Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Hinkley Point C nuclear site [image credit: BBC]

Hinkley Point C nuclear site [image credit: BBC]


The Independent’s headline may be an exaggeration, but nuclear power is not popular in Britain at present. The illusion persists in some quarters that Britain could run almost entirely on wind power, which is very far from being technically or financially realistic.

Three out of four Britons oppose the Hinkley nuclear power project that has just been approved by the Government, according to a poll.

A quarter (25 per cent) of the 2,028 people surveyed in the Populus  poll, conducted on 7-8 September, said they supported Hinkley, while nearly half (44 per cent) oppose the plans.

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UK electricity supply - approaching the cliff edge? [image credit: Wikipedia]

UK electricity supply – approaching the cliff edge? [image credit: Wikipedia]


Utility Week highlights an expert’s view of the dire state of the UK’s electricity network, largely driven by the climate dogmatism of government policies. Urgent action is advised, with Brexit in mind.

UK Business and Energy secretary Greg Clark needs to “reset the balance between the market and the state” and avoid “more patching up of what he has inherited”, [Professor] Dieter Helm has said.

The energy sector is “not in good shape,” and is unable to fulfil the needs of a major industrial economy, “especially for one doing Brexit”.

Growing electricity demand, as heat and energy are electrified, will make the “current capacity margin of roughly zero even more alarming than it is now”, the Oxford economist said in a paper.

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Hinkley Point, Somerset [image credit: conservativehome.com]

Hinkley Point, Somerset
[image credit: conservativehome.com]


Seconds out, round 10 – or so it might seem in the Hinkley nuclear struggle. Who kept who in the dark [pun intended]? PEI’s Diarmaid Williams takes a ringside seat.

Five of the 17 board members who voted to approve a decision by EDF to press ahead with the development of Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in England are now seeking a court annulment of that decision.

The board members, all union representatives, say they were not provided with information that was crucial to their decision on the day.

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Solar-Loaf-600-AEAEd Hoskins has sent me a summary of his latest post on ‘green energy’ profligacy, which well worth a click and read.

It seems that the UK with the least performant solar energy environment  in Europe has allowed to be invested about £30 billion with an output of less than 1 GW as and when the sun shines.

This amounted to a total of about   9.6GW nameplate solar installations yielding the equivalent of about 0.9GW of power, but only when the sun shines.  The capacity factor for Solar energy in the UK is only ~9%.  This is the least performant solar power in the whole of Europe.

Even though according to David Mackay DECC well understood that solar energy should never have been considered viable in the UK, the department still oversaw these huge continued expenditures and dispensed with about £19,000,000,000 in 2014 and 2015.  That amounted to more than the full cost of Hinckley Point C:  the wasted expenditure seems never to have been questioned or discussed.

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Michael_HartInterview at Lifesitenews with Michael Hart.

Michael Hart is a former official in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and now emeritus professor of international affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where he has taught courses on the laws and institutions of international trade, Canadian foreign policy, and the politics of climate change. He held the Fulbright-Woodrow Wilson Center Visiting Research Chair in Canada-U.S. Relations and was Scholar-in-Residence in the School of International Service, Senior Fellow at American University in Washington, and is the founder and director emeritus of Carleton University’s Centre for Trade Policy and Law. In addition, he has taught courses in several other countries. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of more than a dozen books and several hundred articles.

LifeSiteNews interviewed him during a conference on Catholic Perspectives on the Environment, sponsored by the Wojtyla Institute for Teachers, held at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom in Barry’s Bay, Ontario, August  4-6, 2016.

1)  Professor Hart, your book Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change, has recently been published. In it, you challenge a worldwide project that has become something of a sacred cow. Can you tell our readers what motivated you to begin your research into the subject?

I was initially motivated by questions from my students – and my wife – about the policy implications of climate change. The more I looked into it, however, the more I learned the extent to which it fit with one of my research interests: the extent to which modern health, safety, and environmental regulatory activity relies on poor science advanced by activists to push an agenda. I learned that both domestic and international actors had succeeded in using the poorly understood science of climate change to advance an ambitious environmental agenda focused on increasing centralized control over people’s daily lives.

