Repeat Offender: BBC Misleading The Public Yet Again About Wind Energy

  • Date: 25/10/18
  • Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That

Another highly misleading BBC report:

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Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has said that energy generated from onshore wind is cheaper than other forms of renewable energy.

What are the figures behind the claim?

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Renewable, or ‘green’ energy is generated from natural resources like the sun, wind and water, so they are restored and never run out – unlike fossil fuels.

The government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published projections on costs for projects starting in 2020.

These include a breakdown of how much it could cost to generate a megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity according to different energy types.

Chart showing cost for producing energy broken down by different types of fuel sources.

The estimates by BEIS show that it will cost £63 to generate a megawatt hour of electricity using onshore wind energy, reinforcing Caroline Lucas’s claim.

It’s the cheapest renewable power source listed, in comparison with £106 for offshore wind.

These figures do account for construction costs and the fact that wind and solar power are intermittent.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45881551

 

I don’t have an issue with the claim that onshore wind is the cheapest renewable source. Not that that is saying an awful lot!

However, the BBC report contains three seriously misleading statements:

1) Caroline Lucas claims that the government has “virtually banned onshore wind”. As the BBC Complaints Dept has already been forced to categorically confirm, there is simply no truth in this. The government has simply ended subsidies and (shock, horror!!) allowed local communities to decide whether they want new wind farms or not.

2) These figures do account for construction costs and the fact that wind and solar power are intermittent

This is typical of the lazy, slovenly writing we see so much of at the BBC, where climate change is concerned. The BEIS shows quite clearly that intermittency costs are not included in their costings. Nor, for that matter, are “Whole System Impacts”, such as new transmission lines.

If the BBC are going to quote the BEIS report, should they at least take the time to read it properly?

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