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Davey explains

Ed Davey should take to the floor of the House of Commons in a moment to give the coalition's annual statement on energy.

The Parliament TV page appears to be down at the moment, but the BBC coverage is here.

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Reader Comments (37)

Davey was given an easy ride on BBC 1 this morning, no surprise there then. And strangely he was followed by the BBC's man from "You and Yours", he waffled but challenged nothing that had been said. Where are the fearless BBC Journalists who would have brought up the subject of UN article 21 on "sustainability", or the EU insistence on cutting "carbon" which dozy Davey thinks is a good idea. Or even to ask "how many are going to die if we get a bad winter?" No challenge at all, the BBC are a completely biased and are "not fit for purpose".

Oct 31, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

I watched Ed Davey's performance on 'Watchdog' yesterday evening. Whether he was intimidated by the prospect of facing Ann Robinson - given her reputation - or not, I know not (in the end she gave him the BBC-standard easy ride) - but he just seemed to be babbling away with verbal statistics on help-for-this, help-for-that government initiatives..
Ann Robinson completely missed the opportunity to quiz him on (useless and irrelevant) 'green taxes'..
I really worry about our national broadcaster, and its so-called journalists..

Oct 31, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

I missed the statement but stupidly didn't take the Bishop's advice and watched the Q&A for 30 minutes, which I can confirm was a complete waste of time. Interestingly, Davey maintained his position that wholesale energy prices have increased by 8% over the last year. This is at odds with what this market data suggests, for gas at least:

UK wholesale gas prices - Bluemark Consultants - 2004-2013 interactive graph.

Oct 31, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

A question - with wholesale petrol prices falling (cue: supermarket prices being cut by around 5p/litre) - how come wholesale GAS prices are - allegedly - rising..?

Oct 31, 2013 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

"Don't bother. It's a waste of time" should be "Don't bother, Ed Davey is a waste of space".

Oct 31, 2013 at 1:54 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Paradoxically, Davey appears to be doing exactly what is needed to bring the enviro-stalinists to heel.

It's because in order to prevent himself from being politically damaged by the light going out, he has had to identify where NuLaber went wrong AND he is having to row back hard from STOR which means windmill electricity >10% demand uses more fossil fuel than no windmills.

It is a clearly observable fact that the idiotic windmill programme and now STOR have been the result of DECC civil servants believing what they were told by the windmill companies who were trying to keep quiet, to keep up sales, were telling porkies.

Oct 31, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Sorry: 'who, to keep up sales, were trying to keep quiet the Danish experience which is that >10% demand, windmill power increases fossil fuel consumption in steam turbine grids'.

Oct 31, 2013 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Afrkaans has a useful phrase..

'Moer-my gesig..'

It means 'a face you want to punch..'

Ah, you're way ahead of me, I see...

Oct 31, 2013 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

interesting chart, when I looked here comparing October 2012 to October 2013

The price at Oct 1st 2012 was £2.12 per MBTU and 31st Oct 2012 £2.33 per MBTU

Oct 1st 2013 £2.23 per MBTU and at 31st Oct 2013 £2.27 per MBTU

Both start shows about 5% increase and end of month about 2.5% fall the peak prices for October were about 2.5% higher 2013 to 2012. I guess it definitely depends (like all things) when you do your deal, or perhaps when you claim you did your deal.

Oct 31, 2013 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS - '...or perhaps when you CLAIM you did your deal...' (my capitals)

I hope you're not suggesting that the Big Six energy companies could be accused of massaging the figures, to show a larger increase in wholesale gas prices than actually exists..?
That would be dishonest....

Oct 31, 2013 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

A real cracker of a quote from baroness Varma:

"The slow changes in the Earth’s orbit are not, however, expected to cause any net global cooling over the next several centuries, which will be dominated by a warming global climate due to greenhouse gas emissions".

Oct 31, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

What like banks are pure as the driven snow you mean?

Oct 31, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

As someone who prefers warm to cold then I'm pleased to hear that; however will it be just another politicians broken promise?

