The wind does not blow enough

In the cold snap we are experiencing demand for electricity has risen as you would expect. There has been some wind, but we have needed to use coal fired power, all our gas availability and the wood burning biomass  stations. Typically the fossil fuel fired generators have been supplying well over half, with renewables back down to around a quarter.

This cold snap has reminded us it is not just on windless days we have a problem. Because renewable power often is well below theoretical capacity, and because we are generally short of power when demand is high, we  need all the fossil fuel power we can get.

Those who plan a rapid transition to net zero need to recognise that this is the starting position. Were the public to adopt electric heating and electric vehicles in the way the net zero plans require we would need a huge increase in generating capacity to meet all the extra demand. At the moment the bulk of our transport energy requirements are met from diesel, aviation spirit  and petrol and the bulk of our home heating and industrial process is provided by gas.

Before we can expect wholesale public conversion to electric vehicles and heating we need reassurance that the large increase in renewable power generation and the accompanying big increase in the grid capacity and street cable  networks has been put in to meet  all the extra demand that will create.

187 Comments

  1. Mark B
    January 21, 2023

    Good morning.

    Tulip mania or South Sea Bubble. This is what this is akin too ! People jumping on a bandwagon with lots of lovely State provided cash to fill their boots. So more and more invest in the SCAM until the bubble finally bursts, investors get burnt and everything goes bust with the government having to bail out the companies because they are not based on a sound business model.

    Again I say. We will be far better off at trying to extract sunbeams from cucumbers.

    1. Sharon
      January 21, 2023

      Mark B

      Haha! Love it!

      But it’s true what you say, Mark …..the further we go down the net zero route the more it’s shown to be an hysterical dream, not built on reality at all!

      1. Bloke
        January 21, 2023

        Net Zero is a net with no mesh, capturing nothing but a mess.

        1. Diane
          January 21, 2023

          Bloke: A blinkered mess indeed, costly and destructive in so many respects and more of it to come. But we have been told by the powers that be that we have to change our mindset, we have to do things differently, we have to make quite dramatic changes in our behaviour. Saving the Planet ?? As someone else has pointed out on the Stopthesethings website an article headed ‘Unwelcome ‘Treat’ – Tonnes of Toxic Solar Panels Already Headed for a Landfill Near You’ That’s before they lob those shot windmill blades & other detritus nobody’s worked out how to get rid of yet, into the earth & continue to vastly increase the world mining required adding to the environmental destruction. ( The Green Revolution is fuelling environmental destruction – D.Telegraph 20/01/23 ) But we’re “all legally signed up” aren’t we. ‘ We have to get there first. What alternative government or parliament would actually be able, or allowed, to do in order to change any of what is heading our way. As noted recently in another press report ” There is no denying the fact that 42 months on from the UK signing net zero into law, we are now in a Net Zero race. To stand still, delay or maintain the status quo is not an option” and ” 7 times more infrastructure will be needed by 2030 than has been built over the past 32 years. A colossal task which will impact many rural communities” …..

          1. Bloke
            January 22, 2023

            Avoiding excessive population growth would have reduced what has emerged: too late now. Reversing the decisions of the current idiotic Govt may help a little. If we give them Net Zero Votes, they’ll at least be out of power to harm.

      2. MFD
        January 21, 2023

        Totally agree! Who,we should ask, is cashing in on the scam

        1. Paul Cuthbertson
          January 21, 2023

          MFD – The Globalists, which includes the UK Establishment and a number of slime ball MPs. Just ask your self to where do the BILLIONS that are purloined by the Paris Climate Accord disappear. Hopefully the populace are waking up but many are not and will stay asleep.

    2. Cuibono
      January 21, 2023

      +many
      Ahha! I think you’ve got a good idea there!
      Apparently, using a bit of zinc, you can make a battery out of a chunk of cucumber.
      The chunk would rot pdq …but who cares.
      Ban all other fuels and corner the cucumber growing industry!

    3. Cynic
      January 21, 2023

      If the Government won’t charge its mind on Net Zero we will have to change the Government.

      1. Wanderer
        January 21, 2023

        True, Cynic. But I think after the Tories have lost the next election, it will take at least one disastrous Labour/SDP administration before voters come to their sense in large enough numbers for anything to change.

        1. Mickey Taking
          January 21, 2023

          Many will consider whether re-electing the faux Tories is worth it, without an unseating of at least half the existing MPs, and a possible Reform type new party. Same old, same old?

      2. Timaction
        January 21, 2023

        Very true. No one is voting to ban their ice cars. Westminster is delusional. Net stupid is a religion not science. Let us pray.

        1. Colin Synnock
          January 22, 2023

          More like Net Loco!

      3. outsider
        January 21, 2023

        Dear Cynic, The Skidmore report notes that 95 per cent of voters at the last general election backed parties that are commited to the Net Zero programme. We all know why. As it happens, more than 86 per cent of voters at the 2015 election backed parties whose leadership wanted the UK to reain in the European Union. This time, you may be sure, there will be no referendum.

    4. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 21, 2023

      No one ever claimed that wind or solar would replace fossil fuels 100% of the time, so the implication of the headline is, yet again, a Straw Man.

      1. a-tracy
        January 21, 2023

        Renewables could displace fossil fuels to power the world by 2050, report claims: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/23/climate-renewables-could-oust-fossil-fuels-to-power-the-world-by-2050.html
        Google it plenty of claims listed:
        Carbon Tracker also predicted that if wind and solar power continued on their current growth trajectory, they would push fossil fuels out of the electricity sector by the mid-2030s.
        Ember Climate

        1. Mark
          January 22, 2023

          I have looked at the work of Ember. They specialise in creating modelled futures where the wind blows again just in time when your car battery has been depleted, or is conveniently blowing hard in France just when it is still in the UK, and where system cost is irrelevant, and wind turbines extract more energy from the wind than is theoretically possible. Snake oil.

        2. Guy Liardet
          January 25, 2023

          How much have renewables reduced the proportion of fossil fuels used globally in the last ten years? Minus one per cent

      2. Old Albion
        January 21, 2023

        That is a totally disingenuous answer. It has always been implied renewables would fill our energy needs.
        However, now you have recognised the impossibility of that scenario. Perhaps you’ll tell us what fossil fuel(s) we are allowed to use.

      3. Mickey Taking
        January 21, 2023

        Okay Martin, so we do need fossil fuels forever! Since we are heading fast to zero production (mining) of coal, and zero fracking for gas, how exactly do we provide those fossil fuels? Oh! of course, we import so we can feel good that we keep our ancient reserves, while other countries burn through theirs and pour CO2 into the atmosphere we need for growing anything and surviving. Great! Shame about our economy and jobs, we can all grow food in the gardens.

    5. PeteB
      January 21, 2023

      Mark,

      Bubble may burst when people are told the facts – not enough cobalt and lithium in the world to allow sufficient batteries for all cars to be electric. Elastic bands it is then…

      1. beresford
        January 21, 2023

        Not enough charging points either. If you turn up at a popular National Trust property and all the points are occupied while the owners walk around for three hours, are you supposed to wait until everybody else has gone home in order to start charging your car?

        But the point is of course that the plebs are supposed to live in 15-minute neighbourhoods and not travel or own cars.

      2. Mark B
        January 21, 2023

        Watched on YT a video of a EV Car user. He went on a mission to see how many charging points he could go to within a certain distance from his home. Out of the 10 he visited 6 were out of services with one not being repaired for months.

        The infrastructure is simply not there. Tesla, a private company, seems to have the best network in terms of both scope, availability and reliability.

    6. Jim Whitehead
      January 21, 2023

      Mark B, +++++. What a totally exasperating, worse than useless government and Parliament we are saddled with. I expect that any dissenting (i.e. intelligent) voice will be cancelled, lose the whip, be shouted down, vilified to destruction.
      I see that whilst Clarkson has few friends (he echoes too much majority sentiment) the vile Jimmy Kimmel seems to have dodged the leftie outrage after his overly explicit tasteless doggerel on Harry and his Mother.

