Why we have dear energy

 

              I want cheap energy. I have tried various proposals to bring this about, all to little avail so far.

              The Chancellor and Prime Minister now want cheaper energy. It is good to have powerful allies. So why can’t they just fix it?

              The reason is simple. All the time we are in the EU and bound by its laws, there is strong pressure for dear energy. We are under several legal requirements which necessitate dear energy.

               The UK has been forced to close a number of coal and oil fuelled power stations which provided relatively cheap electricity, to comply with an EU emissions directive. I have urged the government to seek a temporary exemption whilst we sort out new ways of generating affordable power, but Mr Davey the Energy Secretary has not done so. There is no guarantee we would get such a derogation, but surely it would be worth a try? If we could demonstrate without these older stations we might run out of power we could  just ignore the Directive on grounds of security of supply and overriding national interest if they refused to see sense.

               The UK signed up under Labour to an extremely expensive renewables obligation. The UK is having to expand its output of renewable power massively. This is expensive power to provide. The more we rely on it, the higher our bills go. Much of it is interruptible, so we also have the extra cost of back up power sources for when the wind does not blow or the sun is not strong enough.

               The UK also signed up to carbon reducing requirements which reinforce the move to dearer energy.

               Labour signed up to these laws under Mr Miliband as Energy Secretary. He told us at the time that it would mean dearer energy, but he thought that a price worth paying to have a pioneering carbon reduction policy. Now he says he wants energy prices frozen, regardless of the rising costs of renewable energy as the proportion of it increases, and regardless of the costs of gas or oil on the market. Under pressure has had to agree his freeze policy could not work if world energy prices took off during the freeze.

           Nor can they work on the figures. The typical profit margin of a large energy company in the UK is 4%. If all companies worked for no profit at all – not something that of course can work – they would still need price rises now to hit breakeven, given what’s happened to costs.  Mr Miliband is trying to offer people something for nothing. He is seeking  to spend far more than the current profits of the energy companies. He needs to grasp that if investors think the relatively low margins of the majors are going to be slashed, there is not much point in investing in UK energy. Who will then build or the new and replacement capacity we need?

              So what should we do? The UK government should go to Brussels and explain we need to have a dash for gas and other cheaper energy. The UK will do this regardless. We would be happy to contribute to a revision of EU law to make it legal and to help other EU countries also damaged by dear energy.  If not, the UK will simply have to take action on its own. It would be part of our renegotiation.  Our country needs cheaper energy. It is an overriding national interest. I see from the remarks of the Industry Commissioner in Brussels there are some in our EU government who understand just how much damage the EU’s energy policy is now doing. It is pushing much industry and business out of the EU to places where energy is cheaper.

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158 Comments

  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Mr Miliband’s behaviour deserves utter contempt. He has behaved abominably. And then the utterly weak tactic of switching the blame for the oncoming crisis to the “rich” power providers is – yes – the weakness of an adolescent.

    Meanwhile the government – most of which actually voted enthusiastically (not you, Mr Redwood) for climate change – sits complacently by and smiles faintly.

    Not good enough.

    (PS Fuel poverty indeed – I have already bought my candles.)

    • uanime5
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Given how the energy companies keep making larger and larger profits, while more and more people struggle to pay their bills it’s clear that the energy companies are the problem.

      • Hope
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Socialist rot.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 14, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

          How does a utility company fail to make a profit and what way can they ever make a loss? In any other industry higher costs mean lower profits in their case they are able to avoid gravity and increase profits by just putting price up and blaming the government backed up by apologists like yourself. Thats the socialist rot for you. Socialism for the rich. Ram it.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Uanime5

        And 10% of the cost being tax is fine is it ?

        And 60% ( sixty ) of a litre of fuel being tax and duty is fine is it?

        Lets assume that you manage to shut down all of the private energy companies and replace them with one nationalise provider, how do you intend to keep their costs down based on the price of the energy they buy in from abroad?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Wrong again Uni
        Energy companies have profits of around 5% similar to many large companies.
        Not a huge return on capital invested compared to the risks involved.
        Would you invest your savings?

        • Bazman
          Posted October 14, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

          Risks? Investment? No risk to them or their pensions. 10 million for running a company in a monopoly backed by the state? Apologist nonsense. Its interesting to note that many of the companies are owned by foreign companies that are prevented from profiteering in their own countries and many sovereign wealth funds see them as a dead cert.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 14, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

            I would have thought a good European like you would welcome “foreign” ownership of big UK companies Baz considering you keep telling us how much better employers they are.
            Governments have agreements with energy companies and have done for decades.
            They invest huge sums over long periods in order to maintain sufficient power supplies to keep the lights on in this country
            In return there are certain guarantees on prices.
            The world wholesale prices for gas and oil have risen considerably lately mainly due to the increased demand from China India etc
            Get real and stop moaning.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            The bills are small in my house. Sometimes due to the heat of cooking and clothes drying the windows have to be opened to let some cool air in during winter. It’s the moaning pensioners freezing instead of eating you should tell. Obviously like food banks recipients they are just pretending to be cold and need to budget better? With a key meter one presumes? Investing in profits to be sent offshore is not investment. If you Guarantee a prices and own the equipment then you may as well run the job too. Ram it.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

            More illogical nonsense Baz
            Presumably you can reduce world prices by a wave of your socialist hand.
            You are a big supporter of green sustainable forms of power generation and so go tell the people you mention in your post that their bills are considerably higher as a result of your misguided beliefs.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          You can reduce prices by spending the ‘profits’ on cheaper more efficient and green energy for the benefit of the country and not just a few shareholders and insider companies. Your is socialism for the rich.

          • Nick
            Posted October 18, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            Baz – your ideology is making bills more expensive. It’s that simple. End the scam of green, start digging up shale. Cancel all green subsidy.

            This desperation toward ‘socialism’ is purile and tiresome. The state wastes money. The Eu wastes even more money. That waste makes us poorer.

  2. Alan
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Isn’t it one of the saving graces of the intermittent renewable energies – mainly wind power – that they require gas powered generators as a back up? We can build these power stations and extract shale gas to power them as part of a green policy. Gas powered generators are quick and cheap to build. They provide a flexible power supply that can respond quickly to extra demand.

    If it later turns out that the fears of climate change have been exaggerated, we will still have the means of making power cheaply from the gas powered generators. If the fears turn out to be justified we will have a renewable energy supply with an adequate back up for when the wind does not blow.

  3. colliemum
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I simply do not understand why the government cannot repeal the CCA.
    It is not good enough to moan that the bad Libs won’t let you. By now the fact that there hasn’t bee a catastrophic warming because of our human CO2 production should have reached you lot in Parliament, and it surely is time to ask why we must ruin our economy, why we must have people live in fuel poverty, why people must pay green levies for something which does not exist.

    As for the repeated plaintive moan that there’s this EU Directive – obviously, other countries are not giving a toss about those directives, with Germany building new coal power stations while we close ours.
    So why is the government so subservient, why do we have to wait until the unelected and unaccountable EU Kommissars decide that perhaps they might have been wrong?
    After all, we stop doing something, eating something or drinking something immediately when it is nefarious to our body without waiting for someone ‘in authority’ to tell us so, incurring more damage while we wait.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Given that the Climate Change Act is supported by scientific evidence repealing it will just show that the Government is willing to ignore evidence for the sake of their ideology. This will cause them to lose seats at the next election as most people don’t like being ruled by politicians who act in such an arbitrary manner.

      Also Germany can build new coal power plants because EU law doesn’t prohibit this. However UK law does prohibit the UK building new coal power plants.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        ‘Also Germany can build new coal power plants because EU law doesn’t prohibit this. However UK law does prohibit the UK building new coal power plants.’

        And I wonder who we can thank for that one then!

        Level playing field? Our firms competing on an equal basis and not shackled by burdensome regulations?

        I don’t know why we bother with you.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        Uanime5

        You consistently cite Germany as a paragon of all that is good. Have you ever been there? Because just about everything you say about Germany is WRONG.

      • Nick
        Posted October 18, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        There is no evidence. It’s all a fabrication ot keep tax payers money going into the pockets of liars and charlatans.

        Please stop suggesting that green has any basis in science whatsoever.

  4. Sue Jameson
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Just another reason to invoke art 50, for as soon as we have done so, we can begin to negotiate in earnest. This government is quick to invite newcomers to the country whilst shoving the rest of us towards poverty and foodbanks. You’re a disgrace, the EU is a disgrace and Cameron will go down in history as the worse Prime Minister we’ve ever had.

    Energy: fracking revisited Even fracking will soon be out of the question. Europeans are being pushed into third world poverty by a group of idealists no doubt all related to Red Ed’s dad. Since when did we become a Marxist society?

    FORGET THE REFERENDUM, IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT RENEGOTIATING, INVOKE ARTICLE 50. IT’S AN OFFER THEY CAN’T REFUSE.

    Reply The electorate choose a federalist Parliament in 2010 so there is no majority to invoke Article 50! How many more times do I have to remind you all of the obvious. Of course the Uk could invoke Article 50 and leave the EU, but that requires a majority of MPs prepared to vote for it.

