It's a shame that fossil fuel subsidies rarely make the headlines.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, gas, oil and coal prices in 2010 were subsidised to the amount of £3.63bn and the International Energy Agency estimates that UK fossil fuel subsidies in 2010 were $5,6bn (excluding the military cost of securing fossil fuel supplies such as defending oil pipelines and support received by oil, coal and gas companies from export credit agencies, national development banks and international financial institutions).
We are currently spending around £3bn per year on nuclear decommissioning (£3.2bn for 2013/14) and investment is expected to remain at around this level for many decades to come.
It is expected that in order to attract investment in new nuclear power, the government will need to introduce market interventions such as setting a minimum price for carbon in order to ensure that the low carbon attributes of nuclear power receive sufficient financial reward to make this source of power economically viable.
Tax breaks recently announced by the George Osborne to encourage shale gas development have not been included in the above figures.
In comparison with the above, both off-shore and on-shore wind received £0.7bn during the same period, and the total renewable energy sector for all technologies £1.4bn.
In view of the above information, it can be seen that direct comparisons between the costs of onshore wind and fossil fuels are not straightforward. It seems likely that the energy produced by onshore wind is cheaper than that produced by nuclear power but still more expensive than conventional gas. However in the last few years fossil fuel costs have dramatically increased in price, meanwhile subsidies for onshore wind have been reducing and the government is expecting real reductions in the cost of wind power.
There's rising demand for lots of things, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing to increase supply.
Bearing in mind we're supposed to be reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, meanwhile in 2006 - when we were aiming for a 60% cut - the Gov's Tindall Centre calculated that if we increased air travel in accordance with the (now defunct) 2003 aviation White Paper, then aviation would use up 2.5 times our entire carbon allowance in 2050 - then where does all this fit in?
The Gov says carbon trading should sort this out - but aviation is an incredibly carbon intensive way of creating jobs - for every one created we'll need to lose dozens elsewhere in the economy. The only outcome I can see is that manufacturing will have to move wholesale to developing countries so that we stay within our CO2 target.
I endorse Peter G's response above. Regarding the first response: we may only produce a small proportion of global CO2 emissions but we can be a big part of the solution - that is if the engineering establishment is willing to take on the challenge !
How far away is the waste wood coming from?
Will the heat generated be used?
Transporting wood long distances only to use a small proportiion of the energy is not making best use of resources.
Comment on: Religions 'should use solar power'
The sun shines on the righteous !