    7. Guy Liardet
      January 25, 2023

      Carbon dioxide does not drive the climate. It may add a tiny bit to the very modest and beneficial increase in global temperature at 1.3 degsC a CENTURY. Look at the science and realise the scale of the self imposed economic calamity of Net Zero. CO 2 does not etc etc

  2. Fedupsoutherner
    January 21, 2023

    How long before the numpties in government actually get back to reality and stop net zero before we become a banana Republic? Can I suggest they sit down with a few real experts ( not those out to make a quick buck) and grasp the fundamentals of energy provision? We are sitting on a fortune in terms of energy security, jobs and tax revenue. Hellooo? Is there anybody there?

    1. Ian wragg
      January 21, 2023

      Ni matter how much wind power we install it won’t produce anything on windless days.
      Would anyone invest in new CCGT plant when the government says you are the back of the queue for usage and we will close you down by 20…
      The nuclear company has gone to France to build its prototype SMR because of government prevarication and Rolls Royce are losing patience

      Could it be the Business Extinction and Import Substitution department want all manufacturing abroad to lower our CO2.
      Madness.

      1. Timaction
        January 21, 2023

        It is total madness to export our manufacturing and carbon footprint whilst importing heavy industrial products from coal powered electricity and low wage people in their millions. They of course don’t have a carbon footprint, health provision, education, housing or transport needs. I wonder why we have 7.2 million in England on health waiting lists. Nothing works anymore as the know nothing woke have taken over all our health, public and emergency services on the Tory watch with the highest taxes ever, 5 million on out of work benefits. This Government is simply awful and has to go.

    2. turboterrier
      January 21, 2023

      F U S
      No they have all gone to Davos both physically and mentally and have been there for years. It’s like a tumour it never stops growing and therefore needs cutting out.

    3. Iain Moore
      January 21, 2023

      While our media obsess about Sunak not wearing a seat belt , Starmer has made an announcement saying he will stop all investment in the North Sea , which he can get away with because the Tories won’t challenge him on it , well they wouldn’t want to question the Net Zero lunacy. So to answer your question , is anybody out there? No, no one fighting our corner.

      1. Mark
        January 22, 2023

        The lights have gone out in the Labour Party a long while back, and now they want to make sure yours do too.

    4. Mark B
      January 21, 2023

      Very few as many of them will be out of a job soon. As for the current incumbent of Number 10 he has a luxury home in the USA and, until recently, a Green Card. He, and his wide, can afford to dodge the bullet.

    5. fishknife
      January 21, 2023

      Dear Sir John,
      What worries me is that you, an intelligent man, an ex-minister, in the full knowledge that energy is fundamental to our existence as humans, a society and a competitive country, with a balance of payments deficit running back to 1914, should write this article.
      You should know the answer, and should be in a position where you can tell us that our Government’s primary goal is to provide us with the cheapest secure energy possible and that when the wind blows and the sun shines our energy companies will provide us with even cheaper energy.
      Or is it the case that signed contracts mean that our much subsidised wind and solar panel farms are uncompetitive, and ever will be?
      Even the Labour Party have come to the realisation that successive governments have, since the War, been buying our votes to get into power – such is democracy, and we are at last seeing the bill.
      There is little evidence that anyone, apart from protest groups, sees the need for a working fiscal engine based on energy.

      1. Mickey Taking
        January 21, 2023

        I think Sir John does all that, but he is a whisper in a booming jeering Chamber of Horrors. Forget about debate based on part science, part common sense, part of what the voters want… it is a nodding puppy toy on the benches like fools used to proudly have on the rear shelf in their car. The whirlpool has sucked them all in and they will drown.

    6. Stuart
      January 21, 2023

      The green agenda is all about human-made CO2 (carbon dioxide gas). Let’s go back to the start:

      1. The atmosphere comprises 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen. Greenhouse gases less than 0.1%
      2. Of this 0.1%, the largest greenhouse gas is water vapour at 96% (YES, 96% of the 0.1%)
      3. CO2 is 0.04% of our atmosphere (very small at 400 CO2 molecules in 1 million atmosphere molecules)
      4. nature produces 96% of CO2 – that’s nearly all CO2
      5. human-made CO2 is 4% of all CO2……the UK produces 1% of this …that’s very small
      6. the oceans act as a CO2 regulator…..they release more CO2 molecules when atmospheric CO2 is lower, absorb more CO2 molecules from the atmosphere when atmospheric CO2 is higher (this is a law in physics called Henry’s Law)
      6. the green agenda believes that a global warming period follows increases in CO2. However, the logic says that if the oceans are warmed by say, a sun hot spot period (normally the sun’s temp is 5600 degrees C compared to earth’s approx 20 degrees C, so the earth could easily receive some extra heat), molecules near the ocean surface will evaporate into the atmosphere (just like hot water in a bath). Ocean plants & animals/fish produce a significant proportion of global natural CO2, so as oceans evaporate in a warm period, CO2 will be evaporated/transferred to the atmosphere. The conclusion from this logic is that higher atmospheric CO2 comes after a warming period. In other words, human made CO2 does not cause global warming

      The government needs to prove that human-made CO2 is a problem before impoverishing our society (noting China and India are not impoverishing theirs)

      By the way, did the CO2 levels reduce during lockdowns when car & plane travel was substantially cut? I didn’t hear anything so I guess not, ie not human-made

      1. Mickey Taking
        January 21, 2023

        Stuart – if only the idiots walking the streets and sitting in Westminster tuned in to realism and took note.
        Great points but are they interested when teenage soppy girls and old sandal wearing grey-beards glue themselves to the tarmac?
        Much more compelling to shout ‘YEAH save the planet for our grandchildren!’

      2. Timaction
        January 21, 2023

        Indeed. Climate always changes between ice ages as do sea levels as temperatures rise. They then fall again when the next ice age arrives. Lots of computer projections without the complete data sets. Jet steams impact weather which in turn is driven by the…. Sun. Who’d have think it. Milanovic cycles never discussed or tilt of the Earth, its orbit and the cycles of our star, the Sun. We just aren’t clever enough yet, certainly those receiving Grant’s to perpetuate myths based on… their religion.

  3. Will
    January 21, 2023

    Renewable electricity generation as the default is a surefire way to destroy the economy. A 22st century economy demands a reliable 24/7 source of electrical power, not an “only when the wind blows and the sun shines” fantasy world. The idea of using hydrogen as an intermediary is nonsensical – the huge losses involved would make it ridiculously expensive. And any thoughts of batteries to smooth supply are in cloud cookoo land just on the sheer scale needed. The only sensible option would have been to do what the French did many years ago – make nuclear the default baseline source, something that successive governments have kicked into the long grass for a couple of decades.

  4. turboterrier
    January 21, 2023

    You can have all the power generating capacity you want but if you don’t have the fuel your stuffed. Too much wind, not enough, freezing conditions(ice throw) all prevent generation. No sun, night hours for solar panels. Bio digesters create gas to generate power will they still be allowed?
    The distribution is the biggest problem.
    My housing estate all street lighting has been turned off as the supplies to them are in too old and poor condition and for the numbè of properties too expensive to replace.

  5. Anselm
    January 21, 2023

    Voice crying in the wilderness.

    Every day, I look up the figures for national electricity production on gridwatch.org
    Yup, nuclear plugs stolidly on. Oil fills in the gaps. Emergency gas generators have not yet been used very much. Coal is there but little used. The rest do not really matter.
    So: government policy: ban fracking but import American fracked liquid gas. Fill the countryside with useless solar panels. Ban coal mining but import mined coal. Build lots more windmills. Ban petrol and diesel sales in the very near future. Encourage central heating from something I do not understand. Level up the north but ban all industry by removing electricity provision…

    Sir John, I beg you, please do you best to end this lunacy.

    1. Dan R
      January 21, 2023

      Sir John will at some point have to jump ship. However, I don’t think it will be to another party. The two main parties are sinking rapidly as the public voted change in 2016 and it has gotten worse. The shake up hasn’t finished until we get sense in the political landscape and get some sort of sensibility into government.

    2. glen cullen
      January 21, 2023

      That about sums up the climate crusade policy

  6. Barrie Emmett
    January 21, 2023

    Notwithstanding the government’s position on Net Zero which is totally unrealistic we now have the leader of the opposing decamping to Davos, where he wrecked investment in the North Sea. I despair.

    1. MPC
      January 21, 2023

      Yes, the PM in waiting has proudly condemned us to rolling blackouts and the destruction of prosperity. Let’s make the most of gas fired central heating now, before we have to rely on portable electric heaters between blackouts.

