The real contribution of renewables
Lyn Jenkins (South Wales Evening Post, Letters, 13 October) gives a very partial view of the contribution of renewables to our energy needs by focusing solely on wind and on one particular day.
In October 2014, on the day that Didcot B Power Station went up in flames, three of our nuclear power stations also had to be taken off line for urgent maintenance. The lights did not go out and nobody among the general public noticed. Reason: it was a windy day and wind-generated electricity filled the gap.
That was the first occasion on which renewables generated over 25% of the electricity consumed on a single day – but it was not the last.
In the second quarter of this year renewable energy produced 25.3% of the country’s electricity – more than either nuclear power (21.5%) or coal (20.5%).
Far from being “petty” and “unreliable”, renewables are now an essential part of the UK energy mix, and Lyn Jenkins and friends are just going to have to get used to it!
A truly “common sense energy policy from British politicians” would see them throwing their full weight behind renewables and reducing support for the multi-national corporations currently making huge profits from the heavily subsidised, over-priced electricity being generated by fossil fuels and nuclear.
The International Monetary Fund estimates UK subsidies to the fossil industries in Britain at £30 billion annually – more than £1,000 per household per year.
In contrast, support for all renewable energy amounted to £2.6 billion last year, about £100 per household per year, with onshore wind adding just £10 to household energy bills.
Renewable energy receives one-tenth of the support that fossil fuels do, yet powers 25% of the country.
Ecologist article ‘UK rigging power market against clean energy‘
Letter published in full in the Evening Post on Saturday 17 October