Keeping the lights on when the wind does not blow

I have been warning of the dangers of relying on renewables for our electricity before there is sufficient battery storage, pump storage and green hydrogen production to make energy available when there is no wind or sun to power the grid.

 

Over the last year the government did listen. It has kept three coal power stations and given them contracts for when we need that back up power. They  have opened Rough to give us a bit more gas storage for cold windless days. They have accepted that gas is an important transition fuel this decade, often providing more than half our electricity as well as heating most homes and energy intensive  industrial processes.

Yesterday renewables contributed a small single figure percentage of our electricity as demand rose to combat dark and low temperatures. We needed the fossil fuel back up. The government needs to encourage further back up investment in pump storage and make sure we have sufficient gas burning generators all the time we need them to keep sufficient power in the grid.

 

The system operator and regulator also need to review the capacity of the grid and street cable system. We cannot keep adding new electrical  demands to home and work without installing extra cables. Switching cars and heating represents big increases in electricity needed which is way beyond present cable capacity.

The difficulties of balancing a system with more and more interruptible power allied to the lack of capacity to handle more Scottish wind energy should lead to some new thinking. Energy policy  used to worry about security of supply first, then price and green issues. There needs to be a stronger plan for security. Imports are not a reliable answer as we have seen with the EU gas problems and the shut down of many French nuclear plants.

 

253 Comments

  1. Mark B
    December 12, 2022

    Good morning.

    It looks like, certainly from where I am, that Christmas has arrived early. What was it the climate scaremongers once said ?

    If our kind host allows 🙂
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55179603

    Our energy policy, such as that is is, is based on fantasy and wild predictions. Of course the sane and sensible among us know it is a scam, but how the hell can those in positions of power be persuaded to change course ?

    It seems to me that, there are forces working to stop us producing our own energy and place our reliance on USA imported fuel. I hear that in both Austria and Germany there are fuel and energy shortages and the very real possibility of blackouts.

    More people will die of cold this year than CV19, the root cause of all our energy woes as it was their panic reaction that lead to Lockdown, furlough and the printing of vast amounts of money and finally, the massive inflation we are now seeing.

    And with 5% VAT added to those large fuel bills it can truly be said that this government is not letting this crisis go to waste. Well, not until they get to spend the money 😉

    1. Peter Wood
      December 12, 2022

      The malign powers are trying to force us back to interdependence on the EU. One hopes the silver lining from this hard winter is for the nation to see through it, as a result of the EU failing to provide adequate supply for it’s own population, and likely seeking to deny us gas supplies as they did with vaccines.
      Sir J, your tweet to President Biden ignores his support for the EU, and his desire to see a European Nation that includes the UK. He will not offer us support regardless of how unreasonable the EU behaves. The United States of Europe is one leg of the new world order.

      1. Jason
        December 12, 2022

        Don’t kid yourself Peter Wood not in a million years would they have us back – they only need us now as a consumer fodder to sell to. We voted to take back control we want to be by ourselves to trade as per the WTO well then let’s get on with it

        Then as far as NI is concerned if the Government adheres to agreements already made then I think there will be no problem with US or EU trade and as far as Bidens remarks go – anyway
        I don’t think they were directed at Sir John or any of his fringe group friends – only to the Uk Government just advice to behave – makes you wonder what Sir John is tweeting about since I don’t think many in America or Europe are paying attention.

        1. Shirley M
          December 12, 2022

          They may not want us as members, but they would jump at the chance of a vassal state, and our remainer politicians are bitter enough (and evil enough) to do it! Remember the Benn Act? Traitors!

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 12, 2022

      There’s a very simple way of doing this.

      You import the energy via interconnectors from places where the wind does blow or the sun does shine, and who have sensibly built excess capacity in that regard. You can return the favour when it’s your turn.

      Of course, that implies that you have sensible, enlightened relations with those countries and with the ones in between. Could be tricky with John’s party of eccentrics in power.

      Incidentally we’ve had yet more silly misrepresentation from these dissemblers: The official statistics watchdog has reprimanded the Conservatives for claiming the UK had secured £800bn in “new free trade deals” since leaving the EU, saying the figure includes deals rolled over from before Brexit.

      Reply We have interconnectors with the neighbours but they are short of power too!

      1. Dave Andrews
        December 12, 2022

        Dependency on foreign countries for our power needs not a good idea. If we’re short and they’re short as well, our needs come second.

      2. Hope
        December 12, 2022

        We read Snake and Hunt has doubled the amount of fracked gas UK buys from US (despite Hunt and Snake banning fracking here!). You wrote of the inter connector with Germany, we know Germany will not export as it is too short of supply after relying too much on Russia despite warning from Trump. So UK cow towing to EU even though we voted leave.

        Why buy more fracked gas than UK can store? UK Without storage (your party’s fault) it must be passed on to EU. Is this correct JR? Is the UK back in the EU energy pact in all but name?

        1. Philip P.
          December 12, 2022

          Under Trump the US did not get involved in any new wars. Under Obama and Biden, it’s got involved in at least seven, including now Ukraine. While Trump was in the White House, there was no thought of possible war in Ukraine. Germany had every reason to import gas from the cheapest supplier, in order to keep its industrial economy viable. Now after following Washington’s orders, it is losing that industry and the many jobs it supported, and having to import US LNG at hugely increased prices. The Green-Socialist German government is not working for the national interest, it seems to me.

          But I suspect that you’re right, Hope, about the UK working to keep the EU warm. We don’t prioritise our national interests very well either.

        2. Ian B
          December 12, 2022

          @Hope – ‘Why buy more fracked gas than UK can store?’ because buying it in increases world CO2 production more nthan the home grown version, you then accelerate the doom

      3. Shirley M
        December 12, 2022

        Renewables will never generate enough for our own needs, and never will, even if we cover the land in wind turbines. If that ever happens, say bye bye to the bird and bat populations.

        1. Berkshire Alan
          December 12, 2022

          “birds and Bats”

          Shirley, more importantly possibly farming !

          Unless Health & Safety allow people to work near to such types of construction.

          1. Shirley M
            December 12, 2022

            Alan, farming? They are doing their best to rid the UK of farming. Put houses and new roads on farmland, also wind turbines and solar panels. Then use more farmland for ‘rewilding’ and the trump card … pay farmers to retire! I doubt there will be much farmland left after this mass immigration and need for housing, unless we start building high rises in every corner of the UK. We’ll be like the Netherlands soon. They also are driving farmers out.

      4. Donna
        December 12, 2022

        That Nordstream 2 “interconnector” isn’t working out too well at the moment.

        1. Because someone (at either end) could pull the plug at any time
        2. Because someone decided it wasn’t desirable so put it out of action

        Interconnectors are only very reliable if they are on your own territory and completely under your control.
        So an interconnector between, say Aberdeen and Birmingham would be very reliable. But one between the UK and a foreign country isn’t. It’s called “Energy Security.”

        1. turboterrier
          December 12, 2022

          Donna
          I wish I had your faith.
          If ever Scotland gets it independence it will be a tool to use just as other countries do to demand services, favours and control us.

        2. Ian B
          December 12, 2022

          @Donna +1

          Having a policy that is based on the ‘crossed fingers’ approach of having stable political neighbours is suicide. You don’t get to vote in their elections.

          It is not so long ago the Russia and Ukraine were good friends

        3. Mark
          December 12, 2022

          The Western Links HVDC between Hunterston in Scotland and Deeside has been notoriously unreliable, out of action for months at a time. The same applies to the Moyle interconnector and of course the IFA link to France and Britned, not forgetting problems that have limited capacity on the link to Norway. These links are simply unreliable never mind the question of whether supply is available to feed them..

      5. Richard1
        December 12, 2022

        About 4% of our total primary energy consumption is provided by renewables. The global figure is 1-2%. Please inform yourself of the basic facts and then take a view.

        During the referendum campaign and for several years afterwards we were assured by the remain and continuity remain campaigns that the EU trade deals would obviously not be rolled over to the U.K. as the U.K. is a smaller market than the EU. Whilst there is very little to show for Brexit I would agree, the rolling over of the EU trade deals does count as a success.

      6. MFD
        December 12, 2022

        Relying on power from our enemies in Europe is never the answer. My next vote goes to the party that tells the truth and dumps the evil scam about global warming. It is plain that as usual we must be self dependant.
        So now we are in winter, how much electric from those ugly acres of glass strewn around, spoiling our beautiful countryside. Non as they are covered with snow! We are becoming a nation of clowns by listening to evil people who want to destroy us. More Gas Coal and Oil needed

      7. Iain Moore
        December 12, 2022

        “You import the energy via interconnectors from places where the wind does blow or the sun does shine”

        You mean like Africa? Expensive to do , for when our windmills and solar panels aren’t working, it is more than likely Europe’s aren’t either as an anticyclone usually has a continent wide effect, so all their windmills aren’t working either.

      8. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 12, 2022

        The concept of a co-ordinated international market in renewable energy is in its infancy, so this is a long term aim.

        The immediate position, however, is caused in the main by Putin’s murderous war of aggression and of choice against Ukraine, and the whole world suffers as a result.

        If countries need to return to coal to cope with its impact and to reduce reliance on Russia’s gas then that is just another bad effect of his monstrous acts.

        Yes, there are things that the Tories could have done far better regarding resilience and they are not off the hook, but the evil root is Putin and his mobsters.

        1. Shirley M
          December 12, 2022

          NHL – renewables are a complete waste of time and effort. Get those scientists working hard towards a viable solution, not the useless and expensive monstrosities we have today and remember windmills were discarded centuries ago as being useless. Nothing has changed, except the politicians.

        2. Shirley M
          December 12, 2022

          NLH – renewables are a complete waste of time and effort. Get those scientists working hard towards a viable solution, not the useless and expensive monstrosities we have today and remember windmills were discarded centuries ago as being useless. Nothing has changed, except the politicians.

        3. Donna
          December 12, 2022

          If it’s in its infancy, then it can be stopped since it is a ridiculous policy.

        4. acorn
          December 12, 2022

          NLH, the Energy Casino paid out handsomely today. UK system price hit £1650 / MWh in periods 27 and 28 today. Norway 2 bidding zone was at £505 / MWh peak and £381 / MWh average at day ahead. Selling MWh down the wires to the UK, would get you £1585 / MWh at the peak and £570 / MWh on average for the day. The “free market” energy world, is telling the UK that today is an exemplar for the prices the UK will be forced to pay for energy in the next three months.

