More weather, less climate

 

             We are having a lot of weather these days. We have just had another cool summer with lots of rain in August. Where have all those predictions of long hot dry summers gone?

             We did have a dry spring with warm middles to the day, but even then mornings and evenings were cold with late frosts.

             No wonder people are so upset with dear energy. We need more of it to keep ourselves warm.

            The government needs to look again at our energy policy. It needs to work for when we have cold weather as well as for periods of warm climate. It’s not just industry that seeks a plentiful supply of reasonably priced power. So when are the new power stations and new energy resources going to come on stream Mr Huhne? How can this island of coal set in a sea of oil and gas, these  reservoirs of shale gas and this pioneer of civil nuclear power become energy sufficient soon?

When can we save the balance of payments cost of massive energy imports?

It would also be interesting to hear your best examples of false greenery, where proposals designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions probably end up causing more. There is a lack of sensible accounting for the full carbon dioxide “costs” of any proposal, with knee jerk attitudes usually predominating.

Gordon Hughes has recently published an interesting study on the “myth of green jobs” for the Global Warming Policy Foundation. In it he argues that jobs in renewables, for example, may destroy more jobs elsewhere by driving up energy prices and making it more difficult to retain or create jobs in energy using activities.

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140 Comments

  1. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I’ve just received a fascinating email entitled ‘Gear oil failure in wind turbines’, containing pictures of black smoke pouring out of windmills in the USA as they catch fire. Fair enough, all mechanical devices are prone to failure, but the pollution caused by failed windmills looks bad.

    If you add the negative effects of windmill failure to the down-time of windmills on days when the wind is not blowing, this make them even more uneconomic.

    I don’t think of myself as a socialist. Surely it is in the Conservative DNA to protect the most vulnerable. Everyone’s energy bills have just jumped between 15 and 20%, and the ‘climate change’ cost element of these rises is obvious.

    Mr. Huhne and the assorted millionaires in what passes for our ‘elite’ have no concept of how difficult it is to pay these exorbitant sums. Elderly people who cut down on heating because they cannot afford it are the front-line victims. Some die as a result. Winter fuel payments do not cover the true energy costs. And the cartel of energy suppliers continue to report £billions in profits. Pass the sick-bag, Alice.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      I agree with your points especially the one about the Govt allowing the energy cartel to make excessive profits at the expense of a cash strapped population thanks to the protected position they enjoy .

      I heard that the Govt made a deal with the energy cartel whereby Govt would not intervene if they decided to raise prices to produce excessive profit margins .

      In return the Govt expected the energy cartel to invest in infrastructure like storage facilities and new power stations . Have the energy cartel fulfilled their side of the bargain ?

      ” but the pollution caused by failed windmills looks bad. ”

      It might look bad but only because you can see it . The actual polution caused will be infinitessimal except perhaps for unpleasant compounds produced if the synthetic oils used have a really antisocial additives package .

      We need to be dealing with hard facts , not emotions which will run high when a squeamish population of barely educated vegetarians with no scientific knowledge see black smoke .

      • Posted September 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Just to illustrate my point , to most people under 40 years of age the smoke and steam which rises from a bonfire when you put wet leaves on it would look pretty bad .

      • Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

        ADS: ” .. Govt allowing the energy cartel to make excessive profits at the expense of a cash strapped population thanks to the protected position they enjoy .”

        Please don’t forget that the fuel you buy has been taxed to the extent of 1000% of the true value of the good.

        The ‘cartel’ doesn’t benefit, as the higher price chokes off demand for the product, the government on the other hand make out like bandits.

        That they are!

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Rare minerals are extracted in China and used in the manufacturer of wind turbines; this is causing massive pollution in China and should be taken into account when looking at the “Green Credentials” of wind farms.

        • Posted September 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          I’m not trying to defend the “green credentials” of wind farms .

          Agree that the point you make SHOULD be taken into account .

          Converting mechanical energy from variable speed wind turbines into AC electricity with waves that look like the waves from conventional generators is a challenge .

          I have difficulty seeing what other major challenges windmills have to overcome that have not been faced before .

          The biggest factor governing their effectiveness is the wind itself .

          Presumably they have to use the unobtainium you mentioned because the power generated is so meagre the the slightest reduction in efficiency cannot be tolerated .

          Call my cynical but it looks like the Govt is trying to buy a Rolls-Royce solution (or at least paying RR prices) where a Ford would do the job .

          Again , we have to ask who stands to benefit financially from all this money from the taxpayer .

  2. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Well just a couple of miles away is the Co-op wind farm. Set in some of the finest farming country in the world, I watch it, of course, every day. We have even been round it. The little turbines at the top of the vastly expensive towers do not work when the Fenland wind blows too hard. They do not work when it doesn’t blow at all. And that is a lot of the time, especially last winter. But, if the wind blew at the right speed night and day all the time, the turbines would provide the electricity for umpteen thousand houses……..

    HMP Whitemoor has their own turbine on a tower. What happens there (fairly often) when the wind doesn’t blow, I do not know.

    A couple of miles to the north of here is a flaming row about a lot more being built……

    Flat land – good wind. It makes sense…….doesnt it?

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard: “Flat land – good wind. It makes sense…….doesnt it?”

      This isn’t ‘wind farming’ it’s subsidy farming. A distortion of the economy. My expectation is that in a decade they will all be rotting or rusting because the windmils have proved to be uneconomic.

      The subsidy farmers will have moved on to ‘the next big thing’, TM.

  3. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Part of the problem I think is with an outdated view of industry. Large sections of the public (and perhaps the political classes) seem to think that industry are wasteful polluters who, if government doesn’t get in the way, will happily pollute their way to higher profits.

    Such a view is almost incomprehensible in modern Britain.

    In short, government should just get out of the way, leave the energy generating companies to generate energy in the cheapest and most efficient manner and leave the providers of fuel for these providers to generate the inputs as cheaply and efficiently as possible.

    Of course that isn’t possible as we have EU targets to meet (the latest wheeze by my local council is going to be to refuse to empty wheelie bins where the lid is ajar so that we are motivated to recycle more – absolute madness) but we’ve gone the extra mile (or not, when the brown outs start) and imposed even stricter targets on a ludicrously short time scale.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Without Government regulations the energy industry has no incentive to not pollute, which is why London had such high levels of pollution in Victorian times.

      Businesses may generate energy as cheaply as possible if left alone but they will sell it as expensively as they can. The purpose of a business is to make large profits, not customer satisfaction.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        This is a perfect example of what I was aiming at, thank you for summing up socialism so succintly, stuck in the Victorian age making arguments that hold no water in a modern communication rich society.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        “The purpose of a business is to make large profits, not customer satisfaction.”

        You may find they tend to need one to get the other.

        “Without Government regulations the energy industry has no incentive to not pollute”

        Not so much, common law rights mean people who own that which is polluted can sue the polluter ~ quite a good incentive.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      The EU has set us a target of 20% renewables by 2020!! That’s why Huhn and co are covertly raising our energy bills to buy windmills that don’t work! I’m told at least 20% of our bills are for this purpose.
      Is the stategic aim to reduce our dependency on oil or to reduce “unproven” CO2 driven climate change? If its the former then we need alternate fuel sources.
      If it’s the latter, CO2 makes up 0.036% of the Earths atmosphere. Man accounts for 3% production of this total and the UK 2% of the worlds production. The rest comes from volcanoes, our oceans, animal life. CO2 is required by all plant species for photosythesis. To produce the green substance in plants. So CO2 is a naturally occurring trace gas essential for plant life.
      We’re told the science is proven. Where and when? I have read recent studies reported in the Telegraph that state the Sun’s activity has changed and its radiation varies which in turn impacts the jet stream in speed and direction that in turn alters weather and climate over time if the Sun activity remains. I’ve also read a recent 10 year study from NASA (not reported by the BBC!) that confirms what we have always suspected, that there has been NO warming (Google). This is real evidence based on it’s satelites with real data. Not fiddled computer models, hockey sticks or exaggerated data from climate zealists who frankly have lost all credibility.
      Time alone will show the stupidity of our successive politicians, whilst the “BRICK” nations carry on regardless. Remember the millenium bug etc!!
      It’s all a scam to scare and tax us more.

