A plea for cheap energy

The Energy Bill going through the Commons is the result of an energy policy in transition – or an energy policy where Conservatives want cheaper energy and the Lib Dem Secretary of State remains wedded to dearer and scarcer energy.

The problem with Mr Davey’s old fashioned approach to global warming is it means visiting on the UK especially expensive energy. Far from cutting total global business demand for energy and therefore cutting global emissions, UK dear energy just makes it likely more and more energy using business will go somewhere else. Mr Davey’s approach will not spare the planet more carbon dioxide, but will cost us jobs and prosperity.

Then there is the problem of fuel poverty. Lib Dems used to worry about this, yet their energy policy stokes it. Recent fuel bills have been doubly damaging to many. Not only has the price of our power gone up a lot as the renewables kick in on the electricity bills, but it has been so unseasonally cold that people have had to have the heating on for longer. It has been around 42 degrees F when I have been getting up in May, and parts of the country had frosts and even snow. If we have to pay global warming prices for power, it would be nice to have global warming temperatures to go with it, so we did not need so much heating.

Dear energy policies leave people colder than they wish, buring more power with much higher bills. That leaves them short of money to buy other things they need. We do not want an energy policy that sends energy using business offshore, nor one which leaves granny shivvering, afraid to turn on the heating. We need to exploit the shale gas beneath our feet, build more combined cycle gas power stations, and go for cheaper energy. Then we could also afford the energy saving investments at home and at work that would help us burn less.

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150 Comments

  1. Ned Kelly
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Here in Australia, the electricity prices have just leaped up by 22.5%.

    Yesterday evening, on the box, we had the Australian version of Question Time. A Liberal politician attacked the idea of Global warming, explaining as you have just done above that it sapped prosperity and was false anyway. A man from finance then made the same point. The audience actually applauded!
    The other three members of the panel either said nothing or trotted out the usual stuff – and they got a round of applause too. The famous journo who chaired the proceedings seemed to be fair.

    Go figure as Taki says every week!

  2. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Is it or is it not possible to build and use ‘ clean coal’ power stations? If the answer from the usual suspects is No then how come other, even EU, countries, especially Germany, are managing to do it? As it seems to me, we have gone way OTT in what we have done to coal in this country, even, we read, to the point where there may soon be insufficient coal to power a few heritage steam engines. A sort of ‘Coal to the UK’ problem because we have vast reserves of the stuff. Would of course be good for jobs while we were at it if we could reverse this. And it’s not just coal–if we all had a wood-burning stove that too would be good, instead of our importing huge quantities of wood pellets from America to fuel power stations, which is absurd.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      It is, but it isn’t cheap in terms of initial capital cost or running costs; as I read some time ago, it can need up to half of the energy content of the coal to capture and store the carbon dioxide released when it is burnt. Nobody would ever dream of doing that, if it wasn’t for an increasingly dubious climatogical theory linking increasingly dubious rises in the average global temperature with emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Denis–As you may have gathered, under no circumstances would I have allowed others to tell us what to do in this matter but if our wonderful Government doesn’t see it that way it is undeniable that others are using clean coal while we are not, this despite our having virtually unlimited amounts and close by no less, given we are a small island, indeed with coal delivery infrastructure already in place in many areas, meaning it should be easier and cheaper for us not the other way round. The fact that whatever percentage of the coal is wasted to make it clean does not seem terribly relevant to me given that as I say we are up to our ears in the stuff.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          I can’t answer for what the German government does, and maybe it would be prepared to use up to twice the quantity of coal to generate a given quantity of electricity. But as I recall when I checked some time ago only a few of the new coal-fired power stations will attempt some form of carbon dioxide capture, all of the rest will just emit it as usual.

      • Disaffected
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Figures recently produced show that if we did not have the coal fired power stations last winter there would have been a shortage of electricity. They are now closing for farcical EU emission targets and increasing pricing to make wind mills look competitive. How does Mr Davey intend to fill this gap within four months?

        And, no, it is not a price worth paying- energy is too dear. Cosmetic changes to tariffs does not cut the mustard. The public is paying through its monthly bills for solar powered feed in rates through the government’s green deal. It should stop. The rest of the world is not wrong and the UK industry and economy will be left behind when we can least afford it.

        Moreover this is becoming a matter of national crisis for our economy and the welfare of the elderly who cannot afford expensive energy to allow stupid Lib Dem political ideology. Canada will not entertain such notions and dismiss as economically not viable. When is Cameron going to step up to the plate and make a stand for the national interest??

        We heard Mr Davey in parliament recently making an issue about alleged oil price fixing. However, as HE pointed out, fuel for the UK is one of the cheapest in the EU before tax (about fifth). He failed to elaborate that after imposing tax the UK was about 25th out of 27 countries. Do not worry about the consequences of oil price fixing when clearly tax is the biggest issue because of wasteful spending by the Tory led coalition.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        If ‘it can need up to half of the energy content of the coal to capture and store the carbon dioxide released when it is burnt’, they will need to burn twice the amount of coal for the same amount of electrical energy.

        If half of the CO2 created is captured and stored, then the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere will be the same, but we will have compressed CO2 trying to escape somewhere and our coal reserves will be diminishing at twice the rate.

        Talk about being completely Green!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          There are different methods of capture and storage/ disposal and some may not remove all the carbon dioxide, but all of them require some energy input which as I read can be up to half of the energy released from the coal, in which case coal reserves would be depleted at twice the rate.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

            Denis–Whatever problems there are, diminishing coal reserves is not one of them, given that we have hundreds of years’ proven supply. And we have not mentioned the illogic of us fatuously trying to strut our stuff kidding ourselves we are leading the world in controlling carbon dioxide. For a start, it is much more important to scrub out the sulphur and nitrogen oxides, many orders of magnitude more acidic (serious acids like sulphuric and nitric) than mere carbon dioxide, which very definitely has a good side, and loosely speaking is not much of an acid at all. I would like to see a sensible estimate of the difference that anything we might do would make to carbon dioxide levels in say twenty years’ time given the continuing outputs from the rest of the world (whether we like it or not). My guess is well less than 1% and that’s before worrying about how important such levels are to “warming” of which there has in any event been none at all since 1997. That last bit stays true no matter who says, or how many say, what. We cannot afford this emotional nonsense.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      UK law is more restrictive on the levels of CO2 emissions from coal power plants than other EU countries. This makes “clean coal” less viable.

      • Disaffected
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Go tell your story to the Chinese and Indian governments. No sensible country is listening. Look over to the US and see how they are adapting to shale gas. Mr Davey and his colleagues are making the UK a laughing stock.

