My contribution to the debate on the draft Electricity Capacity (Amendment etc.) (Coronavirus) Regulations, 15 June 2020 (edited)

I am very concerned about the regulation, its provenance and whether it will limit our freedom of manoeuvre in ways we do not wish from the beginning of next year. I hope we will be redesigning an energy policy that is fit for purpose to meet our three main priorities.

The Government have been very clear on their environmental priorities. They are not the subject of our debate today and I have no wish to go into them. The Government have always said that they have two other crucial priorities that matter a great deal as well.

One is to have good value power—power that people can afford in their homes and which can make us more competitive in industry and commerce—where I think we have room for improvement.

We also wish to pursue a policy of independence, so that we have resilience and reliability in our system. I therefore find it extremely worrying that we have responded to a state aid challenge upon us in the dying days of our membership of the single market, or its rules, when we are no longer a member of the European Union which sponsors it.

We are setting forward a trajectory that says we will increase our imported power from 4% to 9%, mainly from the continent of Europe—from the EU—as part of our defence against historic allegations concerning state aid. These claims would presumably go away from 1 January once we have left the European Union completely and once we legislate to make our own position clear.

Today’s regulation is not well described in the explanatory note. If one reads the 80-page European Commission decision document, one can see exactly how thorough their investigation has been since 2014 of our capacity market, how detailed their intervention in it has been. The Government’s response went to great lengths to try to conform to the EU’s wish to redesign our capacity market in a way that they find acceptable. Their way is clearly designed to promote a much wider European integrated energy market.

Now, that may well make sense for neighbouring states close to each other on the continent—between Belgium, France and Germany. That is their choice and I have no problem with that. But as we are an island nation which used to be able to generate all its own power. I have some difficulties with EU control of that.

We have many great advantages to generate wind power, wave power, solar power, hydro power and other renewable power, as well as prodigious reserves of other types of energy where the Government wish to gradually reduce or clean their use. There may well be clean ways of burning some of that carbon, with carbon sinks and so forth, which they will need and want to use.

It seems that the proposal today is from another age when we were gradually being linked into a continental system, which, incidentally, is a lot dirtier than our own system and has been really struggling to reduce its dependence on coal. It is also in a very weak strategic position of chronic dependence on Russian gas. The last thing we want to do as a country is connect ourselves to an ever bigger possible dependence on Russian gas via power generated on the continent when we have a wish to do our own thing.

It is a pity that the explanatory note does not mention the phrase “state aid” or explain up front that the regulations arise because of a state aid case. It refers to ​“Commission Decision SA.35980”. Those who follow these things know that “SA” stands for “state aid”, but it is not as clear and transparent as it might be.

The average Member of this House probably does not follow those matters in that much detail and is not aware that we are being asked today to pass legislation because of a state aid infringement that goes all the way back in allegation to 2014. We ran that market relatively successfully from 2014 to 2018, it was suspended from 2018 until the end of last year, and now there has obviously been some sort of deal to get it up and running again.

The explanatory note states:

“Part 1 amends the description of a DSR CMU to clarify that a DSR CMU cannot provide capacity primarily by using a storage facility which reduces its import of electricity”.

Is not that interesting? First, we have to translate it. “DSR CMU” is the process that the shadow Minister was telling us about. One of the responses to a capacity market auction is to bid in an offer to buy less power than otherwise would have been bought as another way of contributing to the stability and resilience of the system rather than offering to provide more power for those who want to buy it.

It is curious that the proposal is linked to any proposal that might reduce the import of electricity in the way that it does. That adds to my worries about the nature of this EU policy and intervention against the broader background of the EU’s trying to create a comprehensive European energy market with us fully linked into it.

The shadow Minister said that perhaps we were found to have acted illegally. The Commission is clear that that was the case for the period 2014 to 2018. It states that in its view the UK unlawfully implemented the capacity market in breach of article 108.3 of the treaty provisions on state aid. It has now come up with a form of words at the end of its decision that says that if we do those sort of things, it will see its way to believing that we are now compliant.

I do not suppose that the House has the appetite for a serious debate about any of that today and I understand that we are considering a statutory instrument, not our wider energy policy, but we should not let this go without some things being said.

First, the regulations are the direct result of the most enormous intervention and intrusion into British energy policy and I hope that from 1 January next year, we will proudly set out our own energy policy and not need that sort of intervention. Secondly, the thrust of the policy was to make us more dependent on a European energy provision system that is neither secure nor particularly green. I strongly repeat that dragging us into more reliance on Russian gas is the last thing we want.

Craig Mackinlay (South Thanet) (Con): My right hon. Friend made a point about EU energy not being particularly green. Does he share my concern that we pat ourselves on the back and say we have burnt no coal or had no electricity derived from coal over 30 or 60 days, yet much interconnector electricity has been manufactured by those dirty forms of energy that we are trying to get out of our market in the UK?

Sir John Redwood: That is exactly right. People like to claim that we are importing nuclear energy from France, for example, but we are importing European energy in a pretty unified system, which has surplus capacity because ​it has not only French nuclear but an awful lot of dirty coal, Russian gas and so forth, which should cause us concern.

Thirdly, can we in future have an honest and clear explanation so that more Members of Parliament might understand what is going on and think it is a matter of some concern? I do not think that most of our colleagues realise that we are talking about resilience—our ability to keep the lights on in difficult conditions that might arise in future.

We are talking about the pricing of electricity and these very big strategic issues. And finally, we are talking about whether this country is now going to have its own energy policy, or whether we are hastily legislating so that we can, for the foreseeable future, still be effectively under EU state aid rules, edging ever closer to integration with EU energy policy.

