Posts Tagged 'Lights Out'

Is this what the UK government is pinning its energy generation hopes on?

For those who do not watch the American TV series ‘Revolution’ on Sky, the image above won’t mean much (*see bottom of this post for a brief explanation – no spoiler).  But those who do will understand this dismissal of the UK government’s increasingly unhinged energy policy and wishful thinking for keeping the lights on.

In an ICM survey of more than 2,000 people carried out in the UK for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 64% of respondents said they were worried about the prospect of power cuts, and 93 percent said they are concerned about higher gas and electricity bills.  Their concerns are entirely justified.

But what is both striking and disturbing is the language used by a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change when asked to comments on the findings.  They are reported as saying:

The U.K. energy system is, by international standards, extremely resilient.  We are confident that the reforms we’re introducing, the cross-party support they enjoy, and the interest we’re seeing in the market, will mean the lights stay on for the long term.

The official response of the responsible government department only claims they are ‘confident’ the lights will stay on, not that ‘the lights will stay on’.  That should set alarm bells ringing – assuming there is sufficient power for them.

As for being resilient by international standards, perhaps when compared to Tanzania and Nepal it is today.  But thanks to the insane environmentalist-driven policy agenda being pursued by the government, which is shutting down reliable energy generating capacity and only replacing it with vague ambitions, hopes, platitudes and unreliable wind turbines, in years to come there will be less of a distinction.

There is also a reference in the Bloomberg story to government plans for new generators and grid upgrades, which leads us into a whole other dimension, the flaws about which have been rehearsed elsewhere in months gone by.  But in the context of the current focus the issues and possible solutions are worthy of revisiting, which we will do here later.

* I won’t spoil the plot for those who might decide to buy the Revolution box set in the future, but the plot line is that in a single event, all electrical power across the world has been turned off, but mysteriously when in close proximity to one of the pendants the any item with electrical circuitry works again.

Greens’ idiocy underlined again

A BBC story today about a scheme to allow electric car users to charge their vehicles across London being launched reveals the idiocy of the political class on a number of levels.

But while London Mayor Boris Johnson is shown up for yet another bout of foolishness, pledging to install 1,300 charging points across the capital in the next two years instead of the 7,500 he originally promised in that time frame, it is the Green party that takes the prize for their environmental lunacy. As the story explains:

Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson said: “The mayor never explained how he would fund the ambitious plans for 25,000 charging points which he launched with a big fan-fair in 2009.

“He has also failed to guarantee that the charging points will run on renewable energy, so the environmental gains are far less than they should be.”

Perhaps we should be asking Darren Johnson just how electricity from renewable sources can be segregated from electricity generated by conventional means as it is sent down the lines into London.

Perhaps he could also explain how, assuming electricity could be segregated in such a way, what electric car drivers would do when the wind doesn’t blow and no juice is coming down the wire from the lavishly subsidised wind farms where turbines are barely moving.

There is a certain surreal quality to the kind of utopian world the Greens think we should inhabit. Their lack of realism and their rejection of an industrialised world, where people can travel long distances inexpensively and engage in trade that benefits millions, shows them up for the deluded and damaging ideologues they really are.

In the world of the Greens the lights will regularly go out, transport and industrial production will often be interrupted, the cost of our power will soar ever higher as decades of progress are reversed in the name of environmentalism. Perversely the Greens’ plans would result in far greater pressure on this country’s natural resources and far more harm being done to the environment than is done today.

Just to reinforce the point

The temperature at Mind Towers has dropped significantly this evening necessitating the central heating thermostat being turned up. We have a light dusting of fresh snow and more flakes are falling as I type.

However, as before during the frigid weather, the wind turbines at the nearby wind farm are not moving. There is barely a breath of wind. Despite the massive subsidies of taxpayers’ money poured into wind power, once again coal, gas and nuclear power are keeping the lights on and the house warm. Money well spent on turbines. Not.

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.

The UK’s energy policy in a nutshell

On his Telegraph news blog, James Delingpole poses the question: ‘Huhne: the final nail in the coffin of Cameron’s lousy coalition?’ He bloody well should be, but as much as we wish it was the case it is just a little too hopeful.

However, this does not detract from the outstanding clarity of Delingpole’s explanation of the multiple problems with this pathetic government’s energy and climate change policy. The public are being fleeced and deceived into accepting ‘solutions’ in order to ‘save the planet’ from a ‘problem’ that a) is unproven hypothesis and b) we as a country have no influence over in any case.

We can’t even describe this as nonsensical. It makes perfect sense. Corporations and big business investors are getting rich at our expense as our energy bills head north towards £2500 a year. Not a penny of public money is being put into proven and reliable nuclear power, instead it is being spent by the billion on unreliable and inefficient wind turbines that are not even close to economically viable without huge subsidies from our wallets and energy bills. The miniscule amount of electricity they produce must be purchased at excess cost and this is why our bills are rising.

