Posts Tagged ‘energy policy’

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One for the climate hotheads (and others) to ponder: ‘From one 42-gallon barrel of oil only about half is for fuels while the rest is used to manufacture the chemicals and by-products that are part of our daily lifestyles.’

PA Pundits - International

By Ronald Stein ~

“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the Courage to change the things I can change; and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

The afore-quoted Serenity Prayer came to mind while I was writing this because it seems applicable to the world’s citizens who are trying to attain the leadership roles in the save the environment movement before understanding the complexities of the energy picture depicted in the book Energy Made Easy and the advantages energy as a whole has provided humanity for the last couple of centuries.

Because developed countries have accomplished much in the last few centuries, they have a responsibility as caretakers for the only planet we live on right now. Understandably, it’s hard to imagine the billions of people in underdeveloped countries who have yet to experience anything like the industrial revolution and who are surviving without…

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Looking past the smoke and mirrors game, we find the true financial pain being inflicted on UK electricity customers in the name of climate ideology aka the Climate Change Act.

The total annual renewables subsidy impact on UK household cost of living is £9 billion — which comes to £340 per year per household, says The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF).

The low and much-publicised offshore wind bids for Feed-in Tariffs with Contracts for Difference (FiTs CfDs) continue to confuse many analysts, even those from whom one might expect clear-eyed caution.

A writer for CapX (“What is the point of Corbyn’s nationalised wind farms?”), to select an example almost at random, quite correctly takes issue with the Labour Party’s reckless plans for major public investment in further offshore wind, but does so on the mistaken ground that “offshore wind is a big success story […] delivering ever more clean energy, at ever lower prices, for a fraction of the price of Labour’s plan”.

However, and as a matter of fact, none of the low-bidding wind farms have actually been built, and the 8.5 GW of operational offshore wind capacity which is “delivering” is without exception very heavily subsidised.

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UK politicians don’t seem to have worked out yet that their almost unanimous support for the notorious 2008 Climate Change Act, and lately their risible ‘climate emergency’ declarations, have a lot to do with the street chaos they are suddenly complaining about.

Cressida Dick was today accused of allowing Extinction Rebellion protesters to take control of the police, reports the Telegraph (via The GWPF).

Members of the House of Lords urged the Government to step in and take urgent action as protesters disrupted Westminster for a second day, pitching tents and gluing themselves to buildings.

The former speaker of the House of Commons, Baroness Boothroyd said that she had taken part in demonstrations when younger, but added: “In those days the police were in control of me as a demonstrator.

“Now it seems to me that the demonstrators are in control of the police.”

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Drax power station [credit: drax.com]


A glimmer of rational thinking perhaps in the often crazy world of climate-obsessed national energy policy, where reliable power generation tends to get marginalised.

The UK Government has given the go-ahead for Drax to convert up to two of its coal-fired units in North Yorkshire to gas generation, reports Energy Live News.

Drax says the project could enable it to deliver “more reliable and flexible, high efficiency” electricity generation at the power station, contributing towards the nation’s transition to net zero emissions by 2050.

If developed, 1.8GW of capacity would be available from October 2023, displacing less efficient and higher carbon emitting power stations.

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Gas is supposed to be ‘polluting’, but wood-burning power stations are OK? Yet more climate-related government policy nonsense is wheeled out, in line with the obsession over a minor trace gas in the atmosphere.

Polluting fossil fuel heating systems such as gas boilers will be banned from being installed in new homes by 2025 under new plans proposed by the government, reports Energy Live News.

They will be replaced with the latest generation of clean technologies such as air source heat pumps and solar panels, according to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

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Ringhals nuclear power site, Sweden [image credit: Vattenfall]


Or, theoretically at least, an equivalent amount of power from other so-called ‘green’ sources, requiring vastly greater amounts of non-renewable mined materials than are currently available – assuming they even exist on such large scales. Not to mention all the other practical difficulties of such dodgy ideas.

What makes achieving Net Zero by 2050 impossible is a failure to accurately understand the scale of the challenge and the absence of policy proposals that match that scale, says Roger Pielke Jr. @ Forbes (via The GWPF).

More than a decade ago, Gwyn Prins and Steve Rayner characterized climate policy as an “auction of promises” in which politicians “vied to outbid each other with proposed emissions targets that were simply not achievable.”

For instance, among Democrats competing for the presidency in 2020, several, including Joe Biden, have committed to achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Candidate Andrew Yang bid 2049, and Cory Booker topped that by offering 2045. Bernie Sanders has offered a 71% reduction by 2030.

One reason that we see this “auction of promises” is that the targets and timetables for emissions reductions are easy to state but difficult to comprehend.

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Image credit: BBC Scotland


Throwing out longstanding checks and balances that might stand in the way of the delusional goal of ‘tackling’ climate change, can hardly be called progress.

