Posts Tagged 'Fuel'

Energy policy chickens coming home to roost

The negative effects of the dash for gas, to pick up the slack for poorly performing renewables, didn’t take long to kick in did they?  The failure of successive governments to develop new nuclear generation is writ large.  The people paying the price are the likes of you and I.  Meanwhile the renewables speculators get rich at our expense with their lavish subsidies, even though the output will have a marginal impact on energy supply in this country.

On 7th December last year, this blog mused on the great energy delusion, observing that:

After all, renewables are supposed to become our baseload power source if you believe the idiots in Westminster who are bought in to the power generation revolution. It’s easy to say that gas fired power stations will pick up the slack, but the dash for gas is forcing the price upwards as demand from China to western Europe is on the increase. While we are able to get gas from Norway we will increasingly be relying on gas from Russia and the middle east to meet the energy gap created by unreliable and over rated renewables.

Today we have British Gas announcing it is hiking its gas prices by an average of 18% in August. Why? Although these comments were carried on BBC radio the BBC web report leaves out some key details, so we defer to the Evening Standard for the full explanation:

British Gas said wholesale prices had increased by 30 per cent since last winter because of “increased gas consumption in Asia and the impact on supply of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa”.

Managing director Phil Bentley said: “We know there is never a good time to raise prices, but we are buying in a global energy market and have to pay the market rate.”

But what of our wind turbine adoring Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Lhuhne?  As always, he is off in the land of make believe where he is seeking to distance himself from the consequences of the policy he supports:

I refuse to stand by and watch this happen.

The UK electricity market has to change so we escape the cycle of fossil fuel addiction.

Alternatives, like renewables and nuclear power, must be allowed to become the dominant component of our energy mix.

Only radical reform now will give us the best chance in the long run of keeping the lights on at a price that doesn’t wreck our economy over and over again.

What we are experiencing is what has been caused by the approach he supports.  He shares the blame.  As a Eurofanatic he actively supports EU actions that are driving up our energy costs, yet is putting all the blame on the energy companies.  Lhuhne as a renewablesfanatic supports the exorbitant cost of renewables subsidies, and the forcing of the energy companies to purchase all power produced by the turbines regardless of their cost.  He has long been rigidly opposed to state subsidy for nuclear power and continues to be.  But reality is starting to bite and now he is calling for more nuclear which is reliable, despite putting our money into renewables that are not.

So where is this radical reform he speaks of?  It’s nice to see Lhuhne talking about the best chance of ‘keeping the lights on’.  According to his own party leader, Nick Clegg, there was no evidence that there’s going to be a terrible energy gap and that the lights are going to go out in the middle of the next decade.  Chris doesn’t seem to agree with Nick any more.  But the problem is the climate change lunacy, the obsession with unreliable and intermittant wind power, the regulations and obligations imposed on us by the political class  is wrecking our economy already and plunging millions of people needlessly into fuel poverty.

Huhne’s attempts to point the finger at the energy companies, who are forced to deliver on government policy, must not be allowed to wash.  The buck stops with him and his ideologue pals who have accelerated our descent into chaos and exacerbated the problems he claims to be refusing to stand by and watch happen.

Huhne does not have the solution.  He is a major part of the bloody problem.

This glorious Development Superpower

A written answer to a question in the House of Commons puts some context around the priorities of this useless coalition of the incompetent.

In March this year the coalition announced cuts to the Winter Fuel Allowance in 2011.  The yearly tax-free payment to help people pay for their heating in the winter was worth £250 for the over 60s, and £400 for the over 80s.  However the cut reduces the payments to £200 and £300 for the two groups in the winter of 2011-12.

While the system is a farce with ex pats receiving the payments despite living abroad and financially comfortable pensioners also qualifying for payments, there is no doubt a large number of vulnerable elderly people need these payments to ensure they can afford some of the rapidly rising cost of heating their homes in the increasingly cold winters. Which is why cutting the payments on cost grounds is reprehensible.

