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« The cost of climate | Main | Deben before the ECC »
Thursday
Oct102013

Energy gloom

David Cameron had a vision of a greener life, lived closer to natureIt's hard not to lose heart sometimes. Looking around the news on the energy front this morning, the bad news is overwhelming.

It's not online, but the FT has apparently reported that the coalition is considering accelerating the retreat from fossil fuels, with coal-fired power stations only operating as load-balancing capacity. This is because the coalition is frightened that Lord Oxburgh's Energy Bill amendment in the House of Lords will win through and that a ruinous decarbonisation target will be put in place.

Given that coal-fired power stations are not designed to operate in this way, the move strikes me as being counterproductive in terms of emissions reductions. Presumably operators of coal-fired stations will also demand a very high price in order to keep their plant operational on a part-time basis, so consumers will, once again, be forced to foot the bill.

Meanwhile, Scottish and Southern Energy have just announced an 8% price rise for its customers, starting from the middle of November, and the outgoing head of Ofgem has said that we should expect power cuts to begin in the next couple of years.

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Reader Comments (61)

A major factor in the energy price rises is of course the government levies to 'fight climate change'.
According to the BBC, wholesale costs have gone up 4% but govt levies have risen 13%. Which makes minister Michael Fallon's statement that he is disappointed by SSEs decision to raise prices just a bit hypocritical.

Oct 10, 2013 at 8:57 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

The green tax element element got a mention on R4 this morning, although of course they didn't call it a tax, or a subsidy. The energy companies seems surprisingly coy about this - you'd think they'd be complaining loudly that a large part of recent price rises had been forced upon them. Why don't they?

Great picture Bish, BTW. Do you have that over your fireplace..?

Oct 10, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

...coal-fired power stations only operating as load-balancing capacity...

Um? Where are we going to get an extra 10Gw? Or more, as winter comes in?

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Whenever there is a power cut due to lack of capacity, the 'smart meter' systems should be used to black out the Palace of Westminster, No 10 and No 11 Downing St., and every voting Lord and Member of Parliament's residence(s). These people who have forced masses of people into energy poverty - some fatally - should be the first to lose power every single time. It _might_ concentrate their minds if this were done. However, I doubt it as these people did not even raise an eyebrow when 5000 people died of cold in UK in March in energy poverty. That is three times the number of people that died on the roads in a YEAR died of cold in ONE MONTH. Not a single parliamentary question. This winter is forecast to be cold too - will the MPs stay as silent again?

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan W

Whenever a new article appears, an adjective pops into my head which
captures the article in a word.
The word flounding immediately came to mind, having read the above.
The government are floundering in the light,but are likely to leave the
nation floundering in the dark, before very long.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

We need a people's revolution and put these zealots in jail!

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Yes, you would expect this. As I have posted in Unthreaded, what will happen is that as disconfirmation of the theory starts, conviction of its truth will rise, people will take more and more extreme action based on it, and they will proselytize with greater and greater fervour.

The crash will happen later. Maybe blackouts in a cooling climate will produce it in the end, but that is what it will take.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered Commentermichel

It gets crazier and crazier. I have just listened to the spokesman for SWALEC (Western Power?) say quite bluntly that the increase is due to the green levies on bills - adding £150 at least. The demand by some for the green levy to be put on general taxation is one option, but of course that would mean further cuts somewhere else - local government was yesterday destroyed in Wales. The only alternative as far as I can see is a direct attack on the leeches which masquerade as LibDems. This undemocratic clique is wrecking the UK both socially and economically, and it will only be ameliorated by a clear victory for one of the larger political parties. Cameron, who once again appeared clueless yesterday, could well be replaced before 2015 since it is his fault that nutters such as Chris Huhne and Ed Davey were allowed any influence on everyday life.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterTrefor Jones

EU creates legislation to make fracking uneconomic:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fracking/10367432/Fracking-under-threat-from-EU-red-tape-warns-MEP.html

The European Parliament on Wednesday voted for new EU laws requiring that exploration for potential deposits of shale gas to face the same environmental regulation as a full-scale oil drilling.