    2. glen cullen
      January 21, 2023

      Tories against the people and now Labour against the people

      1. glen cullen
        January 21, 2023

        Doesn’t policy come from party members any more ?

        1. Mickey Taking
          January 21, 2023

          err….did it ever?

  7. turboterrier
    January 21, 2023

    All the time the energy markets are rigged as they are, those in the generation sector it just a licence to print money at the consumers expense.
    Companies are paid even when they are running at a loss as the subsidies ensure the share holders get their dividends. Still no legal structure to ensure the safe environmental dismantling and disposal of all the different toxic elements.
    A scam of mega proportions.

  8. Cuibono
    January 21, 2023

    Yes.It is a naked attempt to corner the market in necessities.
    Like destroying farming and then pushing insect burgers.
    Not control of the means of production but of the entire process.
    And annihilating choice and competition in the process.
    And light and love and laughter …and this govt. embraces and enables.
    WHY?

    1. Donna
      January 21, 2023

      Control. Not just “the entire process.” Control of the masses. They want a population of serfs.

      1. Cuibono
        January 21, 2023

        Slaves I would say.
        Serfs had some rights!
        Remember…”You will own nothing and be happy”
        Only slaves have no right of complaint and must pretend to be happy.

        1. glen cullen
          January 21, 2023

          Its certainly starting to look that way …can’t believe I had more freedoms and felt more well off in the 70s and 80s ……and proud to be British

    2. Iago
      January 21, 2023

      They hate us.

      1. Cuibono
        January 21, 2023

        100% agree.
        We know them too well?

  9. BOF
    January 21, 2023

    Yes, it’s a fantasy land, with not a single example of success anywhere in the world. So what are us plebs to do to counter the complete divorce from reality of our great leaders? I for one will be going out to buy a small diesel generator (it should go well with our wood burner and gas hob) and you never know, it may turn out cheaper to run than ‘green’ electricity.

    1. Cuibono
      January 21, 2023

      +many
      We all need to become as self sufficient as possible.

    2. Dave Andrews
      January 21, 2023

      Keep your diesel generator secret. There’s bound to be a law to come along against anyone trying to beat the system.

  10. turboterrier
    January 21, 2023

    I have this great idea for a new form.of energy production relying on nature to generate it. It will only at best be 20% efficient but it will stop pollution. Will you give me the money to finance it?
    Who in their right mind would get their cheque books out?
    I was once told by a director of SSE to accept that without government funding the whole renewable market would have never get off the ground. But a few astute financiers saw the opportunity and clever marketing using high profile celebrities and getting the national broadcaster on-board guaranteed the leeming like charge to wherever. The fear of the unknown got the politicians on board and the rest is history. We are the poor sods paying for it and the costs will only increase.

  11. Les
    January 21, 2023

    Net Zero is a classic case of cart before horse syndrome!

  12. R.Grange
    January 21, 2023

    SJR, I think the emphasis should be put differently. Not on a ‘large increase in renewable generation’, as you say, but on a large increase in investment in locally available fossil fuels. For their electoral survival, the Conservative Party should make this their priority, and when you talk to them your colleagues ought to understand the need to do that. In fact, ‘only an idiot’ would not understand it. Or is that precisely the problem you face?

  13. Hugh C
    January 21, 2023

    Gridwatch show that demand this calm and frosty morning is 30.5GW. Wind is producing 6.2GW.
    You have been making this point for a long time. Is there any sign that “they” are listening and if not, what is their argument?

  14. Nigl
    January 21, 2023

    Let’s also not forget the environmental destruction your government is creating through rare Earth mining to make batteries. It’s total denial about overall cost of going green and ‘lying’ to the public.

    Once again Mr Sunak, who are the idiots?

    1. BOF
      January 21, 2023

      Yes Nigl. And also the huge change of large areas of countryside to semi industrial, so much for re-wilding! And the slaughter of large numbers of birds and bats.

    2. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      For a wider understanding of the resource implications and impossibility of net zero plans look at the work of Prof Michaux from Finland.

  15. Ralph Corderoy
    January 21, 2023

    But if we’re increasing grid capacity and street cable networks just as the rest of the western world is too then the price of copper is going to soar, raising Net Zero’s cost. The higher copper price will bring more copper mining online. And mining, smelting, etc., is the opposite of ‘green’. It both impractical and harmful.

    Meanwhile, electric-car owners are finding they’re only good as within-town runabouts, charged at home. Not the annual Christmas run to Mum and back. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11583677/Why-Britains-electric-dream-driving-distraction-One-motorist-reveals-how.html

  16. Javelin
    January 21, 2023

    The root of the problem is that technocrats want us to experience fear because fear gives them control and control gives them power. Democracy will not give them fear and control. We live in a post-democratic world where a mono party and media decide political policies and for this system to work it requires fear.

    The structure of the actual situation is we have moved beyond the left-right dialectic world into a democratic-technocratic world.

    Popularists are hated and derided by technocrats and the people are seen and treated as little more than resource producing animals.

    You vill wear masks, own nothing, pay for you electricity and be happy. Or we will cut your social credit score.

    It’s not communism is techocratism.

    1. Alan Paul Joyce
      January 21, 2023

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      @Javelin

      and the punishment beatings will continue until morale improves…..

    2. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      A technocratic society would produce a much better technological solution. The only technologies that interest these people are tools to control the wider population. Electro police who you do not elect.

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    January 21, 2023

    Net zero is a scam designed to impoverish and control the majority of the population for the benefit of a globalist minority. Most MPs, to their eternal shame, have sided with the globalists against those whom they purport to represent.

  18. DOM
    January 21, 2023

    The Globalist parasites intend destroy us and our ability to function as we have always done. That is the only obvious conclusion one can arrive at.

    It’s been WEF this week. The stench and stink coming from that collection of grotesques is there for all to see and it extends deep into the heart of our governing class.

    These people have intent and that intent isn’t benevolent but Marxist and pernicious

    We should compel all British politicians to express their opposition to WEF and its evil agenda

    1. agricola
      January 21, 2023

      DOM.
      The pernicious globalists have their UK supporters in Parliament, possibly a majority. Sort out Parliament’s content at the next election and the UK can then move forward with decisions based on science, engineering, and common sense. We know from experience that promises made by the two main parties are dishonest and worthless. Look carefully at what Reform have to say. They deserve a chance to prove they will do as they say. Prepare for the backlash from the establishment, a la Truss, should they succeed. It will be a post Brexit type rearguard action. You have been warned.

      1. glen cullen
        January 21, 2023

        MPs wont even debate Davos in the HoCs in fear of joe public learning something

      2. BOF
        January 21, 2023

        agricola. Tice has already lost my vote by joining the lie of Andrew Bridgen’s anti-semitic statement.

        1. Donna
          January 22, 2023

          Bridgen is one of a tiny number of MPs who has done his job properly and represented the interests of his Constituents when it comes to the experimental gene therapies which are responsible for a huge number of deaths and adverse effects worldwide. There was nothing anti-Semitic about what he said: he was quoting an Israeli scientist.

          The Chief Whip shouted “anti-Semitic” to change the subject and try to silence him. It hasn’t worked.

        2. Mark
          January 22, 2023

          Tice still seems to think that Reform should position to replace the Tories. He hasn’t appeared to notice that he needs to win votes from those thinking of voting Labour.

  19. Donna
    January 21, 2023

    As the wonderful Neil Oliver frequently says on his GB News Show when he is eloquently eviscerating the authoritarians who wrecked the economy and millions of lives with their Covid lunacy:

    “It’s not about what they say it’s about.”

    The Climate Change and Net Zero Agenda has nothing whatsoever to do with the climate. It is a UN/WEF policy of global levelling down, transferring money from wealthy, industrialised western nations to poor, semi and pre-industrial ones. And concentrating money, property and power with the Globalist Elites to control the masses.

    You don’t need to be a Physicist or Energy Engineer to KNOW that so-called Renewable power sources are NEVER going to be a reliable energy source – let alone provide sufficient reliable energy to power a 21st century economy and a population of 70 million+ living in a cold, wet British Isles.

