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The world the greens created

While the energy and climate punters are concentrating on Paris, the results of the government's latest capacity auction are out. The market cleared at £18/kW which means that no new CCGT power stations will be built. Instead, the gap is going to be filled with diesel generators and OCGT.


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Reader Comments (42)

Hmm - that shot brings to mind the many library "steam from cooling towers as pollution" pics.

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

To be fair to most greens today - they do not or want to understand how the capitalistic system of waste creation works.
In Ireland the typical green is a Dublin 4 upper middle class man.
Forming his opinions in 1990~ as a result of that curious mixture of agricultural petro euro country and western culture of the Irish 1970s farming scene.
They have not read Dahl, Belloc, Chesterton , Douglas, Eimar o Duffy etc etc.

Some retreat to the land to hobby farm but do not really understand it as Danial Corkery did.

As for diesel generators, what happens to all this surplus fuel when we can no longer afford to drive those cars / tanks around in circles?

British department for energy and otherthings or is it climate and other things claim half of refined diesel imports come from Russia.
Russia would have to mobilise on a level not seen before to eat this surplus.

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Again, there is really no shortage of diesel.

75% of Irish diesel (2013) is wasted driving around in circles.
6% on agriculture and 1% of fishing (now outsourced)
Why not waste it on transformation losses, it's as good as anything else really.

You are falling for the trap of capitalistic efficiency (I have made this mistake Also) which is currently bankrupting us via increased % distribution costs / inputs of total Tfc.

Dec 11, 2015 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

The reality is that the scale of finance capitalism has become too big to manage.
The guild navigators are creating these huge surpluses / costs which much be recovered in sales and simply cannot.

The London British establishment is desperate to waste the industrial surplus via industrial sabotage.

Anything but distribution and a return to a structurally organic ( not necessarily anti Chemical) society.
Listen, the one domestic Irish industry that has received credit (diesel)post bust is the Dairy industry.
Irish tractor sales doubled in 2013 as a result of bank credit and is now in the process of busting.
It's forced mercantalism has now lead it to bankruptc y as global markets dry up ( it cannot offload the costs of investment on Customers)

This is a cycle that has repeated over centuries in my town.
It should be known by all at this stage.
The post Napoloneonic bust (exporting most of the food for the 1812 War)
The 70s euro investment boom, 80s bust...are but two of the biggest examples.
These dynamics work for all Industry.
You think we would return to peasant commonsense after all these centuries of waste.
The function of production is consumption
Not to export your waste.
The farms of the hinterland should service the needs of the town first , we can import bananas and tea in return for our exported butter.

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

not banned yet, interestingly I also noted that what appear to be 2 similar exhaust pipes are emitting 2 different combinations of exhaust gases. One or more engines are not running efficiently.

I am assuming the photo is in the UK, and someone has rigged up one or more truck engines to provide cheaper and more reliable power.

I have posted here before that the cheapest way of getting a diesel generator is to buy a diesel engined MOT failure car, and buying a high output alternator.

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Again, there is really no shortage of diesel.
Dec 11, 2015 at 12:29 PM The Dork of Cork

D - I think you may possibly have missed the point.

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

If anyone didn't see the Ted Cruz climate data versus dogma hearings, I'm put the key section in a 9 min video:

Climate data versus dogman (and just a plot spoiler - data and science won!)

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:20 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Reminds me of S. Arabia, only surround bigger or two gennies with half a football field of spilt diesel. That goes for so called "garages" also. Add in fag smoker when filling with petrol. Run like f*ck

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

Diesels on constant load can run quite cleanly. Conversely..
(The action starts about 40s in, and again at 1:40)

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:31 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I'm inclined to agree with "not banned yet" - you're doing the same as the BBC by using a picture like that. I'm not, for one minute, trying to justify our governments absurd energy policy, but painting ALL diesel engines as filthy polluting devices, based one one particularly bad example is rather foolish. I expect that Peter_MG will soon be along with his cut-n-paste telling us how modern diesel engines are so clean that it's not possible to measure their emissions...

