org/media/policies/energy.pdf.” Thanks, Pooky2483, for an excuse to Tweet, yet again, the link to my UKIP energy policy booklet.