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« Chartered rogues and spivs | Main | Climate's parliamentary cheerleaders »
Tuesday
Jul292014

A hint of panic

While I was away, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee announced that it is to take a look at the question of "energy resilience". The terms of reference are here, and make for interesting reading. There is more than a little hint of "OMG, what has Ed Davey done?", with a leavening of "Maybe the boffins can save us". Needless to say, there's also reference to "We could get some more bureaucrats and hope we are no longer in office when the wheels come off".

11. We invite evidence on the resilience of the UK’s electricity infrastructure to peaks in demand and sudden shocks. We are interested in the resilience of the system both in the short term (to 2020) and in the medium term (to 2030) as electricity generation is decarbonised. In addition we could welcome evidence on the cost effectiveness of different approaches and the balance between achieving efficiency and sufficient redundancy to ensure a resilient system. We seek evidence on the impact and effectiveness of UK and EU policies, incentives and regulations in achieving this.

12. We are interested in the following questions:

Short term (to 2020)

  • How resilient is the UK’s electricity system to peaks in consumer demand and sudden shocks? How well developed is the underpinning evidence base?

  • What measures are being taken to improve the resilience of the UK’s electricity system until 2020? Will this be sufficient to ‘keep the lights on’?

  • How are the costs and benefits of investing in electricity resilience assessed and how are decisions made?

  • What steps need to be taken by 2020 to ensure that the UK’s electricity system is resilient, affordable and on a trajectory to decarbonisation in the following decade? How effective will the Government’s current policies be in achieving this?

  • Will the next six years provide any insights which will help inform future decisions on investment in electricity infrastructure?

Medium term (to 2030)

  • What will affect the resilience of the UK’s electricity infrastructure in the 2020s? Will new risks to resilience emerge? How will factors such as intermittency and localised generation of electricity affect resilience?

  • What does modelling tell us about how to achieve resilient, affordable and low carbon electricity infrastructure by 2030? How reliable are current models and what information is needed to improve models?

  • What steps need to be taken to ensure that the UK’s electricity system is resilient as well as competitively priced and decarbonised by 2030? How effective would current policies be in achieving this?

  • Is the technology for achieving this market ready? How are further developments in science and technology expected to help reduce the cost of maintaining resilience, whilst addressing greenhouse gas emissions? Are there any game changing technologies which could have a revolutionary impact on electricity infrastructure and its resilience?

  • Is UK industry in a position to lead in any, or all, technology areas, driving economic growth? Should the UK favour particular technology approaches to maintaining a resilient low carbon energy system?

  • Are effective measures in place to enable Government and industry to learn from the outputs of current research and development and demonstration projects?

  • Is the current regulatory and policy context in the UK enabling? Will a market-led approach be sufficient to deliver resilience or is greater coordination required and what form would this take?

 

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Reader Comments (48)

Why are these questions being asked now? What on earth were our MPs thinking about when they passed the Climate Change Act? Surely the proper time for our law makers to ask questions about our energy policies was before those policies were decided, not a few years later.

Jul 29, 2014 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Good ******* Grief

"In addition we could welcome evidence on the cost effectiveness of different approaches and the balance between achieving efficiency and sufficient redundancy to ensure a resilient system. We seek evidence on the impact and effectiveness of UK and EU policies, incentives and regulations in achieving this."

Yes - Cost Effectiveness, Incentives (UK pays) AND Regulations (make someone else pay) are totally congruous concepts!

Don't be silly Roy. There are some serious problems with your comment. "MPs Thinking" and "energy policies".

You really do expect sooo much of your elected officials. They are after all no more than a bunch of plebs who have dragged themselves off the streets to be elcted to fine grandieu.

// sarc off.

Jul 29, 2014 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

They might start by carrying out an audit of the performance, reliability, and cost effectiveness of the renewable energy sources WE have subsidised in the last ten years and then question, therefrom, whether continuing with renewable procurement is a good idea.

