The EU’s energy policy is destroying our manufacturing jobs

 

I have before explained how, far from saving or creating 3 million jobs, EU policies are destroying jobs we have and stopping new ones we might get. I have just received a copy of an excellent document from Business for Britain which catalogues one of the main job destroyers from the EU, its energy policy.

In “Energy Policy and the EU” they estimate that “high EU energy costs threaten up to 1.5 million jobs in the energy intensive sector alone, with 336,000 of these jobs being at high risk.” They calculate that EU energy regulations have so far burdened  the UK economy with around £90 billion of extra cost.

They accept that some home grown policies have also made energy dearer, but they attribute substantial extra costs  on prices to EU policies. Medium sized industrial consumers in the EU pay about 20% more for electricity than competitors in China, 65% more than India, and more than twice as much as companies in the USA and Russia. The EU also makes it more difficult for us to exploit home reserves of shale which has done so much to cheapen energy in the USA.  This means we have less industry, and have witnessed substantial closures of energy intensive businesses in recent years.

Amongst the casualties so far we can mention the aluminium smelter at Lynemouth, various steel plants and blast furnaces, 22 chemical plants, (since 2009), along with paper, ceramics, glass  and other high energy using facilities. The booklet also lists the 9 power stations forced to close by an EU Directive, giving us dearer electricity and taking us closer to having insufficient capacity for our needs.

Those who like our current membership of the EU tell us the UK has influence and that the EU can help win us more jobs. Why then can’t they get the EU to stop its dangerous job destroying energy policies? Will they accept that there are many industrial jobs at risk? The irony is that the EU is neither cutting its carbon output overall nor promoting industry.

It looks like a other example of an important policy area where the UK would be better off making our own decisions, putting jobs before EU iedology.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

111 Comments

  1. alan jutson,
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    We put up with it simply because we (our Government) are not prepared to grasp the nettle. and do something about it.

    Yes as a member of the EU we do have a voice, but it is a very, very small one which no longer has a veto, so no matter how good our argument (if we were prepared to make it) our neighbours always seem to want to go in a different direction.

    Agree that when in a Club, every Club member needs to operate within the Club rules, but then in most clubs, all members pay the same subscription/membership fee.

    When you no longer agree with a Clubs aims/rules and have failed with your arguments to move in the direction you would like to go, most sensible people would leave, and look to go elsewhere.

    Simple really

    • Edward2
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      I agree Alan.
      Perhaps the EU would work better if member states had one vote for every Euro they paid in.

    • Graham
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      When it affects the Germans they just build more coal plants based on the most polluting coal – problem solved for them – ready and waiting to full in businesses firom elsewhere.

      Forgot also the subsidies to heavy industry .

      What’s the problem again remind me!!

  2. Mark B
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    It is not destroying jobs, it is creating a level playing field. It is trying to redistribute the wealth around the EU, and one way to do that, is to make energy cheaper in one member country and more expensive in another.

    It is similar to government incentives, encouraging businesses and state run departments to relocate to poorer areas eg: the BBC too Manchester.

    The EU, by both nature and design, is anti-capitalist. This in a world that is increasingly global and capitalist in nature eg: China, and now even N. Korea seems to be going that way.

    The EU, its market and its model, is both outdated and unsuitable to the modern world. It will overtime, become like the old Soviet Union in economic terms. A stagnant, over protective, inefficient, corrupt, totally dysfunctional and increasingly irrelevant command economy.

    I heard recently someone say; “All empires destroy themselves from within.” And so it will be with this empire. Just give it time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Indeed anti-capitalist and anti-democratic, but strongly for self inflicted economic damage.

    • Travis Zly
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      State Socialism has gorged itself on the wealth generated by the investment of capital in the economies at the periphery of Europe, now it has started eating away at the core. Britain owes £1.3 bn to financial markets – it has to borrow excessively to provide family benefits, infrastructure and services to the ballooning underclass that is invading the UK from the four corners of the world, facilitated by EU diktats. Interest payments on UK Sovereign debt now exceed the UK defence budget.

      When will the UK jettison State Socialism? It is all very well the UK sailing away from the EU, but if State Socialism remains on board to serve all comers, the UK economy will sink under its massive debt burden.

      I believe the German economy is flatlining, not only because its natural European markets are being bankrupted by austerity imposed by Germany as an antidote to crony State Socialism in the south, but also because Germany itself takes in infinitely more refugees and economic migrants than any other EU state, including the UK. Germany has an even more generous Social benefits model than the UK.

      The German state has a budget surplus and Germany has a 7.5 % of GDP trade surplus. Still, I believe that the massive influx of Syrian, Iraqi, Afghani, Pakistani refugees into Germany, plus growing EU migrantion from the periphery into Germany, together with the minimum wage regime, will ultimately cause Germans to experience the failures inherent in unfettered EU model of State Socialism. etc ed

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Indeed and that is just the bonkers energy policy (not all the other mad EU&UK policies on CAP, fishing, recycling rules, equality nonsense, lead, air quality, water quality, employment laws, OTT building regulations, heat loss regulation, the EURO, bats, newt etc……….) and as you say it saves no worldwide output of CO2 anyway – if you still actually still believe in that silly exaggeration religion.

    But then you have a “vote blue get green crap” Libdum leader, who even put a toy wind turbine on his house in windless Notting Hill. Did he ever look at how little (& intermittent) electricity it gave out – perhaps £50 PA? At a capital cost of maybe £6000!

    The government(s) (EU and UK) is just shooting its industry in the foot as usual, giving other countries a huge & competitive advantage and destroying jobs, whole industries and growth.

    But does Cameron ever address this issue or even say anything sensible on the issue?

