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« Running out of natural resources | Main | Delingpole on the state of the debate »
Friday
Mar092012

A letter from the Conservative leader

This is a letter from Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson to a windfarm campaigner. It was posted on the Facebook page of the Stop St Andrews University Windfarm group.

Thank you for contacting me about the issue of windfarms.

There is no doubt that renewable energy is a potentially highly beneficial  energy source. However it should not be pushed upon the people of Scotland  at any cost. Although attaining clean, renewable energy sources should  always remain a priority for Scotland, current strategies excessively burden communities, outweighing any possible benefits. In particular, many  people feel that their communities are coming under attack as wind farm  developers submit increasing numbers of speculative applications for  industrial wind farms. The current Government’s obsession with wind energy  over all other energy sources and the lack of any coherent strategy to  ensure that wind farms are put in appropriate locations, is unacceptable.

The continuing lack of any proper guidance to local authorities from  Government on the siting of wind farms is the root cause of much of the  anger and frustration felt in communities across Scotland. The cumulative  impact of more and more wind farms is becoming almost unbearable for an  increasing number of people. It is for this reason that we have called on  the Scottish Government to consider a moratorium on further development  until the public’s concerns have been addressed.

We should not forget that nuclear power currently provides a large  proportion of our electricity needs, yet Alex Salmond has, thus far,  failed to include nuclear power in its energy strategy. Nuclear power  provides thousands of jobs, which guarantees Scotland’s retention of  engineering talent. Despite what the SNP Government might say about the  safety of nuclear power, the fact remains that Scotland is one of the  world’s safest nuclear power providers. While the wind may not blow,  nuclear provides a reliable and secure energy supply.

The Scottish Government has set an ambitious target of sourcing 100% of  our electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020, and while that  target is questionable in itself, it is even more unlikely to be achieved  when the SNP government places greater emphasis on wind power at the  expense of other sources of renewable energy. By focusing on wind energy, which is highly unreliable, the Scottish Government is failing to plan to  provide Scotland with a secure energy supply.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me and for making me aware of  your position.

Yours sincerely,

Ruth Davidson MSP

The suggestion that renewables are good but windfarms are bad seems rather odd in the Scottish context, since there are few other forms of renewables on the table at the moment. I don't know whether this represents the beginning of the Tories backing away from greenery or just standard political two-facedness.

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Reader Comments (65)

It's standard political two-facedness.

Mar 9, 2012 at 8:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

Hurrah for nuclear...

Mar 9, 2012 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

In principle hydroelectricity is a good resource and is obviously renewable. However I don't know how many remaining sites for hydropower plants there are in Scotland and if, as is quite likely, they are in beautiful areas it would be far better to develop other resources such as shale gas or coal bed methane first.

By the way, is Scotland sitting on significant shale resources?

Mar 9, 2012 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Chris Huhne was the most fanatical proponent of wind generation. However, regardless of the outcome of his little spot of bother, he is most unlikely to ever again be energy and climate change secretary. If the PM really has woken up to the truth about this inefficient and grossly expensive energy sourse, he will have appointed a wind generation sceptic as Huhne's replacement. Has he done so? I really don't know about the new chap. Does anyone else please?

Mar 9, 2012 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Roy: Scotland doesn't have the shales but they may have methane hydrate 12,000 feet down off the Western Isles. Also, if you go to MacKay's book, he relates how if you developed all possible pump storage in Scotland [the hydro has been done; it's about 1 GW so long as it rains] it would supply UK average demand for 8 hours.

The Scots are doing another Darien Gap scam, hoping to use England to dump excess wind power at three times average cost then reimport fossil and nuclear power when the wind doesn't blow.

They will lose out badly if the go independent because we'll impose phase switches at the border, just like the Poles are doing having had German wind surges nearly wreck their grid.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Leader of the Scottish Conservatives eh? All 15 of them.

