Debate on energy security

I spoke yesterday in a Westminster Hall debate about the UK’s energy security. The Minister Greg Hands confirmed that the UK is pressing ahead with new oil and gas investments as part of an effort to reduce European dependence on Russian hydrocarbons. He told us the UK is supplying gas to the continent this summer from its LNG import facilities, to help fill their storage facilities ahead of the winter. The UK of course has  very little storage of its own. It had low storage because it used to be able to produce 100% of the gas we needed so the storage was the original gas fields themselves.

The Opposition parties continued to live in a make believe world where a bit more investment in windfarms would solve the problems of our energy supply. They revealed two mistakes in their thinking. They firstly failed to realise that electricity supplies a minority of our total energy needs, as we depend substantially on gas delivered direct to homes and factories for heat and power, and on petrol and diesel for much of our transport. If you wish to depend on renewables you first have to convert all vehicles to electricity and take all homes and factories off gas. They secondly would not accept that our present solar and wind power is intermittent, meaning we need to have back up generation capacity for when the wind does  not blow and the sun does not shine. We are often generating a majority of our electricity from gas, wood pellets, and  coal.

I reminded them that to make more wind and solar work we will need ways of storing the electrical power generated when intermittent sources do work to use on days when they do not. That may be large batteries. It might be conversion of the renewable electricity to green hydrogen for use in our boilers and  vehicles. There might also be breakthroughs to allow gas or coal to be burned in power stations with carbon capture and storage systems to achieve CO2 goals.


  1. Peter
    July 6, 2022

    The resignations and their implication for Boris Johnson eclipsed any other news from yesterday.

    All attention is on what happens next.

    1. Ian Wragg
      July 6, 2022

      Maybe, just maybe we can ditch the limp dem agenda and get some sensible policies.
      Out with net zero, tax reductions in energy and return of the channel invaders.
      Not holding my breath.

      1. Hope
        July 6, 2022

        Funny is it not, cowardly Johnson gives EU gas yet the EU threatened to cut off electric from Jersey!! Does he just jump to every EU demand and accept all the threats?

        Would this not be a bargain8ng tool for changes to EU protocol or is the UK too dependent on France for electric?

      2. APL
        July 6, 2022

        Ian Wragg: “Maybe, just maybe we can ditch the limp dem agenda”

        Could we also ditch the WEF agenda too?

    2. Denis Cooper
      July 6, 2022

      Maybe we will get a new Prime Minister who genuinely believes in the union of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and who will value it more than a pathetic little trade deal with the EU, and who will do what Boris Johnson said he stood ready to do in the Command Paper last July – pass the new UK laws needed to protect the EU Single Market, so making it possible to restore the full integrity of the UK internal market while maintaining an unchanged open Irish land border, and removing any reasonable ground for complaint by Brussels and Dublin.

      1. X-Tory
        July 6, 2022

        Why on earth would you want to remove grounds of complaint from Brussels and Dublin? They are trying to harm the UK, so we need to retaliate and harm them. That will obviously lead to complaints, but that will be a positive sign, indicating that our response is working!

        1. Denis Cooper
          July 7, 2022

          I said any “reasonable” ground for complaint, and I said that because we need to get legislation through Parliament, in which taken across both houses probably a majority of the members see their primary allegiance as being to the EU not to the UK, and we also need to convince other governments around the world that we are being reasonable and if there is any unreasonableness it is coming from the EU not from us. That does not mean that we should give the EU a veto, which is what Theresa May did.

      2. Sir Joe Soap
        July 6, 2022

        Triumph of hope over expectation? When was the last time we didn’t get same old? A May type is more likely “to unite the party” – never mind the country goes to the dogs.

      3. MFD
        July 6, 2022

        Could someone explain WHY we are tasked with protecting their single market? They are now only enemies, trying every thing to destroy Britain as a warning to others who are getting wrest-less watching their crooked developement- I do not think the Germans are happy now the eu sre free of Mrs Merkle.

        1. Denis Cooper
          July 7, 2022

          Yes, I have explained it above, and not for the first time.

          Theresa May gratuitously accepted responsibility for ensuring that the Irish government and the EU did not fortify their side of the land border, effectively giving them a veto over any proposed solution. That was a mistake, as pointed out by Jacob Rees-Mogg at the time. However that does not mean we should totally ignore what they, and also the majority in Parliament, reasonably demand.

      4. Denis Cooper
        July 6, 2022

        “”We need to be realistic: no alternative solution has been found and it is not needed,” European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.”

        Of course there will never be an alternative solution if the EU instantly rejects any which is proposed.

        August 22 2019

        “An Offer the EU and UK Cannot Refuse”

        “This proposal, which includes features which have never been discussed, will guarantee the integrity and autonomy of the EU’s and UK’s respective customs and regulatory territories, and will require neither a Customs Union between the two unless that is the wish of both, nor a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.”

        July 20 2021:

        “A dual autonomy approach would help with the Northern Ireland protocol”

        “Two years ago, Joseph Weiler, Daniel Sarmiento and I proposed another approach based on the notion of “mutual enforcement” or “dual autonomy”. The UK and the EU could keep their regulatory autonomy intact. Each would incorporate the legal obligations of the other side into its domestic law, to be applied only by producers exporting goods into the territory of the other party. In other words, the UK would introduce, as a matter of domestic law, EU rules only for goods which are exported to the EU. In such circumstances EU requirements would be turned into UK law, pure and simple, a set of rules only for those producers wishing to sell to the EU market (and vice versa). UK producers who export to other markets beyond the EU or do not export at all would be subject only to UK regulatory standards and whatever requirements stem from the country of destination. Our proposal has several advantages … “

    3. Denis Cooper
      July 6, 2022

      From January 22 2022:

      “Off topic, I thought it might be helpful to send the following email to Tory MPs, under the heading:

      “Absurd Irish protocol based on absurd Irish premise”

      Previously I mooted that perhaps the House of Commons could be asked for a view on this question:

      but now seems a good time to ask just those MPs who may soon be choosing a new Prime Minister … ”

      The rest is there at the January link, it ends:

      “Or will you try and find a decent honest realistic, and above all patriotic, alternative who will tell the Irish government and the EU where to get off?