    • Bazman
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Lead, water quality, Employment laws? Scientific theory is nonsense unless it come to your conclusions? All regulation is mad and pointless as industry and commerce is self regulating apart from the banking system banking and pay day loans it seems. The wind turbine is a bit pricey per kWh will not be as pricey as Hinckley Point though per Mwh to produce subsided energy with profits going to national industries but not ours. Nothing to say on that I notice.
      You will be pleased to know that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment ­Partnership (TTIP) will be breaking down many regulations such as food, In the US, more than 20 major organisations ­representing the food and farming industry have made submissions on TTIP.
      They include demands for the EU to water down its policy on GM crops and food safety, allowing the sale of chickens dunked in chlorine and lifting bans on meat pumped full of growth hormones.jut silly regulations though you will not mind eating this stuff will you? Oh you only eat sensible food do you? Will that help?
      This mechanism could threaten almost any means by which governments might seek to defend their citizens or protect the natural world. Already it is being used by mining companies to sue governments trying to keep them out of protected areas; by banks fighting financial regulation.
      The message is that the trade deal is about “delivering growth and jobs” and will not “undermine regulation and existing levels of protection in areas like health, safety and the environment”. Just one problem: it’s not true.
      From the outset, the transatlantic partnership has been driven by corporations and their lobby groups, who boast of being able to “co-write” it. Persistent digging by the Corporate Europe Observatory reveals that the commission has held eight meetings on the issue with civil society groups, and 119 with corporations and their lobbyists. Unlike the civil society meetings, these have taken place behind closed doors and have not been disclosed online.

      • Narow shoulder
        Posted August 21, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        I do so enjoy both of your competing doctrines.

        The solution lies, as ever, somewhere between both of your extreme positions.

        Unfortunately voters do not respond to mediation so the focus group result will ensure that like both of you we get served up with the extremes

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          No, the solution is very clearly with my approach, not in the middle. Not that it will ever happen, far too many career politicians with their fingers in the till, or attempting to buy votes with tax payers’ money.

          Bazman, I have never said no regulation just far, far fewer and far better targeted regulation.

  4. ian wragg
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    John for years I have worked in the so called renewable industry. At all times the power we generate has been sold at between £60 (2001) and £107 “2014″ per MW.
    At least it is not unreliable wind power at around 19% availablilty but proper steam or engine driven generation to an industry standard of 100% availability in excess of 8000 hours per year.
    The companies I work for are without exception French/German or Australian, It annoys me that the vast profits from these schemes are remitted overseas.
    We are now into the realms of stupidity with the STOR system of large amounts of diesel generators being paid vast sums to keep engines on standby for when the sun doesn’t shine and the win doesn’t blow.
    These engines produce some of the most expensive polluting energy known to man but there is litlte or no reporting on them.
    Perhaps a question in the house to the challenged Davey so he can explain why so mush money is being paid to install generation more polluting and expensive than Didcot which was recently demolished.
    You really do not deserve to be re-elected with such stupid and infantile policies run by men who aren’t capable of holding down a proper job.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Certainly they do not do deserve to be re-elected with such stupid and infantile policies, they even fired one of the very few voices of reason they had in Owen Patterson.

      But Miliband is however trying his best to help Cameron.

      • Bob
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        @lifelogic
        The LibLabCon seem to be largely in agreement with the Green Party regarding green crap.

        UKIP want a return to sensible energy policies not to mention the scrapping of windfarms, HS2 and IHT.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Very sensible of UKIP. Heavily subsidised wind farms, electric car subsidies, photo voltaic subsidies, the green deal, HS2, much of the recycling & “equality” agendas, IHT …….. is all nonsense. As any real Tory would agree.

          Cameron is simply not a Tory in any real sense. He is just a John Major II who can speak in full sentences and wears his underpants inside his trousers.

      • Hope
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Cameron gold plated Milliband’s energy ideas. I do not see the difference between them, other than Milliband has original ideas and Cameron copies them.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Not much but with Miliband we will get a hugely damaging rent act and silly price controls. A price well worth paying to get a proper Tory party again and be rid of ratter Cameron.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Ian

      Top post mate. I 100% support you views.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Excellent post.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Ian–Never mind the House–What does anybody think they know, just because they have been elected? But surely it must be known generally or in his Department what Davey thinks in relation to your comments about most polluting and expensive–Pray Heaven it cannot just be, as it seems, that he is completely obsessed. I’m on your side but allow me to say that your comments lose force by your writing that these back-up engines are both the most polluting and the most expensive–I cannot believe that things have got quite that bad–Which is it? And how often and for how long at a time do these engines have to be switched on?

      • Ian wragg
        Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        Open cycle diesel generation for peak lopping is dirty and expensive. Plus the owners who are mainly foreign are paid huge amounts to keep them standby. That doesn’t even address the costs of updating the grid to cope. Economics of the asylum..

  5. paul
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    You mean UK EU USA big companies and governments with central bank policy destroying jobs, fracking is central bank ponzi like all the rest of ponzi central banks are running.

    • A different Simon
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Paul ,

      Hydraulic fracturing of unconventionally trapped reservoirs , particularly for gas is not a central bank ponzi scheme .

      It is a sea-change in engineering which has enabled largely loss making “finding” of economic resources to be replaced by “development” of known previously sub-economic resources .

      Capital requirements are high but it can survive normal interest rates .

      In the U.S. it has been a victim of it’s own success by causing a glut but prices will stabilise around the $6/mcf range as demand catches up which will be good for everyone .

      One thing it has done is lead to a reduction in investment in exploration elsewhere which may lead to shocks 15 years down the line .

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Good on ya Paul! And thankfully, there are a lot of people now waking up to those facts. For the past week, I’ve been doing a fair bit of research on JFK and his thoughts on the US Fed. Interesting reading, and one then sees how dangerous these people are.

      Tad

  6. ColinD.
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I agree that EU energy policies are indeed destroying our manufacturing. However, these policies are being IMPLEMENTED by ministers of the Coalition who utterly lack the guts to stand up for British industry. These ministers blindly do their EU masters’ bidding rather than think through the consequences. The mindset to ‘put Britain first’ and and ask ‘what is in the interests of my country?’ either never occurs to them or they lack the moral courage t0 challenge the policies.
    Blame our own ministers FIRST and the EU only second for this on-going disaster to our manufacturing.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      No one sensible would employ Ed Davey or Chris Huhne types even to run a whelk stall.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Mr Cameron will make this one area of policy he will repatriate in his negotiations?
    Did you see that squadron of pigs last night?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      He has said nothing of substance on his renegotiation it is, as you must well know, a new cast iron, long grass ruse.

    • bigneil
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Could the squadron of pigs be genetically modified to enable them to land on the new aircraft carrier that we have no planes for?

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        According to Jane’s Defence Weekly the ‘planes are not ready either.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          I am informed that when both carriers are fitted out and complete, the aircraft for them should be available at roughly the same time. It will be interesting to see if it goes according to plan.

