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Telegraph View: The Government’s policy on renewable energy is based on dogma not evidence.

The Coalition is committed to a policy, mandated by the EU, of ensuring that 40 per cent of Britain’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. The renewable source that has been chosen to provide most of the electricity is wind. As our columnist Christopher Booker has pointed out, this creates a serious problem: wind does not blow at a constant rate, which makes it unreliable as an energy supply. There is no way to store the surplus electricity produced when there is too much wind; and when there is no wind, there is no electricity from wind turbines.

The full folly of these turbines is revealed in our report today. Because the electricity it produces cannot be stored, one wind farm has been paid more than £1 million simply to ensure that it does not produce electricity for eight hours. The company profiting from this lunatic process is not British, but foreign – in common with most of those firms operating wind farms in this country. That would not be of any concern were these companies actually adding to our prosperity, but they are not: they are destroying value rather than creating it, a process only made possible because the Government takes our money and gives it to them. In return, taxpayers face higher electricity bills and an economy that is damaged because its costs have been artificially inflated by the decision to use wind as a principal source of power. It is a ludicrous situation.

This should precipitate a swift reappraisal of the commitment to such a source of energy. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen: it is becoming increasingly clear that the commitment to wind power is based on dogma, not evidence. But the truth is that you can’t meet a country’s energy needs from dogma – as ministers will discover soon enough.

The Sunday Telegraph, 18 September 2011