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« Cost of global warming wildly exaggerated | Main | UNESCO wants green activists in the classroom »
Thursday
Aug202015

Greenpeace's failed predictions

Whilst offshore wind is expected to get cheaper as the industry grows, the cost of gas is set to increase due to a combination of rising fuel and carbon prices. Our bills are likely to go up in all future energy scenarios, but the government's own advisers say the best way to limit that rise is through increased renewable energy.

Greenpeace spokesman, September 2013

The gas price has fallen – which makes subsidising nuclear (and offshore wind) much more expensive. Cheaper options for cutting emissions – like onshore wind and efficiency measures have, for various reasons, been parked.

Greenpeace spokesman, August 2015

Which is about as convincing a demonstration as you could wish for of the foolishness of listening to environmentalists.

Hat tip Ben Pile

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Reader Comments (58)

Well they may have been stating the bleedin' obvious, but I suppose kudos is due for saying it, even if it was through clenched teeth.

Aug 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

The whole BBC piece is worth reading to understand how environmental activists spin information and ignore the basic economics of renewable energy. Moral of this tale: Never take financial advice from environmental activists.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-23956276

Aug 20, 2015 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie1815

DECC got it wrong, too.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/368021/Updated_energy_and_emissions_projections2014.pdf

Aug 20, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Bloke down the pub, I wouldn't trust greenpeace to know, remember, or care, that they publicly contradict their previous statements. Especially when it is convenient and they are trying to make a case against nuclear power. They have always taken a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose approach to reporting facts or alleged facts.

Aug 20, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

It was a simple mistake. Well two simple mistakes.

1) They thought that here were no innovations left to be made in natural gas extraction. Fracking being very obscure in 2013, apparently.
2) They thought that wind power was a novel technology which hadn't had much development yet. The last 1000 years being a time unheard of by Greenpeace.

Yes. Two simple mistakes. Clearly honestly made.
And not deliberately made in order to promote their agenda.

Aug 20, 2015 at 1:28 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

In these two quotes from Greenpeace, they demonstrate their full understanding of supply and demand economics, and market forces.

This is why they are so keen to criminalise what they do not understand, and may explain why they do not understand why so many of their activities are criminal.

Their deliberate blissful ignorance, is very expensive for the rest of the world.

Aug 20, 2015 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It's well past time that the Impact Assessment - ie the cost/benefit analysis that all Acts of Parliamnet go through - of the Climate Change Act 2008 were revisited in light of the reality of low gas and oil prices.

The Impact Assessment was carried out, remember, on the assumption of high and ever-rising gas & oil prices. 7 years on, and the public deserve to know the REAL costs of this monstrosity, given that the basis of the Act's "value for money" test was utterly and spectacularly wrong.........

Aug 20, 2015 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

"the government's own advisers" - I seem to recall Ed Davey and his mob took advice from Greenpiss - so would that be themselves they are talking about?

Aug 20, 2015 at 2:40 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

They are really quite precious, deliberately ignorant of the market, as if it is a mirage.
============

Aug 20, 2015 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

It has to be remembered that environmentalists, such as Greenpeace, live in a fantasy world which bears no relationship to what goes on in the real world. They have absolutely zero understanding of how things work in the real world.

Aug 20, 2015 at 3:24 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Never mind about the question or the problem ......for Greenpeace the answer is always....moar Green!

Aug 20, 2015 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Well they may have been stating the bleedin' obvious, but I suppose kudos is due for saying it, even if it was through clenched teeth.
Aug 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM Bloke down the pub


It's called "the shit eating smile".

Aug 20, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Greens: gullible by name & gullible by nature

Aug 20, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Let us hope that Amber Rudd is no longer in thrall to Greenpeace as were Davey, Huhne and Miliband.

Davey in some ways is the most reprehensible. He stuck with the Greenpeace 2013 plan until it was so obvious that the wings had come off that even Greenpeace abandoned it.

Aug 20, 2015 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

Environmentalists have failed to notice how much happier everyone else is when their dire warnings and forecasts turn out to be wrong.

Aug 20, 2015 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I remember an earlier Greenpeace energy plan that focused on increasing efficiency via gas power provided by medium-size, localised CHP units and it seemed reasonably sensible; at least recognising the inexorable global energy demand (rather than trying to keep the poor in the dark) and admitting the sheer engineering difficulties of replacing fossil fuels. That plan seemed to be dumped in favour of a magical wind-only plan - presumably when the mad Gore-bots took over after 2005. Maybe they can dig out the old one again and we can all get on the same page for once - or at least the same chapter.

