Posts Tagged 'STOR'

If the media really wanted to add value…

… then instead of doing the Tories’ dirty work by focussing on trade union entryism into the Labour Party, in an effort to paint Ed Miliband as even weaker than Neil Kinnock, as regaled on Political Betting, they should focus on entryism into the British civil service and the various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) around the world.

While the media plays its party political games of petty intrigue and personality politics, notionally democratic government is being subverted from within by the left wing entryists who are driving their own agenda and achieving in the shadows what has been rejected by voters at the ballot box.

Consider DEFRA and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.  Both of these departments are stuffed full of closet environmentalists and sustainability activists who control the flow of information to the Ministers of State, thereby influencing their thinking and the approach to implementing government policy.  These are the socialist idealists who went to college, secured a degree, and understanding how government works in this country, joined the civil service and have worked their way into positions of influence from where they can aid or hinder the government of the day.

Local Government has a similar problem to central government departments.  Think back through the raft of child abuse cases and other failures of social services departments and in many of them you will find the leadership of those departments is infested with members of the Marxist organisation, Common Purpose.  The media has barely scratched the surface when it comes to exposing Common Purpose and its nefarious agenda, so it is hardly surprising anyone casting a casual glance at the matter would not understand the serious consequences of this unaccountable body training ‘leaders’ from across the full gamut of public services bodies to work and act in a particular way – beyond authority.

There are even more serious issues with entryists across Europe who have worked their way into a raft of NGOs, that due to the way the EU works, actually inform and direct policy making.  So at a time when people in the UK are waking up to the potential for stabilisation of energy prices through the use of shale gas, we are finding entryists at work formulating the EU’s policy and regulations on shale extraction.

With the entryists striving to hold the line on the adoption and use of unreliable and hugely costly renewables and their ‘dirty’ and hugely costly STOR back up, while pressing for the eradication of hydrocarbons from the energy mix, the risk is that the cost of adhering to the regulations being developed for shale extraction may very well reduce the number of parties willing to invest in this energy source.  The result of this would be more of the ‘reduce demand by driving up cost’ approach that is pushing hundreds of thousands of people into fuel poverty, and scaring the poor away from heating their homes in even the coldest weather.

Each of these issues could easily spawn a number of blog posts in their own right and it may be this blog covers them in more detail in the coming days and weeks.  But with this kind of coverage and exposure being limited to the blogosphere, rather than the larger platform the mainstream media enjoys, the opportunity for raising awareness among the public is greatly reduced.

Thus we remain ill served by our media and its selective and agenda strewn editorial lines, packed full of tittle tattle and yah-boo nonsense at a time when the public is largely ignorant of what is being done in their name and with their money, by people who are subverting democratic control and accountability.

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STOR: Are even higher diesel generator costs just over the horizon for energy customers?

STOROn current figures, as Richard North, Christopher Booker and James Dellingpole have explained in recent days, the Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) scheme that provides back up for wind power and renewables in the form of a national network of diesel generators controlled remotely by the National Grid, is expected by 2020 to cost UK energy consumers close to an extra £1 billion.

However it is possible that figure could increase substantially for energy consumers because of factors that investors, who are rushing to install generators to cash in on incredibly lucrative standby payments and grossly inflated tariffs per MWh, may not have considered.

There is a very reasonable possibility that the propensity of the EU to impose regulation on anything that moves could be extended to things that don’t, such as stationary diesel generators that comprise the STOR network.  The subject of regulation of diesel generators forms a discussion piece on the website of the Association of Manufacturers and suppliers of Power Systems (AMPS).

The EU is nothing if not a fan of harmonisation and standardisation.  For while at this time the EU Stage IIIA regulations affect emissions from portable and rental generator sets in the power range of 18-560 kVA, but not emissions from stationary, non-road diesel generator sets such as those used for STOR-type prime, peak shaving, load shedding or emergency standby power, the EU could decide to move to adopt US Tier IV-style regulation for diesel stationary engines.

Stage III A of the EU regulations covers engines from 19 to 560 kW including constant speed engines, railcars, locomotives and inland waterway vessels, Stage III B covers engines from 37 to 560 kW including, railcars and locomotives and Stage IV covers engines between 56 and 560 kW.  If these regulations were to be applied to stationary diesel generators, which arguably pose a greater risk to people because of their fixed locations and their in situ emission of the nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and other particulates the regulations are designed to limit in fixed locations, existing generator sets may need to be modified or replaced.

The investors who are piling in for their cut of the STOR largesse are not going to want to see margins eroded by the need to replace or update at significant cost their gen-sets.  The costs will be passed on when the government’s operating reserve becomes a hostage to fortune upon which it is ever more reliant due to its obsession with renewables at the expense of conventional energy generating plant.

