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« Helm and shale | Main | Somehow »
Wednesday
Dec282011

Green costs you more

The Guardian is highlighting DECC's energy costs calculator, a system developed by its chief scientific adviser, Prof David Mackay. The outlook, it appears is bleak.

Every person in Britain will need to pay about £5,000 a year between now and 2050 on rebuilding and using the nation's entire energy system, according to government figures. But the cost of developing clean and sustainable electricity, heating and transport will be very similar to replacing today's ageing and polluting power stations, the analysis finds.

The calculator itself is here. I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly, but it looks to me as if you have to have carbon capture and storage if you want to have gas-fired energy generation. If that's correct then I think it's fair to say that the calculator is a waste of time.

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Reader Comments (249)

"Every person in Britain will need to pay about £5,000 a year between now and 2050 on rebuilding and using the nation's entire energy system, according to government figures."

Um... is this a joke? Over the next 40 years I personally need to stump up £200,000? Has everyone gone mad? I earn £16,000 a year. Can someone help me out with my share?

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

No comments allowed on the Guardian article. I wonder why.

At first glance the calculator allows:
No way of using shale gas
No way of developing Thorium power.

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

The only thing that dramatically lowers C)2 emissions is large scale nuclear fission generation.

This is quite interesting because it shows that Greenie obsessions such as wind and electrification makes very little impact on CO2.

The other main point is that the 50% reduction on 1990 emissions is unobtainable.

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRCS

artwest
That is because the government has an agenda.
The fatuity of wind power has already been more than adequately demonstrated not least by the fact that almost as much conventional capacity is needed to cater for the times when the wind doesn't blow leaving the turbines totally redundant as a realistic way of providing energy.
Nonetheless having signed up to this bizarre idea in order to keep the Greenies happy (and certain people's relatives in clover for the foreseeable future) mention of shale gas and thorium reactors is not welcome.
The former can provide cheap energy for the UK now and for the foreseeable future (and possibly beyond); the latter depends on further research, research which has some prospect of producing results that will be of benefit to mankind as a whole and which is therefore anathema to the enviro-mentalists who abhor that very prospect.

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Anyone seen this sickening Government produced AGW propaganda masquerading as teaching material?

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/tackling-climate-change/2050/3670-2050-schools-toolkit-pdf-version.pdf

I really do think a legal challenge to this sort of rubbish is long overdue.

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I looked at this calculator some time ago and decided it was a waste of time. CSS is never going to happen. Nobody can afford wind (especially offshore) and it will never be economically viable (because of low energy density) and anyway, because of 100% back-up it doesn't reduce CO2 emissions. What we need is a good mix of nuclear for baseload, CC gas-fired power stations (let's hope shale gas cones on stream quickly) and new coal-fired power stations. Renewables are a waste of resource.

In the long run, thorium MSRs, fast reactors and (maybe one day) fusion are the way to go.

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Don Keiller

You are so right. This is just propaganda. Kids should be taught science, not propaganda. That toolkit is just so full of lies. If I had kids at school I would forbid them from taking any lessons based on this propaganda (in fact I would take them out of school).

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Don

I wish you hadn't given that link. You have raised my blood pressure.

Two errors:

CLEAN GAS, COAL AND OILPOWER
A new technology for reducing emissions. When carbon is emitted it is captured and stored underground to stop it from going into the atmosphere.

So we mine coal, capture the carbon and put it back underground?
GREENHOUSE EFFECT
Carbon dioxide and other gases trap infra-red radiation in the atmosphere leading to increased temperatures and changes to climate.

I still wait for somebody to tell me how carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation.
If they taught chemistry and physics, any good student would call this nonsense out.

Dec 28, 2011 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Not having time to investigate much, I would be very careful of the My2050 Schools Toolkit linked to by Don, because there's no way to interact with it and thus learn thereby.

That's where I think David MacKay's calculator scores, if it is truly open source as the Guardian says. That means that if you don't think it reflects reality you can change it. Indeed you can audit its correspondence with reality before that, if you have access to the full source code.

Given the travails of Steve McIntyre and many others in the area of openness upstream in the climate debate it's good to be able to applaud this aspect of a DECC project. That is if it is truly open source, with a proper liberal licence.

