Posts Tagged 'Renewables'

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.

STOR Scandal: Ripping you off to line corporate pockets

Richard is away plane spotting so I’ll try to do my bit for the cause… Booker’s column in the Sunday Telegraph today spreads the word to more readers that under the Government’s STOR (Short Term Operating Reserve) scheme, the National Grid has been signing up, at vast expense, thousands of diesel-driven stand-by generators to provide instantly available power to “balance the grid” when the wind isn’t blowing.

As Booker explains, so huge are the sums the grid is offering to make this power available that hundreds of canny investors have seen that this is one of the great money-making rackets of our time. In old industrial sites, quarries and supermarket premises all over the country they are piling in to install dedicated “generator parks”, capable of producing up to 100 megawatts (MW), in return for “availability payments” of up to £47,000 a year for each MW of their capacity. They then receive additional payment for the amount of electricity they actually feed to the grid, giving them an equivalent of £600 for each MW hour supplied – 12 times the going market rate.

What does this mean for energy customers?  Before long STOR alone will be adding five per cent, or £1 billion a year, to our electricity bills. Yet no one involved wants to talk about it. This is a scam so colossal that it makes the owners of those useless wind farms, who get subsidies of 100 or 150 per cent, seem miserably underpaid. As Booker puts it, this new energy scandal makes the wind industry look underpaid.  And that is exactly what this is, a scandal.

In the name of decarbonising our economy and fighting climate change, ordinary customers like you and me are footing the bill for inadequate and grotesquely expensive wind energy solution that simply doesn’t work.  To make up the shortfall in wind energy’s capacity to deliver the power we need, the government is encouraging – with even more of our money – the construction an even more grotesquely expensive back up solution powered by hydrocarbon fossil fuel.  STOR is best described as the Government scheme to make corporates richer at your expense, which exposes the fight against CO2 as a blatant fraud.

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.

Guest Post: Learning to rely on Renewable energy

A guest post by Jeremy Fordham

For people living both in the United States and across Europe, green issues are becoming increasingly important. Some scoff at it as a fashionable movement, but most people recognize the need to transition away from a dependence on fossil fuels for transportation and generating electricity. Though scientists, researchers and even many students in the process of completing Ph.D. programs have been working for decades toward the development of renewable resources for generating power, it is a movement that still seems quite new to most citizens. In both Europe and the U.S. government entities are setting measurable goals for increasing their respective region’s reliance on green energy production. Studies conducted in both regions indicate strong support for such movements among the people. With such broad approval, it is no wonder that politicians are generally anxious to promote green energy concerns.

Separate studies conducted in the United States and Europe show strong support for developing and utilizing renewable resources. A study conducted in America by the Natural Marketing Institute in Pennsylvania demonstrates that 80 percent of respondents reported caring about the use of renewable energy resources. A separate study conducted in the United Kingdom showed that between 70 and 80 percent of those polled were in favor of the development and installation of wind farms. Such numbers make it easy to conclude that many citizens in a broad range of situations are interested in, and supportive of, the efforts being made to transition to the increased usage of renewable resources for generating electricity.

So why is it that renewable resources are so much in favor over those that are non-renewable? Renewable resources have the advantage of being easily replenished whereas those that are non-renewable can never be replenished. Energy derived from sources like wind, water and the sun are readily available in many regions of the world and can be effectively harnessed to produce electricity and other forms of power. However, people are more accustomed to relying on forms of non-renewable energy – those derived from coal, oil and natural gas, for instance. Despite all of the emphasis placed on green energy in recent decades, the U.S. and Europe still largely rely on such resources to get the power they require. The problem with this situation is that these sources are finite. An oil well may run dry after several years, leading engineers to search out a new deposit to be exploited. Some scientists argue that at some point, there will simply be no more of these non-renewable resources to call upon, making the necessity of learning to exploit renewable resources all the more pressing.

