Back in 1980 I was “Head of Energy Forecasting” for Shell in The Netherlands (not as grand as it sounds). I visited and climbed one of the first big wind turbines. Great Fun. The Wind energy challenge is not technical but cost driven. The key variable is the oil/gas price. 1/3
At high hydrocarbon prices wind can be viable without subsidy. At low prices you need to subsidise to encourage the capital investment necessary for more wind farms. Obviously existing turbines are not oil price dependent because the marginal cost of production is so low. 2/3
In times of economic stress it frankly makes little sense to throw scarce capital at renewable energy which is so capital intensive. I’m far from sure Johnson and the Government understands any of this. 3/3
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