Archive for the ‘Incompetence’ Category

Planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point


Wasting vast amounts of money and selling consumers short seems to be par for the course in UK electricity generation, as this Phys.org report highlights.

Britain made “grave strategic errors” in its handling of the Franco-Chinese Hinkley Point nuclear project, a critical parliamentary report concluded Wednesday.

The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee stressed that consumers will pay a high price for construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, which was given the green light by the government in September 2016.

The £19.6-billion ($26-billion, 22-billion-euro) project, which is to be built by French energy giant EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), is highly symbolic of the UK’s nuclear renewal.

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Not only do we have a bad policy, we have a badly implemented bad policy, as the GWPF explains.

Dr John Constable, GWPF’s Energy Editor, contributed a “Thunderer” column to The Times on the 27th of October 2017 commenting on Professor Helm’s recent study for the UK government on the cost of energy (“Energy customers foot the bill for failed climate policy”).

Subsidies to renewable electricity in the UK cost £5 billion a year at present and will rise to more than £8 billion a year by 2020, all drawn from the bills of domestic and business consumers.

One third of this hits households directly through their electricity bills — about 20 per cent of the bill in fact — while the other two thirds, paid in the first instance by businesses, is passed on to households in the general cost of living.

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cagwComputer modelling used a decade ago to predict how quickly global average temperatures would rise may have forecast too much warming, a study has found.

Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s authors told The Times: “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.”

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homeworkReproducibility is a cornerstone of the scientific method. It must be possible to replicate experiments or datasets which scientific claims rest on. Especially when billions of pounds of public money financing public policy decisions stemming from those scientific claims are at stake. Here’s just one reminder of certain climate scientist’s approach to this fundamental aspect of scientific method and ethics.

We’ve lost the numbers: CRU responds to FOIA requests

The world’s source for global temperature record admits it’s lost or destroyed all the original data that would allow a third party to construct a global temperature record. The destruction (or loss) of the data comes at a convenient time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia – permitting it to snub FoIA requests to see the data.

The CRU has refused to release the raw weather station data and its processing methods for inspection – except to hand-picked academics – for several years. Instead, it releases a processed version, in gridded form. NASA maintains its own (GISSTEMP), but the CRU Global Climate Dataset, is the most cited surface temperature record by the UN IPCC. So any errors in CRU cascade around the world, and become part of “the science”.

Professor Phil Jones, the activist-scientist who maintains the data set, has cited various reasons for refusing to release the raw data. Most famously, Jones told an Australian climate scientist in 2004:

Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.

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Excerpt from an open letter to the head of MIT:

Professor Reif of MIT says, “In 2016 alone, solar industry employment grew by 25 percent, while wind jobs grew 32%.” These numbers are highly misleading. In fact, they underscore how deficient these energy sources are as job creators.

Growing jobs by subsidy is easy, provided that one cares nothing for the far greater number of jobs destroyed by the additional taxation, energy price hikes or public borrowing necessary to pay for the subsidy. Several studieshave shown that the creation of one “green” job results in the loss of two to four jobs elsewhere in the economy. In Spain the estimated ratio was two jobs lost for each one created by renewable energy, prompting the government to finally end most renewable subsidies.

And yet, despite all those subsidies, wind and solar power generation expensively and unreliably account for 5.6% and 0.9% of total U.S. electricity production, respectively. On its own, electricity provides only a small fraction of total energy consumption, including transportation, industrial processes, heating and electricity generation, so these numbers actually exaggerate the contribution of wind and solar facilities to overall energy consumption.

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grenfell-firesequence

Report written by commenter ‘stickywicket’ at Spiked online

Everyone has been shocked to the core by the images of the inferno that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, killing 79 people. Most were horrified by the suggestion in the Times that the cause of the fire might have been penny-pinching on the type of cladding used in the recent refurbishment of the building. It seems unbelievable that they didn’t spend an extra £5,000 for fire resistant cladding.

This is probably not the whole story. The revelation that a further 70+ tower blocks have failed fire safety tests tells us that there is an endemic problem. We don’t know the precise reasons for the fire yet, but we should certainly look at the influence of slavish devotion to green regulations.

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Anyone who fondly imagines that wind and solar power are about to become as cheap as chips in some glorious renewable future, should read this tale of Australian woe.

STOP THESE THINGS

No way back from here: Malcolm muddles & Frydenberg fudges.

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Australia’s energy crisis is a self-inflicted calamity with no apparent end in sight.

The PM, Malcolm Turnbull seems intent on protecting his son, Alex’s investment in Australia’s most notorious wind power outfit, Infigen (see our post here).

While his gormless Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg behaves like a punch-drunk boxer, who cannot land a punch and with absolutely no idea what’s going on around him.

Into that mix strides Alan Finkel; a boffin tasked with trying to rescue Australia’s power grid from imminent collapse, the consequence of loading it up with intermittent, chaotic and erratic wind and solar power.

