EDITOR’S COMMENT: Ignoring clear evidence that the underlying economics of renewables are disastrous, the Prime Minister has today committed the UK to a further expansion of offshore wind power by 2030, with frightening implications for electricity prices, which would have to treble to pay the real costs

This is not only economically foolish, but incoherent climate policy since today’s decision will ensure that other low emission goals, such as the electrification of vehicles and domestic heating, become unaffordable for most Britons.

Despite the wind industry’s smoke and mirrors, offshore wind remains an extremely expensive way of generating electricity. Meeting the Prime Minister’s target will actually increase current costs still further because of the need to build turbines in deeper water with much higher operating costs. 

In addition, the hidden costs of integrating high levels of intermittent wind generation into the electricity system add at least 50% to the direct costs of the wind fleet

This rash and misconceived pledge throws any prospect of post-Covid and post-Brexit recovery into desperate jeopardy. With the prospect of much higher electricity prices no reasonable investor will put money into any UK manufacturing or related businesses with above average electricity consumption.  

The implications for net employment are also devastating. Subsidy may create some soft UK jobs in the wind industry, and many more in China and the Middle East where wind turbines are made, but will not offset the loss of real UK jobs in other businesses that are no longer viable because of high energy costs. The net effect for the UK will be severely negative.

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