Posts Tagged ‘energy policy’

Planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point


Another headache to add to the list for the UK’s struggling nuclear power ambitions, at a time when its coal-fired plants are closing fast.

China General Nuclear Power partnered with EDF to help fund a third of the £20bn cost of the nuclear power plant being built in Somerset, says Energy Live News.

A state-owned Chinese company which is funding part of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK has been placed on a US export blacklist.

The US Department of Commerce has placed China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) to its “entity list”, which effectively blocks US companies from selling products and services to the firm without written approval.

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Misfits


It had to happen, didn’t it? ‘Project Fear’ merchants love to cite climate change and Brexit, so for them combining the two into yet another disaster rant is better still. Cue non-bendy bananas and missed emissions targets.
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Boris Johnson’s leadership increases the likelihood of a hard exit from the EU, shattering the bloc’s solidarity and empowering a radical deregulation agenda, says Climate Home News.

The new UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, seems intent on leaving the EU with or without a deal on 31 October. The repercussions of a no-deal Brexit for the UK’s domestic climate policy – and its global climate leadership – could be disastrous.

For three decades, the UK has played a central role within the EU, consistently aligning itself with the green grouping of member states.

It contributed more than its fair share of the EU’s climate efforts, is penciled in for a significantly above-average contribution to the EU’s Paris Agreement pledge, and it has decarbonized faster than any other member state.

In a no-deal Brexit, the obvious first order impact is that the UK’s influence over the EU’s climate policy would end, and its successes at cutting emissions would no longer count to the bloc’s targets.

The loss of the UK’s influence at the table will be a major blow to European climate solidarity. It will undercut the EU’s future climate ambition by tilting the balance of power towards less ambitious member states – the likes of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This will damage the ability of the EU to project global leadership.

Even if the EU may be weakened, the UK government has been adamant that its climate diplomacy will fill the gap. It recently committed to reach “net zero” emissions by 2050, and to hosting Cop26 UN climate talks at the end of 2020.

However, in an ultra-hard Brexit, the one now on the table, the lofty ambition of UK leadership – like so much else associated with post-Brexit Britain – may be revealed as wishful thinking.

We must not forget the fantasy at the heart of Brexit – that the EU is rife with “Brussels bureaucrats” hell bent on regulating everything from the transport of smoked kippers to the bendiness of bananas.

Post-Brexit Britain, we have been reassured, is poised to “take back control” by casting off these pesky regulations.

Full article here.

Map of the Manchester Ship Canal (= blue line)
[click on map to enlarge]


H/T TechXplore

Sounds expensive. But as Liverpool is near the start of the Manchester Ship Canal any barrage should have low impact on shipping, in theory at least. As far as a ‘climate emergency’ is concerned, I’ve lived near the Mersey for a long time and haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary with the weather – so far at least 😐

Liverpool has declared a climate emergency, says The Conversation.

The mayors of both the city itself and the surrounding “city region” have recognised the emergency, and both have suggested that a tidal barrage on the River Mersey could form part of the solution.

And on a recent visit to the city, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party would support the £3.5 billion project.

Two years ago, I teamed up with colleagues at the National Oceanography Centre and University of Liverpool to look at how to realise the River Mersey’s energy potential: we concluded that a tidal power station could be part of the solution.

So what actually is a “tidal barrage”, and why do we think the Mersey is so suitable?

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This study is probably stating the obvious, but doing so in a bit more detail than some other less formal assessments. Being a study, they can’t say anyone’s climate ‘pledge’ was not worth the paper it was written on, because that wouldn’t be polite. Instead they question ‘ambition’ and use phrases like ‘at worst, grossly ineffective’. But we get the idea. Whether the whole Paris thing is an exercise in futility anyway is another discussion.

Some countries’ Paris Climate Agreement pledges may not be as ambitious as they appear, a new study has found.

The Paris Agreement takes a bottom-up approach to tackling climate change, with countries submitting pledges in the form of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to greenhouse emissions, says EurekAlert.

However, writing today in Environmental Research Letters, researchers from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain, reveal a lack of consistency and transparency between the various commitments.

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New Prime Minister Boris Johnson hasn’t had to wait long for critics of his approach to energy and climate to open fire.

In his first session as PM in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson made two notable statements yesterday, writes Ben Pile @ The Conservative Woman.

