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Oil industry behind critical wind energy report

Conservative think tank admits that report critical of Denmark’s wind power industry was commissioned by US think tank A controversial report critical of the wind energy industry from conservative think tank CEPOS was commissioned and paid for by an American...

A controversial report critical of the wind energy industry from conservative think tank CEPOS was commissioned and paid for by an American think tank with close ties to the coal and oil industries, according to trade journal Ingeniøren.

The report, which was published last September and concluded that Danish wind energy figures were misleading, was taken by CEPOS members to the US media in the months leading up to the COP15 climate summit in Copenhagen. The message behind the report indicated that the Danish wind turbine industry model was not effective.

Numerous experts have since strongly criticised the report’s conclusions, challenging many of the figures and the means in which those figures were obtained.

But now it appears that the report was indirectly commissioned and paid for by the American coal and oil lobby.

A press release from the Institute for Energy Research (IPR) indicated that it had commissioned the report from CEPOS.

IPR reportedly receives funding from the American oil and coal lobby. The think tank has posted a summary of the CEPOS report on its website which includes the claims that ‘in 2006 scarcely 5 percent of the nation’s electricity demand was met by wind. And over the past five years, the average is less than 10 percent — despite Denmark having carpeted its land with [wind turbines]’.

CEPOS CEO Martin Ågerup admitted to Ingeniøren that the report was both commissioned and paid for by IPR. But he said he was not aware of IPR receiving funding from the coal and oil industry.

‘I don’t know who supports them. That doesn’t interest me. They contacted me and so we did the report,’ Ågerup said.

Ågerup admitted, however, that during his company’s tour of the US last autumn, he and one of the report’s authors, Hugh Sharman, were made aware of the relationship between IPR and the American coal and oil industries.

‘I was told that IPR was supported by coal and oil interests, but I don’t know the specific sponsors,’ he said. But then it’s common for people to have sponsors for a project – just as we have also had, for example, for reports dealing with integration and the school system.’

‘The only condition we impose is that we are allowed to be fully independent in our conclusions and the assessments we make,’ said Ågerup. ‘And IPR has fully lived up to that condition.’

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