An interesting post appeared on one of the 'telegraph' blogs recently, by a person I'll call 'k'.
..........Regarding windfarms, global warming, record rainfall etc., which are all tied in together by the various politicians and "scientists" who rabbit on about such things, I have been keeping accurate records of temperature and rainfall for the last 16 years where I live in the south east. For those interested here are the average annual temperatures from 1997 to 2012. First figure average annual temperature in centigrade; second figure actual rainfall for that year in mm.
1997 - 12.75°C & 647mm,
1998 - 12.85°C & 849mm,
1999 - 13.16°C & 843mm,
2000 - 12.80°C & 1149mm,
2001 - 12.65°C & 1048mm,
2002 - 13.33°C & 801mm,
2003 - 12.84°C & 664mm,
2004 - 12.58°C & 751mm,
2005 - 13.06°C & 595mm,
2006 - 13.03°C & 747mm,
2007 - 12.27°C & 879mm,
2008 - 12.03°C & 852mm,
2009 - 12.51°C & 713mjm,
2010 - 11.37°C & 713mm,
2011 - 13.17°C & 594mm,
2012 - 12.97°C & 998mm.
I'm not a weatherman or a scientist, but I see no real pattern here, no upwards trend in temperature nor any pattern at all in the rainfall. The only possible thing you can read into these accurate statistics is that when you get a year with lots of rain, the average temperature tends to be a bit lower, but not always. OK these figures are not over a very long period but they show none of the increases or records that the BBC and others would have us believe.
4 Jan 13
RUSSIA LEAVES KYOTO STAGE II
Russia has withdrawn from the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which started on January 1st 2013. Russia decided to withdraw because the United States, China and India are not participating.
The Kyoto Protocol’s first stage ended on 01-01-12, leaving the world with 58 per cent more carbon dioxide emissions than in 1990, as opposed to the five per cent reduction which its signatories sought. This is largely due to the rise of industry in China, India and Eastern Europe.
3 Jan 13
CANADA WITHDRAWS FROM KYOTO PROTOCOL
Canada has officially withdrawn from the Kyoto climate agreement. The Stephen Harper government has rejected the terms which were negotiated by the Jean Chretien government in 1997.
The Protocol now applies mainly to the EU. It does not cover the main carbon dioxide producers: China, the USA, India, Russia, Canada, etc. Thus for its stated role - combating alleged man-made global warming - the Kyoto Protocol has no effect. It remains an economic burden to the industries of those countries which have signed up to it.
24 Dec 12
The BBC is accused of dishonesty over its climate change coverage by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The GWPF is urging the new BBC director general Lord Hall to review the Corporation’s coverage of climate change. In recent years the BBC has not covered the topic objectively or in a balanced way, and it is still not doing so.
19 Dec 12
WIND TURBINES ONLY LAST 10-15 YEARS
The Renewable Energy Foundation has published a new study by Professor Gordon Hughes,showing that the economic life of onshore wind turbines is between 10 and 15 years. The study is called 'The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark'. The average load factor (the power generated) declines substantially as they age; by 10 years of age the contribution has declined by a third. This means that it is not economic to operate wind farms for more than 12 to 15 years. After this period they must be replaced with new ones.
19 Dec 12
GREENPEACE SHOULD NOT HAVE CHARITABLE STATUS
from former Greenpeace Director Patrick Moore:
"....I find Greenpeace’s latest attempt to seek charitable status in New Zealand via the Charities Registration Board to be ironic ........ my view is that the organization I helped found and lead during the 70s and 80s is anything but charitable today.
Since I left Greenpeace, its members, and the majority of the movement, have adopted policy after policy that reflects their anti-human bias, illustrates their rejection of science and technology, and actually increases the risk of harm to people and the environment.
There’s no reason to reward Greenpeace’s misinformation campaigns with a subsidy from New Zealand taxpayer."
It has become increasingly obvious in recent times that Greenpeace, WWF and others have been taken over by activists with no more interest in saving the environment than those who build wind farms.
The fault is not with the lunatic fringe but with the politicians who give them the attention they do not deserve. - Ed.
2007 - The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change]. --John Bridcut, BBC Trust report on impartiality, May 2007.
2012 - Maurizio Morabito has revealed the identity of those experts. Greenpeace activists, climate campaigners, wind farm supporters, and just 3 current scientists.
New Zealand will not be signing up to the Kyoto Protocol when it is renewed.
12 Nov 2012
AIRLINE EMISSIONS TAX
The EU has backed down over its proposal that foreign aeroplanes must pay a carbon tax when flying over EU air space. America had declared the tax illegal, and China earlier this year threatened retaliation, including the impounding of European aircraft.
11 Nov 2012
MORE ON ELECTRIC CARS
The Prime Minister has recently stated that we should be continuing with our wind farm policy and expand the use of electric cars.
Unfortunately nearly all the power used to charge electric vehicles comes from coal-, gas- and nuclear-powered power stations, not from wind.
Retired engineer JG reports ....Northern constabulary have bought an electric police car for Inverness. It is the laughing stock of the constabulary because it runs out of power after about sixteen miles in the Highlands of Scotland. Turn on the little blue light and it stops in 12 miles. If you need to change a tyre it needs a lorry jack because the batteries are extremely heavy.
Cost (about £30K), weight, long charging times and lack of range restrict the practicality of electricity for cars. Toyota agrees, and is now pulling out of battery cars.
8 Nov 2012
NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA
Engineer Hamish Cumming is continuing his campaign for more transparency in figures quoted by energy companies for government subsidies. He points out that wind farms are not an effective way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and that reports from Ireland and the Netherlands show exaggerated claims from wind farms. He is still seeking an answer from the Clean Energy Regulator to his question: are wind developments actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions? Regular visitors to this site already know the answer to that question.
8 Nov 2012
CABLES TO LEWIS
The Scottish Government’s plans for renewable energy received a setback yesterday. The cost of the undersea cables to bring power from the Western Isles has increased to £700million; 75% higher than expected. This will decrease the probability of wind farms being viable in that location.
The unexpected rise leaves a question mark over the giant Lewis wind farm, given consent only a few weeks ago. The Western Isles Islands Council leader, Angus Campbell, has called for an inquiry.
Scottish Hydro said the cable installation and infrastructure needed on Lewis in 2015 could be delayed but made no mention of cancelling the project.
6 Nov 2012
The renewables industry trade body, RenewableUK, formerly known as the Britsh Wind Energy Authority, has had to withdraw a leaflet saying that wind turbines do not affect house prices. This was in response to a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority by Mrs. Hobbs of the Penucuik Environment Protection Association.
Wind turbines do affect house prices, and this has been acknowledged by the Valuation Office Agency, which has moved a number of affected homes into lower Council Tax brackets.