    • Timaction
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      We the people did not vote for the Federalist Parliament. Mainstream politicians, particularly David Cameron was disingenuous so we end up with more of the same. People are waking up to this and are all out here talking about it. We are overwhelmed by immigration from everywhere, we are overcrowded and the provision our public services are starting to creak. Health services will have to rationed as the coalition just gives them away to …everyone. Housing, education etc. the same. Its the politics of madness and it has to change. Therefore we all know what we have to do. Just remind me what the coalition has achieved on the things that matter to the public? Zilch, just more taxes and falling living standards.

    • Anthem
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      “Of course the Uk could invoke Article 50 and leave the EU, but that requires a majority of MPs prepared to vote for it.”

      Indeed. Something I suspect many voters will be bearing in mind come the next general election.

      This whole sorry farce is beyond ridiculous at this stage.

      How on earth did we ever get to the stage where we have to ask permission to generate energy the country needs? It’s absolutely outrageous.

      Energy is a fundamental requirement of life. It is literally the driving force behind everything.

      When there are people preventing you from doing the things necessary in order to live then it really is time to cut ties with those people.

      Collectivist type philosophies are and always have been anti-life and we’re seeing a practical demonstration here.

      When people feel that their very existence is threatened, things can get messy very quickly and when those charged with protecting our interests appear to be doing the exact opposite, they will find themselves very much in the firing line.

      Sometimes literally – as history has shown on numerous occasions.

    • Duyfken
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      In order to persuade a parliament to vote to invoke Article 50, there must be pressure from the electorate. It is obvious that MPs are not prepared to countenance this, yet, and it seems the only chance of changing their minds is for us, the general public, to press the issue. So full marks to Sue Jameson for pushing the point (but JR is certainly not a “disgrace”).

      • Mark B
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        There does not need to be a vote from Parliament to invoke Article 50. The PM can do so at anytime he so wishes. What Parliament can do, is bring pressure to bear which, as our host often informs us, is unlikely.

        This leads me to conclude that Representative Democracy does not in any way shape or form live up to the name it bestows upon itself. It is neither representative of the peoples views or, a democracy. Parliamentarians’ I would argue, seek office, and indeed higher office, for themselves and their ‘supporters’ and NOT those that elected them. I am sure our kind host sees himself apart from that, but I will let him speak for himself.

        We therefore, in my opinion, need to look too the longterm and at other ‘democratic arrangements’ that will deliver, and support, the needs and wishes of the people.

  5. Richard1
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Conservatives need to take the bull by the horns and address the main issue behind dear energy policy – global warming theory. The main issue is what is the climate sensitivity of carbon and how much global warming are we in for? Is it c. 3C as some climate scientists, the IPCC and others say, or is it more like 1.0C as other climate scientists say, and as the evidence to date, as opposed to the models, suggests? Environmentalists attempt to obscure the issue by raising other spurious scares, such as destruction of marine life due to acidification, and more extreme weather, and call it ‘climate change’. But we should focus on the original scare and demand it be tested. Govt climate scientists and bodies such as the royal society pronounce on this issue, and campaign for specific policies but will not subject themselves to public scrutiny and debate by qualified scientists who disagree with them. It won’t do. Given the money going into supporting this area of research, and the huge costs of the policies global warming theorists are imposing on us, Parliament must demand better public scrutiny and debate. The IPCC is not an adequate forum, as it decides its conclusions and then looks for evidence, excluding dissenters. Parliament should call scientists from the 2 sides to give evidence and debate together in a public forum. As a first step, why don’t you invite Prof R Lindzen of MIT to do a guest post setting out what the areas of scientific uncertainty are?

    • Bazman
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Prof R Lindzen has dubious credibility His view on smoking data as a health risk are remarkably close to his views on climate change and his income and funding? Google him and see..

      • Richard1
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        He is professor of atmospheric physics at MIT, currently the highest-rated university in the world. I would think he is at least as qualified to pontificate on global warming as you or unamime5.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          Not as a propagandist and much of what he says is.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Dear Bazman

        Richard Siegmund Lindzen (born February 8, 1940) is an American atmospheric physicist and Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lindzen is known for his work in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere, atmospheric tides and ozone photochemistry. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and books

        The ONLY citation about Lindzen and smoking is from a left wing climate propaganda site that tried to smear him by misquoting his views. From which you have cut and pasted your quote.

        The idiot that wrote the quote then went on to say I would have asked him his views directly but that was too confrontational, all he wanted to do was talk about the data !!!!

        Keep trying with your troll propaganda .

        Oh I also suggest that you read the scientific papers on smoking and lung cancer, which states that the data is weak.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          Because the date is weak smoking is not bad for you and does not cause lung cancer? We will leave it at that. The health effects of smoking are self evident. Would you not agree? Emperors clothes.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

            Bazzy

            Please at least make an effort to read and understand.

            Neither Lindzen nor anyone else has said that smoking is good or healthy. All that Lindzen said is EXCATLY what the origin Doll report into smoking and health said that the data link between smoking and lung cancer is weak, NOT that it doesn’t exist. What Doll ( and Linzen ) were saying is it needed more work scientifically.

            Trying to use such misquoted out of context words is typical left wing nonsense.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Firstly the power plants are being closed down because of their sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, not because of their carbon dioxide emissions.

      Secondly as the global warming deniers have no evidence to back up their claims there’s no point having a debate with them.

      Thirdly the IPCC is an the best forum for scientific analysis, I suspect that you’re opposing them because they’re not telling you what you want to hear.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Your secondly paragraph says it all Uni
        Our hypothesis is right and anyone with an alternative view is wrong.
        No evidence you have is good enough.
        Therefore no need for any debate as we are right.
        Burn the heretics.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        As ever you simply deny there is any scientific dissent or doubt on established global warming theory. You are plainly wrong. My point is that Parliament should force public scrutiny since the global warming establishment, assisted by fanatical activists – who talk as you do – are evading such scrutiny and debate. Where else in public policy would this be possible?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Uanime5

        HOW MANY TIMES do you need to be told to check before you post?

        Emissionsof sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the electric power sector in 2012 declined to their lowest level since the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The decline in emissions is due primarily to an increasing number of coal-fired units retrofitted with flue-gas desulfurization (FGD), or scrubbers, to coal plants switching to lower sulfur coal, and to selective catalytic reduction (SCRs), selective noncatalytic reduction (SNCR), or low NOx burners to limit NOx emissions. In recent years the decreased use of coal for electric power generation because of cheaper natural gas has also played a significant role in the SO2 and NOx emissions declines.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        I think you are the one who really is in denial.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415191/And-global-COOLING-Return-Arctic-ice-cap-grows-29-year.html

        From the piece;
        “Some eminent scientists now believe the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century . . . . ”

        No one denies ‘Climate Change’. It is a natural phenomenon that as been going on for millions of years. We just do not believe that a gas that makes just 0.03% of our atmosphere represents a danger of catastrophic proportions that we need to turn back the progress of mankind.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 14, 2013 at 5:58 am | Permalink

          97% of serious climate change scientists believe man made emissions are a cause for serious concern. If 97% if serious economists siad right wing fantasy was the best way to run a country you would be shouting it from the rooftops. This idea that no amount of CO2 emitted by man will have no detrimental effects is just such a fantasy. No man made eco system has ever worked for very long so it would be wise to be cautious and CO”goes together with other air pollution which you must agree is a problem.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 14, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

            OK fine Baz
            Lets go to the next stage and assume you are right.
            How are you going to get every nation to agree on a limit for total CO2 as well as agreeing their share and police that limit for evermore.
            Then once you’ve got the temperature falling, set annual world CO2 limits to control the ideal global temperature?
            Have you ever thought this bit through?

          • libertarian
            Posted October 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

            Baz

            Our planet would cease to exist without CO2. Your failure to even know that say all you need to know.

            You stat about 97% of Climate scientists is made up. The 97% figure quoted is 97% of ALL types of scientists and non scientists involved with IPCC reports.

            I suggest you go check out China and Chinese scientists thoughts on AGW for a start. Then maybe the Russians then come back with a more likely real statistic.

            By the way how many scientists knew that Galileo, Copernicus, Newton and Darwin were wrong to name just a few. Science is a history of a few people challenging the consensus of the many.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Clutching at straws. Just because a gas is non toxic in low concentrations does not mean that it is not non toxic if it is contributing to deaths via global warming. Is oxygen a dangerous gas? The most dangerous. Ooooh! Nice fresh oxygen?! Life itself! China and Russia have a massive vested interest in global warming denial and paradoxically a need for clean energy too.

  6. Tad Davison
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I think that puts it rather succinctly John. We know the nature of the problem (or at least most of us do, there are some who post on this site who would argue the sun doesn’t comes up each morning if it was the Labour party line).

    So how do you put your message across to the wider public, when one of our national broadcasters is so reluctant to tell it like it is?

    Until everyone is aware of the true nature of the problem, and has all the facts laid before them, they cannot reasonably be expected to make an informed decision when it comes to who not to vote for. And of course, that includes the elderly, the disabled, those who are out of work through no fault of their own, and every other category driven into fuel poverty by the very people who are supposed to champion their cause.

