A new energy policy

The UK used to set two main goals for energy policy. The first was to ensure competitive supply to keep prices down. The second was to ensure the UK could cover all her own electricity needs from home generation, with a sufficient margin of capacity to handle cold dark days and failures in part of the generating system. Some diversification of sources of power was always built in.

These policies were important to combat fuel poverty and to assist industry. If you want to have a strong industrial presence in everything from steel to ceramics and from chemicals to aluminium you need plenty of cheap energy. It is also a good idea to have electricity self sufficiency for strategic reasons. The low price was produced by a merit order system, where the cheapest power was produced all the time and dearer power was only added when demand rose to high levels.

In the 1980s major changes were made to allow more competition. These changes drove electricity prices down, whilst still ensuring something like a 20% capacity margin to allow for problems and demand peaks. The industry transformed itself from substantial reliance on coal to gas, and in so doing greatly increased its fuel efficiency, lowered its carbon output , cut polluting emissions and reduced prices.

In recent decades government has placed much more weight on two additional policies. The first is to decarbonise, forcing changes to close down fossil fuel stations. The second has been to accept the framework of an integrated European energy system, with more dependence on interconnectors deliberately put in. It is no surprise that the EU which pushed this is now using it as a threat against our exit. These two policies have led to higher prices.

As we leave the EU we need to change policy. We should discard the integrated EU policy, and reset UK independence of supply. We should seek to use competition again to drive down prices, and to ensure that where renewables are being added to the mix they are good value, taking into account their full cost. Wind energy, for example, is intermittent so allowance needs to be made for back up facilities. Water based renewable systems should have an advantage from being always available and that needs to be reflected accurately in comparative costings.

It will be more difficult for the UK to enjoy an industrial revival without cheaper power or without plenty of capacity and no interruptions to supply .

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Exactly right.

    The so called “renewables” will make no significant difference to world CO2 anyway (after manufacture, installation, maintenance and back up are allowed for). Not that CO2 is actually the “climate catastrophe” problem it has been made out to be A. Indeed it has on balance more positive effects than negative in increases crop yields and greening the planet.

    Expensive energy just destroys and exports jobs and the CO2 production that goes with them anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      But as Dan Hodges put it in the Mail on Line:-

      Cummings may be gone but if the future is now all about Carrie Symonds’ agenda of wind farms, trans rights and wokery, then Boris Johnson and the Tories are doomed.

      Perhaps one of the daftest energy policies is the burning of imported scrap wood (harvested with diesel equipment and transported diesel ships) to burn at Drax. This seems to be done purely so that politicians can claim X % of out electricity come from “renewable” sources. Ignoring of course all the fossil fuel that goes into the manufacture and maintenance of these “renewables” and in the harvesting/transport of these bio fuels.

      What is coal anyway it is essentially old wood?

      • mongoose
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Coal is concentrated sunlight.

      • Stred
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        The late Prof Mackay worked out that Drax saved very little CO2 and told the minister Sir ? Davey, who replied “Sh!t.”
        Re BBC interview. Until then he had planned for a big expansion of wood burning. The EU still counts it as carbon neutral and these figures are used to report the CO2 in the electricity output of the UK.

        • Julian Flood
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          It was Ed. His Climate Change and Energy Minister, who presided over a very close call when the Grid nearly ran out of gas, is now the Health Secretary.


      • Northern Monkey
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Shockingly it is not all scrapwood…

        16 square miles of US forest is cut down every year to be shipped over to the UK for our wood-fired power station.

        Anyone who claim green credentials should be ashamed at the hoax that is being perpetrated – mining for the raw materials for solar and wind power, and their imminent replacement as their working lives are measured in years, not decades, for the grid infrastructure to distribute their power, for the vehicles and roads to permit them to be moved into position, erected, maintained and replaced in due course…

        And somehow, by 2030, this will all be electricity driven? Madness.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:08 am | Permalink


      • Stephen Priest
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Denmark Says NO To Lockdown Law & Government Relent
        you tube

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Coronavirus: Dr Mike Yeadon claims 50% of UK was already immune by June – TalkRadio you tube

        Pfizer’s former Chief Scientific Advisor Dr Mike Yeadon believes 50% of the population was already immune to Covid-19 by the time infection rates reduced in June.

        Speaking with talkRADIO’s Ian Collins, he said: “Our bodies have experience of common cold-causing coronavirus which of course the BBC didn’t bother to tell you about.”

        It comes after the goal of securing a Covid-19 vaccine moved a step closer with early data showing a new jab to be almost 95% effective in protecting against the virus.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:11 am | Permalink

          I think he is right. This is probably the explanation for the levelling of of infections that we have seen in the more badly infected areas.

      • DaveK
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        They are not nicknamed “Ruinables” for nothing. I can remember the decades when climate sceptics pointed at excess winter deaths and the phrase “Eating not Heating” was coined. These Climate/Covid zealots are still winning the PR war. Same playbook, same destination. Remind me, is the Great Reset something to do with the world thermostat?

      • steve
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink


        “Cummings may be gone but if the future is now all about Carrie Symonds’ agenda of wind farms, trans rights and wokery, then Boris Johnson and the Tories are doomed.”


        They’ve blown it anyway. They killed themselves on Oct 15th. Doesn’t matter what Johnson does now……for this one act of betrayal alone, we’ll get them, and we’ll make sure it hurts.

        They blew it with their lies about stopping illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel.

        They blew it by allowing this country to be insulted and threatened by the ungrateful french.

        They blew it by making our cars obsolete and forcing us to have crappy battery powered vehicles.

        They blew it by assuming a right to tell us what and whom we are allowed to like and dislike.

        When we’re done, there won’t be enough of them left in the country to even form a political party as most will have run for their lives. They’re going down.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          +1 I have to say they deserve it.

        • NickC
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          When Boris Symonds promotes all these”Great Reset” policies – carefully evaluated by Saint Greta – he should not be surprised when we turn round and say “We don’t believe you”.

      • steve
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink


        “What is coal anyway ?”


        …it’s the stuff wufta sissies don’t like. ‘eeuw it smells’

        ‘eeuw it reminds of British industrial power eeuw I don’t like it’ . ‘eeuw it suggests I might have to do hard manual graft an it’s all dirty’

        Better to have a snowflake’s economy based on chinese plastic crap and shitty useless batteries, they would say.

    • matthu
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Expensive energy has no discernible impact on global warming.
      Lockdown has no discernible impact on death rates.
      Both just seemed like a good idea to impose on the people at the time.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Whatever its effects on the prospects for energy supplies, John’s party of government appear to be having a sterling effect on the public’s opinion of the European Union.

      Its approval rating here is at an historic high.


      • mary
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Probably a skewed poll. The EU do their own propoganda too.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Martin, So you won’t accept an actual vote, but you accept a poll? Figures . . . .

  2. Ian Wilson
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    You are absolutely correct, Sir. The unscientific hysteria over CO2 and climate is crippling the country via uncompetitive energy costs and will become worse with the economically suicidal ‘zero carbon’ policy. The US benefits hugely from fracking while we , Luddite-like, banned it. Was Carrie behind this too?

    I recall journalist Simon Heffer some years ago reporting that you, Sir John, had pointed out the atmosphere on Mars was also warming, hardly attributable to SUVs, so clearly you have doubted the hysteria. I have asked numerous believers in the hysteria, individuals, councils, NGOs one simple question – if CO2 is such a threat how were there ice ages when CO2 concentration was 10 – 20 times that of today? Not one has given a rational answer.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Agreed. A climate of fear has been created about the alleged evils of CO2. The science was hijacked to create the global warming scare. It is now global group think.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Oldtimer, Well, CO2 is only one minor greenhouse gas, and covid19 can be a nasty disease for a few. But both have been overhyped by this government and the MSM to totally absurd levels. Neither climate nor covid19 are emergencies, yet we are set to be ruined by the government’s responses.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Perfectly scientifically well-grounded explanations have been given for the various climatic conditions suggested by prehistoric evidence.

      They do not undermine the conclusions of climatology regarding present conditions, quite the contrary.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Tell that to the CCP.

      • mary
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        The current scientific conclusions are that it’s impossible to arrive at a conclusion, since we can’t measure C02 in the upper atmosphere. What we can do is look at past cyclical temperature changes which have been measured in ice core samples and also the cyclical intensity of the sun. Global warming scientists don’t quote figures before the mid 19th century, if they did it would become apparent that the warming since has been the recovery from the little ice age, and several independent computer modellers around the world are predicting were due shortly to enter another one

      • Ian Wilson
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        Could you enlighten us about any credible explanation please?

        • Ian Wilson
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          Sorry, my question “can you please enlighten us ……….” was addressed to Martin in Cardiff, not to Mary, whose posting is most sensible.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Martin, The explanations which you favour admit that the climate is, and always has been, driven by many other factors than CO2.

      • Julian Flood
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink



  3. Longinus
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Nuclear + fracking = energy independence.

    It’s not difficult.