1 Nov 2012
THE ATLANTIC ARRAY
There is a proposal by government to build an enormous offshore wind farm in the Bristol Channel.
The Bristol Channel Array (also known as the Atlantic Array), if built, will involve the building of hundreds of turbines, seven hundred feet high, in the middle of a region of great natural beauty: the middle of North Devon's prime fishing grounds.
Inhabitants of Gower, Lundy, Croyd, Woolacombe, Baggy Point, Barnstable and other nearby places will shortly witness the building of an enormous industrial site on their doorsteps, if the plans get the go-ahead.
It is difficult to think of a more effective way of discouraging tourism in North West Devon, Lundy and South Wales.
At the same time, the government is implementing the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive and is closing down serviceable coal-fired power stations.
Ben Pile's new video is essential viewing for all those who are concerned about the unnecessary destruction of our environment and our tourist industry. Please visit www.losthorizons.org to see it.
30 Oct 2012
RENEWABLE ENERGY TRAINEES
WKN Energie AG, a German energy company, has said it will fund five trainees for Renewable energy at the University of the Highlands and Islands. The condition is that it gets permission to build the Sallachy Wind Farm.
14 Oct 2012
The pro-wind movement is well-known for the spurious linking of carbon dioxide levels to climate change. If we're keen on spurious links, let's have a look at another one: here are two graphs showing (A) the increase in the number of wind farms over the last few years; (B) the increase in the average domestic fuel bill over the same period.
Incidentally British Gas has just announced an 8% rise in energy bills, following a large rise last year, even though the price of power has fallen over the past year. Presumably the rise is due to green taxes; mainly the building of wind farms.
12 Oct 2012
GRID PROBLEMS IN GERMANY
It is reported that Germany has major connection problems because of resistance to grid extensions. They need 4,000 km of grid but have only obtained approval for about 400 km. Because of this there are offshore wind factories still unconnected to the grid, and now banks are reluctant to fund more developments.
12 Oct 2012
INCREASED RISK OF POWER SHORTAGES
The Energy Regulator Ofgem says that there is an increased risk of electricity shortages over the next few years, largely caused by the closure of coal-fired power stations as a result of EU emissions regulations. It predicts that spare generating capacity will fall sharply by 2016.
5 Oct 2012
PIERS CORBYN INTERVIEW, ITV
Alan Titchmarsh the well-known gardening presenter interviewed Piers Corbyn, weather forecaster, on his chat show yesterday.
Piers described how his technique for predicting the weather, based on solar activity, was more accurate than that of the Met Office. He has explained on many occasions that carbon dioxide has little to do with climate or so-called 'man made global warming'..
Piers is a first-class Physicist who has made a living for years from his weather forecasting expertise.
The link is here:
and another link is here:
It is interesting that Piers has not appeared in recent years on the BBC. It seems that the Corporation's policy is to deny airtime to those who challenge global warming propaganda and its supporting infrastructure of misinformation and subsidy.
One aspect of his forecasts is that indications point towards severe global cooling in the near future.
It was an interesting change to hear Alan Titchmarsh, a mainstream presenter, describing 'man-made global warming' accurately on prime time TV as a scam.
5 Oct 2012
WIND TURBINES DEVALUE PROPERTY
October 4, 2012, Canada. More evidence is emerging that houses in the vicinity of wind turbines become devalued. London Free Press has reported that a study from Ben Lansink of Lansink Appraisals and Consulting states that homes within wind turbine zones are selling for less than market-value. Lisa Thompson, MPP has written to the Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan and asked him to instigate a study.
Lansink analyzed properties in the Shelburne area, home to the 133-turbine Melancthon Wind Farm. He found five homes which had been bought by the wind farm developer, Canadian Hydro Developments, a subsidiary of Calgary-based TransAlta, at fair market value. Canadian Hydro later put those houses back on the market and they sold on average loss for 38% less. One was down by 58%.
This is a serious matter. Many ordinary people use the capital value of their homes to help fund their later years. There is no reason to think that the situation in the UK will be any different.
4 Oct 2012
WIND FARMS GIVEN £34 MILLION
Wind farm operators were paid £34 million during 2012 to switch their turbines off during windy weather.
The arrangement compensates wind farms for the National Grid’s inability to cope with the extra energy produced at certain times.
Domestic users pay for this in the form of higher electricity bills.
It has been known for some time that the National Grid made ‘constraint payments’ – cash given to operators to shut down their turbines temporarily at times when it cannot be used.
It has now emerged that ‘forward trades’ are also paid, where the National Grid agrees a pay-out when the weather is expected to be stormy.
Information about this is on a little-read section of the National Grid website.
The National Grid has said that £15.5 million was paid out to energy operators in the form of conventional constraint payments in 2011-12 in England and Scotland. Forward trades added another £18.6 million, making a total of £34.1 million for the year.
1 Oct 2012
29 Sep 2012
28 Sep 2012
27 Sep 2012
26 Sep 2012
25 Sep 2012
20 Sep 2012
19 Sep 2012
HELMDON WIND FARM GIVEN APPROVAL
Broadview Energy has obtained permission to build a wind farm at Helmdon, near Sulgrave Manor. The plans were approved by the government after being turned down by South Northamptonshire Council last year. Local opinions were overruled.
14 Jul 12
WINWICK WIND FARM GIVEN APPROVAL
EOn has obtained permission, on appeal, to build a wind farm at Winwick, near Daventy. The plans were approved by the government after being turned down by South Northamptonshire Council. Local opinions were overruled.
13 Jul 12
LILBOURNE WIND FARM GIVEN APPROVAL
Hemex has obtained permission to build a wind farm at Lilbourne, near Daventry. The plans were approved by the government after being turned down by Daventry District Council. Local opinions were overruled.
Northamptonshire is one of the country's least windy counties. The three permissions above cannot be justified in terms of wind turbine efficiency (about 15%) or carbon emissions savings (none). This is a good example of policy being driven by subsidy. (see Renewables Obligation )
In the words of Bill Driver, of CPRE: The real problem here is the lack of wind. This wind farm, and others proposed for Northamptonshire, is not economically viable because there isn't enough wind to generate much electricity. What is making it viable is the very high level of subsidy given to onshore wind.
The sceptics appear to have won the scientific argument, but the political argument (and wind turbine construction, using public money) continues.
12 Jul 12
ARE WIND TURBINES ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
Wind turbines should not be regarded as renewable energy because they emit more CO2 emissions though their carbon own footprint and that of their back-up and regulating reserves because of their inefficiency and intermittency when compared to running highly efficient gas-fired power stations at one-third of the cost. Details here from a retired Grid Control engineer.
