My disagreement with the supporters of dear energy

 

I have one fundamental disagreement with those who designed EU energy policies. I think the UK needs cheaper energy. They want us to have dear energy, to make  us  use less of it.

I do not think it a good idea to drive industries  to foreign climes because our energy is much dearer than Chinese or American. It does not cut total CO2 output, merely changes where the CO2 comes from. It gives others the jobs we need.

I do not think  it a good idea to worry the elderly and frail about the size of the fuel bill to keep warm, or to squeeze families with ever higher energy prices.

In the last decade the dear energy advocates  were far more influential on energy policy  than people like me. They persuaded the Labour government here and the EU government in Busssels to build in dear energy as the only alternative. Out would go coal and oil based power stations. In  would come wind farms and solar panels. It meant a big increase  in costs and prices.

Now people see the extent of their victory many are unhappy about it. The Chancellor has stated clearly that he does want more affordable and reliable power for industry and homes, but finds the UK entangled in a dangerous web of EU rules and requirements which make this difficult to achieve.

The ijventors of our EU energy policy  should be rejoicing at the large price rises the energy companies are putting through. It represents the success of their drive for dearer energy, with more to come. Yesterday’s announcement of the nuclear deal shows just how much extra we will have to pay for low carbon fuel. The price was made higher by Labour’s failure to sign up such a deal some years ago when power was cheaper and the UK had more options. It was also probably  made higher by Labour’s decision to sell our nuclear industry.

At least action is beign taken to keep the lights on. All the time we are in the EU on current terms it has to be done within the framework of a dear energy policy.

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72 Comments

  1. Richard1
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Supporters of dear energy would say the UK should set an example in forcing people and businesses to move to low carbon energy. They would say the world faces run-away global warming with catastrophic consequences. eg the univ of Hawaii says London will be uninhabitable by 2056. Even more alarmingly, Bob Geldorf says humanity may be wiped out by 2030 due to global warming. Faced with such an impending disaster, what is lower growth, fuel poverty and hardship if dear energy will save humanity from destruction?

    I think you and other MPs will have to go to the root cause and scrutinize publicly the assumptions of catastrophic global warming and the policies which flow from the theory.

    • Hope
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Goodness me, look at all the MPs who voted for the Climat Change Act, including Tories,a nod you will see who wanted dear energy. They also think it is a price worth paying, particularly the Lib Dems. There is no point blaming energy companiesf or something we all knew as the fault of politicians, once more, Cameron following Miliband’s lead and then criticising him! Vote Miliband for aold labour and Vote Cameron for New Labour- you heard Major’s claim for a New labour/socialist wind fall tax yesterday. He was and is all about his fanatical dream of the UK to belong to the EU and Cameron laps it up. Major did not blame the EU policy for dear energy did he. Of course not, because Europhiles are not allowed to question the EU if it casts it in a poor light. As Liley pointed out in his ply, if were not for Ba…adds like him the UK would have been in the Euro. On reflection Major ought to apologise to us all and thank the three for saving his and the country’s skin. etc ed

      • Richard1
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        I think many MPs, probably including David Cameron, now regret voting for the Climate Change Act. Today Mr Cameron indicated he would look to remove green taxes. There are also hints that subsidies for wind may end. Let’s be generous and welcome the change of heart, late as it is. Mr Cameron needs to find a face-saving way out of all this green nonsense by the election. It wont be easy but its worth doing as Miliband and the LibDems are in it up to their necks. My point is he should take the bull by the horns and question the underlying assumptions (runaway global warming etc). Then he can say ‘the facts have changed….etc’

        • morningstar
          Posted October 25, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

          When dave says he’ll look into it he means he’ll ask his wife ! He is just playing to the gallery again because he knows that the majority have seen through the ‘green scam’

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Attainder and/or impeachment should be revived and visited on Major, following which he should be made to suffer the then applicable punishment. etc ed