  3. Robert K
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I live near the Didcot A power station, which was closed in March. A neighbour rejoiced that the eyesore (three 100-metre cooling towers) will be removed. I would point out that Didcot A produced 2,000 MW of electricity. To replicate that would need 2,000 wind turbines, each of which would be 100 metres tall. In other words you would need to carpet most of the Thames Valley with turbines and still need to retain conventional power sources for when the wind isn’t blowing.
    Our current energy policy is madness. We export our demand for energy to China which burns coal to satisfy our demand for goods that we buy with fiat money borrowed from… China. We then ship these goods half way round the world in oil-fired container ships.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Not only would you need the massive 2000 wind turbines you also need the on going taxes to subsidise them and a costly gas or coal back up system for when the wind is too weak or too strong. It is the economics and engineering of the mad house. Cameron’s totally bonkers job, countryside and vote destroying green religion.

      • Disaffected
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps we could ask the US to cut down a few more million forests to be chipped and sent across the Atlantic by massive fuel guzzling tankers! This is meant to be an environmentally good idea!!

        • lifelogic
          Posted June 8, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          Even more bonkers than wind turbines and their subsidy, though perhaps not quite as bonkers as PV on roofs of semis in the cloudy UK.

  4. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    This is an extract from a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office.

    “Without accounting for how the revenues from a carbon
    tax would be used, such a tax would have a negative effect
    on the economy. The higher prices it caused would
    diminish the purchasing power of people’s earnings,
    effectively reducing their real (inflation-adjusted) wages.
    Lower real wages would have the net effect of reducing
    the amount that people worked, thus decreasing the overall
    supply of labor. Investment would also decline, further
    reducing the economy’s total output.”

    The cradle of global warming has seen the light. Parliament must stop Mr. Davey’s insane policies, which it is increasingly obvious are a draconian answer to a non-existent problem.

    • Paul D
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Surely if you don’t take into the account the revenue generated from a tax, then the same could be said of every tax? Every tax will reduce inflation-adjusted wages (aside from possibly a tax on wealth, but even that will decrease their purchasing power). How the revenue will be used is a key point that can’t be ignored.

      I’m not trying to argue that is it a good or sensible tax, merely that what the Congressional Budget Office is saying is effectively meaningless, unless I’m missing something?

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        They are indeed just stating the blindingly obvious – needless to say, as is normal, any tax raised will surely be wasted on green tosh, pointless wars, HS2, A&Es with 4 hours+ waiting, large state sector pensions/wages and the likes.

  5. Jerry
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Spot on John, but psst, “they” call it Climate Change these days, it gets over the slight problem that the planet isn’t warming and hasn’t do so for some years now (and is a catch-all, only an fool could claim otherwise, considering that climate has been changing on Planet Earth for the last few billion years!)…

    It will have been noticed by many that Mr Cameron rather dodged and glossed over your question (regarding this issue and what the EU is doing) in the House yesterday, with ‘friends’ like Mr Cameron around people like you and the other energy-realists within Tory party don’t need ‘enemies’ -in the shape of UKIP- when it comes to the plebs keeping warm or even the light on.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      All scientific studies have show that on average every decade has been warmer than the previous one. So the planet is continuing to warm.

      • Disaffected
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        In your world it might be, but the rest have a different view.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Let me know when you actually have evidence to back up your claims.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 6, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

            @U5: Oh right, so those you disagree with have to post their evidence but you don;t have to post any evidence to back up your absurd notions that the climate has only ever changed in the last 50 years!

      • Mark B
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        We have been keeping records for approximately 100 years. And yes I know weather is not climate. The point is, the planet is around 4 BILLION years old. Its climate has changed radically in that time. A records spanning a mere hundred years, let alone decades is not proof of anything.

        If you really are worried about Global Warming / Climate Change I suggest you either build an Ark or move too higher ground. No amount of Green energy is going to stop the inevitable !

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          Ice records go back millions of years, so it’s possible to see how the climate of earth has changed over more than 100 years. It’s also possible to measure CO2 levels over millions of years.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            And these ice records Uni, show CO2 rises happening centuries after temperature increases thus showing the causation to be flawed in several instances

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 8, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            And these indirect long term temperature records show uanime5 is talking nonsense.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Every decade warmer than the previous one you say Uni, but since when?

        And its not “all scientific studies” because all you are quoting is the simple measuring of temperature.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          Since about 1880 the average global temperature has continued to rise every decade.

          By all scientific studies I was referring to all scientific studies on this topic. I didn’t think I’d need to clarify something so obvious.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            Well you do need to Uni, because you are as usual wrong :-
            World Global Mean Annual Temperature Average per Decade
            1880s 13.73
            1890s 13.75
            1900s 13.74
            1910s 13.72
            1920s 13.83
            1930s 13.96
            1940s 14.04
            1950s 13.98
            1960s 13.99
            1970s 14.00
            1980s 14.18
            1990s 14.31
            2000s 14.51
            Showing several decades where the figures fell and further decades where the rise was so small as to be insignificant.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        That is false. No such study exists, it isn’t remotely true. The earth has repeatedly gone in wildly fluctuating temperature cycles

        • APL
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

          libertarian: “The earth has repeatedly gone in wildly fluctuating temperature cycles”

          I would take issue with the term ‘wildly’, but otherwise I agree the earth has a cyclical climate system, driven by the diurnal sun cycle.

          The amount of radiation energy the earth receives during the day is pretty much in balance by the radiation energy dissipated on the dark side during the night.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          Just because you don’t like the approximately 12,000 scientific studies that prove you’re wrong doesn’t make them false.

          Also the earth hasn’t had CO2 levels this high for 200 million years.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 6, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

            @U5: “the approximately 12,000 scientific studies

            No doubt funded by the various IPCC styled bodies…

            On the other hand independant and objective studies have shown no such AGW.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense – since when?

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          Since 1880.

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 9, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            Well co2 concentrations did not rise very much until 1950+ so what caused the rise for 80 years before them, by your AGW theory?

  6. lifelogic
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Precisely.

    Alas the socialists Cameron, Huhne, Davy, Yeo, Clegg and the rest believe that if we invest (with huge tax payer subsidy) in bonkers, expensive, not yet functional, intermittent, technology it will magically develop and become functional. It may make sense to do some R&D into alternative heating, lighting, insulation, transport systems and electricity production (even perhaps using some government money, thought the record is not good). It make no sense, whatever, to roll out this lunacy into production and install it all over the county before it even works economically or environmentally and using absurd, tax payer, subsidies to do so. It just wastes money and destroys jobs.

    Cameron also thought it would win him votes but it did and is did and is doing the reverse.

    It is just another absurd religion that the foolish Cameron has attached the Tory party too. The religion is being rammed down people’s throats by the BBC, the EU, and in duff school text books and exams at every turn.

    Electric cars,(words left out ed) are also just not practical yet, nor desired by many people, despite having little tax on the fuel and being highly subsidised. They are not even green on any rational analysis.

    Kill these distorting subsidies now, they are simply mad, job destroying and hugely damaging to people and the economy.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Sorry I meant:-

      “Cameron also thought this religion would win him votes, it did not do so and it is still losing the Tories votes hand of fist.”

    • Bazman
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      Does this latest rant include nuclear as a massively subsidised and pointless industry with no basis without public funding? economically or environmentally and using absurd, tax payer, subsidies to do so wasting money and destroying jobs? If not why?

