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Bryony was glad she had someone to protect her from Bob's furyBack in July Secretary of State Amber Rudd told the Energy and climate change commitee that shale gas was effectively a low-carbon source of energy, a remark that had a harsh response from the usual suspects, including Simon Bullock of Friends of the Earth and BH favourite Bob Ward.



Bob Ward described Rudd's remarks as "bizarre".



Today, of course, Bryony Worthington has said almost exactly the same thing.



We await comment from the Grantham Institute.

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Reader Comments (38)

shale gas is a low-carbon source of energy. Only compared with coal!

Clearly we are talking base load here.
So he is just pushing nuclear. Sound call.

But we need a better strike price than what we're on the hook for at the moment.

Sep 10, 2015 at 2:32 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

And they imagine that wind turbines are 0 carbon when in fact it costs a ton to make them, they must be heated in winter to prevent freezing, and you need spinning backup in case (or when) the wind fails. Same with solar. Nat gas is LOWER carbon than coal or wood, but if it isn't perfect it is to be rejected. bonkers.

Sep 10, 2015 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig

All this posturing, based on a theory that hasn't been proven in 30 years, & is unlikely to be!

Sep 10, 2015 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Criticism from Bob Ward is excellent proof she is doing the right thing. To get a coordinated and perfectly synchronised attack from Friends of the Earth, is the ultimate endorsement.

Anything that makes the Green Blob happy, is probably wrong for everyone else.

Sep 10, 2015 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

In the world of green.....what matters (when outrage is considered) is not so much what is said but who said it.

There must be a bit of a tizz about this over at the Guardian. I wonder what the story will be..if there is a story at all?

Sep 10, 2015 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

It takes nearly 9 years for a wind turbine (onshore) to become carbon neutral taking account all infrastructure factors and real output.

The lifetime is 12 years; add in the grid losses and STOR and wind energy causes more CO2 output for its tranche of energy than our coal fired power stations would for that same energy without windmills.

Read, inwardly digest and tremble you idiots Bullock and Ward.

Sep 10, 2015 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Even though Ms Rudd has improved the situation at the DECC massively, its policy still does not make sense.
We are going for Shale 110% apparently; but there is no indication as to what we are going to do with it. There is however a strong indication that no lessons have been taken on board from the US experience ^.^
The USA went for broke on fracking without ever knowing how much they had got in the ground. They subsequently discovered that they had shed loads of the stuff hehe. I imagine that is when the penny dropped about there being nothing they could do with it;no liquification plants so they could not export it and nowhere near enough storage facilities.
Here in the UK we can only use it for cooking and heating because of the climate change act, There are currently no liquification plants in the UK and none planned and the amount of gas we have is going to be a huge shock for the government. It will be interesting to see what happens ^.^

Sep 10, 2015 at 3:59 PM | Registered CommenterDung


If we have a large export surplus then UK domestic gas prices WILL fall to export netback parity. It will take us some years to get there.

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Good sense from Bryony Worthington (just for once). But then she goes and spoils it by calling for carbon capture and storage! Still, maybe this is the first crack in the dam.

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Peacock

Dung is the noise a cracked bell makes. It is also a term for unmitigated warmist propaganda.

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Ms. Rudd is quite correct. Methane is about 21000BTU/pound thermal energy content. US steam coal averages about 10000; the low sulfer Powder River sub bituminous is only about 8500. CCGT is 61% thermal efficient in producing electricity. The only US USC coal plant, Turk, is 42%. The US coal fleet average is only 34%. Finally combustion of two oxygen molecules (2O2) with coal produces 2CO2, while the same oxygen combustion with methane (CH4) produces 1CO2 and 2H2O, so half the CO2 for equivalent combustion. So, about 10000/21000 * 34/61 * 1/2 = about 0.15, or about 1/7 the CO2 for equivalent electricity generation.
And, the new CCGT (like GE 'Flex 500'(MWe) can be run down to 40% of full load rating while still having 58% thermal efficiency.
So, the UK electricity answer should be fracked shale gas plus modern flex CCGT. Beautiful thing is that CCGT takes 3 years to construct greenfield (two if existing station replacement) at about $1250/kw. USC coal takes 4 years at about 3500/kw. Nuclear (AP1000, Voglte 3 and 4) takes 8-10 years to construct at about $4500/kw. Works better, costs less is a deal only greenie fools would reject.

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

"We asked the Grantham Institute for a comment but there was no-one available"

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

CH4: 20% carbon, 80% hydrogen. That sounds like low carbon to me.

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:40 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I tend to think of Bob Ward or the Grnahtam Institute being the evil vizier, always whispering in wealthy ears but nowhere to be found as everone starts asking questions. It seems the Conservative party have had a few others whispering in their ears and they suddenly realise they could be holding the dangerous pass the parcel of energy supply when the music stops.

