Rightwing thinktank Civitas mistakenly cost onshore wind power 10,000 times higher than reality and claimed bill would be £4.5tn
A report that hugely overestimated the cost to the UK of reaching net zero emissions has been retracted by the rightwing thinktank that published it.
Retraction Watch has written a fair bit about the damage done by dodgy science, even after it has been retracted. In this case, a right-wing climate crisis sceptic think-tank didn’t get their sums and claims slightly wrong. They got it wrong by a factor of 10,000. Given the serious nature of the climate crisis, the need for urgent action and the impact of conspiracy theories, any compromised claim is of significant concern.
The most serious error was the confusion by the report’s author, Ewen Stewart, between power capacity in megawatts (MW) with electricity generation in megawatt hours (MWh). As a result, he presented an unrealistic “£1.3m per MWh” figure for the cost for onshore wind power. The true number is more than 10,000 times lower at about £50 to £70 per MWh. Another error was mixing up billions with trillions.
A statement on the Civitas website said: “This report has been taken down from the website because it was found to contain factual errors, it is undergoing revision and a fresh process of peer review. A revised report will be released when this process is completed.”