Green energy makes some people see red


The Energy and Climate Change Committee of the Commons has complained that the Treasury is undermining renewable energy. They say a lack of Treasury guarantees for future subsidies and revenues is going to make it dearer to put in renewable capacity, and therefore dearer for energy consumers in the future.

The Treasury are asking the right questions. They are attacking the high level of subsidy which some renewables attract. They point out that the price of supplying solar panels and even of windmills is coming down, so surely the subsidy should as well? There is  an argument within government between the Energy Department, reluctant to bring the guaranteed prices and subsidies down quickly, and the Treasury, impatient to get them down to provide consumers with a better deal. Sensible people should be on the side of the Treasury. If the guarantees from the Treasury are essential to the finance for such capacity, it means there is a worrying liability on taxpayers.

There is a more fundamental weakness in the situation which even the Treasury seems unable to counter. The EU renewable targets and carbon dioxide policies does mean substantially dearer energy for compliant European countries than for Asian and American competitors. No-one seems to discuss repealing or altering the EU frameworks, which are doing damage even to German industry as well as to the UK. Apparently the EU thinks it makes the world greener and cleaner if we hobble ourselves with high prices, large subsidies paid for by consumers, and  high carbon dioxide taxes, whilst the US drills for shale and Asia buys the cheapest fossil fuels it can find.

I am all in favour of more effort being put into fuel efficiency , insulation, smart industrial solutions and the rest. What seems stupid is for the EU to make it too dear and too dificult for higher energy using industries to prosper in the west, exporting them to the east. The Treasury needs to push back not just on the UK Energy department over subsidy levels, but also tackle the EU elephant in the energy room. We need cheaper energy all round. We need to save more on the subsidies.

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  1. lifelogic
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Industrial Gas and Electricity in the USA and many countries can be half the price of the UK. How on earth can high, energy intensive industry, compete in the world market with the absurd green energy and carbon tax agenda.

    The dam things simply do not work with current technology in economic terms. They should be given no subsidy at all. If they they do become workable in economic terms then install the “working” new designs then without subsidy. What is the point of littering the countryside with non working models now?

    PV is even more pointless that wind. They do not make much economic sense in sunny places so what chance have they got in the cloudy UK? Putting them on roof add another huge cost to the installation and maintenance. It is simply madness in economic and engineering terms. No enough electricity to pay for cleaning the leaves and moss of them each year. As for putting toy wind turbines in no wind Notting Hill you clearly need to be insane. Will Cameron ever tell us if he managed to generate more energy than the van uses to come and fit it?

    Pointless expensive jewellery for the houses Cameroons and the loony Lib Dems to show they are saving the world when in fact they are doing the complete opposite and destroying jobs too.

    All based on totally discredited computer modelling and clear lies and distortions told by scientists and TV evangelist who should be ashamed of themselves. No statistical warming since about 1998 this is clear and was not predicted at all.

    Anyway all the evidence suggest a littler warmer would on balance be better anyway.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      You say “Apparently the EU thinks it makes the world greener and cleaner if we hobble ourselves with high prices, large subsidies paid for by consumers, and high carbon dioxide taxes, whilst the US drills for shale and Asia buys the cheapest fossil fuels it can find.”

      Clearly it just means the jobs just go elsewhere, the CO2 is still emitted and yet further energy is needs to send the good round the world. Surely no one can honestly believe in the sanity of this policy unless they are completely ignorant of the science and costs.

      I find the more people understand the science the less they believe the absurd agenda. Most think it must be true as the BBC, Government and the rest endless tell them it is and they do not have not knowledge, skills and confidence to challenge this view.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        The BBC are poor at making programmes about engineering and technology; the comparison with their wild life programmes is startling.

        The strange thing is that within the BBC there are people seeking to produce ever better quality pictures and sound. Yet the BBC do nothing to promote their own achievements and make their audience aware of what is possible. The management is arts biased.

        • lifelogic
          Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          Arty, anti real science, female biased, left wing, pro ever more government and enforced equality for all but the state sector/BBC, pro the EU, pro the quack green exaggerations and anti industry and businessmen in general I find. Reporters on the green issue who do not even know what positive feedback is I note.

          I see reported today they spent £350,000 on head hunters before appointing two internal candidates. Money to burn as usual. Surely any decent head hunter/advisor would tell them they are paying about 3 times the going rate to their second rate upper management anyway.

          Anyway a head hunter contract could be agreed in a way that nothing was paid for an internal candidate appointment. I wonder how they chose and instructed the head hunters? How are they getting on with the nearly 500 tax efficient personal service companies they pay “wages” to?

          The BBC is “morally repugnant” is so very many ways.

          • Vanessa
            Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            Very true which is why I do not pay them their “fee” any longer they are dishonest and corrupt.
            Their pensions are invested in the “green” industries which is why they promote them. They take “loans” (£141 million at the last count) from the EU which is why they do not criticise the club !!!
            And yet people still believe that their “nature” programmes by Attenborough are true science with global warming to the forefront – the corporation is a sham.

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            When I heard Attenborough on the global warming exaggerations recently he seems to have back tracked and said nothing pro the warming scare that I could disagree with. Perhaps he like Lovelock has It is a BBC agenda/government agenda and group think taking over.

            Dellingpole in his recent excellent blog has it about right I think:-

            “Catastrophic Man Made Global Warming is a hoax. There is no real-world evidence whatsoever to suggest that the modest warming of around 0.8 degrees C which the planet has experienced since 1850 is in any way dangerous or unprecedented. Even the suggestion that it is mostly man-made is at best moot, at worst long since falsified by real world data and superseded by more plausible theories
            So next time you hear the BBC (or similar) spouting some unutterable crap about some amazingly shocking new event/piece of research/paper showing that the glaciers or Greenland are melting faster than before, that polar bears or coral reefs are becoming more endangered, or that there’s anything remotely worrying about the possibility that the planet has warmed by 1.5 degrees C since the Industrial Revolution, don’t just take it with a huge pinch of salt. Treat it with about as much respect as you would a report from North Korea radio telling you that this year’s bumper grain harvest has been more gloriously plentiful than ever before and that workers are now at severe risk of expiring due to an excess of nourishment, plenitude and joy.”

            I would perhaps say a “gross exaggeration scare” rather than hoax but I hoax is close. Anyway as I have said before the alternative suggested wind/pv/wave and the likes do not actually work in economic terms nor solve the problem – even if you are a believer in the c02 devil. The question is how will all the political parties, the BBC and all the other state sector bodies who have pushed this drivel actually back track from it? Now it is so clearly largely discredited in sensible, non state funded, science circles.

        • stred
          Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Listening to Any Questions from Scotland this week, I became convinced that the lack of understanding and stupidity of their politicians should make their independence compulsary. There was nothing they could not get totally wrong when answering a question about nuclear v wind generation.

          The only suitable qualified member of the DECC ‘team’ is Prof David MacKay, the author of Sustainable Energy without the hot air. In this he works out the potential of the various ways of generating non fossil electricity and storing it. The amounts of energy used are also compared. He then explains how to make the choices and compare the amounts available and gives units enabling comparisons. Anyone with basic maths skills should be able to follow it.

          However, the SNP and coalition politicians all thought that wind power should be increased, particularly offshore, and hydro could be vastly increased. Apparently, the tidal flows and waves around Scotland were so plentiful that they could be developed to provide a large proportion of generation. Nuclear, of course, was dangerous, expensive and should be closed down as soon as possible.

          Unsurprisingly, the choices made by DECC have followed some of this thinking. They have already proposed grants for wave and tidal generation and a link to Iceland for geothermal. Offshore wind is already well on the way and to be paid for when it doesn’t work.

          Yet, as page 212 shows with five possible plans, hydro, wave and tidal can only provide a small proportion of the total. Even the Green plan shows wind at 32 kWh/day out of 70. The other plans show much smaller proportions.

          Elsewhere in his book, he shows that electric cars have effective emissions, in a country with generation as ours, similar to an efficient conventional car or a hybrid. (p131) Also the manufacture of a new battery makes would make these figure less favourable to electric vehicles. However, the only realistic way to store the wildly fluctuating wind generation is to use the batteries of 3o million of our future cars. Page 194 describes the matching of wind generation and electric cars as ‘delightfully similar’.

          So there we have it. Their dream for the future is one with 30 million electric car owners waiting for the right wind conditions in order to keep the country going (p 198), while the major industry will be maintainance of shallow and deep offshore windmills, using ships the size of ferries- but not when the wind is too strong. And if the climate changes to maintain the present rainfall, perhaps hydro could be stretched from the 0.2kWh/d given in the plans. And a link to Iceland would be ‘a good idea’ if they increased their geothermal tenfold in order to deliver nothing more than ‘a small contribution’ to the UK (p 183).

