Green Party Mini Manifesto: Their Energy Policy Doesn’t Add Up

Posted: January 18, 2015 by tallbloke in Big Green, Energy, Politics

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.

green-manifesto

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.

energy-use-uk

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.

energyprices

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?

Comments
  1. Joe Public says:

    To them, it’s a ‘green’ as in naive, energy policy.

  2. Bob Greene says:

    In the US there was an insulation boom during the Carter administration. Houses constructed since then have been pretty well insulated. Our green policies also want to insulate or have national caulking projects like Obama’s in the first part of his presidency. Other than the obvious passing money out to his supporters, I can’t see that much being accomplished. Go to any hardware store over the past 35 years and you will find insulation and sealing materials. They run annual ads for them. Our greens act as though it never happened and insulation will now save tremendous amounts of energy.

    I haven’t closely followed 4 decades of energy saving in the UK, but I find it hard to believe that something like this didn’t happen on the other side of the Atlantic. So, just how much will a new round of insulation achieve and at what cost per Btu saved?

  3. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    Thanks Rog. That gave me much food for thought. I’ve posted it to my Facebook page, which will annoy my Green friends greatly… but hey, they need to wake up! You’ll never convince me on fracking, though, mainly because of how much water it destroys beyond redemption. I’m a great fan of water!🙂

  4. Russ Wood says:

    Just to add – here in South Africa, the electricity generating and distribution monopoly, ESKOM, is instituting ‘rolling blackouts’ due to unmaintained and disintegrating generating equipment. Filling in SOME of the gaps, using gas turbine generators, is costing them 20 million Rand (about 1.1 million pounds) per month. AND they are trying to ‘go green’! Nobody knows how much this will cost the country, which is already reeling with high unemployment and debts.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Ishtar: Fracking uses a lot less water than power generation in steam turbines. When you say ‘destroyed’ I think you mean it is polluted by the chemicals used in fracking so it has to be disposed of in river discharge, after a sojourn in settling ponds.

    From there, it goes into the sea and rejoins the great natural water cycle, raining down again into a reservoir catchment as the condensed and distilled fluid of life.

    Ain’t nature wonderful?

    We all take pride in the cleanliness of our rivers, and the quality of our groundwater. Our watchdog agencies will be keeping a close eye on fracking as it gets underway and making sure standards are adhered to.

  6. catweazle666 says:

    “mainly because of how much water it destroys beyond redemption”

    Flat out wrong, on so many factors.

    Stop believing Watermelons.

  7. Doug Proctor says:

    I’ve had a wonder for years. Do you think the people who put these things together know its a sham but think either it doesn’t matter (things change quickly anyway, so nothing proposed that far out every comes about anyway), or it is an ignoble means to a noble end, or do they think it is real, because the Gods favour all their assumptions and expectations that will drive it into plausibility?

    Only psychopathic liars don’t believe their own lies; the rest find a way to reconcile belief or hope and experience so they aren’t cognitively twisted and unable to continue.

  8. manicbeancounter says:

    Roger, you ask
    “Who do you think will be expected to pay for that?”

    The Green Party’s answer is to tax the rich and businesses more. Only the numbers do not stack up. Raising taxes beyond a certain level decreases revenue. Raising taxes on industry and financial services (along with more onerous regulations) will see them move abroad. Raising taxes on the retail sector and UK-based services will see the costs passed onto consumers. It will also discourage investment, which will reduce jobs in construction and other areas.
    They also want government expenditure to increase and conveniently forget about the deficit.

  9. clivebest says:

    Green Energy – Permanently lower bills.

    Yes that would be the logical conclusion after a complete collapse of society infrastucture. Green sustainablility policy in Britain may perhaps support a maximum of ~7 million population. Buy land quick if you think these looneys could possibly form a coalition government.

  10. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    That’s interesting, Rog, because it the exact opposite of what I heard happens to water once its been contaminated with fracking chemicals; that it is completely irredeemable and has to be buried, like nuclear waste; that there’s no way it could ever enter into the water cycle again.

  11. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    This Guardian article highlights the problems of dealing with contaminated waste water in fracking. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/04/fracking-us-toxic-waste-water-washington

  12. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    In any case, even before the Saudis began playing jiggery pokery with the oil prices, I began to hear some mood music about the energy companies starting to say that fracking would probably not happen in the UK because they reckoned it would cost more to get it out of the ground than they could make on it. Since then, the fracking industry in America has been largely decimated by low oil prices. So I’d say to Nigel Farage: why not drop this dead duck from your manifesto, because it’s not going to fly anyway, and then you’ll get a whole load more people voting for you. Just my two penneth!🙂

  13. tallbloke says:

    Ishtar, the newspaper reports trace through to a paper which is $35.00 for 48 hours of access!
    I’m very wary of the way members of the Society of Environmental Journalists slant their reports. The numbers they quote are never put in a context where they can be compared with anything which conveys real information. However, I can we;ll believe that UK’s regulators may make fracking unprofitable in the current climate of low oil prices. On the positive side, that may mean we get to slowly develop our own fracking industry rather than becoming a klondike for US companies. That would be good news for regeneration in the British engineering industry, creating skilled jobs and keeping profits in the UK.

