What difference will the election make to energy?

Energy policy is Cinderella who should come to the election ball. A combination of EU policy and UK policy first established by Mr Miliband’s legislation leaves the UK with dear energy, and with greater uncertainty over supply. They have encouraged undue dependence on wind energy, and have closed too many power stations that burned fossil fuels. The next government needs to accelerate the new build of power stations. A wise government will cut our dependence on wind energy.

Conservatives have pledged to build no more onshore wind farms with subsidies. Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens wish to press on with more subsidised wind farms. To do so will just make our energy dearer, and less reliable. We will need to build more back up power for the days when the wind does not blow. That backup power will need to be very heavily subsidised, as no-one will build a modern efficient gas or coal station if they are not allowed to run it when the wind blows.

Green enthusiasts reckoned fossil fuel prices would go up, making the extra cost of wind energy less oppressive over time. Instead, fossil fuel prices have just halved, making wind energy so much dearer relatively. This problem means less jobs, less industry and poorer families. It means exporting activities to countries with cheaper energy, not burning less for the world as a whole. It is a foolish policy. I want the election to discuss it, and for voters to vote against all candidates who are pledged to dear energy, more de-industrialisation, and  more fuel poverty.

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  1. eeyore
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    The essential overview of energy policy is David Mackay’s “Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air”. It works fully through all options, and contains all the numbers and calculations without which discussion of the topic can only be wind and vapour. Professor Mackay has made it available free on the internet. I beg to commend it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      It is indeed a very good book. He seems rather more of a believer in the Catastrophic Warming Exaggeration religion that I am, but as an excellent Physicist/Engineer he understands and the realities and numbers of energy production and explains them very well in his book.

      Rather unlike the department of Energy and Climate change who seem to life in an insane dream world, infected by an irrational & unscientific religion/belief system.

      • turbo terrier
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink


        Rather unlike the department of Energy and Climate change who seem to life in an insane dream world, infected by an irrational & unscientific religion/belief system.

        Could we be lucky enough to get a leader strong and big enough to disband the DECC on day 2 of the new administration, similar to the Australian government. On day 3 repeal the climate change act.

        • Hope
          Posted May 6, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

          No, if the cartel wins the instruction would need to come from Brussels.

          Junker warned yesterday that if Greece were ALLOWED, yes he said allowed, to leave Anglo Saxons would gradually take advantage of the European project.

          Keep paying our taxes to EU club that openly states it dislike of the UK. No wonder they want mass immigration to change the face of Brtian!

    • acorn
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      The UK price, pre-tax, for industrial electricity is quite high, and the UK applies very little tax compared with most of the EU. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/File:Electricity_prices_for_industrial_consumers_2014s1.png

      UK Natural Gas prices are competitive, again with very little tax applied http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/File:Natural_gas_prices_for_industrial_consumers_2014s1.png

      This one will be particularly interesting for some Redwoodians http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Migration_and_migrant_population_statistics

      • stred
        Posted May 6, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        According to these tables,the basic price of electricity to industry in France and Germany is about 2/3 or less of that in the UK. And this is before the coming huge expansion of offshore wind, wood pellet and French latest design nuclear.

  2. Richard1
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    That’s very robust and I quite agree but are the Conservative leadership really now on board for abolition of green subsidies and a return to a proper market in energy?!

    • David Price
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      The Cameron manifesto suggests not with the commitment to meet climate change targets and no mention of stopping PV and non-wind subsidies. Also, we should assume a Cameron government will continue to enact and gold plate EU mandates such as the banning of diesel vehicles.

      Many people switched to diesel for the original improved economy and CO2 savings only to have governments now turn round and heavily penalise the choice at the motorists expense.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      Richard 1

      are the Conservative leadership really now on board for abolition of green subsidies and a return to a proper market in energy?!

      Please do not hold your breath on it

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    “Conservatives have pledged to build no more onshore wind farms with subsidies.” yes but they are going ahead with offshore wind which make even less financial or engineering sense as they cost far more to build, maintain and connect to the grid than land based ones. There is also still grant support for PV on land which is also economic nonsense in most cases.

    When/if it ever makes any sense it will need no grants at all. Why was Ed Davey employed/retained and Owen Patterson fired. It is like putting me a Mathematician/Physicist now Engineer in charge of lecturing on the finer point of Beowulf. Though I would make a better job of that that Davey does of his.

    Cameron, who set out to create a “no longer a Tory Party” used the green crap drivel as his main tool. It has cost billions in taxes, higher energy prices, cost thousands of jobs, frozen some pensioners and damaged competitiveness.

    Had Cameron take a sensible pro-science and real engineering line he could have attack Miliband for this complete lunacy. As it is he is just the same.

    On 16 October 2008 Ed Miliband as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, announced that this Act would mandate an 80% cut overall in six greenhouse gases by 2050. It was complete insanity (as every honest, numerate & sensible scientist and engineer could have advised). Despite this all but a handful of these “no longer Tories” under the dreadful “modernising” Cameron supported it too.

    This is the problem you get with a leader who is more interest in PR stunts, photo ops with huskies, lies & spin, rather than the economic and scientific reality. Nature and the laws of physics (or economics) will not change because Cameron has some taken some nice pictures of him with huskies on ice, wind turbines and fields of PV cells.

    How much has his moronic happiness index cost so far for example.

