Wind power does not cause fuel poverty

Damian Carrington, a blogger for the Guardian online, has written a noteworthy piece on wind power under the title “why there’s only one honest objection to wind farms”. His blog was prompted by an article in the Sunday Telegraph claiming that wind energy subsidies are “forcing up to 50,000 households a year into fuel poverty”.

Carrington blows apart this argument by stating that between 2004 and 2010, fuel bills rose by £455, of which £382 was due to soaring gas prices, an issue this blog has previously written about.

He goes on to say that “onshore wind power only looks expensive compared to electricity from gas and coal if you believe that the greenhouse gases pumped out by the latter cause no damage, i.e. that carbon emissions are cost-free.”

“That puts you in the fringe group of people who, unlike every government and science academy on the planet, do not accept human activity is causing dangerous global warming.”

As the economic crisis rolls on, the climate argument in favour of wind power competes with other arguments including job creation, energy security and the cost savings of a no-fuel source of electricity, but climate change is still one of the fundamental reasons to back wind power (and not only because the EU has targets to cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020).

Wind power uses no fuel and onshore wind power is now competitive with fossil fuels. When it comes to choosing between building new fossil fuel plants that will lock in carbon emissions and building new wind farms that run on a free-fuel and avoid costs associated with carbon emissions, choosing wind is a no-brainer.

Zoë Casey,