The Telegraph is yet again trying to pretend that Noel
Edmonds’ anti-wind lobby, the cosmically ordered Renewable Energy
Foundation, is a reliable source of data. In case you don’t remember, this is
the organisation which produces nonsensical made-up ‘reports’ attacking wind
power, whilst claiming on their home page to be in the business of promoting
It's an organisation whose very name is an obvious lie. And this
is the source of the Telegraph’s latest big anti-wind scare. A new report from
the REF. Here we go again.
Please do click on the links. I wouldn’t believe this stuff
without checking first.
The latest REF ‘report’ comes from the same author as their
last ‘report’, their director John Constable.
The last 'report', published last month and debunked here, here,
and here, claimed that the big problem with wind power was that it created too
many jobs, and this would drag living standards in the UK back to ‘the pre-coal
Unbelievable? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Buckle up, because
things are going to get a lot less credible from here on in.
Just to establish that last month’s REF paper really was
that daft - and I’m not just making stuff up here - the Department for Energy and
Climate Change (Decc) responded to that ‘report’ by saying they did not
recognise the numbers Constable used, that he had failed to factor in
efficiency gains, and that all those green jobs would bring prosperity.
This is how the REF responded to that last argument:
Finally, DECC argues that increasing numbers of jobs in the
green energy sector will bring prosperity. However, it is precisely this
assumption that the paper tackles head on. No one doubts that subsidised
green energy will employ very large numbers of people. But this simply
tells us that renewables are a low productivity sector; high employment
indicates that the energy is expensive to produce, and that wages will be low.
Check it out, it’s real, and it’s here.
So they really are saying that that renewables, the sector
they exist to promote, creates too many jobs, and so is a bad thing.
But perhaps there is something to this argument. Perhaps it
isn’t as stark-staring bonkers as it sounds.
No there isn’t, and yes it is.
I know this, because ‘report’ author John Constable told me
so, in his new ‘report’, published this month, just one month after the last
one. It says, according to the Telegraph, that the problem with wind energy
is that it doesn’t create enough jobs.
That’s what the Telegraph claims it says. I haven’t actually
seen the new ‘report’, and I sorely doubt that I’ll be feeling inclined to read
it when I do, so I’ll just quote the Telegraph’s editorial:
industry is expensive, passes costs on to the consumer and does not create many
jobs ... And what is the benefit of all this expense? In terms of
jobs, disappointingly little ... That is worrying because – aside from concerns about the
damage to our countryside – our report shows that this industry is expensive,
passes costs on to the consumer and does not create many jobs in return.
Presuming the Telegraph’s interpretation of the new report
is somewhere close to representative (and I think we can all agree that such a
venerable, respectable paper would never deliberately mislead their
readers), we have the very same chap, the director of an allegedly
pro-renewable ‘think tank’, issuing a report in May 2013 claiming that wind
energy is bad because it creates too many jobs, and issuing a report in June
2013 claiming that wind energy is bad because it creates too few jobs.
And the Telegraph splashes with both of them.
I don’t know how to respond to this. I feel as though I
should be flinging a few choice insults about, but this has rather shaken me.
The UK’s only remaining broadsheet newspaper has
enthusiastically endorsed two ‘reports’, published a month apart, both from the
director of the same organisation, saying the exact opposite of each other.
they both attack the wind industry, so let’s publish and be damned.