Struan Stevenson, a Conservative MEP who sits on the European Parliament's environment committee, warned that the plan could strangle the nascent fracking industry in Britain.

It's one way to go about population reduction.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

Yes this is another area where all those involved do their best to obscure what is going on rather than illuminate. I wonder why that is.

The facts; levies, taxes, wholesale price rises should be clear to those in the know so just spell it out for us and we can make our own minds up. It's not hard. Just stop spinning and tell us the facts. Stick all the information on the bill Ryanair style so we can clearly see it. We're all grown ups.

On Sky News just now, Eamonn Holmes of all people tied Michael Fallon in knots. He asked what % of the bill is down to Govt levies and got 4% in reply (to a different question). The SSE spokesman said it was 10% actually so Holmes confronted Fallon again who after blustering then agreed it was just less than 10%. It left Fallon looking like a fool (I expect it will be shown on later bulletins).

So an 8% rise is outrageous when the companies that actually provide the service do it (presumably reacting in some part to wholesale prices) but 10% from the Govt is just fine and glossed over.

It's also clear that as usual the politician's way out is to blame anyone but themselves when the SHTF. Climate "scientists" take note.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:30 AM | Registered CommenterSimonW

"The energy companies seems surprisingly coy about this - you'd think they'd be complaining loudly that a large part of recent price rises had been forced upon them. Why don't they?"
When a sector of the economy is run by politicians, companies simply can't afford to annoy the politicians. Effectively we have a system where the government is the customer the firms need to please in order to remain in business, rather than the true customers.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Why are we surprised? The Chief Scientific Adviser to the Her Majesty's Government Department of Energy and Climate Change is a man whose advice to the huddled masses is 'put another jumper on'.

What century is this again?

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Maybe up north where the cold and fuel poverty are rife will see the return of the Jarrow marches. Will history repeat itself once again.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Here's the link to Ofgem's 2012 report:

Electricity Capacity Assessment Report to Government.

Heads need to roll.

UPDATE - The report suggests that at the current rate of plant closure their statistical analysis goes from one in 3300 chance of serious power cuts to one in 12 by 2015. Having seen Brown-off's analysis of the energy gap, I think that is optimistic.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:37 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

@ Ian W - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Seconded.

And add the ignorant prats at Public Health England who recommend using light colours for buildings' exterior to mitigate the consequences of solar gain, despite no proof that a single person has died indoors through overheat. You couldn't make it up.

See:- "Heatwave Plan for England 2013 – Protecting health and reducing harm from severe heat and heatwaves"

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

It is difficult to quantify, but a component of ever-rising energy bills is the reluctance of firms to invest in this environment unless they are assured of similar subsidies as their competitors get.

Why would you build a state of the art coal or gas plant, when windmill entrepreneurs miles from the grid get paid multiples of the going rate, and have preferential access?

Not to mention, that there is every sign that they haven't got a clue what they are doing and therefore the rules could change overnight?

The Climate Change Act could indeed rank with one of the longest suicide notes in history.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Re: Ian W

> This winter is forecast to be cold too

If that is an official Met Office long range forecast then I'll leave my winter clothes in storage and stick with my summer ones.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

The GWPF retweets:

LiberumAtherton ‏@LiberumAtherton

Our take on the SSE price rise is here http://bit.ly/1c2LLQt . Close to 2/3rds of the 8.2% increase is due to govt policy.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page

TerryS - iirc it was a Metociel forecast (French) so more likely to be on the ball. I think the Germans have also forecast a cold winter.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:47 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Oxburgh is/was the Chairman of a subsidiary of an Italian Corporation which is believed to be under Mafia control.

The windmill programme is believed by some to be a Mafia scam to access the subsidies and launder drug funds.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

When, up until the end of 2004, the Danes used their coal fired power stations as a load balancing facility, they increased CO2 emissions by up to 5%.

That led to them dumping >10% demand wind energy to Nordic hydro.

The key systems' factor is that above 10% demand, steam turbine slew rate is insufficient to match the rate of change of demand, so fuel efficiency rapidly falls.