      9. Lynn Atkinson
        December 12, 2022

        Nottingham lad, you genius, how much energy would be required to pump energy from ‘sun power’ from South Africa, for example, to Northumberland? Assuming of course that they have any energy to spare? You appreciate that South Africa suffers ‘stage 8’ blackouts atm in the middle of summer because Escom, it’s power company is on the brink of total collapse?
        Perhaps you would like the U.K. taxpayer to pump the USD1.7 trillion required to keep Escom ticking over?

      10. Mickey Taking
        December 12, 2022

        I think you will find we have provided power to France more than we have asked for back!
        Suggest a deal – they take the dinghy people back – we help them with power!

      11. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        Indeed and long distance interconnector are expensive, vulnerable to breakdowns. criminal damage, wars or political actions.

        A pile of coal or local gas supply is far cheaper and gives you on demand energy as required. Not then even any need for interconnectors. Indeed you could even have gas for home heating and have a small gas driven electricity generator in your house and go off grid completely for electricity. (Not so easy with an electric car though). An efficient house needs rather little electricity if you use gas or coal or wood to provide heating, cooking and hot water. Just lights, refrigeration, computer, tv, washing machine…

      12. glen cullen
        December 12, 2022

        Right to reply
        We aren’t short of energy, we sit on an island of coal & shale gas, surrounded by a sea of oil & gas ….it’s the governments choice not to use fossil fuels – no wonder the lights are going off and people are freezing to death

      13. a-tracy
        December 12, 2022

        NLH ‘In a response, the UKSA’s chair, Sir Robert Chote, said that while no citation or source was provided, he assumed the £800bn total came from the £559bn in net trade with EU countries in 2021, plus the £245bn in post-2016 deals with 71 non-EU nations, some of which had also been a rollover of the pre-Brexit deals with the wider EU.’ (guardian)

        Robert Chote – assumed.

        It is up to Gove and the Department of Trade to provide the evidence before this gets spread around as a fact.

      14. Mark
        December 12, 2022

        It doesn’t work. Europe is experiencing similar weather all over. They don’t have enough wind and solar to supply more than a small fraction of their demand themselves, let alone export to us.

      15. acorn
        December 12, 2022

        Agreed NLH. One thing the UK is not short of, particularly on this site; is persons that specialise in ” teaching grandmother to suck eggs”, knowing nothing about what is going on in the subject. Have a look at what the power industry is trying to progress, despite a commentariat of denialists, conspiracy theorists and a clueless government.

        Have a look at the ESO Connection Registers at
        https://data.nationalgrideso.com/data-groups/connection-registers
        You will see those groups looking to connect 30 GW of Interconnectors; about 80 GW (140-200 GWh) of Energy Storage Systems. The latter to store the juice when the Sun does shine and the wind does blow from more solar panels and wind turbines than you can shake a stick at across an integrated European network.

        1. Mark
          December 14, 2022

          There will always be wasps round a subsidy honey pot.

    3. Lifelogic
      December 12, 2022

      Justin Rowlatt, BBC Climate Editor for the BBC’s endless climate alarmist propaganda outfit – yet another deluded PPE graduate, does he have any physics or science beyond GCSE level I wonder?

      The overall trend since 1979 shows increased Antartic sea ice from Satellite observations. Arctic sea ice extent at the end of December 2021 was the highest in recent years and the 2nd highest in 18 years according to the US Snow and Ice Data Center.

      1. majorfrustration
        December 12, 2022

        I noticed that once more that the BBC Country File has been taken over by Eco File.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 12, 2022

          Indeed no BBC program is safe from the alarmist nuts! But the calendar pictures looked nice, not that many uses them any more!

      2. John C.
        December 12, 2022

        Hush, you mustn’t say this. Only the correct news must be printed. Remember,the science is settled. No other views are acceptable.

        1. Timaction
          December 12, 2022

          We know there’s global warming! NO THERE IS NOT and our heating is on because…………….it’s cold/winter.
          What’s going on with your useless Government Sir John? Your articles reflect our growing annoyance with your party of Consocialists. Raising taxes when we are about to go into recession! Raising Corporation tax won’t encourage foreign investment. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Encouraging interconnectors so we don’t have nation security to supply our own power, madness. Importing fracked gas/wood pellets from America when we have our own. Rank stupidity. Refusing to stop illegal immigration and having the audacity to put them up in 4* hotels. Then demand more taxes from us. No, no, no. We don’t know who they are or their intentions as we’ve seen in many murder cases. No one is ever deported or just a token few. No Albanians are accepted by Germany or Sweden, so why do your woksters allow them?. This is a national emergency and your Government does…….nothing. Woke has taken over all our public services, Councils, emergency services, quangos and msm. Low earning immigrants on minimum wages encouraged to come here in vast numbers at no cost to the employer but billions to the English tax payer in housing, education and health. It’s time for your party to go.

        2. glen cullen
          December 12, 2022

          So that’s why the BBC only interviews one person and not two with opposing views

      3. glen cullen
        December 12, 2022

        The zealots will still argue that that anomaly is also due to climate change, no doubt someone is currently making plans to construct thousands of wind-turbines on the arctic and antarctic

      4. Mitchel
        December 12, 2022

        The NASA-linked Arctic Sea Ice News Analysis Daily Update reports that “as of 22 Nov the average Arctic Ice extent was 9.71m Km2.This is the 8th lowest in the satellite record for the month.Extent was 990,000 Km2 below the 1981 to 2010 average of 10.7 Km2.”.

        In December 2021 there was a freak freeze in the eastern arctic which trapped a number of ships travelling from Canada to China.They had to request help from the Russian nuclear ice-breaker fleet.

        What seems to be happening is that the Amerasian/Canadian half of the Arctic is cooling but the Eurasian/Russian half is warming.

        1. Timaction
          December 12, 2022

          Climate changes between ice ages. Always has and sea levels vary too. Do you know at the end of the last ice age the melting glaciers created the great American lakes. The melt was so large it caused the oceans to rise significantly so Britain became detached from the continent. There have been man made settlements found in what is now the English Channel. I wonder if man made global warming caused this or if its part of a larger cycle that we just don’t know yet as there are too many variables.

        2. Mark
          December 14, 2022

          Not what I see. Siberia and the Arctic Sea to the East of the Ob River are in the grip of intense cold. The Arctic route even for ice breaker tankers is now effectively shut, with shipments going via Suez and Malacca to the Far East. Ice cover has been increasing rapidly and is now higher than for the previous 5 years for mid December.

          https://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php

      5. Mickey Taking
        December 12, 2022

        we won’t need BBQs next summer, we will be able to cook sausages and burgers on a sheet of metal, maybe not steak for those wealthy like you who can still afford it.

        1. Sharon
          December 12, 2022

          Only if next summer is like this year will you be able to barbecue on your car bonnet, but if it’s like 2021, you might struggle, as it was a bit of a naff summer for weather!

      6. acorn
        December 12, 2022

        Arctic sea ice reaches its minimum extent (the area in which satellite sensors show individual pixels to be at least 15% covered in ice) each September. September Arctic sea ice is now shrinking at a rate of 12.6% per decade, compared to its average extent during the period of 1981 to 2010. This graph shows the size of the Arctic sea ice each September since satellite observations started in 1979. The monthly value shown is the average of daily observations across the month of September during each year and is measured from satellites.
        https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/arctic-sea-ice/

    4. Cuibono
      December 12, 2022

      Mark
      +many
      I have struggled for some time with the lunacy of these predictions.
      Not the obviously insane content but the concept of living by prediction …like the Oracle at Delphi ( oh…”Winter’s Tale”!).
      Then Neil Oliver nailed it…( my understanding of what he said) that it is inhuman to make us live by divination. Evil to put unknown future generations interests above ours. So true!

      1. Timaction
        December 12, 2022

        I watched it on a proper news channel, GB News. He destroyed the Net stupid religion.

    5. Ian B
      December 12, 2022

      @Mark B +1

      From the same BBC but kept low key, resarch by University of Copenhagen and the University of Cambridge, published in Nature, shows that going back in time – “North Greenland was much warmer than it is now. The average annual temperatures were about 11-19C hotter”

    6. Original Richard
      December 12, 2022

      Mark B :

      Back in 2007 the BBC were reporting that Arctic summers would be ice free by 2013. :

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7139797.stm

      Well, it’s 2022 and there was more Arctic summer ice this year than in 2007.

      There is no empirical evidence for CAGW and everyone needs to check the data for themselves and not rely on hysterical reports by the BBC.

      Note that it is necessary for some arctic ice to melt in summer for the polar bears to survive. The sunshine on the water produces phytoplankton, the phytoplankton feed the plankton, the plankton feed the fish, the fish feed the seals and the seals feed the polar bears.

      1. Rhoddas
        December 13, 2022

        No long term planning yet for nuclear or SMR orders means we’ve at least a decade being screwed over with extortionate energy prices plus blackouts imo. Industrials will vacate Europe and UK. Well done to successive governments for being naive and woke.

        When ordinary folk start dying in large numbers from the cold, I would think a class action for aggravated manslaughter or similar might concentrate the minds of those truly responsible. Meanwhile hypothermia cases may add to the nhs crises.

        Drill/mine/frack until the nuclear power comes on stream. Time is of the essence!

    7. Malcolm Parkin
      December 12, 2022

      Don’t worry. Global warming will be back in the summer.

  2. Lifelogic
    December 12, 2022

    Indeed but you say “before there is sufficient battery storage, pump storage and green hydrogen production” but non of these battery/storage “solutions” are very sensible at all (other than in a few very special cases) when you look at the capital investment needed, the land use, the dangers (barrages and dams are very dangerous indeed), the fossil fuels used to make batteries (and rapid depreciation, short life and recycling of the batteries), the vast energy losses in the store and regenerate processes and the large environmental impact. The best way to store electricity is as a pile of coal, nuclear fuel or as natural gas or oil and then generate as needed.

    Then there is all the considerable fossil fuels used to make the wind farms, solar panels, storage systems and to maintain and connect them. Plus we have the much higher capital costs of having to have two generating systems the intermittent ones and the fossil fuel back up. Which then runs far less efficiently than it could do.

    In the case of green hydrogen the energy losses and costs are huge. So, which is greener:- burning locally mined coal and natural gas or chopping down forests (bird and animal habitats) in the US and shipping it over on diesel trucks and ships to burn at Drax. Our moronic government likes chopping down the forests option & yet this also produces more CO2 not less and more environmental damage not less.