Jul 29, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

A year last February, the CEO of the National Grid Company warned that by 2020 there would not be a guaranteed Grid Supply to UK housing. The reason is that domestic premises are low in the priority order: computer datacentres and infrastructure, transport, hospitals, sewage, potable water.

The smart meters are designed to cut off homes from the grid. It's a political ploy to establish totalitarian control. The other side of the coin is the windmills plus diesel STOR which will use more fossil fuel than the coal fire power stations AND make the owners rich.

There is a fix, and it is underway: to build and install 5 nukes' worth of decentralised domestic generation; 1 kW/home gas powered fuel cells in 10 million homes thereby empowering (good pun?) half the population. Add in rooftop solar cells, made practical by the fuel cells, and there is much cheaper standby for the windmills so STOR is junked. Fuel saving is about 70%. The payback period for homeowners is about three years. What's not to like!

Jul 29, 2014 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

One has to ask why is the question that perhaps decarbonisation is possibly a fool's errand not being asked ?

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered Commenteredmh

I think the light bulbs are starting to go on.

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

"ensuring that the UK electrical system is resilient, affordable and decarbonised..."
Indeed Roy at the time of the Climate Change Act it was obvious to any engineer that it cannot ever be all three. The present developing disaster was predictable, predicted and ignored. They are asking the questions now because the dire situation can no longer be obfuscated. It is ripe for development as an issue in the next election whereas one party could differentiate itself from the others - particularly from current partners! Sound of hen house doors slamming as the chickens come home.

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Here in the USA we have problems of our own.

Our President apparently believes what the UK is doing is just dandy. And he has never heard about the global warming hiatus, not that that would make any difference to him.

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

We all know that they are planning on utilising thousands of Diesel generators when the wind drops to keep us warm and lit !! Such a clean fuel, I can't think of a better system !!

Of course when we have extremely cold weather the country is usually covered by high pressure making sure there is no wind so they will be useful.

God help this country which is ruled by Tinky, Pinky and Wonky or something like that.

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

I would have thought one of the first things they should be doing is compelling the owners of all wind farms to construct on site hot spinning reserve generators capable of supplying full nameplate output with all costs being born by the site owner - no subsidies for construction or the power supplied by those generators. The payment for the power from the generators being the same as all other CCGT stations.

At least the lights should then stay on until nuclear power stations can be constructed.

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterivan

Ivan: how can you express such sentiments? The destruction of OUR Power Grid has but one purpose; to kill off half the population and enrich the Fascists who planned it.

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterturnedoutnice

The question 'what steps need to be taken to ENSURE ...? " is followed by the question 'Is the technology available?'.

Decarbonization of the energy sector will take a century, they're talking about 2030, they're a bunch of fruitcakes.

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Spence

Every problem with modern politics, civil service, media and government can be summed up in the following phrase:

"Nobody will ever go to prison for their decisions"

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

As an observation; the author and architect of the Climate Change Act has so far escaped any blame for the approaching nemesis of the UK's energy policy. In fact he's still able to blame greedy energy companies. To be successful in life you don't have to be good at what you do, just lucky. Ed Milliband was lucky that he escaped blame for the financial crash which has made bankers in particular and fat cats in general easy to blame for all of life's ills, so he can flyhalf any blame to the energy companies when the lights go out.

Jul 29, 2014 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

"I think the light bulbs are starting to go on".

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

No, the light bulbs have been on for a long time.

They are low energy light bulbs and they are now just getting bright!

Jul 29, 2014 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

"Stick record" has it right, the villains do not suffer.
I would like to see the following put to ed Davey, " as it is considered that CO2 is the problem, assuming that in time levels of this would drop to say 0.01% from the current just under 0.04%, what would happen to all the green growth from grass to trees?" The high temperatures talked of are the subject of a guess, whereas without CO2 there would be no growth because no photosynthesis which is fact.

Jul 29, 2014 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

"Written evidence should be submitted online using the written submission form available at
http://www.parliament.uk/resilience-of-electricity-infrastructure . This page also provides
guidance on submitting evidence. The deadline for written evidence is 19 September 2014".