          • uanime5
            Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

            What did Prof David MacKay recommend for generating the most electricity?

          • lifelogic
            Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

            Indeed the “solutions” they propose to the non warming problem do not even work even in their absurd evil carbon world terms.

          • stred
            Posted July 30, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            reply yo Euanime5.
            He doesn’t give recommendations. He shows how to make choices based on realistic figures.
            The plans given on p 212 and the largest proportions are-

            Plan D for diversity – 16 nuclear and 16 ‘clean’ coal
            Plan N for Nimby – 20 solar in deserts (Sahara)
            Plan L for Lib/dem – 16 ditto + 16 ‘clean’ coal
            Plan G for Greenpeace- 32 wind
            Plan E for economics – 44 nuclear

            Plan E also has tide 0.7, hydro 0.2, waste incineration 1.1, pumped heat 12, wood 5, solar hot water 1, biofuels 2, wind 4. Note that PV and wave are not included but are in D,L and G.

            It looks as though economics do not have a high priority with the current government.

      • Disaffected
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Good articles in the DT today by Christopher Booker and another one by James Delingpol. What is a mystery to this blog is why Cameron is letting green madness act in contrast to his allegedly number one priority: the economy.

        Lib Dems put green energy nonsense before Economics, EU before economics, socialism before economics, mass immigration before economics, welfare before economics, overseas aid before economics, quangos before economics, back room staff before front line military personnel etc etc. It does not pay to work let alone pay so much tax for the government to waste. Cameron calls himself a liberal conservative. No wonder the Tory Coalition is making a mess of government and wrecking the Tory party in the process- he and the Tory party will not get re-elected.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Having been on several French beaches this week I see that, contrary to the title of the best selling book “French Women Don’t Get Fat”, they most certainly do get very fat indeed and even as very young children. I am, in my middle age, certainly rather too fat, but feel rather sylphlike in comparison.

      Why incidentally does the Governments use the BMI index? Every school child should know that weight goes up with the cube of linear dimensions not the square. So the index is clearly sexist and height-ist. Making men and the taller people more likely to be fat or obese on their scale. I see that even many of the England rugby team were obese on this method of calculation.

      If you want to write a best seller ignoring the truth seems to be the best strategy.

      Titles perhaps like:

      Free green energy is the future of our planet
      Only QE and tax borrow and waste will stop the double dip recession
      Eat and Drink all you like – and get slimmer by the day
      Cameron – Why I am a conservative at heart

      Well perhaps not the last one as a best seller no one would fall for that.

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        It was I suppose it was indeed clever, at the Olympic ceremony, to use all those burning zeros launched into space to represent the tax payers money going up in flames – but did they not need another 5 zeros at least?

      • stred
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        I was having dinner with a (French-ed) mate a few years ago, when his wife said she would avoid the cheese in case she became fat. He replied “What are you talking about- you’re already fat”. (in french) My comment. “Noblesse oblige”.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        It’s flawed in that the BMI index measures muscle as fat, so if you are fit and athletic or pregnant is not considered accurate. As the average person has more fat than muscle as a rule of thumbs it’s OK as it is easy to understand and you would use it with other methods and observations. Not an Olympic athlete by any chance are you lifelogic?
        Followed my six year old daughter around a obstacle course and rope climbing frames this morning, revolving activities and running, fun with a hangover. Kept up. Just about… BMI? Ram it.

        • uanime5
          Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Scientists have already adapted the BMI to account for muscle mass. Now to be obese you need a BMI of over 30, and a waist circumference of 40 inches (men) or 35 inches (women).

      • uanime5
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Even a school child would be able to determine that it doesn’t matter whether you use kilograms per square metre or kilograms per cubic metre as the same people will have a high BMI.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          As usual you miss the point the BMI uses the weight over the height “squared”. But actually mass for objects goes up by linear height “cubed” so it discriminates in favour of the short.

          1in cube weighs only 1/8 of a 2in cube not 1/4!

      • Michael Lee
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        I have to disagree with lifelogic concerning photovoltaic systems. I have a 4 kilowatt solar pv system. I have just added up my quarterly electricity bills for the last year which totalled £787. Admittedly I live alone and my electricity use is low. I have just received my first feed-in tariff payment for the past year which was £1,500. Photovoltaic systems absorb in the visible and ultraviolet spectrum; light not heat is required. The feed-in tariff is subsidised. Well, it’s an ill wind…and I haven’t claimed tax relief on many duck houses lately.
        I also have a solar thermal system for hot water and central heating. In the lighter months I turn the gas boiler down to its minimum settings, and still have plenty of very hot water.
        And maintenance costs so far? Zero. Break even point to repay the capital cost I currently estimate as between 8 to 10 years; but watch for fuel price increases. All of the energy available on this planet originally came from the sun; the last time that I looked it was still there. All the energy it provides is free.
        Referring to lifelogic’s comments on BMI, basal metabolic rate has been shown to be an accurate function of the quotient of body mass and body surface area. Body surface area is difficult to measure. As a convenient approximation, the square of body height may be used. Basal metabolic index (BMI) is then given by the quotient of body mass in kilograms and the square of body height in metres.
        Ask lifelogic to come round to my place; I think I can make use of the hot air.

        • Bazman
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          One thing that these solar installers don’t seem to mention is the weight of the solar panels. They weigh about 20kg which ain’t light, Times this by ten or more and things are getting quite weighty for roofs not designed for these loads. Might look OK at first but over time could cause problems.

          • Michael Lee
            Posted August 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

            Whingeing about the weight of solar panels seems like another feeble excuse for not buying any. And why, Bazman, stred and lifelogic do you people hide behind pseudonyms rather than tell us who you really are?

        • stred
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

          Pleased to hear you are enjoying the very large subsidy, which other customers are paying for.

          Referring to the book by the DECC qualified team member, Prof MacKay p 39, PV panels have an efficiency of 10% on normal panel rising to 20% on expensive ones. The present cost of PV is a about 4 times the cost of solar hot water, but they deliver only half (or a quarter) as much energy (p40). PV production falls ten fold when the sun goes behind the clouds (p 45). The reason for the lack of efficiency is the band gap, which defines a particular energy of photon ( light particle) that a material converts most efficiently (p 47).

          Appatently Mr Huhne could not follow this when he decided to offer a quadruple unit subsidy for this vital way of wasting valuable resources, which could have been spent on insulation and draught stripping.

          • Michael Lee
            Posted August 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            I am well aware that solar PV panels are more expensive than solar hot water panels; I have two of the latter and 20 PV panels sitting on my roof. And despite whatever Prof MacKay says on page 39, I find they all work very well. I have plenty of insulation and draught stripping, and I’ll decide how I spend my valuable resources.

          • lifelogic
            Posted August 2, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

            Hardly surprising of Huhne he clearly just wants lots of bright visible but pointless house Bling for political/religious reasons – not invisible old hat draft proofing?

          • stred
            Posted August 3, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            To Michael Lee.

            The valuable resources will be paid by other customers, who subsidise you. These susidies could be used to insulate and draught strip the homes of less well off customers, who cannot avail themselves of the ridiculous subsidy.

            Our own names are not used because sometimes sensitive information is given, which might embarrass friends and relations.

        • Mark
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

          Some reading for you:

          Do you deserve the subsidy?

          • Michael Lee
            Posted August 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            This sounds as if it was written by George Monbiot who thought it was a good idea to sentence a man for murder for shooting a burglar; I would have given him a medal. I’ll read it some time when I need a good laugh.
            And do I deserve the subsidy? No, but it was going begging so I grabbed it. This is called being a realist rather than a dummy.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

          Fine but only because of the huge subsidy others are paying for. The electricity you generate is actually worth less than a quarter of the subsidy you get thanks to an absurd government subsidy. How long do you think it will last?

          • stred
            Posted August 3, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            25 years unfortunately. Fortunately they will probably break down in 10. When I attended a course at CATT, most of theirs were covered in mildew and bird droppings.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 2, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

          £1500 sound rather a round figure is it an estimate? How much actual electricity did you get in KWH over what period and bear in mind you won’t get much in winter.

          After depreciation, maintenance, disposal costs, capital costs, interest (or loss of other investment income) will it still make any sense? Even with Huhne’s mad subsidy?

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 2, 2012 at 3:52 am | Permalink

          @Michael Lee

          On the BMI I merely make the point that given two people of the same build proportions the one of 6ft 6in will have far more chance of being Obese on the BMI than the one of 5ft nothing. So it is anti male and anti tall people in its computational method is it not?

