1GW of UK offshore wind? Think again

From today’s virtuous and progressively thinking  Guardian we are informed that:

The UK cemented its position as the leading player in the global offshore wind energy market today with the announcement that it has attained one gigawatt (1gw) of installed offshore wind capacity.

Trade association RenewableUK said that the completion of Dong Energy’s Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm and E.ON’s Robin Rigg development means that the UK now boasts 11 working offshore wind farms, featuring 336 wind turbines capable of generating power for up to 700,000 homes.

The problem with this propaganda piece is that although the turbines at Robin Rigg and Gunfleet Sands might be capable of generating that much power, they almost certainly never will.  Most turbines, when they are actually operational, rarely produce over 25% of their capacity – and even when they do, it cannot be guaranteed it will be at times when demand calls for it.  The article continues:

“The UK offshore wind industry has come of age,” said Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK. “In the last 10 years we have built a brand new world-leading industry sector that will create long-term value for this country. ”

She added that the UK wind energy industry now had the foundations in place to build a “position of global leadership” and establish a flourishing supply chain that will create jobs and provide a major boost to the country’s emerging marine energy industry.

While this might be great news for RenewableUK’s finances, the primary motive of installing wind turbines is to satisfy the demands of our government in Brussels and to supposedly produce electricity at affordable prices.  But it seems industrial subsidy and quasi-state job creation is what matters here. 

Given that wind turbines have proved incredibly inefficient at generating power when it’s needed, requires massive taxpayer subsidy and also results in a double whammy by causing the cost of electricity to consumers to spiral upwards, isn’t it about time fawning biased media organs such as the Guardian started to report the facts to their readership, rather than regurgitate press releases and pass them off as factual news pieces?

It is rather apt that unreliable reporting occasions the landmark moment of reaching 1gw of installed capacity of an unreliable and expensive energy source.  But the joke is on us as we continue to be ripped off for the sake of a nonsensical arbitrary diktat on renewable power.

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3 Responses to “1GW of UK offshore wind? Think again”


  1. 1 Sinjun 23/04/2010 at 1:53 pm

    She added that the UK wind energy industry now had the foundations in place to build a “position of global leadership” and establish a flourishing supply chain that will create jobs and provide a major boost to the country’s emerging marine energy industry.

    Ah yes, Dong and E.ON, those world-class British companies…

  2. 2 JohnRS 23/04/2010 at 9:25 pm

    I am continually astounded that any rational commentator (especially any one that owns a light bulb) would think that a power source that only provides electricity when it feels like it could possibly be the answer to anything.

    But then in RenewableUK’s case I supposed the “rational commentator” clause doesnt really apply. Grasping, money grubbing warble gloaming supporters is probably closer to the truth.


  1. 1 Con-Lib climate change and energy policy is a looming disaster « Autonomous Mind Trackback on 14/05/2010 at 2:28 pm
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