I’ve had a look at the Green party’s mini manifesto, and thought it might be useful to highlight parts of it in a series of articles. We’ll start with what they say about energy.
So, leaving aside the question of where the money will come from for now. Lets examine the claims and plans.
Insulation for all. Great. But retrofitting Britain’s ageing housing stock with insulation is expensive, and once it’s done, the low skilled work involved ends and the workers are redundant. Energy demand won’t be reduced by much either, because much of Britains energy usage is in the industrial and transport sectors. More on transport in the next installment.
Major investment in renewable energy to create jobs. In fact, for every ‘green job’ created, 3.7 are lost elsewhere in the economy, due to the large hikes in generation costs passed onto businesses and consumers who then spend less on other goods and services.Where then, will the money for ‘major investment’ come from?
Voting for increased targets in Europe. Since the Green party is ruling out nuclear and clean gas, this means lots more wind turbines, most of which will be offshore, due to local opposition onshore. This is the most expensive and difficult to maintain capacity, which is intermittent, and we have no means of energy storage. That means banks of diesel engines to provide power when the wind doesn’t blow. The cost of that is truly eye-watering, and defeats the intention of cutting fossil fuel use.
Another thing the Greens don’t mention. The rush for green energy is causing disastrous environmental pollution in China.
Energy Use in the UK. The amount of energy used in the UK has declined since 2005, even as our population has grown. The chart below from the UK government report on energy use shows some of what is happening.
As you can see, industrial energy use has been in decline since Thatcher came to power in 1979. Then it accounted for twice as much as domestic or transport consumption. Now it is half of transport and little more than half domestic consumption.The steeper decline since 2005 is due to increasing energy costs, in large part due to ‘green policies’ pursued by Labour and the Conservatives. Manufacturing industry is fleeing abroad to Turkey, India, China and other countries which do not believe in shutting down their economies for empty gesture ‘green’ politics.
The reason the US economy is recovering since the 2007 crash whereas EU countries economies remain in the doldrums is clear. Look at the prices chart to the right below.
How has the US achieved this, while simultaneously reducing its CO2 emissions? Simply put: because fracking.
Cheap clean burning gas is powering up the US economy, but the Green party will have none of that. They will ban fracking and consign the UK economy to a further slide. That will mean there will be no wealth generated to invest in the Green party’s grandiose plans for insulation and social welfare. Note also what has happened to Japanese electricity prices since they shut down their nuclear reactors post-Fukushima.
The Green party is living in a never-never land of wishes and empty promises, predicated on a faith based creed, underlain by bad science. Surface temperatures have been stable for 17 years, while CO2 emissions and the airborne fraction have risen faster. The climate models are diverging ever further from the climate reality, along with the Green party.
The Green party headline their energy policy section with the catchy sounding “Permanently Lower Bills”. It’s a blatant lie. DECC’s budgetary requirement for implementing green policies is set to rise from 12 to 20 Billion pounds by 2020 in order to meet existing emissions reduction targets, let alone the tighter ones the Green party wants to vote for.
Who do you think will be expected to pay for that?