        • stred
          Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Mr Huhne is back from his time to repent and was invited by C4 news as a reformed energy commentator. He laid into conservative plans to retreat on green taxes by saying that the removal of subsidies and stop the insulation of homes was ‘bonkers’. Having designed and put through the Green Deal in which the householder pays for insulation by increased bills for 20 years at 7% rate of interest, this seemed a little strange, especially as the payback interest is much less and the uptake almost nil. Also, the changes proposed are not to insulation but to the charge for burning carbon in less expensive power stations. He seemed to really believe what he was saying despite the obvious contradictions. Perhaps the best test of delusion.

          • stred
            Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            stop – add ‘ping’. sorry.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Given that Germany gets 25% of it’s energy from renewables and has a better economy than the UK perhaps the UK should follow their lead.

      • cosmic
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Like the way they shut down their nuclear power stations in a silly panic and are shoving up lignite coal fired stations? They import a lot of power from France.

        What if we ignore what Germany does and work out a rational energy policy for ourselves with no regard to climate change fantasies?

      • Richard1
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        As you will perhaps be aware from the German elections, whilst there are many positive things about the German economy, energy competitiveness is not one of them. German consumers resent paying €20bn a year and rising in green subsidies, and German industry is calling for an end to the renewables policy. Having closed its nuclear facilities after another green scare, Germany is now re-opening coal-fired plants.

      • morningstar
        Posted October 25, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        No it doesn’t. Also german factories are installing diesel generators because they can no longer rely on central power supply…. by about 2015/16 we will be relying on emergency diesel generation as well !

  2. lifelogic
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I see the potty John Major has intervened with a policy of an idiotic retrospective tax why on earth was this stupid man ever in the Tory party? Did he not promise us subsidiarity? So surely energy policy is a matter for the UK not the EU or was he lying?

    As some point we will have to leave this bonkers, frozen pensioners and job destruction by the UK/EU government’s energy religion decree but when? We still have Ed Davey and Greg Clarke. Interesting to read Ed Davey’s man old statements on being anti Nuclear. Perhaps he is finally coming to terms with the physics, engineering and real science of energy production. The nature, engineering & physics of energy production will not be fooled by his silly political religions. They do not even win votes. Why is he in this government when he clearly has not got a clue find a scientist, Peter Lilley perhaps.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Are you saying that a first in PPE, president of the JCR, and having no scientific background or management job in the real world isn’t excellent experience for running the UK Energy Department? I seem to recall this type of person at Oxford was a/ very rarely a scientist (we did have one Zoologist JCR President) and b/ usually an avid networker, who had less time for studying facts than taking into account emotions around a situation. Make a decent speech, yes, but don’t look too closely at the meaning.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        I just want some one who can do the basic maths that shows how very much more green energy costs and how many jobs it destroys. Someone who considers the impact on people and the science and engineering.

  3. Gary
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    If the Eu is driving this, why is Germany building coal fired power plants ?

    I believe the UK is driving this. MMGW is a UK originated scheme imo and the EU is a scapegoat.

    • M.A.N.
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      The infiltration of local government, civil service, government, bbc, by left wingers started in the 1970’s. Most are very pro CND, pro green, and nothing that is now happening is not planned. Unfortunately politicians of left bent have a lot of trouble bringing people with them, and are completely indignant and nonplussed that others do not share thier ideology. Hence why most socialist states relied on force. Where’s the carrot? The working public suspect that it is all about redistribution of wealth, and they wouldn’t be far wrong.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      You are correct insofar as Thatcher was the world leader who did more than any other to promote the theory of anthropogenic global warming, basically carrying her domestic war against the coal miners onto the international arena.

      But once an idea has been sufficiently widely accepted on the international plane that it becomes embedded in international treaties it then ceases to be amenable to correction on the purely domestic plane even if it is exposed as a fallacy.