          • Timaction
            Posted August 21, 2014 at 10:06 am | Permalink

            They will need to accommodate French planes as they’re creating that EU defence force by yet more stealth!!

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        ………………and which is patently too large for our purposes anyway

  8. Richard1
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    We can’t only blame the EU for green crap, it has been enthusiastically embraced by the 3 main UK parties, including unfortunately by the leadership of the Conservative Party. But the EU is certainly part of the problem. No-one who supports these high energy policies should be bleating about ‘fairness’ or ‘inequality’. The best way to make a more prosperous and more equal society is more competitive jobs. Green crap stops that. Its a measure of the extent to which the unions now represent almost entirely public sector employees that they are not up in arms about these catastrophic anti-industry energy policies mandated by the religion of global warming.

    • Bob
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink


      “We can’t only blame the EU for green crap, it has been enthusiastically embraced by the 3 main UK parties, including unfortunately by the leadership of the Conservative Party.”

      Well said Richard!

    • Bazman
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      We have seen where non union companies go. Low wages zero and hours contracts, with massive pay for the managers. If a comapny is making massive profits and paying low wages how is this to be tackled?

      • Richard1
        Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        As ever your comments are ill-informed. Many of the highest paying sectors in services and new technology sectors as well as other high value added sectors such as pharmaceuticals are non unionized.

        The only totally non unionised industry I can think of is investment banking, where one of the abiding structural problems is the employees run away with all the profits.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

          Are cleaners heavily unionised in your magical thinking world.

      • Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        If you think that the wages you are being paid are too low, you can work for somebody else. Even public sector employees can do that.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

          Should I become a surgeon or take to the stage?

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    In addition the government destroys jobs in countless other ways.

    By blocking the roads, causing congestion and endless motorist muggings.
    By running a dreadfully inefficient monopoly health service and a very poor education system.
    By building white elephants like concord, the Olympic park, HS2, windfarms, the green deal, house PV systems ……
    By having one of the most complex tax systems in the world.
    By running a very slow, very expensive, arbitrary and multilevel legal system.
    By hugely overtaxing the productive and endlessly subsidising the feckless.
    By OTT building and planning regulations
    Through absurdly restrictive employment laws.
    By bringing in the GAAR arbitrary tax laws.
    By not building a decent 5 runway hub airport like Heathwick.
    Hundred of other absurdities too.

    Above all by not setting an uplifting, small government, low tax agenda and condemning the country to Miliband or a wet lefty Tory party for years to come.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Through absurdly restrictive employment laws? Which ones? a question you have despite being asked many times cannot answer. Deluded is a word that springs to mind and believing you own the facts, but I have a better explanation. Magical thinking!
      Magical thinking is the attribution of causal relationships between actions and events which cannot be justified by reason and observation. Sounds about right does it not?! Bikes are polluting and cost more to run than a car a very good example of this and writing further without proof seals the idea.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking
      A number of posters have magical thinking as even when the facts are given to them still believe the same

      • Bob
        Posted August 21, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        @Baz

        “absurdly restrictive employment laws? Which ones?”

        Did you know that when interviewing job applicants you can’t ask them about criminal records, health & disability issues, or even their date of birth?

        Not to mention the absurd maternity / paternity leave and NEST auto enrollment.

        I can understand why you never bothered to become an employer Baz.

      • Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Boris Johnson recently gave a briefing on the EU and business. He gave chapter and verse to the EU working time restrictions on driving trucks over 3 tonnes. It took him several minutes to recite and must be a horror story for small businesses. Sorry, I forgot. You don’t believe that these should be allowed to exist.

        Another example: If you want to transport a bag or two of grass cuttings, you have to register as a waste carrier.

        My counter suggestion: If you want to work for the EC, you should have to register as a waste of space.

      • Bazman
        Posted August 22, 2014 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        These posts being prime examples of magical thinking just wanting no regulation of business. How true this all is on investigation would prove this, but facts are not what you are about. If you would like to get crashed into by a tired overworked driver of whatever tonnage more than you car than do listen to Boris and his bikes scheme costing more than 11 million which could have been spent on subsidising public transport for the poor.
        Where is your reply lifelogic? Deluded ownership of the facts as per.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

          Baz
          Who is calling for no regulation of business?
          Who is calling for no regulation of drivers hours?
          Can you tell us?
          Or is just your imagination?

          • Bazman
            Posted August 24, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            Its a ploy for a race to the bottom a race that most of those calling for it will not have to live with the consequences except when it comes to food and air quality. No calls for less tighter air pollution laws I notice only whining about costs and penalties imposed which is not the same. Boris laughably tells us London air is OK. It might be if you are only in it for about 20 mins a day which he is. That is not in my imagination.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

            No answer.
            You regularly claim that many want no regulations of anything.
            But when challenged you resort to a waffle about food and air quality.

    • David Cockburn
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      After reading this post from Lifelogic I shall read his future posts with a great deal more care.

  10. Bryan
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    So why does Mr McCameron continue to act like an Ostrich?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Perhaps because he has no understanding of science, logic or numbers – just works with emotions, PR spin and photo ops with huskies?

      • Bazman
        Posted August 22, 2014 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        No understanding of science, logic or numbers like your belief in magical thinking then? When challenged you have no idea.

  11. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Unlike your party and leader, I can’t think of any policy area where the UK would not be better off making our own decisions, putting jobs before EU ideology. In addition, I cannot think of any policy area where I would prefer unelected foreigners, who cannot be removed from office by my vote, to govern us, rather than our own elected Parliament.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Indeed what is the point in collecting taxes, sending the money to the EU and getting perhaps 10% of it back at best to help some daft project in Cornwall or Wales – providing they put EU flags all over it and bow to the EU? Decisions need to be made close to those affected.

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    As all three of the old parties are solidly behind this insanely destructive policy, among all the other insanely destructive policies originating from the EU with which they are totally enamoured, there will be very little point picking and choosing between their official candidates at the next general election.

    • Hope
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Well said and spot on.

    • APL
      Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Denis Cooper: “there will be very little point picking and choosing between their official candidates at the next general election.”

      Agreed.

      If you must vote Conservative or Labour, then vote independent Conservative or independent Labour.

    • Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      But UKIP cannot get enough votes to win in 2015. You are planning for a 2020 victory – assuming that the UK still exists by then. The EU is mutating into a German Empire before our very eyes.

