The UK needs cheaper energy for an industrial revival

 

           The government and Opposition in the Uk are united in wanting an industrial recovery. Now they need to agree on a radical change of energy policy, as you need cheaper energy to get the industrial revival.

          The most recent GDP figures show the economy grew in the first quarter of this year, despite a further fall in manufacturing output. Rising public spending and higher private sector service output combined to more than offset the further falls in construction and manufacturing.

          Leading manufacturing nations like China and the US have much cheaper energy than the UK and western Europe. Energy costs are crucial in areas like cement, glass, ceramics, aluminium and steel production. Energy costs are also often more important than wage costs in highly automated modern factories, where machines do most of the work.

          Within the EU high energy costs are a way of life and a policy choice. Germany, the most sucessful manufacturer within the area, is increasingly cutting loose from EU policy, in a dash for coal based electricity production. The EU itself has offset some of the damage being done by its carbon scheme, through issuing so many permits that the carbon price has collapsed. The UK has imposed a carbon tax  above the carbon price, and is still engaged in developing more high cost energy.

          I have renewed my calls this week for a short term policy to save our old power stations and keep them running for longer, and a medium term policy of going for shale gas and more gas based power production from new stations.

          I read today that the new Japanese government is preparing to ditch its Kyoto carbon reduction targets and generate more power from coal as part of its policy to help industry and consumers.

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159 Comments

  1. Brian Taylor
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    You have written on energy cost’s before,other’s such as Christopher Booker have for year’s pointed out the folly and high cost of renewables,now with our carbon tax on fossil fuels,the whole market is skewed.
    The Quetion is are there any signs that the DECC are prepared to do anything about the cost of energy?

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 5:33 am | Permalink

      None really apart from the PV subsidy to larger projects was cut. So the smaller, less efficient ones, still get it but not the larger ones.

      Total insanity, as usual, from the scientifically illiterate greens. Cut all the subsidies and market distortions now.

  2. colliemum
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Why is it that just we in the UK seem to strain every sinew to fulfil and overfulfil EU measures, to the detriment of not just our industries and thus the economy, but also to that of our people, the very young and very old?
    I find it increasingly worrying that in view of the increasing evidence that AGW wasn’t and isn’t happening the government and their advisers are still cleaving to that hoax.
    Take shale gas, for example. It is known that we have huge reserves, but instead of giving the go-ahead for exploration and hopefully exploitation, government presses ahead with huge windfarms, in the face of known evidence that they do not provide the energy advertised, in the face of local protest (but hey, they’re only dumb peasants, what do they know?)?

    And what about the costs born by the taxpayers? Is it fair that we subsidise these alternative ‘renewables’ through our taxes on the one hand, and then through our energy prices again, on the other hand?

    Cheaper energy is indeed necessary for industries and thus for economic revival.
    But do not overlook that it is people who vote, not industries – and that people need cheap energy at least as much as industries, with the ‘bonus’ that more money in private hands means more money available for consumption.

    Perhaps, in the run-up to the 2015 elections, your efforts for getting cheap energy may bear some fruit …

    • uanime5
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      I find it increasingly worrying that in view of the increasing evidence that AGW wasn’t and isn’t happening the government and their advisers are still cleaving to that hoax.

      Surely if there is increasing evidence that global warming isn’t occurring or isn’t man made you should be able to provide some peer reviewed science to back up your claims. Unless of course you don’t have any evidence to back up your claims because all the evidence shows that global warming is happening.

      And what about the costs born by the taxpayers? Is it fair that we subsidise these alternative ‘renewables’ through our taxes on the one hand, and then through our energy prices again, on the other hand?

      Oil and gas also receive subsidies. The Chancellor even needed to give new tax breaks to the shale gas industry to encourage them to extract shale gas. So it’s not just renewables that receive subsidies.

      • D K McGregor
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        I see your name and don’t even bother to read now.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          Then why are you replying to comments you don’t read?

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            unanime–Like the man said, he sees your name and decides to pass on because you epitomise negativity. Why isb;t that clear? I often do the same myself when I see your name for life is too short. Do not kid yourself that what you say is interesting. As God is my witness that isn’t true. The interest such as it is is solely to see how egregiously warped you can be. I genuinely feel sorry for you. You are a bitter and twisted person no doubt about it, with never ever a good word about anybody or anything.

        • Hope
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          Well said. Socialist drivel without fact.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Petrol is taxed at about 300% of its true cost – in what way is that a subsidy?

        • uanime5
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          Oil extraction is subsidised, selling petrol and diesel is not.

          • Mark
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

            What subsidy is paid for oil extraction? There is none – only taxes.

          • lifelogic
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            There are taxes on extraction in the main, licence fees, permissions and the likes all over the place.

            I tend not to believe in things unless their is evidence for them. I do not go around assuming their are fairies at the bottom of the garden dancing every night until I can prove their are not.

            The evidence for any “catastrophic” man made warming caused by C02 is simply not there and never has been. It is a giant, politically contrived hoax, for the pecuniary (or sometimes religious) interests of a certain sector – at the expense of the rest.

          • lifelogic
            Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

            PS Before I get comments I do know how to spell there/their. It is just such a bore having two spelling when typing fast and anyway serves no real purpose.

            They are never said with different spellings, after all and no confusion ever arises.

      • outsider
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        Dear Uanime5,
        I agree that we should not be side-tracked by arguments over AGW. If we assume that the established view is correct, however, global warming is going to accelerate and there is absolutely nothing the UK individually can do to influence this.
        The rise in China’s CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2011 was about 4 times the UK’s total annual carbon emissions and the rise in India’s CO2 during those same three years was about half the UK’s total annual emissions. Both those great countries, along with other big developing countries, will inevitably raise emissions in future years, albeit perhaps at a slightly lower pace. as more sophisticated added value becomes less carbon intensive.
        That is why efforts to slow the increase in emissions had to be global to work. But they are not. As Mr Redwood pointed out, Germany, Japan, Canada are rowing back. The US was never serious.
        That is not an argument for the UK to ignore the issue or fail to play our part. Equally, there is no rational case for the UK to smash our own industry and cut our own living standards by voluntarily going further or faster than our partners and rivals.
        Meanwhile, we totally neglect planning to adapt to climate change which is certain to happen and likely to have perverse effects on the UK if the established theory and its predictions are correct.

        • lifelogic
          Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          Indeed even if the carbon religion were true (against all the current evidence) the actions we are taking are pointless and damaging anyway.

      • Mark
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        Please give details of subsidies that oil and gas receive. There are none: they are subjected to extra taxes that don’t apply to the production of any other source of energy.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

          Oil and gas received £3.63bn in subsidies in 2010. By contrast renewable energy only got £1.4bn.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/27/wind-power-subsidy-fossil-fuels

          According to the OECD report “Analysis of the scope of energy subsidies and suggestions for the G-2o initiative” in 2007 the amount of subsidies fossil fuels received from G20 countries was $400 billion, by contrast renewable energy only received $27 billion.

          http://www.oecd.org/env/45575666.pdf

          So fossil fuels do receive far more subsidies than renewable energy.

          • Mark
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

            Those reports work by considering the highest rate of tax applied to oil production, and counting any lesser tax rates or normal investment allowances that apply to any business as “subsidy”. In short, they are complete nonsense.

            You might as well say that any of your income that isn’t taxed at 50% is “subsidised”.

          • APL
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

            uanime5: “Oil and gas received £3.63bn in subsidies in 2010.”

            From the Guardian article: “Public subsidies for the development of wind power in the UK are dwarfed by the tax breaks ..

            A subsidy – taking tax paid by one and paying it to another with the intent to incentivise the activity of the second party that would otherwise be uneconomic. In this case the insane windmill construction program.

            A tax break – reducing the tax paid by one – in this case fossil fuel producers, carrying out an activity that is insanely profitable.

            So you base your argument on a dishonest comparison. Way to go Uni.

        • sjb
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          The OECD has info about fossil fuel subsidies. I don’t have the time to check through their country-by-country analysis for any oil and/or gas subsidies but provide the link (see below) in case others wish to do so.
          http://www.oecd.org/site/tadffss/

          • Mark
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

            The word “subsidy” appears to have been completely redefined to meet the green agenda. The report admits as much.

            If we modified UK income tax to grant say a £15,000 personal allowance, but raised rates to say 30% basic to keep revenue the same, the methodology would say that we had provided subsidies of 50% of £15,000 for all taxpayers, and that even the 30% rate payers were getting a 20% subsidy. If instead we had a flat rate of 25% on all income that raised the same revenue, the report would say there was no subsidy. It would add these sums to the welfare payments that are real subsidies.

      • Kim Terry
        Posted May 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Coal and gas do not receive subsidies. This is an attempt by the renewables industry to decieve the public. The ‘subsidies’ that the fossil fuel industry are given are lower taxes on fuel and apply to renewables in the same way. The subsidies given to build and run wind farms are a totally different thing and are only applicable to wind.

