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The subsidy cuts and the pea under the thimble

This is a guest post by Phillip Bratby.

Readers will no doubt have seen the apoplexy of Roger Harrabin and others in the media about the cuts in subsidies for rooftop solar power announced by Amber Rudd on 17th December (DECC press release here).  Cuts of 64% (Telegraph, BBC) or 65% (Guardian, Independent, FT) were reported.  The new subsidies (the Feed-in-Tariff scheme which consists of a generation tariff plus an export tariff) were given following a consultation, which had supposedly been proposing cuts of 87%.

However, examination of the facts shows that the above figures are incorrect.  All the relevant data are in the consultation document and in the Government response to the consultation.  The existing generation tariff for small rooftop schemes (<4kW) for January 2016 is 12.47p/kWh, the proposed consultation generation tariff was 1.63p/kWh and the final generation tariff (after the consultation) will be 4.39p/kWh.  From these figures it can be seen that proposed reduction in generation tariff was (1-1.63/12.47)×100 = 87% and the final reduction in generation tariff is (1-4.39/12.47)×100=64.8%.  However the generation tariff is only part of the subsidy, because there is also the export tariff.  This is given by Ofgem as 4.85p/kWh and is unchanged following the consultation (quote from Government response to the consultation "Government does not propose introducing changes to the FITs scheme in relation to the export tariff").  Thus the true reduction in subsidy if all the electricity is exported is (1 - (4.39+4.85)/12.47+4.85)x100 = 46.7%.

In fact, the reduction in subsidies would, in reality, be even less, because for every kWh (unit) of electricity that the owner uses, rather than exports, he will only be paid the generation tariff but would consume one fewer unit for which he would have had to pay his supplier about 14.05p (Energy Saving Trust figure).  Thus his generation and use of 1kWh would save him 4.39+14.05 = 18.44p compared to the current figure of 12.47+14.05 = 26.52p.  Thus the reduction is (1-18.44/26.52)×100 = 30%.

So none of the media outlets has fully examined the issue of the Feed-in-Tariff subsidy and the changes and none has given the true picture, which is a reduction of between 30% and 47%, not 64% or 65%.

Also it should be noted that there are subsidies all the way up to solar farms of 5MW.  These have also been cut and the tariff bands have been simplified.  There is no mention of these in the media.  One wonders why?

Furthermore there have been cuts to the subsidies for wind and hydro.  There is no mention of these in the media.  One wonders why?

Roger Harrabin gave Friends of the Earth free rein to give out the lies "It's outrageous that the government continues to hand out billions of pounds in subsidies every year to climate-wrecking fossil fuels".  The Government is quite clear in the consultation response that "There are a wide range of definitions of what constitutes a fossil fuel subsidy. The UK, like the EU and the IEA, excludes tax treatment from its definition of what is meant by a fossil fuel subsidy, using international market price as a benchmark. The UK therefore has no fossil fuel subsidies".  Obviously Friends of the Earth did not read the consultation document before commenting to the BBC.  One can reasonably assume that none of the correspondents read the consultation document or understood it.  This comes as no surprise!

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Reader Comments (84)

The 87% would have been a much more rounded figure, cuddly even.

Dec 19, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Registered CommenterDung

The export tariff can be measured in two ways. First if an import/export meter is fitted, the exported electricity is read off the meter. If no import/export meter is fitted, the exported electricity is deemed to be 50% of the total generated. Depending on how much of the generated electricity is used, either means may turn out to be beneficial. For example, if all of the generation was used at source, but the export tariff was based on % of total, you would still be paid for having put 50% of it into the grid.

Dec 19, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

Every time the solar FITs subsidy has been reduced, the cost of installation has miraculously fallen. One wonders why?

Dec 19, 2015 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell


Do I detect that in another consultation document on solar the government is discussing cutting subsidies to operating solar parks?

Amber Rudd was hinting only the other day that renewables should be responsible for mitigation of their intermittency.

Dec 19, 2015 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Dung 88 is two fat ladies in bingo, I think. Is that what you meant?

With petrol now at or below £1 a litre, when are Eco energy companies going to start subsidising oil companies so they can still trade profitably? It does seem that Government subsidies, paid by bill payers, have enabled the likes of Dale Vince of Ecotricity to make a large fortune, when all he has been doing is selling fossil fuelled electricity, disguised as Green electricity.

Obviously if Ecotricity have been selling more windpower than they 'buy', there has been some duplicitous dealing somewhere, that Roger Harrabin, the Grauniad and BBC ought to investigate further.