      Well, good luck with finding any such person in the senior ranks of the so-called “Conservative and Unionist Party”, but you won’t know unless you try.””

    4. Lifelogic
      July 6, 2022

      Indeed it is surely all over for Boris but alas the replacement will surely be even worse. We have surely had enough of very high taxes, green crap, endless government waste, over regulation and very poor and declining public services.

      One can see why Sunak wants to resign – to get away from the appalling mess he has made of the economy and the treasury. Similarly for Javid who appallingly tried to force some workers to take the often dangerous and fairly ineffective and short lived Covid vaccines. Even workers who had already had Covid and/or were too young to be at any real Covid risk plus the NHS is in a dire state! Both are damn fools.

      Heseltine just now “if Boris goes Brexit goes” and “Brexit is a disaster which is unfolding”! Hunt another dire health secretary “Theresa May in trousers” is an appalling prospect.

      1. Iain Gill
        July 7, 2022



        Politics is broken, voting will not fix it.

        Some fundamentals too badly broken, completely the wrong kinds of people being selected as political candidates flows through the system to current situation of hopeless lack of decent candidates for senior office.

    5. Ed M
      July 6, 2022

      My money is on Boris scraping through as he still has quite a bit of support and there is no strong (Labour) opposition. But probably last chance if there is another screw up in next couple of months or so.

      1. Ed M
        July 6, 2022

        OK, Boris losing support now fairly quick .. not sure.

    6. acorn
      July 6, 2022

      A wise man once said that a politician and/or his party, should never be more than two years away from an election. The US put that in its Constitution.

      Current events in the HoC are demonstrating just how ineffective it is at holding Downing Street to account. Lord Hailsham was correct when he said the UK has an elective dictatorship, amply demonstrated currently. It’s showing signs of becoming a dominant party authoritarian dictatorship

      There is nothing the electorate can do about it for the remaining years of this parliament. By that time, this current dominant party, will have made voting for any other party pointless. I suspect the leave voting electorate will comply willingly.

      1. Peter2
        July 7, 2022

        You forget “we the people” gave him and his party a huge 80 seat majority.
        The dictatorship you talk about are presumably the voters.

      2. APL
        July 7, 2022

        acorn: “It’s showing signs of becoming a dominant party authoritarian dictatorship”

        That speech was decades ago. We’ve moved right along the path since then.

        Interesting that there are, as of yesterday 40+ resignations. Those are just a fraction of MPs on the government payroll. That is, they ow more to the executive, than they do to their constituents.

    7. Hat man
      July 6, 2022

      You might also pay attention, Peter, to who was at Bilderberg recently. Merkel, Macron and Blair attended a year or two before becoming leaders of their country. Just a suggestion.

  2. Mark B
    July 6, 2022

    Good morning.

    I was driving (hired car) along the M4 / A322 the other day, not far from our kind hosts constituency, and saw along the route the biggest windmill I have ever seen. Thankfully it was turning, unlike many I have come across. I could not help but wonder would such a blight on the landscape be better positioned out at sea ?

    Sorry, off topic.

    I hear that there is currently two Ministerial vacancies. Would it be to presumptuous to ask if our kind host has dusted of his CV and sent it to Number 10 ?

    The bloke living there could do with some proper ‘Conservative’ advice.

    1. Mickey Taking
      July 6, 2022

      Green Park, Reading?

      1. Mark B
        July 6, 2022

        Yep !

    2. Cheshire Girl
      July 6, 2022

      Mark B.

      Off topic too.

      I was so sorry to hear that Rishi Sunak had resigned. I had great hopes for him. However, it was no great surprise, to see the odious Channel 4 Team rejoicing, and giving an entire 90 mins to the subject. The Media have had it in for him (and Boris) from day one, with their vicious remarks about his Wife’s wealth, and any other thing they could smear him with. The BBC is equally as bad.

      I am starting to wonder, who runs this Country, the Media, or the Government. As a lifelong voter, it is very unlikely that I shall vote in the next General Election.

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        July 6, 2022

        @CG – you must vote at the next election, even if it is to spoil you paper.

        Not turning up allows them to blame you for apathy and “learn” spoiling the paper in large numbers sends a message.

        1. turboterrier
          July 6, 2022

          Narrow Shoulders
          Totally correct.
          I always vote because millions died to give us the freedom to have the right to do so.

      2. Dave Andrews
        July 6, 2022

        Neither, it’s the civil service, according to instructions given by their Brussels overlords, as they don’t have the wit to do it themselves.

      3. X-Tory
        July 6, 2022

        Rishi Sunak has been a disaster as Chancellor and is clearly NOT a tax cutter. Although our host does not seem to be publishing my posts anymore I was nevertheless very sorry that he was not offered the Chancellorship, as he was obviously the best qualified candidate.

      4. Walt
        July 6, 2022

        Good Morning Mark,
        I agree re Mr Sunak’s wife: it appeared that she was doing nothing wrong, merely exercising her rights under the tax laws of our country. However, I lost all respect for Mr Sunak when he authorised the ONS to change the formulae of the Retail Prices Index, so that people who had entered into RPI-linked contracts in the open market will get less than they paid for (Gilts, lifetime annuities, land rents, etc.): in a non-government context that would trigger a fraud case.

      5. No Longer Anonymous
        July 6, 2022

        Indeed the BBC does set the agenda. So Boris being chip-chip-chipped away at was inevitable but this is not the REAL reason he’s imperilled.

        He has adopted an extreme Leftist stance in all things as per Carrie. The BBC are after him for relative trivia, real Tories are after him for his complete and utter absence of Conservatism but the BBC won’t tell you this.

        Go Woke go Broke and the nation is paying the price of Boris’s love life.

        Cut the fuel tax theft for a start. Boris is screwing commuters for daring to go to work. And then his instincts tell him to give mortgages to those who DON’T work.