    • David Price
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Your first paragraph is the key point and the question has been asked a number of times.

      It appears that “gold plating” was supposed to have been prohibited by the EU at the Lisbon summit in 2000 and in the coalition agreement, yet just last month an edict had to be issued by Mr Fallon that it must stop.

      Energy taxes, levies and precautionary policies must rate as the one of the most extreme examples of this gold plating so why has this zealous over-compliance not stopped?

      Who has been doing this gold plating for the last 13 years and will they be brought to account and punished? After all, Mr Cameron seemed very happy to identify a comedian who used legal means to minimise tax payments, will he also identify those responsible for willful non-compliance, wasteful and negligent expenditure?

  3. Leslie Singleton
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Wonderful comments on shale recently–the drift of which, negative of course, being that we might not experience as big a drop in price as in America. Well, maybe (or maybe not), but obviously even if prices dropped by only a fraction of the drop in America that would still be well worth having. The cannot do attitude in general and the imaginary carbon nonsense is enough to make one cry. As for worrying about earth tremors that barely register on the seismographs, give me a break. Energy costs underpin everything.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      The price drop in the UK would probably be more dramatic, as we start from higher levels thanks to the green religion and have very good fracking resources.

      Just the government(s) religion and regulations standing in the way as usual.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Just a thought.

    Perhaps the focus groups should be made up of ordinary people, who will ask ordinary straight forward questions to more ordinary people, then perhaps we may get some rather more sensible answers.

    Then I suppose we have an arguement about who is ordinary !

    Better still, perhaps the political Parties should dump so called focus groups altogether, and knock on a few doors and meet the public face – face, and instead of doing this for a couple of weeks every five years, they should be doing this on a regular (weekly/monthly) basis..

    In short dump the interest groups (left and right) and go and communicate with the people directly.

  5. Edward.
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Leading manufacturing nations like China and the US have much cheaper energy than the UK and western Europe. Energy costs are crucial in areas like cement, glass, ceramics, aluminium and steel production. Energy costs are also often more important than wage costs in highly automated modern factories, where machines do most of the work.

    Blinding comment John, can you please, please make entreaty, impress upon the boss and get it through his thick head – what the Victorians understood only too well: cheap energy means industry and jobs.

    • Stred
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      It is unlikely that any of the cabinet will take any notice. To do so would be an admission of their folly. The same rule applies throughout politics and the professions. This particular folly is so important that MPs who are of JR’s opinion need to get together and form a pressure group. There may even be a few Labour MPs with some sense. Letters to newspapers etc.

      It would be a mistake to align with arguments about whether Climate Change is happening or not. A neutral stance pointing out suppression of scientists with doubts would be sufficient. The stupidity of the UK position should be understandable by anyone with sense or a basic education in science.

      Relp We do get together!

      • uanime5
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        A neutral stance pointing out suppression of scientists with doubts would be sufficient.

        Surely a neutral stance would be one where you examine all the evidence and reach a conclusion based on what the evidence shows. Rather than side with scientists who have doubts but no evidence to support these doubts.

        The stupidity of the UK position should be understandable by anyone with sense or a basic education in science.

        Since when has adopting a position based on the evidence from scientists been considered stupid by anyone who understands science. You seem to have forgotten that it was scientists who proved that global warming is occurring due to humans producing large amounts of CO2, while those who criticise these findings tend to be the ones without a basic education in science.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          unanime–You are not going to persuade anybody with drivel like that till temperatures start rising again, that is (unlikely) if they do and significantly so. It simply won’t do to ignore the fact that the warmists predicted (Magic word in Science) that temperatures would rise, but they just plain haven’t. Instead, temperatures have not gone up in 16 years (No it’s not just the Daily Mail that thinks so). What you parrot about NASA may have been true once, if you say so, but not any more and in any event why averages by decade should stay precisely the same is hard to fathom. What most (and becoming former all the time as 16 becomes 17) alarmists do these days is reluctantly admit that there has been no rise whilst saying that their (adjusted!) computer models reckon the rise has just been delayed, and if you will believe that you will believe anything. Only something as daft as the EU could, not so much be taken in, but continue to be taken in despite the evidence changing, and at vast expense is the current question. I think that the answer to that may be related to the fact that the EU is just one big committee (a camel is a horse invented by a committee is what I have in mind).

        • stred
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

          5.The latter comment was about the UK generation policy. This just does not work, according to engineers and information in documents published on this site and elsewhere. The key one for me was the figure published by the quango responsible for generation, which showed an eightfold increase in back up in order to support wind. The DECC book Sustainable Energy also shows how little wind can produce and the wild fluctations. The other follies, such as burning American trees and corn for ethanol, are backed by scientists who were advising government previously. Exporting industry to high carbon areas is plain daft.

          As regards GW, I am neutral and read both side’s literature as the information is by no means settled. Have you tried reading the other side of the argument or looking at graphs showing the latest information from ice cores? These show that warming preceded CO2 and methane increases, then declined afterwards.(800 years in CO2 case) The latest temperatures do not match alarmist predictions.

          On the other hand Arctic ice has melted and the North Atlantic oscillation has produced cold winters. The position is not proved either way and certainly does not justify changing generation to a system which destroys industry and delivers power cuts and doubled bills.

        • David Price
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          @uanime: A neutral stance for someone not qualified in a subject would be to ensure that those who are adopt an utterly objective and unbiassed process to evaluate evidence. Where contributions from qualified people have been suppressed or influenced by lobbying or politics the evaluation process clearly cannot be objective and has become flawed and invalid.

          If the evaluation process is flawed you cannot assume the theory is correct.

          You seem to have forgotten that the climate is changing all the time, in cycles between very cold (ice age) and warm independent of any human activity. In predicting catastrophic warming the AGW theory you believe in has been proven to be significantly inaccurate by actual measurements yet you persist in claiming it is still valid.

          For someone who appears to have such unwavering faith in (certain unspecified) scientists you demonstrate a bewildering lack of faith in the scientific method.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        The stupidity of the UK position should be understandable by anyone with sense or a basic education in science.

        Exactly.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed.

  6. lifelogic
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Indeed an EU made self destructive energy policy. Listening to Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party on question time it is clear she lives is some imagined fantasy land. Where cheaper energy comes from renewables, which are about 3 times the price of gas. She is needless to say against fracking, nuclear or anything sensible.

    Cameron’s tories the Libdems and the EU are all hooked on this insanity. I see Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has officially launched Cornwall’s National Solar Centre (NSC) saying its expertise could help the UK lead the world in solar technology. I assume we went on a solar assisted bike fueled by a diet of lentils to be on message!

    So the tiny growth that we had was mainly the government wasting money on things like this. No real growth in exports, manufacturing, construction and most of the private sector. When will we ever get some sensible government?

    Meanwhile on Any Questions it seems everyone thinks Primart and their customers are to blame for the structural integrity of all the building of all their many suppliers. What fools we have in government and especially on the BBC. Before I buy some socks I now have to fly round the world checking hundreds of building it seems.

    At least we have Peter Lilley one of the few voices of reason, perhaps because studied physics at Cambridge rather than PPE of Oxford.

    • John24
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      “At least we have Peter Lilley one of the few voices of reason, perhaps because studied physics at Cambridge rather than PPE of Oxford.”

      That certainly explains rather a lot!
      I had noticed long ago that he is one of very few politicians who is not scientifically illiterate.
      PS: I say “of very few”, but I can’t think of a single other at present. Although there was a Labour MP, who lost his seat in 2010. He was a member of the committee in parliament which “investigated” the ClimateGate revelations and found them basically false.
      He was horrified at this, stating that he could hardly believe his ears with the nonsense that was talked.

      PPS: A new tranche of leaks has been made available and is being processed by sceptics – the general media seem not to have mentioned this.
      (I only know this from reading the “Whats up with that website” website)

    • Bazman
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      What makes fracking and nuclear ‘sensible’? Just saying something is sensible does not make it so. Nuclear is going to cost the taxpayer who is also the bill payer a fortune in guaranteed electricity prices in the future as well as decommissioning and possible failure costs and fracking is not the answer you wish it was not just because of environmental concerns many technical problems are foreseen making it economically dubious in this country.
      Primark is not directly responsible, but like the horse meat scandal if you drive prices to below the bottom then there will be indirect consequences. The customer is not responsible morally for this, we are talking t shirts not rhino horn which I’m sure you will agree the customer also has no input to the death of rhinos. Maybe there was to many building regulations and it was the workers ‘choice’ to work there when they could have chosen a better paying job in a safer building? Simple enough for for you?

      • outsider
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Dear Bazman, you ask what makes nuclear sensible.