      Look up Europa’s summary of the Lisbon Treaty and see the three types of military co-operation between member states that are explicitly authorised. Search the internet to see how many nations Germany is trying to get into bed with. Why do you think that Russia is so worried about its security? It’s because of what the Lisbon Treaty can lead to.

      Make a computation of the extent to which the wealth of the City of London and our banks will have been destroyed long before 2020. The EC thinks that the business will transfer to Frankfurt. It won’t; it will transfer to Singapore and New York.

      So what Government do you want to be elected in 2015?

  13. A different Simon
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    John ,

    Why do you continue to blame “EU Directives” for closure of UK coal electricity generating stations ?

    If Westminster had not launched a vendetta against coal , these stations would have been upgraded/replaced with superior plants in the normal course of events as has happened in Germany

    No other country in the EU has a limit of CO2 generation for new fossil fuel plant of 380g / kWh – specifically to exclude coal .

    Like you John I can’t abide the EU but in order to retain credibility you must point the finger at Westminster when Westminster is to blame .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Indeed it is mainly Cameron, Clegg, Davey, Huhne & Cable types to blame.

    • cosmic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      It’s a bit of both.

      Westminster has deliberately made itself a part of the EU system of government, so it isn’t always easy to say where one ends and the other begins. It certainly isn’t a question of Brussels imposing things from on high which a reluctant Westminster has to go along with. Westminster has enthusiastically pushed for some of this stuff and wants to be seen to be leading the way.

      Out of the EU, we wouldn’t have it as a handy excuse and smokescreen, and restraint on Westminster’s ability to admit and correct mistakes.

      • A different Simon
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Cosmic ,

        It’s very easy to say where this one ends : Westminster .

        Wesminster has UNILATERALLY opted for the bigger reductions in CO2 emissions than demanded by Europe .

        Same with UNILATERAL CO2 emissions limits for new fossil fuel power stations and the irrational love of “Carbon Capture and Storage” which would more honestly be called “Oxygen Capture and Storage” .

        They had the temerity to boast that their limits would be stricter than anywhere else in Europe .

        Fools .

        • cosmic
          Posted August 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          They’ve definitely seen themselves as leading the way in Europe, and even leading the way in the world on ‘climate’.

          CCS hasn’t even been gotten running as a proper pilot scheme and the difficulties have always been obvious such as the large amount of nitrogen in the exhaust gases. It’s sheer madness to bind energy policy to a technology which is largely fantasy.

          I don’t doubt that most of this is a self-inflicted wound, but you still can’t exclude the EU element. I haven’t looked into the history of it, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find that UK representatives were pushing in the EU for the emissions policy.

  14. margaret
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The casualties you list.Are they cited in ‘Business for Britain’ or are they from other documents? At a guess , I would be surprised if the price of energy was the only factor in the collapse of the industries since 2009

    I am satisfied that energy costs are high ( we also feel it domestically) yet if the alternatives mean spoiling it for my grandchildren , then we will simply have to find alternatives

    The many other countries who ignore toxic emissions and high levels of carbon spoil it for the rest.

  15. A different Simon
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I think the Govt made a mistake by launching the recent 2 year delayed 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round before the G.E. in 2015 .

    Political risk is still far too high in the UK for the sort of companies which we should be looking to attract ; not big oil but North American big shale .

    Typically in the UK and Europe the Govt decides the winners – and decides how much of their winnings they should be allowed keep .

    Politicians need to understand that in aggregate oil and gas exploration has lost money for decades and that if they try to milk it too hard investment will go elsewhere – as it is doing .

    The U.S. have made themselves the no.1 destination for oil and gas investment .

    When it is so much easier to make money over there why would any company want to waste years over here only in order to be denied the opportunity to make a profit if it is commercial ?

    I imagine it is an impossible task to get risk averse politicians and civil servants to accept that every single drop of oil and gas they use was discovered by educated gamblers – typically financed by collections of private individuals completely unlike themselves .

  16. Posted August 20, 2014 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Dearer energy has precisely and exactly no effect on employment levels. Japan has always had to pay dearly for energy because it has no indigenous source of energy. That didn’t stop it having decent employment levels for the 3 decades after WWII.

    The level of employment is determined by just two basic factors. 1, aggregate demand. 2, the efficiency with which available labour can be matched to vacancies created by that demand. And that applies to undeveloped agricultural economies as much as it does to advanced post-industrial economies.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      nonsense – anyway as you put it: “the efficiency with which available labour can be matched to vacancies created by that demand” is clearly is likely to be less efficient with higher energy costs and aggregate demand is likely to be lower.

      Carried to extremes then if energy was so expensive you could not afford artificial lights then no one could not work at night! Might this not effect employment adversely?

      • Posted August 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Why on Earth should energy costs have any significant effect on vacancy – skill matching? You might as well postulate a relationship between the length of your toe nails and the weather in China. The latter matching efficiency is determined by numerous factors like how much state subsidy there is for the process (Job Centres), plus the introduction of computers will have improved the efficiency of the process.

        Re your point about aggregate demand being lower, AD can be bumped up or down anytime, as it explains in introductory economics text books.

        Re your point about energy being so expensive that no one can afford to put lights on in the evening, that’s just absurd. Japan has about the highest energy costs in the World because of it’s lack of indigenous sources of energy, but the cost of putting lights on in offices amounts (at a guess) to about 0.001% of Japanese GDP. It’s chicken feed.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          “Why on Earth should energy costs have any significant effect on vacancy – skill matching?”

          Well it make the IT systems more expensive to buy and run, it make is more expensive for the matcher workers to get to work and it make countless other things more expensive, less worth doing and less efficient.

          I stand by the statement fully. The final one is taking things to extremes I agree but makes the point. You might also add that if people freeze/or over heat to the point of death is does not help employment levels much either.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          I once ran a company where our energy bills were higher than our shop floor wage bill.
          I can tell you Ralph that changes in energy prices (usually upwards) had an effect on our profitability and our ability to employ.

        • APL
          Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          Ralph Musgrave: “Re your point about energy being so expensive that no one can afford to put lights on in the evening, .. ”

          Two different constituencies, domestic and commercial. In the commercial sector, they have lights tied to motion detectors, the lights go off at about 18.00 every evening unless the system detects movement. Then the lights are switched back on, in that particular zone.