  4. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Common sense again. This green agenda and the global warming nonsense should be dispensed with. Huhne is just an ideologue with unsubstantiated fantasy beliefs. We do need an emergency programme of building replacement nuclear power stations. Liebour did nothing about this over the 13 years of incompetence.

  5. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    You say – “So when are the new power stations and new energy resources going to come on stream Mr Huhne? How can this island of coal set in a sea of oil and gas, these reservoirs of shale gas and this pioneer of civil nuclear power become energy sufficient soon?”

    Indeed please can he just get on with it. Even if you accept the CO2 exaggerated theory, it is very clear that nearly all the “solutions” offered either fail to save CO2 anyway (looked at in the round) or just push C02 production and UK jobs over seas.

    Bikes, walking, electric cars, buses, wind turbines, heat pumps, PV cells with current technology do not (outside special situations) save very much, or often any CO2 anyway. Nor does woodland which once grown is pretty much in a carbon equilibrium with new wood and decaying wood fairly much in CO2 balance)

    Not only that but Bikes and Electric cars are very dangerous, not having the same crash and other safety standards as normal cars. The batteries too are heavy, expensive, and contain dangerous elements and do not last very long. They also take a long time to charge and have a poor range and poor space so a real car is usually needed too.

    The energy has to be generated, transmitted, voltage converted, then used to charge batteries, then to discharge and sent on to the motor. With big energy losses in all these processes.

    Of course the “green jobs initiative” will cost more jobs than ever generates. Do not all such government initiatives cause such damage. They nearly always encourage people to do daft things, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in a contrived way (to comply with the incentive rules) and using taxes extracted from people doing the right things in the right place.

    Total insanity from Huhne’s department. Much pushed by the BBC, the EU and Cameron for perceived (but largely imaginary?) political/religious reasons I can only assume.

    Vote come from what works in the long run. These policies do not on any level.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Gordon Hughes’s report seems to have it all about right. Surely the government with all their “experts” must know this to be correct – but clearly see political advantage in the other course or are too attached to it to change direction.

      But what political advantage is there in making everyone much poorer and colder for no good reason. Unless you benefit from the feed in tariffs on your farm land perhaps?

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      “Not only that but Bikes and Electric cars are very dangerous, not having the same crash and other safety standards as normal cars.”

      All electric cars have to comply with the crash and safety standards of normal cars. Also why are bikes so dangerous?

      “The batteries too are heavy, expensive, and contain dangerous elements and do not last very long. They also take a long time to charge and have a poor range and poor space so a real car is usually needed too.”

      Which is why electric vehicles are currently used as onsite transport. Though some electric and hybrid cars have a better range.

      “The energy has to be generated, transmitted, voltage converted, then used to charge batteries, then to discharge and sent on to the motor. With big energy losses in all these processes.”

      The internal combustion engine has even bigger energy losses.

      Reply: The accident statistics for bikes are against you.

      • Posted September 8, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        “electric cars have to comply with the crash and safety standards of normal cars”

        They do not they mainly come in a different class if you check.

        “The internal combustion engine has even bigger energy losses”

        Not true in general – Losses in generation, transmission, charging and discharging and losses from the charges battery usually exceed these. Also electric car need heaters in winter which uses still more power. Waste heat is used to heat the car on internal combustion.

        Bikes about 12+ times more dangerous (worse than drink driving statistically) per mile. They do not even save C02 as bikes are fuelled by extra food intake (with a large carbon cost to its production, delivery and preparation).

      • Posted September 9, 2011 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        Reva, the Indian company which makes the G-Wiz, did not have to carry out the crash tests which are compulsory for cars because its vehicle is technically defined as a quadricycle.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      You can almost hear Cameron and Huhn saying it now :-

      “The destruction of British Industry was a price well worth paying for Britain to meet it’s Carbon Dioxide emmisions obligations”

      That goes some way to explaining why they are trying to destroy British Industry .

      The onus should be on them to explain what they propose to replace it with .

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      I read today in the Delingpole blog that Cameron’s father in law is receiving nearly £1,000 a day for eight wind turbines on his land.

      Might this be yet another reason that Cameron does not want to stop the absurd feed in tariffs – his wish to keep cordial family relations perhaps?

      Three cheers for Duke of Northumberland however, who resists such offers to build wind farms on his estates for the following reasons:

      “I have come to the personal conclusion that wind farms divide communities, ruin landscapes, affect tourism, make a minimal contribution to our energy needs and a negligible contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions.”

      You are quite correct my Lord.

      • Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

        Lord Percy is one of the good guys.

    • Posted September 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Very nice comment. I have been posting comments in various places for some explanation of this stupid idea. This is based on the need for growth, we all want that including apparently Osborne, but against that we have the high energy prices plus a potential shortage of same in the near future. So we have two contradictory policies, growth against price and shortage of energy. At no time has anyone tried to challenge or explain this. I can clearly see the contradiction, why can’t our so called elite. I can only assume that they are hell bent on ruining our Country for other more devious reasons.

  6. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    And another thing. The favoured location for wind farms is out at sea. Fewer annoying humans to object, a few dead sea birds, what’s not to like. The wind turbines there need to be provided with concrete bases, set into the sea bed. The carbon dioxide emitted by this vast amount of concrete is significant, apparently, but little is made of it. And the concrete will deteriorate over time.

    I’m willing to look at the arguments for and against the green agenda. Actually I was once in the Green Party. But I strongly object to being ‘sold’ a green energy solution with the main drawbacks hidden, or with speculation dressed up as certainty.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      What is not to like? It is the huge capital and maintenance costs which greatly exceed any benefits or value of the intermittent energy produced.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      And they only turn when the wind conditions are perfect, just like on the flat lands of the Fens. Oh, when the wind is too strong for them, also not unusual at sea, they take power back off the grid to stop them turning!

      Wind turbines are such an expensive no no, why do our politicians waste our money on them?

  7. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    “It would also be interesting to hear your best examples of false greenery”

    Why? It’s not like anyone takes any notice of us.. but as you’re asking.

    The new light bulbs. One of the biggest money making cons in green history and a clear violation of free of choice.

    They’re dangerous (containing mercury), expensive and end up costing more than the old fashioned ones once they’ve been safely disposed of. Migraine sufferers like me will tell you the condition is aggravated by these bulbs and I have expensive light fittings that I will now have to get rid of because these stupid bulbs are too big!

    Wind farms, ugly, inefficient and dangerous. Your colleague Roger Helmer has all the facts on that subject.

    Rubbish collection has become a complete joke. The British public pay council tax for a service which it doesn’t get. Not only that, but many are paying to BE BULLIED.

    But, nothing is going to change until we have a government with a backbone. Nothing will change unless we get some proper Tories back into the Conservative Party. Nothing will change until our government stops behaving like a subservient slave to the EU. The democracy that my father, grandfather and others fought for has been criminally given away to a bunch of unelected communists.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      False Greenery:

      Prince Charles and Chris Huhne perhaps, all the industrial estates with toy wind turbines, HS2.

      Or perhaps an ice cream producer, using lots of belching cows to produce dairy ice cream but then using a wind turbine to provide just the small electricity needs of the business. Then marketing it all as being very “Green”.

      The ice cream is quite good though – but Green Cows?

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        “The ice cream is quite good though – but green Cows ?”

        It’s just a case of selectively breeding out the red, orange, pink, blue, purple and violet ones.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I hear today that one of the the candidates to be leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland proposes to disband the party in Scotland and form a new centre-right Conservative party. Could this be the start of an interesting trend?

      • Posted September 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Only if he brings the same idea down to England, we do need a proper “Conservative” Party to look after the interests of this Country and it’s People

  8. Posted September 4, 2011 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you cant quite bring yourself to say it but it sounds as if you do not believe in the claimed scale or possibly even existence of CO2 exacerbated climate change. Many of your regular contributors have no such reticence and regard it as false. I am not qualified to comment on the correct policy responses to global warming but as to its existence I cant see on what rational basis you can argue with the scientific consensus. I think you should state your position on this and if you prefer Nigel Lawson’s analysis to that of the eminent British scientific community you should say so.