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gwpf-energy-industry

A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)  confirms suspicions that previous governments have misled the public about the impact of climate policies on businesses such as Tata Steel.

There are three main faults in government analysis:

 

  1. Instead of showing the impact of climate policies on profitability (Gross Operating Surplus), the government has compared policy costs to the total expenditure of a business, which is misleading. In 2014, for example, the sector had an operating surplus of £169m, yet energy costs were equal to 330% of that sum.

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uk-piggy-bankResidents affected by fracking could be paid a proportion of the proceeds of shale gas projects, the government has suggested.

A shale wealth fund was unveiled in 2014 to set aside up to 10% of the tax proceeds from fracking to benefit communities in the UK hosting wells.

The PM is now considering paying the money directly to individual households instead of councils and local trusts.

The plan is one option due to be outlined in a consultation on Monday.

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clexit-header

After several years of fighting, and losing, various elections, winning the EU referendum campaign has been a real tonic for me. If it had been fought on the same electoral ‘first past the post’ basis constituency by constituency, ‘the Brexit party’ would have won 70% of the seats. In my home region of Yorkshire and Humberside, where I was a Leave campaign director, it would have been a landslide, with all but a few of its 54 constituencies voting for an exit from the EU.

While Brexit is being negotiated, we are starting another campaign – Clexit. The aim is to get all nations to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. The founders, Marc Morano in the States, Christopher Monckton in the UK and Viv Forbes in Australia, have now invited me to head up the Clexit-UK campaign. I’ll have more details soon, discussions are ongoing.

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Glasgow International Airport

Glasgow International Airport


What’s this – business before enviro-correctness? Shocking to some perhaps. Could be fun if Scotland’s air fares undercut England’s by a significant margin. BBC reporting.

Plans to cut and replace air passenger duty (APD) in Scotland have been met with a mixed response. The Scottish government wants to replace APD, with the tax to be reduced by 50% from April 2018 and eventually abolished.

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nuke-powerIn a surprise move, the UK govt has put the brakes on the Hinkley Point nuclear power contract. Yesterday, there was anticipation in the media that the directorate of EDF would approve the scheme. In the event, the vote was 10 to 7 in favour, though one director resigned beforehand.

Maybe the depth of the split on the EDF board has given the new UK government the jitters. In a brief two line statement this morning, the business secretary, Greg Clark, said the government would now examine all components of the deal and decide in the Autumn whether to go ahead, or not.

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Credit: thenewdaily.com.au

Credit: thenewdaily.com.au


Britain will have to negotiate its own climate agreement after quitting the EU, the GWPF reports. This could be interesting if – as seems likely – climate sceptics are prominent in the new UK leadership.

Top UN climate change official Christiana Figueres said Britain’s decision to leave the EU meant the Paris agreement would need to be redrawn. This could delay EU ratifi­cation of the deal, which is already under pressure because India and Russia have said they were ­unlikely to sign this year.

Unless the Paris agreement is ratified this year by countries representing more than 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it will be vulnerable to being scrapped completely by a future Donald Trump presidency in the US.

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Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia


Sanity went out of the window some time ago in the Western world’s ideas on electricity supply, and California’s leaders have been keen to lead that type of charge, in league with ‘green’ pressure groups, as Somewhat Reasonable points out.

“California’s largest utility and environmental groups announced a deal Tuesday [June 21] to shutter the last nuclear power plant in the state.” This statement from the Associated Press reporting about the announced closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant should startle you.

The news about shutting down California’s last operating nuclear power plant, especially after Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) had sought a 20-year extension of the operating licenses for the two reactors, is disappointing—not startling.

What should pique your ire is that the “negotiated proposal,” as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) called it, is between the utility company and environmental groups—with no mention of the regulators elected to insure that consumers have efficient, effective and economical electricity.

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Credit: britzinoz.com

Credit: britzinoz.com


Needless to say the Brexit vote in the UK has not passed unnoticed in political circles ‘down under’, as ABC News Australia reports. New opportunities beckon.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced Australia will team up with New Zealand in a bid to negotiate new trade and immigration deals in the wake of the Brexit vote in the UK.