Oct 31, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Interesting that Baroness Verma, in her speech, also reports that British Antarctic Survey say we are half-way through an interglacial (interglacials last for more than ten thousand years), and that when glaciation resumes, it will happen slowly enough for humans to adapt. (Btw, we have been experiencing our current 'interglacial' conditions - if that is what they are - for approximately ten thousand years).

Trouble is, we may equally well, of course, be in an interstadial. An interstadial is a short, warm phase within a glaciation. They tend to last for about ten thousand years, whereupon the glaciation resumes rather more quickly.

Now, the only way you know if you are in an interstadial or in a true interglacial is when it ends (ie its duration decides which it is). We are, currently, at that 'Is it or isn't it?' ten thousand year deciding stage. No-one knows which we are actually in. Not the baroness, not BAS, no-one. But if it is an interstadial, its time is just about up.

Gulp ...

Oct 31, 2013 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarbara


Massive arrogance and hostage to fortune in that Baroness Verma reply to Lord Donoughue's question. (Full text below)

They should frame it and hang it in the Chamber for future reference. By what mystic power does the Antarctic Survey know that the current interglacial will last at least another 10,000 years? How presumptuous to say 'the transition into such a state would be slow, allowing for adaptation over many generations'. If adaptation to a mile of ice on your head can be so casually accomplished, a few degrees of warming and a metre or two of sea level rise over many generations must be a doddle- can't be enough to generate much concern over.

Oct 31, 2013 at 5:32 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Pharos: Immediate hostage to fortune I'd say, for the reasons you give. Adaptation has just become the default policy for the worst imaginable climate change. So surely it's a doddle for warming that will only produce net harm around 2080, at worst, even according to the IPCC, as Matt Ridley's shown.

Oct 31, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Oct 31, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Cheshirered

Is that "famous last words."
Or if she was (also) briefed by the Mutt Office, then buy an ice axe.

Oct 31, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

The BAS will of course be able to adapt to glaciation. They already have all the kit and indeed would be saved a lot of commuting time when the ice comes to Cambridge.

(Never seen such a fatuous statement.)

Oct 31, 2013 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

"it will happen slowly enough for humans to adapt"

We can adapt if it gets colder, but not if it gets warmer? Whatever you say, Baroness...

Oct 31, 2013 at 6:31 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

As mentioned above, Ed Dopey got an easy interview on Watch Dog last night and again on Today, this morning.

It is clear that BBC editors have produced a comprehensive list of questions NOT to ask.

A few days ago, a commenter on this site gave a link to John Redwood's very useful real cost of energy sources. It made me think that an opportunity for good public service would be for commenters here to compile some facts and figures about the true cost of our energy.

For example, the "Green Taxes" are said to be 11% (sometimes said to be 9%). It would be good to have the right figures and what we are paying for. Then we have all the feed in costs for renewables, or are these rolled into the John Redwood costs? Then we have the network/infrastructure costs to connect all the useless windmills and SPs to the grid. Then we have the £14bn to replace 53 million meters with smart meters. I guess there is another huge cost to upgrade grid management using the data from the meters. Then there is the cost of converting power stations to consume less efficient fuels. Then we have the planned increases, EU directives, etc. I have to admit that I avoided trying to follow all the different green initiatives and now I regret that I wasn't taking note of all the implications.

It seems to me that the government has done a good job of spreading the green costs all over the place so that Dopey can claim that the visible ones are to help poor people with their bills.

I would love to have the definitive analysis of costs. I wonder if His Grace would consider coordinating a collection of the facts so that the visitors to the site have access to the total green cost? What a great public service contribution that would be, and a huge embarrassment to Dopey and his mates if such an analysis became common knowledge through the efforts of the good people of this parish.

Oct 31, 2013 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I'd love to know the real end-to-end costs of running half of Drax on wood pellets rather than coal. It must be keeping the trains busy!

Oct 31, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

S Cat:

It seems to me that the government has done a good job of spreading the green costs all over the place so that Dopey can claim that the visible ones are to help poor people with their bills.

The antithesis of the openness being promoted to the world today and tomorrow by David Cameron, Francis Maude and many others at the first Open Government Partnership in Westminster. And a point I tried to make in different ways during the day on Twitter - like here, here, here and here.