    Reply: I have made my position on it very clear in the past on this website

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      I do not regard it as totally false – just a huge exaggeration and simplification and the money is far better spent on other more urgent human needs like clean water and basic health care. Also the solution proposed do not work anyway and cost a fortune.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Servant, the ‘scientific consensus’ was that the Sun revolved around the Earth – then Copernicus and Galileo revealed that this was false.

      The ‘scientific consensus’ was that Sir Isaac Newton’s, Universal Law of Gravitation was comprehensive until Albert Einstein’s, General Theory of Relativity was published.

      Scientific consensus is irrelevant and there is no such entity as an ’eminent scientific community’.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      “I am not qualified to comment on the correct policy responses to global warming but as to its existence I cant see on what rational basis you can argue with the scientific consensus.”

      Indeed, neither am I qualified to comment on the global warming. However, I take issue with your statement that you are supporting ‘scientific consensus’. For me, the global warming phenomenon is not proven. I do not believe that there is a scientific consensus on the matter.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Could these “eminent British scientists” depend on government or EU funding? Could they be peer reviewing each others work? Are there not hundreds of eminent scientists who are not part of this “consensus” (and true science is NEVER opposed to answering factual criticisms of scientific theory), including several Nobel Prize winners? Is not the IPCC headed by a railway engineer and the Chief Government Scientific Adviser a Population Biologist?

      Is it not a fact that forty years ago many of the scientists now loudly proclaiming the existence of CO2 caused global warming were then predicting a new ice age?

      Anyone who says that you can not argue against an alleged consensus is reacting like a defender of a religion.

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      What scientific consensus? The CERN CLOUD experiment has just proven that climate models of cloud formation need to be “substantially revised” – i.e. they are wrong.

      http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2011/PR15.11E.html

    • Posted September 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      “Public Servant”, a rent seeker I presume. The climate is a natural phenomenon, it does as it wants, we cannot do anything about it. It changes, get used to it!

  9. Posted September 4, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Imported coal is cheaper than the stuff we mine here. The oil and gas are running out. Extracting oil from shale oil may have caused earthquakes. Nuclear power stations have accidents.

    But the wind blows a lot, and there are tides every day.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Capital cost far too high, wind is intermittent. No need for nuclear accidents with good design can be very safe indeed. Safer than off shore wind turbine construction I would suggest.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      What utter nonsense. Do some research please.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        What Alan says is not all nonsense .

        We can buy coal cheaper from abroad than we can bring it to the surface ourselves because our seams are wavy and expensive to mine .
        (doesn’t include costs associated with UK miners becoming employed)

        However , we can use underground coal gasification to access the energy in SOME of these seams in which the coal cannot be brought to the surface . The obstacles to doing this are political and vested interests , not technical .

        Our conventional oil and gas started running out the first time we used them . We are now a big net importer . Much of the infrastructure in the North Sea is on it’s last legs and maintenance costs are high .

        The tides are reliable and can be tapped at many locations around our coast , not just estuaries .

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Have you not heard of Thorium reactors – now being developed by the Chinese and one being started in East Anglia? It is cheap, plentiful and has a half-life measured in hundreds rather than thousand of years.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Thorium isn’t commercially viable yet, the Indians and Chinese are looking at it. According to the UK National Nuclear Labs 10-15 years R&D is needed before utilities would find it attractive as a replacement for current Nuclear technologies.

        So apparently not an immediate solution but I wonder whether we would be better off dumpiong all the CO2/climate levy nonsense, instead put money into R&D on Thorium etc and use coal, fracking, whatever as a 15 year stopgap until technically and economically viable alternatives have been proven.

        • Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          Sounds like a great plan .

          Unfortunately 10-15 year timescales are beyond the comprehension our representatives in Westminster .

        • Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Pleaser don’t recommend fracking. It may seem to be the answer to a maiden’s prayers but have you seen the frightening video of the US experience where their tap-water ingites out of the tap?

          • Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

            @ Dr Bernard Juby.

            “have you seen the frightening video of the US experience where their tap-water ingites out of the tap?”

            I’d pay good money for a drink like that.

          • Posted September 6, 2011 at 1:03 am | Permalink

            Do some research before swallowing and then re-spewing the myths of eco-(authoritarians-ed).

            Its not hard, it just shows intellectual laziness, and discredits anything worthwhile you might have to say.

          • Posted September 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

            Dr Bernard Juby: “.. the frightening video of the US experience where their tap-water ingites out of the tap?”

            One of the questions not asked by the interviewer in that program was, when did you first notice this phenomena [flammable water].

            It wasn’t asked in the video clip for a very good reason, the water had flammable gasses in it before the fraking process was started.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Thorium is excellent – the only reason it was not selected as the best material for nuclear power in the 1940’s is that it has no hazardous/lethal by-products, as governments needed a source of partly processed material for nuclear bombs! What about shale oil? What about all the oil in the world that is clearly there, but not yet financially viable? A $ 10 increase in the global price of oil brings billions of barrels of oil into reach. There are lots of solutions, the very worst one is the scam which is labelled ‘blowing in the wind’

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      “The wind blows a lot”.

      But not enough: sometimes not at all and sometimes too much and windmills are only about 30% efficient at best.

      The tides, however, are constant. So you have a point there.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Huge flood areas and barrages needed for much tidal power not cost effective or environmental in general.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Tides are constant in that they occur twice a day, but the peaks a lows rotate around the 24 hour clock so they are only really useful at certain times of the month.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      “But the wind blows a lot, and there are tides every day.”

      And generating electricity from both is an engineering challenge that, in the end, causes more environmental and ecological damage than it prevents.

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Wind does blow intermittently but looking at the national grid site, the metered output seems to vary from 300mw to 1500mw and in a operationally predictable fashion (with multiplicity of other sources) look at the forecast outurn.Installed wind capacity 3696mw. At least some new capacity is comingonline.

      Peak useage 35688mw 4/9/11. Coal seems to ramp up and down from 5ooomw to 12000mw, also Gas but not as much. Nuclear seems rock steady but if one plant goes offline, its a big deal.

      It would seem that intermittency at a macro-level is being managed well , when the wind blows we IMPORT and burn less coal and gas!

      That said the gov failure seem the lack of new nuclear plant, instead of constantly/steadily importing from france which is also intermittent around there needs at their peak from 0 to 1gw.

    • Posted September 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      The wind does not blow every day, in fact at times of the greatest need it frequently does not blow at all. Over last winter there were weeks when the wind was non existant, and at such times the grid supplies the wind turbines to ensure they keep rotating so that the shafts do not bend.

  10. Posted September 4, 2011 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Here you go, read James Delingpole.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100102917/green-jobs-wot-green-jobs-pt-242/

    “The Global Warming Policy Foundation has published a report into the future of “Green Jobs” in Britain. It is damning indeed. Though it doesn’t actually say as much – the GWPF is too austere and restrained for such flippancies – this Government’s green policies are the equivalent of trying to pay off the national debt by breeding unicorns to sell to Chinese millionaires”

    If you politicians would only leave your “millionaire political bubbles” for 10 mins, look and listen to US, PERHAPS WE MIGHT GET SOMEWHERE!

