October 14th, 2013

Ed’s £69 Energy Sting For Every Household by 2020


Yesterday Guido revealed in the Sun that while in government Ed Miliband legislated to add £69 a year to every household bill by 2020. We’ve crunched the numbers…

In November 2009 Secretary of State Miliband told the Commons:

“That takes me to the issue of energy, and I repeat that we face big challenges in that area. No one should pretend the scale of the challenge is not huge. Our plans will mean that approximately 10,000 wind turbines will be built between now and 2020, as part of the strategy for achieving 30 per cent. renewable electricity by 2020.”

Well according to Department of Energy and Climate Change in March 2010:

“Onshore wind receives 1 Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) per MWh and offshore wind receives 1.5 ROCs per MWh.”

The value of a ROC is estimated at £40.55, dropping to £39.34 by 2015. For simplicity, lets be generous and assume all of Ed’s windmills will be onshore (offshore ones will add even more to the cost). RenewableUK say a modern turbine produces 2.5MW  of electricity an hour. We could say 2MW to be on the safe side, and the wind doesn’t blow all the time. DECC say just 25.6% of the time in fact.

So those 10,000 turbines x 2MW per turbine x 0.256 (load factor) x 8760 (number of available hours in a year) x £40 (subsidy per hour generating) = £1.79bn.

There are 26m households in the UK. So that will £69 per household per year cost. Cheers Ed.


  1. 1

    Hot air. Let’s have more!


  2. 2
    Ed Miliband says:

    I will freeze this Blog in 2015.


  3. 3
    Ed Davey says:

    My hero, My rock.


  4. 4
    Break a leg says:

    ‘The Climate Change Act’

    I am surprised no one else has spotted the obvious.

    Clue – It’s the term Act


    • 35
      Engineer says:

      I know – let’s have a law banning rain on Mondays. Just as realistic as the Climate Change act, with the benfits sooner!


  5. 5
    Another Engineer says:

    2.5MW of energy per hour?


    9GJ per hour, or just 2.5MW please…

    Anyway, this is just the subsidy for the wind turbines. What about the subsidy for the standby power, and also the subsidy for the wind turbines when they aren’t required for generation?


    • 16
      Downstream says:

      GJ per hour? You must work in the gas industry. As an engineer.

      All around the world electricity sells by the MW/h, or kW/h.

      You are, however, 100% correct about the standby charges – conveniently ignored by Greens everywhere.


      • 22
        James Joule says:

        MW is a measure of power, not energy.


      • 23
        Another Engineer says:

        I was just complaining about Guido’s “2.5MW of electricity per hour”, which makes no sense, as a Watt is not a quantity of energy.

        He could have written “2.5MWh of electricity per hour” but that’s not much better…


      • 26
        Casual Observer 4 says:

        You can sell 2.5MW/h of energy – that is a bit over 9GJ per hour.

        To speak of producing 2.5MW per hour is a nonsense, which is fully to his point.

        This unit in electricity is a b’astardization of the old Amp/h which it does make sense to talk about producing.


    • 17
      Ed "Stewpot" Stewart says:

      The BBC used 247 MW just for Radio One


      • 85
        Crystal radio says:

        .. and it used to be 1500MW for the longer waved stuff (don’t listen now, so I don’t know if that frequency is still used). It used to be around 248 for Radio Luxembourg.


    • 19
      James Joule says:

      +1. Another indicator to the dire state of science education in this Country.


    • 25
      Anonymous says:

      Don’t they get compensation for when the wind isn’t blowing and when it’s blowing too hard?
      In which case that raises the load factor from .256 closer to 1 (depending on the value of the compensation). This pushes the annual cost towards £7billion!


      • 52
        Engineer says:


        ‘Load factor’ is the ratio of electricity delivered by a power generator to it’s rated capacity.

        The ‘rated capacity’ is what a power station generates when it’s going flat out. No power station can operate at full capacity all the time (breakdowns, planned maintenance or overhaul, no market for the electricity, wind not blowing, whatever).

