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?