My son's father in law used to run a coal power plant in WA and proved this by experiment.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Simple maths proves that there can be no retreat from fossil fuels any time soon. UK peak demand rises during winter to 60GW. I monitor which fuels meet that instantaneous demand every day. Power cuts will occur if power generation ever falls below demand. Over the last 30 days the result is:

Coal - 36%
Gas - 33%
Nuclear - 17%
Imported - 6.4%
Wind - 5%
Pump/Hydro - 2.6%

It is often said that Gas is better than coal for emissions because it produces less CO2. However hydrocarbons will be needed for centuries to produce fertilizers, plastics etc. and burning it all is not really sustainable. Coal however has fewer other uses than generating electricity. The germans know this because they are building 19 new coal power stations and still rely on coal for nearly 70% of their electricity, despite cripplingly expensive green investment in wind and solar. There is basically not a hope in hell of renewables ever meeting demand in the UK - it really is all pie in the sky. The only non-carbon solution is to build at least 20 new nuclear power stations before 2050.

Oct 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

The background to this appears to be that the alliance of Marxists and delegates of carbon traders like Shell, with which Oxburgh is linked, is desperately trying to grab victory before the IPCC 'consensus' is outed to the Public as fraudulent.

Miliband's cynical ploy to hold energy prices for 20 months is apparently part of a much larger strategy to sabotage our economy to initiate popular revolution. It appears they are prepared to initiate inner city insurrection to usurp the rule of Parliament in favour of bureaucratic diktat aided and abetted by the Corporations.

This is de facto fascism.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Clive Best on Oct 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM
"The only non-carbon solution is to build at least 20 new nuclear power stations before 2050."

They won't be needed after 2058, so why bother?

Apocalypse Now: Unstoppable man-made climate change will become reality by the end of the decade and could make New York, London and Paris uninhabitable within 45 years
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2451604/Apocalypse-Now-Unstoppable-man-climate-change-reality-end-decade-make-New-York-London-Paris-uninhabitable-45-years-says-new-study.html

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:09 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

"with coal-fired power stations only operating as load-balancing capacity."


Well that certainly confirms it. All of them inclusive of; the reeking miasma - the cohorts of the green Kameraden, all through our political elite and into the form rooms of the backwards school kidz - the DECC - truly, are the lunatics running the show.


Damn them all, for all of the above will have doomed Britain to an energy producers nightmare and consequent provision of power supply crisis.
Blackouts are coming, which will be just the start. A serious outage will be the first falling domino which will create a cascade leading to a major societal 'meltdown'. Blackouts and queues will come to the streets then, the real whammy of a widespread looting and food shortage panic.
I'm so glad that winter is coming. Army on the streets? [have we still got one Dave?].

Anyone, who labours under the misapprehension that these days Britain is still a dutiful and law abiding society needs to think again, what you observe day to day is a facade, a veneer of structure and obeisance. Underlying this thin varnish, the people are more than ready to ape the immorality exhibited by their betters. The example set, of criminal misbehaviour, rampant looting and filching by the ruling classes is obvious to anyone who can use his own eyes, oh yes indeed new rules will apply and will be set but they will be of a jungle variety - all it takes is a trigger.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Athelstan - sadly, I fear you are right.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

We really need to take it on board that this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better...if ever. Those of us, like myself, for whom energy bills are a significant expense, need to make our financial and alternative arrangements. Mine involve free scrap wood and a wood burner and minimal low voltage lighting and only washing clothes and taking a shower when I need to.
I can view this as cosy and romantic but it would be a bit different if I had a young family.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Our coal fired stations are typically 30 to 40 years old. Although properly maintained, there is absolutely no possibility of them surviving mechanically if used as the FT report. Even very modern CCGT turbines are rated for only 350 starts a year.

The Grid will require coal fired or gas capacity online permanently. When power fluctuates, these big generators possess what is called synchronous inertia; as the load rises they easily increase power to absorb the increased load and maintain frequency. Renewable generation ie wind can not fluctuate either up or down therefore it can not provide frequency control. Once you have lost frequency control, most medical equipment begins to falter as the frequency slips away from 50 hz.

