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« Energy impact | Main | 100% of poll respondents don't believe Mr Davey and the CCC »
Friday
Jul192013

Energy prices rises caused by government

RWE Energy have issued a major report looking at energy price rises in the UK. El Reg has done the analysis for us.

Care to guess how much "gas prices" have surged over the last six years, as the average household bill has climbed by roughly thirty per cent?

They are up by just ten per cent. That's strange.

And it gets stranger. RWE npower's analysts believe that the relatively small rises in commodity/production prices we've seen will probably go away again by 2020, so that their costs in this regard will return to the same level as they were in 2007. This will be due to gas fracking, more efficient powerplants and other factors.

In the year 2020, then, "gas prices" will have gone up by zero per cent since 2007. What will have happened to bills? Will they have gone down again to reflect this, in npower's view?

Certainly not. By that point, the company forecasts that our energy bills will have climbed even more. They will be up no less than fifty-six per cent on 2007 levels, on top of no increase at all in "gas prices".

Read the whole thing.

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Reader Comments (40)

Well now, there's a thing!
Nice to see that someone has at last broken ranks and admitted that the reason why there are so many now (as there probably will be in the future) in fuel poverty is government policy.
So where do we go now, I wonder?

Jul 19, 2013 at 1:47 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Unicorn economics. We see it all the time in Australia, courtesy of the Greens. Making things more expensive will make us richer. Suffering is good for the soul. Green jobs will be our salvation.

Jul 19, 2013 at 2:16 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

johanna
Nothing Opus Dei could teach them about the delights of self-flagellation, is there?

Jul 19, 2013 at 2:33 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Interesting that the debate link Bish provided in another thread is of Caroline Lucas basically saying, over and over again, using lots of different words, that gas is going to get more and more expensive and there is no alternative other than to move to even more expensive renewables which will mean cheaper bills!

Hurrah!

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2013-07-18a.307.0&s=climate#g349.2

Jul 19, 2013 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Not going there, Mike. The Bed of Nails comes from an entirely different tradition.

Jul 19, 2013 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

If you haven't picked this up yet
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/shale-gas-uk-government-unveils-tax-break-plans-and-runs-away/

Tax breaks are tantamount to go ahead. Wish they wouldn't "subsidise" looks bad.

Jul 19, 2013 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Channon

Welcome to "rip-off" Britain.
Isn't there some law against this?

Jul 19, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

as discussed at http://www.climate-resistance.org/2013/07/the-madness-of-the-energy-and-climate-minister.html , the poll suggesting that most people support DECC's policies was authored by Nick Pidegon, who happens to be an advisor to DECC...

Why didn’t UKERC just ask Ed Davey to do the research? This is transparently policy-based evidence-making.

The fact that Pidgeon’s academic and activists lives converge rather more than they probably ought to is well known. Moreover, the academy has ever more sought the academy’s authority.

For instance, what Pidgeon doesn’t admit on his staff profile page, nor in his evidence to the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry on “Climate: public understanding and its policy implications” is that he is also on the Public Interest Research Centre’s Climate Change Communication Advisory Group (CCCAG). The PIRC claim to be a ‘an independent charity studying & communicating vital global issues’, but are, on any definition, an activist organisation.

Jul 19, 2013 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Paul Massara was interviewed on the Today programme earlier in the week:
https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20130716_np

Jul 19, 2013 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Interesting viewpoint expressed by one economist in front of the US Senate hearings on Climate: (Robert Murphy, Senior Economist, Institute for Energy Research):


"The American public and policymakers alike have been led to believe that the social cost of carbon is an objective scientific concept akin to the mass of the moon or the radius of the sun. However, although there are inputs from the physical sciences into the calculation, estimates of the social cost of carbon are heavily dependent on modeling assumptions. In particular, if the White House Working Group had followed OMB guidance on either the choice of discount rate or reporting from a domestic perspective, then the official estimates of the current SCC would probably be close to zero, or possibly even negative—a situation meaning that (within this context) the federal government should be subsidizing coal-fired power plants because their activities confer external benefits on humanity.

Plug that into the Stern Report.