          For the domestic constituency, the poor are either living in the dark, or running up huge bills or illegally bypassing the meter. The middle class are just grumbling about high energy bills.

          But in the case of the commercial users, the cost of lighting is probably dwarfed by the cost of running their server(s/farms). But they have still taken measures to reduce their costs.

          Ralph Musgrave: “Why on Earth should energy costs have any significant effect on vacancy – skill matching?”

          Perhaps not in vacancy – skill matching, but high costs* will have an impact on the number of vacancies.

          *green levies, unnecessarily driving up end customer prices.
          excessive business rates.
          corporation taxes.
          VAT
          National Insurance.
          Income tax.

      • Bazman
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        How does housing cost fit into employment? If the person cannot afford to live in the area and it is to far to commute how does the vacancy get filled? Never mind lighting and other nonsense. How would a cleaner or tradesman get to a property? The market would pay are you going to tell us? Really.

        • APL
          Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          Bazman: “If the person cannot afford to live in the area and it is to far to commute .. ”

          The government should stop trying to support the price of houses. If all such support were withdrawn, help to buy, removing the clamp on interest rates. The prices of property in some ( probably most) areas would fall.

          But that ain’t going to happen six months before an election. Goosing house prices has been the mainstay of every Labour and Conservative government since the last world war.

          Along with the destruction of the value of Sterling. Depreciated by 99% in a century. Pretty soon we’ll be in pre Euro Lira territory.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      That’s because Japanese companies bought Japanese products made by Japanese people. Then they went on to assemble their products overseas doing the manufacturing in Japan at the same time refusing to import all but raw materials from overseas.
      This together with support from the government and Japanese banks produced a cartel which destroyed great swathes of industry worldwide until governments started to belatedly waken up.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      “Dearer energy has precisely and exactly no effect on employment levels.”

      Do you mean, “Dearer energy has precisely and exactly no effect on employment levels in high energy intensive industries in the UK”? If the answer is no, then that is not what the topic of the day is about; if the answer is yes, perhaps you could enlighten us to the actual reasons for which plant closures described in the post took place in contradiction to those given by the operators.

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The anti pollution regime also kills jobs here. While doing nothing to reduce world pollution, as it simply forces factories to shut here and reopen in India and China pumping out way more pollution than they ever did here. Mandating the most expensive anti pollution kit here, and moving the goalposts, just moves production abroad, we should be happy with bottom quartile pollution per industrial process.

    • Scooby Snacks
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Which is why it is utter nonsense to compare energy costs here with India/China – you really can’t have it both ways ie comparing high pollution low cost with low pollution high cost.

      The stupidity of Mr Redwood’s points are that he makes highly questionable statements with little recourse to facts and certainly no attempt to look at the root causes.

      We can argue about whether climate change is happening or not, but that doesn’t really take us very far. It is much more difficult to argue against the local-regional pollution caused by coal fired plants eg NOx and SOx. Even “clean” coal plants are still large sources of pollution.

      Just as green does not always mean best, neither does cheapest…

      As an aside the EU has done relatively little to block the development of shale.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        It is perfectly sensible to compare energy costs worldwide as are clearly trying to compete in manufacturing world wide.

        Clearly there is a balance to be struck, but we have gone far too far. Anyway C02 is not pollution it is harmless tree, crop and plant food.

  18. A different Simon
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Here is an example of the EU rules discouraging extractive industries .

    A couple of years back the EU drafted mining regulations .

    The outcome of this was that an exploration license should not automatically lead to a production license .

    Poland has fallen foul of this by stating that shale gas explorers would have security of tenure and be able to exploit what they find .

    This has been brought before an EU court who upheld EU rules and declared that the Polish state must put the production phase out to tender .

    When asked what incentive there would be for explorers the EU stated that they should maybe get paid for geological documentation !

    Are they also proposing to pay for geological documentation in the over 90%+ of cases where oil and gas companies find nothing commercial ?

    If so , then they are advocating subsidising failure and penalising success .

    This is what you get when you have students making the rules for industries which they don’t understand (pretty much all industries) .

  19. Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Reportedly Germany has opted to scale down its nuclear energy programme in favour of coal and gas ; why don’t we do the same ? . The EU has pursued a number of idiotic themes including “climate change” , we , foolishly , have succumbed to their controls and our industry has suffered as a result . Until we are “out” , we should disregard anything that does not fit with our own objectives and needs . Too many products are now in the hands of the Germans as the result of their own determination , we should do the same .

  20. Bill
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Presumably the EU energy policy is driven by green thinking. Even those who unquestionably follow the greens must at some point ask themselves whether other considerations ought carry weight.

    “Business for Britain” needs to be promoted as an independent and reliable piece of scientific and economic analysis. The danger is that it will be dismissed unread as the product of capitalists and bankers. In other words it is the framing of this debate, as well as the details of the argument, which are important.

    Thank you for drawing this to our attention. As the fracking issue ratchets up, we are going to have more and more scrutiny of energy policy in the run-up to May 2015.

  21. oldtimer
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    It is obvious that EU and UK energy policies are costing jobs by pricing them out of existence. The Coalition`s Carbon Plan sums it up with its idea of paying businesses to shut down their operations – which I believe is now implemented as government policy to keep the lights on! This is on a par with paying wind farms for not producing energy if there is no wind or alternatively, if there is too much wind.

    Recently a new book, Spain`s Voltaic Revolution: the Energy Return on Investment, has been published on the disaster that was Spain`s investment in solar energy. Key to the analysis is the concept of energy return on investment, the ratio of how much energy you get out for how much you put in. AW Montford on his Bishophill blog provides a summary
    Similar nonsense disfigures UK energy policy with its ludicrous system of subsidies and feed in tariffs. One quote from the book, which gets to the heart of the matter:
    “Modern renewable energies, supposedly born to support a sustainable world, became one jewel of the most unsustainable of human activities, financial greed.”

    • A different Simon
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Oldtimer ,

      EROEI is overrated and like crack cocaine to accounting sorts .

      To put it another way , to a hammer , everything appears to be a nail .

      It might take 99% of the gross energy produced by a nuclear fusion reaction to maintain that reaction thus leading to only 1% net energy delivered ; i.e. and EROEI of 1/99th .

      The bit accounting sorts frequently fail to appreciate is scalability .

  22. agricola
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your clear description of the situation we the UK find ourselves in.