Public support for green energy is strong in both America and Europe, but it seems as though Europeans are moving ahead in realizing the shortcomings of the current technology used to harness renewable resources, such as the wind. As writer Kenneth P. Green points out in the article “On Green Energy: Renewable Energy Fails to Green the U.K. Economy,” the high tech windmills used to harness the power of the wind at many wind farms have a tendency to freeze in severe winter weather. More than that, they also must be shut down during high winds to avoid damaging the blades. Essentially, this results in less power going onto the electrical grid, just when homes and businesses need it most for heat and light. Though such occurrences appear to be widely reported in the European media, they seem to receive little attention in the U.S.

Perhaps this is because of the attitude of U.S. politicians. Sensing the popularity of the green movement, they are loath to acknowledge that there just might be drawbacks to the methods by which green energy is produced. Building a wind farm is very expensive and to then have the windmills there be unable to function on cold winter days when their output is most necessary makes the wind farm seem like a very expensive waste of money. Then again, lobbyists and members of environmental organizations may also be to blame. They are so anxious to push their agenda forward that perhaps they are not willing to examine their cause from all sides of the issue.

On both sides of the Atlantic, there is also debate about whether green energy actually creates jobs. A United Kingdom study suggests that 3.7 jobs are lost in that nation for every single job the industry creates. The numbers hardly look more promising in the United States, but some experts suggest that studies should not be looking to find a rise in manufacturing jobs as a result of the development of green energy production. Instead, they encourage focusing on other areas, such as design and maintenance of clean energy facilities, to find actual job creation.

It may be true that the transition to renewable energy resources just might create jobs someday, but the technology is still too new and not widely enough used to be counted on to transform a nation’s unemployment numbers. Plus, the technology is still flawed. Until engineers can solve the conundrum of windmills that freeze in winter, for instance, they will not be a reliable alternative to fossil fuels. It is positive that the citizens of both America and Europe support the development of green technology and it is also encouraging to see the politicians responding to this support by passing legislation meant to ease the transition. However it will not be until scientists and engineers develop new and better ways of putting renewable resources to work that it will become a viable alternative, one that can be counted on to provide the majority of the power needs of the world.

Another day, another IPCC report supporting vested interests

A report from the International Panel on Climate Change claiming that, within 40 years, nearly 80 per cent of the world’s energy needs could be met from renewable sources, most notably through a massive expansion of wind and solar power, is just the latest example of that body spreading disinformation in order to prop up vested financial interests.

One of the very few reasons for venturing onto the website of the pisspoor Telegraph these days is the fact Christopher Booker still writes there. And he has taken on the subject with gusto and a clarity that leaves other journalists in the shade.  As Booker explains:

What only came to light when the full report was published last week was the peculiar source of this extraordinarily ambitious claim. It was based solely on a paper co-authored last year by an employee of Greenpeace International and something called the European Renewable Energy Council. This Brussels-based body, heavily funded by the EU, lobbies the European Commission on behalf of all the main renewable industries, such as wind and solar. The chief author of the Greenpeace paper, Sven Teske, was also a lead author on Chapter 10 of the IPCC report, which means that the report’s headline message came from a full-time environmental activist, supported by a lobby group representing those industries that stand most to benefit financially from its findings.

Booker goes on the challenge the key claims in the report by resorting to the facts about wind power inefficiency and explaining just how much large corporations stand to make from wind farm developments, such as the one at Fullabrook Down in north Devon. Wind power is not about solving the energy challenge, it is about making vast sums of money at the expense of the taxpayer – first through the government subsidy handed out to make a wind farm financially viable, secondly through the law which forces energy companies to buy every watt of energy they produce regardless of the price and thirdly through the construction of conventional energy generation capacity that has to be on permanent standby to produce power when demand outstrips the supply due to the wind not blowing.

Step out of this foetid IPCC hothouse into the real world and consider what is going on at Fullabrook Down in north Devon, where they are constructing what will soon be the largest onshore wind factory in England. The developers boast of how the 22 giant 3MW turbines they are building on the hills between Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, at a cost of more than £60 million, will have the “capacity” to generate 66MW of electricity, and how they will contribute £100,000 a year to “community projects” to buy off the hostility of local residents.

