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« VAT on fuel | Main | Gergis to resubmit at end of July »
Wednesday
Jun272012

UK energy policy faltering

The Telegraph is reporting that the government body charged with reviewing major state projects has sounded the alarm bell over UK energy policy.

Up to six flagship projects have been classified as "high risk" by the spending watchdog, including new nuclear power stations and key reforms of the electricity market.

However, the watchdog is “doubtful” that Britain can have a reliable energy supply from green sources and keep energy bills affordable under the current plans.

The authority, set up by David Cameron last year, has described the Coalition’s plans to encourage more wind farms and nuclear power stations as “feasible”.

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    - Bishop Hill blog - UK energy policy faltering

Reader Comments (131)

A backup generator is a worthwhile and cheap investment, especially if you have ability to wire it in yourself (or a friend who's a sparks). Perhaps not possible in an urban environment. Even a relatively small petrol generator can provide enough backup power for heating, lighting and cooking, and if you have a suitable place outdoors to house it (ours is in an old outside toilet) no problems with noise, fumes or possible fire risk.

Jun 27, 2012 at 4:42 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

steveta

This is what the Met Office said

"The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier-than-average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.

With this forecast, the water resources situation in southern, eastern and central England is likely to deteriorate further during the April-May-June period… This forecast is based on information from observations, several numerical models and expert judgement.”

So they said it favoured drier slightly drier than average conditions and we had the wettest Spring in 250 years, there is no wiggle room in there for them, they are an organisation that's lost it's main purpose and is focussing on proving anthropogenic global warming.

They are no doubt a fine bunch of people, but their forecasts are rubbish and yet they are still forecasting weather conditions 50 years out with unjustifiable, and provably wrong, certainty levels.

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

But you have to remember that the climate models are government approved because they support the Carbon Taxation Model of Society wanted by the EU.

Science has nothing to do with it. We are in a post-scientific age and scientists are to be persecuted if they do not conform with totalitarian demands.

The only event that will change this will be when, not if, the money runs out. Thus Spain has slashed the subsidies to its Mafia. We on the other hand are still subsidising our Mafia and the relatives of politicians using the carbon scam as justification.

A further event will also trigger the end of the scam, when Oxford Street pavements become filled with diesel generators like Central Baghdad to allow trading to continue in the major power cuts starting in the Winter of 2013.

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Jun 27, 2012 at 8:15 AM | geronimo

"Wasn't a certain E. Miliband the progenitor of this debacle?"

No, the minister was one Hilary Benn. Ed Miliband took over the environmental brief during the bill's progress through Parliament.

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterLiT

spartacus
My own estimate is that the true effects of the power shortages will be more likely 2014 or perhaps 2015 but it depends on weather/oil costs and (crucially) on whether enough politiciams wake up to what they are being told in time — which will need to be very soon. If they do then it may be possible to defer the worst for a couple of years and limit the likely damage then.
Otherwise I see the UK becoming virtually ungovernable within 10 years or the emergence of a totalitarian state. Which I am sure the EU would welcome with open arms.

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:32 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Steveta

How can "slightly favours" be anything less than 40%. If they meant 60% slightly favouring wetter then why did they talk about dry?

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Correction:

anything less than 50%

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Mike: the government has been informed that the climate modelling is a fraud. The nukes will be kept going. More CCGTs are being built. the unrestricted subsidy windmill programme is being closed down.

However, the economy is heading downhill fast because Germany is insisting on not opening up its credit to the feckless South. So, we can't afford state investment and it could get very bad.

The way out is to force electricity prices down by decentralising power generation in a major way using a combination or fuel cells and solar. This will break the oligopoly of the central generators and the carbon traders.

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Mike

Oil costs will be lower, would you care to wager a pint?

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Spartacus

Is fuel cell technology ready for that?

Jun 27, 2012 at 5:51 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung: there are two metal ceramic systems in commercial development and there;'s the Australian Blu-gen all ceramic system. I was involved in the UK metal-ceramic system 21 years ago.

And you also have commercial proton conductor systems, including Honda's domestic version of its automotive power system. Unlike the other systems which are 50-60% methane to electrical, the latter are ~30% so you get more heat.

