The costs of greening

Scottish Power have this week published a partial costing of how much the UK will need to spend in order to achieve the government’s stated target of zero net carbon dioxide from human sources by 2050.

Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens wish to accelerate this timetable. Glasgow plans to reach net zero as soon as 2030, and Liverpool by 2040, so these cities with a few others need to speed up their plans to convert current activities to hit their targets.

Councils and local bus companies can press on with replacing diesel and hybrid buses with electric vehicles. The state owned railway can carry on its expensive electrification schemes to switch more trains to all electric. The government can push the electricity industry harder to switch over to all renewables or carbon free generation. All of these come with a substantial public sector as well as private sector cost.

In two of the largest areas, cars and homes, individuals and families will need to meet most of the cost. The Scottish Power report tells us they think we will need 25 million electric charging points for electric cars to complete the transition. The Scottish government plans to phase out all diesel and petrol cars by 2032, with the UK government doing the same by 2040 where there is no quicker devolved government timetable. Their estimate of charger costs is £45bn, with additional costs to expand electricity output to meet the much enhanced demand. Individuals will have the investment costs of the vehicles to contend with.

The charger points will be partly financed by the private sector. I assume individuals will be responsible for the costs of chargers at home. Energy companies may put charger points into present filling stations or other suitable properties. Supermarkets and other companies and institutions may make public provision. Doubtless there will also be a taxpayer expense for various public sector charging points.

The Report says that 22 million homes will need to switch their current heating systems largely based on gas to electric powered heat pumps. This could cost £192 billion. Much of this cost will presumably fall on the consumer. I trust there would be financial help for those on low incomes as new boiler and heating systems with heat pumps are very expensive items if and when this becomes compulsory.

The UK has announced there will be no new gas boiler heating systems installed after 2025. There will be a substantial cost early in the next decade to retrain many heating engineers into the new technology.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on all this, and in particular to know who wishes to be an early adopter of the new domestic heating systems recommended.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Pominoz
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Sounds like mas lunacy has infected the decision makers at the top. Those junior dare not tell them how stupid they are for fear of losing their jobs, or the future prospects.

    • A-ha
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      “Sounds like mas lunacy” There does seem to be something in the air…
      It’s the obsessiveness, for one. The rush headlong too.
      People glueing themselves to objects in their scores, doing sit-ins atop train carriages and on top of aeroplanes, camping in city centres when they have homes in which to sleep, bursting out in tears of anguish without any perceivable external threat. Coming to believe everyone over the age of 25 is an evil witch set on their doom and some older ones behaving like children and saying “I’ve never done anything like this before” with a silly smile squatting on street pigeon droppings and singing and shouting all day. Maybe that’s it.
      But Parliament behaving in the same manner in all things.
      We, if historical research serves me well, are on the edge of a new era indeed but it is not the Green one, that : is merely the pre-hysterical signs of something very remarkable. Here we go!

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        In times of economic uncertainty you always see these cults develop amongst the upper middle classes. A lot of the Extinction Rebellion crowds great grandparents would have had the same blind certainty that Stalin’s Russia was mankind’s salvation.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          This is nothing to do with cults, but with the artificial creation of demand in the economy.

          “The UK has announced there will be no new gas boiler heating systems installed after 2025. ”

          Isn’t sovereign, European Union-free law a wonderful thing?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

            Carefully forgetting that the EU has set targets for air quality and CO2 emissions on member states which have to be achieved by a target date otherwise big fines will be imposed.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 26, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            So the point of leaving the European Union is so that the UK can set its own, far less realistic, and more difficult targets?

            Interesting approach as ever, Ed.

          • margaret howard
            Posted October 26, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink


            “Isn’t sovereign, European Union-free law a wonderful thing?”

            And it’s only just started:

            “A leaked paper has raised fears over workers’ rights after Brexit, according to the Financial Times.

            The document – drafted by the Brexit department – is said to show the government plans to diverge from Brussels on regulations, despite pledging to maintain a level playing field.

            The FT says the paper also “appears to contradict” comments by Boris Johnson on Wednesday – when he said the UK was committed to the highest possible standards for workers’ rights.

            The shadow Brexit minister, Jenny Chapman, is quoted as saying the document confirms Labour’s “worst fears”. The Brexit department has declined to comment.”

            Reply Untrue as the government has said

          • Edward2
            Posted October 27, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

            In your first post you said the UK has decided new gas boilers will not be allowed in the UK after 2025.
            Claiming this proved the UK was a sovereign nation.
            I proved you wrong as usual, because the decision to do this derives from EU environment law based in treaty obligations.
            What policies the UK decides after we leave the EU will be up to our government voted in by the UK voters.

        • Hope
          Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

          Booker has many good thoughts on this subject. Trump is spot on to leave Paris Agreement. The UK shouldmdo the same and scrap th Climate Chamge Act garbage. The group think is without reason or basis.

        • Mitchel
          Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          All those little Pavel Morozovs out there just waiting to report their relatives for any incorrect thinking!

          Solzhenitsyn in his Harvard address “Warning to the West” (June 1978) predicted that we,too, would have to go through all this.

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            agreed solzhenitsyn’s harvard commencement address is essential reading for anybody who considers themselves remotely right wing. JR you should read it too with regard to the ‘establishment media’

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        A-ha – You are right. Normal people going about keeping the country running are looking on aghast at the antics of both the green movement and Parliament.

        I have been working solidly with White Van Man for the past four weeks fitting a luxury bathroom to a middle class house. A return for all the mate’s rates I’ve had over the years.

        The first thing that has struck me is the sheer hard physical work involved, the next the total embuggerance of problem solving unforseen issues lurking beneath floor boards and in stud walling, not least the problems in parking the van and getting around traffic.

        The irony is that the mum and daughter of this household are Extinction Rebellion supporters ! They’ll luxuriate in a pristine, minimalist bathroom totally unaware of the dirt and grime over which it was built.

        They are sitting atop two branches, the environment and commerce and they are sawing away at both.

        They are also sawing away at the trunk of the tree, which is the consent by which we are ruled. We are fast losing respect for our ruling middle class by their hypocrisy.

      • Hope
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        In Con Woman this week how an academic was forced out of her job at a Canadian university because her work found there was an increase and stable polar bear population which went against the green lobby brigade agenda of a shrinking ice cap emergency rubbish. So independent academic research cannot be allowed unless it fits in with a false narrative to go green.

        We also learned from NASA this week, producing graphs and figures, that the ozone hole is the smallest it has been for ten years. This also not fitting the narrative of crisis emergencies and other sensational language to create something that does not exist or has not been proven beyond doubt.

        Cameron had his husky moments to get elected irrespective of fact- everyone loathed Brown so there was no need to use this angle. Mayhab followed by Johnson swallowed the zero carbon tablet that will cost us a fortune.

        This is against a back drop of China and India massively using coal fired power stations producing many more times the amount of electric the U.K. will ever need or produce. With no sign of stopping either! Again, another article in Con Woman providing the facts. It is utter madness.

        JR, your successive bunch of left wing virtue signallers that run your party try to be ‘modern’ by moving left on everything but are wrong on every issue. From the EU, immigration, crime, economy, taxation, gay marriage, transgender brainwashing of children, big state intervention in everything: telling how to think, what we can say, what we can eat etc.

    • Nig l
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Who would have thought that the cost of solar panels and wind generation would have come down so much and the output increased so frankly can anyone know where technology will be within these time scales nor the cost.

      What I do know is the smart meter scandal and in another way HS2 shows government incapable of changing direction dumping unnecessary cost on the taxpayer and I fear that is what will happen with the what the Scottish Power report talks about. What about commercial gas users and transport? You haven’t mentioned animal farming and the methane output.

      Aspirational targets. Certainly but as you would in business be prepared to change indeed that could mean bringing them forward, as the technology evolves.

      For instance HMG is putting all its grants into battery research yet much of what is happening elsewhere is looking at fuel cells. In fact there is zero emission taxi company running its fleet on hydrogen. We bang on about charging points but it might be hydrogen filling stations that are necessary.

      You mention cost about re-educating some engineers. What about the gas industry, loss of revenue to the exchequer, closing/upgrading petrol stations etc. I suspect a long list and more zillions.

      Finally if you want me to support anything more than incremental change you need to convince me and I suspect many others that what we do will make a global difference in the light of uncontrolled population explosion, vast deforestation, massive use of coal, continuing consumption in the US, the list seems endless.
      At present I feel it is once again that easy target, joe public that will take all the pain.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      “Nuts” was the word that came to my mind. But I can live with your description of it as “mass lunacy”.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Got it in one. Stopping new gas boiler installation by 2025 is madness, a punishment for hundreds of thousands of poor, and elderly people. What alternatives are promoted? Electricity has to be generated, how? Better to work on replacing bus and lorry diesel engines, and tighter enforcement with stop checks on petrol vehicles. Politicians anxious to keep votes, and not use common sense!

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Fred H, I have belatedly replied to your comment re the green aspects of transeurasian rail on the 23/10 thread “Leave on 31 October”.

        You clearly have no idea what you are talking about!

        • Fred H
          Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

          Mitchel – then please inform. How are the long train loads of goods replacing ships and aircraft, travelling from the far end of Asia to the west end of Europe, going to be fuelled?

          • Mitchel
            Posted October 26, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            Air and sea have to be fuelled too-rail does it more efficiently!

          • Mitchel
            Posted October 26, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            Also,the Saudi and UAE wealth funds announced last week they are going to invest up to $300m in Russian rolling stock.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        And aircraft gas guzzlers. We’ll not mention shipping.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Group think insanity and pathetic virtue signalling by idiots with zero understanding of science, engineering, maths, logic or reason. Pissing other people’s money down the drain for no reason at all.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        What about the benefits of cutting CO2 are there any? The extra C02 actually increases plant and tree growth and green the planet. The immense costs of lowering C02 output means we have far less to spend on sensible things such as the ones outlined by Bjorn Lombard.

        CO2 is only one of millions of thing that affect the planet’s climate. We cannot even predict the suns activity for next month. The climate’s sensitivity to CO2 atmospheric concentrations has been exaggerated massively by the alarmists.

        Anyway the solutions wind, wave, electric cars do not really work even in CO2 terms. So the benefits of cutting C02 are in fact probably negative.

        Costs massive benefits a huge net negative – not a good plan.

      • Ed M
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink


        The scientific evidence is largely against what you say (although I am NO supporter of the greeny anarchists). I think you’re shoe-horning your arguments about science to fit into a slightly OUT-DATED and FUTILE economic vision for this country (although I strongly agree with you about nuclear, getting more young to study Maths / Engineering, Computer Studies / Coding etc .., and I want taxes brought right down but I don’t think the way you propose – elsewhere – it will work as well as you think). I think your economic vision served this country to jolt us out of the socialism of the 1970’s – but you’re now about 30 years behind / out of date (in my view). You need to focus more on building up our high tech / digital industry so that our economy is more balanced like in USA and Germany, and also INCREASING productivity, high skills, quality exports etc .. (our over-reliance on the City – important as that is – nearly brought our economy to meltdown in the last recession, and we’re still not completely out of the woods yet – we can’t risk that again).

        Plus, most importantly, you’re OUT OF TOUCH with the YOUNG (and middle-aged) Tories who see climate change as a real concern (whether you agree with them or not). If Tories like you keep saying what you do, you will alienate YOUNG Tories – and LABOUT + GREEN WILL GET INTO POWER (do you want that?!). And the green issue will just get bigger and bigger as time passes.

        Moreover, the issue of the environment is a GREAT BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE MONEY! (which you completely miss). Not for government to hand out grants to put up solar panels or whatever, but to help and encourage the James Dysons of this world to create the great green high tech companies of the future – making loads of money for this country, raising productivity, with important knock-on effects in the high tech / digital industry (hardware, software + services) in general.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 26, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          Yes but the young, like Greta, are mainly just deluded and have no real understanding of the science. They have been brainwashed by schools teaching bogus alarmism, charities and governmental organisations like the dire BBC. It is essentially another religion with the hell/heaven vision on earth rather than in the afterlife.

          I could indeed make money in the crony, green wash industries or lobbying government, helping myself to taxpayers cash but I do not approve of these daft tax payer subsidies and so would not want to do so.

          Get the government out of the way then productivity will improve greatly. We will do fine in the areas you list and indeed elsewhere.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        That can only be the Tories to whom you refer.

        It is their government.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 26, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

          Well indeed the Tories are to blame, but Ed Miliband gave us the insane climate change act. Only a handful of MPs sensibly did not vote for it.

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        I remain convinced (in fact I am ever more convinced with each passing day) that we are all living in a version of ‘The Truman Show’, and that these absurdities are introduced to see how we ‘lab-rats’ react, and to discover at which point we rebel and shout “ENOUGH !!!”

      • MG
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps someone could try selling new clothes to these Emperors. It might at least give us all a laugh.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Great reply life logic

    • Richard
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      At current 415ppm we already experience over 87% of CO2’s full potential warming effect on the atmosphere.