Do we need an Electricity Descriptions Act to supplement the Trades Description Act, so that sensitive souls are not being suckered into paying for sunlight and wind, when they are actually buying Reliable electricity with all the terribly non existant consequences for polar bears and their habitat?

Dec 19, 2015 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Capell, costs swell and contract, to match the subsidies available.

A modern phenomenon not foreseen by C.Northcote Parkinson.

Dec 19, 2015 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Golf Charlie


But roof installations are now very low standards. On slate roofs they simply drill through the slates so they can screw onto the rafters. That'll never leak . . .

Dec 19, 2015 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Indeed, not taxing the external costs (ie pollution costs) associated with fossil fuel use is not a subsidy. Never was. Saying such is pure propoganda by whomever is using it as an argument, and besides, the external costs of fossil fuel use would be heavily uncertain as the true costs are unknown. Therefore how an exact figure can be quoted is beyond nonsense.

Dec 19, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAbc

Still there is very little publicity about the very real hazard associated with solar panels - that they continue to produce electricity even though, for instance, the mains electricity supply has been turned off due to, say, a fire in the property.
Even having isolators for the panels isn't enough - the panels will still produce dc electricity - so firefighters won't go onto your roof if its on fire, if you have solar panels. They'll let it burn...
Case in point - Hove Town Hall...
Also - hacking through the roof to provide a way out in such an emergency, or to get rid of smoke, isn't an option if your roof is covered in solar panels..!
Apart from that - I'm sure they're a jolly good idea - if you don't mind taking the payback at face value....

Dec 19, 2015 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1


re the costs ... don't forget that the entire renewbabbles system is a roiling sump of restrictive practice and corrupt bureaucratic cronyism littered with perverse (even on their own terms) incentivisation of products that don't work and blocking of some that do ....

I'm thinking here of the stinking pile that is the Renewable Heating Incentive where heat/cool air conditioners (can be fitted by any old electrician) are excluded and questionably effective Swedish domestic air heat recovery pumps attract a generous subsidy.... (see multiple BBC consumer progs)

Being an officially anointed RHI / Microgeneration installer looks simply like a licence to mis-specify and overcharge in a marketplace that is distorted beyond any reason or sense - manipulated by officials that have had a serious whack from the stupid stick.

Dec 19, 2015 at 2:14 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Capell, I have qualifications in surveying and engineering. The technology to design and build a roof (flat or pitched) that does not leak, is quite well understood by designers and builders of roofs.

However, the designers and installers of mechanical and electrical installations, who may be very clever, do not understand roofs, and the basic priniples of what they are designed to do.

This has been the source of some polite, and not so polite 'discussions' in design offices, and site meetings. Contrary to popular belief, the self waterproofing screw or nail has yet to be invented.

Dec 19, 2015 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Roofing design has Royal beginnings. To be precise it was William the Conqueror's Son, William Rufus. I'll get my coat....

Dec 19, 2015 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E


I rather like the stinking RHI pile! It's my only way to the green trough.

Yes, I have a ground source heat pump. It was installed in 2009 and when we had it installed we hadn't heard of the RHI. It's quite superb. No mess, effort, fuel to order, we're not on the gas grid, but we're heating the house and hot water at just above gas prices.

Heat pumps could be a way for those living in the countryside to get some recompense for the crap broadband, no mobile phone signal, no bus service, ludicrously high rates, and urban spivs dumping wind mills and solar panels upon us.

Besides, I quite like the idea of Harrabin paying my subsidy.

Dec 19, 2015 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

@Dung - 97% would have been hilarious!

Dec 19, 2015 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

FFS, if they were a boon [efficient], then let the purchaser make that decision = when the taxpayer became involved.....incentivized by the taxpayer's dosh, the lawyers [the enforcement division always ignored but are the coercive arm twisting sods behind the scenes that only they can be] and politicians in their sights and of course in cahoots with the green Bolsheviks - could advertise, solar panels are a good idea at +50ºN.

Whatever the various excuses are for erecting these useless thingamajigs PV cells, arm twisting the British public into subsidizing their installation was taking the piss for the piffling amount of electricity they produce and simply put, a gargantuan waste of time and precious resource. Then, strangely enough the law of perverse incentives kicked in, only well-to-do consumers could afford them [PV rooftop panels] so socially speaking the poorest are subsidizing the rich = again?

Nu Labour and the Green party still persist promulgating this sort of public policy idiocy - which is plainly against their lofty Marxist ideals..........compromised again or, are they totally thick, do they care a fig............... and I tend to the latter of these.