    A good dose of openness and truth from the BBC might not therefore go amiss, rather than continually protecting the liberal socialist pro-EU money-gobbling elite with their lop-sided reporting.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      And as I write, the BBC Newswatch programme shown on the BBC News Channel, has just carried a story where people have complained about last week’s ‘Watchdog’ where Mr Miliband was given air time to expound his views – a free party political broadcast by any other name – whilst the other party leaders weren’t apparently given the same opportunity.

      Tad

      • uanime5
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Well the other party leaders weren’t making any promises over energy so there’s no point interviewing them.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          Not even in the interests of balance and fair play, to comment on what Mr Miliband had said?

          You’re letting your mask slip, and revealing just how unequal and arrogant socialism is. ‘Oh, they’re not important, so we won’t let them in on it to put their own case.’ And you agree with such practises?

          Shoddy biased journalism if ever I saw it! No wonder so many people think of socialism as prescriptive and dangerous!

    • Bob
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      @Tad

      The BBC’s part in Britain’s downfall cannot be overstated.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Too right Bob! It’s little better than the state-run media we saw in the former communist satellites, only the BBC hides behind a cloak of assumed respectability and impartiality.

        I watch the BBC for its coverage of current affairs, then compare it with that from other broadcasters. The others are far more incisive and comprehensive. The BBC is very poor by comparison. Their bias is easily spotted by anyone who takes the time to look, but in a totally dispassionate way.

        Yet no matter how powerful or compelling the arguments, the BBC will not give proper weight to a view that doesn’t coincide with those of the inappropriately-named arrogant and contemptible liberal ‘intelligentsia’. Considering the absolute b*lls they have made of things thus far, I think we desperately need an alternative!

        Things will change if we can stop the bias and the brain-washing.

        Tad

        • Bazman
          Posted October 14, 2013 at 6:00 am | Permalink

          But al-Jazeera is impartial like Fox news. The licence fee is a red herring. You believe that the public do not understand right wing fantasy because of the BBC. They do and this is your problem.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

            You just don’t get it do you Baz?
            Fox News or Baz TV can be as biased as they wish.
            The BBC funded by a compulsory licence fee is obliged to be impartial via its charter.

            Can you spot the difference?

          • Bazman
            Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            Red herring.People volunteer to pay for SKY next. LOL!

          • Edward2
            Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

            Not a red herring Baz, but a formal requirement of the BBC charter to remain impartial which they are not.
            Sky etc depend on collecting revenues from volunteer subcribers or attracting advertising money based on audience size to survive.
            They can be as biased as they want.
            But the BBC cannot
            Get it yet?

          • Bazman
            Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            Both Labour and the Tories at some point have believed the BBC is bias. It’s just not ‘right’! Is your main gripe. Lol!

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Tad,
      Haven’t you heard, Greg Barker, Conservative Ministerof State for Climate Change (no less), has told the Science and Technology Committee that the BBC gives too much prominence to sceptics of climate change! Amongst other nonsense he espoused, he said : “I’m not trying to ban all dissenting voices but we are doing the public a disservice by treating them as equal, which is not the case.” Our esteemed host is an alien in his own parliamentary party it would seem.

      Reply I think more would agree with me than with Mr Barker in the Conservative party.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply,
        What use is that when he is a minister and you are not?

        Reply Change can come from the pressure of opinion within the party,as it is on this issue. Who would have thought this leadership would be discussing ending green taxes?

        • Brian Tomkinson
          Posted October 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply,
          I don’t accept that your leadership is “discussing ending green taxes”. Where and when did this happen? Or do you mean Cameron’s mealy mouthed comment that we shan’t have them for a minute longer than necessary? Thanks for nothing!

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          Reply to John’s reply:

          Oh, but I see a problem with any deviation from their present course, regardless of how popular it may be to lose Barker! Just wait until the BBC start piling the pressure on Mr Cameron with howls of ‘U-turn’! He promised the greenest government ever before the 2010 election, but I’m not sure he intended to freeze people to death in the process.

          Of course, the means to extricate ourselves from this mess, is to halt the meddling by the EU and do what is right for our own people and British business. Others have made the valid point that there’s little point in going to extremes in pursuit of green policies, when it means there’s going to be nothing left of industry to speak of. We came out of the stone age a while back, and I for one think we shouldn’t do anything that will take us back there. That is regressive. Man is very inventive and can overcome most things given time and the resources, even climate change, if indeed it is happening to the extent others claim.

          And for Mr Barker’s comments about not treating climate sceptics as equals, why is he so scared to have an open debate, might it be because he is on shaky ground?

          I have said many times, that to stifle debate is to deny democracy. Only those with a weak argument have anything to fear. That was the method of the left, to manipulate circumstances so free-thinking people couldn’t pick holes in their flawed ideology. Barker is one of those Tories in lefty clothing, who has cost the party so dearly in the past.

          Tad

        • ian wragg
          Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          I bet he doesn’t reduce the subsidies from domestic bills by using general taxation. He will keep spouting that bills would be much higher if the government hadn’t done what it’s done.
          The same as freezing fuel duty and telling us we’ve had a tax cut.
          Do you really think we are all so stupid.

      • wab
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        “Reply I think more would agree with me than with Mr Barker in the Conservative party.”

        Quite possibly yes, but totally irrelevant. Science (and reality) is not governed by a popularity contest. Science (and reality) is not governed by the interests of the super-rich people who control the nation’s tabloids and who purposefully try to misinform the citizenry. Science (and reality) is not governed by the wilful ignorance of Oxford-educated humanities graduates who happen to be MPs.

      • Mark
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        It sounds as though Mr Barker is for climate change at the expense of everyone else. His plea also seems to have licensed the BBC to offer Mr Miliband an unscheduled PPB, with no counter.

  7. alan jutson
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Once again we have MPs, Energy Secretaries, present and past Prime Ministers ignorant as to the workings of a commercial business.

    If you force a company to purchase/use raw materials at a higher cost than normal, then prices have to go up to pay for it, so the end user pays more.

    If you introduce a new tax on a suppliers goods, then the price goes up by that amount of tax, so the end user pays more.

    If you introduce legislation that increases a suppliers costs, then you increase their costs and they increas prices to cover it, so the end user pays more.

    What bits of this do governments not seem to understand.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Alan!

      We’ll end up with nothing whilst our competitors race ahead. All because of unproven science, and a need to look good on the international stage.

      Tad

    • uanime5
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      The problems occur when the increase in prices by companies is greater than the cost incurred by the changes.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

        Remind me to campaign for tighter controls of Whacky Baccy.

  8. Livelogic
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Exactly.

    No sensible Prime Minister would employ Ed Davey, Lord Debden, Tim Yeo nor indeed Greg Clark they all seem hooked on the absurd Catastrophic Warming Religon. If we believe what they say. But then so does Cameron with his “greenest government ever” modernising drivel.

    Even if one believes in this huge scientific exaggeration/scam then carpeting the UK in windmills that generate expensive intermittent electricity and PV on people roofs with absurd subsidies is still mad.

    Perhaps spend money on research for a real working solution, but rolling out production and installation of expensive non working solution if insane.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      What is the energy policy your new country of residence and how sensible is it?

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

        Mainly nuclear electricity and oil heating.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 13, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          So you live in France as this country there is a lot of oil heating systems in homes and state funded nuclear generation.!? Interesting to see how you live in a highly socialist country yet see fit to tell us in the UK we need more extreme No wonder you are so shy about the country you live in. Same old same old and quite typical of your ilk. You live in France as it cannot be Switzerland or Sweden. Thats that settled. Your fantasies on Britain will be weighed against this.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            I’m surprised you are surprised Baz
            LL has many times said that France is a place where he or she has a home.
            Should living for example in Barrow on Furnace, therefore stop you be allowed to make comments about London ?

          • Bazman
            Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            Living for example in ‘Barrow on Furnace’ as you call it, travelled Britain much Edward? gives you the right to question elitist policies on London However Lifogic is hiding from a place of residence as he will be accused of being an ex-pat telling us about Britain or more than likely a London dreamer who has taken on the persona and views of a rich international minority who think they should be treated like royalty as they hand down their alms as they plunder that countries protection services and infrastructure without paying the correct tolls.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            LL has just as much right to an opinion as me or you and trying to disqualify LL the right to speak out for having a home outside the UK is a nonsense.
            You just have this odd idea that only you are right based on just your experiences of life.
            You display the reasons all left wing societies end up as dictatorships.
            No one must dissent and no one shall have an alternative opinion.

        • Bazman
          Posted October 14, 2013 at 6:04 am | Permalink

          You need to learn to read and understand. He cannot tell us where he lives as this will undermine his fantasies and he knows it. Do not tell me how Britain should be run whilst living as an ex-pat in a bubble. This is my point.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 14, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

            Well prepare to get all cross and annoyed then Baz because if you look at the map on the side of Mr Redwood’s site you will see many contributors do not live in the UK as you demand they do to be allowed to write posts.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

            Not a secret though is it for them. Lif<l9"gic cannot even tell us which bubble he lives in? His head most likely!

