Archive for the ‘government’ Category

ccaA hard hitting article appears in the Mail which slams the climate change act.

Six years ago today, an ambitious Labour politician, newly appointed climate change secretary, set Britain on a ruinous path that threatens our energy-dependent civilisation with collapse.
Such is the devastating conclusion of Owen Paterson, the Tory former Environment Secretary, who yesterday joined Lord Lawson among the highest-profile critics of the political consensus on energy policy.
For it was on October 16, 2008, that the new secretary of state – Ed Miliband, by name – set us the legally binding goal of meeting the EU’s wildly ambitious target to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent before 2050 (and how significant that no other country has followed his lead).
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hamster-powerRemember this stuff when casting your vote next May. UKIP is the only party with a sensible energy policy. Roundup of (lack of) energy: news by Benny Peiser at GWPF:

Written by Dr. Benny Peiser, GWPF on 28 October 2014

Emergency measures to prevent blackouts this winter have been unveiled by National Grid after Britain’s spare power capacity fell to just 4 per cent. –Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2014

The capacity crunch has been predicted for about seven years. Everyone seems to have seen this coming – except the people in charge.  –Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

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Cameron-stinkyThis article is by Tim Channon[1], not Tallbloke.

Cameron is complaining about a small surcharge after he agrees to the far larger EU Climate agenda including EU ETS.

Media buy the smokescreen.

Dates are important

From gov.uk web site

Speech
European Council October 2014: David Cameron’s speech
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Delivered on: 24 October 2014 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

Good afternoon and welcome. It has been 24 hours in Brussels with some notable and important successes, but also with some deep frustrations and frankly quite a bit of anger about the way we have been treated.

…  [Ebola]

The second issue has been climate change, where I want to make sure Europe is playing its part in delivering a global deal that can prevent dangerous climate change. I think it was very important that Europe stepped up to the plate, and we have done that, with committing ourselves to more than 40% reductions of greenhouse gases by 2030.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/european-council-october-2014-david-camerons-speech

Who got the headlines and brickbats over an announced EU climate intent? Not Cameron, the outgoing Rompuy.

Cameron has gone very loudly ballistic over money, hiding the climate issue completely. Looks like the media bought this.

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From the Lincolnshire Echo a short piece by Roger Helmer MEP:

george-osborne-cartoonBack in 2010, soon after the General Election, the then Energy Minister, Conservative Charles Hendry, announced no new coal-fired power stations could be built in the UK without Carbon Capture and Storage. But CCS adds 20 to 25 per cent to the cost of energy (or put it another way, reduces efficiency by the same factor). So – surprise, surprise – there have been no takers. The unintended consequence has been no new coal capacity at all.

I am often asked how Germany can be building a couple of dozen new coal-fired power stations, and we in Britain can’t. This is how. It’s a self-inflicted injury, and our Coalition government is directly responsible for it.

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Remember this in May when you cast your vote. In order to get past the real threat of blackouts as our generation capacity teeters close to the brink, our government now wants old people to eke out their pensions heating a single room and to merge with the Green party in telling the rest of us to jump up and down to keep warm while forking out to subsidise rich landowners to host corporate sized wind farms. They’ve got to go.

heat-one-room

 

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The Polish Government is talking tough. From wbj:

vetoIf the EU summit next week maintains the European Commission’s proposal on reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent by 2030, Poland will have to veto it, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Janusz Piechociński told Polish Radio on Thursday.

“If this initial proposal will look as it does now, then Poland will have no choice but to veto it,” Piechociński said.

“For the Polish economy minister and the majority of EU economy ministers the 40-percent option, which destroys half of Europe’s industry, is unacceptable,” he added.

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Ex-Environment minister Owen Paterson is tonight delivering the annual GWPF lecture. In it he will say the climate change act should be scrapped. UKIP has been saying this for years and has had a detailed energy policy document out for years detailing better alternatives for a viable mixed energy policy. The full text of his speech has been published at the Spectator. Here’s an except:

The vital importance of affordable energy

owen-patersonBut first, let us consider what is at stake. We now live in an almost totally computer-dependent world. Without secure power the whole of our modern civilisation collapses: banking, air traffic control, smart phones, refrigerated food, life-saving surgery, entertainment, education, industry and transport.

We are lucky to live in a country where energy has been affordable and reliable.

Yet we cannot take this for granted.

While most public discussion is driven by the immediacy of the looming 2020 EU renewables target; policy is actually dominated by the EU’s long-term 2050 target.

The 2050 target is for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent relative to 1990 levels. The target has been outlined by the European Commission. But it is only the UK that has made it legally binding through the Climate Change Act – a piece of legislation that I and virtually every other MP voted for.

The 2050 target of cutting emissions by 80 percent, requires the almost complete decarbonisation of the electricity supply in 36 years.