I'll give you the bottom line:

Only the green goon squad, politicians and civil servants could dream up such utter lunacy [PV rooftop panels], specifically so designed to trash the nation.

Next, Birdmincers.

Dec 19, 2015 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Can someone do me a favour and explain the thinking of the Greens regarding fossil fuel subsidies?

I can't work it out. As far as I can see it seems that they are taxed to the hilt by government, and if that swingeing tax is ever cut a little bit, VAT cut is regarded as a 'subsidy'.

Are there some other subsidies that I'm missing?

Dec 19, 2015 at 4:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Sorry, 'VAT' should read 'that'.

Blooming voice dictation.

Dec 19, 2015 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

You've got it about right, Stuck-Record.

In reality, fossil fuels are a source of wealth and tax income, not a sink for subsidies. Otherwise their use would never have developed in the first place. But greens try to argue that fossil fuels have "external costs" to the environment. They then pluck a large number from where the sun don't shine to try and prove fossil fuels should therefore be taxed even more than they are already in this country, and thus must be being subsidised if they are not being taxed as much as the greens would like.

Dec 19, 2015 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Dear Stuck,
I don't know about your Greens but over here in the Great State of Washington I've seen a few. As near as I can tell their thinking is this: Companies sell stuff and 100% of the money received should be given to the government or green organizations. Sometimes, begrudgingly, they will concede that the company can keep enough to stay in business so as to provide a future stream of such money. Usually, the government also allows the company to invest some of the money in research and new equipment. I guess there is more of this sort of thing but it is hard to follow because these folks are fuzzy thinkers and lousy with numbers. The word "subsidy" seems to apply to the money not given to governments and green organizations. On some days the greens include "external costs" under this rubric. As "Abc" writes at 1:36 this tactic is somewhat like counting Unicorns.
I hope that helps to get you unStuck.

Dec 19, 2015 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

Stuck Record
James Delingpole gives the best clarification of the Greens "thinking" (Oxymoron of the Week!) on Fossil Fuel Subsidies.

Normally, most folk will decide that "incompetence" is a more likely explanation for this kind of thing, rather than a conspiracy.

But the more you look at Ruinable Energy's BigWind and BigSolar agit prop, and the antics of Harribin, Vince, Miliband, Deben etc. and the more you compare the claimed output with the actual measured output, the harder it is to imagine this isn't the biggest conspiracy ever, to defraud energy users and tax payers.

Tar & Feathers futures, anyone?

Dec 19, 2015 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

The generation tariff is still paid on every watt generated AFAIK - whether used by the home owner or not. This was definitely the case in 2010 when my contract came into force.

Quote: 'As well as the generation tariff, you can also sell any extra units you don’t use back to your electricity supplier. This is called an ‘export tariff’.'

Dec 19, 2015 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldbrew

michael hart, besides, real Greens never pay for their air travel, so don't mind what it costs.

Athelstan, which Nu Labour? There is traditional Labour, New Labour, Old Fashioned Labour, New Old Labour, Old New Labour, and more recently, Unelectable Labour, who despite everyone's warnings, are determined to prove they haven't been listening.

Dec 19, 2015 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Any truth to this talk of Spanish central authorities taxing solar premises even if not connected to the mains!!!
This is when the pendulum swings to the other side, no?? .
Nothing quite as sustainable as a Spanish hilltop village.
Destroyed over a period of centuries ( Lasting much longer then capitalist northern Europe)
Sorry, as a Irishmen I am aware of how the central state operates
Nothing against England but the usury / centralised state that is the British model exported to the world is not a pretty picture. ( root source of the Spanish Carlist Wars for example)
It refuses to allow peasant like redundancy.
Prefers to engage in " free trade liberalism " when it is nothing of the sort.

Dec 19, 2015 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Golf Charlie - Unelectable Labour - ha ha- excellent

Dec 19, 2015 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Thanks Phillip, well done.

Dec 19, 2015 at 7:28 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Athelstan, which Nu Labour? There is traditional Labour, New Labour, Old Fashioned Labour, New Old Labour, Old New Labour, and more recently, Unelectable Labour, who despite everyone's warnings, are determined to prove they haven't been listening.

"Unelectable", well as recently and amply proven in Oldham, that if, the Unite/SWP labour's little helpers are out and about making sure that, around in the enclaves - they [Labour party] faciltate the postal ie bloc balloting - electable they certainly can be but is it democracy? No political party, definitely not Dave's Soshulist-lites would now countenance binning the bloc postal vote, even though it greatly favours the Labour party - notwithstanding the salient fact that, postal voting is antithetical to a proper, accountable democratic process. I mean, what with OWG totalitarianism on the way,[already arrived?] who TF............. needs the little man's input?

