Ben Southwood discusses ASI report "Wind Farms Reassessed" in op-eds for Spectator Coffee House and the Yorkshire Post

The Adam Smith Institute's Head of Policy, Ben Southwood, discussed the findings of the new ASI report, "Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation”, in op-ed pieces for the Spectator Coffee House and the Yorkshire Post. The report, published jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance, severely undermines the case for a move towards more wind generation in the UK because it suggests that wind can never be a major reliable source of energy for the UK. Specifically, the report found that wind farms generate below 20% of their supposed output for 29 weeks a year, and only exceed 90% of their rated output for 17 hours a year.

From the Spectator, Coffee House:

he UK is quite windy. We need to reduce our carbon emissions. Take these two propositions together and it seems obvious that wind power could be a significant chunk of the solution. We already know that wind-power is costly and nearly always runs way below capacity. But a new paper out todaysuggests the problem is worse than that – its output is so variable and unreliable that we’d need nearly the same amount of fossil fuel capacity alongside wind just to guarantee supply.

The paper, Wind Power Reassessed by Capell Aris, released jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance, looks past the average-efficiency numbers widely available to see how this average is actually arrived at. Dr Aris accessed RAF and civilian data of half-hourly readings at 22 sites across the UK and 21 further sites across Ireland and Northern Europe.

Read the full op-ed here.

From the Yorkshire Post.

IT is widely known that wind farms are inefficient compared to what they could theoretically produce.

Officially, they run at about a quarter 
of their “nameplate” (i.e.potential) capacity. But we have only now discovered just how intermittent and variable wind farms’ electricity output is – a fact which should make us very sceptical about the intention to make it such a large part of the UK’s carbon reduction plans.

This is important – the UK, says the National Grid, is facing its tightest energy crunch in eight years this winter and may be forced to resort to emergency measures to keep the lights on in the event of worse-than-normal weather.

Read the full op-ed here.