        The larger wind turbines are rated at about 3 to 5 MW depending on their size. They don’t actually deliver that much; on average, it’s about 25% of their rated capacity averaged over longish time periods. So – their ‘load factor’ is about 25%, or 0.25.

        No method of generation achieves load factor of 1 (or 100%). The best tend to be the big coal-fired baseload stations at about 75%, with the nuclear stations close behind at about 70%.


    • 44

      What’s a watt, Joules?


    • 45
      Edukashun Edukashion Educachun says:



  6. 6
    Owen Jones says:

    The National Health Service is not an International Health Service and should be there for those who have paid in

    . http://www.ukip.org/newsroom/news/931-ukip-calls-for-sensible-approach-to-immigration-after-figures-show-600-000-eu-migrants-


  7. 7
    A Polar Bear says:

    Davey is just another a green con-man.


  8. 8
    Jimmy says:

    “We’ve crunched the numbers…”

    You mean you’ve taken your socks off?


  9. 9
    Rick of Stoke says:

    Miliband’s short stint in government is already costing families plenty.

    Imagine the cost and waste if he was let near Downing Street.


  10. 10
    Bestiality Carter says:

    2.5 megawatts per hour? That’s like saying the windmill is half an acre tall and weighs fifty knots.


    • 27
      Anonymous says:

      The way that it’s written…… does that not allow for the ensuing calculation to take account for the fact that the wind isn’t always blowing??


  11. 11
    Dr Talent says:

    I am sooooooo loving that “green isn’t working” image.

    Great work Guido and team.

    P.S. How come Guido does a better job defeating Labour’s crap than Cameron / Crosby are able to?


  12. 13
    danny nolan says:

    I’m fed up with people knocking wind turbines.

    If you need a reminder of the utter utter stupidity of this generation of politicians they’re right there. And will stay right there until a sensible political class takes an angle grinder to them.

    Dear current generation of lunatic politicians,
    the sixteenth century has just called and it wants its redundant technology back. Apparently something called ‘the atom’ has been ‘split’.


    • 60
      Uninformed but concerned says:

      I agree with you about windmills. Serious question though: With nuclear are we eventually going to poison the planet with all the radioactive nuclear waste that it creates rendering earth at some point effectively uninhabitable? I honestly don’t know the answer, but it genuinely concerns me.


      • 65
        Engineer says:

        The nuclear waste has been around for several decades, and it hasn’t poisoned the planet yet. Chernobyl spread quite a lot of radioactive comtaminants over quite a large area, and the effect on wildlife and human health has been pretty minimal.

        So the answer to your question is ‘no’.

        To keep the waste we have generated so far even safer, we need a suitable deep repository, such as that currently used by the Finns. We’ve known this for about 25 years, and know we can engineer one without too much trouble. However, we await a political decision on building it.


        • 73
          Sir William Waid says:

          The deep ocean trenches would be a good place to put nuclear waste, whence it would be subducted into the interior of the Earth, but we’re not allowed to say so.


      • 109
        Anonymous says:

        You’d be amazed how little (serious) waste is produced. Energy density of nuclear reactions is orders of magnitude larger than chemical reactions, hence much less material needed


    • 92
      Ed "Ecoloon" Davey says:

      Don’t agree with you DN. In yesterday’s ST I said that wind farms are ‘value for money’ and, improbable as it may seem, I meant it:


      How’s that for bare-faced lying? I make Balls, Brown and the rest look like rank amateurs when it comes to telling porkies.


  13. 14
    Windmills of my mind says:

    They can’t build the offshore windmills any faster than they’re doing now, in a year or so Liverpool bay/ Irish sea will be full of the the bloody things, their’s even betting going on, the best bet is a simple one from fishermen worried, it’s “will the blades float”, the cost for each one at sea much be millions, the support ships and platforms and the building of this garbage is keeping a lot of people employed,


    • 21
      Casual Observer 4 says:

      And the irony is, the Span!sh are still stealing out fish from around them.