As Roy says, she may be thinking of hydro, which is far more reliable than wind, and perhaps tidal which is again predictable and reliable. Both are also much less landscape-intrusive than wind.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:04 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

I don't think you should be too harsh ... mobile phones are good ... but masts are bad. If we could have one without the other then few would complain (especially if they cost the same).

A more worrying facet, is the way they do not question the "science" of exaggerated CO2 predictions.

The fact is that we now how scientific experts who are little more than ancient soothsayers. They have no credibility, they have no methodology that stands up ... but they are unchallenged because only true believers are allowed into the priesthood.

As I keep saying, something like a quarter of Scots died in the last Maunder Minimum. If current rates continue, over the next century some 2.3million people will die early due to winter cold.

Cold is a major killer in Scotland. It looks like we could be entering a new Maunder Minimum.

The only way to tell how significant that could be is to:

1. Do archaeological investigations of settlements around 1690 to verify the extent of population decline in this period and determine how many actually died.
2. To do archaeological and historical investigation to understand how society has changed and understand how the mechanism leading to a quarter of population deaths in the 1690s have changed.
3. To have accurate SCIENTIFIC predictions of climate change due to a Maunder Minimum.

So how much of this have we got:

1. .... NONE!
2. .... NONE!
3. .... NONE!

In other words, we haven't got a clue how Scotland which was particularly bad hit by the last Maunder Minimum might be affected by the possible new Maunder Minimum.

That is the real danger of having soothsayers dressed in white coats telling the government that "wooooh ... the entrails foretell that the warming gods will wreck their vengeance..."

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

Sorry ... That is 2.3million people will have early deaths in the UK due to winter cold in the next century.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

Peter Stroud; I saw Davey in action yesterday in the parliamentary broadcast of the debate. He looked very uncomfortable with what he had to present. So did Hendry. I suspect that the pressure on DECC and the greenies, mostly Lib Dem but also DC, is immense now that the truth about wind energy is emerging [it increases CO2 emissions when used at penetrations >10% for coal fired grids, possibly >13% for CCGT/OCGT grids].

See Delingpole's blog for his judgement: 'One thing is certain: the arguments against wind farms are so abundant and well-known that ignorance is no longer a plausible excuse. If you're involved in the wind farm industry, you're a weapons-grade tosser, simple as that.'

Very true because to be a windmill salesman you have to sign up to telling the most outrageous lies. At the pinnacle of this vast industry of deceit is Denmark which has consistently lied. When used at more than a low level in a non-hydro grid, wind turbines are negatively green.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Mike Haseler; in the 1690s, at the coldest part of the LIA, a quarter of Scotland's population died from cold and poor nutrition. The same may happen in the 2050s, the coldest part of the new LIA.

There will probably be no CO2-AGW to offset the cold because it is probably controlled by the atmosphere to net zero.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Looks like typical political fence-sitting and avoiding any kind of committment to me - nothing significant.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Canal Mania
Railway Mania
Telecom mania
Windturbine Mania

Will we ever learn

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Is is possible that forecasts of numbers of deaths due to cold might be as unsupportable as forecasts of deaths due to heat? Is it realistic to suppose that Scots will huddle in their lodgings and do nothing about it?

I'm sceptical.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Davidson obviously doesn't care a caber toss about the green vote - very refreshing.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Peter Stroud 8:59, take a look at Sketch: the impenetrable language of wind farm fans.