Aug 20, 2015 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

If Miliband still has ideas about leaving a lasting legacy on this country and the world, he could do worse than denounce the Climate Change Act, for all the damage it has caused, by welcoming devious Greens into the corridors of power.

For the time being, ballot boxes are proving more successful than pesticides, in combating Green parasitic infestations. Environmentalists would presumably approve, of such humane eradication techniques.

Pest control officers will advise that rats will thrive in a cosy environment with good food supply. Remove either, or both, and the problem goes away.

Aug 20, 2015 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"the government's own advisers" steve ta

The Minister for Energy announced that he was prepared to take advice from Vivienne Westwood, the punk fashion designer. That just about sums it up.

JF

Aug 20, 2015 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

That the UK has a lot of wind (and blow hards) while the gas comes from Russia so the triumphalism here is interesting.

OTOH, Greenpeace was right that the cost of wind power is decreasing

Aug 20, 2015 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

The answer is more renewables. Now, what was the question, again?

:-))

Aug 20, 2015 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Rabett
Well there is a huge gap between 'the price of wind is falling' and relying on wind power only isn't there?. As for gas, the world is awash with it and that is set to increase so Putin may yet regret forcing Europeans to seek safer alternatives. I have hopes for solar power but wind is palpably doing more harm than good to the system alas.

Aug 20, 2015 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"That the UK has a lot of wind (and blow hards) while the gas comes from Russia..."

In fact it comes from

Norway via pipeline (55.1%)
Qatar LNG (27%)
Netherlands via pipeline (14.6%)
Belgium via pipeline (2.7%)
Norway, Algeria, Nigeria LNG (0.6%)

So, none from Russia.

"OTOH, Greenpeace was right that the cost of wind power is decreasing".

But Greenpeace aren't right. If the costs of alternatives fall, the opportunity cost of wind increases.

Aug 20, 2015 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBen Pile

Eli, the UK has lots of gas, but idiots keep trying to find obstacles to prevent its use. So the UK and other parts of Europe have to pay money to nice Russian businessmen, for theirs. How dumb is that?

Whilst you are here, could you explain with all your expert knowledge, how to make wind turbines generate electricity when the wind does not blow? Contrary to the persistent lies of the Green propaganda ministry, it is not "always windy somewhere" in the UK.

Aug 20, 2015 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Wind power cannot survive without direct operating subsidies in the form of mandatory high prices and tax incentives.
The economics of wind is so bad they cannot be replaced by depreciation.
Wind power will never achieve significant economies of scale.
Wind power is unreliable.
Wind power damages the environment over much larger footprints than fossil or nuclear power for the same amount of actual power delivery.

Aug 20, 2015 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

" Gazprom's supplies to Centrica will rise to 29.1 billion cubic metres (bcm) until 2021, compared with 2.4 bcm agreed in a three-year deal in 2012. On average of the six-year deal, Gazprom will provide roughly 9 percent of Britain's gas needs, according to Reuters calculations. "

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/13/uk-centrica-gas-deals-idUKKBN0NY1FH20150513

Depending on Putin for gas is insanity when there is shale gas in the UK. Security of supply is essential and Putin's Russia can not be considered a reliable supplier.

Aug 20, 2015 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterTed

The cost of oil might vary and the cost of gas may come down, due to Fracking, but the cost of wind is stable. It's free.
and don't forget, not only is the wind always blowing somewhere, but Putin is always selling gas somewhere
so that's ok then

Aug 20, 2015 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

Ben Pile/Ted

Ben, you say that Gazprom supplies no gas to the UK. Ted says that Gazprom provides 9 % of UK supply. Who is right please?

Aug 20, 2015 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Ben Pile/Ted

Ben, you say that Gazprom supplies no gas to the UK. Ted says that Gazprom provides 9 % of UK supply. Who is right please?

Aug 20, 2015 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Eli Rabett
Using data from Gridwatch at no time during 2015 has wind supplied 25% of demand, on 532 occasions it supplied in excess of 20%, which sounds good until you realise, at time of writing, there are 66585 measurements so far in 2015. But it gets worse, >15% is 7939 of 66585, > 10% is 23039 of 66585 again looking better, but discount weekends it's 16823 of 47577. Gridwatch data is in 5 minute intervals which means, roughly, that in total for this year wind has supplied 10% of weekday 08:00 to 18:00 demand for a total of 485 hours, about one third of the time There was no prediction on January 1st 2015 as to when these hours would be available.