In reality, this wind farm’s output is not likely to average more than 16.5MW, or 25 per cent of its capacity (the average output of UK turbines last year was only 21 per cent), an amount so pitifully small that it represents barely 2 per cent of the output of a medium-sized gas-fired power station. Yet for this, the developers can hope to earn £13 million a year, of which £6.5 million will be subsidy and of which the £100,000 they hand back to the local community will represent well under 1 per cent.

As always, we have to follow the money to understand how and why these wind farms are still allowed to be constructed. We have to identify the vested financial interests of big businesses and wealthy landowners who cash in at our expense to install wind turbines despite knowing the energy generation benefit to the consumer will be negligable.

We also need to be mindful of the state propaganda arms such as the Met Office which talk up and lend support to such projects, because rather than focus on getting on with doing their job better they prefer to focus on bandwagon jumping and pushing politicised agendas that support their own narrow commercial interests.

This is the reality of Britain today as our ‘representatives’ run riot with our money to line their own pockets and those of their wealthy backers. What defies belief is that there are still some useful idiots who want to deindustrialise the world, and who highlight examples in support of their argument that are shown to be false, who seem to think wind power is the way to go. Perhaps their vested interest is in candle making.

Guest Post: A vist to Broadland District Council

A guest post by Dave Ward

I paid a visit to BDC offices on 27th May to enquire about their efforts to find “Climate Champions”. This was the subject of an article in the EDP on the 2nd of May this year. Two members of the climate change dept (James Thorpe & Deborah Collis) came down to meet me, and a 3rd (“Community Engagement Coordinator” Rachel Leggett) arrived shortly after.

I was shown into a private meeting room, and I initially asked how the project was progressing. Rachel quickly took over the discussion – clearly she wields more influence than either of the other two (who both appeared to be juniors in their early 20’s).

She advised me that they had hosted representatives from 6 groups within BDC’s area. One was from Postwick, a small village which has just installed a wind turbine at their village hall, another from Rackheath where a very controversial “Eco Town” has been proposed. Apparently the main aim of the project is to encourage people to go out amongst their communities and try and persuade others into changing their lifestyles, and making them aware about “Climate Change”. She also said they were trying to organise “Cinema” sessions where the film “An Inconvenient Truth” would be shown.

Up to this point I hadn’t laid my cards on the table (so to speak), other than to point out that I had installed fluorescent lights in our house over 30 years ago, was a keen recycler, and hadn’t taken a holiday for some 15 years! I said that I had watched Al Gore’s film, and at the time was taken in by the content, but  I was now aware that it was the subject of a high court order requiring many inaccuracies to be pointed out if it was to be shown to children.

I think this was the beginning of my downfall, and sensed that my real reason for the visit was becoming apparent. I also quoted from the original press article which was intending to show people how they could save money through lower energy costs, and reduce their carbon footprint. I queried this on the grounds that energy costs are sky-rocketing due to the feed in tariffs offered to micro-generation schemes, which are financed by levies on all customers. Her rather stumbling reply was that they meant saving by using less energy!

I then tried to tackle the confusion regarding “Carbon” & “CO2” by describing the former as the dirty black soot produced by “environmentally friendly” diesel cars, and the latter as a trace atmospheric gas which is also plant food. More sheepish looks… I asked all of them what proportion of the air is made up of CO2, and to his credit, James correctly quoted 0.038%.

I had come armed with a few pages of quotes, and the “Million Dots” CO2 chart which Autonomous Mind had linked to earlier this year, but never got a chance to make use of them as by this point (barely a few minutes after arriving) Rachel clearly didn’t want the discussion to continue, and said it would be best if she referred me to their contact at the UEA, and asked for my details.

I wasn’t exactly thrown out, but as she was moving towards the door it was pretty obvious I was no longer welcome. Being relatively inexperienced at dealing with officialdom I didn’t press matters any further and left, somewhat chasened by the experience.

To my surprise within half an hour she had emailed, thanked me for the meeting, and attached a couple of PDF’s – one was details of the inaugural session at the UEA already passed, and the other a workbook intended for the “Champions” to use. This was full of fairly typical “warmist” Q & A’s clearly pushing the “science is settled” theme.