Despite sufficient evidence to call into question the basis for such a policy, the politicians like Cameron and Huhne press on regardless. They have an agenda and it has nothing to do with serving our interests. In fact it dramatically increases the chance of the lights going out. Little wonder more and more people are getting to the end of their teather and coming to terms with uncompromising courses of action.

Huhne’s disturbing energy doublespeak

He is sceptical about the economics of nuclear power, yet has unswerving faith in fantastically expensive and unreliable renewables.

He says there will be no public subsidy for nuclear because it is an old technology and that “The market will decide which low-carbon technologies will be used”; but pours our tax pounds into new wind turbines that produce only 20-25% of their capacity and stands by rules that force power companies to buy all electricity produced by wind turbines regardless of the cost.

He believes there are investors who will be investing in new nuclear, but can only find investors who will invest in renewables by throwing public money at them to subsidise to huge cost.

This is the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne.  This is the man whose vision of future electricity generation in this country is so divorced from reality even sci-fi fans would laugh it off as too far fetched.  If you’re not worried about how the lights will be kept on in years to come, you should be.  The stakes could not be higher.

Some people understand the nature of Huhne’s problem.  However we are powerless to stop the elected dictatorships in this country from doing what they want and playing politics with our energy supplies.  We are at the mercy of a dangerously out of touch ideologue who ignores evidence in the pursuit of realising his fantasy.

Con-Lib energy policy: Pay much more, get less

Welcome to Britain, a land being dragged back into the 19th Century by a political class determined to enact changes that reverse the progress made over many decades in order to appear virtuous. (Hat tip: EU Referendum).

Chris Huhne, for it is he, has again been talking energy in the Westminster bubble.  As the Telegraph reports, his vision of our future energy provision and energy use means households will see a rise in their annual energy bills of at least £300, while at the same time they will be put under pressure to reduce energy consumption.  The government wants us to change our lifestyles to make it possible for them to impelement their regressive vision of the future.

The lights are not going to go out on my watch…

Huhne told reporters.  He’s right about that.  By the time the lights start going out because of this ridiculous obsession with CO2 and wind turbines – and the nonsensical refusal to put public money into building essential nuclear capacity and resulting variable and unreliable nature of energy generation, Huhne and his fellow travellers will have long since been ejected from office for their incompetence.  Our friends at EU Referendum have suggested an alternative way of dealing with these idiots – while revealing just how high the cost of our energy could go.

When one considers that a substantial number of properties in this country cannot be insultated due to their design, what difference will a smart meter make to them?  While the Con-Lib cabal are eager to invest public money in expensive and inefficient technologies to increase the proportion of power coming from renewables from the current 5 per cent to at least 15 per cent, making our energy mix more unreliable, they refuse point blank to invest in nuclear. 

Investing in nuclear power stations today could bring forward the date when reactors could come on line to fill the gap left by retiring coal and gas fired plants.  While we tilt at windmills, many other countries who do recognise the need for nuclear and are booking up the limited number of specialists who can build the reactors.  We are missing a window of opportunity to look after our interests because our leaders are living out their eco fantasies at our expense.

Huhne, Cameron and the rest of the virtuous circle of millionaires have got it badly wrong.  But they are in good company because their Brokeback partner, Nick Clegg, also gets things badly wrong.  Given Huhne’s acceptance that we have a coming energy gap, let’s just take a moment to recall what Clegg said about warnings of the lights going out:

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,” Mr Clegg said.

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.

And wind turbines that produce only about 25% of their potential generation capacity are reliable??  Such a wrongheaded mindset underlines the dangerous folly we are being sucked into.  Our leaders are doing too little, too late.  The immense cost of this inaction dating back many years are now being passed on to us.  And the best these idiots can come up with is to tell us to pay more and use less power while they look around for places to plant more windmills. 

If these people continue to hold sway, we may as well go out today and buy the new line of low energy, CO2 neutral washing machines shown in the picture above.  But count on it that uber-wealthy 7-home Huhne and his ilk will not have to resort to such measures themselves.

Huhne signals extension of Con-Lib energy policy folly

The Sunday Telegraph is among a number of media outlets carrying the frustrating and worrying news that Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, will this week pave the way for a controversial increase in wind turbines – wait or it – in a bid to protect Britain from a looming energy crisis!

If there is one thing guaranteed to precipitate an energy crisis for this country, it is the determination to squander taxpayers’ money on subsidies for wind powered electricity generation, despite evidence showing that carefully selected onshore windy areas where turbines have been put up, barely achieve 20% of the generation capacity they were built to deliver.  It is delusional of Huhne to suggest that Britain can be protected from a looming energy crisis by putting up even more wind turbines that have proved incredibly inefficient at generating power when it’s needed.

Due to its intermittent and variable nature and the propensity for the wind not to blow during times of peak demand (think back to the lack of wind during the bitingly cold winter), wind turbine generated power can never form the energy baseload required to underpin Britain’s electricity needs.  Yet it is the baseload capacity that requires replacement due to the age of the fossil fuel driven power stations and the government’s half baked, EU-driven Low Carbon Transition Plan.