12 Jul 12
GERMAN SOLAR COMPANIES IN DECLINE
The solar company Centrotherm has made an application for insolvency. The share price is now at 0.42 Euros, compared with 67 Euros in 2007.
In 2007 the large German solar companies - SolarWorld, SMA Solar, Q-Cells, Conergy, Solon, Solar Millennium, Centrotherm and Phoenix Solar had a total market capitalization of about 25 billion Euros, according to Handelsblatt online. Today the figure is 1.12 billion Euros, a decline of 95%.
German solar industry group BSW says that since the end of 2011, roughly 5,000 companies involved in solar energy have disappeared, with the loss of about 20,000 jobs.
The fall can be attributed mainly to the expansion of Chinese companies like Yingli, Trina Solar and Suntech, which now supply a large fraction of the world's solar technology.
12 Jul 12
NATS OBJECTION TO MORAY FIRTH TURBINES
The National Air Traffic Service has objected to the proposed 277 turbines in the Moray Firth Beatrice field, nine miles off Caithness. This is where two Tornados were lost recently. Ithaca Energy, which runs the Beatrice and Jacky Oil fields, has concerns with air and sea access. Safety on the rigs is a serious issue, without the problems of accessing them through a massive wind farm.
10 Jul 12
For every kg of coal burned in Europe, China and India burn about 14 kg.
For every kg of coal burned in the UK, the world burns 100 kg.
Europe's carbon dioxide emissions compared to the rest of the world are trivial, and yet Europe is imposing upon itself punitive taxes which are destroying its own industries.
Trillions of euros will disappear over the next 25 years on 'climate taxes' and 'carbon mitigation'. This will have absolutely no effect on global temperature.
Make your views known to your elected representative, and your friends.
9 Jul 12
DISCORD IN NEW ZEALAND ON TEMPERATURE DATA
In New Zealand there is an ongoing legal action against the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd [NIWA], who produce the New Zealand temperature record.
Researchers found that their temperature record had a warming bias showing a warming trend of 1ºC per century when the raw data showed no increase at all.
After an inadequate response from NIWA the researchers took legal action seeking a Judicial Review of the temperature record.
NIWA countered this by claiming there was no official New Zealand temperature record.
The case continues. Original article here .
8 Jul 12
FENLAND WIND FARM PROPOSAL TURNED DOWN
Local councillors have turned down plans for wind turbines at Tydd St. Giles, on the Fens. Several councillors at Fenland Hall, March spoke out against the turbine proposal during the public meeting. A letter from MP Steve Barclay also opposed the plan. Michael Coleman, treasurer for the organized residents' opposition to the scheme, said that it is time wind turbine companies stopped ruining the landscape and causing hardship to local people.
7 Jul 12
WIND PLANNING PERMISSIONS GET MORE DIFFICULT
Wiltshire has joined Lincolnshire in passing new restrictions which will make planning permission more difficult for wind farm projects. Wiltshire County Council has passed new proposals which are likely to be used to ban new wind farms from the county. Turbines more than 25m high will have to be built more than 1km away from residential property, and larger turbines with a height of 150m would have to be located 3km away from any home.
6 Jul 12
WIND TURBINE NOISE: HIGH COURT
A couple driven from their family farm by the hum of turbines have mounted a £2.5m compensation claim in London's High Court. Jane and Julian Davis moved out of Grays Farm, Deeping St Nicholas, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, four years ago because of the noise from wind turbines. The couple are suing local landowners RC Tinsley and Nicholas Watts, on whose land some of the turbines have been sited, as well as Fenland Windfarms and Fenland Green Power Cooperative, which own and operate the 2MW REpower turbines. Mrs Davis, whose husband's family cultivated Grays Farm for 20 years before they moved out, said it had been a nightmare living there, and they had no option but to leave.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY VESTAS
The world's largest turbine manufacturing company, Vestas, has said that it cannot continue with its Sheerness project. This was to have been a factory employing 2,000 people to make wind turbines. Two reasons were given: a)not enough orders, b)not enough political support in Britain. This is the same company which closed its manufacturing facility on the Isle of Wight in 2009.
23 Jun 12
FRITZ VARENHOLT'S REMARKS ON THE IPCC
Fritz Varenholt is a well-known environmentalist. In 2001 he founded the wind energy company REpower and is now director of RWE's renewable energy division In August, he will become the new executive director of the German Wildlife Foundation.
In a recent interview he recounted his experiences of the IPCC:
"For many years, I was an active supporter of the IPCC and its CO2 theory. Recent experience with the UN's climate panel, however, forced me to reassess my position. In February 2010, I was invited as a reviewer for the IPCC report on renewable energy. I realised that the drafting of the report was done in anything but a scientific manner. The report was littered with errors and a member of Greenpeace edited the final version."
20 Jun 12
UN SCIENTISTS PLEAD FOR IMMUNITY FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION
Climate researchers working for the United Nations have issued a plea for immunity from prosecution. Government-funded personnel sought the ruling on the eve of the latest round of climate talks in Rio de Janeiro, June 20, 2012.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change issued its request to protect researchers who had supplied information to support the the theory of man-made global warming.
19 Jun 12
MORE ON THE EMISSIONS TAX CHESS GAME
Air fares may go up as a result of the EU emissions tax. 30 countries have said they will retaliate if Brussels tries to enforce it. On the EU side, European carriers may be told that they cannot fly over countries which object to the scheme. Forcing planes to divert - for example avoiding India - would add to the cost of flying to popular holiday destinations such as Thailand.
The package of retaliatory measures was drawn up earlier this year by the "Coalition of the Unwilling"; these countries signed the Moscow Joint Declaration, banning their carriers from agreeing to the EU airline emissions tax. China has threatened to impound European planes if its own aircraft are seized and Chinese airlines have refused to give carbon emissions data to the EU.
13 Jun 12
GAS IS BETTER THAN WIND FOR LOW CARBON
From the Daily Telegraph 8 Jun 12, summarized by ND
....The Policy Exchange has published a report saying that the government should abandon 4GW of its planned 13GW target (rated capacity) for offshore wind farms. By building gas-fired power stations instead it would save between £700 million and £900 million. These costs would otherwise have to be paid by consumers. The savings could be used to insulate hundreds of thousands of homes and to extend energy research. The government would still have enough money left to buy enough carbon permits to reduce emissions by six times as much as the 4GW of offshore wind.
The policy officer from the WWF responded by saying that the carbon-cuts part of the report was wrong.
One wonders, however, why a national newspaper finds it necessary to ask a wildlife charity about energy policy - Ed.
11 Jun 12
Nice quote from the Daily Bayonet....Your web searches are increasingly powered by wind turbines. Which gives concerned parents a new angle on an old problem. Kids, every time you search for young ladies who can’t afford clothes, an eagle dies.
