A broad calculation of the cost to meet the UK government's Net Zero target by 2050 is much more likely to be 10+% of annual GDP than the claimed 1-2% of GDP.
Professor Gordon Hughes
A presentation by Professor Gordon Hughesfn University of Edinburgh and former Senior Adviser on Energy & Environmental Policy at the World Bank. From his investigation dispels the assumption, within 5 minutes, that costs of wind power generation have fallen and will continue to fall in the UK. This is the main argument the public policy officials and the billionaire donor class use to push Net Zero as an affordable financial cost on UK citizens.
Recorded by the Renewable Energy Foundation | Transcript of Presentation
Key Summary of Points
- New offshore wind power costs increase 15% for every doubling of capacity.
- Site characteristics, such as shallow and deep water overwhelm any reduction in costs from building larger turbines and efficiency gains from construction.
- Operating costs are too high for new onshore wind power generation unless given taxpayer subsidises. Operating costs become even higher than revenues after 12 years of going online. Offshore opertaing costs are worse. Expected operating costs are £90 MW per hour.
- In Denmark, more data on turbine performance is recorded. Within 5 years around 60% have had a major failure. This percentage rises to 80% in the 8th year.
- The output of onshore wind turbines consistently decline approximately 3% a year after their first 2-3 years of operation.
- Offshore wind turbines performance output declines approximately 4-5%. Meaning over 15 years, the level of output is well below 50%.
- A new offshore turbine has a load factor of 50% in its first few years, will produce less than 35% after 12 years. To assume a constant load factor of anything over 50% for the lifespan for offshore wind turbines is pure speculation.
- Bailouts of wind farms and of private stakeholders will be inevitable to ensure continuity of the UK electricity supply. Business investors outside the renewable energy sector should plan on the basis that electricity prices in 2030 will be 3-4 times in real terms what they are today (2020).
Q&A with Professor Hughes and REF
Since the US Presidential elections, the UK policy have moved fast with the Net Zero agenda. The latest offshore Hornsea Project (P3), was granted on New Years Eve 2020 by Ashok Sharma MP, then Minister for Business Strategy, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
It would be his last policy decision before becoming President of COP26, a week later. COP26 is the UN's Climate Change Conference due to take place in late 2021.
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