Oct 31, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Cat, I have been thinking much the same thing, as the costs are way more than just what is being reported - the FIT and ECO nonsense. A big part of the recent increase by the power companies was the grid costs charged to them by NG, which as you say, is the price of connecting small-scale renewables into the system. There is such a confusion of costs though that I'm sure it would take a department of economists to work out, and even then there would be doubt as so much is hidden in other areas. Maybe we need to start with a list of where the obvious costs are, ignoring for the while the follow-on costs of higher energy bills to industry and thus consumers. Though given the latest HS2 'budget' which accounts for savings to the economy based on 'time saved' of £47bn over the period - a laughable and entirely made-up figure - I'm almost certain we could invent a model to include them too, but since it looks like cheating, we should rise above it.

Oct 31, 2013 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterstun

Then we have the cost of paying for fields of diesel generators on standby to ensure that the government can avoid the embarrassment of third world type power cuts, - but at huge expense to the taxpayer. This was covered by Booker several times.

Also, we have the cost of smart chips in future white goods appliances to monitor mains quality and then let voltage sampling kick in to reduce demand at times of peak consumption. I assume this has been introduced by stealth. Does anyone have the details? It was news in the MoS months ago.

I am proposing that Andrew uses the excellent resources available in followers of this site, together with FOI, information from insider contacts and general networking to compile the definitive guide to the impact of climate change initiatives on the cost of power to consumers and taxpayers.

This would be a marvellous contribution to the sceptical movement and the general public. It is a practical way in which we can fight back at Warmists, the Government and those who impose massive taxes in the name of climate change.

I am sure that the readers of this blog will be highly motivated to do what they can to support this cause. We need a few people with the right specialist knowledge to help us direct our efforts.

I do hope we can organise something. What do other commenters think?

Oct 31, 2013 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

According to the big six, they only have control of 19% of our energy bills, the other 81% being wholesale commodity market price, transport and legislated costs including VAT.
Accepting that their evidence to the select committee was true, 19% of the average bill of £1500 comes to £285. The green levy of 11% as admitted by Fallon is £165 of the same bill.
What would Davey, Cameron and miliband consider a meaningful percentage reduction on the total bill?
5% ? 10% ?
10% is £150 - do they really think that the 6 energy companies could absorb such a reduction, or even half that? Of course not.
Blustering liars the lot of them.

Oct 31, 2013 at 8:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterroger

Schrodinger's Cat (Oct 31, 2013 at 8:46 PM)

I am proposing that Andrew uses the excellent resources available in followers of this site, together with FOI, information from insider contacts and general networking to compile the definitive guide to the impact of climate change initiatives on the cost of power to consumers and taxpayers.
This would be a marvellous contribution to the sceptical movement and the general public. It is a practical way in which we can fight back at Warmists, the Government and those who impose massive taxes in the name of climate change.
Excellent idea. But then what? The BBC has already got flack for giving Andrew ten seconds exposure. Who’s going to use the information? Who’s going to relay it?
Montford (or Keenan, or Zeddy) might write the definitive refutation of AR5 tomorrow, but so what? They’re just bloggers. Why should the BBC or anyone else listen? Form an association with 5000 members. Stand in a by-election as an anti-green tax candidate and get 500 votes, and you exist. Lilley and Lawson exist because they’re elected (or were once). Dellingpole and Booker exist (just) because they’re journalists with books published.
We may have the best information in the world, but we are nothing until we organise.

Oct 31, 2013 at 9:51 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers


If we could quantify ALL of the climate change related costs mentioned earlier, that would in itself be a major achievement.

Once that analysis is in a professional format, I have no doubt that others would pick it up, though not the BBC, which is institutionally biased in favour of all arguments in support of global warming and will not report contrary findings.

The problem today is that the that the information does not exist in a format that can be analysed. That has always been the intention of the accountants employed by DECC.

I firmly believe that some of Bishop Hill's supporters can produce a pretty good analysis of the Green Scam.

Oct 31, 2013 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

"If we could quantify ALL of the climate change related costs mentioned earlier, that would in itself be a major achievement." Schrodinger's Cat

The Mail did a piece which lists a number of the green taxes. Not a pleasant read.