But there was absolutely no need to cut the allowance because the payments are completely affordable.  It’s just that this grandstanding bunch of self serving politicians put the interests of the people they are paid to represent below their desire to appear virtuous on the world stage. Don’t take my word for it, see the evidence for yourself:

David Cameron announces plan to treble aid to Pakistan’s education system to £650m

David Cameron announces new £814m donation boost for vaccination programmes in poor countries

And so to that Commons written answer.  While there are people who will make compelling cases for these donations being made rather than spent on our own deserving poor, let someone try to defend this (click to enlarge):

These aren’t the actions of a development superpower.  These are the actions of a group of rich and privileged people who treat the people they have been elected to represent with utter contempt.

When elderly and vulnerable people in the UK die of hypothermia this coming winter, because they live in properties they cannot afford to heat, the responsibility will rest with a political class that has shown it values the lives of poor people overseas more than the lives of poor people in our own country… people who have long paid into the system to get just the kind of support they are now being denied, all because of some idiot’s wet dream of saving the planet from carbon dioxide.

There must be a reckoning.

Cleveland Police tells Officers to stop night vehicle patrols

Just over one week ago in the north east of England, it was announced that Cleveland Police, like other forces around the country, would reduce the number of its officers in an effort to meet a cut in government funding.

Cleveland Police Authority said that to meet its 20% funding cut the force’s officer establishment would reduce from 1,727 to 1,572 over the next 12 months with another reduction of 75 to follow the year after. The number of PCSOs would also reduce from 197 to 182.

The reported measures to meet the cut in funding, chosen by Cleveland’s policing authority, include savings on overtime, Bank Holiday staffing, reduction in staff posts in the police executive and authority and reduced expenditure on uniforms.  But news arriving at Mind Towers concerns a cost saving measure that has not been shared with the public and is likely to cause anger in the county.

For word reaches us that the Chief Constable has instructed rank and file police officers in Cleveland to cease night time patrolling in police cars.  We are told the instruction to officers on night shift is to stay in the station or find somewhere outdoors to park up and spend their time doing paperwork, and that Officers have been told to only respond to major emergency calls.  The reason?  To reduce police vehicle fuel costs.

Our source tells us the mood among Officers is one of incredulity given that night is the prime opportunity for the commission of crimes and removing the deterrent of night time police patrols will result in more crimes being committed and more money, time and effort being spent on detection.  Response times are expected to suffer, particularly in rural areas.

It seems that Durham Constabulary have also issued similar instructions.  FOI requests have been placed with both forces accordingly.  The question is whether this is a nationwide instruction by Chief Police Officers who are putting costs before policing.  Perhaps it would be appropriate for Cleveland to change their motto to ‘Putting Costs First’.

FairFuel UK

Fuel prices are rocketing. Road haulage companies, general businesses and private motorists are hurting. The whole economy is suffering. Fuel prices are the talk of the nation and the Prime Minister and his senior colleagues are being pressed from all angles on this issue. We believe that there is a window of opportunity to persuade the Government to tackle rising fuel prices. We have joined with the FTA to support, which seeks to represent all road users, and is an addition to existing, intensive lobbying activity from the RHA.

We can make a difference but need your help and the help of everyone in and close to your organisation! The campaign aims are to see the next fuel duty hike planned for April which would add another 3.5 pence per litre scrapped AND to get the Government to bring in a fuel price stabiliser.

This campaign does not support blockades or any disruptive action. It does believe that MASSIVE lobbying of the politicians can and does work. It is being organised on our behalf by Peter Carroll. Peter has wide experience in the road haulage industry and founded and ran the Gurkha Campaign that won the right to live in Britain for brave Gurkha soldiers. Peter and his team at Why Not Campaign Limited are now fighting for a fair deal on fuel.

We need you to sign up at getting all your friends and contacts to do the same. The more that sign up – the greater the chance of success. We request that you forward this email to all your contacts and ask them, in turn, to forward it to all of theirs. Please try and get drivers, managers, admin staff, suppliers, customers, friends and family to sign. By this means, we will reach the tens of thousands of people that we need to be behind us.

