Posts Tagged ‘energy policy’


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.

Swiss Alps near Davos


No doubt the Swiss have already taken the best sites for hydro-electricity for themselves. How many of the ones left would they be willing to drown, to benefit outsiders? This smacks of desperation as pumped hydro is usually only a short-term fix when peak loads need to be met. Several days of low wind for turbines can’t be compensated by using energy to pump water up mountainsides, and then letting it drop down again to create near-instant electricity.

Germany is interested in finding an agreement with neighbouring Switzerland on how the Alpine country could contribute to German and European power supply security, the German government says in an answer to a parliamentary inquiry.

Thanks to its mountainous terrain and ample potential for pumped-hydro storage, Switzerland could provide “flexibility options” for European power markets and help balance supply and demand during times “in which there’s no wind or sunshine”, reports Clean Energy Wire.

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For non-UK readers: the MoT (Ministry of Transport) test is the annual road-worthiness check for vehicles at least three years old.

Let me start with an anecdote, writes Julian Flood in The Conservative Woman. It’s relevant so please bear with me.

A friend needed an MoT on his 4×4. We’re a working village and many of the big Range Rovers and Toyotas you see are working vehicles, not status symbols. This one has had a hard life but it does the job. Drive from home, into the garage, up on the ramp.

There was a problem. It registered only vanishingly small levels of NOX and particulates, so obviously the test kit had failed. It had to go back the next week after the machine was recalibrated.

Drive from home, into the garage, on to the ramp. No NOX, no CO, no HC, no particulates, or at least levels too low to measure.

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Expensive batteries were never an issue for electricity grids before renewables came along, for obvious reasons. Now that a fog of misleading climate propaganda has descended, too many leaders can’t seem to think straight any more.

STOP THESE THINGS

Almost as soon as Joe Public worked out that wind and solar can never work, RE rent seekers started babbling about giant batteries saving the day.

STT will keep smashing the line about giant batteries overcoming the chaotic delivery of wind and solar, while RE zealots keep pushing it.

The pitch from RE zealots is that solution to the chaos delivered by wind and solar is giant lithium-ion batteries, of the kind peddled by Elon Musk. The reefer-smoking, Californian carpetbagger managed to offload one unit in wind power obsessed, South Australia, collected $150 million, and was never seen again.

Bill Gates has called the idea complete and utter nonsense: Bill Gates Slams Unreliable Wind & Solar: ‘Let’s Quit Jerking Around With Renewables & Batteries’

Apply a little maths, physics and economics and it’s pretty clear that the mega-battery myth is just that. Norman Rogers picks up the thread below.

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Trevor Kavanagh blasts the ineffective UK government over its Brexit and climate dithering.

H/T Climate Change Dispatch

The Tories are facing extinction, having beaten themselves to a pulp over Brexit, and are too stupefied to defend themselves over false global warming claims.
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The Tories are facing extinction – without even the pleasure of a rebellion.

Having beaten themselves to a pulp over Brexit, they are now too punch-drunk to defend themselves over global warming.

Lifelong Swampy Jeremy Corbyn has latched on to climate change as a lethal weapon against a party which has lost control of the agenda. Idealistic young voters are all ears.

There is a solution to our looming energy crisis — cheap, clean shale gas. But feeble Energy Secretary Greg Clark threw it away, forcing fracking tsar Natascha Engel to quit yesterday in disgust.

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shale_gas_extraction2

No surprise here. She is only saying what the leading industry players have been complaining about for months at least, i.e. the absurdity of some of the rules forced upon them.

Natascha Engel says the government’s approach to fracking has created a de facto ban on it, BBC News reports.

The UK’s shale gas commissioner is resigning after just six months, saying fracking is being throttled by rules preventing mini earthquakes.

Current government rules mean fracking must be suspended every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor is detected. But according  to a mail online report by David Rose, Ms Engel said that “The same rules do not apply to quarry blasting or construction piling, which can cause much bigger earth movements. They are also thousands of times weaker than the level 4 or 5 quakes geologists say are the smallest likely to damage buildings.”

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North Sea oil platform [image credit: matchtech.com]


Stating the obvious, but they’re either going to find a lot of fuel or lose a lot of money. Chances of the demand fading any time soon still look remote, with global consumption at or near 100 million barrels of oil *per day*. Many believers in greenhouse gas theories of course continue to swallow the propaganda that climate disaster lurks around every corner.