    3. Peter Wood
      July 6, 2022

      Bunter Boris now in Bunker mode. I am disappointed in Mr Zahawi, I thought he is a principled man. Not surprised at Mr. Barclay- true to form, recall he stepped in and tried to sell the May EU deal.
      The rest of Cabinet are shameless; not a shred of decency or a leader among them.

      1. Peter Wood
        July 6, 2022

        Sir J, you are calling for lower taxes, quite right, but interest rates HAVE to go up, or face a run on the £., with all that means for inflation at home. There is going to be a recession, it’s now about damage limitation. Can Mr. Zahawi handle this?

    4. Denis Cooper
      July 6, 2022

      That was going to be the first of the very many that would be needed to power Reading.

      1. hefner
        July 6, 2022

        I have never heard of such a plan to power Reading with wind turbines. The Ecotricity wind turbine was set-up as a one-off in 2005 as a demonstration that Green Park could be ‘green’. As far as I know (from one of my sons’ A-level project studies twelve years ago) this was to show that all the offices in this area could be powered by one turbine. Furthermore being set-up in a built-in area people can come and check for themselves that the noise produced by it is minimum compared to that of the M4 motorway nearby. It seems that the lighting of the nearby Madejski Stadium is also relying on it.

        1. Denis Cooper
          July 7, 2022

          Just because you never heard of it does not mean that such a plan did not exist!

          If I could be bothered I would look out my letters to the Reading newspapers.

      2. Mark B
        July 6, 2022

        It was HUGE !!!!

        And it would only power Reading when turning. Try telling that to the dumb fools in government.

    5. Mark
      July 6, 2022

      If you live in the Home Counties onshore wind turbines are hard to find. There’s the Ecotricity one you saw, which often has to be powered in slight zephyrs to keep its blades and shaft turning to avoid brinelling of the bearings, and another where the M25 turns from heading North to East near Kings Langley, a pair at Ford Dagenham, another a couple of miles from Glyndebourne for wealthy greens to celebrate as they picnic at the opera (fortunately there is a real grid connection to keep the stage lights on). A small windfarm in Kent. That’s about it.

      I see Kwarteng is thinking of doling out £350 bribes to those who agree to have a windfarm nearby. It isn’t going to make much difference in the Home Counties, because winds are too slight to make investment worthwhile. Many suspect the blight on house prices would far exceed the bribe. But with the principle established, perhaps he should apply it to shale development, where the impact is far less and the energy potential far greater.

    6. hefner
      July 6, 2022

      This wind turbine has been in Green Park for almost seventeen years … and still going steady, a bitty more than the ten-year lifetime that the opponents to wind energy claim these to be able to work …

    7. Lifelogic
      July 6, 2022

      Indeed it is surely all over for Boris but alas the replacement will surely be even worse. We have surely had enough of very high taxes, green crap, endless government waste, over regulation and very poor and declining public services.

      One can see why Sunak wants to resign – to get away from the appalling mess he has made of the economy and the treasury. Similarly for Javid who appallingly tried to force some workers to take the often dangerous and fairly ineffective and short lived Covid vaccines. Even workers who had already had Covid and/or were too young to be at any real Covid risk plus the NHS is in a dire state! Both are damn fools.

      Heseltine just now “if Boris goes Brexit goes” and “Brexit is a disaster which is unfolding”! Hunt another dire health secretary “Theresa May in trousers” is an appalling prospect.

    8. Lifelogic
      July 6, 2022

      At sea they would generate rather more electricity too as better winds but the point of these rotating, bird, insect and bat killing crucifixes is to be seen they are mainly religious in purpose.

      To JR so long as you keep wind below a certain level of wind capacity you do not need storage just coal, methane or gas back up. Though this means these back ups do then not run as efficiently as they could do. Storage of all types is absurdly expensive and very, very energy wasteful. Green hydrogen will surely waste at least 75% of the energy (so when converted back to electricity you get 25% back at best) and hugely expensive too. Better just to give very cheap electricity at peak times and let people find innovative ways to use this cheap but intermittent electricity in refrigeration, heating or air con which can cope when designed suitably.

    9. Fedupsoutherner
      July 6, 2022

      Mark B. Go to Scotland and you will see the largest wind turbines in the UK if not Europe and not just one or two but arrays of over a hundred with other wind farms close by. Some have been operational for 15 years and are being replaced with larger turbines. One near to where we lived had 90 turbines and now has permission for an extension. Needless to say some people’s lives are a living nightmare.

    10. Ed M
      July 6, 2022

      Your comment about the windmill very valid I think. And the need to focus more on sea wind farms. And even more so after danger of over-relying on fuel from outside this country ie Russia. But others too.

    11. Ed M
      July 6, 2022

      I would gladly support Sir John Redwood as PM as long as he really supports High Tech industry as much as possible and the Arts (seriously, strong Arts so important for lots of reasons – and popular with lots of voters).

    12. Mike Wilson
      July 6, 2022

      The turbine at Junction 11? A magnificent structure. There should be one every 600 yards next to the hard shoulder of every motorway.

      1. Berkshire Alan
        July 7, 2022


        Clearly you jest, there are no hard shoulders left on many motorways now !

        In years to come they may find out that positioning such structures next to roads may cause a hypnotic/strobe effect on drivers, similar to when passing a long row of trees when sunlight passes through them.

        Interestingly you can visit this one for educational reasons as it also has an exhibition element to it, our Granddaughter took in a visit as part of her studies on economics and the environment.

  3. formula57
    July 6, 2022

    So why is Minister Hands bailing out elsewhere in Europe? Where is the agreement for gas to be returned when we need it? All I see is limited catch-up and insufficient sense of urgency.

    This is not a government on the side of the people, even if two material obstacles to becoming so left it yesterday, perhaps in the realization they were no good.

    1. Sea_Warrior
      July 6, 2022

      I have an instinctive Brexiteery ‘let them freeze’ response to Europe’s energy problems – but the NATO fan-boy in me thinks we should do what we can to help our allies.