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Very true because to be a windmill salesman you have to sign up to telling the most outrageous lies.
mgnn - About 10 years ago E-On were planning a windfarm near where I lived at the time (not a major bus ride from where Ms Davidson carries on her day job). Since I then held a position of some (limited) influence in the area they were very keen to have me on their side, mentioning large sums of money that would accrue to the local community of the 25-year life of the project.
Since I was even then a bit cynical about the whole business I managed to pick a couple of - to me - fairly obvious points out of the development brief they had submitted which caused a few tongue-tied moments but I assured them that I would be arguing the case on its merits as I saw them. After a lengthy and fairly amicable conversation I suggested that the only reason they were so keen on wind farms was the level of government subsidy they were getting to which their salesman replied that as long as the government was prepared to subsidise them they were prepared to build them.
A somewhat incautious remark, I thought, but he seemed to accept this as perfectly natural and nothing that he was ashamed to tell me about.
You don't need to tell the little people lies when the Big Lie has already convinced the only people who really matter, the guardians of the purse strings.

PS I should point out that the last I heard this particular application was still chuntering through the planning process. One traditional gas-fired station which would have produced considerably more electricity more reliably and probably at lower cost could have been up and running by now!

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The green vote has become a dessicated brown blowing away in the wind.

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Davidson obviously doesn't care a caber toss about the green vote - very refreshing.

At last a comment that hits it on the nose. At this point I don't care about the sincerity of the Scottish Conservative leader. I do care that she doesn't care about the extreme green vote.

And wind power is soon going to be the exclusive province of the extreme greens. The mainstream is giving up on it very fast, as Ridley and Delingpole have been chronicling.

Green policy making was always a ragbag of the scientifically questionable through to the absolutely daft. As the daftest idea is jettisoned the habit of saying no to the greenies will grow. What's not to like.

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I have never trusted Tories and I'm not going to start now.

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

It's not just wind farms that people are getting more and more concerned about. Individual and massive wind turbines are being proposed all over the place. In the last month I have put in objections to 12 individual applications for single wind turbines (up to 67m tall) on farms in just my small part of Devon and I am repeatedly going to parish council meetings to explain why the applications should be refused. It really is a scam. The strength of feeling against wind turbines is growing rapidly and the backlash against all those who promote the scam will be enormous.

UKIP has a growing following as it is the only party telling the truth about the wind scam.

There is growing cooperation between anti-wind campaigners. I have helped the Stop St Andrews University Windfarm group and they provide support to our Atlantic Array opposition. http://www.slaythearray.com/

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I think this is more than fence sitting. The Tories are beginning to realise that they could get votes from the many people who are now informed about the wind scam, and resent paying higher bills.

Mydogs.. the installed capacity from the 20th century hydro schemes is about 1.6GW, and most of that can be controlled to some degree through the storage capacity in the big dams in the headwaters. So it is very useful for peak loads and grid balancing purposes. Unless significant tracts of upland are sacrificed for more new storage schemes, there is probably only another 200MW potential hydro, most of it small run-of the-river schemes, which as you say are useless unless it is actually raining.

Cruachan, the original pumped storage scheme is 400MW, which I think can provide 24 hours of generation but is limited to 12 hours by statute, as it is a 'black start station' - they have to keep water in the top loch just in case the grid goes down. [If that nightmare happens, re-energising is a complex process which has never been tried before. They have plans for it though, and Cruachan's water is key. Then one thermal station at a time has to sync and start generating]. Foyers is another small pumped storage, I think only a few hundred MW. There is talk of converting Sloy on Loch Lomond (currently 120MW) to pumped storage and SSE have just announced plans for a new pumped storage on Loch Lochy in the Great Glen. Were it not for wind farms, this would probably have been 1600MW to give more peak-time balancing potential, but they are planning on a maximum capacity of 800MW so the water will last twice as long, and basically give more cover for when the wind drops. It is a big scheme and it does make sense to have it if there is going to be 10GW of windmills in Scotland, as they plan. But the reality is that they will need at least 4 or 5 new pumped storage schemes to make this amount of wind capacity work, or be in any way beneficial.

