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« Behold, a Gordian - Josh 261 | Main | Cool, calm, collected »
Sunday
Mar022014

More dark rumours

Take a look at this.

The German owner of Npower is set to write off hundreds of millions of pounds on the value of its British power plants in the latest sign of a deepening crisis among the big six energy suppliers. RWE, one of Europe’s largest power companies, will reveal the British loss as part of an expected £4bn writedown of the value of its fleet of power stations.

...

The hit will alarm Whitehall, which is increasingly worried about the lights going out. Companies have stopped building new power stations amid a political and regulatory backlash, sparked last year by Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices.

...

Peter Atherton, analyst at Liberum Capital, said Britain had become uninvestable as political pressure over soaring household bills has intensified. “I can think of a dozen very good reasons not to invest in the UK, and not one good one to invest here this side of the election,” Atherton said.

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Reader Comments (63)

The hit will alarm Whitehall, which is increasingly worried about the lights going out
That's news to me. We have had nothing but complacent statements from DECC, saying the lights won't be going out. For example, on the DECC website it says "We’re taking the following actions to make sure the UK’s energy system has adequate capacity and is diverse and reliable." This includes "We’re also making sure that new energy generation infrastructure is incorporated in a secure, timely and cost-effective way". No problems then with Ed fully in charge.

However, if you follow all the links at DECC, all you find is lots of comforting words about what DECC are doing "we are doing....", but nothing about what is happening in the real world outside the Westminster bubble. You can follow all the DECC links and you find yourself going round and round the same loops, but you never get to anything substantial in the real world. DECC makes the Ministry of Silly Walks look good. In fact it makes the Department of Administrative Affairs look good. You only have to look at the list of the top civil servants in DECC to see why we are in a mess.

It would be interesting to see the rest of the pay-walled article.

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

This is a rational, predictable outcome. Other energy industry leaders have pointed out the irrationality of UK energy policy. One (whose name I cannot remember off the cuff) spoke to the Scottish Parliament about this very issue a year or so back. Energy companies and investors will vote with their feet and their wallets. UK politicians seem blind to the fact that there is only so much skilled human capacity and financial capacity to build power stations around the world and that political and regulatory risks put the UK low down the list of priorities to tap into it.

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

We need more gas plants to take advantage of the in flood of American shale gas once the Russian supply through Ukraine is cut. America needs a large outlet at a decent price to keep the price up in the home market, can't have too cheap a home energy source, not from a carbon based supply!

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Lights going out?

And that is a problem?

Not for the likes og EM, Chandra, Noel. et al.

It is their primary aim. Roll on mud huts, plague and starvation.

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

The armchair academic socialist Ed Miliband - responsible for the formation of the disasterous Climate Change Act and anti-investment Price freeze

The non scientist and true CAGW believer Lord Deben - he can see change change happening now - presumably using his psychic powers

The anti-nuclear and anti-fossil fuel Ed Davey - whose bumbling has helped create a crisis

It is a good job we have Tim Yeo steering the CCC in the direction he wants!

Crisis what crisis!

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Rupert Soames speech to Scottish Parliament 12th November 2010.

http://www.aggreko.co.uk/news-events/rupert-soames-speech/?en-GB

"..........So far, so impeccably politically correct.

But.

I also believe that in many countries politicians have found that Energy Policy is an irresistible sand-pit in which to play. Talking about Energy and CO2 reduction allows them to project all sorts of appealing political characteristics; clean, caring, modern, technically-savvy, far-sighted, broad-minded; and all this could be achieved without any real consequences, no matter how bonkers the policy. So far, politicians have had the luxury of sounding good by setting targets which are so far out in time that whether they are sensible or achievable or not, nobody can possibly know. A 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025? Don’t be a bloody Jessie, let’s make it 34% by 2020, and for good measure, let’s make it legally binding! The problem is that sooner or later the happy passengers on the good ship Energy Policy will meet the jagged rocks of the Three Great Truths of electricity generation and supply.