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121 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    When are people going to wake up to the Franco-German scam ? The EU and its policies are for the benefit of those two and not its members.

    By reducing our ability to produce our own energy they achieve two goals. First they extract monies from us, thereby subsidising their industry, and second, by making the UK evermore dependent on them and so weakening us.

    The sooner we can start returning pro-UK MP’s the better.

    I also notice that our kind hosts avoids shale gas and gently skirts around other fossil fuels.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      John’s piece reflects the short-sightedness of many Conservatives.

      The world is changing. As reason replaces obscurantism across the globe, and people see vicious nationalism for the destructive, negative fixation that it is, many things become possible.

      One of these is the Global Electricity Grid, which has been technically feasible since the 1960s. Not only that, but advances in solar power generation now make possible a fossil-fuel independent and nuclear-free world.

      The wet lettuces, naysayers and defeatists will whimper, and the vested interests will snarl, but it is coming, so get used to it.

      Power connections across the Channel will be a part of this, and so it is logical to get them up and running ASAP.

      • NickC
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Self determination is a human right, and the vast majority of nations take it very seriously. Just because a few people like you in this country sneer at our nation, does not mean that other peoples have succumbed to the national self-destructivenes you promote.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Yet when the virus struck European nations acted as individual nation states.

        Globalism is a pure capitalist construct Martin.
        Carefulmwhatvyou wish fir.

        • hefner
          Posted June 20, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Given that all EU nations are still individually in charge of their own health systems, was it so surprising? Was it not also the case for the four nations of the UK?
          You can at times be so funny.

    • NickC
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, The rest of the world – apart from the EU, the USA, the UK, and the Anglosphere – pay little attention to the theory of CAGW. So the rotw will keep burning vast quantities of natural fuels for decades to come.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      What JR is doing is playing devil’s advocate and deploying the government’s own batty theories against its legislation. Incidentally, I’ve established that DSR stands for Demand Side Response and CMU stands for Capacity Market Unit and so a DSR_CMU is a measure of power.

      What needs to happen is that we divorce ourselves from the EU in terms of legislation and as a net importer of power as soon as possible by kicking the ‘green crap’ into touch and increasing our capacity as rapidly as possible.

    • steve
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      “I also notice that our kind hosts avoids shale gas and gently skirts around other fossil fuels.”

      There’s a lot he avoids. Unlike the true Brit on the street he’s scared of the PC brigade.

      When are people going to wake up to the Franco-German scam ?

      It’ll be the less wealthy member states doing the waking up, after we have left and the franco German alliance tries to rob the crap out of them.

  2. oldtimer
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    You have exposed an extraordinary state of affairs. Let us hope it results in changes to the proposed regulations.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Sadly this is not extraordinary but the standard modus operandi of the past half century. It is of course a disgrace!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Were any MPs arguing in favour or reducing our capacity to cater for our own energy Sir John?

      What was their argument, especially considering the furore over not being able to provide our own protective equipment, medicines and ventilators recently.

    • NickC
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Oldtimer, It’s like using Wind generated electricity in preference to CCGT. It’s done to justify subsidies to Wind, and to pretend we are “green”. The CCGT must be kept idling to back up the intermittent Windmills, so reducing efficiency and typically doubling CCGT CO2 output (dependent on Wind penetration).

  3. Anonymous
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    The Left/Remain/Thunberg appear to be fully in control. They are trying to make the country ungovernable because of the Leave/Tory wins that they couldn’t defeat at the ballot box.

    Even the U turn on school meals. The BBC announced it yesterday and immediately wheeled on Gary Lineker to slag the government off for having to be told how to behave decently.

    They HATE you.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      To be fair, when you have indecision, U turns and foggy rules (or are they guidelines?), then there is a recipe for others to slag off or take control.

      After a good start, the Ides of March beckoned. Yes, not locking down by that fateful day, March 15th, and being an inexperienced, uncertain government since has been this government’s own Shakespearean tragedy.

      • NickC
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe, Yes, Boris capitulating to roaming gangs of far left thugs, rather than standing firm as Macron has done on this issue, has destroyed trust in him and his government.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      On the school meals thing I saw an interesting request yesterday. The poster asked the bleeding hearts to produce one household budget where the family was unable to pay for the meals of their children during the holidays.

      I would like to see evidence rather than stories

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Exactly right. Not of course that the plant food CO2 is remotely “dirty” or “unclean”. Kill all subsidies for wind, solar and hydro and the market rigging let them compete fairly or not at all. Clean, cheap, reliable, on demand energy please. Perhaps the most insane government measures of all is to kill off gas heating in houses and the pushing of all electric cars with bribes before the technology is economic or practical. They do not even safe CO2 (so even if you have swallowed that agenda they make little sense) neither do most of the other things being pushed as saving CO2. Let us follow some real science for a change and not the CO2 religion. Put the sensible Lord’s Peter Lilley and Matt Ridley in charge of it all.

    Sharma has a degree in Applied Physics and Electronics albeit from Salford – even so he should know far better. Get fracking too please, clean coal can be just fine too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      save co2 not safe!

      I see Gary Lineker is supporting Marcus Rashford’s successful campaign over dinner money vouchers. I assume therefore he will also support the abolition of the BBC’s TV poll tax on everyone too? How many poor families TV licences does it tax to pay his BBC salary each year?

      Over 12,000 by my estimate.

      • MG
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        It is very easy to give other peoples money away.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      By “clean coal” I mean just “clean” certainly no need to waste a large % of the energy capturing the CO2 – just remove the dirty stuff.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        Can someone explain this to Rishi Sunak (PPE again alas) please. He seems to want to waste billions on this daft agenda.