There is more potential for pumped storage in the Highlands, e.g Alt na Larige on Loch Tay has a head of 1500m and the dam is already there. Still need lots of new tunnels and a massive cavern for the generation hall under Ben Lawers though, and it is a very very expensive way to make not much if any (net) electricity. The only real benefit is to increase the time they can keep the lights on when the wind drops. But as we know an efficient gas or coal plant would be a much cheaper way to do this. I don't think they/consumers can afford to build more than one new pumped storage anyway, not if they are going ahead with the economic and engineering madness proposed for the Argyll/Tiree array, which will likely bankrupt Scottish Power at least before they get more than a dozen turbines upright.

Murdo Fraser is now chair of the Holyrood energy committee and he is a wind sceptic so things are beginning to look a little better in Scotland, where all four main parties have been signed up to the renewables madness.

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:19 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

The Scots are doing another Darien Gap scam, hoping to use England to dump excess wind power at three times average cost then reimport fossil and nuclear power when the wind doesn't blow.

They will lose out badly if the go independent because we'll impose phase switches at the border, just like the Poles are doing having had German wind surges nearly wreck their grid.

Mar 9, 2012 at 9:02 AM | mydogsgotnonose

Its worse than that, when the winds blows the price for electricity is low as there is a surplus, when the wind dies you pay more as there will be a shortfall. The Dutch have found this out already.

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

The next bombshell is the revelation from many real data that above a critical penetration in non-hydro grids, wind power causes more CO2 emissions to be produced than not having wind power.

For coal power it's ~10%. For CCGT/OCGT it's ~15% but it could be lower, ~13% of average demand.

Very soon, our power system will be in the position of being negatively green. At the moment it's just the engineers who know this but very soon the news will spread, eventually reaching the politicians and public. Davidson is making a pre-emptive strike to grab that part of the debate because it's a winner against Salmond whose original idea, banking, failed 3 years' ago, and has used the 100% renewables' claim to replace it. But even that idea is a scam based on power cost arbitrage against the English.....

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Breath of fresh Air; the Scots aim to use the ROCs to force the English to buy Scottish wind power.

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Mac:

I have never trusted Tories and I'm not going to start now.

Phillip Bratby:

UKIP has a growing following as it is the only party telling the truth about the wind scam.

I agree that the speed with which public opinion is changing on wind (with the Mail and Express also deserving to take a bow at this point) is a great opportunity for UKIP. All strength to Nigel Farage's elbow.

But I included Mac's comment because my main thrust is against tribalism among all of us anti-green-fakery campaigners. Every mainstream political party has massive amounts of egg on its face in this area by now. We have a coalition government for the first time for many decades consisting of two out of three of the worst offenders. North of the border Rupert Murdoch has been meeting Alex Salmond in the run up to the independence referendum - and what Andrew Neil had to say about that on Sunday is well worth taking in before it disappears from the iPlayer. One thing you can say about Murdoch senior is that he isn't remotely a tribalist - he's way too good a businessman for that.

I happen to think that the climate debate in its totality is more important than any of the old UK tribalisms, not least because the policies punish the poorest and reward rich insiders - yet the traditional party of the working class hasn't said a peep about this aspect. The speed with which the public is rejecting the old climate consensus is going to be a major agent of change in politics in the next few years. Boris Johnson I'm sure understands this but there have to be more trustworthy carriers of the flame. Regarding that Tory I may be with Mac but I still say we cannot afford to be put off by a mere label at such a time as this. It's far more enjoyable being footloose and free in any case.

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

On this day, the anniversary of that monstrous tragedy, the Japanese Tsunami, that killed almost 20,000 people, what do the news channels continue to callously harp upon? The nuclear none-issue. It's pathetic, unfeeling and mad!

Mar 9, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

Richard Drake: what you must realise is that the group which paid for Brown [funded his private office] and later [via the Smith Institute], Balls to get to power also Geoffrey Robinson to become PMG, got its money from Midlands' corporate fraud [Transtec, Rover etc.] and owns windmill operating companies.

These people are our Mafia. In Italy, Falcke Gruppe of Milan was investigated last year by anti-Mafia police over its Calabrian windmills. The chairman of subsidiary Falcke Renewables is Lord Oxburgh who presided over the Climategate/CRU whitewash.