        According to Eurostat, electricity prices for consumers were 11 per cent higher in the UK than France in late 2011, even though the UK has the lowest electricity tax. Electricity prices for industry were 28 per cent higher in the UK than in France.
        As you know, three quarters of French electricity is “nuclear”. As a result, total French carbon emissions as of 2010 were 27 per cent lower in France than the UK.
        Admittedly, the French state-controlled EDF now has the UK over a barrel on prices from new nuclear stations but guaranteed prices do not necessarily mean higher prices.

      • lifelogic
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        What makes fracking and nuclear ‘sensible’?

        Simple they work, they are safe and they are cost effective. Unlike wind, carbon capture and PV house bling.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          Nuclear cost effective and fracking working? Says who?

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

            Says whom? The basic numbers & economics say so.

        • Mark W
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          I think what happened in Japan about settled the safety of nuclear power.

          Think about it. Old plant, 4 major fault lines, earthquake and tidal wave and it still wasn’t particularly devastating in relation to what the anti nuclear lobby would scaremonger with.

          Possibly major faults and known earthquake zones are not a brilliant location tho.

          • Bazman
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            An all round success then? Badly designed equipment put on suspect ground with a corrupt nuclear regulator overseeing it all. It’s like your favourite team losing 10 nil and you saying that at least we got a touch of the ball! Beer mat flicked off the back of your head…
            The most expensive and dangerous method of boiling water invented by man.

  7. Steve Cox
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Given what a large part declining North Sea oil and gas production has played in the UK’s dismal economic performance in recent times, perhaps you could also suggest an independent review to look at what fiscal measures the government could take to encourage more exploration and appraisal? They could also ask the oil companies to give them examples of what could be done to make currently marginal or uneconomic fields attractive to develop, and consider making the necessary changes to the tax regime. Oil and gas is a major contributor to the exchequer’s coffers, and as production continues to decline so will the revenues from it. Some reduction in current tax take from hydrocarbon production would easily be justified if it led to higher total revenues that lasted for a longer period.

    • A different Simon
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      It’s got to be a race against time to get out what can be got out of the North Sea before the pipeline infrastructure becomes sub economic .

      “Some reduction in current tax take from hydrocarbon production would easily be justified if it led to higher total revenues that lasted for a longer period.”

      This is the thing I just can’t understand .

      If the Government reduced prices of fuel by reducing the states take at the front-end wouldn’t it translate into more competitive manufacturing and other industry and consequently a bigger overall pie which they could afford to take a smaller share of ?

      • Bazman
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Maybe we could sack the oil companies who will not work for our remuneration and employ some who will. If they want a strike we will give them one like the miners got. Why should we be held to ransom by corporations?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          You say held to rasnsom Baz, but would you invest all your money in drilling for oil, if you were unable to make any profit from it?

          • Bazman
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Depends on how much profit. Remind me who the oil belongs too?

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            The person who owns the land Baz, or if you are a commie the glorious leader and his family and friends

      • Steve Cox
        Posted April 28, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

        In a closed economy you’re right, but the UK is not closed. Many oil producing countries subsidise energy for internal use, but much of it ends up being exported illegally on the black market. Do Venezuela and Nigeria look like their industry is being helped by access to oil, gas and electricity at sub-market prices?

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I despair!

    We have got to stop discussing all this and GET ON WITH IT!

    • outsider
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mike,
      We have just had an example of how they are getting on with it. Whitehall has proudly announced the first loan guaranteed under its new infrastructure guarantee scheme. The £75 million is to help Drax, the UK’s biggest and most efficient coal-fired generating station, to switch more of its plant from coal to more expensive biomass feedstock, much of which will have to be imported from the US.
      What Whitehall did not announce was that this “new” infrastructure loan is being raised primarily to pay back £50 million of a loan from the Green Investment Bank, the Government’s previous big idea.
      In other words, in your terms, the Government is slowly moving in circles in the wrong direction.
      Cannot blame Drax, which is playing by the new rules to survive. This investment is, however, predicated on the stability and continuity of DECC rules designed (inter alia) to raise electricity prices, thus making it even harder to change those rules in the way Mr Redwood wants.

  9. M Davis
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    JR – … Germany, the most sucessful manufacturer within the area, is increasingly cutting loose from EU policy …

    Simple message to David Cameron:
    “Why are you ruining our Country with your idiotic Energy Policies? Stop listening to the wrong people, who have only their own interests at heart and try some common sense for once, for all our sakes”.

  10. APL
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    JR: “The UK needs cheaper energy for an industrial revival ”

    Huh! Energy is already relatively cheap to produce. It can be extracted refined and delivered to the garage forecourt for about 40p per litre, the remaining 98 pence disappears into the maw of the government.

    Amazing to find the BBC producing something like this!

    • uanime5
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      According to the website you posted in 2011 for every litre of petrol costing 134.1p 45.2p was the cost of oil and 1.5p was the cost of refining. So the minimum price would be 46.7p, not 40p. Of the remaining 87.4p 7.1p goes to the garage (which includes delivery costs) and 80.3p goes to the Government. So the Government doesn’t get 98p for every litre of petrol.

      The cost of oil per litre of petrol would have to fall by at least 6.7p for petrol to be refined for 40p and would have to fall by 13.8p for petrol to be refined and delivered for 40p.

      APL you need a few more maths lessons.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        unanime–Of course you are right and petrol is scarcely taxed at all. Instead of insulting others’ Maths, how quickly can you prove (assuming you cannot dredge up a link to the contrary) that if a number is divisible by both 2 and 3 it is divisible by 6? I seek to keep you quiet for 5 minutes. The owl and the pussy cat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat.

      • APL
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        uanime5: “you need a few more maths lessons.”

        Perhaps young fellow.

        Like all lefties, you strain at the gnat but are prepared to swallow the camel whole.

        I noticed the same thing with the BBC article. Wittering on about how evil oil makes an honest penny doing something that benefits everyone in society*, but only briefly touching on the extortion the government exercises with its thievery.

        * Trivial stuff like, actually making modern technological society possible.

      • Mark
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        You are forgetting the taxes on the production of the oil. Back to your calculator.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          You are forgetting the taxes on the production of the oil.

          Technically you extract oil, not produce it. If someone ever invented a machine that produced oil then the world would lose interest in Middle Eastern oil.

          I noticed that you were unable to name any of the taxes on the extraction of oil or how much they contribute to the price of oil. So either name these taxes and provide evidence regarding how much they increase the price of by oil or admit that you just made up your claim.

          • Mark
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

            You didn’t ask for the names of the taxes, but they include PRT, ring fenced corporation tax, supplementary petroleum duty, and used to include royalty, in addition to the licence fees charged for operations. No other industry is subjected to such an array of taxation that at times has produced a total tax rate of over 90% , and even today taxes profits far more than any other industry.

            Oil is produced by several different processes from gas or from coal. But everyone talks of oil production whether it is done chemically, or by other means. Well fluids are usually treated chemically as well as by processes that rely on pressure changes and heat and cooling as part of the process of separation before marketable crude oil is produced, and in order to reduce corrosion risks from salt and H2S and SRBs on transmission by pipeline among other reasons. Extraction merely refers to getting fluids to the wellhead – not oilfield processing.

            You really should stop pretending to be an expert where you have no knowledge or experience.

          • Mark
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

            The more detailed history of tax rates is available from the HMRC website. Here is an introduction:

            http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/prt/og-stats.pdf

          • lifelogic
            Posted April 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            Indeed do some research first.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 28, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

        One day Uni, when you are a bit more grown up you will read posts like this one of yours and see how pedantic and pathetic they seem.
        Despite all your facts and figures you have still failed to even dent the original argument made by APL.

        • APL
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Edward2: ” failed to even dent the original argument made by APL.”

          In a reply to uanime5, which seems to have gone astray, I accept his criticism of my arithmetical abilities then point out that he has employed an identical tactic that the BBC did in its article. I imagine the ploy was triggered in uanime5s mind by the BBC article.

          Straining at the gnat of my careless arithmetic but swallowing the camel of how much production costs to prospect a geographical area ( a cost ) exploit the 10% of prospects that offer a return (90% mostly don’t), refine the product, set up a delivery chain, deliver the product to consumers, all at a cost they can afford.

          So the oil company does something, in the process actually making our civilization possible. Yet uanime5 whinges about my arithmetic!

          And using the irrelevant issue as a camouflage he/she goes on to completely ignore government puts a massive markup on that production cost and uses the money extorted , gives us hospitals where patients die from lack of care, social services that allow children to be beaten to death through lack of supervision (no social workers were harmed in the writing of this reply), and a police service that does not police our streets (as much as the contributor would like -ed) and fosters a class of welfare claimants that make their living from the state.

          Uanime5 thinks this is a reasonable state of affairs, naturally I am happy to disagree.

        • uanime5
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          APL claimed that without taxes petrol could be extracted, refined, and delivered for 40p per litre. I proved, using the article he posted and basic arithmetic, that the lowest price for this would be 53.8p. So I completely destroyed this part of APL’s argument.

