Energy self sufficiency

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of (a) the implications for his policies of rising UK import dependence in energy and (b) the potential to expand domestic production. (96751)

Tabled on: 04 January 2022

Answer:
Greg Hands:

Great Britain benefits from highly diverse sources of energy. The Government plans to increase energy production from a variety of sources, including nuclear and hydrogen will ensure that dependency on foreign fossil fuels is decreased. Around half of Great Britain’s annual gas supply is already met by domestic production, and Great Britain’s electricity mix includes significant sources of domestic generation.

The Government is taking steps to support investment in new sources of electricity generation, including 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, a first of a kind power plant enabled with Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage technology, and new nuclear projects. The Net Zero Strategy also sets out the Government’s ambition to decrease Great Britain’s reliance on natural gas, such as by blending hydrogen into the gas grid.

The answer was submitted on 14 Jan 2022 at 15:01.

This answer is most disappointing. It states that we will rely on future nuclear and hydrogen based power. Nuclear power will decline this decade, with  no new station not currently in build possible before the 2030s. All but one of our current nuclear stations will close this decade. There is no large scale hydrogen currently available and that too will take time to build up, with current plans not large. Hydrogen will need to be green hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, as it is not a primary energy source.

The phrase “around half of GB’s natural gas is already met by domestic production” implies it is on the rise, whereas we have gone from national self sufficiency to under one half so far this century. UK policy has been to restrict new UK gas extraction and to manage a planned decline in UK output. That is still the official policy though Ministers have started talking about adding to current gas fields.

The chilling phrase that electricity includes “significant sources of domestic generation” shows officials are keen to press on with making us more dependent on imported power. Last century we used to plan to be self sufficient with a  margin of excess capacity to take care of shut downs of major power stations and surges in demand. We should revive that policy.

The wish to create 40GW of offshore wind needs to be linked to methods of storing the power when the wind blows, especially at night, to help with periods of low wind. Storage could be via production of hydrogen or battery or pump storage. Yesterday our substantial wind capacity only managed to meet 1% of our power needs, demonstrating that rated capacity is a meaningless figure to guide power availability when you can get so little when the wind does not blow – or blows too strongly so you have to shut the turbines down.

The government neds to concentrate on self sufficiency to keep the lights on and to prevent Mr Putin and an energy short Europe holding  us to ransom.Ministers have said they do now want to extract more domestic gas to help so why do they approve official answers like these which imply their words are being ignored by the government machine?

270 Comments

  1. David Peddy
    January 15, 2022

    Very disappointing and unsound from the points of view of security and continuity of supply as well as economically and our Balance of Trade

    Reply
    1. Ian Wragg
      January 15, 2022

      So now we k ow why Bozo rules out cutting VAT on energy.
      It wouldn’t apply to Northern Ireland as they have to follow EU rules.
      That effectively rules out any variation in VAT for the whole of the UK.
      We’re still bound by their rules.
      France is also suffering shortage of power due to problems with 10 of their 56 ageing reactors.
      How do people like Hands get these jobs.

      Reply
      1. BOF
        January 15, 2022

        +1. Ian. Well summed up.

        Reply
      2. Ian Wragg
        January 15, 2022

        Wind on this low demand Saturday morning providing 2gw output.
        On this basis with Hands 40gw of windmills we would be producing 5gw. Where in 2030 when the last of the coal and nuclear plants have gone (9gw) are we going to meet the shortfall.

        Reply
        1. Timaction
          January 15, 2022

          Answer. We’re not. These imbosiles are planning energy dependency on foreign generation so they can crow about net zero whilst bankrupting our Country. These idiots have to go. The MSM with them.

          Reply
      3. jerry
        January 15, 2022

        @Ian Wragg; Indeed. The realities of Brexit whilst still following broadly Thatcherite economic policies are coming home to roost – ever wondered why I wanted a WTO exit?

        Reply
      4. glen cullen
        January 15, 2022

        Correct – and we are bound by the NIP and TCA level playing field for the foreseeable future….we need to face facts, our VAT is set and controlled by the EU

        Reply
        1. Penny
          January 15, 2022

          Sure. You Brexiters were warned. Leave the EU, and you will still have to follow its rules, because they are our biggest trade partner by far, they are our neighbour and they are very big and powerful. All that will change is that we have no say in making the rules anymore. You were warned, you went ahead anyway. This disaster is all on you Brexiters, stop complaining, start apologising

          Reply
          1. MikeP
            January 15, 2022

            Greg Hands’ very disappointing reply demonstrates what we all know to be true:
            – the Government is hamstrung by its COP26 commitments and can’t be seen to go ahead with more gas extraction, either North Sea or Shale
            – the same goes for the clean coking coal mine in Cumbria, the lack of approval of which is the death knell on our steel, aluminium and cement industries. Economic suicide
            – Carrie calls the shots with Boris. We did not elect a Green party but seem to have one.
            – the ‘Net Zero’ Manifesto commitment has minimal support from party members and the wider public. Low taxes and managed immigration are way higher priority
            – the Government is wary of moving away from reliance on EU energy, for fear of a trade war in other areas.
            All in all an omnishambles that will leave us dangerously vulnerable to foreign powers.

          2. Mike Wilson
            January 15, 2022

            Well, faced with a ‘very big and powerful’ neighbour, with whom we have a massive trade deficit, the obvious thing to is to tell them to get lost. I can’t think of a single thing I want to buy from Europe. We should have left properly on WTO terms. This is the Remainers problem – you emboldened the EU as the EU knew the establishment was stuffed full of EU fanatics and forced a bad deal on us. Stuff them. Invoke Article 16 now.

          3. John Hatfield
            January 15, 2022

            Penny, don’t blame those who voted to leave the EU for the performance of this spineless Remainer government.

      5. glen cullen
        January 15, 2022

        When the French run low on gas they just open up an old coal power station….why can’t we

        Reply
        1. Mike Wilson
          January 15, 2022

          We’ve ripped most of them down.

          Reply
        2. Micky Taking
          January 15, 2022

          we demolish ours…

          Reply
        3. hefner
          January 15, 2022

          Not sure, the French government in February 2021 allowed 32 nuclear plants to run for another 10 years extending their lifespan from 40 to 50 years with just one decision from the French ‘Autorite de la Surete Nucleaire’.
          Not even the need to reopen any other old coal power station. Only that of Cordemais is still running till 2024 and produces 1% of the French electricity. Nuclear produces 69%, hydro 12%, wind 10%, gas 6%.
          Glen, would you want to subscribe to my information service so as to help you stop producing ‘bloopers’?

          Reply
      6. lifelogic
        January 16, 2022

        How do people like Hands get their jobs? The main requirement seems to be no knowledge of or qualifications in science, energy, energy engineering, energy economics or similar. This a lack of numeracy and an irrational belief in the mad net zero religion.

        Reply
        1. Julian Flood
          January 16, 2022

          Modern history, Cambridge. Running under Ashcroft colours.

          JF

          Reply
    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 15, 2022

      Sir John’s underlying position does not sit with his claimed aspirations.

      If you are a disciple to right wing libertarian dogma, then you believe that most things should be achieved by the investment of private money, and that people should be free to sell their own property to whomever they like.

      Should they e.g. choose to sell their power station or gas extraction rights to a Chinese person, because they offer more money than anyone else, then it is no business whatsoever of government.

      Nor, if they are a provider of gas to the public and they choose to buy it wholesale from a Russian because he sells it cheaper than anyone else, is that any government’s business either.

      Now it either is or it isn’t, but you can’t take any useful steps against your favourite bogeyman of “globalism” without passing laws restricting what business can do, and as to the disposal and acquisition of private property.

      Reply Typical abuse. I explain my views here which are not as you describe.I do not favour allowing in Chinse state capital or Chinese capital friendly to their state to take over our assets and have always tempered free market economics with the need for a framework of law and regulation for the public good.

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        January 15, 2022

        OK, Sir John, I’ll take you at your word.

        So why not a Private Member’s Bill, to introduce such law as you believe to be needed, or at least to get the matter into the public and political arena?

        Reply I did not win the ballot to secure a Bill slot. this is in the public arena, raised here, in Parliament and on the media

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          January 15, 2022

          Well, yes, but public displays of hand-wringing, simply over the facts of the position, that is, that the only-for-profit lads are importing their fuel from the Russians, and that the owners of undertakings might have contracted in Chinese-owned operators, does not address the essence of the matter does it?

          That is, so long as there are no laws against it, and they can make more profit by doing that, then they will do it.

          Forgive me if I missed it, but I don’t recall your having asked for any laws to prevent this?

          Reply
          1. Mike Wilson
            January 15, 2022

            Forgive me if I missed it, but I don’t recall your having asked for any laws to prevent this?

            Indeed. One sentence: ‘ All energy supplied in the UK must be generated in the UK’ would have done the trick.

            The idea that energy generation is left to the private sector is ridiculous- as we are about to find out. I now have a changeover switch installed and a small petrol generator.

          2. Peter2
            January 15, 2022

            What would your ideal law do NHL?
            Would companies be forced to buy gas on a world market at a low price and at a loss to the supplier company ?
            How does your law work?

          3. Nottingham Lad Himself
            January 15, 2022

            It’s for those whining and jumping up and down about the European Union, the Chinese and the Russians to propose, I’d say, Peter.

            Wouldn’t you?

          4. Peter2
            January 15, 2022

            I asked you how your proposed law would work
            As usual you have totally failed to address the question and have resorted to cheap abuse NHL

          5. Nottingham Lad Himself
            January 16, 2022

            Peter, I haven’t proposed any law because I am not a neurotic wreck about the fact that much of our energy comes from 100% benign sources such as wind these days.

          6. Peter2
            January 16, 2022

            Still refusing to answer, after saying what you originally said.
            Very poor NHL
            And resorting to abuse before you now run away.
            PS
            Wind does not create 100% of our energy.
            That is a totally ridiculous statement.

      2. Original Richard
        January 15, 2022

        NLH : “Should they e.g. choose to sell their power station or gas extraction rights to a Chinese person, because they offer more money than anyone else, then it is no business whatsoever of government”

        The first duty of any Government is to provide safety and security for the nation.

        Involving the Chinese Communist Party, a hostile entity, to fiancé the construction of a major nuclear power plant is not keeping the country safe. It was also costly :

        Dieter Helm, professor of Energy Policy at the University of Oxford, told the BBC 04/06/2018 :

        “Hinkley Point C would have been roughly half the cost if the government had been borrowing the money to build it at 2%, rather than EDF’s cost of capital, which was 9%.”

        It was Ed Davey (Oxford PPE), then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who gave the go-ahead for Hinkley Point C in 2012.

        Interestingly Ed Davey has been in the news recently for his local branch receiving a donation from the CCP informant, Christine Lee, in 2013, whilst he himself has received a donation from Huawei in 2020.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          January 16, 2022

          You address a different point but validly.

          Mine is that libertarian politics intrinsically facilitate global’s capital’s taking interests in your country if it can make money there, and everything that it entails. Globalism, that is.