The FT's reporters are in my view peddling un researched garbage of late.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJTBroadhurst

Apocalypse Now: Unstoppable man-made climate change will become reality by the end of the decade and could make New York, London and Paris uninhabitable within 45 years......
These projections of global temperature change based on two different climate scenarios show the world from 1986-2005 and what could unfold at the end of this century with a rise in average temp from 32 to 39 degrees centigrade.....

The average temperature on Earth is actually 15C ! Sea Surface Temperature in the tropics is limited to ~30C by the Clausius–Clapeyron equation . I suppose the entire ocean could evaporate !

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

AlecM -

Miliband's cynical ploy to hold energy prices for 20 months is apparently part of a much larger strategy to sabotage our economy to initiate popular revolution...

Nah, Milliband is not clever enough to think up a strategy like that. He is a largely talentless talking head, who has never had a real job in his life.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Does anyone know if Mary Robinson still sits on an advisory board to Al Gore's Generation Investment Management Company.

Generation is an asset managmeent company that raises money to be invested in things that would benefit richly from government policy favouring "renewables"


Robinson has kept her personal and possibly commercial interests in this topic well hidden from view.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

lapogus: Miliband and Cameron may well be being panicked into action by others, the aim being to achieve a desired end.

I hope that this is a sane energy policy.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Having already seen the portents for a Brutal European winter, and remembering the last three, here in France, I am well stocked up with wood and bottled gas. Two woodburners (one a wood-burning range for cooking) are clean and ready for use, chimneys swept, and extra oil for the central heating (although we only tend to run it on "frost-stat" settings to prevent freeze-ups - too expensive, otherwise).

It would seem that the EU and our respective quisling "governments" are hell-bent on reducing the population, and making our lives as uncomfortable as they possibly can at the behest of the UN Agenda 21 horror.

When you consider the wealth of material beneath our feet capable of producing efficient and cheap energy, juxtaposed against the stupid ill-considered rules and regulations in place to stop us getting at, and using it, it makes you seriously wonder if they want the majority of us to survive.

And they still try and blame it on that old devil CO2, for which we appear to be entirely responsible, and for which there is no evidence.

I think it's evident that the planet is entering a cooling phase, be it temporary or not - that, I would have thought, should be the scenario we need to be preparing for right now, not the predicted "warming" and forecast "Mediterranean Climate" - indeed, if our "Mediterranean Climate" in France over the last few winters is anything to go by, you are welcome to it. (AND they've taken away our winter fuel allowance - many days with minus 15 degrees last year - so much for the myth of pensioners escaping to sunnier climes...)

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat

"On Sky News just now, Eamonn Holmes of all people tied Michael Fallon in knots."
Just a little after that a reporter from outside the HP clearly and unequivocably identified Red Ed as the instigator of the green taxes when he was Minister in 2008 and soundly castigated his hypocracy.
I think Rupert's empire may have decided that it is payback time for the humiliating kicking they suffered at the hands of Westminster. Geof Randall is scheduled for 7pm on Sky this evening with an energy program - will he up the ante? Can't wait.
In the meantime I hope UKIP, as the only party with a record and manifesto of oposition to green energy, is fighting for a voice in this furore. This is not the day for Nigel to be down the pub. Carpe diem!

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterroger

The cover picture might be the future for many of us but, rest assured, it is not a future that David “I am never right but I am very rich” Camoron, Marxist Millionaire Milipede or Nick “Nick-nick” Clegg will ever have to endure, cushioned as they are pay – hey! – the tax-payer!

It could be a solution to the housing problem, though: “The house is yours – all you have to do is clear out the stiffs inside.”

What the cretins in office (NOT “in power”) overlook is that, once the subjugation of the masses by regular doses of Strictly Get Big Brother on Ice in Streetenders fails because of power cuts, things could turn very, very nasty.

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

The SS great Britain steams blindly on. Captain Cameroon is busy below deck arranging a gay marriage. Ed (potato) Davey is on the bridge wearing ear defenders and a blindfold. The radar has been switched off following advice from top scientists that the new computer software controlling the auto-pilot has been fully validated. The DECC crew are busy re-arranging the DECC chairs and throwing many of them overboard with the life rafts, which are no longer needed. In the engine room, the chief engineer believes that the fuel gauge must be wrong as it drops below the red line and the warning alarms that are going off are faulty. Many passengers have spotted rocks ahead, but the Nick, the Captain's mate, says that passengers are scaremongers and aren't qualified to know rocks when they see them. Full steam ahead!