Jul 29, 2014 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter

"We seek evidence.."

Finally! I hope someone points out that model outputs are not the same thing.

Jul 29, 2014 at 5:37 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

"What measures are being taken to improve the resilience of the UK’s electricity system.."

None whatsoever. Hence the problem!

Jul 29, 2014 at 5:39 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Can we develop renewable energy from perpetual bull sh1t?

Jul 29, 2014 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

I heard on the news Boris wants to get rid of diesel cars in London to improve air quality. I wonder how much STOR is planned in London where a good chunk of the country's electric is used?

Jul 29, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Dunford

For people who recall reading a piece in the past that
addressed the same topic, here is the link to
the speech that Rupert Soames made to the Scottish
Parliament on 12th November 2010:

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

Rupert Soames was then Chief Executive of Aggreko.

Aggreko is in the specialist power generation business.
For instance it hires out backup generators to
businesses around the world that depend vitally upon the
maintenance of a continuous supply of electricity.

To return to the content of Rupert Soames' speech:
Politicians are like little children. You can tell them
as often as you like; you can speak with the authority
of Rupert Soames; but if what you say is unwelcome, then
they don't want to know, they just won't listen.


Stephen Prower

Stevenage

Jul 29, 2014 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Prower

Peter Dunford

Boris? arf-arf scatty hair blonde befuddled spaniel look ... just after more money and convenient subterfuge to take it off folk.

They removed the concession for (clean) gas powered vehicles a couple of years ago and are routinely ripping off motorhome users unwary enough to take their non Euro5 class compliant or whatever it is inside the London "emission zone" £200+ a day so an overnight is £400++ - you only find out 10 days later.....

Whatever it's about - the health of the population takes second fiddle to lining bureaucrat pockets - as I think is unequivocally demonstrated by including the cleanest running gas vehicles in the "congestion charge" - and the economics of the charge itself.

Jul 29, 2014 at 7:53 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Prescient observation from 'TheTweetOfGod' today, and different phrases apply to either side of the Climate-Change/Renewables argument:-

"Science is true whether or not you believe it, but religion is true whether or not it’s true."

Jul 29, 2014 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Joe Public

"Science is true whether or not you believe it, but religion is true whether or not it’s true."

Both parts of the above statement are completely false. Was the phlogiston theory true? Was it true that stomach ulcers are caused by stress? Is the theory of CAGW true?

As for the second part of your statement, only a very smug atheist would make such a claim.

Jul 29, 2014 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Maybe Westminister and Holyrood should remember the old saying, " Don't put all your eggs in one basket "
Germany still has plenty of fossil fuel power stations so why should U.K. go to extremes ?
Having a mix of nuclear, gas, coal, hydro etc gives the choice to exploit which ever is the cheapest at the time. Coal seems quite cheap to buy at the moment. Pity they blew up Didcot A.Could it have run for another decade if it wasn't for all the green tape ?
See live generation data for Germany electricity supply at eex.com
http://www.transparency.eex.com/de/

Jul 29, 2014 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Actually, the solution is way simpler than you think. Line half the population up against the wall - assuming you are dividing the population in all sectors of wealth equally, otherwise 75% of the population if you are starting at the bottom of the economic scale - and machine gun them down. This will reduce the demand on the electrical grid to the point where it will be able to absorb those "shocks" while decarbonizing. Works perfectly in all industrialized nations. May be a little messy and certainly will cause a reduction in tax collection by at least 90%(second choice only) but it WOULD stabilize the energy demands.

Jul 29, 2014 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom O

Unless they mention STOR then they will be guilty of lying to the committee which is a very serious thing indeed. If they do elaborate on the operating reserve then hopefully one of the committee in possession of at least two brain cells will delve deeper into the scandal.

