Renewableuk chief believes england is not windy enough for turbines _ daily mail online

Hugh McNeal, the chief executive of RenewableUK, said that – while there was still a case for more onshore farms elsewhere in the UK – wind speeds in England were just not strong enough for new turbines to make economic sense.

Dubbing wind power a ‘failed medieval technology’, they said Mr McNeal’s remarks called into question the viability of ‘several thousand’ new turbines currently in the planning stages which are still set to go ahead – as well as England’s existing 1,200 turbines.

Mr McNeal, who joined the industry body from the Department of Energy and Climate Change two months ago, said that new wind farms in England would not be able to compete with the price of electricity produced from gas plants.

‘The project economics wouldn’t work; the wind speeds don’t allow for it.’ His comments came after the Government’s decision that from this month wind farms will no longer be eligible for generous taxpayer-funded subsidies – known as Renewable Obligation Certificates – which are offered to renewable energy projects.

But opponents point to figures which reveal that on some days wind farms meet as little as 0.5 per cent of the nation’s electricity demand – and are only profitable because of the massive subsidies paid to operators.

• An average of just 10 per cent of UK energy is generated via wind, compared with 30 per cent by gas, 23 per cent from coal and 22 per cent by nuclear

• Subsidies to onshore wind turbines cost the UK taxpayer £800million last year, but subsidies to all renewable energy sources are expected to top £8billion by 2020

• A recent report by Cornwall Energy found energy subsidies will have risen 124 per cent by 2020/21 – putting £100 on the average annual energy bill

Despite the subsidy scrappage, ‘several thousand’ turbines that have been granted planning permission will still qualify. Electricity projects in pakistan And ministers remain committed to wind as part of their green energy strategy, which aims to produce 15 per cent of all energy from renewables by 2020.

Former environment secretary Owen Paterson said Mr McNeal’s admission in The Sunday Telegraph was proof wind as an energy source should be scrapped.

Despite his admission, Mr McNeal maintained wind farms were the cheapest form of new energy generation in Britain. Gas constant in kj He said: ‘If plants can be built in places where people don’t object to them and if … 5 gases over their whole lifetime the net impact on consumers against the alternatives is beneficial, I need to persuade people we should be doing that.’

Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower Renewables, welcomed Mr McNeal’s comments. Electricity through wood ‘The industry has been in danger of behaving like salivating subsidy junkies,’ he said. Electricity sound effect ‘We need huge pragmatism from the industry to work with the Government. Gas bloating pain I am confident that … Gas hydrates we can find a future for onshore wind.’

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