Nov 1, 2013 at 12:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

The BAS will of course be able to adapt to glaciation. They already have all the kit and indeed would be saved a lot of commuting time when the ice comes to Cambridge.

Oct 31, 2013 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda
And the IPCC leads the way in demonstrating how to cope with Global Warming: They get on a jet and fly to places like Rio de Janeiro. If Concorde was still in service then you could bet your bottom dollar that some attendees would make it their transport of delight.

Nov 1, 2013 at 7:46 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart - people like the Bish and Anthony Watts are constantly being bombarded with requests to host the compilation of this or that, on the grounds that:

(i) If only my version/compilation of the facts (which I can't be bothered doing myself) was more widely disseminated, the world would be changed:

(ii) riding on the back of somebody who has already done a lot of pro bono work is a viable strategy for (i) above.

Nov 1, 2013 at 9:08 AM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Geoff is right.
Given that the media are less than inclined to give sceptics space and the scaremongering community have no reason to engage we are a voice crying in the wilderness — or a jumble of disconnected voices.
On the other hand, Cat also has a point. Perhaps our best bet is to act like political researchers. Collect and collate all the data we can and feed it to those that will be heard because the media cannot ignore them or they are part of the media. Be prepared to rebut the objections or to make the case so convincing that those who wish to ignore it dare not.
I'm afraid this demands a degree of commitment and probably the odd ad hom as well since the only way we will get a reaction from some of the self-satisfied diehards is to assault their ego.
A bit of charisma is needed as well. The media cannot resist somebody who is good value for money provided, in this context, that he/she is absolutely sure of his/her facts and can argue them convincingly. Which means knowing more about the accusations that will be levelled at them, which means knowing all there is to know about the individual they are debating.
Anyone out there fit the bill? On the warmist side, yes. On the sceptic side, not so much I'm afraid.

Nov 1, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Presently, the government is being very disengenuous regarding the financial effect of its green agenda on electrify bills.
Earlier this year the head of ³SSE was interviewed on hard talk. He clearly stated that the cost of supply was only half of the bill total. Not unsurprisingly the BBC did not dig into this and the CEO merely mentioned that 25% of the bill was made up by UK government policy regarding insulation and helping those in fuel poverty.

The point that is frequently overlooked is that 25% of the bill is network and infrastructure charges which are primarily being incurred as a result of the needed to wire up wind farms in remote areas to the grid. This part of the bill could be saved if wind farms etc were scrapped.

Further the cost of energy production itself is needlessly high because of the switch from coal which is the cheapest energy producer. The cost of energy supply is needlessly high because of the high expense of paying wind farms for their energy at premium rates, solar at premium rates and balancing the grid with diesel generators again paid at premium rates.

If the government were to ditch its green agenda, electrify bilks could be halted. There is less saving with gas, may be only about 10%,but electrify could be halved.

An honest debate exposing the full costs of the present policy needs to be conducted. Including the financial implications on industrial competitive and the needlessly high premature winter death rates.

Nov 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Oh dear! Baroness Verma's rash prediction is barely 7 days old and already threatened by:

'Following analysis of the data, Professor Lockwood believes solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years. He found 24 different occasions in the last 10,000 years when the sun was in exactly the same state as it is now - and the present decline is faster than any of those 24. Based on his findings he’s raised the risk of a new Maunder minimum from less than 10% just a few years ago to 25-30%. And a repeat of the Dalton solar minimum which occurred in the early 1800s, which also had its fair share of cold winters and poor summers, is, according to him, ‘more likely than not’ to happen. He believes that we are already beginning to see a change in our climate - witness the colder winters and poor summers of recent years - and that over the next few decades there could be a slide to a new Maunder minimum.' Paul Hudson, BBC meteorologist.