Jul 29, 2014 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Rupert Soames speech to Holyrood, 12th November 2010, ( 2nd last paragraph) " My worry is that policy-makers are so focused on the end of the road that they fail to see the large pothole 300 yards in front. In Scotland as in England, we cannot ignore the realities of what is possible in engineering and financing terms; if we persist in thinking only about 2030, we will end in deep trouble in 2018 for Scotland, and for renewables. I urge Policymakers in Scotland to think more on the question of how Scotland is going to respond to the fact that the National Grid, on which we all depend, will lose 30% of its generating capacity by 2018. "
http://www.aggreko.com/media-centre/press-releases/speech-to-scottish-parliament/

Jul 29, 2014 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

One word, idiots, no, two words "bl**dy idiots", no, three words, yes three words, "raving bl**dy idiots", nooo, four words, "no one expects the reality inquisition", OK I lied, it was six words.

Good luck in adding the required base load generation capacity from nuclear or fossil fueled facilities within six years. Actually make that four years because there will probably be another 18 months of dis-believing inactivity before the realization of the true seriousness of the situation sinks in. (Fast track projects typically exceed normal project costs by 50% or more).

I suppose one alternative would be more gas fired turbine units but given declining north sea gas, no fracking in the UK so far, limited LNG import capacity, and then the wild card of european gas supplies aka Putin, not an option I'd place a lot of faith in for low cost long term. Put this in the context of a UK economy where manufacturing and heavy industry sectors are in decline and where the global demand for skilled construction workers is increasing does the UK have the experienced work force that will be required?

Panic is an appropriate emotional response, but usually not very productive. Strategic planning? In almost 70 years I've yet to meet or observe a politician of any stripe or position that thinks past the next election.

The civil service bureaucracy has to be highly culpable for this situation, it is they, even more so than the politicians, that should have been developing realistic strategic plans. I imagine a lot of turtle like behavior will occur in the near future.

Jul 29, 2014 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

Paul

Re: STOR

http://www.windaction.org/posts/40873-german-utilities-bail-out-
electric-grid-at-wind-s-mercy

Wind Action

German utilities bail out electric grid at wind´s mercy

Bloomberg News - Julia Mengewein - July 25, 2014

'Twenty power companies including Germany´s biggest
utilities, EON SE and RWE AG, now get fees for pledging
to add or cut electricity within seconds to keep the
power system stable, double the number in September,
according to data from the nation´s four grid operators.
Utilities that sign up to the 800 million-euro ($1.1
billion) balancing market can be paid as much as 400
times wholesale electricity prices, the data show.'


Stephen Prower

Stevenage

Jul 29, 2014 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Prower

Power cuts this winter. Not good going into next years election.

Jul 29, 2014 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Parody on " Oh flower of Scotland "

O the majority in Scotland
When will you see sense again ?
To campaign to protect
Scotland's wild lands
by standing against them:
Potato Ed's army
and send him homeward
to think again

The hills are covered now
with windmills lying thick and often still
O'er wild land that is tamed now
Which tourists so dearly beheld
Let's stand against them:
Proud Ed Milliwatt's army
and send him Phillip Bratby's notes
To think again

The days for wind mills are passed now
and in the past they should have remained
but we can still repeal the 2008 climate change act now
and be an economically competitive nation again
having stood against them:
Both Edward's army
Sent for remedial education
to think again.

Jul 29, 2014 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

all such question should have been answered in detail in the business plans that led to "dave's" renewable energy policies.

If there are no answers yet then some people did not do their work imho

Jul 29, 2014 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

God help this country which is ruled by Tinky, Pinky and Wonky or something like that.
Jul 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM | Vanessa

Sorry Vanessa God is busy right now looking after the Israelis. Try again in a little while.

Jul 29, 2014 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Steiner

I thought The National Grid's Steve Holliday had it all organized in 2011?

"The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030. We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it. ...... We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available.....