Sure, yeah we get to have a vote every 5 years - wow! Mind you, they'd love to kick all of that "democracy rubbish" into touch - if they thought that they could get away with it, this sort of thing gives 'em wet dreams. Effectively, on any of the major political issues, ie the Green Agenda........the Labs, Cons or, anyone else - it's the same old sh*7 and MORE EUROPE TOO!

One thing would make them [Westminster] think again, separate the legislature from the executive and an annual UK plebiscite on all the national expenditure. But that's another story.

Dec 19, 2015 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.


ha... well yes I hold my hand up too... a 24 kW water source heat pump (non RHI earning btw) - I was impressed/agog with the RHI subsidy... not quite enough to substitute a "qualifying mchine" though (yet!).

If I was making any point it is the the whole thing is a classic bureaucratic mess that's being gamed by those who've paid the entry fees.... spiced up by the whiffs of incompetence and corruption. There isn't a closing of the loop where actual performance is rewarded afaics...

GSHP systems should be offered off peak tariffs as a default and in fact it would be trivially possible to configure them to act as load dumps for windmills (like say SMS text message operated electric gates) - since many will operate in reverse - that's If the administrators of these schemes did joined up thinking.... but joined up thinking isn't something that's common in the "renewables" biz.

Dec 19, 2015 at 7:44 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Athelstan, I think the successful and, dare I say it in this instance, deserving winner in Oldham, was from the Traditional Labour production line, possibly with a subtle hint of something vaguely 'New', but not so overpowering to leave a hint of Blair, in the down-to-earth air

Unelectable Labour were noticeable by their almost complete absence, and enforced silence. No doubt assisted by the fact that no one would pay them sufficient to travel all that way from the coffee bar lifestyle and habitat they love more than the party. Besides, some of them get disorientated and confused, further North than Islington, and nobody understands a word they say.

Dec 19, 2015 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I am totally baffled. Financial experts, like Ambrose Evans Pritchard keep telling us that solar panels and wind are so cheap that they can compete against conventional sources without subsidy.

Or have I already had too much Shiraz tonite?


Dec 19, 2015 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

Paul Homewood solar panels and wind do have to compete with reliable energy sources. Unfortunately rubber bands and clockwork motors have also fallen in price. Traditional tricks involving smoke and mirrors are less competitive, now that smoke is taxed so high.

All this and more is explained in the Green Magic Compendium, suitable for Climate Scientists and Economists aged 8+, from leading toy shops. Only £99.99p while stocks (of gullibilty) last.

Dec 19, 2015 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The interesting thing is that since the DECC-heads announced these reductions, I've had three pre-recorded cold-calls about 'the Governments new scheme to enable householders to generate their own electricity'. I guess the scammers are getting desperate to sign up as many punters, before they cotton on that the flow from the public teat has been drastically reduced.

Dec 19, 2015 at 9:01 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Salopian, no you have this all wrong.

You are supposed to buy some solar panels and a windmill. Don't pay too much, they won't work.

Then you have to buy a trendy gym style exercise bike, and at your own expense, have fitted to it, a generator producing 240 volts. Then, at your expense, you have to connect your bicycle that goes nowhere, and your useless windmill and solar panel to the National Grid.

Then you have to buy extra food at your own expense, so you can burn off the calories to stay fit by pedalling furiously to go nowhere. When there is a following wind on your indoor exercise bike, you may even generate enough electricity for the Grid to charge you for using it. And this is the brilliant bit, you are saving the planet, with every £10 you are forced to give away at your loss to make someone else richer and more greedy.

This is the All New Green Deal, and you should consider yourself lucky to take advantage now, before the New Year discounts. All major credit cards accept this as another great Green Scam, and support it, knowing how much extra interest they will earn, as consumer debts mount.

Dec 19, 2015 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

why not cut 100%

Dec 19, 2015 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN


But you've got to consider the poor families and children of all those 'telesales agents' trying to defraud the public into buying into this scheme (scam). If they don't meet their targets they will be out on the streets for Xmas

Dec 20, 2015 at 12:05 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

golf charlie,

Indeed and noted but I'd aver it wasn't just about 'local lad makes good' - the 'ass' with the red rosette, absolutely there were some political shenanigans going off in the murk that is Glodwick and surrounds. They'll vote Labour for now but that will all change and soon, I'd give it, maybe 5-10 years.