      IPCC cited models all assume increased water vapour which they rely on to force warming. However, NASA has monitored moisture in the atmosphere since 1980 – and water vapour has awkwardly NOT increased despite the higher levels of CO2 in the air.

  2. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Pie in the sky thinking. We will need to treble electricity generation to cope and domestic bills will become unaffordable.
    Another reason to vote out the silly virtue signalers.
    I think politicians should be educated.

    • steve
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      “I think politicians should be educated.”

      But not by sitting them down and having a conversation.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      I once quipped, when the Liberals were running energy policy in the Coalition government, that I would be more comfortable that the lights would stay on if a comedian like Rowan Atkinson had the job instead. Then I looked at Rowan’s CV and saw that I was right!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Indeed he would be far better at it he read Electrical Engineering at Newcastle and then an MSc at Queens Oxford. More entertaining too than all those daft MPs that become energy/climate change ministers without even knowing the difference between energy and power. The current transport minister even think battery cars save CO2!

        Even if we paid him £millions to do it would it save many £billions he is keen on cars perhaps he could to Transport too. It could not be any worse that the recent batch of transport ministers could it?

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      You should have a read of Dr Tim Morgan’s blog. Whether we go out full renewables or not the cost of energy is going to become rapidly unaffordable for most people. I doubt they they can treble electricity in the near future if they cannot even switch people over to ‘smart’ meters. Better start stacking up on candles again

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Well we do have battery (or wind up) LED torches now that are a bit brighter, better and rather safer than candles. Stack up some wood to dry out too for winter is perhaps a good plan! Also shift your investments to moveable gold, paintings or similar (in case Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP get in to destroy the economy in short order and then to thieve your assets and investments off you).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Preferably educated in physics, engineering, sound economics, business realities and maths and not law, PPE, geography, gender studies and the likes. Or doing lobbying for pressure groups and vested interests, virtue signalling, tying people up in red tape or pushing the politics of envy while self publicising.

      All but a handful of MPs voted for Ed Milibands insane and hugely damaging climate change act. Anyone who did so is clearly unfit to be an MP or take any sensible decisions on energy policy or anything else.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        university challenge is worth watching this week to see brasenose with its ppe students get crushed by imperial

    • JohnOfEnfield
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Obviously. And will this electricity be generated by anything other than fossil fuels? I’m also mindful of the fact that most car battery recharging will take place overnight “when the sun don’t shine”.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        The extra electricity could only come from Gas/Coal/Oil or nuclear but nuclear will take quite some time. Wind and Solar provide rather less than 1% of total world energy demand currently and it is not on demand power nor cost effective (without huge subsidies) in most cases!

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      I’ll add a P.S. to Ian’s post. I know he has worked in electricity generation for the vast majority of his working life. So knows what he’s on about.

      • acorn
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        The need to treble electricity generation is nonsense. Without V2G (vehicle to grid) demand will increase by 2040 by circa 18 GW = 30%. With high take up of V2G, it will be circa 8 GW.

        A street full of 7kW home chargers will put considerable strain on forty-year-old supply cables under the pavements.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      As Metternich,distrusting the influence of intellectuals in politics, wrote:”I wish for the good of humanity there could be learning but no learned men.”

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Interesting article on the BNE(Business New Europe) website this morning indicating how ESG(Environmental,Social and Corporate Governance) considerations are affecting energy company valuations:”BNE 24/10- Enel Russia sells it’s biggest coal-burning power station as it goes green.”

      Enel is the largest majority foreign owned power generator in Russia(it’s Italian).As a result of selling this coal-fired power station (the largest such in Russia),it’s income will fall by 37% (EBITDA from RUB 17.2bn to RUB 10.8bn) and free cash flow will “moderate” from RUB 4.6bn to negative in 2021…….yet brokers have increased the share price target by 8% as a consequence!

    • A.F.Fanculo
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      As Ian says ‘politicians should be educated’ preferably in anything but PPE which is Oxbridge’s version of a Mickey Mouse degree subject

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        I tend to think is the types of people who are attracted to read it that is the main problem. Some sensible ones though – Tony Abbott and Ann Widdecombe for example but not that many.

    • Dave Ward
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      “We will need to treble electricity generation to cope”

      We (not that “WE” have any say in the matter) will need to do more than treble it – peak heating demand can be nearly SEVEN times the current peak electricity demand:

  3. Prigger
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    “an early adopter of the new domestic heating systems recommended.”
    No, I’ll hang about until I find which way the wind is blowing.

    • Nig l
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Yes. Current, no pun intended, of an air based heat pump £5 – £15k and a significant lag in heating the water, making use in especially winter, questionable, that is assuming you have space and are happy for an ‘eyesore’ metal box against one of your external walls.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      😂😂 lets hope the wind lows else it’s going to get pretty chilly!

    • Mark B
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      And if the wind isn’t blowing ?

      May I cheekerly suggest you use candles? It was all the rage hundred years ago 😉

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      I remember when they forced condensing gas boilers on us. They were expensive and needed an (often expensive) water outlet provision (which often froze up cutting the boiler out). They were less reliable and saved about as much energy as was used by the engineers vans who had to come out rather more often to fix them!

      • NigelE
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Come off it Lifelogic! The early condensing gas boilers (80’s and 90’s) did indeed suffer from a range of problems but the modern ones are as reliable as the old style boilers, but with significantly improved efficiency. Mine is now 15 years old and still going strong (but realistically probably coming tot he end of its working life).

  4. Dominic
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    This issue is not about carbon-free energy generation. This issue is about politics and the emergence of an arrogant political class that is psychotically obsessed with the brutal imposition of their perverse and manipulative political ideas on those they choose to despise, the general populace

    There’s only one way to halt the advance of these abhorrent people that have infected our politics and that is to stop voting for them and their parties.

    I have already decided never to vote Conservative again. They have become a bastardised and deceitful version of a once great party obsessed with the implementation of ideas that are in direct conflict with the values they once espoused

    At some point, the population will hit back at the constant hectoring from these grotesques. Their propaganda, their indoctrination and their aims are an offence to decency, truth and honesty

    They are forfeited the right to our trust. Indeed that trust’s been taken, abused and spat right back in our faces

    • Pominoz
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink


      Your first paragraph sums it up perfectly. The arrogant ‘elite’, so much ‘wiser’ than the masses, already controlling, for their own personal benefit, the lives of humble Europeans, see control of the whole world as a sensible progression. Fortunately, Donald Trump has, for the time being, put the brakes on that in the U.S.

      Brexit, which must be properly delivered, is an absolute affront to their mindset. Those in the UK who work with ‘our enemies’ and seek to sell out our democracy, see themselves as the natural leaders (controllers) of the proletariat in order to gain their personal share of the bounty.

      Sanity must, eventually, prevail, but the fight will be tough. None of us must yield.

      • margaret howard
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink


        “The arrogant ‘elite’, so much ‘wiser’ than the masses, already controlling, for their own personal benefit, the lives of humble Europeans”

        Hm, personally, the next time any of my family need an urgent, life saving operation, I should prefer a member of the ‘elite’ university educated experts to do the procedure rather than a ‘humble European’, however nice and deserving.

        • Pominoz
          Posted October 26, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink


          The university educated surgeon is not trying to control our lives and he will, no doubt be assisted in his operation by many humble Europeans.

          Hope the operation will be done privately, rather than within the dire NHS.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 27, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          A ridiculous comparison Margaret.

    • William Pentelow
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Absolutely agree on everything you say.
      This is probably the worlds most elaborate con trick.

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        I agree with you William. It is a con trick….money making and controlling.

    • Sue W
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Dominic – I couldn’t have put it better myself. How do you make electricity anyway without carbon?

      • steve
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Sue W

        Rub a ballon on your cardigan. Though likely the balloon will be inflated with Co2 anyway.

        But you highlight a point…..every living mammal including humans produces gases. Whether via technology or simply being in existence, it cannot be avoided.

        If Co2 was a man made problem then China and India would be the obvious culprits. Green baloney should be sold to them, not us.

        • Sue W
          Posted October 26, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink


          Thank you – you have made me laugh, which is no mean feat in these desperate times.

          Unfortunately, production of both the cardigan and the balloon will have involved carbon as will their transportation to the shop I bought them from, and of course my journey to make said purchase. Furthermore, with the abolition of plastic, I may be reduced to attempting this trick with an inflated animal bladder balloon, if indeed we are allowed to have animals.

    • Hope
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Portillo, Widdecombe and other who have been life long conservative activists have come to realise this.

      There is no conservativism in the Tory party they shifted left of New Labour years ago. We read in Con Home how CCHQ have learned nothing and are still centrally selecting candidates despite Johnson recently claimin for his bid to become leader that this would change! Again, all air and bluster to get elected. The days do the heterosexual male getting selected, promoted are over. No more meritocracy for the Tory party it is far too modern for that!

    • Dave Ward
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      “At some point, the population will hit back”

      But it won’t happen until it’s too late! We regularly see that single issue protest groups (such as XR and their followers in government) always find people to organise and take part in mass protests and marches, but “Ordinary People” just shrug and carry on. I’ll wager that it won’t be until those ordinary people find they can’t buy a proper car, or have gas fired heating and cooking installed in their new home, that the penny drops in large numbers.

      David Cameron was supposed to have said “We have got to get rid of all this green crap” – what a pity that he didn’t…

      My sister recently tried told me that “I could live for another 20 years”. All I can say to that is “Not in this country, if I can help it” – I won’t be able to afford to, for starters!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      So right Dominic. We’re all sick of our virtue signalling politicians.

  5. Mark B
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    From the Spectator titled, “Does decarbonisation make business sense ?” we learn that:

    To try to make sense of it all, The Spectator hosted a dinner at Conservative party conference . . .

    As well as energy economists, MPs and policy wonks, we were also joined by Scottish Power, the sponsors for the dinner . . .

    Taken from other sources:

    ScottishPower is a subsidiary of Spanish company Iberdrola. Iberdrola is a Spanish public company and a global energy leader, the number-one producer of wind power . . .

    There is nothing wrong with any of the above but I think this issue needs further investigation.

    Whilst it is important to take care of the environment, when it comes to matters of government policy, particularly policy that has far reaching impact such as mentioned here, I think we have to look at the real motivation behind it.

    If we were to rid ourselves of all fossil fuels, irrespective of what others around the world do, it would not make that much a difference to the global climate. It would however remove competition in the energy market and restrict choice. It would also make xxxxx profits for companies such as State owned companies such as Iberdrola.

    Just saying.


    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      It’s the wind and gas subsidy milkers again. This may explain the gross underestimate of costs. The CCC realises that the cost of electrification and hydrogen conversion to industry will make it uncompetitive and that taxpayers will have to pay. The cost of hybrid heat pumps will be much higher and these require much higher grade insulation, triple glazing, air exchangers etc. Estimates based on trials are over £100 bn. The cost of building 75000-15000 large offshore wind turbines, which have to be replaced every 20 years is unlikely to be a third of those that we are now paying for on our bills. The cost of the continued use of natural gas and its reforming to hydrogen along with carbon capture- yet to be made to work anywhere economically- with the rebuilding of the gas and electicity grids will be enormous. The Germans recently put a figure of E7tn on total decarbonization.
      Government is following UN agendas to make the west pay for the equalisation of the rest while China and India expand. The exaggerated problems with the warming by a degree or two, which happened naturally in the past, is being hyped by big money, paying for the camping expenses of dimwitted hysterics.

      • stred
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        Estimates based on trials are over £1000bn.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      JR when you were involved in privatisation of the utilities in the 80s, did you ever imagine the contradiction that they would simply fall into the hands of foreign state companies, EDF from France being another one?

      Rep[ly Yes, and proposed a competition policy that would not allow such state control. In some cases we also put in golden shares to block unwanted takeovers.

      • A.F.Fanculo
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        We allow the French and other EU countries to buy up our utilities. Can you ever imagine the French allowing any of their companies to be sold outside France. Other than Volvo which now owns Renault trucks.

    • Hope
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Read the article in Con Woman about the statistics relating to China and india coal fired power stations it drastically brings the enormous stupidity of the currently Tory Party and politicos at Westminster. Drop in the ocean does not begin to describe it.

  6. steve
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the green lobby attention seekers are going to pay for my central heating system to be replaced, and pay me massive compensation for making my car unusable ? are THEY going to provide me with an electric car that can be recharged in the same time it takes to fill up with petrol ?

    …..I thought not.

    So my thoughts are thus; Unless they’re prepared to meet the cost of this big switch over and make sure no one is at detriment they should just bugger off and stop interfering with things, they have no right.

    They should take their baloney and sell it to China and India who’s combined population exceeds a third of global population. The fact that they instead try to palm it off on our small island just confirms what it is – a con.

    Also heat pumping has a major flaw – it takes heat from the outside air and circulates it throughout the building. Anyone with half a brain can see what’s wrong with this, i.e winter time, and the fact that nature decrees you don’t get something for nothing.

    Next thing you know the meddling idiots will be suggesting we all live in a world of rainbow coloured wool, what with heat pump technology failing because there is no heat to pump in the first place.