Geoff Dunning
Chief Executive

Wind power lhuhnacy writ large

Energy generation and security is a serious subject. Clearly it is too serious to be trusted to politicians like Chris ‘lhuhnatic’ Huhne as this short segment from a post on EU Referendum shows.

When the coal fired power stations are closed because they are ‘dirty’ and emit CO2 that feeds the plants and vegetation needed to sustain life, where is the power going to come from when the wind doesn’t blow? Perhaps we could line up the politicians and the warmists and let them talk nonsense to force the wind turbines to move:

On the other front, Huhne’s wet dream about wind power is looking more and more absurd. At the time of writing, electricity generation reports had coal-fired power stations taking a thrashing, delivering 43 percent of available power, with wind contributing a farcical 0.1 percent, a trivial 44MW out of an installed, metered capacity of 2,430MW. The man’s ideas about wind taking up the slack are totally unrealistic. Actually, they are barking mad.

Or perhaps the gas fired power stations will pick up the slack? But how likely is that when just yesterday National Grid was issuing a Gas Balancing Alert due to record demand? The spin defies belief. If, as National Grid say, high gas storage levels and a healthy and diverse supply pool meant the system was operating as it should, leaving supply and demand balanced, why was the balancing alert issued? Even when the gas is there, will we be able to afford it as demand increases?

As UK wholesale spot gas prices jumped to a two-year high on near record demand, up one-third on a normal December, consumers will have to cope with a big increase in their heating bills over the next few months, as the utility companies seek to pass on the rise in domestic bills.

Meanwhile several hundred years’ worth of coal stays in the ground within our nation’s borders. Available, secure, reliable and effective. But thanks to the EU and our quisling bastards in Westminster we are being bled dry to pay over the odds for wind powered generating capability that delivers only a fraction of its potential and delivers nothing when the wind is calm; and paying even more for back up generating capability powered by a fuel that is rising dramatically in price due to demand competition.

We seem to be entering a new politician driven post-intelligence era.

Government’s energy Lhuhnacy

In his column, Christopher Booker underlines the sheer lunacy lhuhnacy of Chris Huhne and David Cameron’s ‘green’ energy policy. As Booker makes clear, we are required by the EU to spend billions of pounds on renewable energy that is unreliable, so we also have to spend billions of pounds more building conventional power stations that are reliable to act as back up.

But for the sheer idiocy of the political class we could simply build the conventional power stations we need and have the energy we need as perhaps less than half the cost.  It is the worst kind of gesture politics borne of ideological bankruptcy and we, the ordinary people, have to break the bank to pay the huge sums needed to make this farce a reality:

At least the Government admits for the first time that the wind doesn’t always blow; so it proposes a Capacity Mechanism to subsidise the building of dozens of gas-fired power stations, to be kept running all the time, emitting CO2, just to provide instant back-up for when the wind drops. More than once on these recent cold, windless days, the contribution of wind to our electricity needs has been as low as 0.1 per cent – so the back-up to all those turbines will cost billions more, doing much to negate any CO2 savings from the turbines when they work. It does not take long to estimate that the capital cost of Mr Huhne’s new energy policy could well be more than £300 billion over 10 years, or £30 billion a year. Since the total wholesale cost of the electricity we used last year was only around £19 billion, this alone would be well on the way to tripling our bills by 2020.

Fuel increase passes without mention

It says something that a fairly significant fuel price increase at the pumps now goes unmentioned. Prices have inched up during September and October, but yesterday another 2p per litre – 9.1p per gallon – was added on to the cost of fuel in my local area making a gallon £5.54.

In years gone by a 9p per gallon increase would have led the news headlines. Now it doesn’t even get a mention. It’s become a familiar story, when wholesale prices are about to rise the cost and the pumps goes up by that percentage. When wholesale prices fall the price at the pumps reduces only by a percentage of the drop and even then only some time later.

Given the current agitated state of parts of our society perhaps it will only be a matter of time until the hauliers start to protest as the artificially high cost of fuel due to the swingeing duty added on by the government. Another campaign to blockade the refineries could add substantially to the mood of rebellion that is growing in the country. The silent majority might just start to find its voice and dig in its heels very soon.

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