First, he declared that the Conservative Party is the party of democracy, and that as such it will defend the result of the referendum.

Second, he reaffirmed his commitment to the Net Zero 2050 target – the policy that Theresa May had stolen from his leadership campaign to secure her own ‘legacy’. Only one of those statements can be correct.

Many believe that the Net Zero 2050 (NZ2050) target lacks a democratic mandate.

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While many richer countries play fake climate games with their so-called ‘virtue signalling’ energy policies, the not-so-well-off majority try to get more access to those same power sources which are so necessary for better living conditions, e.g. air conditioning in hotter countries, and for general prosperity and health: more schools, hospitals, roads and all the rest.

Global power consumption will more than double over the next 30 years, says The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

Global oil and gas demand will respectively surge 22% and 66% from 2020 to 2050. There’s an unimaginable urbanization boom occurring around the world that means more energy use.

We, of course, don’t see much of it here in the West, but global cities swell in population by some 80 million people every year: e.g., the rise of the “megacity” with 10 million residents.

Basically all population growth in the decades ahead will take place in urban areas, all of which will be in the still developing nations (non-OECD), where poverty and insufficient access to energy is far more rampant than our worst nightmares could ever imagine.

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Residential solar panels in Germany.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/ Sideka Solartechnik


The German energy crunch looms in the next few years, not unlike some other over-committed renewables enthusiasts, for example Britain. European countries don’t seem to see or admit the potential problem of relying on each other for imports. Somebody has to have an excess of power for that to work, but as more countries favour renewables over power stations the availability of on-demand electricity must inevitably decline.

H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany, a poster child for renewable energy, is renouncing nuclear and coal.

The problem is, say many power producers and grid operators, it may struggle to keep the lights on.

The country, the biggest electricity market in the European Union, is abandoning nuclear power by 2022 due to safety concerns compounded by the Fukushima disaster and phasing out coal plants over the next 19 years to combat climate change.

In the next three years alone conventional energy capacity is expected to fall by a fifth, leaving it short of the country’s peak power demand.

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Credit: chicagotribune.com


As the energy policies of various countries sink ever further into the realms of fantasy over the imagined role of minor trace gases in the atmosphere, what will the US do – or not do?

The current unilateral US decarbonization proposals by various Democrats promoting the Green New Deal (GND) climate schemes suffer from two particularly crucial assumptions that they have made, says Alan Carlin.

One is the extremely doubtful assumption that CO2 levels determine temperatures as opposed to temperatures determining CO2 levels. The assumption being made is that it is the atmospheric CO2 level that is the critical determinant of temperatures.

If this is wrong, as I believe it is, any dollar spent on decarbonization will provide no benefits in terms of global temperatures.

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Turning airy-fairy wishes into legal requirements, with little or no analysis of the likely consequences, is a very strange way to run a country – to say the least. The government’s former ‘fracking tsar’ is not impressed, and neither is the House of Lords. It appears that most members of Parliament neither know nor care what the implications might be for the national economy, but just expect people to pay a heck of a lot for very little without question.

As Theresa May takes to the G20 stage in Japan to urge her fellow leaders to follow the UK’s moral leadership on climate change, she should hope that their parting gift is, politely, to ignore her (from The Times via the GWPF).

As impressive as the target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 sounds, other countries will recognise the capacity it has to destroy UK plc for generations to come.

The lack of scrutiny of what would be the most expensive and socially disruptive public policy since the Second World War is truly remarkable.

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How feeble are wind and solar power in the big energy picture i.e. not just electricity production? It could be much worse than we/you thought, but many policymakers don’t seem to know – or don’t want to know – about such realities.

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Those who believe in the existence of adequate non-fossil alternatives essential to achieve a “carbon-neutral” U.S. — much less global — energy balance anytime soon, or at any cost, are dreadfully misguided.

Nevertheless, there are very understandable reasons why such delusions continue to persist.

One reason behind this facetious fantasy has resulted from massively funded “renewable energy” industry subsidy-seeking propaganda campaigns.

Another is due to great successes of ideological anti-fossil activists in conflating carbon dioxide emissions with “climate pollution,” polar bear perils, and virtually any other “crisis” de jour.

A third, and one that I find particularly disturbing, is because even information sources we should expect to trust, continue to perpetuate a disingenuous and dangerous myth that non-fossil “alternatives” can meet any truly significant U.S. energy needs.