Jun 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

SIF: "The way out is to force electricity prices down by decentralising power generation in a major way using a combination or fuel cells and solar. This will break the oligopoly of the central generators and the carbon traders."

I share your disdain for carbon trading and I have doubts that we have a properly competitive energy supply market to domestic consumers but I don't see either of your technical fixes delevering anytime soon. Maybe you are more in the know than I, but for as long as I can remember these have been technologies on the verge of price performance breakthrough. IMO CCGT has a lot to offer, especially if UK sourced shale gas becomes a reality. Personally I think a start up UK owned and motivated power generating and supply company could be a good thing...

Jun 27, 2012 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

BTW, the only two mains outages that we've had were; 1) due to high winds bringing down power cables, and 2) ice bringing down power cables (no wind at all for days). Obviously a birdmasher is no use as a home backup in such cases as it won't work, and PV cells are no use as they require a mains input to their convertors. So much for renewables as backup supplies.

Jun 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

The Renerables' scam was set up to enrich the Mafia all over Europe. The central generators are part of it, laundering profits and electricity through the unmetered windmills, which are used to produce reactive power. The landowners were brought on board with rent seeking.

To reinstate the power of the population we need to use the methane grid and biogas as an alternative power grid.

Jun 27, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

"Lib dems entered parliament under the expectation that they would have a nice, comfortable, well-paid and prestigious job, with lots of expenses, a superb pension scheme at the end and with no responsibility for making decisions of any magnitude..." --Phillip Bratby

Since the UK is a fiefdom of the EU, and the real government is in Brussels, it should be no surprise that mostly mediocrities sign on to strut about as part of a pretend government in London. Long live the Queen!

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

"UK energy policy faltering"

Surprised, with the advice they receive? They are being advised by people who think that the country's peak power demand is going to shift from winter to summer: "....as our seasons are altered under climate change - such as an expected shift in peak power demand to the summer as people rely more on air conditioning."

"Impacts on the UK energy industry

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/services/climate-services/uk/ukcp/impacts/energy

"Using our climate models to assess future temperature increases, we looked at how this could effect all aspects of the energy industry. This included factoring in issues such as the affect of heat on the efficiency of thermal power stations. We also studied the potential changes in demand as our seasons are altered under climate change - such as an expected shift in peak power demand to the summer as people rely more on air conditioning."

"Following our report, the then Energy and Climate Change Minister, Mike O'Brien, said: "Energy infrastructure is costly and can have a life span of 40 or more years, so it's a smart move for the energy industry to seek the expert advice of the Met Office Hadley Centre. This will help anticipate the potential impacts of climate change and allow the industry to future-proof what it builds in the coming years.""

"it's a smart move for the energy industry to seek the expert advice of the Met Office Hadley Centre."!

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:09 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

@Steveta- if your comment is not tongue-in-cheek, the Met office forecast was rubbish, precisely because it was so vague.
If they can't get it right with their dismal attempt to cover all bases (40%-30%-30%) then what chance have they of longer range (10, 20, 30, 100 year) forecasts/projections?

I also take note that their tealeaf reading exercise suggested only a 30% chance of being wetter than normal.

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Oil costs will be lower, would you care to wager a pint?
Not something I'd care to wager on. Unlike our friends at UEA I don't have a crystal ball and we are talking too much in the way of uncertainties.

Spartacus
It's no good telling "government". The target has to be 50%+1 of the House of Commons and they need to be convinced enough of the seriousness of the situation to put pressure on their leaders. We are playing catch-up because we took our eye off the ball 10 years ago — or to be more precise we didn't understand just what game the eco-warriors were playing and thought that it was the science that mattered.
Or at least those who weren't screaming even then "it's all about the politics!" Nobody listened, of course.

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike

Hedge funds are now betting on $70/barrel by September http://platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Oil/6421446?WT.mc_id=&WT.tsrc=Eloqua

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

I have no crystal ball but I would like to say what I think:

Once Opec realises how much oil the USA has and how much they will be producing, it will have to remove its production cap in order to stay competitive. I think oil will drop below $60/barrel over the next couple of years.
About 18 months - 2 years ago I posted on BH that I thought the UK could have as much as 3000 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves and I still stand by that figure as well.