    How much electricity did his daft wind turbine in non windy Notting Hill generate PA £30 worth perhaps? If he were truly green he would have pointed out that such wind turbines generate so little energy that they do far more harm than good. But he is not it is all a big con.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      The government should stop all the grants being paid for green energy, even the ones already build. Alternatively tax them out of existence. The companies concerned clearly all new the schemes were complete nonsense, and a complete rip off of tax payers and energy bill payers.

      No doubt many MPs made good money as ‘consultants’.

      • acorn
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink
      • turbo terrier
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink


        That just about nails the lid down. Very well said.

        If any of use living in the real world had a product to sell but had no market we would go to the wall.

        Thousands of turbines, solar panels and bio mass boilers being installed and no structure to accomodate the power generated. It reeks of incompetence at the highest level. Still no impact on CO2 levels.

        Cart before horse comes to mind, or the old management syndrome Ready, Fire, Aim. The majority of politicians over the last 20 odd years have learnt nothing. Unless our host gets surrounded by a lot of like minded people I think that the Uk will be mortally wounded in its attempt to manufacture itself out of the mess we find ourselves in by creating jobs and exports.

    • Hope
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Read Peter Hitchens articles on Cameron and the Tory party. I would commend them to JR as well so he has a full understanding why so many people, like me, have turned away from Tory to UKIP. The issue about the Scottish Tory candidate and his suspension over his views on sex education in schools regarding homosexuality is very concerning. It is reported that even Tom Montgmery was surprised by the action of the Tory party/Cameron to suspend him.

      If Cameron were successful on Friday, which I very much doubt, then it would give him a green light for him to change the Tory radically to the left totally replacing New Labour. People like JR would eventually disappear and all new candidates cloned in Cameron’s image. That would be very worrying.

      • Excalibur
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Quite so, Hope. These pervasive leftist manoeuvres by CMD cannot all be dismissed. He is radically left of centre.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          Dear Hope & Excalibur–Totally agree and as I have made clear here and elsewhere many times the man sickens me. Thank God their is UKIP to vote for else it would be a question of who was least dreadful

    • stred
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      The coalition has overseen a huge increase in the construction of offshore wind farms. Presently, we have over half of the total European capacity and Europe is the leading offshore developer in the World. The largest farm is the London Array at 630MW. However the Dogger Bank and Norfolk farms will be 12 times this size and one in the Irish Sea 7 times. The Scots have just approved another big one.

      The cost of producing electricity is twice that of land based and this itself is over twice the cost of conventional. Corrosion is a big problem and repairs have to be done by special ship and helicopter. The masts and rotors have to stand up to hurricane force winds.There is no long term experience in running them.The constructors are German and Danish. What could possibly go wrong?

      However, the customer who will be paying for them will be British. Ed and Dave are proud to be the ministers who decided that the UK will be the biggest offshore wind generator in the World.

      • stred
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        re Wiki- offshore wind

      • turbo terrier
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink


        However, the customer who will be paying for them will be British. Ed and Dave are proud to be the ministers who decided that the UK will be the biggest offshore wind generator in the World.

        Why is it that our leaders all are perceived to be living with and suffering but supporting the Black Dog Syndrome?

        BDS. They have a black dog we have a blacker one.

  4. Timaction
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Isn’t this a competency the legacy parties gave up to the dictatorship some time ago? Then you lot voted in the Climate Change Religion with bells on. You will all just do as you are told by the EU whilst UKIP will struggle to restore our sovereign democracy and Govern on behalf of the British people.

    Reply I did not vote for it

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      To reply:

      Good for you but the vast majority of Tories did, only a tiny handful actually voted against it yet it is complete unscientific and uneconomic lunacy.

    • Hope
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      You are of course correct. I seem to recall that recently the cartel agreed the new EU energy policy. So it mKes little difference if either of them got in. Similarly it is reported today that Clegg would not view an EU referendum a red line. That causes me immense concern and pretty well cements my view that it will not take place or that it would not be fair or balanced in any way. An endorsement to send chills down anyone’s back if they want the UK to return to an independent sovereign nation.

    • Eric
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Repy to reply: You didn’t vote against it, either.

      Reply| No I voiced my criticisms but abstained as it was about to be overwhelmingly voted through.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Dear John–You have said this before but it is too clever for me–You should have voted against–The fact that it was overwhelmingly voted through has got nothing to do with anything and I am surprised I should have to spell that out.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        Even so, why not vote against JR – abstaining sounds more like sitting on the fence rather than disagreeing as a point of principle ?.

        Even if the vote goes through it must be better to register yours (and your followers) disapproval however annoying this might be to the whips office.

        Reply Maybe. I tend to vote against if there is a chance of winning the vote, but do not always vote against where it is a lost cause. I made my opposition to the Act quite clear at the time and have continued to oppose it ever since.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      Indeed John Redwood can only apologise to constituents,on behalf of his party, who are concerned by dear energy as their is nothing he can do. The decisions have been handed over to the Eu.
      He is one of the few sceptic voices in the overwhelmingly Europhile Conservative party.

      Only the outright failure of the Cameron modernising project on thursday and the re-birth of a truly sceptic party in line with majority views offers any hope.

  5. John E
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Despite your best efforts at discussing the issues that matter, this whole campaign has been a disgracefully and depressingly petty one, likely to be remembered more for Ed Miliband’s Moses moment than for any attempt to engage the electorate in adult debate of the important issues in the country or the world.
    It’s as if we are running a balanced budget with a well balanced growing economy in a united country in a world that is at peace. If only.