Dec 28, 2011 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

ARTWEST
The problems at the Graun are probably not unconnected with this piece in 'Private Eye'.
'News of another round of sackings at the Guardian..........a target of 60-80 posts to be shed by New Year's Eve'.
Of late, 'Komment Macht Frei' has been available on very few articles, apart of course, for those of the Moonbat, who offers a choice between 'bankers' and the 'biosphere', as though these were the only 2 sides of the same coin.
When an author refuses to allow comment, one has to conclude that either he/she is unsure of his/her facts or is so pissed off that he/she doesn't care what the readership thinks !

Dec 28, 2011 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Phillip Bratby

If they taught chemistry and physics, any good student would call this nonsense out.

Now you know why they don't teach science in school anymore -- it is politically incorrect. The end result is that the UK will have no scientists or engineers at all in another 20 years or so.

Very sad when you consider the great achievements the 19th and 20th centuries.

Dec 28, 2011 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Ah Phillip,

Still refusing to accept the reality of the greenhouse effect I see. You must have studied a different physics to the rest of us.

The e-petition to repeal the climate change act must be a bit of a disappointment to you as its chief advisor. It's run a third of its time now and has 1,500 signatures . . . you are going to be pushed to get the 100,000 signatures required for a Commons debate, are you not?

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterScots Renewables

@Phillip

Science teaching aside, it was a secondary school history teacher who switched on my "sceptical" instinct by imparting the concept of asking why someone was telling a particular story to a particular audience at a particular time. I still recall that epiphany, aged 13. Thanks Mrs Robertson!

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

I await someone to come and explain the physics of how carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation.

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Philip Bratby

I await someone to come and explain the physics of how carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation.

I've asked you this before (and provided links): why don't you begin some basic research? There are any number of online resources available. Simply denying the long established facts about GHGs is passively pointless. If you really believe that the entire field of atmospheric physics is in error over this, then surely that should be sufficient motivation to start looking for the mistakes?

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Scots Renewables Dec 28, 2011 at 4:03 PM


You must have studied a different physics to the rest of us.

Scots - In your studies of physics, it seems that they taught you that


Carbon dioxide and other gases trap infra-red radiation in the atmosphere
??


If so, I'd be very interested to know what physics course you followed and at what level.

It would also be interesting to learn a bit about this "trapping" mechanism. Perhaps it's analogous to a resonant cavity in microwave electronics or something along those lines? Or perhaps it works a bit like the hohlraum of a thermonuclear weapon?

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

I have no problem with the calculator only the use it has already been put to as evidenced by the figures used by Teh Grauniad. Taking out the costs of the *discredited AGW hypothesis would reveal an entirely different and an **affordable scenario.

*Pick your own favourite Warmist failed prediction.
**What the Indians, Chinese and (now bigger than UK economy) Brazil will do.

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Scots Renewables

The only energy policy that will simultaneously increase baseload capacity in line with projected demand and sharply reduce CO2 emissions is a huge investment in nuclear.

Renewables do not feature significantly in the hard-nosed engineering or economic arguments.

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD

I have done the research and never found any explanation for how carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation.
Here is an example for which I am awaiting the explanation. It comes from the website of a tax-payer funded organisation:

The Sun's warmth heats the surface of the Earth, which in turn radiates energy back to space. Some of this radiation, which is nearly all in the infrared spectrum, is trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases. For instance, carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbs radiation with wavelengths between 13 and 19 micrometres. The trapped radiation warms the lower atmosphere, or troposphere. Some heat then finds its way back down to the Earth's surface, making it hotter than it would otherwise be. This is the greenhouse effect.

When the organisation gets back to me with the answer I will let you know.

In the meantime, perhaps you can answer the question on their behalf.
I am intrigued to know how heat "finds its way back down to the Earth's surface". Does it is use sat nav do you think? Does it know that it is difficult for heat to transfer itself from the cold troposphere to the warm surface?

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

[Sorry - he got zapped]

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A


Ah Phillip,

Still refusing to accept the reality of the greenhouse effect I see. You must have studied a different physics to the rest of us.


You studied physics for your sociology degree?

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Minton

PB

Why do you have a problem with energy being radiated omnidirectionally? Or with electromagnetic-kinetic conversion?