    1. PeteB
      December 12, 2022

      LL,

      Spot on with your comment that electricity storage solutioms are not viable. I read a stat that worldwide battery storage capacity is sufficient for 1 minute and 13 seconds of electricity demand. It could be 1000% understated and still show battery storage is a non-starter.

      Another point to consider on duplication. The claim that solar and wind are now ‘cheap’. How can they be when we MUST build and maintain enough fossil fuel power stations for basically 75% of our electricity demand.

      If you want non fossil fuel electricity you need nuclear or tidal, neither of which is progressing very fast.

      1. Anselm
        December 12, 2022

        con permiso:
        https://gridwatch.org.uk/
        Follow it daily – very useful indeed.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 12, 2022

          Indeed but bear in mind that the electricity use is just circa 20% of total human energy use. The other 80% is fossil fuels gas, oil, petrol, diesel, coal (or young coal “wood”) used for heating, industrial use, transport, farming… Wind and Solar is almost irrelevant to overall energy use.

      2. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        Tidal is not good either extremely high capital costs, expensive to maintain (silt up and get damaged by waves), predictable but not remotely “on demand” as you have to use the power as it arrives and leaves with each tide. Also neap tides give far less power than Spring tides.

        Not renewable “technically” either just long lasting is it slows the earth rotation speed. But “renewable energy” a nonsense religious concept anyway not a scientific one.

        1. glen cullen
          December 12, 2022

          Our government are spending billions building one across the river mersey – well paying a South Korean company to build one

          1. Lifelogic
            December 13, 2022

            I did not know this, but clearly these projects like the proposed Swansea one make far less than zero sense in engineering, environmental, climate or economic terms.

          2. Mark
            December 14, 2022

            It appears that there is no real project yet. Just Liverpool Council trying to shake the green virtue subsidy tree. The idea was first looked at as long ago as 1924. The annual potential is quite modest at about 0.75TWh of very intermittent supply, or an average of 85MW, about equivalent to 20 large offshore wind turbines. The cost would be very hard to justify, especially by the time you add in the consequential costs for the Port of Liverpool.

      3. Lynn Atkinson
        December 12, 2022

        Or thermal?

      4. APL
        December 13, 2022

        PeteB: “Spot on with your comment that electricity storage solutioms are not viable.”

        The system is completely deranged. In order to facilitate ‘Green energy”, windmills, and Solar, they have incentivised companies to set up standby diesel generation capacity ( Richard North reported on that years ago). That way, the diesel generators can be brought on line quickly to make up for the supply shortage on days like today, when there is no wind, and the daylight didn’t really start until about 9am.

        But what they didn’t consider, ( bless the little geniuses), our insane government would introduce sanctions on the World’s second largest producer of hydrocarbons after Saudi Arabia. That included diesel fuel, which as it happens is in shortage too, because the West ( THROUGH BEING GREEN ) shut down much of our refinary plant, so we have to buy our fractionated hydrocarbon product from India, now.

        In truth, we have allowed the kindergarten population to somehow wrest control of the levers of power in the West. These things will take years to put right. But first we have to clear the insane ideologues from government and the civil service.

    2. Cynic
      December 12, 2022

      @LL Spot on! Batteries and green hydrogen storage systems are just adding stupid policy to another.

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      December 12, 2022

      LL. You are spot on unlike NLH. Also battery storage is dangerous regarding explosions as has been seen in Australia. Our governments are seriously deranged when it comes to energy supply and security.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        Dams and Barrages are very dangerous indeed so pumping water up hill not so good also need large and suitable areas of land to do it, most of which have been used already.

        See the history of dam failures and deaths on wiki.

      2. Mickey Taking
        December 12, 2022

        not necessarily deranged – just incredibly incompetent or working to the agenda of new world order – in other words making the masses submit to the new world government.

      3. James1
        December 12, 2022

        Are more of our politicians going to wake up to the global warming scam before we have net zero bank balances? Speaking of net zero, a number of the seriously deranged extinction zealots want to go beyond net zero to actual zero. In other words they want to shut down the entire economy of the world. Utter insanity are the only words that can be used to describe such an objective.

    4. Cuibono
      December 12, 2022

      All just another hoax.
      See how much you can “earn” for putting windmills on your land.
      They’ve greedily blown the old system ( which suited them for a while).
      All of it is a scam…every single rule, test, solution, explanation.
      Still…many arrests and much fleeing with cash loaded suitcases in EU Parliament…

    5. MFD
      December 12, 2022

      I second that LL. The problem is we have more pen pushers in Westminster than Engineers.

    6. Berkshire Alan.
      December 12, 2022

      LL
      But our Government does not like Wood Burning stoves in a domestic situation, due we are informed to high and toxic emissions, even though installation is becoming more popular recently.
      Just view the huge increase in the different types of solid paper/wood based fuel on offer the the major DIY stores of late, then of course we have those who forage and burn unseasoned damp wood.
      Most people love their own mini Drax heating systems especially when living close to woodland !

    7. Martyn G
      December 12, 2022

      LL: Check out another super-green (sarc) project to keep us reliant on others for our energy sources, the 1200 kM gas pipeline between Norway and UK. The Langelin pipeline used around 100,000 huge steel pipes each 12m long weighing 10t each (which took about a third of global pipeline production at the time to make).
      Additionally, it used circa 100,000 tonne of concrete and 25,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement. I dread to think how much it all cost but the engineering problems alone were huge e.g. having to level areas of seabed to prevent pipeline sag and possible fracture.
      What happens if Norway gets short of gas, I wonder….

      1. Lifelogic
        December 13, 2022

        +1 surely better to frack here.

    8. glen cullen
      December 12, 2022

      Correct – You only need ‘renewable energy’ if you believe the hype of climate change UN IPCC

  3. Lifelogic
    December 12, 2022

    The last election was won with a large Tory majority as people wanted to “get Brexit done”, certainly did not want Corbyn and many liked Boris. These drivers have all gone other than Brexit in NI.

    The voters now surely want cheap, reliable, on demand energy, a sound currency, low interest rates, far less tax, far less government waste, growth and real incentive to work and invest, no idiotic wars on motorists, no corruption & crony capitalism, far less red tape, more housing, fewer illegal & low skill migrants and certainly no HS2 or net zero,,, But Hunt and Sunak clearly have the opposite agenda for all these areas.

    1. Richard II
      December 12, 2022

      LL – Many voters don’t want more housing in areas that have already taken massive increases in house numbers. They’re concerned about the pressure that puts on infrastructure in their neighbourhoods: road systems that can’t cope with the resulting traffic, and not enough schools, doctors, dentists etc. They wonder if power cuts and lower water pressure are due to all the extra housing. When they vote in local elections, they will remember which party inflicted on them the destruction of the environment they previously had.

      When they’re told more housing is needed, they may ask whether that’s related to the increased population numbers that have been encouraged in this country.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        Well fewer people or more houses or a bit of both!

    2. Cuibono
      December 12, 2022

      Hunt and Sunak were not elected.
      It was a coup.
      They are both globalists. Davos men.
      They maybe don’t actually WANT de industrialisation but whatever the nature of the web, they are both stuck in it.
      And they don’t care about us! This is all now existential. Frightening.
      Wakey wakey everyone!!

      1. glen cullen
        December 12, 2022

        Correct on all counts

    3. Ian B
      December 12, 2022

      @ Lifelogic +1

      Sunak, is/was part of the Boris Johnson Cabinet and as such is responsible and owns equally the policies perused. Mr Continuity.
      The previous Government didn’t get Brexit done, it was held back by a remain Parliament as such we are all still in limbo and paying the price – and as a remain Government it has lost interest.
      As you infer a proper Conservative Party has alluded us, hence the SocCon phrase, meant as an insult but embraced by the participants of this Government. CCO gives the appearance of manipulating the party to give it the result it wants, not want the Party on the Country needs.

  4. Lifelogic
    December 12, 2022

    You say “The Government have accepted that gas is an important transition fuel this decade” but we have 100+ years of natural gas and coal available under the UK and overseas not just 10 years, Practical nuclear fusion will surely be sorted well before then perhaps even in under 20 years. The wind. solar and battery storage, green hydrogen agenda make no real economic, practical or environmental sense.

    The amount of total human energy used that comes from wind and solar is less than 2% worldwide so almost totally irrelevant. Not only that but wind farms need masses of fossil fuels to build, connect and maintain them and to back them up.

    1. Dave Andrews
      December 12, 2022

      Nuclear fusion is 30 years away, and has been since I left school 40 years ago.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        Some truth in that (for controlled nuclear fusion anyway) but we are I think now really getting quite close. One innovation leads to another and progress speeds up.

        Necessity is the mother of invention as they say.

      2. Bloke
        December 12, 2022

        “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transferred and transformed.”
        If that is so, maybe we need only to transfer and transform it between ourselves usefully.

        In early years, a company manufacturing light bulbs housed its offices on the ground floor and its factory above, so that waste heat went into the sky without sweltering deskbound employees. Later, waste heat from acid producers was transferred to hot water pipes to heat their office space.

        Heat rises, as does its price.
        Heating the sky when the sun is already assigned to the case serves no useful purpose.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 12, 2022

          See the second law of thermodynamics and get to understand entropy. In essence, if for example, you burn some gas to cook some food or heat you bath then you cannot collect all the heat back again to cook your next meal or heat you next bath. Not without using lots of new energy to power a heat pump to do so. Heat goes from hot to cold not the other way round (unless you use energy to power a heat pump. Pumping the heat up a thermal hill.

          1. Bloke
            December 15, 2022

            Transferring it USEFULLY was the point.
            Cannot heat going to cold be used for cooling?

      3. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 12, 2022

        Yes, a plasma at ten billion degrees releases almost all of its energy in the form of gamma rays anyway, which are not easily converted to anything useful let alone non-deadly.

      4. boffin
        December 12, 2022

        Doubt it, Dave, the pursuit of that holy grail has been a gravy train for those involved ever since Westminster was braying about ZETA (the Zero Energy Thermonuclear Assembly) and “electricity too cheap to meter” some two decades earlier, and one fears they’ll still be firmly aboard that train 30 years hence 😉

      5. glen cullen
        December 12, 2022

        +1 I also remember being told that London was going to be under water by 2000

        1. Mickey Taking
          December 12, 2022

          true – where are the plans for bigger, wider Thames barrier they proposed?