          If you promote the first then you are promoting the second.

          You can prevent this, but that involves passing laws of the kind that libertarians claim to abhor.

          Reply
        2. Julian Flood
          January 16, 2022

          There’s a quote on the internet about the cost of Hinkley to the British consumer by — IIRC — 2050. £50,000,000,000.

          JF

          Reply
    3. lifelogic
      January 15, 2022

      Indeed a rather pathetic response.

      I see than Greg Hands seems to think that “hydrogen” is a “source” of energy. This rather demonstrating his total lack of even a basic understanding of the topic. We have no hydrogen mines Greg. Hydrogen is only a method of storing energy and a very energy inefficient, CO2 producing and extremely expensive one it is too.

      But then to be fair to poor Greg Hands seems to have no real scientific qualifications or understanding he read Modern History at Camb. His boss Kwartang is similarly ignorant on energy – despite being one of the sounder MPs in general. Why are these History Grads put in charge of energy? They do not know the difference between a Mega Watt from Kilo Joule or an “energy source” from an “energy storage” system.

      Reply
      1. lifelogic
        January 15, 2022

        Hands says “The Government’s ambition to decrease Great Britain’s reliance on natural gas, such as by blending hydrogen into the gas grid” but for what possible reason is this a remotely sensible ambition? It will not even save any CO2. Just get fracking you damn fools.

        He also says 40GW of wind I assume this is 40 GW of “capacity” so we might actually get just 8GW randomly delivered and it will need large subsidy and gas or coal back up too! Plus building, connecting and maintaining these wind farms will generate loads of CO2 anyway.

        Reply
      2. lifelogic
        January 15, 2022

        Chris Philp MP just now on Any Questions “When the coalition came in 2010 the country was basically bankrupt… but now the economy is back on track …”. Back on track mate? Has the man looks at the economic figures recently? – he even (very rarely for an MP) has a physics degree and so should be sufficiently numerate enough to understand the inflationary, debt ridden economic mess Sunak has created – unlike tax, borrow and piss down the drain Rishi Sunak it seems.

        Reply
      3. dixie
        January 16, 2022

        @LL In the same way you seem to think oil is a source of energy.

        We don’t have petrol mines either, the oil must be processed before it can be used in the many and sundry applications. In the same way water would need to be processed into H2. By the way oil is ” only a method of storing energy and a very energy inefficient, CO2 producing and extremely expensive one it is too.”. Oil also takes far longer to produce than H2 though there are potentially quicker possibilities in biological processes.

        Reply
        1. Julian Flood
          January 16, 2022

          Love it! Oil is not a source of energy! Love it!

          JF

          Reply
          1. dixie
            January 17, 2022

            The notion that oil is an “energy source” conveniently ignores the time and energy used to produce the oil in the first place. If you need a readily available portable fuel then oil is an energy store just like Hydrogen but needs processing and the latter is much easier to produce.

            Or, do you think the oil & gas will simply last forever, or that you will always be able to get some when you need it at a cost you, and others, are prepared to pay?

  2. Fedupsoutherner
    January 15, 2022

    I hate to say it John but you’re flogging a dead horse. We all are. We are being govered by a load of partying idiots who haven’t a clue. I think they must a be in someone’s pocket. I despair.

    Reply
    1. jerry
      January 15, 2022

      @FUS; We have been thus for the last 45+ years, there was a reason why the Bennite faction in the then Labour party did not want the UK to get involved in that 1976 IMF loan, not just their denial of our economic situation at the time… The IMF = International governance by committee, as good it gets!

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        January 15, 2022

        Recently-released papers show that Healey was misled by certain officials, and that the UK’s finances at the time did not require such intervention.

        Reply
        1. Mike Wilson
          January 15, 2022

          Recently-released papers show that Healey was misled by certain officials,

          Those pesky officials! Nothing changes. We still have them talking bolleaux about energy, health, the EU … in fact, about everything.

          Reply
        2. Micky Taking
          January 15, 2022

          well fancy that….Civil servants misleading politicians. Whatever next!

          Reply
    2. ukretired123
      January 15, 2022

      @FEDUPSOUTHERNER +100%
      SJR pearls of wisdom fall on stony ground cast before shallow pygmies.

      Reply
    3. lifelogic
      January 15, 2022

      +1 – Either totally ignorant fools acting on a mad “group think” religion, following on vested interests or actually totally just corrupt – I can see no other sensible explanation. Any other suggestions?

      Reply
  3. Sea_Warrior
    January 15, 2022

    Is Mr Hands aware that Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom?

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 15, 2022

      Oh, I think that an increasing proportion of Remain-voting NI’s people look forward to the end of that, and the kicking out of the military bases with its new-found neutral status like the rest of the island.

      Reply
      1. Denis Cooper
        January 15, 2022

        If Northern Ireland had been neutral territory in the Second World War, like the Irish Free State, then probably Great Britain could not have resisted Hitler for very long. However you may feel about it no doubt there are plenty of decent people in the province who weighed things up and voted to stay in the EU who are nonetheless glad that with the help and sacrifice of their forebears the UK was able to sustain the fight against the Nazi regime and ultimately contribute to its defeat. And likewise no doubt there are plenty of decent people in the south who would like to see a united Ireland but are nonetheless proud that their relations did not stay neutral but volunteered to fight with the British armed forces. It is people like you and Andy, extremists, who are so blinded by your love of the EU/hate of this country that you are incapable of forming any balanced moderate view, but you should not attribute your own prejudices to others.

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          January 15, 2022

          Very well said Denis.
          Thank you for your excellent post.

          Reply
        2. Mike Wilson
          January 15, 2022

          Too right! My mum was Irish. Many of her male relatives joined the British Army and served in WW2. They regarded our fight as their fight. The tragedy of Brexit is the fact that Remainers worship the autocratic EU and abhor their own country.

          If I were in charge, citizenship and passports would be revoked and the likes of Andy could go and live somewhere he does not despise.

          Reply
          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            January 15, 2022

            So you’d be left with a country mainly of pensioners, white van man, and a few rich tax-avoiders.

            Can’t see that working too well.

          2. dixie
            January 16, 2022

            @NLH you remainiacs keep on sneering and digging don’t you.
            An early analysis debunking the ageist bs from your bretheren showed that the 65+ band was largest modal group in both leave and remain voters while the base polling data showed that the majority of voters 36+ voted leave.
            That suggests a radically different outcome from your day dreams.

          3. Peter2
            January 16, 2022

            Why NHL?
            70 million here already.
            They have many new children every year.

      2. jerry
        January 15, 2022

        @NLH; There is an increasing view, north and south, that the EU might not be the answer to the island of Ireland’s problems, both economic and social. Not that you’ll ever read about this in the Guardian etc.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          January 15, 2022

          Where did I claim that the European Union would be the answer to all problems facing any country, not just Ireland?

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            January 15, 2022

            Where did Jerry claim you did NHL?

    2. graham1946
      January 15, 2022

      He carefully does not mention the United Kingdom but refers repeatedly to Great Britain, which for some reason in fashionable circles seems not to include parts of the UK they don’t care about. Another degradation of our country and our language by the ‘right on’ political class.

      Reply
      1. Mark
        January 15, 2022

        The electricity grid in Great Britain and in Ireland are separately managed. The Northern Ireland government seemed to accept that it was going to become reliant on electricity from the South when it decided not to build a new CCGT unit in Belfast Harbour, and to increase the cross border transmission capacity dramatically, and to operate a joint grid, while closing all their main power stations. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes they made.

        Reply
    3. Andy
      January 15, 2022

      I’m sure he is. But your Brexit deals – remember, the ones you didn’t actually read – left Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for energy.

      Get over it. Apparently you won.

      Reply
    4. Denis Cooper
      January 15, 2022

      Replace Theresa May with Boris Johnson and what you get is the current mess where the “vassalage” and “Brexit In Name Only” of her Chequers plan for the UK is restricted to Northern Ireland.

      https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2022/01/13/time-for-the-government-to-move-on-from-managing-covid/#comment-1291293

      The former was driven by the demands of the CBI and other business pressure groups including many Tory party donors, the latter was motivated by his “Super Canada” trade deal vanity project.

      The past five years have shown just how degraded our political system has become.

      Reply
  4. Oldtimer
    January 15, 2022

    The reply is beyond “most disappointing”. It is a disgraceful failure to address the basic needs of this country, its citizens and its wealth producing activities. It is yet another reason the Johnson government is well past its “get lost” date.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      January 15, 2022

      If that’s the reply to an MP, I wonder what reply us mere plebs would receive….beyond contempt

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        January 15, 2022

        +1

        Reply
      2. Julian Flood
        January 16, 2022

        They just don’t reply.

        I’ve been trying to find out which Acts (which signifies bills signed by Her Majesty) have not yet been commenced*. My personal interest is in the Deregulation Act 2015 which inter alia corrects a bizarre judgement that inverts the usual rules of evidence in certain Rights of Way cases, but while walking in La Taha I met a retired civil servant who told me that a Dangerous Dogs Act was another.

        *Commencement is a formality moved by the Leader of the House, who seems to be in no hurry to do this. My bit of the Act was hurriedly added when I used the (still) current RoW law to apply for Watling Street to be reopened where it runs through the Palace of Westminster. In English law it is still a right of way and it is illegal to prevent my walking down Tothill Street, through Westminster Abbey and right through the Member’s dining room.

        If it were your dining room the enforcers would be round, but in this country of one rule for them, another for us oiks they just sit on the legislation and ignore us. We have a ruling class. elected and unelected, which is treating us with contempt. It will not end well.

        JF

        Reply
    2. Gary C
      January 15, 2022

      “The reply is beyond “most disappointing”. It is a disgraceful failure to address the basic needs of this country”

      Agreed, and this is only one of the reasons the electorate are walking away from the Conservatives.

      The disappointment in our politicians is immense leaving many politically homeless.

      Reply
  5. Micky Taking
    January 15, 2022

    ‘In summary we are relying on Climate Change keeping UK warm’.

    ‘significant sources of domestic generation’ might mean we will be expected to pedal electricity generated into batteries for home use.

    Reply
    1. Oldtimer
      January 15, 2022

      You are on to something here. When London got all lit up with fancy light shows pre-pandemic there was one on Victoria Street which did just that. It would only light up if enough people got on the bikes that were part of the installation and pedalled hard enough. All to save the planet.

      Reply
      1. No Longer Anonymous
        January 15, 2022

        Oldtimer – that was a false display of greenism as it assumed that cycle power doesn’t require energy (in this case it does, in the form of food.)

        Reply
        1. dixie
          January 16, 2022

          NLA You may want to reconsider that position – if “green” is about not producing excess CO2 or pollution, plants absorb CO2 when growing and the people would need to eat anyway then it could be argued it is quite a green approach to generating power.
          Better to argue on grounds of efficiency and effectiveness.
          PS LifeLogic may believe he knows everything but he really doesn’t so best not to take what he posts as gospel.