Some see Finkel as the Great White Hope.

STT will reserve its judgement on that matter: bright and shiny ideas are one thing, implementing them over a pack of rabid, salivating rent-seekers out to prevent you from doing so is…

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josh-aerosols_650

Via GWPF, an abstract from a brilliant essay by the evergreen Clive James.

When you tell people once too often that the missing extra heat is hiding in the ocean, they will switch over to watch Game of Thrones, where the dialogue is less ridiculous and all the threats come true. The proponents of man-made climate catastrophe asked us for so many leaps of faith that they were bound to run out of credibility in the end.

Now that they finally seem to be doing so, it could be a good time for those of us who have never been convinced by all those urgent warnings to start warning each other that we might be making a comparably senseless tactical error if we expect the elastic cause of the catastrophists, and all of its exponents, to go away in a hurry.

I speak as one who knows nothing about the mathematics involved in modelling non-linear systems. But I do know quite a lot about the mass media, and far too much about the abuse of language. So I feel qualified to advise against any triumphalist urge to compare the apparently imminent disintegration of the alarmist cause to the collapse of a house of cards. Devotees of that fond idea haven’t thought hard enough about their metaphor. A house of cards collapses only with a sigh, and when it has finished collapsing all the cards are still there.
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Airport chaos for BA passengers


BA moves in mysterious ways, its blunders to perform – but with dire results for a lot of unlucky customers.

BA chief executive Alex Cruz says the airline’s flight disruptions had nothing to do with cutting costs but were caused by a power surge that “only lasted a few minutes”, reports BBC News via the GWPF.

BA chief executive Alex Cruz says he will not resign and that flight disruption had nothing to do with cutting costs.

He told the BBC a power surge, had “only lasted a few minutes”, but the back-up system had not worked properly.

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_____Image Credit: Matt.______

The UK Labour party has a leak, and its election manifesto has escaped into the wild. Here’s what it says about energy and climate.

Sustainable Energy

Labour’s energy policy is built on three simple principles:

• To ensure security of energy supply and ‘keep the lights on’

• To ensure energy costs are affordable for consumers and businesses

• To ensure we meet our climate change targets and transition to a low carbon economy

The UK energy system is outdated, expensive and polluting. Privatisation has failed to deliver an energy system that delivers for people, businesses or our environment.

One-in-ten households are in fuel poverty, yet according to the Competition Markets Authority customers are overcharged an enormous £2 billion every year.

Labour understands that many people don’t have time to shop around, they just want reliable and affordable energy. So the next Labour Government will:

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


H/T GWPF

Existing not-so-smart meters could be a big problem in the UK when a new system is introduced later this year, since they can’t handle a change of supplier.

Six million smart electricity and gas meters installed in homes since 2012 may have to be replaced to make them work with a new communications network which was switched on in November but is still not being used, Paul Lewis Money reports.

Despite that, energy companies are busy installing more of them to try to meet a government target to get one in every home by the end of 2020.
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You couldn’t make it up. Insisting on spending a fortune when much cheaper and better options are available makes no sense, but climate obsessives plough on regardless.

STOP THESE THINGS

If what Australia’s political brains trust has done to its once reliable and affordable power supply had been done by external agents, it would have been branded an act of terrorism.

The so-called ‘wind power capital’ of Australia, South Australia has become an international laughing stock: statewide blackouts, routine load shedding and rocketing power prices might be enough, you would think, to make its Labor government see sense.

Far from it, it is now looking to spend $150 million on a giant battery that will return power to the grid and ‘power’ SA for all of four minutes and to set up somewhere between 200 and 250 MW of diesel generation capacity to keep the lights on, whenever the wind stops blowing.

The absurdity of throwing $550 million at a perfectly avoidable problem, when Jay Weatherill had the option of paying a mere $30 million to Alinta to keep its…

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Electricity usage - one of these may cause a shock.

Electricity usage – one of these may cause a shock.

A woman has spoken of her surprise when her smart meter quoted thousands of pounds for a day’s usage of gas and electricity, due to a system error, reports BBC News.

Jane Allen was one of many confused customers who posted the strange readings from their SSE smart meters on social media. One customer’s display showed more than £30,000 for a single day.

SSE apologised and said no customers would be charged “the extra amounts resulting from errors”.

Smart meters send information on energy usage back to the supplier. They let the customer know how much electricity or gas they are consuming each day – and how much it’s costing them – in real time.

But for some customers, the readings have been somewhat higher than usual over the past week.
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South Australia has found out the hard way that relying too much on wind turbines is bad news for everyone, including the politicians who ordered it.

STOP THESE THINGS

jay weatherill Jay Weatherill’s political future all but blacked-out.

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While the power pricing and supply calamity that is South Australia is down to the subsidies awarded to wind power under the Federal government’s Large-Scale RET, the state Labor government has done plenty to create the unfolding disaster and nothing to mitigate it.