    • Eric
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      There is little to discuss because so much of the nation’s governance now takes place elsewhere.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        True. They only argue what’s on the head of a pin. There’s only one party talking policy and who wants to Govern on behalf of and for the British people. It reflects the best costed manifesto and no criticism from the msm or legacy parties, so it must be excellent.

    • Hope
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Most of the important policy issues were given away to the EU by the cartel.

  6. matthu
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    “Conservatives have pledged to build no more onshore wind farms with subsidies. ”

    I bet this promise does not include any already in the pipeline, right?

    That’s no better than the Lib Dem promise to have a referendum – but only when additional powers are transferred to the EU – because we know that so many powers have been given away, so many vetoes already given up that there is no need to transfer additional powers to the EU. Powers and vetoes given away with the acquiescence of the Conservatives.

    With fewer than a small handful of exceptions, every Conservative MP either voted FOR the Climate Act or otherwise conveniently abstained.

    Under Cameron the government have endorsed (or worse, gold-plated) every green agenda item emanating out the EU and in the process have ruined our landscape and raised energy prices across the board in a most economically damaging and deceitful manner, blaming “global warming”.

    Blocking subsidies for onshore projects is an irrelevance when there are still projects in the pipeline which will go ahead as planned, when offshore wind projects are even more ruinously expensive and economically damaging than onshore projects and these are still on the agenda and will still be subsidised.

    And furthermore, the Conservatives remain wedded to HS2 which is another ruinously expensive vanity project with the sole purpose of appeasing certain EU colleagues who will very likely provide most of the jobs.

    The Conservatives learn absolutely nothing if voters keep supporting them despite having such serious misgivings about their stance on key issues such as energy pricing, climate change and bowing to the EU.

    If Cameron had had a major change of heart about green crap, he would have made it a major campaigning issue. He didn’t. Leopard. Spots.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Exactly the scientifically illiterate Cameron is almost as full of greencrap as Miliband.

      Miliband as the minister pushed through the climate change act (pissing £billions down the drain for no good reason) is clearly even worse – but only slightly.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Ed Miliband’s commitment to eliminate the vast majority of carbon from the UK power sector by 2030 could cost Britain more than £200bn, according to analysis conducted by The Telegraph.


    In fact given the fact that expensive energy exports jobs and renders UK industry far less able to compete in the world the figure is even higher than this. It also does not even save CO2 output. Not that most sensible scientist are concerned about this anyway.

    • stred
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      This Telegraph analysis appears to assume that electricity consumption will stay much the same. In fact the plan for decarbonising will require heating and transport to be converted to electricity. Page 204 of Sustainable Energy by MacKay shows that, at best,with reduced heating demand, almost half would be electrical and pumped heat ( requiring electric pumps) and a small amount of wood and solar. Whole transport will be almost totally electrically powered. Page 205 states ‘this is nearly a tripling of electricity consumption. Where is all that energy to come from.’

      The statement by Labour that the figures are wrong because it does not take into account carbon capture is really revealing. They appear to have no understanding whatsoever of the subject. Carbon capture has not been made to work and if, it ever does, will require as much energy to capture as it saves CO2. Has Their dim leader approved this statement?

      Another point missed is that Eural went out of his way to follow Gordon and pledge more subsidies to the Scots if they voted to stay in the UK. Now we have to pay for their ridiculous huge wind generation while providing them with cheap backup, as they are closing their big coal station. We could have refused to build the grid or take it, leaving them waiting for the wind to blow.

      Lastly, the coalition has agreed to build diesel backup generation, at great cost to the consumer, just when another bunch of greenies is working to make us scrap half our diesel cars and most vans and lorries.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      If you think back to last October, there was an EU Summit at which Cameron was suddenly presented with a completely unexpected, peremptory, demand for an extra £1.7 billion towards the EU budget. The impression given was that Cameron had been quietly enjoying his dinner and interesting conversation with his EU colleagues when a waiter came over and plonked this bill down in front of him without a word of explanation, no wonder he was furious!

      And the Telegraph pronounced that Cameron must stand firm over this shocking attempt to extort yet more money from hard working British taxpayers:


      And, lo and behold, by dint of his brilliant negotiating skills Osborne secured a massive discount on that outrageous bill, or so he claimed.

      However behind that smokescreen the reality was that the EU Summit was not about the EU budget, indeed the word “budget” did not appear anywhere in the published Conclusions:


      Instead it was about setting what was described as “the world’s most ambitious 2030 climate energy policy”, to which Cameron readily signed us up, presumably in between his expostulations about this sudden extortionate demand for more money which had come like a bolt out of the blue.

      And given that the EU target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is binding, and the EU target for the share of renewable energy consumed is also binding, it would hardly make much difference whether Labour passed a new domestic law on it, which is the nub of the Telegraph’s complaint against Labour today, or their favoured Tory party just did it without passing any such new law.

      • acorn
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Denis, have a read of http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/biblio/documents/2014/AL/COM_2014_730_en.pdf . Then see ONS Public Sector Finances March 2015. Looks like we don’t have to pay up till September 2015. It’s all smoke and mirrors as usual.