          Reply
  6. Everhopeful
    January 15, 2022

    Look, if they can do what they have just done re plague, they are scarcely going to care if a few thousand folk freeze to death.
    And this energy rot is exactly the same cr*p.
    There is no reason for us not to be self sufficient.
    Carbon is good. Without it the seas would be solid ice.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      January 15, 2022

      Your first sentence is the most chilling (no pun intended), as history supports it – eg Kulaks

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        January 15, 2022

        +1
        For some time now I have thought it has a similar ring.
        At first I thought French Rev. but look how they are going for the middle class…the ones who support themselves and provide employment in small businesses.
        And of course with rewilding they ARE planning to destroy our food supply.
        So chilling, as you say.
        20,000 kulaks murdered so that “progressive” agriculture could starve the population.

        Reply
    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 15, 2022

      EH.

      Thank you for agreeing that the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere has a very large effect on global average temperatures.

      Now, there’s half as much of it again as there was in pre-industrial times.

      What, given your entirely correct frozen seas statement, do you think that the effect of increasing that yet further might be?

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        January 15, 2022

        Tsk!
        Don’t get so hung up on hockey stick curves and ooky data.
        The planet has always changed and probably always will, irrespective of man’s teeny weeny lifespan here.

        Reply
        1. glen cullen
          January 15, 2022

          Wise words EverHopeful…..we need to start enjoying life more without fear of the crazy climate crusaders

          Reply
        2. Nottingham Lad Himself
          January 15, 2022

          Answer the question reasonably in the light of what you say about frozen seas.

          Reply
      2. Original Richard
        January 15, 2022

        NLH :

        We had an ice age maximum just 22,000 years ago and the Earth has been warming ever since.

        So what started the warming, because it certainly wasn’t our CO2 emissions from the Industrial Revolution?

        Perhaps something else is causing the temperature rise, after all the Earth has been warming and cooling for billions of years, and perhaps the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is following the Earth’s temperature rather than vice versa?

        Sunspots?

        I do find it amazing that our climate is so constant bearing in mind that we are totally dependent upon a thermonuclear fireball 93m miles away.

        In the 1970s the BBC were predicting the coming of another ice age.

        Reply
        1. Julian Flood
          January 16, 2022

          Diatoms. No, seriously, diatoms.

          JF
          You read it here first.

          Reply
  7. PeteB
    January 15, 2022

    That is a politician’s answer to a question they can’t properly answer.

    Perhaps the questions should have read: When will new nuclear stations be built? how will wind power be stored? what is the plan when Russia closes gas pipeline?

    Words without a plan are just words.

    Reply
    1. Original Richard
      January 15, 2022

      Pete B :

      Agreed.

      The questions need to be more direct.

      Reply
  8. Gregory martin
    January 15, 2022

    Every hamster to have a treadmill with a dynamo.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      January 15, 2022

      +lol
      Or every one of us to have a big one in the garden!
      Two mandated ( they love that word!) hours before breakfast.

      Reply
      1. Mark B
        January 15, 2022

        No ! They just going to wire us up just like in the Matrix and power the country that way. I mean, it is no more absurd than relying on intermittent forms of energy or hostile nations that can plunge you into darkness at a flick of a switch.

        Reply
        1. Everhopeful
          January 15, 2022

          +1
          Yup! I can see that coming!
          Especially if they can’t force us back into the EU with a manufactured energy famine.

          Reply
      2. glen cullen
        January 15, 2022

        Now I understand why they’ve built all those meaningless ‘cycle-lanes’…its to get us ready for the hamster-wheel
        (your smart-meter supply will not turn-on until you’ve completed two hours)

        Reply
        1. Mark B
          January 15, 2022

          glen

          The bike lanes are there for the masses. The roads will become the new Zil lanes (remember ‘Two Jags ?) for the elite.

          Reply
        2. Disappointed with 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" (Micky)
          January 15, 2022

          The smart meter might turn you off, once enough therms have been used to boil a kettle and fill a hot water bottle.

          Reply
        3. Everhopeful
          January 15, 2022

          +1
          Hehe! 🐹 + 🚲
          Getting the slaves fit for purpose!

          Reply
  9. DOM
    January 15, 2022

    Europhile forces within the body politic are as strong today as they were prior to the EU referendum. Reference to GB rather than to the UK appears to dismiss the existence of Northern Ireland. This is Europhile driven. Energy dependency as a weapon of political war to keep the UK tied to the EU.

    What is worrying is that if a PM like Thatcher who to a degree held the EU in contempt bent to the EU will on Maastricht then what hope do we have from anyone who is softer than an ardent Eurosceptic like her?

    If Labour achieves government with Starmer in charge or even a Tory party with a wet then I have no doubt the UK will be absorbed back into the EU in some shape or form

    The only way forward is for the Tory party to elect an ardent, determined Brexit supporter

    Reply Major not Thatcher forced Maastricht through with Labour in general agreement though opposing

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      January 15, 2022

      Mrs.T opposed, Maastricht. That is why they got rid of her.

      Reply
      1. jerry
        January 15, 2022

        @Mark B; Mrs Thatcher headed the UK negotiation for what became the Maastricht treaty [1], just as she did with SEA, Schengen etc, had she not done so, had she refused point-blank to move beyond the customs union we had joined, what she had supported (both in 1972 and 1975), either the EEC would have remained much the same or the UK would have had to withdraw.

        [1] Mrs T left office in late Nov. 1990, Maastricht was signed in early Feb. 1992, there is no way such a complex treaty could have been negotiated in just 12 months (by the then EEC 12), even had the UK conceded all our own national interests

        Reply Yes, Mrs Thatcher used her last speech as PM to denounce the centralising power grab within the Maastricht draft.

        Reply
        1. Denis Cooper
          January 15, 2022

          So what did she think was meant by the commitment to “ever closer union” that she must have read in the preamble to the Treaty of Rome? Of the 40 million voters in the country in 1975 few would have read those words, but she must have been in the tiny minority who knew where it was heading.

          Reply
        2. jerry
          January 15, 2022

          @JR reply; Except it was to late by then, late 1990! Until late 1988 Mrs Thatcher appeared to be a fully paid up europhile, and would have remained so I suspect had Jacques Delors not sided with the UK trade unions in the autumn of 1988, Thatcher’s reply, during her Bruges speech, being even more scathing as anything she said later.

          Reply
    2. George Brooks.
      January 15, 2022

      You are one hundred percent right and this Remainer influence is rife in many other departments as well. It is growing in strength and is as dangerous as that Chinese solicitor is to the security of the UK.

      Covid is no longer an excuse for inaction and Boris only has a few months to ”get Brexit done” PROPERLY!!!

      Reply
    3. Fedupsoutherner
      January 15, 2022

      Dom. Agree. I only just said the same to my husband across the breakfast table. They want to make us so poor we have to beg on bended knees to be allowed back in to the EU. It’s a shame we can’t get our true feelings printed here.

      Reply
      1. Ian Wragg
        January 15, 2022

        Even after all the remainer shroud waving our economy is doing better than the EU s, imports from the EU are down and up from the rest of the world.
        Just get rid of the NIP and things can really take off.
        Truss, we’re watching you.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          January 15, 2022

          It’s exports that we need to increase Ian, exports.

          Those to the European Union are way down for some reason.

          Reply
          1. Micky Taking
            January 15, 2022

            ‘for some reason.’
            Could it be that EU don’t want our stuff, and we don’t want to sell to them?

            I think imports are the problem, we need to make and grow much more of what we want.

          2. Nottingham Lad Himself
            January 16, 2022

            “We” being other people – businesses, who now struggle without the workers whom they once had, who have lost their main export market, and who now have to compete against the dumping – which is to be made easier – from such as Australia and, it is hoped by its proponents, from the US.

      2. Micky Taking
        January 15, 2022

        Can’t you describe your true feeling without over doing the Anglo-Saxon short words?

        Reply
      3. No Longer Anonymous
        January 15, 2022

        FUS – Why will going back in the EU make things better ?

        Reply
        1. Fedupsoutherner
          January 15, 2022

          NLA. I didn’t say it would but we know many that do.

          Reply
    4. Shirley M
      January 15, 2022

      Agreed. Reliant on the EU for energy, and EU countries (including their governments) already owning many UK essential services. Mass immigration causes farmland to be used for housing, and in addition the government is deliberately bribing farmers to reduce food production in the UK via ‘rewilding’. From where will we import the increased amount of food we will need to feed our quickly growing imported population? The EU, by chance?

      The government is NOT taking care of the UK, in fact it appears to be doing its best to ruin it. Why?

      Reply
    5. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 16, 2022

      But this is not an “ardent, determined” anti-European Union country, Dom.

      Only 37% of the electorate voted Leave, and many of those simply thought “Oh, I don’t know, maybe we’d be better out? Perhaps we’ll see?”

      I know – I drink with plenty who thought exactly that, and jolly nice folk they are too.

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        January 16, 2022

        Less than 37% voted to remain.
        Over a million less.
        Maybe they thought Oh I don’t know maybe we’d be better left in . Perhaps we’ll see.

        Reply
  10. Everhopeful
    January 15, 2022

    Was that the whole answer?
    I can’t get over how rude and dismissive these people are when questioned.
    Are they really that busy?
    Constituents get short, sharp answers like that…although actually now my MP never replies at all!

    Reply
    1. Micky Taking
      January 15, 2022

      ‘Are they really that busy?’
      You should remember all the invitations they get, and have to reply to, diaries to check, shopping for bring your own booze, walking round to the rear entrance avoiding being seen arriving by car at the front of No.10.
      Some even have to read short punchy questions from nosey MPs, and then you have to get hold of Civil Servants to pen a response, and probably remind them a week later.
      It can be a tough life.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        January 15, 2022

        +1
        True!
        Yes, that was very mean of me.
        Poor overworked things!!

        Reply
  11. Mark B
    January 15, 2022

    Good morning.

    It all seems a bit desperate doesn’t it ?

    A totally unavoidable crisis looming large. All because people started believing that the sky was going to fall in if they did not tackle CO2 emissions.

    Off topic

    Here is another crisis looming on the horizon. Food !

    I watched on YT the latest episode of Harry’s Farm. I suggest Sir John that you watch it as well as he speaks about food miles and the importance of growing our own food.

    He mentioned that the government’s latest plan to pay farmers to grow nothing will not help as we would have to import more food, most of it from the Southern Hemisphere. That is an awful lot of food miles. He also mentioned that the CAP Grant given to English farmers is to be halved. Apparently, Scottish, Irish and Welsh farmers shall be receiving the same subsidies as before. So once again the English are denied something because they have no say. Care to comment ?

    Reply Yes I am pressing the government to ditch this damaging import food policy

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      January 15, 2022

      Reply to reply

      Thank you, Sir John.

      People need to listen to farmers’ like Harry Metcalfe. Farming, especially for small holders is not an easy business and government with its policies (eg anti-CO2) is not making things easier.

      Reply
    2. Fedupsoutherner
      January 15, 2022

      Reply to reply. And I hope standing up for English farmers John. Not many do over anything to do with England.

