Each member of the public could save £550 by 2020 if the government scraps expensive wind energy plans in favour of cheaper nuclear and gas-fired power plants.
KPMG, the accountants and adviser on government energy policy will this week publish a controversial report saying that Britain can reach the 2020 target on reducing pollution imposed by the European Union for a third less than predicted, a potential saving of £34 billion.
To achieve this saving, the proportion of wind power envisaged would need to be slashed and the energy shortfall made up by new gas and nuclear power stations.
Wind power is by far the most expensive form of electricity generation to build, and with 5.5m households already suffering from ‘fuel poverty’, energy prices will only rise further substantially increasing this figure.
Nuclear and gas powered plants would cost £74 billion, considerably less than the £108 billion required for the current programme.
Based on current building costs an 800 megawatt gas-fired power station, capable of producing round-the-clock power for 800,000 homes, will cost about £400m. By contrast, an off-shore wind farm with the same capacity, will cost £2.4bn which is similar to a nuclear plant. A wind farm will only produce power for about one-third of the time due to weather conditions so would also need to be backed-up by another gas-fired power station as well.
These figures do not include the billions required for all the additional unsightly national grid power lines to remote places where many wind farms are located.
On top of the financial implications, what about the environmental issues with thousands of huge wind turbines in many unspoilt parts of the countryside, and the increased heavy construction traffic through village communities.
Surely a rethink is required…