KPMG is refusing to publish the full findings of a controversial study examining the cost of the government's green energy policies, which was originally used as a basis for a series of media reports attacking the cost of renewable energy.
The preliminary findings of the report, dubbed Thinking about the Affordable, were made public last November. They claimed Britain could meet its 2020 carbon reduction targets more cost effectively by building nuclear and gas-fired power stations instead of wind farms.
The report was seized on by critics of the government's green agenda and also formed the basis of a number of media reports, including a BBC Panorama special that attacked the cost of renewable energy subsidies.
The preliminary findings of the report suggested the UK could save £34bn by ditching plans for a massive expansion in wind power capacity and instead focusing on nuclear and gas capacity. It was the first of a series of studies that have been published during the last few months, claiming wind power is too unreliable and costly to provide an effective means of keeping the lights on while reducing carbon emissions.
Now, I'm against subsidies as much as the next fiscal conservative but really, nuclear power? Maybe I've been playing too much Fallout 3 lately but if it comes down to the choice between wind power and nuclear power, which is really a smarter idea?
KPMG told one green publication that they decided not to release the full report as researchers had deemed it was "ripe for misinterpretation".
"The assumptions and parameters used in the model – which examined the investment and lifetime costs of different energy generation sources – produced large swings in the financial outcomes," explained KPMG spokeswoman Sorrelle Cooper when interviewed by BusinessGreen. "To avoid any misinterpretation we have decided not to publish any findings, although we are discussing our analysis with interested clients and stakeholders in the energy industry."
One site called KPMG's preliminary findings "positively Orwellian," writing "the report concludes that wind, which makes up less than 1% of average household fuel bills, is largely responsible for the rise of those bills. It goes on to count only some of the costs associated with nuclear, and suggests that a proliferation of nuclear power would lower prices to consumers."
RenewableUK slammed the report last year before it ever saw the light of day calling KPMG's research misleading and flawed while slamming the methodologies used to make the report's point.
So, of course we have to ask since the report reads like a lobbying packet… who paid for the report?