COMMONS

The Economics of Wind Power - new evidence session

12 June 2012

The Energy and Climate Change Committee will hold a public evidence session on the Economics of Wind Power at 10.00 am on Tuesday 10 July

The Committee invites short submissions of evidence with a limit of two A4 sides (see ‘Notes on Submissions’ below). These may contain references or links to other documents and material but should briefly set out the key points.

Evidence should be submitted by 5pm on 27 June. Submissions should contain an indication of whether or not you would like to give oral evidence to the Committee.

Witnesses for the session will be selected on the basis of the submissions received and will be notified on 3 July as to whether they will be called.

The Committee is particularly interested in the following, although written submission need not address all, of be confined to, these questions:

  • What do cost benefit analyses tell us about onshore and offshore wind compared with other measures to cut carbon?
  • What do the latest assessments tell us about the costs of generating electricity from wind power compared to other methods of generating electricity?
  • How do the costs of onshore wind compare to offshore wind?
  • What are the costs of building new transmission links to wind farms in remote areas and how are these accounted for in cost assessments of wind power?
  • What are the costs associated with providing back up capacity for when the wind isn’t blowing, and how are these accounted for in cost assessments of wind power?
  • How much support does wind power receive compared with other forms of renewable energy?
  • Is it possible to estimate how much consumers pay towards supporting wind power in the UK? (i.e. separating out from other renewables)
  • What lessons can be learned from other countries?
  • What methods could be used to make onshore wind more acceptable to communities that host them?

Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"Government policy on wind power should be based on sound economics and engineering, not political pressure from a small vocal minority – whether that be green campaigners or anti-wind protestors.
 
In this session we want to cut through all the hot air talked about wind power and examine whether the economics really add up.
 
Wind farms are over forty times less polluting than gas burning power stations - per unit of energy produced - but there are concerns about the costs to consumers.
 
We will be asking if the Chancellor is right to consider cutting onshore wind power subsidies? And how much these subsidies really add to our electricity bills?
 
Does it really make financial sense to generate low-carbon electricity from wind? Or are there cheaper ways to cut carbon emissions from our power stations?" 
 

The Committee is participating in a visit to the London Array and Gunfleet Sands Windfarms on 13 June.

Image: iStockphoto

Share this page