        2. Jason
          December 12, 2022

          Also with the coming of Y2K the whole sky was going to fall in at midnight

      6. Mark
        December 14, 2022

        It was reckoned to be at least 50 years away when I was working at AERE Harwell and sharing hostel accommodation with the physics graduates working at Culham.

    2. BOF
      December 12, 2022

      Agree with all your comments this morning LL.

  5. turboterrier
    December 12, 2022

    The whole green circus that has replaced the basic principles of supply and distribution of our power supplies has taken over our lives and replaced common sense. This has resulted in the massive burdens now placed upon all the energy bill payers.

    1. Ian Wragg
      December 12, 2022

      Pump storage and green hydrogen are not the answer. Both are small scale and unreliable.
      Get frackung and get a raft of SMRs ordered.
      It’s not difficult.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        Very energy wasteful and not very environmentally sound either.

      2. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        Not that convinced about SMR reactors outside special situations, the reason for them is not so much the engineering as the many political and legal obstacles to new larger nuclear reactors which should be more efficient and cheaper per MWH (or would be without these artificial political/legal obstacles for the green crap nutters).

      3. Ian Wragg
        December 12, 2022

        Today everything we have is at 95% capacity and we are Importing 6gw.
        If the evening peak goes up 2gw we will have power cuts.
        Wind is contributing 1.05gw as I type and the clowns in Westminster want to triple the number.
        What a bunch of chancers.

        1. Stred
          December 12, 2022

          And half if nuclear will be closed in 2 years time.

        2. Stred
          December 12, 2022

          And half if nuclear will be closed in 2 years time..

      4. glen cullen
        December 12, 2022

        If only your suggestions were in the Tory manifesto

  6. turboterrier
    December 12, 2022

    When all the coal power stations were operational the grid was in place to distribute the power from these central sources in very high demand areas.
    Now the wind farms are in remote locations with intermittent wind a lot of power loss is experienced in getting that energy to the main grid for ongoing distribution and to maintain base load becomes a juggling act.
    Like the construction industry building thousands of house without increasing the infrastructure of sewerage and its treatment the power companies were heavily subsidised to just keep building windfarm sites and just keep tacking on to the local networks. Little or no consideration to the infrastructure to support all these small by comparison power generating sites. The engineers who operated and managed the grid who tried to warn the government have now been vindicated.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 12, 2022

      All competent engineers knew this agenda was dangerous, expensive & idiotic. But religions, emotions, gut feeling, group think, vested interests, crony capitalism and virtue signalling by daft art graduate politicians usually wins out over logic, reason and engineering sense – in the short to medium term anyway.

      1. Berkshire Alan
        December 12, 2022

        +1

      2. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        But in the end as Feynman put it:- For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. Richard P. Feynman

      3. Fedupsoutherner
        December 12, 2022

        Right LL. I remember going to a meeting in Scotland where the ex director of the Scottish grid warned of the consequences of relying on renewables and in particular wind. Scotland often gets power interrupted because of surges in the grid. In times of very cold weather and no wind like now the ironic thing is that the turbines have to use power from the grid to keep the blades moving so they don’t get ice on them. If icicles develop on the blades there is the possibility of ice throw which is a danger to the public.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 12, 2022

          Indeed so large areas of land can become rather dangerous for people.

    2. glen cullen
      December 12, 2022

      Wind showing at 4% on UK Energy Dashboard at 11:30am

      1. glen cullen
        December 12, 2022

        That 4% of Wind is probably more expensive then the other 83% of energy altogether (66% fossil fuel (coal & gas) 17% low carbon (nuclear))

        1. Mark
          December 12, 2022

          Given that you need 25 times as much capacity to get to 100% the cost will be 25 times higher than the number you first thought of as being the cost of wind.

  7. turboterrier
    December 12, 2022

    Lead to new thinking?
    If it produces that Sir John it will be a first, because they sure as hell haven’t been thinking up to now.
    Not unless you include the millions paid in subsidies and constraint payments as highlighted many times on this site, a scam of mammoth proportions.

    1. glen cullen
      December 12, 2022

      Its the biggest scam of all time …and UK PLC hae fallen for it

  8. Bob Dixon
    December 12, 2022

    We need a mild winter.

    What do we get.

    A cold start with tempretures below freezing all day and night.

    Can it get worse?

    Yes it can!

    1. Cuibono
      December 12, 2022

      +many
      Govt. Incanting and spelling for a mild one!
      This is God’s way of holding them to account?

    2. John C.
      December 12, 2022

      Bob, In a way, we want a cold winter. In normal circumstances, this would bring people to their senses, and they would realise Global Warming is a fraud. Alas, democracy and honest rulers seem to be things of the past.

    3. glen cullen
      December 12, 2022

      You mean something like China restricting the export of wind turbine components or the world market price for copper increases x1000 fold
      Or do the mean that our government could cut all power to ‘smart-meters’ during the day

  9. Lifelogic
    December 12, 2022

    The cost of a Lithium Iron battery per KWH is about £150 and rising. Value of electricity that this can store and deliver back is only about 30p (this at rip off UK rigged market prices true value more like 14p). The depreciation of the battery per charge/discharge is about 30p, energy wasted in charge/discharge, storage losses and voltage conversion perhaps 20%. So cost of electricity in is 30p but true cost of electricity out is more like 86p after losses, finance costs, depreciation… so not very clever really. Better to store it as a pile of coal or a tank of gas.

    Just do the simple maths, but alas this seems to be beyond this government. Average cost of electricity retail in USA is only about 14p so under 50% of the rip off government market rigged UK prices. Not Putin but net zero, rigged markets, investments deterred and stopped, power stations blown up and carbon taxes. Blame the Tories.

    1. Ian B
      December 12, 2022

      @Lifelogic +1

      No ability to think things through, the result of the UK education System? Indoctrination before learning

      1. Timaction
        December 12, 2022

        Indeed. In my day we were taught HOW to think, now days they are taught WHAT to think by the left wing wokists.

    2. Richard1
      December 12, 2022

      Yes but Labour would be even worse

      1. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        Indeed but can they be much worse?

      2. Mickey Taking
        December 12, 2022

        been wiping your crystal ball again?

    3. Mark
      December 14, 2022

      You would be lucky to get a battery for £150/kWh. A Tesla Powerwall is about £8,000 for 13.5kWh. Grid scale batteries were about £350/kWh until recent price rises which will have nudged them back to £400 or more. Prices include installation and power electronics.

  10. Rhoddas
    December 12, 2022

    Quite right Sir J, the intermittents are precisely that, so the on demand power be it fossil or nuclear, STILL need to cover UK peaks..so where are the green nuclear orders?

    Can I ask there is a forum discussion soon on Ukrainian power, as their poor grid is a regular malign target. I believe they will need to adopt a comprehensive distributed architecture of independent genset power, each residential block having their own suitably sized genset.

    UK genset manufacturers should be able to provide substantially in this regard, if there is HMG political will to help and also utilise the european energy funding setup to help Ukraine for this.

    Please can you offer comments and support, thank you.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 12, 2022

      Nuclear is not very “on demand” more of a constant supply – hard to ramps up and down very efficiently. Gas/Coal/Oil far better for this.

    2. Hat man
      December 12, 2022

      I think your suggestion, Rhoddas, would form a valuable part of our reparations to Ukraine, after a negotiated settlement. This might help to make up for our having encouraged them down the senseless path of preferring conflict to implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2202 (Minsk II accords).

  11. Shirley M
    December 12, 2022

    Your party has had 12 years to create energy security for the UK, but all they talk about is more wind turbines and virtue signalling over net zero by exporting industry. They have lost their collective minds. People will die as a result, but I’m sure no politicians will suffer!
    People are already dying thanks to a failing NHS, but again, I doubt any politicians will suffer. Generally speaking, anything that gives the NHS a bit of good publicity will get priority, eg. inviting Ukranian cancer sufferers to the UK for treatment. The Brits who pay for it come second (if they are lucky).

    1. Donna
      December 12, 2022

      Wes Streeting (Labour) appears to be suffering due to the failing NHS ….. and funnily enough has announced that the NHS requires reform. Isn’t it strange that it takes personal experience to wake up our pathetic politicians.

      Perhaps we should require every MP, Civil Servant and Eco Zealot in the Establishment (including Zac Goldsmith and the Johnson extended family) to live in houses that are completely powered by “renewables” with no back-up.

    2. Ian B
      December 12, 2022

      @Shirley M +1

      The Conservatives, then evangelized by Boris Johnson sort to Punish as a lazy way of management rather than create an economy to fund and create alternatives. Personal egos, backed by the callings of the WEF league of gentlemen have got in the way of common sense and doing the job of creating a safe, secure and reliant UK.

    3. glen cullen
      December 12, 2022

      But but but …We got the covid vaccine days earlier then Europe. We’ve been busy

  12. Donna
    December 12, 2022

    Over the last 12 years the Blue-Green-Socialist Government has deliberately run down our energy security.

    It’s made ordinary householders pay the costs of installing intermittent, unreliable windmills and solar panels …. and either wealthy landowners or foreign companies have benefited enormously from the scam. No wonder they want it to continue and be expanded.

    We’ve watched (literally) as Blue-Green-Socialist Ministers have blown up perfectly viable coal-based power stations. And we’ve paid attention as various Blue-Green-Socialist Prime Ministers have REFUSED to permit fracking in our country, whilst paying a fortune to the USA to import their fracked gas.

    Now the chickens of the Eco Lunacy have come home to roost. We have a freezing cold winter with no sun and virtually no wind and those oh-so-marvellous solar panels and windmills are contributing virtually nothing to our energy needs.

    Are we really supposed to applaud this pathetic Party/Government for NOT blowing up our last 3 coal-fired power stations ….. particularly when the rest of the Net Zero lunacy is carrying on regardless?

    We desperately need a complete clear-out of the useless Eco Nutters from the British Establishment: Parliament, Civil Service and Quangocracy.

  13. George Brooks.
    December 12, 2022

    Which one of the news channels will report electric cars with flat batteries on an M-way or one of our open moorlands?

