Posts Tagged 'Scandal'

STOR scandal: Revealing the rip off to millions more people


Following the exposure of the rapidly growing use of diesel generators, to provide energy when the wind doesn’t blow to turn those intermittent and inadequate turbines, the story revealed by Richard North and Christopher Booker in being brought to a much wider audience via the Mail on Sunday today, courtesy of James Dellingpole.

Making use of Richard’s content, Dellers makes the key points that should make a lot of people sit up and take notice:

The National Grid’s eye-wateringly expensive solution to counter the instability of wind power is known as the Short Term Operational Reserve, or STOR, to generate a reserve capacity of eight gigawatts (GW) by 2020, the equivalent of about five nuclear plants.

The diesel-generators will provide immediate computer-controlled back-up for that significant period when the wind turbines are not working, but at a hefty premium.

Currently the wholesale price for electricity is around £50 per megawatt hour (MWh) but diesel-generator owners will be paid £600 per MWh.

At 12 times above the market rate, this represents a bigger cash bonanza even than that currently enjoyed by wind developers, who receive a subsidised price of between two and three times the market rate, depending on whether their turbines are on land or offshore.

With the huge reach that can be achieved by the Mail due to its millions of online readers, the STOR scandal is starting to gain some traction.  This increased attention will surely lead to more scrutiny about why the UK is decommissioning coal and nuclear power stations to be replaced with ineffective wind turbines, that in turn rely on hugely expensive, CO2 emitting diesel generators as back up when electricity demand exceeds what can be supplied.

The detail that should make people’s eyes open wide in disbelief is that in 2010, the scheme was already costing us £205 million a year, yet by 2020 this is expected to rise  to £945 million.  All this money being taken from us in addition to what was already being taken to fund our energy needs – and it is only being taken because the politicians have wantonly abandoned reason and made us increasinly dependent on the least efficient, least reliable and least affordable form of power generation, which necessitates diesel generators to be on standby to make up the shortfall when the wind drops off.

To call this a scandal doesn’t come anywhere close to underlining the scale of this corrupt rip off or the extent of the carbon con that is being used by the government to enrich corporates at our expense.

STOR scandal: Putting the scale of the theft from us into context

Following on from our previous post about the emerging STOR scandal, it would be helpful for people to understand just some of what this means in monetary terms.  To what extent are energy consumers and taxpayers being ripped off to make expensive diesel powered electricity generation worthwhile for ‘investors’ and big businesses to provide to the grid?

So lets put it into context, in the words of an energy company:

National Grid (2011b) sets out reserve tender outcomes and RWE npower has estimated that the price paid when stand-by generation capacity is called for by the short-term operating reserve market mechanism was £180-280/MWh in 2010. There is also a payment of around £7-10/MWh.

This is worth around £30,000-45,000/MW per annum to an owner of stand-by generation (RWE npower, personal communication).

That is roughly eight times the industrial tariff for power. As demand for operating reserve increases, shown in Figure 8, the price will rise and the incentive to participate will grow stronger.

Indeed, by 2015, National Grid (2011b) estimates that the utilisation payment will have risen to £544/MWh, and by 2020 the figure is £685/MWh, all in real terms in 2010/11 money. That is an increase of 96 per cent in ten years providing a strong incentive for new owners of generation to participate. Across the whole market, the total payments for being available and for generating could reach £945 million per annum by 2020, up from £205 million in 2010. That is an increase of 350 per cent in ten years.

There are profitable opportunities to be seized and they are open to existing generation assets which have already been paid for and sometimes even depreciated.

While the firms benefit, society does too. The mechanism allows the market to find the cheapest way to maintain an uninterrupted power supply whichever scenario the UK finds itself in. It will be to the benefit of all consumers if stand-by generation is put to its best possible use.

Source: nPower

It is interesting to note that over on the Bishop Hill blog, Andrew Montford points to a conclusion that no fossil fuels are subsidised in the UK, in rebuttal to the imbecilic climate alarmist mouthpiece, Bob Ward.  However, STOR clearly shows there is subsidy being made available for diesel powered electricity generation at peak times – albeit to back up virtually useless wind power.

STOR scandal: The establishment conspiracy to fleece energy customers by design

A story broken by Christopher Booker in the Telegraph and Richard North on EU Referendum on Saturday evening heralds one of the biggest consumer rip off scandals in UK history.

This concerns the existence of a vast network of standby diesel generators, which make up what is known as a Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR), that can be called upon by the National Grid in the event of a shortfall in electricity should electricity generating capacity go offline.

The theory is simple.  When there isn’t enough power being generated to meet demand, this network of diesel generators can be brought online within minutes to provide gigawatts of electricity to keep the lights on.  Booker and North detail the system and how it has been hidden in plain sight for years – which explains the confident performance of energy minister, Michael Fallon in his interview with Andrew Neil last week when he said the lights would stay on, even as power stations close without replacement and wind turbines fail to deliver power reliably when it is needed.