@ golf charlie - it looks like a V8 to me, and I suspect it has a separate turbo for each bank of cylinders. The left bank (as viewed in the picture) appears to be burning a lot of lubricating oil, probably from a faulty seal, in addition to the unburnt fuel that both pipes are emitting. Alternatively this engine has just been started after a long period of standing, and it's possible that rainwater has found its way into places it shouldn't. Normal practice for engines mounted outside is to have a hinged flap mounted at the top of the exhaust stack to prevent this. Judging by the lack of them, and the "Heath Robinson" nature of the cooling radiator, I'm guessing that it was formerly a truck engine which someone has bolted an alternator onto.

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Ward

@ not banned yet at 12:03 PM

"Hmm - that shot brings to mind the many library "steam from cooling towers as pollution" pics."

Maybe from the left hand exhaust; but the right hand exhaust is emitting visible particulates.

OK - they're static engines, but if a vehicle was emitting such smoke, it'd be foreced off the road:

1. For MOTs: "If the exhaust is emitting dense blue or clearly visible black smoke then the vehicle will fail the test."

2. Report excessively smoky lorries and buses to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA):

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Warming to my theme. This is what happens when you defeat the emissions software.. :-)


Dec 11, 2015 at 1:40 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

BBC Look North running a story about government in talks to keep Eggborough operational (standby)

Eggborough power station could be part of 'emergency plan' to avoid blackouts

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:43 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand


"If the exhaust is emitting dense blue or clearly visible black smoke then the vehicle will fail the test."

But if it doesn't emit too much, it will pass!

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

jamesp - fine clip!! :-D

In the more day to day world of road vehicle emissions you are right - modern diesels cab be very clean, especially in HGV applications. This report is a good overview of the performance of the current Euro 6 and Euro VI standards in an urban environment:

AFAIK static generator sets do not yet have an emissions standard - I think "emergency sets" are exempt.

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

The way crude oil prices are going must be causing the Greens to have collective heart attacks....

Shame, eh..?

(Petrol now 101.99p throughout my part of East Sussex...)

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

I think a number of posters here are missing the point. It seems to me that the point is, if we have reliable base-load, we dont need smokey diesel gennies.

Dec 11, 2015 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterEnGee

NBY, GC etc.: Post WW2, the US military introduced the M35 truck as its main transport vehicle. It had a 7.8L multifuel engine, that was originally normally-aspirated. The main problem with the original was that it could easily be spotted by the clouds of black exhaust smoke that it spewed out. The problem was solved by adding a turbo.

Dec 11, 2015 at 2:01 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Ok, what is the point.
If the energy from diesels can be used for local production rather then increase capitalistic friction (pointless Transport) then why not

Do you know Heinekens biggest seller in Cork this Christmas is a 24 tin Christmas pack brewed and canned in Holland.
Meanwhile Cork lads cannot afford to drink the stuff brewed a few 100 yards from the brewery.

If you understand how weird the economics of beer has become given its high weight, volume and rapid "liquid" nature then you understand what is wrong with the euro supply chain.
Usury costs effectively stop local production / consumption.
Costs are then reflected via distribution costs which become so great that demand collapses despite the industrial surplus.

The capitalists have essentially turned Cork into a dry puritan outpost, something I would have never had thought possible.

Dec 11, 2015 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

What a mess the CC Act has created. Take a bow Ed.
Btw, today on the Daily Politics show Andrew Neil (outstanding as always) interviewed the idiot John Prescott, and advised Mr P that the developing world was planning something like 2,200 NEW coal-fired power stations over the next 5 years. (something like that - I forget the actual figure) Prescott had precisely zero comeback to the point that whatever the UK does is completely irrelevant to global emissions. It's quite insane isn't it?

Dec 11, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

Dave Ward, thank you for that helpful explanation! My experience of troubleshooting diesels is based on 'modern' yacht engines, mainly diesels designed in the 60s and 70s (none of them V8s!)

Salopian, and others, I think the 'scrap' values of MOT failure diesel cars and trucks, may firm up a bit, as more people realise the value of diesel engines for power generation.

Out of interest, I have just paid under £1 per litre for petrol, just outside Portsmouth.

Dec 11, 2015 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Read the small print: the subsidy is for 46 GW generating capacity. Peak demand is 56 GW. When the wind doesn't blow there will be a 10 GW gap. So, rotating power cuts at peak times are built into the system until new nukes are built.