9 Jun 12
JAMES HANSEN PAPER FROM 2000
The global warming activist James Hansen has been prominent in saying recently that man's carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous warming of the planet. Regular readers of this website will remember his predictions of boiling oceans which I posted last month.
It is interesting, therefore, to look at part of a paper which he published in the year 2000.
Authors: James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy, Andrew Lacis, and Valdar Oinas
A common view is that the current global warming rate will continue or accelerate. But we argue that rapid warming in recent decades has been driven mainly by non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as chlorofluorocarbons, CH4, and N2O, not by the products of fossil fuel burning..........
Later on in the paper itself he says....
Our estimates of global climate forcings indicate that it is the non-CO2 GHGs that have caused most observed global warming.
One wonders why he is now promoting the opposite.
Source: Anthony Watts' website
5 Jun 12
POOR REPORTING OF SCIENCE BY MAINSTREAM MEDIA
The day-to-day reporting of environmental issues by the mainstream media is still not good. A typical piece is riddled with errors, misconceptions, and unchecked statistics.
It happens day after day, week after week, month after month. It never stops.
Unfortunately, the end result of journalism like this is that eventually no-one believes any of it.
The BBC is especially guilty of aiming its science reports at a juvenile or uninformed audience. I guess it doesn't employ enough scientists at grassroots level to do anything else.
In case anyone at the BBC reads this: Science and Environment reporting should be objective, evaluative and impartial, and done by someone who has a good grounding in basic Science and Maths. Not an Arts graduate.
....The integrity of Western media depends on whether they encourage critique and fault-finding analysis - or whether they will drift more and more towards gullible campaign journalism. ............Benny Peiser, Director, GWPF.
3 Jun 12
MORE ON THE EU AIRLINE EMISSIONS TAX
India has said that it may place a ban on European aeroplanes if Europe does not drop its emissions tax on Indian planes flying into Europe.
27 May 12
GLOBAL TEMPERATURES ARE NOT RISING
The International Energy Agency said this week that global carbon dioxide emissions have reached their highest ever level. However there has been no increase in mean global temperature for about fifteen years.
26 May 12
MORE ON UK FRACKING
Varied estimates have been flying around regarding the UK's shale gas reserves. DECC is working with the British Geological Survey to ascertain what is available.
The biggest deposits appear to be around Blackpool. Cuadrilla estimates these reserves to be in the region of 200 trillion cubic feet; about 5.7 trillion cibic metres. This is enough to meet Britain's gas needs for 80 years. Stephen Smith, speaking for the company, said that between 5 and 15% was likely to be extractable.
Tony Grayling, Head of Climate Change and Communities at The Environment Agency, said that there was debate about the size of shale gas reserves, and that from his conversations with the British Geological Survey, the figure was probably around 6 trillion cubic metres.
Using US figures, recovery would range from 10 to 30%, so at a mid range of 20% that makes it 1.12 trillion cubic metres. With a 40 year field life that would mean £3Billion a year to the Treasury and 15% off the balance of payments from ceasing imports.
It would be good to see some balanced discussions about fracking in the mainstream media. Ed Davey seems to have decided already that fracking is unsuitable, citing Centrica and Shell (hardly unbiased observers) who say that shale gas could supply perhaps 5 to 10 percent of our energy needs. This equates to recoverable reserves of 0.15 trillion cubic metres; far lower than the BGS estimate.
24 May 12
FUNDING FOR CARBON CAPTURE CONTINUES
A new Centre for carbon dioxide-enhanced Oil Recovery is to be set up at Edinburgh University and will be aimed at developing carbon capture and storage in oil fields in the North Sea. A spokeswoman for the University said the technology could be used to store 75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from power plants, and increase the amount of oil recovered from subsea reservoirs by between 5 and 25 per cent. Carbon dioxide would be injected into oil fields deep beneath the sea bed, forcing out additional hydrocarbons. The centre is to be developed in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University and the British Geological Survey.
ND comment - British carbon dioxide output from coal is about 192M tonnes per year, so if the technology can be made to work, it would store about four month's - worth. US and Canadian studies suggest, however that the technology is unworkable. See Carbon Capture page.
25 May 12
AMERICAN FRACKING WILL BENEFIT EUROPE
Opposition to fracking in Europe, principally by those with an interest in renewables, has slowed the development of natural gas in Europe, creating export opportunities for U.S. producers. Wood MacKenzie estimates that by 2020, Europe will be using more American shale gas than that produced from domestic fracking.
24 May 12
GERMANY'S GREEN ECONOMY FADING
Germany’s third largest aluminium producer, Voerde Aluminium, has filed for bankruptcy. Trade groups are calling for affordable power equivalent to the nuclear capacity which was taken off- grid in response to the Fukushima accident.
Production of metals, particularly aluminum, is at risk in Germany due to high electricity prices which are not internationally competitive, according to Ulrich Grillo, President of Germany's trade body for the metal industry.
German users of over 20 GWh per year pay 11.95 euro cents per kWh, compared to 6.9 cents in France, according to energy.eu data for November 2011. Among the 27 EU countries only Cyprus, Italy, Malta and Slovakia have higher prices for heavy users of electricity.
This situation is the result of green agendas being allowed to dominate energy policy.
If green extremism is not stopped, European industry will continue to decline.
21 May 12
EUROPE RETURNING TO COAL
Economic problems in Europe are causing some re-thinks on energy. No growth means lower electricity usage, which means less demand for 'carbon allowances' and emissions trading. With gas prices high in Europe and nuclear power being switched off in Germany, coal has become attractive again. Not 'clean coal' with the scientifically illiterate 'carbon capture', but ordinary coal-fired power stations which produce electricity at the right price.
Given the scope of Europe's economic problems, politicians would be be better off dropping the obsession with carbon dioxide and repealing all climate-change legislation. In ten years' time, after we have spent countless billions on 'carbon mitigation', the mainstream media will finally discover that carbon dioxide had no effect on global temperatures anyway.
Plenty of people out there who have examined the evidence know this already.
19 May 12
STRANGE DOCUMENT FROM WWF
I thought that the World Wildlife Fund was a charity organization designed to protect ecosystems and wildlife in general. I was surprised today to read that it has produced a document, The Living Planet Report for 2012, which can only be described as anti-Western society.
The document says that economic growth should be abandoned, that citizens of the world's wealthy nations should prepare for poverty and that all the human race's energy should be produced from renewable sources by 2050. This, apparently, will help prevent climate change and will help poorer nations.
This is lunatic fringe stuff. It is advocating lower standards of living and mass unemployment. Is this really the WWF?
They will not be getting a donation from me.
18 May 12
GREEN DEAL REVIEW
Downing Street is to review its Green Deal scheme. The deal, to insulate Britain's older houses, is intended to reduce energy bills and the number of households in fuel poverty; currently about 5million.