    • Wil Pretty
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      The hazards of power outages nowadays are far greater than they were in the past.
      My cooker and my Central Heating require 240 volt electricity to operate.
      I have no confidence in the current flakey national supply arrangements.
      A blocking High Pressure weather system over europe during January and February, as happened in 1963 would eliminate the wind contribution to electricity generation and create a massive reduction in supply capacity. ( no doubt such an event would be described as climate change)
      I have a spare battery that I keep charged up and an inverter and that will allow me to run my cooker and my Central Heating in the short term until I can set up my small generator to take over and also run the fridge/freezer.
      Should the government force Net Zero on us we will have no capability to use fossil fuels. No doubt an enterprising entrepreneur will by then have developed a wood burning AGA like cooker/ heater with an electricity generation capability.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink


      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        So today we learn that vaccination may be compulsory, road pricing is being considered and ICE vehicles to stop production in 2030.
        The EU is threatening blackmail over power supplies which even if we had a deal they could still manipulate.
        It looks very much like princess tub tub is in charge and she is working for Farage.
        Keep this up and your party will become a postscript in history.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      and energy independence leads to economic and manufacturing independence.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      And Longinus COAL , we have a supply and it must be part of the solution.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink


      Governments don’t see energy the same way people do – with people its a need and with government(s) its a source of revenue and a weapon in there social engineering arsenal

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Indeed and local jobs too.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Plus poorer and elderly people can afford to keep warm with cheap, clean natural gas.

  4. GilesB
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Electric vehicles may not generate greenhouse gases at the point of use, but they certainly do in manufacture and in power generation for charging.

    If the Government is serious about phasing out the internal combustion engine, then there needs to be a massive increase in generating capacity. That needs to be put in place before it is required. And takes a long time to build.

    You are absolutely right about the need for self-sufficiency in energy generation. Both short term and long term. Both base load and peaks. Summer and winter.

    Finding more gas fields, fracking and coal gasification all have a role to play

    • SM
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink


    • MPC
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      I don’t think the aim of policy re electric cars is for everyone to transfer over to them. It’s about reducing car usage. Even more troubling is the now strong likelihood of blackouts here along California lines (never reported in UK. Mainstream media). When that happens the eco zealots including Boris Johnson will say it’s a necessary price to pay to save the climate. All this to happen in a nation responsible for less than 2% of global carbon emissions and declining with the relentless march to greater coal use in China and India. You couldn’t make it up.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink


    • Stred
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      The planned change to electric transport by 2030 coincides with the closing of most of our present nuclear stations. Only one new replacement is being built and that is the most expensive and delayed type in the world. Johson is said to be keen to order another at Sizewell built by the same company. We would need about ten just for the extra transport.

    • acorn
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Did you know that if you took the petrol out of your car and used it in a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power plant; sent the electric over the wires to the battery in your battery – electric motor car. The “Well-to-Wheel” energy conversion efficiency would be twice as much as burning that petrol in your internal combustion motor car. 29% against 14%. (HT: Maury Markowitz)

      • acorn
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        It looks like Boris is going for 40 GW of offshore wind turbines. That would fit with the National Grid’s currently scheduled 42 GW of Interconnector capacity requests for commissioning by 2030 and connected to the EU27 North Sea Super Grid.

        • NickC
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          40GW is nowhere near enough for the all electric homes and cars envisaged, given the retirement of existing generation plant. And no back-up for when the wind doesn’t blow either. More Wind plants means even more costs for installation – given the already high packing density of windmills stealing wind power from other wind installations – meaning deep water or floating Wind plants.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Acorn, Rubbish. Modern petrol and diesel engines can be more efficient than battery cars. Modern hybrids can reach 36% efficiency (Toyota) and research shows that gas-optimized engines can be as high as 45% (VG). Battery electric cars will be unable to run if there is no wind unless natural fuels are used as back-up (there’s no other feasible large scale alternative). Moreover domestic natural gas boilers can achieve 90% efficiency compared with the best CCGT of about 60%.

        • acorn
          Posted November 19, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

          What is the efficiency of a petrol/diesel car crawling along in traffic compared to a battery-electric? Can your combi gas boiler generate electricity to charge your car? The wind is always blowing somewhere in Europe which is why we are building the European Super Grid.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s difficult to argue with the pollution issue in cities. Some inner city schools have lockers that a majority of the children keep their asthma ‘puffers’ in. That can’t be right.

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Our own government figures suggest that our air is cleaner than 1970 BEIS website – so why are you saying its bad

        • Fred H
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

          depends on what is termed clean. I have no doubt particulates from all sort of sources are the problem, many would not have existed in 1970.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Mike W, The NHS says: “The exact cause of asthma is unknown. … Genetics, pollution and modern hygiene standards have been suggested as causes, but there’s not currently enough evidence to [be sure]”. Certainly asthma is linked to allergies, which in turn have multiple causes, not just air quality.

        Coal, petrol and diesel burning does cause pollution, although the evident smogs (first noted in the C13th in London!), and common up to the 1960s, are a thing of the past. Natural gas burning is pollution free (unless you regard CO2 as pollution, which I don’t). Modern domestic condensing boilers for home heating are around 90% thermally efficient, much higher than electricity generation. In my view home heating should continue to be by natural gas.

      • Julian Flood
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Convert vehicles to compressed natural gas. Minimal NOX and particulates, lower CO2.


    • JohnK
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink


      I don’t think Boris is “serious” about phasing out internal combustion engines.

      By this, I don’t mean he does not want it to happen (even if it is only to please his girlfriend), but that he is not a serious man and this is not a serious policy.

      Will he publish his workings? Of course not. Like many a politician, he thinks if he wills the ends, the means will take care of themselves.

      He seems to think that in just ten years, windmills will produce the electricity to light and heat our homes, power what is left of our industry, and fuel our cars. This is patently nonsense. He seems to think that the child miners of the DRC can produce enough lithium to build the batteries for millions of electric vehicles. I don’t think so. Can Boris prove otherwise? If not, how does he think these EVs can be built?

      It is just madness. It is the sort of “eye catching initiative” Tony Blair was so fond of, and he was a liar and a phony too.

      If he is left to blunder on in this buffoonish way, the world king will be the death of the Conservative Party. It is my hope that when the re-election of President Trump is confirmed, the Conservatives will have the nerve to get rid of the oaf who is so keen to squander the Red Wall. Let’s have a Prime Minister who stands up for Britain against the Green blob and the “build back better” gang of globalists! I had thought it might have been Boris, but sadly he has proved to be a massive disappointment.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        JohnK, I agree with everything you say, apart from Trump being confirmed as the next PotUS (though prosecutions for vote fraud are beginning).

        So far Boris Symonds policies are:
        – no gas in new homes from 2025
        – only new BEVs from 2030
        – all dependent on Wind
        – lockdown mania.

        It is time for the Tory party to visit Boris and quietly ease him out.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Giles B

      “If the Government is serious about phasing out the internal combustion engine, then there needs to be a massive increase in generating capacity.”


      It’s all about obscene profit by vehicle manufacturers, and orwellian control of the people by the state, and ultimately by the state’s bosses…..sneaky globalist entities who’ve been messing with our way of life and eroding our freedoms since Blair got power.

  5. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    There also needs to be consideration of the fact that outsourcing our dirty work to China and importing the goods back ‘cheap’ is not cheap at all. It is cheating, plain and simple, as far as going green is concerned and it has destroyed our way of life and that is no exaggeration.


    On a more serious matter:

    I note our favourite cheese now comes wrapped tightly with “Less plastic !” proudly displayed on the label.

    Fine if you eat the whole block in one go. Alas ours has been taken out of its wrapper and put in a plastic bag – our fridge freezer simply doesn’t have room to use plastic boxes (or would Andy prefer us to get a bigger fridge freezer ?)

    This is madness, Sir John. Utter madness. All of it.

    • Andy
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      I think it is amusing that you are resorting to moaning about cheese.

      I am thankful to the EU for driving through changes which have made our fridges far significantly more efficient.

      These sort of gently progressive policies have left us in a position where we all use many more electrical products than we used to – but we also use significantly less electricity. This hasn’t happened by magic. It is a European success story.

      Mr Redwood’s party now has full control of fridge regulation amongst other things. Perhaps we should ask what he will do with this awesome new power.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        You ignore the effect of a high level competition in the fridge making industry.
        To continually improve their products to gain sales from customers who want among many things, a fridge which costs less to run is something that was understood and provided.
        The EU did it…yeah right.

      • Mark
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        Is it really a success? When I looked at new fridges I found that the ones with the highest energy saving cost several hundred pounds more and offered far less internal space because so much was taken up by extra thick insulation. The energy saving alleged was of the order of 30kWh/year, worth about £6 even at today’s extortionate electricity prices. I call that madhouse economics. Especially since you might need a second fridge if you could find space for it at home.

