This is my 'digest' of an article by Christopher Booker, published in the Sunday Telegraph, 28 July 2012.
It is not often our Government lets on that it is intending to commit a breach of the law. However last week's statement by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, came close to saying that there isn't any choice.
The country is legally committed to 32% renewable electricity by 2020.
It is committed to cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 80% within 40 years.
It is also the Government's duty to supply the country with enough electricity to keep the economy running.
In 2010, 2.6% of our electricity came from wind.
At that time there were about 3,000 turbines. So to generate 32% of our electricity from wind, we'd need about (32/2.6) x 3,000 = 32,000 turbines.
This would mean building 10 giant turbines every day for 3200 days (about 10 years).
This is obviously absurd.
Ed Davey said that we will need an expansion of gas to meet everyday demands to 2030 and beyond.
He also mentioned that carbon capture and storage will be used, but admitted that it is an unproven technology.
So to keep our power system intact and our economy running, this is the closest so far to an official admission that we have no alternative but to use fossil-fuel gas.
It was interesting that his statement did not mention shale gas, which has halved the cost of methane in the USA. There are large reserves of shale in the UK too.
It is becoming clear that eventually we will get shale gas and that at some time in the future, the Climate Act will have to be repealed.
It would be helpful to Industry if this was sooner rather than later, before the damage being inflicted on our economy becomes permanent.
Meanwhile we wait.
(.... If you wish to quote material from the above, please use the CB original from the online Daily Telegraph, not this summary.)
This week, we have also had evidence from scientist Anthony Watts, that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US government body in charge of America's temperature record, has systematically exaggerated the extent of late 20th century global warming, by using data from inappropriately sited weather stations and by making temperature adjustments.
This is the temperature record which has been used to justify the introduction of extortionately-priced 'low-carbon' policies which make no economic sense.
habitat21, 30 Jul 2012
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