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
Retrain people in their 50s and 60s
The Financial Times (£) - 05 Dec 2013Transport infrastructure spending far higher in London
The Spectator - 05 Dec 2013Universities should pay a living wage
Times Higher Education - 05 Dec 2013Tax free childcare will not cut childcare costs
Nursery World - 05 Dec 2013
Parents thousands of pounds worse of with Govt's tax relief plan
The Telegraph - 04 Dec 2013New competitors in the energy market
The Independent - 04 Dec 2013Areas like London must prep for Romanian and Bulgarian migrants
BBC News - 04 Dec 2013Cuts to ECO are a panicky response
The Guardian - 03 Dec 2013
Green deal loan take up pitiful
The Guardian - 03 Dec 2013Scottish independence a long shot
The Week in Parliament - 03 Dec 2013Increasing income tax allowance won't help the poor
The Guardian - 03 Dec 2013An unanswerable case for NHS reform
The Guardian - 02 Dec 2013
Pay care providers on outcome not activity
The Guardian - 02 Dec 2013Shore up community relations to help with migrants
The Observer - 02 Dec 2013Not intelligent to clamp down on foreign students
The Independent - 02 Dec 2013Lib-Lab coalition is possible after next election, says Chris Huhne
The Times (£) - 29 Nov 2013
Area-based scheme could cover 117k more houses than ECO
The Guardian - 29 Nov 2013Foreign students put off by work rules
The Telegraph - 29 Nov 2013Black hole in education budget
BBC Newsnight - 29 Nov 2013Fuel poor homes not benefiting from ECO
The Guardian - 29 Nov 2013