    So no thanks, I’ll continue with the AGA, the car, and on a point of principle generate as much carbon as possible.

    • English Outsider
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      The heat exchangers I’ve seen take the heat from the warm air going out and use that to warm the cold air coming in. As you point out, not such a good deal in winter – but better than nothing.

      A friend in Germany has gone the whole hog- maximum insulation, triple glazing, heat pumps – and finds the house needs very little fuel to keep it warm even in the depths of winter. His winters are considerably colder than ours.

      Against that, a study – I think in Cambridge but I can’t find the reference – seems to show that external insulation in the English climate is sometimes counter-productive – the warmth of the sun can’t heat the fabric of the building and that cancels the gain derived from insulation.

      Combating AGW – or combating EROEI if you prefer – isn’t going to happen by prescriptive and non-cost effective measures imposed on a sceptical population.
      It’ll happen by price. Preempt that with a further shift from direct to indirect taxation and then let us sort out our own solutions for our home heating.

      But that would need a rational debate. Looking at what Sir John’s colleagues are getting up to in Westminster at present the only prediction one can confidently make is WE ARE DOOMED. In so many areas that freezing to death must be accounted a minor hazard.

      The chances are I’m marginally more doomed than you. My heating is wood and I hear noises being made about banning that.

  7. TooleyStu
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Going carbon neutral is a scam, and will not be good for the environment.
    Plants live on carbon, and reducing it will not be good for the greenery.
    Farmers actually introduce CO2 to help plants grow.
    If you really want balance.. plant more trees.

    If you want to help the planet, get disposable plastic reduced.
    The ‘climate change scam’ is not the way to go.
    Most thinking people with access to the internet have seen through it already.

    Tooley Stu

  8. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    And I, Sir John, would be interested in your view of the Small Modular Reactor project. It looks capable of generating electricity at half the cost of the Franco-Sino Sizewell reactor. Do you think the government should give the project more support?

  9. sm
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Some thoughts: no more gas boilers, what about gas cookers? What about maintenance of gas boilers? What about the maintenance and safety of gas mains?

    Charge points for cars: you can’t just trail an extension lead from your 13amp plug in the sitting room through the window to your car, both for technical and safety reasons, so how is that going to be sorted? If charging has to be done in an area open to the public, what is stop the potential for vandalism or misuse?

    Sorry John, I join your other posters in sincerely believing that an overwhelming number of the powerful and political throughout the world have gone completely off their collective rockers.

  10. Wil Pretty
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Ice ages and warm interglacial are natural events. 90% of the time the planet is in an ice age. When that happens Britain becomes uninhabitable. We should not feel guilty about living in a warm climate.

  11. Derek Henry
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Taxes “might” have to go up and it is not a certainty that they will.

    a) If it is not planned correctly and there are not enough skills and real resources available when both the government and the private sector spend. Surely it is not too much to ask that we can achieve this and prevent bottle necks and supply side constraints ? Private sector spending can cause inflation.

    b) Taxes might have to be applied in some areas of the private sector to achieve a) to get both the skills and real resources where they are needed.

    Government borrowing is supposed to “crowd out” private investment.

    The current reality is that on the contrary, the expenditure of the borrowed funds (unlike the expenditure of tax revenues) will generate added disposable income, enhance the demand for the products of private industry, and make private investment more profitable. As long as there are plenty of idle resources lying around, and monetary authorities behave sensibly, (instead of trying to counter the supposedly inflationary effect of the deficit) those with a prospect for profitable investment can be enabled to obtain financing.

    Under these circumstances, each additional £ of deficit will in the medium long run induce two or more additional £’s of private investment. The capital created is an increment to someone’s wealth and ipso facto someone’s saving. “Supply creates its own demand” fails as soon as some of the income generated by the supply is saved, but investment does create its own saving, and more.

    Any crowding out that may occur is the result, not of underlying economic reality, but of inappropriate restrictive reactions on the part of a monetary authority in response to the deficit.

  12. Iain Moore
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Our betters in Parliament having made the almighty cockup by incentivising us to buy diesel cars, then deciding it wasn’t such a brilliant idea, have somehow taken comfort from their fallibility and decided the whole economy is deserving of their interference, with their ambition to not just leave car makers and diesel car buyers carrying the cost of their meddling, but this time crash the whole economy, and have every household pay the price for our politicians virtue signalling enlightenment to global warming.

  13. Alan Warhurst
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Electrical lighting organisations are desperately striving to develop new diode lighting systems to use less energy, but will this be enough to stop the lights going out. Without the capacity to generate more energy from wind and solar, I doubt it. These isles are blessed with some of the most powerful tidal movements in the world, but is anyone pursuing this potential vast energy source. You see, you have to follow the money trails to see who is gaining from our idiotic policies on wind and solar.
    As for educating our MP’s, take a look at the opposition front, middle and back benches to see if you think that is possible. As for the government front bench, they may be educated, but there isn’t a grain of common sense amongst them.

  14. alan jutson
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Had a new gas boiler and pressurised hot water system fitted 6 years ago.

    Last boiler was still going after 35 years, but I waited until the newer range of boilers became more reliable before I purchased.

    Surely you mean no new diesel and petrol cars will be SOLD after 2040, existing models can still be run, as long of course as filling stations are still around for fuel.

    Remember the battle between Betamax and VHS, the best system lost out then, I will try not to make the same mistake with a rather more expensive purchase.

    I will not be opting for any new technology until its proven, by then I will be probably too old to care, but I wish those who are still surviving all the best !

  15. They Work for Us?
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    No one has voted for this and politicians must be told it is a vote loser that will hand them their P45s. Time and time again, when will we learn that politicians cannot be trusted to make major decisions on our behalf. Decarbonisation should be the subject of a referendum after proper balanced public debate. The BBC news and current affairs will need reform and privatisation first.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      So too is giving away billions of pounds to countries with their own space and nuclear weapons programs via so called aid. No one voted for it and it was not in any manifesto. Yet, people in this country whose taxes pay for such largess are expected to sell their home to pay for their care. Makes you wonder how all those countries we give aid to manage to look after their old and infirm ?

    • Fed Up
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Forcing homeowners to take on huge expense to replace gas boilers with outside electric pumps (that will almost certainly break down – think about the UK weather etc) will be up there with the dementia tax in terms of popularity.

  16. Iain Gill
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I say the cost of upgrades to the national grid are being missed, new generation capacity and charging points will not work without significant spend on the national grid to move power from one to the other.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Dear Iain–Seen very little on what’s planned for apartment dwellers–are extension leads going to be joined end-to-end and dangled out the window, down Heaven alone knows how many floors, then draped across the pavement? Would these leads have to be wound back up in to each apartment, else what as regards storage? Or are trenches to be dug for the cables out to the charging points at allocated parking places? Sounds an expensive nightmare. Or perhaps all apartment blocks will have to be demolished??

  17. Ian Wilson
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I have never in my lifetime seen such unjustified hysteria as that over climate and the associated drive for ‘zero carbon’, which most real scientists reject. Parliament’s objections that three days is too short to debate Brexit contrasts with its scandalous waving through of zero carbon legislation in 90 minutes.

    Only last month 500 professional scientists working in the field of climate or related disciplines wrote to the UN stating there is no climate emergency, most climate change is part of natural cycles rather than CO2, and stressing that the modest rise in CO2 is beneficial in raising food output (ref Clintel). Yet Parliament ignores real scientists and prefers to listen to a schoolgirl.

    Thus the whole cripplingly costly drive to ‘zero carbon’ is not only based on a false premise of CO2 causing warming but it will be damaging in curbing food output when there are 6 million more humans to feed every month. Your title might be changed to “The Cost of Curbing Greening” as zero carbon will reduce plant growth.

  18. Chris Dark
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    My son lives in a small flat that has only electric heating, consisting of one tiny panel on the living room wall and another in the bedroom. The so-called warmth given out is pitiful; his water is heated also by electricity; the bills are quite high. He can barely dry his clothes after washing them, such is the pathetic level of “warmth”. My own home has never had gas; there is no pipeline in the village so it’s all on oil or LPG. It would cost a fortune to install an entirely new set-up, and wreck the old house in the process….and we couldn’t afford it as elderly.
    Politicians never think these things through properly; they never consider the huge disruption caused to people. So while the British shiver up against their shiny new electric panels and fill the country with wind-turbines and other green crud, the rest of the world snuggles up to heat provided by coal, gas or oil. We are descending into a black pit with these plans unless there is a monumental change in thinking.

  19. Simeon
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I believe that sovereignty should be exercised in as localised way as possible. It’s why I think independence from the EU is correct. But one really has to wonder what the point of being a self-determining nation is if, as a country, we’re simply going to follow the herd on ‘greening’. The end aimed for is of (highly) questionable value, whilst the means of getting there requires that massive sums of capital are diverted away from areas where investment is broadly desirable, if not absolutely necessary. It’s obviously and dangerously mad.

    Labour’s economic policies are unquestionably damaging, but greening is an economic policy whose damaging effects would dwarf those of making this country more socialist than it already is. If, has been suggested, outside of the EU, the UK would accelerate it’s greening efforts and assume the mantle of world leader in this, then I suggest a compelling economic argument could be made to remain in the EU – although given the EU’s own greening agenda, we’d be screwed either way.

    Is there any political party that stands against this nonsense? Were they to do so, would they be electable?

  20. formula57
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Technology and government policies change frequently enough to encourage caution in adopting any change and certainly not to spend oneself until replacement becomes necessary.

  21. BOF
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Energy policy in the UK is the result of collective insanity and gullible politicians who have fallen for the greatest fraud ever inflicted on the world. It may well bankrupt the country and will do great financial harm to millions.

    Man made global warming from CO2 is an outright lie and the information is available to anyone.

  22. Wil Pretty
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I used to buy Heat Pumps in my working life. They are most efficient at heating in summer as they take the heat out of the air.
    I expect by 2050 we will be able to purchase modular nuclear power stations from China to supply the electricity for them.
    Whether we will be able to afford them is another matter.
    The rest of the world will still be using carbon based fuels, our industry will be unable to compete with the parts of the world with low cost electricity and our main industry will be tourism.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Wil – – – ‘Come and see the famous London freak show, full of clowns wittering on, with a gowned one bellowing Order, Order every few minutes’.

  23. cynic
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    When most people realize what the green agenda involves, there will be an end to this insanity.
    It does at least show us the ignorance of most politicians, and many scientists, that they support this nonsense.

    • rose
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I think a lot of politicians and scientists go along with it out of fear, not ignorance. It is just like any other oppressive orthodoxy which brooks no dissent.

  24. Lifelogic
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    On of the big problems of heat pumps is they tend to be very expensive to build, install and maintain & also they are very slow to heat up a cold property so tend to have to be left continuously on – which is not very green. They also use electricity which is far more expensive as a fuel than gas. Over all just like electric cars they save little or no CO2. They can only do so if all the electricity supply is low carbon.

    The only practical low carbon source we have is nuclear. We would need rather a lot of new capacity.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Yes you might get circa three times the heat from the electricity (using a heat pump) but electricity costs about three times as much as gas. This as so much energy is wasted at the generator and in transmission. Then the heat pump “boiler” system might cost £30,000 rather than £1,500 for a (usually rather more powerful) gas boiler. Far more to maintain too. You also need to use larger more tepid radiators to run efficiently.

      For these reasons they are understandably not popular rather like electric cars and for similar reasons. They rarely make economic or even environmental sense.

    • acorn
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      I take it you know nothing of the second law of thermodynamics. A one kilowatt heat pump can transfer 3.5 kilowatts of heat from outside a house to inside. That is 3.5 times what a one kilowatt electric fire would produce.

      • Original Richard
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        I don’t have the figures to hand but I do know the transfer efficiency is very dependent upon the temperature difference, the greater the temperature difference the worse the efficiency so heat pumps are not efficient in very cold weather.

        It is not simply a factor of 3.5

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 26, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. When most of the energy is needed they tend to be at their least efficient. Especially air source ones. You need bigger rather tepid radiators too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

        Indeed though it is usually more life 2.5 times in practice but then electricity is far more expensive than gas per KWH and heat pumps are very expensive to install and maintain.

    • Jon Davies
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Would agree with your observations except perhaps on whether electricity is a “far more expensive” fuel cost in the future. The Coefficient of Performance (CoP) on heat pumps is upwards of 3.5. That means at worst 1kWh of electricity can replace 3.5kWh of heat from a gas boiler. Assuming 4p/kWh for gas and 18p/kWh for gas then the fair comparison for gas v electric heating is 4p/kWh versus 5p/kWh. I accept that is 25% more expensive today for the homeowner but in the future it will depend on whether additional carbon taxes are applied and whether manufacturers can deliver a CoP of upwards of 4.0. That could tip the balance. If the carbon intensity of the grid is projected to fall by a factor of 5 by 2035 heat pumps could play a part in a low carbon approach.