    Hope you get your estimates right, distance V warmth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. IanT
      December 12, 2022

      Well the government has set in motion a chain of events that is going to cause them more problems. Although the ban on ICE vehicles starts in 2030, many manufacturers will have ceased production well before then. This will cause two things to happen I suspect. EV numbers will quickly increase, if only because all new company & hire cars will be electric. Many people will also decide to retain their ICE vehicle, in many instances because they cannot charge off-road. So there will huge extra demands placed on the existing power grid (especially in Winter) and also a fleet of older/aging ICE vehicles that many cannot afford to change or cannot afford to charge on street. Of course Mr Khan has the answer, just tax them all off the road. So much for leveling up!

    2. Mickey Taking
      December 12, 2022

      perhaps LL will enlighten us with his supreme knowledge? In a week of sub-zero day and night, what loss of efficiency will be found in using the EV car battery? Cold battery not good? What steps do manufacturers make to shield it from extreme cold? Some years ago I ran a BMW735 and was surprised to find the battery in the boot protected from the front facing wind. Clever and accessible.

      1. IanT
        December 12, 2022

        No, a too cold (or indeed too hot) battery is not good MT.

        In the Tesla Model S owners manual you’ll find this warning: “In cold weather, some of the stored energy in the Battery may not be available on your drive because the battery is too cold.” – and of course the occupants might need warming too. 🙂

    3. Bloke
      December 12, 2022

      George Brooks:
      Radio has at least reported that electric car drivers are often averse to using their heaters.
      The heaters consume much of the power used, shortening the range of their journey and adding to the high cost of recharging the battery!

      1. Mark
        December 14, 2022

        Passengers will need to wrap up as if in a 1904 de Dion Bouton on the London to Brighton vintage car rally.

  14. BOF
    December 12, 2022

    ‘Yesterday renewables contributed a small single figure percentage of our electricity as demand rose to combat dark and low temperatures. We needed the fossil fuel back up.’

    As they have done for most of the time this Winter, last Summer, last Winter and Spring. Sir John, even this non expert knows that renewables cannot work and will always need equivalent conventional back up. Sufficient windmills cannot be installed to provide enough energy for the UK. The next 100 yrs will not see enough minerals mined for battery storage. Meanwhile we will continue importing oil, coal and gas, and power via the interconnectors!

    All this to support the fraud that is anthropomorphic CC/GW. The sheer incompetence from governments for many years beggars belief. Or is there another agenda, 2030 perhaps? We certainly need a great reset, to get rid of the very large numbers of MP’s who clearly do not put the interests of the UK first.

    1. Sharon
      December 12, 2022

      “ All this to support the fraud that is anthropomorphic CC/GW. The sheer incompetence from governments for many years beggars belief. Or is there another agenda, 2030 perhaps? We certainly need a great reset, to get rid of the very large numbers of MP’s who clearly do not put the interests of the UK first.”

      In a nut shell! Well said BOF.

      My husband read yesterday that WEF want to do away with private car ownership. What a flipping cheek! When were they voted in to tell us what to do? All this is getting beyond irritating!

      1. Sharon
        December 12, 2022

        It was Fox News Business that my husband heard about the intended abolition of private cars.

      2. Lifelogic
        December 12, 2022

        “do away with private car ownership”. That is clearly the agenda in Oxford and Canterbury and with Kahn in London and much of this Government. And with your nice gas boilers.

      3. Original Richard
        December 12, 2022

        Sharon :

        Last year, the then transport minister, Trudy Harrison said :

        “Owning a car is outdated ’20th-century thinking’ and we must move to ‘shared mobility’ to cut carbon emissions”.

        Only the ruling elites will have private transport. The rest of us it will be “active travel” (euphemism for walking and push bikes) and (strike ridden) public transport. Just read the Net Zero Strategy.

      4. a-tracy
        December 12, 2022

        “WEF want to do away with private car ownership”

        When they automate trains, trams and buses otherwise why should we all be ransomed by a group of overpaid workers?

      5. Clough
        December 12, 2022

        Anthropogenic, not anthropomorphic. Otherwise exactly right, and there certainly is another agenda, it isn’t incompetence.

        1. BOF
          December 12, 2022

          Sorry Clough, I should have engaged brain and read my comment before posting!

    2. Shirley M
      December 12, 2022

      +1 BOF

    3. turboterrier
      December 12, 2022

      BOF
      + many
      Less than 8% of our elected politicians even begin to understand the real problems associated with our energy supply and distribution situation.
      They are totally not fit for purpose in so many critical areas.⁶

    4. Iain Moore
      December 12, 2022

      Yes we made it very clear to our governing classes that we didn’t want rule from Brussels, so what have they done? Gone and subordinated us to the UN in all the treaties and obligations they have signed us up to. Many of the problems we face are the result of the powers our governing class have given away.

      It is very odd, we invest powers in these MPs and Government , and they do everything they can to give those powers away.

    5. Ian B
      December 12, 2022

      @BOF +1

      Carefull how you use ‘the great reset’ that is WEF doctrine for the mighty to rule the World at the expence of good productive democracy

  15. Lifelogic
    December 12, 2022

    Not so much ‘keeping the lights on” as lighting now, using LED lamps, uses very little electricity nowadays. Evan at rip off 30p a KWH Gov. market rigged UK prices you can get (100w old incandescent equivalent) LED light for under about 5p an hour.

    The things that are most power hungry are mainly water & space heating, refrigeration, aircon, EV car charging, heat pumps, kettles, showers, baths, washing machines when washing hot, tumble driers and some industrial and farming processes…

    1. Mickey Taking
      December 12, 2022

      but how long do you boil a kettle for a cuppa?

    2. IanT
      December 12, 2022

      My son is installing two log burners in his new build and quite a lot of people are buying small diesel heaters (to heat a specific space, rather than run their central heating or rely on electricity supplies). Having small rooms seems to make more sense these days. I wonder if the fashion for large open plan spaces will survive the new realities. I have emergency supplies of coal in the shed and I’m thinking about ripping up the floorborads to insulate beneath them. My wife isn’t keen though, because of the huge disruption and high cost. In the meantime, we are going back to my childhood days of heated ‘living’ rooms and cold corridors and bedrooms. What comes back next – an outside loo, smog, the coal man with his horse & cart?

      1. Stred
        December 12, 2022

        I have bought a paraffin heater. I was in charge of filling them 65 years ago. Now mine gives a radiant glow. I had to buy it in France.

      2. Mickey Taking
        December 12, 2022

        Four candles – perhaps every day?

    3. forthurst
      December 12, 2022

      If there is no electricity, the lights go out, so their power consumption is irrelevant. Anything else you want to talk about today?

      1. Original Richard
        December 12, 2022

        forthurst :

        Yes, the Net Zero Strategy is to reduce to zero (or even below zero for the “Leading The Way” scenario) our CO2 emissions by making all energy very expensive and, if this does not work, and there still is more demand than supply, then to simply arrange rolling blackouts.

        The “zil lane” smart meters will ensure, however, that some people will always have power…..

        All to zero our 1% contribution to global CO2, a gas which plants need to survive and for which there is no evidence that it causes catastrophic global warming.

        1. glen cullen
          December 12, 2022

          Don’t forget 20mph on every road by 2030

    4. Mark
      December 14, 2022

      A 100W equivalent uses about 13W, or about one eightieth of a kW. So divide your cost by 10.

  16. John McDonald
    December 12, 2022

    Dear Sir John, I think we can place the cause of this current energy supply mess at the door of Mrs Thatcher. Capitalist thinking does not work for providing the basic 19th Centaury utilities of Electricity, Gas, Water and Rail transport. Coal being the fuel in providing them. Not saying we should not phase out fossil fuel over time. Lots of reasons to do so, not just the over production of plant food, sorry CO2.
    If the old state run industries had continued to run these public very basic services we would not be in this state. In the Dark and Cold. Even if, and not actually seen any proof, the effective cost to the user of these utilities has come down, they have got so cheap they are no longer are available. “I don’t pay anything for my Electricity” “Why is that ?” “There is none”

    Reply If we had a fully nationalised energy system it would have made itself even more dependent on wind turbines and imports, worsening the position.

    1. mancunius
      December 12, 2022

      The shortsighted energy policies of Labour and Conservative governments since the 1990s have nothing to do with de-nationalisation. If they were nationalised
      I think you may have forgotten the countless occasions when unions have manipulated their nationalised monopoly to cause mayhem by striking and holding the population to ransom. Then we really were in the dark and cold. I can recall trying to write a thesis by candlelight, while Gormley and Scargill issued threats to the elected governments of the day.
      Today we have a similar situtation – massed unions of public sector employees trying to push up inflation and taxes for the rest of us with their wage demands, and conspiring together to bring about a general strike and cause the government’s replacement by Labour.
      That won’t work this time.

      1. mancunius
        December 12, 2022

        If they were nationalised

    2. John McDonald
      December 12, 2022

      One can’t make a statement like this with no evidence this is just an opinion. When Nationalised the Electricity Industry was run by engineers not economists and politicians. A Engineer would know the wind don’t blow all the time. And electricity is not easy to store in large amounts. The Grid would be bigger than it is today. There would be more coal fired and nuclear power stations. The link to France was to share load to take advantage of the 1 hour time difference for peak demand and not as a means to import electricity from French nuclear power stations. The Industry would be own by the tax payer not foreign companies with profits going aboard and loss of tax revenue. The effective cost of electricity is not just the amount as shown on your electricity bill.

  17. Ian B
    December 12, 2022

    Why is this Government racing towards Net Zero at a faster rate than all our competitor nations – years and years faster. When the UK is less than 1% of the World problem?

    Why after 12 years in power has this Government failed in it duty to ensure the UK’s safety and security of energy supplies a long with everything else they have failed on?

    It is looking like the majority our elected MP’s have forgotten their purpose, their function and what we pay them for. To much time taken up on ego etc.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 12, 2022

      Why are we going for net zero at all!

      1. glen cullen
        December 12, 2022

        Thats the single most important question

    2. turboterrier
      December 12, 2022

      Ian B
      Because they can. Too immersed in their own little bubble safe in the beliefs that their incompetence, ignorance and arrogance will go unnoticed

    3. No Longer Anonymous
      December 12, 2022

      Ian B

      Why does this government want to beat other nations to Net Zero ?

      It’s a cover for the economy going *pop* and and causing us to become impoverished. It makes it look like it was a planned policy decision and that being cold and poor was done for our own good and not through gross economic incompetence.

      1. glen cullen
        December 12, 2022

        Because they want that gold star from the UN IPCC

    4. Original Richard
      December 12, 2022

      To destroy our economy.