      That is why environmental fanatics are never satisfied with winning an argument on the national level and getting their ideas enshrined in national law, where after a time second thoughts might prevail and the national law might be repealed; no, these enemies of democracy are always very clear that their ideas must be “locked into an international treaty”, so that they are protected against being overturned by the process of national democracy.

      And that is why you are wrong to suggest that the EU is being used as a scapegoat; one of the changes to the EU treaties effected through the Treaty of Lisbon was the insertion of the words “and in particular combating climate change” into what is now Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on page 132 here:

      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0047:0200:EN:PDF

      During the two Irish referendums on the Treaty of Lisbon that particular change to the EU treaties was actually highlighted as an important benefit by some of its advocates; of course we did not have the opportunity to argue about that during even one referendum campaign.

    • cosmic
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      I believe it has to do with the way base levels were set, most countries overstated theirs, the UK was honest or understated its.

      The German coal fired stations also use expensive scrubbing technology.

      It isn’t a question of Germany ignoring EU directives, although they may have navigated them more skilfully.

      Also, it isn’t as simple as saying that it all comes from the UK or all comes from the EU.

      Without a doubt, the UK played a part in promoting the CAGW mania and volunteered for more ambitious targets, however, there’s definitely an element of EU law which restricts the UK’s room for manoeuvre. e.g. the Large Combustion Plant Directive, got up do deal with SOx and NOx emissions which were part of the nearly forgotten acid rain scare of the 70s, and other legislation which the UK played a part in framing.

      We are certainly not in a position where we have a free hand and the reason we don’t have a free hand is membership of the EU. However, it’s not exactly a matter of the the EU dictating to a reluctant UK and a fair portion of the mess we are in is home grown.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Gary: of course that is correct. So much easier to blame someone else than look to oneself unless of course they are prepared to stump up 16 billion because we choose not.

  4. M Davis
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Your 2nd paragraph sums it up in one, JW, but will they listen? No, they won’t!

    • Peter Stroud
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Gary is absolutely correct. Germany, yes Green Germany is building coal fired power stations. Perhaps JR might ask Ed Davey: why are we closing ours?

      • uanime5
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Our power plants don’t meet EU laws on sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

          Uni
          Deliberately set at low limits designed by the EU to close perfectly efficient operating power plants.
          If you live in the UK Uni, buy yourself some candles and a jumper, or your own generator, because very soon you are going to need them.

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

      I’m so sorry, I meant to type JR and not JW!

  5. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Its the EU that is the root of so many of our problems. We would be so much better without it. Its like a millstone round our necks.

  6. Mark B
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The CCA creates dear energy, repeal it !

    I am in two minds over ‘dear energy’. I think we need to have a market that is competitive and without any Government subsidy and as little involvement of Government itself.

    We need to build an energy supply market that is both diverse and, as stated above, competitive.

    But we also must tackle the demon of waste and excessive usage. There does need here to be a drive by government in partnership with suppliers to seek ways to help consumers reduce their consumption. The current policy of using fake, and it is fake, sudo science of CO2 emissions and climate change is frankly absurd. No one except those with investment in green alternatives and the mentally changed ie unable to think for themselves, believe in this non-sense.

    Having a competitive energy mix will also insure us against price hikes. Currently, Shale Gas is making coal even cheaper. We are sitting on vast reserves of coal and can use this reserve if we had the vision and none of the binds abserd legislation.

    Remember this, Governments job is to serve the people it represents, not impoverish them. Simply put, “You cannot get golden eggs from a dead goose !!!”

    • uanime5
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Just because you don’t like the scientific evidence doesn’t make it wrong.

      Also don’t expect to be able to use UK coal unless you’re prepared to pay people a high wage to mine it.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Its not what I expect, so please do not try that old Socialist trick of putting words into my mouth.

        Back in Galileo’s time, science of the day determined that the Earth was at the centre of the solar system and the Sun, the Planets, Moon and Stars all revolved around it. They believed it so much that they locked up Galileo because he used his inquiring mind and went against accepted beliefs, that is all.