        • graham1946
          Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          Rishi Sunak wants to waste billions etc.

          And try to save it on pensions, which are still, disgracefully, the still worst in the advanced world. Even at the present pensions lock, I lost money this year as my council tax has more than taken the increase. I heard Ken Clark saying the lock should be abolished. All very well sitting on a fat politicians and minister’s pension. He was more worried about getting his cigars and brandy. Would be nice to have the opportunity. Tinker with pensions at your peril, the pensioners vote and have long memories.

          • graham1946
            Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

            How did this end up here twice. I sometimes have problems loading anything at all?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Kill all subsidies for wind, solar and hydro and the market rigging let them compete fairly or not at all.

      NO THANKS. Subsidise clean energy so we don’t burn carbon – which is a dirty business. Subsidise clean energy. Tax dirty energy.

      Clean, cheap, reliable, on demand energy please.

      You don’t get clean energy by burning oil.

      10,000 times the total energy consumption of the whole world constantly arrives at our planet from the sun. Surely we can be intelligent enough to harness that and not pollute our planet to buggery.

      • NickC
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Mike W, I have no idea what you mean by “burn carbon”. Natural gas, when burned, produces water and CO2. So no pollution. No “carbon” is burnt, and it is a very clean exothermic reaction.

    • NickC
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, It is not so much the subsidies to Wind that causes the problems, it’s the fact that the government forces the Grid to take Wind generated electricity in preference to Gas generated electricity. That makes even CCGT uneconomic, inefficient and perversely typically doubles its CO2 emissions. And the more Wind, the worse that gets.

      • hefner
        Posted June 19, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Reference please for wind-produced electricity doubling the CO2 emissions of the CCGT-produced electricity. I am truthfully interested.

  5. formula57
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    A grotesque situation. May the Quisling’s rotten deal (as amended) should have provided for all Commission and other Evil Empire investigations and possible fines and penalties to be voided.

    The Government looks underhand in it manoeuvres to pass this legislation. It also, alas, looks like it is not acting in Britain’s best interests. Has it really lost its way or is that just a rumour for now?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      May’s deal? – It was passed by the Johnson administration. A breakthrough I believe it was called.

    • NickC
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      As others have said, when is Boris’s government going to be a conservative government? The “red wall” are not woke, they are culturally conservative – it is a mistake that the Tory party usually makes.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        +1

  6. DOMINIC
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    The EU objective has always been to tie the UK into all forms of connection with the European mainland be that energy, rail and road.

    HS2 is an EU inspired project that will at some point tie-in with the Channel Tunnel. The idiotically termed ‘Boris bridge’ is also another EU inspired project to physically tie the UK with the island of Ireland to create a seamless, physical link between the continent, the UK and Ireland.

    The ‘British government’ (both elected and unelected) including the unseen Europhiles that now control many aspects of it will never guarantee true independence for the UK. They seek and they will continue to seek and find ways to extend the UK’s subservient position to EU rules and regs.

    Only a government that destroys the entire edifice of what’s been built since 1997 can ensure true independence for the UK free from EU interference and the elimination of cultural Marxism that has become a existential threat to our very nation. Both main parties are to blame for the present calamity we now see both domestically and internationally. Indeed they have invited it and conspired to create it

    We cannot blame individual MPs for the democratic and cultural destruction we have seen since 1997 but the collective cowardice of the Tory party and the deliberate harming of this nation by Labour is there for all to see.

    The ultimate blame lies with the voter who for their own reasons blindly put their cross next to party candidates who are not what they appear to be in public.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Very hard on voters, a few UKIP MEPs had to resign pretty shortly after being elected ‘because they were not what they appeared to be in public’. You have to reinstate the Selection Committees of Constituencies, they suss out the frauds best.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      It is often said it is the voters’ fault. This is untrue because we have to vote for whoever the parties put up. Not voting solves nothing, so it has to be the best of a bad bunch. Independents have no chance and even UKIP which at one election got 4 million votes and no seats, whereas the Scots Nats etc got plenty of seats on a smaller vote. The whole system stinks and is designed to perpetuate a gravy train for incumbents

    • Dave Ward
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      @ DOMINIC – It’s called “The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T)”

    • NickC
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, Well said. People, including the “red wall” did not vote for Boris to be a woke sub-Corbyn stooge. The big question is: will the Tory party hang on to Boris like they did to May? Boris can pull this round but not if he keeps making gaffes like failing to lock down our borders in March, and bowing to far left gangs.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Boris can’t pull this round. He has no guiding star.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          His sky at night has become pretty cloudy.

    • steve
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      DOMINIC

      “Only a government that destroys the entire edifice of what’s been built since 1997 can ensure true independence for the UK”

      Name any government that ever undid the injustices of its predecessor. There isn’t one, they all capitalise on what got the previous government flung out.

      This BLM business has shown that government does not speak up for us, they will pay dearly for this PC softy fence sitting at the next election, brexit or no brexit.

    • Mark
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      I interpreted “DSR= Demand Side Response” to mean closing down what’s left of industry.

  7. Adam
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Having an extension cable running from our neighbour’s shed into our kitchen window is no way to boil a kettle. We do not want the EU’s convoluted nuisance blowing our fuse.

    An independent UK creates and generates its own needs with powerful efficiency. Wasting time and energy waiting for the gasman is like Russian roulette loaded with EU blanks.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      This is designed to ensure we buy French and German excess power.
      It leaves us with a weakened electricty grid dependent on a hostile foreign power.
      At any time they can pull the plug and leave us short of power.
      This has to stop.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Well, OPEC pulled the plug in the 1970s.