    But apparently a majority of the 650 numpties on the green benches and 800 leeches on the red benches don’t know that. Why? Because they expect to benefit from the scam.

    1. BOF
      January 21, 2023

      Yes Donna. Exactly right.

  20. agricola
    January 21, 2023

    Like all natural phenomina it is a two sided coin. Sufficient gives us an increasing amount of electricity and a fast passage to Guernsey. Too much and the turbines have to be feathered and we are in for a rough time at sea. None of it means no electricity and an armada of rubber ducks full of illegal migrants. Powerwise it can only be looked on as the icing on the cake. We need a base reliable source which means atomic. Wind could be used to manufacture hydrogen which if sanity prevails can power all transport, with the secondary advantage of allowing the mayor of London to concentrate on reducing crime and keeping the streets clean.

    1. Original Richard
      January 21, 2023

      Agricola : “Wind could be used to manufacture hydrogen which if sanity prevails can power all transport, with the secondary advantage of allowing the mayor of London to concentrate on reducing crime and keeping the streets clean.”

      I’m afraid that that hydrogen with only one eighth of the volumetric energy density of diesel, its expense in distribution in either compressed or liquid form (close to absolute zero), its small molecular size meaning it easily leaks/escapes, makes it unsuitable for transport except possibly for special niche applications such as buses operating out of central depot close to where the hydrogen is produced.

    2. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      The economics of making hydrogen using wind are extremely poor. They are unlikely to get much better because of the laws of physics and chemistry and the Intermittent nature of the wind. It is no real solution to anything.

  21. Rhoddas
    January 21, 2023

    BEIS no joined up thinking over integrated energy planning. Still nowhere near enough nuclear.

    30 years in the making.. last 12 down to the tories.. you’re the lone voice of reason..
    Countries with cheap energy as their policy will grow and prosper. Not poorer Britain or thr EU, blame Merkel for the latter. Norway is the model we should have adopted.

    Heyho, back to my day job, lumberjack.

  22. Narrow Shoulders
    January 21, 2023

    An inconvenient truth, but the answer is apparently more wind.

  23. ChrisS
    January 21, 2023

    What you have posted this morning is as precise and concise statement of where we are.
    The Green extremists need to read this and get a dose of reality. We are not going to be in a position to increase our reliable electricity generating capacity significantly before 2035, when new nuclear stations come on line. Yet these are only going to replace aging stations being taken out of commission.
    We will need several SMRs in service to see any increase in supply.

    In the meantime, as you say, we need every gallon of fossil fuel we can get, together with coal and biomass in reserve. We must also be as self sufficient as possible.

  24. Bloke
    January 21, 2023

    A Govt that looks ahead and prepares well is capable of coping with what emerges.
    The current one is inept and running out of currency.

  25. DOM
    January 21, 2023

    The Net Zero agenda is Marxism in action. Politicians who promote the NZ agenda are promoting authoritarianism

  26. DOM
    January 21, 2023

    Why does King Charles and other major landowners profit from more wind farms?

    1. MFD
      January 21, 2023

      Money for old rope! You do not expect honesty do you?

    2. glen cullen
      January 21, 2023

      The Crown Estate owns virtually all the seabed around the UK out to 12 nautical miles (the territorial sea limit)

      No wonder he’s pro net zero …its just like printing money

      1. Donna
        January 22, 2023

        The WEF-supporting King is perfectly happy for “his subjects” to be made colder, poorer and have restricted lives ….. as long as he isn’t personally affected and the money keeps rolling in. Like the rest of the Davos “Elite.”

        Do as I say, not as I do.

  27. IanT
    January 21, 2023

    Ideas for energy storage abound. One ‘Gravity’ concept involves using old mine shafts with 25 ton weights being hoisted and lowered. Another involves moving damp sand – lowering it from the surface (and storing it in the tunnels) when in need of energy – and hoisting it back up when renewable power is avaialble. I’m sure they work in theory but at what cost in practice? I wonder who their proponents think will pay for the development and installation and these ‘batteries’ ?
    The truth is that if any estimates of the cost of Net Zero have been made by UK Government – they have been quickly buried away from public scrutiny. Best not to scare the horses.

    1. Dave Andrews
      January 21, 2023

      Even with a mine shaft 1000m deep, the 25 ton weight only provides 68kWh of energy. With inefficiencies the effective figure is much lower. An average household will consume that within a few days.
      Operating the pumps, you might well be looking at more energy needed to keep the mine dry than any useful energy from the weight.

    2. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      Gravity systems of that type can only store very limited quantities of energy. They compete with medium size grid batteries at typical levels of a few MW and short maximum durations of maybe a hour. I have come across a proposal to make a giant rock piston, one km in diameter and several hundred meters in height. Just how that is supposed to work in practice is left to your imagination.

  28. Original Richard
    January 21, 2023

    Correct.

    For intermittent wind to provide reliable, dispatchable power using hydrogen as a store of energy necessitates an 8 times or more overbuild of wind turbine installed capacity for any given power requirement and the price of the electricity would be around £1000/MWhr.

    Batteries would cost £1tn for each day the wind doesn’t blow and anyway there isn’t sufficient world mining capacity to produce all the minerals required.

    The fifth column communists in control of our power systems understand this and the intent is destroy our economy and social cohesion by forcing us to accept meagre supplies of intermittent and expensive electricity from wind and solar and force us into using useless heat pumps and evs. All supplied by coal fire powered China.

    Nuclear can provide affordable, reliable and secure low carbon power but this is why it is being phased out to be zero or almost zero by the 2035 decarbonisation date.

  29. Old Albion
    January 21, 2023

    All this energy chaos to save 1% of a gas that comprises .045% of the Earths atmosphere. At least it will make Greta smile (possibly)

    1. Pieter C
      January 21, 2023

      CO2 comprises .004% of the Earth’s atmosphere, and accounts for only 10% of total atmospheric warming, (the rest due to water vapour and clouds).

      1. George Brooks.
        January 21, 2023

        and the rest from ‘hot air’ from the H of C and H of L!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Pieter C
      January 21, 2023

      Apologies, a senior moment intruded, CO2 is indeed 0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere!

    3. IanT
      January 21, 2023

      I am of the understanding that ‘man-made’ CO2 is only 3% of total ‘atmospheric’ CO2.

      If so, then 3% of 0.04% is already pretty small. When you factor in that the UK is only 1% (of that 3%) – then even if we completely eliminated CO2 ‘production’ in the UK that would be only a 0.03% reduction in that 0.04%. So we are spending huge amounts to make microscopic reductions in atmospheric CO2. Seems to make sense to our poilitical elite but not to me I’m afraid.

      1. Mark
        January 22, 2023

        The real point here is not the small size of the CO2 concentration, but rather that the majority of the greenhouse effect from CO2 is already in place, with very little effect expected from rising concentrations if you look at the proper physics of the whole atmosphere as Wijngaarden and Happer have done.

        Think of it like coloured cellophane. A single thin sheet will block most of the light other than the colour of the dye. Double it, and there is almost no effect on other colours which are already blocked. The dye colour will darken a little, but that’s it.

        1. hefner
          January 23, 2023

          What is interesting is that none of the papers on climate (nine since 2016 when Wijngaarden et al. started to get interested in radiation transfer) has been published in the scientific literature. Most of them are on arXiv where people can deposit their unreviewed papers usually before publication elsewhere, but they have not been subsequently published elsewhere. Why not? It is not they are not well written, the standard is really good. I think the main reason is that the work reported in it has been done in the 80s (with simpler radiation transfer models but giving the same conclusion concerning static increases in concentration of the various atmospheric gases, H2O, CO2, O3, CH4, N2O, SF6, and other CFCs).
          What W’s papers are missing is the result of introducing their detailed model even in a simple radiative-convective (ie, non-static) model (a la Manabe et al, ~1975), where the initial perturbation to the radiation fields linked to the increase concentration of one or several of the GreenHouse Gases is allowed to produce a slightly different temperature profile via a change in the specific humidity.
          In which case, W’s model would likely give results similar to Manabe et al’s, ie confirming that an increase in GHGs actually increases the temperature (which obviously contradicts the premises of their efforts).

          BTW that’s something well explained in Koonin’s book ‘Unsettled’, in chapters 2 and 3.