        He was of course proved correct. He was not considered a scientist by these people, but then again neither were these people.

        Today, we have scientists who are not Climatologists using their positions and their celebrity scientist status to bamboozle us with this ridiculous assumption that a gas, which barely makes up 0.03% of our atmosphere, will see the end of mankind. As is we have an ordain right for immortality for our species.

        I choose not to believe in this falsehood, you do – fine. But I think you and people like you should be the ones to pay for it, not me – ok !

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        True but the the scientific evidence is clearly a huge exaggeration at best at worst a gigantic scam.

        Let us emit the co2 and see what the temperature change is in another 15 years. They have not moved up in the last 15 and might well be the same or even lower after fifteen more.

        Buying wind and PV energy at over three times the current going rate (and for intermittent and thus far less valuable energy) is bonkers.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        Uni,
        Care to explain where Mark actually said he “didn’t like the scientific evidence” in his excellent post?
        And care to inform us what defines “a high wage” in your opinion?
        Somewhere between a “pittance” and an “outrage” presumably.

      • morningstar
        Posted October 25, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        How about gasification ? Not many miners required and current closed mines could be reopened and their deposits utilised !

  7. Tad Davison
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The trouble is, people have short memories, or don’t bother to check the facts before they vote. Some people couldn’t even name the leader of the opposition, let alone tell us what role he played in the last Labour government. They think primarily about the here and now, and will condemn the present administration if it doesn’t do something about dear energy.

    Clearly, something needs to change and soon, irrespective of who was to blame. We can’t just sit and talk about it, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the poor, and not least, businesses, are struggling because of past policy failures. Having identified the problem, we need a good dose of dynamism. The green lobby will surely get their way once we’ve been driven back to the stone age, but we can’t let that happen, because I doubt if other countries will follow our example.

    How about making a start by reversing the worst excesses of the EU, or are our politicians too shackled to it ‘heart and soul’ and will not entertain anything that puts Britain first?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  8. alan jutson
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I have no problem with trying to develop alternative sources of energy for the future, even if slightly more expensive in the very short term, providing it only represents a very small proportion of what is needed at the time.

    What I do have a problem with, is offering large and completely unrealistic feed in tarriffs that would curtail the pressure on those alternative suppliers to develop more quickly and efficiently, as an alternative.

    By heavily subsidising more expensive methods, you simply slow down their development.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Dear energy has its roots in two beliefs, The first is the CAGW hypothesis. The second is that fossil fuel energy will become scarcer and more expensive as countries such as China and India develop their economies. Successive government chief scientists have argued that renewables are the answer, strongly supported by the Labour party and the green lobby. It led to the Kyoto treaty and, in the UK, to the Climate Change Act.

    CAGW has not been demonstrated, as analysis of the recent AR5 reveals. Disregard the propaganda barrage that accompanied its publication. CAGW has become the bland “climate change”. As for the impact of CO2, let alone man made CO2, it is clear that the predictive models are so wrong that they cannot even get them to hindcast results let alone forecast them. Indeed they no longer claim to forecast temperatures; instead the models are described as “scenarios”.

    The fossil fuel outlook has also changed fundamentally in recent years because of technological breakthroughs that have enabled the extraction of shale gas. The USA will become a net exporter of energy, not a net importer. Indications are that globally there are immense reserves of shale gas and, for that matter, of coal. The UK is sitting on top of a large shale gas basin and possesses businesses with the knowhow to make something of it (provided they can overcome the vested interests in existing energy subsidies). Indeed the most extensive horizontal fracking in the world is to be found under Poole and Bournmouth in the Wytch(?) Farm development. Most of the locals seem to be blissfully unaware.