The First Great Truth is that we cannot live without reliable and plentiful electricity. Like water, like air, like food, we cannot do without it, and even brief shortfalls would be catastrophic. So any policy has to be prudent and practical in terms of technology, engineering, resourcing and financing.
The Second Great Truth is that everything about the equipment required to generate and distribute electricity takes a long time to build and is quite fantastically expensive. And the cleaner the source of energy, the more fantastically expensive it is.

The Third Great Truth is that this fantastic expense has to be financed by Global Capital Markets and paid for by the consumers and businesses who use the electricity. There is no Third Way in Energy Policy.
These Great Truths mean that, in reality, Governments have much less room for manoeuvre than they like to think. For policy to work, it has to be able to convince some very hard-headed investors, for whom the UK is simply one of many countries who need to build a lot of infrastructure, that their clients and shareholders will make money if they build power stations here rather than elsewhere."
---------------------------------------------------------------------

I liked this bit..

Soames:

"....My prescription would be as follows.

First, as our ship heads towards the rocks, it is important that people who talk nonsense are not allowed on the bridge to distract the Captain and Navigator. Before anyone is allowed onto the bridge, they should be asked the following questions:

Do you believe that we can de-carbonise power generation without significant amounts of nuclear power?
Do you believe that we can cut domestic electricity consumption by over 30% by 2020?
Do you believe that the first new nuclear power station can brought into full production by 2018?
Do you believe that it is feasible that we could have more than 10% of our power generation coming from wind?
Do you believe that tidal energy is going to make a meaningful contribution in the next fifteen years?
Do you believe that the world is going to run short of gas in the next forty years?

If they answer yes to any of these questions, they should be banned from the bridge."
----------------------------------

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

It's likely Miliband will be elected in 2015 and therefore also likely he'll be PM when the lights go out.

So there might be some justice after all, no leccy, no CCTV, it will be a riot.

I just hope I'm still in Switzerland and not in the UK.

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

How come the germans have plans for another 24 coal fired generators and we are not allowed to build gas powered ones?

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterMicrotus agrestis

I don't think our politicians are worried about the lights going out because they are not used to long-term thinking. As Harold Wilson said when he was prime minister, a week is a long time in politics. The lights probably won't go out until after the next general election. If the Conservatives lose then they won't have to do anything about the problem. If they win, they can cross that bridge when they come to it. If Labour win they can always blame the previous government. If Labour lose they will have more important things, as far as they are concerned, to worry about.

As for the LibDems, the best they can hope for is to be the junior partners in another coalition government, probably with Labour next time. As the junior partners they would be able to claim their share of the credit for anything popular and shift the blame for anything unpopular onto their senior partners. In the words of Stanley Baldwin, their aim would be to enjoy power without responsibility — the prerogative of the harlot through the ages.

Mar 2, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

The DECC people living in cloud cuckoo land - never - with quotes like this we can be reassured (sarc)

"A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “Onshore wind is the cheapest large-scale renewable technology and has a key role to play in our energy mix. It is a thriving and mature industry and it is right that Government support should reduce as the cost of generating comes down." "

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/10670115/Wind-farm-plans-in-tatters-after-subsidy-rethink.html

Mar 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

No Coal, No Nuclear = No Jobs, No Future .

Mar 2, 2014 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterHerbert

Good morning campers. Remember tomorrow marks the start of climate week:

http://www.climateweek.com/

It seems to me that this problem isn't isolated to the UK:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rwe-eyes-close-to-3-billion-loss-in-2013-2014-02-28

Mar 2, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

microtus: Because they have not tied a millstone round their neck by stating that all new coal-fired power stations must be fitted with CCS, which our numpty politicians have done.

