Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Green Deal to be No Deal, says DECC

Posted: July 23, 2015 by oldbrew in government, Politics
Tags:

Green dud [credit: Green Deal guide]

Green dud [credit: Green Deal guide]


The ill-fated scheme to lend money to UK homeowners for ‘green’ upgrades at interest rates higher than banks offer, has somehow not worked out, as the BBC reports:

The UK government has announced it is to cease funding for the Green Deal, spelling the end for its flagship energy household efficiency programme. The scheme offers cashbacks and incentives on such things as double-glazing, insulation and boilers.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change said it took the decision to protect taxpayers, citing low take-up and concerns about industry standards. Labour said ministers’ approach to energy efficiency had been a “failure”.

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[image credit: BBC]

[image credit: BBC]


The UK government has finally realised that solar power is nearly useless in the winter. Everyone else has known this all along, but better late than never. The BBC reports:

Subsidies for many new solar farms are to end under plans being published by the government.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is consulting on plans that would see subsidies for some new solar farms close by 2016. The government says the move is necessary to protect consumers.

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Ration book [image credit: canadianresource.ca]

Ration book [image credit: canadianresource.ca]


An old political chestnut based on the screw-tightening – or ceiling-lowering – principle is trying to make a comeback, as Energy Daily reports:

To achieve public support for a transformation to a low carbon society, politicians would be advised to implement a quantity-based energy quota system, with a fixed and decreasing cap on total use, rather than relying on carbon pricing and taxation mechanisms, according to a new study.

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Under threat?

Under threat?


Who will complain if their energy bills go down or at least rise at a slower rate, when ‘out of control subsidies’ are cut or abolished?

Subsidies for new wind farms and solar power plants are set to be cut as ministers move to protect millions of families from rising energy bills, says the UK Daily Telegraph.

The government is expected to announce the decision this week, after official figures revealed that so-called “green” energy schemes will require £1.5 billion more in subsidies – paid for by customers – than originally planned.

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Climate talks 'flagging' ?[image credit: The Clinic]

Climate talks ‘flagging’ ?[image credit: The Clinic]


Usual story – rich and poor countries fighting about money. Things are so bad, they need a pre-conference conference to try and figure out what they’re going to say and do at the real conference, apart from wave ‘projections’ and ‘scenarios’ at each other. Or – anyone fancy a trip to Paris in July?

Foreign and environment ministers and other high-level officials from 45 countries are set to gather in Paris Monday seeking to re-energise climate talks mired in technical details and political squabbling, reports Yahoo News.

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[image credit: BBC Scotland]

[image credit: BBC Scotland]


From ‘green bank’ to green blank:

Australia has slammed the door shut on any new government-funded investment in renewable energy schemes as Prime Minister Tony Abbott extends his “war on wind power”, reports Breitbart News.

In doing so Mr Abbott has sent a clear message to the mendicant green renewable energy sector that there will be no more cheap state-supplied financing for its projects.

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solar_money_houseUK Chancellor To Abolish Coalition’s Green Tax Target – Tim Ross
The Sunday Telegraph, 5 July 2015
George Osborne to abolish coalition’s green tax target as customers face paying £1.5billion more through their bills to subsidise wind farms, solar panels and biomass plants

The cost of subsidising new wind farms is spiralling out of control, government sources have privately warned.

Officials admitted that so-called “green” energy schemes will require a staggering £9 billion a year in subsidies – paid for by customers – by 2020. This is £1.5 billion more than the maximum limit the coalition had originally planned.

The mounting costs will mean every household in the country is forced to pay an estimated £170 a year by the end of the decade to support the renewable electricity schemes that were promoted by the coalition.

Tory ministers are said to be “angry” at the scale of the over-running costs. They are blaming the Liberal Democrats who ran the Department for Energy and Climate Change for the past five years for the spectacular failure to control renewable energy programmes.

The huge excess spending is thought to be a result of higher-than-expected numbers of rooftop solar panels being fitted on houses, falling wholesale energy prices, and offshore wind farms proving more productive than anticipated.
The Chancellor believes the figures demonstrate the need to rein in the cost of policies to tackle climate change.

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Death by government diktat

Posted: June 30, 2015 by tchannon in Accountability, Big Brother, Energy, government

Hatfield Colliery closure speeds up UK exit from deep coal mining

Britain’s Hatfield Colliery will stop producing coal with immediate effect after being unable to sell its coal following the sharp rise in the UK’s carbon tax, Prospect union said on Tuesday.

