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
Making it hard for politicians to ignore the young
Telegraph - 07 Mar 2014£100bn red alert over green energy gap
The Independent - 06 Mar 2014Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
The Independent - 06 Mar 2014Will Straw on moving beyond coal power
Guardian - 04 Mar 2014
Ed Cox on Why London is such a powerful force in the UK (2.55 in)
BBC Today - 04 Mar 2014The north holds the key to a better economy
Manchester Everning News - 04 Mar 2014Net migration soars despite Cameron's pledge
Daily Telegraph - 28 Feb 2014NEET generation
The Independent - 27 Feb 2014
More BBC indie commissions, report says
Radio Today - 27 Feb 2014BBC boss wants to extend licence fee to cover iPlayer
Daily Mirror - 27 Feb 2014Scotland: Vote 'Yes' and lose the BBC
The Independent - 27 Feb 2014Indy Scotland would be a vote to “leave” the BBC
The Scotsman - 27 Feb 2014
Tony Hall: extend licence fee to cover iPlayer
The Guardian - 27 Feb 2014Maria Miller says independent Scotland would lose the BBC
The Guardian - 27 Feb 2014Hall vows to protect drama under further cost-cutting
The Stage - 27 Feb 2014Hall proposes licence fee extension to include iPlayer
BBC News Online - 27 Feb 2014
Harman at OMC: 'Daily Mail should apologise'
The Guardian - 27 Feb 2014Time to break London's grip on creative industries
BBC Wales Today - 25 Feb 2014UK's creative industries 'must back regional and ethnic diversity'
The Guardian - 25 Feb 2014Creative industries need to be freed from London's 'closed shop'
WalesOnline - 25 Feb 2014