Last week, the Audit Commission, the government’s spending watchdog, reported that £17 billion of our money had been spent on subsidies to recent large wind farm and biomass applications. The contracts for these last 25 years. All of us pay for this gross extravagance through our electricity bills, but bloated subsidies characterise the whole renewable industry. This report followed the day after the electricity market was referred to competition authorities.
Last week, too, the academic-led think tank Aurora Energy Research reported that far from fossil fuel costs rising to meet those of wind farms as our political class assumed, those for gas and coal are declining fast and will continue to do so for many decades. Countries that have not gone down the ideological route of renewables and the crippling legislation that accompanied it, will benefit from much cheaper electricity, greatly-increased economic activity in a competitive world and burgeoning wealth. Our financial decline is consequently guaranteed. These follies are added to by a recent supposed consultation about wind energy conducted by the Scottish Government that, frankly, might as well have been written by industry and ideological green lobbies. Politicians are not to be trusted with vital energy policy. They use it for short-term populist gain and in Scotland only for a vote in September.
It is time to return to the kind of structure of the previous Central Electricity Generating Board, free from political meddling, and run largely by engineers with good financial and risk assessment advice.
Prof Tony Trewavas
Scientific Alliance Scotland
North St David Street Edinburgh