The closure of the employee-owned mine in South Yorkshire is 14 months earlier than expected. Around 500 employees work at the mine.

In April, Britain’s carbon tax, which charges power producers for each tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit, almost doubled to 18.08 pounds per tonne to encourage utilities to switch fuels, as coal-fired power generation produces almost double the amount of CO2 as gas-fired plants.

“Hatfield has been unable to sell its coal because of the government’s refusal to sponsor coal contracts with generators and the doubling of the UK’s carbon tax,” Prospect negotiator Mike Macdonald said.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/06/30/uk-coal-closure-idUKKCN0PA1FU20150630

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US coal train [credit: Wikipedia]

US coal train [credit: Wikipedia]

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to degrade the country’s coal industry into oblivion with ruinous regulations has run into a legal roadblock, reports the SPPI Blog:

The EPA proposal to impose a de facto ban on new coal-fired power plants received more than two million comments from the public – but it looks like it was just one five-page comment from the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) that sent EPA scrambling back to the drawing board. The draft rule mandated the use of so-called carbon capture and storage, a technology that would inject carbon dioxide underground but which has so far proved to be little more than a white elephant experiment.

To mandate this technology, the law required the EPA to prove it was “adequately demonstrated” and “commercially available.” Thanks to E&E Legal, they failed.

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A dying breed?

A dying breed?


A drastic energy policy change by the new UK government as GWPF reports:

Local residents will be able to block all future onshore wind farms under new measures to be fast-tracked into law, the new energy secretary has announced. “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.”

Amber Rudd revealed she had “put a rocket” under her officials to “put the local community back in charge” of their own neighbourhoods.

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amber-ruddWho is Amber Rudd? I hear you ask. Wikipedia tells us about her (lack of) expertise in energy policy and climate science:

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in history, she joined J.P. Morgan & Co., working in both London and New York. She then worked in venture capital in London, raising funds for small businesses. After working as a financial journalist, she founded specialist Executive Search and Human Resources consultancy Lawnstone Ltd,[2]with clients in Financial services and in Business media.[3] She also recruited the extras for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Great. What  else?

Rudd has been an active campaigner whilst in Parliament, standing up for women’s issues. She is Vice Chair of the APPG on Female Genital Mutilation, which has been campaigning against FGM and calling for tougher penalties and confidence to begin prosecutions in the UK. She has championed the cause of sex equality as Chairman of the APPG for Sex Equality,[5] which recently published a report on women in work. Rudd Chaired a cross party inquiry into “Unplanned Pregnancies” which called for statutory sex and relationships education in all secondary schools[6] She has called for a higher proportion of women in the Cabinet[7]

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roosevelt-quote It’s hard to be objective about the outcome of the elections, having been in the thick of the battle. This post is more about my personal experiences of the campaign and reflections on the aftermath. I joined UKIP because it is the only party with a sane energy policy, and as an engineer with a degree in the history and philosophy of science, I’m only too aware of the danger to our country’s economic and social well being of the insane energy policy pursued by successive Labour and Conservative governments. Although the main parties avoided the energy question during the election campaign, I believe it to be the most important issue underlying UK politics. (more…)

online-pollsThe polls open at 7am tomorrow for voters to cast their ballot in the 2015 general election. The insurgent UK Independence Party (UKIP) has turned this election into the most unpredictable contest in decades. Their standing in the polls is uncertain and methodologies are disputed, with ratings ranging from 10 to 18% among the trad pollsters, and as much as 53% in high volume online polls.

Clearly, UKIP supporters are very active online, the party’s Facebook page has more likes than all but the Conservatives, who spend big bucks to buy bucketloads of approval monthly. Leader Nigel Farage has 224,000 twitter followers. This online activity is partly due to the attacks on, and exclusion of UKIP from the mainstream media. Kippers have found their natural medium, where news and views can be formulated by anyone and exchanged in quickfire fashion. It’s what Douglas Carswell refers to as iDemocracy.

This has had a beneficial effect on UKIP, not solely in terms of visibility, but also in terms of shaping policy direction. Memes rapidly emerge, and good ideas are noted by the party’s leadership for inclusion into policy discussion. This makes the party internally meritocratic; ordinary party members can be heard by senior party officials.

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oldbrew:

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Are the Austrians going to press ahead with this as a favour to anti-nuclear Germany, expecting some reward?