        The European Union countries could stop exporting food and starve us too, but they wouldn’t, because they are united in a moral, principled project.

        You cannot grasp that, but never mind.

        • NickC
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Martin, Describing the EU as “a moral, principled project” is hilarious. The EU is riddled with corruption, as you would expect from a project based solely on political power with no roots in a nation.

          As for OPEC – which is far less powerful now – that is why we should steam ahead with our own fracked natural gas.

          • hefner
            Posted June 19, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            Just for fun: how do you rate DJT, moral, amoral, immoral?

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      An independent UK creates and generates its own needs with powerful efficiency.

      Not under a Conservative government.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I share the concern that our energy policy is going to be tied in with that of the EU – We should not be so dependent in this way, neither for our rules nor our supply.
    One hopes that after we have left the EU, that we have truly left the EU in every single possible way – There should be no areas where we are part of the EU.

    We also hope that a more rational energy policy can be devised, one based on logic rather than dogma. The lemming like way in which energy policy is currently devised will be the ruin of us all.
    Time the government started to think for itself, used some of the great British innovation we used to be famous for and devised ways to keep the energy flowing without filling our land with expensive, allegedly green energy makers, that only work part time.

    Are we indeed going to be able to keep the lights on – that has to be the main test of any energy policy.

  9. ian
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    So you’re not supporting ROLLS ROYCE and other companies in the UK who are planning to make small nuclear reactors as I can see it not in your speech.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Yes, to hand over to the private sector, which did so well, in ensuring fire safety in tower blocks in this country, and in keeping passenger planes airborne in the US.

      The thought of it freezes the blood.

      • NickC
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Martin, It doesn’t freeze my blood. Living entails risks. Pretending otherwise is stupid.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Ian. I’m sure he is.
      I note in the newspaper article on the topic, that Rolls Royce mini-reactors won’t be ready until 2050. Far too long. I’ll be gone by then.

  10. Andy
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Gosh. What complete and utter nonsense.

    You really are ramping up your efforts to create your ideal Little England – cut off entirely from the rest of the world.

    No doubt you’ll soon be looking to permanently ban all foreign travel and imports of any kind.

    Perish the thought someone might want to eat pasta. A subversive Remoaner food for EU lovers.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, Prime Minister Rashford is proving far more competent with policy than Johnson ever has been. Perhaps you should put him Mr Rashford in charge of Brexit talks – considering your mob has completely and utterly failed to deliver on its promises.

  11. Nigl
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Off topic but current, no pun intended. The hitherto invisible Ann Marie Trevelyon said months ago she would take some convincing that the sensible and long needed merger of the Foreign Office and Overseas Aid would have any benefit. Scroll forward, it happens, guess what? She has agreed to be a minister in the newly formed department. So much for principles.

    The usual coterie of whiners, Brown, Blair and Cameron (or BBC a telling acronym) wanted to maintain the status quo. Continuous improvement? A phrase none of them have ever heard of.

    Let’s hope we really do get some change in line with Boris’ rhetoric. Somehow I think the Blob will once again get in the way.

  12. Dunc.
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    If you want cheap reliable green energy then its Natural Gas and Nuclear.
    All the others are a pipe dream, heavily subsidised renewables that need constant back up, or burning wood pellets tha are dirtier than coal, milking the consumer and putting industry out of business.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      +1 and get fracking.

      What after all is coal but essentially old wood? Coal can be make pretty clean but gas and some nuclear is preferable I agree.

      Why are ministers and their departments so totally incapable of seeing this? I assume because hardly any have any understanding of science and are deluded (or corrupted) by pressure group, virtue signally loons and vested interests!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Dunc. You are quite right in what you say. We were speaking to the land owner where a 52 turbine wind farm is situated with many more surrounding it in Scotland. He said that since Covid and many times before that all of the turbines were off because there was no demand for them and yet the developers were earning more money while switched off. It is an abomination that the consumers have to pay for such nonsense. The grid cannot take all of the power that wind farm generate particularly in Scotland and indeed one of these wind farms is already only allowed to operate at 40% capacity. Even so there are more plans afoot for more wind farms to be allowed. Talk about a Yes Minister scenario. We must start to generate out own power and not be dependent on other nations especially when the future policies dictate that gas is to be shut down and we are to go all electric. It just won’t be feasible with the current energy policies. It’s about time our government started listening to the real expert in energy instead of the Greta’s of this world and the money spinning developers most of whom are foreign.

    • NickC
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Dune, Spot on. Natural (fracked) Gas and – as Ian says – the small modular Nuclear reactors from Rolls-Royce are the way to go for clean low cost independent electricity.

  13. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this JR, difficult to believe we are still looking to have/give the EU some sort of control of such basics in life such as power, even after we have officially left.

    Who puts these policies forward, the government, the Civil service, the Minister responsible.

    We decided to stand on our own two feet, so we should do exactly that, arrange an external supply if necessary for use in emergencies, but not to meet normal use/demand.

    Amazing !

    • agricola
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      This is where the Farage Reform Party has a function. To weed out all the intangible connections to the EU that the Establishment still feel we need, but which in reality we do not. Particularly because they still exist among our politicians and civil service.

  14. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Well done for spotting this sneaky cable coming through the back door.
    So the BBC News stating that all our energy is being provided coal-free requires, like most BBC output, caveat after caveat. Really we need a shadow news channel, BBC + 1, an hour after the BBC, correcting their news output.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Indeed all we get from the BBC is left wing drivel, evil identity politics, the evil politics of envy, encouragement for statue vandals, unscientific green lunacy, encouragement for a large and larger bloated state & higher and higher taxes, endless pro EU propaganda and idiotic magic money tree economics. They even think the NHS is the envy of the world so deluded are they.