      1. X-Tory
        July 6, 2022

        What makes you think they are our “allies”?
        I consider all EU member states our enemies and would refuse them any military support.

        1. Sea_Warrior
          July 7, 2022

          I’ll take a simplistic view and work on the principle, in these difficult times, that we should treat any NATO member as an ‘ally’. I took a much different view on the issue of offering military support to Finland and Sweden recently. Both, as EU members, didn’t hesitate to support Barnier’s ‘punishment beating’ of the UK and offer us no support in our border dispute with the ROI and EU.

      2. Mickey Taking
        July 6, 2022

        allies? – – which are they?

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      July 6, 2022

      If we have more gas than we need then the price should be falling, not using it to prop up the EU

      1. Sea_Warrior
        July 6, 2022

        My reading of Sir John’s comment is that the gas, being LNG, is imported (from the likes of Qatar) and then re-exported – so that wouldn’t affect pricing in this country. But we should frack – and impose an upper price-cap on the gas going into our grid. Doing that would bring down the prices being paid by consumers, whether domestic or business.

    3. Mark
      July 6, 2022

      It appears he failed to mention that we are also burning lots of extra gas in CCGT stations to provide exports of electricity so that they don’t have to do it on the Continent, and so Norway can try to avoid its hydro reservoirs staying too low ahead of winter. We can do this in summer when demand is low, but in winter we will have our own capacity shortages and will be looking for electricity imports that will not be available. Meanwhile the extra burn, including some coal, is chewing up UKA carbon allowances. As we are not getting an extra allowances to compensate for the exports, the price is being forced upwards, making our electricity more expensive for next winter.

      The bidding war next winter for who endures the blackout shortages threatens to be expensive and unpleasant. In Dunkelflaute we could expect to be 4-5 GW short due to lack of imports. Double if the Continent outbuds us for supply.

  4. DOM
    July 6, 2022

    This issue’s been debated to exhaustion. How many more times does it need to be said that wind and solar are inefficient and expensive sources of power? Those who argue otherwise are political ideologues and extremists seeking societal destruction and control.

    It’s as though these ideologues are seeking to create deliberate energy shortages as a political weapon of control. This criminal, political behaviour is now being replicated across many areas of human life from medical issues, race, gender, climate, art, education, journalism etc etc. It is nothing less than evil and deceitful Marxism with a concerned face to deceive the uneducated and the naive

    As an aside. Two unprincipled drones gone and replaced by another two drones. Blair and Starmer desperately want a GE to get the UK back into the UK. If Labour do get back into power all the cancerous ideology we have seen under the Tories will be multiplied ten fold.

    Labour and the SNP will criminalise life itself

    1. DOM
      July 6, 2022

      ‘back into the EU’

    2. Cuibono
      July 6, 2022

      Hear! Hear!

    3. Sharon
      July 6, 2022

      Dom, sadly what you say has a lot of merit.

      I was hoping Mr Redwood would replace Rishi Sunak.

      Our local gas storage drum is now a supermarket! I guess that sale was done with the assumption it would no longer be required. Talk about doing things out of order.

      1. Mickey Taking
        July 6, 2022

        Reading ones demolished space ready for more houses.

        1. Mickey Taking
          July 6, 2022

          ?? not published?

    4. Fedupsoutherner
      July 6, 2022

      Right again Dom. Starmer might be saying he will deliver Brexit now because he knows it was the will of a democratic vote but just wait for the Uturn once we gets in. Labour will take us back in with the help of the Libdims and SNP.

    5. No Longer Anonymous
      July 6, 2022

      Alas, Dom, I’ve given up on the Tories and an 80 seat majority and Brexit showed them to have been the problem all along.

      I’m afraid they must be disbanded. We have to go through the full circle of destruction as they are incapable of doing what they were elected to do.

      To tell you the truth I don’t think I could tell the difference under a Labour council than the Tory one I’m living under. They have turned this place into a shit hole.

  5. Nigl
    July 6, 2022

    Energy debate. No fracking then? A metaphor for general government inaction. Frost in the DT, Javed in his resignation letter spot on. A total move away from Conservative values and knee jerk populist interventions with no overall vision Or plan. Empty rhetoric.

    You and contributors post Covid have been almost pleading to move away from London liberal policies and put hard nosed Tory values in place and, forget partygate//pincher although they highlight cover up over honesty, we see poor performance across Government and we are paying for it.

    The shameful Cabinet knew what was going on and sat on their hands, their positions more important than the country. They must be held to account. Currently still clinging on.

    I have written to my MP, Leo Docherty on 3/4 occasions over the last 18 months pointing out exactly what is now being said openly by senior Tories. Every time despite evidence to the contrary of Boris’s integrity he told me he was the right man and trusted him implicitly.

    I wonder whether he would have thought differently if he wasn’t sitting on a massive majority and had been made a minister by Boris. Ha!

    A proven error of judgement. He should now consider his own position.

  6. Jamie
    July 6, 2022

    And Nero fiddled while Rome burned

    1. Mitchel
      July 6, 2022

      Actually,Elagabalus(r204-222 AD) would be a better comparison.Historian Adrian Goldsworthy described him thus:”Elagabalus was not a tyrant,but he was an incompetent;probably the least able emperor Rome ever had.And in a contemporary twist,he was no fan of “toxic masculinity” either!

  7. Javelin
    July 6, 2022

    All the talk in the Davos echo chamber is not real. Net zero and mass migration are just a sales pitch based on virtue. The WEF children currently installed in the Governments around the world are just the latest form of centrally planned economies. It’s not communism, but globally coordinated corporatism, but with a WORSE outcome of a global economic collapse.

    1. APL
      July 6, 2022

      Javelin: “The WEF children currently installed in the Governments around the world”

      Well that kind of refutes your assertion that Davos has no real influence.

      These people are in government, and they are, if not mad, ignorant of how things actually work. So their tinkering and grand ideas will ruin our economies. Look at Germany, their ‘Green’ vice Chancellor, Harbeck, is clearly using the guise of Ukraine to implement the Green de-industrialisation of the German economy.