Plans by oil and gas majors to spend $4.9 trillion on fuel exploration are “poles apart” from the goal of the Paris climate deal to limit the global temperature rise, a new analysis showed Tuesday.

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb annually, a string of warnings from the world’s top climate scientists have questioned mankind’s ability to prevent the worst effects of global warming while sticking with an economy geared around fossil fuels.

In October, the UN’s climate change panel (IPCC) issued a landmark report saying that a 1.5 Celsius target laid out in the Paris accord could only be hit with near-immediate and drastic cuts in production and consumption of oil, gas and coal.

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No let-up in sight in the ongoing biomass disaster.

sunshine hours

Burning trees produces more CO2 than coal. So if you are in the UK and your energy bill makes you want to cry, just remember it’s green!

A surcharge on UK energy bills is funding subsidies for biomass electricity generation that is making climate change worse, polluting communities, destroying forests and harming wildlife.

In 2017, the UK Government granted around £1 billion in renewable subsidies to power stations – including Drax Power Station in Yorkshire – to burn millions of tonnes of wood for electricity.

Drax alone received £729 million – around £2 million per day – in subsidies to burn wood pellets and is now the world’s largest biomass burner.

Biodiversity hotspots

Despite claims by the biomass industry that they mostly burn “low-grade wood residues”, US conservation NGOs have proven that a significant proportion of wood pellets for Drax and other UK power stations comes from the clearcutting of whole trees…

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H/T The GWPF.
A database listing $4.2 billion worth of grants represents a small fraction of the total financial investment and is just the tip of the iceberg, says the Institute for Energy Research.

Today’s environmental movement is fueled by a group of interconnected, left-leaning foundations that are seeking to disrupt the development of America’s energy resources.

In order to understand how these groups work together and where the environmental movement’s funding originates, IER developed Big Green, Inc., a database that tracks environmental grants stemming from 14 foundations and directed to over 1,900 grassroots activists groups and totaling more than $4.2 billion.

Our key findings include:

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Fine summer weather [image credit: BBC]


Plenty of assertions, but we’re still no nearer to knowing ‘what fraction of the observed rise in global surface temperature over the last thirty or so years…is attributable to the human-induced increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide’. It could be anything, including nothing. We don’t even have a CO2 number to work with, as any natural increases are hard to quantify. But in many countries national energy policy ploughs on regardless of the huge uncertainties.

The bottom line of politically correct thought on climate alarm is so full of holes that it brings the overall sanity of mankind into question, argues Garth Paltridge.

That is, we need to put a dollar number to the cost of doing something now, a dollar number to the benefit thus obtained by the future generations, and a number to a thing called “discount for the future”—this last being the rate at which our concern for the welfare of future generations falls away as we look further and further ahead.

Only the first of these numbers can be estimated with any degree of reliability.

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Credit: telegraph.co.uk


It was always obvious that replacing on-demand power generation, like coal and gas power stations, with mainly intermittent power from weather-dependent renewables, was going to make reliability of the system an issue sooner rather than later. And here we are.

The UK’s electricity network is likely to become significantly weaker within five years, due to falling Short Circuit Levels that reduce the reliability of protection systems designed to limit the geographical extent of supply loss during a fault, and also make it more likely that asynchronous sources of electricity such as wind, solar and High Voltage Direct Current interconnectors will disconnect during a fault.

Ironically, Short Circuit Levels are falling because of a rising input from asynchronous sources, says The GWPF.

A remedy for this problem is unlikely to be cheap. Who will pay?

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[image credit: beforeitsnews.com]


Giving up primary energy sources in favour of vast expense on inferior alternatives is ‘progressive’? Not in the real world. We’re not trying to be experts on American politics here, but any outbreak of sanity on (supposedly) climate-related matters must rate as progress, even if not deemed ‘progressive’.

The Senate on Tuesday blocked the Green New Deal, a progressive climate change resolution that Republicans view as prime fodder heading into the 2020 presidential election, reports The Hill.

The Senate voted 0-57 on taking up the resolution, with 43 Democrats voting present.

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