I am sure many of our supporters watched the big six big energy suppliers on the television recently giving their account to the Parliamentary Select Committee on why they needed to increase their prices by as much as 9% or more.  We will wait for further action or in-action from the government when this happens.

However, I think it would be appropriate if we the general public could have our own Select Committee and invite all three political parties to tell us (under oath) why they are not revealing the real truth why energy costs are increasing each year.

The simple truth is that the mad rush to introduce green energy has been handled by all the three main parties extremely badly on behalf of all us taxpayers.  Especially those people who cannot afford the increases.

The main energy suppliers are not totally to blame for the increases in energy prices.  Let me give you the facts: the current wholesale prices for electricity from Coal, Gas and Existing Nuclear is about £50 per MWHr; Onshore Wind is paid a total of about £100/MWHr because of subsidies, and Off-Shore about £150. Single Farm Turbines receive £220/MWHr or more depending on their size. The average cost of electricity will rise with every additional Wind Turbine and this flows into consumers bills. Currently 5% of energy comes from wind.

A price of £89.50 has been agreed for the New Nuclear Power Station at Hinckley Point. The proposed strike price in the Energy Bill for onshore wind is £100, or  just over 10% more than nuclear. The proposed strike price in the Energy Bill for offshore wind is £155 or 73% more than nuclear. Not only is the price for wind much higher, the value of energy produced is lower because it is only available when the wind blows, whereas nuclear is available all the time.

Why is it that Wind Energy, which is claimed to be the cheapest renewable energy, is paid more than Nuclear in subsidy and is set to continue to be so under the new Energy Bill?

Why is it that a Nuclear Power Station which is very expensive to build – Hinckley Point will cost about £16BN – can still supply power cheaper than Wind Turbines?  it also uses less land. Hinckley Point  will be built on 430 acres whilst the equivalent amount of wind turbines needed to produce the same amount of energy (when the wind is blowing) uses 250,000 acres plus miles and miles of cable and pylons which also have to be paid for under distribution costs.

Currently nearly 40% of UK electricity is generated from Coal and costs £50/MWHr. What will the effect be on consumer bills when this is replaced by new forms of generation costing twice as much?  Why also do we have to build more Gas Power Stations as we expand and develop Wind Farms to cover the down time when the wind blows too hard or not at all.

This is gross miss-management of the economy and to make matters worse the government now wants to hide these subsidies into general taxation.  Of course they do because it has to be one of the biggest embarrassments of the century.

To make matters worse many of the Wind Farms that are being subsidised are owned by some of the big six energy companies ( they received over £900 million in subsidies last year). The other large category of beneficiaries are farms or large estates – all receiving subsidies running into millions.  In fact the Financial Markets are also making profit from bond investments.  You cannot blame any of these people for getting involved because this fiasco was started by the previous government and continued by the coalition.

One thing I forgot to say was that once the development of the wind farm has started they are entitled to the subsidies for 20 years which may be cut to 15 years in the next budget.

What an expensive mess both in monetary and ecological terms!

Patrick Smith

Stonewall Hill Conserv