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The cost of renewable energy

29 August 2013

PROTECTING our planet is very important, but the focus on climate change must be done in a way that is economically sustainable. I do not believe we currently have the balance right here in the UK.

The dash to renewable energy is costing jobs and will cost us all in higher prices.

Britain relies heavily on coal- fired power generation, but many of our stations are having to close as they fall foul of EU regulation. This is the case at Tilbury where they, like many other workers, are paying the price of Government policy which is not enough about energy and too much about climate change.

Initially, RWE intended to build a new coal-fired station on the site, until Ed Miliband as Energy Secretary demanded tough environmental standards. This made coal-fired power generation a non-starter.

So, while Germany invests in new coal-fired capacity, and China builds new coal fired stations, the UK has ruled itself out of investing in the cheapest form of power generation. RWE then changed their plans to develop a biomass station at Tilbury.

Sadly, those plans have come to nothing as Government subsidies simply were not enough to make half-a-billion pounds of investment worthwhile. It costs £1,500 per kilowatt hour through wind, but coal is a mere £400 per kilowatt hour and biomass someway in between.

So as we are quadrupling the cost of our power generation – who is going to pay? Well you and me through our taxes as we subsidise these uneconomic methods of generating power.

It is the poorest who will suffer most. With the average household bill some £1,200 a year, for those on low incomes this is a large burden and price rises are something they can ill afford.

Tackling climate change by shifting from coal to wind and solar is a nice idea when you are putting the world to rights, but the shift to renewable energy is proving extremely costly indeed.


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