    In short the two principal hypotheses on which UK energy policy are based are unsound. Unfortunately there remin enough MPs determined to protect the subsidies that cost us all so dear and prevent the reform so urgently needed.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      The scientific evidence clearly shows that man made CO2 is raising the average global temperature and that we cannot continue to raise the temperature without suffering negative consequences. Your dislike of the science will not change this.

      How exactly is the US going to export this shale gas? They’d need pipes under the seas thousands of miles long or a huge fleet of ships to transport it abroad.

      Given that Poland wasn’t able to extract large amounts of shale gas it’s wishful thinking to believe that it will solve all our problems. Especially since only 2-5% of the available shale can be extracted at present.

      You also seem somewhat confused about how shale is extracted. You need to drill hundreds, if not thousands of wells to extract it. So you can’t use horizontal drills under cities without causing major structural damage.

      • ian wragg
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Today we learn that the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth is closing due to the stupidity if the unions (again). The last CEO tells us that the main product Ethylene cost half as much to produce in the USA as shale gas is the feedstock. Ineos was prepared to invest to process American shale gas if the workforce would help to reduce costs but they chose to lose their jobs.
        Scotland a Tiger economy. I think not.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        ‘So you can’t use horizontal drills under cities without causing major structural damage’.

        There’s an awful lot of bull being talked about fracking. I used to work in the oil and gas industry, including some of the world’s most advanced exploration platforms. Fracking is not new, we used the technique nearly forty years ago to my knowledge, and it has been refined a lot in the meantime. The drill would probably be so deep, no-one would even notice. It is therefore very doubtful whether it would cause structural damage to anything.

        Ships presently exist that can carry large amounts of natural gas if it was needed elsewhere.

        As for our own deposits, as a bit of a party-piece, whenever the issue of Britain’s oil and gas reserves came into the conversation, I would ask people to point in the direction where they thought the majority of it lies. They would inevitably point North, South, East, or West, whereas I would point at the floor – they were standing on it! And believe it, the oil and gas companies know how to get at it in sufficient quantities to make its extraction viable!

        Now, I know your aversion to the burning of fossil fuels, but which would you rather have, the extraction of a cheap and plentiful fuel beneath our feet that would make our businesses competitive, and keep the needy warm; or see jobs go abroad, and poor people freeze to death because they couldn’t afford the expensive alternative?

        If it’s the latter, you need to go away and question your motives and political ideology.

      • 0pdtimer
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

        Clearly you are uninformed about the science. The extent of man made CO2`s contribution is so trivial as to be unmeasurable.

        LNG is exported by ship not by pipelines. The US will convert its intended import terminal into an export terminal.

        Who has said that shale gas will solve all our problems? Not me.

        I am not confused about drilling for shale gas. But you should not necessarily conclude that the UK experience will be identical to that in the USA. The point about Wytch farm is that the operator has demonstrated the ability to drill c10km horizontally.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Uni
        “The scientific evidence…”
        Its actually just scientific predictions Uni.
        The first lot from the late 80’s have already been seen to be incorrect.
        Actual temperature data compared to the predictions made back then shows those original predictions to have not come true.
        The latest predictions for the next decades which are even more extreme, will also fail to come true.

      • morningstar
        Posted October 25, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        You really know nothing about your specialised subject do you ?
        So far every comment you have made on the subject is total drivel.
        are you ed davey ?

  10. Atlas
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I agree John, the Global Warming fanatics are beggaring us.

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      People like green (behind the ears) Cameron, Ed Davey and the Tory party who almost all of who voted for all this green insanity.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to know how expensive energy is for the average French or German. I bet it’s not at the crisis point that it is here in the UK.

    Part of this is down to green taxes. A major part of it, surely, has to be oversight by British governments and a lack of strategic policy by the privatised (foreign) companies to whom our politicians seem to have abrogated all responsibility.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Anonymous. Absolutely correct. A chronic lack of investment by all types of British Governments of all types and hue over the years. And when the problem comes critical – cap in hand to the French and the Chinese.

