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Conservative windfarm policy endangers cheap energy in UK. - 25th April

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Conservative opposition to windfarms risks the UK missing out on one of the cheapest sources of electricity, according to the head of a Shell-funded industry group.

Adair Turner, chair of the Energy Transitions Commission, said wind and solar power costs had fallen dramatically globally and urged the government to rethink its ban on subsidised onshore windfarms.

We have to at least understand that a ban on doing onshore wind is giving up the opportunity of what is increasingly the cheapest form of electricity. I would not personally have that ban on onshore wind,” Lord Turner told the Guardian.

A report by the commission found that the cost of wind power had fallen by 60% in the past five years. The analysis predicted that by 2040, wind and solar would account for 45% of the global power mix, with hydro and nuclear making up another 35%.

We’re basically saying by 2040, you can get the share of fossil fuel generation down to 20%, and that is quite ambitious,” said Turner. “What is distinctive is the group of people who are making that statement. It’s not just either industry or NGOs, it’s both.”

The group said that by 2035, wind and solar could provide 98% of power in developed countries such as Germany and the UK, with gas power stations or batteries providing backup. Nuclear would not grow its share because of cost, while progress on carbon capture and storage of emissions from coal and gas power stations had been “too slow”.

Read more here.

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