Archive for the ‘government’ Category

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Conspiracy, mass delusion or a bit of both? Whatever it is, it’s not doing electricity consumers any favours.
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There is a conspiracy of silence about wind power costs, says Andrew Montford @ Net Zero Watch.

I know, I do tend to be a bit repetitive about the cost of wind power.

How many times have I explained that the data is completely clear: that it’s expensive; and that if it’s getting any cheaper, it’s only doing so very slowly. In fact, for onshore wind the trend is clearly upwards.

My determination on the subject is prompted by the refusal of anyone in official circles to accept the facts.

To a man (and woman) they are absolutely resolute in their insistence that wind is staggeringly cheap because windfarms have agreed staggeringly low-priced “strike prices” for power. And because industry bodies and Whitehall says it is.

The fact that nobody has ever delivered power at such a price cuts no mustard with these people.

Nor does the observation that windfarm developers are all saying that new construction will not go ahead without further handouts.

And of course, if you point to the hard data in windfarm financial accounts, they really, really do not want to know at all.

Continued here.

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The same question can be asked of wind turbines and old lithium-based batteries. Experts warn of a waste mountain by 2050.
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While they are being promoted around the world as a crucial weapon in reducing carbon emissions, solar panels only have a lifespan of up to 25 years, says BBC News.

Experts say billions of panels will eventually all need to be disposed of and replaced.

“The world has installed more than one terawatt of solar capacity. Ordinary solar panels have a capacity of about 400W, so if you count both rooftops and solar farms, there could be as many as 2.5 billion solar panels,” says Dr Rong Deng, an expert in solar panel recycling at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

According to the British government, there are tens of millions of solar panels in the UK. But the specialist infrastructure to scrap and recycle them is lacking.


Air source heat pump

Does the phrase ‘climate targets’ ring any bells? This article says: ‘Germans are in open revolt against the ‘heat hammer’ – Britain must take note’. All should be aware there are more unwelcome policies like that in the pipeline.
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Ah Germany, land of economic resilience, political consensus, low debt, social compliance, manufacturing prowess, beer gardens and lederhosen.

But for how much longer? – asks Jeremy Warner @ The Telegraph.

Alone among G7 advanced economies, Germany has recently slipped into recession, and hard though it may be to believe, the Government is in some danger of being toppled by, of all things, a mass revolt against heat pumps.


Leaving aside all discussion of whether ‘the climate’ is under any sort of human control, Lord Frost forecasts national economic pain and asks: where are the viable electricity storage options?
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Lord David Frost, the former Brexit minister has voiced significant concerns regarding the nation’s chosen path towards achieving net zero emissions, reports Energy Live News.

In a speech delivered at the Global Warming Policy Foundation to an audience in Central London last night, Lord Frost expressed doubts about the viability and potential damage associated with the current approach.

Lord Frost said: “I am going to argue that the route we have chosen to deliver net zero is inevitably wasteful and damaging; that it is totally implausible that it will boost growth and much more likely that it will reduce it; that as a result governments are pursuing completely incompatible political and economic objectives, but will not be able to do so forever; that when the crunch comes they may well double down on further economically damaging measures in order to meet the goal; and, therefore, finally, that people like me must prepare for that moment when we will need to try to get onto a more rational path with a rethink of net zero methods and, almost certainly, timetable.”


CO2 is not pollution

France is scared of the vital trace gas carbon dioxide, or so its government leads us to believe.
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France has banned domestic short-haul flights where train alternatives exist, in a bid to cut carbon emissions, reports BBC News.

The law came into force two years after lawmakers had voted to end routes where the same journey could be made by train in under two-and-a-half hours.

The ban all but rules out air travel between Paris and cities including Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, while connecting flights are unaffected.

Critics have described the latest measures as “symbolic bans”.


Photosynthesis: nature requires carbon dioxide

The Environmental Protection Agency will set limits on power plants’ emissions, forcing them to ‘clean up’ (as they erroneously describe it) or shut down. But carbon capture is energy-intensive and expensive, so the idea doesn’t really work – hence the very low or often non-existent level of adoption even in climate-obsessed countries, and burning hydrogen has its own scientifically proven pollution issues, contrary to popular belief.
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The Biden administration unveiled a sweeping plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power industry on Thursday, one of the biggest steps so far in its effort to decarbonise the American economy to fight climate change, says Climate Home News.

The proposal would limit the amount of carbon dioxide that power plants, which are the source of more than a quarter of U.S. emissions, can send into the atmosphere, putting the industry on a years-long course to install billions of dollars of new equipment or shut down.

Environmental groups and scientists have long argued that such steps are crucial to curb global warming, but fossil-fuel-producing states argue that they represent government overreach and threaten to destabilise the electric grid.

The Environmental Protection Agency projects the plan would cut carbon emissions from coal plants and new gas plants by 617 million tonnes between 2028 and 2042.

That’s around 44m tonnes a year, about the same as the nation of Denmark pumps out.

CCS or hydrogen

The proposal sets standards that would push companies to install carbon capture equipment that can siphon the carbon dioxide from a power plant’s smokestack before it reaches the atmosphere, or use super-low-emissions hydrogen as a fuel.