However there is a dispute over the priorities of the scheme. The government says most lofts and cavities are already insulated so it wants to offer grants on solid wall insulation, which costs a lot more.
Critics say it makes no sense to insulate solid walls at £7,500 a home when there are still plenty of lofts to insulate at £500 a home.
17 May 12
EUROPE'S ENERGY POLICY
Jean-Pierre Clamadieu the new chief executive of Franco-Belgian Solvay, in an interview with the Financial Times, said that Germany, France and Belgium were acting in isolation on nuclear and gas policy and failing to come up with a strategy to keep Europe’s companies competitive. Natural gas in America is one third of the price of European gas as a result of new ‘fracking’ technology. This is not helpful to European industry.
He said that the cost of energy, along with the eurozone crisis, is the most urgent problem confronting industry today. This is because Europe’s political leaders ignore competitiveness when they design energy policy.
Germany has recently withdrawn from nuclear power, increasing its energy costs, and causing problems with its national grid, even though the probability of a tsunami affecting its nuclear plants (which is what happened in Japan) is zero. Belgium may also phase out nuclear plants sooner than expected. The new French president has said he will cut nuclear energy from 75% of electricity production to 50%.
Mr. Clamadieu commented that it is difficult to understand why nuclear electricity costing 4p per kWh should be replaced by offshore wind energy costing 20p - five times the price.
summarised by ND from an article by James Boxell, FT 14 May 12.
15 May 12
The European Parliament will not be sending a delegation to the UN's Rio+20 summit on sustainable development in June. It says the costs are too high at a time when many Europeans are faced with economic hardship.
The Queen's Speech revealed a new Energy Bill which will increase electricity bills, this time by around £200 a year. Wind and nuclear feature in the plans. Businesses are very concerned about rising electricity bills. High costs mean lost jobs.
The future of nuclear will be highly dependent on what happens to the price of gas. Fracking may make an enormous difference; if it lowers the price of gas to the extent it has in the USA, nuclear may no longer be competitive.
On present evidence, wind power will be pursued irrespective of cost or effectiveness until someone in government ends the subsidies.
9 May 12
MEASURED WIND PERFORMANCE: CANADA and GERMANY
Data comparing the actual output of wind turbines supplied to the Grid with their rated output:
Hydro Quebec, Gaspe site. First three years, capacity factor 18%.
Ontario, IPSO data: approx capacity factor 20%.
EOn, 9 GW installed capacity; av output 1.35GW; capacity factor 15%.
8 May 12
DEMAND FOR SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS DECLINES
The demand for solar panels has declined since government halved the feed-in tariff for households which supply solar electricity to the national grid.
The average price of a set of solar panels is £12,000. The electricity which they produce (roughly 42p per unit, or 21p per unit, depending on when the panels were installed) is paid for by everyone else, through their electricity bills.
DECC is now consulting on a further cut to feed-in tariffs, probably to be implemented in July.
ND comment .... there is a misconception that PV panels reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In their lifetimes, polycrystalline and single crystal PV panels produce less energy than it took to make them in the first place (amorphous silicon possibly scrapes under the wire). It follows that they do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
7 May 12
WIND RAISES PRICE OF ELECTRICITY IN MINNESOTA
Politicians say they want to reduce energy prices, but they ignore the easiest way of doing it - repealing their renewables policies.
Twenty-nine states have rules which force utility companies to buy between 20% and 33% of their electricity from renewable sources. The effect is to make the utilities pay too much for their power.
The renewables surcharge presently works out at 12%. By 2025 it is projected to be 25%.
The Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA), which represents about 50 small utilities serving 650,000 rural residents, reports that its members lost $70 million in 2011 because of the high cost of wind power. They are paying for wind power they do not need, cannot use and cannot sell.
Mark Glaess, director of the MREA, estimates that the renewables policy has raised the annual residential utility bill by $50-100.
Paraphrased from wsj.com , 5.5.12
ENERGY CRISIS LOOMING
Tim Yeo has said that urgent action is needed over energy policy or the lights will soon be going out. Further delays would also result in Britain failing to attract investment.
Tim Yeo is right. Unfortunately the signs are still not very positive. Only last week his boss, Mr. Cameron, was talking about wind turbines as a solution to energy shortages.
Only governments can waste money in such a monumental fashion.
When it's very cold and frosty it is usually calm, so wind farms don't generate any power. When it's cold and stormy, as it was last month, they have to be shut down to avoid damage.
3 May 12
CONSERVATORY TAX ABANDONED
The government proposed last week to impose a green tax on all householders building conservatories, buying new windows or putting in new boilers. The scheme was to tax anyone installing cavity wall insulation or loft insulation. The proposal has now been abandoned. Now perhaps we can get on with getting a new generation of nuclear power stations built and working, and abandon the EU emissions tax before it threatens more jobs in the aircraft-building industry.
15 Apr 12
WIND FARMS: THE PENNY IS DROPPING IN WHITEHALL
Ministers are preparing to veto major new wind farms in the British countryside and cut back their subsidies, according to senior Whitehall sources. This follows 100 backbench Conservative MPs objecting to the blighting of rural areas by wind turbines. Matt Ridley argued last month (in the Spectator) that wind policy would eventually collapse; the only question was how long it would take for ministers to realise that it made no economic sense. Greg Barker said on Sunday that his department has adopted an ‘unbalanced’ approach to wind farms and will now look at other options.
This is a step in the right direction.
14 Apr 12
NO MORE COAL POWER IN USA?
The Environment Protection Agency has proposed a new “Carbon Pollution Standard” which requires new fossil-fuel power stations to emit no more than 1,000 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt hour. About 95% of all natural gas fired power plants already meet the standard. No existing coal power plants come close. The most efficient, on average, emit 1,800 lbs CO2/MWh.
A coal power plant equipped with carbon capture and storage technology, if it worked, could meet the standard, but the levelized cost of new coal plants already exceeds that of new natural gas plants.
The EPA has, therefore, proposed a standard that no commercially-viable coal plant can meet.
7 Apr 12
AIRLINE TAX CHESS GAME CONTINUES
The French Prime Minister has advised the European Union to retreat over its emissions tax. The EU is not united over the proposed tax; several countries are unhappy. India, China and the USA have also described it as illegal.
France is worried that more Airbus orders will be lost from China, which is presently refusing to sign contracts for 35 long-haul A330s and 10 A380 superjumbo planes. 2000 French jobs are at stake.
The tax is believed to be worth about €10.4 billion over eight years.
6 Apr 12
SOLAR PANEL MANUFACTURERS GO BANKRUPT
Solar Trust of America LLC has filed for bankruptcy. Q-Cells of Germany, once the world's biggest maker of solar panels, is also filing for bankruptcy.