  12. Neil Craig
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The disgusting thing is that we are seeing politicians, including both Miliband and Cameron, and their (word left out ed) BBC propagandists, saying that the energy companies are in some way responsible for price rises.

    Every one of them knows perfectly well that 90% of all electricity cost & therefore 100%+ of the rises, is the direct and deliberate fault of our parasitic political class.

    Sorry for the rant but most of our political class are (objectionable ed) and that annoys me.
    By definition, no politician with any slightest trace of integrity, or who can ever be trusted to tell the truth on any other subject, can deny this.

  13. Mark
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The green taxes to be levied on the Grangemouth complex were it to continue in operation would probably be sufficient to solve the present dispute over pension funding. If it closes, the Scotland will have to export crude oil and buy in oil fuel products at greater expense (yet higher pump prices) and with much less energy security than a refinery fed direct by pipeline from the Forties system, and the loss of the petrochemicals operation will also undermine much local industry that transforms the output into products. Closure also would result in significant problems for the production of oil from the Forties system, which relies on refinery power for its plant that pump the oil and stabilise it and separate out NGLs that are currently used as chemical feedstocks. A prolonged strike previously caused most of the oil production to be shut in – highly damaging for GDP and tax receipts from oil and gas.

    I note that the Scottish government is now casting around for alternative investors. Since Petrochina already owns half the refinery, I imagine they and Sinochem are probably the front runners – doubtless on the back of some under the table subsidy to offset the tax, if they can be persuaded at all.

    The issue is not just expensive energy bills for electricity and gas, but it affects industry and employment, and motor fuels. Other refineries in Wales and England are under threat of closure because of these taxes making them no longer competitive.

    Reply They are not closing the refinery

    • Mark
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I have just seen the news that the petrochemicals side will be shut by Ineos, while the refinery still remains under threat.

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/23/uk-grangemouth-scotland-idUKBRE99M0A220131023

    • ian wragg
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Yet???

    • stred
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      I read that the British run firm which owns Grangemouth, and is based in Geneva, is building an ethanol plant in Norway and importing US gas to run it. They will have the advantage of US flexibility on shale gas production and EU subsidies on silly biofuels, whilst operating outside it.

  14. behindthefrogs
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    We need standing charges removed from all domestic energy bills. Any losses to the companies would be retrieved from a slightly higher standard rate. This would reduce the bills of the energy efficient and the poor and elderly who have to reduce their consumption already.

  15. Leslie Singleton
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    You say, “They want us to have dear energy, to make us use less of it” but “they”, the Green Left Wing loonies, would be the first to create if anything were actually done to lower energy use. Thus there is nothing Biblical about Central Heating and a way to lower use and of course costs is to make it mandatory (keeping it simple) for it to be easy simply (ideally a flick of a switch) to turn off Central Heating upstairs. I’ll bet there are any number of spare bedrooms where the heating could be turned off. I cannot see much scope for argument about this because of course till recently it was absolutely the norm for bedrooms to be unheated–in fact I seem to remember that cold bedrooms were once touted as being the healthy WTG. In extremis, which I say only in the context of all of a sudden people allegedly dying from the cold, and only of course for a very few weeks each year, only one room needs to be heated. I speak as someone now living on his own in a one- room rented converted Cow Shed.

  16. uanime5
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I have one fundamental disagreement with those who designed EU energy policies. I think the UK needs cheaper energy. They want us to have dear energy, to make us use less of it.

    Given that other EU countries don’t have such expensive energy the problem is unlikely to be due to EU law. Especially since UK law is more strict regarding how much CO2 a power plant can emit.

    I do not think it a good idea to drive industries to foreign climes because our energy is much dearer than Chinese or American.

    The US currently has cheaper energy because they have large amounts of shale gas that’s close to the surface and in areas where few people live. The fracking industry is also exempt from clean water laws so they can pollute as much as they want.