(Excerpt flagged by Judith Curry on her blog: http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/18/u-s-senate-hearing-climate-change-its-happening-now/ ; for a copy of his testimony see: http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=d74255e9-6a8a-473f-82a3-ff19921798ef . )

Jul 19, 2013 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan

The expression "get off the fossil fuel price escalator" was one, I recall, that Mr. Huhne was rather fond of, when he was Energy Secretary. Haven't heard it very recently, though, and I wonder whether it will make much of a comeback, if the escalator (as far as natural gas is concerned, at least) ends up being stationary in 2020, with a large "out of order" sign on it.

Jul 19, 2013 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Why do we put up with this? Isn't it about time that the British people rose up and made it perfectly clear to even the most dim-witted politician that we will not vote for anyone who supports a policy of artificially increasing energy prices? I write "artificially" because the price of energy, like the price of anything else, can be expected to increase if it is in short supply, but governments should not create shortages.

MPs might say they have no choice. Prices have to go up because of our commitments to "decarbonise" the economy. However I do not recall ever being asked if I wanted the country to be "decarbonised." If they want to keep their seats MPs should abandon all commitments to insane energy policies. If it turns out that they do not have the power because those policies are made in Brussels, then we should slash MPs salaries by 50% or more. When we had an empire our MPs were responsible for about a quarter of the world. Nowadays it is doubtful if they are even responsible for the UK. Their salary levels should reflect their grossly diminished role.

Jul 19, 2013 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

TheRegister
But the fact is, Professor Pidgeon wasn't trying to find out what the British public thinks here: he was trying to tell it what to think, using the time-honoured tactic of claiming that "everyone else already thinks this". The good prof - a psychologist, remember, not a statistician - has already said on the record a couple of years back that the government should engage in major social engineering programmes, conducted by social "scientists" like him, to convince people of the need for massive action against climate change.

Bishop in the commons
"It would have been helpful to have had Sarah Newton's question, which revealed something of the committee's objectives, at the start of the hearing rather than at the end. It seems that the government is looking to find a way to persuade everyone that the science of global warming is solid so that we accept the IPCC report without question."

The poll details on page 2 of TheRegister article seem to indicate that the poll respondents would be better at understanding the UK's energy priorities than the politicians (or should that be Civil Servants?) in charge.

Jul 19, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerekP

A Labour MP asked Caroline Lucas if it was unrealistic to say that electricity demand was going to fall by 40% in the next eight years.

No she said, and apparently a peer reviewed paper is her evidence.

In la la land they measure electrical power in NEGAwatts.
That is negative power obtained by shutting down power stations.

Caroline will switch off the last electric light bulb in 'green' Britain.

Jul 19, 2013 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

To All,

In case it is relevant to the UK debate over the environmental impact of shale gas, from the AP newswire, preliminary findings from a US Department of Energy study that “fracking … shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site” and “that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water.” Details from AP (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=203504050) follow.


DOE Study: Fracking Chemicals Didn't Taint Water
by The Associated Press
July 19, 2013 7:54 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Department of Energy told The Associated Press.

After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water, geologist Richard Hammack said.

Although the results are preliminary — the study is still ongoing — they are a boost to a natural gas industry that has fought complaints from environmental groups and property owners who call fracking dangerous. Drilling fluids tagged with unique markers were injected more than 8,000 feet below the surface, but were not detected in a monitoring zone 3,000 feet higher. That means the potentially dangerous substances stayed about a mile away from drinking water supplies.

****

The study done by the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh marked the first time that a drilling company let government scientists inject special tracers into the fracking fluid and then continue regular monitoring to see whether it spread toward drinking water sources. The research is being done at a drilling site in Greene County, which is southwest of Pittsburgh and adjacent to West Virginia.

Eight new Marcellus Shale horizontal wells were monitored seismically and one was injected with four different man-made tracers at different stages of the fracking process, which involves setting off small explosions to break the rock apart. The scientists also monitored a separate series of older gas wells that are about 3,000 feet above the Marcellus to see if the fracking fluid reached up to them.

****

While the lack of contamination is encouraging, Jackson said he wondered whether the unidentified drilling company might have consciously or unconsciously taken extra care with the research site, since it was being watched. He also noted that other aspects of the drilling process can cause pollution, such as poor well construction, surface spills of chemicals, and wastewater.

Jackson and his colleagues at Duke have done numerous studies over the last few years that looked at whether gas drilling is contaminating nearby drinking water, with mixed results. None of them have found chemical contamination but they did find evidence that natural gas escaped from some wells near the surface and polluted drinking water in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Scott Anderson, a drilling expert with the Environment Defense Fund, said the results sound very interesting.