It will be interesting to see if I get contacted by the UEA, but for the time being it’s been a salutary lesson on the way local government works…

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.

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.

Lucky UK has a massive 40% of Big Wind!

A Guest post by Martin Brumby

“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!”
(King Lear Act III)

I’m sure readers here will be aware that Big Wind’s advocates and defenders are weapons grade Porkie-Pie Men. Not even “Climate Scientists” can quite match them for sheer mendacity. A few days ago AM was kind enough to offer me a Guest Posting on Buff Huhne’s claim that we now produce 7% of our electricity from renewables.

Despite having to correct part of this (see comments), there’s nothing wrong with the conclusion that nothing like 7% of our electricity is renewable. More like 2 – 3%, and most of that is on warm, windy nights when we really don’t need it.

Today I thought I’d like to look at another common claim – the suggestion that the UK has 40% of Europe’s wind. I’m not sure that I can finger Buff Huhne or his egregious predecessor little Eddie Milipede with using this, although they may well have done. I’ve certainly heard it from one of the BBC’s Three Stooges. And a bit of searching on the internet throws up multiple instances of the claim:

40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for small domestic turbines.”

“Did you know 40% of all the wind energy in Europe blows over the UK.?”

“Due to a combination of its latitude (at the boundary of the Ferrel and Polar Cells) and the lack of landmass in the prevailing south-westerly wind direction, the UK is fortunate to have much higher wind speeds than those in continental Europe. Indeed the BWEA has estimated that the UK has some 40% of the Europe’s total wind resource.” [Wot about Ireland? Isn’t that a landmass? M.B.]

“Wind energy has historically been converted into mechanical energy to pump water or grind grain but the principle application today is electricity generation. The UK receives 40% of Europe’s total wind energy but we currently generate only 0.5% of our electricity using wind.”

There’s load of these, all parroted but never with any citation or justification. But what’s this?

Downloading their dismal “Report” [Introduction:- Sir John Houghton, “Former Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” et al, partners and funders including the UEA and Mystic MET – your tax pounds at work] we read:-

“Wind is a vast energy source with an enormous job creation potential. The UK holds 40% of the EU’s total wind resource, but only 4.2% of its total installed capacity (Lambert, 2008).”

Hmmm. “Lambert, 2008” Surely that must be a proper, ‘peer-reviewed’ paper?  Well, not really. It turns out to be a bit of black propaganda by Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London.  She says:

“Clearly the UK has huge potential for investment in wind energy, and is the windiest country in Europe, with 40% of the EU’s entire wind resources. The British Wind Energy Association estimates that the UK could be meeting 35% of its electricity needs from wind by 2020.34 With the UK accounting for only 4.2% of the EU’s total installed wind power capacity, it’s hard not to see this as a hugely wasted opportunity and as a damning failure of Government.”

So where does Ms. Lambert get this gem from, the BWEA? Hmmm. That’s like taking advice on patient care from Dr. Harold Shipman. The BWEA is now the Renewable Energy World. And Lambert’s quoted “paper” seems to be this which contains:-

“The UK has 40 percent of Europe’s entire wind resource and with these abundant resources we should be a world leader in renewable energy generation,” said the statement from BWEA. “Although the UK currently trails behind our European partners’ levels of renewable generation, the UK has doubled its wind energy capacity over the past 20 months. The equivalent of 6 percent of the UK’s electricity supply remains held up in the planning system from onshore wind energy projects alone, which means the UK can meet its 2010 targets and set the stage to meet for more ambitious targets to 2020.”

No reference, no citation, no explanation, nothing. Obviously it is just a bold assertion. I give up. Who knows where this “40%” claim comes from? The leprechaun at the bottom of the garden?  And what does it actually mean?   I then turned to this.  This being Technical report No 6/2009 from the European Environment Agency. Your tax-pounds sent to Brussels at work.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust this outfit if they told me that Christmas day will fall on 25th December. And their “technical report” is replete with quotes from Greenpiss, clear evidence of data tortured until it confessed, computer models, the whole works.