        • NickC
          Posted November 18, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Mark, Andy is technically illiterate. He has no idea that the completely trivial electricity savings as a result of fridges with another inch of insulation and CFL or led lamps, is dwarfed by the loss of just one aluminium smelter.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        I’m not moaning about cheese. I’m very happy with the cheese.

        It used to come in a resealable wrapper. Now it doesn’t. So I have to buy a separate plastic bag to put it in in order to be able to store it without it going hard.

        How is that saving on plastic waste ?

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Andy, The UK uses significantly less electricity now because we have de-industrialised compared to 25 years ago.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink


      “(or would Andy prefer us to get a bigger fridge freezer ?)”


      Well that depends; If you’re of a pensionable age Andy might suggest a freezer big enough to put yourself in. Or he might just say it’s unfair that you should own a freezer and that you should be publicly flogged for having the cheek to work hard to afford such luxuries.

  6. Mark B
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The Conservatives Party did indeed privatise the energy industry and subsequent governments allowed it to be sold off to foreign companies and governments. We want from having some of the cheapest energy in Europe to one of the most expensive destroying industry and jobs in the process.

    How many in the Cabinet own or have worked in heavy industry ? Few if any I bet.

    So they have no idea how important cheap and reliable energy is to industry. With no such understanding how can we possibly formulate a workable energy policy ?

    We really have far too many clever people who think they know everything but know nothing.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Mark, clever people? I have to question that. I don’t think many people feel we are being governed by clever people right now.

    • rick hamilton
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      How many in the cabinet have any scientific or technological training at all ? Or indeed in the whole HoC ? The economically disastrous Climate Change act sponsored by Miliband (PPE Oxford of course) was supported by a huge majority, of which I believe JR was an exception.

      The media expect every politician to have an opinion about every issue, which seems to convince them that they know about everything.

  7. GilesB
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    As stated in the report

    “It should be noted that if EV charging increases national peak demand, then this will require a potentially significant additional generating plant, which could make other costs look modest.”

    That report also reminds me of the appalling approach to the rollout of smart meters. The Government and industry have colluded to lie to the public about the purpose of smart meters. They are being presented as a tool for users to track their consumption in real time . Complete rubbish. The purpose is so that the industry will be able to turn off devices in people’s homes at peak times when the next generation of devices are forced onto the paying public. If that is such a great idea, then be honest and say so. Convince the public that they want to give away that control

  8. DOM
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    A wholesale transfer to renewable energy in the UK will bankrupt this nation and destroy our competitive advantage. Those unelected and unrestrained individuals now in control of public policy will deliberately impose massive damages upon our people out of pure, psychotic ideology

    Those on lower incomes will suffer greatly as energy bills explode to compensate for higher costs and intermittent supply.

    Taxes will rise to finance the massive subsidies needed to encourage private sector investment to take on the elevated risk of investing in such retrograde assets

    And for what? While China and India continue to build coal and gas fired capacity the UK must embrace the idiotic ideas of people who have no place in dictating such destructive measures

    What is the purpose of backbenchers if not to expose the sheer stupidity, arrogance and backwardness of those who act in such a reckless manner?

    Voters continue to endorse the cosy status quo of Lab-Tory. Why? Look at the damage these two grubby entities have imposed on this nation. That free-lunch card disreputable politicians play at GE time has been used to deceive and lull voters and then once in government, whack, oppression.

    Keep pushing please. It’s important people do experience the downside of voting Lab-Tory arrogance

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink


    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      You rightly applaud JR’s analysis and proposal, don’t you understand that to get his agenda we have to vote Tory? What we are fighting about is ‘who leads the Tory Party’.
      About time you faragists (I can’t keep up with the name of his party any mor than I can keep up with Boris’ covoid rules) analysed why your party can’t get a single person elected to the House – and don’t demand a change in the electoral system or the electorate!

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        We’ve voted that way three times now and gone ever further Leftwards. The worst lurch to the Left under Boris.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        Lynn A, Experience shows that the central Tory party takes no notice of its members, nor of common sense, unless threatened by a political enemy. The only one currently on the block is Nigel Farage’s ReformUK. And he’s only been in three – UKIP, Brexit party, which he intends to re-name ReformUK: not that many to remember!

    • Dave Ward
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      “A wholesale transfer to renewable energy in the UK will bankrupt this nation and destroy our competitive advantage”

      Considering we are already bankrupt thanks to the absurd policies being used to try and “control” Covid, this will just be the icing on the cake! Any country which relies on computing (which, let’s face it, is all of the “Western” states) will quickly find out the sheer folly of attempting to power their economy with solar & wind – AFTER a couple of major (or total) grid outages. And I don’t mean the close shave we had less than a year ago, which was mostly sorted within a few hours – I mean DAYS without electricity. I’ll post this link again, should anyone think I’m being alarmist (download the full PDF report linked within):


      “The power cuts affected Lancaster from the 5th to the 9th December 2015. The loss of power affected services many take for granted. Mobile phone coverage was lost, as was the internet and television. Electronic payment systems could not work, and people could not access cash from ATMs. Petrol stations had to close as the pumps need electricity. Food retailers had to throw away large amounts of stock when the fridges and freezers went off, schools and universities had to close and care homes lost lights, heat and hot water”

    • John Hatfield
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      “Voters continue to endorse the cosy status quo of Lab-Tory. Why? ”
      Possibly because media propaganda (eg the BBC) supports the cosy status quo.

    • NickC
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Dom, Indeed, why are politicians who are so ignorant of technology so keen to impose expensive intermittent energy onto us peasants? The net result of the government’s policies will be one, or a combination, of: impoverished peasants; cold peasants; peasants without cars; no basic industries; the UK dependent on foreigners (again); massive costs; inadequate energy; extra deaths. I would consider this is a deliberate ploy to pay us back for daring to vote Leave, except I don’t think our leaders are competent enough to engage in a conspiracy. It’s time for the Tories to ditch Boris Symonds.

  9. Sea_Warrior
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Today’s exam question: Is Chinese involvement in the UK’s Energy sector more or less worrying than our dependence on electricity coming through the inter-connectors from the EU?
    P.S. I support a strong policy of energy independence.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Why have to choose between one or t’other? Avoiding both is the way forward.

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      We are not dependent on the interconnectors. Look at gridwatch.co.uk which gives real time figures for generation by all the various means. There’s plenty of capacity from home grown generation without the inter connector.

      • Mark
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        On two days in succession recently (5/6th November) National Grid issued notices that they had insufficient generation capacity lined up to operate. It wasn’t even particularly cold, but there was almost no wind. They had to pay over £600/MWh to reverse flows on the interconnectors which were set to export because of a more general shortage of power on the continent, also suffering low winds and cool weather and generating plant outages for maintenance not completed over the summer. If that had not been done we would have had rotating blackouts. We were saved by bringing coal fired power back into operation – which requires significant advance planning because the boilers take a good while to heat up to operating conditions. Soon we won’t have that backup available, making us more dependent on interconnector supplies.

        National Grid’s Winter Outlook assumed that wind would always produce at least 16% of capacity, when it produced as little as 5%. It also assumes that there is 3.75GW of import from the continent available.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      You’d better address the question to Prime Minister Symonds.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Hancock (appallingly in my view) seems to be in favour of sanctions to prevent free speech on the obvious risks of some vaccines and now even refuses to rule out compulsory vaccinations!

    I am not anti-vaccinations I and my children have had all the usual ones. But some vaccines clearly can do much more harm than good and this needs to be considered very carefully particularly in the case of the Covid ones.

    We do not know how safe the new vaccines are yet, we do not know how old people and sick people will react to them, we do not know if they prevent people infecting others (or just make people immune to the serious effects of the disease), we do not know how extensive herd immunity will be by the time we have the vaccine and know if it is safe enough anyway. In the case of Covid it needs to be very, very safe indeed as so many people will need to be vaccinated for each year of life or might save.

    It might not be long be for the government are imprisoning climate realists too for pointing out the insanity of the current energy policies and net zero carbon lunacy. Climate change deniers as they like to label them – but who on earth denies that the climate changes? It always has and always will.

    Unable to convince people and tackle the arguments head by using argument, reason and evidence so they have to ban free speech it seems and lock people up. How long before this will protect lefty politics, government corruption and waste, postal voting fraud, climate alarmism, left wing quack economics, unconscious bias training and other insane wokery?

    • Richard1
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      It’s an odd one.

      It’s quite right that people should not be free to spread dangerous lies – defaming scientists and their honest, painstaking work for instance.

      However, if that were the law, then most Tory election campaigns and the Leave campaigns would have been prosecuted.

      So Hancock wants to limit such considerations to the vaccines.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Martin, And certainly the Remain campaign – who can forget “we get back nearly £10 for every £1 we give the EU”. So bonkers it probably doesn’t even need prosecuting.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      +1 I back every word.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Boris and his coterie must go. There’s no reforming them or persuading them with argument.

      • NickC
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        The new Boris is the old(er) Boris. Though Boris is no Heidegger.

