What will net zero cost?
May 3, 2019
Bishop Hill in Energy: costs

Yesterday's CCC report was a masterpiece of bureaucratic obfuscation, with acres of verbiage and a generous sprinkling of buzzwords that was never entirely successful in obscuring a marked shallowness of thought. One of the things that struck me about it was the almost complete lack of any cost information. We were told that all the CCC's whizzbang scheme would cost just 1-2% of GDP in 2050 (pull the other one!) but there was nothing to substantiate this figure (or indeed most other figures in the report).

It all struck me as extremely unlikely. Just a couple of days before I'd come across a study that put the cost of deep retrofitting insulation measures to the UK housing stock at £2 trillion, which over 30 years is £67 billion per year. That's 2% of current GDP on its own. The report puts the cost of converting to low-carbon heat (heat pumps etc) at £15 billion per year.

With this in mind, I wondered whether BH readers could come up with some more capital costs of the Great Leap Forward that our lords and masters are intending to unleash. 

As a start, I reckon that current UK energy demand is around 1600 TWh per year. How many offshore windfarms will we need to deliver that? And what will they cost to build (every 15-20 years)?



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