First of all, what is meant by “Europe”? (click to enlarge)

That’s interesting. Turkey is in Europe. Iceland isn’t. Neither is Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine & Vatican City. How about Aland, Faroes, Gibraltar, Abkhazia, Transnistria and the rest? Who knows? Are the Azores & Canary Islands in with Portugal and Spain? Can’t be sure but probably not. Anyway, I haven’t found the raw data (or even the tortured data), but there are some charts… (click to enlarge)

Whilst there are some notes about some of the assumptions and ‘adjustments’ made, it all seems pretty unclear.  It isn’t ideal but it isn’t too difficult to scale off the charts, put the measurements into a spreadsheet, convert to TWh and see how much “Unrestricted technical potential” the EEA reckons there is.

They seem to think that this will amount to over 73,000 TWh in 2030, based on their idiosyncratic definitions of “Europe” and “technical potential”. And that the UK’s share of this “bonanza” will amount to around under 13% of this. Deleting Turkey, Switzerland and Norway (to make “Europe” equal to the “EU” reduces the total to 66,000 TWh and boosts our “share” to a stonking 14%. Even if we look only at “offshore” and restrict “Europe” to “the EU”, our share is only 21%.

So, forty percent? Absolutely no chance based on these charts.

Naturally, depending on your definition of “Europe”, the “UK”, and “Wind Energy” I guess you can prove anything you want to, especially if practical considerations (let alone commercial considerations) don’t matter. The fact that I haven’t found a sensible source for the 40% claim doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist somewhere. But this widely quoted Greenie claim looks like the usual dishonest hyperbole. And, in any case 40% of something that is eyewateringly expensive and almost completely useless is still not worth a fart.

Wind turbines again

Presenter of the Daily Politics show on the BBC, Andrew Neil has blogged about his encounter with Philip Hammond on Wednesday, also covered by Christopher Booker this weekend.

During the show, Hammond (another of those hypocritical weasels who spins like a top) claimed that onshore wind doesn’t need subsidy anymore, onshore wind can pay its way.  Those who actually inform themselves rather than rely on government spin will know that claim is utter rubbish.

Andrew Neil says he has looked into Hammond’s claim and shares with readers what he now understands:

Onshore wind turbine generators don’t necessarily get a direct subsidy to build or operate the turbines (though some might) but under the government’s Renewables Obligation electricity companies must buy power generated by onshore turbines at twice the market rate.

This 100% higher price is then passed on to the rest of us in higher electricity bills. (The price for offshore generated power enjoys, I’m told, an even higher officially-mandated mark up).

So it’s not so much a subsidy in which government doles out billions of our money to keep the turbines going. It’s an artificially high price they are empowered by law to charge to keep them going, which is then passed on the rest of us. Otherwise, as I understand it, the turbines would be uneconomic. You may conclude that is as much a subsidy as a straight taxpayers’ grant.

I’m not sure where Neil looked, but he must have missed this recent piece in the Telegraph that shows onshore turbines do attract a direct subsidy. It is helpful that he has explained the effect of the Renewables Obligation, but Neil would have been more accurate if he had pointed out the EU origins of this insanity that generates a tiny amount of energy but a lot of money for the owners, operators and landlords.  The taxpayer is being ripped off.

Wind turbine money pit and government idiocy

Christopher Booker again turns his attention to the expensive white elephant that is wind power in a short Telegraph column.  He opens his piece thus:

Talking on the BBC last week about wind turbines, which are at the centre of our Government’s energy policy, the Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said “onshore wind doesn’t need subsidy any more, onshore wind can pay its way”. This was so laughably untrue that one has to wonder whether Mr Hammond was being deliberately untruthful or whether, which is almost worse, he is so ignorant that he actually believed what he said.

It is well worth a few moments of your time. You can read the whole piece here.

Guest post by Martin Brumby

Chris Buff Huhne: “The Expert

So Buff Huhne announces the launch of “The 2050 Pathways Debate: having an energy-literate conversation about the UK’s options to 2050”.