      My own view is that a fabric first approach to new build housing could reduce heat demand by upwards of 80% – in something like a PassivHaus there is little heating required so the debate can be more pragmatic. I certainly wouldn’t want to use a heat pump as the only solution for a gas guzzling old draughty house.

      • acorn
        Posted October 27, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Mostly agree. Basic air source heat pumps in high humidity intermediate climates suffer performance degradation as temperatures drop below +7 C. There are new models that can compensate for this degradation; but, if you have a lot of cold foggy mornings, heat pumps are not an answer.

  25. David
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    It is important to control human impact on the environment. However obsession with climate change and CO2 looks like ignorant group think.

  26. Everhopeful
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Good grief. It isn’t rocket science.
    Corporations aka govts want to boost sales and take global control of their enforced customers.
    So they come up with the idea that THEIR EXISTING PRODUCTS ARE DANGEROUS!
    Said products must be REPLACED…Ker-ching!
    We already have the stirrings of the control they seek with the “extended warranties”and the way cars can no longer be serviced in the driveway. Companies refuse to honour servicing agreements for gas boilers on the grounds that suddenly the boiler is deemed unsafe.
    Soon there will be laws to bind us ever closer to our suppliers.
    It is no secret that for 30 years many, many small companies have been swallowed up by larger ones making over-mighty conglomerates.
    See the political power they now have.
    There is a very interesting Twilight Zone film called “ To Serve Man”. It rings a few bells!

  27. Roger W Carradice
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    Some years ago I joined the Conservative party. Mr Cameron then said vote blue go green. I did not renew!

    • forthurst
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      He actually meant, “vote blue, go brown.”

  28. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    These ideas will all fail because we do not have enough electrical generation capacity and building more has not even started. We are very bad at such infrastructure projects without long delays. If that extra capacity itself has to be net carbon free (ie nuclear power) it will never be built.

    Just a question – how will people living in high-rise blocks in cities have their heating retrofitted to heat pumps ? These require using underground pipes as a heat source/sink.

    • DaveK
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Air source heat pumps

      An air source heat pump is a system which transfers heat from outside to inside a building, or vice versa. Under the principles of vapor compression refrigeration, an ASHP uses a refrigerant system involving a compressor and a condenser to absorb heat at one place and release it at another. They can be used as a space heater or cooler, and are sometimes called “reverse-cycle air conditioners”.

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Air source pumps looking like aircon units outside every flat.

  29. HJ
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It’s crazy to switch away from gas central heating and cooking until and unless all electricity production doesn’t emit CO2 – and remember that if we use electric heating/cooking we will need considerably more electricity. Heat pumps are good, but not practicable for most densely packed housing.

    Gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels in all respects. It creates only half the amount of CO2 as oil or coal. Burning it ‘in situ’ for heating and cooking is also much more efficient (and therefore emits much less CO2) than creating electricity from any fossil fuel (including gas) because the electricity generating/transmission process is only about 25% efficient

  30. ChrisS
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    All of this is cloud cuckoo land thinking.

    Firstly, we would need to build five extra Hinkley Points just to provide power for the fleet of electric cars. That does not include the millions of vans and trucks. Then there is the unknown generation requirement for the switch to electric heating. That could mean another five to ten Hinkley Points, at least.

    Use renewables, the Greenies say, but the indisputable fact is that the peak demand for electricity falls in the winter months when solar output is very poor. The output of our 4Kw solar panel array reduces by an average of 80% in winter. What would happen on days when there is no wind ? Do we all stay at home because we can’t charge our electric car, wrapped up against the cold because there is insufficient electricity to power the heating ?

    I have always believed that the switch to battery-electric vehicles is a cul-de-sac. The future will be Hydrogen fuel cells.

    Are the oil companies going to stand by and watch their business model disappear before their eyes ? They can’t switch their petrol stations to electric recharging points, there isn’t enough room on the forecourts and charging will always take far longer than filling with fuel. They could, however, maintain their business by switching their stations to supplying Hydrogen which they can produce themselves for fuel cell-powered cars.

    Fuel cell-powered cars are well developed and only the infrastructure cost is preventing their introduction. If the oil companies pick up the cost of switching their stations to Hydrogen over 20 years, the cost to the public of installing 25 million charging points would be saved.

    The cars are clean and have no range issues, nor do they have batteries that wear out. The US has developed Hydrogen generation systems that do not require vast supplies of electricity so that is also practical.

  31. Kevin
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The UK’s policy on nuclear deterrence is the subject of political controversy and
    opposition. A nuclear war would devastate this country in an instant, and yet we
    maintain differences of opinion on how to respond to the threat. Is there no
    mainstream opposition to the policies you are describing here? I wonder if
    you believe that the spread of public opinion on this is represented politically?

    • DaveK
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Only 5 MPs voted against the insanity of the 2008 Climate Change Act.
      Reflecting on ten years of the Climate Change Act, one of them Peter Lilley, now Lord Lilley, said:

      “I decided to vote against the Climate Change Act when I read the Impact Assessment which showed that the potential cost was twice the prospective benefit. Ten years later the costs are coming home to roost and the benefits remain illusory.”

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Far more that twice in reality.

    • Duck billed duck
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I like our Country having a nuclear deterrent. But in the hands of Corbyn and his likely crew, we may as well import perfume bottles from Russia and be comradely with are fellow workers and peasants.

  32. Andy
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    It’s expensive. But you don’t mention the cost of not doing these things.

    And the cost of not acting is pretty clear. Towns and cities underwater – including some in the UK. A huge increase in extreme weather events. Swathes of the planet uninhabitable. Mass extinctions. And hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of climate change refugees. And plenty of them will end up here.

    Greening our society makes sense. In new builds triple glazing, solar panels and heat pumps should be compulsory. We can absolutely ban all new petrol only cars by 2025. There are plenty of hybrid and electric options – manufacturers who do not offer them will have to adapt.

    I have had solar panels on the roofs of my last two houses. The first were installed in 2007. They work very well. Do not believe the naysayers. I fully intend to invest in a heat pump soon. This is a much more significant investment and is absolutely the sort of thing people need help financial with. For example loans at BOE interest rate.

    We have a hybrid car – the best vehicle I’ve ever had. Our best vehicle will be fully electric. And the biggest and easiest change you can all make? Eat less meat. Meat is a massive polluter. I have been a vegetarian for 25 years, my wife eats veggie at home. If ever ditched meat for two days a week it would make a massive difference.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Your claims in your opening paragraph are not supported by the 97% of scientists who produce the IPCC reports on climate change.
      Are you now a denier?

    • kzb
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Andy, UK is 1.02% of global CO2 emissions. The UK “Not Acting” will make no sensible difference, it is a few months of emissions growth in China.

  33. ferdinand
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    When are we going to escape from the falsehood of needing to reduce CO2 ? Why are there so many science deniers ? It is quite depressing. I was told last month by a political friend that there is not a single scientist in the House of Commons. What chance is there of ceasing this endless condemnation of CO2 when so much ignorance abounds ?

    • steve
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink


      “Why are there so many science deniers ?”

      Actually it’s scientists who are in on the scam…..they get big EU funding to perpetuate the Co2 lie.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        Indeed many grant seeking scientists are indeed part of the gigantic scam against the tax payer.

  34. Stephen
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Can I keep my storage heaters?

    • steve
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink


      Well I’m keeping my AGA and solid fuel fires. I’d welcome them to try and take them off me.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Well yes until they ban them, but heat pumps are probably better than electric storage heaters (if you have the up front money and the space for them. They should save you over pure electric heating but only over quite a few years years.

  35. Dan
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I believe it is an utterly ridiculous challenge that is driven by virtue signallers and those wishing to be seen as being green. Although I am in no doubt about the dangers of pollution, this sort of thing is not the way to go around sorting it out as all the expense will fall on tax payers and through price rises for essential services. I see no point in having a massive rise in electric vehicles when we do not have the power generation capability on hand in this nation to deal with it. In terms of clean propulsion, I would much rather see Hydrogen fuelled trains and vehicles that are already in production and in use in Germany for one but also in Aberdeen. Hydrogen production is expensive at the moment but we could consider adapting off shore windfarms to produce hydrogen through electrolysis when they are not being used to create energy (so most of the time!) HFC vehicles produce no pollution, take minutes to refill and have a comparable range to diesel and petrol vehicles. As for the £45bn cost, if you put another zero on the end of that you will be much close but probably only halfway to the true cost.

    • John Brown
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately I believe burning hydrogen with its high temperature of combustion produces NOx pollutants and does so particularly when used as a fuel for ice vehicles and this would need to be overcome as well as being rather inefficient in its power to volume ratio.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Producing hydrogen from wind power would be far more expensive still plus it wastes much of the electricity in the process too. Then you waste yet more when you burn it! You might well waste 80%+ of the energy. Far better to use the electricity as electricity at the time of generation.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    So what happens to the millions of drivers who have no off-street parking ? The charging points at service stations will become scenes of road rage as careless drivers will leave their cars in bays long after they have charged up, leaving those waiting to fume.

    Electricity is woefully under provided and fracking has been strangled at birth.

    The truth is that the masses will be unable to afford electric cars and that is the real point of all this. It’s about punishment and domination. It’s an Andy type middle class assault on the working classes.

    Their hatred of us has become evident since the Brexit vote. Yet they have no problem with the projected 3 million increase in population due to immigration over the next 10 years, which makes the climate change efforts a bit like brushing one’s teeth whilst chewing liquorice – it makes the working class extra poor on top of all the green crap cuts and keeps our carbon footprint about the same for all that.

    For the first time I understand how Marxist overthrows happen and why its the middle class that gets it first, though Harry Antoinette is doing his very best to turn us against the Monarchy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Why buy a £30K new electric car when you old petrol golf is a better vehicle with much better range and is far cheaper to run with little depreciation, cheaper to insure and very little capital or interest costs. Plus you can go for 500 miles and fill it up again in a couple of minutes. Plus it will not need a new £15k battery in five years.

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I recently retired and downsized to a 2 bed, 50 year old property. It needed some refurbishment. It had gas fired central heating. I thought about changing to electric underfloor heating. It has a solid concrete floor, not suspended. My research suggested that electric underfloor heating might not be up to the job. That it is okay for background heating but not as your main heat source. And, of course, it relies on electricity for its energy. If we all change to electric heating and electric cars, we don’t have the generating capacity. To accommodate it I would have had to reduce the height of every door. Another option was an air sourced heat pump. This in itself is an easy installation but the associated tanks and controls are hugely expensive and complex and take up a lot of room.

    For individuals the only practical solution, as I see it, is the replacement of gas centrally heated, water-filled radiators in each room with the latest generation of electric convector heaters. I currently have radiators capable of giving out about 10kw of heating. It would have been easy to install electric convectors in each room to provide the same heat output but it would cost me 4 times more to run. And, again, if we all did it, there is not enough electricity generating capacity. Night storage heaters on an economy 7 tariff (do these still exist?) would be cheaper but they are useless in practice. In cold weather the house goes cold in the evening and then you shiver.

    Many modern houses have combi boilers and have no place to put the tanks you need with an air or ground source heat pump. You need a big garden for a ground source pump. Most houses have tiny gardens.

    My conclusion is we are going to need gas fired boilers for a long time yet.

  38. BJC
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    It would seem that the powerful lobbyists have switched their attention to our gullible MPs. I suggest this is more to do with removing the competition and increasing profits as utility companies embark on a lucrative business opportunity that shifts the cost to the consumer again. Ker-ching.

    It plays into Labour’s hands, of course, because it will increase costs despite returning zero effect on overall missions. Does anyone ever truly consider just how tiny this country is (China is 39 times bigger), or that we aren’t surrounded by some invisible shield that protects us from external environmental pollutants? We’re the only animals that produce rubbish mountains, so where are our innovators with the proposals to convert this to a power source? Win/win.

  39. alastair harris
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    There are other technologies which will be cheaper, such as fuel cells. Perhaps government might do better to stick to a more generic policy such as reducing use of carbon based fuels, and let technologies and markets work their magic!

  40. Old Albion
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Politics driven by the hysterical exaggerations of a sixteen year old girl.

    • steve
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Whom I shall hold responsible as and when I can no longer buy petrol.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      Indeed an indoctrinated, deluded and hysterical sixteen year old.

  41. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Every day the sun puts enough energy on the earth to power the whole planet’s energy requirements for a year.

    Maybe we need subsidised solar panels on EVERY roof in the country and the investment necessary to store that capacity. I read recently that 7 huge storage facilities could provide the capacity at a cost of a trillion dollars each. Sounds like a bargain.

    • steve
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Mike Wilson

      BUT…….solar – inverter – deep cycle battery systems work very well on a small scale such as domestic house. I have a 2Kw inverter, and I don’t have any electricity bills for the 13A ring, since it’s off grid.

      Obviously things like the washing machine has to be on grid supply, but my TV, microwave, lighting, internet etc don’t incur energy bills. The hoover is probably the most demanding 13A appliance but my system just about copes with it.

      I also have solid fuel fires and an AGA.

