Posts Tagged 'Coal'

New coal-fired power plants: All the news that’s convenient to print

It’s almost a week since Steag GmbH, started up the new 725-megawatt Walsum-10 coal-fired power plant, in eco-friendly Germany.  The plant is due to commence full commercial operation before the end of the year.

Germany is consistently cited by environmentalists in the UK as a stunning example of the use of renewables, and evidence that the UK should follow Germany’s ‘wise’ example in moving away from fossil fuels.

How curious it is, therefore, that the same environmentalists have been completely silent about Walsum-10.  For that matter, how curious it is that while the UK is being saddled with more disproportionately expensive and grossly inefficient wind turbines, the UK lamestream media has completely ignored the Walsum-10 story.  You could perhaps understand a single coal plant’s opening being ignored, but no less than ten new hard-coal power stations, or 7,985 megawatts, are scheduled to start producing electricity in the next two years.

The difference between the German approach and the UK approach is stark.  The German government is determined to produce affordable and reliable energy for its industry and domestic consumers and is building substantial new coal to meet its needs.  Meanwhile the UK government is determined to put up wind turbines regardless of the cost and at the expense of reliability and is more concerned with forcing people to use less energy rather than striving to meet demand.

The compliant UK media remains silent.  They only publish the news that’s convenient to print, and in any case the journalists who cover political issues have other more pressing concerns than something as trivial as keeping the public informed.

Reversing the CO2 madness on energy – it can be done

It can be done, oh yes.

On Friday, Sean Carney writing on the Emerging Europe blog in the Wall Street Journal, explained that:

Support for the European Union’s climate and energy policy eroded further Friday as the Czech Republic became the latest member to denounce subsidies for clean but costly renewable energy and pledged to double down on its use of fossil fuels.

It followed Poland’s declaration that it would use its abundant domestic coal supplies for power generation rather than invest in costly renewable energy facilities. Spain abolished subsidies for photovoltaic power generation in July and the U.K.’s power markets regulator last month froze solar power subsidies for the rest of the year.

If renewables gave value for money and provided a reliable source of energy, this would not be happening.  But the reality is these subsidy sinkholes are good for nothing but making landowners and renewables companies a huge amount of money, robbed from taxpayers and ever rising costs passed on to energy customers.  But as Carney’s piece explains, there are other consequences to this ludicrous largesse:

The Czech Republic has seen a surge in renewable power production over the last four years due to rich cash payouts for investors in the sector. Since then public outrage over fast-rising power prices has forced politicians to put the brakes on subsidies. The payouts have been a drag on the economy, creating uncertainty on energy markets and preventing utilities from investing.

So Germany continues to build more coal fired power stations, the Czech Republic and Poland are reverting back to coal and economic reality bites in Spain.  Yet the UK has in Ed Davey a minister for Energy and Climate Change who bitterly opposed the UK’s freeze in power subsidies and is demanding we go further down the road to the renewables abyss by ramping up the amount of underperforming wind turbines for the sake of ideology.

Ed Davey is doing this irrespective of the possible harm to our energy security, the ever rising cost to taxpayers and consumers, and the fact our European neighbours are calling time on a shocking financial waste that has delivered nothing close to what was promised in return.  The EU is hamstrung, member states are rushing back for reliable and affordable energy sources, evidence that reversing the CO2 madness on energy can be done.

Yet despite this the British are being dragged into penury by a delusional idiot who is happy to squander other people’s money to satisfy his vanity and desperation to be seen as virtuous.  And while Davey picks our pockets to push his policy agenda and describes realist opponents in the Conservative Party as its stone age wing, without any sense of irony his Lib Dem socialist mate Vince Cable has the nerve to describe the Tories as the nasty party.  Satire is truly dead.

A look back at Nick Clegg’s comments on energy

Whenever the reality of the UK’s dwindling energy generating capacity comes to the fore – as insane government policy on energy and the leftist fetish for wind power instead of coal starts to bite – it’s always worth reminding ourselves of the oh so valuable insight provided by Nick Clegg on this subject some years ago…

The Government has spooked everyone into thinking that we need nuclear by saying there’s going to be a terrible energy gap – the lights are going to go out in the middle of the next decade.

There’s actually no evidence that’s the case at all. They’ve raised the wrong problem in order to push the wrong solution.