  11. Posted September 4, 2011 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    The facts are :
    1998 was the hottest year in recent times, the earth has been cooling since.
    It was far hotter in the past, Romans grew wine in Scotland
    CO2 does not affect the temperature of the earth
    Man barely affects the level of CO2 in the world
    The UK definitely does not affect the level of CO2 or warming in any way
    Windmills can never reduce the amount of oil and gas burned, because you always need a 100% backup in any event (but Nuclear power could)

    My nomination for the least green item is the hated windmill/turbine. Because it takes tons of concrete and equipment to install and maintain plus the miles of heavy duty access roads and constant maintenance. But mainly because the net power generation saving is zero.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      While researching for my response to you I found this remarkably honest link :

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,606763,00.html

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Add to that the fact that some wind-farms sited on peat bogs are now unlocking previouslty stored CO2 plus the dangers to health http://windturbinesnotgoodforhealth.blogspot.com and you get some idea of the damage caused.
      There is also the increasing risk that because electricity cannot be stored but has to be used, it could trip out safety mechanisms on the National Grid, causing huge areas to be blacked out. It has already happened in Germany. Think of the damage to industry and commerce – to say nothing of the domestic chaos.
      Time the promotors came clean (unlike their generators) and made it clear that the load factor has a considerable affect on the actual output. Most of them only work at a quarter to one third of their maximum capacity and often produce no electricity (no wind or too strong) at a time of peak demand. Grid operators know how to accommodate this. The wind (although green in itself) can’t.
      Because of the lightness of air compared with water (water is far denser) you need a huge comparative volume of air passing through the rotor blades at any given time. For this reason old fashioned water-mills were/are more effective than even small scale wind-mills.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Some don’t even work at a quarter of maximum capacity. The Green Park generator in Reading was justified using the 25% load factor but operated at an average of 17.2% over 2006 – 2010. The actual range was 18.7% in 2006 to 15.4% in 2010 and the average was consistently decreasing, so either we are running out of wind or there may be some other issues at play.

        Green Park is one of the worst performing generators in the UK because there is not a lot of wind and if the investors did their sums on the basis of a 25% load factor they must be miffed with a 31% average reduction in power generated. Mind you true returns depend on how the grants and subsidies work …

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      The Romans never grew wine in Scotland because they were never in Scotland. The border between England and Scotland is where the Roman Empire ended. Though the Romans tried to grow wine in England it failed and they had to import large amounts of wine. Given that Roman commentators described England as ‘cold, wet, and boggy’ it seems that England used to be much colder, not warmer.

      Real science has shown that CO2 levels do affect the temperature of Earth.

      • Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

        No, Hadrian’s Wall is where the Roman Empire ended. Parts of Northumberland and Cumbria are north of Hadrian’s Wall.

        Northumbrian men often get married wearing kilts too – I bet you didn’t know that 🙂

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 12:06 am | Permalink

        Uanime5: ” .. the Romans were never in Scotland ..”

        In 79 AD, the Romans under Agricola invaded Scotland and advanced as far as the Tay. The following year, forts were established on the Clyde-Forth line and areas already over-run consolidated. It is possible that the Loudoun Hill fort was established then with only a limited incursion beyond this and the same to the south in the Nithsdale area.

  12. Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, “false greenery” indeed. Why on earth are car, motorcycle and scooter manufacturers being allowed, no encouraged, to continue to develop and bring to market products with absurd range of 30 miles with moderate hills before recharge. Where does the so called green energy come from? Did you read about the recent road accident where despite every chemical known to man a Fire Service were unable to extinguish a major fire of a battery powered scooter. Diesel engine technology is now capable of producing engines with 90% less emmissions than 10 years ago with fuel consumption around 60/70mpg, in real terms probably a better deal for the planet and certainly for the consumer but no, we are being led up the garden path with electric by a government that should know better.

  13. Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The international nuclear fission reactor in Cadarache could make a real difference.

    There are key technological barriers we need to overcome. I just wish we, as a family, could afford the time for my husband to work on one of them. He thinks he’s had the answer to the neutron containment issues they face for 30 years (since his PhD) and he may well be right.

    Sigh. It’s so obvious he should just make time to write and publish but life just comes at you so fast.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Don’t need to go to France.

      Its sustaining the fusion reaction with current materials, knowhow and getting more out than is put in from the grid. There is somewhere in the UK which is grappling with this problem right now.

      http://www.350resources.org.uk/2011/08/24/assessment-of-nuclear-fusion-feasibility-not-for-30-years-by-leo-hickman/

      Looks like we will need to delay any closures of current fleet coal/nuclear until we have other viable units probably gas (and gas storage). I wish we could have a policy of self sufficiency without relying on imports or commodities which are subject to speculation by funny/leveraged money bets.

      A national strategic reserve of gas , power companies only allowed to increase reset charges at the same time for all companies once a year.
      A single tariff structure would encourage conservation-removing the fixed rental helps low users.

  14. Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Many people’s support for High Speed 2 (HS2) is based on “false greenery” because they think it will cut carbon. However, the Secretary of State for Transport and HS2 Ltd have admitted, it will be “broadly carbon neutral”, and may even increase carbon emissions.

    In terms of energy policy though, HS2 will increase the demand for electricity: because physics says that if you go faster, you use more energy. 65% of passengers are expected to have transferred from conventional rail, which uses less electricity then high speed rail. That’s assuming the projected growth in demand for travel – much higher then any other reputable prediction and made before rail fares started increasing so much – isn’t massively inflated. And a whooping 22% of passengers are expected to be travelling simply because HS2 has been built. But a policy based on reducing energy needs would be discouraging people from travelling at all.

    So all in all, HS2 is one of those projects ordinary people say they are in favour because they think it is green, but in reality, it is definately a case of “false greenery”.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Indeed there is nothing green about HS2 even if you accept the CO2 theory/exaggeration which I broadly do not.

      Modern planes can often be better than high speed trains on C02 and do not need a track to be build at vast expense and CO2 output.

      • Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        My objection to HS2 is quite simple. Here we are at the beginning of the 21st century and we are going to build a railway line that George Stephenson would recognise. Why can’t we think of something better?

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      “HS2 will increase the demand for electricity: because physics says that if you go faster, you use more energy. 65% of passengers are expected to have transferred from conventional rail, which uses less electricity then high speed rail.”

      I agree that HS2 is an overblown vanity project, but I should point out that electrification of general purpose rail would be a economical move, due to the superior efficiency of electric motors and centralized electricity generation, as well as other aspects. This will increasingly become the case as oil and gas reserves deplete and we come to depend more on coal and nuclear for power generation (as the spectre of black-outs becomes apparent, people will stop caring about trendy green energy), neither of which lend themselves well to modern locomotion.

  15. Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Interesting news in the paper today – Sweden apparently refusing to lend the USA their most powerful ice-breaker ship because after 2 years on increasing ice build up in their waters they want to keep it for their own use and – Germany, having shut down their nuclear reactors and built more windmills then any other country are now warned that they have insufficient capacity for industry, are now too reliant on buying electricity from France (largely nuclear-generated!) and could soon be facing power cuts.
    So the UK and now, it seems, Germany are increasingly reliant on buying electricity from France, which is a bit interesting, is it not? Meanwhile, the drive to impose ‘smart power meters’ on all homes to monitor in detail our consumption, to enable price fixing and the ability for individual houses to be cut-off as and when the supplier wants simply rolls on, adding even more cost to households and industry. I can imagine the future with smart meters – ‘Mrs Jones, we note that you are using too much power at peak times, stop doing so or we shall have to cut you off for 2 hours a day’. Frightening thought…..

  16. Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Forget capture and storage of carbon dioxide for a start .

    The new coal power stations in China , India and Australia and gas powered over the rest of the W0rld do NOT use carbon capture so why unilaterally impose it on our coal powered powerstations and UCG projects(underground coal gasification) ?

    British industry has to bear these costs .

    It takes 25% of the energy generated by burning fossil fuels to capture the carbon dioxide and pump it underground .

    Thus if you want carbon dioxide capture you have to generate a third more energy(4/3) by burning a third more fuel to get the same amount of net energy out (3/3) .

    We can’t afford to be paying a premium of a third more for our energy for the priviliege of using up our natural resources a third quicker than we need to .

    The Govt spends something like 60% more with private companies than it does on public sector wages so this is the area with most potential for savings .

    I smell a scam .

    (unsubstantiated allegations about a named Minister left out-ed)

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      P.S.

      As has been said before on this blog Huhne and Clegg are traitorous toadies who’s avowed intention is to destroy nation states , especially the UK , so they can be more easily absorbed into EUSSR

      They stand to lose their EU pensions entitlement if they act in the UK’s interest where it is contrary to the EU’s interest .

