So much to comment on …

Christopher Booker’s article in today’s Telegraph is getting a lot of chat in the blogs, so there is not more I can contribute here.

Booker’s point of view is how the BBC “steadfastly avoids the facts about the wind farm scam”. From all I can see that appears to be a true assessment of BBC’s coverage.

A key bit of data reported by Booker about an operational wind farm off the coast of Cumbria has the following attributes:

: Capital Cost £500,000,000
: Capacity 45 MegaWatts (based on a non-conservative guess of 30% load factor)
: Cost/MegaWatt: £11,000,000

Compare this to the cost of a newly opened gas-fired power station

: Capital Cost £400,000,000
: Capacity 882 MegaWatts
: Cost/MegaWatt: £500,000

£11,000,000/£500,000 = 22

The new wind far cost 22 (!) times that of an alternative energy source.

Would be interesting to see the 25 year economic model for both investments which would presumably include ongoing fuel costs, maintenance, income, etc. Just saying the capital cost is 22x is a great start and the fact that it’s not being discussed is a tragedy. But we are apparently not using our brains very well any more.

Update 21 Aug 11:38:

Via Bishop Hill we learn that Richard North thinks that Bookers number are low–should be 40 times the cost, not 22.

“Actually, Booker is wrong on this, as his calculations are based on gas and wind equipment lasting the same time – whereas a gas plant will last at least twice as long as a wind farm. On that basis, offshore wind costs a staggering forty times more than gas to build.”

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One Response to So much to comment on …

  1. fujirobin says:

    Booker and North are wasting their time without a proper evaluation, as you say, of full 25-year costs. With various scenarios explored (UK shale gas produces / fails to produce the goods etc )

    Capital cost is only one dimension.

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