          What is becoming more and hilarious™️ is that scientists honestly questioning the IPCC reports (as Steven Koonin does) confirm the results of the IPCC Working Group 1 (Physics of Climate Change) reports. It is on the recommendations of Working Group 2 (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) and WG3 (Mitigation of Climate Change) that many divergent opinions exist.

          Just to finish, a citation from S. Koonin, WSJ, 19/09/2014 ‘Policy makers and the public may wish for the comfort of certainty in their climate science. But I fear that rigidly promulgating the idea that climate science is ‘settled’ or is a ‘hoax’ demeans and chills the scientific enterprise, retarding its progress in these important matters. Uncertainty is a prime mover and motivator of science and must be faced head-on’.

  30. Donna
    January 21, 2023

    Off topic, but related since this is all part of The Great Reset: the latest instalment is the “you will eat insects and be happy.”

    On 3 January 2023 the EU authorised the use of ground-up house crickets in various food products w.e.f 24 January 2023: multi-grain breads, rolls, breadsticks, pasta etc (the full list is available in the link if Sir John will permit it – since it’s the EU it should be “safe”).

    Presumably, since the UK is still attached to the EU by Johnson’s umbilical-cord-deal, this will be applied in the UK. Worried about the possibility of chlorinated chicken? The EU will make you eat insects and hide it, although they know that some people will have allergic reactions.

    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32023R0005&from=EN

    1. Donna
      January 21, 2023

      PS. I’ve emailed my MP (but he’s ignoring me these days) and submitted an FOI to the Minister of State at DEFRA for confirmation that this Regulation will apply in the UK.

      By law they’re supposed to reply within 20 working days, but they have a nice little statement that “due to circumstances” ….. ie no-one’s actually at their desks …… it may take a little longer. I’ll update you all in due course if Sir John permits.

      Or perhaps he’d like to make the Enquiry, since they’re more likely to react to him than me.

    2. Chris S
      January 21, 2023

      I hope we don’t allow products containing ground-up insects to be sold in the UK?
      Presumably we cannot stop them being sold in NI?

      Is the EU so desperate for food that it needs to authorise these product for sale anywhere?

      I thought not !

    3. Sharon
      January 21, 2023

      At least they’ll starve the insects for 24 hrs to ensure their bowels empty out before being added to food! 🤢

      1. hefner
        January 22, 2023

        Only 24 hours? The French (and other Mediterranean countries) starve their snails for 7 to 10 days (for ‘disgorging’) before they prepare them.

  31. Beecee
    January 21, 2023

    Perhaps Net Zero refers to the intelligence of the respective Front Benches?

    They show a remarkable ability to not see the wood for the trees!

    1. MFD
      January 21, 2023

      +100👍🏻

    2. turboterrier
      January 21, 2023

      Beecee
      Brilliant observation.

  32. Bryan Harris
    January 21, 2023

    Before we can expect wholesale public conversion to electric vehicles and heating we need reassurance that the large increase in renewable power generation and the accompanying big increase in the grid capacity and street cable networks has been put in to meet all the extra demand that will create.

    Yes, but that should be established well before they take away energy created by fossil fuels, and before the zealots turn off gas supplies to stoves and heating systems.

    At the end of the day, those driving this change to ineffectual wind, need to change course. Windmills are an eyesore and do not provide what we need, so isn’t it time for some innovations in science to move us forward? That’s what we should be investing in, not what the so called experts are giving us, which do not do the required job.

    According to many reports, we are visited by alien spaceships on a regular basis – it is time we stopped one of these and got some advice on energy creation – How do they power their crafts between star systems?

    We need to think outside the box, instead of being confined to limited ideas due to ineffectual ideology!

  33. rose
    January 21, 2023

    “The CEO of NHS England needs to put a plan to end the strikes to Ministers. She needs to explain the agreed plan to the staff and make clear she and Ministers are resolved to see it through, whatever it is.”

    The BBC interviewed this woman on Today this am. She was asked about the strike and more or less said it was nothing to do with her. It was a matter between the Government and the Unions. Naturally, the BBC did not ask her what was her responsibility, or what was she being paid, or how many managers there were in the NHS and how much they are being paid. It was all done in the same obsequious manner they use for interviewing pop singers.

    1. Chris S
      January 21, 2023

      I hope we don’t allow products containing ground-up insects to be sold in the UK?
      Presumably we cannot stop them being sold in NI?

      Is the EU so desperate for food that it needs to authorise these product for sale anywhere?

      I thought not !

      1. rose
        January 21, 2023

        Edinburgh is to stop its children having meat. Presumably at school to start with.

    2. Chris S
      January 21, 2023

      I heard the interview which was conducted by Martha Carney.
      Considering the interview was with the head of NHS England, it was far too soft and gentle.

      Not one difficult question was asked. She should have at least been asked why the £700m from the existing budget had not been used to buy care home beds to ease bed blocking before the start of the winter.

      She might even have been asked why NHS England had not spent some of her enormous budget on increasing the number of acute beds in hospitals!

    3. Hat man
      January 21, 2023

      Technically, Rose, the NHS CEO was right. The nurses’ strike is between the nurses and the government-appointed NHS Pay Review body, which is not part of the NHS. Same for the ambulance workers.

    4. turboterrier
      January 21, 2023

      The standard of the reply just confirms the thought :- As an organisation is she and her organisation really needed?
      Give her the pole position on the removal of quangos list. Would save the health service millions.

  34. glen cullen
    January 21, 2023

    It doesn’t matter if the wind blows or not ….this Tory government will always subsidy renewables
    There will be two schools at the next general election, those for and those against ‘net-zero’

    1. turboterrier
      January 21, 2023

      glen cullen

      You are so right pal’ All we can hope for is that all those against NZ fight the good fight solely on the economics of going there. Force the politicians who want it to justify the real costs to every person on these islands.
      From now to election day they should be standing up in parliament and being like a terrier with a rat. Do what our host does. Ask the questions be a PITA ( pain in the) and as the old saying goes if you keep throwing enough, some of it sticks. The 8% who understand all of the pitfalls have got to hunt in a pack and that will entice those from the fringe parties to stand up and keep hammering home cost, cost, cost. Question for the PM every Wednesday. “How can you plan all of this without the detailed costings? If they have been done where are the figures as we owe the electorate who will be paying the truth”? The cost will be their Achilles Heel.

  35. Alan Paul Joyce
    January 21, 2023

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It is only seven years until the sale of new petrol / diesel vehicles is outlawed. The government also wants 600,000 heat pumps fitting in homes every year. Reassurances that large increases in power generation will be provided for should be coming from the government now. For example, along the road to net zero, is there a plan anywhere that sets out how much demand there is going to be and how this will be met? If there is, what does it say about charging cars or heating homes when the wind doesn’t blow? Perhaps, you could ask the minister responsible to provide a detailed answer to your question and enlighten us all because most of us are in the dark. Or we soon shall be!

    It could be just your choice of words but ‘those who plan a rapid transition to net zero need to recognise that this is the starting position’ makes it sound as if your party, your government, your prime minister hasn’t got anything to do whatsoever with energy strategy and security.

    It is as if this directionless conservative government is merely carrying out its orders from on high as it staggers blindly on towards its net zero nirvana. Some might even say that it is.

  36. a-tracy
    January 21, 2023

    Are these wind farms in our seas all connected to the power grid on land in the UK or elsewhere? How is is easier to transport the energy they generate to the EU for free or less than free some days than it is to divert the energy around the UK.

    Martin Lewis says don’t use so much electricity between 4 and 7pm (when most of us get home from work), says to me they’re planning to hike up prices at this time. If their electricity slump times when excess electricity is generated why aren’t the prices dropped at these times and people and businesses told when they can access these cheaper electricity tariffs?

    1. Bill B.
      January 21, 2023

      Who the heck is Martin Lewis, and what qualifications does he have to tell you and me what to do?

      1. dixie
        January 21, 2023

        He is not telling you what to do at all, he finds ways for people to save money in many areas and offers suggestions and recommendations.
        If you bothered to google his name he is likely the first hit, surely you know how to use google?

    2. dixie
      January 21, 2023

      Some providers do this, eg Octopus, but you need to have a smart meter so your actual usage per 30 minute time slot can be established and charged appropriately. Without the smart meter they can only use your dumb meter which just indicates power draw since the previous reading (3 months?)

