Following the revelation that we’re all paying a secret stealth tax to subsidise so-called renewable energy sources, it seems like a good time to check out exactly what we are getting for our money.
At midday yesterday, wind power was contributing just 2.2 per cent of all the electricity in the National Grid. You might think that’s a pretty poor return on the billions of pounds spent already on Britain’s standing army of windmills.
But it’s actually a significant improvement on the last time I checked the wholesale electricity industry’s official website. At the turn of the year, the figure was 1.6 per cent. During the cold snap the turbines had to be heated to stop them freezing and were actually consuming more electricity than they generated.
Even on a good day, they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity. And in high winds they have to be turned off altogether to prevent damage. Britain’s 3,426 wind turbines produce no more electricity than a single, medium-sized gas-fired power station.
Any sane individual would conclude that wind generation is hopelessly inefficient and horribly expensive and stop throwing good money after bad.
But when did sanity ever have anything to do with government policy?
Ministers are planning to install another 12,500 of these worse-than-useless windmills, some of them up to three times the size of existing monstrosities.
We are paying for all this through hidden charges which now make up a fifth of all gas and electricity bills. The average household has to fork out an extra £200 a year.
That’s because the Government forces energy companies to buy from renewable sources, which are far more expensive than conventional power stations. The cost is then passed on to the consumer.
Ministers know there would be an outcry if they raised taxes to pay for windmills, so they hide the subsidies in our gas and electricity bills and hope the energy companies get the blame.
Scottish Power has just announced it is increasing gas prices by 19 per cent and electricity by 10 per cent. Although there is little the companies can do about rising world commodity prices, our bills are being artificially inflated as a direct result of the Government’s insane ‘climate change’ policies.
At a time when the price of everything from petrol to basic foodstuffs is going through the roof, it is outrageous that ministers are piling on the misery by forcing all of us to pay well over the odds for domestic fuel.
Here’s how crazy it is.
Earlier this year the National Grid was forced to pay £900,000 compensation to the owners of six wind farms which were forced to close down one especially gusty night — because they were producing too much electricity and there was no capacity to store it.
So they’re either producing little or no electricity, or else have to be switched off because they’re producing too much. Either way, we pay.
It’s not just windmills, either. Farmers are being offered £50,000 to cover their fields with solar panels, which are useless when the sun don’t shine.
Given that we are told we could soon be facing food shortages, you might have thought it would make sense to encourage farmers to grow crops.
But with a guaranteed annual return far higher than if he grew wheat, you can’t blame Farmer Giles for concluding it’s not worth getting his hands dirty and taking the money.
Lavish subsidies for renewable energy schemes are also making some of the country’s richest landowners even richer at the taxpayers’ expense.
Meanwhile, manufacturing industry faces a 70 per cent increase in its fuel bills — regardless of the level of world energy prices — because of a reckless levy on carbon emissions imposed by the Coalition’s tame racing driver. Some say he ran off with a lapsed lesbian and that he persuaded his ex-wife to take the rap for a speeding offence. All we know is: he’s called Chris Huhne.
Click source to read FULL report from Richard Littlejohn
Stop hiding green fuel tax, firms told as pressure to come clean on global warming levies intensifies
by David Derbyshire - Daily Mail
Power companies were under mounting pressure last night to come clean about the green ‘stealth levies’ secretly added to fuel bills – and tell customers exactly how much they are paying for Britain’s climate change revolution.
Consumer groups and MPs say energy suppliers should be forced to lay out on household bills how much customers are paying to subsidise green power and to end the UK’s dependence on coal, oil and gas.
The call for greater transparency follows claims that global warming policies are adding up to £200 a year to the electricity and gas bills of millions of cash-strapped families.
It has won the backing of a host of campaigners and consumer groups – including many that support the Government’s climate change policies.
Energy minister Charles Hendy said: ‘I would welcome more companies including cost breakdowns on bills.
‘Information is also currently available from Ofgem [the energy regulator], and last July the Government published the first Annual Energy Statement with breakdowns of projected impacts of individual energy policies on bills. We are committed to doing this every year.’
Dr Fiona Cochrane, energy expert at Which?, said: ‘The cost of energy remains consumers’ number one financial concern and it’s only right that they should be able to see what makes up their energy bill – from environmental levies to wholesale costs.’ Ann Robinson, of uSwitch, said: ‘We want to see more transparency on bills so we can understand what we are being charged for.
‘Transparency will also allow people to see how the wholesale cost of gas is changing and how those changes are passed on to consumers.’ Tim Yeo, the Conservative MP, advocate of tough climate change targets and chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, said: ‘I support the general principle of greater transparency in fuel bills.
‘The public suspect that prices rise rather quickly when wholesale prices go up – but fall slowly when wholesale prices come down.
‘I think it would also be helpful for everyone to have a clear analysis of how much of their bills are supporting renewables.’
The attack on hidden charges came days after Scottish Power, one of Britain’s biggest energy firms, announced a £200 hike in the average fuel bill.
Other companies are expected to follow suit in the next few weeks.
Dr Benny Peiser, director of the sceptical Global Warming Foundation, estimates that hidden climate change costs make up 15 to 20 per cent of the typical household fuel bill of £1,000.
None of these extra charges is a conventional tax paid to the Treasury directly.
Instead, they are additional costs passed on by power companies to pay for compulsory green policies to encourage wind farms, provide grants for home insulation and promote domestic solar panels.
Bills are also inflated by the European Emissions Trading Scheme, a scandal-hit policy that tries to limit carbon emissions from power companies and heavy industry.
Dr Peiser said: ‘People are having to pay more and more for climate change policies – but you won’t find any mention of them on most bills.
‘That suits the Government because if politicians had to raise money for wind farms and other green policies by taxation, it would be incredibly unpopular.’
The call for greater transparency came as Lord Turnbull, the former head of the Civil Service, demanded that politicians ‘stop frightening us and our children’ about the threat of global warming.
In an unprecedented attack he blasted the Conservative Party for its ‘uncritical adoption’ of the green agenda.