Archive for the ‘government’ Category

energy -prices-EU

The institute for Economic Affairs has published a report calling for a reduction in electricity bills.

Brexit provides real opportunity to bring down electricity bills for low-income households

Executive Summary:

  • Electricity charges for households in England and Wales have risen by 50 per cent in real terms since 2001, partly as a result of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The decarbonisation policies adopted have been complex and inefficient, and have also been contradicted by other measures such as the reduced rate of VAT imposed on domestic fuel. Emissions reduction objectives could be achieved at much lower cost.
  • The government should phase out the Climate Change Levy, the Energy Company Obligation, the Warm Homes Discount and the Carbon Price Floor.
  • Utility bills should be taxable at the full VAT rate (20 per cent) rather than the reduced rate (5 per cent). Any help to vulnerable households should be in the form of electricity vouchers.
  • If the goal is to reduce emissions, decarbonisation should be undertaken under a single market-based mechanism such as a cap-and-trade scheme or a carbon tax, which would apply to all CO2 emissions.
  • Climate-change policy should be technology-neutral. The government should establish a decarbonisation target and allow energy markets to adjust to it in the most efficient way.

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Credit: wheels.ca


But where will the hydrogen come from? As the report says: ‘Questions remain over how to supply hydrogen in a low-carbon cost-effective manner’. The trouble is these questions have been around for ever and show no sign of going away. Producing electricity, converting it into hydrogen then back to electricity seems unlikely ever to be a cheap process.

The UK government has revealed plans to pump £23 million into “cutting edge” infrastructure to accelerate the uptake of hydrogen powered vehicles, reports Utility Week.

The Department for Transport has invited hydrogen fuel providers to bid for match funding from the government for high-tech infrastructure projects, including fuelling stations, in a competition launching over the summer.
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Budget squeeze time for US climate projects


The great US climate squeeze is getting under way, with political wrangling likely not far behind, as the alleged man-made climate scare gets downgraded.
H/T GWPF

President Trump’s first budget proposal includes a 31-percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency as part of an administration effort to slash federal climate change funding. The budget blueprint, released on Thursday, provides $5.7 billion for the EPA, down from $8.3 billion.

The budget “discontinues” $100 million in funding for several climate change programs within the agency, including enforcement for a major Obama-era climate regulation, climate change research and international climate change support.
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UK taxpayers paid a high price to ensure the government didn’t get egg on its face over its agenda-driven electricity generation policies, as Utility Week reports.

The supplemental balancing reserve (SBR) cost a total of £180 million over the three years it was in operation but was “never once used”, a new report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has found. 

The think tank raised concerns that “fearmongering” about the “overblown” risk of blackouts led ministers to purchase an expensive insurance policy that was not needed. It has urged them not to spend “billions” more to bolster the UK’s capacity margin.

“The clear message from this report is that paying to boost spare capacity in Britain’s electricity system can be very expensive, and potentially unnecessary,” said Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) energy analyst Jonathan Marshall.
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Once America’s new leader poured cold water on the Paris ‘deal’ it didn’t take some (all?) of the other G-20 members long to get cold feet about stumping up the ‘pledged’ cash. Looks like the political showboating was just that. Who is surprised any more by this well-worn routine?
H/T GWPF

Finance ministers for the U.S., China, Germany and other members of the Group of 20 economies may scale back a robust pledge for their governments to combat climate change, ceding efforts to the private sector.

Citing “scarce public resources,” the ministers said they would encourage multilateral development banks to raise private funds to accomplish goals set under the 2015 Paris climate accord, according to a preliminary statement drafted for a meeting that will be held in Germany next week.

The statement, obtained by Bloomberg News, is a significant departure from a communique issued in July, when finance ministers urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, including a call for wealthy nations to make good on commitments to mobilize $100 billion annually to cut greenhouse gases around the globe.
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US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt


BBC News all but bursts a blood vessel over the EPA head’s opinion that the climate science ‘debate’ is not settled. Their reaction is to trot out some standard warmist platitudes, which surprises nobody.

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt has said he “would not agree” carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.

He told CNBC that measuring human impact on the climate was “very challenging” and there was “tremendous disagreement” about the issue.

Mr Pruitt instead insisted that officials needed “to continue the debate” on the issue. His remarks contradict his own agency’s findings on greenhouse gas emissions.
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The UK is struggling to get any reliable power generation built under its existing energy policies, as Utility Week explains. Meanwhile subsidies to renewables, and old coal-fired plants (as emergency back-up) roll on, making the future uncertain.

The capacity market has failed to deliver flexibility and reliable new-build generation, a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has argued.  Existing generation should be exiled from the mechanism and support reserved for flexible new-build capacity, according to the think tank.

“While the goal of the capacity market was to drive investment in reliable new generation, the scheme—with £3.4 billion in awarded contracts to date—has yet to incentivise a single large new power plant,” the report said.

“This support for existing generation is distorting energy markets and has subsidized outdated investment, including more than £450 million for existing coal-fired power plants.” This was despite government intervention to increase the volume of new generation contracted by increasing the procurement target in the most recent four-year-ahead (T-4) auction.

