THE BRITISH Wind Energy Association and the Renewable Energy Foundation have crossed swords over the cost of wind power, just a day after REF was formed.

REF, which is worried about the proliferation of wind turbines across the country, is calling for a national campaign to ‘review the government‘s national energy policy‘. 

It claims that the government is not giving worthy consideration to other forms of renewable energy.

Sources such as biofuels, landfill and sewage all merit greater consideration, it says. 

But the BWEA has contested much of the argument put forward by REF as trying to ‘hold back the development of wind power‘ and described it as ‘anti-wind‘.

It has also disputed figures used by REF to back its arguments.

REF has used peer-reviewed published data from the Institute of Civil Engineers, Institute of Chemical Engineers, Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the Royal Academy of Engineering as well as data from the government watchdog Ofgem.

But the BWEA has labelled these figures inaccurate and said government figures produced by the Department of Trade and Industry were more ‘reliable‘.

Although fossil fuel fired power stations are considered to be a cheaper form of energy per mega watt hour (on average 2-3p/kWh), BWEA figures suggest that wind power costs are broadly in line.

It says the cost of connecting a wind turbine to the electricity grid is £650,000-£850,000 per mega watt installed for onshore sites, an average cost of 3-4p/kWh.

For offshore sites the cost rises to £1.1m-£1.3m per mega watt installed, an average of 5.1p/kWh.

Both onshore and offshore turbines are subject to an additional 1.7p/kWh back-up supply cost.

In response to the criticism, REF said wanted to work together with BWEA and fund the research of impartial information which could be put into the public domain.