      It all depends how you live and manage energy consumption, but they can cut the electric and gas off tomorrow, I’ll still have hot meals, heating and lighting.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

        If you use washing machines on a cold wash (or with water pre-heated other than by electricity) it does not need much electricity.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Could you tell me more please? What kit have you got? How is it wired up? How much does it cost?

  42. majorfrustration
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    It used to be political correctness now its green issues – lemmings and cliffs spring to mind

    • Eh?
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Ah , I’m not alone in noting the unplanned variegation of thinking lacking focus by any one of its constituents nor even in composite eye perspective. No leader until Boris with remainers holding us back and blinding us with striated nonsenses for own career sake.

  43. Jon Davies
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Considering energy use in the home, there is always a danger when government bet big on backing a specific technology to achieve their policy goals, as often they are back the wrong horse. Better to nurture a number of different approaches and encourage innovation and competition to find the best solutions. As an example, switching the gas network to green Hydrogen (not from fossil fuel sources) needs to be progressed, as it addresses the greenhouse gas emissions concerns for all homes, with probably 10% of the cost to householders of mass replacement of existing heating systems. There are serious projects being worked on including the H21 North of England project around Leeds. From an MP’s perspective please make sure these types of projects are not blocked by out of date legislation.

    Suggesting progressing multiple approaches does not mean I am anti heat pumps. I would happily invest in an Air Source Heat Pump when our boiler is up for replacement in about 10 years, but wouldn’t want to rip it out at the moment as it is just extra cost and disruption. Our new, well insulated home has modest heating demands which are one quarter of those of our draughty old house. Had the housebuilder put in a heat pump and underfloor heating in our new house, I would have been delighted.
    Heat pumps tap into another heat source, to multiply the heating energy. For every 1kWh of electrical energy required, 3.5kWh of heating can be delivered. On a typical house, the energy for space heating consumed would fall from around 11,600kWh per year of gas to around 3,320 kWh per year of electricity. When a heating system needs replacement, it is certainly worth considering upgrading it to a heat pump.

    From a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions perspective, using electricity from the grid for heating rather than natural gas will be beneficial in the future. Grid electricity is on a par with natural gas on GHG emissions, at 210 grammes of CO2e per kWh, and is projected to fall to 20% of that figure by 2035.

    The point about changing the heating technology is that it makes sense to reduce the heat losses first and then replace the heating system; once the insulation is improved then less heating is required. On new build houses, if the PassivHaus standard was adopted then there would be no point in installing a gas boiler as there would not be sufficient need for it.
    Some things that you could do, as an MP, to help address the policy objective:
    1: Ensure VAT is not applied on building improvements which reduce energy use, such as upgrading an existing house to EnerPHit standards. This upgrade typically costs about £60,000 ex VAT. Charging an extra £12,000 to homeowners who are reducing their energy consumption seems counter productive.

    2: Demand higher standards on new build houses, so the space heating demands are closer to 1,200 kWh per year than the 6,000kWh of a house built in 2019.

    3: Encourage the gas grid to switch to 100% hydrogen and allow a hydrogen boiler as an alternative to heat pumps from 2025

    4: Put some money into some demonstrator schemes, maybe converting a thousand homes to heat pumps in a particular area, so that the learning can be shared with all heating installers. That way they may not see heat pumps as a threat to their livelihood.

    • kzb
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Good comments, but surely the 3.5 figure for heat pumps is the best figure and not the year-round average figure? Also, for hot water the figure is well below this as the output temperature is high. Reading around, it seems unlikely that typical domestic users will average 3.5 times. It could be as poor as 1.5 in winter and when hot water has to be delivered.

      • Jon Davies
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        It can be hard to come up with a single figure, as it depends on the requirements of a specific installation. Most heat pumps reach at least a Seasonal Performance Factor (SPF) of 2.5 and a heat pump will have a higher SPF if it is required to mainly heat water to say 35C for underfloor heating than heating it by 55C for a conventional radiator or for hot water supply.

        An average ASHP installation would have an SPF of around 2.6-2.8 and the best designed systems would achieve 3.5 (averag of 2.8-3.2 for more expensive ground source heat pumps). If systems are installed by the million starting from 2025 then the SPF should rise further. The 3.5 average figure is debatable but achievable with the caveat that a system is well designed and installed – something that rarely happens by accident or when organised by government.

        Having many technology options, rather than backing one universal solution, is a far better approach. Let the market innovate to provide optimum solutions.

  44. Julie Williams
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The cynic might quote Clinton,”It’s the economy, stupid”.
    All that money ploughed into industry grown moribund through current production, all the lovely government debt and investment opportunities.
    All those natural resources to be needed to replace existing boilers and cars…….
    while China builds more and bigger coal-fired power stations.
    Who will suffer most in the UK financially?
    The just managing, just about paying their taxes: just over the line for financial support.
    Par for the course with our current Parliament.

  45. Lifelogic
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    We are indeed governed by idiotic donkeys who seem to have zero understanding of science, engineering, economics, climate or reason.

    • Visionary
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      They are supposed to create stability, order. They are now stressors. They are making people ill. Making people confused.
      Boris needs to get Brexit over the line. The line between insanity and sanity. Go for it Boris! You have the one eye.

  46. What Tiler
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I rather wish I was a tad older. I have no great desire to live in the hell these idiots are attempting to impose.

    • Chris
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      All part of the UN Agenda 2030. Very alarming. The sooner we get rid of the globalist cabal aka One World Government zealots trying to impose this nonsense on us, the better. Based on flawed science and, in my view, used to effect a political agenda of concentrating power and wealth in the hands of the few i.e. the political elite.

  47. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I remember Politicians being ‘very clear’ that petrol was to be replaced by diesel whatever the cost. Politicians are pellucidly clear all right, ‘doing something’ and wasting resources on things they believe in blindly. Let’s see them give us the lead – ditch their heating, lights, travel, etc etc.

  48. Alan Joyce
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Electric Heat pumps. Great. A quick look on the internet reveals some of the wonderful benefits that homeowners will be able to obtain.

    For an outlay of between only £7 and £11 thousand pounds we can look forward to:

    Hanging bigger radiators on the walls
    Being cold in a morning as they take ages to heat up
    Wearing ear defenders especially in winter when they need to be on all the time
    No heating at all when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining

    Ah well, that’s progress. I think I will keep my fingers crossed that fusion power is really just round the corner.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Hi Alan

      Are you confusing Actual Heat pumps with something else?

      Ground source heat pumps which are electric, cost the same money as you state to install – but that is close on a one off payment.

      Have the usual size radiators.
      They do not have to heat up as its constant 365 days of the year.
      The noise level is the same as your existing central heating
      Have nothing to do with wind.

      Think of a Fridge/Freezer it cools by extracting heat from inside the cabinet – with a massive great radiator on the back to expel the heat. Your Fridge/Freezer is a heat pump.

      The only question with heat pumps is geology, are you able to bore a hole or do you have enough land to spread it around.

      • Alan Joyce
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Dear Mr. Redwood,

        @Ian Barkham

        Hello Ian,

        Unfortunately, I was confusing ground source heat pumps with air source ones. Nevertheless, some of the problems are common to both systems although many seem down to poor heating system plans and installation rather than inherent design flaws.

        Air source heat pumps are still very expensive though at between £6 and £8 thousand pounds. The initial cost plus the running costs will make many people wince.

  49. Pat
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Me, I’m investing in a wood burning stove, plus wood fired cookers. The fuel is cheap if difficult to collect, but crucially it is not under the control of maniacs.

    • DaveK
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Yet. However since it has now been found that a high percentage of the pollution in our metropolitan leader is caused by wood burners, it won’t be long.

    • stred
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      It is. They are going to ban wood burners because they emit more PMs than cars.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Erm you had better buy before 2022 when the the rules change

    • Mark B
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Shhhhh ! Don’t tell them what we are all going to do, they’ll just ban it !

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Your neighbours won’t be very pleased. We have a handful of woodburners nearby and the adjacent houses can’t hang out washing. The windows also get very dirty.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Traffic fumes/dust, aircraft and wind – – nothing to do with it?

    • eeyore
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s also tax free, carbon neutral and grows on trees.

    • A.F.Fanculo
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately wood is still a fuel which pollutes the atmosphere with smoke. Too many woodburner stoves in my area play hell with my asthma. and we’d be back to the smogs of the 1950’s

    • NigelE
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      And for your average wood burner, the fuel is absolutely filthy, chucking out more NOx, CO and particulates than even brown coal ( beloved and still used extensively by Germans and Poles). Yes, I accept that wood is usually renewable and thus largely CO2 neutral, but the local pollution is unacceptable and heavy. Do you want to return to the London smogs of 19th and 20th century? These existed long before the advent of the internal combustion engine.

      Time to try and understand the science, Pat, and view the whole issue, not just short term attempts to reduce CO2 levels.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Pat your Woodburning stove will be banned eventually. Don’t get too excited.

  50. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The only way this all will happen nationally by 2030 is if the Middle East becomes a complete war zone with no oil shipments and subsequent massive hikes in price. Then we would be back to 1930-1955 when car ownership and central heating were rare; public transport and coal fires were the norm, but the population was half and life more localised.

    Current battery technology and electricity supply will not cope unless it is back to the future.
    Buses, trains and new build properties are sensible targets but for most it would be a less consumer based lifestyle with broader economic consequences, less business activity and less wealth generation. Then that is what the green movement is really about.

  51. hefner
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I’ve got a reversible heat pump in a property in South of France. It works much better at cooling in summer than at heating in winter. This July with outside temperatures in the 40+C range, it allowed inside temperatures to remain below 28C, still warm but bearable. In winter when temperature goes down to 0C by itself it hardly manages to keep the inside temperature around 12C so a wood-burning stove is used during the day. I estimated that the electricity required for the heat pump in summer is about one third what would be needed for a standard cooling unit (likely to be much noisier). Given the location of the property, getting wood is not a problem and is overall again cheaper than what would be required for a full electricity heating system (gas is not available, and people around have given up on oil following disincentives to its use put by the French government in the last fifteen years).

  52. Lifelogic
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Put Lord Peter Lilley and Vicount Matt Ridley in charge of energy and climate policy please. They are sound on the issue and both understand science and reality.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Careful what you wish for. Matt sez the only difference between him and Greta, with regard to man made climate change, is the rate the planet is heating up. He reckons at 1.5 degrees c, St Greta of Davos thinks its 4.5

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

        Indeed he did but 1.5 degrees is, on balance, a net benefit to the climate. So not a problem at all.

        • rose
          Posted October 26, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          And is his 1.5 degrees linked to CO2? Or is it just happening, as it does from time to time?

  53. Tim the Coder
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    It is insanity.
    Not everyone lives in suburbia with a half-acre of front garden to bury the heat exchanger pipes.
    What will residents of tower blocks do? With what will their heat pump exchange?
    And since each apartment will need a heavy duty 45A feed for the cooker, and another 45A feed for the heat pump (small flats, larger ones will need more) this means the electrical distribution of the block will need complete rewiring some 4 or 5 times the current capacity. Kno9ck down & rebuild?

    This brainless virtue signalling is now becoming very dangerous, as the ‘no new boilers’ rule shows. People will not freeze to death without protesting.

    There is a huge latent support for a common-sense approach that supports anti-pollution and economy, but treats ‘zero-carbon’ as the mental illness it is.

  54. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Off topic

    Student loans. This is now a huge black hole in public finances, all to hide real youth unemployment.

    Most young people should not be going to university. Few will pay back their debt excepting those who do degrees useful enough to get decent pay – which can result in doctors being worse off than being on the dole, after taxes, student loans and public liability insurance is deducted.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      I disagree I think that a majority of English plan 1 students and English students post 2008 entry (who were only paying a minimal £3000 towards their degree fees) have been paying their loans off and will be free of their 9% extra graduate tax within 20 and most within 30 years. I believe that’s why Osborne’s treasury tripled the fees and added excessive and grossly unfair interest on the loans (which also then accrued from day one of the loan instead of at the end of the course).

      Our predominantly English Conservative government tripled fees for their student electorate so that none of them can repay it and end up paying their 9% graduate tax for life – some then paying many, many thousands towards their degrees thanks to a punitive 6% + interest (we only charged the Irish 3.8% for their 2010 bailout 3 billion pounds from 2011 when Osborne dropped the rate calling it ‘too high’ whilst raising our own children’s interest payments). Altogether the British contribution to Ireland’s bailout was 7 billion euros, Hague said the initial 5.8% average interest charge was ‘punitive’ Osborne said he’d been arguing for some time they were too high and dropped them just one year later BUT for English students tough!!

      I think we should be told how many English students have paid off their student loans in the past twenty years from before the rates were increased to £3000 per annum in 2008. What % of students are predicted to pay off their plan 1 loans within 30 years? Of those students who won’t repay it what courses were they on at which institutions?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Indeed a huge mis-selling scandal. Over 50% are worthless degrees in fairly worthless subjects for £50K of soft debt, most of which will not be repaid – plus three or more years loss of earnings.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. When you are next dealing with a UK based call centre get the name of the handler and look them up on linkedin etc. You will usually find that they have a degree from a new university. So they have unnecessarily run up all that debt to get a job that in the past required only a few o levels. University prospectuses should have a huge warning written on them stating that ‘coming here will not necessarily get you a decent job when you graduate’.