New developments that help reduce emissions and tackle climate change could no longer need planning permission under draft proposals considered by the Scottish Government, reports Energy Live News.

Projects that could automatically get the go-ahead in Scotland include local renewable energy and electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

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When are climate alarmists going to get real about their preferred energy sources? Trying to scale up to replace all those they don’t like runs into severe resource problems quite quickly, as pointed out here.

PA Pundits - International

By Paul Driessen ~

The full-court press is on for climate chaos disaster and renewable energy salvation. CNN recently hosted a seven-hour climate event for Democrat presidential aspirants. Every day brings more gloom-and-doom stories about absurd, often taxpayer-funded pseudo-scientific reports on yet another natural event or supposed calamity that alarmists insist is due to fossil fuels that provide 80% of US and global energy.

MSNBC just hosted another two-day Democrat presidential candidates climate forum at Georgetown University – where I spoke at a contrarian program. Meanwhile, a big Climate March took place in New York City, while protesters tried to block Washington, DC streets. They were all kicking off the UN’s “Global Climate Week” in NYC, featuring a Youth Climate Summit and UN General Assembly event where world leaders will demand “global action” to supposedly stop the supposed climate crisis.

Their standard solution is biofuel, solar, wind…

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It’s the old ‘do as we say, not as we do’ routine again. What about those supposedly naughty emissions? Hollow laughs all round.

Move comes despite pledges to do more to cut emissions, says Politico.
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The European Union is planning to spend millions of euros more on private jet flights for its top officials — just as it is proclaiming its green credentials and pledging to step up the fight against climate change.

The bloc has raised the amount that can be spent under a five-year contract for “air taxi” flights by more than €3.5 million, according to a document published this month in the EU’s tenders database.

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German coal operation


H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Government attempts to interfere in power generation markets can and do have unintended consequences, including undermining their own intentions. The expert interviewed here says ‘eight times as many wind and solar power plants as today’ would be needed in Germany by 2050, to meet policy targets. Many of the obstacles that lie in the way also apply to other countries that want to pursue the ‘CO2 controls climate’ delusion.

German economist Johannes Bachmann explains the so-called ‘Green Paradox’ — when unilateral climate policies accelerate the worldwide extraction of fossil fuels and global CO2 emissions.
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Yesterday, 20 September, the so-called “Climate Cabinet” of Germany’s federal government met to set the course of German climate policy for the coming years. Christoph Kramer spoke with Johannes Bachmann about the so-called Green Paradox and the economic concepts that fuel it.

Dr Bachmann is an economist and a member of the Hayek Society. Two years ago he received his doctorate from Michael Bräuninger, a Hamburg economist and former research director of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI). In his dissertation Bachmann dealt with the effect of climate policy measures on CO2 emissions.

Christoph Kramer: Mr. Bachmann, if one looks into your dissertation as a layman it’s all Greek to me. Could you please briefly explain exactly what the thesis is about and what methodology you used?

Johannes Bachmann: I can well understand that. On the one hand, there are quite a few technical terms in the work, and on the other, there are many formulas. It is a typical dissertation: a work by an academic for academics.

The aim of the thesis was to examine the effects of climate policy measures on the supply side of fossil fuels. To this end, I calculated how owners of raw materials adjust their production quotas as a result of CO2 taxes or subsidies for renewable energies in order to continue generating as much revenue as possible. Why did I focus on the supply side of all things? The answer is: the quantity of fossil fuels that is extracted from the earth is also consumed.

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Photosynthesis: nature requires carbon dioxide


A hint of commonsense in post-Brexit climate policy, if or when we get there? So-called ‘carbon’ taxes may well be a pointless nonsense, but if one has to be endured then the lower the better.

The United Kingdom is set to impose a £16 per ton tax on carbon if it leaves the European Union without a deal on October 31, according to government plans, reports The GWPF (from Forbes).

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it will also leave the EU’s Emissions Trade System (ETS), the centrepiece of the bloc’s efforts to meet European countries’ emissions reduction obligations.

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Feldheim village near Berlin, Germany.


H/T The GWPF

Consider the uproar that greets most kinds of environment-related proposals that even might have a negative impact on any sort of wildlife. Then wonder at what the wind industry has so far been allowed to get away with. Does the pushback stand a chance in the face of current climate change mythology?

The ban on killing endangered species is turning into an ‘absolute obstacle to planning’ new wind farms in Germany, says Die Welt.

Now, the wind lobby wants to water down conservation laws protecting endangered species. The wind power industry can hardly erect any new turbines because of a flood of complaints.
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The ban on killing endangered wildlife is turning into an ‘absolute obstacle to planning’ – extrapolated death figures show that tens of thousands of birds are affected.

When the wind power industry presented its interim results at the end of July, the shock waves went far beyond the eco-electricity scene: in the first six months of the year, only 35 new wind turbines were added in Germany.

