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Report Suggests 58% Increase in Average Electricity Bill

According to a new report conducted by Professor Gordon Hughes, by 2020 the average UK household could expect to be paying a whopping 58% more on their electricity bills because of the Government’s ‘obsession’ with wind power. Taking the average up to more than £300 extra per year, the report throws into question just how much of an impact the Government’s green plans will have on the UK.

As one of the leading energy economists in the UK, Professor Gordon Hughes has been an advisor to the World Bank on their energy and environmental policy. Now working at the University of Edinburgh, Hughes warns that if the Government’s plans to inundate land in fields, seas and coastlines with turbines were to go ahead, in just 8 years people will be feeling a massive impact through their electricity bills.

He also added that despite this massive wind power investment, greenhouse gases emitted by the UK may not even be seen to fall. With the amount of energy across the world produced by wind energy being at just 2%, there are plans to have it reach 10% by 2020, which is reported to be costing Britain a staggering £124 billion.

Huge commitment in technology that isn’t ‘green’.

Speaking about the report, Professor Hughes commented; “The key problems with current policies for wind power are simple.

“They require a huge commitment of investment to a technology that is not very green, in the sense of saving a lot of CO2, but which is certainly very expensive and inflexible.

“Unless the current Government scales back its commitment to wind power very substantially, its policy will be worse than a mistake, it will be a blunder.

“The average household electricity bill would increase from £528 per year at 2010 prices to a range from £730 to £840 in 2020.”

Published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, led by former Chancellor, Lord Lawson, the report has been given to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change study for the Economics of Wind Power Committee.

Gas Cycle Plants would provide a cheaper option.

Hughes is also backed up by Professor Ian Fells of Newcastle University, who suggests that a much cheaper option lies in combined gas cycle plants, being 10 times cheaper at a cost of £13billion. He also went on to say, “Wind energy is the most expensive way of generating renewable electricity.

“It will also cost jobs. We are already seeing some industrial firms packing up and moving abroad. The increasing price of energy is going to be the next big political problem.”

Diverse energy mix holds the answer.

Speaking out against the claims, a Government spokesperson said; “Wind power is a homegrown, secure and sustainable source of energy with an important role as part of a balanced energy mix.

“Over-reliance on any one technology could have serious consequences for consumer bills. That’s why we want to see a diverse energy mix with renewables, nuclear, clean coal and gas all playing a part.”

2 Comments to Report Suggests 58% Increase in Average Electricity Bill

  1. Tracy's Gravatar Tracy
    August 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    The official government department DECC have shown that subsidies to support renewables will add £48 to bills in 2020 (around half of this is for wind).

    The report by Gordon Hughes contains a large number of half truths, misleading facts, highly selective (and fairly dubious) evidence as well as statements and analysis which are clearly wrong.

    The main cause of energy bill hikes has been the increasing cost of gas which has trebled over the last 10 years, in part due to increasing reliance on imports from abroad. This impacts indirectly on the cost of electricity.

    Hughes bases his analysis on erroneous data, and a poor misunderstanding of a how a power system operates. Perhaps its telling that the report was published by the lobby group GWPF instead of a credible academic journal.

    Plenty of recent credible papers show that wind has the effect of lowering wholesale electricity prices – see for example:

    1. the University of Seville’s study published in journal Energy Policy, showing a reported reduction in price of between €3 and €33/MWh across six different European countries and one US state. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421511009657

    2. Study by Eirgrid illustrating the impact of wind on lowering electricity prices in Ireland outweighed the cost of subsidies in 2011. http://www.eirgrid.com/media/ImpactofWind.pdf

    3. Report by the EWEA explains how wind reduces power prices through the merit-order effect. http://www.ewea.org/fileadmin/ewea_documents/documents/publications/reports/MeritOrder.pdf

  2. August 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    The title makes for quite scary reading, I personally haven’t seen a huge increase in my energy bill, although I do tend to just wrap up when the cold comes!

    I am hoping that renewable energy becomes a realistic option for the majority of households in the near future, I don’t think we are too far off at present.

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