      How is it acceptable for people who’s avowed intention is to destroy the UK to hold public office and be given ministerial portfolio’s to enable them to do it ?

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      The statements I made were not allegations .

      A massive amount of public money is being channelled towards companies which stand to benefit from from Carbon Dioxide capture and storage .

      The public have a right to know who benefits from public money and whether any of the decision makers in the public sphere have a conflict of interest .

      How else , other than through inspection , will we know whether these projects stand up to scrutiny and probity ?

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Redwood, any allegation is unsubstantiated unless there has been a judgement in a court of law.

      You are supposed to be a Member of Parliament but you come across as a five – year – old child.

      You seem frightened of any consequences of any post on this blog.

      Grow up. Try standing up for what you believe in or get out of politics.

  17. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Yet another topic where UKIP have the right answers.

    Vote UKIP until the Tories come to their senses.

  18. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Global Warming has taken over from Europe as the new unmentionable in the Conservative Party. I don’t think the phrase has crossed David Cameron’s lips the last 4 years, though he made great play of the issue when newly elected leader. He’s not to blame, there was a huge barrage of state-sponsored propaganda and name-calling aimed at any doubters. Surely the time has come for the Conservative Party – MPs if ministers still wont touch the issue – to say that enough apocalyptic predictions have gone awry to demand at least a calm and neutral reassessment of the scientific evidence for man-made global warming, and a proper public debate on the policy options.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      It is a difficult subject as so many have been recruited to the green religion by the BBC and many simply cannot accept that much they have been told by government and the BBC on Bikes, Buses, Trains, Electric Cars, Wind turbines, PV cells and the rest is mainly lies.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Also Cameron and Huhne will look like complete idiots if they now started to tell the truth on this issue. Mind you they do anyway by continuing the lies so what is their alternative?

    • Posted September 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      But father-in-law needs the income, something of the order of £1000 a week for doing nothing is always usefull to the rich.

  19. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    250k per annum net immigration can’t be doing much for our carbon emission targets.

    Ok ! Ok !

    Sorry to keep banging on about it, John but I fail to see how we can have a serious, adult or HONEST debate about anything without mention of 250,000 net immigration – least of all any debate about our energy consumption and green targets.

    I was at Reading festival last week and there I saw an enormous crowd which was a fraction of the size of this. A sea of people. Ditto the 400k march for the Countryside Alliance which I supported some years ago which was ten abreast and could not see end to end from the City to Westminster.

    Have you any idea what 250,000 looks like ?

    All we can say for sure is that demand over supply of all resources in this country is going to go up exponentially – unless most of us get dramatically poorer of course.

    A million more people in the next four years at present rates and no mention of it in your post.

    That renders what you’ve just said entirely irrelevant.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      “A million more people in the next four years at present rates”

      You have put your finger on the spot! Mr Redwood’s sensible ideas are rendered irrelevant in the face of this onslaught. Not since the Anglo-Saxons drove out the native Britons has this happened.

      • Posted September 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        That is a myth – it never happened. There is no evidence for it at all.

        Change of political control does not mean change of population unless you happen to be in Palestine. Is India full of English people?

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      250,000 about is just under three full Wembley Stadiums or 1.6 Isle of Wights.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely agree , but that’s joined up thinking, we can see the linkages and the attendant resource and other issues; not only energy but water,rental housing, schools, roads, congestion,pollution, welfare (surplus labour),health service demand etc.

      Public service is creating its own demand for a client state.

      We are probably spending more internally to accomodate this than the overseas aid budget, then we have the EU contributions. Looking for relatively easy cuts in budgets. Hello!

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      “Have you any idea what 250,000 looks like ?”

      No but I have a good idea what 125,000 of them will look like soon after they get here – bulging around the middle .

  20. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Germany has closed a number of Nuclear Power Stations following the Japanese disaster, Germany presumably being in an earthquake and Tsunami zone! It is now finding that its windmills are unlikely to provide enough replacement electricity during the coming winter and it may have to keep some coal fired stations running (illegal under EU rules) or more likely buy electricity from France, generated, surprise, surprise, at Nuclear Power Stations.
    We need to watch we don’t get in the same crazy position. Unfortunately, we couldn’t buy from France, as the under-channel cables don’t have the capacity.
    It is known, but unspoken, within the generating industry that, during the last couple of winters, we have been very lucky not to have had any major failures and blackouts with the system operating at its limit. Just hope the coming winter is mild otherwise we could all end up freezing in the dark!

  21. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Mount Pinatubo when it erupted in 1991, was observed for the whole year of it’s eruption by the US geological service.They calculated that it released into the atmosphere of our planet
    more CO2 in that eruption than mankind had since appearing on the planet up till and including 1991,the recent eruption in Iceland this year was calculated to have eradicated
    Mankind’s CO2 savings for the last 5 years,AND of course there are volcanoes that are erupting continuously [an estimate says that 5oo UNDER the Pacific alone every year],let alone the one above that ocean continuously erupting on the Hawaaian big island that adds a lot of acreage every year to the island.
    The Global warming/Climate change issue has become a QUASI religion,to the point that Al Gore now says that people who doubt that it is doing what these Evangelists say it does
    are the equivalent of Racists and that “History will judge them”,AND the most important issue of all is that some nations and ours in particular are imposing totally unnecessary
    increased costs on all their citizens,while others like China and India will make hay while the sun shines at our expense,while we become more impoverished.WHAT will they say to our people in the future who have seen their way of life drastically reduced and jobs exported. Finally Why did it cause an almighty angry incident 4 years ago when I pointed out in public in front of at least 50 people at a WWF stand in a major shopping centre in Cape Town,that a map of our world showing the effect of a ONE METRE rise in sea level
    showed parts of the world under water,including lots of South Africa that at the moment are more than 500 metres ABOVE sea level,the crowd went into uproar and I as the instigator had the stand manager call security to try and evict me to keep me quiet about
    this and also Mount Pinatubo,My question was [yes very loudly] “WHERE did the other 499 metres of water level come from”. AND this was before the Climatgate scandal broke
    later BUT proof that these evangelists DO NOT let FACTS get in the way of their religion.

  22. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I think the volatility point on weather is well made, and often overlooked in climate responses.

    Even if there is a longterm warming trend, if this is accompanied by volatility in temperatue (where the fat prefer to be cooled in warm weather, and the thin prefer to be warmed in cold, and some officeworkers want/have to be in the same thickness suit irrespective of outside temperature etc.) then energy supply has to adapt (if we want comfortable modernity of central heating and air conditioning, rather than changing our calories and clothes).

  23. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Anyone who questions the man made global warming story will be regarded as the new racists according to Al Gore, who has become a multi-millionaire as a consequence of peddling this threat to the planet. How many politicians in this country are in some way enriching themselves and their families by pursuing this agenda? We will never know but as long as that is the case we shall all be further impoverished.

  24. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the climate change debate, I think we can see that the climate change message has been incorporated into government policy. I suspect that the government is largely hamstrung by international agreements anyway. There is therefore no need for taxpayer funding of climate pressure groups. John – can you confirm that the government has ended all taxpayer funding for ‘green’ energy advocacy organisations, or has urgent plans to do so? If we are to follow policies that will decimate the UK economy, let us at least not use taxpayers money to pay people to argue for those policies.

  25. Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I think you’ll find we’re having the same amount of weather this year as for previous years.

  26. Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Sceptics are frequently admonished because they are said to go against the “scientific concensus” (see Public Servant above). There is certainly a body of scientific opinion that believes that man made CO2 will cause catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW). That opinion has the ear of politicians in Europe including the UK. They further assert that unless significant changes in behaviour and energy production are made, the Earth`s temperature will run out of control; if those changes are made then man can control the Earth`s temperature to within a 2 degree C rise and all will be well. They further urge that this is an insurance policy, just in case they are right about this. It is a very expensive insurance policy.

