Prime Minister Theresa May’s green energy plan has been criticised in recent days amid concerns that renewable energy sources are not generating enough power for the UK.
In its Wind Watch report published towards the end of last week, the GMB union argued that wind farms’ potential had been hindered by “low wind” throughout 2017, which proved problematic on at least 138 days of the year.
It estimated that on 65 days during the course of the year, wind turbines produced less than 10 per cent of their full potential as a result of this problem, with turbines ‘barely turning’ on these days.
Similarly, solar panels supplied less than 10 per cent of their full “installed capacity” on as many as 347 days since March 2017, the GMB added.
Justin Bowden, National Secretary at the GMB, criticised Mrs May’s optimism and said that the UK’s energy policy decisions should be based on “the facts, not the hype.”
He pointed out that, between March 2017 and March 2018, the UK was effectively reliant on gas, coal and nuclear power due to the difficulties experienced by the solar and wind power sectors.
“Those advocating a renewable-only energy policy cannot just shrug their shoulders on cloudy, windless days, or when it is dark, and pretend that more windmills and solar panels on their own can keep the lights on,” Mr Bowden said.
“They have to accept that unless and until there is a scientific breakthrough on carbon capture or solar storage, then a balanced energy supply mix – which includes nuclear and gas as the only reliable shows in town – is a reality.”