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:45 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Green Sand

I could scarcely believe they said that with a straight face, but you provided the link. It really is worse than we thought.

Quote of the week

"it's a smart move for the energy industry to seek the expert advice of the Met Office Hadley Centre."!

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

quote
The MPs want to know what happens if the UK cannot meet its legally binding target of 15% renewable energy by 2020 without breaching the cap. (The UK may face heavy fines if it misses the target).
unquote

Roger Harrabin, BBC News website. My reaction is not 'we must try harder' as this article assumes. My reaction is 'please take your fine and secrete it in a dark place'. So, Mr Harrabin, who is going to fine us? The same people who are going to fine Germany for burning lignite in their new power station? Interesting that no comments are allowed on the article.

JF

Jun 27, 2012 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

Re: UK policy - even if we repeal the Climate Change Act I think we'd still need to unpick ourselves from this:
***********
Article 3

Mandatory national overall targets and measures for the use of energy from renewable sources

1. Each Member State shall ensure that the share of energy from renewable sources, calculated in accordance with Articles 5 to 11, in gross final consumption of energy in 2020 is at least its national overall target for the share of energy from renewable sources in that year, as set out in the third column of the table in part A of Annex I. Such mandatory national overall targets are consistent with a target of at least a 20 % share of energy from renewable sources in the Community’s gross final consumption of energy in 2020. In order to achieve the targets laid down in this Article more easily, each Member State shall promote and encourage energy efficiency and energy saving.
**********

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32009L0028:EN:NOT

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/doc/energy_legislation_by_policy_areas.pdf

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/index_en.htm

Jun 27, 2012 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

not banned YET

Well Germany is almost certain to breach that restriction.

Jun 27, 2012 at 8:32 PM | Registered CommenterDung

DUNG - yes, they are forecasting to miss by a smidge - see page 54 here:

http://www.ecn.nl/docs/library/report/2010/e10069.pdf

Jun 27, 2012 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Pharos

Not only did they say it, they are proud of it!

The issue is then compounded by our politicians being "smart" enough to believe it!

We are led by those who refuse to see that they are advised by people who are "economical with the truth".

Why is due diligence such an anathema to present day politicians?


They walk amongst us!

Jun 27, 2012 at 8:42 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

not banned YET (why not???)

That report was Nov 2011 which was before they started building a shed load of new coal power stations ^.^

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:06 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Whatever Dung - shed loads of power stations don't get built without approval and somewhere along the way part of that process will interface with policy. Here's Reuter's list from April 2012:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/23/power-germany-plants-idUSL5E8FN6R220120423

Jun 27, 2012 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

The Gubment has just announced that the scheduled 3p rise in taxes on petrol etc will not be levied at the end of the year.

Earlier this evening the news bulletins were talking about falling prices for crude oil, resulting in lower fuel prices and then resulting in lower taxes for the Gubment.

When do you think the 3p levy will be reintroduced?

Jun 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

peterwalsh

Not until one of them stumbles across the fact that just two oil discoveries this year are equal to 1.5 times previously known reserves (talking recoverable reserves). Probably around 2015 then.
Green Rivers Wyoming and some place in Russia ^.^

Jun 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Jun 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM | dearieme

"For electric power use coal. In Britain we have several centuries worth of reserves."

The question is how big our economic reerves are: presumably not very different from nil?

There are huge reserves which would certainly be economic to exploit if there was a level playing field.

But with all big-three political parties insisting on CCS (an idiotic and impractical idea, specifically dreamed up to stop coal) for any new coal fired plant, you will be correct.

But why would anyone invest in deep-mined coal when ample reserves of shale gas are available? (And, of course, coal bed methane).

Few competent mining engineers left. Most surviving coal miners the wrong side of 50. I can't see any of the existing coal deep mines surviving even 5 years without a dramatic change in Government policy (that would be the Commission in Brussels. Not just their stooges in Westminster).