    Out of curiosity I visited the Met Office web site to explore what they had to say about this. The official Met Office line is just this. On a 6 December 2010 post they said “The new Met Office model (HadGEM2-ES) increases our confidence that reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 50% of curent levels by 2050 would make it possible to meet the 2 degree C global warming limit.”

    On reading further I discovered a number of qualifications which bear examination. “Even so these results come from a single model. Some additional processes still need to be included…” Among the mssing processes are: the ability of plants to take up hydrogen; deposition of black carbon in very cold regions; the positive and negative feedbacks of ozone” plus others where “these processes are not well understood” or where “the science is not well understood”.

    In a later post (18 March 2011) the Met Office said that “The only way to predict the day-to-day weather and changes to the climate over longer timescales is to use computer models…” They say that the climate system is “highly complex” with “many potential interactions and feedback”. They go on to say “Using Met Office models we have even been able to start to assign probabilities to more dangerous high temperature changes…that could arise if climate turns out to be very sensitive to increased greenhouse gases.” Note the use of the word “if” here. Note also the use of the word “greenhouse gases” not man made CO2.

    On 22 June 2011 the Met Office said “We cannot be certain about future climate change because: some variations in climate are inherently unpredictable; we evaluate climate model output which use measurements which have errors; we have only plausible storylines of how anthropogenic emissions might evolve; we have limited computer resources and an imperfect knowledge of the Earth system….Therefore, there is no single best estimate, only a range, of future climate change.”

    If these Met Office statements are the scientific concensus then I submit they are an inadequate basis for the course of action on which this Coalition government is embarked. I am sure that sceptics will agree about the complexity of climate and that we do not understand it properly. Sceptical scientists also note that man made CO2 accounts for only c5Gt of annual CO2 output compared with c150Gt that is output naturally. Furthermore does anyone have a clue about the natural ebb and flow of natural CO2 output and sequestration? How do you separate the relatively small man made component from the much larger natural component? What about the influence of the sun on Earth`s climate? These are relevant questions which still await an answer.

    Despite this the Coalition is charging ahead with measures which will not solve the problem they claim to be dealing with. In fact they will, in their own terms, make it worse.

  27. Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    As a keen allotment gardener, I have been keeping an eye on the climate for ten years and there has definitely been clear cooling here in northwest England for three years at least, possibly five. I’m at the point where I am going to have to change what I grow because of the cold winters, late springs and chilly, wet summers. So I laugh when I read that people still believe the global warming nonsense, now renamed climate change to get round the inconvenient truth it’s getting colder.

    Chris Huhne doesn’t impress me by telling me to insulate my house more. Several years ago I spent a huge amount of money replacing my single glazed windows with double glazed sashes (listed building, planning permission required and they had to be made to order). This immediately cut my gas use as soon as they went in. So next I doubled the insulation in my loft, again reducing my fuel use. But even now, after all that, my gas bill has doubled in 8 years.

    As a self-employed retailer struggling through the worst recession in 40 years, I can’t afford a lot of heating and am planning on reducing my fuel use, delaying putting the heating on as long as possible. To do this I am burning coal in the living room on the cold evenings (they started in mid August here) and will put a small fire in the bedroom grate when it gets colder. Heating two rooms instead of the whole house will save some money, even with the cost of the coal. So, thanks to the green taxes loaded on my fuel bills, I’m burning coal and contributing to “global warming”. You couldn’t make it up…

  28. Posted September 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Obviously the way that the government is creating an energy generation disaster, but one has to analyse why these highly educated politicians and civil servants can make decisions whilst being so ignorant. One reason may be the lack of esteem for engineering in this country. In France their ‘polytechnics’ produce the top people, who take sensible decisions. Here we have malfunctioning classicists like the Huhne (word left out). Dave and Dummy have appointed Prof. McKay as their chief energy advisor but apparently thei can’t understand his brilliant book on the subject. In this he points out that wind. pv and wave energy are really a side show.

    To give an example of the quality of thinking of our politicians, I report the following. One of my neighbours is a greeny labour councillor and failed MEP. She came out and asked whether my diesel picasso was my new car. I said we had bought it because it did up to 70mpg and I had to go to London frequently. ‘But it isn’t as economic as my bike’ she retorted.(personal aside left out-ed)) I thought I would wind her up by telling her about Lifelogic’s theory about the human body being less efficient than a petrol engine, omitting to say that her bike does not require the same input. She replied-‘ Ah but you’re not telling me that the carbon dioxide that I breathe out is the same as the carbon dioxide that comes out of your car’.

  29. Posted September 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    A different example:

    Aluminium smelting is very energy intensive, and its output of GHGs sensitive not only to the efficiency of the plant in terms of energy consumption and sourcing and the burning of carbon anodes, but also to the co-production of PFC gases that are 6500-9200 time more potent than CO2. The closure of Anglesey Alumininium that relied on Wylfa nuclear power probably resulted in extra production in China, where the marginal source of electricity is coal, and where plant efficiencies are much lower and control of PFC production almost nonexistent among the smaller producers with spare capacity.

    Result: 2.5TWh/Year of extra coal fired electricity, increased anode consumption, and 8 times the PFC emissions. (based on assuming that Chinese plant achieves 1990 typical emissions, which may be optimistic)

  30. Posted September 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    But climate change must be real, and it must a serious problem, because under the EU treaties as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon all EU member states have now committed themselves promoting measures to combat it.

    Article 191 TFEU:

    “1. Union policy on the environment shall contribute to pursuit of the following objectives …

    … promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems, and in particular combating climate change.”

    Surely nobody would suggest that 27 governments could be duped into agreeing to promote measures to particularly combat something which doesn’t need combating, and potentially at enormous expense?

    That would be ludicrous.

  31. Posted September 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Public Servan might like to read what Nigel Lawson actually says about global warming. Read his book, An Appeal to Reason. What Lawson demolishes is not so much the scientific argument but the economic one. Mind you, the scientific one is looking increasingly threadbare nowadays, so often relying on dissidents being silenced and not allowed to publish. Science advances by argument not authority.

  32. Posted September 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I have had correspondence with DECC on this disasterous and scientifically wrong theory of Anthopogenic Global Warming (AGW). The reply from Gregory Barker was so scientifically wrong and politically correct it was laughable. I have also replied to Sir John Beddington (as did many others) on his blog. His recent “report” on climate change was scandalously one sided and was a clear case of scaremongering. His response to those who raised evidence against AGW was pathetic.
    There is new evidence accumulating everyday that our current thinking on AGW is wrong. I would urge you and your parliamentary colleagues to research the findings of the CLOUD experiement conducted at CERN which validated previous experiments at Aarhous University and other facilities. In short it validates the theory developed by Svensmark et al that climate change is linked to the magnetic activity of the sun and cosmic rays are part of the cloud development process.
    Link for full explanation here:
    http://calderup.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/cern-experiment-confirms-cosmic-ray-action/
    In short this blows a massive hole in the AGW theory and some argue it kills it altogether, but of course the usual suspects are “spinning” it differently including the BBC – surprise surprise !!
    Many people do not realise that the current AGW theory is based almost entirely on scientific models – NOT experiments or empirical evidence, but the IPCC, UN and various governments don’t want you to know that. The data used in these models has been shown to be highly suspect and the statistical methods used to analyse the results are shown to be even moresusepect. Where recorded measurements have been made they have shown the models to be wildly exaggerated in their doomsday predictions.
    Interestingly the scientific blogger Andrew Montford aka “Bishop Hill” has an FOI request into DECC over the agenda of a meeting between Gregory Barker of DECC and the energy companies, where one subject was itemising customer bills and showing the true cost of “green policies” on your bill which range between 10-20% depending on what you classifiy as government/social policy requirements.
    For your information also, there are massive finds of oil and gas being discovered almost daily and the International Energy Agency itself says with Shale and Natural gas there is enough current supply to lat 250 years. The wholesale price of gas is about the same as it was 3 years ago, so why the massive increase in energy costs ?
    Huhne, Beddington, Cameron, The Climate Change Act, the Green Investment Bank etc thats why – we are being conned !!
    I suggest the Bishop Hill blog and Climate Audit and Watts up with That as scientific blogs if you want the evidence and scam explained in great detail.