Leading climate and energy experts will use the 2050 pathways calculator to present their personal view of how the UK can reduce its emissions by at least 80% by 2050, ahead of the online debate being opened to the wider public. Perhaps he has convinced himself that he is “energy-literate”?

It is interesting that when he introduced the Electricity Market Reforms Consultation to the House of Commons on 16 December 2010, Huhne stated:

The challenges and the opportunities are huge. Put simply, we face growing demand, shrinking supply and ambitious emissions reductions targets: demand for electricity could double by 2050 as we decarbonise the economy; 30% of our electricity must come from renewables by 2020—up from 7% today—to meet our contribution to the European Union’s renewable energy target; and in the next 10 years, a quarter of our existing power plants will need to be replaced, as nuclear and coal plants reach the end of their lives.

Of course The Luhnatic wants the 2020 target to be 30% (and the 2050 target to be 100%) – without Nuclear.  See the Lib Dims’ Election manifesto.  But it is interesting how he deliberately misleads the house of Commons in his statement. I refer to his phrase “up from 7% today”. Really?  Does this stand up to scrutiny?

Now Buff Huhne must be aware that the proportions of different electricity generation are (if you know where to find them) available on the web. This gives the amount of electricity fed into the grid half hour by half hour and figures for the last three months is available to download. At the time I’m writing this, Coal is producing around 41% of the total, gas 37%, nuclear 16% and so on. All the 3000+ wind turbines in the UK are managing just 0.7% – or a tenth of Buff Huhne’s figure.

(Click to enlarge)

So which is nearer the truth, 7%, 0.7%, or what?

It turns out that for 33 half-hour periods in the whole of 2010, the total of Big Wind and Hydro (which actually works, of course) managed 7% or more. Let’s be generous and assume he’s rounding up the figures. So 78 half-hour periods exceeded 6.5%, making 39 hours out of a total 8760 hours in the year. The figures are just fractionally better in you add in Pumped Storage, but to count PS as “renewable” means you can’t pump using fossil fuel electricity.

(Click to enlarge)

So Buff Huhne’s 7% claim isn’t just a bit hyped up. It is flat wrong.

Saying 7% of our electricty comes from renewables is about as accurate as my saying I spent all my time during 2010 having coitus. In both cases just wishful thinking I’m afraid. But we are the ones getting shafted by the Luhnatic and his “experts”.

Update: Please note an important correction I need to make here. It is detailed in this comment.  Apologies for the error.

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.

It’s all about the money

Nothing in this piece in ‘Your Renewable News’ about climate change, saving the planet or the evil death gas. Just lots of excitement about how people can get their share of the kool-aid and make money at the expense of others by installing renewable systems and cashing in on those lovely, overpriced feed in tariffs:

Generating your own renewable electricity can provide a great boost to farm profits and help cut energy bills, provided you do your homework first. Paul Spackman reports

Uptake of renewable energy systems has surged since the government introduced its Feed-in Tariff (FiT) incentive scheme this spring.

Wind turbines and solar photovoltaics are proving the most popular technologies due to their more generous tariff rates, but interest in hydro power and anaerobic digestion is slowly developing.

And when there’s no direct cash incentive involved for you to help make lots of money for opportunist businesses and investors, the latest approach to overcoming opposition to their projects is to buy people off in low employment areas with job offers. No matter that the energy benefits are overstated and amount of power generated exaggerated, this bribe is made possible for the renewables providers because so much public money is thrown at them by the goverment they can afford to do this and still make a huge profit.

Let taxpayer funded wind power subsidies end now

The exaggerated claims of wind power efficiency is at last getting some scrutiny in the mainstream media, recycling the arguments that have appeared on blogs for several years.

In the last two days the Barclay Brother Beano has finally caught up with the blogosphere and published two articles that question the misplaced fetish for wind power that exists in the corridors of government.

On New Year’s Day, little Lou was forced to report that breaking news (ok, a hint of sarcasm) that wind farms were becalmed just when power they produce was most needed. One can almost visualise her typing with gritted teeth before scrabbling around for the excuses she carefully included from the wind industry in an attempt to hold the line.