In Germany it was Gerhard Schroeder who whilst still in office developed with GazProm his North Westphalian gas import company. The Russians supported EU windmills so Europe would be ruled by Russia's ability to turn off the natural gas.

The EU's aim is to impose a Stalinist state stretching to the urals.

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

mydogsgotnonose,

Thanks for remembering history - 'Lost on the peaks of Darien', indeed, hence the Union! Will Scotland be able to afford 'independence' or will they bankrupt themselves again and come abegging?

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

There is no doubt that renewable energy is a potentially highly beneficial energy source.


Excuse me...


I have a doubt....

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

"an ambitious target of sourcing 100% of our electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020"

Surely shome mishtake? That's not ambitious, it's bonkers!

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Richard Drake: what you must realise is ... These people are our Mafia.

You'll have to forgive me mydog but you make me laugh.

I don't 'have to realise' anything. My judgment for what it's worth is the conventional one that we're ahead of Italy on overcoming criminal secret societies. That doesn't mean we have no problems at all with their political-economic equivalent of course. I may be losing my edge as a conspiracy theorist but the revenues involved in wind power (despite being grotesquely unjustified) seem rather small beer to be the explainer of all our ills - or even those of old new Labour.

What matters for me are the only traditions worth having in the Labour movement, going back as Roy Hattersley has written to Tolpuddle and thus to Wesley. Out of such passionate belief in justice for those without power has come the kind of disasteful fudge with small-time rent-seekers you outline. I happen to think that in his heart of hearts Gordon Brown detests this trend in a movement he genuinely loves. But my opinion counts for little. The change it is a'comin. May it be truly for good Lord.

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

mydog

“The Russians supported EU windmills so Europe would be ruled by Russia's ability to turn off the natural gas.”

During the cold war, I remember reading a reminder to the Americans that while their national game was baseball, the Russians preferred chess.

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Lewis Deane:

On this day, the anniversary of that monstrous tragedy, the Japanese Tsunami, that killed almost 20,000 people, what do the news channels continue to callously harp upon? The nuclear none-issue. It's pathetic, unfeeling and mad!

Nothing better illustrates the warped priorities of 'green ethics'. We do remember those that are grieving today. Thanks Lewis.

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

“wind energy, which is highly unreliable”

Whatever the merits of the rest of the letter, it’s clear she has a handle on the subject.

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

For sure, if you visit Scotland, do it in June, July or August. The UK traditionally has frigid homes in the best of times. The renewable freezing ones will be utter torture.

Mar 9, 2012 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Richard Drake: Geoffrey Robinson funded Brown who, unable to think strategically, relied on Robinson. See Hansard late Nov., early Dec. 1997, ~30 questions asking Brown where the PMG got £7 million.

Midlands' industry was stuffed full of non-technical people driving it into the ground. The target was to develop sites for housing under Brown's property bubble. The capital then went into the windmill operators getting rich on Brown's ROCs and FITs.

NuLaber was our first Mafia-controlled government with Brown their dupe. The Chipping Norton area is where these people live and developed other leadership candidates. The Murdoch affair blew their cover.

Mar 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

One of the problems for wind is that it is no longer under the radar.

There is no hiding the fundamental inefficiencies of wind as a base load provider. As more and more windfarms are built, ever more data is coming in. This data demonstrates the inadequacies of wind. The inconvenient truth is growing ever more apparent.

Scotland is potentially placing itself in an extremely exposed postion. If it were to become independent England could drag it to its knees. In these circumstances, Salmond considers that he can sell surplus wind energy at a high price to the England/Wales. However, from a practical perspective England/Wales does not need this surplus since when Scotland has a glut of wind energy England/Wales already has sufficient energy for its own needs. Englamd/Wales does not from a practical point of view need to buy this and therefore does not have to pay a high price.