3 Apr 12
EU AIRLINE TAX CAUSES CANCELLED ORDERS FROM CHINA
China has cancelled orders for 35 European Airbus A330 jets, and is threatening more cancellations, because of the EU Airline Tax (see entry for 6 Jan, below).
India has banned its airlines from submitting carbon dioxide emissions data. In February, India, China, the USA and 20 other countries, signed the Moscow Declaration with the aim of killing off the EU Airline Tax.
It also seems that the UK government is becoming aware of the economics of 'decarbonization'. If it acts now it may be able to prevent more of our industrial base from going abroad where energy costs are lower.
2 Apr 12
UK CLIMATE CHANGE ACT NOT YET REPEALED
The Climate Change Act escaped unscathed from George Osborne's budget this week. Expect, therefore, further energy prices rises over the coming year. The only way out, short-term, seems to be shale gas, currently under investigation in various parts of the UK, which may provide a relatively trouble-free and reasonably priced source of methane.
22 Mar 12
WHITEHALL BLAMED FOR CARBON CAPTURE FIASCO
Summarised from an article by P. Clarke, FT, 16 Mar 12.
The National Audit Office has found that a series of failures in Whitehall led to last year’s collapse of a £1bn project that was supposed to make Britain a world leader in capturing carbon dioxide emissions.
After spending four years and £64m on a competition to find a group to build the UK’s first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage demonstration project, ministers cancelled it in October when they failed to agree funding terms with the only consortium left in the race. The consortium, led by ScottishPower, had planned to capture carbon emissions from the Longannet coal-fired power plant in Scotland and pipe them to be stored in depleted gas fields deep under the North Sea.
ND comment: Whitehall had nothing to do with the failure. The energy industry has known for years that Carbon Capture technology is unworkable. What is more surprising is that we are still pretending to pursue it.
21 Mar 12
NEW STUDY BY BENTEK ENERGY, COLORADO
A recent study by this company, based on emissions data from power generation companies, found the following (summarized by ND):
The wind energy business is the electricity sector's equivalent of the corn-ethanol scam. It is an industry which depends wholly on subsidy to remain solvent. It provides an inferior product to customers - overpriced intermittent electricity, and it does not reduce our need for hydrocarbons. Nor does it cut carbon dioxide emissions.
18 Mar 12
A new 'Marine Energy Park' has been announced for the UK: it will stretch from Bristol to Cornwall. The scheme involves local enterprise partnerships, Plymouth and Exeter Universities and industry.
17 Mar 2012
SETBACK FOR U.S. NUCLEAR
A shale-gas expansion in the USA has greatly increased the amount of natural gas available, giving power companies an alternative to nuclear.
Several years ago, fifteen power companies were proposing 29 new reactors. Today, only two projects remain.
Across the country, utilities are turning to natural gas to generate electricity, with 258 plants expected to be built from 2011 through 2015. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says it costs about $978 per kilowatt of capacity to build and fuel a big gas-fired power plant, compared with $5,339 per kilowatt for a nuclear plant.
Countries which do not have access to cheap natural gas are planning plans to build new reactors, according to the World Nuclear Association. Once built, nuclear plants produce electricity very cheaply.
Enormous quantities of natural gas have been discovered in the U.S., especially in shale. In 2010, there were 487,000 wells producing natural gas in 30 states, led by Texas with 95,000 wells. Shale-gas production now accounts for about one-third of U.S. gas supplies.
The new supplies have helped reduce prices to one-third of their level in 2005.
16 Mar 2012
WIND IS ROUGHLY TEN TIMES THE PRICE
Last week, the real costs of wind power were exposed in a report by Gordon Hughes, Professor of Economics at Edinburgh University. He has calculated that the bill for wind energy by 2020 will cost consumers £120 billion. Generating the same amount of electricity from efficient gas-powered stations costs £13bn. (summarised from Scotland on Sunday, 11 Mar 12)
Government figures only admit to wind energy being double the price of other sources.
As I understand it, this is because they ignore feed-in tariffs, the Renewables Obligation, constraint payments, the cost of entending the Grid, and the money it takes to maintain the spinning reserve.
12 Mar 2012
BOOST FOR NUCLEAR IN UK
The UK government wants nuclear power to be given parity with renewables in Europe, in a move that would boost atomic energy in Britain but downgrade investment in renewable generation, according to a leaked document seen by the Guardian. The EU-wide target of 20% electricity from renewables will probably be scrapped when it runs out in 2020. "The UK envisages multiple low-carbon technologies: renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, all competing freely against each other in the years to come. For this reason, we cannot support a 2030 renewables target," it reads. --Fiona Harvey and Juliette Jowit, The Guardian, 12 March 2012.
CLIMATE CHANGE ALARMISM FADING IN SOME COUNTRIES
Climate change is disappearing from the political agenda in some parts of Europe.
Polish environment minister Marcin Korolec is to veto an EU proposal for CO2 cuts at a meeting in Brussels on Friday 9 Mar . Warsaw also objects to other details of the low-carbon plan under consideration. An EU diplomat noted that the Czech Republic and Romania are hiding behind Poland on the issue.
8 Mar 2012
REPORT ON ENERGY POLICY BY AF CONSULT
According to an independent report written by AF Consult, Britain could meet its carbon reduction targets in 2020 for £45 billion less if it abandoned wind power in favour of cheaper gas-fired power plants and nuclear reactors.
The saving would rise to £150 billion by 2050 because of the costs associated with building and running the proposed 32,000 wind turbines.
The study was supposed to be published last year but was withdrawn by its sponsor, KPMG, a government adviser on energy policy, after some of the findings leaked and provoked an outcry from certain groups.
AF Consult will publish its analysis tomorrow, 5 Mar, in the interests of presenting an independent perspective.
More here .
4 Mar 2012
EFFECT OF GREEN SUBSIDIES ON INDUSTRY
from a letter to The Daily Telegraph, edited for anonymity.
Sir - George Osborne, the Chancellor, says that the country has no money to spare and that the future depends on the private sector (report, 27 Feb).
I am arranging a contract for a company in a high-tech area which will be paying £500,000 for its electricity over the next year. Of that money, £50,000 will go to subsidise inefficient green energy such as wind turbines and solar energy via the Renewables Obligation.
Extract from Prime Minister's Questions, w/e 3 Mar 2012:
...We're cutting the subsidy to onshore wind because I think it has been over-subsidised and wasteful of public money.
The second thing we're doing is the Localism Act, which will give local communities a greater say over issues like wind turbines."
Mr. Cameron also said that he favoured wind power, regardless of EU emissions targets, and that there were good reasons for building more onshore wind farms.
I do not disagree with him if the location is suitable, the subsidies stop, and the energy generated is of a similar price to that of coal, gas and nuclear for that location.