    • DavidJ
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Excellent points LL.

    • M Davis
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Very well put, Lifelogic!

    • NickC
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, An excellent summary. All medicines have side effects, and it is inevitable that the covid19 vaccines will too. Let people asses the risks themselves without coercion at any level.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink


      “How long before this will protect lefty politics, government corruption and waste, postal voting fraud, climate alarmism, left wing quack economics, unconscious bias training and other insane wokery?”


      Until we rise up and do something about it.

    • steve
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink


      Well if Mr Hancock or any one else for that matter wants to sanction my birthright to free speech he can come round here and try it.

      He’ll be hastily leaving, having learnt a few new words.

  11. Stephen Priest
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    It’s very hard to find good news. Sir John Redwood seems to keep calm.

    However every day we seem to be getting further away from freedom.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      As displayed on 5 Live a short while ago. I suggest Nicky Campbell sticks to re-uniting lost relatives and keeps out of an attempt at political journalism. Not a test for Sir John.

    • M Davis
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink


  12. Stred
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    The only way to avoid this mad Green government is to replace the BEIS staff with competent electrical, chemical and nuclear engineers. Appoint some as heads of department and let them test the knowledge of the civil servants who are currently pushing through the CCC agenda, which is false and corrupt. They will turn out to be arts and political graduates and should be sacked or redeployed. Far fewer competent staff would be needed and we would then have reliable cheaper energy again, saving a huge amount in imported wind turbine technology.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Exactly. These dopes keep confusing power and energy using the wrong units and saying absurd things like X wind farm will generate 50 megawatts per year. So ignorant of the subject are they. Some even think positive feedback on climate is er a positive!

      The energy minister is Kwasi Kwarteng. He one of the few more sound ministers in my opinion but he did read Classics and History (Trinity Camb.) The minister for transport even thinks and says that electric cars are zero emission so deluded is he.

    • DavidJ
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Stred.

    • DennisA
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      The first requisite is the repeal of the Climate Change Act and the disbanding of Lord Dieben’s fiefdom, the Climate Change Committee.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink


    • Bryan Harris
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Well said Stred

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    You say ‘Water based renewable systems should have an advantage from being always available and that needs to be reflected accurately in comparative costings.”

    Not exactly sure what you mean by “water based”? Hydro, tidal, wave perhaps? All have their problems and rather high costs – tidal is predictable but far from on demand you have to use each tides energy before the next tide and you get large neap and spring tide variations and they silt up and need expensive walls to enclose a large area.

    Wave energy is rather like wind intermittent and very expensive to collect too. Hydro need suitable locations and large (often very dangerous) dams. As we very nearly saw recently at Whaley Bridge.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      L/L I too wondered about water based renewables. The Scottish government handed over millions to two companies who were developing tidal power. Both went bust with no success. The answer to cheap, reliable and self sufficient energy is small nuclear and fracking. My electricity provider has suddenly asked me to pay £18 a month extra. I have only just switched to a cheaper provider so God knows what is going on.

      Meanwhile Littlejohn in the Mail has a great piece on Carrie. The public comments are brilliant. A true reflection of comments here and I would think worldwide. The circus has come to town.

    • Stred
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Prof MacKay showed in SEWTHA that tidal and wave energy could only supply a very small part of total demand. Hydro is already used and a small %. Wave and tidsl are the most expensive.

    • forthurst
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I assume JR is talking about pumped energy as tidal and wave generation are only advocated by people who do not know that water pressure is proportional to height not mass. Possibly the only sensible use for intermittent energy as it doesn’t require an equal amount of reliable energy to back it up.

    • DaveK
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Flood Scotland, kill two birds 😉

      I would like to thank SJR for this diary, it’s my homepage. If I may add, that on topics like these would it be useful to discuss the impact of such things as the Climate Change Act and the Paris Accord? Instead of the usual suspects wailing “Orange Man Bad”, how about explaining why the “Developed Countries” should effectively de-industrialise and pay into a $100 billion pot whilst transferring industry and funds to the “Developing Countries” such as China and India, who don’t have to join in for a decade? Remind me who said “Don’t interupt your enemy whilst he is shooting himself in the foot”.

  14. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–Obviously we should stop closing down power stations till we have independence again. And why don’t we crank in to the mix a few smaller “modular” power sources–same things that have powered nuclear submarines for decades.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      How are you going to ensure capacity while the world is still being waved in? They will all need more and more electricity – – for US to pay for.

    • DaveK
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      You can just imagine the protests against that technology, just look at the problems with our nuclear updates. Hopefully nothing like nuclear submarines by the way.

      • gregory martin
        Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        It was stated in Parliament last week during debate regarding adoption of EU dismantling regulations after Jan 1st., that we have 7 ‘retired’ nuclear powered subs parked in Rosyth pending recycling. While its likely that they have come to the end of their life below the oceans, how can it be that the power plants remain intact if they are not capable of further safe operation. A program to re-fuel these might add at least (7×40) 280 megawatts to our base load .

  15. oldtimer
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The nation needs low cost energy. You have, in the past, pointed out how industries (and the jobs that they create) have quit the UK because of high cost energy and taxation. More will follow – what is left of the car industry is a prime candidate as the government continues its attempts to tax it out of existence. What we get in place of hard headed calculation is more waffle from the Prime Windbag to be embellished, no doubt, by the new unelected Symonds-Stratton axis of influence on public policy.

  16. Sakara Gold
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink


    Grid-scale power storage technologies are in development – and some have reached the pilot-plant stage – once fully mature we will be able to reap the benefits of the abundant and free renewable energy sources with which we are blessed.

    I would argue that a renaissance of nuclear energy would complement our investments in offshore wind and onshore solar. Rolls-Royce have developed small modular nuclear reactors from highly successfull military designs. The government should authorise the construction of one and lets try it out, maybe on a previous nuclear site such as Wylfa.

    Ultimately we should be able to turn the tables on the EU and use the interconnectors to export our energy to them, but I suspect that investment in the grid infrastructure will be necessary in case our electricity fails to meet their standards.

    • Mark
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      “Grid scale” simply means big enough to be connected directly to the grid. In fact, all these sources are puny compared with the need for storage if you try to rely on renewable energy. Our biggest energy stores are the pumped storage facilities at Dinorwig (9.1GWh, which can provide up to 1.7GW over about 5 hours) and Cruachan, where the redelivery capacity has been cut in order to devote a generator to service as a synchronous compensator to try to keep the grid stable when there is lots of wind generation. Just to put it in perspective, there was over 76GWh of curtailment on November 1st alone with wind power we could neither use nor export – even at negative prices.

      Grid storage in 50MWh batteries or even the 250MWh planned liquid air units is not about coping with periods of shortage of wind that can last days on end, or storing surpluses to cover them. It’s about handling short term variations, such as gusts of wind power, and about providing some very temporary cover in the event that a larger generator or transmission route or interconnector is lost while backup generators get up to speed.

    • NickC
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Sakara, As Mark points out we need back-up for Wind for days, not minutes or hours. Wind needs dispatchable back-up approaching 100%. At the very least that doubles the cost of providing plant. The only viable non-CO2 producing electricity generating plant is nuclear. Yet there is now insufficient time to build it for the policies Boris has announced (new homes without gas from 2025; new cars to be BEVs from 2030). His groke policies are ludicrous, and as Lord Lawson says, seem designed to ruin our country.

  17. Sharon
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    All the measures that we, the electorate, complain about with regards to government’s instruction in rolling out all the absurd ‘green’ measures without consultation; dig deeper into this Great Reset: plans seem well advanced and internationally we (UK) seem wholly “up for it!”

    Did I miss the vote for that?

    I agree about the cost of electricity costs being absurdly high. When we moved here 30 years ago, the gas heating bill was huge! Now it’s reversed and electricity is sky high! At the cost of electricity and one of these new heat pumps instead of the gas boiler, we’d struggle.

    There needs to be more than one egg in the basket for individual choice as much as anything, though this won’t be allowed under this ‘Brave New World.’

    Assuming that elections don’t become outlawed, I really think if the Conservatives can’t be stopped from their current route; they’ll be gone at the next election.

  18. clear
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Talking of energy ( in a roundabout way )
    I was thrilled by that British embassy man in China who jumped in the river and saved the woman.
    Good man

  19. Nivek
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink


    In early June this year you wrote, “I wish the USA well in restoring peace and good policing”. Reports regarding events in America’s capital this past weekend prompt me to inquire as to how well you think this is going during this highly sensitive time for that nation’s democracy.

  20. Iain gill
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The political class have socially engineered a services only economy over decades, their model is we import manufactured goods from other countries which use far cheaper and less efficient anti pollution kit in their factories and electricity generation plants than we were 50 years ago. They want us to use the most expensive form of transportation possible for the same reasons. So the idea that they are suddenly going to come to their senses is hilarious.
    Sorry John be realistic about your fellow politicians.

  21. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Why would any government pursue a policy where the country became dependant on be kindness of other countries for its energy (or indeed other supplies)?