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD and Philip

Take it to the discussion forum please.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:03 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

In Norway, the CO2 Technology Centre (TCM) at Mongstad began construction in 2009, and was scheduled for completion early in 2012. It was to include two capture technology plants (one advanced amine and one chilled ammonia), both capturing fluegas from two sources. In addition, it would have included a gas fired power plant and refinery cracker fluegas (similar to coal-fired power plant fluegas). Total capacity was to be 100,000 tons of CO2 per year. The project was delayed to 2014, 2018, and then indefinitely. At 80% completion, project cost rose to USD 985 million.Then in October 2011, Aker Solutions' wrote off its investment in Aker Clean Carbon, declaring the carbon sequestration market to be "dead".

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

The myth about high feedback CO2-AGW is based on fraud.

1. High CO2 'climate sensitivity' was the logical inference when it was thought CO2 rose with T at the end of ice ages but when in 1997 that was disproved, insiders switched to calibrating models against modern warming via the fake 'hockey stick' and systematically lowering past temperatures.

Few realise it but there was also a search for missing ice age amplification – Hansen claims it is the difference between the albedo of wet and dry ice, an explanation lacking in credibility.

In 2007 it was shown that at the end of the last ice age, warming of Southern Ocean deeps started 2000 years before CO2 rose. The same biofeedback process explains recent Arctic warming now reversing. Contrary to Gore propaganda and the indoctrination of our children, CO2-AGW/GW plays no part in ending ice ages, is much smaller than claimed and the science justifying it is plain wrong.

2. Aarhenius' 'back radiation’ can do no thermodynamic work. Such mistakes happen in science but are usually corrected. Unfortunately, climate science prevents publication of contrary opinion, a major part of the fraud.

3. Cooling by polluted low level clouds supposed to hide (2) is only true for thin clouds: as they get thicker it switches to heating, another GW/AGW. Sagan got this physics wrong.

4. The claim of 33K present total GHG warming is wrong because it includes 'lapse rate' warming. It’s really ~10K, easily proved.

So, CO2 climate sensitivity is exaggerated by a factor of at least 6.7. When you correct the physics, extra CO2 probably slightly cools now there is IR band saturation. Hence no IPCC climate model can predict climate.

It's time this new Lysenkoism was consigned to the dustbin of history. The previous attempt by international Marxism to create fake science, 'accelerated evolution', was in the 1980s.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

BBD
I have no problem with CO2 absorbing IR radiation, I have no problem with CO2 emitting IR radiation. I have no problem with CO2 gaining/losing energy by collision. I have a problem with CO2 trapping IR radiation.

Incidentally, I spent over 30 years involved in solving complex heat transfer/fluid flow problems. I never came across a situation where a specific gas could trap radiation. I never came across a situation where heat could find its way the wrong way up a temperature gradient.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

You studied physics for your sociology degree?
Indeed I did Buffy. It appears as 'Natural Philosophy' on the certificate. All part of the Scots 'lad o' pairts' approach to education.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterScots Renewables

Philip Bratby: the problem the intellectually-impaired, oxymoronic climate scientists' have [and this includes Spencer and Curry] is that they have too little physics' knowledge to work out that Aarhenius was wrong when he thought he could use the S-B equation on its own for an emitter to calculate the energy radiated from it. Professional engineers and physicists are taught to look at radiation emitted from all objects in line of sight. All the energy from equal temperature objects is countered by equal energy from the opposite direction - it's called Prevost Exchange Energy, the oldest of the radiation Laws.

You can prove this by the windbreak thought experiment: you're on the beach and the sand is a chillyish 30°C. Put up a windbreak and to keep convection plus radiation constant, it rises to 45°C. Assuming an emissivity of 0.85, if 'back radiation' were real, you've just increased it by a factor of 27!

What you measure with a radiometer pointing upwards is temperature convolved with emissivity. 'Climate scientists' should only be allowed to buy them in pairs, welded back to back so the output is the difference!

The fact is this is a non-science which teaches its students incorrect physics. The sooner it is shut down and professionals brought in to resurrect something from the expenditure, the better.

And to the idiots who persist in pushing these fake physical principles ['back radiation' cloud albedo effect cooling to hide it, 33K present GHG warming and CO2 is responsible fro much post ice age warming [it's another effect], go away. Professional engineers and scientists have at last woken up and are identifying the lunatics who have caused all this useless research to be done without checking the basics.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

This is depressing, we are simultaneously blowing huge amounts of money on worthless green energy and threatening our energy security for the future by delaying the building of power stations.