  18. Ian B
    December 12, 2022

    Good morning Sir John
    ‘The system operator and regulator also need to review the capacity of the grid and street cable system’

    Again that has to be answered with a why? – The responsibility as the managers of our structures is 100% the Governments, this outfits are at all times doing the bidding of Government. The Government is giving them ‘our’ money, the Government is in control to ensure we get value for money for our taxes.

    Its just another 12years of Government failures to do its duty.

    1. forthurst
      December 12, 2022

      UK Power Networks are responsible for cabling in the South East and East. They are owned by CK Group which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

  19. Old Albion
    December 12, 2022

    I’ve woken this morning to six inches of ‘global warming’ all around us in Kent. The eco-loons need to wake up to reality. Stopping the use of fossil fuels will kill thousands, potentially including them.

    1. MFD
      December 12, 2022

      Oh Old Albion, wise up! The stat in Snakes house will not be turned down. It would take too long to heat the swimming pool again!

      1. Old Albion
        December 12, 2022

        I was thinking more of the eco-loons ‘just stop oil’ ‘extinction rebellion’ etc. But I get your point ……….

  20. Cuibono
    December 12, 2022

    Oh…the EU is imploding.
    And the guns of war reloading.
    It’s plain that the wind won’t blow…
    We’ve got snow, we’ve got snow, we’ve got snow!

    (And I for one, am pretty bloody freezing….
    And I note that the charity-leased, benefits-funded house next door has had its flashing Christmas lights on ALL NIGHT!)

    1. Lifelogic
      December 12, 2022

      Heat and insulate the body not the house if you are short of money seems to best solution for many. Bathe once a month whether needed or not!

      1. Cuibono
        December 12, 2022

        +100
        I’m thinking of getting one of those outdoor solar showers.
        Basically a big bag of water heated by the sun.
        Oh what larks!
        All thanks to govt.

      2. Stred
        December 12, 2022

        Also, only wash clothes when dirty. Change underwear every 2 days instead of 1.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      December 12, 2022

      Yes. My neighbour who receives benefits keeps her kitchen outside door open all the time she’s up including after midnight. Her boiler is blasting away and nearly all the lights in her house are on even though the two people that live there are downstairs in one room. Nice if you can afford the bills. Fortunately for her she’s had some nice handouts.

      1. Cuibono
        December 12, 2022

        +100
        Yes!
        Strangely enough we get the open back door in freezing weather too.
        Allows music to blare out of course!

      2. Mickey Taking
        December 12, 2022

        ask her if you can rig up a fat hose at her back-door. At your end install a small fan (sucking) in the hose and aim it into your house?

    3. glen cullen
      December 12, 2022

      +1

  21. Richard1
    December 12, 2022

    It is possible that the coordinated campaign by far left union militants to bring down the govt will backfire on Labour and result in renewed support for the Conservatives. Assuming that is, that Sunak is prepared to take tough measures to protect the public against these threats to our lives and livelihoods.

    But the govt will not survive power blackouts, which if they happen will be the consequence of the years of denial of the realities of energy supply and utopian ‘green’ policies. Of course under Labour it would have been even worse, but the incumbent govt will get the blame.

    1. Mark B
      December 12, 2022

      Blackouts are the consequences of the Tories wanting to have the Greenest Government EVER !!!

      Very Green and VERY, VERY Dark !

  22. Ian B
    December 12, 2022

    Good morning Sir John

    To some at times my comments might seem harsh, as undoubtedly there are some good if not great MP’s like yourself out there. But, we have a structure that is creating corruption it is holding the real voices of people back. Parliament is supposed to represent the people, it is that simple.

    Conservative Central Office (although its now changed its name) is structured to corrupt. Boris Johnson had a failed administration, had a different agenda to being a Conservative, its an endless list of fail, fail. But Government as in the Cabinet is a collective decision responsibility, so when the rank and file wanted change where did the CCO go for change, it went straight to those that that were part of the embedded problem – The very Cabinet members that owned the failure. That is not change, that is consolidating failure.

    Now the Conservative Party is showing signs of fracturing for the very reason that the CCO is deaf, it is deaf to its MP’s it is deaf to its members. So the State is now polarised by those that previously failed to manage the Country, still fail to manage the Country and still refuse to step up.

    So Sir John when you keep highlighting the weaknesses and failures that affect us all, it is not the departments, the Civil Service, the Quangos, Operators or Regulators that are the problem, it is simply the refusal of Government to take charge and manage in a manner expected or for that matter do what they get paid for. The Buck really does stop at Government

    1. Ian B
      December 12, 2022

      @ Ian B –
      All the very valid suggestions and comments your diary generates have no meaning all the time the Government is in denial of its responsibility to manage the UK and all the time Parliament is toothless to fully hold them to account for not making sure the UK is safe and secure.

  23. boffin
    December 12, 2022

    Your attention is drawn to the revealing snapshot of energy prices across the globe published recently by visualcapitalist.com. For instance, some examples of domestic electricity prices, in US cents/kWh –

    14 world average

    32 UK
    17 Poland
    9 Mexico
    8 China
    7 India
    4 Argentina
    1 Ethiopia

    As you have so rightly observed, whatever is left of our manufacturing capability is being driven overseas by high energy costs.

    1. Ian B
      December 12, 2022

      @boffin +1
      Boris Johnson with his Socialist and very egotistical outlook thought it was better to punish UK citizens rather than ensure the UK’s safety and security or ensure first that alternatives were in place or the UK had a resilient economy to fund his dreams. The problem is those still in charge are the very people that as part of the BJ cabinet agreed with and owned the direction he had taken the UK – they were collectively responsible for failure

      ‘First destroy so as to shape your own image’ Discipline from WEF disciples

    2. Lifelogic
      December 12, 2022

      +1

    3. Lifelogic
      December 12, 2022

      So clearly not Putin’s evil war just duff government in the UK. In the USA electricity is about 16 cents retail per KWH.

    4. Mickey Taking
      December 12, 2022

      What about France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Romania, Czeck?

    5. Mickey Taking
      December 12, 2022

      What about Denmark 46 ,Belgium 41, France 18, Germany 44, Italy 30, Switzerland 22, Holland 32, Romania 19, Czech 29? Why would we help France?

  24. AncientPopeye
    December 12, 2022

    Drill, Drill the drill some more, I understand there’s more than hot air down there?

  25. David Cooper
    December 12, 2022

    In ancient Rome, Cato the Censor notably preceded all of his senate speeches with the short but sweet “Delenda est Carthago” – Carthage must be destroyed – until the Romans finally got the message and annihilated their old enemy for once and for all. In more recent times, Daniel Hannan coined a similar Latin formula calling for the repudiation of the Maastricht treaty.
    For present times, may I offer “Repugnanda est caeli mutationis lex” – The Climate Change Act must be repealed.

  26. Brian Tomkinson
    December 12, 2022

    This is not incompetence; it can only be described as criminal neglect by government and lobby fodder MPs. Those who purport to represent us are working against our interests. Did we ever live in a democracy or was the notion always a gigantic fraud working on behalf of others?

  27. Donna
    December 12, 2022

    After 12 years of deliberately destroying our energy security and pushing the “green energy” scam, Sir John thinks the Pretendy-Cons deserve credit for NOT blowing up our last 3 coal-fired power stations.

    Funnily enough the film of Alok Sharma blowing one up has been removed from YouTube. Can’t think why.

    Energy in GW at 0850 this morning:

    Gas: 24.5
    Solar: 0
    Windmills: 1.4
    Coal (imported): 1.3

    So Sunak says we need more windmills and under no circumstances can we be allowed to frack for gas ….. although it’s perfectly acceptable to import fracked gas from the USA.

    Net Zero brains operating in this Pretendy-Conservative Government.

  28. Original Richard
    December 12, 2022

    As I write wind (1GW from 27GW installed capacity) and solar (0 GW from 14 GW installed capacity) are providing just 2.5% of the 41GW demand. Even the arts, classics and history graduates that decide upon our energy policies can realise that quadrupling these renewables will only bring us to 10% of demand.

    If they think at all about storage using wind, solar and hydrogen then the answer is that we will need at least 8 times the demand or 328GW of installed wind and solar capacity.

    Battery storage is totally unaffordable even if sufficient supplies of the necessary minerals could be mined.

    We have abundant supplies of cheap, reliable and storable power from coal, oil and gas and energy is only expensive because these supplies have been deliberately sacrificed to satisfy the gods of the green religion.

    Here is an official SSE video of a recent sacrificial ceremony carried out by our COP26 President :

    https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1429456184902393858/pu/vid/720×720/JwPnpycxEiyBmqVJ.mp4?tag=12

    1. Mark
      December 14, 2022

      He might as well have invited Putin to lob a few missiles at our power stations. It’s an act of war against our society.

  29. Bloke
    December 12, 2022

    If we had a renewable cabinet we wouldn’t be left in the dark with the dimwits there.

    1. Donna
      December 13, 2022

      Oh it is renewable. If you want REFORM you have to vote for it.

      1. Bloke
        December 15, 2022

        Joined today: £25.

  30. Brian Taylor
    December 12, 2022

    Highest energy demand expected today. At 9am the electricity demand of 42GW is being met with fossil fuel and nuclear with renewables only providing solar 0.04GW, wind 1.02GW.

  31. Michael Saxton
    December 12, 2022

    Twelve years with Conservatives in charge of our energy policy has resulted in failure. Failure to invest in nuclear, failure to ensure we have sufficient gas storage, failure to ensure we source our energy from within the UK (where there is a plentiful supply of gas and coal) and failure to ensure we have energy security. It’s CCGT,s and Nuclear that provide our base load with wind, hydro, biomass and solar minor suppliers. Just look at National Grid’s annual energy data. We will need fossil fuels for decades to come, battery storage is unlikely to deliver the capacity required to provide huge amounts of energy necessary to support the intermittency of renewables. By selecting a losing strategy, obsessing over Net Zero, hoping technology will somehow come to the rescue, successive administrations have signally failed the people of this country. It’s a National disgrace.

  32. Ralph Corderoy
    December 12, 2022

    The electrification of the Western world in its minority-driven quest for Net Zero requires a huge increase in the supply of copper. This pushes prices up and impacts the price of existing uses, of which there are many for the normal consumer. Copper also does not spring from the Earth’s surface in neat coils; the production process from digging a mine to on-the-shelf stock uses large amounts of non-green energy, all of which will also have to increase.