    Why would any subsequent administrations continue such a policy?

    No awareness of risk management and extreme myopia. Which seem to be essential traits to be part of our ruling class.

  22. agricola
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    What you say is correct but you talk in none specific terms. Yes we need to be competitive and totally self reliant. You only have to look at the last five years of EU duplicity to realise they are not a reliable trustworthy partner, particularly where future energy supplies are concerned. Nor do I feel that any involvement with the Chinese is a good idea either financially or technically. So what are we left with.

    There are small unit atomic stations such as Rolls Royce are reported to be about to sell to the Germans. Question, why are we not planning their use. Then there is Shale gas if government are prepared to do something about the nimby tendencies of those who would block it. I also question whether we have done enough to control the emissions from coal fired electricity generation. Finally where are we up to with Fusion Energy which is the Holy Grail of energy creation. When you look at the effort that has been put into Covid19 vaccine creation I wonder if the same accelerated approach could be applied to FE.

    So having laid out the battle field, what are your answers.

  23. Andy
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    You left the EU.

    You want to keep all your fish. The EU wants to keep all of its electricity.

    If this leads to power shortages here prices will go up.

    Poor people – who leant you their votes on Brexit – will suffer,

    Unless you find a way to turn herring into a power source.

    • NickC
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Andy, Fishing grounds are a legal part of UK territory. Electricity is a product for sale. We are happy to sell our fish to the EU. Are you claiming the EU is not happy sell their electricity to the UK? Whatever next, are they going to refuse to sell us their cars? Really? You have made a category error. But then you know what you said is just propaganda, not truth. And you’ll continue to do it, because to you serfdom under the EU empire is more important.

    • NickC
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The EU still controls the UK as much as it ever did until (at least) 31 Dec 2020. As you well know, since the EU is still stealing our fish.

  24. Bryan Harris
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Yes – an adequate power supply has to be an integral part of any economy.

    So that leaves the question – when are we going to invest in other new methods of creating energy…. A dozen windmills on every hill will not do it — Time for some real innovation
    Time that science started to pay back some of the massive investment it has seen and produce a real solution.

    Also — the PM needs to stop being so green about green energy – or he will truly ruin us.

  25. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    The 20% safety margin normal peak demand you mention seemed a sensible policy, but once again our politicians have thrown that away to rely upon interconnects from Europe, who can switch off at will, indeed as you say JR that was the threat last week if we did not give in on fishing.

    The Eu are not our friends, never have been, they simply want more and more control over all member Countries.
    The sooner we start standing on our own feet on as many areas as we can the better, unfortunately that will not happen overnight.

    The fact that we also allowed the basics of life, Water and Power, to be handled by private commercial companies who could at any time be taken into foreign control was in my opinion also a mistake.
    We may have gained lower prices in the short term, but lost security of supply in the longer term.

  26. turboterrier
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    One thing that would help enormously is for the PM to put on hold any announcements about EVs. Every country and companies across the globe are announcing daily tie ups to push hydrogen for HGVs trains, buses, shipping and possibly aircraft. It would be fortuitous I feel to put on hold any far reaching plans for energy until the hydrogen path has been properly explored. There are many ways to produce hydrogen and we have the components necessary to make it really happen. Get rid of the quangos and CCC type advisors. Unless you look at the whole problem in a structured way the decisions sometimes made are akin to pissing before your flies are open.

    • Mark
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Hydrogen is expensive any way you look at it. The only reason we are looking at it is because it might offer some way to try to balance the huge swings in output from renewables generation that might theoretically be feasible, rather than the totally infeasible assumptions about demand management and the idea that the wind will be blowing somewhere conveniently close when it dies here. Hydrogen was barely mentioned at all in the Climate Change Committee’s Power Sector Scenarios for the Fifth Carbon Budget – published just last year. Now it dominates National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios because they were roundly criticised for promoting infeasible solutions. Hydrogen is mostly made by steam reforming of methane, and results in CO2 by-product. Its main uses are in the chemical industry for making ammonia and derivatives, and in oil refining for desulphurisation and making kerosene and petrol components from heavier oils. As an energy source, it is about 3-5 times as expensive as methane (depending on methane prices). Make it via electrolysis, and it is 8-12 times as expensive: 10 times is a nice round average.

      Rather than pursue such expensive solutions which would cripple our international competitiveness, we should be having a great re-think in place of the reset.

  27. Roger W Carradice
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    I thought that I had voted Conservative. Now Carrie is Prime Minister I realise I must have voted Green.

    • JoolsB
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      Exactly. If we’d wanted Johnson’s green crap policies, we’d have voted for the Green Party.

  28. turboterrier
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Sir John.
    The problem with all of this is that the present majority of incumbents of the House of Westminster are totally unfit for purpose. We are plagued with the three major parties still trying to kick lumps out of one another all based on a political dogma that is centuries old. The parties are not really operating in the 21st century. The blame lies clearly with all the Central Offices and filling the House of Lords with so many “old hands” to keep the old processes alive. For this country to survive all the political parties really need to have a rethink. The selection process and start with really listening to the people.

    Years ago British Gas went out on a limb and released the Banishing Gripes campaign inviting all their customers across the UK to tell them what was wrong and what their expectations were. It changed the way they operated as well as giving them the shock of their lives, but it enforced the saying that “when dealing with the public perception is all their is” During these lockdown being in the high risk group it has been hard to talk to my Mp other than by e mail. But before this the option was to visit his surgery, gone it seems when the new generation of Mps actually walk the talk only when there is a photo opportunity. Things have got to change and it all starts at the very top.

  29. DOM
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Brexit betrayal on the horizon. To see a high ranking member of the British Royal family grovelling in Germany/Merkel is enough evidence I need to conclude that a monumental wo fingers to democracy is on the cards

    The British establishment enjoy sending out their subtle signals as a statement of intent

    Johnson is the ultimate Eton insider. Two faced, greasy and duplicitous

    A proper Anglophobe passing himself as a patriot

    At least we can see Labour’s hate of the UK. Some Tory MPs keep it well hidden concealing it at GE time

    • margaret howard
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:06 am | Permalink


      “To see a high ranking member of the British Royal family grovelling in Germany/Merkel is enough evidence”

      They’ve only gone to visit the land of their (fore)fathers.

  30. ChrisS
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Wind and solar power might be green and relatively cheap but they have to have backup available 24/7, especially in winter. That is very expensive and Nuclear is not really suitable for the purpose. That leaves gas and coal or in the longer term, the promise of tidal systems that could come good.

    However, what nobody in politics is appreciating is that in the headlong rush to replace gas with electricity, all the sums are being done on the basis of the current cost of fuels.
    They ignore the point that electricity is already FOUR TIMES the cost of gas per Kw Hr.
    and the electricity from the new Hinkley Point station has a fixed price double that.

    When my gas boiler needs replacing it seems that I will be forced to buy a very much more expensive unit that could at some point in the future be run on Hydrogen, or switch to electricity. Few will be able to afford that.

    • anon
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      -Support overbuilding of capacity for renewables and self-sufficiency.
      -The larger turbines +8MW and getting larger,are cost -efficient and will out-compete fossil fuels as they are replaced by 12MW etc.
      -Support UK technology & UK ownership and trust only those nations who are friends of national democracy.

      -Existing fossil fuel plant should not be scrapped but kept in reserve for winters & forecast periods of extra demand or low supply, with capacity payments made for the fixed cost, plus any fuel actually used.

      -As grid scale storage solutions are rolled out. e.g Air to Liquid and back, the surplus energy above demand can be used. Fossil fuel plant can then be mothballed or closed.

      -Nuclear unless UK owned is a big no. Its risky, extremely costly and existing should only be used to support transition to safer & cheaper technologies. Gas & even coal is preferable with secure storage & secure pipe & sea routes.

      Wind resource ,if UK owned and controlled is a massive resource equal to oil fields. Reducing imports and increasing security.
      Lastly Solar efficiency still is only 21-24% lots of room for improvement.

      QE spent on developing productive assets & technology will be money well spent, but it should follow some competition rules which favour UK based incumbents.

      • Mark
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        How much overcapacity? I calculate that to supply current demand levels assuming wind and solar and storage at an optimistic 75% round trip efficiency (if we use hydrogen, that falls to 50% or less) we would need over 100GW of each and over 30TWh of storage to meet just current demand levels that average about 35GW. Once you start looking at interseasonal and interyear storage, the cost becomes prohibitive because it only makes money once a year or less via stockturn, and almost certainly will need constant topping up. It is cheaper to overbuild even more, and throw away surplus output. You soon reach the point at which the useful output from a marginal windfarm is under 20% of its production, which makes it more than 5 times as expensive.

        We simply do not have TWh scale storage that is proven, and the cost is horrendous. At £500/kWh for grid batteries, 30TWh costs £15trillion, and has to be replaced regularly. The losses on liquid air storage make it unsuited to longer term use. So we are left with green hydrogen that costs about 10 times as much as methane. It may be physically feasible, but itis not viable.