    It’s rectification has two clear barriers. First we belong to the EU, second Parliament who are supposed to reflect our interests are overwhelmingly in favour of our membership of the self same EU. Yes they comprise the diehard Lib/Dem faction, the leadership of both Conservative and Labour parties followed in both cases by an overwhelming mass of self interested lobby fodder. There are a mere 100 or so MPs who have seen the light and want out.

    Consequently nothing will happen until May 2015, and what that is I dare not predict. I pray for a complete wipe out of the Lib/Dems, and a coalition of UKIP and the Conservative party bent on righting the insanity we currently live under. Even when the EU is dealt with there is much else to occupy such a Parliament.

    We need to be rid of the wallowing indecision which laughable calls itself our current government. Piss up in a brewery comes to mind, but that is ambitious.

  23. Atlas
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    If we have a cold winter and the lights go out will this be Cameron’s Harold MacMillian departure moment?

    “Events, dear boy, Events.”

  24. Tad Davison
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    ‘In “Energy Policy and the EU” they estimate that “high EU energy costs threaten up to 1.5 million jobs in the energy intensive sector alone, with 336,000 of these jobs being at high risk.” They calculate that EU energy regulations have so far burdened the UK economy with around £90 billion of extra cost.’

    And then certain domestic politicians keep upping the tensions with a country that could and should have been brought into the fold, that has natural resources in abundance, is a potential source of cheap(er) energy, and could potentially be a big market for British goods. Effectively a two-way street that would keep our own workforce employed. Instead, these glove puppets keep doing the bidding of their masters elsewhere, and risk the possibility of starting another devastating war.

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that the removal of the said ‘certain politicians’ is becoming absolutely necessary, just as the removal of Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, and John Major was absolutely necessary. I ask, when are we ever going to get leaders who act in Britain’s best interests?

    Not by voting for any of the three main Westminster parties, surely?

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      This was taken from the Open Europe Daily News letter:

      ‘Scottish government paper on EU reform calls for “enhanced role” for national and sub-national parliaments in EU law making
      The Scottish government has today published a new paper entitled “Scotland’s agenda for EU reform” which warns that “much more remains to be done” to alleviate concerns about EU “competence creep” and excessive “red tape”, and to “restore a balance between the burden of EU legislation and the benefits expected to derive from its implementation.” The paper also warns that “It is important that the EU institutions and the Member States recognise and respond to the challenges to the EU’s wider legitimacy”, suggesting that “a central element of restoring public confidence in the quality of EU legislation is to make sure national and sub-national parliaments play a meaningful role in the EU legislative process.”

      How’s Mr Cameron’s renegotiation package coming along, and will his reforms even go as far as those of the SNP?

      Tad

      • Mark B
        Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        You can tell that they have never read any of the Treaties the UK have signed.

        EVER CLOSER UNION. It does not get any plainer than that.

  25. Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Surely, Manufacturing jobs destroying energy (resources), more likely.

    More jobs need more energy to get materials, transportation, infrastructure etc., etc. to increase GDP which includes pollution which depletes the biosphere even more.

    More jobs is the road to dystopia – fewer jobs for fewer people (population) solves probably all issues. Where is the creative thinking to stop this Ponzi scheme? Not among politicians nor most economists.

  26. Mark B
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I forgot to add the Climate Change Act. Brought in by none other than, Ed Miliband himself. A piece of EU derived legislation which, the UK Government Gold Plated and was voted on by a very large majority of MP’s.

    Sadly, this government has not seen fit to amend said law, and tone down its destructive nature. A destruction, largely brought upon by ourselves and not the EU.

    It committed the UK to making energy produced by fossils fuels so expensive due to CO2 emissions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      How many Tories sensible voted against this insanity, Peter Lilly and a tiny handful I recall.

  27. Posted August 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I have just come into contact with a person who is suffering from respiratory problems ,due to pollution, having just returned Beijing .

  28. Posted August 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    So why don’t Conservative parliamentary Eurosceptics form an organisation ‘Conservatives for Out’ right now, as a ringing declaration that membership of the current EU is not wanted?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Lindsay,
      Good suggestion but don’t get your hopes up; no Conservative MP is going to rock the boat nine months before the election, not even our host. Absolute party loyalty is the order of the day between now and May 2015.

  29. Shieldsman
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Yes the EU is to blame for the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD, 2001/80/EC) which means that practically all coal fired power stations will close by end of 2015.

    NO the EU was not responsible for the 2008 Climate Change Act which is driving up the cost of energy and in particular electricity. Ed Miliband introduced the Bill and collectively the Commons and the Upper House voted it through. MPs voted by 463 votes to three for the Bill and of the Noes Peter Lilley was the only MP to have made a study of the likely cost.

    If you look at the Act it sets a year 2050 target for the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions (CO²) at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline.

    The EU has committed to three targets for 2020. The first is to reduce emissions by 20% on 1990 levels. The second is to provide 20% of its total energy from renewables. The third is to increase energy efficiency by 20% from 2007 levels.

    Renewable Energy Directive. This was put in place to help the EU meet its renewables target. Renewables include biomass, wind power, solar power, hydropower, and geothermal energy. In addition at least 10 % of final energy consumption in the transport sector must come from renewables by 2020. The UK has a target of 15% for renewables

    The BfB have not got their facts right, the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) has been a failure and superceded by Osborne’s Carbon Price floor. The CPF is just another tax which is legislated to increase each year.

    So Business for Britain is bleating about the 9% added cost of renewables and the CPF. There appears to a realisation at long last that de-carbonistion will cause a cost rise of 16 per cent by 2030. They backed the wrong horse. No doubt many of these Companies will be applying for the Liberal Democrat subsidy roundabout, more of the robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    I wonder how many people look at the reverse of their Energy Bills. The diagram shows the breakdown with the Government take of 5% VAT and 8% for environmental and social schemes. The full cost of de-carbonisation has yet to come so the BfB’s estimate of 16% may not be far wrong.

    During Labour Party Conference in September 2013, Ed Miliband set out his intention to reset the energy market, building on work undertaken so far through Labour’s Policy Review and discussions held within the National Policy Forum. He did say he would freeze prices for 20 months. In his 10 key actions he lists Set a 2030 power sector de-carbonisation target.