Dec 11, 2015 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterNC 1701E

Dork of Cork: I suspect it is not the capitalists that have had much to do with your complaint; more likely the interferomeisters from Brussels (I was going to use “interferons” but it turns out that is a real word!)

Dec 11, 2015 at 3:18 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

A copy of the capacity market auction results is here (pdf).

Can't say I understand it myself. Has privatised energy production always been so complex or is this a direct result of mangling market forces and green beliefs together?

Dec 11, 2015 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

@ golf charlie - a Google search revealed that it's a Cummins, which (apparently) had stood idle for TEN years:

The different colours of the various parts is a bit odd - the alternator clearly isn't part of the original set, although the side mounted cooling fan is the same as the engine. Yet it's blowing through a yellow (Caterpillar?) radiator... It certainly looks like a bit of a "bodge job", which was probably dragged out of retirement when the threat of power cuts started floating about - note the video was uploaded in 2013. They had another go later, and it was a (bit) cleaner:

Dec 11, 2015 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Ward

The latter.
Time was when the Central Electricity Generating Board owned and operated the power stations (those who worked for the CEGB will, I hope, correct me when I put a foot wrong).
Broadly speaking they decided on the power requirement and the energy mix and the local operators distributed the outcome to (more or less) grateful customers.
It worked.
The present situation doesn't.
I wonder what the solution could possibly be.

Dec 11, 2015 at 3:56 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I read that diesels can underbid gas power stations because they also get money from companies for agreeing to provide them with power during the triad periods - the three most expensive times in the year for electricity. In fact, they get much more money for that, hence their ability to undercut gas in the capacity auctions.

It sounds to me as if they might be selling the same capacity twice, as the grid is most likely to need extra power during the triad periods. But I'm probably missing something - surely the rules would prevent that?

Dec 11, 2015 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterNic Lewis

Come on fellows,especially Dave Ward, His Grace frequently illustrates his items with pictures that are not totally "correct" I think it is called a "sense of humour", and my god, we all need one of those. It's like saying that that you don't believe the
Item above about STOR because the picture is not of the author of the article.(it isn't, is it?)

Dec 11, 2015 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

The 'Greens' just blocked diesel generator plans in Bristol.

Dec 11, 2015 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

@ Radical
From a Irish perspective capitalism is everything which came after Cromwell.
Puritanism and capitalism are natural bedfellows.

Dec 11, 2015 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

"...I suspect it is not the capitalists that have had much to do with your complaint; more likely the interferomeisters from Brussels (I was going to use “interferons” but it turns out that is a real word!)" --Radical Rodent [√🐭]


Dec 11, 2015 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

This is no longer anything to do with the Climate or CO2, it has descended into a battle of political Egos, mis-directed altruism which is only a sort of disguised fascim. The aim of the UN/IPCC is to churn money and remove a lot of it as it passes by them. The redistribution is achieved under the cloak of CAGW and when it is no longer needed it will be shed. It is in fact just a huge scam created by organised Banking Crime under the guise of Charity and pseudo-science. Using Diesel Generators to reduce CO2 emissions is the height of their madness.

Dec 11, 2015 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered Commenternicholas tesdorf

Dave Ward, presumably the engine would have come out of a dead lorry?

For those interested in diesel pricing ............

Road diesel is taxed, to bring its cost broadly in line with petrol.

Agricultural (dyed red) diesel is taxed at a lower rate. I do not know all the paperwork and bureaucracy, but if you can prove that your use of diesel is not for propulsion, you can get red, or get reduced tax on road (white) diesel. The red dye is there as a marker, and stains fuel filters. A farmer can put red diesel in his tractor, but not his car.

For running a generator for producing electricity with a diesel engine, the lower tax rate would apply.

Red v white diesel use and abuse, is a legal minefield. Please make your own enquiries before proceeding!

It was a lucrative scam across the border between the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, and involved removing the red dye with Fullers Earth (its in cat litter)

Dec 11, 2015 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

jamesp - your clips brought back to mind this oldie but goodie on the politically correct usage of hydrocarbon fuel:


Dave Ward - thanks for the YouTube clips - I wonder what the neighbours say??

Dec 12, 2015 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Ref Red Diesel. I have only fueled up once in Eire, it was about 4/5 years ago in Kinsale, a beautiful harbour south of Cork. The diesel went into a yacht, and was dyed green, not red.