          I do not really see the direct relevance of Basal metabolic rate (BMR) (the amount of energy expended daily by humans and other animals at rest) to this.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          Michael Lee I looked into buying a solar system and it seems like the number do not add up to me. If you have a very large roof area and have many panels facing the right direction maybe. They need little maintenance, but should any problems occur like being ripped off in the wind or as I have mentioned sagging of the roof then they could turn into a liability. Another factor being the government of the day reneging on its subsidies.
          Why do you want to know who I am? What difference is it going to make if you know my real name? Better to be a dragons shadow on the internet especially if you have an unusual surname.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood lets go back to basics. Why are there green subsidies/policies in the first place? Your political leaders and their predecessors are basing their policies/subsidies on unproven science. Global warming hasn’t happened as the planet has had no warming for over 15 years and there have been considerably warmer periods before industry. So they change the name to climate change. Then we’ve also always had this as well. Weather is impacted by the jet stream that is influenced by the intensity and distance of that constant and big star……….the Sun! The computor models/hockey sticks have been shown to be bogus and the release of e-mails shows this stuff more as a religion/lie than science. CO2 is 0.034% of the atmosphere. Therefore how can that tiny, insignificant naturally occurring plant food and trace gas have any impact on our climate. It doesn’t and the whole climate change religion is a scam to control and fleece us in taxes (Millenium bug, bird flu etc springs to mind). This is an energy policy where my oap neighbours spend their winters in their kitchen as they can’t afford their electric bills, whilst Government is giving their taxes to build and run ……..windmills that don’t work and solar panels that are 30% efficient. I’m pleased that Camerons Calamity Coalition is so focused on the important issues whilst my neighbours can’t afford to heat their home in the winter! Lets have more gay marriage, no EU referendum, no reform of the Human Rights Act, Lords reform, foreign aid, mass migration to save money on our health, housing, education and other public services as we don’t have enough unemployed people. Lets put up Air Passenger Duty so that we’re 134th out of 138 nations in highest charges globally.
      The UK’s global contribution to CO2 ommissions is 2%. This is less than China’s total INCREASE next year alone.

      • Mark
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        The UK’s contribution last year was 1.5% of the global total, down from 1.7% the year before. China’s contribution is now 26.7% , and will surpass the UK in emissions per capita in 2013 on present trends.

        • Mark
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          The Chinese increase in emissions in 2011 over 2010 was almost exactly 50% more than the UK total emissions in 2011.

    • zorro
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      As you know, nothing can get in the way of the green religion…..Cameron’s growth plan is based on employing lawyers and a growth in the compensation culture…..

      One could always hope that they might be curtailed but I expect that it is a vain hope.

      You say that there has been no global warming since 1998, which is quite correct….? What possible reason could Mr Gates have for funding this research…..

      I’m really not so sure about this one. What possible reason could he have for funding this…..?….Hmmm….What are they up to?


      • lifelogic
        Posted August 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Well if we ever did need to cool it would probably be better and cheaper than removing co2 which would not work I suspect.

        I think it just makes good PR for his company and their hugely time wasting software. Perhaps he feels guilty?

    • uanime5
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      What benefit does energy intensive industry have for the UK? Unless it’s highly profitable, the UK has large amounts of nearby resources for these industries, or the UK is already reliant on these industries I can’t see any benefit from supporting these industries rather than low energy industries.

      • Mactheknife
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        What benefit ? Err….jobs, corporate tax, individual tax for the treasury, balance of payment reductions, deficit reduction ….need I go on ?

        If we have all of these then you Lefties can spend more on your beloved Benefits. Surely you want that ?

        • uanime5
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          What about the tax loss from reducing the price of energy? How does this compare to any potential gains from energy intensive industries?

    • sjb
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Former climate sceptic Prof Richard Muller appears to have changed his mind.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    “I am all in favour of more effort being put into fuel efficiency , insulation, smart industrial solutions and the rest.”
    Who asked what you think?
    As you remark, these decisions were taken without consulting you or any other MP. And allow me to tell you something else: they will continue whatever you or any other MP happens to think.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      It is surely reasonable for JR to say what he thinks in his own blog! But clearly industry will try to save energy and money whenever it can. A top down government telling them how to do it is not the best approach.

      Interestingly the government is investing billions in making our electricity production not more efficient, but far less efficient (by about 40%) investing in carbon capture. In other words wasting about a further 40% of our gas and coal resources just to capture the harmless tree and plant food C02.

      It does not sound very sensible to me at all but then little they do ever does.

      • Disaffected
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        People need to read their energy bills carefully and the Government ought to be compelled to make it absolutely clear the percentage of the each bill that is going directly to the Government’s on obligation to the environment (green energy subsidies). I think people would be alarmed and pressure brought to bring it to an end.

        The Government is happy for energy companies to take the blame for high energy bills.

        Fuel poverty could be cut overnight by targeting those in need (only about 12% of people in receipt of the allowance) of the winter fuel allowance and could cut our energy bills by about 15% if it stopped green energy subsidies.

        • Mactheknife
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          The government i.e. DECC has met with energy companies and will not allow them to itemise their bills to show how much “green” energy really costs. Says all you need to know.

          • Mark
            Posted July 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Indeed: truth about such things is effectively illegal according to the remit given to OFGEM under the 2010 Energy Act – promoted by Ed Miliband.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        All our energy policy comes, gold plated, no doubt, from Brussels.
        That is what I was on about!

        • zorro
          Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          It is all helping the EU in its long term aim to assist in the de-industrialisation of the UK…..


        • uanime5
          Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Given that the UK could have voted against this policy it’s hardly fair to blame Brussels.

  3. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Is it not Government policy to oppose energy price increases with the result that production is switched to inefficient countries with low energy costs, thus being counter productive to the green agenda? So get on with implementing policy.

  4. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    One way of achieving cheaper energy costs is to use energy more efficiently. This is already in evidence in some areas, such as refrigerators.

    We know that homes are costly to heat and account for a large part of UK energy use, but the government is content to see new-build fall well short of what can be done. Of course, higher standards put up the capital cost, but it is much cheaper and much more effective to build right rather than give grants for retrospective improvements.

    • Nick
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      So look at the latest statements from the treasury.

      People have switched to more efficient cars. That’s a problem because we aren’t getting the taxes we want. So we are going to have to increase taxes.

      i.e. That’s the real aim. Penal taxation

      • Bob
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Apparently a cap-full of acetone in a tankful of petrol improves engine performance and gas mileage.

        That is pure 100% acetone, not the nail varnish remover with added conditioners.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink


      Cars have become more efficient and use less fuel, so what do the government do?

      Put up taxes to make up for it.

      No subsidy for using petrol of diesel, but a subsidy for producing expensive electricity ??????

      Makes you wonder !

    • Mark
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      The proposed zero carbon standards add something like £30,000 to the cost of a house. Perhaps you’d like to do the discounted cashflow economics, starting with the interest bill at say 5% or £1,500 against energy savings worth a few hundred?

      It’s a destroyer of value, and will probably bring new housebuilding almost to a standstill.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I agree entirely with your comments.

    The “green” energy politics, embodied in the Climate Change Act, owe everything to the assertion that man-made CO2 will be the cause of catastrophic global warming (CAGW). This assertion was given powerful political impulse by the Blair and by Brown – who labelled the doubters as “flat earthers”. It remains the dominant influence today here and on the continent, in particular in Germany and the EU institutions.

    Like many others I was prepared to believe the assertions until people started to try to understand the basis of the underlying hypothesis. It turned out to be flawed in several respects and failed to take account of natural phenomena. Natural phenomena remain, in many respects, little understood, but do offer a more convincing basis for the causes of climate change. The green lobby privately seems to believe this too because for the past few years it has been careful to change the terms and words it uses to promote its cause from “CAGW” first to just “global warming” and then later to “climate change”. The fact that global temperatures have failed to reveal the predicted linkage with total CO2 levels and that many of the original arguments were based on propaganda and not on science has severely dented the cause.

    The green lobby has also been careful to conflate the issue with the perceived shortage of and lack of security for fossil fuels. This argument enjoyed traction while Russia could and did close the pipeline valves that supplied gas to Europe. A former Government Chief Scientist was quite explicit about this in evidence to HoC Select Committees. But like the CO2-temperature argument, the evidence reveals a different picture, not least because of the technological developments that have enabled the recovery of shale gas and previously unrecoverable sources of oil. This has enabled an energy revolution in the USA which is about to complete its transition from import to exporter of LNG.

    For the UK I see no hope whatsoever of any prospect for an industrial recovery while industry remains hobbled by expensive energy. Unfortunately this appears to be the policy choice of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband. I think it is nuts.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Not only does it rely on the “the assertion that man-made CO2 will be the cause of catastrophic global warming” it also relies on the assertion that lowering c02 is the best way to prevent this, that the solutions they propose wind/pv/ actually work to lower c02 and that a little hotter is not better than colder anyway. It also assume they know the future sun output.