          The fact that you were unable to rebut my claim but nevertheless felt the need to complain shows that you are the pedantic and pathetic one Edward2.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            Keep calm now young Uni.
            It still remains that APL showed that vehicle fuels are very heavily taxed and your response is completely pedantic in that all you showed was a marginal mathematical difference
            The basic original point that APL is still correct.

          • APL
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

            uanime5: “So I completely destroyed this part of APL’s argument.”

            Well, no you didn’t. You created a straw man and knocked it down, well done.

          • Mark
            Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

            You proved nothing of the sort.

        • Mark W
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Don’t be too harsh on uni his tag partner. They provide me with hours of humour.

  11. Richard1
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    As Peter Lilley has pointed out, the delay and official obfuscation in getting shale gas going is a scandal. All that’s needed is a 2 week trip to the US to check out the effects. Its clear the green movement has been scaremongering, so let’s get on with it.

    • Bazman
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Lets find out the real reasons why shale gas is not being exploited. The US has different geological structures and is less urban and much larger than Britain for a start. Wind turbines could be small in comparison the the rigs and the construction work required. Dirty process too for a small land mass. There is no denying this. Might not be economically viable either here for the above reasons. On the cheap you want, might not be, then what? Might have a part to play but not your fantasy.

      • Mark
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:24 am | Permalink

        You’re completely wrong. It takes about 250 wind turbines, each with foundations the size of a tennis court (1/6th acre) to produce as much energy as a 2 acre wellsite. The windfarm would be visible for miles around, and has to be located prominently, rather than tucked away out of site. It needs an army of marching pylons to deliver its power, again blighting the environment, rather than a buried pipeline. Directional and horizontal drilling allows wellsites to selected that are far less intrusive.

        At the weekend, I took a walk in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The view covered a wellsite for a producing gas field, and although I knew exactly where it was, I could see no evidence of its existence – not even the top of a derrick poking above the trees. I also have been close to the Preese Hall site outside Blackpool. You can see Blackpool Tower from there, and I suspect with powerful binoculars you might have been able to see the rig from the Tower, but it is not visible from any road or house as far as I know.

  12. lifelogic
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I see The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby is talking his usual nonsense again on banking. After studying History and Law at Trinity Cambridge one might have expected a little better.

    Still it is always amusing listening to his absurd arguments, with or without his splendid gold robes and mitres. I suppose in the CoE one becomes quite used to circular and irrational arguments that appeal to irrational emotions, fears, envy or divine higher authority – rather than logic, reason, science and what will actually work in the real world.

    What on earth is he doing on the banking standards committee? Was it Cameron’s doing?

    • Richard1
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      I think the Archbishop is picking up a thing or two. He may even be reading this site. Eg today in an interview today he pointed out the dangers of a japanese-style cover up of losses in banks, noting that a failure to restructure zombie banks prolongs stagnation, a point made consistently here. But he has picked up a rather silly idea that we should have ‘regional’ banks. He should look at the history of regionally concentrated banks. He should ask himself what RBS, Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and HBOS have in common.

      Let’s hope as he develops his thinking that he comes to realize how profoundly contrary it is to the Christian message for the state to seek to supplant individuals and families as they seek to do the best for themselves and so advance the prosperity and civilization of society. This was Margaret Thatcher’s famous message, so distorted by the left, but happily clarified and endorsed by the Bishop of London.

  13. Dan
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    But still, despite the damage to our nation that this madness delivers, you’ll remain a loyal Conservative.

  14. alan jutson
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Yes the governments (of all colours) are slowly committing suicide for themselves, and at the same time delivering the death sentence on any business which needs a substantial amount of power.

    This self imposed price increase policy, introduced by the government in the name of so called (expensive) green energy, is a financial nightmare for everyone in the UK.

    No matter how much insulation you install, it will soon be too expensive to use. !

    Many of the so called alternative energy saving measures and equipment simply do not perform as promised, or have a short term lifespan which makes a nonesense of them being cost effective.

  15. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Keep on banging on about it , they may listen.

  16. Roger Farmer
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The only problem with coal fired power stations is emissions. Where there has been a demand we have evolved systems to deal with particle and gas emissions from most industrial processes. Possibly because coal was seen as a declining source of electrical power, less imperative existed to deal with it’s downside and it remained the black sheep of the electricity producing fuels. So I suggest we put some effort into dealing with the downside of coal and then perhaps it can become an acceptable fuel source once more. If this problem can be solved then we have a bonus export industry that could sell in Europe and Asia to the benefit of our industrial economy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      What “emissions” do you mean?

      If they include carbon dioxide, it would be better if we all stopped breathing.

      • Roger Farmer
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        When you burn coal I seem to remember you get soot, hence chimney sweeps. Exactly what it consists of I am not qualified to comment, though depending on the quality of the coal I would imagine there is sulphur and the soot is particulate. Before domestic coal burning was discouraged in the sixties we suffered almost impenetrable fog. If we could remove all this unpleasant aspect of coal burning before it is vented to atmosphere we would have cheap fuel to turn into electricity, the return of an industry for extracting coal, and an export industry in manufacturing and selling the filtering equipment.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 27, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          Removing those emissions is relatively simple and cheap.

          Removing the carbon dioxide is not.

      • uanime5
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        The amount of CO2 produced by breathing is minute compared to the amount produced generating power.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          unanime–Ah but I seem to remember that when it suited you a while back you were trying to maintain that because monoxide is poisonous at low doses (as it indeed is) carbon dioxide had to be too.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 27, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Really?

          Gosh!

          Still, every little helps.

    • Mark
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      The reason we have not invested more in emissions control for UK coal generation is that legislation that platinum plates the EU’s own efforts effectively bans new coal capacity and forces it to close sooner rather than later. Then we have the absurdity of the CCS regulations that only work with the heaviest of subsidies: the report published yesterday by the ECC Select Committee contains a prolonged bleat from SSE (the same company recently castigated for its treatment of customers) that they were yet to get their £1bn taxpayer subsidy.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Mark–My question on that is is Germany obeying what you call the platinum plating or not in its new coal powered power stations? And assuming Germany is obeying the rules, can it really be the case that we cannot modify ours to keep ours going? In other words surely mere modification would be cheaper – far cheaper you might think – than de novo. For a start, all that infrastructure to get the coal to the stations presumably would not need changing.

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      The technology for clean coal burning is available and a new generation of stations would be about 50% cleaner than existing ones. Existing ones could be modified but who is going to pay for that when Gideon has his carbon floor price set to bankrupt the country and freeze everyone to death.

    • Bazman
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      Still would be reliant on imported coal which might suddenly not be so cheap now we need it and why is foreign coal cheap. No answers? I wonder why? You all know why it is cheap don’t you?

  17. oldtimer
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    You are right about the significance of energy costs. Your call should be buttressed by the suspension or, even better, the repeal of the Climate Change Act and the dismantling of the institutions and regulations which exist, and were set up, to reinforce its provisions.

    As things stand current UK renewable energy policies require an estimated £26 billion extra investment just to provide some 26 GW of intermittent gas-fired power stations to back up the intermittent wind powered generating capacity that is planned. This back-up is variously known as the “Capacity mechanism” or “spinning reserve”. In effect it requires a duplication of both capital costs and operating costs. As yet it does not exist. A more useless energy policy is difficult to imagine. And we all pay through the nose for the extra cost of this useless policy through our energy bills.

    The solution is to scrap the ineffective wind power schemes and with them the need for the “spinning reserve” and invest in gas fired stations to provide the basic generating capacity the country needs. At present, as I understand the situation, this solution is not available because of the regulatory arrangements in place. As the Prime Minister, reportedly, was still (earlier this year) urging investors to put their money into renewable energy schemes it does not look as if there is likely to be any change any time soon from that quarter. I think that the way the energy security of this country has been put in jeopardy by him and his predecessors in No 10 renders him and them unfit for office. The same applies to their acolytes who created, nurtured and sustained what passes for UK energy policy.

    • Edward.
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      What’s wrong with coal?

      Burning gas, to turn generators to produce electricity is another shameful waste – along with transmission, efficiency loses can be as high as 40%.

      Coal is better and far more efficient for base load – gas should be used for domestic purposes – ie in the kitchen for cooking and for CH.

      Germany, Japan are racing to coal.

      • ian wragg
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        As someone from the power industry I can’t understand your point about transmission losses being 40%. They are only a fraction of that. Gas fired CCGT plants have a thermal efficiency in excess of 70%.
        Coal fired plants with supercritical boilers can be as high as 50% but there is no secondary use after the low pressure turbine.

      • Bazman
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Japanese coal mining, what there is of it, is enjoying a renaissance due to the nuclear fiasco which could never happen as it would just be scaremongering due to the safety measures taken and even now is safe and is just scaremongering.

