Archive for the ‘government’ Category

City life in China

Maybe the courts could order the issue of free anti-pollution masks, pending any government ‘clean-up’ action.

The UK government may face legal action after seeking to delay publishing its plan to tackle air pollution until after the general election, says BBC News.

The courts had given ministers until 16:00 on Monday to set out draft measures to combat illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. A 2016 court ruling said existing measures proposed by the government did not meet the requirements of law.

The general election is scheduled to take place on 8 June.
(more…)

China’s BYD F3DM plug-in hybrid [image credit: Mariordo]


Scare stories about man-made global warming or even city pollution cut little ice with Chinese car buyers. The high cost of battery power and/or fear of running out of it on their journeys – range anxiety – seem more of a concern.

Automakers face a dilemma in China’s huge but crowded market: Regulators are pushing them to sell electric cars, but buyers want gas-guzzling SUVs, says Phys.org.

The industry is rattled by Beijing’s proposal to require that electric cars make up 8 percent of every brand’s production as soon as next year. Consumers are steering the other way: First-quarter SUV sales soared 21 percent from a year earlier to 2.4 million, while electric vehicle purchases sank 4.4 percent to just 55,929.

“It’s tough for someone with an EV to come and take away market share from SUVs,” said Ben Cavender of China Market Research Group.
(more…)

French anti-pollution car stickers


A colour-coded badge of honour or shame for every car under new French regulations. UK MoT certificates won’t do for city visitors.

UK drivers planning to go to France in the coming months are going to require new ‘clean air’ stickers or face on-the-spot fines for failing to display them, as CLM reports.

Paris, Lyon and Grenoble introduced the new Crit’Air scheme in January to tackle vehicle pollution in their city centres, with another 22 towns and cities said to be planning to follow suit over the next few years.

The scheme requires all vehicles to clearly display an air quality certificate windscreen sticker, or vignette, according to how much they pollute.
(more…)

Enthusiasm fading for renewables targets?


This could put a bit of sanity back into UK electricity generation policy, if it happens.

Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit, says the GWPF.
 
Government sources told The Daily Telegraph that the target, under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, is likely to be scrapped after Brexit.

The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020. Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency.

The UK is currently on course to miss the target and incur millions of pounds in fines from the European Union.
(more…)

Electric car technology


Why the motor industry needs these handouts is not obvious, unless of course the lack of public enthusiasm for electric cars means car makers expect a ‘sweetener’ before doing any related work.

The government has awarded £62 million in funding to low-emissions automotive projects, including the development of electric vehicle batteries to be be produced in the UK, as Silicon UK reports.

The funding was the sixth round to be awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), formed in 2013 to help develop the UK’s low-emissions vehicle manufacturing sector.
(more…)

.
.
Booker describes how fortunes are being wasted on so-called ‘green’ schemes, while achieving little except loss of reliability in the national electricity supply.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4392220/Green-initiatives-disasters-says-Christopher-Booker.html

Booker with a hard hitting piece about the Climate Change Act in the Mail:

What a parable for our times the great diesel scandal has been, as councils vie to see which can devise the heaviest taxes on nearly half the cars in Britain because they are powered by nasty, polluting diesel.

This week, it was announced many diesel drivers will soon have to pay fully £24 a day to drive into Central London, while 35 towns across the country are thinking of following suit. Already some councils charge up to £90 more for a permit to park a diesel car.

The roots of this debacle go back to the heyday of Tony Blair’s government, when his chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, became obsessed with the need to fight global warming.

Although he was an expert in ‘surface chemistry’ — roughly speaking, the study…

View original post 2,496 more words


An embarrassing U-turn by the promoters of pointless carbophobia as diesel cars get the role of public enemy.
H/T Daily Mail via GWPF

It’s less than 20 years since the Labour government – backed by the vociferous green lobby and most of the scientific community – urged motorists to abandon their nasty, carbon-emitting, petrol-engine cars and convert to diesel.

With hindsight, looking at the names of the politicians who pushed this revolution – John Prescott, Neil Kinnock (then EU Transport Commissioner), Gordon Brown – we should have known it would end in tears. But at the time we were assured that driving a diesel was good for the planet and buying one was doing a public service.
(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.
(more…)

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.
(more…)


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.
(more…)


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.
(more…)

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.
(more…)


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.
(more…)

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.
(more…)

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.
(more…)

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.
(more…)

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.
(more…)

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.
(more…)