Dec 20, 2015 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.


The big issue is postal votes. You need less i.d. to get on the electoral roll, than to open a bank account. Once you are on the electoral roll, you need even less to set up a postal vote and even less to get the Royal Mail to divert your post, including your postal vote, to a different address. And guess what, the parties campaigning for compulsory voting are Labour, Greens, PC and SNP.

Dec 20, 2015 at 12:51 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

When is the government going to reduce the FIT to existing PV installations using immersion divert devices? This is tantamount to fraud since FITs operate on an unmetered, assumed export basis. See this discussion for example:

Dec 20, 2015 at 2:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Athelstan, it may change at anytime. All the current Labour MPs that have dreams of getting into No 10, are not going to wait 4 years to find out how Unelectable they are. Their local parties may have decided they are Deselectable before then.

They could form a breakaway party, and merge with the Liberals to create a fresh Libour Scandal.

Even if Corbyn concludes within 6 months that he needs to spend more time writing his memoirs, any new Labour Leader will have to preach Unity, while burying as many hatchets in as many backs as possible. This may cause the Unelectables to breakaway, and reconsolidate as the Socialist Workers Party, or Tribune, and recall Derek Hatton.

Meanwhile, all the Tories have to do is sit tight, and avoid doing anything stupid, so it will probably be difficult for them too, as a handful try to shine as the next potential Prime Minister.

The political issue that worries the Politicians most is the EU. Cameron does not know how much he will be offered by the EU, and whether that will be sufficient for him to claim victory, and not lose face with more of his own back benchers. Unelectable Labour appear unable to enforce party discipline, but local constituencies parties control Deselection.

Dec 20, 2015 at 2:34 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie @ 2.34 AM

So you are saying that as a big majority of the Labour Party members voted in Corbyn, they, as constituencies, will deselect any perceived as his enemies, thus leading the party into permanently unelectable status? Thus a LibDem party revitalised with ex-Labour members will become the main opposition, and take over as the realities of Conservative mis-rule become evident. Never underestimate the rejuvenating power of a big spending populist.

Dec 20, 2015 at 4:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Some Conservative election expenses paid by renewables Greenblob ? There was previous talk of this, that might explain strange decisions.

Dec 20, 2015 at 5:09 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The FIT prior to the cuts was obscenely generous. It was geared up to when the panels were far more expensive and less efficient. I had fourteen 285 Kw panels fitted last year and in the summer the FIT was such that my provider of my Gas, Electric, phone and broadband (I have them all on a package from Utility Warehouse) paid me money!

So I had no utility bill to pay at all and was actually paid money into my account. Obviously not in profit now as it is winter - but the ambient light is such that my bills are half what they were in previous winters.

I have worked out that the annual return is about 18% - I will bet my £6000 back in less than 5 years - If I sell the place I still get the FIT. Amazing!

The return is fully index linked to the RPI as well :0)

As someone who, for his sins, worked in matters financial this Government backed, RPI linked, 20 year guaranteed scheme is one of the best investments anyone can possibly consider.

Compare the returns to that which you get from £6K placed in a deposit ISA and you start to see the point. Even more to the point, if my calculations based upon my actual data are accurate re the 18% return, then if you should appreciate that if you wanted to achieve 18% annual return then the investment risk you would have to take would be about 9 on a scale of zero to ten. i.e. VERY high risk indeed and with no guarantees whatsoever.

In my experience - my telling people just how good the scheme is really pi$$ed them off and made them question the whole notion of subsidising the Solar Industry.

The scheme was always designed to soften the blow when the panels were expensive - now they are far cheaper they should stand on their own.

My only concern with the excellent article is this bit:-

"However the generation tariff is only part of the subsidy, because there is also the export tariff. This is given by Ofgem as 4.85p/kWh and is unchanged following the consultation (quote from Government response to the consultation "Government does not propose introducing changes to the FITs scheme in relation to the export tariff"). Thus the true reduction in subsidy if all the electricity is exported is (1 - (4.39+4.85)/12.47+4.85)x100 = 46.7%."

I would point out that the export tariff is only paid on 50% of what is generated. This is based upon the assumption that 50% of what is generated is used by the householder because there is (in mosts cases) no export meter to accurately monitor exactly what is exported. I do not see this 50% restriction in the calculations above.

So anyone who has solar panels knows to use as much as possible during the generating hours (i.e. why on earth run the dishwasher at night????) and most also fit the widget that dumps excess generated electricity to the immersion heater so that you have a constant supply of hot water.