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:49 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

When the SHTF, WAAF (We Are Al F****d).

I'm pretty certain that should (when) the lights go out, there will be a fair degree of social insurrection. Unfortunately I expect that it will not be of the "Jarrow March" political variety, but more akin to last year's "Retail Riots" writ larger. With the mass media controlled/craven and a police force more akin to a paramilitary organisation political demonstrations will be either non-existant or heavily suppressed whereas "da youf" out at night pillaging will get a relatively easy ride as they'll be a lot harder to handle than a collection of old wrinklies.

I cannot see anything effective occurring... We will die in the dark and the cold as the politicians and their rich cronies preach.

Gawd, I am in a cheerful mood this morning. :-)

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterPogo

Regarding Milliband, it scares the hell out of me that this intellectually deficient little pipsqueak is within a few percentage points of winning a general election and imposing his idiocy on the country. Seriously, this is the first time I have ever been worried about a potential electoral result.

Oct 10, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterImranCan

My commiserations to those in the Northern Hemisphere who are on the way into winter. It seems that, at a minimum, it is going to cost you more to stay warm than it did last year.

Meanwhile, Down Under, we are going into summer. Yesterday, the Fairfax press and the ABC, staunch supporters of CAGW, crowed that we were in for a record-breaking heatwave for this time of the year. Temperatures up to 39C were forecast. No prizes for guessing why.

Alas, it didn't happen. It was warm, but far from unusually so and a long way from the threatened "sizzler". The maximum here was 27C.

Oh, well, they'll be back next time some warm air appears. Boring facts have never been a deterrent in the past.

Oct 10, 2013 at 11:06 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

What we lack is the means for punishing political malpractice other than at the polls. The problem with the polls is the malfeasor(s) may not present themselves and punishing their possibly innocent successors by rejecting their candidacies could be counter-productive. We need a way to reach into the past when a policy has clearly been shown to not only have been badly conceived but perhaps criminally so and smite down its perpetrators.

Too much of the legislation in both of our countries is devised and enacted by people whose wealth insulates them and the people they associate with from any adverse effects.

Oct 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Gecko

According to Bloomberg, Robinson is still on the board of Generation

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapId=32584452

Oct 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

@Mike.

Thanks.


Why doesn't Robinson ever declare her interests? Why does any journalist ever ask her about her interests when she starts lobbying and campaigning?

Lord Lawson is hounded by accusation and demands about funding of the GWPF. Robinson is given a free ride at an open goal - if you can handle such a mixed metaphor.

I think it is outrageous.

Oct 10, 2013 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

This is like the banking crash. Those in the system take bigger and bigger risks because deep down they feel that we’re too big to fail. They’re gambling that they can sail us close to the edge and not fall off too badly. There are benefits if their plan pays off. I’m sure that they’re even considering power cuts as a bit of a plus, probably thinking that we need a wake up call on how much energy we waste. So we’ll have a few power cuts, reduce our energy use and be so pathetically grateful when the power comes back that we’ll let the government spend all kinds of money on windmills and nuclear.

Clearly they aren’t thinking about what power cuts would do to our financial rating or our standing as a commercial country. The costs emerging from something like that would be huge and unlike the banking crisis, this time we’d be on our own.

As I wrote before, these gambles work if there are no unexpected bumps in the road.

Oct 10, 2013 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

The Ankou in the background is prophetic. Governments should never ask for whom the bell tolls.....

The recently published Fifth Report on Energy Prices, Profits and Poverty by the House of Commons considered the problem of fuel poverty:

"Under the current definition of fuel poverty..... a household is said to be fuel poor if it needs to spend more than 10 % of its income on fuel to maintain an adequate level of warmth....Government has a statutory obligation to ensure that by November 2016 "as far as reasonably practicable persons in England or Wales do not live in fuel poverty."

"Professor Hills pointed out that the previous indicator could lead Government to "focus on action that tips people just across the [fuel poverty] line", rather than those people most in need of support. Under the 10% indicator, a small rise in energy prices could tip disproportionately large numbers of households into fuel poverty due to the number of households close to fuel poverty.

