Archive for the ‘government’ Category

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

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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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A letter has been sent to the president elect of the EU by Sense about Science, urging him to reject the call of anti-scientific NGO’s such as Greenpeace to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor. You can add your name by clicking on the link at the bottom.

Scientific scrutiny in Europe is essential

We and many organisations across Europe have written to President elect of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to ask him not to abolish the post of Chief Scientific Advisor. Our letter is in response to a call from environmental NGOs to “scrap this position.” We strongly object to this proposal and to any attempt to undermine the integrity and independence of scientific advice received at the highest level of the European Commission. We wanted to respond quickly so we have sent the letter. If you want to add your name your name you can do that here. If organisations feel strongly about this, please write to Mr Juncker yourselves.

Many other organisations are sending their own letters including nine European medical research organisations and the European Plant Science Organisation representing 227 public research institutions across Europe.

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tallbloke:

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Another step towards tyranny in the US (and no doubt the UK too): Secret guidelines about adding people to ‘the little list’ (not so little these days).

Originally posted on Stop Making Sense:

Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux report for The Intercept:

‘The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto…

View original 207 more words

eu-justiceFrom a memo put out by the unelected EU commissars, compelling evidence for why we should demand an EU referendum before our remaining industries are forced to flee to less oppressive regimes.

What is the Energy Efficiency Communication?

The Communication on “Energy Efficiency and its contribution to energy security and the 2030 Framework for climate and energy policy” (onwards, the Energy Efficiency Communication) does two things:

  1. It assesses whether the EU is on track to reach its 2020 target to increase energy efficiency by 20% and outlines what is necessary to ensure that the target is achieved.

  2. It proposes a new energy saving target of 30% by 2030. This completes the 2030 Framework on Climate and Energy which was adopted by the European Commission on 22 January 2014. The Framework called for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels and for a renewable energy share of at least 27% of energy consumption, and indicated that the cost-effective delivery of the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target requires increased energy savings (http://ec.europa.eu/energy/2030_en.htm). That is what today’s communication is delivering on. When setting the target, the Commission aims to strike the right balance between expected benefits and costs.

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