“The enlarged T4 auction took place in December 2016, but achieved only a tiny increase in new generation as a proportion of the total contracted capacity, from four per cent to seven per cent,” the report said. It noted that the only new build combined-cycle gas turbine to secure a contract was a 370MW replanting of an existing power station in King’s Lynn.

The government should instead “repurpose” the capacity market and hold “smaller, targeted capacity auctions solely for flexible, new-build generation, including gas peakers, demand-side response and storage”.

The report continues here.

The VW diesel scandal has changed opinions.

The VW diesel scandal has changed opinions.


Car sales people may need a new pitch to buyers after this change to government policy. ‘Clean diesel’ is dead.

The Government is reportedly considering a scrappage scheme for diesel cars to improve air quality, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

Drivers should think long and hard before buying a diesel car, the Transport Secretary has said. Chris Grayling suggested motorists should consider buying a low-emission vehicle rather than spending their money on a diesel.

His intervention follows reports the Government is considering a scrappage scheme for diesel cars to improve air quality. The reported scheme would see drivers offered a cash incentive for replacing an old diesel car with a low-emission vehicle.
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Note the output from the cooling towers is NOT black - no trick photography here.

Note the output from the cooling towers is NOT black – no trick photography here.


For some reason (‘de-carbonisation’) the UK government’s actions on electricity supply are usually opposite to its stated policy of ‘secure, affordable’ energy. Expensive and often unreliable power sources are given priority most of the time, apparently in pursuit of climate illusions.

Interventions in the energy market by successive governments have pushed up prices, but not secured supplies, peers found. A House of Lords committee said the interventions have led to an opaque, complicated and uncompetitive market, reports BBC News.

The peers blame “poorly designed government interventions in pursuit of decarbonisation” that they say have put pressure on energy supply and bills. The government said its priority was ensuring secure, affordable energy.
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Phase-shifter [image credit: Reinhausen]

Phase-shifter [image credit: Reinhausen]


This has been going on for a while but is probably getting worse. The Poles and Czechs are now setting their phase-shifters to ‘stun’. 😉
H/T GWPF

Germany’s excess power spills over the border into Polish and Czech territory and threatens their electrical grids with collapse, companies and governments there say.

A battle is raging in Central Europe over the balance of power—the electrical kind. Poland and the Czech Republic see Germany as an aggressor, overproducing electricity and dumping it across the border. Germany sees itself as a green-energy pioneer under unfair attacks from less innovative neighbors.

As part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Energiewende, or energy revolution, Germany will shut its nuclear power plants by 2022 and replace them with its rapidly expanding wind and solar power. But the volatile renewables don’t always perform, and the Germans are also relying on coal- and gas-powered plants to keep the lights on.
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Map of Scottish woodlands

Map of Scottish woodlands


A related issue is that Scottish woodland is currently being invaded by an army of wind farm constructors whenever they get the chance.

The SNP’s plans to increase the amount of woodland in Scotland in an attempt to fight climate change risks damaging the nation’s “dramatic open views and vistas”, according to mountaineering and gamekeepers groups.

The Scottish Government has proposed increasing the amount of woodland cover from 17 per cent to 25 per cent by 2050, with a commitment to planting 10,000 extra hectares of trees between now and 2022 included in its draft Climate Plan, as iNews reports.

But Mountaineering Scotland and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) are concerned that the changes could damage the nation’s wild moorland, arguing it forms a crucial part of Scotland’s “unique” landscape.
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A Merc in the murk

A Merc in the murk


The ideologically-driven dash for renewable energy in Germany is heading towards a natural obstacle hiding in its winter weather. Will ‘traditional energy’ always be there to provide security of supply when needed?

Germany has a reputation for being a renewable energy leader – but some believe that the nation’s long, still and dim winters threaten such green aspirations, reports DW.COM.

The “dark doldrums” conjures images of the deep Middle Ages, when the only light to be had flickered from a tallow candle. In fact, it is the loose translation for the German word Dunkelflaute, which describes this time of year, when neither sun nor wind are to be found in great abundance.

And this is the very scenario some are suggesting could plunge the nation into, if not quite a re-enactment of its medieval past, then energy uncertainty. An article published recently in the German daily “Die Welt” warned that the Dunkelflaute could be pushing Germany’s power supply to its limits.
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Credit: businessinsider.com

Credit: businessinsider.com

One letter changes in the new US climate policy: ‘defund’ replaces ‘defend’. Interesting times ahead.
H/T GWPF

US president Donald Trump will honour his campaign pledge to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement and defund UN climate programmes, a former adviser to the new administration has said.

Myron Ebell served as head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) transition team from early September until 19 January, when he helped to draft an advisory action plan on how to implement Trump’s campaign promises.

At a press briefing held by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and the Foreign Press Association (FPA) in London today, Ebell declined to divulge any details of the EPA document on the grounds that it is confidential.

