Complete rubbish about energy from David Davies

I've spoken to David TC Davies on a few occasions, and I have to say that he's a rather pleasant and affable person face to face ... the problem is that quite a lot of what he says in public is stark raving bonkers.

He's just provided us with another example in this article in the Western Mail:

Scrap the climate change levy, says Tory MP David Davies
as Wales exceeds renewables target

Apparently, we are being asked to believe that:

Official statistics show that by August 2013, the amount of renewable energy produced in Wales was already running at 9.7 TWh.

The official figures for electricity generation are published by DECC, and are available from this page.

The figure for the whole of 2013 was in fact 2.664 TWh ... less than a third of what David Davies quotes.

Now it might just be that he is thinking of the total energy, rather than just electricity, produced from renewable sources. But he probably isn't, for two reasons. First, the figure of 7 TWh/y he quotes comes from paragraph 1.4 of TAN 8, and is specifically for renewable electricity. And second, because the DECC tends to measure total energy in TOE (tonnes of oil equivalent) and as we can see from table 6.6 of these figures, over 70% of energy from renewable sources is used to generate electricity. Therefore even if he tried to claim that he was talking about total energy, rather than just electricity, he'd still be talking complete rubbish.


So, to be clear, we in Wales have definitely not "exceeded" our renewable targets. Paragraph 1.4 of TAN 8 sets two of them: 4 TWh/y of electricity from renewables by 2010, and 7 TWh/y of electricity from renewables by 2020. In 2013 we produced less than 2.7 TWh, in other words we were still a long way short of the 2010 target.

In fact, the picture is quite bleak, because the two large offshore windfarms that would have significantly boosted the amount of renewable electricity generated in Wales—the Atlantic Array in the Bristol Channel and the Celtic Array in the Irish Sea—have both been cancelled.

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Anonymous said...

Do these figures include Gwynt y Mor?

MH said...

It's hard to be precise, 15:19. Gwynt y Môr started contributing electricity to the grid in September 2013, but only became fully operational earlier this year. So it would have contributed something towards the 2013 figure of 2,664 GWh, but probably not much.

In total, Gwynt y Môr has a capacity of 576 MW and so, assuming a capacity factor of 35%, should produce some
1,766 GWh/y. So my guess would be (the figures for 2014 haven't yet been released) that Wales is currently producing just over 4 TWh/y of electricity from renewables. But, as I said, there are now no major projects that would get this anywhere near 7 TWh/y.

Even large onshore windfarms won't produce the same sort of power as the offshore windfarms that have been cancelled. The largest in the pipeline, Pen y Cymoedd, is currently rated at 228 MW; and with a capacity factor of 30% would produce some 600 GWh/y.

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