      Will be a very bizarre legacy for our grand children to figure out.

      — The Future…

      ‘Grand-pa, you see that out at sea ? WTF was going on back in the olden days ?’


    • 54
      REALWORLDER says:

      What difference does it make how you measure the theoretic output of the stupid useless bloody things, they are only a disastrously expensive way of getting the ecolunatic vote and lining a few pockets.

      The only possible hope is a speedy development of the shale gas reserves and a few dozen new nuclear power plants before the supply is completely in foreign hands.


    • 72
      Sir William Waid says:

      Have you noticed how they never erect windmills near the homes of important people?


  14. 18
    Casual Observer 4 says:

    The subtly with which the Green Ed graphic references the Corn Law aspect of this windmill rip off is sublime.


    • 37

      I had never realised the subtlety that Red/Green/Colourblind Ed was in fact such an avid mercantilist.

      What with Unite also scamming HMRC and lobbying for investigation of itself, have we all been completely fooled by their socialist appearances?


  15. 32
    David Cameron says:

    Anyone fancy sucking my cock?


  16. 34
    Owen Jones says:

    Botswana is trying to hard to join the EU.


  17. 40
    Len McCluskey says:

    Unite denounces The Times as ‘highly misleading’ – Clarification of Unite’s VAT payments http://shar.es/ECd8g


  18. 42
    Anonymous says:

    Taxing the poor to pay the rich.


    • 51
      Bert Camus says:

      That Socialist Hollande has just sent a bailiff to collect 400 euros income tax from a 92 year old widow.

      The old bat has not paid any income tax since her husband popped his cloggs 20 years ago.

      This is socialism in action.


  19. 42
  20. 47
    Fishy says:


    It’s windy today and at this moment Ed Windmilliband is producing even more hot air.

    His effing useless windmills are producing 1756 MW of the 42077 being generated (4.17%)

    Regarding solar, last December Germany found that the weather and persistent thick cloud resulted in negligible quantities of solar energy being produced throughout the country, reinforcing their decision to return to coal.

    What is being constantly ignored in this debate on generation is the country’s need for heat in both homes and industry. Which translates as gas and oil.

    It’s time to frack.

    PS: Perhaps Miliband’s obsession with windmills has something to do with him being a propeller-head


  21. 50
    Gordon Brown says:

    Today I’m again a pair of pliers. Yesterday was such fun.


  22. 56

    You have missed mission creep and bad management on the public-front aspects. This often inflates the cost by 1000% or more so we could be looking down the barrel of £20bn by the time it comes to fruition.


  23. 57
    Bert Camus says:

    Some daft sod in France paid over a 100 euros for a windmill to stick on the side of his house amid claims that it would produce loads of free electricity using nothing more than natural wind.

    The windmill is now to be found on his lawn not having manufactured a single KWH of electricity although there is some fucker walking around France with 100 euros in his pocket.

    Let us all vote Green.


  24. 61
    Engineer says:

    One wonders how this lunacy has become so entrenched.

    Do politicians and civil servants not talk to those doing the job of generating power and operating the National Grid, and if they do, do they ever take any notice?


    • 67
      coluche says:

      I thought you English imported most of your electricity these days directly from nuclear generators in France.

      Apparently you think it is a much safer option.


      • 69
        Engineer says:

        It’s a question of ‘needs must’, because we haven’t built any power stations that actually produce much electricity for about twenty years. The last were the gas-fired ones. We haven’t built any big generators for about fourty years – the last of any size was Sizewell ‘B’.

        The power industry knows full well that this is stupidity. Politics, however, has not yet caught up, it seems.


  25. 68
    Ed Dafty says:

    I am working on a plan to extract sunbeams from cucumbers.


  26. 71
    killermajaro says:

    dont forget that the now less profitable gas plants used to cover for winds deficiencies still have to pay the fixed cost of operating the plant – and starting it up.
    add another £20/MWh for that onto wind..