          • Edward2
            Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            Pathetic nonsense.

  9. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Miliband and those like him obviously detest the very idea of private energy companies. The simple question he should ask himself is exactly what would he do as regards prices if the companies were nationalised. He should try and get his head round the need for control of costs rather than prices. As usual the green lobby is a tragic Utopian joke and the fact that it was Miliband who brought in a lot of this nonsense is beyond belief. The Conservatives should take a stand on this issue alone and if the Liberals do not see sense an immediate election somehow forced.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree LS. Labour’s energy policy in particular has more holes than a lace curtain, and it needs to be exposed along with the rest, but I wish I knew how to do that, when the cards are so heavily stacked against an open and meaningful debate.

      Watch how the BBC seizes upon even a very slight miscalculation by those on this side of the argument, and blow it up as if it were a massive gaff or a scandal. Yet buries any distortion of the true position by the liberal left. We can win the argument if we can get the message out there, but not if we are inhibited by those who have an agenda that in all but name stops us having a piece of the coverage pie.

      Tad

    • Bob
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      @Leslie Singleton
      “exactly what would he do as regards prices if the companies were nationalised”

      He would subsidise them with borrowed money.
      Then our children will be left with the bill, it’s Labour policy.

    • Mark
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      We do not have a proper competitive energy sector. They are like PFI contractors, implementing a botched policy designed by politicians. Formal nationalisation wouldn’t change the underlying policies that add so much to costs, but would remove the residual element of competition, and probably lead to still higher bills.

  10. A different Simon
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    John ,

    Instead of fighting to keep these coal powerstations in operation , you should be fighting to change the 2008 Climate Change act so that they can be replaced with more modern and far superior new coal power stations .

    The Climate Change sets a co2 emissions limit for new fossil fuel generation of 450g / kWh . Advanced German coal power stations generate 770g CO2/kWh .

    Our old coal powerstations burn better coal much less efficiently .

    If your Govt wants to do something useful then raise the limits for new fossil fuel generation to 800g CO2/kWh so these old coal powerstations can be replaced with new ones .

    This would also enable syngas generated by in situ-gasification of coal to be used for electricity generation . The coal under a small part of the Humber estuary alone could produce syngas with energy equivalent to 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent .

    With the price of coal being so low (due to American coal being exported rather than burned domestically) it would be difficult to justify replacement of existing coal power stations on a solely economic basis .

    However if you want the UK to be a centre of engineering excellence you need to provide engineers with such projects .

    Surely we owe it to people who live near coal powerstations to scrub as much mercury , sulphur and ash from the smoke as we can ?

    Ed Miliband knew there was no price gouging yet came up with a proposal which would appeal to people who wanted to believe there was .

    You must know that the problems with coal are home grown so why do you keep trying to blame them on Europe ?

    We need politicians to be honest with us , not pander to our prejudices .

    • stred
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Does the 450g CO2/kWh allow the building of conventional gas generators?

      • A different Simon
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        It certainly allows for combined cycle gas turbines fueled by methane .

        Whether it supports gas turbines without a bolted on boiler and steam cycle I don’t know .

        I’ve heard people claim we need those in order to respond in time but I’m not sure I buy it when we have a huge reserves of energy stored in the boilers of coal powerstations .

        Henry Ford had a combined cycle electricity generation at his factories before WW1 . Reciprocating engines rather than turbines but still using the exhaust heat to create steam .

        Electricity generation only accounts for around a third of the fuel the UK consumes . Transport , domestic and industrial heating and the chemical industry use more . Money is better spent on insulation than obsessing about electricity generation .

  11. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I agree that the UK Government in the form of D.Cameron should go to Brussels and announce that the Conservative 2015 manifesto will pledge an in/out referendum within 6 months of election i.e. within the 2015 calendar year. If the EU politburo wants the UK to remain a member it needs to change to just a free trade area with free movement of labour but subject to national law and the ability to reasonably deny entry and deport foreigners solely at the discretion of our Judiciary and Home Office. Chances of this happening completely nil. Whilst you and other Conservative MPs go along with this renegotiation drivel then the consequences from the chronicly flawed EU laws will continue and Ed will be PM and UKIP will see the end of Cameron.

    Purely on the energy issue I wrote recently how our unit gas cost had gone up 19% and electricity 15% in the last year, now another round of increases is underway. The blame is predominantly with Governments and Cameron is as much to blame as the Labour green mob.

  12. Edward.
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    If not, the UK will simply have to take action on its own. Our country needs cheaper energy. It is an overriding national interest.

    “National interest” indeed Mr. Redwood indeed.

    I have to aver, there are some in this wretched coalition that do not have the “National interest” at heart.

    Indeed, wholesale – the national interests of Britain are being compromised, it could be noted that, doing the bidding of the Brussels Kommissars is more important for the yellow half of the coalition than attending to the needs of the people of this country. It was ever thus – they [the Liberal-democrats] should be nowhere near the levers of power, I wouldn’t trust them with a light dimmer…………. and dimmer.
    I think the Chancellor now gets it, it remains to be seen whether Mr. Cameron is yet to see the light – as it were. Even if, the prime minister were to actually want to halt the long march of the green agenda – would the other [yellow] half allow it?

    Furthermore, as Germany has ably and indubitably proven – it is possible to brazenly conflict with Brussels – Mr. Cameron please take note. Germany, by building NEW coal fired generating plant, it flies in the face of meeting any, if not all of the EU emissions targets for Germany – thus, EU rules and regulations can be bent and sidelined. Moreover, their power plants will burn lignite – at 30% carbon – a very dirty and inefficient fossil fuel.

    Merkel, Mutti Deutschland – told the EU to ‘take a hike’ – because it was in the national interest of Germany and the Germans. It remains to the seen, whether in the “national interest” that there is anybody in this current administration [Mr. Cameron’s coalition] who has sufficient spine to inform the Brussels machine – “Britain needs cheap energy – we will have it with or, without the permission of you – the Burgers of Brussels”.

  13. DrJohnGalan
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    So, as I understand it, the government’s approach is to cut help with insulating homes (which at least does something positive), while continuing to subsidise windmills.

    Mr Miliband’s solution is to apply Marxist logic, which will stop any investment by the energy companies.

    The EU’s solution is to transfer industry outside Europe, achieving the green goal of taking its people back to the living standards of the Middle Ages.

    The numbers that die from fuel poverty this coming winter should weigh heavily on the consciences of all those who have contributed to this mess be they Labour, Liberal or Conservative (with the honourable exceptions of Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie and Ann Widdecombe).

    • uanime5
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Mr Miliband’s solution is to apply Marxist logic, which will stop any investment by the energy companies.

      Given that these companies aren’t investing because the market is defective Miliband’s solution won’t change investment levels.

      The EU’s solution is to transfer industry outside Europe, achieving the green goal of taking its people back to the living standards of the Middle Ages.

      Given that Germany’s industries have remained in Germany it’s clear that this won’t happen.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Wrong on both claims Uni.

  14. Old Albion
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Or we could just invoke article 50………………..sorted

  15. stred
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The main problem in persuading such action is that the politicians in the Ministry are not qualified to understand the position and the generation and transmission industry benefits from the changes. Would they wish to give up the chance to build a transmission system to suit windfarms and pv which is 8x the previous value? These companies, many foreign, are piling in to harvest the ridiculous subsidies. They are paid to generate when the wind blows and paid not to when there is an excess. They are even paid to keep conventional stations running at variable levels rather than at constant, because the former is less efficient.

    They are paid to develop a the harvesting of forests in other countries thousands of miles away, the manufacture of wood pellets, transport and conversion of coal stations. they are paid to buy and manufacture ethanol from corn and sell it in petrol and for rapeseed oil to add to diesel.

    Some scientists have done the sums and doubt whether much if any CO2 will be saved when properly accounted. Now that temperatures have stopped rising the —– has hit the blades.

  16. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    It’s all very well to lambast, justifiably, the Labour government for engineering far higher energy prices but you conveniently forget that your very own leader pledged to lead “the greenest government ever” in May 2010. As in so much else, we have three parties in Westminster committed to policies designed to fleece the taxpayers and consumers. As for the EU, you know that your leader will do nothing. Even if he wanted to, which I doubt, he would cravenly use Clegg as his excuse for not being able to do anything. You know what needs to be done but you are trapped in a party which is led by people who will not listen to you, let alone consider taking your advice.

  17. Sean O'Hare
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Now the EU stops any hope we had of cheap energy through shale gas.

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84398

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      So according to Richard North the EU Parliament has misrepresented the meaning of one of its own votes. I find that completely believable, as we know that most MEPs are a dishonest lot and some of them have brought with them their national traditions of political, financial and legal malpractice.

      I think it’s more important that according to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard the UK government does not have a national veto to stop any EU proposals which can be classed as “environmental”.

      I find that the words “environment” and “environmental” did not even appear in the original EEC treaty, the 1957 Treaty of Rome; they seem to have come in with the Maastricht Treaty, and it seems that it was QMV from the start.

      So the answer to my question “Who gave up this veto?” now seems to be Major, rather than Thatcher as I previously guessed.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Denis, Major once said of his education, in a very Churchill-esque way, ‘Never before has so much been written, about so little’.