      It fails on all these counts even if you accept the first.

      • zorro
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Come on folks, they know full what they are doing and why they are doing it….


    • Manof Kent
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Old Timer,I quite agree.
      The contention is that 1/25th of 1% of a trace gas CO2 ,if increased ,will lead to catastrophic global warming must rate as the biggest con trick in history . Water vapour ,comprising say 10%, is supposed to magnify any greenhouse effect.

      We have now had no warming since 1998 despite China,India and others pouring CO2 into the atmosphere at ever increasing rates .

      Our CO2 contribution is 1.6% of world emissions ,yet we have decided to lead the world in a race to make everyone ‘greener’.
      Our politicians have been sold the biggest con ever ;tulip bulbs ,the wealth of the South Seas were minor in comparison to this.

      It is more akin to the Scottish Darien Expedition which led to Scotland’s financial rescue with the Act of Union 1707.
      When will we stop trying to bankrupt ourselves and repeal the Climate Change Act?

    • Mike Fowle
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      As you rightly hint, Oldtimer, whenever a green illusion is exposed, they move on to another one. Remember acid rain? Not a disaster after all. The hole in the ozone layer? Likewise. Now we’re shifting from climate change to food shortages. Ironic, because taking land out of food production and changing it to energy, whether “wind farms” or “solar farms” or biofuels (which the UN calls a crime against humanity) all exacerbate the problems. But they are hugely exaggerated anyway. Environmentalists are really sad people – they spend all their time looking for things to worry about. The harm they do in the meantime is devastating.

    • uanime5
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Just because you don’t understand “natural phenomena” doesn’t mean scientists don’t.

      In the US shale gas extraction uses large volumes of water and has polluted nearby water supplies, which is why so many EU countries have banned it.

      Unrecoverable oil field are called this because extracting oil from them is very difficult. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an example of the difficulties involved and what can happen if something goes wrong.

      The “energy revolution” in the USA is more hype than change.

      • oldtimer
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        If you look closer you will find that scientists do not understand all the natural phenomena at work. This is especially true of the natural release to and absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere. That is why they are spending colossal amounts of taxpayers money trying to find out in a desperate search to justify their case.

        Clearly you have not paid enough attention to what has and is happening to the energy market in the USA – otherwise you would not have written in the way you have. It is better to stick to the facts.

        • uanime5
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Well if you know so much about the US energy market you should have no trouble answering these questions.

          1) Which 5 US industries have benefited the most from this revolution?

          2) Which 5 US states have benefited the most from this revolution?

          I trust you’ll be sticking to the facts and provide evidence.

          • oldtimer
            Posted July 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

            You are the person who should stick to the facts and avoid unsubstantiated assertions.

      • Mike Fowle
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        You shouldn’t believe environmentalists’ propaganda about shale gas. As for Deepwater it also showed just how much oil there is about, and the after effects were nowhere near as devastating as predicted.

      • Mark
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        The US government has a different view:

    • Disaffected
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Economic madness that you and I, and every taxpayer will be squeezed to pay for the Green lunatic energy policy. Not nuts.

  6. Alan Wheatley
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Subsidies, ah yes, subsidies! How do you tell when a subsidy is money well spent and when it is money down the drain? It seems from the government’s perspective it is all to do with size. Governments don’t do small.

    So a railway line, a nuclear power station, an airport, a wind farm is fine. Solar panels are not.

    The difficulty with solar panels is that there are so many of them, or more particularly so many individuals to deal with, and this they do not like doing. So the task is delegated, which makes it remote, and then come the mistakes. If you are going to subsidise and business ramps up to met the demand the subsidy stimulated, then it is pretty stupid to summarily cut the subsidy at short notice and hurt the business that were only doing what they thought government was encouraging them to do.

    BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) is another area of government that does not do small. They have refused to deal with smaller companies wanting to join in the government initiative to bring broadband to rural areas, only to be told not to bother to bid. This government project has, in effect, reinforced the BT monopoly. Telecommunications is an area well worthy of subsidy as it will help stimulate business and reduce energy consumption. We did it in the past for the telephone, now we need to do it for broadband, and to get on with it at top speed.

    • Nick
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      No subsidy is a good one.

      Even trains. Look at HS2. Tickets will never pay for the cost. Put the cost on tickets, and people won’t buy tickets. ie. There is no benefit

      • lifelogic
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        Exactly nearly all subsidy distorts the markets and just make people do silly things – making us all poorer.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          How about subsidies to landlords in the form of housing benefit.

  7. me
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The Clegg and Cameron families make fortunes every year, many times the average wage, courtesy of taxpayers and wind farm subsisdies.

    UKIP say:

    • EU ‘renewable’ energy rules will double electricity bills by 2020. Global warming is not proven – wind power is futile. Scrap all green taxes, wind turbine subsidies and adopt nuclear power to free us from dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil and gas.

    • Julian Hooper
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Many of the correspondents here are exactly right. The main cause of all these problems is that the authorities in most Europeam as opposed to American and Asian countries have been duped by so-called experts who have asked the wrong questions and then come up with the wrong answers.
      Climate Change is certainly proven. Not only is this clearly demonstrated by the available records but also by histoty, legend and geology. Its cause, however remains completely unproven, It seems as absurd to attrbute Climate Change to our use of carbon fuels as it would be to suggest that dinosaurs engaged in some sort of activity which caused so much exess CO2 that they were all killed off.
      Sadly for us , the current “green” policies are hitting the European economy at a time when it is at its most vunlerable. All available resources are, and will continue to be needed to deal with the inevitable rather than attempting to change the course of Nature, which smacks of a sort of Quixotic King Canute.
      I am sure that some of the anti CO2 brigade are honest but misguided folk. Others I suspect are more cynical and support the movement for their own financial benefit.

      • Bob
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        “I am sure that some of the anti CO2 brigade are honest but misguided folk…”

        Also known as useful idiots.

  8. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    JR: “The Environment Committee of the Commons has complained that the Treasury is undermining renewable energy.”

    Did you mean the Energy and Climate Change Committee? You know the one chaired by your Conservative colleague Tim Yeo. Why has he such a position? As James Delingpole recently blogged in the Telegraph, it can be seen from his register of member’s interests on They Work For You that he has a potential conflict of interest as can be seen from the following extracts:
    Remunerated directorships:
    1. ITI Energy Limited; suppliers of gasification equipment.
    2. AFC Energy; company developing alkaline fuel cell technology.
    3. Chairman of TMO Renewables Limited, 40 Alan Turing Road, Surrey Research Park, Guilford, Surrey GU2 7YF. The company is developing and supplying technology for second generation biofuels. My duties involve chairing board meetings and keeping in touch with senior management.

    He was also appointed President of The Renewable Energy Association this year. This Association’s website states that it represents the UK’s renewable energy industry, covering renewable power, heat and transport.
    As for the Treasury tackling the EU elephant in the energy room – dream on!

    • A different Simon
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      AFC is an interesting one .

      They claim their competition is not other fuel cell providers but combined cycle gas turbine generators . Pretty disruptive if they can do it .

      Mr Yeo doesn’t as far as I know oppose extraction of hydrocarbons from shale . The gas would be a potential feedstock for their fuel cells after they have established themselves in the industrial market such as chlorine plants .

      Can’t decide whether AFC intentionally make no effort to market themselves or are just rubbish at it in the worst traditions of British innovators .

      (personal allegations deleted)

  9. Chris
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    This seems to be a pattern with the EU: hobble industry, agriculture, employment, and so many other sectors/organisations with a mass of regulation, often ill thought out, and which effectively stifles growth and progress. However what it does ensure is that the workforce of Brussels (70% apparently) are guaranteed jobs in bureaucracy and legislative departments. It makes no economic sense to be tied to such a bureaucratic monster as the EU, which certainly does not have individual sovereign states’ interests (or survival) at heart.

    • zorro
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps there is a method (in their eyes) in their madness….


  10. Alte Fritz
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Right as usual. I do some work for a company which manufactures burners which are so efficient that, for big energy users, they pay for themselves in three months. Customers from all over the world queue at the door, the company brings wealth to a run down town, and they do something genuinely green. And they do it without subsidy.

  11. John Salmon
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Very prescient comment re ‘wind energy’. The real focus should be on greater fuel efficiencies, instead billions of taxpayers money is being poured into an ‘industry’ that can only exist via this vast subsidy. There are already well advanced plans to build one of the worlds largest wind farms off Ireland’s Atlantic coast. The investors plan to provide this ‘energy’ via an interconnector into the UK grid. Yet this is purely a subsidy driven project, remove the guaranteed support and any reasonable cost benefit analysis would see the project shelved. Chris Huhne and the rest of the Climate Change aficionados come fanatics have witlessly and with the shameful connivance of the Cameroons signed up to a wholly unachievable carbon reduction target oblivious to the real costs imposed on the economy.