      • Jerry
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        @Bazman: There is a slight difference, nuclear power works, those so called “renewables” do not (and never will, with the likely exception of the hugely expensive tilde barrages), so unless we are talking about subsidies for job creation rather than energy generation…

      • APL
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Bazman: ” .. nuclear as a massively subsidised and pointless industry with no basis without public funding? ”

        Last I looked we are getting a pretty good return on our nuclear generation capability, continuously generating as it does just under 20% of all electrical power consumed in the UK.

        By comparison to Wind power, with the massive public subsidy and deadweight around the neck of anyone in the UK who uses energy – that’d be everyone – managed a massive 5% of total electricity generation (when the wind was blowing).

  7. Andyvan
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    If Conservatives are so keen to reduce taxation on fuel but are blocked by Lib Dems why do they not reduce other taxes to compensate? In fact this Conservative led coalition has raised hundreds of taxes to a point that discourages both business and individuals from investing. Add that to the near zero interest rates and continuing inflation that is required to keep the money printing/deficit spending circus going and your claim that Conservatives are the tax cutters begins to seem a little hollow Mr Redwood. Actions speak louder than words.

  8. Richard1
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Energy policy is an open goal for the Conservatives. Both the LibDems and Milliband Labour are irretrievably linked with global warming alarmism. But people do not any longer believe hysterical prophesies of doom due to global warming now that the forecasts have been proved wrong. Related recent news on this subject includes revived lower forecasts by scientists as to the likely rate of warming and the happy revelation that whilst CO2 has not caused the expected warming, it has led to re-vegetation of land previously desert. Policy needs to change accordingly. It is becoming clear that we have many decades, perhaps centuries, before we drown of sea level rise etc. Shale gas offers a fantastic interim solution. In 100 years perhaps there will be unlimited free renewable energy from solar. We don’t know. What we do know is it will only come about if prosperity and economic development are maximized, not because self-righteous leftist-green politicians legislate for it.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      I agree Richard, but at the time I posted my own views, I wasn’t able to see any other comments, otherwise I might have left it. Nice to know so many people think alike though. Isn’t that right Uanime5?

      Tad

    • uanime5
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      the happy revelation that whilst CO2 has not caused the expected warming, it has led to re-vegetation of land previously desert.

      Firstly while the warming has not been as large as predicted the average global temperature has still increased. So global warming remains a problem.

      Secondly given that making deserts hotter makes it harder to grow food in them I’d have to say that your “re-vegetation of land” claim is not only false but ridiculous.

      It is becoming clear that we have many decades, perhaps centuries, before we drown of sea level rise etc.

      Though the much of the world will become an uninhabitable desert long before that.

      • Disaffected
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        The Climate has changed since the world began, what you have not proven is that it is caused by man. Coal fired power stations were not about during the ice age. Or the vast amount of German cars.

        • APL
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          Disaffected: “The Climate has changed since the world began, what you have not proven is that it is caused by man.”

          But what can be proved – prior to the last ice age, there wasn’t any man made power stations belching out CO2, nor any manufacturing plants either.

          If follows then, that the most significant recent ( geologically speaking ) climate change event, the end of the last ice age, occurred independently of Human kinds activity.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

            @APL: Indeed and what is more, within recorded history (~2k years) it can be shown that the climate has changed, in fact we are as likely to be coming out of a colder period back to the mean as we are to be entering a warmer period from the mean temperature.

          • uanime5
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

            Given how different the world was during the last ice age it’s unlike that the cause of high CO2 levels then are the same cause of high CO2 levels now.

          • APL
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            Uanime5: “Given how different the world was during the last ice age ”

            Exactly my point uanime5, the world was different – No human industrial activity, no power generation – no artificial sources of CO2. Yet the climate changed dramatically.

            What could have triggered that event?

            If as it appears you claim, it was CO2 caused the end of the last ice age, a disputed point, the correlation of increased CO2 with the end of the last ice age may simply be accounted for by the warmer climate leading to more land being available for plants to grow on – in turn leading to higher populations of fauna.

            You still need to account for the event that triggered the start of the last ice age.

            Was that lack of CO2?

          • Jerry
            Posted June 6, 2013 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            @U5: Your point being what exactly?

            Increases in CO2 due to volcanic or wild fires is still the same type of CO2 as that from burning oil or coal – but thanks for shining the light on the true agenda, this is not about CO2 levels but world socail/economic levels, or should I say levelling…

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          It has been prove that man has been producing increasing amounts of CO2 and that the average global temperature has increased because of this additional CO2. So there is proof that climate change is caused by man.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        You come up with some very odd statements Uni, but this one “much of the world will become an uninhabitable desert ” is perhaps your most odd.
        We are agreed that the average temperature rise in the whole of the 20th century was approx. 0.8 of one degree centigrade.
        The rise predicted in this century and beyond vary from one degree to several degrees.
        Not even the highest predictions will lead to your scenario.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          If you’d bothered to read my post you’d know that I said much of the world would become an uninhabitable desert before sea levels were high enough to drown everyone, not that a temperature rise of several degrees centigrade would turn the most of the world into a desert.

          Although a rise of several degrees centigrade would turn large parts of Africa into a desert due to the droughts the extra heat would cause.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            I did read your first post thanks Uni and I’ve read this one too and your claims are not supported by any credible scientific evidence.
            The temperature rises predicted even by the most extreme warmists are simply not enough to create the effects you have stated.

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 9, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            Extra heat would cause more water precipitation, in general, not less!

      • libertarian
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        What total and utter nonsense.

        You even managed to contradict yourself

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          Either point out the contradiction or admit that I haven’t contradicted myself.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        You haven’t been following the news. Apparently there is evidence that land previously desert has become fertile due to higher CO2. The point about the rate of warming is it has become clear it isn’t significant enough to be alarming and so poverty-inducing green policies are not justified. I hope the Labour and Libdem parties adopt your absurd tone on this issue at the election. If so it will be a winner for the Conservatives.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          The news was about high levels of CO2 in greenhouses where the temperature was kept the same, which is not the same environment as a country where the temperature has been raised due to higher CO2 levels. If higher CO2 levels caused plants to grow in deserts then climate change would result in less famine in Africa, not more.

          Also just because the temperature change isn’t yet causing problems in the UK doesn’t change the fact that it is causing problems in countries where a temperature rise of a few degrees turns farmland into a desert.

          • Richard1
            Posted June 6, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            Not so. The news – an article in a scientific journal – was that satellite observations of dry areas of the Americas, Asia and Africa over the last 30 years show an 11% increase in vegetation. The authors cite the reason as higher CO2 – a beneficial effect.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      Lots of open goals:- less EU, lower taxes, smaller state sector, fewer regulations, function health service, better schools, cheaper energy – alas Cameron seems to be playing for the opposition.

  9. Electro-Kevin
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Those who influence these sacrificial policies are often already wealthy or can claim expenses, do jobs on the side and demand bumper pay rises.

    They don’t seem to know what it’s like to be scared to spend money. Something felt even by those on relatively good wages who cannot afford to buy their own homes but are deemed to be eligible for tax at 40%. No wonder many high streets are looking bleak and boarded up.

