In today’s Guardian, Simon Jenkins takes issue with the UK government’s support of wind energy. Yet his arguments are one-sided to say the least. He writes that “Meeting the current EU renewables directive, largely from wind, would cost some £15bn a year, or £670 a household”.
Currently, each EU citizen pays considerably more than that – over €700 a year – to import oil and gas from the likes of Russia and Algeria. And the price of imports is constantly changing, mostly in an upwards direction. Wind energy is a domestic European resource which is free once the turbines are up, and which saves money on fuel imports – €5.7 billion were saved thanks to wind energy last year.
As youth unemployment rises in the UK, the need for green jobs and training for young people becomes ever more essential, writes Christopher Ibbet from the UK Youth Climate Coalition…
The UK’s Office for National Statistics recently released its latest figures on unemployment, showing that in last quarter of 2011, 28,000 more people became unemployed, while the number of 16 – 24 year olds out of work rose to 1.04 million.
“Wind farms are noisy.” “We can’t rely on wind because it is intermittent.” “Wind farms are dangerous to human health.” “Wind doesn’t work – wind farms are inefficient as they are only operational 30% of the time.”
These are some of the myths of wind energy that are thoroughly debunked by a new website set up by British Wind at www.british-wind.co.uk. The sentiments above are the type of ill-conceived, badly-informed ideas on wind energy that newspaper readers are subjected to with increasing frequency in the British media.
Ireland is on the threshold of becoming an exporter of energy. Having traditionally imported fuel or burned locally-produced peat to provide energy, Ireland is now looking at bringing in €6bn a year in export revenues in less than a decade.
The source of this potential “windfall” is the increasing number of wind farms around the country. This growth is encouraged by the government, whose Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte today announced the opening of a new support scheme for renewable energy at the Irish Wind Energy Association’s annual conference in Dublin.
A letter signed by 101 public figures in the UK – including Sir Richard Branson – has been sent to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to promote the benefits of renewable energy in the budget due to be announced this Wednesday, the Guardian reported.
The letter is widely seen as a rebuff to another letter signed by 101 Members of Parliament who called for an end to support for wind energy
The March budget is one of the “biggest opportunities to tackle climate change in the UK…we must ensure it encourages investment rather than create uncertainty and delay further serious investment in the renewable sectors. As a country, we need to be better prepared to deal with rising energy prices,” Branson said, reported in the Guardian.