I do not know whether this is the same for tax purposes as British red.

Yotties crossing to Belgium with the wrong colour diesel have incurred hefty on the spot fines, due to Belgian interpretation of EU rules. Many UK yotties have stopped going to Belgium as a result. I do not know the exact problem, or whether it has been resolved.

Dec 12, 2015 at 1:37 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What's £18/kW? £18/kWh? £18/kW would be very low price, tgtbb.

Dec 12, 2015 at 5:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohnl


Thank you!

Got to use the stuff up somehow.. :-)

Dec 12, 2015 at 11:27 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp


The prices/values represent an outstanding achievement, and we must all say wow.

The Green Blob will be celebrating, and the only losers will be the consumers who have to pay money for what they don't receive, and must be truly grateful..

No further explanations will be offered, until it all goes wrong, when it will be abundantly clear that consumers only have themselves to blame.

The Department of Green Blob trusts this clarifies the situation.

Dec 12, 2015 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@ Roger Tolson - I DO have a sense of humour - you should have heard my guffaw when I watched the clips I posted links to. However it is coming under increasing pressure with each passing day of lunacy in this country. My concern over using the picture is simply because us bloggers are frequently calling out the Green Blob (and their media pals) for misleading photo captions, and it just seemed rather unfortunate for His Grace to be doing much the same. I will leave it at that.

@ golf charlie - I'm not sure about a "dead lorry" now. I can't think of any UK vehicles which currently use Cummins V8's, or have done for many years, so it's more likely to be from an earthmover or some other industrial use. If it WAS originally a genset, then it's been extensively hacked about in the intervening period!

Also, the fuel tax situation is a certainly a minefield. The canal boating community are in the unusual situation of using the same fuel (ordinary white or "road" diesel as far as I can gather) for two different purposes - namely propulsion when moving about the canal & river network, and for "domestic" purposes when burning it for heating and also running the engine to charge batteries. Apparently they can often declare a "Split" when buying, nominating what proportion they think they are using for each. This seems to depend on what individual boatyards will accept, and there are wide variations, with some not allowing any declaration. The result determines what tax they pay per litre.

Dec 12, 2015 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Ward

Dave Ward, your explanation on diesel fuel costs being split for canal boats based on propulsion v heating is the same for yotties, but I do not know how it actually works in principle either! I think it works on some assumptions of trust, but the sums involved for individual boat owners are 10s -100s of £s.

There are lots of big diesel engines that have outlasted the life expectancy of their original intended purpose/installation. I come from an isolated Downland village, prone and vulnerable to powercuts. If/when the existing petrol generator dies, I would consider buying a scrap diesel car for it's 1600cc ish diesel engine and buying a high output alternator. For emergency use, using taxed road diesel in it would be economic, even more so if diluted with vegetable oil.

Dec 12, 2015 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Just as well the oil price plunged then.

Dec 14, 2015 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

David Ward Just for your information as you like to be informed of these things the engine in the post is an old Cummins VTA28, that is a 28 litre V12 and the white smoke is from a cold start. These engines ran under load with little visible smoke when well maintained but NOx and particulates etc were not controlled, hardly surprising when you consider they are and early 60’s technology. This model of engine, standby by rating of about 600KW is unregulated and production in the US was stopped in the 70's and the engine was replaced in the West by the Cummins KT2300 built in Daventry England. The current iteration of this engine the QSK38 is compliant with the latest emission levels which are effectively zero; that is unless you are stupid enough to call CO2 and emission. It is a bit disingenuous and misleading to show this particular machine as an example of a diesel generator when all the stor instalations have to comply with emission regs. You won’t see anyone running 50 year diesels in any Store installation. You see David Ward I do know a little about this subject and I’m happy that you know a little more now as well.

The engine in the picture is a V12 version of the same engine in inline 6 form that powers all the sprinter trains on Britain’s rail network. Probably the only engine design ever that could still be earning its keep day in day out after 40 to 50 years of service. Perhaps some of you could celebrate that magnificent engineering achievement rather than taking cheap shots, which is after all what we accuse the greens of doing all the time.

Dec 15, 2015 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeterMG

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