    • uanime5
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      All projects to build power plants are subsidy driven projects. No one would build a nuclear plant without large subsidies.

  12. Chris
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood echoes what many of us feel (“I am all in favour of more effort being put into fuel efficiency , insulation, smart industrial solutions and the rest…) but what I cannot accept is the duff science that has been produced to justify such drastic green energy measures. James Delingpole (S. Tel.), with his links to Watts up with that, deals with the latest drama about the melting Greenland ice sheets and it makes interesting reading.

  13. forthurst
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    “What seems stupid is for the EU to make it too dear and too dificult for higher energy using industries to prosper in the west, exporting them to the east.”

    Then this has to be the objective, that and carbon trading which provides a vehicle for spivs to make money whilst destroying other people’s livelihoods.

    Furthermore, whilst it is an easy way to close down alluminium smelting and steel making, it is hardly beneficial to industry as a whole since it increases everyone’s costs, directly and indirectly.

    Is it not time to visit Brussels and turn over a few stones to see what crawls out?

    These videos have been produced by a Dr David Evans, a professional engineer, previously employed by the Australian Greenhouse Office who presents an investigation into the claims and predictions of climate ‘science’ and finds them wanting, simply by reference to officially produced and publicly available data; in the third video he examines why such a blatant fraud would be perpetrated with collusion at many levels.

    • oldtimer
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Thanks for those links – all new to me. He is very clear and concise. The third was especially illuminating. One omission from his talk – he seems unanaware of our vey own Climate Change Act. Cameron is, of course, an enthusiast for the Copenhagen Treaty and all that implies.

  14. Matthew
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I find it terrible to see so many young people who are either without jobs or have low grade employment that offers no career.

    The plans to ultimately tackle the debt are based upon growth.

    Yet just look at four areas that would assist economic growth –

    Labour reform, opting out of EU directives – no progress

    Bank lending to business – no progress on the ground yet

    Energy – high cost, taxpayer subsidy this cost being stuck onto bills. – Talk about some movement at last – we only produce 2% of the world’s carbon

    Third runway Heathrow – to keep UK in the international race – a bit of talk now

    Time for the government to become radical.

    Mr Miliband appeared to be a fill in leader at Christmas, now he seems to be finding his feet and his confidence. By playing it cautious with the Lib Dems Mr Cameron may just throw it away.

  15. boffin
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Long ago, the government of ‘white heat of modern technology’ advocate Harold Wilson wasted an inordinate amount of taxpayers’ money pursuing its harebrained ‘tracked hovercraft’ scheme, touted to provide fast intercity travel.

    Even the most rudimentary (headway) calculations would have shown the concept to be farcical at the outset, but evidently nobody in government or Whitehall at that time had the wits to do the simple sums. (No doubt the contractors had, but preferred to accept instructions and take the money).

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. A reading of the Wicks report (Energy Security 05AUG09) gave the impression of the work of a none-too-gifted teenager, replete with padding and decoration but showing scant evidence of any real grasp of the subject. Perhaps it was, just that. Its shortcomings might be invisible to that LSE sociologist who was made Minister of Energy then Minister for Science – surely a triumph of square-peg fitting – who took the credit for it.

    The wind energy myth has been debunked quite elegantly by de Groot and le Pair, who have taken note of Germany’s published data on German wind power installations, and have had the intellectual stamina to do the simple sums which make clear that not only is national wind power uneconomic but is likely, when applied on a large scale, actually to increase the national carbon dioxide emissions which it is touted to diminish.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink


    • Bazman
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Which says that wind is an energy source of last resort. Like when it is the only option in a remote house with no generator or a nuclear submarine which must stay submerged for long periods undetected.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The fundamental mistake is to set “decarbonisation” as the primary objective, when there is no soundly based climatological theory which proves mankind is doing any significant harm by allowing emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the theory which according to some has provided that proof is looking increasingly dubious and to some extent fraudulent.

    A sensible government would take a policy decision that henceforth carbon dioxide emissions shall not be included as a major factor in the assessment of projects, but of course the UK government would not dare to defy the EU on this.

  17. A different Simon
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    This all goes to show how out of touch the Environment Committee of the Commons is from ordinary people .

    How are politicians and the public sector meant to understand the consequences of their actions on other people who don’t have guaranteed defined benefits pension schemes and a slot alongside the trough ?

    Has the penny not dropped yet with your colleagues that the rest of us can’t afford their fantasies ?

    Within the next 50 years there will likely be completely new fuel based solutions which aren’t based on chemical reactions but nuclear fusion .

    Your colleagues need to make allowances for new developments even though they have not arrived yet .

    They didn’t even have shale gas in their Roadmap 2050 , even though it had been ramping up massively in the US .

    Personally I’d rather shale gas was used for domestic heating and in compressed rather than liquid form as a road transport fuel than for generating electricity .

    • A different Simon
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      And as a feedstock to chemical plants for producing urea and ammonium nitrate fertilisers , ammonia , plastics .

    • Mark
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      I suspect that GTL (gas to liquids) is more economic than CNG (compressed natural gas) for transport fuel. CNG requires very large, robust tanks, and is typically only used on buses that do a high mileage overall that dilutes the extra cost of the tank and engine conversion, yet have a limited range from their depot. GTL economics look better the higher the ratio of oil price to gas price. It seems that we will find oil to be scarcer than gas in the next few decades, due to shale gas production worldwide (perhaps even in the UK).

  18. Anoneumouse
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, what members of parliament need to be thinking about is what will happen when the lights go out.

    hempen rope is a ‘green’ renewable.

  19. Nick
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The Treasury are asking the right questions.


    Like heck they are.

    There sole question on pensions debts is how to hide the debts.

  20. Fay Tuncay
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    We need MPs to support us
    John we are on to this issue of scrapping the EU emissions targets. We do need to get more MPs educated on the need for repeal of the 2008 Climate Change Act as well. I have suggested a private members bill if you or any other MPs are interested in supporting this let me know – email

    Details on our ECI
    Our proposed European Citizen’s Initiative (see details below) has been submitted. We will know if it has been accepted by 10 August. We have the support of 8 EU nations so far.


    Suspension of the EU Climate & Energy Package.


    Suspend the 2009 EU Climate & Energy Package (excluding energy efficiency clauses) and further climate regulations until a climate agreement is signed by major CO2 emitters – China, USA, and India.

    Main objectives:

    1. To stop EU climate policy wasting hundreds of billions of euros on ineffective unilateral action on the climate at a time of economic crisis.
    2. To stop carbon leakage – export of jobs and businesses to developing countries without climate legislation.
    3. To make fuel and energy cheaper, increase employment and reduce fuel poverty. This will increase social cohesion and reduce social exclusion.
    4. To increase energy security by allowing member states to use their own natural energy resources.

    Provision(s) of the Treaties:

    Art. 3 (3) of TEU; Art. 147, Art. 173 (1) & (3), Art. 174 of TFEU

    • uanime5
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      According to the European Citizen’s Initiative website they need to have a minimum number of signatories from at least 7 member states. They don’t have the support of 8 member states.

      • Mark
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Can you read?

        Fay says they already have the support of 8 EU nations. You of course know better, not being involved.

        • uanime5
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          The European Citizen’s Initiative website says they don’t have enough support and I believe the people campaigning for the ECI more than I believe a random poster on a blog.

          Also under EU rules if they had the support of 8 EU nations they’d have all the support they need and wouldn’t need to campaign for more support.

          Perhaps you should learn to read what other people write.

          • Mark
            Posted July 31, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

            You presume that the EU website will be updated before the date they are required to announce the decision as to whether they have formally accepted it. I presume the EU would seek to fail to update the website, even if the criteria are met. Such challenges to their authority and decisions are unwelcome, even when they fully follow the rules.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Firstly, I find that the treaty articles you cite are of no more than tangential relevance; it’s Article 191 TFEU which lays down

      “promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems, and in particular combating climate change.”

      as an objective, the final phrase having been added through the Lisbon Treaty.

      Secondly, the EU Commission is legally bound by Article 191 TFEU and your petition does not (and cannot) call upon the Commission to propose an amendment to that treaty article.

      Thirdly, if it was legally possible I would reject EU citizenship, and as a matter of principle I won’t voluntarily act as an EU citizen by signing a petition raised under an EU system for EU citizens created by the EU through the Lisbon Treaty – to which I am opposed but on which I have been undemocratically denied the right to vote in a referendum – for its own EU purposes to which I am more generally opposed.