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Jun 27, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Mike Jackson


We are playing catch-up because we took our eye off the ball 10 years ago — or to be more precise we didn't understand just what game the eco-warriors were playing and thought that it was the science that mattered.

Couldn't agree more, spot on.

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Oil costs will get lower see;

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/22145/new_study_by_harvard_kennedy_school_researcher_forecasts_sharp_increase_in_world_oil_production_capacity_and_risk_of_price_collapse.html

h/t Mike Jonas wuwt

By the way please say 'shedload' when you mean a lot and 'shed load' when you mean something has fallen off the back of a lorry! I even emailed the BBC language unit to have a go at the traffic girls for saying there is a shedload on the motorway. Pedant or what ;-).

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Schofield

Jun 27, 2012 at 12:32 PM | Bryan

"Its true that Polish coal is imported as being cheaper."

No, Bryan. Not true. Actual trading prices are hard to come by. But if three times as much British coal was produced, every cobble would easily be sold.

The only time Polish coal was certainly cheaper than British was after the fall of communism in the early '90s when the Zloty went down the drain and they were absolutely desperate for hard currency.

And although Poland is the biggest producer in the EU (2010:- Poland 55Mt, Germany 45Mt (mainly lignite), UK 10½Mt), EU coal exports to the UK are small (1Mt - and that includes non EU coal exported from Rotterdam. Probably some Ukrainian?). This is dwarfed by Australia (coking coal) at 3¼Mt, USA at 4½Mt, Columbia at 6½Mt and "the Daddy" Russia at 10Mt.

The sad consequence of your incorrect comment is that some execrable and mendacious troll now goes into overdrive pretending that UK coal production is "subsidised" - 'it must be because Polish is cheaper' he chirps!

Absolute bullshit. The only 'subsidy' coal has received since privatisation is the old chestnut 'subsidy' (much loved by greenies) that electrical energy from coal is VAT rated at 5% instead of 20%.

We have debated this before so just let's say that lots of things (kids' clothes, books, cremations) are 'subsidised' to an even greater extent. And that all other electricity (even the derisory amount produced by BigWind) is equally 'subsidised' by 'only' being taxed at 5%. But of course BigWind gets huge subsidies with all the other scams like the ROC certificates. And the distributors HAVE to buy it!

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:32 AM | Martin Brumby

Martin just a thought but at one time globally there were no coal miners of any age. But I doubt if we have the political determination, drive and workforce willing enough to do any deep mining for almost anything except on a very small scale.

Sandy

Jun 28, 2012 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

If anyone's really interested in energy economics, this is a much more astute and truthful commentary than most:-

http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/ting-a-ling/

Whilst there, don't miss:-
http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/the-ghosts-of-kamaoa/

"Uncle Vestas":- Ed Davey to a Tee! Brilliant!

Jun 28, 2012 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Martin Brumby says

"The only time Polish coal was certainly cheaper than British was after the fall of communism in the early '90s when the Zloty went down the drain and they were absolutely desperate for hard currency."

Thanks for the update.

I live in Ayrshire and foreign coal is being landed at the deep water Hunterson Terminal.
I just assumed it was still coming from Poland.

Ayrshire used to have a lot of mines.
There is still a considerable amount of open cast mining in the county.

A proposed new coal fired power station will not now go ahead apparently for lack of funding.