      Reply
    3. graham1946
      January 15, 2022

      I am sure Boris and co said the subsidies to farmers would continue after Brexit, but that we would decide how they are spent. I didn’t hear the bit about them being halved, although we know a politicians promise is one of the 3 most useless things in the world. We can subsidise foreign windmill owners for billions, but cannot support the people producing our food. Pretty obvious they don’t want home production and wish to get us back in the EU asap.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        January 15, 2022

        EU level playing field & EU common energy plan

        Reply
      2. Mark B
        January 15, 2022

        graham

        They also said they would not raise national insurance. But guess what . . . ?

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          January 15, 2022

          and not raise Income tax but freezing thresholds has indeed increases the rates of income tax you actually pay – yet more blatant ratting on the manifesto.

          Reply
      3. Nottingham Lad Himself
        January 16, 2022

        “Continue” does not necessarily mean indefinitely, nor at the same level.

        Reply
    4. jerry
      January 15, 2022

      @JR reply; A good start would be to push for a revived MAFF, and place environmental issues were they really belong, in with BEIS. Very few farmers intentionally cause environmental damage, to do so would be like a carpenter using his finest wood chisels to cut bricks, most environmental problems stem from the needs of businesses, including new roads and the such. Even the problems that caused the spread of F&M in 2000/1 was a direct result of post farm-yard business decisions.

      Reply
    5. rose
      January 15, 2022

      The Today Programme had a conversation about rewilding this morning, in which nobody mentioned food security. Or even food.

      Reply
      1. Micky Taking
        January 15, 2022

        rewilding would be great for birds and rabbits.
        Stand by for menus – how to make a sparrow feed a family, explaining to children that pet rabbits are not the same as wild rabbits.
        Who needs to import?

        Reply
        1. Denis Cooper
          January 15, 2022

          That is a very difficult thing to explain to urbanised children, and rabbit came off the menu in our house once we had pet rabbits. But by then it was already getting more difficult to find in the shops.

          Reply
          1. Micky Taking
            January 15, 2022

            as the numbers of ‘pet’ rabbits reduced you merely say ‘Bobtail escaped to go and play with the wild bunnies’.

          2. Denis Cooper
            January 15, 2022

            We captured an escaped rabbit but the owner said she didn’t want it back, so we kept it with our two. Then somebody was careless and it escaped from us, so we put up notices in the street. But the rabbit seen on the loose that a neighbour caught and kindly brought to us was a different rabbit, so we had to keep that one as well … it was a grumpy animal which was best handled wearing gardening gloves.

      2. glen cullen
        January 15, 2022

        UK rewilding is the EU CAP via the back door

        Reply
        1. rose
          January 15, 2022

          Well spotted.

          Reply
    6. Everhopeful
      January 15, 2022

      +1
      It’s a bit like Partygate really.
      The govt’s unwillingness to grow food ( we did once and it was ruined by Brussels), and the willingness to import it show that it does not care diddly squat about bloody carbon emissions.

      Reply
    7. glen cullen
      January 15, 2022

      The IPCC climate crusade all started to stem the increase in the ocean level – there’s no agreed evidence of any ocean level increase
      We’re all doing this net zero on a premise and forecast without evidence but a IPCC report

      Reply
  12. Everhopeful
    January 15, 2022

    It is said that the Industrial Revolution was run on tea and sugar and that the City of London was ignited by coffee which took over from small beer befuddlement.
    Answers like that one…la la fairyland ….make me wonder about …um…that sort of thing!

    Reply
    1. Mitchel
      January 15, 2022

      Now,it’s all gone a bit “gin lane”.

      Reply
  13. turboterrier
    January 15, 2022

    The ministers reply reeks of:
    Ignorance, incompetence and arrogance. Situation normal it would seem.

    Reply
  14. BOF
    January 15, 2022

    Yet another non answer fugerama and not much in his cv to qualify him for his current roll. Having served in both the Cameron an May cabinets is not encouraging.

    My questions today Sir John are, have the French managed yet to get one of their new power stations as being built at Hinkley C, working?
    As there is currently minimal hydrogen production, how long will that take to get in full production and will it work aanyway?

    Battery storage on the scale needed is pie in the sky idiocy. It has been installed in S. Australia and found wanting.

    I think the idiots have taken over the asylum.

    Reply
    1. Original Richard
      January 15, 2022

      BOF : “Battery storage on the scale needed is pie in the sky idiocy. It has been installed in S. Australia and found wanting.”

      The Tesla battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve in Australia cost £50m to supply 194MWhr of short-term backup.

      If this battery was used to back-up our current 40GW usage we would need to spend £247bn in batteries for each day’s back-up.

      Reply
      1. BOF
        January 15, 2022

        O R. Thanks for the numbers to put it into perspective.

        Reply
        1. Mark
          January 15, 2022

          Not sure that you’d be able to get the batteries that cheaply any more. This week, lithium prices soared again to over $51,000/tonne – they were just $6,000/tonne in late 2020. Expect EV prices to go up too, and for short range battery offerings to try to trim the cost.

          Reply
  15. Donna
    January 15, 2022

    Parliament voted for the idiotic Climate Change Act, which has imposed the “green” agenda on us. And the Civil Service is still implementing the EU’s policy of Energy Interdependence.

    Parliament won’t repeal or amend the Climate Change Act, for fear of Eco Loon Activists (including the current Mrs Johnson). The Civil Service won’t change the long-term policy of EU membership/alignment.

    And the un-Conservative, Liar and Hypocrite in No.10 won’t do anything about either of them. He has morphed into an Eco Loon himself and when it comes to the Civil Service he doesn’t have the energy, determination or ability to reform it.

    Which is why Sir John got the response he did.

    Even if Johnson goes, the basic policies won’t change. We are to be made colder, poorer and have restricted lives because that is what the UN/WEF/Parliament and the Civil Service have decided we must have. And there is no-one in the CONservative Party (let alone the others) who will refuse to comply.

    Reply
    1. Original Richard
      January 15, 2022

      Donna :

      Agreed

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      January 15, 2022

      Giant volcanic eruption today in the pacific of Tonga isn’t recorded as co2 climate change as its not man-made

      Reply
    3. BeebTax
      January 15, 2022

      Spot on.

      Reply
  16. Augustus Princip
    January 15, 2022

    It’s a shame our political elite are not ignited by cocaine given the evidence of widespread usage in the HoC. Perhaps the boozy parties negate its effects.

    Reply
  17. Nig l
    January 15, 2022

    Yes and maybe your government will tell us how they are going to back up their threats of economic sanctions on Putin over Ukraine when he has got us by the power generating balls.

    Obviously hot air and he knows it just like so much else that comes from No 10. I see it is alleged another promise broken licensing super trawlers to ravage our stocks. Get ready for the NI sell out with a role for the ECJ. It won’t be spun like that of course.

    Reply
  18. MPC
    January 15, 2022

    Carbon capture and storage remains a pipe dream – would those who profess to believe in it like Mr Hands, personally commit to funding it voluntarily through reallocating their investments and pension funds to it? Of course not. We have a Brexit Government now firmly committed to the management of decline. We wish Mr Redwood well in his efforts to mitigate the madness, but it is astonishing that all of the relief and optimism of the 2019 election result has disappeared in a short time. I doubt if a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn would have been any worse. Tax rises would have been no greater, he isn’t married to an eco zealot, and probably wouldn’t have dreamed up destructive policy such as the ICE new car sales ban.

    Reply
    1. Original Richard
      January 15, 2022

      MPC : “I doubt if a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn would have been any worse.”

      Perhaps his brother, Piers Corbyn (Imperial College London, Physics), may have persuaded him that man-made global warming is a fallacy?

      Reply
    2. Mark B
      January 16, 2022

      And he was, and is, anti-EU.

      Reply
  19. Kenneth
    January 15, 2022

    That answer from Greg Hands is scary. Surely he should be replaced

    Reply
    1. Micky Taking
      January 15, 2022

      in government circles is he known as Scissor Hands?

      Reply
  20. The PrangWizard of England
    January 15, 2022

    What I wrote yesterday is wholly confirmed here today. ‘Boris’, deluded power-crazy insane ‘Boris’, who is intent on personal glory only and his ministers are intent on ruining and destroying this country to bring it about.

    There will be no general election, too many Tories are only interested in the party and holding on to their own seats, so other change is vital. Sir John’s leader and his ministers care nothing about what he says and keep swatting his views away – in any case what we read here is just a polite question and could be misinterpreted, taken as seeking evidential support for their policy.

    We must get rid of this PM urgently as he will not change to decency and common sense policies.

    Reply
  21. acorn
    January 15, 2022

    National Lampoon’s Animal House film 1978, depicts a college Fraternity House called Delta Tau Chi. The Dean of Faber College makes devious plans to expel the entire notorious group of boys and seeks help from another Fraternity.

    If you haven’t seen this film, you should. It bears a remarkable resemblance to the Current Downing Street Frat’ House. You will easily spot the Boris character.

    Most modern large corporations have a Chairman and a Chief Executive that have separate and distinct duties in a plc. Likewise, modern nations have a similar structure; a Head of State and a Head of Government. Sadly, the UK doesn’t have that. Hence, the UK’s Downing Street Frat’ House, has no popularly, separately elected Chairman, to discipline the Frat House.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      January 15, 2022

      There are simply too many people in government. To keeps so many happy you need regular distractions, otherwise, they start fighting amongst each other. The Romans new this, and we refer to it today as ‘Bread and Circuses’

      Reply
    2. acorn
      January 15, 2022

      BTW. I said previously that the US would become the largest LNG exporter this year. There have been more cubic meters crossing the Atlantic by ship, than coming from Russia by pipe this month.

      You can buy gas for $4.2 per million BTU (MMBTU) in the US, liquify it and sell it for $27.4 per MMBTU in the UK/ EU. That’s what you call arbitrage!
      https://rmx.news/poland/us-gas-supply-to-eu-is-5x-higher-than-that-of-russias-gazprom-so-far-in-january/

      Reply
      1. Mitchel
        January 15, 2022

        That is a (typically) biased Polish news site….and I wouldn’t extrapolate too much from one month anyway.

        Russia is sending record amounts to China and when Power of Siberia II is built they will have the flexibilty to send all their European gas eastward.

        I hope the windmills will be working better by then.

        Reply
        1. acorn
          January 15, 2022

          Perhaps you could explain why Germany has been re-exporting Russian gas back to Poland for the last month? Germany being so short of gas as this site implies. I can give you some clues if you want. Alas, the contract settlement prices don’t lie.

          Reply
      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        January 15, 2022

        Yes, indeed, but the costs of liquifying and of refrigerated transportation are significant, aren’t they?

        Reply
        1. acorn
          January 16, 2022

          There’s about 10% loss for LNG production and 30% for LH2.

          Reply
          1. Nottingham Lad Himself
            January 16, 2022

            Thanks.