      However you could try Cameron, as I recall that a previous leader of the Tory MEPs got him to publicly sign such a petition, which had been started by a Swedish MEP in anticipation of the coming into force of the corresponding provision of the proposed EU Constitution, to which both the Tory MEP and Cameron were then claiming to be adamantly opposed.

  21. cosmic
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Yes there is nonsense in driving industry overseas to enable boxes to be ticked by the UK, but to increase CO2 emissions. Theis is meant to be a global problem.

    The basic problem is the Climate Change Act which commits to quite impossible reductions in emissions, and promotes ineffective and expensive technologies such as wind power and Carbon Capture and Storage.

  22. ian wragg
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I work in the Green Energy industry and believe me it’s a complete rip off. We are paid over double the pool price for our generation which has recently invested in Austrian machines, made in Hungary and the profits shipped to France.
    Staff will be cut from 4 to 2 so I don’t see where the millions of green jobs are coming from.

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 5:17 am | Permalink

      Every new green job will clearly cost several real jobs in the real economy – due to the taxes and extra energy expense of supporting it.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        It’s a bit like saying robots put people out of work.

        • cosmic
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Not really, because these green jobs are based on government manufactured demand for things which no one would want as a simple economic proposition. If there were a need for it, why would the government need to intervene in a heavy handed way? Did they need to pass laws to get people to buy flat screen TVs?

          Obviously if people perceived a need they would want it, and the government would respond with taxes, not subsidies.

          Robots were a way to supply people with things they wanted, cheaper; Green jobs are a way of supplying people with things they basically don’t want, at vast expense. There’s a very considerable propaganda exercise, which marketers of say, washing powder, would envy, to convince people that it’s their duty to want and pay for this stuff, even though they don’t.

          • Bazman
            Posted July 31, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            They want flat screen TV’s that use less energy. Green or efficient whatever. Do the makers willingly produce these? Is it acceptable for a plasma TV to use use the half a kilowatt and hour? I’m not buying one. I waited until the same size TV’s with better picture quality used less the 100 watts. Would these TV’s exist without government6 intervention? I think not. It’s a bit like electric heating in rented property. Put there for the benefit of the landlord not the tenant. Yes it is. Nobody wants electric heating in their house and you know it.

        • A different Simon
          Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          In a way they do .

          R0bots cannot keep other people in work by using their products and services .

          • Bazman
            Posted July 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            Kept me in work for years and I don’t even know much about them. Just corrected their bad work.

  23. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    There are a couple of things that we could do to stir things up bit.

    Firstly, impose maximum weights on railway rolling stock so that heavy German trains would have to be phased out.

    Secondly, sponsor reasearch into cheap alternatives to catalytic converters to motor cars and get Ford and General Motors interested.

    Both of these would threaten German economic interests, which is precisely the intention. We would find out soon enough from whom the EU take their orders.

  24. DennisA
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    “What seems stupid is for the EU to make it too dear and too dificult for higher energy using industries to prosper in the west, exporting them to the east.”

    Unfortunately this is following the UN strategy of Contraction and Convergence, (check out the Global Commons Institute, GCI), whereby the West has to “contract”, by stopping the use of fossil fuels, as we have allegedly used more than our fair share of the “global commons” by prospering from the use of cheap fossil fuel energy. Developing nations are allowed to “converge” and get up to our level, by prospering from the use of cheap fossil fuel energy. Those nations are then, at some indeterminate point in the future, expected to give up fossil fuels also. When we are all equal, the world will run along in peace and harmony.

    • zorro
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      We should obey them unquestioningly then, I mean what could go wrong…?


    • Chris
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Thank you for this insight. I had heard something of this before, but it is helpful to have further detail.

  25. Richard1
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    At some point politicians must take the bull by the horns and question whether the underlying theory of catastophic global warming caused by man-made CO2 is correct or not. So far very few do. Only Peter Lilley whom I can think of in the Commons. Even Nigel Lawson somewhat skirts around the issue. After all, if the theory is right then the EU is right to force reduced emissions, even if it does make us uncompetitive, and bang the drum for global deals to reduce emissions as called for by the hard-line environmental lobby. If on the other hand the theory is wrong, or at least completely uncertain, then the whole intellectual basis of government action to force de-carbonisation is flawed. There needs to be a proper debate with full and unbiased access to data. At the moment its impossible, there is no debate, MPs dare not be branded ‘climate change deniers’ and government ministers and their advisers refuse to engage in debate with their opponents on global warming.

    • Martyn
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      “there is no debate, MPs dare not be branded ‘climate change deniers’ and government ministers and their advisers refuse to engage in debate with their opponents on global warming”.

      Of course not – to do so would open the doors to so much scientificand public criticism that their cosy, green and expensive to us world would implode and tumble about their ears…

    • Chris
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      CO2 levels are still going up but global temperatures have been decreasing since c 1995 so there is not a positive correlation between the two.

  26. nicol sinclair
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    What an honest and perspicacious blog today. The responses from your most frequent and dedicated followers are also illuminating.

    I was a climate change believer – yes, I believed all the scare stories being bandied about by the IPCC, the ‘hockey stick’ graph etc. Then I read about the (false reports and disingenuous) emails from East Anglia Uni, and started to think for myself for a bit. Plus a good dose of information from Christopher Booker and now, at best, I find the case not proven.

    Thus, if the case it not proven, why on earth are we subsidising these windmills – and they are all over my part of Scotland like a rash? So that the Government can tilt at them?

    Why doesn’t the Government own up to the fact that we are spending all this dosh on dodgy science – perhaps only to please the tree-huggers in the Lib Dems? Let’s have an open, honest debate on the real science so that we can make up our own minds and then, if we find the Government/EU policies to have been wanting, shaft the lot of them.

    Subsidies would be better employed in providing owners of older houses with the wherewithal to draft proof, insulate their homes and thus save the electricity?

    Oh, I give up – time for bed in Nepal!

    • lifelogic
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Extra jumpers vests and a bit of draft proofing – far better than insane wind and PV.

  27. Bazman
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    The problem of the rest of the world just doing their own thing is a problem, but in the case of companies saving energy to reduce costs is a for many not a consideration. They just look at the bottom line. In a factory I worked at they did not care about energy wastage until the recession took hold and eventually closed the plant which was the most efficient of all of them. Fridge manufacturers 12 years ago were struggling to meet regs for frost-free fidge freezers. I bought one though as life is to short defrosting the fridge as they say. Energy consumption 400kw/hr per annum. Froze it’s last a few days ago. Resuscitated and a new one investigated. Found a couple of the best using 150kw per annum. Bought one using 270. Beer fridge adding to height a problem as it will not go in between the fridge /ceiling. Many are now between 190-210cm Ceiling 240 max. Ironically the tallest are often the most efficient, but lack beer capacity. Damn!
    Now how did this happen? By regulation or innovation? You know the answer. Both. Necessity is the mother of invention. Ceiling modifications were vetoed by the boss. Compromise of smaller freezer and usage of the beer fridge negotiated successfully. Both sides felt like they lost.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Real beer doesn’t need a fridge.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Needs refrigerating to correct temperature. I’m sympathetic to the cause no less.

        • A different Simon
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          And for storage , pretty easy to ruin bottled beer by letting it get too warm .

          I really must read up on India Pale Ale to find out how they managed to produce a beer which would survive the journey . To think we are benefiting from these recipes all these years later .

          Maybe we should all get together at Christmas and consume some domestically produced real beer .

          Where you based Bazman ?

  28. Bernard Juby
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Has any-one really compared the efficiencies of such energy renewables as wind compared with water?
    A “water turbine farm” sited alongside a river would be far more efficient than a wind farm, especially with all of the rain we are getting lately. They would take up less space, would be more human scale and, serially placed, would be less obstrusive to the countryside.

    • Mark
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      On another occasion when we discussed energy I did some sums for the electricity generation potential of the Thames, with the conclusion that you would get more from one modern jet engine.

  29. bob webster
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    UKIP also proposes to:
    · Support the efficient extraction of indigenous coal for use in cleaner, coal-fired electricity generation plants
    The UK still has an estimated 30 billion tonnes of accessible coal reserves. This is a secure energy resource that could meet at least half the nation’s electricity demands at affordable prices for at least 25 years, while creating up to 50,000 new jobs. Time to get out of the EU fast.

    • bob webster
      Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Whoops 🙂 It’s 3 billion tonnes of accessible reserves. If we had 30 billion tonnes we would be sorted for 300 years. As it stands we can burn over 100 million tonnes a year for a minimum of 25 years, all without the need for insane “green” subsidies.