  55. calnorth
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    The problem apart from the engineering is the political timeline shrink games we are seeing now. 2050 would be a reasonable start and stretch from there. Never promise anything with bad capital/tax projections to match. Just because cars have acquired large batteries suddenly means little and timeline shrink signalling by car manufactures is stupid!

    I’d gladly dump fossil if nuke was abundant now…its not and development and construction lags badly. Nothing much seems to have been learnt from supply/backups via international operations…just because its there does not mean its available.

    I wonder often about the electrical trunk cabling under the streets and associated transformer/switch stations. There is to be a sharp increase in loading if EV cars/transports are rapidly acquired with electrical cooking/washing/refrig/lighting and heat pumps (electrically backed up). Add industrial various. OK, so we have LEDS suddenly but the draw on electrical power overall is increasing with population….enter SMART meter load switching? Climate change (warm variety) don’t seem to work well in N. Hemisphere winter either.

    Too much of this critical energy service is political and open to wrong headed influences.

  56. Norman
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Utter self-destruct madness, masquerading as a worthy cause: see Romans 1:25 for the root cause.

  57. Ed M
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The UK is a nation of pragmatics and entrepreneurs.

    Pragmatists: that most UK people see two extremes: the greeny anarchists, on one hand, and climate-denying dinosaurs, on the other.

    Pragmatists / entrepreneurs: that there is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to MAKE MONEY out of the green issue – as ENTREPRENEURS (CREATING the green technology of the future, as opposed to businesses just setting up existing green technology for example).

    There is CONSUMER and BUSINESS DEMAND for green technology (whether climate change is real or not) – and GROWING and growing. And so we should respond to that demand as a nation of high tech entrepreneurs. Jobs which lead to high skills, high value exports (across the UK and abroad), high productivity, more tax revenue, more sense of patriotism in creating great products – and having a big, positive knock-on effect on the high tech and digital industries (both hardware / software and services) in general. The rewards are BIG – both indirectly and directly.

  58. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    While when I purchase new goods I do consider less power consumption, but unless there is an immense advantage like LED bulbs I do not replace just on power grounds.

    As such all this legislation rests on forcing me to spend extra money. I do not believe the science of climate change and therefore that all of this is a vast waste of resources.

    I question how these electric cars will be charged, most cars are (badly) parked in the road. Therefore some sort of charging would need to be provided to them. People have talked about power from lamp posts but these are too few and would involve trailing cables, here I really think electric cars as a replacement has not been thought out.

    On a different topic of brexit, it is now a farce – the opposition will block a GE, but will (and can) Boris cease payments to the EU?

  59. glen cullen
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    The people are bearing these extra costs for no reason…..there isn’t a problem

    Governments own BEIS select committee and the climate change website fact-checker ‘carbon brief’ and even Jeremy Corbyns brother weather scientist Piers Corbyn all state.

    UK 1970 – 2017 air pollution dramatically down (all ranges) ie cleaner
    UK CO2 emissions down to 1858 levels….that right 1858 level
    UK Historical weather patterns un-changed
    Ozone layer – completely repair by 2030 all by itself
    Arctic ice increasing…..the list goes on

    Source – our own government website and committee reports
    So who is pushing the climate change (tax) issue ?

  60. Ed M
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    TREES! (More trees please!)

    I hope the Tory Party pushes for more trees – millions and millions of beautiful trees breathing out healthy oxygen and providing extra revenue to those in the forestry. 1. Commercially-grown trees all over the country. 2. Non-commercial trees like Oaks etc 3. Trees in our cities.

    Benefits to Country + Conservative Party (in genera elections).

    1. There are economic benefit to those who live in the countryside to develop forestries.
    2. The positive effect on turning CO2 to oxygen.
    3. In return for certain grants, tree planters must grow a certain amount of non-commercial trees.
    4. Non-commercial trees just make the countryside look more beautiful. Sense of British Patriotism. And encourage the culture of trees in general in this country.
    5. Growing more trees in London and UK cities and towns in general.
    6. It is scientifically proven the trees in cities calm people down. Make them less stressful. Reduce Crime.
    7. Trees in cities add beauty to cities, many of which were bombed in WW2 / were partially ruined by terrible buildings in the 1960’s.
    8. Trees in city clean up the environment and add oxygen to the air.
    9. Businesses are more attracted to set up in places that are attractive and healthy to work in. Tress would help here a lot.
    10. Tories would win the votes of lots of the young and middle-aged for whom green issues are really important.

    • rose
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but councils need to be persuaded to plant trees on pavements in town and city centres which costs more, rather than just in grass in parks and suburbs which is obviously quicker and easier. Plant them where there is the most pollution and ugliness, and the most crime.

  61. graham1946
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Another scam for the profits of the big corporates.

    Air and ground pumps in addition to the cost also require bigger radiators, traditional ones will not do as the new systems run at lower temperatures, which will also cause them to rust out quicker.

    No doubt not a problem for politicians on 80 grand a year plus expenses, but not so clever for people on low incomes and the running costs will be horrendous, even if the generators could provide the juice. Look at what we are going to pay for Hinckley point electricity.

    Totally ridiculous and for no benefit to anyone except those providing the systems and electricity and virtue signalers to feel good. An easier start would be to have all new houses fitted with solar panels, but that won’t happen because the gerenators would lose profits.

  62. The Lost Cause
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The numbers…

    We have to switch from domestic gas (or oil) to heat pumps, a choice that exists today but is not popular due to….cost?

    So the costs of installing and running a heat pump system will be larger than current expenditure? Is that correct?

    There is also the question of energy availability – or lack of same. Hinkley is projected to cost more than current generation price, adding how much to household bills? If it gets finished…

    Are the UK workforce properly skilled to fill the vacancies?

    And what would happen if shale gas did meet it’s potential and start to contribute to UK energy supplies…would it be outlawed?

    Luckily it’s only a sideshow – energy supply is just a backwater when there’s important issues to debate (customs arrangements, gender fluidity and keeping betting shops opening in every high street).

  63. Ed M
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Lastly, who would have guessed 20 years ago that smoking would have become so unpopular as it is now (as a smoker, I certainly didn’t). The cigarette companies tried to defend their position. But it turns out to have been a big losing battle here in Europe and the USA. A similar case can be made for the gas-gussling cars of the USA. In the end, consumer demand (whether you agree with it or not), clamps down on these things. And so people in these industries just have to adapt and create new products or technologies to make money from. As far as I see it, the demand for greener technology is only beginning. As more and more people see programmes on TV of Mars Bar wrappings turning up amongst penguins swimming in Antartica and Glaciers melting away (things that you can easily visualise / test for), then the demand for green technology will simply grow and grow over the years / decades. So it’s a question of not whether the Tory Party embraces it, but when and how (and not let the Green anarchists control the agenda).

  64. Everhopeful
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    We have apparently reached “Peak Car”.
    Also sentiment has changed “ I don’t NEED a car!”
    So carmakers have to force car owners to change their car.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      It is like the Willy Wonka, Everlasting Gobstopper. You just buy the one and that’s it.

  65. Pete S
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Electric heat pumps, how many homes have the space to make this happen. Fantasy land. If they then say all electric. The local supply network is not geared up for 100% usage on every feed to every home. So the whole of the nations electricity supply network to be completely renewed. Fantasy land.

    • DavidJ
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Excellent point.

  66. zorro
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I think that we should persuade the Chinese to be early adopters as that would make the most sense and impact if the eco argument is correct… Is that not right? :-0


  67. Ed M
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Lastly, in the spirit of adventure, it’s no longer possible to discover new lands / embark on exciting explorations like those of James Cook, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Francis Chichester, Sir Wildred Thesiger, and others. Those days are long gone.

    But it’s still possible to create new green technologies that are revolutionary, that people never thought possible, that capture people’s imaginations, and bring in large, high value revenues and exports – including inspiring the UK high tech / digital industries in general. To try and create the green, high-tech James Dysons of the future here in the UK.

    • DaveK
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      If only, our current virtue signallers do not accept science or engineering as valid. My wifes new car has catalytic converters and an AdBlu system which makes it cleaner than petrol cars. Loughborough University have designed a smaller and lower temperature system. Do our government promote this potential billion making idea? No they race to ban the diesel vehicle. They seem to think we will be happier living in yurts and weaving yoghurt, even though we’ll die at 35.

      • Ed M
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink


        To borrow from language from Boris, I am tired of the ‘gloomsters + doomsters’ who frown on just what technology / engineering / science can achieve.

        Not only must we explore what technology can do more (and support), above all, for the POTENTIAL BIG MONETARY REVENUES! connected to how there is consumer + business demand for this, but also, because there is something NOBLE in man trying to find revolutionary answers to challenging issues. There is nobility in the pursuit! (Like James Cook exploring the world or James Dyson trying to create the bagless vacuum cleaner or whatever).

        We CAN have our cake and eat it (advanced civilisation + for lots of people + clean environment) but it requires IMAGINATION, EFFORT + COURAGE!


    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      But you can’t over rule physics. You need X amount of energy to move Y to position Z. No amount of government legislation can change that. I have a 43kw gas boiler to keep us warm. Gas is one fifth the price of electricity which means for a like for like system would put my monthly bills up to £600. No food then. Either heat or eat.

      • Ed M
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink


        I am not an engineer / technologist or a scientist but I know enough about these subjects to know that people have done extraordinary things. Whether it’s James Dyson inventing his bagless vacuum cleaner or NASA sending man to the moon!

        We human beings are capable of extraordinary things – in science, the arts, exploration, business, medicine, and human endeavours in general – but new, revolutionary things require IMAGINATION, EFFORT + COURAGE!

        I know that there are many in the world of science, engineering + technology who would share my views here.

      • Ed M
        Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink


        ‘But you can’t over rule physics’

        – Also, the science of the splitting and the atom and quantum physics could reveal extraordinary things about how we can have advanced civilisation for the world’s population whilst controlling environmental issues.

        I admit this is speculative, nevertheless, there is form for what man can do, that no-one expected he could achieve in the past.

  68. Polly
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Oh, and did you see this from yesterday ?

    The LibDems race to victory in Powys and beat the Tories easily !

    Britain Elects

    Llandrindod North (Powys) result:

    LDEM: 47.2% (+47.2)
    CON: 34.2% (-19.6)
    LAB: 18.6% (-1.2)

    Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative.

    So much for Bungler Boris !


    • Edward2
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Hmm, I think you are making too much of this Polly.
      It was a very small local council by election.
      Jake won with 226 votes

      • Fred H
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        ‘a race to victory’ seems more like a person with a broken leg going up a slope!

    • Norman
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid it goes with the territory. Plus lots of farmers, worried about their future, but glad of EU Stewardship payments.
      ‘How GREEN Was My Valley’!

  69. David Maples
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The other real reason for the move to electricity and renewables, is to kick start the world economy out of secular stagnation, or as us older economists call it, under-employment equilibrium. This might do for the downturn today, what the 2nd World War did in the 40’s.

    Most of the XR gullibles really believe in climate change(well, so do I if by that you mean pre and post the next apocalyptic ice age), however I prefer to listen to the Word of God in the Bible viz:

    ‘While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease’.
    (Genesis 8: 22 kjv)

  70. Oggy
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    So on a higher level these ‘Green’ people are saying we should spend many hundreds of billions of pounds to negate the UK’s 1.7 % of the worlds CO2 output, and which said output is neither here nor there in real terms. With the British tax payer picking up the bill.

    On a more personal level they want householders to ditch gas as their preferred method of home heating to much more expensive electricity resulting in Domestic fuel bills skyrocketing and causing millions to descend into fuel poverty.

    Any Governmental interventions such as fuel allowances, benefits or subsidies will again have to be paid for by the British taxpayer. It’s utter madness.

  71. Ken442
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    The entire set of proposals is preposterous rubbish. CO2 is a positive benefit to greening the world as amply demonstrated and AGW does not and never has existed. We are more likely to enter a seriosly cold spell due to the Sun losing its sunspots lately.
    To adopt these maniacal measures would plunge western civilisation back to medieval times whilst China and India look on, prosper and barely contain their amusement.
    The atmosphere comprises 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% natural CO2 and o.1% man made CO2.
    The world has been conned by a massive fraud.

  72. Remark
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Please, this is outright mad. Electric engines rely on batteries that in turn require metals like cobalt. I read that the entire annual world supply of cobalt would not be enough for Volkswagen ALONE (or Volkswagen Group: Audi, Skoda, Seat, Bentley), source imprecise, if that car manufacturer decided to turn all of their vehicles into electric vehicles.

    Make energy more expensive – yes, to encourage modular design of goods, that goods are made to last and it is worthwhile repairing them. This is different to forcing a wholesale replacement of a key item, cars, in developed countries. (I do not own or use one, BTW.)