"However some witnesses were critical of the fact that the new definition effectively reduced the fuel-poor headcount without any Government action having taken place: NEA observed that "the Hills definition significantly reduce[s] the incidence of fuel poverty - without having provided affordable warmth for a single household."

"DECC's latest statistics on fuel poverty provided data according to both the 10% definition of fuel poverty, and the proposed new LIHC indicator. The statistics showed that in 2011 there were 4.5 million households in fuel poverty under the 10% definition, of which 3.2 million were in England. Under the new indicator, there were 2.6 million fuel-poor households in England in 2011....."

Politicians wish to reduce people in fuel poverty, not by making energy affordable, but simply by changing the definition of fuel poverty. They should consider the lessons of history. I would recommend they start by reading Aristotle on revolutions (Note to Cameron: A Greek philosopher you may or may not have heard of when studying PPE.)

"In all revolutions, the conditions which leads up to them is the desire of the many for equality, and the desire of the minority for effective superiority......The inciting occasions are many; jealousy of those who have wealth.......official arrogance, fear of the law or of its abuse"

Aristotle explained that mendacious political classes seeking a monopoly on wealth results in the establishment of a tyrannical government where the middle class becomes dissatisfied and the "relation between rulers and ruled becomes that of masters and slaves." The end result is revolution.

Oct 10, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commenter52

Trefor Jones wrote:

quote
The only alternative as far as I can see is a direct attack on the leeches which masquerade as LibDems. This undemocratic clique is wrecking the UK both socially and economically, and it will only be ameliorated by a clear victory for one of the larger political parties.
unquote

Let me disagree.

The Labour Party is led by the architect of the Climate Change Act: to admit he was wrong would destroy him. The Conservative Party is led by a man who swore he would lead the greenest government ever, who hugs huskies, who put a tiny windmill on his house and then took it off again, whose wife's father earns a thousand pounds a day from a windfarm on his estate. Green man of the people by conviction, trapped by his big mouth on green concerns, he can't change. Mrs Cameron won't let him and, besides, he'd have to wake up long enough to think of something new.

So, that's it, no help from the two largest parties. The only solution would be if someone formed a political party which would: reject those directives from the EU that are closing down our generating capacity while imposing green tariffs; stop all renewable subsidies; encourage a dash for gas because world gas prices are set to tumble as the US starts exporting; encourage fracking for shale gas in one of the biggest shale deposits in the world and would investigate the economics of unsubsidised nuclear power in a gas rich world. Of course it would need to be a party which found GW unthreatening and overhyped, and might necessitate leaving the EU. So it's win win win.

If only someone had thought of forming such a party twenty years ago. Oh, look.... http://www.ukip.org/

JF

Oct 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

Johanna wrote ...

The Climate Change Act could indeed rank with one of the longest suicide notes in history.

Seems more like homicide.

Oct 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

The GWPF has what appears to be a fairly comprehensive version of the FT "coal-fired power stations to operate as load-balancing capacity only" report here.

Oct 10, 2013 at 12:11 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

The more we discuss the probabilities of government collapse and public discord the more I am glad that it is only the Coldstream Guards who pledge allegiance to Parliament; all the others pledge allegiance to the monarch, who, I suspect, is more in touch with the mood of her subjects than the likes of Cam-moron, Clogg-head and the Marxist Millionaire. To whom do the police pledge allegiance?

Oct 10, 2013 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

The CEGB designed Dinorwig to carry ALL UK part loading duties (i.e. reserve and response). Post privatisation they no longer had this monopoly, and those services were shared with the coal stations (which can provide response and reserve if part loaded, and thus running below optimum efficiency). The revenue from these services (they're part of a national budget managed by National Grid - used to be £250 m p.a. but must be more now) helped ensure the survival of the coal stations well beyond their planned life.

I'm becoming convinced that the only thing that will bring the country to its senses is a few blackouts. The fact that these will inevitably hit the SE worse than anywhere else is so much the better.

Oct 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

If we could move South for the Winter there would be no problem.

Oct 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

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