In preparing for this article, I checked data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) with a very…

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Another risible example of the climate ‘crusade’ to nowhere. Good luck to NY State’s energy guinea pigs in trying to keep the lights on without bankrupting themselves, all for no useful result.

PA Pundits - International

By Craig Rucker ~

The New York State Legislature just passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law. This measure contains new mandates for the state to eliminate net carbon emissions in the next thirty years, by 2050, equal to just 15 percent of the 1990 levels. By 2040, just two decades from now, 100 percent of the state’s electricity generation is supposed to come from “renewable” resources, such solar and wind power.

The new law also authorizes numerous state agencies to issue regulations to achieve greenhouse gas emission limits that govern nearly every aspect of the private economy, including energy, health, housing, transportation, agriculture, economic development, and utilities. And, the new climate law also must be considered when agencies issue any permits, contracts, licenses “and other administrative approvals and decisions.”

Climate change policy now governs everything in…

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Spurious virtue signalling trumps economics and even sanity in UK politics it seems. Belief in the empty box that is man-made climate change will be a massive and futile financial burden to the public. Our leaders are so confused, or keen to confuse everyone else, that they even equate the vital trace gas carbon dioxide with pollution.

Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change, reports BBC News.

Prime Minister Theresa May said reducing pollution would also benefit public health and cut NHS costs.

Britain is the first major nation to propose this target – and it has been widely praised by green groups.

But some say the phase-out is too late to protect the climate, and others fear that the task is impossible.

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They will just rattle the begging bowl in front of gullible leaders even more frantically.
H/T Climate Change Dispatch

In recent weeks, observers of the energy scene have been wondering if the long honeymoon of the renewables industry might finally be over.

They’re right, says Andrew Montford.

EU renewables capacity additions have been falling for years, and have now declined to less than half of their 2010 peak.

Meanwhile, a wave of insolvencies is sweeping the wind industry as a result of the sharp scaling back of subsidies.

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Sounds like the politics of the lunatic asylum, but here we are staring down the barrel of this nonsense on stilts. At the risk of endless repetition, we have to keep pointing out that most so-called greenhouse gas is not CO2 but water vapour, which can’t be made to vanish by government policies no matter how much ridiculous expense they try to insist on.

Britain’s chancellor Philip Hammond has warned Theresa May that her plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 will cost the UK over £1tn, reports The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

In a letter to the prime minister seen by the Financial Times, the chancellor said the cost meant that less money would be available for schools, police, hospitals and other areas of public spending.

He also warned that the target would render some industries “economically uncompetitive” without huge government subsidies.

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Expensive, unreliable, ineffective, hard or impossible to recycle – what was the point of large-scale renewables again?

STOP THESE THINGS

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target reads like a National suicide note, but the land of Oz is no orphan in that regard. If the enemies of state were looking for insidious, all-pervasive policy perfectly designed to wreck an economy from within (while barely raising a murmur amongst the proles), they need look no further than ratcheting up subsidies, mandates and targets for intermittent and unreliable wind and solar.

Australia’s wind and solar capital, South Australia set and met its very own 50% RET: it pays the world’s highest power prices, as a result; little wonder it’s an economic backwater, critically dependent upon make-work schemes funded by Commonwealth taxpayers. Once upon a time, it enjoyed the cheapest power prices in Australia and was a manufacturing powerhouse.

Places like South Australia, Denmark and Germany put paid to the lie that wind and solar are both cheap and reliable.

But, as Michael Shellenberger…

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‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]


Too much coal = severe EU emissions penalties. Too much gas = high dependency on Russian supply. Too much renewable power = grid instability and exorbitant costs. Nuclear is being phased out. The conundrums are mounting for German energy policymakers trying to satisfy the demands of industry, the general public and the eco/climate lobby.

Germany has in recent years polished its “green” image abroad, but the country was only recently forced to admit it will miss a self-imposed 2020 climate target, reports Phys.org.

With Berlin set to miss the next decade’s goals too unless lawmakers take bold action, here are some reasons why carbon reduction has proved tricky even for a wealthy country with an environmentally conscious electorate.

Car-land

The car industry is a pillar of German economic prosperity, juicing export profits and employing 800,000 people.