      Like all idealogues, he cannot or will not appreciate the destruction his parties policies are causing.

  8. Julian Flood
    July 6, 2022

    Sir John, did you forget nuclear? It would be an easy mistake to. Make as HMG seems determined to build the almost unbuildable French-designed EPRs which will consume huge resources and come on stream too late to avert the looming energy crunch.
    We have a nuclear solution, RR SMRs, but even they will take years to reach the heavy lifting stage. The only sensible solution is to put in place extremely generous compensation schemes and allow onshore fracking.


  9. hefner
    July 6, 2022

    Do I hear a dead cat purring?

    1. Mickey Taking
      July 6, 2022

      is it called LAZARUS?

    2. Mitchel
      July 6, 2022

      No bounce left in it?!

  10. Sea_Warrior
    July 6, 2022

    What should I be making of the fact that such an important subect was being debated in Westminster Hall and not in the chamber?

  11. acorn
    July 6, 2022

    Nice little earner. Gas at 114 Euro per MWh at UK end of interconnector, 165 at the Dutch end. Only a third of the 92 MCM/day coming from LNG.

    Just think, if the UK government was holding a large wedge of shares in its privatised energy industry, like the continentals, it would be getting both increased tax and dividends from the supernormal profits of those industries.

    1. Julian Flood
      July 6, 2022

      Acorn, if the Climate Change Committee and its enablers had not put restrictions in place that closed down any chance of fracking we would, by now, be exporting enough gas to power Germany without importing any CNG.


    2. Mark
      July 6, 2022

      I suspect the extra export is being enabled by Norwegian pipeline gas imports. These days Norway provides most of our extra gas demand in winter, although we now have to supplement that with LNG. Until recently UK demand was effectively met by pipeline supply, with LNG mostly being re-exported over the summer.

      As the export pipelines are running more or less at capacity, no extra exports are possible and the UK is thankfully for now not subject to Continental gas prices at TTF.

    3. formula57
      July 6, 2022

      @ acorn – why bother with uncertain dividends (on risky shares) when a certain one-off windfall tax could be had instead?

  12. The Prangwizard
    July 6, 2022

    Do I understand correctly – government is taking delivery of imported LNG and then sending it off to the EU for its benefit?

    Can anyone explain how this is good for us and who decided on the plan?

    Am I right in believing Greg Hands is a EU remainer?

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      July 6, 2022

      Prang. Exactly. Why aren’t we using this as a bargaining chip when we discuss the NI protocol? We are always being threatened over power cuts to Jersey and blockages of our ports when fishing rights are discussed. Can we be Mr Nasty like our so called friends in Europe are for a change? I am fed up sorting out the problems of the world while they stab us in the back.

    2. Mike Wilson
      July 6, 2022

      We have no storage. Why we are acting as a middleman I have no idea. Maybe some idiot signed a contract.

  13. Wanderer
    July 6, 2022

    What a pity our host is not Chancellor today.

    1. SM
      July 6, 2022


  14. Cuibono
    July 6, 2022

    Has anyone actually ever met a proponent of windmills and sheet bleaching in the sun who genuinely follows such a creed?
    I know of people who PRETEND to live such a life under the umbrella of various charity-type pressure groups involving much funding and waiving of normal laws ( like planning).
    Their stated aims are to destroy the middle classes, destroy farming and destroy the Union.

    When wind and sun and leg-power were all we had we strove for easier, quicker and more productive solutions.
    And now we strive to go into reverse!

    1. Margaretbj.
      July 6, 2022

      This is not a reply to cuibono. I cannot locate a place to comment Which is not a reply. It’s sensible to leave Boris alone to see if changes in tax will make a difference.Another PM may not carry out that plan.If this is a lie he is surely out.
      I am in bed with a bad dose of covid and am watching the box.A Finnish way of preserving heat is with sand.Lets see what develops from here.

  15. Bloke
    July 6, 2022

    Drilling over seas is wet.
    Our own land is red hot beneath.
    Could we drive a drill there?
    It might work like a hot rod
    with a computer bus conductor driving.
    Our own heat right under our feet!
    Or maybe it should melt before it starts.
    Like HS2: So near, yet so far-fetched.

  16. Cuibono
    July 6, 2022

    After all…would the powers that be REALLY want huge numbers of us living “off grid” enjoying free solar and wind power? ( 2 hours to boil a solar 17oz kettle, assuming sunshine when you least want a hot drink!)
    Think how they would miss their vice-like control freakery.
    If greencr*p worked we’d all be off like rats up a drainpipe!

  17. Berkshire Alan
    July 6, 2022

    I have to ask myself why politicians have to keep on having further debates about the bloody obvious that you continue to have to outline John.
    Do they really still not get it !
    Why do they think the thousands of windmills that we used to have decades and centuries past, that ground our flour and pumped water, no longer exist.
    Why do sailing boats have alternative sources of power, like a small diesel engine.
    The simple answer, wind is not consistent.
    Why do politicians think that the present basic energy sources of coal, wood pellets, gas, and oil purchased and shipped in from across the World from some despot or politically corrupt regimes, would be less expensive and more reliable than home produced and sourced power.
    No wonder the country is in a huge mess, where little now seems to work efficiently or effectively.

  18. Emily
    July 6, 2022

    “New oil and gas investments” presumably including extraction from the North Sea?

    Has an energy company expressed interest yet in more extraction?

    Why would they bother knowing that the profits could disappear in a Windfall Tax?

    The likelihood is that more extraction is just talk and will never happen. It’s too late now anyway to avert energy shortages.

  19. Dave Andrews
    July 6, 2022

    How can the energy companies take the government’s wish seriously, to prospect for oil and gas? The government remains committed to eradicate this industry.
    As I understand it, the high price of diesel is driven by a lack of refining facilities in this country, and it used to be imported from Russia. Again, who is going to be serious about increasing the UK refining capability, when it’s supposed to be mothballed in a few years’ time?