While it might only take three years to build a gas station, it takes longer to plough through the planning stange and who wants to build a gas station so it can stand idly by while heavily subsidised wind and solar get first dibs at demand? They're having trouble making existing stations pay, let alone a new set.

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Hey, that ain't nothin'.

Here in the States, one of our leading lights tells us NG isn't even a fossil fuel.

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M


What to do if, god forbid, we discover loads of shale gas?

Difficult that one . . .

I suggest that the only thing we could do with it might be to connect it into the gas grid and then burn it.

I wonder if we might already have a gas grid?

The greenies always ask the difficult questions which everyone else has missed, don't they!

Sep 10, 2015 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Few realise that just how much gas we use.

GB gas demand was 835TWh vs 345TWh for power demand, and only 20% of the gas demand was for gas fired power stations.

Opponents of (shale) also conveniently ignore the fact that burning gas at the point of use (i.e. in a domestic boiler, retail-shed heating or school/office boiler etc) attains ~80% - 90% efficiency (c.f. ~40% - 55% in a power station), so virtually halves the CO2/kWh of useful heat at the point of use.

Yes Medact, you were guilty of deliberately disseminating misinformation.

Sep 10, 2015 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

That one sevenths is an impressive number, Rud; in practice, so far, it's not so small.

Sep 10, 2015 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

One of the points hinted at during the Byronny/Bennet fest was that renewables are the only thing for cutting emissions of CO2.

Well, having pondered that question when faced with a local solar farm (32 acres for a 5 Mw solar plant with an efficiency of 9 % - give me a shale well any day), I noticed that the percentage cut in emissions of CO2 since 2005 was exactly the same as the fall in GDP over the same period. It was impossible to detect any sign that our renewable programme might have had an effect on CO2 levels. And we now have 27 GW of renewables on the grid - you'd think we'd be able to detect a 'renewables signature' in our CO2 emission levels with such a large renewables fleet.

Renewables aren't working.

Or have I missed something?

Sep 10, 2015 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Main benefit of shale gas extraction in the UK is likely to be as industrial feedstock which might just make Grangemouth profitable again.

Sep 10, 2015 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Imo there is NO SUCH THING as 'zero carbon' 'renewable' energy...simply because it ALL needs back-up 24/7 from reliable stuff that actually works. Therefore ALL back-up energy sources should be included in the carbon-count for 'renewables'. (Alarmists use this argument for eg, coal, by 'factoring' in the costs of post energy production health care and so on.)

Result? Whatever the carbon count of 'renewables' must be added to the carbon count of any back-up systems to create a TRUE total carbon count of ALL energy required to drive a 'renewables' based system. That means there's MORE not less carbon emitted via supposedly planet-saving 'renewables' with back-up than simply not bothering with the useless 'renewables' in the first place.

This logic is impeccable and I haven't yet seen a single satisfactory rebuttal to it.

Sep 10, 2015 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

To NCC 1701E, It doesn't add up, Capell :)

First of all I am a huge fan of shale and have been shouting about it here for years.

Capell: "What to do if, god forbid, we discover loads of shale gas?
Difficult that one . . .
I suggest that the only thing we could do with it might be to connect it into the gas grid and then burn it.
I wonder if we might already have a gas grid?"
The greenies always ask the difficult questions which everyone else has missed, don't they!"

To be called a Greenie is hard to bear indeed :( Do you actually know the problems that cropped up in the USA??

Obviously a certain amount of gas can be used for heating and cooking but until the Climate Change Act gets sorted it can not be used to create electricity if the wind is blowing and/or other renewables are available.
As soon as the Climate Change Act is removed we are in energy heaven.
Someone mentioned a day or two back that there are 12 brand new CCGT power plants not being used because it is not profitable to run them as stand by. There are other that have been mothballed.

Sep 10, 2015 at 6:46 PM | Registered CommenterDung

No Phillip - you got your maths wrong. Going on molecular weight, methane is 80% carbon. However, as it is for power station use, it really should go on a combination of calorific value and net conversion efficiency, so the units would be gCO2/MWe. This is way too complex for the bubblehead opponents who only ever went to Maths class to eat their lunch, so they revert to their "Carbon is death" mantra

Sep 10, 2015 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

@Phillip Bratby and @ChrisM

For Heaven's sake! Carbon is 12, hydrogen is 1. 12 out of 16 is 75% carbon in methane.

ChrisM; you are correct that the correct approach is "how much carbon per MWh of electricity?"
The latest CCGT plants seem to be around 400, and coal is anywhere from 700 (the most modern plants) to 960 (for 40+ year old black coal plants). From my calculations wind in combination with OCGT backup runs from 450 to 580. With brown coal or obsolete black coal backup, as in Germany, wind runs from 660 to 970, possibly why all that wind capacity in Germany has led to higher emissions.