    China has cheaper energy because they have cheaper labour, so mining coal and build power plants is less expensive. The downside is they have higher levels of pollution due to all the coal power plants.

    The UK cannot copy the US as most of our shale gas is harder to extract and nearer populated areas. We also can’t copy China because no one in the UK would be able to survive on such low wages.

    They persuaded the Labour government here and the EU government in Busssels to build in dear energy as the only alternative. Out would go coal and oil based power stations. In would come wind farms and solar panels.

    Well given that the world will run out of coal and oil before we run out of wind and solar energy any long term strategy will have to involve renewable energy.

    The Chancellor has stated clearly that he does want more affordable and reliable power for industry and homes, but finds the UK entangled in a dangerous web of EU rules and requirements which make this difficult to achieve.

    All he needs to do is cap how much energy companies can increase their prices by. I recommend not allowing above inflation level increases unless the cost of gas increases.

    It was also probably made higher by Labour’s decision to sell our nuclear industry.

    I thought the private sector was meant to be more efficient than the public sector, so selling the nuclear industry should have made it more efficient. After all this was the justification for privatising the water industry, rail, Royal Mail, and the NHS.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Anybody who does not believe that the private sector is no more efficient than the public sector is obviously ignorant of the facts and evidence. Private sector efficiency has been rising while public sector efficiency has been falling. The public sector has no incentive to be efficient as generally speaking it is populated by monopolies so serving the customer is not necessary so they quickly degenerate into self-servers. Why do you think public sector workers hate privatization because they would have to start giving value for money and that would mean actually working more efficiently. The reason that the cost of building a nuclear power plant has sharply increased is because of increased EU and UK construction regulations. Even so if you compare the unit cost of nuclear produced electricity against that of renewable’s it is still less than half.

      • morningstar
        Posted October 25, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Part of the problem with our privatised industry is that they operate as cartels.

        We see this because none of them undercut each others prices in order to maintain their current and grow their client base.

        quite simply – they do not care if we switch suppliers.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      More nonsense from you Uni.
      “other EU countries don’t have such expensive energy”
      Wrong they have energy that is even more expensive than we do

      “The fracking industry in the USA is also exempt from clean water laws so they can pollute as much as they want”
      Wrong again they have to meet all USA strict rules on the environment, why do you say such nonsense?

      “selling the nuclear industry should have made it more efficient”
      It wasn’t privatised as you claim, it was sold off by your beloved Labour Party to a foreign purchaser not offered like Royal mail as a public share offer.

  17. forthurst
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    10 years + is a long time, long enough for us to run out of the means of keeping the lights on after the will has long been lost, long enough for newer nuclear technologies to make what is proposed, obsolete as well as grossly uneconomic, long enough to build our own pilot nuclear power plants using more than one later technology including thorium burning to enable us to re-establish our own expertise in design and build capacity and put that expertise so acquired to building full-sized plants from the most promising design in practice. The planning process can proceed alongside the pilots for the full sized reactors.

  18. rick hamilton
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    France is run by a technocratic elite who believe in facts, hence their 70% energy from nuclear. The UK is run by arts graduates who believe in having the right opinions – and it shows.
    Hence our utter failure to build upon our 1950s world leadership in nuclear, and our need to go cap in hand to the French and Chinese.

    • yulwaymartyn
      Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      rick hamilton: I would add to your second paragraph which I heartily agree with is that we have gone cap in hand only at the last possible moment. Not only are we seemingly content to dissipate our engineering skills etc we also only seek a remedy so late in the day.

      A disgrace on all fronts I believe.

  19. Old Albion
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    We could reduce the cost of domestic energy by 5%, by removing VAT from bills. Naturally the EU won’t allow that.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Some countries charge 15% and still have cheaper bills.

