Gas is greener than Wind

The Telegraph

This study is going to put the shits up the Greens…it appears that gas is greener than wind:

Building gas-fired power plants instead of more offshore wind farms could actually lead to greater carbon savings at a lower cost, a leading think-tank has claimed.

In a report today, Policy Exchange argued that the government should scrap 4GW of its planned 13GW target for offshore wind generation by 2020.

By building cheaper gas generation instead it could save £700-£900m a year in costs that would have been passed onto billpayers, it calculated.

These savings could be redeployed by insulating hundreds of thousands more homes and doubling public funding for research and development in key low-carbon technologies, it said.

That would still leave enough money to “buy and retire sufficient carbon permits each year to reduce emissions by six times as much as the 4GW of offshore wind”.

It argued: “To achieve maximum overall emissions reduction and low carbon innovation, the electricity market needs to be allowed to invest in gas as a transition fuel, subject to a long-term EU emissions cap.”

Even if gas-fired power plants had to be retired early because of the EU’s emissions cap, it would still be a “far cheaper” interim solution than building offshore wind while the costs remain so high, it said.


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  • Selddot

    “in a report today” whats the scope of the report? Generation only? Dogma.

  • Jocko

    ….that’s also one reason why power prices are higher in NZ than they need to be

  • Fooman

    Erroneous conclusion there, dear Whale.

    Combine cycle gas power stations generally have the lowest capital cost per MWh installed compared to other power technology (e.g. coal fired plant, hydro, wind etc).

    Wind is greener than gas (much lower lifetime emissions), but the initial carbon/cost net benefit for gas is greater due to the lower capital cost of installation, per MWh.  But very dependant on the marginal fuel costs as well over the lifetime of the plants.

    Would not work in NZ, as there is no net carbon benefit against the majority generation tech (hydro/geothermal), ublike the UK, US and Oz, where coal fired generation dominates.

    Gas fired plant is good for backup/load following when hydro is unavailable.


  • AnonWgtn

    Nah, Nah, Nah – our Greenpeace Party are a law unto themselves.
    They will only believe what they want to.
    They are more clever than we are.

  • Ford

    wind never runs out

    • Le Sphincter

      Oh yes it does, you must be thinking of blowhards

      • Ford

        the wind will still blow when gas and blowhards die out

    • Sheppy

      But it’s output does vary a lot in that part of the world, often from minute to minute so the choice is between dirty fast response generators to keep the power on between gusts and during calm periods or regular power cuts or just building cleaner gas fueled generators in the first place.
      It makes make sense over here because of our proximity to the “roaring forties”

      • jay cee

        correct me if i’m wrong but i understood that wind power was used to charge batteries to overcome fluctuations ,surges etc.

      • Ford

        are you thick or what?
        gas will not last forever..what are people going to do when gas resources run out..because they will one get the idea yet moron

      • Ford

        are you thick or what?
        gas will not last forever..what are people going to do when gas resources run out..because they will one get the idea yet moron

    • Patrick

       sure & on a still day when you flick the switch on your kettle to make yourself a cuppa it is coal, gas, hydro or geothermal that powers the kettle. That is & will always be the issue with total reliance on wind.

  • tarkwin

    Whats wrong with tidal or nuclear?

    • TravisPoulson

      Tidal is no more than an engineers wet dream and not practical in NZ, and nuclear….have you been asleep since the 80’s?

      • So why is there a test one sitting out off our coast – oh thats right Government is helping fund it…….whoops you said tidal I read wave….

      • TravisPoulson

        For starters NEIL, it’s not off the coast, its in the mouth of a harbour. 2nd, the places where it can be done successfully (not to mention passing consents and strong opposition) are rather limited. You also need a large harbour with sufficient flow, consider commercial shipping and enough depth. Kaipara has twice the tidal flow of the next best harbours, so any others will be at least 50% less efficient. 

      • tarkwin

        Tidal generation works well in the East river and nuclear has come a long way since the eighties.

      • TravisPoulson

        That means nothing when we have a nuclear free policy tarkwin.

  • Sheppy

    Yes it is used to charge batteries for small scale use such as someone off grid but batteries are a very expensive option with a limited life and way too expensive for large scale generation use. The best way to store it on a larger scale is to use a hydro scheme. The UK has limited options for further hydro use hence the gas generators.

  • Sheppy

    Ford, thanks for your kind helpful comments.
    Can you recommend a good cost effective scheme to provide extra generating capacity in the UK when the wind stops blowing both there and in continental Europe?
    It’s always good to be educated from someone who knows so much about the practical uses of wind energy…

    • Ford

      im not a scientist or anything of the kind but i do know gas will run out and the wind will still blow so go fart in a  jar and save it might need it

      • Beans

        Got anything other than whining about when/if something will run out?

        Russia found 65 years’ worth of oil shale the other day. You can bet your ass they’re gonna mine that. Sorry!

      • Boss Hogg

        Beans, that was 65 yrs to meet 100% of the worlds demand or 50 Million barrel per day for 1000 yrs…….Get it Ford?

  • Ford

    what you on about beanbag..i dont understand your dribble

  • ConwayCaptain

    The French have had the Rance Barrage in operation for over 50 years.

    There are sufficient tidal flows in the Cook Strait and adjacent waters.