      • A different Simon
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Bob ,

        In addition to accessible it’s possible to extract the energy from innaccessible coal seams . This has been done for 50 years in the Yerostigaz plant in the former soviet union though the process needs updating to be acceptable in the 21st century .

        Have you been watching the Firth of Forth and Swansea Bay underground coal gasification projects ?

        There is also 6 billion barrels of oil net energy equivalent worth of usable coal under the Humber Estuary which could be obtained by UCG .

      • Mark
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        In the 1970s we did have 300 years’ reserves. As we have mined much less, I can only presume the coal is mostly still there, and would become economic (i.e. count as reserves) again with better technology or higher prices and less anti-coal measures.

    • Bazman
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      If you can find enough desperate people to be coal miners for less than minimum wage. Needless to say it will not be you doing the digging bob.

  30. Lady Carole
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    All the green arguments having been proven false we need to abandon this insane handicap we have placed on our country and our industry right now and it that means tearing up EU treaties or agreements so be it .We have coal gas oil shale and neuclear capacity so should be able to produce power as cheap as anywhere on earth given a free hand so why is it difficult???

  31. uanime5
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Unless someone finds a way to make fossil fuels law forever we’ll need an alternative source of power sooner rather than later.

    Given that several coal power plants are going to go offline in 2012/13 because they’ve reached the end of their productive life the Government needs to build more power plants as quickly as possible. As renewables can be built that in a short amount of time is it any surprise that the Government is trying to encourage as many as possible.

    • Mark
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Most of the closures are premature, well before the end of plant life and for plants that deliver some of our less costly power, motivated purely by the absurd LCPD imposed by the EU.

      • uanime5
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Even the experts say that these plants can’t operate beyond 2015, so it’s clearly not due to the LCPD. Power plants only last for 30-40 years without major refurbishments.

        • Mark
          Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Obviously you do not understand how the LCPD operates. It limits the output of affected plants to a maximum of 20,000 hours of operation after 1 January 2008, and forces closure by end 2015 otherwise. These are quite arbitrary time periods, not related to the real economic lives of the plants.

          The upgrades required to meet the equally arbitrary rules for ongoing operation are costly, and may not be justified if the plant otherwise has a remaining life of say 10-15 years, rather than 20-30 years. Yet, by keeping such plant open for 10-15 years, we would have a bridge of available capacity until e.g. significant new nuclear capacity could be brought onstream, at much lower cost than windmills and associated CCGT backup.

          The only LCPD plants that look to be less economic are the oil fuelled ones such as Fawley, Grain and Littlebrook, which have only been used occasionally as standby to cover extreme peaks of demand. Even for these, the cash costs of keeping them available to meet such peaks are obviously low enough to mean that they haven’t been shut down yet.

  32. alan jutson
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Only purchase something that will give a payback in 5 years like

    Loft insulation,
    Wall insulation,
    Draught proofing,
    Hot water tank jacket

    Dio not purchase anything else unless its broken and needs replacing, then replace with the most efficient if it is cost effective to do so.

    Government are you listening.


  33. Iain Gill
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Same could be said of pollution issue more generally

    We have forced shutting here the cleanest optical fibre plants in the world by over zealous anti pollution nonsense and the same production has started up in India and China with far worse anti pollution techniques in use than ever were here. Net result is world pollution has gone UP and jobs in the UK have gone DOWN. Crazy non sensical maddness.

    • Mark
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Also true of much metals operation, and in particular aluminium, which has a high level of emissions associated with not only the electricity, but also the consumptions of carbon anodes to reduce the alumina, and the production of PFCs from the cryolite.

  34. David John Wilson
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    In the current economic situation it is important that the UK reduces its imports. If this means generating power at home rather than importing oil (and coal) then we should be encouraging subsidies that make this possible.

  35. Bazman
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    What about the massive subsidies given to the oil/gas/coal and especially the nuclear industry. The limit on an operator’s liability for accidents, is worth billions alone. In Britain Gas, which dominates home heating and electricity generation in the UK, received about £3bn in subsidy, with oil getting £500m and coal £72m. Red diesel for farmers at about 50%. Free coal for coal miners. Carbon Tax credits for the nuclear industry. Billions to the German and French coal industry. Export credit guarantees given to British companies who have recently ventured into deep-sea oil drilling off Brazil and coal mining in Siberia and many more subsidies given directly and indirectly.
    This openness of the green energy subsidies is good, but lets see some transparency on the rest of the subsidises given to other forms of energy and put a stop to many of the fantasists who believe that the oil industry stands on its own two feet and nuclear power is cheap. How much is all this subsidy really costing if that is the argument?

    • Mark
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Oil and gas are heavily taxed, not subsidised. Substantiate your claims with proper citations please.

      • uanime5
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Here are two articles about the subsidies oil and gas companies receive, and the people who oppose this.

        “Gas, oil and coal prices were subsidised by £3.63bn in 2010, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development”

        • Mark
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

          I eventually found this report via your links:

          It doesn’t show any subsidies at all for oil and gas (there are some small ones for coal): merely that in some cases there are tax free allowances that cover investment costs (just as there are depreciation allowances for capital assets in other businesses, and all businesses can claim their regular costs such as wages, raw materials etc.) and lower than top tax rates. You might as well argue that your personal income tax allowance should be regarded as a subsidy that ought to be evaluated at the highest rate of tax applied to any income, and likewise any basic rate tax you pay. It’s a nonsense calculation.

          According to the Budget Red Book, oil and gas contributed £11.2bn in ring fenced corporation tax (at the special high rates that apply only to oil and gas) and PRT, while fuel duties contributed a further £26.9bn, with a substantial sum in VAT on top of that, as well as a share of a variety of other taxes such as business rates, employment taxes etc.

          One of the things that the government discovered over the course of the year was that despite the assurances of the OBR, the tax rates and reduced allowances (particularly for decommissioning costs) they set last year turned out to be damaging for activity in the North Sea, reducing tax revenue below what it otherwise would have been in the process.

          • oldtimer
            Posted July 31, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            Well spotted!

            There are countries that subsidise fuel. India is one of them. How to reduce the subsidy is a significant political problem for its government.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Heavily taxed and subsidised means they are almost a nationally owned industry like banking, by default. Ram it.

        • Mark
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

          Duly rammed: see above.

      • Bazman
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink
        • Mark
          Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          Yes, you can research just how much tax revenue oil and gas contribute to the UK, and debunk nonsense about non-existent subsidies.

          • Bazman
            Posted August 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            Lets make it clear and easy to understand for everyone then. How much goes in and how much goes out? Accurate figures then the argument can be judged on its own merits. I suspect you will be ramming it. Unfortunately in banking we all rammed it like in most fundamentalist arguments.

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    This has just appeared:

    It claims that officially reported surface temperature rises across the US exaggerate the real rises by a factor of two, as I understand partly because weather stations which were previously located remote from any local human activity which might affect the readings are now in increasingly urbanised or industrialised areas, and partly because flawed methods have been used in the efforts to correct for that “Urban Heat Island” effect.

    Is this true? Well, over recent years I’ve seen quite a few articles on that website highlighting specific examples where the temperature readings are clearly open to question because the thermometers are positioned too close to local heat sources, so I find it plausible that it is true, and not only in the US but elsewhere in world.

    Is this just negligence, or have there been deliberate attempts to falsify results to support the accepted climatological theory? I’m inclined to believe that it’s both, that committed advocates of the theory have largely disregarded warnings that many of the results were unreliable because the errrors were in their favour.

    • uanime5
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Scientists tested this by taking temperature reading from rural areas and compared them to urban areas. The results were that measuring temperatures in populated areas doesn’t have a significant effect on climate change data.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 31, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        I suggest you read the article and the draft paper, but before that you may care to note this in my post: “and partly because flawed methods have been used in the efforts to correct for that “Urban Heat Island” effect”.

        • oldtimer
          Posted July 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          Anthony Watts and his fellow contributors have done us all a signal service by their patient analysis and documentation of the facts on the ground. The land temperature record has been manipulated more than once, including the historical record, this is evident from comparison of GHCN versions 1, 2 and 3.

    • Bazman
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear.
      Fundamental beliefs on any subject should not go unchallenged. Ram it. Again!

    • Bazman
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Watts up is a a crackpot site with a lot of funding in my opinion. Takes a bit of digging on Google. Get some.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 31, 2012 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        Of course it’s a crackpot site, in your opinion, and maybe those responsible for it should be put into a secure psychiatric ward as per the USSR.