  20. Antisthenes
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Apparently for every £100 spent on combating the effects of climate change £3 returns as a benefit. Also the effects of climate change if they are as true as the models predict, which so far we have every reason to believe they are not, then the benefits will be marginally better until 2080 and after which they will be marginally worse. On a cost analysis basis and any other basis then it has to be said that current green energy solutions are totally misguided. Forget the badgers the eco-loons who are currently setting the agenda on energy policy have to be culled first(figuratively speaking).

    I see Unite’s advice to the workers at Grangemouth that they would be better off on the dole they have taken. Well done McClusky and we thought the dinosaurs all died out 65 million years ago.

  21. Bazman
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Cameron’s green tax cut of £112 quid of which 58 is to help fuel poverty and some more of it to help insulation will be just another gift to the energy companies. Does anyone laughably believe it will reduce bills like a fuel duty cut will reduce fuel prices? As if. All of this energy fiasco is just more evidence of communism for the rich in the UK and if you look at the rest of the privatisation dogma provides even more of looking after your chums at the expense of the user and taxpayer. France must be doing well selling expensive nuclear power to us and Germany whilst subsidising their own users and the ultimately corrupt China must be rubbing their hands. How about my idea of a massive gas deal with Russia fantasists? You know why not don’t you? Cheap if you don’t need it and as soon as the world finds out we do. Costs will double. Would you invest in China or Russia? Just get stolen for sure, so what does that tell you dreamers.
    Ram it.

  22. Bazman
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    How many of you ‘free market’ fantasists’ will be still for the free market when generating you own power by whatever method becomes semi competitive with power companies? Will you be shouting about the benefits of lorry sized power suppliers in your area supplying energy as required to those who need it? No you will not. Get a taxi.

    • Neil craig
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      By “semi-competitive” I take it you mean not competitive at all. The laws of physics make large plants inherently more efficient than small.

      Can you name anybody anywhere in the world who has been “shouting about the benefits of lorry sized power” and who supports free markets? Of course not – you are merely proving, yet again, that the “environmental” movement is not influenced in even the tiniest degree by any respect for truth.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        The suppliers might get so expensive that a generator running on bottled gas could be a competitive option over the long term. Micro combined heat and power boilers for example. Why don’t we abandon the water and energy grids and use the money saved to give tax breaks for using or buying your own water or energy from whatever local suppliers are selling instead of absurd massively complicated supply chains employing millions to do pointless work to extract charges and taxes. This is much more sensible.
        The housing shortage could be solved in the same local way by people buying property in cheap areas forcing employers and companies to relocate where the right personnel are. This would also help solve the transport problem. Simple!

    • Edward2
      Posted October 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Baz
      It is because there is no free market for energy in the UK, that we have the problems we currently have.

      • Bazman
        Posted October 25, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        Sound like the same problem we have in banking and look where deregulation of regulations got us. It would get us the same pale we would be at with free market railways. No railways. Buy a generator and stop whining as we have a energy business to run. Ram it.

        • Edward 2
          Posted October 25, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          Usual irrelevant rant from you Baz, which failed to address the points raised.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 25, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            We are stitched up by the big six selling energy to themselves to hide profits and that is what I have been telling you.

        • APL
          Posted October 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          Bazman: “Sound like the same problem we have in banking and look where deregulation of regulations got us.”

          We didn’t have ‘deregulation’ we had regulatory capture.

          This is a pervasive problem in any institution set up by the state to ‘regulate’ a sector of the economy. Look at the CQC for an example.

          • Bazman
            Posted October 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

            It was the states fault for allowing bankers to do what they lie. That is where it begins and ends.

  23. concerned
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Why did the government shut the “SMOKELESS” fuel coalmine in Wales and put hundreds of miners out of work ? They are spending millions of pounds on flooding the countryside with windmills that nobody wants to see as they are ugly and are ruining the landscape. There are millions of tons of anthracite in Wales and potentially thousands of jobs. People are opening up their fires again because of the high prices of oil and gas and most coal is imported from other countries which is not good for the economy and the Government cannot see what is in their own backyard?

  • 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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