        Reply Yes, useful text. The UK said it would pay nothing last year and that is what happened. The bill falls due this year minus full rebate.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          You miss the point that the EU Summit was actually nothing at all to do with the EU budget, but that manufactured row provided a good smokescreen for Cameron signing us up to “the world’s most ambitious 2030 climate energy policy”.

    • Hope
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Gold plated by Cameron, he could have changed the Act but CHOSE not to. He allowed Ed Davey to further the goals of the EU at our country’s expense in business and in households. If anyone disagreed with Davey he would call them names or give them a label. All typical socialist stuff really to prevent open debate. We had the same with the EU and immigration. There is no substance so they resort to frightening tactics. Clegg lost the EU debate. In fairness to Clegg, Cameron has run away from a debate with Miliband, run away from a debate with Farage over the EU and run away from an election debate with Miliband, Clegg and Farage. Quite cowardly.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        If I was Cameron I’d run away from Farage as he would easily wipe the floor with him on any policy subject. EU? Immigration? Foreign Aid? Taxes? Human Rights? Defence Spending? Police Budgets? Asylum? Budget Deficit?
        So many established politicos in the wrong party! Cameron is rightly known as the “Heir to Blair”.

  8. Martin
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Another issue not discussed is Heathrow Third runway.

    Whoever wins/coalitions the election will have the report by Mr Davies. Will the new government do something or will it be shelved like the others as countless nimbys run off to the lawyers job creation scheme called judicial review and the appeals game.

    Its not unlike energy policy. Lots of people against fracking, nuclear, wind farms etc. Reports, courts, appeals……

    Result – do nothing as usual.

    Reply I expect either a Cameron or Miliband led government to resolve the extra capacity issue post report.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      A five or six runway Heathwick hub is needed urgently.

  9. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I am not experiencing/seeing cheaper gas or electricity with VAT on. Just a bit of cheaper transport fuel that is gradually creeping back up….with a mass of tax added.

    Very expensive and complex boilers incl. installation with VAT on.

    Something that is a life necessity and taxed. And is a political game.

    Don’t expect to see a significant change anytime soon.

  10. JimS
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    A little thought:

    If the climate is changing, (why doesn’t matter), how do we know that the wind will continue to blow, (sometimes), and the sun to shine, (PV output down to 20% of max. when it is cloudy)?

  11. agricola
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Not a lot . Milliband started it, expensive energy that is, Cameron continued it with the enthusiastic assistance of ED Davey, his new friend. It is all dictated by the EU and we know that none of the above wishes to upset them.

    Fracking has become the reluctant virgin, and no politician seems capable of making a decision lest it upset their chances of power in Upper Littlepuddle. Typical incompetent British inability to do anything with decisiveness outside the military.

    The greens are there to give a lighter side to politics bringing farce to the table. One of the few things the Brits are good at. I predict it will continue as an area of indecisive nonsense whoever forms a government.

    I wish you well during the next few hours and hope to see you back in the Commons as a voice of common sense in the usual sea of verbal flatulence. Thank you again for the opportunity we have had to express ourselves.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      I wish you well during the next few hours and hope to see you back in the Commons as a voice of common sense in the usual sea of verbal flatulence. Thank you again for the opportunity we have had to express ourselves.

      Fully endorse that one.

  12. A different Simon
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    “…. no-one will build a modern efficient gas or coal station if they are not allowed to run it when the wind blows.”

    Fossil fuel generation which produces more than 780mg / kWh was banned by Mr Miliband’s Climate Change Act which was fully endorsed by the Conservative party .

    This was done specifically to outlaw any new coal .

    Neither germany’s new coal plants nor the best ones being rolled out in China can get anywhere close to this .

    Thus thanks to UK law , not EU law , modern efficient coal plant cannot be run at any time – whether the wind is blowing or not .

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Mr Miliband’s Climate Change Act which was fully endorsed by the Conservative party .

      ADS. Not too sure it was fully supported by all the Conservative members.

      I think that our host supported by a few that eventually grew to to just over a 100 have voiced their concerns over the last few years

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Today’s Telegraph has an interesting contribution to this subject:
    “Ed Miliband’s commitment to set a legal target for decarbonising the UK power sector by 2030 is likely to cost upwards of £200bn, according to analysis conducted by the Telegraph……… All political parties (apart from Ukip) support the 2008 Climate Change Act which commits Britain to reduce emissions by at least 80pc from 1990 levels by 2050. Analysis by the Department of Energy and Climate Change has shown that, to hit those targets, there must be significant decarbonisation of the power sector by 2030. The Committee on Climate Change has set a target of reducing carbon intensity from 450g of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour to 50g by 2030. ”

    The only difference between your party and Labour in this regard is that they want to make it a ‘legal’ target.
    The main point is the one in brackets – UKIP is the only party which does not support the 2008 Climate Change Act.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Some advocates of the Lisbon Treaty were keen to point out that it introduced a new, explicit, commitment to combat climate change. Which indeed it did, by adding this phrase:

    “and in particular combating climate change”

    into what is now Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, on page 132 here:


    More generally, another of the EU treaty amendments that the Lisbon Treaty ordered to be made ran as follows:

    “147) Title XX shall be replaced by the following new Title and new Article 176 A:



    Article 176 A

    1. In the context of the establishment and functioning of the internal market and with regard for the need to preserve and improve the environment, Union policy on energy shall aim, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, to:

    (a) ensure the functioning of the energy market;

    (b) ensure security of energy supply in the Union; and

    (c) promote energy efficiency and energy saving and the development of new and renewable forms of energy; and

    (d) promote the interconnection of energy networks …”

    and so forth.