        What’s that telling us?

        Tad

    • A different Simon
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Sean ,

      The only significant thing about that vote was to require a full EAI at the exploration phase rather than production .

      It’s based on the totally artificial distinction of whether the well is frac’d or not .

      If it ever becomes law , which I doubt , it won’t be soon .

      Both Cuadrilla in Lancashire and BNK Petroleum in Poland anticipated this move and started EAI’s months ago .

    • Mark
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Arguably the bigger threat comes from this EU initiative:

      http://ec.europa.eu/governance/impact/planned_ia/docs/2013_ener_039_gas_balancing_transmission_systems_en.pdf

      You can be sure it will be designed to disadvantage the UK.

  18. lifelogic
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Also I see that the EU now wants to interfere and restrict fracking – so as to make it more expensive and delay it yet further. If we came up with a perfect clean source of energy (not that co2 plant food is dirty) – clean fusion for example they would still find countless objections and reasons to regulate and restrict.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Could these scientifically illiterate, catastrophic AGW & renewable religion types not just restrict themselves to wearing some fancy robes, some ritual chanting in from of their sometimes rotating crosses, refusing to eat some specific fish/meat or something and a bit of praying in church once a week – just like most other religions?

      This rather than pushing up granny’s fuel bill until she freezes to death.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps they could just live off all the bats and birds these rotating crucifixes kill, in some ritualistic, fancy dress meals or something?

  19. lifelogic
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Delingpole as usual has it about right.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/author/jamesdelingpole/

    • Bob
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      @lifelogic
      I agree.
      “What LibLabCon are doing, in other words, with regard to the skyrocketing cost of energy is not unakin to what the IPCC did with its Fifth Assessment Report: deny, deny, deny and hope that us poor saps in the real world will remain too stupid or too ill-informed or too blinded by environmentalist propaganda to notice what’s really going on.”

      I wonder if David Cameron is ready for yet another U-turn ?

      Also, I see that the BBC are still centre stage in promoting the new religion.
      A three and a half billion pound propaganda unit (paid for by it’s victims).

      • Bob
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        New TPA research shows that the main renewable subsidy is set to become a lot more expensive, with the cost rising from around £2bn to more than £5bn. That means more expensive energy bills if the Government doesn’t cut green taxes.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        The BBC bias in pushing this quack, catastrophic warming science as proven settled “science” is a total outrage.

        Yet still people like Greg Barker lash out at the BBC over its coverage of climate change, claiming it gives too much prominence to sceptics!

        I often wonder if these people are so daft as to actually believe in themselves. Surely they have some sensible scientists in government, or at the top of the generating companies, to tell the the truth.

  20. oldtimer
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Germany offers a sobering example of the futility of an energy policy structured around the drive to renewables. It has 66000 MW nominal installed wind and solar powered generating capacity. They do well if they will get a peak output of 20000 MW for a few hours a day if the sun shines or the wind blows. At other times of day it can and will fall below 600 MW a day. Because it is unreliable the capacity must be backed up by fossil fuelled standby generating capacity ready and able to spring into action when renewables fail to deliver, as they indeed fail. There is therefore duplication of capacity, waste of investment and waste of fuel to maintain the stability of the grid. Germany`s problem are compounded by the decision to close its nuclear power plants. The end result of all these measures is an increase in CO2 emisssions after the expenditure of c$1 trillion. A more idiotic energy policy is difficult to imagine. The UK is on the same track except it has closed coal fired stations.

    And all this is the consequence of worship before the false God that more man made CO2 is bad for the environment and drives our climate.

    • Mark
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Germany’s problems are even worse: on a sunny day they generate a large power surplus which they try to dump on neighbouring countries – which upsets their electricity grids. The power has to be sold at NEGATIVE prices (the same happens with Denmark’s wind power). Some countries are threatening to cut the grid links off rather than deal with the problems of power surges than can burn out grid links and trip transformers into blackout.

  21. Nick
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Stop complaining about it and repeal the laws. You are the party(s) in charge.

    If you don’t repeal you are in favour.

    Ah yes, its that pesky 8 trillion debt that you’ve hidden. You’re desperate for the cash.

    Reply The Conservative party is not in charge, it is just the largest minority party. We are linked to a federalist party and opposed by a federalist party, so cannot budge much on the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Not you personally of course, but your party is also a federalist party!

      Your party accepts that EU laws must always have primacy over our national laws, and it accepts that those EU laws may be decided by transnational majority voting without our government being able to veto them on instructions from Parliament; arguably it is going too far to describe that as a fully federal system, yet, but it is certainly “proto-federal” and well on the way to becoming fully federal.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Reply-reply

      John whilst I understand your reasoning with regard to suggested numbers, with respect, the solution is simple.

      The Conservatives or indeed a back bencher ( if that is possible under the system) put forward a bill to repeal all of the additional costs, regulations and cross subsidies on fuel for the last decade.

      Put it to the vote, and see who votes against it, for those who do are then shown to support higher prices, and you can remind the electorate of that at the next General Election.

      Call it “The repeal of the Labour/Miliband Fuel costs” if you like.

      Reply A backbencher has to win a ballot to earn the right to put forward any Bill. The Opposition and the government would urge MPs to vote down such a Bill, as it would not be legal under EU law.

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Reply – Reply

        So you could all just sit back and say “under EU law there is absolutely nothing we can do about it”

        Then why does the government not simply say that instead of messing around and playing party politics.

        The more times you say “absolutely nothing we can do about it because its EU law” perhaps the more some people in Parliament may begin to understand exactly who controls the UK.

        Then the penny may drop and more MP’S may start to have a realisation that even More EU is the real problem and we need less of it !

        Would Mr Milibands price freeze also be against EU Law, because if so perhaps he should be told.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative party is not in charge, no and all thanks to Cameron’s ratting, soft socialism and his giving Clegg equal TV billing.

  22. ian wragg
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    John, did Angela Murky have to go to Brussels for permission to build 11 coal and lignite power stations. I think not.
    Why has the economically illiterate Osborne introduced a carbon tax which doesn’t apply to any other EU country. It appears we can only go one way with prices which are smiled upon by the masters in Brussels but of course they wish to see the UK de-industrialised.
    When SSE say £110 is due to government green taxes they don’t mention 5% vat which is helping freeze people to death. A full 16% of the average bill is due to you clowns in Westminster and your handlers in Belgium.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      VAT, let us not forget, is an EU tax.

      Government’s, Local, National and Supra-National have grown addicted to high taxation, revenue, spending regimes. This leads to waste and corruption as large pools of monies tend to attract the less savoury types in society. be they rich or poor.

      • Mark
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        I recall before VAT we used to have Purchase Tax, which was levied at much higher rates – 33 1/3%, 50%…

    • Martyn G
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      I believe that our energy costs are amongst the lowest in the EU, so the Chancellor has every incentive to continue to raise taxation on our supplies to the consumer. It also suits the EU, I would think, because the increasing cost of energy in the UK levels the economic playing field so far as the EU is concerned.
      I wonder how the PM, leader of “the greenest government ever” can justify to himself the alleged government plans to putting into use who knows how many polluting diesel generators as emergency backup to minimise the effects of power shortages as our generation base dwindles? Where are they to be placed? Fuelled? Maintained? Connected into the national grid etc. Madness, utter madness arising from decades of incompetent and careless planning, regardless of who was or is in power.

      • ian wragg
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        The diesels are already there. In car parks, fields and hospitals. Most bare owned by foreign companies and they get £47000 per megawatt annually just for being there and about £200 per megawatt hour when running.
        Nice little earner for these French, German and Australian companies also the NHS.

    • Mark
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      In reality, it’s much more than that, because the sums don’t identify the consequences of the policy on costs. If you close down coal fired capacity that provides the cheapest electricity there are extra costs for more expensive sources of power, regardless of taxes, and the cost of writing down the power station before its normal life has to be added in as well. The requirements to connect windfarms add greatly to the costs of the National Grid, whose charges have almost doubled to cope – this would not have been needed if we had maintained our previous network of power stations. The fact that industry etc. also pay higher prices is also excluded in calculating the costs confined to your domestic energy bill, not the higher price you pay in the supermarket for the things you buy.

      Add in these factors, and the real costs of the policy are probably 3-4 times as much already – and will become much higher as we see more offshore wind farms come into operation, as they are guaranteed a price (£155/MWh) that is over 3 times the cost of power from a coal station.

  23. Bert Young
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Sidestepping the EU is a simple matter – just do it!! The French turn their back on dealing with the Romas ( I agree with them ) , so , we should have no hesitation in adopting any approach that would benefit our economy and the well-being of our population . Theresa May has recently announced how she is prepared to deal with illegal immigrants ( export them first and let the appeals come while they are abroad ) ; again , I agree with her . We have been far too ” mamby pamby ” in our relationship with the EU ; it does nothing more than stoke up the fires of indignation ! .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      I fundamentally disagree with this approach, unless you’re envisaging that the sidestepping would be expressly authorised by Parliament.