Philip is right, you cannot trap heat in a molecule, it's the second law of thermodynamics at work.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo: it's worse. Proper scientists know the statistical thermodynamics. The Law of Equipartition of Energy predicts that there can be no direct thermalisation of IR energy. It's because at the same time as a photon is absorbed another of the same energy is emitted in a random direction. Thus the BBC PET bottle experiment probably measures the IR absorbed in the PET. The heating of the atmosphere is probably at second phases, aerosols.

This physics is poor at the moment. Will Happer is an expert and is apparently thinking it out. The 'climate scientists' made a number of assumptions and use the models and falsified temperature data to pretend they're correct. They aren't and they are still bolting on corrections to explain why the World is now cooling [N. Atlantic OHC is falling fast]. We need to cull 2/3rds of them now and then get it down to the 10% who can be retrained.to do something useful.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose


You studied physics for your sociology degree?

Indeed I did Buffy. It appears as 'Natural Philosophy' on the certificate. All part of the Scots 'lad o' pairts' approach to education.


You should be a climate scientist!

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Minton

Correction to the 'windbreak experiment': it's 27 times net AGW according to AR4 [1.6 W/m^2]. Check it out S-B constant =5.6704.10^-8. J/s/m^2/K^-4.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Philip Bratby

You aren't seeing the full picture. It's all here if you are prepared to take the time to work through the articles. This might be the best online resource on the topic that there is. You could certainly do far, far worse that start here.

BH - Link to help answer PB's question only. End of off-topic digression.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

First time poster here but long time watcher.
Am I reading the results from the calculator incorrectly using the costs_in_context link
It appears to state that the current energy system cost is £3,700 increasing to £4,682 under an ignoring climate change scenario and most of the other scenarios listed increase the cost except for maximising nuclear and leaving everything else the same
Certainly the Guardian headline appears to be a load of rubbish - why am I not surprised

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterOldjim

For BBD: SOD is interesting but he's assuming thermalisation and there's no proof of any direct thermalisation, just an increase of optical path length and the probability of absorption by 2nd phases.

It's all tied up with Kirchhoff's Law of Radiation, equal emissivity and absorptivity at equilibrium. The Prevost Exchange couples the IR densities of states in the two substances. Emissivity of a gas is in effect a measure of resistance to the IR energy flux as it heads off to space. There is no 'back radiation', at least which can do thermodynamic work.

The problem is your TOA sensor measures the radiation within the viewing angle of the detector. The Polder satellite measures at 16 angles so soon we might get the truth. This is new physics.

The problem is the climate scientists blank out anything that doesn't fit the models and keep the scare money coming in. Hence it's a new Lysenkoism.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

The 'open source' version appears to be the excel file available at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/tackling/2050/2050.aspx .

The assumptions are on the sheets given titles in Roman numerals.

Dec 28, 2011 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Every person in Britain will need to pay about £5,000 a year between now and 2050 on rebuilding and using the nation's entire energy system, according to government figures.

Bugger!! How many of us do they think they can call on to pay this? How many wouldn't contribute at all? My head (and bank balance) hurts!!!!!!!

What a load of (unaffordable) rubbish.......

Dec 28, 2011 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

PS. to my previous post. I have little confidence in the arguments produced by this graph. Cheap energy ought to be the priority in my view, with energy R&D for our (rather than the environment's) sake second. (And there should be an on-going debate about how that R&D is financed). Any argument which presupposes rising fuel prices is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Given the energy densities of fossil fuels vs the possibilities created by fusion, fission and hybrids, it seems inevitable that the economy will be 'decarbonised' at some point in the future, notwithstanding carbon being an extremely convenient means of storing energy. Greens should be arguing for nuclear energy R&D. But the point is that abundance is anathema to environmentalism. Without scarcity, environmentalism loses all its moral capital. Unfortunately, no amount of spreadsheets or their debunking can explain this.

Dec 28, 2011 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

@meltemian:

Bugger!! How many of us do they think they can call on to pay this? How many wouldn't contribute at all? My head (and bank balance) hurts!!!!!!!

The £5k cost is a proportion of GDP of approx. £35K. What the graph is really talking about is the decarbonisation of the economy, not costs to individuals.