    Perhaps this was one of the national policy areas that Hague had in mind on November 12th 2007 when he said this in the House of Commons:

    “… we would have a new treaty in force that lacked democratic legitimacy in this country and in our view gave the EU too much power over our national policies. That would not be acceptable to a Conservative Government and we would not let matters rest there …”

    Which formulation was repeated subsequently, including as a pledge in the Tory manifesto for the EU Parliament elections in June 2009, just months before November 4th 2009 when Cameron announced that after all he was going to “let matters rest there”, he was going to cave in and swallow the Lisbon Treaty whole.

    Or maybe Hague didn’t have that in mind at all, because he was content to see the energy policy of this country being largely predetermined in Brussels and because he actually believed all the nonsense about “climate change”, and even accepted the foolish notion that we could make any significant contribution to “combating” it by shutting down swathes of our economy?

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      What really annoys me about all of this legislation from the EU is that the public are the last to learn about all these agreed laws etc. We are suddenly told what is going to happen and what we aren’t allowed to do. How many of the general public realise that diesel cars and gas boilers are off the agenda? The UK is being taken to court over emissions and what will the result be? More legislation and more punishing actions which will make people’s lives harder. I noticed that fuel prices are going up at the pumps and I expect taxes will be raised on things like fuel and ‘green’ taxes and so any reductions in income tax will be wiped out anyway. As usual the working classes will bear the brunt of it all.

  15. alan jutson
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Wind and Solar power may be ok as an addition to conventional power generation.
    To subsidise this expensive form of generation, and at the same time close down more efficient, less costly, and more reliable power generation is simply daft, given they have to be kept running on standby “just in case”

    We may have gained a fraction in local air quality, but at a huge cost financially, for millions of people.

    Yes investigate alternative methods of power generation by all means,but let the private sector do that, and reap any rewards or losses.

  16. Bert Young
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Low cost energy is a basic driver to our manufacturing sector – large and small . The price that our goods sell for is a major determinant ; jobs and the economy depend on it . We must make our own decisions on this matter and keep the EU out of it .

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I see that there have been many adverse comments about IDS’s interview with the Daily Telegraph, in which he had the brass neck to try to put the blame on UKIP voters if the United Kingdom was to break up. As now seems quite likely to happen, thanks above all to divisive actions of the Tory party.

    One question I would put to this supposedly unionist Tory politician is why he would be prepared to join forces with the separatist SNP against another unionist party.

    Because it is a matter of simple arithmetic that the reviled SNP could not defeat Labour in a Commons vote without the active support of the Tory MPs marching through the same lobby with them, and therefore any disproportionate power or influence over a minority Labour government which the SNP did enjoy would exist only because the Tories had decided to give it to them.

    I ask again, JR, would you personally be prepared to do that?

    Another question would be whether he thinks the public would welcome another general election in, say, July, precipitated by the Tory party siding with the SNP.

    Reply I always think it best to judge each vote on its merits and against the political background of the time.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I think you are right, but your party whips may not agree.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Iain Duncan Smith was quoted in the Telegraph as saying that:” for 24 years I have campaigned for a referendum on the European Union.”
      He must have forgotten that in October 2011 he actually voted in the HoC AGAINST such a referendum in order to keep his cabinet job.
      Is it any wonder so many of us don’t trust the Conservative party?

  18. Atlas
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I genuinely believe that the Greens think the lights will not go out with their policies. This demonstrates a lack of knowledge of scientific rigour – perhaps something to do with the education policies of the last few Governments?

    Off topic:

    1) The Miliband ‘tablet(s) of stone’ moment caused much mirth in the household in an otherwise bland election campaign…

    2) IDS’s hectoring in today’s Daily Telegraph has convinced the other half to vote UKIP (she was wavering between the Tories or UKIP). Boris as a leader would be needed to change opinions.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Another shocking revelation in the Telegraph today, that the Labour party is thinking ahead to what it will do in the likely event that it doesn’t win an overall majority.

    Or, as the Telegraph likes to put it:

    “Ed Miliband’s plot to become Prime Minister – even if he does not win the election”.

    I suppose one could substitute “David Cameron” for “Ed Miliband” in that headline and it would be just as accurate, or is the Tory leadership giving no thought at all to what would happen after the voters had returned another hung Parliament?

    No similar “plot” to keep David Cameron as Prime Minister “even if he does not win the election”, possibly through a military coup are we to subconsciously suppose?

    Tell me again how the “out” side could possibly win an “in-out” EU referendum, when the voters were bombarded with this kind of totally dishonest black propaganda not only from the Telegraph but from almost all the newspapers and the broadcast media.

    Reply One of them has to be PM!

    • Hope
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      No, it is the choice of the public. People should vote what they believe in and NOT be allowed to follow the agenda of Cameron. Very undemocratic reply JR.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        IDS declaring today that a vote for UKIP is Eurosceptics signing their own death warrant.

        My estimation of the man has gone down.

        This is clearly untrue as a vote for UKIP in a strong Labour seat where the Tories are weak has to be a good thing.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Technically that is not true, a majority of MPs could choose somebody else and the Queen would then appoint that person to head her government. Of course the practical problem would be that there is no “somebody else” who could build majority, cross-party, support, or at least not one who springs to mind.