  20. Mike Wilson
    July 6, 2022

    Large batteries for storage. Utter nonsense, I am afraid. You would need billions of Tesla size car batteries to keep the lights on for a day.

  21. Nigl
    July 6, 2022

    And we now see Zahawi will be Boris’s puppet. A broke country with high inflation agreeing tax cuts to ‘save the prime minister’ plus crumbling on a 9% pay rise for teachers. Once again knee jerk populist actions with zero planning/strategy.

    How about saving the country from the prime minister instead?

    Come on 1922 do your duty.

  22. ukretired123
    July 6, 2022

    2B or not 2B? Is it “On your bike Boris” or “getting Brexit done”?
    There are too many career MPs like Boris versus conviction politicians today.
    As someone noted in the weekend press “He dresses like a slob” and needs to grow up. Combed hair would be a start but he would say he’s not changing. So now his reputation goes before him, uphill and downhill.
    Will the real conservatives like Lord Frost step up to the plate for the sake of this country please?

  23. turboterrier
    July 6, 2022

    The answers to today’s entry is the same for what’s happening to Boris:

    In both cases he backed the wrong horses.
    He didn’t study form or listen to the trainers.
    He is a talker not a finisher and his cabinet (as was) totally unfit for purpose , too many loose ends.

    Will he learn from it ?

  24. ChrisS
    July 6, 2022

    We can only hope that the new chancellor tells Boris he has to ditch the Green Crap and go full tilt to again be self sufficient in gas and, as far as possible, oil.

    Listened to Rachel Reeves on Radio 4 this morning, spouting on about the fall in the pound being the fault of the government’s economic policy. She failed to mention that the Euro has suffered the same fate for the same reason : The USA is self sufficient in oil, gas and electricity and we and the EU are not. In our case it’s entirely self-inflicted because we stopped exploration in the North Sea. Of course, nobody at the BBC was going to chalenge her on that !

    At least Eustace and Gove now seems ready to approve that new coal mine in Cumbria.
    But why to all these decisions take months to take ?

  25. Iain Moore
    July 6, 2022

    //Norway’s government said Tuesday it was referring a dispute between oil and gas workers and employers to an independent board, after an industry group warned strikes could cut Norway’s gas exports by more than half.
    The move, which effectively ends the stoppage, comes after workers walked out of their jobs on Tuesday, leading to the closure of three fields and the union announced more workers would strike later in the week.//

    Yesterday they were talking of the strike leading to a complete shut down of our gas supplies from Norway by the weekend. The strike is not off just yet, but parked , while our politicians were running around like headless chickens we were close to losing one third of our supplies by the weekend, and again shows the cheapskate short-termist decision by our Government to rid ourselves of our storage capacity was a dangerous one.

  26. hefner
    July 6, 2022

    Isn’t it wonderful to hear Mr Zahawi tell us that Alastair Campbell (Blair’s spokesperson) is responsible for stirring up Tory opposition to Johnson. It’s getting better than ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’?

    1. Peter2
      July 7, 2022

      No it definately isn’t wonderful hef.
      Perhaps if we the voters had a say in all the elite’s political shenanigans it might be a bit better democratically.

  27. Derek Henry
    July 6, 2022

    Morning John,

    I hope you are well.

    I hope you are thinking about running for PM to save Brexit John.

    I’ve been reading your Twitter feed.

    I hope you don’t mind but This one article encapsulates everything you have been trying to say and get across over the past few months.

    We need to save Brexit from the neoliberal globalists.

  28. Atlas
    July 6, 2022

    Let us hope that the new 1922 Committee can result is us having a PM who is not in thrall to the Net Zero mob.

  29. Cuibono
    July 6, 2022

    The police had high hopes of EVs.
    Unfortunately however they found that sirens and lights drain the battery very rapidly.

  30. oldwulf
    July 6, 2022

    “The Minister Greg Hands confirmed that the UK is pressing ahead with new oil and gas investments ..”

    Better late than never I suppose … but I would have expected our rulers to have had an oven-ready plan B in place a long time ago.

    1. Mark
      July 7, 2022

      I see he has found a good way of getting out of his BEIS job. Perhaps he was alerted to the futility of the energy bill he was expected to take through parliament.

  31. Norman
    July 6, 2022

    Dear Sir John, please allow me to comment on the current leadership crisis:-
    By God’s grace, our country has stood for great things in the past: this explains why its enemies, of whom there are now many both within and without, are so keen to do it down.
    The fair-minded silent folk of this country recognise what a hugely difficult task it is to govern nowadays. They see there are many serious issues to be addressed, but that Boris Johnson is personable, despite his many faults. He gets into deep water because he’s forgiving of others who also have faults, and need space to sort things out. Sadly, the human condition so often works against this, but it’s a noble thing always to have hope, and to think better of people wherever possible. Concerning policies, there is much to question, and its on these his future as PM ought to be, and ultimately will be, judged.
    Meanwhile, I suspect that what the decent people of our country really hate is hypocrisy, and disloyalty, as amplified by the drooling of many ravening wolves.

  32. Ralph Corderoy
    July 6, 2022

    Primary schools install wood-pellet boilers and yet have no obligation to monitor the particulate matter, e.g. PM 2.5, released and then breathed in by their pupils running around in the playground. The emissions don’t magically match the laboratory conditions over the boiler’s lifetime and local conditions can create more dense pockets of pollution.

  33. miami.mode
    July 6, 2022

    Guardian is reporting that it was only an intervention by the Norwegian government that prevented a strike by workers in their oil and gas industry which would have meant a total suspension of supplies. One more example of why we should maximise our own energy supplies.

    If Boris has any integrity he should announce his resignation at PMQs in 30 minutes from now.

  34. Martyn G
    July 6, 2022

    Our energy situation is pretty dire, to say the least. But we are not alone – check out the Der Spiegel article today ‘Is Germany’s prosperity at risk’? Doubts, uncertainty, rapidly rising numbers of people in poverty all going on with none able to see the way out. So we are definitely not alone in this…..