"Very few people think that fracking at significant depths routinely leads to water contamination. But the jury is still out on what the odds are that this might happen in special situations," Anderson said.

One finding surprised the researchers: Seismic monitoring determined one hydraulic fracture traveled 1,800 feet out from the well bore; most traveled just a few hundred feet. That's significant because some environmental groups have questioned whether the fractures could go all the way to the surface.

The researchers believe that fracture may have hit naturally occurring faults, and that's something both industry and regulators don't want.

"We would like to be able to predict those areas" with natural faults and avoid them, Hammack said.

Jackson said the 1,800-foot fracture was very interesting, but also noted it is still a mile from the surface.

The DOE team will start to publish full results of the tests over the next few months, said Hammack, who called the large amount of field data from the study "the real deal."

"People probably will be looking at the data for years to come," he said.

****


I hope this is useful.

Regards,

MK

Jul 19, 2013 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered Commentermkantor

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/climate-change
SHELL'S CHAIRMAN FINALLY ADMITS THAT IT IS HIS COMPANY THAT IS BEHIND ATTEMPTS KILL OFF SHALE GAS.- IN A LETTER TO THE GUARDIAN.
CCS cannot possibly work, SHELL know this, even Dave Cameron has said "CCS doesn't work".
Yet SHELL and Ed Davey are pretending to insist that this 'technology' is critical.

Jul 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Bryan wrote:

A Labour MP asked Caroline Lucas if it was unrealistic to say that electricity demand was going to fall by 40% in the next eight years.

What's the problem? We could simply allow 40% of our industry to close down, or more than that if demand from households and other non-industrial entities does not show a matching drop.

Alternatively we could just ask our engineers to invent a perpetual motion machine. Then we could carry on as before but without having to generate any new energy.

Jul 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

My local council has just issued a self-congratulatory press release about how, using the Renewable Heat Incentive, it has installed biomass boilers in three schools. The council then sells the schools the heat at a very reasonable cost, it says. I also noticed that a local prep school has applied for planning permission to install a biomass boiler in a wooden outbuilding and scrapping four oil tanks, presumably again through the marvellous RHI, all funded by the rest of us through our taxes. It will be amusing when the price of biofuels sky rockets (hasn't it done so already?).

Insanity, the whole thing.

Jul 19, 2013 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

My local council has just issued a self-congratulatory press release about how, using the Renewable Heat Incentive, it has installed biomass boilers in three schools. The council then sells the schools the heat at a very reasonable cost, it says. I also noticed that a local prep school has applied for planning permission to install a biomass boiler in a wooden outbuilding and scrapping four oil tanks, presumably again through the marvellous RHI, all funded by the rest of us through our taxes. It will be amusing when the price of biofuels sky rockets (hasn't it done so already?).

Insanity, the whole thing.

Jul 19, 2013 at 11:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

There's no fool like a green-fuelled!

Jul 20, 2013 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterRotFOMR

Insanity, the whole thing.

It's spelt c-o-r-r-u-p-t-i-o-n.

Jul 20, 2013 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

Biofuel - what I used to call wood

Jul 20, 2013 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

Just keep a list of those responsible, we'll get the stoning in due course.

Jul 20, 2013 at 1:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterchippy

Jul 19, 2013 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Shell are behind a lot of the funding received by the greenies. They regularly organise green jollys for all those interested in making money from the scam.

I no longer buy shell fuels.

Jul 20, 2013 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Off topic but some may find this interesting;

http://junkscience.com/2013/07/19/dc-court-affirms-michael-manns-right-to-proceed-in-defamation-lawsuit-against-national-review-and-cei/

Regards

Mailman

Jul 20, 2013 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Mann looks like he is on a sticky wicket, Judge has ruled he is a Public figure and so Proof of Malice is required and says the evidence so far shows only slight evidence of malice.

So looks like if he can get past the discovery hurdle best he will be left with a win but awarded cents in damages.

Jul 20, 2013 at 12:05 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

A revealing post. I think the government strategy of pushing up energy prices to encourage consumers to reduce their energy consumption has now failed without a credible alternative to fossil fuels. All the green alternatives are surrounded by government subsidies which make it hard for any of us to see what the true cost of this energy is.

So we have solar and wind funded by pushing up the cost of others forms of energy.