Then yesterday a John Muir Trust (JMT) report (mentioned here on 5 Star Blogging) which was also covered by The Times, showed wind turbines were only producing 22.07% of their installed energy generating capacity, despite industry claims that turbines produce around 30% – or as they usually say ‘around a third’.

There is a big difference between the 3,881,900MW hours actually generated and the 5,275,800MW hours that would have been produced had 30% of capacity been delivered. The industry is claiming energy generation more that 26% greater than is actually produced. That is not a rounding error, it is a whopping great lie. In the Times today there is yet another story about wind not delivering the goods, a repetition of the 30% generating performance lie and news that National Grid is now to begin detailed forecasts of wind strength because of the huge fluctuations in the supply of electricity from wind farms.

The reason these stories are important is not just that they validate what attentive bloggers have been arguing for so long. The readers of the articles may not have been aware of anything but the government and wind industry spin, and not realised how taxpayers’ money is being forked over to the wind producers to put up turbines that are clearly a huge expense for a tiny return.

If the Telegraph and the Times were worth their salt their next logical step would be a campaign to end taxpayer subsidies of the wasteful machines, that require 100% coal, gas and nuclear back up in any case, blight our countryside and harm our wildlife. We are being ripped off and it must stop.

The question is, do they have the backbone to do this in the face of special interest groups? Namely the deluded green lobby who lie about the benefits and those super wealthy who are making/will make a fortune in rent payments for siting turbines on their land, and who earn excessive feed in tariffs through laws that force the energy companies to buy all wind turbine energy produced regardless of the elevated price.

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.

The great energy delusion

It is several degrees below at Mind Towers after reaching -10C overnight. The snow that melted away here has been replaced by a hard frost that has turned every surface a glistening silvery white. For the first time I can remember the heating has had to remain on all through the night and into the day.

The thing to note about this frigid weather is that there is hardly a breath of wind. The nearby wind turbines are barely moving and are therefore producing a negligable amount of electricity. The coal fired power station on my commute to work has been kept busy with the additional power needs. No doubt our nuclear power generation has been ramped up and we are currently importing power from France.

So the unanswered question remains… what will happen in the future on days like this when power demand is soaring, the coal fired power stations have been closed due to political idiocy, and the wind turbines are not turning?

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.

This of course is just the UK trying to stand still in terms of energy supply and use. With a growing population, driven predominantly by immigration, our demand for energy is escalating. But at the same time we are cutting the amount of our reliable energy generation capacity to fulfil the wet dreams of the subsidy hungry renewables industry and the extreme environmental lobby that is determined to reverse industrialisation and force us away from the electric light age to rising with the sun and ploughing the land for our own food.

It is against this backdrop that the mentally detached are, as EU Referendum notes, pushing their ludicrous agenda to replace conventionally powered cars with electric ones. We are struggling to produce sufficient power for our existing business and domestic consumption, but don’t worry about that, the important thing is that people buy electric cars – costing far more than petrol and diesel ones – that require electricity to charge their cells that their ‘money train’ windmills will be unable to produce.

So what happens on days like this in the future when we have no power for all the charging points that need them? Would we all have to leave our cars at home until there is enough power to recharge them? That should do the economy a whole lot of good. And the environment? Once the global cooling cycle is undeniably evident and the great CO2 fraud has been utterly discredited to the point even the BBC cannot maintain the deception, how long will it take people to realise they’ve been had, forced to pay huge sums for ‘solutions’ to problems that don’t exist and rise up in revolt because power cuts prevent them from seeing the latest episode of EastEnders?

The only way to prevent this folly is to bring down the parasitic political class. As they have destroyed our democracy and made it almost impossible to vote for representatives who can reverse our race to disaster it’s going to take, dare I say, a revolutionary approach to forcing these people out.

Renewable energy burns our money

Whether directly or indirectly, the EU driven Renewables Obligation is going to cost business – and by extension all consumers – a huge amount of money.  Badly thought out, unjustifiable and spawning any number of scams, this scheme will see certain corporations make a fortune from what amount to cap and trade, while others struggle to survive with the burden of additional costs.