The real problem is that our energy mix is not green enough and we’re over-dependent on oil and gas from parts of the world that aren’t very reliable.

So it’s nothing to do with lack of reliable capacity and closure of coal-fired power stations, at a time when Germany is building more coal-fired plant to ensure adequate energy supplies, it’s just we don’t have a green-enough energy mix.  No, really…

Small wonder then that when the leader of the Lib Dems holds such ludicrous views, his party underling, Ed Davey, continues pushing the dash for wind and refuses to acknowledge we need new coal-fired plant alongside gas-fired stations and new generation nuclear capacity for our baseload power needs.

But perhaps it’s because the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are bought in to the eco-fascist sustainability mantra that instead of providing affordable energy and innovating to ensure we can continue to do so, people should instead be forced to pay much more in order to get less – namely reduce their energy consumption and pay ever higher costs for the energy they can use.  The same mantra is used to prevent new reservoirs being built to provide fresh water to homes.

Of common sense, there is no sign.

Wind energy generation – Our money at work

It is currently -5C (23F) at Mind Towers according to the weather station at the local airfield, and falling at a rate of 1.6C per hour.  The wind supposed to be coming from SSE, but is currently showing as 0.0 knots.

Be it directly through our tax pounds, or by proxy via the charges loaded on to our energy bills as part of the Renewables Obligation, the hundreds and hundreds of millions of pounds poured into wind turbine subsidy and feed-in tariffs is delivering next to nothing to the energy supply, because the wind is next to nothing – barely 4% of the official figure for installed wind generation capacity and providing 0.4% of current energy being generated in this country:

It cannot be repeated frequently enough that the government’s obsession with wind power is an obscenely expensive folly.

While Germany talks a good renewables game, it quietly does what is necessary to provide the energy needed by its people and its industry by investing heavily in new coal-fired power.  Just look at what Germany has been building while Cameron and Huhne have been tilting at windmills.  Conversely, our politicians are so blinded by the CO2 bogeyman they ignore 200 years’ worth of domestic coal reserves and put their faith in intermittent and unreliable natural phenomenon.

Germany’s government is putting Germany’s interests first.  Our government is advancing someone’s interest, but it is not that of the British people.  When will people sit up, take notice and declare ‘enough’?

Update: At 9.40pm it is now almost -8C (17F) and wind is now generating even less, a meagre 120MW of power, or 0.3% of the current energy generation.

Cameron’s emissions folly will cost us dear

Here we go again, yet another personal intervention by David Cameron.  We can but hope this intervention goes the same way as his previous efforts as this concerns the reduction of evil, poisonous carbon emissions.

BBC climate overlord, Roger ‘the truth is’ Harrabin, reports that:

David Cameron has moved to resolve a Cabinet row over the UK’s climate change targets, with an agreement on emissions to be announced on Tuesday.

This will see drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to 2027 and an overhaul of the way energy is produced.

The upshot of this is that our wallets and purses are going to raided, leaving us impoverished due to a plan to address something that remains unproven as a problem, in order to correct an issue the remains unproven as being of our making.  But it makes the politicians feel better about themselves because they are seen to be ‘doing something’ and it keeps the ‘green extreme’ happy as this represents another step forward in their plan to de-industrialise the western world and reverse centuries of progress.

It should come as no surprise that joining our husky-hugging multi millionaire Prime Minister in this grand plan is the sopping wet hand wringer Oliver Letwin.  But the stand out part of the article concerns born again Eurofanatic, William Hague, described by Harrabin thus:

Meanwhile Foreign Secretary William Hague put the case for strong carbon targets to keep up with countries like China in the move towards low-carbon energy, and to retain the UK’s international moral leadership on the issue.

If only we were trying to keep up with China, which is building a new coal fired power stations at an incredible rate and apparently deploying carbon capture technology, while here we suffer from the folly of wind farms producing barely 19% of installed capacity potential.

We need more power that is reliable, which the Chinese are finally delivering for their own people. But instead we are scaling back reliable power generation to appease green extremism.  The cost to this country of the flawed policy agenda, built upon vested interests, will dwarf anything that has gone before.