        Most of the cost in nuclear comes from excessive regulatory burdens. South Korea has been building nuclear stations at half the cost of Hinckley Point, which by the time you allow for all the extra costs of integrating renewables into the grid and providing backup makes it clearly a cheaper option.

        The experience with wind farms to date is that most of the content is imported, and the ownership is overwhelmingly overseas, so the subsidies paid by billpayers are siphoned abroad. There is no sign of that changing, with BiFab having failed to secure a single contract.

  31. turboterrier
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John.

    On the Not a Lot of People know that web site two days ago there is a very interesting blog on the four people who provided government with a report on the way forward on the path to zero CO2. What a joke no mention of cost and who will pick up the tab. It seems I was unable to copy the link.

  32. IanT
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I agree with you Sir John – great pity the Government doesn’t seem to.

  33. MB
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Our Energy Policy is in tatters.

    Largely influenced by the ‘Greenies’ and the incessant scam of ‘man-made CO2 global warming’, we are screwing ourselves.

    The cheapest power is that from existing, fully paid for, generating plant. i.e. Existing nuclear, coal-fired generators. Yet that is the least used for generating purposes. More money is paid to ‘weather dependant renewables’ because of the way the energy payment system works.

    Full cost is never considered when building ‘weather dependant renewables’, and their lifetime will be considerably less than traditional base-load generators, and will have to be renewed earlier than tried and tested nuclear or coal-fired plant technology.

    Your ‘water based renewables’ are currently providing less than 1GW of our power supplies and it is impractical to build more. They are fine in mountainous countries like Norway, but impractical in the UK’s landscape.

    Right now, a full 12% of our electricity is coming from interconnectors – mostly French nuclear.

    We have no way to store all excess electricity generated by wind and solar as viable battery technology does not exist yet and is unlikely before the ridiculous 2030 ban on IC engines hits us.

    The sun doesn’t shine at night so we have to have backup for every GW of ‘productive’ solar installed. Ignore ‘nameplate values’, focus instead on the actual output. Check the gridwatch website and see for yourself how the actual production falls woefully short. Right now, 09:10am, solar is providing 1.18% of our electricity supply.

    The wind doesn’t blow 24 hrs a day 365 days a year, we have many completely windless days. So we have to have backup for every GW of ‘productive’ wind installed. Once again, ignore ‘nameplate values’, focus instead on the actual output.

    How renewable are ‘weather dependant renewables’?
    How much energy is expended in building windmills and solar panels?
    How long will the turbines and blades last in the North Sea? 10, 15 or 20 years, We don’t really know.
    When will it become uneconomic to repair them? Maintenance costs will be astronomically high due to inaccessability, height of the turbines and the salty atmosphere.
    Who will pay the demolition costs? Or do we leave them as eyesores for decades to come?
    Who will recycle the fibreglass blades (incidentally, made from hydrocarbons) and defunct solar panels?

    There is so much that is wrong with our energy policies and something needs to change.

    How will we be able to transform our central heating systems to electric if we don’t have an ample supply?
    How can we run electric cars if the infrastructure is not in place to charge them? And forget about electric HGV’s!
    Who will be paying to upgrade the Grid to quadruple it’s capacity and service every house in the street?

    Our current electricity demand is 33GW. With proposed changes we will be needing at least 3x this amount, and it certainly is not sensible to assume that this will come from ‘renewables’.

    So much for any chance of an Industrial Revival, John.

  34. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    We need this lucid analysis and the solutions ‘conserved’ from the Conservative past, in Downing Street. I have no more time for Boris.
    This time next week we need to be free of EU ‘talks’ and amend our legislation as required, that issue is decided.
    We need to address all the new and pressing problems and Boris has demonstrated his inability beyond all doubt. He need to get back to Spectating.
    All Tory MPs need to understand that 4 years passes very quickly and they have not one minute to lost, we need a Conservative Government.

  35. Richard1
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I can highly recommend Michael Schellenberger’s book Apocalypse Never for a rational discussion of these and related issues. It has annoyed environmental hysterics so much they are refusing to enter into any debate on it.

    It seems the EU are trying to use the energy interconnectors much as Russia might be inclined to use the Pipeline to Germany (which presumably will go ahead now trump has gone). Fortunately I don’t think they can do much damage, it all comes down to price.

    • anon
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      Russia has never threatened gas supplies to people who pay for the gas at the contract price? Gas supply is a long term business. Show the evidence Russia has used gas a political weapon.
      Some commercial activity between lets say previous allies should be the norm, if its kept at a sensible level.

  36. ferdi
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Two main points. The latest coal fired power stations in the US have an exhaust which is as clean as human breath. Secondly there has not been a single peer reviewed scientific paper linking CO2 with dangerous global warming. Now check where the cheapest energy is. It’s our own enormous reserves of coal.. CO2 is the staff of life every single plant, animals including us, comes from it -as do most of our rocks. We need to kill this illogical limiting of CO2 .

  37. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Close to me six houses are being built, how are batteries going to replace diesel diggers and cranes?

    We are governed by fantasists and idiots.

  38. RichardP
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I totally agree.
    That is exactly the energy policy we need, anything else is negligence.
    They could also drop the Smart Meter roll-out. They add unnecessary cost to our bills and don’t save any energy.

  39. a-tracy
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Who or what % of the MPs in your party disagrees with what you say here, John?

  40. Martyn G
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Has anyone carried out a risk assessment of how the new way of working from home will cope in the face of unreliable electricity supplies? I know of two agencies where almost all staff are wfh connected via the web to the base server. The server has a UPS to keep it going when the mains fails, but what about those at home without a UPS to power their computer and internet hub?
    How robust is the internet service as a whole? I know that provider servers and equipment is widely dispersed and that failure of any one part of the network would not cause serious problems, but what if an enemy found a way to bring them all down, even for just a day? How many government and emergency services have a recovery plan, or are we all carrying on thinking that the internet is inviolate?

  41. glen cullen
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Embrace nuclear, embrace fracking and embrace coal to ensure consistency of supply and a low fuel price to consumers

    Everything else is window dressing to the green party, virtue signalling and pandering to Carrie and her friends – Renewables aren’t the answer

  42. Julian Flood
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Sir John, thank you for articulating this. I couldn’t have put it better myself…

    The level playing field between renewables and reliables can be easily reached: make all generation with access to the Grid guarantee availability 365/24. The wording would have to be crafted carefully — it’s easier for a wind turbine to be sure of its output at certain times of the year and undoubtedly there would be attempts to game the system. They would have to be forced to build some backup themselves, not point vaguely to other sources. Their easiest option would be CCGT.

    They will do the sums and almost certainly find that once they’d built the CCGTs* it would be cheaper to use UK fracked gas for all of it, and not bother with the wind turbines at all.

    For those worried about house prices near fracking sites, Sandbanks in Dorset has a fracked oil well running beneath it. It is the most expensive real estate in the UK.

    Combined cycle gas turbines, the most economical gas generators but with limited throttle control. OCGTs, Open Cycle Gas turbines — there’s a new one at Eye — are less efficient but can be easily ramped up and down to compensate for variability of other producers.

    • Mark
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Ot would be a good idea if there was a requirement to estimate the basis for energy supply on a no carbon tax, no CO2 emissions constraints basis, and provide comparative whole system cost. Then we would know what the real cost of our carbon folly amounted to.

  43. Everhopeful
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    If our forefathers had possessed the power of prescience they would never have abandoned their windmills and water wheels.
    How silly they were to exploit what lay beneath their own soil and to set up an empire of trade and innovation which brought prosperity to our shores.
    Well we now see the error of our ways.
    Let us forge forth into our brave new world and rejoice in all it will bring.
    Poverty. Cold. Mould. Disease. Death. Incarceration. Brutality. Moth. Poverty.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      How”prescient” of Boris to talk of “anti vaxxers” in his UN speech September 2019.
      The endless talents of the man!
      Shame he didn’t foresee the Cummings debacle…or did he?

  44. ferdi
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    It worries me that a fact is removed because it may be distasteful to some. I pointed out that our electrical energy is best and cheapest when produced from indigenous sources. Our coal reserves are enormous and the latest coal fired power stations in the USA have exhausts that are effectively as clean as human breath. Why pointing out that fact in response to a request to suggest the best way to meet our energy needs should be unacceptable, is perverse.

  45. Original Richard
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    “It is no surprise that the EU which pushed this is now using it as a threat against our exit.”

    Absolutely right.

    It is utterly despicable that Mr. Macron should threaten us in this way and demonstrates again why we should leave the EU and the need to become energy self-sufficient.

    The EU intends to use its integrated energy system to increase its hold on power over its increasingly colonised members.

    This is why Germany is so keen on building Nord Steam 2.