Sep 10, 2015 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Graeme - thank you for the correction. It was too early in the morning here for my brain to function correctly.
Yes - when confronted with those numbers you can see the eco-loons bring in all these externalities (commonly called fudge factors) to show that black really is white. Adding in to your comparison, a lot of geothermal plant has a significant proportion of CO2 as non-condensable gas in the steam (up to 4%). In several stations, it is significantly more in gCO2/MWh than a CCGT. However, I know a lot of natural gas has a high portion of CO2 in it, so I don't know how that is factored into the numbers.

Sep 10, 2015 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterChrisM

Graeme No.3
Depends how you measure things surely? I'm with Philip there are four times as many hydrogen atoms as carbon in methane, if hydrogen were the "problem" I bet you'd think the same.

Sep 10, 2015 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Simple maths for simple politicians

Green unreliable electricity generation = lights off

Traditional power generation = lights on

Obviously Green Blob politicos are at their most productive, with the lights off.

Countries with unreliable electricity generation, have higher birth rates. Correlation or causation?

Sep 10, 2015 at 10:56 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

By atomic weight. If you want to measure the emissions you have to use the atomic weights. On the other hand the greenies always show (backlight) cooling towers emitting steam as a symbol of pollution. Since it is only steam not carbon their logic escapes me. Possibly because it took off with the flying pigs, or was that unicorns, they believe in.

Sep 11, 2015 at 12:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Graeme No.3

If Greens are going to carry on demonstrating water vapour coming out of power stations, it is only fair to photograph solar farms at night, illuminated by lighting powered by the electricity they are producing.

Solar power is the answer to solve night time light pollution. Zero emissions are guaranteed.

Sep 11, 2015 at 1:18 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Hey I was only making it simple for simple folk and greenies to understand. How many of the simple folk and greenies understand physics or chemistry?

Sep 11, 2015 at 6:49 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby


So why not say that CH4 -> CO2 + 2 H2O which, in rough terms, is (12+32) + 2(2+16) which is 44 for Carbon and 36 for Hydrogen and as H2O is a "worse" greenhouse gas we're worried about the wrong thing?

/remove tongue from cheek.

Sep 11, 2015 at 7:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The winged creature looks uncannily retwardian, but why is there a duck trapped under the woman's left armpit..?

Sep 11, 2015 at 8:45 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Obviously Green Blob politicos are at their most productive, with the lights off.

Countries with unreliable electricity generation, have higher birth rates. Correlation or causation?

Sep 10, 2015 at 10:56 PM golf charlie

In my opinion all the politicians in the western world have had their lights off for far too long

Sep 11, 2015 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards


Bryony had just said to her boyfriend "How about a duck?" when she was interrupted by a canvasser for Greenpeace.

Sep 11, 2015 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

90%, yes 90% of all homes in the UK are heated by gas..................

Notwithstanding the not inconsiderable fact, that, man made CO² ain't pollution and we [mankind] are definitely not frying the planet - only Bob Ward and the eco-loonies believe that line of supposition. More pertinently, the trouble is - it is left to green blinded politicians to make policy decisions based on what Bryony Worthington thinks, dear God - who can be surprised that very soon and across the nation, the lights will go out?

Joe Public makes the point [above] that, gas should be for domestic appliances, ie: heating and cooking.

Burning methane gas, whatever its provenance - to produce thermal energy and thus to boil water to convert to steam to turn turbines is, such a bloody waste and a crackpot policy. Yeah but, we need base load and gas power can provide it because of course we are phasing out our old coal plant and decommissioning said coal stations - far too early at that - are you listening Mz Rudd?

Then, there is this little snippet and believe it, because the loonies over there are more green gung ho - than the DECC and that really is energy insanity - with a foreboding certitude, an enforced march over the abyss to industrial suicide using the transport of the death by green energy policy.

Bob Ward doesn't want you to be warm and comfortable in winter nor it seems does Amber Rudd - eh? Crushed are we, Between the clashing rocks, betwixt grinning Bob [and the green lobby] and the EU-DECC..... Perish the thought - perish it, we.............. will be.

Sep 11, 2015 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Well If Jeremy gets elected, will Bryony have to stay quiet?

"Corbyn says he is wholly against fracking and believes that more should be done to increase the country’s renewable energy production.

Corbyn said: “Having looked at the evidence of the environmental damage and pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing, I am completely opposed to fracking.”

Sep 11, 2015 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Corbyn said: "Having looked at the evidence of the environmental damage and pollution caused by the mindless idiots who protest even when hydraulic fracturing is not even being proposed, I am completely opposed to fracking."

Is that better?

Sep 11, 2015 at 10:50 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Do the Corbyn brothers communicate? I imagine that Piers's views on 'environmental damage' may differ somewhat...

Sep 11, 2015 at 12:59 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

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