Jul 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered Commentersolarman

Here is what happened in Florida earlier this week:

Success! On July 16, we demolished our 1960s-era Port Everglades Power Plant and in its place we are building a new, more fuel efficient plant that runs on clean, low-cost American natural gas. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014 and when the new power plant comes online in 2016 it will:

Help keep bills low for our customers
Create jobs for Floridians
Boost the local economy
Be better for our environment

In other words, we are going to provide "cheap, non-stop juice, available whenever you want, however much you want, at the flick of a switch".

Compare that with the whining, snivelling, CAGW based BS we get from the subsidy farmers that are supposed to be generating electricity in the UK at a price that can be afforded (thank you Alex for the transcript at Jul 19, 2013 at 4:02 PM):

Paul Massara: No, I don't think we're accusing anybody of anything. I think what we're trying to say to consumers, and make people aware, that effectively there's a transition to a low-carbon economy, and that means that we're going to have a balanced mix in our generation portfolio of onshore and offshore wind, biomass, nuclear. But the result of that is that prices are going to go up. And I think it's really important that consumers are aware of that, so they can make choices to cut energy and make sure that they are as energy-efficient as they can be.

In other words, you will stop using our product, because we are NOT going to provide "cheap, non-stop juice, available whenever you want, however much you want, at the flick of the switch", rather we shall be joining STOR and, if we haven't already cut you off at your smart (sic) meter, it is certain that you will be cutting yourself off at your consumer unit with a flick of the isolating switch.

What a shower.

On a lighter note, take two minutes to watch the video of the demolition - its a cracker.

Jul 20, 2013 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Let's be clear, government sanctimony is killing people they are supposed to represent and serve.

Jul 20, 2013 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

Jul 19, 2013 at 5:15 PM | Ian
///////////////////////

Coal and oil has set the people free.

But for coal and oil, we would nearly all be just serfs, slaving away in some field for the landed gentry getting paid a subsistence wage (mainly paid in benefit of tied cottages and being allowed to keep some crops for food) and just a few days holiday a year.

Coal and oil should be idolised and extolled since both have brought with them huge social benefits enabling people to control their lives, acquire property, and build a worthwhile future much of which can be passed onto their children.

Few people appreciate how bad life was like pre-industrial revolution, and how horrible that existence would be if we are forced to decarbonise and go without the bnenfits that foasil fuels have given us.

Accordinglty, I agree that coal and oil should be given tax breaks since they have added more worth to human kind than anything else.

Jul 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

There is a report on the local economy for our village from pre canals and railways, its was 5 miles from the nearest coal mine and the cost of the coal doubled due to those 5 miles, come the canals & railways and that increase became pennies. Hate to think what the cost was pre railways for coal if your nearest coal mine was 30 or 40 miles.

Jul 20, 2013 at 6:31 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

It was not coal and oil that freed British people it was a revolution that gave them the right to own property and buy and sell stuff as someone on this blog posted recently. However our various governments have been taking away our freedoms including passing some of our rights to the EU. Quite recently Cameron thought it was appropriate for him to tell UK parents that they should not give their children packed lunches???
The guilty parties have either lost the plot or they are deliberately trying to return us to serfdom. What is a council house other than a tied cottage? What is state benefit if not the generosity of our masters? It should not be the role of government to control us, rather it should be their job to serve us and free us. Anyone for a revolution? ^.^

Jul 20, 2013 at 7:55 PM | Registered CommenterDung

It should not be the role of government to control us, rather it should be their job to serve us and free us. Anyone for a revolution?

It is their job to serve. They have forgotten, that's all. We need to retrain them.

Jul 20, 2013 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

"slaving away in some field for the landed gentry"
Wind Turbines and PV all take up land and the subsidies are paid to later generations of that same landed gentry.
The robber barons of 1066 are still with us; it's just that they don't have to ride out with marauding henchmen any more - controlling Parliament is so much easier.
The list of subsidies for landed gentry covers every farm related enterprise and they actively conspire and receive money from lottery funds!
All subsidy is corrupt.

Jul 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterroger

Why do we put up with this? Isn't it about time that the British people rose up and made it perfectly clear to even the most dim-witted politician that we will not vote for anyone who supports a policy of artificially increasing energy prices? I write "artificially" because the price of energy, like the price of anything else, can be expected to increase if it is in short supply, but governments should not create shortages.