  22. Peter
    January 15, 2022

    Nuclear will become even more costly with the mounting problems of the French Hinkley reactor and its yet unproven technology.

    The last sentence in the piece is unclear. How are Ministers separate from the ‘government machine’ ?

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 15, 2022

      I think so, Peter.

      Reply
  23. "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" (jerry)
    January 15, 2022

    “All but one of our current nuclear stations will close this decade.”

    Given the usual, and perhaps proper, lead times for new nuclear power station (certainly when new technologies are being introduced), were was the forward planning to off-set what was always going to happen by the 2020s, did New Labour, with their anti-nuclear ideals, in the late 1990s cancel such planning or was there simply no forward planning to cancel? The Conservatives have been in government for 29 of the last 42 years, our host has been a senior advisor, a cabinet ranking Minister or on the backbench for all but 3 years of that time, this energy crisis was made decades ago in CCHQ, not the EEC/EU, Westminster or Whitehall. I actually feel sorry for the current Minister, having not only to answer questions from those who failed to plan in the past but then take the blame for such past failings!

    Our host, in all his various articles on this issue, appears to offers not one ounce of contrition.

    Reply This energy shortage was created by successive governments following EU rules and civil service guidance, with me as a critic throughout.

    Reply
    1. Disappointed with 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells" (Micky)
      January 15, 2022

      Come on jerry spread the blame as it should be….

      Reply
    2. jerry
      January 15, 2022

      @JR reply; Stop taking us for fools. the EU didn’t exist until 1993! Until at least then, if not the Treaty of Lisbon coming into effect in 2009, energy policy decisions were reserved to the members states own govts. Had the UK built, or at least started construction of, additional nuclear power stations in the 1980s, even the early 1990s, had the UK govt in the 1980s not dashed for a known finite independent natural gas resource, had the UK govt restructured how our coal industry operated (rather than signal the end for coal), UK energy polices into the 2050s and beyond would have been a done deal by the time any future EU energy polices overrode those of the member states.

      Even if you’re correct, if back in the 1980s the old EEC was preventing the UK from obtaining future independent energy security, why didn’t the then Conservative govt opt to withdraw our membership given that, after defense, energy security is the most important issue for any independent nation, there would have been little problem in rejoining the EFTA so keeping a free trade customs agreement ongoing.

      Reply
      1. hefner
        January 15, 2022

        Reply to reply: As usual Sir John plays with words: the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union indeed has specific provisions regarding energy. But contrary to what he says, the ‘mandatory and comprehensive EU energy policy’ was only introduced in October 2005. In the 80s and 90s France was still opening Cattenom, Chinon, Chooz, Civaux and Penly. At around the same time the UK opened Dungeness, Hartlepool, Heysham, Sizewell B, and Torness, … seemingly without occurring the wrath of the EU.

        So before 2005, the UK as the other EU members could have had whatever energy policy they wanted. And in the 80s and 90s (for whatever internal UK reason) the UK saw the rapid decrease in the use of coal, the increased use of gas, and most of the nuclear plants that had opened recently being privatised following the Electricity Act 1989 , which also meant the end of low interest rate government finance for future nuclear plants.

        The Labour governments that followed did not change this and in 2008 gave an implicit go-ahead to EDF, RWE.E.ON for the development of ‘future’ nuclear plants. Since then BNG (2006), BNFL (2009), NuGen (2018), John Wood Group (2020) have been sold or have sold parts of their nuclear-energy-related facilities, mostly to foreign companies.

        Nowadays the ‘excitement’ is with SMRs. But I guess the really interesting bit for common consumers is the recent (October 2021) Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill 2021-22 introducing a Regulated Asset Base Finance model, whereby consumers finance most of the capital costs during the construction period of these new exciting SMRs rather than the developers. See 07/01/2022 CBP-9356 HoC Library.

        So anybody thinking that ‘killing’ the renewables will decrease their future energy bill might get a nasty surprise. And I bet that Sir John will be strangely quiet on this one.

        See also assets.publishing.service.gov.uk ‘Nuclear electricity in the UK’

        Reply
      2. Mark
        January 15, 2022

        The time to have been building new power stations was during the Labour government. We already had capacity that was supplying baseload that was built mainly in the 1970s and 80s, peaking at 13GW in the 1990s after the opening of Sizewell B. You can check the figures here:

        http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/united-kingdom.aspx

        It was David Miliband who shirked the decision to build more capacity. Had we done so, we would have capacity in place to replace those power stations that have closed since, including the loss of coal fired power under the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive which dates from 2001.

        Reply
        1. jerry
          January 15, 2022

          @Mark; Except Miliband would not have been able to shirk his responsibilities had several new nuclear power stations been a ‘done deal’ by 1997, to come on stream in the early years of this century, not without writing off £Bn’s of tax payers money…

          The Thatcher/Major govt threw away UK coal, right or wrongly, without any proper long term plan, other than to be good Europeans, buying electricity from the European grid, if I recall even the Channel Tunnel was planned to facilitate the means for a (additional) interconnect.

          Reply We ensured full domestic supply plus a substantial safety margin

          Reply
          1. jerry
            January 15, 2022

            @JR reply; So why the panic now if the 1979-1995 govt planned for our future independent energy security 40+ years hence, as all previous (post war) govts had done up to then?! I’m not saying no future planning was done, just either not enough or wrong decisions were made, usual for political reasons, such as with coal.

            Reply We did and many of the gas plants still in use. Later govt decided to close the coal plants before the end of their useful lives

          2. Mark
            January 15, 2022

            Look at the phasing. There was no need to be building more plants or signing up to them while we still had all our coal capacity and the plants that had been built were still mostly reasonably new. Only once we agreed to close coal capacity in 2001 did we need to plan to replace that – clearly a decision for the Labour government of the day. The need was to provide more capacity to replace nuclear and coal capacity being retired from about 2015 onwards, so investment decision in about 2005 to allow a 10 year build and approval time. David Miliband flunked it.

          3. jerry
            January 16, 2022

            @@JR reply; Then the govt you were a part of plainly failed!

            @Mark; Except coal began to be phased out, on environmental grounds (acid rain), during the 1980s and early ’90s, whilst North Sea gas was only ever going to be a stop-gap, the known & accessible UK reserves were finite, and (as I tried to explain in my longer reply to @a-tracy elsewhere, if/when published) due to the time scale involved when building new nuclear, it was during the 1980s and early 1990s that the UK should have been planning for and creating the (new nuclear) project that would have come on stream from the early 2000s onward, with each having a working life of between 40 & 60 years.

    3. a-tracy
      January 15, 2022

      Why only count 42 years? Why not 50? Were the other 8 Labour. Whenever we have a Labour government they leave the coffers empty and indebted, it would be interesting this time and this covid government have done the same and there isn’t the usual prudent accounts to spend, spend, spend.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        January 15, 2022

        Thinking about it if out of 50 years the 8 extra you didn’t count were Labour, 5 of the years weren’t Tory they were LibCon. So 21 years Labour 24 Conservative and 5 LibCon and what a pickle they all made with energy to leave us in this situation. Not one any better than another almost as though they’re following someone else’s decisions that aren’t in the UK’s interests.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          January 15, 2022

          The UK Establishment-controlled media have operated on one central principle now for a long time.

          That is, The Irreversibility Of Thatcherism – which is of course a fallacy.

          However, it has nonetheless prevented what needed to be done to avoid the ridiculous position in which the country now finds itself, rendered politically impossible by them.

          Incidentally, the four hundred million people over the Channel and many more around the world are running out of popcorn. They just cannot believe what they are seeing.

          Reply
          1. Micky Taking
            January 15, 2022

            …and ?

          2. Peter2
            January 15, 2022

            More political fantasy from NHL
            Are the Guardian Independent Mirror Observer Channel 4 and 5 and others, all establishment controlled?

      2. jerry
        January 15, 2022

        @a-tracy; “Why only count 42 years”

        Because I was talking specifically about new nuclear power stations, about what the Tory govt did or did not do to plan for perhaps 60+ years hence (given the usual time-line of new nuclear and their operational life span), back in the 1980s and 1990s that would now be part of our current energy mix.

        Schemes such as Sizewell B for example, were not designed, approved and built in a day or even a decade, the origins of Sizewell B can be traced back to decisions first made in 1969, its eventual announcement as a PWR was made in Oct 1980, approval was given in 1987, with construction starting shortly after with completion and operation in 1995 – that is twenty-six years, eighteen of which were development, planning or approval, from conception to first generating electricity for the grid – with a working life then of 40 to 60 years…

        Any equivalent schemes conceived between 1980 & 1997 might not have become operational until between 2006 & 2023, with EOL 40 to 60 years later.

        As for your comment about UK national finances, Tory vs Labour, perhaps you need to consider the awful state the countries finances were in upon Labour taking office in 1964, and again in 1974.

        reply Labour wrecked the finances after early 1974 and ended up bust at the IMF

        Reply
        1. Mark
          January 15, 2022

          With type approval in place there is no need to repeat that whole saga. That’s the point of using proven technology, rather than unproven EPRs. Planning approval, even with the necessary public enquiry, could be pushed through in 2-3 years, and 7 for the build. That’s a decade. With learning curve effects and multiple orders, you would be able to speed construction. Look how rapidly the French managed to roll out their nuclear fleet originally.

          Reply
        2. jerry
          January 16, 2022

          @JR reply; Actually our economy was already wrecked by the time Labour came to power in Feb ’74, mostly due to international issues (oil, Nixon etc.) but even so, given the state of our economy in 1979, strange how the Thatcher govt didn’t cancel Sizwell B upon entering govt, at that time nothing but paper plans, her govt also fund the money for many other projects too – all having a far more immediate drain on our strained finances than projects were significant expenditure would have been perhaps ten to twenty years in to the future.

          @Mark; You make my point, any other govt plans for 20, 40, 60 years hence, just as the French did in the 1960s, just as they still do, not just for the next election cycle…

          Reply
          1. Mark
            January 16, 2022

            The only point you are making is that Labour failed to plan or decide to invest, even when the lead time was of the order of a decade.

  24. Sakara Gold
    January 15, 2022

    The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy was never going to be easy. The closure of the Rough gas storage facility inevitably meant a greater reliance on the gas interconnectors and importing electricity from the EU.

    Biden opposes the new NordStream II pipeline so that the USA can export more LNG cargoes to us and the EU. This has enraged Putin and is partly responsible for the tremendous increase in energy prices. Why should we have to suffer such a huge increase in energy costs – carefully timed to hit us during the winter – so that Biden can play geopolitics with the Russians? The oil/gas majors also want to recover their losses from the lockdowns

    We lead the world in wind energy. By its very nature the wind is variable, but when conditions are right it can generate phenomenal amounts of electricity. To get the best from our investment in wind, grid scale storage solutions are a must – along with new nuclear to complement it

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      January 15, 2022

      Sakara. I cannot believe what I am reading. You recognize the fact that we are importing more LNG from the US and that Putin has us over a barrel regarding prices yet you fail to mention that we could actually produce more of our own gas and be less reliant on others. No bloody wind here today and wind only contributing around 6%. Oh, bloody marvellous. I see a fracking company has been taken over by a renewables company. That should be interesting – not. I find myself hoping we will get major power cuts before long. You are one of those people that think it’s ok for big manufacturing industries to go to the wall for your beloved renewable. Sick and delusional or what?