After a long rearguard action in Brussels against tougher emissions limits on Volkswagen, Daimler or BMW’s fleets, Berlin remains reluctant to follow Britain and France in setting a cutoff date for new combustion engines.

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We already knew this, but UK public policy in energy matters tends to prefer ideology to reality.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

A lot of countries (as well as many U.S. states and utilities) are announcing so-called zero-carbon plans, typically with a target year around 2050. These are often reported as calling for 100% renewable energy, which is wrong.

There is a difference between zero-carbon and 100% renewables, but this is often hidden and unclear. In the new UK plan it is still hidden, but once found it is very clear. Renewables provide just 57% of the energy, which is a lot less than 100%. Perhaps most surprising is that nuclear might provide as much as 38% of the energy!

By way of introduction, the plan comes from the government’s own Committee on Climate Change (CCC), in a report titled “Net-Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming.” The CCC is the UK’s top climate action planning group.

The surprising numbers occur in…

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


The UK ‘smart’ meter roll-out fiasco rumbles on in its usual amateurish fashion. Pretending it has something to do with the climate is just window dressing.

Energy customers are under pressure to install smart meters, but many just don’t function properly, says BBC News.

There are government adverts on TV suggesting they are a small but important step to tackling climate change.

Meanwhile, companies are calling customers to ask them to switch, or telling them that the best deals are only available with a smart meter.

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Maybe one day enough people will discover that, as the author says: ‘The major effect of decarbonization is higher energy costs and lower reliability of energy supplies, particularly electricity.’ Buying a climate is not a realistic or sensible notion.

Climate policies vary greatly by country says Alan Carlin.

For convenience I will characterize a move towards greater government-imposed “decarbonization” as a move to the left; and I will call less such decarbonization or fewer climate government regulations or fewer market-distorting subsidies to be a move towards the right.

The current optimal climate policy is to take no current actions unless and until it is clearly shown that adverse changes in global temperatures are occurring and it is worthwhile in terms of benefits and costs to take effective actions to reduce global temperatures.

Since this has never been shown, no action is justified until it is.

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H/T The GWPF

Unchecked climate dogma is leading to policies and costs that many people are unwilling to tolerate any more. As the reality fails to live up to the greenwash and fear of a harmless trace gas starts to wear off, how far will the pushback go?
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From Alberta to Australia, from Finland to France and beyond, voters are increasingly showing their displeasure with expensive energy policies imposed by politicians in an inane effort to fight purported climate catastrophe, says H. Sterling Burnett.

Skepticism about whether humans are causing dangerous climate change has always been higher in the United States than in most industrialized countries.

As a result, governments in Europe, Canada, and in other developed countries are much farther along the energy-rationing path that cutting carbon dioxide emissions requires than the United States is.

Residents in these countries have begun to revolt against the higher energy costs they suffer under as a result of ever-increasing taxes on fossil fuels and government mandates to use expensive renewable energy.

For instance, in France in late 2018, protesters donning yellow vests took to the streets—and have stayed there ever since—in large part to protest scheduled increases in fuel taxes, electricity prices, and stricter vehicle emissions controls, which French President Emmanuel Macron claimed were necessary to meet the country’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement.

After the first four weeks of protest, Macron’s government cancelled his climate action plan.

Also in 2018, in part as a backlash against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate policies, global warming skeptic Doug Ford was elected as premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. Ford announced he would end energy taxes imposed by Ontario’s previous premier and would join Saskatchewan’s premier in a legal fight against Trudeau’s federal carbon dioxide tax.

In August 2018, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced to resign over carbon dioxide restrictions he’d planned to impose to meet the country’s Paris climate commitments. His successor, Scott Morrison, announced reducing energy prices and improving reliability, not fighting climate change, would be the government’s primary energy goals going forward.

Subsequently, Australia’s deputy prime minister and its environment minister announced the country would continue using coal for electricity and expand coal mining and exports.

The changes in 2018 were just a prelude for the political climate revolt of 2019.

In mid-March, the Forum for Democracy (FvD), a fledgling political party just three years old, tied for the largest number of seats, 12, in the divided Dutch Senate in the 2019 elections. FvD takes a decidedly skeptical stance on climate change.

On the campaign trail, Thierry Baudet, FvD’s leader, said the government should stop funding programs to meet the country’s commitments to international climate change agreements, saying such efforts are driven by “climate-change hysteria.”

Continued here.