    There is nothing virtuous about making a stand on the environment when it is being done with other people’s standard of living.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Too right EK! And have you seen how little tax EU bureaucrats and others associated with it actually pay? Talk about keeping them sweet and on board in order to push through their rotten agendas! I just wonder what it will actually take for the pro-EU lobby to finally accept how corrupt the place is, and to stop blindly backing it.

      Tad

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Yes you are right, only very wealthy people can afford to support LibDem energy policies and looking at their MPs proves the point. It is similar to the observation that over at the Guardian only those who benefitted from a private or grammar school education feel themselves qualified to tell the rest of us that school admissions should be only by random ballot.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Well a certain party lowering the 40% tax rate to offset any increases some people would get from the increased personal allowance probably didn’t help the economy either.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        The 40% tax rate hasn’t been lowered

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          By “lowered” I mean that the amount of money you need to earn before paying the 40% tax rate has been lowered.

  10. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood wrote … ‘That leaves them short of money to buy other things they need.’

    Indeed. As does the level of taxation. By the time I have paid income tax, national insurance, council tax, VAT on purchases, fuel duty and other duties – I estimate that between 50% and 60% of my income goes to the government.

    Quite how I am supposed to put a roof over my head, buy food and clothes and save for my old age is beyond me when the state is so huge it takes more than half of your money.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed, not to mention 40% IHT, stamp duty up to 15%, parking/bus lane fine taxes, road fund tax, insurance tax (5%?), alcohol tax, cigarette tax and countless other fines, taxes and excessive regulation costs.

      • Bazman
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        As well as paying massive subsidies to social landlords in corporate welfare instead of using less money to build low cost social housing. This absurd policy is one of the biggest costs to the country bases on Tory dogma.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      The effective rate of total taxation for someone on average wage is 62%

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        @libertarian – Do you have figures for that? My assertion that between 50% and 60% of my income is paid to the government are my own ‘back of a fag packet’ calculations. Do you have a source for your figure of 62%?

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    JR: ” an energy policy where Conservatives want cheaper energy and the Lib Dem Secretary of State remains wedded to dearer and scarcer energy.”
    Is that really the case? The impression I have is that a majority of MPs in all parties are fully signed up to this man made global warming nonsense. They hoped it would be possible to have a popular tax based on saving the planet and make some people very rich at the direct expense of those who are condemned to pay for this. It verges on fraud in my opinion and damages the country because those same MPs wnat us to lead in this whilst our competitors hold back as we become less competitive and they are laughing all the way to the bank along with those few gaining in this country.

  12. DrJohnGalan
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The irony: that the government approach results in the aristocracy coining it at the expense of the fuel-poor. Yet again, what could be construed as a policy with good intentions – we’re saving the planet – results in the opposite: people are dying because of it.

    Anyone who takes the trouble to look beyond the line fed to us by the government, the BBC and some of the press will discover that: (a) climate science is not settled, in fact it is in total disarray due to the inconvenient truth that the warming predicted has not manifested itself; (b) even if the worst predictions of the climate scientists were true, the measures being taken by governments are totally ineffective in making any detectable difference to the climate (to the extent of being profoundly damaging in Europe).

    The fact that there has now been independent verification of a “cold fusion” reactor – a source of cheap, non-polluting energy – should have been top news but, for whatever reason, (and I can think of a few) it is not touched by the main stream media.

    Another irony: if a fraction of the billions squandered on ineffectual windmills had been spent on realising the potential of “cold fusion”, by now we might have had a completely renewable energy source at our disposal.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      (a) climate science is not settled, in fact it is in total disarray due to the inconvenient truth that the warming predicted has not manifested itself

      A study of 12,000 scientific papers found that over 98% of scientists had shown that climate change was caused by CO2 produced by man. It’s only the deniers who claim that there’s some sort of disarray.

      (b) even if the worst predictions of the climate scientists were true, the measures being taken by governments are totally ineffective in making any detectable difference to the climate

      The problems are caused by human producing too much CO2, so reducing CO2 levels will be an effective way to prevent this problem becoming even worse.

      Another irony: if a fraction of the billions squandered on ineffectual windmills had been spent on realising the potential of “cold fusion”, by now we might have had a completely renewable energy source at our disposal.

      People have been researching cold fusion since the late 1920’s, so they’ve probably spent far more on it than renewable energy. Scientists have mainly given up on cold fusion because it’s proven difficult to reduce the amount of heat need for fusion from about 15,700,000K to about 293K (20°C).

      • Disaffected
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Even if you were correct, which you are not, the UK output is a drop in the ocean and would make no difference. Just because Ed Davey says something it does not make it true. Lib Dem name calling and scaremongering of others will not change the facts either.

      • DrJohnGalan
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        (a) If you are alluding to Cook’s study of “12,000 scientific papers”, I refer you to the critique of that piece of work by Dr Richard Tol. After deconstructing the sampling process used, he then gets to the heart of the argument, that consensus is not relevant: “There was once a consensus among astronomers that the heavens were static, that the boundaries of the universe constant. But in 1929, Hubble observed his red shift among the stars, overturning that consensus. In 1904, there was a consensus among physicists that Newtonian mechanics was, at last, the final word in explaining the workings of the universe. All that was left to do was to mop up the details. But in 1905, Einstein and a few others soon convinced them that this view was false.”

        (b) Even if the UK met its current target, global CO2 would reduce by less than 1%.

        You confuse hot fusion – agreed billions spent with little to show for it – with the cold fusion observation reported in 1989 and replicated many times since. A commercial device has recently been tested by scientists independent of the manufacturer and they found “energy densities to be far above those of any known chemical source”

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          A) Your attempts to claim that a consensus based on evidence is not correct because some consensuses that weren’t based on limited evidence weren’t correct just shows that you lack a real argument.

          Either provide evidence that the science is incorrect or admit that you’re just criticising the science based on your own ideology, rather than facts or evidence.

          B) Your point would only be valid if the UK was the only country trying to reduce its CO2 levels. However since the EU is also trying to reduce their CO2 levels your point is invalid.

          If cold fusion has been so successful then why don’t scientists build a working model and use it to power something? I’m sure they could win a few Nobel prizes for that.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Uni, you keep repeating on here, “A study of 12,000 scientific papers found that over 98% of scientists had shown that climate change was caused by CO2 produced by man.”

        I know this is your latest most fashionable banner to wave and it is a very good bit of propaganda for the warmist side, until you look more closely at the survey where it says over 65% of the 12,000 didn’t give any such opinion and the 97% headline you keep quoting is the percentage of those remaining scientists that did express an opinion and even these were varied in the strength of their opinion.
        The credentials of the 12.000 have also been questioned as many are just general scientists and not climatologists or meteorologists,
        But don’t let a good story get in the way of your religion

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          Your attempts to muddy the waters aren’t fooling anyone.

          The results of 98% of the scientific studies showed that climate change is man made. The fact that 65% of scientists didn’t give their opinion on these finding is irrelevant.