On the other hand, England/Wales could sell to Scotland energy when the wind is not blowing. England/Wales could set an extremely high price say 20 to 50 times generating cost and Scotland would have all but no choice but to pay thse high prices since Scottish people will demand electricty even when the wind does not blow. Salmond would have no real alternatives since the costs of building an energy link to Norway or Europe would be very expensive and it will take time to build conventional generating power plants.

It is very foolish for Scotland to place all its eggs in one basket, especially when this basket is so fundamentally weak. .

Mar 9, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

The BBC tell us that there are to be massive wind farms erected in Scotland:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-17306225

A Scottish company has announced plans to invest more than a billion pounds developing 10 wind farms at locations across Scotland.

Burcote Wind, based in Dunfermline, claimed the projects could create almost 600 jobs.

A major investor in this project is investment firm Hotbed, I wonder if any scottish ministers happen to make investments through them?

Mar 9, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJace

Richard Verney: Murdoch has considerable renewables' investments: his companies were amongst the first to become carbon neutral; James and Elizabeth are environmental fanatics linked to No 10. The Times' pay wall was allegedly set up to finance these interests.

Murdoch who reportedly employs many Scots in call centres has allegedly offered to move BSkyB to Scotland and use the Scottish Sun to campaign for Independence, so the link with renewable Scotland is significant.One motive might be revenge for the attack on him by the English establishment as it counters the property/renewables' Mafia. [They are essentially the same type of business.]

Mar 9, 2012 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Refreshing to read what Ruth Davidson has written (well, most of it) - but here's my thought.
Suppose you were to sit in a meeting of the Commons Energy Sub-committee, and said: 'Why don't we generate electricity from... rain..? Sun's a bit unreliable - so is wind - but we get quite a bit of rain..! We could have little generators which tip when a raindrop falls on them, causing a little electric current...'
'...Er, yes - thank you.... Moving on...'
Well - is it any DAFTER than generating electricity from the WIND..?

Mar 9, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

mydog: I'd like to know your real name as you come out with these theories. I'm also surprised you don't in your comment about the Scottish Sun refer to Andrew Neil and the clip on the Sunday Politics I pointed to above. Perhaps you coming to exactly the same conclusion as Neil is a complete coincidence. But not using your real name and not giving your sources isn't the best, from where I sit. Call me jaundiced if you like.

On the subject of conspiracy theories though, what do you think of the one Richard Lindzen alluded to in his address at the House of Commons on 22nd February - one he has obviously discussed with Christopher Monckton - about the possibility that those that deny traditional greenhouse effect physics, who are in Lindzen and Monckton's view doing such a service for the 'warmists', may be being paid by the warmist side?

I liked that one - even though Lindzen, as always, couched it in a suitably hypothetical way.

Mar 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

We're going to have to pray that from 2014 the wind is always at optimal for wind-turbines.

Using back of an envelope calculations and data from the web. It appears that this morning 49% of demand came from coal fired generation. This represented 90% of coal generation capacity. The planned coal fired power station closures, which are starting early represent 34% of that coal capability, or 18% of this mornings demand. Furthermore in the same time frame oil fired stations representing 10% of load and nuclear representing 3% are also due to close. Total demand was about 43000 MW which is probably lower than on a cold winters day. There appears to be no new reliable generation due to come on line in the next couple of years.

My guess is that we're getting very close to brown outs and rolling cuts, particularly if the next winter is as hard as the one the rest of Europe has just had.

Sandy Sinclair

Mar 9, 2012 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Mar 9, 2012 at 12:42 PM | mydogsgotnonose
/////////////////////////////////////////
Murdoch would be well advised to get out of wind/renewables. When one has control one can create a market and take advantage of the market so created. It is easy to understand why Murdoch and others like him pushed the green objectives. However, he no longer has sufficient control of the media. MSM is generally losing control as more and more are looking to the internet for news, and Murdoch can no longer control the agenda. Additionally, he is fast losing friends in high places, no doubt because they themselves realise that he no longer exercises the control that he once did. They are4 leaving a sinking ship.