      1. Bill B.
        January 22, 2023

        Not sure who’s smart and who’s dumb, Dixie, when it comes to installing a device that will allow an energy company such as SSE to reduce or even cut off your power supply when it wants to. Google this;

        https://watt-logic.com/2020/09/30/smart-meters-2/

        1. dixie
          January 22, 2023

          “They” can already reduce your supplied power to a degree and certainly cut it (eg rolling blackouts) if and when “they” want to.
          Why would I Google when I could simply use the URL you have provided?

      2. a-tracy
        January 22, 2023

        Dixie, I have a meter but stick with British Gas and their home cover package, they let us down a lot over the past few years, not having people to send out and fix things so we nearly changed. I know a lot of people who got caught out changing to these ‘deal energy providers’ people like Martin Lewis encourages everyone to move to and when lots of them went down their costs spiralled up. However, it is the rest of us paying for those failures, which seems to be a common thread.

        Someone comes up with a ‘great idea’ like mortgage backed security bonds packaged up to sell to investors of mortgages that people were reneging on, or Madoff ponzi type schemes, pfi insurance scams that all those that didn’t get wrapped up in them still end up paying for them.

        1. dixie
          January 22, 2023

          I am not advocating a switch to a smart meter just pointing out that it is the means by which more granular charging is offered.
          We have a vulnerable family member so I don’t have one and will refuse one as long as the payment method and/or actual supply can be unilaterally altered by the supplier even by mistake.

    3. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      Large businesses have long been subject to high prices in peak demand hours, with the Triad system meaning it could cost £10 to boil a kettle if run during one of the three highest demand half hours over the winter. That has gone a long way towards flattening the demand peak, with businesses installing their own generators rather than the grid doing its job. So much so that the Triad system has now been withdrawn. Times of stress in supply are now driven by lack of wind and cold weather, and can occur at much lower levels of demand.

  37. Keith from Leeds
    January 21, 2023

    Hello Sir John,
    Another article which is plain common sense, stating the obvious. But why is this not getting through to the PM & Cabinet Ministers? Do none of our MPs read books or do some research on what is a serious challenge to our future? Are our MPs so thick they can’t see what net zero is doing to the UK now? Why have they not demanded a proper cost analysis, and why the rush to ban petrol/diesel engines? Modern life is based on a cheap reliable energy supply that wind & solar will never provide!
    When will they wake up???????
    Sir John, keep up the good work!

    1. R.Grange
      January 21, 2023

      Why won’t they see what net zero is doing to the country, Keith? I think you and I both know why. It was said many years ago by the American writer Upton Sinclair: ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’

  38. David Cooper
    January 21, 2023

    Sir John: “We need reassurance…..”
    Net Zero proponents: “Er…we can’t give you any, but…the targets! The targets!”
    Globalist elite members, on their way home from Davos: “Keep it up, you useful idiots. As long as we’re warm, wealthy, well fed, clean, mobile, stimulated and controlling, it won’t matter that the plebs are cold, poor, hungry, dirty, immobile, bored and controlled. Actually that’s our plan, but don’t breathe a word…”

  39. Keith Jones
    January 21, 2023

    The UK is not in the top ten of the Carbon polluters and yet some group in the UK wants us to be “world leaders” as if the UK being net zero would make any difference to world pollution. Tail wagging the dog.
    There is talk of a “plan” to achieve net zero by 2050. Has anyone seen this “plan”?
    If they have then does it explain how we will enable the working classes to get to work in their diy maintained 10 year old Ford Fiesta’s when they are finally scrapped as unusable when government taxes on the price of fuel make fuel unaffordable?
    Will second hand electric cars prices fall so much that the scrappage allowance on ICE vehicles will pay for them?
    Or maybe nobody needs to go to work because all work will be done at home? Or maybe public transport will replace cars? Or maybe on call robot cars will mean nobody has to drive any more? Maybe caravan and motor home owners will find an alternative to diesel? Maybe all existing ICE cars will be upcycled to electric?
    In spite of the spend on Covid we can borrow more to finance the “electrical infrastructure”? Or will it be hydrogen?
    Modern diesel engines are able to enter London’s ULEZ because they produce so little pollution, typically less than 118 gms/km yet the UK Government wants to make diesel unaffordable. Equivalent petrol engines are in the 155 gms/km where petrol is 20 pence cheaper.
    Yes somebody has a plan but it’s not the Government.

    Modern

    1. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      CO2 is not pollution, despite BBC propaganda. The pollution from cars now mainly consists of the particulates generated by tyre, road and brake wear, with EVs being no better than ordinary cars because their extra weight leads to more wear, offsetting some saving from electric braking. Other sources of pollution have declined dramatically due to the desulphurisation of fuels, use of particulate filters, catalytic converters, fuel tank vapour traps, Ad Blue systems etc. A modern diesel can eliminate 99% of the pollution of its predecessors.

  40. James Freeman
    January 21, 2023

    Using current technology, getting to net zero by 2050 is ruinously expensive. But Parliament, the government and civil services are in complete denial and have left the whole exercise uncosted. Instead, they expect us to change our lifestyles, charge us more and restrict our choice to help them achieve their delusions.

    A better approach is to make a realistic assessment of the current technologies and their limitations, including their cost. The government can then invest heavily in innovation to get around the problems. In the short term, they can find quick wins to move us in the right direction. You then repeat this process as the issues get solved with the technology.

  41. Bert Young
    January 21, 2023

    Is wind power a lot of hot air ? . I’ve just had my oil tank filled up and keeping myself warm !.

  42. turboterrier
    January 21, 2023

    Sir John
    The following mail has been sent to my local MP. If past performance is anything to go on I will not receiveany correspondence in reply other than the standard automatic receipt. But we try.

    As the silly season in Davos is drawing to a close it would be appreciated if you could ask this question of both the Prime Minister, and the Leader of His Majesty Opposition the following:-

    How much to meet the demands of a full Net Zero scenario, cost all the electorate on these islands?
    Such a project needs detailed costing in light of the enormity of the task.
    This I feel will be a very important issue when it comes to the next election, especially in light of what has happened so far with the actual and associated cost of meeting the demands of nature this winter period.

  43. turboterrier
    January 21, 2023

    Despite the ruination of the Scottish rural areas and the cry to have more onshore wind turbines to meet NZ without subsidies, they would not make their substantial profits as the vast majority are only operating in the lower 20% regarding efficiency. It is so refreshing to read that we in rural areas are not alone in that it is happening all over. There is a really in-depth article highlighting the problems in America which is a tad bigger than our islands today on the STT website. The figures are proof of what a lot of us know and fear an incredible read.

    Bill McKibben is a leading environmentalist in America

    Not In Anyone’s Backyard: The Truth Behind Rural America’s Great Wind & Solar Backlash

    Bill McKibben’s Dishonest Claims About The Rural Backlash Against Renewables (And Me) In The New Yorker
    Substack
    Robert Bryce

    http://stopthesethings.com/2023/01/21/not-in-anyones-backyard-the-truth-behind-rural-americas-great-wind-solar-backlash/

  44. Corky
    January 21, 2023

    Net unworkable-solution-to-a-non-problem-that-even-if-it-worked-would-make-an-unmeasurable-difference Zero Welcome to the end of the age of reason.

  45. Iain Moore
    January 21, 2023

    From the news it would appear our steel industry is in a lot of trouble from the British establishment’s expensive energy policy . Well done chaps, no doubt they will be over the moon if it goes bust, it will mean they can boast about meeting our CO2 targets , perhaps they can get the Doom Goblin to come and blow up a few of the blast furnaces, after all Gove, Miliband and others were fawning all over her .

    1. Sharon
      January 21, 2023

      What these enthusiasts for net zero in Parliament and elsewhere, haven’t twigged yet is, once the steel industry fails from too high costs, and we can’t buy things that require steel – they too will be affected!

      How can parliament et al not see this? If the lights go out so will theirs!

    2. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      British Steel is I gather now Chinese owned. They are probably very happy for it to be closed down with production removed to China. Business Eradication and Industrial Suppression at its finest. And many MPs seemingly quite happy to let China grab a bigger hold over us.