      Through its Acts approving the successive EU treaties Parliament has stated that we will faithfully perform what has been agreed and therefore we will obey every EU law produced by the operation of those treaties.

      So if ministers were to start arbitrarily ignoring EU laws without authorisation from Parliament they would not only be defying the EU, much more importantly they would be defying the expressed will of Parliament that every EU law must be obeyed and so undermining our national parliamentary democracy.

      It goes back over three centuries to the Bill of Rights 1688, the crucial parts of which are still on the statute book:

      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/WillandMarSess2/1/2/contents

      “… the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons … Declare …”

      “That the pretended Power of Suspending of Laws or the Execution of Laws by Regall Authority without Consent of Parlyament is illegall.”

      And presumably just to make that perfectly clear:

      “That the pretended Power of Dispensing with Laws or the Execution of Laws by Regall Authoritie as it hath beene assumed and exercised of late is illegall.”

      That remains the foundation of our parliamentary democracy, which we need to defend at all costs; if an EU law will have seriously harmful effects then we should look to our national Parliament to sort that out, boldly and openly, not suggest that Ministers of the Crown could sneakily ignore it.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      well said , but what will the ramifications be?

  24. David Hope
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Is the profit margin of the energy companies clear cut. It has been suggested that they are a lot higher but manipulated because of the way producers technically sell energy within their own company.

    Anyhow it makes little difference. I agree entirely that policy is what is pushing up prices so much. Saying you’ll freeze prices is not an answer. I cant believe policy here has gone so wrong nor that the lib dems have been given so nuch influence here.

    I suspect most politicians miss the gravity of the sitution. Energy affects everything we do from the costs of deliveries to running servers to manufacturing. Funny how those on the left who bang on about rebalancing the economy (as is sensible obviously) seem so keen on making manufacturing unviable here. Further, if the lights go out periodically whoever is in power will really suffer. Our economy can no longer function without computers

  25. Ken Adams
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    So Mr Redwood were you one of the 6 MPs who voted against the Climate Change act?

    I refused to vote for the Act and explained why I was against it at the time and subsequently.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      Well done. Just 6 against and a few abstentions. The power of insane, ignorant group think for all the rest it seems. Will someone save us from these fools.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        When this absurd measure is finally repealed, those MPs who bravely voted against it at the time should be knighted.

    • Bob
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it have been more proper to actually vote against it?
      Or were you absent on the day?

      Reply I was present and abstained deliberately. I made clear my disagreement with it, but saw no point in voting against given the landslide majority the Bill was going to get.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    There has long been cross-party agreement that we must decarbonise our economy.

    And for much longer there has also been cross-party agreement that we must obey every edict that comes from Brussels; apart from the odd blip when one party may briefly break ranks and question that, but only while in opposition.

    Plus there is now cross-party agreement that we should cease to have a free press.

    We are even close to a cross-party agreement that we must be forced to pay for those parties through our taxes.

    Whenever I hear or read those words “cross-party agreement” I tend to translate it as “another stitch-up of the people by the political establishment”.

    Because the European Communities Act 1972 is primary legislation it would need the express authorisation provided by new primary legislation to disapply EU laws on energy, or anything else, and there is no chance at all that any such Bill would get through the Commons as presently composed – a large majority of MPs would rather have thousands of us plebs freeze to death in the dark rather than ever defy the EU.

    And (like Mr Wharton’s EU referendum Bill) even if that Bill to disapply certain EU laws did get through the Commons it would not get through the Lords, packed as it is with supporters of the EU ranging from outright eurofederalists and EU pensioners to mere fellow travellers and dupes, so then it would be back to the Commons to decide whether to invoke the Parliament Acts to by-pass the Lords.

    Of course the problem is that whenever the present main parties get together and connive at another “cross-party agreement” for their mutual convenience and benefit, or to give effect to their primary loyalty towards the EU, there are no representatives of a patriotic party who would refuse to go along with it; and that is how they like it, and that is why they are all united in their efforts to stop UKIP making progress and getting candidates elected to the Commons.

  27. Acorn
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    It’s the markets dear boy, the markets! You don’t get rich making things; you get rich buying and selling the same lump of electric or gas, as many times as you can (churning), it’s the Conservative way, and the end user pays for the new Porsche.

    “There are three different exchange providers operating in the UK electricity market: the APX UK, the Nasdaq OMX N2EX and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). The latter mainly focuses on trading in future contracts. On the APX Power Exchange, wholesale power traded in the intraday market reached 18.6 Twh in 2010. The APX Day Ahead auction was relaunched in April 2011 with the commissioning of the BritNed interconnector that links the British and Dutch power markets. In 2011 the traded volume in the APX Day Ahead auction was 2.5 Twh. Trading on the N2EX exchange started in January 2010. During the first full year of operation, the amount of day-ahead traded contracts was 2.6 Twh. In 2011, the amount of day-ahead auctions on the N2EX exchange reached 18.7 Twh. It is also worth noting that only 8.5% of power trading was carried out on power exchanges. The bulk of the power was traded over-the-counter (OTC). In 2011, the average day-ahead power price in the UK was EUR 56.5/MWh, higher than other European countries in the Central-West region. (Energy Markets in the European Union 2011)

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Acorn

      “its the markets dear Boy……..”

      I have to say your First paragraph sums up how so few, can cost so many, so much.

      Such is the way business is done today by those who have the power, the mindset, and the money (although not always) to gamble on futures.

  28. Atlas
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    If the EU obstructs UK attempts to claw our way out of overpriced energy by going for fracked gas then perhaps some of your backbench collegues will have second thoughts over a pre general-election EU referendum?

  29. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    New research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance shows that the main renewable subsidy is set to become a lot more expensive, with the cost rising from around £2bn this year to more than £5bn by 2018/19. That means more expensive energy bills if the Government doesn’t cut green taxes. What is your response to that?

  30. behindthefrogs
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Why are not all new commercial buildings and houses in the higher council tax bands built with solar panels on their roofs where the surroundings are suitable? This should be part of building regulations. The government needs to take action.

    Why are the weirs on rivers like the Thames not used to generate electricity? These weirs have a history of being built to power water mills and at places like Caversham Lock the original mill race still exists. They can supply power most of the year and yet currently only two on the Thames are being converted. The over subscription of the Osney Lock project shows that there is a public appetite to finance such developments.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I think it was only the day before yesterday that you repeated your view that the UK government should be abolished, now you want it to take action.

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        The suggestion that I made that the UK government should be abolished was not as far as I can remember a repetition and was anyway only made to emphasise a point. However it does worry me that the government seems unwilling to take sensible actions to encourage green energy that do not require contributions from the general taxpayer but at the same time increase our energy bills to achieve similar objectives.

    • Mark
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I have previously mentioned here that if we managed to harness all the potential hydro output from the Thames (regardless of the cost), it would amount to the equivalent of just one Rolls Royce Trent engine. The UK already exploits the vast majority of its hydro power potential – most of which is in areas with mountains and lakes that allow a big vertical drop for the water, converting gravity into usable energy.

      As to solar, unsubsidised it remains uneconomic at our Northerly latitudes.

  31. English Pensioner
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Any major supplier of energy from intermittent sources should be made to provide the necessary plant to provide a constant supply. There is no logical reason why those with non-renewable source power generators should have to act as the stand-by source for the wind generators, they need to maximize the usage of their plant to keep costs down. The wind generating companies should carry this cost.

  32. ChrisS
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    As someone who signed up to Gordon Brown’s ludicrously generous Solar Feed-in Tariff
    ( £11,000 invested, £1,850pa income tax free, index linked for 25 years ) I feel a little guilty.

    However, while these deals are on offer it seems foolish not to go for them.

    There are lots of Wind turbine schemes in the offing, one of which is Navitus, a hugely expensive eyesore that is being publicised and is due to be installed off the south coast.

    These could all be turned down in favour of more cost effective gas and Nuclear schemes.
    This would reduce bills in the long run.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      True (undistorted) value of the intermittent electricity actually produced (at a guess) £250 PA! So real pay back (that we all have to pay for) is perhaps 44 years less depreciation, cleaning, repairs, meter running costs, etc.

      Economic lunacy encouraged by absurd subsidy.

  33. Mark B
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Energy companies are private concerns and are governed by the rules of company law and a capitalist market. In short, unlike our politicians, they live in the real world !

    Companies that have share ownership, have to make profits in order to give dividends to share holders who invest in those concerns. No profit, and the investors pull out. Companies must recoup their investment and pay for services and materials purchased. They raise these monies from consumers who have purchase their goods and services. This is simple stuff. So why do our political class struggle with this basic concept ?

    We live in an age where we bemoan the high cost of energy yet, we are forced to purchase the services of Local, National and Supra-National Government Agencies by force of law – Why ?

    If I can choose my services provider, why cannot I also choose the system, not the political party, by which I am governed ?

    Currently Governments’ can create and charge us for all manner taxes such as this CO2 Tax. Yet we have no means of stopping them. It is all very well a good a well meaning politician (our kind host) raising this matter for and on our behalf, but even if he is ignored, whether it be by our own Government, or our Supra-National Government, there is little that even he can do.