In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, and the lights would eventually go out. Not because of a temporary shortfall, but because of structural failures, from which we will find it extremely difficult and expensive to recover.

We must act now.

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owen-paterson

From the telegraph ‘Scrap the Climate Change Act to keep the lights on, says Owen Paterson‘, by Christopher Hope.

Britain will struggle to “keep the lights on” unless the Government changes its green energy policies, the former environment secretary will warn this week.

Owen Paterson will say that the Government’s plan to slash carbon emissions and rely more heavily on wind farms and other renewable energy sources is fatally flawed.

He will argue that the 2008 Climate Change Act, which ties Britain into stringent targets to reduce the use of fossil fuels, should be suspended until other countries agree to take similar measures. If they refuse, the legislation should be scrapped altogether, he will say.

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[credit: Electricité de France (EDF)]

[credit: Electricité de France (EDF)]

France seems to be modelling itself largely on the creaking, super-expensive German model of energy supply. In other words, maximum intermittent renewables at whatever it costs.

But unlike Germany they will have 50% nuclear, so half a secure system in theory (excluding fossil fuel input). A side-effect of this policy could well be reduced availability of electricity supply from France to the UK.

Phys.org reports:
Lawmakers in France, the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, on Friday voted to cut reliance on the energy source from more than 75 percent to 50 percent within a decade.

The vote comes as part of an ambitious makeover of France’s energy use promised by President Francois Hollande during his 2012 election campaign.

The measure calls for renewables to increase in the energy mix for electricity production, rising from 23 percent in 2020 to 32 percent in 2030.
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From the Mail:

davey-taxesLUNACY! The Lib Dem energy minister switched our biggest power station from coal to wood brought by diesel-guzzling ships from the U.S. The result? It costs us all a fortune and emits MORE pollution.

Indeed, it was Mr Davey who opened a new biomass phase for the vast Drax coal-fired power station near Selby in North Yorkshire last year, heralding the move as a new chapter in a low-carbon future.

 

This is a real landmark for Drax and for Britain’s energy security,’ he said. ‘Drax’s ambitious plans have made it one of Europe’s biggest renewable generators, helping to increase our green energy supplies.

 

Except there’s just one problem. Drax’s conversion to run half of its output on biomass means it will have to rely on wood from trees cut down in forests in America. The Sixties power station’s giant furnaces are being loaded with wood pellets carried 3,800 miles across the Atlantic in diesel-guzzling ships.

This grotesque environmental charade is being funded by government subsidies for the conversion of its coal-burning furnaces to biomass ones, which will put an estimated £23 on every family’s annual household energy bills for the next 13 years.
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Reposted from John Kay’s website, which is well worth a visit.

Government by announcement undermines UK energy policy
by John Kay – Financial Times columnist 1-10-14

JohnK_3Government by announcement is now characteristic of British politics. The goal is to make statements that will receive favourable media coverage. There is little perception of any need to follow up on these announcements, or consideration of how they might interact with other similar announcements, and no concern for the effects of the uncertainty these initiatives create for people engaged in real business. The style was established under New Labour. After a brief interlude of more thoughtful government, the practice has continued under the coalition.

The panicked announcements on Scottish devolution come to mind. But nowhere has the approach been more damaging than in energy policy. The government has three laudable objectives – low energy bills, supply security, and decarbonisation. There are difficult trade-offs to be made, since these goals are not compatible.

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German voters back AfD [image credit: BBC]

German voters back AfD
[image credit: BBC]

Recent voting successes for the ‘Alternative for Germany’ party, which in some respects is similar to UKIP, have ‘upset the chemistry of German politics’ according to a Daily Telegraph report. Oh dear, how awful (!).

Report: ‘Attempts to discredit the party as a Right-wing fringe group have failed.’ A familiar tactic with the same result as in the UK.

Although they don’t advocate leaving the EU altogether, they are opposed to Germany being a member of the ‘eurozone’ currency union.

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Given a winter of disconnect is mooted by some, any introduction of a real power station is news but not just yet.

3 The Order, if made, would grant development consent for the construction and operation of a thermal generating station that would operate either as a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant or as an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant, with a total electrical output of up to 470MWe at North Killingholme, Lincolnshire. The generating station would only be able to burn other types of fuel such as coal and biomass[1]  if the full Carbon Capture Storage chain is in place. A separate Environmental Permit, controlling emissions from the plant, will also be required from the Environment Agency before the generating station can be operated.
http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/yorkshire-and-the-humber/north-killingholme-power-project/

Combined Cycle Gas Turbine is one of those over-egged technologies with party trick claims. As sustained base load the thermal efficiency is good but part load is dreadful, becomes a gas turbine, one of the less bright inventions which has a redeeming feature of great power in a small space. A lot to do with heat engines is counter intuitive. A weakness is always a sharp drop in thermal efficiency with power reduction, how rapidity it drops varies greatly with the technology.

