200 Renfield Street
5th January 2016
We are growing accustomed to the wearisome propaganda that spouts from the wind industry’s mouthpiece ‘Renewable UK’, but their claim that “wind power provided enough electricity to meet the annual needs of more than 8.25 million homes last year,” (‘Wind power lights up 8m homes’- Herald January 5, 2016) deliberately fails to tell the whole story. OFGEM, the energy regulator, has warned that as we continue to shut our old, coal-fired power stations like Longannet to meet EU CO2 emission targets, Britain’s electricity security of supply is on a knife-edge. Any surge in energy consumption during a severe cold snap would plunge the country into blackouts. The reason for this catastrophic energy shortfall is not difficult to find; under SNP plans no new nuclear plants will be constructed in Scotland, due to the refusal of the SNP government to give planning approval and the hysterical opposition from the Greens and their fellow-travellers who think the next Fukushima-style tsunami is about to hit the UK.
Instead, driven by the renewables religion, our country is being blighted from top to toe with gigantic steel and concrete wind turbines. Already thousands have been installed across Scotland alone at a cost of over £8 billion, the same cost as a new, state-of-the-art, safe, third generation nuclear power plant; the only difference being that wind turbines will produce an unreliable and intermittent trickle of electricity for around 15 to 20 years, while a new nuclear plant will work at 90% efficiency, producing electricity 24/7 for the next 80 to 90 years.
If we are going to tackle the looming energy crisis then we must also exploit our massive reserves of shale gas, which would help us to reduce our dependency on expensive imported gas. With an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas deposits discovered in Lancashire alone, enough to power Britain for 65 years, we could be looking at the biggest energy find since North Sea oil in the Sixties. But it is typical of the feverish nature of the climate change debate in Britain that this massive find has been either entirely ignored or robustly attacked as anti-green.
Shale gas emits about half the CO2 that burning coal produces, which is why the US has managed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 500 million tonnes in the past five years, while EU greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar, as we pursue the ludicrous and almost entirely useless strategy of building giant windmills. Carbon emissions in America per capita are now below the levels they were in 1963 and meanwhile gas is at almost give-away prices, kick-starting the US economy, boosting jobs and prosperity. Here, because of huge regressive subsidies for wind turbines, which are passed straight down the line to the consumers, average electricity and gas bills have soared to over £1200, driving almost one million Scottish households into actual fuel poverty. Business and industry are reeling from spiraling fuel bills, hammering jobs.
So the shale-gas revolution has not only shamed the wind industry by showing how to cut carbon emissions for real, but it has also blown away the last vestiges of credibility in the argument that says supplies of fossil fuels will soon disappear, leaving no alternative but renewables, no matter what the cost.