I remember vividly talking to one of the "Green assessors" that came round to rate the house that if you have Solar Panels your REALLY should not have a Combi Boiler for this reason. The poor bloke tried to argue black is white such that you could almost hear the cogs turning.

In summary - I pay a lot of tax - the FIT as it was was an excellent investment that beats things like ISA's hands down. I took a view and said that if the powers that be and THAT STUPID then I will have a slice of that pie.

Telling people just how good it is/was made them angry towards the "Green Tariff" on their bills and the whole green subsidy con.

So I played the powers that be at their own game.

Dec 20, 2015 at 9:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK


Absorbing surplus PV power to heat water has the benefit of not dumping surplus power on the grid at midday in midsummer when it isn't needed. Rather, I'd look to charge a peak rate for winter delivery of power in rush hour as a reminder that solar doesn't work when the sun doesn't shine. Perhaps it would help pay for an Elon Musk Powerwall?

The more that greenies have to pay for ancillary installations, the better.

Dec 20, 2015 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...


Can someone do me a favour and explain the thinking of the Greens regarding fossil fuel subsidies?

Seriously, you think that Greens Think?

Dec 20, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Smith

Graeme No 3

The overwhelming majority of Labour supporters who elected Corbyn, have the leader they want, and had been hoping for. They have every right to feel they have achieved something.

General Elections are won or lost, based on the 5-15% of the electorate who will change their mind who they vote for between elections, not on the level of support from people who will always vote for the same party.

The Electable members of the Labour Party now face Deselection by the Unelectables. It will be interesting to see whether Deselection of sitting Elected MPs is targetted at those with the safest seats, or those with the more marginal seats.

It will also be interesting to see how few front runners emerge to replace Elected MPs, and whether the sucessful candidate could have been identified even before the previous Elected MP had been Deselected.

Labour Party ructions are more foreseeable in the short term. The other parties will want to be seen as reasonable locations for others to relocate to, rather than opportunist jackals feeding off the weak.

The political climate, like the weather has longer term trends, but short term noise. The political experts got the last election completely wrong, because they forecast what they were wanting to happen. Just like climate scientists really.

Dec 20, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Apologies to Phil Bratby for pulling the thread in a political direction but honestly Phil, this is all to do with politics and nought to do with science, however that's no excuse.
To golf charlie and Salopian, thank you for your excellent comments but I cannot comment further, I feel a bit [very actually] guilty as it is.

Dec 20, 2015 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Green technology is successful, when subsidised by the wealthy who can afford for it not to work. Then there are the great success stories when people are forced into using it, by 'buying into' someone else's dream, that 'someone else' was not stupid enough to risk his/her financial future on.

Now that the Government have at last begun to see the Green smears, smudges, fudges and downright lies, the Green Blob have got their bio degradable knickers in a serious twist, and relaunched their smears and outright lies. Hopefully they won't try to recycle their knickers as quickly as their ideas.

Thank you to Phillip Bratby, for this festive message of bad will to the Green Blob. It wil make most people's Christmas so much happier.

Dec 20, 2015 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Who needs subsidies when the next generation of windmills will be 1/3 the cost and 1000 times more efficient.

h/t WUWT commenter indefatigablefrog

Dec 20, 2015 at 5:57 PM | Registered Commentertomo

@Tomo: the 1000 times more efficiency is electrical resistance plus no gearbox. Permanent magnet designs already being installed have no gearbox and no stator coils. So, the new design will be bigger but still subject to the same problems of windmills; you can't have more than 10% wind energy in a steam turbine grid unless you install pump storage/artificial hydro.

Dec 20, 2015 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Is it possible to add up the renewable subsidies of 2015 as is, and the subsidies "2015 as proposed to become"? The true change would then be visible and understandable.

The tax/subsidy codes are all designed in their complexity to help specific sectors of the economy or locality. That is why there is never a "poll-tax" equivalent. It must be a helluva job to have the end result given to you and then have to write code that delivers that without too much unintended, undesirable or politically too-obvious consequences.

It's no wonder politicians age so much in office - the stress of saying one thing and having something else happen without egregious lying must be hard to handle.

Dec 20, 2015 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor

@NCC 1701E

yeah... but bandying around numbers like wot UOW-PR did isn't I think going to win them many friends. Claiming a 3 orders of magnitude efficiency improvement might get some attention - but once you read into it.....

Dec 20, 2015 at 9:39 PM | Registered Commentertomo

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