Wind energy is in a precarious position. It is 17th century technoloy abandoned in the 19th century. This alone hardly suggests that it is the way forward.

There is no positive sensible still less persuasive case for wind. There is at best only a negative case and this rests on two tenous pillars. First, that one needs to build in an environmental cost to energy production from fosil or nuclear fuels. The argument goes: when this environmental cost is added to energy production by way of fosil fuels they are no longer any cheaper than wind. Second, one does not want to become reliant upon supply from countries who are in politicaL turmoil and who could hold the west to ransom.

As regards the first pillar, it is only green activists who consider that any significant environmental cost needs to be factored into the use of fosil fuels. Of course, pollution should be minimised and in this regard there are clean air costs already being born by the industry. But beyond these measures, it is difficult to see any objective case for further environmental costs unless one is a 'believer' that CO2 is a pollutant. In any case, shale oil/gas is a game changer. This gas has relatively low CO2 emissions.

As regards the second pillar, agains shale oil/gas is a game changer. The USA is set to become a major exporter. The UK has ample shale oil/gas for more than 100 years by which time other forms of energy production will be no doubt available such as fusion. The UK only needs to start exploiting this very valuable mineral reserve.

There is simply nothing upon which the drive for wind energy can be based. Within the next 5 to 10 years, the underestimated and high costs of maintenance will also become patent. The sale patter for wind is becoming ever so more difficult, and if temperatures continue to stall (as appears likely) then that will further add to the difficulties facing the wind industry.

The future of this industry will be the regretable sight of decaying wind generators littered accross some of the most beautiful countryside which no company will wish to incur the costs associated with repair or removal. Look to all the decaying wind generators in California to see the future. .

Mar 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Ruth Davidson's political move is very interesting. This because the windmills are the favourite of 'Progressive Politics', the alternative name for 'The Third Way', Blairism, social liberalism allied to a big state. The EU and Australia want to fund it by carbon taxation, taxing indigenous populations to enrich foreign corporations whilst the political caste and its bureaucracy are supported by those corporations.

So, in reality windmills and carbon taxes provide a giant slush fund. In the past, politicians who advocated control of national populations by foreign powers were called traitors. Listen carefully to Salmond and he regularly drops 'Progressive'. His hatred of the English means he is going all out to put the Scots under the yoke of foreign corporations whose interest is the ROCs and FITs.

Gillard has deliberately set out to ensure it is very hard to un-negotiate carbon taxation by enshrining subsidies as property rights. It's the same with the FITs and the ROCs invented by Brown. The tactic to counter this is to show windmills in non-hydro grids don't save carbon but are a means of enriching foreigners by doubling electricity costs. Was 'horsegate' part of a move to counter these people?

Mar 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

As EU targets apply to the UK, any concentration of w'mils in Scotland would be advantageous for the remainder should Salmond's secession succeed. Indeed, should that come to pass then Scotland could be the sink for all the UK's responsibilities by EU diktat - grEUn jobs perhaps?

Mar 9, 2012 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Richard Drake:I have seen Neill's clip and he is very astute. As for the Mafia, I know some personally and they put Brown in power for a reason.

As for Lindzen and traditional greenhouse physics, I am on the same side as IR physicist Will Happer who in 1993 resigned as Director of Research for the US DoE so he would not have to lie about this. Lindzen believes in direct thermalisation of absorbed IR but it it physically impossible. This is because the IR absorption is in bands for a reason - it's quantised and you can't transfer quanta to anything other than another GHG molecule.

The reality is that the GHG effect has to be at second phases, cloud droplets mainly, and the GHG molecules act as a heat transfer medium at the speed of light. It works by the restoration of local thermodynamic equilibrium by simultaneous emission of a quantum when absorption.occurs so there is no local warming.