    Real economy: The economy is suffering because the financial sector dwarfs it and sucks the blood out of it. Since the financial crisis 2008 the monetary system has not changed. Banks create money out of nothing, there is a glut of liquidity that is allocated to the stock market and real estate and drives up asset prices (inflation). See or for starters.

    Climate: In the high Middle Ages wine was grown in northern Europe, e.g. in Sweden. There is by no means a consensus among scientists of the relevant subjects that carbon emissions are the cause of variations in climate. Even if it was, per capita carbon emission for China is now at European level. Whatever Europe imposes on its citizens will NOT “save” world climate. To top it all, Extinction Rebellion targeted users of public transport in metropolitan areas. And using a car when living in the countryside is not only logical but reasonable.

  73. Mark Richmond
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I think I am probably spending too much time this week reading this blog…. but it is very interesting!

    Currently, my family drives two diesel cars, bought partly due to encouragement of the then government based on a supposed green agenda. So I am a bit sceptical that any politician will get “green” right, especially in the light of Sir John’s previous revelations about EU treaty obligations and austerity which indicates that politicians are generally not honest with voters. Nonetheless I am happy to make our next car purchases (probably in around 10 years as we keep our cars a long time) electric, as we have the ability to charge them at home and hopefully by then their prices will have come down to the level of their combustion engine equivalents.

    On a more general point, it goes without saying that what happens in the U.K. will have very little, or no impact on global climate change if there is not substantial buy-in by the USA and developing countries. Which is not, thus far, happening. I do not believe there is any point in burdening British families financially in the face of this truth. That said, we can have an impact on our own local air quality and it seems a worthy goal to try to improve it, so I support efforts to reduce carbon emissions from cars, and aeroplanes. Whether it makes sense to force radical changes to central heating systems, and the ensuing financial burden on families, in the pursuit of this aim I simply do not know.

  74. JohnK
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    CO2 is a harmless trace gas in the atmosphere. It is essential to plant life.

    The whole AGW scare is a scam. I would have thought the University of East Anglia emails would have proved it (“hide the decline” etc), but it seems that too many people stand to make too much money for the scam to be dropped.

    There is just no prospect of Britain surviving as a modern society if we are “carbon neutral” by 2050. I therefore predict it will not happen. There is simply not the generating capacity to produce so-called green electricity to replace not only our current electricity needs, but the needs of transport, now provided by petrol and diesel, and homes, now provided by natural gas.

    We are heading towards an abyss, and this Conservative government is as bad as Extinction Rebellion. Yes, we need to “get Brexit done”, but then the real work starts of developing sensible economic policies which do not rely on non-existent power sources based on solving a non-existent problem.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      EXACTLY climate alarmism is a massively exaggerated scam.

  75. ian
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The government and politicians in this country live in a world of fantasies, aluminium batteries are a reality now and going to production next year in the UK, one battery fitted in your car will give you over 1000 miles and can be changed by yourself in two minutes, roll out starting in Inada first for a trial run on taxies and motorbikes this tells you how cheap they will be and they are pollution-free at end of life and safe as opposed to ion batteries that they are using now which will cause a major pollution problem at the end of life and are highly dangerous, big companies have been trying to keep this invention off the market for some time now, one man invention in his own garage and there a lot more invention being kept off the market by big businesses with help of governments to stop their shares from plummeting in a free fall.

  76. a-tracy
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    If the Chinese make things so cheaply and they have the technology to make solar roof tiles that could harness the electricity needed to power their energy needs why aren’t they making these things by the billion quantity for their own buildings, factories and energy needs?

    • Fred H
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Still opening a coal burning power station – every day / every week …which ever it is.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        I read that it’s amazing. Why aren’t the higher powers and political movements like Greenpeace and XR exerting their pressure and protests on China? A small change in their behaviour would quadruple ours.

  77. steve
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I do wonder if this country would now be in a stronger position if it had not been de-industrialised, and stuck with coal, perhaps technological advances might have made coal environmentally viable.

    Ah wait a moment……you have to pay people money to get the stuff out.

  78. mancunius
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Sheer madness!

  79. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    This is a subject you have introduced before and just zeroing in on one element – transport.

    Your and maybe its Parliaments as well as Scottish Power thinking going forward is that there is a place for battery powered cars with there ’25 million electric charging points for electric cars’.

    Yet TfL and the Met Police have moved on. They are running proper Green Vehicles.

    Just the week Jaguar Land Rover joined in the chorus of the European motor manufacturers in stating that although they are ramping up battery production it is not the way forward. Its a redundant short term idea.

    Clearly Scottish Power have a vested interest in charging stations, especially if they can get the taxpayer to pay for them.

    The answer for transport is the same as it has always been ‘fuel cell’ technology derived from hydrogen. As a quirk a handful of far east countries are now even producing the hydrogen from the CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Battery power has a relatively speaking a very small life span when compared with any of the alternatives, fuel cell outlasts in fossil fueled cars by a large margin. The biggest CO2 emitter and the bit that holds back all these dream-world asperations back in real life, is the production and delivery. Changing everything to pat ones self on the back is the same as tilting at windmills.

    On your doorstep, down at Hogwood Ind Est, you have a company that has been working on electric vehicles for major EU car producers for at least 5 years that I am aware of.

  80. DavidJ
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    These policies, being based on pseudo science, are absolutely unacceptable and will result in severe hardship for many and the destruction of many businesses as well as costing the taxpayer (yet again) and enormous amount whilst delivering little benefit.

    Pollution (real that is) is another matter and has been worsened by exporting much of our home industry to China. The pollution from battery manufacture in particular is being ignored as is the manner and cost of their disposal.

    I’m afraid that is is yet another facet of the drive by certain wealthy people (aka the self declared elite) to achieve their aim of a totalitarian world government in line with the UN’s Agendas 21 and 2030. No wonder that they do not want us to leave the EU.

  81. A.F.Fanculo
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Worried about excess CO2? Stop destroying forests and plant more, as plants gobble up CO2. I would like to see those virtue-signalling Greens Dimlibs and commieLabs sent on a rocket mission to the sun to try to turn it down a bit in an effort to combat global warming. Gets rid of them while we wait for the sun to become naturally less active and give us the mini- ice-age we were threatened with 40 years ago.

  82. Cornishstu
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Well I concur with the majority here complete and utter madness. The infrastructure required is not feasible in the timescale and all for a non problem.

  83. Drew
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Having accessed the report from Scottish Power I notice that the costs of dealing with grid intermittency due to the unpredictable nature of wind generation are not indicated.
    The wind can drop over the whole of Europe for lengthy periods during the middle of winter when demand will be high. Euan Mearns, at his blog “Energy Matters” attempted to estimate the costs of battery storage systems to cope with such conditions. The figure he arrived at was £405 billion for the UK just to cover the current demand, never mind going all electric for heating and transport.
    Even if we do take issue with some of his assumptions, anyone care to hazard a guess at to whether the ultimate costs for grid scale storage will be lower or higher that that £405 billion estimate?

    • Drew
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Oops; “than that”

  84. John P McDonald
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    “the government’s stated target of zero net carbon dioxide from human sources by 2050”

    An electric vehicle will always emit CO2 whlist it carries human/animal passengers.
    The whole basis for going Green to reduce CO2 generated by Human activity has no scientific justification. I wish the Government would share the detailed justification for this with the public but they have not. It is not surprising the Electricity industry is behind the drive to use more electricity. They can’t loose as there is no Gas only Utilities now.
    But having said that we do need to do way with polluting transport such as diesel and petrol. If transport generated just CO2 that would not be a pollution issue-plant more trees. Probably is now only an issue due to global deforestation. If we are running out of Gas and Oil then the only option is to heat by using electricity.
    Electricity has to be generated it does not grow on Trees, or dug out of the ground. So how will it be generated and distributed to meet the demand by 2050 ?
    That is the question the electricity companies need to answer not put the focus on the consumer.
    Every Human/animal generates CO2, a point not mentioned in the bad CO2 story,
    which is a political con to distract us from addressing the actual causes of pollution which may really be the cause of Climate Change or at least making a naturally occurring event much worse.

  85. ian
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    There no need to install heat pumps that cost 11 thousand pounds and sometimes do work properly Fischer heaters have been on sale for years now, and will heat a room of 12 sqm for 16 hours at a temperature of 21c throughout the whole room with an outside temperature of -1c and use 0.87 kWh and plug into a 13 amp plug, the size of this heater is 1300mm by 610mm, of cos bathroom heater would be a lot smaller and need to be switched when needed and bedroom heaters the same with much lower temp of 16c if needed, costing Penneys and are comparable with solar panels, you can check them out, come with a 10 year warranty and the building should meet minimum building standards.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      These are just ordinary electrical panel heaters are they not? Perhaps they can do what you say if the building is very. Very, very well insulated, well sealed, few windows and you do not go in and out much!

  86. Antoinetta III
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    It is flat-out impossible. No way in hell will renewables (themselves dependent on fossil fuels for their construction and maintenance) come close to filling the gap.

    Antoinetta III

  87. a-tracy
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    So if you have a gas boiler now that is ten years old, when do you need to replace it so that you don’t have to replace the entire houses radiator system?

    • Fred H
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Install the best most efficient gas boiler 1 year before the deadline. It may well be fine for 15 years.

  88. Graham Wheatley
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink


    We are going to bankrupt ourselves fixing a non-problem.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink


  89. Rods
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    140m years a go CO2 was ~3000ppm & it has been steady falling since, as fossil fuels were formed and sea life shells which fossilise as the sedimentary rock calcium carbonate, more commonly known as chalk evolved. In the last ice age CO2 hit a low of 180ppm. 85% of all plants are C3 which use 3 carbon atoms for photosynthesis with a CO2 growing sweet spot at ~800ppm and start dying if CO2 drops below 150ppm. As CO2 has fallen 15% of plants have adapted and evolved into C4 plants which use 4 carbon atoms for photosynthesis and can survive on much lower levels of CO2, but they need more energy and are therefore are limited to equatorial plants. The only C4 fruit is the pineapple.

    In 2m years with the natural decline of CO2 85% of plant life will die on earth along with most other living creatures. The fact that humans have evolved and created this welcome CO2 correction should be welcomed, but politicians are using the current CO2 rises including that from human activities to tax and control us where governments seem to love making vital commodities as rare and expensive as possible, like water and cheap energy. As Stalin said, if you repeat a lie often enough everybody will believe you and many do. It is time for more people to wake up and to start smelling the coffee.

    Primary drivers of our climate are sun cycles, sunspot activity and cosmic events, Milankovitch cycles, polar wander, plate tectonics and volcanic activity all of which we have no control over. CO2 follows temperature rises with the change over 15 months to 800 years not the other way round. Cold water can hold more CO2 than warm water, so as the earth temperature continues to recover from the last ice age it is natural for CO2 to rise anyway where we are still about 2degC below the average earth temperature for the last 1bn years. In the 2oth century there were two warming periods so the earth’s temperature rose by 0.9degC. NASA GISS earth temperature satellites have recorded for the last 3 years a slight earth cooling trend so there has been no overall temperature rise since 1998 as we head into a new 2020-2053 solar minimum. We have proxy climate records from tree rings, ice cores but most importantly sedimentary rock cores for the last 1bn years where the earth’s temperature can be measured using the ratio of the oxygen atoms O16, O17 and O18.

    As a former government scientist I used to researching things until I understand them and have now build a large collection books and articles of the earth’s climate, including many of the standard text books used for teaching undergraduates about climate and CO2 cycles (including the CO2 FACE experiments) and atmospheric and oceanic fluid dynamics.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      Cheers Rods.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, are you Corbyn’s brighter brother?

  90. ian
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I have just looked at complains about Fischer heaters to which there are quite a few it seems to be that they are costing a lot more to run in an older property and should only be used in a newly built property which is well insulated, costs are high as well to buy and customer service is poor but have also read review where customer is very satisfied.

    • cornishstu
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Having just looked at their website, they state that they use as little as 1.9kwh to run which I would say puts them on par with a standard 2kw convector heater, the only difference being that they are more aesthetically pleasing looking more like conventional slim line radiators.

  91. Fed Up
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    “The UK has announced there will be no new gas boiler heating systems installed after 2025”

    Where exactly is the mandate for government to tell us how we heat our homes? I’m sick and tired of this totalitarian, globalist, common purpose regime. It is totally out of touch with ordinary people and that will ultimately be its undoing.

    My family have a boiler that we were intending to replace in the next year or so – now we don’t know what to blinking do. Some of these politicians are dangerous lunatics (present company excluded).

    • Mark B
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      Not only that, what is going to happen to all those people that manufacture and install them ? It is one thing to lose ones livelihood to progress, another to government incompetence and humbris.

      If we really need to cut on our CO2 emissions and stop a lot of hot air we should first consider banning all politicians.

  92. NigelE
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I bought a new (German, petrol) car five years ago, and at the mileage I do now, it will probably last until 2040, assuming I’m still driving then or even alive. So, I will resist changing over to electric and avoid the inevitably expensive costs. I will also resist pressure to switch away from my gas boiler.