He has also ordered an urgent review from Treasury officials and diplomats over the implications of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

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freedom

Leeds Leave EU

Excellent opinion piece in the Telegraph by Charles Moore. This is the conclusion:

The 21st century is supposed to be the age of people power, yet we, in Britain, have less of it than did our grandparents. The EU is leading us away from democratic modernity. There is no evidence that it will change direction: indeed, it is so constituted that it can’t.

Because of David Cameron’s elaborate political calculations, we now have this referendum. We cannot dictate any detail by our vote, but we can mandate our Government to leave, or permit it to stay. Trepidation about leaving is understandable, because we cannot know exactly what would happen next. The Parliament whose freedom we would recover needs massive re-equipping for the task. But we have, for one brief moment, recovered the power that has gradually been removed from us. If we vote Leave, we maximise it; if we vote Remain, we throw it away.

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'Smart' meter [image credit: heartland.org]

‘Smart’ meter [image credit: heartland.org]


Are smart meters not such a smart idea after all? Quite possibly according to this PEI report. Germany has already turned against them.

The transition to an intelligent electricity grid in Europe can take place without smart meters, according to industry players who spoke at the annual Eurelectric conference in Vilnius this week.

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Two political posts in a row from me, apologies to science lovers who have no dog in the EU referendum fight or the American presidency race.

For the first time in the EU referendum campaign, the ‘Leave’ camp has been ahead for more than a day. It is an incredibly tight race, with barely a couple of points splitting the rivals. There is a handy widget for monitoring the ‘poll of polls’, which averages the results of all the companies which test public opinion. Here’s the latest snapshot:

pollofpolls

As you can see, the ‘leave’ camp have been the underdogs most of the way. But the mood seems to be changing, and in the final 16 days, the momentum seems to be on the side of those who wish to take back control of UK affairs from the unelected commissars in Brussels.

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Image credit: BBC / PA

Image credit: BBC / PA


The storm clouds are gathering over UK electricity generating capacity. The government seems paralysed by the absurd belief it can ‘save the climate’, or something.
H/T PEI

Urgent government intervention is required to ensure that current uncertainty in the UK market is replaced by developer confidence, writes Paul Webber.

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andrea-leadsom

Andrea Leadsom MP

From the Daily mail:

In March Energy Minister Amber Fudd claimed energy bills would soar by £500 million a year if we left the EU, adding: ‘The thing about the gas market is you don’t know what shocks and what changes there can be to it.’

But in a remarkable rebuttal to her boss’s claims, Ms Leadsom said today that Brexit would threaten ‘absolutely none’ of the three ‘critical considerations’ at the forefront of Britain’s energy policy.

‘Leaving the EU will give us freedom to keep bills down, to meet our climate change targets in the cheapest way possible, and of course, keep the lights on,’ she said in a speech in central London.

Under the European Commission’s ‘Winter Package’ proposals all 28 EU member states would ‘take on legal responsibility for each other’s gas security’.

This would ensure that EU member states that face having their gas supplies cut – due to political disputes with countries such as Russia or contracts expiring, for example, – would see its gas supplies guaranteed by fellow member states.

Setting out the ‘real threat out continued membership of the EU will have on our energy security,’ Ms Leadsom said: ‘The European Commission’s ‘Winter Package’, contains a number of proposals which make painfully clear the direction of travel in EU energy policy.

‘Two of those suggestions pose a potential threat to our continued energy security.

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District of Columbia Court of Appeals Seal [credit: Wikipedia]

District of Columbia Court of Appeals Seal [credit: Wikipedia]


How a court is supposed to figure out what is just or unjust in climate matters is an interesting question, but it’s going to happen anyway as Yahoo News reports. There will probably be a new US president before all the legal battles are over.

MICHAEL BIESECKER May 17, 2016 WASHINGTON (AP) — The full appeals court in Washington will hear arguments in the legal fight over President Barack Obama’s plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, potentially accelerating the case’s path to the Supreme Court.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order Monday scheduling oral arguments on the legality of the Clean Power Plan for September 27.

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