Mar 2, 2014 at 11:35 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

No! UK energy & electricity ratepayers will be encouraged to modify their behavior to be more in tune with the new environmentally friendly sustainably heating & electricity system which is already proving to add to the economies of many wealthy land owners & Green companies. The lights are not going to go out! Ratepayers will simply modify their behavior so that they begin to adjust and be used to the fact that lighting may not be offered during the evening and that heating services may not be available in all areas during winter months.

Mar 2, 2014 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

Climate change seems to bring out the worst in people - crap science followed by crap policy. An indelible sign of the decadence of our times. The idiot politicians really will not comprehend the breadth of their own stupidity until the pitchforks are banging on the windows of Whitehall.

Mar 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterHeadless Chicken

Extract text of the speech Edd Davey gave to the Institute for Public Policy Research on Thursday 13th February:

Energy Divided? Building Stability in Energy Policy

...... sound a warning.
For I fear that the political consensus on energy and climate change that’s been so crucial in making progress to date is in danger of breaking down.
From the Right
From the right, fringes of the Conservative Party and UKIP are parroting the arguments of the most discredited climate change deniers.
Seizing on any anomaly in the climate data to attempt to discredit the whole.
This is undermining public trust in the scientific evidence for climate change – which is of course overwhelming.
And we can see around us today the possible consequences of a world in which extreme weather events are much more likely.
This type of climate change denying conservatism is wilfully ignorant, head in the sand, nimbyist conservatism.
And when married to the europhobia innate to parts of the Conservative party, you have a diabolical cocktail that threatens the whole long-term structure of UK climate change and energy policy.
If you accept the logic of climate change, you have to accept the logic of European co-operation to tackle it.
Because we can only remain competitive, be energy secure, and tackle emissions by acting together with our major trading bloc – our neighbours – our partners.
And we can only influence the world’s biggest carbon emitters – China and the USA – by speaking together as one.
The European framework isn’t perfect; I’m the first to admit that.
That is why the UK has been playing a leading reforming role in Europe as we put together the new 2030 energy and climate change framework.
It’s why last year I set up a new like-minded group in Europe – my Green Growth Group – where now 15 member states are working together for an ambitious, practical European agreement to cover the next 15 years.
I have been working hard with my fellow European ministers to reform the emissions trading system;
To complete and liberalise the single energy market;

http://www.edwarddavey.co.uk/web/?q=node/885

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

The Labour party must be delighted. We tell the proletariat we'll give them cheap electric and they are pleased with us. The consequential absence of power won't please them but we will point out it is the fault of those greedy power companies that are restricting supply so as to inflate prices. So the proletariat will demand that we do something effective and we'll say quite right trust us, only a professional and well meaning government can save you from the machinations of greedy capitalists. Before spending any public money, we will do the proper thing and to establish a new bureaucracy (with terms of reference so complex that a handbook is required to decide what they mean and which nobody will ever be able to use to evaluate performance, staffed by layers of experts that, over the years, we have come to trust and whom we will pay very well from tax money in recognition of the service they provide) to ensure that all stakeholders in the power supply sector cooperate to ensure that supply is increased at a cost that can both be afforded and, at the same time, provides a decent return. All this will take years and meanwhile, there's still insufficient power Protests and demonstrations readily ascribable to capitalist agitators will require us to turn out the police. We must, after all, have law and order to ensure that the will of the proletariat as interpreted by government, which is the only organisation specifically charged with promoting it, prevails.

I'm too old to care. Your future. Unless you think more latterly about the body politic and what must be done to it than I have ever seen in this and other blogs or in the media, both you and it are doomed.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

How come the germans have plans for another 24 coal fired generators and we are not allowed to build gas powered ones?

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterMicrotus agrestis

It's called the 'I've got more clout than you ' sydrome.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

It is ' highly likely ' that the lights will start to go out in 2015 in the UK. I believe they are going to close or run down several coal powered stations.

A look here http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/index.php will tell you immediately how dangerous that will be and if you watch this site when there are deep cyclones around the UK you will see even more clearly the dangerous and ruinous policy they are following.