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/04/countdown-begins-for-hinkley-nuclear-power-challenge-as-decision-published.html

PEI report:

The European Commission’s decision on Hinkley Point was published in the Official Journal on Tuesday, and there now commences a two month period whereby potential objections from Austria, Luxembourg and other entities can be recorded. If the decision is contested it may prove a fatal blow to the UK’s nuclear power ambitions due to the lengthy delays that would entail.
Dr Dorte Fouquet, Partner, BBH Brussels who has been advising Vienna on the matter of their objection to Britain’s flagship nuclear power project on the basis of State Aid contravention, told an audience at Platts Power Summit in central
London today that if Vienna presses on with its challenge it could set back construction of the Hinkley Point C project for around eight years based on average case statistics.
She added that were it to go unchallenged “this decision would be practically the end…

View original 179 more words

Texas House votes to ban fracking bans

Posted: April 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Politics
Tags:

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer / Wikipedia]

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer/Wikipedia]


From the US State synonymous with oil: legislation to limit the power of ‘nimbyism’ in developing – or not – natural energy resources.

Texas has moved a step closer to pre-empting cities and counties from banning fracking. On April 17, by a vote of 122-18, the Texas House passed House Bill 40 recognizing the Texas Railroad Commission’s long-held authority to regulate oil and gas exploration and production, including hydraulic fracking, in the state.

The bill was a reaction to the Denton, Texas’ fracking ban. Denton’s ban, approved by city voters in November, was the first ever attempt by a Texas city to assert local power to ban oil and gas production. If HB 40 ultimately becomes law, the bill would ban any ordinance that prohibits an oil and gas operation. A companion bill awaits action in the Texas Senate.

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21st century seascape

21st century seascape


The New York Times reports the difficulties likely to face US power generation companies due to the pace of change demanded by the latest government rules and the ever-increasing reliance on part-time power sources scattered all over the place. Does this sound familiar at all?

WASHINGTON — As President Obama prepares to unveil his climate change regulations on coal-fired power plants, the nation’s electric utilities are preparing to transform the system that keeps the lights on in America. But some companies fear that in the process, the lights may go out.

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Dutch Parliament buildings [credit: Wikipedia]

Dutch Parliament buildings [credit: Wikipedia]


Any guesses how this one’s likely to go? The idea that humans can control temperature changes is about as absurd as the idea that they are the main cause of them, as large fluctuations in long-term climate records clearly show. The prospect of maximum temperatures being set by law is risible – but in theory it could happen.

Phys.org reports: Around 900 Dutch citizens on Tuesday took their government to court in a bid to force a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and take action against climate change.

“We want the Dutch government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels,” said Majan Missema, head of rights group Urgenda which is coordinating the legal action.

The group says the case is the first in Europe in which citizens attempt to hold a state responsible for its potentially devastating inaction and the first in the world in which human rights are used as a legal basis to protect citizens against climate change.

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hu-obama-pokerGuest Post from Ed Hoskins:

In November 2014, to much fanfare, President Obama concluded an agreement with China on Climate. This was as a precursor to the major Paris climate conference in December 2015, where it is anticipated that a definitive and binding Climate agreement should be reached.  These notes follow through that 2014 agreement as far as it concerns future likely CO2 emissions up until the year 2030.

Essentially the agreement said that whilst Western Nations would be expected to reduce CO2 emissions substantially, China, India and the rest of the developing world would continue its CO2 emissions growth until at least 2030 to ensure that continuing enhancement of the living standards of their populations, and that only then China would limit further growth of its CO2 emissions.

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Image

Image Copyright Roger Kidd under CC

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, 12 March 2015

The Government has managed to “keep the lights on”, but buying in extra ‘safety net’ capacity at short notice has brought costs for the taxpayer and the environment, concludes a Lords report out today.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee declares that the Government should not be congratulated on keeping the lights on. Its report, entitled ‘The Resilience of the Electricity System’, says it is not acceptable for an advanced economy, hugely dependent on electricity, to sail so close to the wind. It found that we have been forced to generate extra capacity in the system, using expensive measures with heavy reliance on fossil fuel generation. The report urges the Government to improve its long-term planning to avoid squeezing the capacity margin like this.

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The BBC is trumpeting a joint statement by David Cameron, Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg which spells economic doom for the UK. If ever there was a good reason to vote on May 7th for the only party committed to scrapping wind farm subsidy and nonsense ‘climate targets’, this is it.

blob-leaders

The three stooges write Britains economic suicide note.

The battle lines are drawn for me now. Energy policy is an important element in my campaign platform. Let’s take apart the statement’s key bullet points and assertions below the break.

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