  46. Howard
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    “as we leave the EU” you say- but we have already left 31st Jan- we knew we were going to leave since 2016 and Tory led Governments have done sweet nothing to advance a policy of independent energy and here again this morning our host is trotting out this old dog bone as a diversionary tactic to what is really going on.. leaving me to speculate that it’s likely Boris is going to take the easy option- always the easy option- and will wish to stay connected to the EU interconnected supply and in return will give whatever concessions to the French and others on UK fishing- and the rest is pie in the sky- so why go on?

  47. Jack Falstaff
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    “As we leave the EU we need to change policy”

    Let’s get to the point and stop this nonsense being stretched out any further.
    I note from the broadsheet press that there is now talk of prolonging trade talks yet again, until December 28 now.
    Readers should also note that this particular date is the equivalent of April Fool’s Day in several EU countries.
    Please would our host knock a few heads together within his party, as we all know that he is as keen for this charade to end forthwith as we are.

  48. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    We need to regain our nation’s ownership of utility companies in the energy generating and supply categories. Until that happens, not only do we lose wealth as cash is moved overseas but we are open to intimidation and threats from rival nations – they can and probably do starve investment for example.

    Will anything be done by a government led by the likes of globalist Boris? No. We need a change of personnel, only after that can change be achieved.

  49. Original Richard
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    To use Mr. Thatcher’s quote on socialism :

    The problem with renewable energy is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

    Fortunately our independence from the EU means that our electorate will be able to elect a government to stop the impossible pursuit of renewable energy when the costs become crippling and the supply intermittent.

    The only green energy worth pursuing with current technology is fission nuclear power, which also happens to be the safest of all forms of energy generation by deaths per unit of energy produced.

  50. NickC
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    It is very simple – even Boris Johnson could understand. All new homes after 2025 cannot have natural gas by government decree All new cars after 2035 (probably soon to be 2030) cannot use natural fuels such as coal, petrol or diesel.

    The government (these are government policies) is just not building the necessary extra electricity power stations (including Wind, and the back-up for Wind) to cater for its planned fuel conversion.

    Therefore it will be yet another UK government fail – the type of top-down cock-up so beloved of politicians who think they can turn back the tide. Just think what this country would be capable of without this groke nonsense (groke = green woke).

  51. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Tidal power is expensive, intermittent and has huge ecological and maintenance costs.
    It generates on a parabolic curve from zero to max at times when you don’t need it.
    Yet another subsidy black hole waiting to be filled.

    • Mark
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      I have a chart using data taken from a PhD paper that looked at the Severn Barrage that illustrates the problems: a huge surge in power when generation starts during spring tides, yet long periods of waiting with no generation at all. During neap tides, the period of generation is much reduced, and so is the quantity of energy – all following the lunar month cycle. And of course the timing of peaks moves about 50 minutes every day.


      Reply if you capture enough water on any high tide Or from a river you can release it to turbines at a steady pace of your choosing, if you build the right kind of barrage

      • Fred H
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        reply to reply …..how? flood the area upstream?

      • Syd
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Reply to Reply
        Sir John, Mark’s many offerings to this blog on the subject of electrical energy generation and supply have been consistently knowledgeable and accurate.
        In your Reply you imply that the PhD paper he quotes is of no value, and the problems it illustrates are overstated.
        My 35 years in the electricity generation industry tells me that you are wrong, and you owe Mark an apology.

      • Stred
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        You have to release the whole lot while the tide is low on the other side. It is bound to lead to large fluctuations and can’t be timed to suit demand.

      • Mark
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        It is true that you can use a double basin design to provide an even flow, but that means you must spend more on barrages to divide it, and the total energy you can generate is only about 30% of that a available from a single barrage design, which means that the cost will increase perhap 4 times per MWh produced. There is a paper that explicitly considers these options and models them here


        Modelling of lagoons and barrages also shows that maximum energy is obtained from ebb only generation, where the full high tide is held behind the barrage waiting for the tide to drop sufficiently before generation starts (as in the chart, which shows an optimisation for maximum energy output). Trying to generate on both ebb and flood tides means that the difference in water levels never gets large enough to achieve higher power outputs.

      • Mark
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        For completeness I should add that studies show that the tide timings at sites that offer reasonable potential for tidal barrages are mostly close to being in phase with each other, so making the output even spikier, rather than smoothing it. Studies that explain that are nicely summarised here


  52. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Marcus Rashford is attacking the Tories again.

    “Reading should not be for just those who can afford it.” I agree and that’s why it was never the case.

    When our kids were young we couldn’t afford school meals so we gave them packed lunches for a pound each. For reading we bought books from charity shops for a few pence each and used libraries. All books got taken back when used – recycled.

    The most important thing was to have a parent read with them.

    The school meals crisis coincides with a crisis in schoolchildren unable to use a knife and fork … and a childhood obesity epidemic. The most important thing is to have a parent to eat with them.

    We went without holidays and I fixed our cars on my rest days.

    Mr Rashford is a human shield for the Leftist assault and reset. A redistribution of money from people who use it wisely to those who don’t.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      So you would rather children remain unable to read and write, use a knife and fork etc. because their parent (s) are ignorant/unable?

  53. jim
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Wasted words Sir John. Energy policy is a job for experts and there are few on the green benches and still fewer in cabinet.

    We spent a lot of money on those interconnectors, if you pull the plug either our homes and industry will go dark or we will have to build replacement power sources. The French had the brains and political nous to build big nuclear, we failed to do so and screw up every attempt so to do. The interconnectors are clean and carbon-free (for us).

    There are no magical or easy sources of power, everything about it is big and expensive, makes a mess and has a long lead time. We could of course ditch any semblance of ‘green energy’ to placate the warming deniers but that makes us the dirty old man of Europe and will affect our negotiating position. Sovereignty in energy or anything else is a complete illusion, strictly for the mouth foamers.

    Leave it to the experts Sir John.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Oh! Carrie and Greta?

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      We are not warming deniers.

    • Mark
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

      The Dutch interconnector is fed directly by coal fired generators at the mouth of the Rhine: so much for carbon free generation. The French have had to bring back four coal generating stations so far in order to cope with closures of nuclear ones. Further closures will see more frequent periods when the French try to buy power from the UK to make good their own shortfalls. True, they will also be trying to do the same with Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland. But the interconnectors will simply transmit the consequence of too little reliable generation and over-reliance on renewables to us in the form of high prices during shortages, and negative ones during gluts such as when solar is at a maximum on a summer Sunday – and we are trying to export the surplus.

    • anon
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      Interconnectors are small & not allways used to capacity either way

      2GW to France (IFA)
      1GW to the Netherlands (BritNed)
      500MW to Northern Ireland (Moyle)
      500MW to the Republic of Ireland (East West).

      Just delay closing some older coal/gas plant & run a little more gas/coal as needed in the short-run.

      Normal electricity workday runs 20GW to 40GW but will spike to 60GW in winter. 4GW i/c ok but its not guaranteed , also it could be extra demand if Europe requested.

      eg when the reactors close because of limited cooling water or other reason

  54. DavidJ
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article Sir John but will government simply dismiss your ideas on instruction from those infected with the Green Plague?

  55. Pieter C
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    The UK accounts for 1% of global CO2 emissions. Why then are we embarking on the economic lunacy of “zero carbon”, which will make no difference whatever to global climate?
    Perhaps the answer is in the ex-cabinet minister who was quoted yesterday as having said that “CO2 is 60% of the atmosphere”. The true figure is 0.04%.

    • Julian Flood
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Who was that, Gummer?


  56. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I see Boris has got himself in hot water again saying devolution has been a disaster in Scotland.

    He is right of course, but for the wrong reasons.
    It’s been a disaster because of the SNP, and the fact that there is no English Parliament.

    Thus the devolved Governments are allowed to vote on all UK and English matters, but the English MP’s have no say in the devolved Parliaments.

    All a bit one sided and another problem to resolve in time.

    • JoolsB
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t seem to be a problem at all Alan for this ‘Conservative’ Government there by the grace of England. Don’t expect any rebalancing in England’s favour any time soon from this lot but what we can expect is a massive back peddling by Johnson and John’s colleague’s promising the devolved nations even more goodies/powers at England’s expense. Such is the contempt in which they hold England.

  57. Nordisch geo-climber
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Climate Change Act 2008 must be repealed ASAP. It has no scientific basis.

    Carbon Dioxide does not affect the weather, no government policy can control the weather, but they can control subsidy – follow the money. Our “energy policy” is a sick, corrupt joke.

    IPCC stated some time ago, climate is:

    a “coupled non-linear chaotic system”, for which “the long-term prediction of future long term climate states is not possible.”

  58. John Waugh
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) can be a UK solution using repackaging of reliable and proven technology .
    Consortium led by Rolls-Royce including National Nuclear Laboratory are pushing development of SMRs.
    EDF run Hunterston B nuclear power station is likely to begin decommissioning process January 2022.
    idea : start planning for the construction of the first SMR at Hunterston .
    A first for the UNITED KINGDOM leading to huge global trade potential .