Your .

That the UK has a lot of wind (and blow hards)

is the statement of a blowhard, rather than a statement of fact.

Aug 20, 2015 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Mike Post, I do not know if the UK actually has a direct gas pipe connection to Russia, but Russian gas supply prices have reduced due to shale gas price competition, benefitting all in Europe including the UK.

This has hit parts of the Russian economy, particularly the Ukraine.

Greenpeace and their clonie cronies were relying on Peak Oil. If Peak Oil was a company, it went bust, taking greedy green failed economic dogma to the recyclers.

Aug 20, 2015 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

SandyS, don't confuse Eli with real numbers. He believes in climate science.

Once upon a time, I believed in climate science. Now I know not to be believe in fairy stories, about wicked monsters called CO2, and hopefully the world will live happily ever after.

Aug 20, 2015 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I suppose "the government's own advisers" were Greenpeace.

Aug 20, 2015 at 11:04 PM | Registered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

golf charlie @ 6.26 pm August 20

"The wind is always blowing somewhere."

joannenova.com.au Megawatts that come and go.... Gives the wind supply for eastern Australia for August.
There is a graph showing the fluctuations. Note that the "interconnected" wind farms only cover a maximum 1550 km distance (970 miles). Also for some reason that Wednesdays seem to be poor days for wind.

So "all" you have to do is set your onshore wind farms a bit further than 970 miles apart and "the wind should be blowing somewhere". What you do about Wednesdays I'm not sure...throw a another greenie on the BBQ perhaps?

Aug 20, 2015 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

EternalOptimist:
"The cost of oil might vary and the cost of gas may come down, due to Fracking, but the cost of wind is stable. It's free."

It's funny how often you hear that wind is free. In that sense, oil is just as free. The cost of both is in the harvesting.

Oil's huge advantage is that its harvesting and use are easily separated and this is why there is an oil price. There's no "crude wind" price (bearing in mind that our host covered fart jokes a few posts ago), but umpteen square miles of land, the harvesting infrastructure and maintenance thereof are all substantial costs of wind; and not all that stable either.

Aug 20, 2015 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Swan

oh my word, were people expecting that a drunken American teacher who calls himself Eli and thinks he is a rabbit would have any real understanding of wind generation? Did he not see the graph posted by BH a few days ago showing that there was very little wind blowing over Western Europe a few days ago? Obviously not...Eli does not deal in facts. In that respect, he is very similar to vvussell.

Aug 20, 2015 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

From Pöyry's report on the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon dated March 2014:

LCOE...over £80/MWh for gas CCGT [16] (usually considered to be the cheapest technology)

[16] Based on DECC gas and carbon price assumptions.

Gas is presently under 40p/therm, or about £13/MWh. Double that to allow for 50% efficiency in a CCGT plant. Capital cost is around £1million/MW which will produce conservatively perhaps 160,000MWh over a 30 year life at around 60% average utilisation - or roughly £6/MWh, or £10/MWh allowing for financing cost, and a small amount extra for manpower and maintenance cost. Presumably the rest is green taxes?

Aug 20, 2015 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Mike Post:

Gazprom operates as a gas trader. It has purchased gas produced in the Netherlands in exchange for selling volumes from their own availabilities into Germany for the Dutch to trade from there. The UK imports some gas via interconnector pipelines, and Gazprom sells some of the gas it has purchased into the UK market. Almost certainly it also buuyus gas in the UK market for resale as well, but that will have been produced in the North Sea or imported as LNG from Qatar. There is no physical supply from Russia to the UK, because the gas pipelines flow inland into Germany from the Netherlands (including gas landed from the Norwegian North Sea). Gazprom's motivation is to gain experience of commercial operations in different markets, perhaps with a view to finding physical routes of supply if they make economic and strategic sense and can be agreed.

One physical supply route that might crop up is LNG from the Yamal LNG project, which has yet to be built - and is targetted primarily at Asia (assuming the Arctic remains adequately melted). If the assumption doesn't hold up, they hope at least to be able to re-route shipping to Europe.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/04/novatek-gunvor-lng-idUSL5N0YQ2XQ20150604

The Russians have made some vague proposals for a pipeline direct to the UK, but frankly it's a non-starter for political and economic reasons.