      Abolish the licence poll tax and make the BBC complete fairly. Do the same for the largely state monopoly NHS and Education systems too.

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      The joke was that during this BBC news item extolling how the UK had been running coal free for two months and saying “Why would you burn coal when you can get electricity from these?” – with a picture of turning wind turbines – the same news item also showed that the current amount of power generated from wind was just 1.7%!

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink
        • Mark
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          Except it hasn’t been coal free. It has been importing coal fired power from the Netherlands every day. The power station is connected directly to the interconnector at Maaskvlakte, Rotterdam. In reality it was built because the UK cancelled building a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth.

  15. Kevin
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    “[W]e are talking about whether this country is now going to have its own energy policy, or whether we are hastily legislating so that we can…still be effectively under EU state aid rules”.

    Thank you for keeping your eye on the ball. I would never have imagined something like this would be going on while Britons have suddenly been plunged into defending the Cenotaph.

  16. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    More work of the subversive fifth columnists in government and the civil.service. A determination to increase our dependence on foreign forces to destroy our sovereignty.

  17. William Long
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    If ever there was an example of the Remain Gold Plated EU Regulation Civil Servants hanging on to control as if nothing had happend this is it. Why has Mr Kwarteng not stamped on this before it was ever allowed to get to the House of Commons? One can only conclude that he does not want us to leave the control of the EU and stand on our own feet. Boris should not have such people in the Cabinet.

  18. Alison
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much for this. It is very worrying, and is plain stupid.

  19. Everhopeful
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Reopen the mines.
    Let’s have jobs, working men and loads of sooty smut ( we breathe in masses of EU approved diesel after all!).
    Let’s have reeking chimneys and a bit of spirit for God’s sake.
    Let’s smoke and eat bacon. Leave the fat in the pan overnight.
    Fist fights with bloody noses.
    Wish-washy, namby-pamby nearly-killed-by-the-flu, on our knees, sorry-about-our-statues country.
    Oh dear..don’t upset the EU…we haven’t really left!

  20. Fred H
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I thought we had left the EU? So we can have the plug pulled out of the wall any time they choose?

    • Fred H
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      what could be unacceptable about this? Beats me!

  21. George Brooks.
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    If you have a ”remainer” in overall charge of a department then you have to be alert at all times for this type of legislation sliding through to keep us tied into the EU.

    We don’t need any German coal or Russian gas and least of all any EU rules. We can stand on our own two feet and make our own laws

  22. BOF
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Successive Governments, LibLabCon, have been working tirelessly since 1997 to erode our ability to generate enough cheap and reliable energy for our needs.

    The answer is in our hands with modular reactors made by RR and shale gas. This will not happen. The people in power never show any willingness to back their own country, but every willingness to tie us in and make us dependent on the EU.

    The lunacy of Govt energy policy is steadily making energy an unaffordable necessity.

  23. dixie
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I wonder where this continental electricity we will depend on will come from. According to Ofgem half our current interconnector capacity is with France (IFA – 2GW), yet apparently 14 nuclear reactors are to be decommissioned by 2035 and no new replacement projects have been approved yet.

  24. Caterpillar
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    1. Did the Govt respond to your 5th paragraph, “These claims would presumably go away from the 1st of January”?
    2. Related aside – will U.K. continue emissions trading after 1st Jan or will U.K. move to more sensible policy like carbon tax and dividend + border adjustment?

  25. ukretired123
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you for bringing reliance on EU energy and how this could and would be exploited by them. We need to have a win-win with the EU on energy where we help each other out with any surpluses but in the meantime challenge British innovative ideas to solve the problem.

  26. Caterpillar
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Aside – Nice to red that Australia’s Trade Minister Simon Birmingham keen to press on with U.K. deal by end of year.

  27. Stred
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Government policy on electricity is dishonest and potentially disastrous. The reason for the capacity market is to provide emergency backup when the system cannot generate enough power in mid winter when there is no wind or solar. An Anti cyclone over western Europe can be large enough to affect France, Belgium, Holland and Germany equally and these countries also have been near to a complete failure of supply. The idea that interconnections can balance out failure of wind and solar has been shown by meteorological records to be wrong.
    The capacity market pays many times the market rate for electricity and uses much diesel locally based generation. These generators are also used in the EU. But the reason for the shortage of backup is that the carbon tax makes the building of efficient gas stations uneconomic and nuclear generation is inflexible.
    Added to the forthcoming disaster is the fact that most of our existing nuclear stations are going to be closed within ten years and they will replaced by only two or three new ones. The existing station at Sizewell will continue to provide cheap electricity and the new very expensive one at Hinckley should be running by then. The average time to build a nuclear station worldwide is 7 years but the Green zealots running the department of energy haven’t even managed to set up the finance of the stations to replace the existing, let alone building more reliable nuclear to keep the country running when they have banned gas heating and internal combustion engines.

  28. agricola
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    After 1st January 2021, what state aid we apply to energy creation or for that matter anything else is our business and ours alone. Butt out the EU and any in Parliament who would choose to think otherwise.

    Our choice of sources of energy are our business alone. The EU is a possible seller of energy which is too often less than green. The EU should have no controlling influence. Russian gas is a political hook which I fear the EU will grow to regret.

    Among all the political waffle I hear nothing about the exploitation of fracked gas and oil, a gross omission. See to it that this cheap and effective source is brought back on stream, not for discussion but for action. The economy is Covid screwed , part of its resurrection is the cheapest energy we can get. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not really thinking, and has their own peripheral agenda.

    • agricola
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      When you next review moderation can I suggest you remove playground vendettas from your criteria. You are reaching ridiculous levels of it and doing little for the prestige of the office you hold.