    I think UKIP should put out the message that this slow and careful development is the way to go for UK shale, as the best way to find the right balance between care for environment and development for our national wealth and the provision of skilled jobs for our people.

  14. tom0mason says:

    Ishtar Babilu Dingir current UK government info on fracking is available here —

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/about-shale-gas-and-hydraulic-fracturing-fracking

    and specifically about water and fracking is here —
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/277211/Water.pdf

    And yes the Green Parties everywhere think the world can run on unicorn farts and angel dust.

    Any government anywhere that reduces the cost energy will thrive. As this would allow industry to afford to employ more people, export more competitively, and create wealth for the nation. This would allow all citizens to lower personal debt while stimulating saving, and ease the public debt. And yes IMO it is that simple!

  15. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    Thanks, Rog. That all sounds quite reasonable. My views are based on what’s happened to large swathes of America. We can see it with our own eyes with what’s happened in other parts of the world. I have a friend in America who’s been begging me ‘not to let the frackers in’.

    The report of the Society of Environmental Journalists may be slanted one way, but Tom has provided links to information which is slanted in the other direction – that of this government who are stand to make a penny or two out it, not least George Osborne and his father-in-law.

  16. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    Should quickly add that I’m not a Green. I think their policies will be even more damaging to Britain than fracking.

  17. steverichards1984 says:

    Ishtar :

    In terms of water from fracking being permanently ‘ruined’ forever…..

    One only has to visualise a puddle of dirty water lying on the ground exposed to the warm sun. After a while the water evaporates leaving the impurities behind.

    Evaporation is a common engineering/chemical technique, quite obvious and how the ‘water cycle’ operates.

  18. Thanks Steve. Unfortunately, though, it won’t just be a tiny puddle but massive lakes of millions of gallons of water, and I wonder how long that will take to evaporate in this climate? But say your theory works, and it does all evaporate, what happens then to the fracking chemicals left behind on the earth – the same fracking chemicals that are so toxic that the energy companies won’t reveal what they are. They will sink back into the earth over time, and poison the groundwater, surely?

  19. AlecM says:

    Stay healthy; eat your Greens.

  20. tallbloke says:

    THW: Settling ponds are lined. You can be sure that UK regulators will be on the case to ensure the green and pleasant and our groundwater will be carefully monitored and protected. If that makes our shalegas more expensive than in the US, so be it, provided it’s not being deliberately legislated into unviability for spurious concerns.

  21. tom0mason says:

    Not only their energy policy.
    As http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/green-party/11356354/Drugs-brothels-al-Qaeda-and-the-Beyonce-tax-the-Green-Party-plan-for-Britain.html shows this Green party is all about coercion, re-eduction, and control. Governance by agreement with the people is not one of theirs – they will force changes on you if you let them.

  22. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    “coercion, re-eduction, and control. Governance by agreement with the people is not one of theirs – they will force changes on you if you let them…” and how is that any different to how we’re governed today, I wonder? If you don’t understand what I mean, Tom, look up Common Purpose. At least the Greens’ coercion, re-education and control will be out in the open, and not hidden.

    Although that article was written with the aim of putting people off voting Green, I read it with a growing smile on my face. Yes, it is radical… but radical change is needed at this time. Lots of their proposed changes, I agree with. But I won’t be voting for them because they will insist on this big lie about climate change, and so this means that many of their policies are based on a delusion at best, or a huge global con trick at its worst.

    It means that all their policies are like a house built on sand, rather than on rock; that they will have no lasting endurance in the real world.

    If they would just base their policies on respect and love the planet Earth, and all her creatures, being a fundamental duty of the human being, I could vote for them. But they won’t.

  23. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    Thanks, Rog, for your reply about settling ponds being lined. That’s somewhat reassuring. I hope you’re right about proper regulation with due respect for the environment. If the UK manages to achieve this with the fracking industry, it will be a first.

  24. tallbloke says:

    Ishtar: At least the Greens’ coercion, re-education and control will be out in the open, and not hidden.

    Ahem. Listen to this twaddle I video’d of Natalie Bennett, and tell me again their agenda is out in the open.

  25. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    I don’t get you, Rog. She’s just stating their policy on the carbon footprint, which I’d already written about above.

  26. 24hourtime says:

    I was trying to find out the Green Party’s policy on cheese. I know they’re going to ban meat (“through re-education and economic measures”), but if they intend to ban milk and cheese as well… Still, think of all the “green job” opportunities – cheddar smuggling, bootleg brie, prohibition parmesan…

  27. tallbloke says:

    24HR: Welcome, and thanks, that gave me a chuckle.