    • Iain Gill
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      if any of the decommissioned nuclear submarines had safely had their reactors disposed of then maybe, but they are all in a queue stockpiled. so SMR’s will end up the same, no viable plan for end of life disposal…

  59. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I have a friend living in California in one of the richest areas of the state. Due to the “green” energy policies there he has had to install a diesel generator at his own expense to supply power to his house during times when the power is cut due to lack of supply. This type of 3rd world situation is apparently what Carrie has planned for us.

  60. Norman
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    PS: I shall expect an invitation to tea after this!

  61. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    We need to look at the diplomatic measures needed to reduce carbon emissions globally. At power stations, burning raw coal – particularly the filthy brown lignite coal favoured by Poland and Germany – gives rise to double the CO2 emissions per KWh that gas fired power stations do. Why not define a ‘dirty economy’ as one that burns raw coal and seek a change in WTO rules so that tariffs may be imposed on exports from countries running a dirty economy? It would be water off Trump’s back but Biden can be intimidated. We could tell Biden (privately) that if he wants the UK as an ally in his foreign wars, he had better take notice of our needs.

    You hinted at tidal power as a constant source of renewable energy. Scotland is good at producing renewable energy and, if we reduced the generous Barnett formula provision, we may be able to afford to buy some of it. How goes the Pentland Firth tidal power project; is it financially viable?

  62. ferdi
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    HELE (High Efficiency Low Emissions) coal fired stations can produce much more power for a given input of coal.
    If African countries can deploy coal power, in some cases using the reserves they are sat on, with drastically reduced pollution, it is a win/win situation for the continent.

    Is it not disgraceful that developed countries in the West are doing their best to stop it.

  63. Cyril
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Chief constables have been told to stop issuing 10,000 pound fines for breach of covid regs- stupid politicians and stupid politics- only in England- for a start 10,000 figure is OTT..as I say stupid

  64. Fred H
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    The government is to invest £4bn in creating 250,000 new GREEN jobs as part of its plan to hit net zero emissions. It also aims to equip a generation of workers with new green skills. (?)
    The government will release its long-awaited 10-point plan to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050 later on Tuesday. It will emphasise the potential jobs that the so-called green industrial revolution could bring to regions that have suffered industrial decline.
    The BBC can confirm that technology to capture and store carbon created in industrial processes will receive substantial government investment.
    The plan will also include investment in offshore wind as already announced by the prime minister at the Conservative Party conference.
    Residential heating is one of the biggest emitters of carbon and there will be government grants towards making homes more energy efficient – which again it hopes will create thousands of new jobs.
    It is thought the final plan will also include investments in hydrogen power and there may be a commitment to new nuclear energy.

    • Mark
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      For “investment” read “subsidy”. None of these schemes are commercially sustainable without it. The subsidy will come from bill payers’ pockets one way or another, until we elect a government to stop it. For every “green” job created, three others will likely be lost.

  65. Barbara
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Considering it has just emerged that a Spanish jewellery designer, based in Florida, has received £21 million from the UK government as the fraudulent middle-man in a PPE supply scam, I’m afraid I don’t hold out much hope for any sense from this government.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Friends of friends have just bought a £ 4m house with cash from this year’s profits selling to the NHS.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        In WW2, I believe, manufacturers got their 10% profit – and no more. I would be interested to see the costings for a PCR test!

    • ChrisS
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      According to a newspaper report, there are eleven thousand containers full of PPE bought by our government clogging up the port of Felixstowe…………………….

      • graham1946
        Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        Apart from the blockage, leaving shipping containers on a dock is the most expensive way of storing goods. With all the firms going bust there must be plenty of spare warehouse space around and would provide jobs for people doing this work. Governments really are useless, they all think its only public money and can be wasted ad infinitum and cannot see what the ordinary person sees. They can give 21 million to an agent to introduce them to PPE manufacturers. Have the civil service never heard of Google?

  66. steve
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I think those who have put this country at strategic disadvantage over the decades need to be identified, located, arrested and jailed for life. Or be stripped of all assets and kicked out of the country without so much as a pot to piss in.

    • rb
      Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      I think those who have put this country at strategic disadvantage over the decades need to be identified, located, arrested and jailed for life. Or be stripped of all assets and kicked out of the country without so much as a pot to piss in.

      Globalists, its what they do.

  67. Norman
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Carrie’s taking a lot of flack – seems more than a bit unkind to me. Why blame her for Boris’s policy direction. She should be free to believe what she likes, and to privately air them. But surely the buck stops with him, and its him the electorate must hold to account.

    • The Hammer Codename
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Carrie’s taking a lot of flack – seems more than a bit unkind to me.

      she has been set up so you think she is the puppet master not that James Bond villain Claus, who runs the Great Reset.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      I agree, Norman.

      As if Carrie is setting policy and making these important decisions! Who the heck is briefing the newspapers, this is why it is hard to trust the media anymore, it’s all about gossip and tittle-tattle now and no facts and no ministers speaking up about their decisions.

      The ministers specifically Hancock seem to allow the gossip mongers to drag them around, trying to look good and nice, pushed into poor ventilator decisions, ppe, closing shops that already had distance measures set up no different to a supermarket, then a couple of months later they slate him for those rushed decisions he seemed to be pushed into making.

  68. a prophecy
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    nuclear will kill you all – Bible warning

    Posted November 17, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    you settled into the new normal John?

  70. rb
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    The number of people dying is “the same as it would be any other year”, despite coronavirus, according to Health data scientist Professor Anthony Brookes.

  71. Dr. Sok
    Posted November 17, 2020 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    When those sailors get into trouble in the southern ocean I look forward to the day when an eco heli rescues them.

  72. steve
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 12:20 am | Permalink


    I think Boris Johnson needs to be ousted……….FAST !, and I mean very, very fast.

    The ditherer cannot make decisions, his pro green pro EU missus is doing that for him. A most dangerous state of affairs for the country.

    Where he should be making decisions he fails spectacularly and forever rattles around in a vacuum.

    Now his missus has got her way and made him sack his pro brexit advisers, he’s gone into his little hide – hole.

    The cons won’t win another general election because of him, but for God’s sake get the bloody fool out now before he causes some kind of civil war.

  73. davies
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    There is absolutely no reason why this cannot be achieved with modular nuclear systems which take up a small footprint and from what I understand do not need to be located close to large water mass when they come on board in the next few years.

    Hydrogen looks promising as well.

    The people who put us into this predicament need to be called out.

  74. Ian
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    How anyone can think of ever voting for more of the same please is just beyond me.
    The Establishment is the problem, this is why J R never became a PM
    They did not want him, the life blood of our political class is the dream of Totalitarian government, which is what we have now, Labour +Liberals + Tory all singing from the same page ie they All love the EU and all that it stands for, .
    It has nothing what ever to do with Democricy .
    Anyone still think we have Democricy ?
    Just look at that nasty nest the House of Lords, there is only about 3 in there that are not Remainers.
    We have to get rid of this deplorable state of affairs, it will never change without totally changing the Establishment.
    Only one man can put it right is Farage and I want what he can and will do for us.
    He is the only one who wants what the vast majority of us all want
    The people who pull the strings, is the Establishment to be un able to ever darken the doors of anywhere in Westminster

  75. DennisA
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    What are Conservative MP’s going to do about the latest round of green fairy dust? I know mine will just fall into line.

  76. E. Davies
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I voted conservative for the first time in December, because
    I didn’t want the Marxists to get anywhere near the levers of power, and I thought Boris would be a great PM (!!!). If I wanted ecomentalist policies I would have voted for an ecomentalist party. Net zero can only be described as Catastrophic Lunacy.

  77. Mark
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Some of the weird features of our distorted electricity markets that add significantly to costs include

    At times of high wind, all the most expensive windfarms keep producing unless it is physically impossible to move their output to areas of demand. This is because curtailment payments for less subsidised onshore wind farms are lower.

    These conditions also lead to extended periods of negative prices (currently mainly overnight or on low demand Sundays, but as capacity increases these surpluses will occur at increasingly higher levels of demand).

    CFD contracts contain provisions limiting payments to the CFD strike price, with no extra compensation when prices go negative. Negative prices are sometimes set by the cost of curtailment, which is influenced by the ROC subsidy paid to onshore wind. Otherwise they are set by how much compensation is needed for exporting via the interconnectors. Exports at negative prices are therefore subsidised by consumers to the full extent of the CFD strike price – something that they are not aware of, I suspect.

    There is a provision in CFD contracts that if prices remain negative for a continuous period exceeding 6 hours, then there is no payment at all under the CFD for that period (potentially providing some incentive to shut during periods of massive oversupply) . What we are regularly seeing is periods of five hours of negative prices, with a period that is bid to be slightly positive next, followed by a further period of negative prices. It appears the contract is being gamed to maximise payments and subsidised exports.

  78. Sea_Warrior
    Posted November 18, 2020 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Just what has changed recently to justify the government’s ADVANCING its silly ban on the sale of ICE-powered cars?

  • About John Redwood

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

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