  29. Lorna
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    What is this “island nation” of which you speak? England? Not an island. GB? Not a nation. The UK? Neither an island nor a nation. It’s just imperialist fact-free gibber from you

  30. Old person
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    The world has changed. Many people will work from home. Online meetings will become the norm.
    Why carry on with vanity projects like HS2?
    There will be a vast number of jobless from the lock down.
    Now is the time to look to major infrastructure projects.

    The Severn Barrage would supply a huge chunk of the nation’s electricity – two tidal events a day, so no need to store (and lose) energy.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      amazing how the obvious gets forgotten about!

    • Mark
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      The reality is that the Severn barrage would be expensive – and its power output fluctuates with the tides, which vary in height enormously during a lunar month, and the time of high tide advances by about 50 minutes every day, so it is constantly moving in and out of phase with times of peak and low demand. In reality, it would create a further need to store or curtail energy from other sources, and we would need 100% backup to cover for when it is isn’t generating.

  31. Mr Ian Kaye
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Does this draft regulation relate to great Britain or the United kingdom? The increase from 4 to 9% might include a substantial increase in northern Ireland’s electricity imports following the the development of the Celtics interconnect with France

  32. ChrisS
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I suspect that the source of this policy is the vast majority of civil servants who are Remainers and automatically see a “European Solution” for everything.

    It’s clear that they will do everything they can to prevent us from drifting away from EU policies so that they can make it easy for a future Labour/LibDem/SNP government to take us back in, if they ever come to power.

    We certainly need to become self-sufficient in energy and the switch to renewables that we can rely on is the only way forward. This will not be possible if we rely on gas and we would be making the same catastrophic strategic mistake that Merkel has done, as she is disposing of all of their Nuclear stations and as a result, has put Germans in a position where they now rely completely on Putin’s Russia for energy supplies.

    For an independent United Kingdom, there would appear to be only two ways forward at this point : We could and should develop an identical series of smaller nuclear stations which could be built on a production line in the same way as the French did so cost-effectively in establishing their 58-strong chain of Nuclear stations in the 1950s and 60s.

    Alternatively, we could join the French in developing a chain of new stations because they have to replace upwards of 50 existing Nuclear plants over the next 30 years. They were to finalise a common design for this project during 2020 but their government has put off the decision for several years, for some reason. This would make eminent sense as the economies of scale would be enormous

    The second option would be to develop a design for tidal power generation as we are in the unique position of being able to take advantage of this form of energy for the whole country and which, unlike wind and solar, is 100% predictable. Ultimately, this would be the one form of power that would satisfy the greenest of green activists and those of us who think reliance on wind and solar is crazy given its variability, particularly in winter when demand is strongest.

    Whatever politicians decide, they need to get on with it.

  33. Kevin
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    “It is a pity that the explanatory note does not mention the phrase “state aid”…. Those who follow these things know that ‘SA’ stands for ‘state aid’, but it is not as…transparent as it might be.”

    I have noticed a similar difficulty with the explanatory notes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which include the following statement:
    “A donee of an LPA [‘lasting power of attorney’] can be given power to refuse to give consent to life-sustaining treatment on behalf of the donor…. The donor’s Article 2 and Article 3 rights could be engaged”.

    The notes do not appear to provide any explicit reminder to the reader that Art. 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights reads, in part, as follows:
    “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment”.

    I believe that such an explicit reminder would serve better to prompt MPs to regularly scrutinise the implementation of this Act to ensure that it complies with this absolute prohibition.

  34. Original Chris
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    We should have our own energy policy, and not be signed up to the bankrupting EU energy policies, in particular the Paris Accord/Green Deal. We should have taken our lead from President Trump. This is our chance to be free, which Boris seems not to be taking by his insistence of working with May’s Withdrawal Agreement. That should have been ditched long ago, and we should have started afresh. The WA represents “complete capitulation” (Charles Moore) and Boris should not have wasted so much time trying to just tweak it. It is fundamentally a recipe for a subservient state. Those people who have over the years claimed that you could not trust the Conservatives were absolutely right. I believe that the Cons have betrayed us big time.

  35. Sharon Jagger
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic – my apologies. But…
    I’ve just read a very good article in TCW site about how all the issues of BLM, Extension Rebellion, Climate Change etc has been watched and allowed to happen by The Conservatives over 20-30 odd years.

    “Therefore, by trying to ignore, exploit or ride the tigers of political correctness, mass immigration, climate change extremism and the politicisation of policing and education, they [The Conservative Party] have been midwife to the rebirth of a great beast: Communism. Can Mr Johnson and his team fight this hydra-headed force? I am not hopeful.”

    It’s true! All of the things listed in the quote have gone unchallenged by several Conservative administrations. We are going to have an almighty fight to push back after so many years of indoctrination – if it’s even possible now…

  36. DavidJ
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    “I have some difficulties with EU control of that. ”

    I have more than that; it is totally unacceptable that we remain reliant on the EU for energy. Time also to bin the green policy which underpins it.

  37. Mactheknife
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    As one who works in the energy industry I can say that our energy policy has been a complete mess for many years. Our electricity is becoming unaffordable due to hidden green taxes and RO’s, and yet we persist in going in this direction. The situation around energy security, or resilience if you wish has been dire also gain due to political policies. The bottom line is that we have enough natural resources in and around the UK to be self sufficient if we had a more honest approach and agreed that there has to be a mix of all types of energy Fossil and renewables which includes Shale. The government has consistently caved in to the environmental movement and until such time we address this, links to the EU grid will be necessary. Over to you Mr Redwood.