Aug 21, 2015 at 12:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Graeme No3 11:20, what we need in the UK are wind turbines tall enough to reach into the jet stream about 6 miles high, and capable of being moved from John O Groats to Lands End for when the Jetstream moves. Some long and thick extension leads would also be required, with big plugs.

Alternatively, we could use gas and coal, which has proved pretty reliable so far.

Aug 21, 2015 at 1:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Eli Rabbit:
Where does the wind blow hard in the UK? The South-West of the UK has a famously gentle and arid climate, despite the bad press from residents who would rather live somewhere else. When my Grandson began school in London and before he did a full school day, I was given the task of picking him up from school at lunchtime and entertaining him for one afternoon each week. Having once been a keen kite-flyer back in NZ, I bought a lovely decorated kite for us to fly at our nearest park in Isleworth, but, sadly there was never enough wind to get it to stay in the air.

Aug 21, 2015 at 6:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

"Yes. Two simple mistakes." M Courtney

They're two mistakes that are understandable, especially as the energy industry and those who should have known better weren't very loud about the objections. I don't even blame Green Peace for over playing those simple mistakes.

What concerns me is how long people will put off making decsions based on what HAS happened rather than what might have happened. A lot of people are still very much in love with the free, unlimted wind idea.

Aug 21, 2015 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

One of life's mysteries is that people claiming to be clever enough to understand the science of climate change also believe the bullshit on economics of windmills.

Aug 21, 2015 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Thanks for the replies about Russian gas. So the answer is that Gazprom does sell the UK gas but it doesn't come from Russia.

Aug 21, 2015 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

Eli Rabbit

Wind power is not a solution it needs either backup from reliable sources. he facts speak from themselves.

http://euanmearns.com/wind-blowing-nowhere/

Aug 21, 2015 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterTed

Are they not, rather than "environmentalists", "crypto-environmentalists"?

Aug 21, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

If Miliband still has ideas about leaving a lasting legacy on this country and the world, he could do worse than denounce the Climate Change Act, for all the damage it has caused, by welcoming devious Greens into the corridors of power.

Aug 20, 2015 at 4:54 PM golf charlie
=================================================
He has, though I suspect that he is unaware of it. A few weeks back, the last colliery in his constituency said it was closing. Miliband wanted taxpayer subsidies to keep it open, apparently unaware that it is closing as it cannot afford the carbon tax imposed by .... Miliband.

Unspeakable idiot.

Aug 21, 2015 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

A phrase I have yet to read in any Greenpeace, or indeed any green-anything report is, "Contrary to previous statements..".

Sorry really is the hardest word.

Aug 21, 2015 at 1:00 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Jeremy Poynton, I don't think Miliband understands how many British jobs have been lost, due to the Climate Change Act. Obviously many of those jobs went abroad where they did not have stupid legislation. No wonder the Mittal brothers donated to the Labour Party, in return for the billions they have made.

jamesp, everyone is sorry about Greenpeace, including its founder. Apart from top Greenpeace executives, who earn loadsamoney from gullible donors who still think polar bears are in peril.

Aug 21, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Jeremy Poynton
Did we not have a situation a few years ago where ministers were out on the streets demonstrating to keep their local hospitals open while subscribing to the legislation that inevitably meant they would close?
Evidently one of the side effects of Care in the Community has been to transfer schizophrenics from the secure accomodation of a local psychiatric hospital to the less secure (but infinitely more pleasant) accomodation at the Palace of Westminster!

Aug 21, 2015 at 1:39 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Golf Charlie

Graeme No3 11:20, what we need in the UK are wind turbines tall enough to reach into the jet stream about 6 miles high, and capable of being moved from John O Groats to Lands End for when the Jetstream moves. Some long and thick extension leads would also be required, with big plugs.

Yes, I do actually think the kites idea will work.

You may need a helium balloon to help balance the weight of the tether. But flying kites in the jet stream to pull on the tether and so wind a generator... I think it will work.

Reliable green energy (that may even be cheap)

Aug 21, 2015 at 4:19 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Why does nuclear energy need subsidies? It is safe, cheap, and clean. All it needs is for government regulations to stop making it expensive to build and operate facilities.

Aug 21, 2015 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterVangel

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