1 Mar 2012
SHADOW ENERGY MINISTER ADMITS TO COST OF RENEWABLES
In a report in some of the national papers, Tom Greatrex has commented on the cost of renewables, in a statement about Scottish independence.
He stated that in a separate Scotland, the burden of paying for renewables would fall on Scottish consumers alone, and this would send energy bills "through the roof", as pointed out in a report by Citigroup last year.
His use of the word 'burden' is an accurate description of our current renewables policy. Principally offshore wind, it is unbelievably expensive. The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates the current cost of electricity production (pence per kilowatt hour) as 2.2p for gas, 15-21p for offshore wind.
The enthusiasm of the BBC for wind power is well known; a typical BBC report will assert that a small wind turbine provides the power for tens of thousands of homes. Unfortunately few people know enough science to do the sums, and the assertion goes unchallenged.
Apart from a few lone voices (Nigel Lawson and Christopher Booker being notable exceptions) there has been no intelligent discussion of the economics of wind power in the mainstream media.
25 Feb 2012
There are hundreds of salesmen currently persuading householders to sign up for 'free' smart meters to measure electricity consumption. Data will be fed more or less continuously to the energy company concerned.
There are several aspects to the installation programme which I do not like.
22 Feb 2012
CLIMATE CHANGE SEMINAR, HOUSE OF COMMONS: RICHARD LINDZEN
".....Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.
Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating."
22 Feb 2012
TRADE WAR LIKELY OVER EU AIRLINE EMISSIONS TAX
The EU has been imposing 'climate change' charges since 1 Jan on airlines whose planes fly over Europe.
There is no evidence that man-made carbon dioxide affects global temperatures. One wonders whether the EU is aware of this, or whether they would impose the tax anyway.
Representatives of 26 countries are meeting in Moscow this week to work out what form their retaliation against the EU should take. Countries affected include China, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil and the United States.
22 Feb 2012
NO NEED TO PANIC ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING
The authors of the Jan. 27 Wall Street Journal article (see below) have responded to their critics as follows:
......In summary, science progresses by testing predictions against real world data obtained from direct observations and rigorous experiments. The stakes in the global-warming debate are much too high to ignore this observational evidence and declare the science settled. Though there are many more scientists who are extremely well qualified and have reached the same conclusions we have, we stress again that science is not a democratic exercise and conclusions must be based on observational evidence.
The computer-model predictions of alarming global warming have seriously exaggerated the warming by CO2 and have underestimated other causes. Since CO2 is not a pollutant but a substantial benefit to agriculture, and since its warming potential has been greatly exaggerated, it is time for the world to rethink its frenzied pursuit of decarbonization at any cost.
21 Feb 2012
DUTCH SCIENTIST CRITICISES DRAFT IPCC REPORT
The scientist and chemical engineer Arthur Rörsch has distributed a working paper to Dutch officials in his country asking for a comprehensive review of the results and recommendations of the IPCC, especially its upcoming 5th assessment report.
He says that the draft report exemplifies the worst features of science.
In his paper, Rörsch says that the IPCC has deviated from the traditional scientific principles. On man-made warming from CO2, he writes “no indisputable scientific proof, or even strong empirical evidence, has been provided for such an effect, which therefore remains a matter of speculation.”
21 Feb 2012
SOLAR PAYMENTS TO DECREASE
Good news for those who believe that the UK has been wasting money on solar PV in paying 43p per unit: in April the subsidy will drop to 21p, in Oct. 2012 it will be about 13p, and by April 2015 it will be around 8p. These prices are more realistic.
For comparison..... the retail price which I pay for electricity is about 24p per unit.
20 Feb 2012
HYPOTHERMIA CASES INCREASE IN UK
The official figures for hypothermia cases have been released, a few days after extremely cold conditions in the UK. 950 patients were treated in hospital for hypothermia in 2006-7, increasing to 1,876 in 2010-11.
Deaths within 30 days increased from 135 to 260 over the same period.
Correlation is not causation, but energy costs have increased by about 40% over the same period.
16 Feb 2012
IS THE 'AGW' CONSENSUS ON THE POINT OF COLLAPSE?
This short extract is paraphrased from the Catholic Herald; the full article by William Oddie is here . See also the similar piece by Howard Curnow in the Methodist Recorder, Dec 2011. .
....The idea of an incontrovertible scientific consensus behind current ideas of anthropogenic global warming is itself coming under increasingly sceptical scrutiny from another “growing number of experts”, as you will see from a very interesting article which appeared a week or so ago in the Wall Street Journal.
The article is signed by a large number of scientists.
The fact is, as the WSJ article says, that large numbers of scientists don’t accept this supposed consensus, and more and more of them are putting their heads above the parapet to say so. The reason is simple: that more and more “incontrovertible” facts are suggesting that the “consensus” has more to do with ideology than science: the most inconvenient truth, perhaps, is the fact that for more than a decade there has been no global warming to speak of, despite the fact that man-made CO2 continues to grow apace.
6 Feb 2012
ANOTHER ZERO-POWER DAY FOR WIND
Another cold day in England; 41F at noon. Coal fired power is providing most of our energy. Today's figures for UK power being supplied to the Grid just before midday were:
45.4% coal (23800MW)
36.8% gas (19300MW)
15.2% nuclear (7900MW)
1.1% hydro (570MW)
0.1% wind (45MW)
The figures are worth studying. You can see that wind was contributing about 0.1%.
45MW of wind power is close to zero. The price: £400m per annum, plus the money used to instal the turbines.
A hundred MPs have recently realised that our wind programme is doing serious damage to our economy.
It will be interesting to see what happens next.
6 Feb 2012
Interest in shale gas is increasing in the UK. A number of sites have been chosen (e.g. in Sussex and Lancashire) for test drilling.
There will be difficult decisions ahead. The UK needs a stable and affordable energy supply, to keep our homes warm and to supply industry. Shale may provide part of the answer, as it is doing in the USA.
If shale gas becomes important in the UK, it will be more difficult to justify investment in other forms of energy, especially renewables.
Expect fierce arguments from both sides explaining why the other side is wrong.
5 Feb 2012
Chris Huhne is no longer in charge of Energy. He has been replaced by Ed Davey, another Liberal Democrat.
4 Feb 2012
RED & GREEN VISIONS
From this week's "Spectator Notes" by Charles Moore:-
In the course of typing this column, I have experienced two power cuts. This winter (in which the weather has been exceptionally easy), we have had roughly one power cut a fortnight in our village. I wonder if Chris Huhne may succeed where Arthur Scargill failed, plunging the nation into darkness to fulfil his idealogical vision - in Scargill's case a red one, in Huhne's green....
