On-shore wind power cost households less than £5 last year
Despite scaremongering from sections of the the media and the pro gas and nuclear lobby – figures out today show that on-shore wind added less than £5 to household energy bills last year.
Ofgem has just released the Renewables Obligation (RO) annual report for 2010/11, which is the main support mechanism for encouraging the growth of renewable energy in the UK – including both on-shore and off-shore wind, wave, tidal, biomass and landfill gas.
Ofgem’s report shows that the RO added just £15.15 to the annual energy bill of the United Kingdom’s 26.3 million households – with just £4.68 of that supporting on-shore wind.
By comparison, the rising cost of imported gas added around £120 to energy bills last year.
This increase in the cost of gas added more than 10% to energy bills, while support for on-shore wind added less than 0.05%. Ignoring the real reason for rising energy bills – imported gas – 101 Conservative MPs recently wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron saying “in these financially straightened times, we think it is unwise to make consumers pay on-shore wind turbines, through taxpayer subsidy”.
Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “Let’s set the record straight. Supporting onshore windmills and making use of our indigenous energy supplies – cost each household less than a fiver last year.
“This is an investment, not just in clean energy, but in energy security – reducing our reliance on imported gas.
“There has been a massive campaign of misinformation over the last six months by the media and lobbyists for the gas and nuclear industries – all taking aim at wind energy for some reason.
“With the rising cost of imported gas increasing household energy bills by £120 last year, it’s bizarre to see a group of Conservative MPs complaining about the £5 spent on onshore wind. Are they not in possession of the facts, or do they care little for such inconveniences?
“In January this year, coal took over from gas as the major provider of electricity in Britain because the high price of importing gas caused the Big Six energy companies to mothball gas power stations. That’s the reality – it’s gas that we can’t afford not onshore wind.
“Britain should not be left at the mercy of the international gas market. We have 40% of Europe’s wind resource. Let’s use it, to create jobs, industries, clean energy and independence from global energy markets.”
The renewables obligation the current main support mechanism for renewable energy generation in the UK. For more information see our renewables obligation page.