  38. David
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I am demoralised by the way a Conservative government has given in to this green scam. Is it fanciful to suspect the malign touch of Common Purpose?

  39. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Well done, Mr. Redwood. It is good to see some MPs take the job seriously.

  40. Ian
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Well when we unwittingly vote for people who give us the Manifesto we need.
    We get caught every time, reason is we forget that the entire Establishment, political class then, are All Remainers, this is what puts butter on there bread.

    This Government is useing exactly the same Play book as the Treacherous May, well it is now Boris.on the cover now.
    This is why we do not get our chosen political class to do what is best for our Country and us.
    Why would our Treacherous political class. Do everything that is right for the EU, this energy nonsense, it suits the EU, it makes our company’s uncompetitive, be cause we have signed up to do what they want, this and all the other rubbish, like why the Hell do we employ the Chinese.
    What normal man would do this, why would we not have our real friends in the West to do our G5 build our nuclear power generator s ETC ETC ?

    Well I am very sorry but un less we change , and vote for Nigel Farage and get rid of this anti Democratic Politicians then we will be enslaved, being force fed on the BBC.

    Fararge and his team passionately wont to change Both Houses, the way they Work now is a name disgrace
    So let’s get Rolls to build our new power stations, let’s start helping our Country get a better deal, and us to get cheap er power and to hell with this, another Rubbish Tory Government

  41. acorn
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Brave words for country that imports half its Gas from the EU, mostly from Norwegian Gas fields; and, the UK has insufficient storage capacity for its consumption rate. I would rather be dependent on Russian gas by pipeline rather than than LNG Tankers from the USA or the Gulf States. Both of which can easily be redirected for a better price in another port. (Norway operates to EU rules btw,)

    The UK Electricity Grid is in a fragile state. Low load periods caused by the “lock-down” ended up with lots of Wind and Solar generation, that lacks the capacity to stabilise power, voltage and frequency swings. Hence the Grid is paying through the nose buying system stabilising “capacity”.

    The UK needs a lot more HVDC connectors to the EU Super-grid, not less. This ERG 62 fantasy brexit is getting seriously silly.

    • NickC
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, The idea we should constantly depend on Jonny Foreigner to hold our hand for electricity is seriously silly. We should be as independent as possible. Importing bananas is one thing, importing electricity is ridiculous.

  42. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m tired of this. Why don’t we just sack the Ministers and Civil Servants that responded to the EU. In practice, we could simply ignore all EU Directives from now until the end of the year, whatever the Withdrawal Agreement says.

    Why don’t we tell the EU that, after the end of this year, we will withdraw recognition of it and negotiate only with individual Member States.

    In the end, regaining full sovereignty will be a matter of smash and grab.

  43. Martyn G
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    The government has no option other than to go along with this, because National Grid relies on them at critical points to keep the System in balance, thereby offsetting the effects on the grid arising from the variable, expensive and unreliable wind and solar power source supplies. Without the interconnectors the grid cannot be kept in balance and nothing will change, unless and until we install and use small nuclear power stations to keep the system in balance at all times – a topic studiously avoided by government.

  44. Freeborn John
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Why did Boris Johnson make those statements about there not being much difference between the U.K. and EU in negotiations and all that was needed was a “tiger in the tank”? The EU made no concessions and is taking his remarks as a sign that the U.K. will fold. They are doubling down on insistence on single enforcement / publish meant regime for U.K. and permanent deal on fishing. The U.K. proposed trade deal is already ridiculously one sided only covering areas where the EU has a surplus. We don’t need to offer them anything else to take a one-sided deal like that.

    • Freeborn John
      Posted June 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      And why oh why is Micheal Gove telling the EU “we are ready to be flexible”? He may as well wave a white flag as say that. Is anybody from the u saying they are ready to be flexible? The Commission presidents response today is only to reiterate demands for level playing field again and ECJ jurisdiction.

    • NickC
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Freeborn, Some of this is in our own hands – stop buying EU stuff.

  45. mancunius
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, Can this statutory order be swiftly repealed after 1 Jan?

  46. Turboterrier
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    The Government have been very clear on their environmental priorities.

    Yes very clear. Totally unsustainable but…….. very clear.

    Thank you for raising the EU use of coal and other fossil fuels.

    The number of members in the house who really have a more than basic understanding of energy manufacture, transmission, base loads and the real impact on energy bills across all sectors due to constraint and subsidies is, at a good guess 14%. The remaining 555 should read Not Many People Know That blogs titled Energy Subsidies for Dummies 1&2. Very informative.

    In conversation with an old Scottish farming client yesterday, telling me nothing will stop more turbines as the 50 odd on his land earn more money when not operating and energy companies are building them knowing it is a win, win, win situation for their shareholders.

    This confirms what the experts have been saying all along, that the infrastructure is totally unable to cope with the unreliability of wind and solar power and the power companies know it. Slap my thigh who would ever thought of that?

  47. Man of Kent
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I turned on TV to watch the Arsenal v Man City match
    What on earth do the clubs ,players and FA think they are doing by supporting a left wing Unthinking organisation intent on warping our history .
    Taking the knee before the kick off was grotesque and I turned off the box .

  48. Yossarion
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Your boss can get some New Number plates whilst the car is being fixed and get that flag off!