“EPA’s proposal relies on proven, readily available technologies to limit carbon pollution and seizes the momentum already underway in the power sector to move toward a cleaner future,” Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

Full article here.
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Talkshop comment: ‘carbon pollution’ is a misnomer.

Green dreamland

Quote: ‘The system was built when just a few fossil fuel power plants were requesting a connection each year, but now there are 1,100 projects in the queue’. The climate goldrush is stalling.
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Billions of pounds’ worth of green energy projects are on hold because they cannot plug into the UK’s electricity system, BBC research shows.

Some new solar and wind sites are waiting up to 10 to 15 years to be connected because of a lack of capacity in the system – known as the “grid”.

Renewable energy companies worry it could threaten UK climate targets.

National Grid, which manages the system, acknowledges the problem but says fundamental reform is needed.


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All the arguments here have been expressed elsewhere – usually by climate sceptics – many times, but now the national press is more willing to let the cat out of the bag. The basic problem for renewables is energy storage, or lack of it and as the Telegraph article says, ‘The necessary miracle doesn’t exist’.
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Many governments in the Western world have committed to “net zero” emissions of carbon in the near future, says The Telegraph.

The US and UK both say they will deliver by 2050. It’s widely believed that wind and solar power can achieve this.

This belief has led the US and British governments, among others, to promote and heavily subsidise wind and solar.

These plans have a single, fatal flaw: they are reliant on the pipe-dream that there is some affordable way to store surplus electricity at scale.


One estimate reckons 1 in every 20 UK bridges is ‘substandard’. Road surfaces and tyre wear must also be affected. More unintended consequences of climate obsessions and so-called green policies.
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Councils should check the weight limits on bridges to ensure they don’t collapse with heavier electric cars travelling across them, ministers have suggested.

The news comes after concerns were raised that multi-storey car parks might collapse if too many electric vehicles (EVs), which can weigh as much as 33 per cent more than traditional petrol cars, are parked on them, says The Telegraph.

Tory MP Greg Knight asked in the Commons whether Transport Secretary Mark Harper or other Cabinet colleagues might assess the “adequacy of the strength of multi-storey car parks and bridges at safely bearing the additional weight of electric vehicles”.


Expensive heating [image credit: the Guardian]

Because the government can claim, rightly or not, that they’re cheaper to run than gas boilers? Like electric cars, heat pumps are best suited (if at all) for financial and other reasons to certain categories of property dweller, and the rest…not so much.
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An electric heating supplier has criticised the UK’s obsession with heat pumps when it comes to meeting net zero targets, says PropertyWire.

The government offers a £5,000 grant towards installing heat pumps, and so far just shy of 10,000 have been handed out since the scheme launched last year.

Keith Bastian, chief executive of electric heating company Fischer Future Heat, said installing 600,000 a year by 2028 is ‘optimistic at best’.


Sitka spruce forestry in Scotland

Another avoidable green fiasco in the name of climate obsession.
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Millions of pounds are being spent carpeting thousands of acres of land with conifers on the basis they will lock up CO2 from the atmosphere.

But a new report shows that many of the forests springing up around the country likely add to the risk of climate change, says the Sunday Post.

Vast tracts of peaty soil are being dug up and drained in order to plant trees, unleashing a torrent of stored carbon [dioxide] into the environment.


Is it really the Inflation Acceleration Act? Subsidies to offset other subsidies don’t save anyone money. Climate groupthink strikes again.

PA Pundits International

Austin passes subsidies for gas power to counter wind-power subsidies that have destabilized the state electric grid.

We all remember the great Texas power outages a couple of years back, and Texans more than most. That doesn’t mean their elected representatives are learning the right lessons, as the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal notes.

What a mess. Renewable subsidies have distorted and destabilized the Texas electric grid, which resulted in a week-long power outage during the February 2021 freeze. To prevent more blackouts, Republicans in the Lone Star State now plan to subsidize gas power plants.

The Texas Senate last week passed putative energy reforms to “level the playing field,” as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick put it. Texans will now spend tens of billions of dollars to bolster natural-gas plants that provide reliable power but can’t make money because of competition from…

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Well-known London prison

Cue intensified attempts to reach so-called climate targets at inevitably vast public expense. An exercise in futility.
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Grant Shapps, the Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary has revealed during a meeting of the Environment and Climate Change Committee that he faces the risk of being sent to prison for contempt of court if he fails to deliver on the government’s net zero targets, says Energy Live News.

Shapps, who was asked about the current arrangements that support his role in achieving these targets, stated that he has the greatest incentive among his government colleagues and anyone globally to reach these exacting goals.


This is where choosing carbon dioxide obsession over proper understanding of Earth’s complex and dynamic climate could be leading the unwary.
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While the latest IMF forecasts were mostly lost in the din surrounding the start of earnings season, besides the now standard cuts to global growth forecasts, there was one standout item, says Zero Hedge (via

As National Bank of Canada points out, the IMF’s projections forecast U.S. net debt to rise from 95% of GDP in 2023 to 110% by 2028, which actually is a conservative estimate when comparing a similar, if even more concerning longer-term forecast from the Congressional Budget Office, which effectively projects hyperinflation.