      Reply
      1. jerry
        January 15, 2022

        @FUS; “yet you [Sakara Gold] fail to mention that we could actually produce more of our own gas and be less reliant on others.”

        Care to tell us were these cheap to extract natural gas fields are in the UK or within our territorial waters, do not include unproven Fracking (by that I mean the reserve, not the process)?

        There are proven reserves in the North Sea, but they are not cheap options, even with remote/robotic technology, for any commercial company, of course had the UK either set up a Sovereign wealth fund in the 1980s, or had not BNOC been privatized in 1982….

        Reply
        1. Fedupsoutherner
          January 15, 2022

          New reserves may not be cheap to obtain but at least energy security might be obtained.

          Cambo has 170 million barrels of oil and 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas enough to provide supplies for over 2 decades. Over 1000 direct jobs and thousands more in the supply chain would be created.

          North sea gas and oil producers are pushig the government to back 18 new fossill fuel projects.
          If just 10% of known reserves were to be obtained from the Bowland Shale site it would provide the UK’s total gas needs for 50 years. With all the jobs created it has got to be better than importing.

          Reply
          1. jerry
            January 16, 2022

            @FUS; “New reserves may not be cheap to obtain but at least energy security might be obtained”

            I’ll let you break the news to the end consumer, that prices will be no lower, than buying Russian gas, despite having energy security via UK controlled fields!

            Even then, once again this would be another stop gap, for perhaps 20 years, by comparison a new nuclear power station will have a life of up to 60 years. 20 years doesn’t worry me, nor many who read this site I suspect, but it will worry those are much younger, those whose votes are increasingly tipping election results.

            I’m not dismissing gas, nor oil, just that we need to get out of a short term mindset.

            @Mark; Dream on.

        2. Fedupsoutherner
          January 15, 2022

          Jerry. I don’t see anywhere in my post that I mentioned the word cheap.

          Reply
        3. Mark
          January 15, 2022

          Much of the cost of development of new fields comes from the cost of pipelines to shore where they do not already exist. The Jackdaw field is in easy reach of the facilities at the Shearwater platform, which lowers the cost substantially. The North Sea is now well developed with pipelines. Pipelines from the Bowland shale to gas processing facilities at say Rampside and Easington would be short haul too, assuming treatment of the produced gas is needed. The reality is that gas has been produced from the North Sea at very modest prices and costs almost throughout its history. The NBP price in 2020 was a very competitive average of $3.42/MMBtu – just 10% of recent levels. The problem is not cost. It is securing regulatory approval from a government determined to shoot itself in both feet by refusing it.

          Reply
    2. BOF
      January 15, 2022

      S. G. ‘nuclear to complement it’. You must be deluded. You mean nuclear to compensate for its inadequacy!

      Reply
    3. Ian Wragg
      January 15, 2022

      Yes LNG at $4 unit and sold liquefied at 10 times that when we sit on millions of cubic meters of the stuff. Insane.
      SG talking of storing wind energy. For the past 2 days it’s been supplying between 1 and5%. Of demand. Just how are we to store 20gw of power for 72 hours. Look what’s happening in Australia and California

      Reply
    4. Original Richard
      January 15, 2022

      Sakara Gold : “We lead the world in wind energy. By its very nature the wind is variable, but when conditions are right it can generate phenomenal amounts of electricity.”

      No, it can’t. It is not only intermittent and variable, it has a very low energy density and requires tens of thousands of windmills and hence area. The operational costs are rising and there is as yet no non-fossil fuel grid stability and long-term back-up

      We need a new smart meter where the consumer can individually select whether they want their power from wind or from fossil fuel.

      Reply
  25. Richard1
    January 15, 2022

    The absence of any numbers is what’s really worrying. I wonder whether mr hands is aware of the basic data – how much electricity is generated from what sources, how much of total energy consumption does electricity account for? Etc. all these answers on energy and green crap are given in vague terms with no focus on the fundamental data. If Boris is to be ditched I suggest Tory MPs make sure the next PM really does have a grasp of these issues.

    Reply
  26. Sea_Warrior
    January 15, 2022

    Another cold, windless day here. 2C when I got up. The coal-fired stations are online again, thank God. But in 2025 the government will see to it that they’re closed for good – because we’ll have SMRs a decade after, and hydrogen, maybe, perhaps. This weekend many sound Conservatives will be be giving their MPs merry hell over ‘Partygate’. I hope they’ll chip in with some bonus abuse about this government’s Energy policy at the same time.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      January 15, 2022

      The enemy within

      Reply
  27. Bryan Harris
    January 15, 2022

    Excellent Question and assessment of the answer. Thank you for persisting with this subject, for the government still doesn’t understand what is so obvious, as you point out:

    Yesterday our substantial wind capacity only managed to meet 1% of our power needs, demonstrating that rated capacity is a meaningless figure to guide power availability when you can get so little when the wind does not blow.

    It seems that the government take little heed of questions from their own MPs that should prompt them into other lines of thinking. They have decided on our course, and Net-zero over-rides all considerations

    Reply
  28. John Miller
    January 15, 2022

    Brexit, please. Mentally as well as physically and legally.
    Rolls Royce nuclear.
    Quickly, if you would be so kind!

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      January 15, 2022

      Shouldn’t be too hard with an 80-seat majority (we just need a ‘brexit’ forcused government)

      Reply
    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 15, 2022

      “Mentally”?

      You appear to want some sort of anti-Continental Thought Police.

      “Physically”?

      You want the UK sawing free from the European landmass substrata and towing to the mid-Pacific?

      Reply
      1. Micky Taking
        January 15, 2022

        what a great idea – if only.

        Reply
  29. agricola
    January 15, 2022

    The real crime in all of this is that it is all down to the deliberate action of government. We do not import coal because we have run out, we have an abundence of it. It has been done under government dictat. Again why are we importing gas. Answer because we have ceased to exploit our own sources and have closed storage facilities. We import electricity because we have closed power stations before having own source alternatives. Government delude themselves in thinking that wind power is a viable alternative.
    , it is not.

    In fact this whole chaotic shambles is solely down to government mismanagement over decades, driven of late by the desire to be the leading virtue signaller in World. How long do we have to tolerate government, political and civil, being totally incompetent. Specifically asked because it is the working population who have to pick up the tab.

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      January 15, 2022

      Agricola. Don’t forget people like Sakara Gold.

      Reply
    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 15, 2022

      Coal is imported simply by businesses ordering it from global exporters who supply it, surely?

      I’m unaware of any government diktat requiring them to do that, except arguably for the Thatcher government’s shutting down most of the UK’s mines and leaving no choice?

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        January 16, 2022

        Labour shut down more mines.

        Reply
      2. agricola
        January 16, 2022

        NLH you may not have noticed that the coal mines have been closed in the UK, and a potetial new one in Cumbria has been forbiden.

        Reply
    3. Mark B
      January 16, 2022

      +1

      Reply
  30. alan jutson
    January 15, 2022

    You really must despair at these sort of answers John, how absolutely pathetic.
    The problem is that these sort of non answers are now so prevalent across a whole scope of topic questions, parliamentary procedure and questioning would appear to be also becoming absolutely irrelevant.

    Just look at the scale of all of this Political nonsense in just a few weeks.
    Power generation, Energy Prices, Re-wilding subsidies, Northern Ireland trade, the cutting of our armed forces, the banning of ICE vehicles, emissions Zones, traffic calming Zones, Tax rises, ever more expensive almost pointless vanity projects, gender choice in prisons, Smart motorways, dingy hoppers, the NHS, and whole range of others.
    I deliberately left out Covid and the boozy meetings, as I think we have talked to death about those already.

    The whole fabric of our Society is now completely falling apart, due to Government inaction, or wrong action, with all political Parties to blame and losing the plot.

    Thanks for keeping on trying John, but you must be getting frustrated with all of this yourself

    Reply
  31. Shirley M
    January 15, 2022

    O/T – I read that 9 EU supertrawlers have been given licences to fish in UK waters. If true, then he should be ashamed, very ashamed, and the Tory party needs to get rid of him pronto before the UK is totally ruined and/or given to the EU!

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      January 15, 2022

      Look like this government is going full on net zero – net zero UK energy and net zero UK fish

      Reply
    2. Denis Cooper
      January 15, 2022

      But he got us a unique trade deal which means that our trade deficit with the EU will be tariff and quota free.

      Reply
    3. BOF
      January 15, 2022

      Shirley, yes and an environmental disaster in the making. They are banned from Australian waters!

      Reply
      1. The Prangwizard
        January 15, 2022

        The windmills on land and sea are environmentally horrible and damaging..

        The proponents who claim they make the world better should be forced to go on walks and boat rides in among them monthly.

        Yes, forced, they force us to adopt behaviours, and anyway they like the blades.

        Reply
        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          January 15, 2022

          They don’t leave intensely harmful, toxic waste, dangerous for millennia, nor contribute to atmospheric CO2 to any degree.

          Reply
          1. Micky Taking
            January 16, 2022

            really? – those incredibly massive sunken blocks of degrading concrete and rusting reinforcing bars? Those ugly enormous blades and tubes- too big to move without cutting up with ozone destroying torches…the previous beautiful landscape ruined by derelict motionless monsters looking like a scene from a movie ‘end of the world’.
            A more recent version of slagheaps.

  32. Iain Moore
    January 15, 2022

    They load on costs to our fuel bills to subsidise unreliable renewables, they constrain the development of our own fossil fuels , making us dependent of foreign supplies, then when there is a shortage tell us this is why we need more renewables. Its a wholly contrived crisis to pursue their green nuttery .

    I can see the next one will be having crammed millions and millions of people into our country, and continue to do so without any regard to sustainability, then pursue polices to restrict the amount of food we can produce with their policies like Rewilding , then when there is a food shortage they will tell us this is why we have to eat insect burgers.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      January 16, 2022

      Ian

      We are to be kept in a permanent state of crisis, all the while our freedoms and liberties are being slowly taken from us. These are distraction techniques.

      Reply
  33. Enough Already
    January 15, 2022

    The UK wind fleet has an installed capacity of over 24GW but this morning it can only produce 2.06GW of power. It doesn’t matter how much capacity you build, if the wind doesn’t blow then it doesn’t produce electricity.

    Reply
  34. rose
    January 15, 2022

    This is just so depressing. I had thought Mr H one of the more practical ones.

    Reply
    1. Micky Taking
      January 15, 2022

      you should rename yourself ‘rose coloured spectacles’

      Reply
    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      January 15, 2022

      Yes, brexit is rubbish, whoever is charged with administering the country after it.

      Reply
  35. Gregory martin
    January 15, 2022

    Is this not the central thrust of Common Purpose Global Leaders Forum?

