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« Maria McCaffrey on Radio 5 | Main | Numbskull or nefarious? »
Tuesday
Oct282014

Dieter Helm on energy policy

Dieter Helm's appearance before the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee today was pretty special, I gather. From his opening remarks - he said that it's a pretty amazing state of affairs that we are even discussing the possibility of power cuts and that we are failing on each of security, price and decarbonisation - that's certainly true. 

Video below or direct link here. Helm starts at 11:39.

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Reader Comments (52)

A very cogent and thoughtful speaker who expressed scepticism about many things ... except global warming! He never once gave any indication that CO2 and global warming could turn out like fossil fuel prices; totally misjudged.

Perhaps you have to accept (or pretend to accept) the global warming conjecture in order to have any credibility at all amongst politicians.

Oct 28, 2014 at 5:35 PM | Billy Liar
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I don't think so. He stuck to the subject being discussed. No need to do CAGW, regardless of how stupid it really is. And he stuck the knife in our energy "policy" superbly.

Oct 29, 2014 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Update on @Oakwood's question "Why moved from gas to coal in a decarbonising world"
I had to check some facts today and realised I missed one thing. Perfectly good gas plants actually have been given incentives to NOT to produce. So here in Brigg YOU are paying a subsidy to a corp to build a pathetic 40MW strawbale power station yet right next door on the other side of the fence the 240MW gas power station has spent the last few years sitting idle most of the time, cos it pays the owners not to produce, as they can sell the free UNUSED carbon allowances the gov has given them (pretty low value these days)
So reason why a gas power corp would produce less and coal corp wouldn't
1. price of gas went up and coal went down
2. If you have a coal it is more diffcult to switch it on and off
so when wind kicks in , switch off the gas and leave the coal one running
I think you get a better price for running the gas plant in this mode
AND if you turn off more you can sell your spare carbon allowances on the Carbon market

2 other points
1. Is less CO2 being reduced ? The straw plant is way less efficient than the gas throwing up more CO2 for each MWh generated and there is a 6 month lag between the CO2 being emitted and it being re-absorbed by next years crop.
There is a clear infrastructure wastage cos it doesn't use the powergrid connection of the power station next door, rather they have put in another 5 miles of underground cables to the steelworks. £100m construction cost for a 40MW plant seems very large to me.
2. Years ago I was led to believe the old Brigg plant would be using biogas from chicken excrement, but it seems that plan never happened and it's just powered by normal natural gas

Nov 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

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