    It will be interesting – and perhaps even amusing – to follow the progress made against trumpeted ambition of the green protagonists. I suspect little will be done until 2030 then everything will be rushed, bad compromises made and sub-optimal technologies rushed into being.

    A bit like Brexit, really.

  93. Michael Cawood
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    This complete nonsense about decarbonisation needs to stop and stop right now. Any government that tried to put this into place will be thrown out permanently and quite right too. This is the policies of the totally insane.
    For heaven’s sake this complete and utter madness needs to be stopped.

  94. John Hatfield
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Who is going to generate all the electricity that will be needed? Or better question, how will all the electricity be generated?

    • John Hatfield
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Just thinking, hydrogen powered vehicles may be a better alternative to pure electric but then how will the hydrogen be produced and at what cost?

      • Mark B
        Posted October 26, 2019 at 4:26 am | Permalink

        Producing hydrogen is not too difficult. You do it by separating hydrogen from oxygen in water. The real problem comes with storage. Hydrogen has to be store at very low temperatures and is very dangerous to handle.

  95. ian
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    There are only two parties to watch for in a possible GE, Brexit party and the Lib Dems party. First the Brexit, you cannot tell how many none voters will vote for them and are an unknown quantity, in the ref vote in 2016 6 to 7 per cent more voters turn out than in a GE and were thought now to be Brexit party supporters which would be 2.8 million voters plus the 2015 GE where UKIP came in with 3.9 million voters which will switch to the Brexit party instead of wasting their vote. I also reckon that at least 10% of con party vote has gone to the Brexit party and at least 10% of the Labour vote which brings the total for the Brexit party vote to 9 million votes but 8 million would be rough guide, on the other hand, Lib Dems might have their best GE in modern times, they had 57 seats in 2010 on the back 6 to 7 million votes mainly from the south-west of England and south-west of London with heavy support from uni cities and town up and down the country, LDs could win over 8 to 9 million voters if turnout is 72 per cent as in the ref which was 34 million voters, these two-party should poll 16 million votes leaving 18 million vote between all the other parties and will turn out even in a 90 MPH winds and rain, where the con party voters and labour voters might not bother, bring it on Mr cummings I am waiting.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 4:23 am | Permalink

      I pretty much agree with your analysis. Many on the Tory Left and Labour Right who feel alienated by their current parties will switch to the LibDems. So yes, the LibDems could have their best GE in years.

      The BP are still a very much unknown and their greatest weapon is the fear of a Labour government / Left Coalition. If the Tories start to suffer in the polls as they might well do after Christmas then I expect the either they will either attack the BP, which would be stupid or, try to woo them. Sadly, given the personalities around the PM I think it will be the former.

  96. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    You are concentrating on measures demanded of this country and the cost thereof.

    But the big requirement is to STOP BURNING COAL worldwide. The worst offenders are America, China, India and (in Europe) Germany and Poland.

    Q How do we get these countries to change their behaviour?
    A By modifying WTO rules so that additional tariffs may be placed on exports from countries running a dirty economy.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 12:12 am | Permalink

      Leave EU emissions trade scheme and introduce carbon tax with dividend and border adjustment. There are supporters of this on both sides in US so may follow. Some.publications indicate it is more effective than trading schemes, the dividend protects those on low income and the border adjustment protects industry from polluting nations. A policy UK should lead on when we leave the EU. Hopefully UK will not get trapped in emissions trading.

  97. gregory martin
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    While being convinced that the ever burgeoning world population has the potential to exhaust our infrastructure, both natural and man-made, my concern is that no regard is made to the additional electromagnetic force fields that even higher cable intensities and current carriage will create. No explanation nor reassurance to the effects upon human, animal and insect life. No explanation or protection because of interrupted supplies, whether due to demand, engineering breakdown or terrorism. Putting all your eggs in one basket has never been the safest strategy.

  98. wes
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    All the comments here are on the button we are being led down a blind alley, s0 to speak.

    The IPCC if I remember correctly are extremely blinkered, unwilling to entertain opposing views from equally eminent scientific opinion even when proved.

    As for battery power vehicles. A quick search on the mining of lithium (basic component for batteries) points out the environmental damage caused by these operations. It’s probable a whole lot worse than the co2 we are trying to avoid.

  99. BillM
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    My particular thoughts are based upon the anticipated end results.
    What can we expect to benefit us Brits for the huge sums paid out to achieve a target pulled from a bingo bag?
    We are informed that the UK is responsible for just 2% of the World’s Carbon emissions. Setting aside the fact that without carbon no life would exist on the planet, surely,with some logic, we can conclude that our ‘donation’ is an irrelevance. Compared with those of China, India and Russia, it is very clear that those Nations have no intention of reducing their CO2 outputs and the USA has recently sided with them in that they too have dropped all the pretext into promoting, what cannot be, but another scare scam to frighten the people into submission, so that they may be easily controlled. Why do we actually think Britain can make any difference?
    If there is something REAL to address to protect the Planet, it must be man-made pollution. That is both air, land and sea pollution. Chemicals and waste products burned and/or dumped without control and plastic containers by the millions filtering into our oceans killing fish and all types of organisms essential for life on this Planet.
    I am of the opinion that those that benefit most from these ridiculous claims that we, arrogant Mankind, can actually save the Earth, are those who receive their funding in proportion to the size of their fictitious scare stories.
    If the truth were allowed to flourish, it would reveal that contrary to the Global Warming we are supposed to face, quite the opposite is our destiny. The renown Milanchovitch Cycles of Planet Earth around the Sun prove that we last saw our closest orbit to the Sun some 7000 years ago (The hottest period), Strange that Earth survived that heat! This now means that our planet is heading towards the next Ice Age, some 40,000 years away. Over the next decade it will get colder across the Earth and freeze over the Thames as it has over the past centuries. The last being around 200 years ago. Earths Climate complies with sets cycles so there will be warmer periods between the dips but it will not get as hot as it was when Earth was closest to the Sun in its orbit.
    Why are we wasting our money chasing rainbows and not utilising the natural resources buried here in Britain for the good of ALL British people?
    I have no doubt abandonment of all things that emit carbon will not save us from literally freezing to death. So what is the point of it? ££££££’s maybe?

  100. Dominic
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Message to the Tories and the clueless idiots who run this naive party –

    Stop pandering to the left

    Stop pandering to Marxism now masquerading as climate change and environmentalism

    Expose Labour’s extremism, history and crimes

    Dismantle Labour’s client state

    Privatise the BBC

    Expose Labour’s weaponisation and politicisation of race, religion, gender and sexuality to slander 92% of the British population

    Tell it as it is. Stop allowing the left to imprison you’ and take the fight to the left and their crimes

    • Mark B
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 3:57 am | Permalink

      I agree with everything except on the BBC. I would much rather it be made to adopt subscription and leave the rest to market forces.

  101. Julia
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Sir John, I am really hoping that some influential public figures can start to put pressure on the green agenda. It has come down directly from the United Nations, dressed up as ‘sustainability’ but is really about reducing living standards and herding us all into smart cities. So the UK had agreed to cut emissions substantially by 2050, but this was not enough for Extinction Rebellion, who are insisting that we cut emissions to zero by 2025. So what does Oxfordshire County Concil do? It bows down to their demands to form an (undemocratic) Citizens’ Assembly to see how fast we can go to get to zero by 2025. Why is this not setting off huge alarm bells? I am protesting against 5G which is an existential threat to humanity, and I don’t see the Council asking me to form an Assembly.

    The Assembly is made up of an unelected group of 50 people who discuss issues with ‘selected experts’, and man-made global warming is taken as a given and not to be discussed. They then put their recommendations to the Council in January 2020. Sounds like the end of democracy and the beginning of green dictatorship to me. And this is going on without anyone objecting as far a source I can see (except me).

    So in Oxford we are gong to be forced to get to zero emissions by 2025, all based on various sets of fraudulent IPCC reports using dodgy models – when raw temperature data shows no significant warming for years.

    This is all coming down through a spiders web of NGOs, all tied to the UN, the banisters and elite cronies who are set to make trillions from a new carbon based economy. We can expect power cuts, energy prices through the roof and a whole new raft of rules and regulations on how we have to live our lives in our own homes. And not many people seem to be noticing

    Sir John, if you could help expose this scandal, you would be a national hero!

    • Mark B
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 3:55 am | Permalink


      Look up Mao’s, The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The parallels with what we are seeing today with regards to XE, St.Greta and all the Climate Change nonsense is alarming.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 28, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      If there is a free citizens assembly do away with local councillors, I thought that was their job.

  102. John S
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    This is economic suicide.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes economic suicide is correct.

      Production will just move more to countries where anti pollution measures are cheaper, we will import from those countries, so no help at all to net world pollution.

      Financial services business and a bit of tourism will not save us, and with our bloated public sector we will simply go bust.

      • Blind satellite
        Posted October 27, 2019 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        Yes and other countries will cheat.

  103. Richard416
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I think the whole thing is absurd. By all means try to improve air quality etc, but don’t go over the top.

  104. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I find it strange that these costs can be foisted on us without our consent. Just as with EU membership for many years all parties seem to follow it blindly.

    Surely we need a #PeoplesVote to decide

  105. Julian Allder
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    I use heat pumps (air conditioning units) at home and have done for about 16 years. The cost per room is around £750. The benefits are tolerable temperatures in the heat of summer and virtually instant warmth in the winter. Our domestic fuel costs have remained comparable with what we were paying before the install. Heat pumps (air con) are around 700% efficient – for every KW of electricity you put in, you get the equivalent of 7KW of heating and summer cooling. I would never live without air con.

  106. Julian Flood
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    This is the economics of the madhouse — our ruling class has gone insane, individually and collectively.

    Briefly — the arguments have been made before – the climate models are predicting (sorry, projecting) twice the observed rate of warming which means they are wrong and cannot be trusted. However, it is warming and this should not be ignored. The question then becomes, how do we avoid doing more damage trying to ameliorate a problem which may or may not materialise? It’s politics at its purest.

    Be prepared. Fund development of prototype small modular reactors and establish fixed designs with a clear timetable for them to be built in quantity if it proves necessary. Convert as many vehicles as possible to run on compressed natural gas which will at a stroke halve CO2 emissions. Put all UK housing on the gas grid and allow fracking to supply the gas — this cuts CO2 by 50% where oil-fired heating is used and betters that figure where the extremely inefficient option of electrical heating is currently used. Using our own CH4 will improve energy security, lower incidental CO2 waste and help the balance of payments. Earth tremors are a small risk, but if, as I am continually told, this is a crisis then some risks will have to be accepted. Unless of course the noisy advocates of emergency action think the climate crisis is less dangerous than the sort of rumble millions of houses feel as a lorry rumbles past.

    These actions will keep the UK’s CO2 emissions low and, with the SMRs ready for immediate production, give us the option to go all-electric if the crisis really is a crisis and not merely millennial hysteria.

    As a county councillor I knew that I had a duty of care to my residents. It would do the airheads in Westminster good to remember that they have the same duty. Barking up the wrong climate tree will kill people, and those who suffer will be the old, the poor and the sick. One wonders if there are penalties for those in authority who recklessly endanger the lives of the most vulnerable in our society.

    Barking, gullible and barking. Even the precautionary measures will cost billions but that is the price we will have to pay to sooth those who need to fear an apocalypse and hence save us from wasting trillions. Perhaps we also need to train a huge army of psychiatrists to help calm everybody down.

    There is a major advantage of the SMR route over and above giving us the only proven effective CO2 free generation capacity: it will make Green politicians choose if this really is a crisis or not.

  107. Slackwater
    Posted October 25, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    The Eu side is a absolutely correct to ask the question of government- why do you want an extension? Answer please?- anyone

    • Fred H
      Posted October 26, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      answer: to delay to the point where they hope we will throw the towel in the ring and stay….NO CHANCE. OUT OUT OUT.

  108. Richard Evans
    Posted October 26, 2019 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    This is ABSOLUTE TOTAL MADNESS. Who signed us into the Paris climate accord, was it Brown or May.
    We must get out now and stop all this climate CRAP. It is all globalist BS.
    OH how we need a Donald Trump NOW to ensure we achieve a NO strings EXIT from the EU and pull out of the Paris climate accord. Do we have no one with any b—s these days.
    Are there any politicians these days worth a vote as the general public have more sense than any who sit in the HoC./HoL. Oliver Cromwell where are you? 5 November is approaching, what say you?

    • Charles I
      Posted October 27, 2019 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      One is not at all sure Oliver Cromwell was ahead of his time.

  109. Geo-politiker
    Posted October 26, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    “Scottish Power have this week published a partial costing…”
    Owned by Spain

  110. TooleyStu
    Posted October 26, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Excellent replies, we should all be applauded.
    To swim against the tide of main stream media hype.
    Anything that get this amount of ‘nowhere to everywhere’ hysteria has to be viewed sceptically, and rightly so.
    Again the common (wo)man has more sense than the House of Commons.
    And well done to SJR for publishing all the replies too.

    Tooley Stu

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page