    John Redwood MP said, “I want cheap energy. I have tried various proposals to bring this about, all to little avail so far.”

    Now I know our host is a law abiding man, and would not deliberately set out too encourage other to illegal acts but. When he states:

    “All the time we are in the EU and bound by its laws . . . . ”

    Then goes on to say:

    “We would be happy to contribute to a revision of EU law to make it legal and to help other EU countries also damaged by dear energy. If not, the UK will simply have to take action on its own.”

    The Bottom line is this:

    Whether you like the laws that are handed down too you by your, and our Masters in Brussels and Strasbourg, is neither here nor there. I do not like paying for a shoddy Local Government or BBC TV, but must pay by force of law. But ‘we’ have signed up to legally binding treaties, from Rome right through too Lisbon, and our Government, its Ministers’, Civil Servants and population must obey. They are the Supreme Authority in this land. And the sooner we ALL wake up to this, not often discussed, let a lone fact, the better.

    You Mr. Redwood MP sir, are bound by the law of this land, as we all are. It may not have originated here, but thanks to your colleagues and forebears this is the reality.

    Either you/or just we all work to change it, or just accept it.

    Reply I do not have to accept EU law going forward – I am trying to change our relationship with the EU so we do not have to obey its laws. This post was suggesting an issue which could start the process of redefining our relationship with the EU. My proposal could be made legal as I would wish by amending the 1972 European Communities Act.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      To reply: not with Cameron it will not, Miliband very soon it seems.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      “They are the Supreme Authority in this land.”

      No, that’s still Parliament; and hopefully one day when we have replaced most of its members with people who actually believe in the legal supremacy of their own Parliament, our national Parliament, supposedly the representative of the British people, they will go ahead and demonstrate that Parliament is still sovereign by ordering the government to invoke Article 50 TEU and negotiate our withdrawal from the EU. The less tidy alternative to that being the immediate repeal by Parliament of its European Communities Act 1972 and all subsequent Acts to approve EU treaties, with the consequence that the EU treaties would cease to apply to the UK.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Actually, when you look at the word ‘Supreme’ I think you will find that I am right.

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Supreme

        The EU and through the ECJ has authority over National Parliaments and Constitutions. That is why I always regard and refer too it as a Supra-National Government. Supra is Latin for ‘above’ I believe. And the EU is above us in the political structure.

        When you see this, rather than the illusion, you will come to understand just how much our Parliament is nothing more than an expensive talking shop.

        Apologies to our kind host, but that is how I see.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          No, because EU law has no more force in the UK than that which the UK Parliament has chosen to allow through it Acts.

          The UK Parliament retains the power to repeal its own original very foolish Act, the European Communities Act 1972, plus subsequent Acts to approve the later treaties, and then the EU treaties and laws would cease to have any force in this country.

  34. Max Dunbar
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Knowing how the UK tends to react rather than plan ahead and take the necessary measures, it must be no surprise that we find ourselves in this position. It would be good to have more information on this subject before passing judgement on these EU directives. I suspect that a lot of the blame for the parlous situation that we find ourselves in has more to do with our governments past and present than the EU.
    Our population is large and has grown enormously in the last 15 years due to mass immigration (an exception as this was planned). This increase must surely be a contributing factor in energy demand,provision and consumption just as it has put intolerable pressure on health provision and education.

  35. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    What to do?
    (1) Get fracking and tell the EU to take a running jump if it objects.
    (2) If we use coal fired stations, it has to be ‘clean coal’. Is this economical?
    (3) Get new nuclear under way with Hinckley Point and organise disposal of existing fission waste to gain public acceptance.
    (4) See if tidal power can be taken beyond the prototype stage.
    (5) Be aware of the limitations of wind farms – see below.

    If you build an onshore wind farm on a peat bog (such terrain is likely to be available), there is so much methane released in the construction and use of the access roads that it will, in greenhouse gas terms, exceed the total reduced emissions during the economic life of the wind farm.

    Energy from offshore wind farms is VERY expensive.

    Wind is intermittent (statement of the bleeding obvious). In the August just gone, there was so little wind that three out of six major wind farms were net ABSORBERS of energy. During periods of high wind, the excess energy generated cannot fully be stored. Contrast this with Scottish hydro power, where the energy is generated by falling water. If surplus energy is generated, some of the water is pumped back to the top.

  36. Bazman
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    We have six big energy companies passing on these costs which if you believe the telegraph are about a 100 odd quid year per customer onto the consumer. The fantasy that they make little money is just that they have made billions yet still refuse to invest any of this without the government giving guarantees on profits for the future. Since 2004 energy bills for a dual fuel customer with average consumption has risen from about £500 a year to nearly £1400 a year. To blame this entirely on green costs and inflation is not true and you all know it.
    It’s interesting to see how much lack of enthusiasm from the fantasists there is in doing a massive long term deal with Russia for cheap energy. How come? This low tax state with few regulations and little consideration for green or planning issues would be ideal. A country run for a rich minority would welcome such a deal would they not? No irritations such as democracy and profits to help the state infrastructure and population. You all know the answer don’t you? They would rip us off? Never! It would not be in their interests would it? Would it…? They would just be charging more due to production costs, political problems, customers willing to pay more. Terrorism threats, weather. You do not understand the logistics involved in such a vast country. the prices we agreed are historical and do not reflect the new realities in the world. Off course it would…What!? You now have alternative supplies and have no further need for Russian gas? Lets make a new deal my friend.
    Ram it.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Just one suggestion Baz, have a little look at world prices of gas and oil over the period you are moaning about and blaming UK energy companies for.
      Due to the rise of Chinese, Russian, Indian and other rapidly growing nations, demand has risen greatly.
      And world wholesale prices have risen with it.
      Perhaps uou or Mr Milliband can stop this by a wave of your hands.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 14, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        Increased raw material prices used to increase profits. Care to name any other industries that are able to do this. Just pass on the increased costs with a bit more added on. Apologist dreaming again eddy.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 14, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Baz if you are in business and world prices or national taxation rises then you pass this on in higher prices or you go out of business
          Cheap imports using cheap labour ruined many good manufactiring companies as you well know, but if you dont want to sit in the dark or find yourself laid off because your place of work has no power then these higher world prices need to be paid

        • Bazman
          Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink

          What you need to do in this case is to put the customer in this case as you say of national interest above the interests of fat cat croney capitalists. A point lost on you and many others it seems they are not there to help us by free market ideology, but to fill their boots by threats and having us down as mugs. What can we get away how long can we get away with it and what will be the consequences of being caught? The banking mantra.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            And your solution is what exactly?
            Apart from moaning.
            World wholsale energy prices are rising.
            Demand versus supply added to costs of providing green energy and all you can do is blame the companies providing the power.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            World wholesale energy prices are rising, so that must mean profits are falling for British energy companies. They are not!? How so? Can I be in such a business? A bit like banking really, or being a rich Russian and at the extreme being a rich North Korean. The envy in North Korea is just sickening as I was telling everyone at my last dinner party. We all drank beer in support of the party. It’s all legit of course. Ram it.

  37. Normandee
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    You and your fellow conservative mp’s who feel trapped in a Social Democrat party that is determined to follow the EU like the sheep they are, should pull yourselves out of the party. form a “new conservative party”, then you can continue with the obsession over “The Party” that is restricting your actions now. Cameron will not let you win, he has too many driven followers behind him, and too much support. Like an unpopular state that needs bringing in line you must sanction them, you must use force, playing by the rules has got you precisely nowhere, and don’t start with all the so called “changes” “you” have wrung from Cameron, it’s not you he’s scared of it’s UKIP. You could start by moving against Cameron. people say that UKIP is nothing without Farage, wrong, UKIP would be nothing without Cameron he is the force that is driving them.

    Reply Not so. Mr Cameron engages with us because we have votes in the Commons. Mr Farage is no sue to Mr C because he has no votes in the Commons.

    • Normandee
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      Cameron has no fear of your votes in the house you agree yourself you haven’t got enough to beat him, so stop fooling yourself or trying to fool us.
      Farage therefore has as much influence in the house as you, none, what he does have is influence on the street enough interest to reduce the social democrats of Cameron to opposition again. If you want to go down with him then carry on as you are, Cameron is Farages trump card, he is an idiot and Farage will play him and will finally destroy what little of the conservatives Cameron has left.
      You cannot hope to have the same effect on the street as Farage because you desperately cling on to “the party”, a party that has left you behind on the right and moved left into the EU camp.

      Reply I seem to remember winning the vote to cut the EU budget and did not see Mr Farage there!

      • Normandee
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        And having won that vote our contribution went up by how much?, what a victory.

  38. Rods
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I was looking at the 2012 SSE accounts yesterday and do agree with you that their profits are not unreasonable. Any freezing of prices by a future Government would be a disaster and if it is at a time of price volatility it could bankrupt the energy suppliers. Spain has major issues with their electricity generating industry, due to their government’s price cap.

    Renewables and the reduction in fossil fuel power generation is only half of the problem we have with the cost of energy.