      • uanime5
        Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        You burn gas or coal to heat water, which turns to steam, which moves turbines, which generate electricity. As this process results in a high amount of energy being lost (Carnot’s theorem) coal has a 56% energy loss, while gas has a 62% energy loss.

        A more efficient way is using tidal power to move turbines and generate electricity as this has an energy loss of 2-10%.

        http://www.mpoweruk.com/energy_efficiency.htm

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          Just a shame about the enormous investment needed to produce tidal power which makes it less profitable Uni
          Come on do some research.

        • stred
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          Transmission costs? Development costs? Servicing? Also refer to DECC Sustainable Energy. Total available in Uk (best in europe) less than 5% total approx.

        • APL
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          Edward2: “to produce tidal power which makes it less profitable Uni”

          Not to mention the eco-fascists, Oh, that’d included our global warming warrior too.

        • ian wragg
          Posted April 30, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          You should do some more research. The exhaust from a gas turbine generator is typically 500 deg C and will then be used to raise steam for a boiler which will increase power output and efficiency by another 50%.
          If you use a back pressure steam turbine then the exhaust low quality steam can be used for district heating, desalination or a variety of jobs and efficiency increases to over 75%.
          I’ve spent a life time installing and maintaining them not just spouting drivel.

  18. Martyn G
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    “The UK has imposed a carbon tax above the carbon price, and is still engaged in developing more high cost energy”.
    Indeed, an insane measure pretty much guaranteed to deter UK business development of any type dependant on cheap energy. I cannot understand how allegedly intelligent politicians cannot see the folly of going down this road, or keep going without, so far as I can see, any signs of cohesive, joined-up thinking about resolving the fairly obvious likelihood of energy demand in parts of the UK outstripping supplies, with all that that implies for homes and industry.

  19. Sean O'Hare
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    “They would not listen, they’re not listening still
    Perhaps they never will

    Don Maclean

  20. Martin
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Groan – “The UK has imposed a carbon tax above the carbon price”.
    Another own goal to distort the single market.

    You also need to point out that locally produced gas is cheaper/greener than hauling it in tankers from wherever.

  21. E Forster
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Perhaps, if you and the other principled conservatives in the party ousted Mr.Cameron there might be hope for this country.

    • sjb
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      But who should replace David Cameron?

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    This is what happens when a national government allows conclusions drawn from a theory to be embedded in international treaties to which it becomes a party, treaties which cannot easily be changed even if the theory is later shot to pieces and which cannot legally be ignored by the national government because they have been incorporated into national law by the national legislature.

    This is great from the point of view of those who regard the theory and its conclusions as articles of faith which they personally will accept forever whatever contrary evidence may emerge, because it is only necessary to get acceptance from governments and legislatures for the time required to get it permanently locked into the treaty.

    But it is potentially catastrophic from the point of view of a nation trying to run a national democratic system of government which can respond with sufficient flexibility to change, whether that is a change of circumstances or a change of theoretical interpretation or just a change of the electorate’s view for whatever reasons.

    In this case, it was the Treaty of Lisbon, accepted in its entirety by David Cameron on November 4th 2009, which committed all EU member states to “combating climate change”, a point which was actually advanced in favour of the treaty during the Irish referendums.

    But the same applies to allowing any other theories, such as social and economic theories, to become embedded in international treaties so that their assumed validity becomes a matter of international and national law irrespective of any subsequent refutation.

    Reply Mr Cameron and the Conservatives opposed Lisbon all the way, but lost every time in a federally inclined Lib/Lab dominated Parliament.

    • uanime5
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      This is what happens when a national government allows conclusions drawn from a theory to be embedded in international treaties to which it becomes a party, treaties which cannot easily be changed even if the theory is later shot to pieces and which cannot legally be ignored by the national government because they have been incorporated into national law by the national legislature.

      You’d be surprised how easy it is to get nations to agree treaties which means they don’t have to do anything. I suspect this hasn’t happened regarding global warming because despite the deniers’ best efforts they haven’t be able to prove any of their claims.

      This is great from the point of view of those who regard the theory and its conclusions as articles of faith which they personally will accept forever whatever contrary evidence may emerge, because it is only necessary to get acceptance from governments and legislatures for the time required to get it permanently locked into the treaty.

      Firstly the Government isn’t locked into this forever. Secondly no contrary evidence has emerged regarding global warming or the Ozone layer. Thirdly as there isn’t an international court to enforce these international treaties there’s no penalty for breaking them. Your whole argument is deeply flawed.

      But it is potentially catastrophic from the point of view of a nation trying to run a national democratic system of government which can respond with sufficient flexibility to change, whether that is a change of circumstances or a change of theoretical interpretation or just a change of the electorate’s view for whatever reasons.

      As long as the people can elect a Government willing to leave this treaty your complaints about them not being democratic are invalid.

      In this case, it was the Treaty of Lisbon, accepted in its entirety by David Cameron on November 4th 2009, which committed all EU member states to “combating climate change”, a point which was actually advanced in favour of the treaty during the Irish referendums.

      Wait are you complaining about EU treaties or international treaties? They’re not the same thing.

      But the same applies to allowing any other theories, such as social and economic theories, to become embedded in international treaties so that their assumed validity becomes a matter of international and national law irrespective of any subsequent refutation.

      Good thing that scientific theories, which are supported by large amounts of scientific evidence, aren’t social or economic theories. Also subsequent treaties can be made to change previous treaties.

      Judging by your post you’d think you’d think that such treaties only occurred once a lifetime, even though all the world leaders involved with these treaties meet at G8, G20, OECD, and other summits every few years. So there’s plenty of scope for new treaties to be drafted.

      • ian wragg
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        What are you taking??

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        “Thirdly as there isn’t an international court to enforce these international treaties there’s no penalty for breaking them.”

        Never heard of the ECJ? Yes, I’m sure you’ve mentioned it before.

        “As long as the people can elect a Government willing to leave this treaty your complaints about them not being democratic are invalid.”

        So you agree that we could restore a functioning democracy by leaving the EU treaty, but only by leaving the treaty.

        “Wait are you complaining about EU treaties or international treaties? They’re not the same thing.”

        The EU treaties are international treaties.

        “Good thing that scientific theories, which are supported by large amounts of scientific evidence, aren’t social or economic theories.”

        Do you, personally, have any scientific training at all?

        You go on and on about science and scientists, but what is the level of your own experience?

      • Man of Kent
        Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Unanime,

        It is up to the warmists to make the case that there is anything out of the ordinary with our climate.

        This they ,and I presume you, have failed to do .

        We common sense observers merely note that
        there has been no warming for the past 14 or so years.

        This in spite of the fact that CO2 emissions have risen unremittingly during this time.

        We also see the extraordinary lengths that so called scientists take to avoid the facts-
        Climategate ,
        post normal science ,
        refusal to debate the subject -see BBC
        ad hominem attacks ,
        adding in crafty retrospective ‘statistical adjustments’ to temperature records,
        making claims that do not stand up to examination eg polar bears are fast dying out; the Pacific atolls are drowning -neither is true.

        making retrospective claims that weather events are evidence of something abnormal and to be blamed on CO2

        ……….. that’s enough for now, but there could be more!

        It is not up to common sense observers to prove the negative ,it is up to you to prove that Climate Change [or is it now AGW, or ‘extreme weather ?]is taking place and that it is a bad thing.

        I have just got back from the US mid-west [sorry about the lateness of this reply] ,
        where it has been unseasonally cold ,the coldest April for 20 years .
        What does that prove on Climate Change ?

        I suggest absolutely nothing -it is weather and normal fluctuations- but had it been the warmest for 20 years I am sure there would have been crisis calls galore from the BBC et al.

        Please let us see the evidence for the warming theory -I have looked in vain for the factual case .

        • sjb
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          The warmists – as you style them – appear to have persuaded decision-makers such as HMG. Perhaps a FoI request will elicit the relevant submissions.

  23. behindthefrogs
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    While there is no argument that the UK needs cheaper energy this desire should not distract us from the requirement to use home produced energy. Too often schemes are abandoned because they only give marginal cost benefits.

    For example it has been suggested that shale gas should not be produced because it will only be marginally cheaper than current gas sources. These marginal cost advantages improve considerably once the reduction in unemployment and the resulting taxes raised are also included. For this reason home produced energy should be pursued even if it appears to be marginally more expensive.

    The government needs to realize that import replacement makes a major contribution to reducing the deficit. We need to see many more actions aimed at import reduction and “on-shoring”

  24. nTropywins
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    John

    I have no doubt that you are a good man and your heart is in the right place but sometimes I don’t think even you realise just how absurdly breathtakingly mind-numbingly stupid current energy policy is. For Cameron to give DECC to the LibDems is beyond stupid. You might as well put an actual 3 year old in charge.