  46. Original Richard
    January 21, 2023

    It is the false claim that we have catastrophic global warming which the Marxists are using to demand we unilaterally net zero our 1% contribution to global CO2 emissions. There is no catastrophic climate emergency/crisis/breakdown. Satellite data shows benign warming running at 0.13 degrees C per decade and we have had several warmer periods than today (Minoan, Roman, Medieval) since the most recent ice age which ended just 11,000 years ago. There is no empirical evidence showing trends of increasing rainfall, storms, drought or tornados, sea-levels are rising at a perfectly manageable 1-2mm per year and there are no large losses of snow and ice at the poles. False modelling claims, such as that Arctic summer sea-ice will disappear by 2013 as claimed by the BBC in 2007 have not happened. Neither the death of the Great Barrier Reef, as predicted by the BBC, which is now in the best health ever since records began. Increasing levels of CO2 have in fact greened the planet and caused large increases in food production

    1. Martyn G
      January 21, 2023

      Spot on, OR…..

  47. rose
    January 21, 2023

    The anti immigration demonstrations in Southern Ireland are getting bigger. They are incensed that their children are having to emigrate because they can’t afford to live in Ireland while hordes of people are bing brought in and put up in hotels etc. Is Dublin now the new Calais? And what is Heaton Harris doing aobut the CTA in the face of this?

    1. Bill B.
      January 21, 2023

      Eire is in the EU, Rose. They have to do what they’re told.

      Brussels attitude: “Irish emigrating? So what? That’s what they’ve always done. We’ll keep financing the people-smuggling NGOs.”

    2. hefner
      January 21, 2023

      ‘The anti immigration demonstrations in Southern Ireland are getting bigger’: A few hundreds of protesters (~300) with a few hundreds (~200) counter-protesters in Dublin. (Irish Times 21/01/2023)

      To give some perspective: 1.12 million protesters in France on Thursday against the change of retirement age. (lemonde.fr 20/01/2023)

      rose, Are you paid by Moscow, Beijing or Breitbart to sow confusion on this blog? If it is the case, your method is not very clever as everybody can check the Irish sources and clearly see through your pitiful attempts.

      1. a-tracy
        January 22, 2023

        Nothing to see here, look over there!
        Who pays you hefner to give us your wisdom?

        1. hefner
          January 22, 2023

          Why? Do you want to contribute?

      2. Mark
        January 22, 2023

        It doesn’t take much for a government sponsored rent-a-crowd to organise a demonstration in favour of government policy. It requires a lot more bravado to demonstrate against government policy when they send in their riot squads to attack peaceful demonstrations (Countryside Alliance, gilets jaunes, Dutch farmers whose land is to be given to immigrants, etc.), or even cut off their bank accounts (Canadian truckers).

        1. hefner
          January 25, 2023

          Hee hee hee, I hope that by now you’ve realised that the 1.2m French people were demonstrating against Macron’s government’s retirement policy and could hardly be described as a rent-a-mob.

  48. Pauline Baxter
    January 21, 2023

    You seem to avoid talking about nuclear power Sir John.
    Why?
    What is the problem with having more nuclear power stations?
    How soon can they be built and put into service?

    Of course fracking would undoubtedly have been a faster stop gap but various ‘zealots’ and high tax enthusiasts have prevented that.

    1. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      The problem is a combination of political cowardice and lack of knowledge among ministers, an oppressive regulatory regime that imposes massive costs, deconstruction of the necessary support industries in steel making etc., fear of undermining the green gravy train for wind etc., failure to pursue lower cost options with proven technology in favour of trying to play politics with France and China, failure to promote research and international development of future SMR designs.

  49. forthurst
    January 21, 2023

    We are suffering from the very poor levels of educational attainment in this country. The examination process has been turned into a money making racket designed to ensnare the maximum number of students without regard to the quality of the curriculum or the intellectual calibre of the students. We have the ludicrous situation in which
    someone who has never studied Physics or other hard science and who is poor at Maths can claim to be educated and have the educational qualifications to prove it. One of the consequences of this is that the House of Commons is full of people who can be sold nonsense like Net Zero, simply because they do not have the scientific background to ask the right questions and lack the courage to do so for fear of appearing ignorant and stupid, which they are.

  50. The Prangwizard
    January 21, 2023

    Final paragraph – I’m not as naive as some, reassurances are not good enough for me. I would need physical evidence and checkable statements, in this and in everything else before agreeing to to anything.

    How many times have statements been made in all manner of projects that have been shown later to be deceits.

  51. The Prangwizard
    January 21, 2023

    Where did the coal come from? Was it from under our feet or someone elses? And if not all ours, why?

  52. RichardP
    January 21, 2023

    Inevitably electricity will become an intermittent commodity, that is clearly the intention. The only positive thing about this is that when we are all required to carry smartphones for Digital ID, they won’t work without electricity.
    We will look forward to rolling blackouts because on those days we will be free!

  53. Sakara Gold
    January 21, 2023

    This has to be one of the worst pieces you have ever written on this blog. It is pointless trying to make you see the advantages of generating our own renewable power without importing fossil fuels; your mind is closed. However the Labour party does see merit in this argument and that is why they are going to win the next election.

    If you think that wind and solar do not produce enough electricity, the answer is simple. Build more solar parks and windfarms and encourage more EVs on the roads! Then we can use our EV fleet to store the energy for the very few days in the year when calm conditions prevail.

    Reply Glad on reflection you now think I have written some better pieces as you usually deliberately disagree and miss the point. So which of my past blogs did you like? Why bother to come on if you are so determined to miss the main point I am making.

    1. Donna
      January 22, 2023

      So you want me to buy an EV (£40,000 or thereabouts) so that the battery I have paid for can be used to power the country because the windmills and solar panels which I have been forced to pay towards aren’t working. Is that right?

      Do you really not understand that in very cold weather, batteries tend to lose their stored power? It’s why many cars refuse to start if they have been left outside during a very cold spell and the range of EV cars reduces considerably.

      No amount of windmills and solar panels will provide energy if the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

    2. Sakara Gold
      January 22, 2023

      @Sir John
      Good morning. I post to your blog because I have something to say. I appreciate the opportunity to do so and I have contributed to your blog for at least 20 years. I agree with your views on the excessive taxation with which the country is afflicted, the need for smaller government, growing more of our own food, reducing the national debt (which is now about 100% of GDP) encouraging savings, improving educational opportunities, the return of sovereignty after Brexit, the regeneration of our export industries. Many things, in fact.

    3. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      You really need to do the maths. Vehicle batteries can only ever be capable of storing a few hours worth of demand, and they tend to be being driven in large numbers when demand peaks in rush hour. They will never cover for several days of Dunkelflaute. Far from guaranteeing independence, future plans for more renewables entail being highly dependent on someone else having the dispatchable capacity to make up for shortfalls, with plans for massive increases in interconnectors (yet no-one has the plans to build dispatchable capacity, so rolling blackouts are guaranteed, just as have been seen in the recent cold snap in the US for precisely that reason).

    4. dixie
      January 22, 2023

      @SG You need to understand the intermittency issues of solar and wind are not addressed by increasing the number of intermittent solar and wind installations, only viable storage of sufficient capacity and duration would.
      In the meantime we must rely on dispatchable systems using gas or coal.
      It is 19:11 on Sunday and Gridwatch is reporting Wind contributing 10% and 50% coming from CCGT, ie Gas. You would need to have six times as much effective wind generation to replace the CCGT component. Where do you suggest it be put, who should pay for that much capital outlay? What then happens during a calm period if EV owners don’t want their investments ruined?
      I have an EV but it is not part of “your” fleet and I will refuse it being used as part of grid storage, I don’t see why I should pay the capital cost to relieve the grid of doing them same, nor let the grid reduce the battery longevity with repeated charge cycles. Besides, it is my family’s backup power in case of blackouts.

  54. hefner
    January 21, 2023

    Whether one agrees or not with all the ideas in it, the Weekend Essay by Martin Wolf ‘In defence of democratic capitalism’, FT.com 21/01/2023 is really worth reading.

  55. Delphine Gray-Fisk
    January 21, 2023

    Quite so!