  33. Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    The carbon cost of HS2 has, of course, been calculated. Has it not? Haven’t seen the figures, though.

    Every form of mechanised transport uses energy. Do we really want a future where going further, faster and more often is the norm? Human population growth trend just makes the situation worse.

  34. Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    If these UK wind energy schemes are uneconomic, can anyone explain why a Japanese company would pay $324 million for a 49.9% share in Gunfleet Sands?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-02/marubeni-pays-324-million-for-u-k-wind-stake-from-dong-2-.html

    The article claims the facility “produces enough power for 125,000 British homes.”

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      How about massive government subsidies ? Watch what happens when the “Green Investment Bank” is launched.

  35. Posted September 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Thankfully the French have recently put a block the process of “fracking” whereby a toxic chemical soup is pumped at very high pressure into underground shale thus releasing gases. It is being driven by rich oil companies and there is no control over where these escaping gases are chanelled – with the result that it is in the air, polluting lakes, streams, water tables and rivers and even enables people to set light to their domestic water supply. Many people are being made ill as a result.

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
    • Posted September 6, 2011 at 1:56 am | Permalink

      Complete and utter drivel.

      Leave aside the rich oil companies, though actually most actual work is being done by small operators.
      Fracing (where does the “K” come from its a shortening of the word fracture) has been done in the oil, gas and yes even the geo-thermal industry (though I suppose thats alright is it) for years.
      Perhaps you might like to enlighten us all in the industry what these toxic chemical soups are? because it sure would be interesting for us.
      “No control over escaping gases”, ha ha ha pathetic, surely that would defeat the objective of the evil companies then? In truth if you had even a modicum of understanding of geology and physics you’d know that its not possible.
      Perhaps you could give some real examples of where “people are being made ill”.

      No actually don’t bother, I’ve got much more important things to do than get involved in your peddling of untruths and eco-myths.

  36. Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Whereas there are possible arguments against the use of wind energy in some cases a lot of the arguments in this thread are weaker than those they are trying to defeat. Many of them are statistically biased and produced by people with a NIMBY objective. However what everyone needs to understand is that wind is not the only green solution and others like tide, water, solar, ground heat etc. need to be seriously pursued.
    It is gratifying to see that the Environment Agency is at last taking seriously the use of its weirs on the Thames to generate electricity some ten years after it was proposed within the organisation. It is also interesting to see that solar cells have started to appear on Wokingham roofs over last few months. However we need a lot more initiatives to generate energy from waste but more importantly to make our energy consumption a lot more efficient.
    Please lets stop all the negative knocking and put a little more effort into promoting green proposals which have a positive feed back. As a country, particularly in the current economic environment, we urgently need to reduce our enegry imports whether they are direct or indirect. Climate change or not we need to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels to survive as a nation.

  37. Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s no use asking Huhne – (he has other matters on his mind-ed). John Redwood, suerly you have seen through the fraud of ‘carbon dioxide’ by now?

    Reply: Try reading what I write, which sets out clearly my views on energy policy. I did not vote for the Climate Change Act.

  38. Posted September 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Using coal is not viable. Not only does it produce high levels of CO2 is produces but Coal mining is labour intensive and no one is willing to mine coal for minimum wage.

    • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      try looking at clean coal technology. Their has been much progress in recent years. Even Germany is now back on coal.

      • Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        Sorry for spelling …should be “There has…”

    • Posted September 6, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      uanime5: “Using coal is not viable. ”

      For gods sake, uanime5! Coal is viable as an energy source, when you take into account the important factor – energy density. The fact that when you burn it, it produces carbon dioxide is irrelevant, unless you have swallowed the carbon dioxide is bad gaia claptrap.

      Carbon dioxide is good, it underpins the biosphere life cycle. Plants eat the stuff and by that token we could do with a lot more in the atmosphere.

  39. Posted September 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been looking at carbon accounting, green claims, feed in tariffs, the emissions trading schemes, carbon offsets, the EPC regime, the ‘Green Deal’ etc. a lot over the last couple of years.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it is all well intentioned stuff, but flawed. Why for example has the DECC produced guidance for people who sell solar panels stating that they can use standard small print to disclaim their own false statements?

    You cannot, in law, disclaim your own false statements.

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Indeed these PV schemes look like a government encouraged scheme to take money from the gullible to me.

  40. Posted September 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    The most intriguing of UK renewable energy installations, has to be the Scottish Island of Eigg. Particularly Eigg Electric Limited

    Somehow a few dozen households on this island, managed to buy it for £1.5 million. They then installed about 173 KW of mainly hydro, wind and solar power -backed up by 160 KW of back-up diesels, three phase batteries with DC/AC synchronising inverters. Costing another £1.66 million. The system ran into problems when mother nature declined to supply sufficient wind; water and sunshine as per the plan. The diesels got a bit of a bashing.

    Mind you Eigg is very good at winning prizes from various Quangos for this enterprising system. But, £10,000 per KW installed of green electric, is a very expensive way to mitigate CO2. And; Eigg Electric is most reluctant to publish any technical or financial performance data for the system on its website. I think Mr Huhne should be telling English taxpayers, just how much of this exclusive private island we have paid for.

  41. Posted September 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Next time you speak to Dave, try to find out how much juice his wind turbine has produced.

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Also Huhne’s – perhaps £100 worth maximum over the years (at true non subsidised value). Rather less than consumed in its planning and installation I would think.

      Still quite a cheap “I am green” badge/advert.

  42. Posted September 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Off topic maybe but actually NOT ?, anyone read Peter Hitchens Column in today’s mail especially the part about the RED BIB he suggests should be worn by politicians ,and all public servants,saying “DO NOT DISTURB COUNTRY COMMITTING SUICIDE”,this subject
    and many others ie the EU/Immigration/Political correctness/Multiculturalism/Diversity/
    the social services Stasi/Gauleiters/Quangos/Law and order/Equality laws that make some more EQUAL than others, allowing positive discrimination and thus actually creating a NEW APARTHEID/in fact every single aspect affecting normal every day life for all of us, are the cause of what I believe is a non reversible Decline in this country,and if all of you read through this site like I do and take note of the overwhelming sentiments expressed herein ,it is obvious that what Peter has written is absolutely correct.Look at
    what Nadine Dorries says in the same paper,watch the Sunday morning live debate of today on bbc1 on the abortion amendment proposed,I as an individual can attest to the enormous impact abortion has,because my first wife had 3 as well as two children by me
    in our years together from 1965 till 1984 ,we both live with enormous Regret and very importantly GUILT about them ,and the final one was in 1974,on her part it is even worse
    because she became the World’s oldest NATURAL birth mother at the age of 59,extensively reported on when it was revealed in 2007 in the News of the World,these had NO counselling except the PUSH to carry them out as part of the Feminist Agenda and the first one was in 1968 just after the abortion laws came in in 1967 yet our daughter was born
    in 1967,even this was not taken as a consideration as well as the fact that we were immigrating to a better new life in Australia. The powers that be just BULLDOZE away
    peoples feelings even WHEN they are obviously MAJORITY views. That is WHY I feel
    so helpless and depressed,in fact both my children have left this country because of their
    agreement with what I say, one has been in Texas for more than 10 years and one has been 3 years in Canada ,they say they will NEVER come back.

  43. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    “It would also be interesting to hear your best examples of false greenery”

    The whole CO2 scare is fake.

    CERN (Real scientists) have shown that cosmic rays strongly determine the rate of the birth of condensation nuclei and cloud condensation nuclei, and they and the Sun therefore decide most of the climate change on Earth.

  44. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Lets face it, John just keeps on working for the excellent rewards. You can’t blame him. None of the others have anything to say to the cabal that runs the UK. One day he will draw a nice pension, why rock the boat.

