The wealth of nations?


Having a bit of a tidy up, I chanced upon a study issued in 2013 by the Adam Smith Institute, a long established ‘free market’ lobby group much cited by right wing MPs. The publication is titled Policy Study 403: Limits of Windpower

Its author, one William Korchinski, was not exactly bullish about the prospects for wind power – hence the title. His conclusion was absolute: “Given increased storage costs, decreased grid reliability and increased operating costs,” he felt there was really little future in this method of electricity production.

“Ten per cent is the upper limit” of market size for wind in Britain in the electricity market was his final word. A judgement much cited by backbench Conservative MPs at the time, and regularly since.

In the real world, I see that wind energy last year contributed 18% of British electricity generation, and that this proportion is already being exceeded considerably during this year.

Now I acknowledge that electricity sales are still falling year on year. Primary electricity output fell by 1.8% between 2017 and 2018 alone, so that 18% share is drawn from a smaller overall generation market than was anticipated in 2013.

Even so, we should all demand an explanation from the Adam Smith Institute as to precisely why they published such an ill-informed study just six short years ago, and to know when they intend to publish a public apology for promoting such a load of total rubbish in the first place.