If I am right, the energy absorption by clouds accelerates convection and precipitation as CO2 increases, reducing H2O thus stabilising IR optical depth as predicted by Miskolczi: Lindzen has to be wrong on this key bit of physics.

Mar 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

mydog:

As for the Mafia, I know some personally

Do you know how funny that makes you sound, when you yourself use a pseudonym on this forum? Maybe only to me but thanks again for the humour value.

Lindzen has to be wrong on this key bit of physics.

Says who? I mean, really, who?

Sorry to be boring about this. Your contributions on Bishop Hill are clearly taken seriously by some here but for me they are a laugh a minute until you tell us who you are. Genius or not on the physics - and indeed perhaps on the political analysis of all the vested interests too. Time will tell. But your real name is becoming essential.

Meantime, here's the exact minute from Lindzen where he suggests that those who call his understanding - and the common understanding - of the greenhouse effect wrong are playing right into the hands of the 'warmistas'. So much so that they could do worse than paying them. Maybe they have. I've always had it in the back of my mind.

Mar 9, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Nice cartoon from the Spectator...

Link

(with any acknowledgements due - I couldn't read the signature!)

Mar 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Richard Drake:

1. The person who destroyed my company and defrauded the shareholders of a PLC did not become Chairman of ta major Chamber of Commerce because he was found out. He controls a windmill company big in offshore and is connected to many other 'ventures'.

2. Will Happer and the textbooks say Lindzen is wrong. Take the 'PET bottle' with CO2. It warms more quickly than air but if you slacken the cap, the warming is much less. As with Tyndall, it is constant volume so when CO2 warms, the pressure rises. That causes more warming. Also, between 250 and 350K, Cp rises by 13.1% [CO2] as the long wavelength bands develop. So, optical scattering//warming increases with T, another reason why the experiment which cannot prove direct thermalisation because the walls absorb IR as well, has been misinterpreted.

3. As far as my real name is concerned, 2 years' ago I started to comment at the Guardian etc. about how the aerosol optical physics in the climate models was very wrong so no climate model can predict climate. At the same time, G. L. Stephens, top US cloud physicist also realised this and showed the models use twice real optical depth of low level clouds to offset exaggerated warming. it appears that he is having difficulty in getting this published. I was then tracked by a Trotskyite activist connected to moderation and accused in print of being a member of the BNP. Not only did this prove climate science was political, it was libel and put me in physical danger.

If you care to argue with me on the physics, fine, but we are dealing with £multi-billion/year industry run by people with immense political power and other connections to the state, e.g. the Murdochs, big energy which wants to control all the bases. Prince Philip's recent warning to the aristocracy not to become rent seekers illustrates the alarm at how this industry is oppressing the population in numerous ways.

Mar 9, 2012 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

mydog, let's just say you're much smarter than me. The experiences you report that lead you to think it's essential to use a pseudonym - unlike Lindzen, Monckton, Stephens, Happer and the rest - would I think then suggest to others that the position for everyone is dire indeed, almost to the point of giving up. It's this defeatism that I object to in many conspiracy theorists and I think the pseudonymous crowd on Bishop Hill has it by the bucket load. (There are exceptions no doubt but does anyone pseudonymous deserve to be singled out as an exception? Interesting question. Being lumped together comes with the territory, for me.)

I would self-censor on a lot of this stuff until you're ready to publish your critique of the physics. By all means work via email with those you respect and trust.

But there's a much more important point than all this. Even if you're right that Lindzen is wrong on the physics what do you make of the rest of his presentation? Isn't what your saying irrelevant to the wider argument? The traditional greenhouse effect doesn't get anyone anywhere near anything dangerous without positive feedbacks. Why don't we hear you saying this too, with gusto, if you're so concerned about the policy area and the vested interests taking advantage of it?

Mar 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

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