Jun 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

I have no evidence — just a hunch. But I don't think that even the likes of Gergis care whether the paper they are now poring over is right or wrong or to what extent.
It and cAGW have served their purpose. They can close the door now with all the little Green men inside along with their friends at UEA and Dr Mann and Al Gore and the useful idiots at the Graun and the DT and the NYT.
If we ever start getting too stroppy about "sustainablity" or "biodiversity" or whatever turns out to the be the next scare-of-choice but three, they can open the door a little bit, let us see what they still have locked away in there, and cow us into submission for another year or two.
We are discussing in a vacuum the future of energy policy — not just UK energy policy but world energy policy.
"They" have already decided what that is to be — absolutely no coal; absolutely no nuclear if we can get away with it; some gas because otherwise there would probably be so little electricity generated that there would be riots; lots of wind and water and solar (which we all know, "They" included, will not sustain civilisation).
The only outstanding questions are:
1. How far down the road of destroying civilisation are "They" planning to go, assuming that they are planning anything and not just letting their brain cells hang loose? (How are we all on conspiracy theory, in other words?)
2. Can the little people find enough strength and enough argument to persuade governments (which I am still enough of an optimist to believe are actually manned by ordinary decent men and women who are deluded rather than evil, victims rather than conspirators) that they are being led by the nose down a path that fewer than one per cent of humanity have any wish to go down?
We can talk till we're hoarse about climate sensitivity or back radiation or what will or will not make it into AR5. If spartacus, under whichever nom de plume he chooses (and I spotted another one at the DT last week), ever gets to publish his theory about the whole of IPCC physics being wrong then we might make progress because the one thing that will bring down the house of cards is strong enough evidence to convince the majority of real scientists that they've been sold a pup.
Absent that desirable outcome discussing climate is irrelevant just as it always was, and the more so now because the bandwagon has moved on. Until we realise that, we are playing "Their" game.
What we need now, those of us who do recognise what is afoot, is to find the shortcut through the hills to get in front and find somewhere suitable for an ambush.

Jun 28, 2012 at 9:10 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Bryan

That's right. But the key is that they wouldn't invest in Carbon Capture & Storage which still hasn't been demonstrated to work on an appropriate scale.

But no-one whose IQ score is bigger than his hat size will invest hundreds of Millions in technology which 'might' work, despite lots of evidence that it won't.

This is like the Major Projects Authority saying more wind farms are "feasible" in the Bish's post.

Yeah. It is "feasible" to build a power station to generate electricity burning banknotes or diamonds.

Jun 28, 2012 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Mike Jackson: spot on and this article appears to show the reasons behind this new 'blud und boden' philosophy: http://www.martindurkin.com/blogs/nazi-greens-inconvenient-history

I have seen it develop over 20 years in the UK, but it also applies to the US. A key indicator appears to be the recruitment of eugenicist Erlich as an FRS.

Jun 28, 2012 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Don, I don't actually know the numbers for the recent Met Office drier prediction. The example I gave was real though, from the 2009/10 winter snows.

The Met office in the preceding October said that "less snow than average" was the most likely scenario, with a 40-30-30% split for snow being less-average-more.

And when it turned out to be much more that average, I heard a MetHead on the radio defending the forecast by saying that while less snow was the most likely specific prediction, NOT less snow was in fact more likely at 60%.

Jun 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

Mike Jackson


Absent that desirable outcome discussing climate is irrelevant just as it always was, and the more so now because the bandwagon has moved on. Until we realise that, we are playing "Their" game.
What we need now, those of us who do recognise what is afoot, is to find the shortcut through the hills to get in front and find somewhere suitable for an ambush.

Tend to disagree with you there. Yes there is a rolling agenda that has left the science behind, but, it is now that the science has to play catch up and remove the foundations.

No matter what they say the next scare is, it is all based on being our fault for polluting the atmosphere to an extent that changes Nature significantly. If that link is broken, or should I say the effect from our actions is significantly reduced then there is no basis. Every scare just becomes the 'greens cry wolf' and public and political opinion will relate to that. Politicians cannot handle being made fools of publicly, even socialist politicians.

It is already noticeable that more climate scientists are backing away from CAGW, possibly more to cAGW but it's when we get past AGW, and aGW is the lead theory that we will recover from this mess. Those in the IPCC process will be aware of the shifting sands and will have a necessity for it to be reflected, or be challenged by peer review, whatever the need for direction is.
That is the scientific process, it is not our process or their process it is the process.

Jun 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Lord Beaverbrook
I don't think we are that far apart, certainly as far as your point about science needing to play catch-up is concerned but I think you under-estimate the extent to which any argument against sustainability (we'll stick to that since that is the excuse du jour) can currently be met with the counter-argument that they were right about global warming. "It hasn't gone away, you know." It's still either "lurking in the depths of the oceans" or "being disguised by pollution or normal variation".
"So therefore we still need to ..."
"And anyway sustainability is the right thing."
Watch the pea and the thimble!
Which is why I say that it would need a total demolition of the basic science to pull the rug and deny that argument to them .... or we have to think of something else, and pretty quick.