  45. Posted September 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Whatever people think of the likelihood of anthropogenically released CO2 causing catastrophic global warming, surely it is morally offensive to tax the very poorest and thrust them into poverty in order to send money to rich land owners like Sir Reginald Sheffield (who of course happens to be the Prime Minister’s father in law). I am aghast that all the main political parties support this nonsense. I am particularly astonished that the Labour Party is so in favour of it. Once upon a time they were the party of the working class.

    If nothing is done to rectify this obvious injustice I fear there will be a revolution in this country when the lights go out in a few years.

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Labour, not satisfied with completely and utterley wrecking housing for an entire generation of workers, want to put their energy bills up substantially. You couldn’t make it up really could you?

      I’ve come to the conclusion that labour are not the party of the working class, but the party of the welfare class.

  46. Posted September 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    What worries me is the possible damage to the environment of taking energy from the wind and from waves.

    I have looked in vain for any studies into this.

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 1:47 am | Permalink

      Kenneth, you sound as daft as the windmill people.

  47. Posted September 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    And, of course, the worst thing about this whole affair is that CAGW is a fraud.

    ‘Back radiation; and ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling supposed to offset it are the results of mathematical errors [1922, Milne and in 1956, Van de Hulst, adopted by Sagan who started the scare].

    The only way the IPCC cabal in charge of the science is hanging on is by preventing publication of correct science. In reality it is the Marxists replacement for Lysenkoism and the clever bit is that the Green aristocrats have been bought off by a share of the proceeds, (Individual accusations left out-ed)
    This is the first time ever that the far right and the far left have collaborated in ripping off the public: the windmills save no significant CO2; you can do far better in other ways.

  48. Posted September 4, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Apparently there is going to be an article in The Telegraph tomorrow reporting that fuel bills are going up by £300 and that Cameron is worried

    Does he have anything to contribute to this debate?
    Does he realise what he is doing to the UK economy?
    Has he realised how little impact he is having on reducing global temperatures?
    Does he still believe he is enhancing his position as a world leader by all this climate nonsense?

    No green jobs.
    No affect on global warming.
    No credibility amongst the electorate.

    And we are in for another clod winter.

    Should Cameron be worried?

    Reply: Yes, the gov ernment should b e worried ablut fuel bills, and should do something to curb them for the future, as my article suggests

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Well, The Telegraph article is available:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8741032/Environment-policy-reforms-to-add-300-to-energy-bills.html

      The trouble with this government? They think deferred expenses (and deferred taxation) are the cure-all for everything and will even dig them out of this HUGE hole. Be it pensions, or banking, or home insulation, or student fees, or NHS.

      Well, it won’t.

      There will be
      No green jobs bonanza.
      No possible effect on CO2 induced global waming.
      No scientific breakthrough to prove the climate models aren’t absolute junk.
      No prospect of a warm winter this year.
      No prospect of fuel bills coming down.
      No prospect of any good news about Chris Huhne.
      No support from Australian PM Julia Gillard – she’s in it up to her armpits already.
      No support from Obama – he seems to be on the verge of seeing the light.
      No support from the Chinese – they are rightly concerned about maintaining their growth.
      No support from the Eurozone countries – too pre-occupied with bailouts.
      No support from Poland – they want to develop shale gas.

      And the prospect of the electorate supporting further green initiatives at the next election?

      None.

      Don’t vote for any candidate who is not advocating complete dismantling of the Climate Act and keeping the UK as far away as possible from “ever closer union” with the EU.

  49. Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Could Mr Redwood introduce a private members’ bill tying energy bills to the temperature outside? As the latter goes down so would the former. This way we would pay less and less for our energy, because as climatologists now agree, we are heading for a mini-ice age. The warmists could always save face by pretending that the colder weather is caused by less CO2 being produced thanks to green taxes. It’s not as if they are above cooking the figures, after all.

  50. Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Energy costs are vitally important to industry, being a major – usually – variable cost,
    and to o the consumer, a pensioner on limited income, or the hard pressed couple raising a family.

    I’m not qualified to judge on the climate change phenomenon – or what factors cause it, but I do know that the Roman’s had vineyards near Corbridge (up near the Roman Wall)
    Doubt very much if grapes would prosper there now.

    There are lots of green energy business plans floating about that all seem to have a common factor that the resultant electricity can be sold to the grid for a subsidised price.

    Assuming that this electricity is produced at the margin – small amount in relation to the total generated – It can’t relate to a significant proportion of worldwide energy generated.

    So is it right or moral to subject UK industry and pensioners to pay inflated subsidised power prices, when worldwide the co2 saving, globally, doesn’t amount to a pile of beans?

    There is a lot of research going into nuclear fusion, hydrogen fuel and other technologies.

    Energy needs of the future may well come from a new sources such as these.

  51. Posted September 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Dr. JB.

    You have been taken in by the propaganda re: fracking. I’d wager, not for the first time.

    Fracking takes place 1000’s of metres below the water table. Take a proper look, eg. there was a parliamentary committee, not long ago.

    Fracking will be our saviour in the next few decades, admittedly the greenies don’t like it becuase they’d prefer we lived in caves and were eaten by the polar bears.

    How fkd up do you have to be, to hate humanity so much?

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      As a courtesy to readers, rather than making ad hominen attacks why not spend that time instead providing links to the report(s) you claim support your assertions?

      http://www.parliament.uk/eccpublications

    • Posted September 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I do not normally respond to abusive comments – as in your final sentence. No I have not been taken in by propaganda! Is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
      How unscientific can you be? Certainly fracking takes place below the water table but gases that are lighter than air have an irritating habit of rising to the surface, polluting the water as it goes.
      It’s a bit rich – Oh Ignoramus – I have spent my entire medical career caring for humanity. If you are going to be abusive then come clean and reveal yourself or at least get my name right!

  52. Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Since the hottest year on record was 1998, and it has been cooling since then, I am waiting for the day the government announces a plan for subsidies for V8-petrol powered cars, encourage people to start smoking, turn on all the lights in your house, and drive everywhere, widen the roads and cut tax on petrol.

  53. Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    This graph says it all –

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html#anchor2117056

    But here are the words …

    “The idea that man-made pollution is responsible for global warming is not supported by historical fact. The period known as the Holocene Maximum is a good example– so-named because it was the hottest period in human history. The interesting thing is this period occurred approximately 7500 to 4000 years B.P. (before present)– long before humans invented industrial pollution.”

  54. Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Isn’t there £70bn of gas(Methane) reserves below Wales alone? And yet S Wales has a large Gas terminal for importing Gas(LNG, foriegn owned)? A new £1bn, foriegn owned, Gas power station?

    Why are we buying German Wind turbines, and then assembling them in Belfast? £100bn worth?

    Carbon pricing? etc …

    Have they forgotten about Economic Viability or Efficiency?

    What about the Financial Viability or Efficiency Of the Technology being used, of the Business Cases being employed, of the Investment decesions being made?

    It sounds as if the DOE (EU) is trying to impose, top-down, a solution! Not based on any strategy or any British self-interest, but the idealology of it’s incumbent!

  55. Posted September 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Would somebody please tell us what temperature they would like our planet to be ?

  56. Posted September 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    ECONOMIC FREEDOM + CHEAP ENERGY = FAST GROWTH

    We have to little of the former and none of the latter. In both cases the sole reason is political regulation and taxation. 93% of the cost of electricity could be removed by allowing the free market to produce nuclear electricity withy a level regulatory playing field, vis a vis safety, for all systems. So long as the “Climate Change Act” is in force energy is bound to get more expensive and thus we cannot get out of recession.

  57. Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    In 50 years time all these stupid turbines will be dismantled and people will say the governments at the start of the 21st century were so badly educated that they did not understand basic science about what drives our climate! It’s the Sun stupid !
    Good to see John talking about carbon dioxide which we were told was a greenhouse gas driving global warming and NOT carbon (footprint) which is graphite or DIAMONDS !!! I certainly do not want to reduce my carbon footprint if there is the remotest possibility of making more diamonds! Most politicians are SO stupid – it is not difficult to do some research and read the truth.

  58. Posted September 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I urge readers of this blog to add their votes to this e-petition

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/16078

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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