  35. Lester_Cynic
    July 6, 2022

    Hydrogen takes vast amounts of electricity to produce so not a sensible option

    How many more resignations can we expect, as I’ve previously mentioned that I was a loyal Tory but nothing would persuade me to vote for them, get rid of Net Zero and and all the other nonsense and return to traditional Tory values. The worst government EVER and none of the possible replacements fill me with confidence

    Bunter the serial apologist!

  36. Iain gill
    July 6, 2022

    Personally I would like a government that stuck to it’s manifesto. None of the recent conservative ones have done so. Politics is all a bit of an irelevant joke now, as the public sector does what it likes regardless.

  37. KB
    July 6, 2022

    A very big contributor to the mistaken beliefs is the so-called “Levelized cost” of generation.
    Wind and solar generators are allowed to claim their electricity costs only £20-30 per MWh. Well it might be when they are generating, but the problem is they are only generating for about 30-40% of the time.
    They should be made to quote for delivering power 24/7 and all year long.
    That price would include massive energy storage, something that is needed in the green utopia but never costed for. This Properly Levelized Price would be a lot higher though.
    (BTW those in government need to go on a course to learn the difference between MW and MWh…)

    1. Ed M
      July 6, 2022

      Good comment.
      If Wind is going to work for this country, then we got to keep government on toes – and sharpen things up all the time until we get what we need so we don’t have to depend on foreign fuel.

  38. paul
    July 6, 2022

    King Coal – 400 dollars.

  39. Rhoddas
    July 6, 2022

    Drill/mine/frack licences NOW
    SMRs approval NOW
    Energy storage NOW (both gas and for intermittants)
    30+years of woeful Governmental energy policy errors, very much chickens coming home to roost.

    Thank you for your support Sir J to get this sorted, a new energy policy represents a huge opportunity for lower cost supplies for domestic and industry users, more hi-tech well paying jobs and more tax for the Exchequer.

  40. david burrows
    July 6, 2022

    We know Parliament is impoverished by the lack or science and engineering experience among its members but this revelation of the reluctance to believe that ‘renewables’ might not be entirely dependent 24/7 shows ignorance beyond any reason

  41. Nottingham Lad Himself
    July 6, 2022

    I don’t accept Sir John’s assertion as to why the UK has so little storage.

    It appears to this observer that the private companies found that they could reduce costs by closing it, and there was no oversight or regulation to prevent them from doing this.

    You know, “cutting red tape” and all that?

    1. Peter2
      July 7, 2022

      If you read about the principles of the Climate Change Act you would understand why gas storage investment has been reduced.
      Fossil fuels are meant to be reduced to zero asap.

  42. a-tracy
    July 6, 2022

    It is interesting to see which people are coming out of the woodwork isn‘t it. What it does is identify all of the self-serving politicians who aren‘t interested in the people, the party, economy or parliament they‘re just interested in their own advancement.
    Johnson needs to put a team of volunteer senior MPs/Lords of long standing together that he trusts (although his judgement on friends and team members seems to be a bit off so perhaps leave the choosing to Arlene Phillips) to form an ethics and standards committee for the next three weeks to allow people within the party to discuss their concerns with the group before going to the papers behind Johnson‘s back, if they are legitimately worried then there will be enough people to do this and this committee should have the powers to demote people like Pincher.

    1. a-tracy
      July 6, 2022

      I‘d bring Richard Tice, Claire Fox and Kate Hoey to the ethics and standards committee too.

  43. Mark
    July 6, 2022

    What the proponents of a wind and solar grid have not bothered to reserarch properly are the huge amounts of backup generation and storage that would be required, because they have never done the sums. Batteries are never going to be an affordable solution, and frankly, neither is hydrogen.

    Hydrogen requires 3 times the storage capacity needed for methane, and if we are aiming to electrify heating and banish gas then the seasonal store would need to hold 500TWh of hydrogen, which would take more space than all the EU’s current methane storage, but just for the UK. Just to cover present levels of electricity demand would take 50TWh of hydrogen (because you will be lucky to get 30TWh of electricity from it). Making it from methane uses more methane than burning it directly would, using up planetary resources faster than we should. Making it by electrolysis from renewables surpluses is a very intermittent affair, which pushes up costs and leaves capacity sitting idle much of the time. In practice it will mean there will still be significant curtailment, because it will never be economic to provide for the rare larger surpluses. The result is an extremely expensive system with 100% backup capacity from hydrogen generators, plus a large tranche of shorter duration batteries used to damp variations as the sun sets and as astrometry blows through. It is impractical, and costly to the point of being unaffordable. It is designed to impoverish us.

  44. Stred
    July 6, 2022

    Just a few facts for the next debate:

    Battery storage is the most expensive and can only be used to smooth wind and solar for a few hours. There are not enough sites in the UK to provide much more pumped water storage. Compressed air can also only be short term.

    If wind and solar is to be increased, enough storage will be needed to cope with a 2 week lull mid winter. Otherwise enough gas and coal generation to supply 95% of all demand, because 4 out of 5 nuclear stations are about to close. The EPR at Hinkley will probably have to be redesigned if the faults in the Chinese station cannot be resolved.

    Carbon Capture has not been made to work because it uses too much energy.

    Fusion will be very difficult because it’s too hot to get the heat out without melting the pipes.

    Wind efficiency cannot be improved beyond 40% because of physical limitations.

    The CO2 in electricity generation has been reduced in the UK but will rise as nuclear reduces. Electric cars will not reduce CO2 any more than efficient ICE cars and hybrids.

    If we don’t build more gas generation and home supply quickly and a lot more nukes in the next 10 years, we’re up the creek.

  45. Mike Wilson
    July 6, 2022

    Well it is good fun today. I am not normally interested in politics on a day-to-day basis but TODAY is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Hold tight, Mr. Redwood. Soon the call to serve will come – let’s face it, Boris is running out of people to appoint. Maybe you could talk some sense into him.

