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130117 Is green all that good? | DEREK ELLIOTT Angarrack |

As seen on Thursday, January 17, 2013

Is green all that good?

WHAT a clever idea it was to persuade 27 countries to spend billions of their taxpayers' money on solar and wind energy farms in order to meet European Union renewable energy targets.

What a clever idea it was to shut down the one and only UK company that manufactured these items and what a clever idea to offer farmers and local councils hundreds of thousands of pounds to allow our countryside to be filled with these monstrosities.

In fact the financial incentives, of course paid with by your taxes, are so generous that not only are German manufacturers reaping all of the benefits but we now also see the first influx of Chinese companies.

However, what we need to be made aware of is that Germany, which is much further down the renewables path than us, has already realised the truth and that where all of our politicians and local councillors still talk about and refer to the "capacity of the energy farm" they are in reality hiding the true fact that the actual output achieved is only around 20 per cent of this so-called "capacity".

In Germany this has fallen to an average of just 17 per cent, making it the most expensive form of energy to date. The more our country depends on this type of energy the more difficult it becomes to maintain a consistent supply to the grid.

Another problem with this green energy is that because the output fluctuates so much it has to be backed up constantly from existing fossil fuel power plants, which then makes them less efficient, ineffective and vastly more expensive.

Germany has wasted billions of pounds in subsidies into wind and solar power making its electricity bills the highest in Europe. Last year it had a wind turbine 'capacity' of 29 gigaWatts, equivalent to a quarter of Germany's average demand, however, their actual output only averaged five gigaWatts with the shortfall coming from conventional power stations, which were switched off whenever the wind picked up.

Owners of conventional power stations are now running at such a loss that they are threatening to close them down while firms such as RWE and E.on are going flat out to build 16 new coal-fired and 15 new gas-fired power stations.

Who is kidding who?