But Ebell, a well-known climate change sceptic and head of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI) energy and environment centre, outlined Trump’s “very clear” promises on energy and the environment that he is convinced the new president will honour.
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Changing rules just before leaving office does seem a bit – let’s say – strange.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Liberating scientists to talk about their research is sensible. Inciting them to criticize government policy does nothing to enhance scientific integrity.

fullsizerender

The US Department of Energy (DOE) describes itself as the “largest federal sponsor of basic research in physical sciences.” It consumes $32 billion in federal spending annually, funding numerous projects connected to climate change and renewable energy.

Earlier this month,the DOE decided itsscientific integrity policy, last updated in 2014, was wholly inadequate. With nine days remaining inthe Obama administration, energy Secretary Ernest Moniz unveiled a brand new policy at the National Press Club.

The old policywas three pages long. The new one runs to seven pages, and represents a dramatic departure from what had been the status quo.

Under the old policy, DOE-affiliated scientists were only permitted to speak about scientific matters to the media or at public events after they’d received permission from “their immediate supervisor and…

View original post 1,074 more words

Credit: boereport.com

Credit: boereport.com

The oil will travel one way or another, whether there’s a Keystone pipeline or not.

Canadian pipeline builder TransCanada announced it had submitted an application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial project that has been given the green light by US President Donald Trump, reports Phys.org.

Trump on Tuesday gave a conditional go-ahead for the project, which was put on hold by former president Barack Obama over environmental concerns. Calgary-based TransCanada said in a statement it had filed a “presidential permit application” with the US State Department for approval of the project.
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‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ - German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]

‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]


Grasping the nettle of reporting the views of leading German climate sceptic Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, PEI magazine airs several awkward issues arising from Germany’s ambitious – he says reckless – energy policies.

At a mid-January meeting in parliament buildings in London, Professor Fritz Vahrenholt provided a very detailed monologue on the motivations behind Germany’s energy transition, and why he feels it’s misguided and potentially disastrous, writes Diarmid Williams.

Had the lecture been delivered by somebody from the coal power sector, they might have been written off as a ‘climate denier’, but given Vahrenholt’s background and pedigree as a backer of renewable energy, he is not so easily dismissed and his position must cause some unease for those so adamant that climate change is man-made.
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Credit: hackersnewsbulletin.com

Credit: hackersnewsbulletin.com


Were some people too ready to believe this ‘news’?
H/T Climate Change Dispatch / Daily Caller

When the Badlands National Park’s official Twitter account began publishing posts on global warming, news outlets frantically ran headlines about a defiant federal agency sticking it to the Trump administration.

The media’s fever-pitch only increased once the tweets were taken offline, with some celebrities joining the fray and tweeting about the “fascism” and “censorship” being pushed by the Trump administration.

Reporters pointed out the Badlands tweets came after the Trump administration issued a “gag order” to federal employees, preventing them from talking to the press, issuing official statements on social media. “With new rules like this in place, where’s the public going to get its scientific information?” opined New York magazine writer Madison Malone Kircher.

It turns out, Badlands National Park wasn’t trying to defy Trump. A former employee “compromised” the park’s Twitter account to post about global warming. Moreover, the Trump administration did not ask the park to remove the tweets, they did so voluntarily.
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epa
Some may not be happy with this checking of EPA science news but the agency probably expected something like it.

The Trump administration is mandating that any studies or data from scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public, reports Phys.org.

The communications director for President Donald Trump’s transition team at EPA, Doug Ericksen, said Wednesday the review also extends to content on the federal agency’s website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame.

Former EPA staffers said Wednesday the restrictions imposed under Trump far exceed the practices of past administrations. Ericksen said no orders have been given to strip mention of climate change from http://www.epa.gov , saying no decisions have yet been made.

“We’re taking a look at everything on a case-by-case basis, including the web page and whether climate stuff will be taken down,” Erickson said in an interview with The Associated Press.
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UK Cabinet visits Cheshire

UK Cabinet visits Cheshire


Someone that UK leaders listen to may have pointed out that hanging a ‘green’ millstone round the neck of the economy, as recommended by the EU, is not the best route to success.
H/T GWPF

Household energy bills are set to fall after ministers unveiled plans to slash green subsidies, it emerged yesterday.

Billions of pounds are handed out by the Government to wind farm and solar energy firms every year, with families and manufacturers picking up the cost. These climate change subsidies add around £110 a year to a household’s average bill.

Theresa May’s industrial strategy, published yesterday, suggested that these levies should be dramatically reduced to help steel plants, which pay for emissions, compete overseas.
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Tidal lagoons are uneconomic 

Posted: January 23, 2017 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Tides
Tags: ,

Credit: TLP

Credit: TLP


That’s the view of the GWPF, as explained below. Whether the UK government will be put off by the huge cost of the subsidies remains to be seen.

Mr Hendry’s report implicitly recommending that the UK government support the £1.3 billion Swansea Tidal Lagoon project presumably moves the scheme one step closer to realisation.

However, the headline facts show that there is no justification for compelling UK consumers to de-risk the scheme for its projectors.

The principal and overwhelming disadvantage of most renewable electricity technologies is that they are of low energy productivity in themselves and reduce the productivity of the electricity system of which they are a part.
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