      Reply The winner out of Mr Cameron and Mr Miliband will stay as leader and be PM

  20. Vanessa
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    What you fail to mention in this article is that the government has contracted millions of Diesel Generators “farms” across the country to kick in when the wind and sun fail, as backup, making the people who own and run them a great deal of money.

    We now know that diesel is a very nasty energy and it is dangerous to breathe its fumes, but, of course, it is low in CO2 emissions. Why doesn’t Ed Davey (is it?) tell the truth about what he is doing to the energy of this country.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


      ED tell the truth? You must be having a laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Because few of them know how to tell the truth about anything. I am always sceptical when I hear them say ‘Let me be clear about this’. I always add, ‘Yes, as clear as mud’. Sums it all up nicely. What a mess we will be in come Friday morning. Nobody has told us the truth about who they will want to govern with and the thought of another election or another Scottish referendum makes my heart sink.

  21. English Pensioner
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Whilst I am broadly in favour of privatisation, the privatisation of the utilities (or perhaps the way it was done) has been a disaster. We now have the lowest reserve generating capacity ever and, in spite of energy saving measures, electricity consumption is rising due, one presumes, to a rising population and all the extra electrical gadgets. We have heavily subsidised but erratic “renewables” and I recently read that one Scottish company producing reliable energy from non-renewable sources is not prepared to increase it’s standby capacity to cover the loss of wind energy produced by other companies without a subsidy.
    This seems quite reasonable; surely those companies producing energy from the wind should be obliged to provide the stand-by plant for when the wind isn’t blowing (or is too strong).
    So it seems we are reaching the stage of having to provide subsidies to produce energy when the wind blows, and even more subsidies to produce energy when it doesn’t!
    Total madness.

    Reply Privatisation was very successful in the early years, when relative market freedom created substantial spare capacity for safety, and lowered prices. In recent years massive subsidy and intervention has changed all that, and the green agenda has forced closures of power plants leaving us much tighter in capacity.

    • A different Simon
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      I agree John .

      It is the intervention of politicians which has been a disaster for the energy markets .

      It used to be said that in a democracy , the electorate gets the Govt they deserve .

      Now after two and a half decades of social engineering , dumbing down of education and mass immigration , LibLabCon have got the electorate it always wanted :-

      – an electorate which has very little Britishness about it and no longer attempts to vote in Britain’s interest .

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      We need a nice big tax on developers and land owners to get some of our money back!

  22. oldtimer
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I read in the UKIP manifesto that they propose the repeal of the Climate Change Act. This is the most sensible policy on offer.

    The only “debate” on energy I recall was held on the BBC, chaired by Andrew Neill. The time was mostly spent spouting hot air and advocating unrealistic policies. The Conservative representative, Matthew Hancock, was unimpressive and at times seemed out of his depth.

    As things stand UK energy policy is a disaster zone. I see nothing and no one on the horizon who is or will be in a position to do anything about it. The Green agenda is driven by propaganda impervious to the impracticalities of what is advocated.

  23. Eric
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Dear John,

    The Tories are as committed to expensive energy as all the other legacy parties, and the Greens.

    Reply I’m not

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply,
      There you go again distancing yourself from your party’s policies and yet telling everyone to vote Conservative.

  24. Hefner
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Ridiculous and Luddite. There was only 9.3 % of total UK energy provided by wind farms in 2014.

  25. Shieldsman
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Have you read your manifesto?
    It confirms your commitment to implementing the Climate Change Act.
    The fact that the CO2 reductions cannot be achieved without the lights going out and industry being priced out of the market is of no concern to the technically illiterate nincompoop of a politician who followed orders from Brussels and wanted to please the environmental lobby.
    The Conservative Party is treating the Public like children in its dirty sleazy campaign – vote for Cameron or get the bogeyman (Miliband).
    On this policy they are both bogeymen, and as I do not approve I have voted for the third common sense way.
    If Cameron could be trusted and your policies were sound, there would have been no need to resort to such tricks

  26. ChrisS
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    In Poole Bay we are fighting a rearguard action against the huge Navitus Bay offshore wind farm which will be even more heavily subsidised than the onshore ones.

    It would completely spoil the outlook from all of the resorts in the area including Poole and Bournemouth and a real hazard to navigation. All the flashing warning lights will add to light pollution and do harm to the Wessex Astronomical Observatory as well.

    We simply don’t need anymore unreliable sources of energy. What we do need are more cheaper Nuclear stations like the 59 units the French have built rather than the single very expensive one that is currently still in the planning stages.

    75% of the electricity used in France is produced reliably, safely and without harmful emissions by their chain of nuclear stations.

    Unfortunately the Lefties can’t see past their opposition to all things nuclear and we are going to be penalised in our wallets for years to come because of all the Green Crap forced upon us.

    Whatever happens on Thursday, we have to ensure that the subsidies for all of the planned Scottish Wind Farms are cancelled. After all, It’s English Taxpayers that are going to have to pay for them.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Could we be that lucky in Scotland. We are blighted with them like no other area in the UK and the SNP will not listen to common sense or what the public want. So many of these wind farms go to appeal and the public don’t stand a chance. All democracy in the planning system as gone to hell. Loch Ness is to be surrounded by 500 turbines. How’s that for a national party protecting it’s natural assets? For God’s sake we need help in Scotland to stop this and the only way is to stop all subsidies for wind.