Nov 1, 2013 at 9:44 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

Mike Jackson
Certainly Cat has a point, an excellent one. And Johanna is being rather cruel when she talks about “riding on the back” of our host. (When Johanna said something nice about my blog here, my readership went up several 100%. Should I feel bad about that?)
And your point about acting like political researchers is another good point. That’s what the GWPF does with its occasional papers by Montford and others. It’s what Ben Pile did for a UKIP MEP, getting a lot of free publicity when Hickman wrote about it in the Graun, suggesting corruption.
But once you’ve written your policy document, you’ve got to sign it. You can sign it “Mike” and be ignored, or you can form a society and call it the Sane Citizen’s Energy Policy Trust or whatever, with a list of elected officials with letters after their names. Boring, but the only way to get accepted.
Whatever we do, the only way we’ll get publicity in the media is if we have someone on board with links to the tobacco industry, and preferably a paedophile to boot.

Nov 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

I was suggesting that the completed research should be passed to someone who can make use of it. I'm not looking for credits or kudos but if someone with the ability to attract an audience and whom the media would find it hard to ignore had this mass of data and argument at his finger tips then the "other side" is sooner or later forced to respond and as we know from recent events, Ward and now Miller don't have an argument. They can humph as much as the like about Carter being allowed air time or about Ridley being wrong but they are (apparently) unable to point out any specific statement by either that is at odds with the facts.
And for once it seems that the IPCC is on our side though once the draft of the WG1 report has been "adjusted" to make sure it fits with the Summary for Policymakers that might change (and that in itself is something that 90% of people don't realise happened with AR4 and will happen again).
But the bottom line, both now and even to an extent in AR4, is that anyone who has done the research is in a position to cast doubt on most of the warmist arguments because "that's not what the IPCC reports actually say".
The objective is to get the (non-)experts like May and Ward and Nurse and others whose climate qualifications are no better than yours or mine on the back foot. To do that you need a spokesperson that the public will listen to. Unfortunately the eco-lobby realised this long before we did. Porritt v Delingpole on Any Questions was a classic example. Porritt was snide, supercilious and believable; Delingpole hadn't done his homework and was made to look foolish. Monbiot v Bellamy was another example. Those that the general public were inclined to warm to were left swinging in the wind, in large part because they assumed that common sense would prevail. Their instincts told them CAGW was a crock and they assumed the public could see through it. The eco-fanatics made absolutely sure they didn't!
In the long run the truth will prevail but only with some hard slogging.

Nov 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Look, there's no shortage of information out there which has already been compiled by hard-working volunteers such as Anthony Watts and his elves, Steve McIntyre, The Bish via this blog and his books and other publications, and dozens of other bloggers and writers.

And I apologise to for being a bit sharp - it was uncalled for - but it is wearisome to read for the hundredth time a plea from someone who wants others to do more volunteer work because they think that a particular line of inquiry has been neglected and will somehow tip the scales. It won't, but if you truly believe this, you should do the work yourself.

Just look at the inane Professor on the Welsh Shale thread who had the gall to try and snow the Committee by citing "Gasland", even though he knew it is a pack of lies. It's not a war of facts, it's a political propaganda war. People's electricity bills are far more potent weapons than any amount of arcane research.

Of course it is important that the scientific research continues, but it plays to a tiny audience which broadly speaking excludes both politicians and the public. It is beyond their capabilities to comprehend it, and besides, most of them are not interested.

The Greenpeace Arctic debacle has done more to undermine their credibility than any amount of research or compilation of "facts". Out in the public domain is where battles are won and lost. The critical comments under the Grauniad's pro-Greenpeace articles are short on science, but very long on public opinion.

Nov 1, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

I think S.Cat was floating the "definitive guide to the impact of climate change initiatives on the cost of power to consumers and taxpayers" idea as a crowd source project for BH commentators/readers with the Bish bringing the result together as resource link on his blog where we & anyone interested can go to quickly & get hopefully reliable info to counter some of the BS the public in the UK have & continue to be fed.

when I'm in the pub trying to say its not all the big 6 just ripping us of, but can't remember (sober or drunk) all the disparate facts/figures etc this seems like a good idea to me.

cant help wondering though where the big 6 PR are ? they should be making a killing on this, why are they so invisible ?
again Cats insider idea may provide the answer, but this makes me think "you scratch my back" etc

Nov 1, 2013 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

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