Wind power not cost effective, study says

March 8, 2012 at 6:06 PM
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LONDON, March 8 (UPI) -- British investment in wind turbines is not cost effective for the amount of greenhouse gas emission reductions they would provide, a study indicated.

Economics Professor Gordon Hughes of the University of Edinburgh and commissioner on Britain's Infrastructure Planning Commission conducted his study for the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The foundation is chaired by England's former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson, The Australian reported in its Friday edition.

Hughes detailed analysis to be released next week indicates the $10 billion the Labor government plans to use to subsidize wind projects is "uneconomic" saying wind turbines cost 10 times the rate of gas-fired power stations.

"Wind power is an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of reducing CO2 emissions when compared with the option of investing in efficient and flexible gas combined-cycle plans," Hughes said.

In Australia, part of the British Commonwealth Anthony Owen of the International Energy Policy Institute in Adelaide said the study's findings were valid for Australian conditions.

Owen cited the study's conclusions of wind power's high cost and indications it was not zero-emission technology despite common belief, the newspaper said.

"The high capital cost of wind makes it particularly unattractive to private power generation companies in the absence of government subsidies," Owen said.

"Gas-fired power generation is very flexible and relatively cheap in terms of capital costs.

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