And IGCC? That is where things get bad.

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UK solar PV companies want to go to court

Posted: August 4, 2014 by tchannon in government, Legal, Politics

(Reuters) – Four of Britain’s largest solar companies have requested a judicial review of a government proposal to halt a subsidy scheme for solar energy earlier than planned.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/04/uk-britain-solar-idUKKBN0G40N220140804

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We need to talk about Russia

Posted: August 2, 2014 by Andrew in Energy, government

image“It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” (W.S.Churchill)

From the perspective of the European Union at least, the most important export Russia supplies is of course gas, about 130 Billion cubic meters per year. That is one third of the EU’s total consumption. So important that Germany has its own pipeline.

So, how do you deal with an enigma that has such a bargaining chip, when they appear intent on invading your neighbours. This is the quandary that Europe faces here and now. The test case is Ukraine.

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Blackout_britain

Visit Cartoons by Josh and buy something

From RT.com

The UK risks sweeping electricity blackouts unless it increases the state’s capacity to balance infrequent supply from renewable energy sources, a prominent engineer who carried out government-funded research has warned.

While British authorities are under legal obligation to source almost a third of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2020, they require immediately deployable gas-fuelled power stations to cater for inevitable lulls in sun and wind energy output.

Hugh Sharman, a British engineering consultant, was commissioned to work on a government-sanctioned report examining how UK authorities could sustain the nation’s energy demands in an era of mandatory renewable energy use.

Tendered to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) last year, the research went unpublished.

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From 2020 drivers of all but the most efficient diesel cars and older petrol cars will be charged an additional £10 a day to use the London roads they already pay road tax and a ‘congestion charge’ to travel on. Boris Johnson is bringing in the new levy in response to EU pressure to further reduce emissions. The unelected EU commission launched legal proceedings against Britain in February.

toll-charge

Elsewhere, Labour is planning a network of low-emission zones that would force older diesel vehicles out of many cities. Sheffield, Leicester, Bradford, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and 14 other cities are considering bringing in the zones to cope with poor air quality.

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From New Scientist:

As sanctions deepen, just how crucial is Russian gas?
17:00 24 July 2014 by Jon Excell

Russian-bear-cartoonEurope gets around 30 per cent of its gas from Russia, but some countries are more dependent on it than others: the Czech Republic and Finland, for example, import at least 80 per cent of their gas from the country, while Germany, which has been treading particularly carefully in its dealings with Putin, imports around 36 per cent of its natural gas and 39 per cent of its oil from Russian suppliers.

The situation in the UK is less clear. Gas imports account for around 70 per cent of supply, but because of the complex European network of pipelines and interconnectors that we rely on, it’s difficult to say exactly how much of that imported gas is Russian. Some reports claim that Russia supplies around 15 per cent of that total and others put this figure much lower. Russian energy giant Gazprom estimates that it sends 11 to 12 billion cubic metres to the UK each year, out of an overall UK consumption of around 84 billion cubic metres.

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Matt Ridley article for the Times, reposted from the GWPF, because as many people as possible need to read it and think. Then act by using your vote sensibly.

ANOTHER RENEWABLE MYTH GOES UP IN SMOKE
Date: 28/07/14 Matt Ridley, The Times

wind-costsIf wood-burning power stations are less eco-friendly than coal, we are getting the search for clean energy all wrong
On Saturday my train was diverted by engineering works near Doncaster. We trundled past some shiny new freight wagons decorated with a slogan: “Drax — powering tomorrow: carrying sustainable biomass for cost-effective renewable power”. Serendipitously, I was at that moment reading a report by the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the burning of wood in Yorkshire power stations such as Drax. And I was feeling vindicated.

A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. The forests being harvested would take four to ten decades to regrow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed to expect dangerous global warming to emerge. It makes no sense to steal beetles’ lunch, transport it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double the price for the power it generates.

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H/T to Oldbrew for this story via GWPF from the Sunday Times. I hope this haste doesn’t mean we’ll lose a lot of the benefit of developing a home grown shale gas extraction industry, with the benefits of boosting UK engineering and providing much needed indigenous employment and training in worthwhile skills.

FAST-TRACK FRACK LICENCES ‘VITAL TO PROTECT BRITAIN’
Date: 27/07/14 Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times

Blackpools-Shale-Gas-Dril-007Fracking for shale gas is to be fast-tracked because it will give Britain greater energy security and protect it from Russian aggression, the new Tory energy minister has revealed.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Matthew Hancock said the government would make it “much quicker” for companies to get approval to drill for shale gas.

At present firms that want to frack have to wait about six months for permission through a 15-stage process. Hancock hopes to slash that in half. Calling shale the “holy grail” of energy policy, he said:

I want to speed up shale. It takes too long at the moment. We have to ensure that instead of an array of complicated permissions we have very firm but very clear rules.

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