          You’ve also ignored that less than 2% of scientists actually claimed that climate change isn’t called by man because it would destroy your ideology.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

            Im not trying to fool anyone nor muddy any waters, just to point out to everyone that this survey you repeatedly use to bolster your argument is not what you claim it is.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Wrong again

        Not one, not one single paper by anyone has show that warming were it to happen is caused by man made CO2. Not one paper or scientist has shown any empirical evidence that greenhouses gases in general cause catastrophic warming.

        There is no evidence and no consensus and never has been.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          Your attempts to deny the obvious are hilarious.

          All the evidence shows that climate change is caused by man and your refusal to accept this will not change anything.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

            So Uni, what caused climate change before man arrived on this planet?

          • DrJohnGalan
            Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

            Please give a reference to all this evidence you have.

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

            Climate changes always has always will no one sensible thinks otherwise.

            Mankind clearly is one influencing factor.

            The evidence that increasing human C02 atmospheric concentrations in the atmosphere slightly will result in a huge catastrophe is very, very, weak indeed. More of a new believe system, religion than any science.

            On balance hotter is rather better than colder anyway.

      • RB
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        “(a) climate science is not settled, in fact it is in total disarray due to the inconvenient truth that the warming predicted has not manifested itself

        A study of 12,000 scientific papers found that over 98% of scientists had shown that climate change was caused by CO2 produced by man. It’s only the deniers who claim that there’s some sort of disarray.”

        All you are doing here is showing how little you bother to look into the opinions you parrot.

        “(b) even if the worst predictions of the climate scientists were true, the measures being taken by governments are totally ineffective in making any detectable difference to the climate

        The problems are caused by human producing too much CO2, so reducing CO2 levels will be an effective way to prevent this problem becoming even worse.”

        That comment demonstrates a level of understanding that is insufficient for you to really be expressing any opinion on the matter.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          All you are doing here is showing how little you bother to look into the opinions you parrot.

          The fact that you chose to attack me rather than my argument just shows that you don’t have any evidence to support your claims.

          That comment demonstrates a level of understanding that is insufficient for you to really be expressing any opinion on the matter.

          The fact that you failed to point out anything wrong with any of my claims shows that you are the one who lacks any understanding of this issue.

          It’s amazing how when confronted with real evidence that the deniers can only respond with abuse, rather than any sort of reasoned argument.

  13. NickW
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Ed Davey is a professional politician; a PPE Graduate.

    He has had no scientific training, has never been educated into the basics of scientific method, and has no way of personally evaluating scientific papers.

    He is a “Believer” in the global warming religion and surrounds himself with people who agree with him. He should not however let his “religion” influence his public duties, and should take clear and obvious measures to ensure that he receives balanced scientific advice on which to base his policies. His public duty is to ensure that his decisions are in the interest of the British public and not some weird sect with discredited ideas who wish to destroy our industry and kill off every pensioner with hypothermia.

    Ed Davey’s opinions about global warming are utterly worthless and have no scientific basis; both he; and Parliament need to accept that fact.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Exactly replace all the loopy oxford PPE graduates and green religion nutters with Cambridge Physics, Engineering or Maths graduates now please. Start by replacing Ed Davy with Peter Lilley.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          lifelogic–Yes, brilliant article (as was the one before on the Met Office) and I just wonder how the warmists continue to believe what they say they do. Davey is a real piece of work. It was the sheer variety of nonsense that he spouted that is so hard to credit. I wonder if our host or Cameron or Clegg ever reads Delingpole. If so why doesn’t something happen? We are after all spending an absolute fortune on this nonsense.

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

            Indeed and it even loses them votes too.

      • Bazman
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        And free market nutters costing the taxpayer a fortune in subsides for anything and everything?Transport, energy housing, roads health and many more such as running the country for the rich. Is this on your fantasist radar?

    • stred
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Mr Davey should consult his team member Prof. MacKay or read his adopted book- Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air. There seems to be a lot around at he moment with regard to the use of biomass. In his book he describes the use of corn for ethanol as astonishingly poor in terms of land efficiency, but this is what is going ahead.

      The European Environment Agency has decided to water down the proposals for ILUC ( Indirect Land Use Change) accounting. In a letter from their own Scientific Committee in 2011 the use of existing agricultural land and forestry was assessed at high risk of accounting error. They have though decided to restrict the increase in biofuels. The increase in the UK will only be 0.25% this year. The biodiesel industry believe that if ILUC accounting were to be applied, it would wipe out the industry.

      In the case of Drax, their CEO claimed on BBC News last week that they had done the sums and that the woodpellet burning would do what it is supposed to. She has aslo claimed that it will save 70% of emissions compared to coal and that 30% of the thinnings, bark and trimmed trees have to be left to rot. DECC have now produced a calculator to assess the advantages of pellets over coal. It turns out that burning whole trees is far more carbon intensive than coal but burning the trimmings is probably OK.

      However, which coal burning stations are being used for the comparison? Could it be that the old 40% efficient Drax station is the basis and not the latest German style coal stations? What about comparison with gas or even small gas stations with district or industrial heating combined? The arguments are raging. One of the funniest on the DECC website is the reference to ‘grandfathering’, which is apparently a proposal to exempt any existing biomass plant from accounting and assume it is all non CO2 producing

      It is very big business. Since DECC committed to large scale biomass under Ed Milliband around £1 billion is being spent on conversion and buying forests and pellet plants in the US. An area 4x the size of Rhode Island each year will be needed. 4 silos the size of the Albert hall are being built at Drax. The Green Investment Bank is lending up to £500m. The subsidy from the consumer’s bills may amount to £3000m. And the Germans, Dutch, and Danish are doing the same. In the UK the Drax will need 7.5 million tons of pellets rising to 25 to 30 million when Drax, Selby and others are converted. And all of this is supposed to be from tree trimmings, not the trees!

      If you wish to check this, there seems to be an internet battle going on between the Greens, scientists and the industry. For a quick guide try Bloomberg 26.9.12 Englands biggest polluter or the latest on the GreenCar website.

      Perhaps a parliamentary question would be in order? Unpaid for your time of course.

      • uanime5
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        In his book he describes the use of corn for ethanol as astonishingly poor in terms of land efficiency, but this is what is going ahead.

        Did he propose a better way to replace oil or something that was more efficient in terms of land? If not then that’s probably why this is going ahead.

        Could it be that the old 40% efficient Drax station is the basis and not the latest German style coal stations?

        There’s little difference between these two in terms of efficiency. The laws of physics make it difficult for a heat engine to achieve much more than 40% efficiency (Carnot’s theorem).

        What about comparison with gas or even small gas stations with district or industrial heating combined?

        Comparisons with gas are only valid if you include the cost of converting this power station to use gas. If it can’t be converted then you have to include the cost of building a new gas power station.

        And all of this is supposed to be from tree trimmings, not the trees!

        If you have enough trees if should be possible to provide fuel for these power plants just using trimmings. Especially trimmings from fast growing trees.

