Declare an energy emergency or risk economic disaster, Boris Johnson warned – Net Zero Watch

Posted: December 29, 2021 by oldbrew in Energy, fracking, fuel poverty, government, ideology, opinion
Tags: , ,

Fracking: note the deep shaft

The chances of the UK government listening to anybody other than climate obsessives on energy matters are about zero. Most of the opposition parties are even more addicted to the notion of climate being determined by the level of trace gases in the atmosphere, with wildly unrealistic policies to match.
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London, 29 December – Net Zero Watch has called on Boris Johnson to declare an energy emergency and introduce radical policy reforms in order to prevent the energy cost crisis turning into an economic and social disaster.

The call comes as fears grow over a devastating energy cost and energy security crisis, with spiralling prices hitting households and businesses hard, and warnings that energy bills could double or even treble next year.

It is reported that Boris Johnson is considering to hand out £20 billion of taxpayers’ money to energy suppliers who are threatening to double or treble energy costs.

Despite the fact that Britain will need natural gas for decades to come, the ban on fracking and the curtailing of conventional gas exploration has led to serious shortages of domestic natural gas production. The result is super-charged energy prices and rising inflation, a painful cost burden already struggling households are now facing.

The government should suspend costly Net Zero plans as a matter of urgency and put energy costs and security of supply at the centre of national security.

The government has only one way to avoid political oblivion, and that’s for Britain to introduce radical policy reforms and to start using the UK’s massive natural gas resources, which would bring down energy costs and enhance energy security significantly.

In fact, natural gas prices in the UK are nearly ten times higher ($35/MMBtu) than they are in the US ($4/MMBtu) where fracking is widely used and shale gas is cheap and abundant.

If the shale gas moratorium was lifted tomorrow, it would take at least 12 months to get the gas flowing. But the Government needs to take strong steps now, in order to send out a clear signal to investors.

Otherwise the energy and cost of living crises will become permanent, posing an existential threat to this government and many businesses.
. . .
Net Zero Watch is calling on the Government to:

1. Suspend Net Zero plans as a matter of urgency and put energy costs and security of supply at the centre of national security.

2. Suspend all green levies on energy bills, funding subsidies temporarily out of taxation, but acting firmly to cancel these subsidies in the near term.

3. Cancel constraint payments, and compel wind and solar generators to pay for their own balancing costs, thus incentivising them to self-dispatch only when economic.

4. Remove all fiscal and other disincentives to oil and gas exploration, including shale gas, to increase domestic production levels.

5. Suspend carbon taxation on coal and gas generation in order to provide consumer relief and ensure security of supply.

6. Re-open recently closed gas storage facilities and support new storage projects.

7. Suspend all further policy initiatives directed towards the Net Zero target, including the Carbon Budgets, the heat pump targets, and the overly ambitious timetable for the ban on petrol and diesel engines, until the UK energy sector has been stabilised.

8. Facilitate the acceleration of building and deploying Small Modular Reactors for both electricity and heat.

Full article here.

  1. Mike Wattam says:

    A clear and measured response to the multi-crises in which we find ourselves, but does this dim government have the courage to do the ‘right thing’, rather than just fret about how well their next sound-bites might dupe the public into thinking they are actually doing something positive?

  2. oldbrew says:

    ENERGY Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has been sent a dire warning over further aggravating the energy crisis by “shackling the UK to the EU system”.
    Mon, Dec 27, 2021

    Sir John Redwood, the MP for Wokingham, appeared to warn Mr Kwarteng against over-relying on imported gas and domestic wind energy. He believed that doing so would lead to a shortage of both gas and renewable sources of energy, which in turn would drive up energy bills.

    He said: “The Business Secretary needs to understand shackling the UK to an EU energy system that is short of gas…will mean high prices and shortages.

    “Time to expand the domestic supply of gas and put in more systems that do not need the wind to blow.”
    – – –
    This may seem obvious to many, but not so much to those with climate blinkers firmly on.

  3. I can’t get over the feeling that those who would “control the climate” don’t seem to know very much about the climate.