Ruth Lea and Matt Sinclair have done some work on the effect on competitiveness of UK renewable energy & climate policies. It would be interesting to see if there's an effect on GDP of these policies if the UK/EU acts independently of the rest of the world. This may mean that the costs as a proportion of GDP rise considerably.

And on that point, remember that the same lot arguing for these policies are the same people who are arguing that GDP isn't the be-all-and-end-all of measuring the state of the country and its performance. Funny how many of them earn several multiples of what I'm earning... and of GDP per capita. You can be poor and happy, say the advocates of the 'happiness index'. Give me your money, then, if you're so happy, Dave (Cameron).

Dec 28, 2011 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Every person in Britain will need to pay about £5,000 a year between now and 2050 on rebuilding and using the nation's entire energy system, according to government figures.

For 60M people that is £300bn/yr. Let's assume 20% of that is using the energy. That leaves £240bn/yr for 38years (call it 40+ years) = £10tn in total to rebuild the nation's energy system (in round numbers). For £400bn you could build enough nuclear power stations to provide all the electricity we could possibly use, even if all transport was powered by electricity (very likely, ho ho). I guess the grid could be replaced and undergrounded for £200bn. So that's over two year's money used up, which leaves £9.4tn to spend on a new gas grid and storage facilities. Let's say another £400bn for that, leaving £9tn. I'm now struggling to spend the rest; I guess a huge bureacracy and MPs expenses could use up a few trillion. Am I missing something here?

Dec 28, 2011 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

In order to try and understand why the climate establshment are doing what they are doing, it is necessary to look at the bigger picture. Familiarisation with the UN Agenda 21 makes it quite clear that all the actions taken by politicians and education departments must be in line with the so called sustainable development strategy which is the fundamental strategy employed to restrict the use of shale gas and other obvious forms of energy that are deemed to be set aside for future generations.
Agenda 21 is very explicit and extremely frightening. If you haven't checked it out, now might be a good time.

Dec 28, 2011 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Phillip Bratby

I never came across a situation where a specific gas could trap radiation. I never came across a situation where heat could find its way the wrong way up a temperature gradient.

Silly boy -- you probably took your degree in one of those old fashion universities like Cambridge or Oxford. You need to study the post modern 'Natural Philosophy' that SR took. You know, the course where physics behaves in a politically correct manner.

I have a suggestion. Since CO2 appears to have all those wonderful properties such as building temperature gradients, we should probably form a green company here in California to build thermopane windows insulated with CO2 instead of the far more expensive argon gas presently used. If we move fast we can get a patent on the concept, and maybe even get the old Solyndra plant in Fremont CA. Really a great place and I understand that the Obama administration is anxious to sublet the place.

Really, come to think of it, I wonder why nobody else thought of using CO2 in such a productive manner. We could sequester millions of pounds of CO2 into thermopane glass and make a killing not only on carbon credits but all those home retro projects funded by the government.


In the mean time, I suggest you all send your school age children to Mandarin classes. They will need that language skill the way things are going.

Dec 28, 2011 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Re Scots Renewables.

Still refusing to accept the reality of the greenhouse effect I see. You must have studied a different physics to the rest of us.

Forget the reality of the greenhouse effect for the moment and think about something as simple as the weather and engineering. Scotland's currently being battered by 90mph+ winds. What's a typical maximum safe windspeed for a commercial sized subsidy extractor or aerogenerator?

Bonus question. If those winds are also causing storm surges and big waves that are currently remodelling sea defences, what do you think they would do to wave generators?

Dec 28, 2011 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Nick Grealy at http://www.nohotair.co.uk/2011/71-energy-policy/2316-uks-shale-free-zone-carbon-calculator.html has made similar points, and I too have observed the curious linkage of gas fired generation with carbon capture that the Bishop observes.

I have been working on similar but rather simpler models for two other countries. The conclusions were interestingly the opposite of those espoused by DECC - but the gas price assumption is the critical element as Nick Grealy rightly notes. At US gas prices the future mix is a cheap no-brainer, but at European prices it is more complicated. However, even if we double the US price long term to $6 per mmBTU gas - now recognised as more than abundant - becomes the fuel of choice. The old arguments re coal and nuclear and gas as a premium fuel no longer apply. And of course it is much better re land resources than wind or solar or the wretched biofuels, so it has major environmental advantages.