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100078707/there-is-nothing-smart-about-rationing-electricity/

Jul 30, 2014 at 12:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterbetapug

...I suppose one alternative would be more gas fired turbine units but given declining north sea gas, no fracking in the UK so far, limited LNG import capacity, and then the wild card of european gas supplies aka Putin, not an option I'd place a lot of faith in for low cost long term. Put this in the context of a UK economy where manufacturing and heavy industry sectors are in decline and where the global demand for skilled construction workers is increasing does the UK have the experienced work force that will be required?..... Jul 29, 2014 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton
///////////////////////

But the market has been distorted by subsidies. I read recently that several potential providers of gas power generating are refusing to build gas powered generators since they are uneconomic. Because the grid is obliged to take wind when available, and gas is used for back up, and because wind on average provides about 25% of name plate capacity, it means that gas power generators are supplying/seeling energy for only about 75% of the time. this renders the generator unprofitable.

Like many businesses, the profit is made on the last 15% or so of sales. The first 85% pays the costs and overheads of the business. But now due to UK energy policy, the gas powered generators never get to sell the final 15% which would have rendeered plant profitable. The upshot is that to build a gas powered plant the supply company wants a subsidy, if not they are not interested in building new plants since they are unprofitable on a day to day basis.

This is the problem of government interference. By giving huge subsidies (and preferential supplier status) to one sector of the market, ie., the renewables, there is no longer a level playing foeld. Now everyone wants subsidies, both suppliers of nuclear and suppliers of gas powered generation. It is the consumer who has to pay these costs at the end of the day, and the government is in denail as to how energy prices are twice as much as they need to be because of steps taken in the run up to the Climate Change Act, and the consequences of that Act.

And none of their policies have resulted in the reduction of CO2. They can not because renewables require 100% backup from conventional fossil fuel powered generators, plus emergency grid balancing by diesel generators, and as for biomass due to the low calorific value of wood/wood pellets more CO2 is produced than is emitted by the burning of coal.

The government policy fails on absoulutely every criteria, namely:

1. Less resilience
2. Cost
3. No reduction in CO2
4. More environmental damage (since there is no saving in CO2 emissions, the errecting of windfarms over large swathes of the country and coupling this to the grid is more environmentally harmful than the building of a gas powered generator).
5. Causing energy intensive industry to become uncompetitive and/or forcing them to relocate overseas with loss of jobs, tax receipts and increase welfare payments.

None of the coal powered stations should have been decommisioned. If worried about CO2 emissions then simply plant some trees on scrub land thereby creating a new carbon sink. Nature has already solved the carbon capture problem, it is called vegetation, and the world is greening now that CO2 is no longer at subsistence level for plants and trees. We could help the planet on its greening, by planting a few more forests.

Jul 30, 2014 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

There could be a parallel inquiry into "Political Resilience" for the UK.
The present mess was a deliberate series of actions by politicians and bureaucrats advising them.
First reform the standard of politics, then look at energy resilience.

You could take some clues from where I live, Australia. We seem to punch above our weight, even for those gold medals on offer.

Is there any arena where the present UK outperforms the much smaller populace of Australia, apart from the pursuit of mediocracy?

Jul 30, 2014 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

One reality that is never discussed by government in connection with this is the effect of immigration and the settled migrant community.

The UK polulation has grown by about 10 million since the turn of the century. Net Migration is running a little short of 300,000 pa. Given that it is unlikely that the government count is acurate, that figure could easily be more like 400,000. So on that basis by 2030, one can expect to see the UK population to grow by at least 6 million.

Of course it will be more since the birth rate amongst ethnic minorities is nearly 4, and of course this applies to all those who may have settled in theiscountry these past 20 or so years, as well as those that will come within the next 15 years.

It is therefore more likely that by 2030, the UK will see an increase in population of not less than a further 10 million (as it saw between 2000 and 2014), and it could easily be more than that (especially given that life expectancy is on the rise, unless high energy costs will start curbing that)..

A lot of energy is required to support that additional population. It would have been a hard enough task meeting our 2030 targets without a growing population, but with a growing population that is considerably harder.