    So your words are all well and good but what the country needs are men of action. Lets have some open defiance. FFS this is lunacy that we are fighting not some obscure issue like whether people of the same sex should be able to marry!

    Reply I am taking action, with proposals to Ministers on how they can change and improve this position.

    • Dan
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Aye, that’ll work.

  25. Elliot Kane
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I think one of the most vital things the UK needs right now to get us off our knees is cheaper energy.

    An end to the bird- and bat-destroying wind farms and a proper program of nuclear power and shale gas (Which Britain has enormous quantities of, apparently) should see us heading in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, given the choice between ‘trendy’ and ‘practical’, David Cameron seems to opt for ‘trendy’ every time.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      If the costs of windfarms are examined in detail and in particular the proportion of the costs of the energy produced that finish up abroad are identified a different picture emerges.

      It must be remembered that most of UK costs eventually finish up as wages either directly or indirectly. Most of those wages costs again eventually finish up as taxes if they do not go abroad. Add to that the costs saved by not paying benefits to the under or unemployed and wind farms become cost effective as far as the deficit is concerned.

      The priority must be towards energy generated at home in preference to any form of imported fuel. All of the methods of producing this should be encouraged. Often this must be biased towards those methods where private capital can be most easily raised. This means that nuclear and other methods that need a very high initial capital investment inevitably move way down the pecking order.

      Local initiatives to generate electricity from water or wind are much easier to finance. For example the Osney Lock Hydro scheme has been grossly over subscribed and there are 26 other opportunities for similar schemes on the River Thames alone that would provide a continuous supply of electricity for an average of 600 houses each.

      The main point that I am making is that it is not just an issue providing cheap power but of providing power that can be produced in a manner that also improves the national deficit. Hopefully these sometimes mean the same thing but either one should not rule out the other until we have elliminated fuel and energy imports.

      • Mark
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        The total potential hydro power from the Thames is of the same order as one Rolls Royce Trent engine output.

        The picture that emerges of foreign owned wind farms equipped with foreign produced windmills (and even soon foreign produced cement for their foundations) is of lots of money going abroad to pay for it all, and in interest and dividends paid to the foreign holding companies that finance the local subsidiaries.

  26. Graham C
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Led by donkeys implementing the policies of the previous bunch of donkeys.

  27. John24
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    And did you read about the new coal-fired power stations that Germany is putting on stream this year alone.
    Also those which started operating last year and the plans for the coming few years or more.
    None of these stations use the still-distant (and quite possibly never-to-be-achieved) technology of “carbon capture” – they are ALL conventional coal (and lignite) burners with good quality conventional filters on their flues.

  28. John24
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry John Redwood (Re my earlier posting), you mention Germany’s rush for coal in your article.

    But in the USA the use of cheap shale gas has enabled that country to reach what would have been its Kyoto CO2 target (if it had signed up) – gas burning being a much lower CO2 production process than coal burning.
    If the UK went for shale gas use on a large scale it would be a much more effective way of achieving our silly CO2 targets (AND providing our own indigenously sourced reliable cheap electricity) than the building of wind farms.

    • sm
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      The UK has pipelines which can export/import gas, so the price falls will be less. The US is building export LNG plant.

  29. muddyman
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Glad you noticed Japan’s revised attitude to ‘green’ policies and their reversion to coal power stations. As you will know Germany has taken the same stance with 2 recent stations and a further 6 in progress, So when will Cameron get it?.

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      When Siemens, Lurgi etc start to run out oif orders and start lovvying the EU for other countries to buy their equipment.
      You forget the EU is a French and German scam.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps just after May 2015 when he is evicted. The electorate want substance and what works, not toy wind turbines in non windy Notting Hill and other PR gimmicks.

  30. forthurst
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    “Energy costs are crucial in areas like cement, glass, ceramics, aluminium and steel production.”

    …as is cheap and plentiful water. Unfortunately, our water, in the main, is not, as originally envisaged, owned by an army of private capitalists, but by obscure investment vehicles etc whose interests in this country and its infrastructure is purely financial. We are steadily moving to third world status as our infrastructure falls into foreign hands, and most of what we can do or not is dictated from outside our country, possibly including neocon Dave’s transparent attempts to get us embroiled in Syria (etc etc)

    • forthurst
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      What are the opinions of government ministers on “Criegee intermediates”?
      According to the Register these could have a, “Climate-cooling effect ‘stronger than volcanoes'”.

      “What this study suggests is that the biosphere could have a significant impact on aerosol production and thus potentially climate cooling via the formation of Criegee intermediates,” [Professor Percival of Manchester U] adds. “The next steps will be to carry out modelling studies to quantify the impact of Criegee intermediates on climate and to quantify the level of alkene present in various environments.” ie Criegee intermediates modulate the climate through cloud formation.

      The fact that so many of diminished sensibility including elected representatives of the people believe in AGW, does not alter the fact that the motor for this quasi-religion are international criminals posing as benefactors using great wealth acting through NGOs to drive fake reasearch and disinformation in order to destroy European economies whilst engaging in financial exploitation.

      A commenter added:

      “Speaking as somebody who has studied climate science at degree level, I’d equate it to economics rather than physics. Climate modelling done with any attempt at rigour is vastly complex. And the complex models are all still based on guesses and assumptions, and partial inputs, no matter how big or complex. So what we have are similar to the huge value at risk models built by all the big banks in the early noughties. And just as they were comprehensively wrong, so too are the climate models.

      Strip away the faux complexity of the models, and for climate science, correlation is causation. I can think of no other area of science where such weak methods are permitted and encouraged, nor any which are as actively harmful to the world economy (or rather, European economies).”

      • uanime5
        Posted April 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        The fact that so many of diminished sensibility including elected representatives of the people believe in AGW, does not alter the fact that the motor for this quasi-religion are international criminals posing as benefactors using great wealth acting through NGOs to drive fake reasearch and disinformation in order to destroy European economies whilst engaging in financial exploitation.

        Which international criminals are you referring to and what were their crimes? How are these international criminals going to benefit from the destruction of European economies? If the research is fake then why has all scientific testing showing it to be real?

        It seems that the deniers are the ones making up claims without any evidence for ideological reasons.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          Uni
          You need to keep calm and I would suggest perhaps taking a holiday on one of those island Al Gore said would be under water by now (due to ACGW) but are strangely still available for a long dry relaxing break.

    • behindthefrogs
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      This is not in fact true. The abstraction of almost all water is controlled by the environment agency which is a government quango. The water companies pay for an abstraction licence and then charge huge amounts for processing and transporting it. When the process is complete they eventually pay the environment agency for another licence to discharge it back into the river or sea.

      In theory who uses which water is completely under government control and they could make it available to someone who offers a better option.

    • APL
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      forthurst: “We are steadily moving to third world status as our infrastructure … ”

      The state of our infrastructure is not unconnected with the untrammeled growth of the population of the country. Another policy decision driven by the EU.

      It has been put forward on this blog, that the EU doesn’t play on the doorstep – perhaps the politicians like to keep every issue in it’s little box, denying the impact of one policy on another policy area.

      Just sayin’.

  31. boffin
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, you are so right, but trying to make the present bunch of clowns in Cabinet see sense must at times seem like urinating against a Force 8. One suspects that the level of competence there is such that, confronted by terms such as ‘Entropy’ or even ‘Thermodynamics’, Cabinet might have the collective view that these related to a cohesive outcome of social media use and a trendy form of exercise for teens.

    The huge, hairy mammoth in the room – to which they, and regrettably the pitiful remains of a Fourth Estate which might once have admonished them, remain blind – is that nearly half of our power stations’ energy is simply dumped to the environment as low-grade heat (the warm water necessarily produced by the steam condensers). Much of this could be recovered for district heating (“CHP”), but the Whitehall mindset seems to be stuck in the byegone era when cheap fuel supplies made that effort less worthwhile.

    The Hague was investing in district heating infrastucture to avoid this waste – at a time when the majority of a misguided populace thought that wind energy would be their salvation – some forty years ago! Yet, even now, Cabinet doesn’t get it, and seeks to waste our money on harebrained windfarm and HS2 follies.

    Conclusion: Eton College has a track record of turning out some spectacularly ignorant duffers.

    • lifelogic
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      “Conclusion: Eton College has a track record of turning out some spectacularly ignorant duffers.”

      Indeed and with the misplaces confidence and contacts that enables them to do some real damage.

    • APL
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      boffin: “buch of this could be recovered for district heating (“CHP”)”

      Pretty much what the old Battersea Powerstation used to do.

  32. Alan Wheatley
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    It was always blindingly obvious to anyone who gave it a bit of thought that if policy puts up costs competitiveness would be harmed.

    It is very disappointing that this was not being said loud and clear by many people ever since the policy was introduced.

  33. uanime5
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Now they need to agree on a radical change of energy policy, as you need cheaper energy to get the industrial revival.