        • stred
          Posted June 6, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Suggest you read the letter from their Scientific Committee to the EEA and about the various sources of crops for ethanol. Corn is by far the worst. Sugar cane is used in Brazil. ILUC accounting suggests that corn use provides no saving and this is the problem. It is a huge cock up and commissioners are unwilling to admit it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Nick–What a crazy political system we must have such that a lightweight like Davey can have responsibility for anything whatsoever let alone for bonkers ideas that are costing us a fortune and achieving nothing to boot and all just because he belongs to the 1%, 7th place Liberals who by serendipity from their point of view happen to hold the balance of power right now. What he has just uttered about the Press and what he calls “deniers” is simply preposterous. And, while we are at it, what I have just read about the latest Government advice to parents not to help their children find jobs is not far behind. Another subversive anti-family load of cobbers. What a Government, eh?

  14. David Hope
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Agreed. Lib Dem and warmist energy policy is nuts – it can’t be put more politely.

    We are exporting our remaining industry abroad without making a difference to global CO2 levels. At the same time we are causing old people to freeze. This from people (Labour and Lib Dem) who love to say who much more they love helping the vulnerable and manufacturing than “evil tories”.

    Also what on earth is Davey saying demanding that those who question the science be silenced in the media (as reported yesterday) then talking about “serious science of challenging, checking and probing”. Does he not get the irony in what he is saying.
    CO2 might cause warming but so far the models have proved incapable of predicting the temperatures of the last 12 years. As a man with a PhD in engineering I’d suggest that if I’d presented results for a such a poor model in my thesis I’d have failed! So it is right and proper that the science is questioned. It doesn’t mean the climate won’t warm but the current models are no good

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      It even fails on a political level to win votes.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Your attempts to twist what Davey said to fit your own agenda is fooling no one. Claims not based on any scientific evidence should not be reported in the media as if they had been proven.

      I doubt you have a PhD in engineering given that you seem to have no clue what constitutes a good model.

      • David Hope
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Funnily enough the thesis was on statistical modelling of a complex system.

        Temperatures have gone up and i am not saying they won’t. But models have failed to predict the activities in recent years. Let us not confuse correlation and causation

        • lifelogic
          Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

          Confusing correlation and causation is one of the staple activities of the BBC and Politicians.

        • uanime5
          Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          What activities have they failed to predict? According to the models if CO2 levels continue to increase then temperature levels will also increase. While they haven’t risen to the maximum levels predicted the temperature rises are still within the predicted range.

          As rising CO2 levels have been shown to raise temperature levels and in the absence of any other explanation for this continued temperature rise over a century it seems that higher CO2 levels are causing higher temperatures.

  15. backofanenvelope
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    You say that the LibDem’s energy policy is forcing up energy costs. I thought we had a coalition government? So the national energy policy belongs to the Tory party as well. As usual, the Labour party agrees, so there is no choice for the voter.

  16. Peter Stroud
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I find laughable the suggestion by some MPs that we should aim to make UK energy production effectively carbon free, by 2030 I assume there will be 100 percent conversion to nuclear, and renewables. Even the green fanatics realise that the time scale is too short to produce many new nuclear plants. They also know that wind and solar are so unreliable as to need conventional power back up. Pie in the sky comes to mind.

    But worse is Davey’s disgraceful suggestion that the media should cease giving support to AGW sceptics. Surely this makes a mockery of the description of his party as Liberal Democrat.

    • uanime5
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      According to your calculations how many nuclear plants would be needed and how long would it take to build them?

      • Bazman
        Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        Who would build, insure and pay for the running costs. The French, the British taxpayer and the electricity users are the most likely answers. ‘Sensible’ or ‘absurd’

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      It is indeed a disgraceful suggestion.

      As to “makes a mockery of the description of his party as Liberal Democrat” I always assumed “Liberal Democrat” was just a satirical joke.

  17. Man of Kent
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    There will inevitably be resistance to fracking from those close by and affected by trucks ,disruption and lower property values.

    There is absolutely no incentive for anyone to get involved.

    Plese don’t dream up ways of giving locals electricity vouchers.
    Just require fracking companies to form local subsidiaries and give a 10% shareholding to each Parish Council involved.

    I bet you would see some positive involvement !

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      The collapse of the economy is going to do a lot more to house prices than onshore oil and gas exploration .

      Personally I hope house prices go through the floor . It’s immoral that the next generation are going to have to pay these prices and not very practical either given that their parents are expecting them to honour their pay as you go pensions .

      I think all this talk of sweeteners is naked opportunism in the light of differences in mineral right ownership in the US where unconventional E&P originated and the rest of the world .

      We need a Government which is strong enough to resist blackmail and will not resort to bribery – a government which will do the right thing rather than seeking to be popular .

      If there is to be a local component of taxation for unconventional hydrocarbon extraction then shouldn’t it be for conventional hydrocarbon extraction as well and other forms of mining ?

      If not then what is the basis for singling out unconventional oil and gas extraction ?

      I also have a dreadful fear that politicians , beloved of the handout culture that they are , will try and hand the proceeds out as sweeteners when it is critical that they are reinvested in infrastructure , industry and insulating housing stock .

      Until recently Westminster tried it’s damnedest to strangle the UK unconventional O&G industry . Only politicians and public servants could see larger than expected gas resources as a problem .

      The country owes Cuadrilla a debt of gratitude for single handedly torpedoing Westminster and Whitehall’s absurd unworkable energy policy which might just save us from the lights went out .

  18. Normandee
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Stop faffing about and get the gas out of the ground, we need the energy now to cut costs and get the country back on a more secure path free from outside influence. Get back to controlling our own destiny, it won’t happen overnight but we must start before these despicable politicians sign our gas away to europe.

  19. Tad Davison
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Thirty odd years ago, I used to work in the oil industry, and one of the platforms I worked on was the Maersk Explorer (that it tried to blow itself to pieces on October 14th 1977 with me on it, is by the way). As the name implies, it was an exploration platform, and I have often said that Britain’s oil and gas reserves are understated, perhaps for political or even strategic reasons.

    Shale gas isn’t the new phenomenon people say it is. The oil industry isn’t daft. Shale gas deposits have been known for some time, both in terms of their location, and their size. Scotland used to exploit it right up to the 1960s when, with the advent of North Sea gas, it was deemed too dear. But its extraction is now economically viable, and needs must. We need it, so we must have it, even if it is merely a stop-gap until better alternatives become available. We cannot risk the economic disadvantages, the decline in our industry, and the subsequent decline in our living standards, the avoidance of using shale gas would bring.

    Regrettably, I am not convinced that the climate-change science is settled, but if we begin from the position that we accept Co2 emissions must be reduced, surely it would make more sense to use shale gas now, remain competitive and prosperous, and use that prosperity to develop greener renewable energy sources for the future – and ones that have real and tangible benefits, which do not receive crazy subsidies, for little gain. Better still, ones that we can export as well as use ourselves.

    Wind energy might seem fine to some, but we need to be reminded of what Griff Rhys Jones said on the BBC’s Question Time a while ago. That for a wind farm to have the same wattage output of just one nuclear power station, if would need to be 300 square miles in area. So where might these tiny islands put such a monster?