  56. Fedupsoutherner
    January 21, 2023

    Professor Neil Oliver is very good tonight on GB News. He’s spot on. Find him on YouTube. Well worth a listen

    1. glen cullen
      January 21, 2023

      He talks a lot of common sense

  57. Bill Mayes
    January 21, 2023

    SJ, where is the verifiable scientific evidence that man-made Carbon and CO2 emissions are causing climate change (aka AGW)?
    Climate change is a natural phenomenon and has been occurring regularly for millions of years. Even before man but never before the sun shone, whenever that was.
    CO2 currently represents around just 420 PPM of our atmosphere which is far less than the figures of 1200 PPM recorded many millennia ago. Yet Earth survived. Even though there were no humans.
    Furthermore, why is this country, with an carbon emission rate of less than 1% of the global total, pursuing a target that will not alter one iota, the dynamic of the world’s worst offender, China, with an ‘excessively’ high level of 29%?
    Together, China, India and the USA emit more than 50% of the global total yet we, little Britain, appear to doing the most to cut our own while they carry on regardless and, in the case of the USA, actually now supply us with the carbon fuels we need, even though we have massive reserves of our own. Double duh?
    Why does our so-called ‘Tory’ Government continually submit to left wing ideology?
    Mrs T herself must be so distressed at what has happened to the Party and I sadly regret she can no longer put it back on the Right path. BUT now, in 2023, who will?

  58. turboterrier
    January 21, 2023

    If the gloom and doom cult fanatics are right about about Climate Change then why is it they sit in judgement but still allow housing developers to still construct properties where the finished ground floor and damp proof course is only 150 mm above ground level?
    If water levels are or will rise shouldn’t the industry be building properties with elevated ground floors to minimise potential flood damage?
    That highlights just how pathetic all this Net Zero is. Only picking the bits they want to.

    1. hefner
      January 22, 2023

      As if ‘the doom and gloom cult fanatics’ were part of the local councils who take the decisions of letting the housing developers construct properties in flood plains. Ask yourself, how many local councils have a majority of ‘doom and gloom fanatics’? The answer from the last local elections is: none. ( wikipedia, 22/06/2022 ‘Political make-up of local councils in the UK’).

      I am afraid you were holding the gun the wrong way around and it has blown up in your face.

      1. dixie
        January 22, 2023

        Since the last local elections Wokingham is now under the overall control of the ‘doom and gloom fanatics’ party

        1. hefner
          January 23, 2023

          As far as I remember it was a Conservative-led council that gave the go-ahead for the hotel and the Tesla Supercharger station at Sindlesham Mill a location flooded almost every winter. Similarly for the development project at Hall Farm in Arborfield (the decision was taken in 2021 before the council was taken over by the ‘doom and gloom fanatics’).

  59. Michael Saxton
    January 21, 2023

    I agree with your comments. Everyone should watch the compelling discussion on energy and climate change between Jordan Peterson and Steve Koonin. It’s available on you tube.

    1. hefner
      January 23, 2023

      Even better to read Steven Koonin’s book, only £9.49 for the Kindle version.

  60. turboterrier
    January 21, 2023

    The Neil Oliver monologue on his programme tonight summed up the sham that the Davos #### up was all about looking at it from several angles.
    That was followed by a South African doctor who identified what covid was all about trialed his remedy on 14k people no deaths, ventilators, or vaccines. Sent his findings out in a paper to all the worlds leading medical research facilities and got very little or no response. If you take his experience as a parallel to the Climate Change NZ scam that the voices of reason are being totally ignored even when they have done the research, collected and collated the findings but are not saying what their so called peers want to hear.6

    1. glen cullen
      January 21, 2023

      +1

  61. outsider
    January 21, 2023

    Dear Cynic, The Skidmore report notes that 95 per cent of voters at the last general election backed parties that are commited to the Net Zero programme. We all know why. As it happens, more than 86 per cent of voters at the 2015 election backed parties whose leadership wanted the UK to reain in the European Union. This time, you may be sure, there will be no referendum.

  62. outsider
    January 21, 2023

    Dear Sir John,
    Mission Zero, the Skidmore report, is a profoundly anti-democratic programme. It says that the transition requires “transformational changes in how we live our lives”, that government must set stable long-term policies and programmes not subject to democratic change and even local planning needs to be “fixed”. Somehow, the stringent rules and timetables to be imposed on ordinary families do not seem to apply to the public sector. Hundreds of regulations and bans are proposed, along with dozens of costly taxpayer-funded private sector projects, many of them pointless.

    Little of this is necessary. Suppose, instead that this and the next Government pursued one simple, albeit very difficult, programme: to ensure that enough secure, reiiable, fossil-free electric power was available conveniently to everyone at highly competitive prices to allow us to remove all use to fossil fuels by 2050.

    As electricity demand is projected to double and, as you say, the wind does not always blow, this may require a 150 per cent rise in generating capacity. This could be achieved by mixing 40 per cent nuclear (on more than one technology) , 40 per cent offshore wind and 20 per cent biofuels and other bits and pieces. Forget about CCS, industrial scale solar or, at least in England, onshore wind.

    Much as it pains me to say so, this would require large-scale CEGB-style state enterprise, in nuclear and beyond, to remove the cost of risk from prices. But that is much better than forcing on us “transformational change in the way we live our lives” without any recourse to democratic choice.

    1. Mark
      January 22, 2023

      The French have shown that you can have a mainly nuclear grid, but that you need other ways of coping with variations in demand. They do use summer scheduling of shutdowns for maintenance and refuelling to give some seasonality to nuclear output, but beyond that they depend on the reliability and flexibility of a significant amount of hydro and gas generation, as well as using variation in electricity exports to balance the grid.

      Their current troubles stem from having much of their nuclear fleet nearing end of life at the same time, and having failed to make a good plan for renewing it. The EPR design is an expensive disaster, and the plans by former clown and energy minister Hulot to try to replace half the nuclear fleet with wind are already running into problems with wind intermittency, resulting in frequent need for expensive imports.

  63. outsider
    January 21, 2023

    Dear Sir John, Mission Zero also recommends that the price of gas should not be allowed to fall below the level in wholesale markets last week. I wonder if the Government, and/or Sir Keir, agree with this.

  64. John Waugh
    January 21, 2023

    E&T – The Institution of Engineering and Technology magazine issue 9 oct 2022 page 30 – an analysis has revealed a potentially huge investment gap re net zero ambitions .
    Required by 2050 –
    30 million EV chargepoints
    + 20 million heat pumps
    Pushing electricity demand up 70%
    Requiring £330 billion grid investment .

    Why not listen to the Engineers for a change!

    1. glen cullen
      January 21, 2023

      Why not scrap ‘net-zero’

  65. boffin
    January 21, 2023

    Bloomberg is reporting that this year the China Electricity Council will be adding new fossil fuel power stations to their mix, 40GW natural gas – and 30GW COAL!

    [ ” Dam’ clever, these Chinese … ” ]

  66. glen cullen
    January 21, 2023

    Every day every minute the ‘Reform Party’ is looking a better option ….they’d repeal ‘net-zero’

  67. Dr John de los Angeles
    January 22, 2023

    You are right as always. The Government have delayed the roll-out of Small Modular Reactors for another year, yet, quite apart from Rolls Royce, there are US manufacturers and a Danish one busting to get into the UK market. Is the Government just not interested in energy security?!!

    1. Ian B
      January 23, 2023

      @Dr John de los Angeles – Unfortunately that concept is in the way those Companies see it is not about supplying the UK’s need. They want the taxpayers to fund their enterprise, but not have a share in their stocks or any ownership retained in the UK. They then want that same taxpayer to pay for any output that may transpire, with them only contributing to taxes in their home Countries. So the UK taxpayer pays twice to have the UK’s future tax contributions to infrastructure removed. Even the wonderful RR SMR’s will not be UK owned.

  68. margaret
    January 23, 2023

    Here we go again. John it is Not all or Nothing. Every bit of help from different sources which will also help the future as methods are improved must be allowed to develop.

    1. margaret
      January 23, 2023

      Diplomacy.. If I agree with your plan to hold power and take over other countries, can I buy your oil.? or Will you be friends with me so I can have some gas ? yuk.. sickening . We need to develop for the future independence. It doesn’t take a poor or elite education to understand power struggles. Keep trying to improve. Who would have though we could have the internet in 1941.

      1. margaret
        January 23, 2023

        thought

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