Now, if we could force the likes of all the dickhead AGWs here to have smart meters, no problem. We could just cut off their power remotely.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Thaks for that Philip.

It just makes more depressed.There no future with these people in charge.

|f I where 30 yrs younger I'd emigrate.

To Norway where politicians have at least secured the future for their children and not squandered the bounty that was North Sea oil

jeez.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMicrotus agrestis

http://www.energy-uk.org.uk/energy-industry/coal-generation.html

About 33% of UK coal power stations will close in 2015 to meet EU targets. Coal currently provides 30% of power on their grid although most often it exceeds 35% as today.

Coal provides the base load and that is much more than the % mentioned in the above article.

So, you UK voters, you have one last opportunity to save your way of life. VOTE UKIP. I would if I lived there. In france we have only Marine to vote for and that is a massive risk. A magnitude more risky than UKIP.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

DECC are confident that the lights will not go out. I remember an article by Christopher Booker, who pointed out that fields of privately owned diesel generators were on paid standby, waiting to be called upon by the grid as reserve sources of energy.

A few moments ago I looked on Google and discovered a whole host of companies on the net, all set up to do this. One is called Flexitricity and its slogan is "unlocking smart grid revenue".

So our government is paying a small fortune to diesel generator owners, for doing nothing. Then if they do supply power, you can bet that the terms will be very lucrative for the supplier. All of this is along the same sort of lines as paying for useless windmills whether they supply electricity or not.

The Government, of course, did not consult the consumer or taxpayer about this latest legalised scam. Fleecing the taxpayer is a key part of the energy policy which is to make electricity so unaffordable that consumption will decrease significantly. In the meantime, Ed Davey can say with confidence that there is no possibility of the lights going out.

As usual, this sort of policy is introduced by stealth. Just like the smart meters that are costing us £14bn, they are not secret, just relying on public apathy to see nothing, do nothing and be milked dry without even being aware.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Paul in Sweden

The lights are not going to go out! Ratepayers will simply modify their behavior so that they begin to adjust and be used to the fact that lighting may not be offered during the evening and that heating services may not be available in all areas during winter months.

The modification in behavior will probably not be what the politicians anticipate or want, nor will be particularly environmentally friendly. Much of the older housing stock in the UK has open fireplaces which would be relatively easy to re-instate. Given the choice between freezing and eating cold food or breaking the clean air act it's a no brainer.

There are only two problems sourcing combustible material and the number of deaths and house fires caused by a generation who have never seen an open fire far less are aware of the dangers which will cause the emergency services a real headache.

A novel suggestion is to sit in your warm car with the engine running cooking the evening meal on the exhaust manifold (well sealed in aluminium foil). Remembering to leave the garage doors open.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

"Lights going out? And that is a problem? Not for the likes of EM, Chandra, Noel. et al."
Don Keiller

And bitBucket.

Well it's not a problem if you don't live here or don't intend to retire here. It would be interesting how many who think the UK should set an example aren't the ones paying for it.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Microtus: On emigrating to Norway: Have you seen the cost of living there? The price of a pint - if decent beer was available? I think their Sovereign Fund managed to enrich the usual suspects.

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

I know I've mentioned it before but:

You can buy 500kW-4MW truck portable natural gas powered internal combustion engine generators that can be installed to feed power into local grids within a few days (no grid expansion or big expensive transformers to buy in as for large power plants). They cost about $150-200 per kW, run for years without overhaul, and there are many thousands of them produced annually, so if needed they can be quickly sourced and installed in a matter of a couple of months. They use about 30% more fuel than a good combined cycle gas plant, which only adds about 1-2p/kWh to what is already the lowest cost source of electricity.

It is moronic that we may have to use such a fall-back rather than having a sensible grid expansion plan, but I would not fear that there will be long term electricity shortages once the electorate starts to feel the impact of the political stupidity , the cock-up can be (sub-optimally) fixed in months.