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    As I understand the Green approach has been to shut down coal-fired and nuclear generation and rely on renewables esp. wind as solar isn’t much use in winter when demand is highest. As a transition they allowed gas for heating and electricity generation, but wanted these to be reduced and replaced by either electricity (from wind) or hydrogen (from wind).
    As wind has been supplying reduced amounts all year the dependence on gas increased, but supplies and stocks were also reduced. (one wonders if the closure of the largest offshore gas storage wasn’t some “forward planning” to allow hydrogen soon).

    The result has been an economic disaster and we must hope that it doesn’t turn into a human disaster this winter. The consequences of rapidly rising electricity costs (along with the likely blackouts) and rapidly rising costs of gas and fuel will result in a massive drop in political support for the government. It seems Sir John Redwood realises this but does anybody in the Cabinet?

    This isn’t about science, which has been resolutely ignored for decades, but politics which the Ministers are supposed to know about – or will they just waffle and hope the problem will go away in a few years? Will the Public Service allow any change of policies? I think not, and suggest those who can should think about emigrating.

  5. oldbrew says:

    The low wind problem never goes away. It’s always lurking ready to undermine electricity generation at very short notice, and when it inevitably does happen the options for adequate and timely recovery are being systematically stripped away, in the name of a fatuous climate theory that doesn’t work.

  6. Saighdear says:

    Aye, and meanwhile Labour is so far ahead of the governing party ( can’t call THEM Tories ) in some Polls …. if there were a snap election…………….is there a Lid on the Frying pan ?

  7. Phoenix44 says:

    I’m not sure how shifting the cost from consumers to taxpayers solves anything? All taxpayers are consumers, most consumers are taxpayers. We have made our energy system much more expensive. We have to pay for that as there is only “we”.

    The simple fact is that politicians hoped the sh*t would hit the fan under the next lot, not as soon as this. But it was inevitable, as many have warned for years. The idea government and the civil service could “transition” our complex, global energy system to what they wanted without vast cost and disruption is hubris and delusion of gigantic proportions.

  8. Gamecock says:

    ‘and introduce radical policy reforms in order to prevent the energy cost crisis turning into an economic and social disaster’

    The disaster is already baked in.

    The only policy reforms that would help would be to repeal the Climate Change Act and Net Zero.

    ‘Suspending’ Net Zero accomplishes nothing. Repeal it, or else.

  9. oldbrew says:

    warnings that energy bills could double or even treble next year.

    Hard to see that being allowed to happen, so some kind of government scheme seems inevitable.
    But governments only have other people’s money…

  10. Gamecock says:

    Governments tend not to allow replacement pricing in regulated markets. I.e., prices won’t go up; supply will go down.

    Government will save you from high prices by killing supply. When you are freezing at home with the lights out, thank government for “helping” you.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Some MPs have finally noticed that energy bills have all sorts of extra charges dumped onto them due mainly to climate obsessions…

    Tackle cost of living crisis by scrapping energy bill tax, Tories urge Boris Johnson
    Five former ministers among backbenchers calling for action amid fears that household energy bills could double to £2,000 by April

    1 January 2022

    Urging Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak to use “levers we have to mitigate” the looming increase, the MPs and peers called for the removal of VAT on energy bills, set at five per cent, saying it would be a “small” reduction but a “step in the right direction”.

    One of the signatories also pointed that, during the Brexit referendum, both Mr Johnson and Michael Gove said leaving the European Union would allow the UK to reduce energy bills by scrapping VAT.

    The letter also called for the removal of environmental levies, used to fund renewable energy subsidy schemes, saying they account for 23 per cent of consumer electricity bills. It is thought the two measures combined could shave up to £200 off the average household bill.

    Similarly, the MPs noted that the climate change levy, applied to business energy use, is “making domestic energy intensive businesses uncompetitive and again increases the costs to consumers on virtually everything”.

  12. Mike Wattam says:

    I really don’t think we can treat any UK government sound-bites as in any way reliable. Parliament has now changed focus to concentrating on a power struggle within the Tory party, and this is likely to continue until Bojo is usurped. Therefore any comments and resolutions made until the leadership issue is resolved one way or the other, can be dis-regarded.