    Here’s the last 60-odd years of copper’s price in USD. https://www.macrotrends.net/1476/copper-prices-historical-chart-data

  33. agricola
    December 12, 2022

    Well Sir John if you were warning nobody was listening.
    At the moment, for the past thirty years and the next thirty years, the only sources of clean energy have been hydro electric and atomic. The latter being the most reliable. Wind and solar in the UK are at best back up sources. In fact I would see them as the source for hydrogen production where their unreliability could more readily be coped with.
    Your Mr Gove gets 10/10 for the go ahead for a coal mine in Cumbria. The ignorance and hypochracy of the “Chatterati” in his wake was unbelievable, they don’t even know what coal is for in steel production.

    We need to frack and extract gas of our own for at least the next twenty years. Unbelievably your colleagues have vitue planned for accelerated use of electricity but not its production. Yesterday I enjoyed a snow bound journey by car at night. It brought home just how incompetent the average English driver is, progressing at 10MPH with death on his shoulder. I thank god for my ten years of international rally experience. I also asked myself how all those hasty leemings to the electric car were getting on with heating, lights , wipers, radio,and motor all sucking away at their array of “temperature proof ” ? batteries.

    We are all aware of Nett Zero political failures. As a matter of urgency we need fuel self sufficiency in the form of coal, gas, oil, and SMRs from RR. So get it done.

    I read that the civil service have issued instructions for woke christmas parties. No alcohol, virtual reality goggles, and solo sex in their cars, there being a limited number of broom cupboards. Merry Christmas.

  34. […] Maintaining the lights on when the wind doesn’t blow – John Redwood […]

  35. Iain Moore
    December 12, 2022

    Don’t worry our wonderful governing class have it all figured out , they have a solution to the intermittent energy supply from renewables , they are going to add to our off shore wind farms by having onshore wind farms , it takes a genius like Ed Miliband (the architect of our energy supply troubles) to come up with that , and 50 Tory MPs thought it such a wonderful idea they forced a Government U Turn. Of course they haven’t been enlightened to the reality that if the wind isn’t blowing off shore it won’t be blowing onshore , but they won’t worry for its all for the greater good of their Climate Change religion, and anyway if there is a shortage they can always cut off the electricity supply to the plebs, after all that is why smart meters were foisted on us.

  36. Fedupsoutherner
    December 12, 2022

    Britain has the highest energy prices in Europe. Something for the government to be proud of. To think we were the founders of industry at one time and now most of its gone. I wonder why?

  37. Ex_Tory_Voter
    December 12, 2022

    Lie: Green Hydrogen is viable means of replacing Coking Coal in the Steel making process!

    Coking Coal is used to convert Iron Oxide into something usable, Iron-ish, and is used in very large amounts.

    And so, there is Nothing that can replace Coking Coal that does not cost a fortune, and would require a Nuclear plant right next door to the Steel making process! And that’s with the spare capacity to continually produce enough Hydrogen, and Electricity to run the plant?

    If it can be done at all? There is no proof the the Swedish plant can operate without Coking Coal, but it does use Green Hydrogen to offset it’s energy usage! They can use it to help run the process leaner, and hotter?

    But, in practical every day usage, we would end up needing a Nuclear plant for each Steel making plant, if it can be done at such quantities? And, still need Coking Coal? !!!

    Mmm… Has anyone thought about this before they say that it is a viable option?

    We should not allow them to use “Green Hydrogen” to offer up as an alternative!

    It is still many years off from becoming viable, and within the Steel making process, it is very doubtful if it will ever be viable!

  38. The PrangWizard
    December 12, 2022

    I gain the impression Sir John has given up on fracking here or no longer believes we need it sufficiently to constantly campaign. The doubling of importation of LNG from the USA cannot be accepted as normality.

    As for climate matters generally Sky News is campaigning, and strongly, for example, for the wilding of large areas of our agricultural land. Two of their campaigners have talked about the necessity of it and during their conversation with each other they have said I believe that re-wilding of 20% of land, or of the poorer land, will only reduce food production by 3%.

    The question which should be asked and they should answer is which food is to be lost and do we simply accept it and eat less. Maybe they will be happy we increase imports. The remaining land which clearly produces the better food cannot replace the loss without loosing their production.

    An answer for example, is that this poorer land is in part used for sheep grazing maybe. My guess is that as the eco-fanatics of the world require that we stop eating meat. Thus they will be doubly happy and get their way. We could of course shoot the wild pigs and bisons they like to introduce on us. What will we do anyway when they harm property and people, especially children?

    reply I have not changed my views on fracking and note net zero advocates are happy to import fracked gas

  39. Pieter C
    December 12, 2022

    As (Lord) Peter Lilley commented yesterday when being interviewed on GB News, we need to reduce the demand for fossil fuels before we reduce the supply. A cubic foot of petrol (6 and a quarter gallons) will take a modern car up to 400 miles. How big and heavy is the current battery needed to do the same?

  40. ChrisS
    December 12, 2022

    Firstly, the problem with the French nuclear program is entirely the fault of successive governments, particularly Hollande, who wanted to progressively close down the most successful nuclear system in the world.
    As a result, over nearly two decades, essential maintenance, upgrades, and new plants have not been commissioned as was necessary.
    This is now giving France problems that Macron is not properly addressing.

    Even without millions of additional electric cars, we will have a shortage of power as we approach 2030 because new nuclear plants here will not be ready to produce electricity before existing plants are scheduled to close. They are not sufficient to replace the existing plants anyway, let alone cater for the predicted increase in demand.
    We are placing reliance on Rolls-Royce’s SMRs which will not be ready before at least 2035.

    On a wider point, electricity was four times the unit price of gas before Ukraine, now it is “only” three times as expensive. For the millions of properties that are unsuitable for heat pumps, there is no proposed economic solution to heat them. For those homes that can be fitted with heat pumps, the initial cost is far too expensive and requires the installation of much bigger pipework and radiators throughout the house, to even have a chance of matching a heating system powered by a gas boiler. This is both impractical and unaffordable.
    In short, only gas can give reliable and affordable heating for the majority of our existing homes.

    The Greenies have no solution to any of this, until they have, we can’t take them serious.

  41. Original Richard
    December 12, 2022

    Our shortage of energy and high energy costs are deliberate because if it weren’t for the false gods of the green religion we would be using cheap, abundant, reliable and storable coal, gas and oil as we have done in the past.

    There is no climate emergency caused by anthropogenic emissions of CO2. All we have is some slow beneficial warming and increasing CO2 greens the planet and promotes plant growth reducing famines.

    The slight warming we are experiencing even equalises the temperatures across the globe and reduces the energy available to create extreme weather events.

    Only climate change deniers, such as the agitprop organisation, aka the BBC, need to deny there was any climate change before the Industrial Revolution as they have no non-anthropogenic CO2 emissions explanation for any pre industrial climate change. So for them there was no ice age which ended 11,000 years ago, no Roman or Medieval warm periods warmer than today, no Little Ice Age and subsequent warming before anthropogenic CO2 emissions were of any importance.

    It’s all a scam. There is no empirical or theoretical evidence that CO2 is determining global temperature, or has determined global temperature in the recent past, or even since the start of the Cambrian explosion 500 million years ago and over which time there has been both ice ages and times with no ice at the poles, despite CO2 levels being many times higher than today.

  42. James Freeman
    December 12, 2022

    Air source heat pumps lose efficiency at low temperatures. When everyone has them and weather conditions are like this week, we will need even more green hydrogen backup capacity to keep everyone warm. Cars will also use more power from their batteries to keep their occupants warm.

    Pump storage and batteries are not suitable for long-term energy storage. So a vast number of hydrogen power stations will need to be built to be only used a few days a year.

    Alternatively, is the plan to order a car lockdown in these circumstances to reduce demand?

  43. glen cullen
    December 12, 2022

    When the parliament and politicians mind set is climate change transition, new-zero and renewables, we as a nation will, for decades to come, have insufficient energy requirements
    Lets have a referendum on net-zero and let the people decide if we want to move away from fossil fuel to wind & solar …stop following the instructions of the UN IPCC

  44. Bert Young
    December 12, 2022

    There is no point in planning for what the climate future will be like when freezing conditions and family hardship exist now . There is no future if there is no present – lets be honest with ourselves . If there is a heat asset to exploit then exploit it .

  45. glen cullen
    December 12, 2022

    ‘UK to become the Saudi Arabia of Wind Power’ Boris Johnson PM ….this was and continues to be government policy – my arse

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      December 12, 2022

      Boris copied that little gem from Alex Salmond. He was the first to utter that statement when he opened a 90 turbine windfarm near us in Scotland while also announcing that the wind was free. Yeah sure it is Alex you chump. Some turbines in Scotland are 268 meters high. Monstrosities.

  46. Judith Hoffman
    December 12, 2022

    I wonder why, laws cant be passed that would make the utility companies become mutual companies. That way all their customers would become shareholders and profits could go back into the companies for maintenance, upgrades and salaries. It occurred to me because until I retired I worked for a multi national Insurance company that is a a mutual company it took the pressure off constantly worrying about keeping outside shareholders happy. It was also my experience that the gas , and electric companies that serviced me in the USA were also mutual companies..

    Reply Because taxpayers would not want the bill to buy out the current owners.

  47. miami.mode
    December 12, 2022

    Nice little article in the Graun about Norway and how they have many electric cars, much electric heating and a large proportion of it is produced by hydro, oh but hang on, with a population of not much more than 5 million they expect to make anything up to £100bn this year by selling gas and oil to the rest of Europe.

  48. Barbara
    December 12, 2022

    “We needed the fossil fuel back up.“

    Sir John, we will *always* need the fossil fuel back up. This is the silliness of the Green agenda. So-called ‘renewables’ (more accurately named ‘intermittents’, or ‘unreliables’) can never provide baseload. Never. So we now have to pay twice over: for traditional fuels as well as the novelty ones.

    1. glen cullen
      December 12, 2022

      Correct – Renewable Energy should be renamed as Temporary Energy

      1. Mickey Taking
        December 12, 2022

        or Magicians Energy (now you see it, now you don’t).

    2. SM
      December 12, 2022

      +1

    3. ChrisS
      December 13, 2022

      I like the term “Intermittent Energy” and will start to use it from now on.

  49. Ian B
    December 12, 2022

    Today, larger-than-expected 0.5% rise in GDP for October

    1. Ian B
      December 12, 2022

      Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, said: “Overall, it now looks as though GDP in Q4 won’t be as weak as our forecast of minus 0.5% quarter-on-quarter or the Bank of England’s minus 0.3%.