But while the fate of US debt/GDP in 2050 may feel like someone else’s problem to most Americans, NBC warns that a far more pressing issue may emerge as soon as a decade from today.

That’s because unless Washington raises taxes more or slashes benefits (an unlikely outcome), the Social Security fund will hit net zero – i.e., will be exhausted – in just 10 years.

Read more here.

Hornsea Offshore Wind Project, Yorkshire, England
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This puts a whole new slant on claims of wind power boosting energy security.
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Russia has a programme to sabotage wind farms and communication cables in the North Sea, according to new allegations, says BBC News.

The details come from a joint investigation by public broadcasters in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

It says Russia has a fleet of vessels disguised as fishing trawlers and research vessels in the North Sea.

They carry underwater surveillance equipment and are mapping key sites for possible sabotage.


Subsidising net zero type so-called climate policies in the US is not only enormously expensive but globally disruptive as well, it seems. Climate protection becoming climate protectionism?
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Joe Biden’s flagship green energy policy risks plunging the world into the economic “dark ages”, Jeremy Hunt has warned.

The Chancellor urged world leaders not to put up trade barriers after the US President passed a $369bn package of subsidies to support climate and energy businesses, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Mr Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act has drawn an estimated $200bn in investment since it was passed last year, according to estimates from the Financial Times, and both the EU and Britain have been forced to draw up responses of their own.

It has sparked fears of a new era of protectionism, where economies are closely managed through tariffs and subsidies.


Isar nuclear power site, Bavaria

Arm-waving propaganda about tiny amounts of ‘carbon’, i.e. vital carbon dioxide gas, in the atmosphere has led to this decision. One obvious problem being that wind and solar energy can’t be stockpiled, or accessed on demand, hence Germany’s newly increased dependence on coal power for its electricity.
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Germany became only the third European country to shut off its nuclear power supply on Saturday when its final three reactors were severed from the grid for good, says The Daily Telegraph.

The end of German nuclear energy, a process begun by former chancellor Angela Merkel after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, came at the same time as the country seeks to wean itself off fossil fuels and manage an energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

A small crowd of pro-nuclear demonstrators turned out in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday to protest the end of Germany’s nuclear era.

On the rain-drenched Pariser Platz, they watched a pantomime in which the sun and wind struggled to defeat men dressed as coal and gas until nuclear power came to the rescue.


Domestic Air Source Heat Pump [image credit: UK Alternative Energy]

A climate-obsessed government wasting money on a ‘wretched’ subsidised scheme while chasing self-imposed targets – heard it before?
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The government offered vouchers to help people pay to replace boilers with heat pumps but critics say most people can’t afford them “subsidised or not”, reports Sky News.

“It does not help people keep bills low. It takes from the poor to give to the wealthy and it is an embarrassment of a policy.”

The figures have cast doubt on the government’s target of 600,000 installations of heat pumps per year by 2028.


More target mania. The way things are going, or not going, the climate-obsessed UK government won’t be able to hurt the national economy with expensive and unreliable electricity as fast as planned.
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With some offshore wind projects waiting years in the pipeline, a report commissioned by the government has called for an urgent upgrade to the UK’s National Grid in order to reach the 2030 target of installing 50GW of wind power, says Sky News.

The UK will miss a key target to install 50 gigawatts (GW) of wind power by the end of the decade unless major changes are made to the grid, according to a government-commissioned report.

The 50GW target is at the heart of the government’s plans to phase out more polluting types of electricity generation by 2035, while also boosting energy security.

Tim Pick, who was appointed last year as an “offshore wind champion” to independently advise government and industry on the development of the UK’s offshore wind sector, said installing 40GW of wind power by 2030 “may be achievable” – but this falls short of the target.

Sky News has previously reported that wind generators already make more electricity than the grid can handle because of a lack of cables to transmit electricity from the north to the south of the UK.

This has resulted in British consumers paying hundreds of millions of pounds to turn wind power off, and gas generators on, closer to the source of demand.

The independent report warns this is one of the major limiting factors to industry progress.

Full article here.

Like many other countries, they’ve always been playing in the pie-in-the-sky league on climate policy, built on vague untestable conjectures and unreliable climate models.
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Key climate schemes trumpeted as part of the government’s net zero strategy are likely to fail, ministers were told before last week’s “green day” announcements, says The Times (via No2NuclearPower).

A leaked document by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reveals that officials told ministers they were not confident that key policies announced on Thursday — including tree planting, peat restoration and recycling targets — were realistic.

The ten-page advisory document — marked “not public facing” — was produced on February 20 for Grant Shapps, the energy security and net zero secretary.

It assessed the “delivery risk” and “delivery confidence” of each of the net zero measures proposed by Defra, which is run by Thérèse Coffey, the environment secretary. Each was assessed with a traffic-light scale of green, amber and red.

Of 44 policies, 21 were marked red or red/amber, indicating they will be hard to achieve.