  27. ian wragg
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    …”They shut down too many power stations”…. Who did John,
    Who was in power when Didcot was shut down and the main transformers shipped to Germany for use in a new COAL FIRED station.
    Who has been instrumental in changing Drax to burn wood which is shipped from America at great expense and in diesel powered ships.
    Who was in power when fracking was made impossibly difficult to placate the green blob.
    The same rabid Europhile party that promises to renegotiate our deal with Europe but will give no indication of what is being renegotiated.
    IDS says a vote for UKIP is a suicide note. He voted for the stupid CCA and that was the most expensive suicide note in history.
    It’s rather ironic that Nige has taken a 2 page advert out in the Telegraph which makes far better reading than the musings of the quiet man.

  28. ChrisS
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    On Friday morning, if I were David Cameron and I had just achieved the largest share of the vote and had more MPs than any other party, I would make my first phone call to Nicola Sturgeon.

    I would offer her immediate and full fiscal autonomy for Scotland as well as devolution of all matters other than defense and foreign affairs and undertake to move the nuclear deterrent from the Clyde within the 5 year term of the new parliament.

    I would also agree to a further referendum on independence but only if England, Wales and NI vote to leave the EU in the 2017 referendum.

    To cover the £7.5bn black hole in her budget, I would offer to legislate to continue the payment of this amount but it would be reduced each year by 20% to allow her time to grow her economy as she suggested she could do to cover the deficit.

    In return, she would simply have to continue the SNP’s established policy of its MPs not voting on English matters and they would need to abstain on legislation for boundary changes and equal devolution for England.

    This would effectively call her bluff, neuter her call for an end for austerity across the UK as a whole, remove the hated Barnett formula and offer the Scots safeguards over the outcome of the EU referendum.

    If she rejected the proposal, she would have no right to say that a Government without Scottish representation would be illegitimate.

    • Hope
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Very good. Cameron needs you in his negotiating team, he could negotiate a p155 up in a brewery!

      • A different Simon
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        He may well have negotiated his parties p45 though .

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      But if as you imagine the Tory party had won the largest share of the votes that would have been on the manifesto it presented to the electorate, and Cameron would not have any kind of democratic mandate to make offers to the SNP which departed so wildly from that manifesto.

      • Chriss
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        In the scenario I have suggested I am sure English voters would be very supportive of dealing with the SNP in this way.

        England gets the economic policy it voted for
        We end English taxes being transferred to Scotland
        We get true EVEL and solve the WL question for good
        We no longer have to put up with SNP racist whinging and their blaming England for their own failings.
        Only a true centrist (Blairite) Labour manifesto would ever be able to command enough support to win an election in England.

  29. ian
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Liberals were the main party of government from 1850 till 1918 and in that time formed 4 coalition government with the con party, by 1922 a new party came along called the labour party which took most of the liberals seats in parliament leaving them with 30 to 60 seats, the labour made showing in the 1924 and 1929 with mr macdonalds. By the war the liberals form a other government with con party but only had under 20 seats, for the next 65 year even joining with SDP could not get over 17 seats. 2010 was the best showing for the liberal party with the social democrats with 57 seats but has now been thrown away by uni fees. From 1945 it been all con party and labour party.

    I see now new party coming along called UKIP just like like labour did at the turn of the 20th century, the con party is using every tactic it can to stop this party from gaining votes, the best one is labour and snp tactic, trying to frighten people into voting for the con party at the GE.

    I see one of the biggest protest vote of all time coming in the local election for UKIP and that is where the two main party are devolving power to after this election and that is the place to be for gaining power in the next 10 years.

    The con party is going the same way as the liberal party through coalition governments, not won an election since 1992, the people do not believe in the con party no more, they gave Scotland the vote on independents to break up the union and using that to try and win this election, the con party is the new liberal party that what they mean by reform of the conservative party and will go the same way as the liberal party down the pan.

    As for windmills, the con party has workout it can build more windmills offshore at twice the cost of on shore ones with less protests. long live coal and gas.

    Reply The polls and commentators think the SNP, Lib Dems and DUP will all win more seats than UKIP, so it does not look like Labour in the 1920s, more like the SDP in the 1980s.

    • Mondeo Man
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: ” The polls and commentators think the SNP, Lib Dems and DUP will all win more seats than UKIP, so it does not look like Labour in the 1920s, more like the SDP in the 1980s.”

      Yes. But UKIP could well have more votes than the SNP, LibDems and DUP combined.

      Can you not see how useful a strong Ukip party could be to the Eurosceptic cause within a Tory party determined to remain unsplit wets&dries for the sake of party loyalty over loyalty to country ?

      Had Ukip not been so successfully (and dishonestly) maligned as racist and right wing then they would be taking more votes from Labour by now.

      Far from IDS’s claim that a vote for UKIP is suicidal I believe the truth is that a UKIP vote going Tory is. The vote will be abused and unacknowledged as a pro referendum vote. It will be seen as support for David Cameron.

      Reply As far as I am concerned a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for an EU referendum and a vote for justice for England. I expect Conservatives elected to the next Parliament to be strongly pushing for the referendum.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply–When it comes to UKIP you never say it quite the way it is. In life one has to know what one is trying to do and what UKIP has been and is trying to do is simply to become established–nobody expected a huge number of seats as you well know.

      Reply On the contrary some UKIP supporters who try to dominate this site made bullish forecasts around the time of the European elections.

