A bit of Perspective
One of the oft repeated complaints of the anti wind, anti climate change brigade is that green energy gets a lot of subsidies.
It’s a theme taken up recently by sections of the media – like the Daily Mail – claiming that green subsidies are responsible for high energy bills – and silly stuff like that.
But is it true…?
A few weeks ago a customer of ecotricity asked us just how much of his bill money was taken up by other support for green energy, other than that which ecotricity did itself – meaning through the Renewables Obligation (RO). It caused us to take a look at the cost of that per typical household. This is what we found:
The most recent published figures we could find were for the year ended April 2010.
Using data from OFGEM and assuming there are 26.7 million homes in Britain – we came to the figure of £13.84 per household per year to support renewable energy through the RO. Of this, £4.15 was for onshore wind.
Hardly princely sums. Especially if looked at in perspective;
For example – we also calculated the annual cost per household of the nuclear ‘clean up’ – the cost of containing nuclear waste – it’s a rather more significant £34.47 per year, per household.
And then we went looking for the support given to the fossil fuel industry and we found the annual cost is quoted as £6 to £8 for every £1 to support clean and renewable energy. That figure comes from the government itself – albeit when they were in opposition.
So we spend £13.84 per household (per year) on clean new sources of energy, nearly three times as much more to clean up the mess the nuclear industry has already made and up to eight times as much to subsidise fossil fuels. The past and the present (in energy source terms) receive vastly more public support than our energy future.
That’s a perspective the Daily Mail won’t share with it’s readers.
There’s one more piece of perspective worth sharing – In the last twelve months energy bills in Britain have risen by roughly £200 per household (per year) – simply due to fluctuations on global energy markets (fossil fuel markets).
Fossil fuels didn’t suddenly become more expensive to extract or process – this is all about ‘free markets’ and commodity speculators.
That’s £200 we’re all spending on ‘Free Market’ price movements – £35 cleaning up nuclear waste and perhaps £100 subsidising fossil fuels… oh and £14 supporting Green Energy.
That’s a perspective I thought worth sharing.
To me the current spending priorities are perverse – let spend that £200 or £300 per year on Renewables – it’s a far better investment for all of us.