Jun 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The mistake is to mix up two incompatible policies - Energy and Climate Change. DECC makes it clear on their website that they view the key priorities of their department as follows :

1.Tackling Climate Change
2.Reducing Emissions
3. Meeting Energy Demand

I would have placed these priorities in exactly the reverse order since cheap reliable energy is the key to prosperity while climate change is of little direct importance for the UK economy. Meanwhile DECC is spending eye watering amounts of money “tackling climate change” as sumarised in their “Cost Benefit analysis” from 2008. Spending this sort of money one would expect large long term benefits. The assumption seems to be that through example the UK will convince the world to abandon growth and cut carbon emissions to avoid some perceived planetary disaster. As I see it there are two basic problems with this noble Shakespearean position.

1. For the UK itself there has been no discernable change whatsoever in climate since 1940 and it is unlikely that any significant change will occur by 2050 either. The evidence for this comes from the HADCRUT3 averaged temperature anomaly data for all UK stations from 1940-2011.see Figure Here. There has been essentially no change in UK's climate.

2.In 2006 just the increases in China's CO2 emissions over 2005 levels was 545.2 Mt, while in the same year total UK emissions were just 535.8Mt. The 2008 climate change act aims to cut UK emissions to 20% of 1990 levels by 2050 at a costs of hundreds of billions of pounds. It will have no effect on UK temperatures and globally its effect is completely insignificant. The UK’s contribution over 40 years will be to offset just 1 year of increases in China’s CO2 emissions.

DECC should go back to just being DE(Department of Energy)

Jun 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

Mike Jackson

Fully understand what you are saying but there is a new kid on the block, extended solar minimum with a short term empirical proof. Hard to back a theory with an experimental period of 50 to 100 years when proof of a second theory starts coming in at 2 to 8 years.

My own feeling is that ENSO is going to play a big part over the next couple of years in changing opinion, but I'm not any source for reference.

Jun 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

LiT:"Wasn't a certain E. Miliband the progenitor of this debacle?"

No, the minister was one Hilary Benn. Ed Miliband took over the environmental brief during the bill's progress through Parliament.

I stand corrected.

Steveta:

"And when it turned out to be much more that average, I heard a MetHead on the radio defending the forecast by saying that while less snow was the most likely specific prediction, NOT less snow was in fact more likely at 60%."

So they've found a way of never being wrong. If they split everything 30-30-40 for say, dry, rainy, windy and say it's most likely to be dry and it's not they can point to the fact that 60% said it wasn't every time.

They weren't just mildly out they were wildly out, no percent of their mealymouthed 30-30-40 split said it was going to deluge rain on us for three consecutive months.

Jun 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Maybe the Met Office can take some advice from Paul Simons (The Times, Weather Eye).

He says;
"With the weather being so changable a good forecast is essential to avoid getting drenched"
(Here I am assuming that "good" means "accurate").

He adds;
"One way of doing this is to watch the birds. Of all creatures birds can be outstanding forecasters and their lives depend on it".

So there you are Met Office, problem solved, just watch the birds, rather than your proven useless computers.

Jun 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

"Nothing threatens the beauty and the tranquillity of the countryside more than climate change" (Davey)

While the truth is that nothing threatens the beauty and the tranquillity of the countryside more than climate change policy. Tricky.

Jun 28, 2012 at 1:05 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I think you're all being horrid to the poor old Met Office. Those chaps give 100%: 20% on Monday, 20% on Tuesday...

With the possible exception of Richard Betts, who is presumably trying to make up the shortfall. :-)

Jun 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Don

IIRC, a study of toads in Italy was interrupted no long ago by their sudden, unexplained disappearance. A few days later came a serious earthquake, and a while after that, the toads returned. Perhaps we are a trifle dismissive of animal sensitivities.

Jun 28, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

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