Mar 2, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobL

Ecclesiastical uncle

That, I imagine, is why the Blair government passed the Civil Contingencies Act. This, IIRC, empowers Ministers, in dire circumstance, to order the security services to shoot to kill. The tools of a jackboot state are in place, ready to be used.

Mar 2, 2014 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Chesterton would have a field day with the AGW kooks.
On this side of the Atlantic, it is amazing that instead of learning what not to do with policy, we are led by a gang using the UK as a starting point.

Mar 2, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I believe that the only thing which will bring Cameron and his wrecking administration to some semblance of reality over energy policy is a large-scale disaster, so I for one want the lights to go out and not just simply the lights. I hope that some major plant or industry is put of business which can be directly linked to government policy and not twisted into seeming to be something else. Cameron and Davey are deaf to reasoned argument. I'm hopping mad about him and his fellow travellers - sadly it seems only the pro-green/Left have numbers available for street mobilization.

Mar 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckabrick

Guest post by Roger Andrews
How Much Windpower can the UK grid handle?

Power station closures are mainly down to the European Large Power station directive and there's more to come. I think the utilities are giving up. I'm uncertain that the health and environmental risks of these large power stations are real.

The utilities are also obliged to lose market share to wind whilst providing wind operators with invaluable balance services.

Mar 2, 2014 at 4:48 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

Mar 2, 2014 at 12:18 PM Microtus agrestis
"To Norway where politicians have at least secured the future for their children and not squandered the bounty that was North Sea oil"
===

Come over and check our schools and our roads. I am not so sure the future is secured. You at least have some that debate the climate madness. In Norway, dissent is not allowed. All the parties - from left to right - have settled on an alarmist deal. The oil fund will certainly evaporate.

Mar 2, 2014 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmatør1

Euan: A good analysis. I suspect the results would be far worse if, instead of Feb 2013, Roger Andrews had used the wind data from Feb 2010, which I think was the month of very cold weather and very little wind.

Mar 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The Germans are building lots of coal fired power plants with (presumably obligatory) provisions for CCS - that is they leave an empty field near the new installation awaiting the day someone learns how to circumvent the second law of thermodynamics (more put in than got out). And p[lease don't forget that the lights going out is a problem we can deal with - its the financial systems, hospitals, the food chain, transportation and sooo...on.

Mar 2, 2014 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterVernon E

Yeo w!

Mar 2, 2014 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Watts

Phillip - I'll see if I can get Roger to answer your question.
Vernon - there will be a flange saying attach CCS here. In the UK, Peterhead is going ahead with £100 million of your money being used to squander energy from hospitals etc on a gigantic Green vanity project. Shell make money by delaying the decommissioning of the Goldeneye platform.

Mar 2, 2014 at 6:02 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

Green madness is wrecking our country. Our taxes are being squandered at a breath taking rate. There are endless NGOs and providers of useless fantasy energy filling their pockets with our money and being encouraged to do so by our useless politicians. The EU is behind a lot of it with directives we can do nothing about.

Things will only get much worse. I feel desperately sorry for the youngsters of today whose lives are already destined to be blighted by the actions and decisions taken by people like Cameron, Milliband and Clegg.

Mar 2, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

@ Phillip Bratby Mar 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM.

In response to your question and Euan's request.

I didn't use February 2010 partly because I wanted to use a "typical" winter month rather than an unusually cold one and partly because there was more wind capacity on line in 2013 than in 2010. However, it turns out that I couldn't have used February 2010 anyway because Gridwatch won't download the data for that month for some reason, so I can't comment on how much worse it might have made things.

Mar 2, 2014 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Andrews

The utilities are also obliged to lose market share to wind whilst providing wind operators with invaluable balance services.

Mar 2, 2014 at 4:48 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

It's worse than that, Euan, the utilities are forced to buy renewables ahead of base load and at a fixed price.

Mar 2, 2014 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

@Ecclesiatical Uncle "think more latterly"

Have you been thinking more latterly?