The UK had the infra structure to cope with the population as it was say in 1980, but does not have the infra structure to cope with the population rise since then, still less the further increase in population that will be seen by 2030. Much investment needs to be made in building houses, schools, hospitals, roads, reservoirs, power stations etc just to support that extra population. That will require much energy to construct. And on top of that, all these people will be using the average per capita rate for CO2 emissions that we have without the investment in infrastructure element.

The politicians have not thought through how their targets will be achieved in the face of the reality of modern Britain.

Jul 30, 2014 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

It said "resilient" or "resilience" 16 times.

Jul 30, 2014 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRc

@ Roy Jul 29, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Regarding "Science is true whether or not you believe it, but religion is true whether or not it’s true."

Your assertion that "Both parts of the above statement are completely false." is false.

Was it not science which disproved the phlogiston theory, the claim that stomach ulcers are caused by stress, and the theory of CAGW?

Jul 30, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

"Was it not science which disproved the phlogiston theory, the claim that stomach ulcers are caused by stress, and the theory of CAGW?"

Eventually, but only after all the other possibilities had been exhausted!

Jul 30, 2014 at 11:44 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

'Resilience in the UK's electricty infrastructure..?'

Er..... none. Next question....

Jul 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Be very afraid.


Hmm and now our Russian bear is very, very, very angry because the EU and Barry are beginning to play hard ball.


A cold winter................................. even a relatively mild one and we are going to find out - just who is the boss in Europe.


As sure as night follows day, Putin will shut the gas pipeline down "for maintenance" or some pretext or other. Indubitably, and that will bring home to the nutters who pretend to run things over here ie, the UK administration; political grinning ninnies and uncivil public governmentalist departments - what political folly it is to be reliant on daft palliatives and the 'GREEN' psychosis ...........And don't think that a Ukrainian gas crisis will not effect Britain = > demand = > price rises and shortages.

And then, there is the small matter of UK imports of Russian coal [12, billion tonnes estimated] - if I were a civil servant I'd be making noises about bringing coal in from Australia, Pennsylvania, Virginia.

But every which way: we will be stuffed ......................and we will be damned cold.

Watch the riots then............................

Jul 30, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"None of the coal powered stations should have been decommissioned." by Richard Verney.

On target Richard. An absolutely ridiculous action, almost criminal.

I didn't expound in my earlier post but I doubt many politicians have ever had any experience in major project implementation. The majority seem to think that issuing the Star Trek command, "make it so" will result in an instantaneous appearance of new generation capacity.

The typical time frame to build a new complex facility, be it power generation or oil refining or chemical, is 10 to 13 years from the gleam in the eye stage to the plant being on line. I base that on my experience in a Canadian context where land availability is usually not an issue. In the UK, with population density being what it is, then the NIMBY factor could push that out by 3 to 4 years or even stop progress.

What has happened to the former coal fired plant sites? If they were handed over to property developers and re-zoned the chances of re-acquiring the land for new power plants is likely slim.

Personal philosophy, I always worked in an industry sector that involved the least possible government interference. I'd like to say zero government involvement but that is almost impossible to find today in OECD countries.

Jul 30, 2014 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

The last time I spoke to the man who is now Minister for Energy, he told me that solar PV was the future.

"Yes, but only if you can find a way of storing electricity."

"Oh, yes, of course, we'll have to store it."

He spoke with all the engineering and scientific understanding you would expect from an Oxford PPE.

The most amusing part of his new appointment is that, because I have been quizzing him for years about the government's energy policy, he has been asking energy questions and has got a reputation for being interested. He's now sitting behind the ministerial desk wondering if I'm right with my Russian roulette simile -- there's a one in six chance that the lights go out this winter. If that happens he's toast and UKIP will eat him for breakfast.

JF

Jul 30, 2014 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

Stephen Power; thanks for that link to the Soames speech. The best "sitrep" I have read. It should be required reading throughout government....no, they would'nt understand.

Jul 30, 2014 at 10:10 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

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