    Necessity is the mother of invention, and I feel sure that with sufficient incentive, the scientific community could find ways of providing cheap, clean, and efficient renewable energy. That they haven’t yet done it, doesn’t mean it cannot be done. Today’s House of Commons debate might be worth listening to.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      “Today’s House of Commons debate might be worth listening to”.

      I am always depressed by the absurd ignorance and stupidity of most MPs, whenever they are discussing anything that I, even remotely, know something about.

  20. Peter Davies
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Yep, its been said before time and time again on this blog and in many other places that we need proper science to prove the theory of global warming which we currently don’t have – not even NASA can do this.

    Merchant shipping around the world accounts for huge emissions but these as far as I understand are not counted under Kyoto/EU rules.

    The effects of our mad energy approach are quite simple:

    1. We make our own energy too expensive
    2. We send industry abroad who burn the coal/gas, etc
    3. They export their product to the UK by merchant shipping/air cargo

    Based on this simple analogy MORE CO2 is produced by way of merchant shipping/air cargo to export markets. As much as possible of what we consume needs to be manufactured/produced domestically in order that there are jobs, prosperity and minimal travel.

    I didn’t need to do a science degree to work that one out so I don’t get what some of these politicians and their civil servants are smoking – or are they simply pandering to EU rules?

    • stred
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget the merchant shipping needed to bring woodpellets from the US, S.Africa and New Zealand to the EU.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        And the treatment needed to stop the wood pellets spontaneously catching fire when transported!

        That will require energy and, if it is chemical, will it be released into the atmosphere when burnt?

    • uanime5
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Yep, its been said before time and time again on this blog and in many other places that we need proper science to prove the theory of global warming which we currently don’t have – not even NASA can do this.

      It’s clear from your comment you don’t know what your talking about. All that data which shows that the average global temperature has been rising for over a century is proof that global warming is real.

      Based on this simple analogy MORE CO2 is produced by way of merchant shipping/air cargo to export markets.

      Given that you failed to provide any figures it’s impossible to determine if your claims are correct or not. If the ratio of CO2 produce to energy produced is lower in the country that the industry is outsourced to then it’s possible that less CO2 will be produced even when you factor in merchant shipping.

  21. Edward.
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    UK energy policy is a bloody shambles, it has been for 30 years, soon – when our coal fired plant is shut down the lights will go out – no ifs or buts.

    This dance playing out now in Westminster is a charade, green policies whether they are dictated by Brussels or, instigated by British politicians are simply not going to cut it.
    We could build new coal fired plant now – base load is the key word here.

    All the windmills in the world won’t solve the UK energy crisis and it’s intermittent surges knocking out the grid – but coal could answer our needs. Gas, should only be used for domestic and industrial usage. To burn it to turn generators is idiocy only a politician could prescribe, but may the Lord spare us – burning gas to turn turbines and generate electrical power – it is better than relying on wind and solar power.
    Green lunacy, and Britain is done for – go figure.

  22. forthurst
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    “We do not want an energy policy that sends energy using business offshore”

    It is important to understand that the AGW scam is just part of the globalists’ agenda to achieve their goal of creating a world without national or ethnic or economic barriers to their global ambitions. Apart from third world immigration to impoverish us and make us weaker in every sense, the global warming agenda of offshoring our capabilities to create added value in the Occident whilst artificially enhancing that in the Orient is simply business as usual. The alleged raison d’etre for doing this makes little sense but no less so than that given for multiculturalisation. It’s time to stop pretending the enemy does not exist and opposing him by force of logic when he has already groomed the less gifted and experienced sections of society with a religious belief in his malign agenda.

  23. David Hope
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Am I misunderstanding or has Tim Yeo tabled an amendment that goes ever further than the Lib Dems? 2030 is really not far away, this is economic suicide!

    This is not what I expect from conservatives

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      It is alas now what we do expect under Cameron.

  24. uanime5
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    an energy policy where Conservatives want cheaper energy and the Lib Dem Secretary of State remains wedded to dearer and scarcer energy.

    I wonder how much these political differences will make to the average energy bill. Has anyone calculated this?

    Also given that coal, gas, and oil are more finite than sun and wind I wouldn’t call them more scarce.

    The problem with Mr Davey’s old fashioned approach to global warming is it means visiting on the UK especially expensive energy.

    Energy is expensive because of low competition, poor regulations, confusing tariffs, and profits being offshored rather than invested in the UK. None of which will change if we use green or non-green energy.

    Far from cutting total global business demand for energy and therefore cutting global emissions, UK dear energy just makes it likely more and more energy using business will go somewhere else. Mr Davey’s approach will not spare the planet more carbon dioxide, but will cost us jobs and prosperity.

    Actually if the jobs go to countries where the Kilowatt of energy produced to CO2 ratio is lower than the UK it will reduce CO2 levels.

    Not only has the price of our power gone up a lot as the renewables kick in on the electricity bills, but it has been so unseasonally cold that people have had to have the heating on for longer.

    How much of the price increase was due to renewables, the price of gas increasing, and the lack of competition? It’s misleading to claim that any increase was solely due to renewable energy.

    We do not want an energy policy that sends energy using business offshore, nor one which leaves granny shivvering, afraid to turn on the heating.

    We’ve had an energy policy that does this for years. That’s why the winter fuel allowance was introduced.

  25. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes , I totally agree, but granny is coming in out of the heat today and the gardens are beginning to bloom. We could as many dual nationals do ;move around to warmer countries in winter. The state manages to fund many plane fares to those hot winter places.

  26. Agincourt
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Great news about Britain probably having much more shale gas than originally expected. But a company in Osaka has developed a fuel that will prove many many times more plentiful! A car there is powered by hydrogen extracted from water – it doesn’t matter whether its river, rain or sea water. Unlimited & cheap fuel at last! How about that, John? See:

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      See what? There is no link to a reference.

    • stred
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately, electrical energy has to be put in to split the water into H and O2. It used to be done in school science labs. possibly not today.

      • stred
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        Sorry H2 and 0.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Agincourt ,

      If I understand what you are saying this involves two chemical reactions and the end result is the same as the starting point :-

      H2O -> H2 + O -> H2O

      The energy liberated by combining the H2 + O into H2O could not exceed the energy required to split the water in the first case .

      If the chemical reactions are as above isn’t this just an energy storage system rather than an energy source ?

      Nevertheless very impressive if they can do so with raw seawater which presumably would reduce the effectiveness of electrodes in short order if attempted with electrolysis .

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Old technology. All nuclear subs take oxygen fom water and use the hydrogen in the reactors as an O2 scavenger.
      It takes a vast amount of power but it is a use the otherwise useless windmills could be used for.
      They could electrolise water and the H2 can be stored and transported as required.
      The oil companoes of the Middle East are already looking into this as a viable alternative for when the oil runs out useing PV cells. Masses of sunshine see.