    Do you appreciate the ramifications of that target. It means no fossil fuel (including natural gas) being used for electricity generation. Total reliance on renewables, note that on present planning by 2030 there will only be one Nuclear Plant – Hinkley ‘C’.

    Now if you think voting Conservative will alter these plans dream on. David Cameron with his ‘vote blue go green’ has given a free hand to the liberal Democrats at the DECC.

    The greens – Friends of the Earth, WWF (anti-fracking) and of course the DECC want to see the cessation of burning natural gas for cooking and heating as it produces carbon dioxide. This would entail changing over to electricity where necessary with the associated capital costs.

    As confirmation of the DECCs plans read HC 103-i – the Public Accounts Committee Oral evidence: Smart Meters. The hidden agenda for this changeover is revealed at pages 14 & 15

    Page 14
    Stephen Lovegrove: It will certainly be the case that, as a result, in a purely stable system we would expect to see lower electricity generation required for the reasons that you state. However, as we seek to move heating, in particular, and also transport away from fossil fuel reliance, we will need a lot more electricity within the system full stop because we will be heating our electric heaters and possibly driving our electric cars. The system-wide impact of trying to build all of that in is very complicated, but you are absolutely right to say that it is definitely a step in the right direction and a very helpful development.

    Q56 Mr Bacon: Just to follow up on Justin’s point, are you saying that you expect electricity consumption to be lower, because of the savings from this in the future, than it is now?

    Stephen Lovegrove: Taken purely in isolation, that would be the case. However, at the same time, we are seeking to electrify, as much as we can, our domestic heating systems and we will be wanting to electrify our transport systems. This is slow burn, obviously, but it will mean that there will have to be more generating capacity in the UK than there is today.

    Q57 Mr Bacon: So you are expecting it to go up, not down.

    Stephen Lovegrove: Over a period of time, I would expect the average house in the UK to use more electricity. I would expect it to use much less gas, because that is how we heat our homes at the moment, and we want to get away from gas and to heat our homes through electricity.

    Justin Tomlinson: If all things were equal, that is the case, but as a nation, we are consuming more power anyway, so compared to if we did nothing, it will help reduce the number of power stations.

    Stephen Lovegrove: Correct.

    • A different Simon
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Sinister isn’t it .

      Public masters rather than public servants .

      Elites vs the masses .

      When old people see their children in financial slavery it’s going to be only too easy to financially induce them to agree to be euthanased .

    • outsider
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Great stuff Shieldsman: So all four English parties represented in Parliament still want the UK to go further than the EU requires, regardless of Mr Osborne’s fiscal savings on some subsidies. Clearly this will not help UK business be more competitive, not least since (as Ian Wragg points out) foreign manufacturers are the leaders in the renewables sector. It will make no measurable difference to projected global warming.
      So why are they doing it? Greens aside, it seems to be purely for the prestige of UK politicians in climate change conferences and to placate domestic lobby groups who might win or lose them a few votes. So this, it turns out, is the mainspring of UK energy policy.

  30. ian
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    One word GLOBALIZATION. That why you have all the green crap. Big companies holding their profits off shore and paying no tax. Bring china and India online to sell more goods. All the western country”s get is migration to hold up their economies and borrowing more money. China now going to africa for cheaper wages. West making up with russa to get at their oil and gas. The main aim is for central bankers and banks to go around the world lending money to country to put in the infrastructure in which is printed out of thin air and charge the country interest on the money so in turn they collect more tax from people to pay the interest on the money at the same time lending money to people at their local banks to buy houses and cars and what ever you want on tick, they print all the money out of thin air. They do not use your money to lend out that go on government bonds and other financial instrument to keep interest rates were they want them. IMF keep government under control for central bankers because of the big sums of money they have borrowed on your behalf. They are keynesians,they will not have deflation they only like inflation to keep the ponzi scheme going. This has been the way of life since the fed in the usa was born. Our central banker is a lead banker who meets with other central bankers once a year in switzerland with imf and everything you see and hear is propaganda like wars,fracking, big up front leading from the bankers for you to pay for when small companies doing it go broke and leave a big mess behind them for you to clean up. It a big ponzi scheme to make thing look good in the west. Why do you think wet&mad will not tax companies and companies tax is going down. All the thing that are happening in the world that you think are mad is because of central bankers and companies GLOBALIZATION

    • Edward2
      Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      So ian, in your desire to stop all these wicked bankers mysteriously conspiring to lend money and make themselves a profit, you would try to stop many millions of people in countries much poorer than ours try to better themselves.
      Globalisation is just a name you give to an unstoppable process whereby industrialisation takes place in nations you would like to keep referring to as third world.

  31. ian
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    The central bankers world is starting to fall apart with their GLOBALIZATION and KEYNESIANS policies . The elite who are ride on the back of these policy are in for shock when the middle class rise up and come for their heads with the poor in the rear of the charge not the front. What central bankers and keynesians want is for lending to double to make up the short fall in interest rate coming in from government and the people, so if you double the price of houses with 60 year loan and double share price with borrowed money from thin air you are making the same amount of money with interest rates low . Wages hardly go up but inflation doe”s with asset prices to keep the ponzi schemes going. Migrants are the backbone of their western country policies while your service go down hill with the amount of people coming in.

  32. outsider
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood, As others have suggested, EU interventions are often an excuse for our own Governments’ incompetence, poor judgment and bad priorities.

    To give one small example, I have in front of me a newsletter dated June 1989, telling us locals that the Central Electricity Generating Board had applied for planning permission to build Sizewell C straight after Sizewell B (to avoid planning delay) and outlining the stage that public consultation had reached. Two companies and 25 years later a newsletter from Electricite de France informs me that local consultation on the latest Sizewell C proposal is now at about the same stage and a planning application is likely to be lodged in a summer 2015.

    In between, Margaret Thatcher’s government shelved the project because privatisation of the CEGB had higher priority, though nuclear was actually left out. Sir John Major’s government then shelved it again to ease privatisation of British Energy (the stand-alone nuclear utility). Tony Blair’s government then closed or sold the state nuclear engineering and processing business and, in 2003, issued a White Paper that rejected new nuclear power other than in extremis and opted, along with all the renewables, for higher gas imports. Some five years later, this policy was reversed. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown had sold our 30 per cent stake in British Energy to the state-controlled EDF, for which new UK nuclear plant is not top priority but on which we now rely.