      1. Mickey Taking
        December 12, 2022

        When do we all stand outside and clap for 2 minutes?

  50. Iain Moore
    December 12, 2022

    I understand we are paying the French £950 per MWh , the National Order of the Legion d’Honneur will be in the post to Ed Miliband, David Cameron, Caroline Lucas, Boris Johnson, Alok Sharma, and many others.

    1. glen cullen
      December 12, 2022

      That’s cheaper then employing a agency doctor for a single shift in an NHS hospital – £5,400
      Our government is crazy

  51. Ian B
    December 12, 2022

    Reliable supplier?

    MsM Today:
    ‘France’s electricity network operator requested emergency help from Britain as the cold snap caused demand to surge across Europe. RTE asked the National Grid if it could halve its(RTE’s) scheduled exports through one of its interconnectors to the UK between 8am and 9am this morning as it wrestled with a spike in demand.

    It comes as the National Grid Electricity System Operator is understood to have ‘stood down’ two Drax coal-fired power stations in North Yorkshire, which had been instructed to warm up in case of a surge in demand for energy as a cold snap hits Britain. ‘

  52. eastdevonoldie
    December 12, 2022

    When will our politicos come clean and admit that CC is a UN/WEF driven scam? The United Nations has been one of the organizations leading the manmade climate change push. The paragraph below, from the February 10, 2015 Investor’s Business Daily article “U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare” seems to state the goal clearly.
    Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism. “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

    “The World Will Look Differently After We Have Gone Through This Transition” – WEF’s Klaus Schwab on the Great Reset to World Leaders at G20 Summit Nov 22

  53. glen cullen
    December 12, 2022

    The data below is for the 24-hour period 00:00 to 23:59 11 December 2022.
    Number of migrants detected in small boats: 240
    Number of boats detected: 5
    Just another 240 rooms to light, heat & feed, just another burden on society, our culture and the national grid

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      December 12, 2022

      Glen. And I see NOTHING being done about this. Just what is the government doing at the moment about ANYTHING?

      1. glen cullen
        December 13, 2022

        Bring on Reform

  54. Keith from Leeds
    December 12, 2022

    Your correspondents are crystal clear on the problem. 25 years of inaction by the Labour, Coalition & Conservative governments from 1997. How difficult was it to see the need for energy security, yet all kept pushing the problem down the road? Now the chickens are coming home to roost & still, this government meanders along with no sense of urgency at all! They can’t even see the stupidity of having to build two energy systems because one is unreliable! Why did you not stand for the leadership as a proper conservative? If the MPs had put you through, the membership would have voted for you by a landslide. When will we have a conservative government & PM? Will we ever have one again, it looks unlikely!

  55. glen cullen
    December 12, 2022

    Another huge volcano erupting in Guatemala today, throwing tons of sulphur, ash and hot gases into the sky, but don’t worry folks its got nothing to do with climate change, even the releasing of hundreds of megatons of thermal energy has nothing to do with the current UN climate change initiatives

    1. hefner
      December 12, 2022

      Well it would be a tough calculation to do really properly, I agree.
      But it is possible to simplify the problem just to get orders of magnitude.
      If a volcano produces temperatures of the order of 1000 deg.K over say 100 km2 (10 by 10 km) (and that would be a big volcano producing very hot gases) it would be necessary to compare that to the average temperature of the surface, 288 deg.K (=15 deg.C) over the whole globe (surface of a sphere is 4 π R^2 where R is the radius of the Earth, about 6,360 km). So surface of the Earth is 5.08 x 10^8 km^2.
      To make things (very) easy we consider the amount of energy produced over a surface to be given by a σ T^4 where a is the area (surface) in km^2 and T the temperature in Kelvins, σ is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant but will disappear later. It is somewhat a trick to get the energy as a simple function of the temperature using the so-called Planck’s law, but it is still reasonable as there is no motion and only sources of energy are considered.
      So volcano is 100 σ (1000)^4 = 1×10^14 σ
      Globe is 5.08×10^8 σ (288)^4 = 3.5×10^18 σ
      σ appears in both relations and can be dropped.
      So the volcano is 1/35000 less ‘energetic’ than the atmosphere. Moreover the temperature of the Earth is not going to change much during the coming years (maybe a couple of degrees more, with climate change) whereas the volcano might switch off within a couple of days, weeks or months.
      So the energy produced by a volcano is tiny compared to the energy within the atmosphere (that does not account for the kinetic energy of the winds for example, which would make the energy of the volcano look even tinier in comparison).

      (And just to be picky, there are no such things as megatons of thermal energy, but you might want Joule).

      1. Mickey Taking
        December 13, 2022

        Isn’t the biggest concern with volcanoes, after loss of life and ability to live nearby, the smoke/gasses spewed into the sky affecting flights, and the potential collapse of a ‘mountain’ side into the sea causing tsunamis?

      2. Mark
        December 14, 2022

        1 megaton equals 4.184E+15 Joules. The impact of volcanoes on climate tends to be to reduce temperatures due to the sulphur and ash emissions. Mount Pinatubo is a famous example, with global cooling results.

  56. Original Richard
    December 12, 2022

    If renewables are 9 times cheaper than fossil fuel, as claimed by the labour leader at a recent speech, how come China and India are building far more coal-fired power stations than wind and solar farms and together intending to burn 5.6 billions of coal each year?

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      December 12, 2022

      If wind is so cheap they don’t need our subsidies.

      1. glen cullen
        December 13, 2022

        A bit like EVs, if they’re so good and demand is high why the government subsidies

  57. Timaction
    December 12, 2022

    Indeed. In my day we were taught HOW to think, now days they are taught WHAT to think by the left wing wokists.

  58. Original Richard
    December 12, 2022

    “I have been warning of the dangers of relying on renewables for our electricity before there is sufficient battery storage, pump storage and green hydrogen production to make energy available when there is no wind or sun to power the grid.”

    This argument carries absolutely no weight with either those whose religion believes the world is about to end and hence power shortages are of no consequence or those whose religion is all about making lots of money from a shortage of cheap, available power.

    It is more effective to point out that CO2 is not a pollutant but a necessary gas for plants and hence all life on the earth to exist. Increasing CO2 increases plant yields and decreases famines. There is no evidence it is the only or major cause of global warming, which itself is beneficial and saving many lives. Furthermore, there is no evidence of increasing extreme weather events, in fact warming reduces temperature differences across the planet and hence the energy available to produce extreme weather. Deaths from natural disasters have fallen dramatically even with massive increases in population size and the sea level rise of just 1.6mm/year is perfectly manageable.

    Despite hysterical claims in the past, there is still ice at the poles and the Great Barrier Reef is in the best condition it has been since records began in 1985.

    There is no CAGW and everyone should check the data for themselves.

    1. hefner
      December 14, 2022

      Really misinformed. Reducing the temperature gradient between equator and poles reduced the strength of the jet-streams making them more likely to be more sinuous and more easily blocked (that’s fluid dynamics on a sphere maybe not 101 but not very much higher) inducing long lasting dry or moist events.
      Moreover higher ocean surface temperature (and does not need be a lot, see Clausius-Clapeyron)
      increases evaporation and in areas where hurricanes / tropical storms occur make their precipitation more intense.

      It would help a ‘decent debate’ if your assertions were followed by some references because I have a strong feeling that your science did not grow on your own manure. Don’t be shy, quote your sources of wisdom.

  59. J.A. Burdon-Cooper
    December 12, 2022

    And this confirms if they are going to allow on shore wind (an unreliable source which alwasys requires back up for when there is no wind) again under limited cirumstances , then it is completely logical to allow fracking (a reliable source once constructed) with similar limited sorts of conditions. Why would anyone say, “No fracking” , when they can say “Yes” to fracking as long as done in the right place, in a scientifally and geologically safe manner with the agreement of local people!

  60. SimonR
    December 12, 2022

    Dear Sir John,

    Please investigate Tidal. It is an excellent source of renewable energy, extremely safe, extremely reliable, extremely plentiful, extremely economical, extremely durable. Which is probably why it hasn’t got anywhere…

    I can put you in touch with a representative of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project if you’d like to hear more.

    Keep up the good work!

    Regards,

    SR

    1. glen cullen
      December 13, 2022

      Its also extremely expensive, so expensive you’ll never see a return on investment but subsidies throughout its life cycle and they’re built abroad
      They’ll never reduce anyone’s energy home bills

    2. Mark
      December 14, 2022

      I have investigated tidal very thoroughly. A lot of work has been done assessing the tidal potential of the main estuaries around the UK, and the size of barrages that would be required to harness them, and the optimal numbers of turbines and sluices to extract the maximum available energy from them. The consequences of installing barrages on the patterns of tides have also been calculated, and the pattern of energy they could generate. The result looks like this

      http://www.euanmearns.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/burrows13.png

      Despite the dispersal around various estuaries, power peaks are close together, creating huge spikes of power during spring tides, yet with gaps of no generation in between. The output during neap tides is very much smaller, and involves bigger gaps of no generation. You have to fill in the gaps with other generation. You would have to curtail wind and solar during output peaks. Converting the estuaries to part storage allows some smoothing between tides, at the cost of extra barrages, sluices and turbines, and the loss of 70% of the output. It does nothing to solve the spring-neap cycle every fortnight. It all works out to be very costly to build and to deal with.

  61. Fedupsoutherner
    December 12, 2022

    Farage has just told of very high level MEPS being investigated for fraud connected to Qatar. 66000 euros involved. Other MEPS to be looked at He has had to endure 5 investigations himself but they found nothing. Good for Farage. Justice is best served cold.

  62. […] Keeping the lights on when the wind does not blow – John Redwood […]

  63. ChrisS
    December 13, 2022

    The real problem with the Green extremists is that they want to destroy our current society and return us to the dark ages. Lights going out and houses being cold suit their plans perfectly.
    Politicans like Miliband and Boris are stupidly playing into their hands.

    Look no further than the activities of the motorway protestors. They revel in the fact that their protest actions disrupt people’s working and social lives.

  64. Atlas
    December 13, 2022

    Agreed Sir John.

    … if only we had a few more MPs who understood the technical issues …

  65. Lindsay McDougall
    December 13, 2022

    The answer to the problem of maintenance to French nuclear power is British nuclear power, starting at the bottom end with small but easily constructed nuclear power stations.

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