It’s vapid Premier, Jay Weatherill must know that, as a wind power champion, he’s yesterday’s ‘hero’ and, as a so-called political leader, today’s fool.

Third world beckons as Weatherill plays the fool
The Australian
Nick Cater
14 February 2017

It would be wrong to give Mike Rann and Jay Weatherill all the credit for turning South Australia into wackadoodle windmill world. We should recognise the contribution of those who egged the premiers on, like Al Gore, auteur of An Inconvenient Truth. When it came to showing leadership on renewable energy, said Gore, South Australia was “one of best examples…

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Once again the ‘climate change’ card is played by authorities to excuse their own failings.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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cflagfloodreport_12monthson

It is just over a year since Storm Desmond brought devastating floods to Carlisle.

Soon after the Carlisle Flood Action Group was formed, and they have now published a very full and highly technical account of the floods.

This is the first part of the Executive Summary:

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Although Storm Desmond was severe by any account (and the report later accepts that it may have been exacerbated by global warming), the real problem was lack of river maintenance and poor management. This of course is a rerun of the Somerset floods in 2014.

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Credit: Scottish Power

Credit: Scottish Power


When does the UK climate fiasco budget run out? Not any time soon it seems, unless the Treasury squeezes out mad and/or bad ideas like unilateral CCS projects.
H/T GWPF

The UK government spent £100m on a competition to promote carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes but it all fell apart. This was even after £68m had been spent on a previous competition for CCS, which it cancelled in 2011.

NAO’s report finds that the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s plan to use a second competition to develop and deploy carbon capture and storage was ambitious, but ultimately, unsuccessful when the Treasury pulled the rug away because of uncertainty over costs.
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Replace reliable power with unreliable power and – guess what – you get problems. The more you do it, the bigger the problems become. Who knew?

STOP THESE THINGS

sa-blackout-adelaide Wind powered capital: Adelaide 28.9.16

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While STT was taking a well earned summer break, South Australians found themselves, yet again, groping around in the dark.

In the lead up to Christmas, South Australians living on its West Coast in places like Ceduna were left powerless for close to 3 days, said to be the result of storm damage to transmission lines and equipment.

Immediately after Christmas, huge swathes of South Australia found themselves without power for days on end.  We’ll start with a roundup from the ABC.

SA storms: Thousands still without power as businesses suffer losses in blackout
ABC
29 Dec 2016

Thousands of South Australian properties remain without power after a day of wild storms, as businesses count the costs of blackouts and lost trade.

Crews were continuing to repair widespread damage to the electricity distribution network caused by the torrential storm that hit South Australia late…

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So where does this obvious nonsense come from?

TYV says: ‘Installed capacity is not the same as production. Why is that so incredibly hard to understand for journalists?’

Because such realities would ruin their story perhaps? Either that or they are not up to their jobs. Maybe they aren’t up to the job anyway if they are having to resort to distortion of facts.

Trust, yet verify

The journalists of our beloved Flemish media seem to go ballistic lately. Yesterday there was the item in the VTM news about the current “drought” that was “direct result of climate change”. Today the VRT news felt it had to compete with that and went full stupid in an article with the sensational title:

Flemish windmills have almost the same capacity as a nuclear reactor

vrt news 20161228 windmil

Apparently the onshore windmills in Flandres have a total capacity of 920 MW, which is only slightly below the capacity of (some of) our nuclear turbines (at somewhat above 1,000 MW).

Hurraaaah!!!

I am afraid that I have to spoil that party…

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Credit: telegraph.co.uk

Credit: telegraph.co.uk


Penalising coal and gas generation has led to reliance in emergency on things like diesel generators, hardly what was intended by so-called ‘green’ policies as MPs warn the UK grid system is edging ever nearer to breaking point. Words like ‘dangerous’ and ‘desperate’ are being used.
H/T GWPF / Daily Telegraph

Electricity bills could go up by £30 each year by 2020 and power “rationed” due to “mismanagement” of the UK’s electricity networks and the increasing cost of emergency supplies, MPs have warned.

The British Infrastructure Group, led by former Conservative minister Grant Shapps, warned lights could go out across the country next winter because there is not enough spare capacity in the system to cope with higher demand.

There is just 0.1 per cent spare electricity in the current system, a dangerously small amount of headroom in case of emergencies over the winter months, the report warned.

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The European Union’s proposals for revising its renewable energy policies are greenwashing and don’t solve the serious flaws, say environmental groups.

The EU gets 65 per cent of its renewable energy from biofuels – mainly wood – but it is failing to ensure this bioenergy comes from sustainable sources, and results in less emissions than burning fossil fuels. Its policies in some cases are leading to deforestation, biodiversity loss and putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than burning coal.

“Burning forest biomass on an industrial scale for power and heating has proved disastrous,” says Linde Zuidema, bioenergy campaigner for forest protection group Fern. “The evidence that its growing use will increase emissions and destroy forests in Europe and elsewhere is overwhelming.”

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