    We have many significant problems with the supply, supply security and pricing of gas. Up to 2000 we could supply all of our gas needs from the North Sea. As this has declined we currently need to import about 40% of what we consume and this will rise to about 80% by 2020. With a steadily deteriorating trade balance this is not good news. One obvious solution where we have large onshore gas reserves is fracking to make up the shortfall if the EU will let us. France has upheld their ban on ‘environmental grounds’ and the EU is coming under pressure to ban fracking in all EU countries.

    The next issue is storage and security of supply. We have much less storage capacity than most EU countries, with only enough to cover about 2 weeks supply and we came within 6 hours of running out of gas in last spring’s cold snap! This lack of storage also means that we end up paying more for our gas. Many countries with much higher storage capacities stock up during the summer when prices are traditionally cheaper and use it during the winter so they are not paying peak winter prices, the UK does not have this luxury! As an example: Average EU import prices were $11.13 in July and $11.18/MMBTU in August 2012 and due to the cold spring they peaked at $12.88/MMBTU in April 2013. This means the peak price was 15.7% higher than the low summer prices. The current average EU gas import price is $11.61/MMBTU (source: http://ycharts.com/indicators/europe_natural_gas_price).

    Now compare this price to US gas prices, which range from $1.94 to $3.73/MMBTU (source: 11-10-2013 http://www.quandl.com/markets/global-commodity-markets/natural-gas). I am highly confident of this basis that the US economy will recover and boom. Over $30bn is being invested by US companies to on-shore many high energy industries and no country can compete with the US on this basis in chemicals, steel making and cement manufacture to name but a few. The US are also building LPG terminals to export some of their gas, which I expect to raise prices slightly in the US and reduce slightly global prices.

    So we need to get fracking (which to give the Conservative party credit they are making it a priority and have set levels of taxation to encourage this), increase our storage capacity and the building of more gas powered power stations (both of these are happening under Conservative policy, but very slowly, and need more government encouragement).

    As established oil and gas are depleted then the EROEI ratios are going to be much lower for new sources and they are probably not going to cover the loss of old depleted fields to meet global demand and this is going to happen sooner rather than later (in the 2015-2020 time frame). this means prices will rise until demand meets supply. For long term energy security the human race will have no choice but to embrace nuclear power. This needs to be Thorium based where there is over 1000 years of proven reserves to power all of our energy requirements. The UK were pioneers in using nuclear fuel for the generation of electricity with the first commercial power station opening at Calder Hall in 1956. Now the US, Russia, China and most of all India, who currently have more experience than any other country, all have Thorium nuclear power station development programs, so John where is the UK’s, to ensure continuity of energy supply?

    To illustrate how vital plentiful, affordable energy is to the survival of the world’s current population, the EROEI for the growing, processing and distribution of food is about 10:1 AGAINST.

  39. wab
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood as usual blames everyone but himself and his party, the sign of a mature politician if ever there was.

    The EU did not force the UK government to pass the CCA. The EU did not force the UK government to give ridiculously high subsidies for solar panel installation (so ridiculous that even George Monbiot opposed them). The EU did not force the UK government to make working class people pay 5% of their energy bill to subsidise the energy bills of the poor. The EU did not force the UK government to have no control over energy prices but to leave it up to a rigged market, where the higher the international energy price the more and more profit that energy companies rake in for doing absolutely nothing but sitting back and laughing.

    The Tories have shown again and again that they, as a party, have no interest in cheap energy. They will now and again talk about it to try and curry favour with the voters. Meanwhile, they have done nothing in terms of policy, and will do nothing in terms of policy. The Tories (except for a few cranks) voted for the CCA just like the other parties. The Tories have done nothing to ensure the lights do not go out. The Tories are the party of expensive housing and cheap talk about cheap energy. On energy the Tories are a complete and utter failure, like all other political parties.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      There is little difference politically speaking between the three main parties. The only thing that can be said to truly separate them is the colour of their Rosette.

      Put a yellow Rosette on David Cameron MP and you would be hard pressed to notice the difference.

      Politics is no longer defined by good old Left and Right. Its more of an ‘us’ verses ‘them’. Us being the people and them being the Political Class and the Establishment.

  40. uanime5
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    All the time we are in the EU and bound by its laws, there is strong pressure for dear energy. We are under several legal requirements which necessitate dear energy.

    If the EU is the problem would you care to explain why no other EU country has such expensive energy.

    The UK has been forced to close a number of coal and oil fuelled power stations which provided relatively cheap electricity, to comply with an EU emissions directive. I have urged the government to seek a temporary exemption whilst we sort out new ways of generating affordable power, but Mr Davey the Energy Secretary has not done so.

    If we could demonstrate without these older stations we might run out of power we could just ignore the Directive on grounds of security of supply and overriding national interest if they refused to see sense.

    1) The UK has know that these plants will close for 25 years and has had plenty of time to build alternatives. The EU won’t give the UK an exemption because neither the private or public sectors were able to plan for the future.

    2) Under EU law the plants that have been closed can be reopened if they’re upgraded to comply with EU regions on nitrous oxides and sulphur dioxide levels. So the UK has no chance of getting an exemption if we don’t want to upgrade these plants.

    The UK is having to expand its output of renewable power massively. This is expensive power to provide. The more we rely on it, the higher our bills go.

    Until we run out of carbon based fuels, then it will be the only viable way of generating power.

    Now he says he wants energy prices frozen, regardless of the rising costs of renewable energy as the proportion of it increases, and regardless of the costs of gas or oil on the market.

    Given how many billions of pounds in net profits the energy companies are making they can easily afford a price freeze. They can’t expect their profits to continually increase every year.

    The typical profit margin of a large energy company in the UK is 4%.

    Without having the profit margins of other companies to compare this to the number it’s impossible to know if this is a high or low profit margin. It’s also impossible to know what effect Miliband’s freeze will have on this margin as a 4% margin could mean a company makes hundreds of pounds profit or billions of pounds profit.

    Mr Miliband is trying to offer people something for nothing. He is seeking to spend far more than the current profits of the energy companies.

    Please provide you figures to show that Miliband’s freeze will cost energy companies a sum greater than their current profits.

    He needs to grasp that if investors think the relatively low margins of the majors are going to be slashed, there is not much point in investing in UK energy. Who will then build or the new and replacement capacity we need?

    Well given that we’re having problems because these companies haven’t invested in new capacity Miliband’s freeze won’t have any effect. Don’t forget that none of these energy companies built replacement power plants for the ones that will be closed by 2015.

    The UK government should go to Brussels and explain we need to have a dash for gas and other cheaper energy.

    I doubt the EU will sympathise with the UK, given that the energy problems are due to the UK not building enough replacement power plants and having an uncompetitive energy market.

    We would be happy to contribute to a revision of EU law to make it legal and to help other EU countries also damaged by dear energy.

    Are there any other countries in the EU having this problem? If not then this indicates the problem is with the UK, not the EU.

    Our country needs cheaper energy. It is an overriding national interest.

    Then reform the energy market so there’s actual competition. There’s a reason why increases in gas prices are passed on to the customer but reductions in gas prices are not.

    It is pushing much industry and business out of the EU to places where energy is cheaper.

    Given that the workforce is also cheaper outside the EU I doubt that a reduction in energy prices will result in any of these industries staying in the UK.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      “The typical profit margin of a large energy company in the UK is 4%.

      Without having the profit margins of other companies to compare this to the number it’s impossible to know if this is a high or low profit margin.”

      Oh, come on, you must have some idea whether £4 profit on every £100 of sales is a slim margin or the company is really coining it.

      But to help you out, Tesco’s profit margin has recently fallen from 5.4% to 4.9%:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24361465

      Do you think Miliband should propose a price freeze for groceries?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      I only bothered to read your first paragraph Uni and as your claim is wrong ie we do not have the most expensive energy in the EU then as the rest depends on this faulty fact, I didn’t carry on wasting my time.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      U5

      It is all very well Ed Miliband promising a price freeze, but energy companies purchase their supplies (gas, coal, oil etc) on the open market. If the market price rises, as has been the case for oil, or the Pound falls in value, then the cost of purchase becomes considerably higher.

      Even you can see that this proposal by Ed Miliband is simply unrealistic and is only a feeble attempt at Grand Stand politics. And this is the problem. We need REAL workable policies from people who understand the REAL world. Not some University Graduate with no REAL world experience.

      PS I did read all of your post. And not all of it was c**p this time. Well done.

  41. Marie1797
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Energy and water are basic necessities for human survival and development and therefore should be minimally priced for everyone so that we can afford to keep developing.

    If businesses and householders are paying high prices for basics they have less left for improving, growing their businesses and developing new products to sell, or to buy these new products and services, so the economy stagnates and energy companies pile up the profits benefiting the few rich at the top in countries other than our own.

    And the same for big companies, if Rolls Royce for example have to spend so much money on energy they have to cut corners by buying cheaper parts and thereby jeopardising their efficiency and possibly their reputation.

    Reply Rolls Royce I am sure would not compromise safety.

  42. behindthefrogs
    Posted October 13, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Before worrying about the effects of EU energy policies on our energy prices we need to action from our government to stop us having some of the highest energy prices within Europe.

  • 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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