  30. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    What about the massive multi billion wave project on the River Severn? I thought that was in the Conservative Manifesto? Am I wrong here? I do hope so.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink


      Think it has been transferred to Swansea and Cardiff.

      Now called Tidal Lagoons.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        Alan–Wave and Tidal are very different animals

        • alan jutson
          Posted May 6, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink


          “Wave and tidal are very different animals”

          Agreed to a degree, (both rely upon the natural tides with water being guided through turbines) but thought the Seven barrier had been scrapped due to possible silt build up fears.

          The projected tidal/lagoon projects in Swansea and possibly Cardiff, have now taken up the challenge.

  31. They Work for Us?
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    My local Conservative MP has a fairly large majority, has voted for every pro EU measure and supports the green religion. These views are not generally supported by the people I meet in normal every day life. We need a proper right of recall by constituents so that a local MP is at risk of sacking by his constituents for not doing what they tell him to do. Until Politicians are no longer free to do as they like then there will be general disillusion with our politics. I think the Conservatives may muddle through on Thursday, let us hope there are some UKIP MPs as well to keep the Conservatives honest. If they do muddle through then the 1922 Committee or other body that represents senior Tory MPs should visit Cameron and tell him that this is the second time he has led you to a near defeat and that there will be a leadership election in ………..(soon) ie enough is enough.

    Reply Your local candidate had to seek re adoption as prospective candidate which would have been approved by local Conservative members.

    • ChrisS
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      That is one of the problems under FPTP in seats with a big majority. A relatively small group of pro-EU and Green Crap activists could choose and sustain a candidate whose views are largely at odds with those of local voters.

      To vote out a candidate in these circumstances is extremely difficult for any other party.

      UKIP members throughout the country could have made better use of their time had they joined or remain in Conservative associations and concentrated on voting down pro-EU candidates.

  32. Common Sense
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    If you remove the “subsidy” for nuclear (waste and clean-up)
    If you remove the “subsidy” from coal (no import duty)
    If you remove the “subsidy” from gas (no import duty)
    Without the market distortion, on shore wind is cost competitive without subsidy.
    Level the playing field and let the market decide.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted May 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      That might be right but wind is still not reliable and cannot provide base power. We need stability and wind does not cut it.

    • stred
      Posted May 6, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Commonsenseless. So tax coal and gas, but leave wind untaxed and it becomes competitive. And ignore the fact that the latest highly expensive nuclear for Hinkley Point includes clean up cost and is still far less expensive per MWh than offshore wind. Green sense indeed.

  33. ian
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes in the GE but what about council elections, you are busy winning GE because of money factors and believing your party members wealth could go down, you have forgotten about council election, that where all the power is going to after the GE. that where UKIP will build its power base like labour did with the unions. Big protest vote coming not in the GE but in local election and UKIP will go forward from there to win the public over for 2025 2030 elections, this only one election with many to come, your party is slipping badly, should have won the last election and should of won this election easy but you are not, why.

    Reply Interesting shift of focus. It’s votes in the Commons which count most.

  34. ian
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    The snp is about what the labour party used to be before new labour in the 1990s and the con party is the new liberal party after no ifs no buts took over the party with wet&mad, the new labour party will lose support along with the new con party.
    The tuc will become tusc that”s trades union socialist coalition with snp under their wing and the left of the labour party because the tuc calls the shots and the snp will move south.
    The con party is with the lib/dems, so the only party on the right is UKIP.

  35. ian
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    For your party to stay in number 10, you need over three hundred seat and nick clegg to win his seat, if nick clegg does not win his seat the lib/dems votes will go to labour.

  36. fedupsouthener
    Posted May 5, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    If we can get rid of Davey and replace him with Helmer (UKIP) then we may get somewhere. They are the only party who can see the harm this green energy policy is doing. You only have to come to Scotland to see that the whole ridiculous wind crap is out of control. The millions of pounds of subsidies paid to turn off wind turbines up here is scandalous and yet there are over 2,000 more waiting for approval. The SNP are a disaster in many ways but over their energy policy they are lunatics. Of course it helps that the English and the rest of the UK have to foot the bill for all the subsidies but if Scotland went alone they would really feel the pinch if they had to find this money themselves. We need a strong and sensible person in charge of something this important as too many people are being pushed into fuel poverty and the economy of the UK will suffer unless something gives. This is why so many people are turning to UKIP. Good sensible policies and not afraid to speak out about the insane situation we are in at the moment.

    • Hefner
      Posted May 6, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      “We need a strong and sensible person” , you cannot be talking about UKIP’s Helmer. Can you give some examples of his “good sensible policies”, if possible costed?

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted May 6, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        No I don’t have the time to find costings and you are just as capable of doing so. All I know is Roger Helmer has looked at all the options and agrees with many energy experts WITHOUT VESTED INTERESTS and has come to the conclusion that many of us have that the wind and solar industry is a rip off. With over 5,000 turbines approved in Scotland alone and all the subsidies being paid for not producing as well as being given to ensure energy is between 2-3 times expensive as conventional fuels it has become a cash cow for landowners and developers alike and all know that they can only ever produce intermittent power whilst cluttering up the countryside, making life a complete misery for many residents and making sure that energy intensive industry moves away. It doesn’t take a degree in science to see that what he says is echoed by many experts in this field.

  • 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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