  27. 77
    Johnny says says:

    If you want to get an idea of how much wind turbines are costing us right now have a look at http://www.variablepitch.co.uk


  28. 79
    CheapAtHalfThePrice says:

    nearly right, but you forgot to add on another £squillion in order to (a) build, fuel and man a shitload of diesel generators for when the wind doth not blow (b) install a shitload of new cabling to daisy chain all the windmills together and to connect them to the grid and (c) build a shitload of new sub-stations and transformers in order to plug them in to the grid (d) supply a shitload of replacement towers and turbines for when people realise how easy the stupid things are to fell … TIMBBEEERRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!


  29. 82
    Old Grumpy says:

    You are being VERY generous, Guido!

    The figures you use are for the DESIGN CAPACITY of the largest wind generators, of which there are damned few! Most of our wind generators have a design capacity of 400KW!

    A wind TURBINE will operate at 46% (ish) of that design capacity. For a 2.5MW generator that provides a maximum of 1.15MW output.

    The 400KW workhorses push out about 184KW.

    To add to the woes, those sorts of maxima are only available for between 17-22% of the year. Thus, for your simplistic calculations, each large wind turbine will only produce an average of 253KW!. You can work the rest out for yourself……..

    NOW! The maximum outputs are only of use at PEAK POWER USAGE TIMES. For much of the time the wind turbines have to be immobilised, else the Grid gets overwhelmed. That means that, for a good 80% of the year, the damned things are not required anyway!

    So! 0.2 of 253 = 50.6, which equates to a bloody greqt white elephant!

    £69 subsidy? Try £2727.27 (recurring) per household!


  30. 99
    MB. says:

    Wasn’t it reported that the owners of the wind power stations are compensated on those rare occasions when they are producing plenty of electricity but the grid cannot use.

    Needless to say they do not compensate the grid or government on the many occasions when they cannot contribute to the grid because there is no wind.

    Can we banish that horrible phrase ‘wind farm’? They are wind ‘power stations’, inefficient and unreliable power stations but still power stations.


  31. 100
    Penfold says:

    Nicely done.

    Lets see the left spin these facts………….


  32. 101
    Yes more boom and bust says:

    I have 10 windmills on my farm .i make a fortune from the rent so I love them. Sod the people who are paying through the nose for green energy and policies.


  33. 102
    teabag says:

    The power output of a wind turbine, any wind turbine, is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. That is not something for the BBC to debate, it’s pure physics.

    Let’s assume the turbine produces its published power output when the wind is blowing at 20 miles per hour; when the wind is only blowing at 5 miles per hour the power output will be 1/64 (1/4 x 1/4 x 1/4) ~ in other words about 1.5%. So an 2.5MW turbine will produce about 0.04MW in a light breeze and nothing at all when there is no wind.

    DECC says “25.6% of the time” ~ 25.6% of what? I just don’t believe that the surface wind in this country is 20 mph or more for 25.6% of the time.


  34. 104
    EdRed The Unready says:

    No, that can’t be wight, I want to fweethe pwices!

    Thomeone hath made a mithtake!


  35. 107
    Nation Shall Speak Socialism Unto Nation says:

    Reasons why £69 is a gross underestimate

    1. the calculation of avg turbine size ignores the significant trend to larger turbines. i.e. installed base is average is not a good estimate for those being added.
    2. DECC is relying on the bulk of new turbine generation to be offshore – this is ignored and they are looking like 3 x the cost of generation of traditional methods
    3. Constraint payments (paying wind farmers to turn off when there is too much!)
    4. The cost of the grid changes to cope with wind farms all over the place
    5. the subsidies we pay to base load generators not to generate on those occaisions when the wind is blowing
    6. The fact that we are using diesel generators (Diesel Generators I kid you not!) to cope with sudden spikes and troughs caused by wind farms variable output – this produces electricity at about an order of magnitude more expensive than trad gas generators


  36. 108

    Meanwhile we and Germany are the only ones making any real dent in CO2 emissions.



  37. 110
    John Tandy says:

    Over to you Ed……..


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