Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Scottish government´s renewable energy spin vs reality

Scotland - quite like the UK - has a "green" government, which has eagerly embraces
all the warmist propaganda arguments and cheap renewable energy slogans. Now the Scottish Department for Energy and Climate Change is claiming that the government´s "low carbon initiatives will have a big impact on consumers´energy bills": 

Using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, is a good way to reduce your energy bill.
The DECC argued that by 2020, policies to reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint will shave £94 off energy bills, a feat that would not have been possible if they hadn’t been put in place.
The current drive towards using renewable energy sources will see average household energy bills stand at £1,285 by 2020, a figure which would have climbed up to £1,379 had the government not acted.
The findings were also backed by research by industry regulator Ofgem, which supported the idea that energy bills will be lowered by the government’s green initiatives.
The news will be welcomed by consumers, many of whom are expecting a rise in energy bills by as much as £50 after Centrica, which owns Scottish Gas, announced an increase in wholesale gas prices.
“Renewable energy is vital to Scotland and to the rest of the UK. It is essential if we are to keep bills down for ordinary families, boost the economy and meet our climate change targets,” said Fergus Ewing, the energy minister.
The Scottish government is of course quite right when saying that its "low carbon initiative will have a big impact on consumers´ energy bills". However, the problem is that the impact will be a steep rise in energy prices
ELECTRICITY bills will rise by at least 58% if the UK Government is to meet its renewable energy target within the next eight years, according to an industry expert.
Sir Donald Miller, who spent a lifetime as an engineer in the power industry, rising to chair both the South of Scotland Electricity Board and ScottishPower, warned the cost to households would increase by that amount if ministers were to meet their tar-get of 30% or more of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020. It would mean the average annual electricity bill of £489 for Scottish homes would go up by £283.62 to more than £773 a year within the next eight years.
The more ambitious Scottish Government target of generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020 would mean even greater rises in household bills, he warned.
Sir Donald calculations are contained in his submission to the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee's inquiry into the Scottish Government's targets.

The former engineer, who favours a mix of energy sources including nuclear, also claims Scottish Government targets imply a four-fold expansion of wind power in Scotland, offshore and on land, within a period of eight years, but counsels: "This seems unlikely and not least because of resistance to a proli-feration of wind farms onshore."
He believes the conduct of planning inquiries into wind farms is bringing the Scottish planning system into disrepute and points to growing evidence based on experience in the United States and Ireland that high levels of interruptible generation, such as wind, produce much smaller savings in CO2 emissions than had been thought.

Read the entire article here

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