Mar 2, 2014 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered Commentersimon abingdon

Stephen, agreed. I cover these points in:
Parasitic wind killing its host

It seems we need blackouts to restore some common sense. But the problem with that is that it may take a decade to build the replacement generating infrastructure. I say a decade since I believe the only alternative will be nuclear.

Mar 2, 2014 at 7:34 PM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:58 AM | Microtus agrestis

Because the Germans did their homework and had their baseline set to include the old, very dirty, coal-fired GDR!
Thus they met their "decarbonisation" targets quickly and with room to spare.

Mar 2, 2014 at 7:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Power cuts at some unpredictable future time are increasingly likely due to the reckless incompetence of politicians and their decarbonisation agenda. It is therefore prudent to take some basic provisions if at all possible in the home to provide cooking and heating independent of electric power.

We've been significantly off power on several occasions, the longest being the 1987 hurricane when we were off for two weeks, and the most recent in the St Jude storm last October for three days.

In both instances, Aga cookers were our salvation, an anthracite-fired one in 87 and an oil fired one last year with old fashioned gravity system hot water supply independent of electrical controls and pumps. A woodburner provides additional heating as required.

But we do not have the luxury of mains gas, which perhaps the majority have, and which, for safety reasons, the domestic supply of which must be maintained without interruption at all times. Unfortunately though, I believe I am right in saying that many gas installations require electric power for controls and pumps, so thought should be given to safe and legal ways of using the gas supply using appliances which work in the absence of electricity in an emergency.

Mar 2, 2014 at 8:21 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

The reason for the sudden £4bn writedown in conventional power is because of Ed Miliband's threatened energy price freeze. Such a large writedown would not be accounted for by extra climate levies that are pre-announced years in advance, and are phased in.

But, as I found out, Climate Change Act was the likely main reason for energy price rise between 2009 and 2012.
The writedown therefore appears to be the result of politicians believing they can save the world, then blaming others for the harm that their policies cause. In Ed Miliband's case, it is the energy companies.

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/12/18/why-energy-prices-are-rising.html
http://manicbeancounter.com/2013/12/18/labours-hypocrisy-on-rising-energy-bills/

Mar 2, 2014 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Just make sure that the moment any energy cut happens you shout out via every method that Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and all other eco greenies are the fault. Don't use facts, use emotion, it's the only thing they understand.

Mar 2, 2014 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

Derek Birkett - WHEN WILL THE LIGHTS GO OUT
Published 2010.

Chris Booker has been writing on this at least since 2007.

An obscure quote (from Kai Lung) "The authorities are deaf, blind and incapable of reasoning"

Mar 3, 2014 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Mar 2, 2014 at 7:44 PM | Adam Gallon

Because the Germans did their homework and had their baseline set to include the old, very dirty, coal-fired GDR!
Thus they met their "decarbonisation" targets quickly and with room to spare.

The Large Combustion Plant Directive isn't about CO2 ('decarbonisation'). It's about reducing SO2, NOx and particulate emissions.

Mar 3, 2014 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

You people had best get fracking!

Mar 3, 2014 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterrtodd

In my younger years and having read quite a number of novels speculating poetical on the 'Armageddon scenario' - OK it was fictional but I thought - always possible. I have to say that, since the most recent great War, the nation is not as cohesive and far less able to deal with hardship, then, the probable repercussions of a major power outage will be catastrophic, there will be an almost complete breakdown of social and civic order and only the fittest will eat, the hospitals will be overrun and the death toll will soar - added to that fatality list - will be a number of politicians.

It's coming, it's just a matter of when.

Mar 3, 2014 at 1:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Simon Abingdon, 7.04 2 Mar.

see Discussion, currently page 7: Dung's The Right to bear Arms, page 3, 28 Dec 2012.

Mar 3, 2014 at 3:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Euan and Roger: Thanks for the quick responses. We will see what happens next winter if we get a "cold snap".

Mar 3, 2014 at 7:01 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

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