As we approach the General Election we are faced with choices on a number of different fronts all at once. This is the point at which we are sold the biggest lie in our democracy. Every 5 years politicians bundle up (or in some cases don’t bother) all of their major policy intentions and then we elect a local MP and as a result of the number of MPs a Government is formed which then enacts policies. We get told this is a referendum on these policies when of course it was nothing of the sort. It was the election of a local MP. On top of that following a load of doorstep anecdotes the Party gets to make all sorts of new policies and each time they claim they are doing what the electors ask for. Whatever headline issues there are for our next Government to focus on, energy will be critical. We have two Parties that appear to be opposed in differing degrees to wind power. UKIP and the Tories oppose wind farms or seem very sceptical of them. Only the Greens appear to embrace in a totemic fashion. This report seems to suggest that the Greens are right and that UKIP and the Tories are wrong, although the report does not refer to Political Parties.
Increasing wind power generation would make the UK’s future energy supply more resilient to the fluctuating price of fossil fuels and cut costly importation, making energy prices more predictable. The report has been commissioned by trade body Renewable UK – The impact of wind energy on UK energy dependence and resilience – which looks ahead at how using more wind would serve the UK’s energy needs in 2030 and 2030. It explains that 56% of the UK’s gas supplies and 79% of coal was imported in 2013. Wind power reduced coal imports by an estimated 4.9 million tonnes and gas by 1.4 billion cubic metres, saving more than £579m in import costs. It also claims that “The costs for the entire life of a wind farm are known very early on, whereas the volatile price of fossil fuels can never be accurately predicted. Wind power is already helping us manage future price instability, and industry is confident that by 2020 onshore wind will be the cheapest form of new generation of any form of energy.” The report concludes that, as the cost of wind is predictable, using a greater amount of it to generate electricity amounts to investing in an insurance premium against the uncertain cost of gas.
This would be a good subject to have debated in the televised debates, although clearly it will be a short item if the Broadcasters don’t include the Greens!