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Renewable costs



Niall Stuart of Scottish Renewables suggests that renewable energy technologies are not as expensive as critics claim, based on selective use of data from an International Energy Agency report (letters, 15 November). Mr Stuart is, of course, only doing his job, but readers should not be misled. The costs which count are those pertaining to Scotland, and here it is a fact that consumers pay extra via feed-in tariffs to support otherwise uneconomic wind turbines, while coal- and gas-fired stations sell cheaper electricity with no public subsidy.

Cost is not the only issue. We should not forget that, without conventional generation backup, wind, wave, tidal and solar power are incapable of providing the secure and reliable energy supply consumers and industry have a right to expect. If the renewables lobby has hard data which proves otherwise, I would be delighted to see it.

Martin Livermore

Current Issues

Future costs of UK energy supply

The Scientific Alliance recently published part 1 of an examination of National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios, dealing with security of supply. We are now pleased to publish part 2 - cost of supply. The authors - Dr Capell Aris and Colin Gibson - conclude that building more gas and nuclear stations would be considerably less expensive than any of the NG scenarios, as well as offering better energy security.

What's New

14 October 2016: Read the new report by Dr Capell Aris, published jointly with the Adam Smith Institute - Solar power in Britain: the Impossible Dream