A critique of anti-renewables rhetoric – part 1

These days more and more people seem to be railing against renewable energy—in the media, on the internet and down the pub. Here are some recent examples:

  • Wind farms ‘will never keep the lights on’: Study claims turbines are ‘expensive and deeply inefficient’ (Daily Mail, 27 October 2014). [Poulter, 2014]
  • Green energy costs ‘far higher than ministers admit’—report claims renewable energy is ‘the most expensive domestic policy disaster in modern British history’ (Daily Telegraph, 18 March 2015). [Gosden, 2015]
  • The windfarm delusion—The government has finally seen through the wind-farm scam – but why did it take them so long? (The Spectator, 3 March 2012). [Ridley, 2012]

This kind of stuff is common in the mainstream media, as the above examples testify. It often contains emotive terms like ‘disaster’ and ‘scam’, as the above examples also testify. The regular drip feed of it seems to be turning ‘Middle England’ against renewables and the government is responding by rolling back the measures it had in place to encourage them. However, I’ve yet to see a fact-based critique of these arguments anywhere. Here’s my attempt fill the gap.

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