But the political class presses ahead with their fingers in their ears, knowing that at least they can afford to pay the bills even if many of the rest of us consider turning off the heating when it is cold because of their inability to pay the rapidly rising prices – driven up by lunatic political decisions rather than the cost of the energy itself.

Angela Merkel’s nuclear kneejerk and green spin

‘Japan crisis: Germany to speed up nuclear energy exit’ booms the BBC headline today as the anti nuclear onslaught continues following the multiple reactor crisis at Fukushima.

The story explains how German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a ‘measured exit’ from nuclear power in response to the crisis affecting four reactors in Japan.  Stating that the Japanese disaster meant it could no longer be ‘business as usual’ in Germany – a country renowned for its earthquakes and tsunamis – Merkel told the Bundestag that the goal was:

…to reach the age of renewable energy as soon as possible.

It is an interesting goal given the reality of Germany’s current energy generation strategem which was covered briefly on this blog back in January.  For while Merkel tilts left in an attempt to appease the panicking nuclear-hating Greens, German energy policy shows a distinct lack of confidence in renewables to deliver the power needed in an industrialised country.

Just consider the extent of Germany’s new build coal fired power stations currently under construction, as detailed on EU Referendum, that shows that while Merkel is talking the talk on renewables she is not walking the walk:

- EVONIK, Walsum (Duisburg), 800 MW black coal (2010)
– RWE, Neurath (Cologne), 2 x 800 MW lignite (2009)
– RWE Westfalen (Dortmund-Hamm, 2 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– EON Datteln (Dortmund), 1 x 1100 MW (!) black coal (2011)
– ENBW Karlsruhe, 1 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Trianel (municipality) Lünen, 1 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Vattenfall Moorburg (Hamburg), 2 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
– Vattenfall Boxberg (close to Leipzig), 1 x 800 MW lignite (2011)

The dates in brackets are the completion dates of the boilers (hydraulic testing and first fire).

While Germany’s significant investment in coal makes good sense Merkel’s pronouncement about a ‘measured exit’ from nuclear power is an example the worst kind of gesture politics.

It is worrying that a national leader resorts to disproportionate kneejerk policy borne of emotion rather than policy based on evidence.  By seeking to play up renewables on the one hand and greenwash the mainstay of energy generation capability on the other, Merkel is demonstrating the kind of hypocrisy that characterises the political class.

Oh for a politician who will set aside spin and tell it like it is on wind power.  Wind is not the panacea portrayed by the wind lobby and greenies, it remains a poor value and unreliable form of generation and only benefits the recipients of the lavish subsidies that look all the more disgraceful on those days when energy is needed but the turbines have no wind to turn them.

Germany is such a green and pleasant land

With apologies to King James for reworking St Mark’s chapter and verse 10:25… It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a coal fired power station to be built the United Kingdom.

There are bountiful supplies of coal in stable countries which could secure our power needs for decades years while new reliable and efficient energy sources are developed. But no. We have to put up with the gurning lhuhnatic ensconced at the Dept of Energy and Climate Change muttering that coal is dirty and nuclear is dangerous and lavishing billions of our tax pounds on unreliable and inefficient wind turbines that produce barely 22% of their installed capacity.

Germany is often cited by the eco lhuhnes as an example of a forward thinking, green nation. But while we are conned into aspiring to Germany’s passion for renewables the reality of Germany’s energy strategy is carefully airbrushed from the script and the windmills trump all. Then suddenly it dawns on some that the things don’t work when they are most needed. As EU Referendum observes:

Gradually, though, the media is getting the point, and as the facts leach out, even the warmists in The Guardian are not going to be able to hold the line. But what is going to sink the warmist ship, one suspects, is the fickleness of our EU colleagues, who might be talking the talk on greenery but, on the other hand, they are investing heavily in coal. The particular culprit here is Germany, and we have recent acquired a list of new coal projects in the pipeline – listed below:

The amount of power the new German plants will generate, shown on EU Referendum, dwarfs the amount of energy the Con-Dem’s windmills will produce while being many times more cost effective.

The folly of the government’s energy policy demonstrates how ill served we are by the braingreenwashed ideologues whose fantasies are condemning us to a future of excessively expensive and unreliable energy. And it is being done on the basis of an illusory climate change ‘crisis’ supposedly driven by a trace gas, CO2, of which barely 5% of the atmospheric volume comes from mankind’s emissions.


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