The Renewables Obligation is a bureaucratic ‘solution’ to ‘climate change’ that will achieve precisely nothing in respect of the environment yet requires us to burn less fossil fuels and burn our money instead. The issue of costs arose in the House of Commons yesterday and the impact of this Brussels directive is starting to dawn on people:

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the average cost to (a) small, (b) medium and (c) large manufacturing enterprises of obtaining 15 per cent. of their energy consumption from renewable sources. [21267]

Gregory Barker: The Secretary of State has published estimates of the average electricity bill impacts for medium-sized(1) non-domestic energy users of energy and climate change policies, including those policies necessary for reaching the 15% renewable energy target.

The introduction of Feed-in tariffs for small-scale electricity is estimated to increase average bills for this group by £24,000 in 2020 and extending the RO to meet the target is estimated to increase bills by £150,000 in 2020, a combined impact of 17% (source DECC (2010) “Estimated Impacts of Energy and Climate Change Police on Energy Prices and Bills”, available at:

These estimates do not take account of the potential offsetting impact from wholesale prices pushing down wholesale electricity prices, which previous modelling by Redpoint for DECC suggested could be of the order of £6/MWh on average over the period 2010-20. They also do not take account of other energy and climate change policy changes announced in the spending review 2010.

No separate assessment has been made of the bill impacts in the manufacturing sector, or of relating to small or large enterprises.

The spending review 2010 announced that the Renewable Heat Incentive would be funded through general taxation, so it will not impact on consumer gas bills.

    (1) Size is defined here in terms of level of energy use.

Feed-in energy tariff discussion on BBC Five Live

A great return on investment!  Such was the message a short while ago on BBC Five Live as a discussion took place about the use of renewable energy

The discussion became positively gushing when listeners, who do not read EU Referendum and other sensible sources of information, were treated to the ‘revelation’ that by fitting photovoltaic solar panels to their roof at a cost of around £9000 they can benefit from payments worth up to £1000 per year guaranteed for 25 years.

The subtext, as voices became progressively more excited, was clear – Money for nothing! Free money! Fill your boots! Just as it was back in April.  As the presenter and his colleague and guests made clear, fitting solar panels to your roof will only save you around £100 per annum from your own domestic energy costs. That is smaller than very small beer and certainly makes no economic sense for the size of the required installation costs. However, it all becomes worthwhile when you understand that if your solar panels feed surplus power into the electricty grid, the tariff you are paid will generate a healthy return on investment. From an outlay of around £9000 you could reap up to £25000 in tariffs over the course of 25 years.

It goes without saying of course that there was no scrutiny or questioning of the source of the money to pay for this.  It should be no surprise to hear that it comes from you and me, those people who are energy consumers rather than energy generators feeding power into the grid.  We keep being told by the likes of Chris Huhne, and various other parasites who suck at the quango teat, that the era of cheap energy is over.  That is because the cost of our electricity is being driven up dramatically by huge taxpayer and consumer funded subsidies for inefficient energy sources, EU targets on the use of expensive and unreliable renewable energy, and by wheezes such as these lucrative feed in tariffs that make money for:

a) the well off who can afford to chuck £9000 or so into fitting photovoltaic panels to earn feed in payments
b) companies cashing in by fitting the panels on roofs for free in return for keeping the feed in tariff generated

This is the kind of insanity that passes for visionary forward thinking in the bubble of remote and insular politicians and their ilk.  This is the kind of insanity that increases the number of less well off people driven into fuel poverty, as they fund profits for companies and the well off who can afford to cash in on such financial lunacy.  But don’t expect those in the parallel universe inhabited by the BBC to give that a moment’s thought. They just wants us to bask in the faux virtue of paying more to get less in order to ‘save the planet’.

Enter your email address below

The Harrogate Agenda Explained

Email AM

Bloggers for an Independent UK

AM on Twitter

Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.

STOR Scandal

Autonomous Mind Archive

%d bloggers like this: