Government plans to meet renewable energy targets are
unrealistic, argues Christopher Booker in
yesterday's Sunday Telegraph. But the statistics he's using to
back up his argument suggest that renewables aren't actually as
useless as he thinks.
Last week, the Department of Energy and Climate Change
set out how much electricity the UK will have to produce
from renewables in order to meet 2020 EU renewable energy targets.
We need to generate 79 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity a year
from renewables in 2017, and 108 TWh a year in 2020, DECC
But Christopher Booker argues that given how little electricity
wind power currently produces, such plans are hopelessly
"In 2010, the last year for which we
have figures, we used 378 TWh of electricity, of which only 10 TWh,
or 2.6 per cent, came from wind … [T]o meet that ... target within
eight years, almost all the increase would have to come from new
Newer energy statistics show growth in
Booker is taking figures from DECC's
2011 Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) report, which
provides UK energy statistics for 2010. But although he says these
are the most recent figures available,
the new edition of DUKES was published last week,
providing information on what happened in 2011.
These new figures show the year saw fairly significant growth in
the amount of electricity coming from renewable sources. The amount
of electricity generated by wind power rose from 10.2 terawatt
hours in 2010 to 15.75 TWh in 2011 - a rise of 5.53 TWh.
This made up much of a wider growth in renewable power -
renewables generated 34.4 TWh of electricity in 2011, a rise of
about 8.6 TWh compared to 2010.
(See page 135.)