Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Reposted from Reform.co.uk

Energy policy and the return of the State
Rupert Darwall

RupertDarwallEnergy policy represents the biggest expansion of state power since the nationalisations of the 1940s and 1950s and is on course to becoming the most costly domestic policy disaster in modern British history. By committing the nation to high cost, unreliable renewable energy, its consequences will be felt for decades to come. Energy is an iceberg policy: its implications for the demise of a competitive market in electricity – the final achievement of the Thatcher years – are poorly understood and tend to be consigned to footnotes and annexes of policy documents.

Like its predecessor, the Coalition Government has three policy objectives:

Keeping the lights on;
Keeping energy bills affordable; and
Decarbonising energy generation.

These do not require the policies the Government is implementing. Indeed, energy policy militates against having cheap, reliable energy. Worries about the lights going out have intensified as the country becomes more dependent on the weather for its electricity. The market is the best way of providing reliable and affordable electricity. Converting the electricity system to wind and solar power does neither. Even on favourable assumptions, these are inefficient ways of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

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My thanks to Patrick Moore, co-founder and ex Greenpeace leader, and since 1986 ‘the sensible environmentalist’, for his permission to repost this article printed in the Australian recently. The name of Patrick’s own venture - Ecosense reflects his logical and humanist approach to the climate debate.

Patrick Moore: We Need More Carbon Dioxide, Not Less

patrickmoore6

Australian politics has been more influenced by the climate debate than any other country. Yet Australia is responsible for only 1.5 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Perhaps this speaks of Australia’s extraordinary commitment to the international community. Yet Australia has threatened to hobble its own economy while much larger ­nations take a pass while making pious pronouncements.

I am sceptical that humans are the main cause of climate change, and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over”, the “science is settled”.

My scepticism begins with the warmists’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis that increased CO2 due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unliveable temperatures.
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Willow Tit - RSPB

Willow Tit – RSPB

Sensible stuff from Better by Nature

Woodland wildlife under threat:

But perhaps not a lot of people know that the picture for our woodland wildlife isn’t looking very rosy. Birds like the willow tit, a woodland specialist, have declined by over 80%, making it our fastest declining resident bird. The State of Nature report showed that of the 1256 woodland species we have data for, 60% have declined over the past 50 years, 35% strongly. Some of our woodland birds migrate, so the problems might lie elsewhere, but equally we know that some of the causes of these declines are right here, in UK woodlands.

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Reblogged from Libertarian Home

'Garage 'as got my gloody gottle of geer in 'is cocket'

‘Garage ‘as got my gloody gottle of geer in ‘is cocket’

The erosion of liberty continues apace. Watching it happen over time is like observing the crumbling white cliffs growing ever weaker as the waves crash into them. It is generally a gradual, continuous process but eventually comes the moment when a great chunk crumbles into the sea and is washed utterly away. Today is such a day; a sad day for Britain and a shaming one for Parliament. Most distressing of all is how few people are aware of it, and how even fewer seem to care. Make no mistake; this is a significant time in British history, one that will be studied far into the future. We are in the late stages of a long process in which we are willingly surrendering the independence of our legal system. It is the Conservative Party that is leading us down the dark, illiberal path to subjugation. For shame.

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Coal: back to the future [image credit: BBC]

Coal: back to the future
[image credit: BBC]


The penny has finally dropped at the top political level in Germany that abandoning nuclear power and setting stiff carbon dioxide reduction targets is impossible, without severely damaging the economy and risking mass power shortages.

Of course the usual fanatics continue to insist that such a price has to be paid, seemingly oblivious to the long-term standstill in global temperatures that suggests so-called climate policy is largely irrelevant anyway.

Breitbart London reports: Germany’s Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, has indicated that the country will abandon its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2020, from a 1990 base level.

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From Steve Crowther – UKIP Chaiman. This is too important to be UKIP members only. Get in touch with your local branch via UKIP.org and join us at Old Palace Yard, opposite the House of Lords, from mid-day on MONDAY.

Mass Lobby of Parliament – MONDAY

THE TIME HAS COME: it has now been announced that on Monday afternoon (10th) the House of Commons will debate the hand-over of 35 Law and Justice powers to the EU – without a referendum.

These include the infamous European Arrest Warrant, used recently to handcuff and imprison the parents of Ashya King.

These powers – part of the 135 powers that the UK can opt out of this year under the Lisbon Treaty – are being handed back to the EU voluntarily, without a referendum.

  • They end the tradition of Habeas Corpus which has protected British citizens from arbitrary arrest for 900 years.
  • They open the door for UK citizens to come under the power of the new European Public Prosecutor, even though the government has opted out of this.
  • They constitute a clear hand-over of powers to the EU without a referendum. Given the opportunity to ‘repatriate’ powers, the government is doing the opposite – and again breaking its pledge to ask the people by holding a referendum before handing over more of OUR sovereignty.

JOIN US ON MONDAY FOR A MASS LOBBY OF PARLIAMENT.

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Energy made in Germany

Energy made in Germany

The already high cost of Germany’s ‘energy transition’, which includes a lot of new coal power stations as well as vast expense on renewables, looks about to get even higher. Nuclear power station operators want some of their money back.
***
Nuclear Power Daily reports: Germany’s phase-out of nuclear energy has triggered over 20 lawsuits by big power companies who have demanded billions of euros in damages, said a government paper released Tuesday.

Berlin after Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster moved to immediately shutter the country’s eight oldest reactors and close all others by 2022 while boosting renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass.

Three large electricity companies — EON, RWE and Vattenfall — have responded with a spate of court challenges, which the environment ministry has listed for the first time in response to a request by the Greens party.

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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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