  46. ukretired123
    July 6, 2022

    Rishi Sunak voted for Brexit yet in favour of higher taxes, SJ voted Remain. Mixed bag which explains why nothing gets done and for what we voted for.

  47. Original Richard
    July 6, 2022

    BEIS and Parliament have chosen the worst path to net zero CO2 emissions using expensive, unreliable low energy density wind and the electrification of transport and heating. The recent IEA report says we should use nuclear as the only affordable and reliable low carbon energy source we have but BEIS/Parliament have ensured we may have zero nuclear by the 2035 decarbonisation date if Hinckley Point C is not yet working and Sizewell B cannot be extended. Even if these two are working their power will be just 7% of demand. Unbelievable that no RR SMRs have been ordered.

    Nuclear should be coupled with green methane so existing ices and boilers and existing gas and electricity grids can be used without massive upgrades.

  48. Original Richard
    July 6, 2022

    The BEIS Net Zero Strategy states that we will have clean, cheap and abundant renewable energy.

    Yet a recent reply I received from BEIS said that “demand-side response” was needed to “complement” renewables to deal with their intermittency.

    So the declared BEIS policy is for volatile pricing and energy rationing, viz, rolling blackouts.

    The BBC’s threats of climate breakdown won’t be working as we won’t have the power to watch their green propaganda and people will take to the streets rather than sit in the cold and dark at home.

    All to save the planet from our 1% contribution to the planet’s plant food whilst China and India are burning 5.6 billion tons of coal each year to supply their populations with cheap, abundant energy.


  49. XY
    July 6, 2022

    Key point: any conversion of energy from one form to another is ALWAYS inherently “lossy”.

    Battery storage of energy, as a technology, is at best DECADES away. We are nowhere near being able to create storage for the required energy capacity.

    One of the main methods for storage/conversion is to pump it uphill (converting it to potential energy) then when required, let it fall to turn turbine blades (kinetoc energy) and generate electrical power (electrical energy). Countries that can do this easily have the topography to do so, such as Norway. That’s why it makes sense to build any wind farms near hills/mountains.

    Why do the turbines have to be so ugly? We all see pictures of winmills in idyllic settings, so why can’t we build fairy-tale style windmills instead of the ubiquitous boring functional-looking turbines? Then we could site themj in, say, Snowdonia with an attached storage facility whereby we pump water up a mountain into a lake.

    Conversion to hydrogen is highly inefficient – it’s very lossy and expensive. Not to mention dangerous.

    A major source of power in future will be nuclear. The technologies available now vastly exceed the last-century power stations in many ways, not the least of which is safety. There are even newer technologies such as thorium reactors that do not use fissile fuel inputs and since the conversion is to U233 rather than U235, the materials are not weaponisable either – nor do they produce radioactive waste with a long half-life. They are much safer than U235 based solutions.

    For these reasons, projects to build these have been commissioned in countries such as the USA and Canada, despite all the engineering not yet being bottomed out (see Wikipedia). Cooling solutions have also improved with molten sodium, although it presents engineering challenges with salt corrosion.

  50. Norman
    July 6, 2022

    Having watched the Liaison Committee brutally cross examining the PM, I am amazed at the hypocrisy and disrespect for the PM. Under the circumstances, I think he stood up to them very well – certainly he was courteous, unlike most of them!

  51. forthurst
    July 6, 2022

    There is a very simple solution: repeal the Climate Change Act and while you’re at it, repeal the Human Rights Act; stop pussyfooting around and do the job you’re paid for which is to facilitate a first world added value economy by ensuring reliable and competitively priced energy and stop rubbing our noses in diversity; we do not pay you for turning us into a third world cesspit. This is the behaviour of Bolshevik dictatorships.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      July 6, 2022

      Forthurst. ++++++

  52. ukretired123
    July 6, 2022

    Boris is in denial claiming it would be irresponsible for him to go now – more the reverse before he does anymore damage to the country. Out of touch.

    1. Ed M
      July 6, 2022

      Boris couldn’t give a monkeys what you, I or his opponents think. He’s as thick-skinned as they come. Part of this comes from the fact that he knows he has CHARISMA to help draw in lots of sitting-on-the-fence voters. And he’s clever too. His great weakness is lack of attention-to-detail / being overly laid back at times. Who knows what will happen.

  53. Gary
    July 6, 2022

    Today we hear “something is fundementaly wrong” – is it Sir John? – is it?

  54. SecretPeople
    July 6, 2022

    >July 6, 2022
    >What a pity our host is not Chancellor today.


    Is it just me who cannot reply publicly?

  55. APL
    July 6, 2022

    Rushi Sunak: ” I recognise this may be my last ministerial job, but I believe these standards are worth fighting for and this is why I am resigning.”

    So, Sunak who has been in a government with no standards, wants to be Prime Minister.

    It’s odd, but in France, Macron is a big finance stooge ( Rothchild ), Mario Draghi ( Goldman Sachs ) was dropped into the position of Prime minister of Italy, and now Rishi Sunak ( Goldman Sachs ), another big finance stooge, who turns out to be largly responsible for the rampant inflation and GDP destruction over the last couple of years, with his insane ‘stimulus’ and manic ‘furlow’ currency printing.

    Warning folks. This is the Banksters coup, hold on to your wallets!

    1. a-tracy
      July 8, 2022

      Yes apl I agree, Sunak can’t say all the falling standards were Boris’s fault alone, it is a very silly line. Boris didn’t choose the MPs that Apple News is promoting as rum custards in a Times article that is usually behind the paywall that they want everyone to read about just how bad Tory male MPs are. These Tory MPs knifing Boris for their own ends are shooting themselves not only in the feet but fatally. They are all in the party that had five other MPs in that room on the night that Pincher pinched yet not one of them thought fit to say come on mate time for you to go home or I’ll report your conduct tomorrow.

      We’re about to go through some pretend prime ministerial election to put the person in place to tie us back into the EU and what better person than Tugenhat who voted 3 times for Mays deal and against leaving, we all know his direction and the EU are already celebrating.

  56. […] Debate on energy security […]

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