STOR brings into sharp focus three major issues that are unlikely to be pored over by the media. First and most immediate of these for energy customers is the cost of running this system that will be passed on to them.  As Booker explains in his piece:

These new power sources are far from cheap; the current wholesale cost of electricity is around £50 a megawatt hour (MWh). Thanks to the subsidies levied through our electricity bills, we are already paying nearly £100 per MWh to the owners of onshore wind farms and £150 for those offshore. But, as the National Grid reveals, the tender prices submitted by those signed up to the STOR scheme can be as high as £400 per MWh, eight times the market rate. The average payment in 2011 was £225 per MWh, plus a fee of £22,000 for every megawatt of their capacity (for these fees in 2010-11 alone we stumped up £75 million).

This is another subsidy gravy train run in the interests of corporations at the expense of hard pressed customers, and businesses whose costs are driven up accordingly and are passed on in the price of most goods and services.  The evidence of this is detailed by Richard in his piece when he explains:

Under normal circumstances using this back-up capacity is not an economically competitive form of generation; it is generally only called upon in emergencies when price rises can cover the costs of generation. But as we lose power stations from the system, there will be no option but to use it as replacement capacity and, in particular, as back-up when the wind is not blowing.

So lucrative is this option that it is being regarded as a major investment opportunity, “anticipated to experience significant growth due to increased reliance on reserve sources of power to meet fluctuations in electricity.

Investors are told that the “significant upward trend in the requirement for reserve services” is due to “decreased power supply following from the decommissioning of ageing nuclear power plants” and “increased volatility of power supply caused by increased reliance on renewables (due to the high proportion of wind power, renewables are not a consistent source of power) “.

The second is yet another example of fear being as a tool to condition people into accepting a grotesquely expensive ‘solution’ that shouldn’t be required in the first place.

Make no mistake the emergence of the STOR story, and its revelation of the gigawatts of failover capacity that are available to the system, shows us that the current focus on the energy gap being played out in the media with suitable dramatic effect, is a contrived narrative designed to worry people about power cuts and blackouts so that when they are asked to stump up significantly more money to keep the lights on via diesel generators, they will grit their teeth and pay up – the metaphor that sums this up being ‘they’ve taken my arm and cut off my leg, but thank God it means I’ve been able to stay alive’.

The third of the two issues is how this theft has been engineered by the establishment by its utterly illogical and nonsensical policies on energy.  Whereas common sense would dictate this country’s government to have an energy strategy to meet the needs and demand of powered infrastructure, businesses and residential customers using the most reliable forms of power generation, the strategy has been designed around the unworkable goal of relying on unreliable and intermittent wind energy to meet our baseload energy supply, coupled with ‘demand management’ – namely the forced reduction in energy demand through increased cost.

Businesses and households are being priced out of using tomorrow the same amount of energy they already find difficult to afford today; and this scenario is being compounded by purposely built-in scarcity through the policy of closing down generating capacity without reliable replacement, so the gap between total reliable energy supply and peak energy demand has narrowed to a dangerously small percentage.  Instead of replacing conventional power in need of decommission with nuclear power to provide our baseload energy, and topping that up with coal and gas which, already spinning below capacity but not wasting what is being generated, can quickly be called upon to meet additional demand when it peaks, we are getting subsidy chomping wind turbines that provide only a fraction of their potential and rely on intermittent weather conditions.

At the end of this trail of state driven larceny is a special interest collective of subsidy farmers, corporates and big money investors who reap a huge return in profits at our expense for our substandard and flawed-by-design energy infrastructure.  An infrastructure that is forced on us by a deranged sustainability agenda that is sponsored and nourished by those special interests who hoover up our money, and the anti-progress environmentalists who are determined to de-industrialise the world and enforce untold misery on billions of people.

As you can see, this is not just a story about carbon emitting diesel generators being used to keep our lights on.  It runs far deeper and is far more disturbing than that.  The question that needs answering is will the media step up and educate people about this, or will it look away to continue sucking up to those influential and ‘powerful’ people of ‘prestige’ who are calling the shots to enrich themselves by robbing us blind?

We’re all in this together – on scandalous wind power deals

As David Cameron announced the austerity measures that would be taken in the UK by the coagulation government, he was very fond of repeatedly telling voters ‘we’re all in this together‘.

It may not have been true when it came to the financial hardship many have experienced due to this so called austerity.  But it certainly was true – and remains true – when it comes to describing the political class working against the interest of the poor bloody energy consumer by agreeing insane deals for wind power.  It has resulted in a glaring example of the damage that is caused when lazy consensus politics is coupled with idiots, who have no experience of the real world, seeking to demonstrate their virtue:

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Yes, that’s right.

