The big energy fiddle

Offshore wind turbineBecause I’m happy to comment on the Government’s hypocritical and endless mugging of motorists as an on-going ‘soft target’ to raise tax revenue from, that’s often seen as being pro-car, which is a really just a nice way of ignoring the truth of the big fiddle that’s been handed to those who can make money from supposedly environmental needs, without having to deliver. Attach a Green or Environmental tag onto something, and it’s easy to rubbish an opponent without providing a substantial argument.

Far from taxing wind power for the problems it brings, because it’ ignores them and is always being promoted as Green and Renewable, it attracts huge subsidies for the developers. With no track record, we’ve had to believe the fantastic claims made for the contribution and efficiency of their developments, and hand them pots of cash to keep on building, because what they’re doing is a Good Thing.

I doubt anyone will go and make them pay back any of the fortunes they’ve fiddled, but the BBC’s TV news (no online article available as I write) revealed that we’ve been being conned for years. All the great claims are based on the availability of wind allowing the turbines to produce power at 30% 0f capacity. Now that the numbers are starting to come in, most of the wind farms are making it. No English facilities bettered 24% in their results, Scottish farms managed to peak somewhere about 31%. These are land based figures, so most of the farms that have spread themselves over formerly scenic areas and views (that could probably provide a better return from tourism) aren’t meeting the justification for their existence. The worst aspect of this is that many communities are said to have been divided by their arrival, due to local disputes between pro and anti residents.

The only winner was offshore installation, where the wind did blow reliably enough to keep the production sufficiently in excess of the designed 30% capacity requirement for long enough. Of course, there aren’t that many of them around, as they cost more to develop and install in the harsher environment, and that means the developer gets to keep less of the big bucket of subsidy they get handed.

So, the driver will continue to be hammered with taxes, in the name of Greeness and Environmental Friendliness, while the cash raised is wasted and frittered away on if not daft, at least badly thought through ideas, cough cough Carbon Trading cough cough.

I can’t even be bothered to write about Carbon Trading, other than to ask how stupid to you have to be to believe that a system that lets polluters carry on polluting at the same rate, as long as they buy Carbon Credits from someone that doesn’t, is going to help, or cut emissions. Especially when the levels and allowances are set so high as to be non-existent. What? They’ll be reduced in future? Yes? Will I still be alive when that happens?

And then there’s the current joke of the token charge stuck on tax-free aviation fuel… but then I’m forgetting… aircraft aren’t cars.


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