Beyond the bluster: Why wind power is an effective technology
Published date: 30 Aug 2012
Download full publication Purchase via print on demand
Much opposition to wind power appears to be based on the belief that it is an ineffective technology, inefficient or unreliable. This claim is untrue and it is important to get ‘beyond the bluster’ in assessing the effectiveness of wind power.
The report addresses two commonly held misconceptions around two important, often misunderstood, questions:
- Is wind power an effective way of reducing carbon emissions?
- Is wind power a secure and reliable source of energy for the UK?
It shows unequivocally that wind power can significantly reduce carbon emissions, is reliable, poses no threat to energy security, and is technically capable of providing a significant proportion of the UK’s electricity supply with minimal impact on the existing operation of the grid.
The conclusions of the report note that:
- It is inaccurate to describe the output from wind power as ‘unpredictable’.
- In the short term, wind power output is remarkably stable and increases and decreases only very slowly.
- The risks associated with ‘long, cold, calm spells’ have been overstated.
- In the UK, National Grid has reported that up to 30GW of wind power can be accommodated even if no changes are made to the way that the electricity system functions.
- In the longer term, there are numerous technological options to facilitate much greater amounts of wind power – such as improved interconnection with other countries and intelligent management of supply and demand through a ‘smart grid’.
- For these reasons the authors conclude that wind power can play a major role in a secure and reliable future electricity system.
IPPR has worked with GL Garrad Hassan, a leading renewable energy consultancy, to produce this report, and the findings have been reviewed by a leading academic. The paper features a foreword by Reg Platt of IPPR, and a technical report by Oscar Fitch-Roy and Paul Gardner of GL Garrad Hassan.
Reg Platt, Senior Research Fellow
In the news
Should Britain build more wind farms?
City AM - 01 Nov 2012
Winds farms inefficient, claims Owen Paterson
Telegraph - 19 Sep 2012
You may be interested in...
IPPR in the news
Ministers are 'not trusted'
Daily Mirror - 14 Apr 2014A real alternative to loan sharks
Sunday People - 14 Apr 2014Politicians of all stripes suffer sharp fall in trust
Telegraph - 14 Apr 201436% have faith in the parliamentary system
Metro - 14 Apr 2014
Labour pledges to introduce Regional Ministers
ITV News - 09 Apr 2014Putting the voice of English regions at the heart of decision-making
The Independent - 09 Apr 2014Labour's plan to 'bust open' civil service
Guardian - 09 Apr 2014Young electorate showing disenchantment with today’s politics
Financial Times - 08 Apr 2014
Labour's plans to boost Whitehall diversity
Evening Standard - 07 Apr 2014Dugher plan to 'bust open' Whitehall to 'working class'
BBC News Website - 07 Apr 2014Dugher will announce higher diversity targets for civil service
Independent on Sunday - 07 Apr 2014Tim Finch on The Big Migration Debate
BBC World Service - 07 Apr 2014
Michael Dugher: We need a more representative civil service
Mirror - 07 Apr 2014Politicians don't care about young people
Huffington Post - 07 Apr 2014Spencer Thompson on European jobs and skills (8min 30)
BBC World Service - 04 Apr 2014Graeme Henderson on greater collaboration between Scotland and North (1hr 36)
BBC Radio Cumbria - 04 Apr 2014
Summit will address funding for NW creatives
Manchester Evening News - 03 Apr 2014The UK's future lies in well-skilled work
The Guardian - 02 Apr 2014Hancock unveils 77 new tech levels at European Jobs and Skills Sumit
FE Week - 02 Apr 2014It’s not just prison books that are under threat, it’s British justice
The Telegraph - 02 Apr 2014