New Report: UK Consumers ‘Grossly Overpaying’ For Electricity

Posted: January 10, 2019 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics
[image credit:]

London 10 January: A new report from the Global Warming Policy Foundation finds that UK consumers are paying far too much for the emissions reductions delivered by renewable energy.

The report, by Dr Capell Aris, is the result of extensive energy system modelling, and reports the costs, greenhouse gas emissions and grid security delivered by the current grid and by a series of counterfactual energy systems.  As Dr Aris explains:

“The dash for gas of the 1990s delivered lower carbon dioxide emissions and lower costs. If we had simply continued, we could now be enjoying electricity prices 30-40% lower than today, with similar carbon dioxide emissions, and vastly better grid security. Consumers are grossly overpaying for a very unreliable system.”

This counterintuitive result arises because of the effect of intermittent renewables on the grid. Renewables have forced gas-fired power stations to ramp their output up and down in order to balance the grid and prevent blackouts. In addition, nobody is investing in the most efficient modern gas-fired plant while renewables are subsidised. The result is that the gas-fired fleet is much less efficient than it should be.

And the situation is going to get worse. Dr Aris has examined National Grid’s plans for the future generation mix and says we should expect steep price rises to continue every year for the foreseeable future. However, he also finds that with a system based on gas and nuclear power, emissions reductions could continue out to 2030 while maintaining consumer power prices at their current level. This result holds even if the very high prices of the planned Hinkley C power station apply in practice.

As Dr Aris puts it:

“The systems National Grid are looking at putting in place will deliver significant carbon emissions cuts but will double electricity prices. A system based on gas and nuclear would deliver similar emissions cuts at around half the price. This shouldn’t, therefore, be a difficult decision.”

  1. pameladragon says:

    In light of all these problems, problems that have been known for decades, why are we still allowing the building of yet more windmills and installing huge solar arrays? This rises to a level of general venality across the board, Greens, government, industry, that, IMO, is criminal. The billions that have been wasted down the rat hole of wind and solar is staggering. Then there is the willful destruction of scenic views. And what happens when the blasted things break down? Will they be left in situ to slowly fall apart or will they be removed?

  2. oldbrew says:

    Add on the cost of the smart meter fiasco too. All pain for no gain.

  3. JB says:

    What we get when poor politicians believe they can engineer people, and when poor engineers believe they can engineer the economy and environment via legislation.

    “Away, then, with quacks, and organizers.., artificial systems, whims of governmental administrators, socialized projects, centralization, tariffs, government schools, state religions, free credit, bank monopolies—their regulations and restrictions, equalization by taxation, and pious moralizations!” –Frederic Bastiat

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    Politicians are largely puppets for the Civil Service, so we must not query what our public servants are doing, lest people start wondering why we are paying for them and what good do they do?

  5. Bitter@twisted says:

    Well knock me down with a feather.
    Who would have thought that renewables would:
    A be expensive
    B unreliable
    C not cut carbon emissions

  6. Saighdear says:

    Naw… zatso? Huh anyone SEE the Gridwatch display TODAY – v.little Wind, effectively NO Solar, Demand “into the red”, Coal & Nuclear filling in sincethe CCGT was nearly at 100% on the meter …. and for several hours at least over the Lunch period…. Did y’all MISSthe BBC reporton it today – how Scotland was supplied ALL its needs, from the weenmills…..

  7. oldbrew says:

    A bit off-topic…

    Prepare for a WTO Brexit and Liberation – Part II

    According to The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson, one Cabinet member says that “the civil service might yet turn out to be the heroes of Brexit …. the preparations are amazing. I really think we can handle this. Last month, I didn’t”. One Downing Street official thinks it would be “more Millenium Bug than World War Three”. Businesses, civil servants, local authorities, and regional organisations are not interested in political grandstanding, but in making things work on the ground.

    The Cabinet is now meeting regularly to discuss no deal preparations.
    – – –
    If MPs force an election the PM decides the date, which will be April 4th (or later) i.e. after Brexit.

  8. stpaulchuck says:

    how else are you to pass billions of tax dollars to your buddies who will then turn some of it back to you as ‘election campaign contributions’. Of course leftover campaign funds just happen to be moved into your personal accounts.

    How else can a $150,000 a year (or so) pol retire a multimillionaire in just a few years?

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