Home
NO FOLLY GREATER THAN THE GREAT WIND SCAM

Posted 12 September 2011

"I long ago decided that there was little point reporting on most of these individual campaigns, because the only way this battle was going to be won was by exposing the futility of the national policy they were up against. My main aim had to be to bring home to people just how grotesquely inefficient and costly wind turbines are as a way to make electricity - without even fulfilling their declared purpose of reducing CO2 emissions. "  Christopher Booker, writing in the UK Telegraph.



No folly greater than the great wind scam

Christopher Booker in  the Telegraph, UK

Three separate news items on the same day last week reflected three
different aspects of what is fast becoming a full-scale disaster
bearing down on Britain. The first item was a picture in the Daily
Telegraph showing two little children forlornly holding a banner
reading "E.On Hands Off Winwick". This concerned a battle to prevent a
tiny Northamptonshire village from being dwarfed by seven 410-foot
wind turbines, each higher than Salisbury Cathedral, to be built
nearby by a giant German-owned electricity firm. The 40 residents, it
was reported, have raised £50,OOO from their savings to pay lawyers to
argue their case when their village's fate is decided at an inquiry by
a Government inspector.

In the nine years since I began writing here about wind turbines, I
have been approached by more than 100 such local campaigns in every
part of Britain, trying to fight the rich and powerful companies that
have been queuing up to cash in on the vast subsidy bonanza available
to developers of wind farms. Having been the chairman of one such
group myself, I know just how time-consuming and costly such battles
can be. The campaigners are up against a system horribly rigged
against them, because all too often - although they may win every
battle locally (in our case we won unanimous support from our local
council) - in the end an inspector may come down from London to rule
that the wind farm must go ahead because it is "government policy".

I long ago decided that there was little point reporting on most of
these individual campaigns, because the only way this battle was going
to be won was by exposing the futility of the national policy they
were up against. My main aim had to be to bring home to people just
how grotesquely inefficient and costly wind turbines are as a way to
make electricity - without even fulfilling their declared purpose of
reducing CO2 emissions. Alas, despite all the practical evidence to
show why wind power is one of the greatest follies of our age, those
who rule our lives, from our own politicians and officials here in
Britain to those above them in Brussels, seem quite impervious to the
facts.

Hence the two other items reported last week, one being the
Government's proposed changes to our planning rules (already being
implemented, even though the "consultation" has scarcely begun) which
are drawing fire from all directions. The particular point here, on
page 43 of the Government's document, is a proposal that local
planning authorities must "apply a presumption in favour" of
"renewable and low-carbon energy sources".

What this means in plain English is that we can forget any last
vestiges of local democracy. Our planning system is to be rigged even
more shamelessly than before, to allow pretty well every application
to cover our countryside with wind turbines - along with thousands of
monster pylons, themselves up to 400 feet high, marching across
Scotland, Wales, Suffolk, Somerset and elsewhere to connect them to
the grid. All this is deemed necessary to meet our EU-agreed target to
generate nearly a third of our electricity from "renewables" - six
times more than we do now - by 2020. This would require building at
least 10,000 more turbines, in addition to the 3,500 we already have -
which last year supplied only 2.7 per cent of our electricity.

Obviously this is impossible, but our Government will nevertheless do
all it can to meet its unreachable target and force through the
building of thousands of turbines, capable of producing a derisory
amount of electricity at a cost estimated, on its own figures, at £140
billion (equating to £5,600 for every household in the land).

Which brings us to the third of last week's news items, a prediction
by energy consultants Ulyx that a further avalanche of "green"
measures will alone raise Britain's already soaring energy bills in
the same nine years by a further 58 per cent.

A significant part of this crippling increase, helping to drive more
than half Britain's households into "fuel poverty", will be the costs
involved in covering thousands of square miles of our countryside and
seas with wind turbines. The sole beneficiaries will be the energy
companies, which are allowed to charge us double or treble the normal
cost of our electricity, through the subsidies hidden in our energy
bills; and landowners such as Sir Reginald Sheffield, the Prime
Minister's father-in-law, who on his own admission stands to earn
nearly £1,000 a day at the expense of the rest of us, for allowing a
wind farm to be built on his Lincolnshire estate.

Even more damaging, however, will be the way this massive investment
diverts resources away from the replacement of the coal-fired and
nuclear power stations which are due for closure in coming years,
threatening to leave a shortfall in our national electricity supply of
nearly 40 per cent. If we are to keep our lights on and our economy
running, we need - as the CBI warned in a damning report on Friday -
urgently to spend some £200 billion on power supply, But our
politicians have been so carried away into their greenie never-never
land that they seem to have lost any sight of this disaster bearing
down on us. Instead of putting up turbines on the fields of Northants,
E.On should be building the grown-up power stations we desperately
need. But government energy policy has so skewed the financial
incentives of the system that the real money is to made from building
useless wind farms.

Sooner or later, this weird policy will be recognised as such a
catastrophic blunder that it, and the colossal subsidies that made it
possible, will be abandoned. That will leave vast areas of our once
green and pleasant land littered with useless piles of steel and
concrete, which it will be no one's responsibility to cart away. If
the Government really wishes to make a useful change to our planning
laws, it should insist that every planning permission to build wind
turbines should include a requirement that, after their 25-year life,
they must be removed at their owners' expense. Alas, by that time the
companies will all have gone bankrupt, and we shall be left with a
hideous legacy as a monument to one of the greatest lunacies of our
time.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 )
 
< Prev   Next >





Lost Password?
No account yet? Register
This website is dedicated to the memory of Professor August H. (Augie) Auer jr, a co-founder of the Coalition.