And of course many governments will stick with coal as the alternative to gas, as they cannot see the correlation with global temperatures any more, and they have countries to develop economically. We seem just to have one to impoverish as DECC sees it.

Dec 28, 2011 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterjheath

@philip:

For £400bn you could build enough nuclear power stations to provide all the electricity we could possibly use, even if all transport was powered by electricity (very likely, ho ho). I guess the grid could be replaced and undergrounded for £200bn. So that's over two year's money used up, which leaves £9.4tn to spend on a new gas grid and storage facilities. Let's say another £400bn for that, leaving £9tn. I'm now struggling to spend the rest; I guess a huge bureacracy and MPs expenses could use up a few trillion. Am I missing something here?

Using the figures from the spreadsheet, and sticking them onto the back of an envelope...

* The total UK energy demand -- everything, from lights to ships -- is 1901.611867 Twh
* The cost of a 3GW nuclear power station is £7.433 billion
* The 3GW power station has a load factor of 60%
* Therefore 3GW of actual capacity costs £12.388 billion
* To meet ALL of the UK's energy needs would cost £896.4 billion in capital, for 72 power stations.
* (This is all complete conjecture, because I just divided the entire demand by 24*365 to get average hourly demand to figure out the required capacity, and none of this considers the conversion of all that energy into batteries/motion, etc.)

I make that roughly £15,000 per person for all their energy requirements, not including delivery. That's just 3 years at the rate the DECC think is acceptable.

Then the ongoing costs... Uranium would cost £1.9 billion per year at £1 million per Twh, and the operating costs of the 72 3GW power stations that would be needed would be £14,1 billion per year, or £195 million per plant.

You were out by nearly £half a trillion, but I think your record is far better than Huhne's and I nominate you for the role of Secretary of State for Energy. (The Climate Change part of the DECC will be sold off to museums).

Dec 28, 2011 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

I never came across a situation where heat could find its way the wrong way up a temperature gradient.

Presumably you did come across a situation where heat transfer along a gradient could be slowed. It's called insulation in non-technical terms.

I'm not much one for CO2 alarmism, but really you are taking the piss. Instead of whinging to us about how it's impossible. Write your scientific paper, get your Nobel, then start shouting about how it's not possible.

Until then you act like one of my petulant schoolkids, who refuse to believe something is true because he doesn't like the result.

Dec 28, 2011 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

CCS is an example of political wishful thinking, "If we require it, it will be invented." I have personally heard EPA officials specifically state they believe CCS technology will follow the same course that SO2 and NOx technology followed. But it is a staggering problem. I find most do not realize the mass of CO2 generated at a power plant is over twice as much as the mass of coal coming in, not a tace gas like SO2 or NOx. And the expense! Hundreds of millions for each boiler to capture the CO2, hundreds of millions more to pipe it to the storage facility and do it again for the injection site. And at the end, the electric output of your plant is reduced by 1/3. Grandma can't afford it.

Dec 28, 2011 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered Commenteroeman50

Mooloo

Did you understand Phillips points? It would appear not.

Dec 28, 2011 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Scots Renewables wrote:

Ah Phillip,

The e-petition to repeal the climate change act must be a bit of a disappointment to you as its chief advisor. It's run a third of its time now and has 1,500 signatures . . . you are going to be pushed to get the 100,000 signatures required for a Commons debate, are you not?

I agree that it certainly is disappointing and would urge every reader of this blog to sign it. If the British people were aware of what the Act is going to cost them directly and the immense damage that it is likely to do to the UK economy then there would be no trouble getting the 100,000 signatures.

The petition can be found at the link below. Perhaps his Grace could re-post the link to the petition at regular intervals to drum up support.

Repeal the Climate Change Act
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2035

The trouble is that people have become apathetic and regard green legislation like they do the weather - they may not like it but they thing it is something they have to put up with! Furthermore they switch off when they hear tales of doom and gloom. Part of the reason for that is the steady stream of exaggerated global warming alarmism which, like the boy who cried "wolf", has made people sceptical of ALL warnings, including those about the damage that the Greens are doing.

Dec 28, 2011 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Mooloo: it appears that you are being deliberately disingenuous.

We engineers have decided enough is enough.

There will be no more fake climate science.

Dec 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

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