30 Jan 2012
SIXTEEN CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
On January 27th, an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, signed by sixteen scientists. The following extract summarises its content:
"Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically."
Entering the phrase "sixteen concerned scientists" into any search engine will take you to the article.
28 Jan 2012
STATEMENT FROM POLICY EXCHANGE THINK-TANK
Researchers at the Policy Exchange Think Tank say that the Government is misleading the public over the true cost of renewables subsidies. The Coalition's expensive and largely unnecessary green policies will cost each household an additional £400 per year by 2020.
Government officials say that energy bills will reduce when more energy is produced from renewables. However there is no evidence that replacing fossil fuels with more expensive alternatives will ever result in lower energy costs.
The Government's calcuations also ignore the effect on consumers of businesses paying higher energy bills.
None of this is news to readers of 'habitat21', but it's good to see the mainstream media slowly becoming aware.
19 Jan 2012
CONSTRAINT PAYMENTS CONTINUE
The Daily Telegraph reports that wind farm operators were paid approximately £10 million during 2011 for turning off their turbines. These payments are called 'constraint payments'. This has triggered a review of the rules. The payments are made when the network is unable to absorb any excess power generated. The charges end up on household electricity bills and are paid for by consumers.
Constraint payments in 2010 were £0.17 million, but changes in the way the National Grid supplies energy to retail companies, balancing the network, have caused a sudden increase in their use.
The fees paid are being reviewed.
11 Jan 2012
Dividing the energy by the price gives 17p for each unit of electricity not delivered to the Grid. This is the first time that the Grid has released these figures. Apparently it is sometimes cheaper in remote areas to pay off the wind turbine owners than it is to upgrade the network so that the energy can actually be used.
Meanwhile David Attenborough, at the launch of the new wind turbine at Glyndebourne, said that even if we only generate a fraction of energy by wind, we must.
This is presumably his personal belief rather than a serious comment on energy policy.
21 Jan 2012
NATIONAL TRUST CANCELS SOLAR POWER PLANS
The National Trust has cancelled most of its plans to install solar photovoltaic panels at its properties. The high prices paid per unit by Government for electricity generated up to Dec 2011 (around 40P a unit) have been halved for those signing up now.
It's a shame for the National Trust, but 40P was far too high. The scheme was (and for early signees, still is) being funded through increased energy bills for everyone else.
10 Jan 2012
CHINA AIRLINES REFUSE TO PAY EU CARBON CHARGE
Chinese airlines have refused to pay carbon emissions charges imposed by the European Union from January 1.
A large order for Eurobus aircraft has been lost by the EU in response to the carbon-charge scheme. The order was from Hong Kong Airlines and has been blocked by China.
The US are paying the carbon charge for the time being but are taking legal advice.
6 Jan 2012
A network of charging points for electric cars is being set up. It began in mid-December and it has charging points in London, Bristol, Exeter, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and the Lake District. Next year other areas will be added. Additional charging points will be placed at service stations on the M1 near Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds. There will be some at the Eurotunnel passenger terminal and at Fleet Services on the M3 in Hampshire. The charging points are being placed at Welcome break service stations by Ecotricity.
It will be interesting to see how well the system works, because I'd always thought that electric cars, with a range of about 100 miles, took all night to charge up. The blurb says that a full charge takes two hours, and a top-up twenty minutes, which takes some believing....if anyone has first hand experience please get in touch.
1 Jan 2012
NO SIGN OF CHANGING CLIMATE
Please click the picture... Happy New Year to all our readers....!
31 Dec 2011
COAL POWER STATIONS TO BE SWITCHED OFF
Government has said this week that three of Britain's coal fired power stations will have to be switched off soon. Six stations are due to be closed, but three will be affected "earlier than expected" because no exemption has been negotiated from the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive. The three stations will exceed their 20,000 hours of generating time (since 2008) if they continue to run. Note that the stations are not worn out. The shutdowns are due to EU regulations on NOx and sulphur dioxide emissions, and UK taxpayers will have to pick up the bill in increased energy costs.
It is difficult to see why the shutdowns are being described as earlier than expected because EU rules and 20,000hr-quotas have been known by most people in the industry since 2008. I was writing about it two years ago, and on several occasions since then (see, for example, a mention in Moonbeams from the Larger Lunacy ), in the section 'Electric Cars'.
The affected stations are Cockenzie (closedown April 2012), Kingsnorth (May 2013) and Tilbury (July 2013). Tilbury is being converted to biomass burning but this will probably have no effect on the shutdown date since biomass is subject to even more EU regulation.
29 Dec 2011
AIRLINE CARBON TAX: TROUBLE BREWING
China has warned the European Union to abandon its carbon tax on airlines or risk provoking a trade war. An industry insider told the Financial Times that the Chinese government was considering measures to hit back at the EU if it insists on charging international airlines carbon emissions. (FT, 22 Dec 11)
The US has threatened to take retaliatory action if the EU starts charging airlines flying into the bloc for carbon dioxide emissions. Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State, has written to her European Commission counterpart, Catherine Ashton, and other top commissioners, to persuade the EU to drop the emissions tax. (FT, 20 Dec 11)
The Indian government has asked its airlines not to submit carbon emissions data to the EU for the carbon tax which will be enforced from 1 Jan 2012. (18 Dec)
NUCLEAR DESIGNS APPROVED
The Office for Nuclear Regulation has just given interim approval for the design of the first two nuclear reactors due to be built in Britain since the original nuclear programme finished two decades ago. The reactors are designed by Areva, the state-owned French company. They will be PWRs: pressurized water reactors, and they will be built jointly with EDF at Hinckley Point, Somerset. However the start date has receded.
This is not surprising. As I said a while back, the few companies which build nuclear stations have full order books, and they are under no compulsion to act rapidly; we are now having to buy-in foreign expertise.
The Finnish reactor being built at Olkiluoto is more or less the same design, and it's running several years late. I have no current information on this and will attempt to follow up; I suspect design modifications in response to alterations in health / safety regulations.
Something fairly obvious: it's not advisable to demand late alterations of any kind when a station is under construction. Some companies refuse absolutely to talk about the design once the contract is signed.
An alteration, no matter how small or well-meaning, can cause enormous increases in cost. It can affect the safety of the station since it's no longer a standard design. It can also slow down the programme by a factor of two or three, as we saw a generation ago with Sizewell B.
It's difficult to believe, but it took longer to do the paperwork there than it did for some countries to build a new station.
19 Dec 2011
Frequently one has the impression that energy policy is determined by people who have no understanding of our energy needs or reserves.
The purpose of this page is to give a truthful perspective on some of the energy news events which get into the headlines.
Ordinary people need affordable energy produced in a way which does not squander the earth's resources. They also need long-term policies which enable industry to thrive.
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