… a scheme agreed by Labour leader Ed Miliband during the last Labour government, but implemented by Coalition ministers,

No questioning, no challenge, no scrutiny.  Just a huge commitment made with other people’s money so the politicians can indulge their deluded wet dreams of being seen as ‘green’ and taking action to ‘fight climate change’.  This is a party political scandal.  Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – oh yes, they’re all in it together, ripping off the taxpayer and exhibiting a degree of incompetence that is enough to make this blogger reconsider his position on euthanisia.

Following the MPs damning report into the wind farm contracts, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now said it will “re-examine some of the terms” of the lucrative deals.

Too little, too late.

Under the terms of the contracts the companies are guaranteed an RPI inflation linked income for 20 years regardless of how much the infrastructure is used.

The estimated returns of 10-11 per cent on the initial licences “look extremely generous given the limited risks”, the MPs said.

And where were the MPs when all this was being set up?  Asleep at the wheel, or drifting around Westminster with their thumbs up their bums and their brains in neutral, doing what the whips told them?

Millions of votes swing between these parties at general elections as voters seek to punish unpopular governments.  Perhaps the message will soon get through to voters that voting for any of this consensus of careerist power-seekers results in an identical outcome and real change will only come about if voting for none of them removes their legitimacy.  Otherwise the faces might change and the colour of the rosettes may differ, but everything else stays the same to the detriment of this country and its long suffering people.

We don’t need change, we need a grassroots revolt to end this elected dictatorship.  The power of dictatorships comes from the willing obedience of the people they govern – and if the people develop techniques of withholding their consent, a regime will crumble.  It’s in our hands to take back power.

The UK has no business being part of the vile United Nations

In the Telegraph, Christopher Booker’s column leads with a story about the Met Office (h/t EU Referendum) – which quietly revised its prediction of global temperatures for the next five years and uploaded the much changed graph on Christmas Eve, a great day to bury inconvenient news – and why its forecasts are undermined by dogmatic climate change assumptions.

It’s an excellent reminder of the Met Office’s dereliction of duty in pursuit of an agenda, just as the country is being hit by another of those temperature drops and downfalls of snow that were supposed to be replaced by ‘warmer winters’, following the soaking summer which was supposed to have been replaced with ‘hotter, drier’ conditions.  But it is the second part of Booker’s column that focuses on a story of far greater importance – UN complicity in the mistreatment and killing of refugees in Iraq’s Camp Ashraf.

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Camp Ashraf is yet another United Nations scandal where backroom agendas, intrigues and double dealing has resulted in a number of lives being lost violently with many other people’s lives put in peril.

But what else would one expect when the UN treats people with such unmitigated contempt, for example when Gadaffi’s Libya was appointed Chair of the UN Human Rights Committee?  The same UN which in November last year went on to elect genocidal Sudan to the Economic and Social Council, a top U.N. body that regulates human rights groups, oversees U.N. committees on women’s rights, and crafts resolutions from Internet freedom to female genital mutilation. And it really surpassed itself when Mauritania, the world’s worst offender for slavery, was elected to the position of Vice President of the UN Human Rights Council – on Human Rights Day of all days.  This while Syria remained on the UNESCO human rights committee!

Lets not forget the UN’s sex for food scandal and UN officials being complicit as police and troops working on behalf of the UN in Bosnia were exposed as being involved in sex trafficking of young women – behaviour that was brought to the big screen with the film The Whistleblower.  It even extolled the virtues of China’s human rights record and its supposed respect for oppressed Uyghurs, Tibetans and other minority groups.

To describe this small handful of examples as Orwellian would be ludicrous understatement.  Yet despite all of these scandals in recent years and many, many others besides, the UN continues to be paid for by us, the hard pressed taxpayers around the world, our money taken from us by the political class to fund this insanity.

The UN, a global organisation made up of unaccountable bureaucrats and representatives from countries including brutal and oppressive regimes over which we have no control, wields a huge amount of power around the world through its commissions and agencies.  It is responsible for the pushing the sustainability cover story for the plan to increase its control over world governance via the insipid Agenda 21, while directly influencing what economic actions the EU follows through its Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE.

So, not for the first time, this blog asks the question, what is the point of continuing to bang our heads against a wall and fund an organisation that serves the interests of the international community so poorly? Going further this blog believes the time has long since passed for the UK to withdraw its membership.  The UN is not a force for good.  All too often it is the vehicle that facilitates the worst crimes human can commit.

Leaving the UN won’t happen all the while the political class directs operations in its own interest, but it should happen.  This country has no place cooperating with the most brutal, vicious and corrupt regimes on this planet, much less legitimising their vile behaviour with our money co-membership on UN bodies.


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