    To the best of my knowledge none of this was mandated by the European Union. We made this mess all by ourselves, along with (inter alia) breaking up British Gas and closing most of our coal mines under the Major government and wrecking the electricity market, betting all our money on the doomed “carbon capture and storage” and so much else under Messrs Blair and Brown.

    Reply Nuclear was shelved under Thatcher/Major because the industry wanted to build- and did build – lots of much cheaper combined cycle gas plants which gave us plenty of capacity and cheaper prices.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 21, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Not quite true John. Intensive lobbying by Siemens and Alsthom via the EU was used to get us to drop the ban on gas fired stations. Both France and Germany were losing capacity due to the lack of orders for new nuclear stations so they saw an opportunity of selling large numbers of CCGT plants in the UK. Hence the “dash for gas”. Go into any CCGT plant and see who built and own them. Only 2 names are significant.
      We have been continually sold a pup with the privatisation of the gas and electricity industries by quisling governments.

      Reply. Those stations provided more and cheaper power which we needed.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted August 21, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

        Dr Redwood,

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/188811.stm

        Mr Redwood said” the Tories would have continued the “dash for gas”, which would have meant closing more mines”.

        I know that hindsight is a wonderfull thing, but do you think that the dash for gas policy, was short-sighted?. Also the policy of selling north sea gas to foreign markets now looks rather reckless.

        Did you or anyone else in government at the time realise how quickly reserves of North sea gas would be depleted ?..and how expensive and potentially unreliable supplies would become ?

        Reply I did not advocate closing more mines – we needed coal burn and gas burn for both increased demand and replacement of old capacity. Yes I knew the position on reserves and also took the view that a lot more would be found, as has proved to be the case with shale discoveries. We were keen to stop the flaring or waste of gas which was common in 1070s Labour UK. You may recall I went to the aid of Tower Colliery and helped the miners keep it open.

        • Kenneth R Moore
          Posted August 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Dr Redwood,

          http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/local-news/future-teesside-power-station-hangs-3664518

          I think the jury is still out on shale gas – it seems to be working in the US for now..but there are problems with costs of extraction and drindling returns on investments when production tails off.

          Indeed, the coal industry was just a shadow of it’s former self then but at least we still had something resembling a coal industry.

          Interesting that the Teeside plant (opened in 1993 under Major’s dash for gas) , which cost £850 million to build has been mothballed after less than 20 years of operation.
          This is a very short lifespan for such an expensive asset. I think we can assume that those in charge were expecting more discoveries of cheap easily accessible gas in British waters.

          Opting out of the Eu large plant directive and following the nuclear option and investing in cleaner coal would have been far better and more sustainable options.

      • ian wragg
        Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Then why are son many mothballed due ton the price of gas and Gideon stupid carbon tax. 2000 MW in Northeast belonging to Suez on care and maintenance.

  33. James Reade
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    As I’ve said before, repeatedly:

    1) why would our policies out of the EU be any different? I’m not convinced they would as I don’t think your thinking on the environment is in the majority.

    2) if there is even a 0.01% chance of catastrophic damage from human polluting activity, that makes the expected benefit from what you call, deceptively, “dear energy policies” positive.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 21, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      We will have little or no impact on global CO2 levels with our deliberately dear energy policies in the UK James.
      It will make us poorer in relation to other trading nations and consign many less well off citizens to fuel poverty.
      If were serious about the UKs CO2 output we would stop several hundred thousand new arrival coming here each year.

      • James Reade
        Posted August 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Edward2, that doesn’t really answer my question. I said if there’s even a 0.1% chance that our activities are contributing…

        You’re just telling me what you believe, which is that that probability is zero. I’m not sure it is.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 23, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

          If you wish to spend even more billions than we are already spending on a predicted risk of a 0.1% chance of a problem then what would you spend on all the higher percentage predicted risks James?
          Would spending this extra instead on clean water, disease erradication, bringing electricity to the worlds poorest or reducing poverty for the worlds most disadvantaged be more worthwhile?
          Your priorities for spending this planets limited resources are different to my own.

          You are also grouping pollution with global warming.
          Two very different things which require different solutions.

          PS
          I have never ever claimed the probability of seriously high levels of global warming are zero.
          The figure of 0.1% is yours not mine.
          I do know that we still have had less than one degree rise since 1900 with a puzzling pause since 2000 which is in direct conflict with all the predictions made by the IPCC and Al Gore just a few decades ago.
          Humans have adapted to living on this planet in hugely differing conditions and temperatures from tropical to arctic so to say that a worst case scenario of a small rise would be catastrophic is wrong in my opinion.

  34. Terry
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s a crazy world we’re living in and all the crazies are based in Brussels. Please get us out of this madhouse. NOW!

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted August 21, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood’s party could opt out of the EU energy/carbon directive and save thousands of jobs but instead does nothing. Then we are asked to believe that the Federalist Conservatives alone would unlock from the EU prison. It’s a pipe dream.

  35. Richard
    Posted August 21, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    As the EU is a Western socialist empire it should not be a surprise to anyone that its policies are designed to make all its subjects equally poor.

    However, it is not just the EU’s policies which are causing our energy to be expensive. For instance, I have not yet seen an answer as to how Germany can be building new coal fired power stations whist here in the UK we seem to be relying in the future only on wind power backed up by diesel generators and the one new nuclear power station.

    With regard to nuclear power I am deeply ashamed that this one power station will not be built by ourselves but by the French and the Chinese. It is a tragedy that we are no longer capable of building our own nuclear power plants.

    Nuclear power is the only sensible carbon (dioxide) free energy supply and we should be leaders in this technology.

    If I could I would be spending the £52+ billion destined for a ramped up 19th century transport technology instead to research, develop and construct nuclear power plants using new technologies such as thorium.

    As for mass immigration, all 3 major political parties have the same policies on energy production, but for different reasons :

    For Labour, since expensive (and intermittent) energy will make the country poorer, the need to continue with the current policy is a “no-brainer”.

    For the Conservatives, who represent “big business”, they are quite happy to produce energy intensive products outside of the UK for importation and are also very happy to benefit from the enormous subsidies on offer to provide both wind power and the electricity from the back up diesel generators.

    In the case of the Liberal Democrats, half follow the Labour philosophy and half just want to reduce the UK’s CO2 emissions for idealogical reasons even if it makes no difference to the total CO2 in the atmosphere.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page