    Reply
  36. Everhopeful
    January 15, 2022

    “For when all was said and done, waste magnates owed their unearthly salaries,mansions,limousines and corporate jets to unceasing grass roots activism against pollution.”

    From “Giants of Garbage” by Harold Crooks.
    Published 1993

    Inciting activism is a very worthwhile pastime.

    Reply
    1. hefner
      January 15, 2022

      As if the waste companies (e.g., Veolia, revenue €27188m, profit €1171m, dividend 2%) can be compared to the oil producers (e.g., Shell, revenue £180,543m, profit -£26,966m or BP, revenue £180,366m, profit -£24,888m).
      Please note how the last two companies fail to declare a profit while respectively paying a 5% and a 2.7% dividends to their shareholders. Isn’t the ‘free’ market wonderful?

      Reply
  37. Christine
    January 15, 2022

    Sir John, your party is heading for a perfect storm in three months time and the British people won’t be happy as most will be totally unaware of what is approaching.

    We will see a huge hike in our energy prices as the cap ends, council tax bills increasing again by more than inflation, NI rises, more clean air zones coming into force, car tax for petrol/ diesel vehicles rising massively, those in England aged between 60-66 having to start paying for their prescriptions, some greedy phone providers introducing roaming charges, the sacking of tens of thousands of NHS staff causing more backlog, rising rental prices as more regulation costs are heaped on landlords, the calmer weather and lax laws enticing more migrants to cross the channel.

    It didn’t have to be this way. Your party could have stayed in power for decades but they seem hell bent on self destruction and taking the rest of us with them.

    Reply
    1. Shirley M
      January 15, 2022

      +1 Christine

      Reply
    2. Fedupsoutherner
      January 15, 2022

      Very good and accurate post Christine. It’s really frightening. I honestly don’t know how some will manage. We are heading for the dinasoar age again. Let’s not forget the job losses when large manufacturers that use a lot of energy go bust. It’s an utter disgrace. I can’t see myself ever voting Tory again.

      Reply
      1. Augustus Princip
        January 15, 2022

        Didn’t you know the Hunger Games is a future documentary?

        Reply
    3. Original Richard
      January 15, 2022

      Christine :

      Agreed.

      Reply
    4. Andy
      January 15, 2022

      It did have to be this way as soon as you voted for Brexit.

      I don’t want huge price hikes but I can afford them.

      I voted Remain so you didn’t face them either. But you knew what you were voting for – so enjoy it.

      Reply
      1. Christine
        January 15, 2022

        I’m not sure, apart from the roaming charges, what any of this has to do with Brexit? EU countries are seeing the same issues. Here in Spain electricity prices have increased more than 50%. This is mainly due to the net zero nut jobs.

        Brexit, if anything, gives our government the freedom to do its own thing rather than follow stupid EU rules.

        Reply
      2. Micky Taking
        January 15, 2022

        Any you are all heart.

        Reply
        1. Micky Taking
          January 15, 2022

          s/be Andy …..damn it.
          Sometimes I think my keyboard has long Covid.

          Reply
    5. BOF
      January 15, 2022

      +1 Christine.

      Reply
    6. Mark B
      January 16, 2022

      +1

      Very well put

      Reply
  38. No Longer Anonymous
    January 15, 2022

    Sir John.

    It’s all deliberate and there’s nothing we can do about it. Reduction of food, energy, liberties…

    There is no point whatsoever in politicians now. They make NO difference.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      January 15, 2022

      +1
      I can’t really see a whole lot of difference between the European govts and the mafia.
      Except that, as I understand it, when you pay up the mafia actually does look after you.
      And leaves you alone until the next payment is due.

      Reply
      1. Mark B
        January 16, 2022

        +1

        Reply
  39. Original Richard
    January 15, 2022

    Greg Hands (Cambridge, Modern History) :

    “The Government plans to increase energy production from a variety of sources, including nuclear and hydrogen will ensure that dependency on foreign fossil fuels is decreased.”

    Hydrogen is NOT a source of energy, it is an energy carrier.

    Reply
    1. dixie
      January 16, 2022

      By the same criteria oil and natural gas are not sources of energy, they are energy carriers.

      Reply
      1. Original Richard
        January 17, 2022

        dixie :

        No, oil and gas come out the ground, hydrogen doesn’t.

        Hydrogen needs energy (a lot of it) to manufacture it.

        Reply
        1. dixie
          January 18, 2022

          I know where oil & gas come from and oil also needs processing and energy to convert it into fuel just like water would need processing and energy to generate H2 and to then produce fuel.
          Burn H2 and you get water so your feedstock is replenished.
          Burn oil and it is gone, the process does not replenish the feedstock.
          You are ignoring the lengthy process involved in creating the oil and gas in the first place.

          Reply
  40. Willia Long
    January 15, 2022

    Just more hot air: yet another reason why we are in urgent need of a new Government.

    Reply
    1. Micky Taking
      January 15, 2022

      we need more hot air – its been brass monkeys for days on end.

      Reply
  41. Original Richard
    January 15, 2022

    Greg Hands (Cambridge Modern History) :

    “The Government is taking steps to support investment in new sources of electricity generation, including 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, a first of a kind power plant enabled with Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage technology, and new nuclear projects.”

    40GW of installed wind capacity will result in an average of 20GW of power because of wind variability and at times, when the wind doesn’t blow, just 1GW (see today’s figure of 2GW)

    By 2035, when the Government says it will have decarbonised our electric power generation, this 20GW will also need to provide power for grid stability and long-term back-up when the wind doesn’t blow, power which is currently provided by fossil fuel generators.

    So this 40GW of wind power will end up being worth a continuous 10GW of supply if not even less.

    Reply
  42. DOM
    January 15, 2022

    Deliberate sabotage both here in the UK and in the US. The future is Marxist and dystopian.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      January 16, 2022

      +1

      Reply
  43. Augustus Princip
    January 15, 2022

    There is plenty we can do about it, we haven’t reached the tipping point yet.

    Reply
  44. Everhopeful
    January 15, 2022

    For goodness sake.
    DON’T get rid of Boris.
    Just dust him down and Build Him Back Better!
    Start talking LOUDLY about Barry Gardiner and Starmer’s party!

    Reply
    1. Peter
      January 15, 2022

      Everhopeful,

      A slimmer, smarter Boris who is truthful and decisive and sticks to his promises?

      ‘We have the technology” as they used to say on TV.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        January 15, 2022

        +1
        Yes to all of the above.
        Apparently Lord Adonis believes that with Boris gone a return to the EU would be assured.
        For all his faults Boris is the architect of Brexit, such as it is and what if we got another May?
        The slide back to Brussels would be inexorable.
        Liz Truss is said to be a Remainer.

        Reply
      2. No Longer Anonymous
        January 15, 2022

        A Prime Minister barely alive !

        Reply
      3. Mark B
        January 16, 2022

        Yeah, but back then (1970’s) he cost $6 million. Given the state of inflation and the relative fall in the pound to the dollar I don’t think we can now afford it.

        Reply
  45. Original Richard
    January 15, 2022

    Greg Hands (Cambridge Modern History) :

    “The Government is taking steps to support investment in new sources of electricity generation, including 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, a first of a kind power plant enabled with Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage technology, and new nuclear projects.”

    Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage, CCUS, is NOT a source of electrical power. It is simply a process to remove CO2 emissions from fossil fuel generators and USES power to achieve it, thus reducing the amount of usable power and increasing the cost of our electricity.

    Reply
    1. dixie
      January 16, 2022

      But you can use the emitted and captured CO/CO2 to generate more fuel.
      Or do you think you can rely on an endless supply of foreign hydrocarbons at low prices?

      Reply
  46. Original Richard
    January 15, 2022

    Greg Hands (Cambridge, Modern History) :

    “The Government plans to increase energy production from a variety of sources, including nuclear and hydrogen will ensure that dependency on foreign fossil fuels is decreased.”

    What nuclear?

    All our existing nuclear plants will be closed by 2028 bar Sizewell B (1.2GW) which is planned to close in 2035, the date when the Government plans for our whole electrical power supply to be fully decarbonised.

    The French designed/Chinese financed 2 x 1.6GW EPR Hinkley Point C, which was given the go-ahead by the then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey (Oxford, PPE), is planned to open in 2026 but, being new technology, at least 3 of the 4 existing plants (2 in China, 1 in Finland and 1 in France) are experiencing technical problems and there are observers who expect delays too for Hinkley Point C.

    But even if Hinkley Point C opens on time, nuclear will only be providing 4.4GW out of a current usage of 40GW, which BEIS expect to become 60GW or more by 2035 because of the electrification of transport and heating.

    So why aren’t the Government ordering the Rolls Royce SMRs which are based upon existing technology and can start providing reliable, weather independent electrical power by 2031 at a price that is cheaper than unreliable wind and a third of the price of Hinkley Point C?

    Reply
    1. Mitchel
      January 15, 2022

      Guess who currently has the world’s biggest export order book in nuclear power?

      Russia’s Rosatom.

      Reply
  47. Fedupsoutherner
    January 15, 2022

    O/T. There’s a great spoof video going around on wattsapps with Boris as one of the captains on Would I Lie To You. Just a general view of what the public think.

    Reply
  48. a-tracy
    January 15, 2022

    I wonder what better investment there would be for our future workplace pensions than home building and UK energy self-sufficiency, we are always going to need roofs over our heads and the energy to live. Your government has taken an extra 8% from the public in compulsory pensions with no defined benefit promise the returns are low and the pension they buy will probably just pay the Council Tax and energy bills. It is not clear where all that money has been invested. Just ‘These funds, in turn, invest your money in assets such as company shares, government bonds and cash deposits.’ What % of government bonds and what are your government doing with it, investing it or using it on current spending?

    Reply
    1. hefner
      January 15, 2022

      a-t, Rejoice, according to the DT on 27/06/2021 ‘Sunak weighs investing pensions into start-ups to drive recovery’. You might be with a ten-bagger and grow your pension by a factor of ten … or possibly lose everything if the start-up fails to take off.
      (Sorry, I know it is not a topic to make fun of.)

      Seriously, given that your employer must have arranged this compulsory pension, you should be able to find which investment company (pension provider) your pension is with (Halifax, Fidelity, Vanguard, …) and ask them some details about the type of investments they provide.
      According to gov.uk ‘Workplace pensions’, an automatically enrolled person should have been given (at some stage) their date of enrolment, their type of pension and who runs it, how much the individual and their employer contribute (usually 5 and 3%), how to leave the scheme, and information on how tax relief might apply to them.

      Is there a ‘pension representative’ in your place of work?

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        January 16, 2022

        As I said Hefner it is not clear exactly where the money is going, we get regular e-mails but they don’t say what the government bonds they buy are used for, they dont go into detail about which investments they are making, nor why they are keeping money in cash that earns next to no interest. We are too small to have a pension representative, we rely on the government schemes.