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Smart or not?


Beware energy firms bearing obsolete smart meters – or even up-to-date ones in many cases. Their record so far looks dismal.

New research suggests the number of people having issues totals around four million, with just over a year to go until the installation deadline, reports Energy Live News.
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More than a third of households that have had smart meters installed have reported having problems.

That’s according to new data from uSwitch, which suggests the number of people having issues totals around four million, despite the installation deadline being just over a year away and the rollout needing to accelerate.

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H/T The GWPF

All those trees would have absorbed large amounts of the carbon dioxide they claim to be so scared of. Somehow all this is deemed to be ‘sustainable’, using the climate excuse.

The EU wants to save our climate with supposedly green biofuels and has deemed palm oil “sustainable”. Yet on the other side of the globe, rainforests are being clear-cut to produce the 1.9 million tons of palm oil that end up in European fuel tanks every year, says Rainforest Rescue.

The European Union wants to protect the climate and reduce carbon emissions from motor vehicles by blending fuels with increasing shares of supposedly eco-friendly “biofuels”.

Last year, 1.9 million tons of palm oil were added to diesel fuel in the EU – in addition to millions of tons of equally harmful rapeseed and soybean oils.

The plantations needed to satisfy Europes’s demand for palm oil cover an area of 700,000 hectares – land that until recently was still rainforest and the habitat of 5,000 endangered orangutans. Despite the clear-cutting, the EU has classified palm oil as sustainably produced.

This policy has now blown up in the legislators’ faces, with scientists confirming what environmentalists and development experts have long asserted: biofuels help neither people nor the environment – and they are most certainly not climate-neutral, as even studies commissioned by the EU show.

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German Chancellor Merkel surveys an offshore wind site [image credit: evwind.es]


H/T The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

Germany looks set to win the title of biggest punter in the climate gambling game. Believing in failing climate models and alarmist propaganda can lead to some amazingly poor political decisions, but this one surely takes the cake for its extravagance.

Angela Merkel has called for a further tightening of Germany’s climate target – the nation should become CO2-neutral. By 2035, the costs will be twice of Germany’s economic output of a whole year.

For Angela Merkel, these are just a few words: “We want to be climate neutral by 2050”,
say Fritz Vahrenholt & Roland Tichy.

In the devotional mood at the Protestant Church Congress in Dortmund, where the Chancellor spoke these words, the faithful applauded her. No wonder: After all, the former investigative journalist Hans Leyendecker had announced ex cathedra – as president of the Kirchentag: “Anyone who does not acknowledge that climate change is man-made has no place at the Kirchentag.”

It is no longer a question of scientific debate and research, but of a new dogma of faith – who would dare to have any doubts if his name were not Galileo Galilei?

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


The long-term consequences of exchanging on-demand for unpredictable power generation are not hard to figure out. But political leaders in some countries prefer to ignore such issues, in favour of a questionable ideology that guarantees problems in their increasingly unreliable electricity systems.

A report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is a stark reminder of the reliability challenges facing the country’s National Electricity Market (NEM), says PEI.

The Andrews Labour government has been accused of failing to properly replace ageing infrastructure which has created unnecessary risk to the affordability and reliability of the NEM.

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Image credit: thecount.com


H/T The GWPF / The Sunday Telegraph

Is this really the main problem? On a windless or low-wind winter evening shortly after dark, little output can be expected from wind – and none from solar – sources. This is where the power cuts seem most likely to happen due to demand exceeding supply, if too much ‘traditional’ power generation (coal, gas, nuclear) is closed down in favour of so-called renewables, which may need renewing every 15-20 years or so. Blind pursuit of misguided climate-related ideologies ignores, or tries to play down, these issues.

Ministers should impose limits on the construction of new wind and solar farms to help avoid a nationwide blackout, according to a former director of National Grid.

Colin Gibson, who was power network director of Britain’s electricity system, claimed that some existing turbines and solar panels may have to be disconnected, and new developments restricted, to “secure” the system after major power cuts earlier this month.

In an analysis co-written by Dr Capell Aris, a former grid engineer, Mr Gibson states that the system failure revealed several “serious problems” with the operation of the national electricity network, which require an “immediate, independent, expert review”.

Their intervention comes amid a government inquiry into the outage, which occurred after the Little Barford gas-fired power station in Cambridgeshire and a major wind farm off the Yorkshire coast both temporarily stopped producing electricity.

According to the Financial Times, a provisional report by National Grid suggested that the wind farm may have tripped offline seconds before the Little Barford power station.

The blackout affected a million people in London and the South East, the Midlands, the South West, Yorkshire, the North East, Cornwall and Wales.

National Grid, the firm that operates the country’s power network, has insisted that unpredictable wind power generation was not to blame.

Full article here.

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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