  27. behindthefrogs
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    In order to reduce the problem of fuel poverty we need to stop the energy companies imposing standing charges or higher rates for the first units used. Energy should be sold at a single flat rate to each domestic consumer with no other charges.

  28. Mark B
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    David Cameron, in an article from the Telegraph, dated 14th May 2010.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/uk-politics-video/7723996/David-Cameron-pledges-greenest-government-ever.html

    So Mr. Redwood MP, what’s changed ?

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Bonkers do you think Cameron actually believed that or just thought it would win votes. It helped to lose the election and cost countless jobs and does not even save co2 not that that matters anyway.

  29. Bazman
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I had to Google ’42 degrees F’ to find out what the temperature was when John woke up, but I am only in my forties. The world has moved on and we are not the Americas John. America as economic King of the world can use what they like. We cannot especially units length that cannot be accurately replicated for pennies.

    • APL
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Bazman: “We cannot ” use what units of measure we like ?

      Actually today we can, the law notwithstanding. With computerization every product could be measured and packages stamped with the weight/dimensions, in no time whatsoever.

      It should then be up to the customer to ask for his purchase in whatever units of measurement he or she chooses.

      Trivially simply in fact.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Yes Bazman, but John placed that farenheit deliberately to be a little contrary ,yet displaying freedom of expression.

  30. Jon
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    The Lib Dems are student politicians, the world of simple solutions before you understand the complexities. I remember when I was in Junior school and the news was on about a government crisis in the 70s. I piped up to say they should print more money which caused a ddebate amongst the adults. My reasoning then was a simple one in that the government have printing presses so just print more. I didn’t understand then the economic consequences that would happen. Had I not gained more knowledge I would be a Lib Dem now.

    I remember Menzies Cambell not so long ago on a debate program just dismissing all the complexities of energy availability and need and just saying we just need windmills and solar. Naive students.

  31. Mark
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I don’t suppose I’d be allowed to compete with uanime5’s 9 contributions to this thread.

    Instead, I’ll just ask that JR vote against this Energy Bill which Mr Davey has proclaimed is Lib Dem policy (and thereby is not coalition policy) before more damage to the economy is done by locking in expensive sources of energy for our future.

  32. A different Simon
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    John ,

    As well as Government support for unconventional oil and gas , the other ingredient needed is investment .

    How about encouraging the Chinese to invest in UK shale gas as UK financial institutions are too cautious and conservative to get involved ?

    Perhaps they are worried about being associated with what the BBC insists on calling “Controversial Shalegas” ?

    Maybe they are just doing so well out of QE-n and ZIRP that they don’t need to take risks anymore .

    Time to let the Chinese and Indians provide the investment and reap the profits .

  33. Alte Fritz
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Yesterday’s Telegraph points to enough gas sitting under Lancashire and Cheshire to feed the UK’s needs for more than one hundred years. The biggest obstacle is organised opposition who want a first world life in the Garden of Eden.

    Those whom the gods wish to destroy…..

  34. Robert Christopher
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    There is no correlation between CO2 concentrations and global surface temperatures.

    The theory that carbon dioxide concentration is related to the temperature of the earth’s surface is therefore wrong.

    So, why are we spending so much (taxpayers’) money and human effort, that could be directed elsewhere, on this this non-problem?

    • uanime5
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Scientific evidence has shown that there is a correlation between CO2 concentrations and global surface temperatures. The fact that you don’t like this doesn’t make it wrong.

    • APL
      Posted June 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Robert Christopher: “So, why are we spending so much (taxpayers’) money and human effort, that could be directed elsewhere, on this this non-problem?”

      For the ‘subsidy farmers’, it’s easier than working for a living.

  35. Chrissy1
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    A lot of people are being sidetracked here squabbling over whether or not climate change exists and whether it is man made. Surely a more sensible approach would be to consider whether anything we can do will reduce CO2, or whether it would make more sense to try to mitigate the effects of future climate change, for example by relocating people off flood plains?

    A more sensible focus would be to seek to minimise use of the earth’s finite resources. This would require energy from fossil fuels to be priced at a higher level than energy from non-fossil fuels.

    There are ways to trap and store energy which do not seem to have been brought to the attention of politicians, such as from tide mills. The mill pond fills up as the tide comes in and drives a wheel to make power for milling (or in the modern era, electricity) when the tide is out. In the Solent alone there were around 24 such tidal mills, many ponds of which are still intact and could be resurrected at little cost. One obvious benefit of course is that the tide ebbs and flows in all seasons, and thus has great advantage over solar or wind power. As well as the existing tide mill ponds, other structures already present such as wet docks could be used for the purpose.

    Another example is to cut and gather biomass from the highway verge. In the county where I live, the highway authority has neglected the maintenance of the highway verges for so long that they are covered with trees and scrub which could be put to beneficial use, and would have the added advantage of making the verges usable again, and improving visibility for road users.

    One more point I wish to make is that solar farms on bare land should be banned. If the technology makes sense, the panels should be mounted on existing warehouses, not on agricultural land which is needed for growing food.

  36. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Agreed 100%. But granny should wear winter woolies if need be.

  37. Grindelow
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    The elephant in the room is having enough base load generation to meet demand in the UK. Politicians are only interested in renewables but these are only the froth.

    The UK is reliant on base load generation because renewable energy is intermittent. In the 2010 cold spell wind power was only generating 61MW peak out of 2430MW total, only 2.5% of its theoretical capacity, due to low wind speeds normal in high pressure zones. The peak load was 60,000MW, virtually all from convenient and nuclear power. If the UK fails to address the problem of replacement conventional power to meet those closed by age and EU regulation in the nest few years there will be power cuts. Alternatively the UK could create high cost grid power. In either event the public and companies will respond by moving away from dependence on grid power.

    Motor Generator sets cost less than £1000 for several KW output. Run from petrol these will be expensive to run due to high taxation. However gas costs around 4.5 P per kWh. Assume an efficiency of 35% then electricity generated will cost about 12.8 P per kWh whereas grid electricity is typically 13.5 P per kWh.

    The around 2/3 energy that is dissipated in cooling powers for grid power could be collected at home and used for space and water heating. It would not take long for these additions to be made to motor generator sets to enhance saleability from the increased efficiency.

    In effect UK energy policies are creating a new market for cheap gridless power but they have not realized this.

  38. Grindelow
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to add that if motor generator sets are run from gas the CO2 generated will be far less than where coal is used for grid power. If the waste heat is collected and used for water and space heating the CO2 savings are event greater. If home owners were paid for exporting ‘spare’ electricity to the grid this would further increase efficiency and reduce CO2 production.

  39. Grindelow
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Government has a policy to force reduction in electricity use by about 25% by 220 see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/10107478/MPs-want-to-turn-your-lights-off.-A-shame-no-one-told-you.html

    I suspect they have not thought this through. Electricity is only 20% of the total UK energy use. 50% is petroleum and 20% gas so a 25% reduction in electricity will only reduce total energy use by about 6%. Unfortunately electricity is used for many important complex functions so reductions are likely to reduce economic output noticeably.

  • 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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