  49. Mark
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    The BritNed connector is fed directly by the coal fired power plants at Maasvlakte, Rotterdam. We haven’t had a day when we haven’t used electricity from there, so we continue to use coal fired electricity. However, in the low electricity demand environment of the lockdown – and doubtless also the ensuing recession – we find there are periods when solar power and wind power exceed demand and their output must be curtailed to keep supply and demand in balance, even though we may also be using the interconnectors for exports. Those exports in April, valued at the System Sell Price for each half hour settlement period, averaged negative values of -£6.88/MWh to France, and -£1.64/MWh to Belgium, with exports to the Netherlands just positive at £1.10/MWh. Presumably it was cheaper to pay to export than to pay for more curtailment, where the average cost was £79/MWh not produced in May. For comparison, the average value of imports on the same basis was £26.70/MWh from France, £27.43 from the Netherlands and £26.07/MWh from Belgium. We can see who is making money here.

    On the same basis, the average value of solar output was £18.93/MWh, wind £21.16/MWh, CCGT £26.40/MWh, nuclear £23.91/MWh, coal £28.43/MWh, biomass £24.90/MWh, hydro £26.78/MWh, pumped storage £36.50/MWh. Compare with typical subsidies of £62/MWh for solar, £50/MWh for onshore wind, £140 for offshore wind and a guaranteed price of £116.49MWh for the latest tranche of Drax’ woodchips. We can see who is really making money here also.

    National Grid has informed us that the costs of keeping the grid balanced are escalating enormously to over £2bn this year – costs that we only incur because of the folly of pursuing a high renewables zero carbon policy.

    It’s not just the failed capacity mechanism but the whole rotten edifice that needs to be tackled.

  50. Mark
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    NOt sure is this got lost via my bad internet connection:

    The BritNed connector is fed directly by the coal fired power plants at Maasvlakte, Rotterdam. We haven’t had a day when we haven’t used electricity from there, so we continue to use coal fired electricity. However, in the low electricity demand environment of the lockdown – and doubtless also the ensuing recession – we find there are periods when solar power and wind power exceed demand and their output must be curtailed to keep supply and demand in balance, even though we may also be using the interconnectors for exports. Those exports in April, valued at the System Sell Price for each half hour settlement period, averaged negative values of -£6.88/MWh to France, and -£1.64/MWh to Belgium, with exports to the Netherlands just positive at £1.10/MWh. Presumably it was cheaper to pay to export than to pay for more curtailment, where the average cost was £79/MWh not produced in May. For comparison, the average value of imports on the same basis was £26.70/MWh from France, £27.43 from the Netherlands and £26.07/MWh from Belgium. We can see who is making money here.

    On the same basis, the average value of solar output was £18.93/MWh, wind £21.16/MWh, CCGT £26.40/MWh, nuclear £23.91/MWh, coal £28.43/MWh, biomass £24.90/MWh, hydro £26.78/MWh, pumped storage £36.50/MWh. Compare with typical subsidies of £62/MWh for solar, £50/MWh for onshore wind, £140 for offshore wind and a guaranteed price of £116.49MWh for the latest tranche of Drax’ woodchips. We can see who is really making money here also.

    National Grid has informed us that the costs of keeping the grid balanced are escalating enormously to over £2bn this year – costs that we only incur because of the folly of pursuing a high renewables zero carbon policy.

    It’s not just the failed capacity mechanism but the whole rotten edifice that needs to be tackled.

  51. ferdinand
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Dirty coal ? The latest coal-fired power stations in the US produce an exhuast which is virtully the same as human breath.

  52. Ian Wilson
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Can we please stop calling wind power ‘clean’ or ‘green’ and fossil fuels ‘dirty’. Wind farms in Scotland alone have caused destruction of 13.9 million trees (aren’t trees supposed to be good for the planet?), a large turbine needs 2,500 tons of concrete plus the lorries to take it to site, excavators to dig the foundations, low-loaders to carry the diggers, and you can bet none of these are electric. Then there’s all the birds and bats they kill. In short, it’s hard to think of a more environmentally destructive means of generating power.
    Let’s go for the Rolls-Royce led small nuclear reactors. At least that would aid British industry instead of wrecking it like wind farms do with their uneconomic costs making our heavy industry uncompetitive.

    • turboterrier
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wilson.

      Thank you at least proving that there is someone else who can see it for what it really is. A massive con abley supported by the majority of our MPs.

    • NickC
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wilson, The only logical conclusion is that the UK establishment wants to wreck British industry.

  53. Mark
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I have just read the following comment by industry consultant Kathryn Porter:

    The other interesting factor, although this might be specific to the covid situation is around what’s happening in France – low demand is forcing EDF to take its nukes offline this summer to save fuel and because of staff shortages delaying annual maintenance and pushing some of it into Q4. Q4 French power prices are trending up and based on current spreads the UK can expect to export through the coming winter creating a 4 GW deficit against expected supply.

    That is the sting in the tail of interconnectors. You import other people’s problems and pay a high price for doing so, and the supply swing is up to twice the capacity. We can look forward to a winter of energy shortage and high prices.

  54. Iain Gill
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    How much of the gas for use in gas powered electricity generating plants is being imported by pipeline from Russia?

    Thats a key metric that needs watching

    • hefner
      Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      None whatsoever. There is no such pipeline.
      When asked in HoC in March 2018, Theresa May said at most 1% of Russian gas might have come to the UK in 2017 as LPG. Most of the imported gas via pipelines comes from Norway, the Netherlands and Qatar.

      • hefner
        Posted June 18, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Oops, Qatari gas is obviously shipped to the UK as LPG.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          well that’s not what national grids risk assessments say

          • hefner
            Posted June 19, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            Reference please.

        • NickC
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, Oh dear, another of your mistakes? Good job you corrected it, otherwise I would have had to.

        • Mark
          Posted June 18, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          Actually, it’s LNG that comes here.

          • hefner
            Posted June 19, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, I should have checked better: LNG methane vs LPG propane & butane. Sorry for that.

  • 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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