        • Bazman
          Posted July 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          Seems to be funded by the right wing organisation called Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank whose efforts include the denial of man-made climate change, has received millions of dollars over the years from well-heeled donors and corporations, including the Koch Brothers, Microsoft and General Motors. And it has received more than $8 million from a single anonymous source over the past four years.
          Like most fundamentalists often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated to attack climate science and scientists and prevent debate. As I said crackpot and you can be crackpot too.

  37. Neil Craig
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I doubt if there is any industry that would not benefit from guarantees of future subsidy. Why not just get out of recession and into fast growth by making guarantees of future subsidy to every industry?

    Think how large and fast Tesco could grow with guarantees that for every £ they take at the till the government will give them another 1 1/2.

    • A different Simon
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Neil ,

      Unfortunately the Govt and institutional investors of the UK can’t see past big companies like Tesco giving a savings like income and which have very little room for future growth , at least in the UK .

      In my opinion , to pull ourselves out of recession we need to start investing in companies at an earlier stage whilst they still have a decent growth potential .

      In short risk has got to come back on the table in the UK and Europe . Behaving in an ultra-cautious manner just makes things worse .

      Also providing the tools for the next generation in the form of abundent housing to bring accomodation prices down .

      Before we start talking about exiting recession , we need to stop putting off the UK’s crash and get it out of the way so we can hit bottom .

  38. Daniel
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but I’d be interested to know John R’s views on why the economy has declined in the last quarter even with unemployment falling? There’s plenty on the decline on the economy but not much on why falling unemployment isn’t turning things around

    • Neil Craig
      Posted August 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      My opinion, not John’s, is that the growth of jobs while the economy declines is explicable only because we are technologically declining. Specifically the amount of electricity available, which always correlates closely with GNP growth, is declining. Think of it not as us in a recession in 2012 but a moderate boom by 1990 standards.

      The corollary is that if we allowed free markets in energy rather than imposing windmillery, we would now be having Chinese levels of growth from a 2012 base.

  39. sm
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    1) Why not Really pursue the reduction in wastage first via insulation, efficiency etc etc. ( We pour billions away on non productive use its really is criminal this has not yet been completed)

    So why is vat on repairs or new boilers or other energy saving schemes applied. Indeed insulation should be offered FOC by a mutualized energy saving body funded by the major energy suppliers by profit and turnover.

    2) Why are not all urban buses/taxis on gas as it burns cleaner than most other fuels.

    3) Renewables do reduce energy imports, a lot of this is embedded (netted off demand) as opposed to directly measured as generation.

    4) Given we need to rebalance and import less and export more using renewables is a strategic choice and we should wary of short term costs either way.

    5) If windfarms are paid for by fiat printed money (rather than taxing the user directly), it would reduces imports, reduce the value of the £ sterling encouraging exports. The downside is import inflation but at least we should probably have downward pressure on power prices in the longer run, the marginal cost of wind is minimal once built- no expensive toxic legacy to deal with

    6) We could look to tax the embedded energy costs of imported and domestic produced goods rather exporting jobs abroad.

    7) We could look at taxing the embedded labour costs of imported goods and offshored services where minimum standards of pay are not made.

    8) With an with abundant surplus labour and lack of demand, i would suggest encouraging renewables which actually produce stuff we need is not the major problem, particularly if the manufacture/maintenance is within the UK.

    Meanwhile Germany is marching forward without nuclear and with huge investment in renewables! should we just watch?

    9) Just remind us of the money directly and indirectly spent on supporting insolvent banks. If £100 billion pa was given to support the capital infrastruture costs of energy we would have a lot of energy.

    Where as how dangerous to democracy, wealth creation (for all) and competition is our is our current subsidized political cartel and banking setup?

  40. Mactheknife
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink


    I could not agree more with your comment:

    I am all in favour of more effort being put into fuel efficiency , insulation, smart industrial solutions and the rest. What seems stupid is for the EU to make it too dear and too dificult for higher energy using industries to prosper in the west, exporting them to the east. The Treasury needs to push back not just on the UK Energy department over subsidy levels, but also tackle the EU elephant in the energy room. We need cheaper energy all round. We need to save more on the subsidies.

    The question is what are you doing about it ? I have written to DECC numerous times and get the usual AGW mantra back from Greg Barker. So it seems they dont want to listen to the public….so its over to you.

  41. Derek Emery
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s not our job to interfere with the EU target of making itself economically insignificant ASAP.

    We are not one of the two co-owners nobody would listen anyway. EU decisions are purely politically based so economic and financial considerations come nowhere. Witness the creation of the EZ which could never work economically in the form designed.

    The EU ruling elite have little interest in the private sector which they see as the cause of all problems and therefore to be kept in its place and punished. The EU’s own analysis showed that the Tobin tax would cut growth by up to 1% but they will apply it to the EZ as decisions are politically based rather than economic or financial.

    Higher capital requirements for banks must have a negative effect on lending which all helps to reduce the private sector.

    EU expensive energy policies again are purely political decisions with no consideration given to the negative effects on companies and jobs inside the EU.

    Our job is to stand by and watch.

  42. Bickers
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I find it appalling that Tim Yeo is chairman of the climate change select committee. How is this possible when he holds a number of fee paying positions in the renewables industry? Massive conflict of interest methinks!

    And why do we have Government depts (DECC) that are a statement of how the natural World works; what next – the department of the Sun Rises Every Morning – bonkers!!

    • Mark
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      I find it appalling that NONE of the committee has a suitable scientific/engineering background. Ian Lavery MP is a former miner and NUM official – perhaps the only real energy industry experience!

  43. Mark
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial

    Looks like the AGW case is under scientific data pressure…

    Will the BBC report it, or will it be another Black mark?

  44. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    In a country where public expenditure is out of control, getting rid of energy subsidies seems a fairly obvious move. We should also maximise market input in determining the source of new energy capacity, which in the main implies going for cheap energy.

    By all means impose restrictions on obviously environmentally damaging solutions, such as the burning of ‘dirty’ coal. Also, why not make cavity wall insulation and loft insulation mandatory within (say) 5 years – without subsidy.

  45. Mark
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    We don’t just need to cut the ROC subsidies. We also need to cut the quota restrictions that apply under the LCPD and the absurd rules that mandate CCS, the network charging rules that will see transmission lines for wind power from Scotland paid for by allocating cost to generating plant near real demand in the Midlands and South, the CFD mechanism that passes money under the table.

    In short, we need a root and branch return to a properly competitive energy market.

  46. Derek Emery
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The UK will be representative in its energy use of other industrial countries in the EU. Electricity is only one eighth of our total energy use which otherwise is mainly based on oil and gas. Coal and Nuclear and renewable only form part of electricity production. Even if we hit the EU target for CO2 production reduction in electricity production it will make very little difference to our overall figure.

    China and India are building coal fired power stations as fast as they can to meet demand (about one per week in China) so any of the puny effects from EU renewables are cancelled out many many times over by increasing CO2 production in the rest of the world.

    To put it another way if the world was really serious about reducing CO2 production there would have to be a reduction year on year in the world use of fossil fuels, especially gas and oil. That’s only happening inasmuch as recession and slightly reduces demand.

    To have serious reductions in oil and gas use leaves only nuclear as the alternative due to the truly enormous amount of energy consumed.

    In the UK over 40% of our energy use is gas which is mainly used for space heating of domestic and commercial properties. If this was replaced by zero carbon electrical energy it would have far more effect on CO2 production.

    I doubt if enough suitable sites could be found in the UK for wind turbines to produce this much energy. Wind turbines cannot be sited everywhere and need to be a mile or two apart to avoid interference.

    All wind power generation has to be backed up by gas power stations which can fill in for the power fluctuations. An engineer would then ask why are you building wind turbines when you already have the gas power stations to meet the load without them? Wind power is then a cost plus drastically increasing the cost of electricity energy generated.

    This is rather like the Goon Show idea (The Africa Ship Canal) of building a canal to fly planes over where wind power is the canal.

    In practical terms the only way is to replace this over 40% energy use is by nuclear and beef up the grid to take it. Then you need only add a few more nuclear power stations to also supply all the electricity we consume. I doubt the UK has the money to afford this.

    In practice there is no time to build enough turbines or nuclear power stations to replace those power stations that will have to be closed down over the next few years due to old age and from being closed to meet EU directives because they are coal based.

    The quickest to build are gas power stations and imported gas can be cheap. To avoid the light going out and company closures leading to relocation outside the EU we need to have a rapid program for building gas power stations to bridge the oncoming energy gap.

One Trackback

  • By Week of July 24 – July 30 | US Daily Review on July 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    […] Green energy makes some people see red The Environment Committee of the Commons has complained that the Treasury is undermining renewable energy. They say a lack of Treasury guarantees for future subsidies and revenues is going to make it dearer to put in renewable capacity, and therefore dearer for energy consumers in the future. […]

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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