        Reply
    2. dixie
      January 16, 2022

      Residential development is not a good investment for pensions. We need more enterprise and industry that reshores exported jobs and creates new ones, not yet more dormitories for imported low grade workers.
      If anything we should adopt the Japanese mixed-zone approach which ensures a healthy mix of enterprise and residential development boosting local economies rather than what we have which in the South East is vast areas of dormitories housing commuters serving London.

      Reply
  49. ChrisS
    January 15, 2022

    I supported Boris’s premiership because that seemed to be the only realistic way any form of Brexit could be achieved, but I am afraid that his own self-destructive behaviour is causing his present difficulties. However, these are surmountable and that 25 minutes spent socialising in his own garden and workplace could easily be forgotten well before the next election.

    However, what really worries me is the consequences of his Green Crap Agenda and high taxation policies. Nobody in government is listening to the wise council from experienced politicians such as our host. The energy price problem is a potential election loser on its own, without addressing the forthcoming energy gap. His catastrophic failure to recognise that we simply must develop more gas fields to restore our self sufficiency for at least the next 15 years will finish him. It will take at least that long for new Nuclear stations and and Hydrogen systems to be fully developed and become operational.

    One only has to look at the situation in Europe : Whether they like it or not, most of the 27 are going to become even more reliant on Putin’s gas pipelines than they are now. Putin has played a blinder, aided and abetted by Merkel closing Germany’s nuclear stations and approving the new Nord 2 pipeline.

    We are not going to be able to import electricity through interconectors when the whole of Europe is going to be facing shortages, partially thanks to the failure of the French in leaving it far too late to update their ground-breaking nuclear network.

    Putting us back into a position where we are self sufficient in gas production is therefore vital for our medium term strategic interests and will put clear blue water between us and the EU. It might even give us the cheapest energy costs in Europe. If ever there was a justification for Brexit it is that ability. However, Boris is determined to throw this advantage away. In overall terms, it won’t make the slightest difference to even the current over-ambitious new zero strategy because almost all the imported energy will be produced from fossil fuel anyway !

    I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we need a new government with a Prime Minister who is a realist where our future energy, industrial and taxation policies are concerned. It has to be a Conservative one, or one led by the Reform party, because Labour and the Lib Dims are even more wedded to the green agenda than Boris. I am not hopeful.

    Reply
  50. Derek Henry
    January 15, 2022

    Morning John,

    That money printing during the pandemic which isn’t money printing at all It is assets and liabilities creation.

    Created the largest profits for business for 70 years. Yes, you read that right 70 years.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-30/fattest-profits-since-1950-debunk-inflation-story-spun-by-ceos

    Yet, because of EU fiscal rules we have spent years reducing the government budget deficit. The private sector surplus.

    Insanity !

    Reply
  51. Andy
    January 15, 2022

    Obviously we are a long way from a general election but polls are now consistently showing about two thirds of the electorate back Labour, Lib Dems, Green, SNP & Plaid.
    Only a third support the Tories and the assortment of angry right wing parties.

    It’s time for progressive politicians to work together – win a majority, reform the electoral system and permanently vote remove the Tory minority from power.

    They can join coalition governments in the future but never again can they be allowed to govern on their own. I thought it would take two or three electoral cycles after Brexit happened to get there. But the Brexitists have made such an unimaginable mess of everything it may take just one.

    Reply
    1. MWB
      January 15, 2022

      If Labour for example got in, they wouldn’t reform the electoral system.
      Surely you must know this, or are you rather naive.

      Reply
    2. No Longer Anonymous
      January 15, 2022

      Andy,

      Have it.

      I hope lots of Tories lose their seats.

      We now have proof that the Conservatives are as bad as all the others.

      80 seat majority and out of the EU.

      No hiding place.

      Reply
    3. Fedupsoutherner
      January 16, 2022

      When we have coalitions nothing gets done. Oh, sorry, nothing gets done anyway that’s of any use.

      Reply
      1. Micky Taking
        January 16, 2022

        Personal Allowance was raised …essential for those on minimum wage or tiny income above state pension.
        About time it was raised again. And a 10% threshold for a few £ thou before 20% kicks in.
        Put additional 5% on incomes above £150k.

        Reply
        1. Micky Taking
          January 16, 2022

          Introduce collars for cats (with a bell) and dogs – licence payable @ £50 p.a.
          Remove insulation products VAT (5%).
          Introduce Road tax for EVs – standard £200 p.a.
          Introduce Road tax for Motorbikes- standard £100 p.a.
          Introduce Licence tax display for Bicycles- standard £50 p.a.

          Reply
  52. MPC
    January 15, 2022

    There’s a new report by Knight Frank stating care home costs are to increase by 30% in 2022, a key component being utility/energy costs. Horrific. Expensive energy affects everyone and every organisation. Mr Johnson and Mr Hands would no doubt airily dismiss this saying energy costs will reduce in due course once all the planned offshore wind farms are built.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      January 15, 2022

      There’s also a report floating around another social media site that this government is going to increase vehicle ICE car tax by x10 fold 2025 to encourage people to go electric……this isn’t a conservative government

      Reply
      1. Micky Taking
        January 15, 2022

        glen – nobody would pay it. An enormous number do not tax vehicles already.

        Reply
    2. a-tracy
      January 15, 2022

      Knight Frank? The Estate Agency?
      84% of care home beds are owned by Private companies. Johnson announced in the Queen Speech last year that he was instigating a 10 year plan to fix the sector. ‘There are about 17,600 care homes in the UK. Around 70 per cent of care homes are residential settings, while nursing homes (5127) make up 30 per cent of the total number of care homes.’ Source carehomeuk. 24.03.21. ‘490,326 people live in them 70% with dementia. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on care homes across the UK with over 40,000 deaths recorded as a result of the virus.’ Surely heating a care home room is a lot cheaper than it would have been heating nearly 500,000 individuals homes? They only have one small bedroom, shared bathrooms and a lounge? It is in the private business’ interests that they investigate that they have adequate insulation, if they could make savings with solar panels or a heat pump, would an investment in underfloor heating help they’re making plenty of money with the rates they charge.

      Reply
  53. Original Richard
    January 15, 2022

    The pathetic, inaccurate, BEIS written non-answer you received from Greg Hands (Cambridge, Modern History), Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, coupled with the Government’s inability to deal with many other issues from staff partying to immigration, N.I. and fishing demonstrates to me that our elected representatives in Parliament are not in control.

    We are being run by the pro-EU Marxist Britphobes in the civil service and elsewhere who are out to destroy our Government, Parliament and democracy.

    Reply
  54. P B
    January 15, 2022

    We have a wonderful export opportunity to supply the Continent with gas once we have met our own needs. I am sure they would welcome an alternative source to Mr Putin.

    Apologies if someone has already made the comment

    Reply We do not have enough for that but we do have more to throttle back some imports and ease the squeeze.

    Reply
    1. Mark
      January 15, 2022

      We were actually exporting gas during the mild weather at the end of last year, in addition to the regular exports to Ireland and the Isle of Man. Being charitable, I suppose you might consider it as using the Continent as offshore storage: we hope to able to import via the Bacton pipelines if need be. We have had a great flurry of LNG vessels, particularly at Milford Haven in recent days – even having three discharging simultaneously there at one point. Most have been from the USA (8), with 2 from Russia and 1 from Peru. SO we may also be effectively an offshore LNG terminal for Europe.

      Reply
  55. paul
    January 15, 2022

    The person who was incharge of lockdown-rules now in charge of sheffield, now if they are parachuting people in for top jobs around the country who believe in the new ideologies that you see, I think you will really have big problem’ s to deal with. I think i will book myself into a mental hospital for a break.
    Private jets and yachts not included in EU climite change levies, in other words free of charge, that really all need to know about who running the show.

    Reply
  56. Ian Wragg
    January 15, 2022

    Yes LNG at $4 unit and sold liquefied at 10 times that when we sit on millions of cubic meters of the stuff. Insane.
    SG talking of storing wind energy. For the past 2 days it’s been supplying between 1 and5%. Of demand. Just how are we to store 20gw of power for 72 hours. Look what’s happening in Australia and California

    Reply
  57. XY
    January 15, 2022

    There seem to be a group of people who believe that the world has changed, wars will no longer be fought in Europe – or not in Western Europe at any rate. Someone needs to show them the folly of this thinking before that someone become Putin or Xi.

    The possibility of Western European countries fighting among themselevs may have receded, but the diplomatic fight still exists and those disputes can easily become a war of some kind.

    Either way, history shows us that handing leverage to “competitors” is never a good idea and can lead to matters getting out of hand. There’s scope for that in the present situation around energy, so adjusting current policy to correct those problems is really the only option.

    Reply
    1. dixie
      January 16, 2022

      Ultimately, wars are fought over restricted resources. We have already seen what happens in NLH’s “civilized” EU over restricted PPE and vaccines.
      Energy and food competition will be even more intense and it is clear the parts of Western Europe in thrall to the EU are not immune to greed and aggressive acts.

      Reply
  58. Mark
    January 15, 2022

    There were several worrying features about the electricity supply yesterday. The market was of course well aware that renewables were going to contribute very little, and day ahead prices reflected an expectation of very tight capacity margins after sunset with prices of over £1,000/MWh. Then the grid produced an extraordinary forecast of demand rising from 39.6GW at 2 p.m. to 48.9GW half an hour later. The increase reflected the fact that as bid, interconnectors would reverse flow from exporting to the UK to importing from it, creating an almost impossible to handle ramp in demand. The Grid started paying some very fancy prices (almost £4,000/MWh) to generators in the Balancing Mechanism, and also to interconnectors, which in the end did not reverse their flows as had been forecast. In the process of all this, the Grid assessed the probability of having to impose blackouts as high as 50%. The high prices in the Balancing Mechanism persisted into the evening. An unpleasantly close run thing, and a reminder that the issue here is not just high prices, but continuity of supply, and the risks of reversal or halt in interconnector supplies at times of market tightness.

    Reply
  59. Mark
    January 15, 2022

    The Labour Party and the Lib Dems have been calling for windfall taxes on North Sea oil and gas. They seem to be blissfully unaware that the government is already enjoying a considerable windfall in North Sea oil and gas taxes, and the government seems strangely reluctant to admit to it either. In its October outlook report the OBR noted

    Oil and gas receipts have been revised up from our March 2020 and March 2021 forecasts for all years from 2021-22 onwards. Relative to March 2021, the upward revision averages £1.4 billion a year. This is almost entirely explained by higher oil and gas prices. Our forecast for gas prices is based on futures prices over the 10 days to 15 September. Since then, oil prices have risen by 4.7 per cent while gas prices have soared 65.7 per cent. All else equal, this would add £2.3 billion to receipts in 2022-23, but only £1.2 billion by 2026-27, reflecting the sharply downward sloping forward curve for gas prices.

    So that’s a £3.7bn windfall the government weren’t expecting for 2022/23, plus a large additional amount for this winter too on perhaps 2/3rds of annual volume and rather higher prices. Of course, the windfall would be even higher if they had promoted more development in the North Sea rather than preventing it..

    Reply

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