Roy,

It is important to understand the reality; just how "dim-witted" the average Brit' has become, the education system,started in the sixties in tertiary academia had been overrun by post normal cultural Marxist dogma, hippy lefties of humanities faculties and social and societal engineering ideologues.

A "necessary evil" deemed those in power, that, dumbing down a nation was a deliberate design indeed as they sowed so we are reaping. Thus, is it easier for those barely literate numbskulls [the executive and legislature] to make fantastical assertions and have those myths promulgated - who can argue back?
The whole of Westminster, the media, inclusive of the fourth estate - is beholden to the greatest scam mankind has ever dreamt up! Only here - in the blogosphere is the truth known and we are too few.

Thoughout, a steady drip, drip, drip of scientific filth, lies, propaganda - permeating the every strata of British society done by in the main the left leaning institutions in Schools, Universities, the media and in the workplace and all over the corporate world: the "green agenda" - it pulls the wool over the eyes of the people.

I don't know how long it will take, they [the majority] will get it eventually but by then it will already be far, far too late.

Jul 21, 2013 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

'The price of energy in this country has increased because imported fuel is so much dearer than it used to be' said a government spokesperson.
'We all feel for the average hard-working UK citizen as they scrimp and save to pay the bills but external price hikes simply underline just how important it is to create our own sustainable, energy sources such as wind and solar that keeps it under our control' he/she continued.
When asked by Roger Harrabin of the BBC, why a UK consumer paid three times more than the external increase because of domestic policies the government representative merely shrugged, smiled and said 'Better the enemy that you know'
Roger, like the rest of the BBC, went ballistic and had to be escorted from the interview room shouting and swearing about 'those greedy, scum-sucking, bast**ds who run the country.
HM Government announced today that the TV licence fee will gradually be phased out to ensure the future of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said that he welcomed the announcement .
'I welcome this announcement and am delighted that I have brought this august body to a new tomorrow. Sadly, my imminent appointment to the post of "Stop Climate Chaos Now" Czar means that I won't be able to fully participate in its continuing success"

Jul 21, 2013 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

RoyFOMR,

............Later that day, when interviewed Chris Huhne said:

"me and my former colleagues in the liberal democrat Yellow Trotskyite raving loony party do renege and want to backtrack on the green agenda/green boondoggles because we realise it will kill thousands of Britons during the winter. They not being able to afford to pay for building new bird chompers, subsidise rich landowners, pay for wealthy householder's PV panels on their roofs, keep my investment banking mates in the city on fabulously bonkers commissions, pay for Tim Yeo's 'stipend' and such. Flippin' eck and we now realise Britain needs to rescind all EU laws pertaining to the madness of the global warming conspiracy - piracy - know what I mean, wink, wink!"

/fantasy.

Jul 21, 2013 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Given that raising the cost of energy is the raison d'être of the 2008 Climate Change Act, we shouldn't be too surprised. Even governments meet their objectives sometimes.

Jul 21, 2013 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Should Grangemouth close due to poor margins, the loss of jobs will be entirely due to our failure to embrace shale gas soon enough to keep it competitive. These are in fact green-driven job losses but oddly they never feature in the claims about how great greenery is for jobs.
Oct 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenter Justice4Rinka

Indeed, shale gas is key to the plant's future. I don't think the English press were aware of the significance of shale gas in the Grangemouth dispute, unlike the Herald and Scotsman. Ineos plan to invest a further £300m in Grangemouth, so they can bring in American shale gas (there is already a pipeline from Grangemouth to a terminal on Loch Long / somewhere in Argyll). But they were not going to invest this £300m until the unions agreed a no strike deal, and accepted a pay freeze, also for 3 years. (and an end to final salary pensions). Ineos also were looking for a cash commitment from the Scottish Government which I think they got.

Iirc Ineos also plan to import American shale for their Mongstad refinery in Norway.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/company-news/grangemouth-looks-to-import-us-shale-gas-to-safeguard-refinery-jobs.21596601

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/grangemouth-owner-under-pressure-on-future-of-plant.22520180

Just had a google and nothing in the Telegraph but the FT did pick up on the shale angle:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/beda2d66-3d5b-11e3-9928-00144feab7de.html#axzz2j17R9vql

Oct 28, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Ineos owner/chair Ratcliffe has also been speaking some sense to George Osborne:

Ineos chief’s plea to UK: cut tax and energy costs (The Telegraph, 27th Oct 2013).

Oct 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

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