The only stable and therefore reliable form of generating baseload electricity that isn’t fossil fuel based is nuclear power.  It should be a no brainer that this is where government should be devoting its financial resources.  But in a demonstration of ignorance and stunning arrogance in his Sunday Telegraph interview, Chris Huhne has declared that there will be “no money” for state subsidies for a new generation of nuclear power plants.  One can only question the mental state of man because such an approach could be catastrophic for this country.

To compound his idiocy, Huhne went on to praise electric cars, claiming that models such as the Tesla sports car, which goes from 0-60mph in under four seconds, showed that energy saving needs not hamper on-road performance.  Just where the extra electricity to meet the new and additional demand for power for such vehicles will come from, Huhne doesn’t say.  But you can guarantee his beloved wind turbines will fall well short of delivering the required capacity.

The fact is Huhne is a liar. He is just another political charlatan.  For him to declare that onshore wind turbines were “incredibly competitive” in producing electricity is an outright deception.  The generation figures show wind turbines are inefficient.  Added to that the cost to electricity consumers to support the wind turbine feed onto the grid make wind power far more expensive than coal or gas.  Renewables cost more.  When Huhne says:

“We have a tremendous natural resource in the Dogger Bank, which is an enormous shallow area of the North Sea, the same size as Wales.

“It’s relatively cheap to put wind turbines in that shallow area. It’s beautifully windy so it does actually produce a lot of electricity – that is a really important natural resource for us.”

he also omits to mention that offshore turbines are suffering from subsidence and sinking into the seabed and the cost of fixing the problem runs into tens of millions of pounds that will also be met through electricity bills.  So much for relatively cheap. Relative to what, exactly? If there is no government subsidy of nuclear energy then the costs of electricity consumers could more than double in a short space of time.  The investment required to keep the lights on, raised by energy companies on the markets alone, will prove astronomically expensive and be passed on in our energy bills.  Many millions more Britons will be consigned to real fuel poverty as a direct result of Lib Dem intransigence, climate change obsession and fantasy politics.

Huhne, like his boss Nick Clegg, is guilty of ignoring the reality of our situation and using energy policy as a poster boy for their greenwashing of society.  After all, Clegg says there is no looming energy gap in the first place and argues our energy problem is a lack of renewables in our energy mix.  Yet his and Huhne’s policy is to preside over a policy that will reduce the proportion of reliable energy sources in that mix.  It is truly the politics of insanity and we are about to become its victims – and all under a Conservative dominated government.

Update: EU Referendum has more on this supposed ‘march of progress’.

Con-Lib climate change and energy policy is a looming disaster

The Cameron-Clegg axis has demonstrated its lack of critical faculties in united fashion when David Cameron and Chris Huhne visited the Department for Energy and Climate Change.  The Cleggerons’ slavish devotion to the creed of climate change has been put before the need to properly tackle environmental problems such as pollution and deforestation. 

The focus on reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (despite no evidence that proves it causes global warming) as outlined by Cameron cannot bring about the necessary energy security for this country that he also mentioned.  Wind turbines simply cannot and will not deliver the reliable generation of baseload power this country needs.  At immense cost it will produce only a fraction of its potential capacity but the huge costs will still be passed on to consumers.  We need an energy mix comprising nuclear, gas, coal and efficient renewables.  But the kneejerk political class continues to undermine its development. 

The Lib Dems will oppose nuclear generated electricity because they feel it isn’t safe or green enough; we don’t have sufficient gas storage and have to increasingly import gas from abroad as our North Sea reserves fall, driving up the cost; coal is plentiful and accessible, but EU interference and the carbon bogeyman see to it that we will reduce coal generation capacity rather than increase it to meet our needs; and we have yet to uncover a widely distributable efficient form of renewable energy as investment solar does not pay for itself, wind fails to produce when it’s needed and tidal power remains on the back burner with only the damaging Severn Barrage under consideration.

People should remember Nick Clegg’s views denying the looming energy gap that will result in rota disconnection to reduce the supply of electricity to a level that can be generated.  Cameron is buying into the same idiocy.  You can put in all the vastly expensive theoretical generating capacity you like, but if it doesn’t translate into Gigawatts of electricity fed into homes, businesses and the transport network, it is a huge white elephant.  The blinkered approach is only made worse by the pursuit of lunatic feed in tarrifs.

We may have a supposedly ‘new politics’ but we are blindly going forward to bygone days of the lights going out and huddling around candles and wondering when the power will be turned back on in our homes and when our offices and factories will be able to resume production essential to our economic well-being.  We have dark days ahead that will make the economic crisis look like small beer yet the Cleggerons insanely tinker around the fringes with their thumbs up their bums and their brains in neutral attempting to appear caring and virtuous.  On their heads be it.

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