The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has lodged a formal complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concerning the current poster campaign for offshore wind at Westminster tube station.
The campaign was launched by what the media has described as a “coalition of companies and civil society organizations” (including Dong Energy, GE, ScottishPower Renewables, Siemens Gamesa, SSE, Vattenfall, Greenpeace, Marine Conservation Society, and WWF).
The campaign posters claim that “The price paid for electricity from offshore wind farms has fallen by 50% over the last five years.”
This is untrue. In most cases, the prices paid for electricity from the UK’s offshore wind fleet have not fallen at all, and though there were small cuts to subsidies for new offshore projects built from 2015 on, this amounted to a reduction of around 5%.
The GWPF’s complaint shows that the campaign is playing fast and loose with the facts. The ads are deliberately misleading MPs and the wider public into thinking that existing wind farms have been cutting their prices. In fact, the allegedly lower prices are only related to auction bids in so-called Contracts for Difference which apply to tentative future wind projects that will not start generating until 2021/2022 and may in fact never be built — or never generate at these low prices.
As a recent study has shown, the capital costs of new offshore wind do not appear to be falling and may even be rising as they move into deeper waters. The CfD bids made are just investor speculations on future policy changes.
Dr. Peiser, the director of the GWPF, said:
“The claims in the Westminster offshore wind campaign are some of the most blatant distortions of the truth that I have seen in pro-wind advertising. The most that can be said is that the industry hopes it may be able to cut its costs and prices by 2022. I hope so too, but it is highly unlikely.”
Dr. Peiser added:
“This campaign is deliberately aimed at MPs, peers and other decision makers. The wind industry and green campaigners owe them a public apology. This is a shameful piece of spin.”
Dr. Benny Peiser
Global Warming Policy Forum
tel: 0207 3406038
mob: 07553 361718
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