In the AMPS piece it is clear the power systems manufacturers have already been anticipating what this means for their profits.  As Richard Cotterell, the General Manager at the Perkins Engines Company Large Engine Centre in Stafford makes clear:

France, Germany and Switzerland and other European countries have their own regulations. India, for example, regulates diesel engines up to 800 kVA, whereas the EU only regulates [non-road, portable gensets] up to 560 kW.

Furthermore, the emissions regulations set for electric power engines are several years behind highway engines, so as Perkins also manufactures on-highway engines we are less apprehensive about more stringent emissions legislation. Our electric power division in Stafford, UK will be able to leverage Perkins in-house expertise and knowledge that our brothers have in Peterborough, as well as our parent company Caterpillar has around the world.

In other words, they can bring modification solutions to the market quickly – but it will be at a cost to the owners of the gen-sets.  Perkins stands to do well out of a change in the regulations, as does its fellow Caterpillar company, FG Wilson (now Caterpillar NI), which is Europe’s largest manufacturer of diesel & gas generator sets and power generating solutions.

Interestingly last summer, FG Wilson as it was then, began to implement a significant redundancy programme across its plants at Larne, Monkstown and Belfast when it decided to move the manufacture of retail size gen-sets to China because that’s where its major market for the units is. A Caterpillar employee tells me its strategy is to build its equaipment as close to its customer market as possible.  So it is noteworthy and very telling that the manufacture of large gen-sets of the type used in STOR diesel parks has been kept in Northern Ireland, as demand for them in the UK is robust.

Ultimately the inescapable fact is that the UK government has put this eye wateringly costly STOR in place at our expense and we could soon see our supreme government in Brussels take regulatory measures that further add to the cost, which we will also be expected to cover through our energy bills.  We are in a lose – lose – lose situation and despite the huge implications for energy customers the mainstream media and the likes of its eco-activist, climate defending superstars like the BBC’s Roger Harrabin, remains silent.

Germany’s rebellion against wind power picks up pace


Reading the propaganda that Greens and wind power fanatics churn out the state of affairs in Germany, one could be forgiven for thinking our Teutonic cousins are experiencing a universal condition of rapture and living in a wind energy utopia.

The reality is, as one finds all too often, very different.  As Dellers explained in his piece in the Mail on Sunday, sudden fluctuations in Germany’s power grid caused by the ebb and flow of wind have led to serious industrial damageand the number of short interruptions in the grid has increased by 29 per cent in the past three years – resulting in some firms on the grid reporting damage running into hundreds of thousands of euros as a result of unexpected stoppages.

In 2006, when wind farms were few and far between, engineers in eastern Germany running coal, gas and nuclear power plants took action to stabilize the grid roughly 80 times a year.  Today, as the amount of electricity generated by the region’s 8,000  wind turbines rises and falls by the hour, engineers have to intervene every second day in order to maintain network stability. The knock on effect cannot be underestimated either as neighbouring Czechs and Poles are so fed up with the instability that they are on the verge of blocking the disruptive wind-produced electricity from their power lines.

These are just some of the technical problems that are conveniently being ignored by Ed Davey and the rest of the coagulation government.  But from Germany, via stories in publications like Spiegel that are ignored in our own patsy press, we also discover that the dash for wind is seeing increasing setting the establishment and big business against ordinary citizens who are declaring enough is enough.

The excessive costs borne by taxpayers and energy customers is becoming a major issue.  The effects on residents who are being physically affected by the consequences of living close to the noise and vibration of the turbines is being increasingly reported and stirring opposition.  And of course the blight of the landscape and the horrific death toll inflicted on insects, birds and bats is also making many former supporters of wind switch to opposing the proliferation of ever bigger and more harmful masts, some in new developments and others replacing existing smaller masts as part of a process of ‘repowering’.

Despite all this, the UK government presses ahead with plans to erect more wind turbines around this country, citing its carefully constructed fictions about the efficiency, cost effectiveness and future benefits of wind farms.  But the tactic of wind advocates of citing Germany as a wind power success story is increasingly failing to stand up to scrutiny as the counter consensus becomes stronger.

Factor in the extortionate costs to energy customers and taxpayers of providing generous incentives to corporates to install CO2 emitting diesel generators as back up for wind via the short term operating reserve (STOR), as we start to see the makings of a dramatic shift away from the renewables fantasy.  What we are seeing in Germany we can soon expect to see here in the UK.  Then things could get interesting.

STOR scandal: Revealing the rip off to millions more people


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STOR Scandal: 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: nPower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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