    That really depends on the industry you’re trying to revive, as a low energy industry will receive few benefits from lower energy prices.

    It also ignores other factors that influence industrial revivals; such as availability of raw materials, availability of staff with the required level of training, the cost of these staff, the cost of transporting the finished product, and the whether there’s a market for this product in the UK.

    Energy costs are crucial in areas like cement, glass, ceramics, aluminium and steel production.

    Given how heavy these items are it’s likely that their transportation costs will be high. But as most of these products have a low value per kilogram this means that companies won’t want to transport them over long distances. Thus if these companies want to supply the UK with these products they’ll have to be located in the UK or near it. So as long as the UK’s energy prices are comparable to its neighbours these companies will remain the UK as it will be more economical to produce these products in the UK than ship them to the UK.

    Energy costs are also often more important than wage costs in highly automated modern factories, where machines do most of the work.

    Since automated factories will provide few jobs why should the UK encourage them to come here? Surely it would be better to encourage more high tech industries that require high levels of research, programming skills, or technical knowledge.

    Germany, the most sucessful manufacturer within the area, is increasingly cutting loose from EU policy, in a dash for coal based electricity production.

    Germany has already exceeded its EU quota for reduction of CO2 and even with these new coal power plants it will still be within this quota. So Germany hasn’t yet breached an EU policy.

    I have renewed my calls this week for a short term policy to save our old power stations and keep them running for longer, and a medium term policy of going for shale gas and more gas based power production from new stations.

    Unless the Government is willing to pay for these power plants to replace all the parts that won’t last beyond 2015 and to upgrade them so they comply with EU laws the old power stations won’t be kept running longer.

    All current evidence shows that shale gas won’t reduce prices in the UK in the same way that it reduced them in the USA. However it will make the UK less dependent on foreign gas and provide additional gas for as long as the shale gas can be mined (for some reason in the USA after 3 years gas output from shale wells drops by 85-90%).

    • outsider
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Dear Uanime5
      Mr Redwood wrote: “Energy costs are crucial in areas like cement, glass, ceramics, aluminium and steel production”.
      Your replied:
      Given how heavy these items are it’s likely that their transportation costs will be high. But as most of these products have a low value per kilogram this means that companies won’t want to transport them over long distances. Thus if these companies want to supply the UK with these products they’ll have to be located in the UK or near it.

      Just for your information, the UK had three aluminium smelters. The two big ones, in Anglesey and Lynemouth in Northumberland, closed in 2009 and 2012 respectively. The Anglesey plant used cheap power from the Wylfa nuclear station, built partly for the purpose. After the state took over Wylfa, this was deemed state aid by the European Commission so the cheap power contract ended and the smelter closed. Rio Tinto Alcan, which owned Lynemouth, also blamed rising energy costs for the closure, citing EU regulations (it had an on-site coal-fired power station).
      The much smaller Lochaber smelter in the Highlands survives thanks to having its own hydro-electric plant.

      As to ceramics, I suggest you explain your point to the folk of Stoke-on-Trent. Their response would be interesting. Or just go to your nearest superstore and look at the labels underneath the plates and pots.

    • Mark W
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Cement is generally produced domestically for many reasons but the purchasers of cement are not the final link of the chain. The problem with one dimensional theories is that they are great in text books, not in practice.

      Regarding the evidence regarding UK shale gas. Would you care to follow your own requests to those that ridicule your AGW religion by sharing with us the peer reviewed evidence on why shale gas won’t benefit the UK like it has the USA.

      I thought the AGW cult was on a sticky wicket with the non increase in average temperature over the last two decades.

      • uanime5
        Posted April 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Cement is generally produced domestically for many reasons but the purchasers of cement are not the final link of the chain. The problem with one dimensional theories is that they are great in text books, not in practice.

        The fact that your failed to point out any problems with this “one dimensional theory” indicates that it has no problems in practice.

        Regarding the evidence regarding UK shale gas. Would you care to follow your own requests to those that ridicule your AGW religion by sharing with us the peer reviewed evidence on why shale gas won’t benefit the UK like it has the USA.

        Your post makes it clear you have no idea what science is. Science is where you collect data and draw conclusions from this data. So if the data shows that CO2 produced by humans is increasing the global CO2 levels and these higher levels of CO2 are raising global temperatures, then you can conclude that global warming is resulting from man made CO2.

        As it is impossible to prove a negative I can no more prove that “shale gas won’t benefit the UK like it has the USA” than I can prove that juggling won’t suddenly cause clowns to spontaneously combust. The onus is on you Mark W to prove that shale gas will benefit the UK in the same way that it benefits the USA. If you cannot provide any evidence that shale gas will benefit the UK in the same way then you have failed to prove your claims. I do not need to prove you wrong if you have failed to prove that you are right.

        If you were to research the economic, not scientific, reasons whether shale gas will benefit the UK in the same way as the USA you’ll find that because the shale gas in the UK is deeper underground than the shale gas in the USA this makes it more difficult to extract. The UK also lacks as many large unpopulated areas with high levels of shale gas as the USA, so less shale gas is extractable. Finally as the UK can export their shale gas, while the US cannot, the UK has a far larger market to sell to (Europe, Africa, and Asia) so unlike the USA the UK won’t need to lower the price of their shale gas to sell all of it.

        I thought the AGW cult was on a sticky wicket with the non increase in average temperature over the last two decades.

        All scientific studies have shown that the average global temperature has been higher every decade than the previous decade and attempts by the deniers to claim otherwise, without any evidence to back up their claims, isn’t fooling anyone.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          You really are struggling now to come up with decent arguments Uni
          You are never judged by the number of words or the blizzard of your dodgy statistics but how correct they all are and you continue to fail to impress with your dreary propaganda,

        • Mark
          Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          A briefing on cement dating from 2010:

          http://civitas.org.uk/pdf/CementMerlinJones.pdf

          That’s before the Carbon Floor price. These measures will kill the industry in the UK, and leave us reliant on imports. Remember, sea freight is cheap for bulk products.

        • Mark W
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 4:57 am | Permalink

          Well well well. You’re fourth paragraph actually looks like a reasonably constructed answer. Thank you.

          Regarding proving a negative, that is missing the point. You were making a statement of absolute certainty. The onus is really on you to back that up.

          I thought some of our shale gas was under the sea too. If we chose to export any of our shale gas surely that would benefit our balance of payments. Would it still not work out cheaper than the heavily subsidised wind mills that don’t turn too often. I live near many groups of wind mills (I actually rather like the look of them). But in the years they have been here they don’t work that much. As I’m close to the sea and see these daily massive tides come rain or shine, storm or calm, I just can’t believe why this source is not used.

          Regarding the AGW cult. The shifts in measures to decade on decade is desperate. Whatever is happening the only certain way of lowering human output it to decrease the population. When any credible government(s) proposes that then I’ll believe it is serious. Whilst it is just a sly tax raiser I’ll consider it nonsense.

    • Mark
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 12:29 am | Permalink

      You really don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

      Aluminium and several other important metals are worth into the thousands of dollars per tonne. Sea freight is by comparison rather small – a few tens of dollars per tonne for a voyage half way round the world. To take aluminium as an example, UK power costs that threaten to rise to £100/MWh for an efficient smelter that consumes say 14 Mwh/tonne produced would face a cost of £1,400 in electricity alone. Its inefficient Chinese competitor would get its power from coal fired power stations producing at no more that £20/MWh – so even though they take 20 MWh to produce a tonne, they have a cost advantage of £1,000/tonne just on power cost.

      Factories with high degrees of automation usually add a lot of value. Adding value is economic success. Automation itself is precisely something that requires a high degree of research, programming skills and the like.

      The UK is comfortably within its carbon promises made internationally under Kyoto: the fall in other coal power emissions is nothing short of spectacular. It is only because Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davey have legislated to go far beyond our treaty obligations (which were weakly negotiated by them) that we have the silly situation where coal capacity is being shut, and none is being built. By UK law, no new coal station like those being erected in Germany and Holland can be built in the UK.

  34. atlas
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that sanity will only dawn when MPs find their constituents don’t like the lights (and heating) going out due to green energy follies. The prospect of being booted out of office tends to focus the Parliamentary mind.

    • Mark W
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I honestly don’t see how we will avoid power cuts within the next decade due to lack of generation of power. I can’t see there being time to build the nuclear power stations needed.

      Oddly enough I’m quite in favour of renewables so long as they aren’t stupid like wind. To be on an Atlantic island and have the fortune of the massive tides of the Bristol Channel and not harness it is bizarre. How many coves could have mini hydro berms that generate in and out.

      Relying on foreign supplied gas pipes is worrying too. At least we wouldn’t need to fear a war. They’d just turn the taps off.

  35. they work for us
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    A government working in the best interest of its own people would use shale gas to produce a cheap source of energy for its own people lasting far into the future.
    By this I mean don’t export and sell such a resource but keep it for the UK.

    If the blessed Margaret had said “we will use North Sea Oil and gas to ensure that our own country has a cheap source of fuel far into the future. We will not sell it to others, it belongs to the British people. Petrol would now cost us only ….??? p a litre and the average household gas bill would only be …..

    • Bazman
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      You assume shale gas will be cheap. What evidence do you have that it will be. On the cheap is not the same.

      • Mark
        Posted April 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Since shale gas has been developed in the US, prices for gas there have fallen at times as low as 20 cents/therm, and are currently at around 40 cents/therm. That compares with current UK prices of around 65 pence/therm on an equivalent wholesale basis. US gas is being produced despite lower prices.

        Now, we know that the Bowland shale is in places a mile thick (you’ll find that as evidence to the ECC Select Committee), meaning that much more gas can be extracted per well than from much thinner strata in the US. There is every prospect that UK shale gas could in part be much cheaper to produce than US shale gas.

        Given that cost is not a constraint, the issue is what taxes or market distortions do politicians impose.

      • Edward2
        Posted April 28, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Cheaper Baz than candles and better than sitting in the dark and the cold which is what we will be doing soon unless someone with some leadership decides on a proper energy policy.

  36. con
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Instead of having ‘back bench revolts’ about gay marriage and sovereignty, how about a back bench revolt over our ruinous energy policy?

    If a movement got going to repeal (Miliband’s) ridiculous climate change act, who would have the nerve to object – the greens (who cares) libdems (ditto) labour (would they dare) the eu (sounds like germany’s on board already.

    High time this government and the eu stopped worshipping self defeating ideologies and started to become COMMERCIAL.

    Voters would support this and apart from some nutters, the grauniad and the bbc, I can’t see who would object.

    And our economy might actually start to GROW.

    Reply Labour strongly support the Climate Change Act as well as the Lib Dems so there is no majority in the current Parliament for its repeal. We are workign away at other measures to improve the position on energy supply and price.

    • con
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      That didn’t stop back bench revolts over gay marriage or the eu.

      I suspect energy is a subject of far greater interest to the electorate and the economy.

      Surely Cameron doesn’t really believe we are doing the right thing on energy given what is happening in the USA, India and China? If he does, we are truly doomed.

    • David Price
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Re: “Reply Labour strongly support the Climate Change Act as well as the Lib Dems so there is no majority in the current Parliament for its repeal.”

      So the Conservatives need to make crystal clear to the public that, if true, not only did Labour introduce the CCA with it’s attendant extra taxation but that they, along with the Libdems, are actively blocking all attempts to ensure realistic energy supplies. The Libdems demonstrate a lack of loyalty to the coalition so why is Cameron so loyal to them he dare not criticise them?

      Does government ever incorporate exit criteria in policies, programmes and projects?

  37. Bert Young
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I agree wholeheartedly with Mike Stallard . We all want to establish a cheap energy economy asap . Send the comments you have received and your blog to David Cameron who must be looking at a political disaster unless he grasps the ideas you and your supporters have put up .

  38. Vanessa
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting to ask those who are against fracking and for carbon capture and storage why they feel that way. The truth is that carbon capture is fracking in the opposite direction. How else do people think that carbon dioxide is shoved into rocks at great pressure and sealed? Why are these people so ignorant when all information is on the internet.

    This is a piece on how much carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere and exactly how much we humans are supposed to contribute to it. it is mind blowing how people can jump up and down over nothing !!

    HOW MUCH CARBON DIOXIDE IN THE ATMOSPHERE
    it went something like this . . . .
    “If the Earth’s atmosphere were represented by a large swimming pool filled with 3,200 gallons of water: 2,498 gallons would be Nitrogen (78.084% of atmosphere by volume),
    670 gallons would be Oxygen (20.9476% of atmosphere by volume),
    30 gallons would be Argon (0.934% of atmosphere by volume),
    1 gallon would be a mixture of Methane (0.002%), Neon (0.001818%), Helium (0.000524%), Krypton (0.000114%), Hydrogen (0.00005%) and Xenon (0.0000087%) – all the noble gasses.
    and then
    1 GALLON left in the pool would be Carbon Dioxide (0.0314% of atmosphere by volume).
    Of the SINGLE GALLON of Carbon Dioxide, SEVEN and THREE QUARTER PINTS are naturally occuring. This leaves a QUARTER OF A PINT (5 fluid ounces) which is man-made. If this amount was a small 5 fl.oz. bottle of Red Food Colouring and we poured it in to the other 3,200 gallons of water in the pool, how much will it affect the colour of the water? We’ll even provide a big whisk so that gullible people can mix it up as much as they like.
    Unfortunately, some people* visualise that all the water in our swimming pool has now turned an intense shade of bright red – so a reason for taxing people (including CO2 emmisions based vehicle excise duty in the UK and ‘carbon taxes’ being introduced throughout the world).

    • Mark W
      Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:04 am | Permalink

      Brilliant comparison. Thank you

      • Vanessa
        Posted April 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I think I am right in saying this came from “watts up with that” a very good website written by Anthony Watts, a true scientist.

        • Bazman
          Posted April 29, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          You are gullible if you believe this site and as for Anthony Watts being a true scientis,t just do a bit of Google research to find out what he is about. You are looking for answers to questions you have decided what you want the answer to be.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

            Baz:- “You are looking for answers to questions you have decided what you want the answer to be.

            And thats not what you and Uni always do plainly!

  39. John McEvoy
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Windmills are making (some well off people in the UK -ed) rich – and it all comes via the Little People’s electricity meters.

    Industry? Who cares. Dave is ‘delivering’ a ‘Low Carbon Economy’.

    Trouble is, growth, profits and jobs are low as well.

  40. Mark
    Posted April 28, 2013 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    The latest rather useless contribution from the ECC Select Committee on shale gas can be found here:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenergy/785/78502.htm

    They seem to have failed to notice that if there is to be any serious reduction in global emissions it is essential that China and India replace coal burn with gas, since renewables are completely unable to meet their demand – and that can only happen if China develops its extensive shale reserves to make them cost competitive with coal. There is therefore a great opportunity to develop our own world class shale reserves, and the technology of producing them and sell our expertise to China. There is an air of defeatism in their attitudes that denies the enormous technological leaps that the UK oil and gas industry has already made in developing the North Sea – many of them highly relevant to shale development, such as exploiting a large field from a small base; directional and horizontal drilling; well fractionation techniques; 3D and 4D seismic; dealing with produced water and so forth.

    They also fail to notice that were China to develop yet another cost competitive energy source and the UK to persist with its high energy policy, we might as well shut down the country.

    There is a largely redundant argument about whether gas prices would fall if we develop our significant shale resources: if the price is kept high, then tax revenues on production or distribution (depending on whether wellhead or consumer prices are the ones artificially propped up) will also be high.

    It is interesting to note that in the 1960s Labour chose intially to suppress wellhead prices through forcing gas to be landed in the UK and to be sold to BGC, but instead to maintain higher prices into industry and consumers, so as not to compete too hard with the miners, and to generate an operating surplus at the nationalised British Gas Corporation that conveniently disappeared into the Consolidated Fund (i.e. Treasury coffers). Those who advocate nationalisation would do well to remember how Labour used that.

    More competitive prices would of course generate much more economic activity, as the US is already finding. The evidence from INEOS to the Committee illustrates the very dramatic effect on investment just in ethylene crackers

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenergy/785/785we09.htm

    Talking of crackers…

  41. con
    Posted April 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    John, this is off topic but very topical, today at least.

    Whether it is right to remove, means test or tax ‘pensioner benefits’ I am becoming very tired with some politicians continually saying that pensioners have not shared the burdens of austerity or the (inflicted by the last government) financial crisis.

    Since 2008 interest rates have been slashed which has reduced annuity payments by some 22%. As most annuities are not index linked (ever in a lifetime) annuitants can look forward to a much reduced and continually eroded (by inflation) income.

    As many pensioners also rely on interest from accrued (over a lifetime of hard work) savings, they are seeing interest rated down from around 4% to around 1.5%, areduction of 62.5%. So on say a previous annual income of £5000, this has reduced to £1875.

    Conversely, mortgages are at an all time low whereas these pampered pensioner were probably paying 8% or so, or even more.

    It would be appreciated if Cable & co could be encouraged to stop talking nonsense about who has taken, or not taken a hit.

  42. Grindelow
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Solar prices are reducing at 20% pa. If this trend continues for another 5 years (a further reduction of 2.5 times) then solar will be even cheaper than coal see http://www.businessinsider.com/solar-is-about-to-get-cheaper-than-coal-2013-5.

  43. Energy Broker
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    I completely agree with you John, that industrial recovery is very important for the progress of the nation. Average electricity prices will definitely help businesses to flourish as it will help them to manage their utility bills.

  • 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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