As expected there was quite some criticism on the CPB statement that wind farms do not reduce CO2 emission. Those on the alarmist side apparently were as amazed as the skeptics, but for other reasons. It would be interesting to see how they look at it. Knowledge is gained where two sides clash into each other. The most elaborated reaction was Opinion CPB about wind at sea is badly substantiated. It looks it combined all the arguments that the others had. Let’s look at the arguments.
The objection was raised that the report mentioned that the “energy transition in the long run is unavoidable” because “scarce natural sources will get exhausted in the long run” and “that the report calls the reduction of CO2 emission as an advantage”. That could well be true, but this is not related to whether the Emission Trade System (ETS) stifles reduction of emissions or not.
Follows that the report was not about wind farms being too expensive, but about comparing two scenario’s of building within or outside 12 miles from shore. Also here, that could well be possible, but that doesn’t prevent the ETS failing to reduce emissions.
What I really missed was the real question: whether the assertion of the CPB is true or false. The CPB stated that the planned wind parks at sea didn’t have environmental gain AND will cost a lot of money. Although I don’t really agree that the ETS is the only issue with wind energy, they specifically stated that because of the ETS, no reduction of CO2 will be accomplished. If this is true, shouldn’t it better to wait until the ETS is fixed? If it isn’t true, it would be really interesting to know what exactly the logic is behind this.
Another strange reaction came from the PvdA politician who was not happy with what he calls “the interference of the CPB in the debate” and claiming that “the CPB takes a political standpoint by saying this”. That doesn’t make much sense. If the CPB makes a claim that seems to be true, then how is that interfering in the debate? How is that taking a political standpoint?
The weird thing was that all reactions that condemned the news story, agreed that there was a problem with the ETS and agreed with the Minister when he assumed that the system probably will be fixed some time in the future. Strange, with this they acknowledges that there is a problem with the ETS regarding to emissions. Therefor I find it very odd that they are so eager to invest one billion euro per year, even knowing that this will not reduce emissions. In that regard the advice of the CPB actually make sense. And the rejection of that advice doesn’t.
So what it is all about? This gives a clue (translated from Dutch):
What remains is that offshore wind (and energy transition in general) is going to cost billions. The Energy research Center of the Netherlands (ECN) says about this is already known in 2005, but that it was a political decision yet to make that investment. According to the ECN is fairly certain that wind energy will provide benefits in the future, but what form it takes is not clear now. Still, it would be good to take a cost-benefit analysis. This was reported by the NOS in a humble message entitled “criticism on the wind energy report” in which the reply was included that actually should be in the news story.
That it was a political decision should be rather clear. But it is hallucinating to hear that it is “fairly certain that wind energy will provide benefits in the future”, but it is “not clear what form it will take”. That doesn’t make much sense. How could one include something in a cost-benefit analysis when it is not even clear what form the benefit would take!?!? And doesn’t that mean that wind farms don’t provide environmental or economical benefits at this moment? Wasn’t that exactly what the CPB was telling in the first place?