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Shameless, shameless, shameless

Having been hanging round the energy and climate debate for a long time now, it's not often I am taken aback by the Green Blob. But this article by Carbon Tracker's Anthony Hobley really made me gasp. The whole thing is amazing, but this in particular took the biscuit.

Investors are paying dearly for the inactions of the energy incumbents who have seemingly ignored and laughed off the impact of renewables. In the last five years 26 coal companies have gone bankrupt and US coal equities are down over 76%[1].

The suggestion that the pain being felt by coal companies is caused by anything other than the shale gas revolution and the surge in production from OPEC is astonishing. Non-hydro renewables are just 7% of US energy generation. Their impact is therefore nugatory, and there is simply no way Hobley cannot know it.

Shameless, shameless, shameless.



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Reader Comments (29)

Ah but:

Carbon Tracker is a team of financial, energy and legal experts with a ground breaking approach to limiting future greenhouse gas emissions.
Who says they are experts? Why they do of course.

It is led by Jeremy Leggett who is heavily into the renewable energy trough as he founded the UK's number one solar power company, SolarCentury, from which he made his fortune by increasing fuel poverty.

Sep 22, 2015 at 11:53 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

No idea why he uses a picture of Bruno Tonioli ;)

Sep 22, 2015 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Pushing a string is a piece of cake compared to tying that tie.

Sep 22, 2015 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Does he have a list of Unreliable power production companies that have gone bust, taking taxpayer funded money? The smart investor does not invest in Green Tracker, or their recommendations.

Remember, Green Investments can go sour, as well as down, and out. But people on a commission for sales, rarely lose.

Sep 22, 2015 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The article makes numerous brilliant arguments for the complete removal of subsidies for Unreliable power generation.

A definite 'must read' for all people who have to pay tax.

Sep 22, 2015 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Sorry for being O/T but the VW scandal is going to be absolutely HUGE, and it may well flush out other guilty motoring parties, too. It's also setting a potentially terrifying precedent for those caught fixing outcomes, and I certainly wouldn't want to be a front-runner in rigging or manipulating climate data when the truth is revealed. Interesting times!

Sep 22, 2015 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

@Phillip Bratby: I suspect their "expertise" is mainly in the legal department, whereby they can manipulate all the legal tools to gain financial advantage!

Sep 22, 2015 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit


The outcome of the VW trial can be used as a precedent in the forthcoming climate scam trials.

Sep 22, 2015 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

OT response: Difference with VW is that it is private rather than public sector. I don't expect it to have any impact on the climate related nonsense. If anything it will be used to undermine to any sceptical arguments presented by private sector parties. Suggest this is one for unthreaded or a discussion.

Sep 22, 2015 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

cheshirered & John Silver,

Merkel will have to choose between the Human Rights of Carbon Tracker employees and everything they stand for, or one of Europe's biggest manufacturers/employers. Tough call.

Sep 22, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Carbon Tracker has made it sales pitch around meeting emissions.

VW has sold cars that satisfy emission standards, but actually perform better.

Sep 22, 2015 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

He's a smug git! All he's worried about is his back pocket. He's just after maintenace of or better still increases in the subsidies, or "support mechanisms", as he refers to them! Goodness me I'd love to wipe that grin of his face, but I was raised to behave like a gentleman!

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

If you expect honsety from snake oil sales man you will have long time to wait.

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

The flaws in his argument show much, much earlier than the one quoted by the Bish:

Yet, also much frustration at the way financial support had been pulled from the growing renewables industry.

The pushback and subsidy cut by the UK government seems to be symptomatic of negative support around the globe, against a backdrop of great successes for the renewables industry.

Can he not see the disconnect between those two sentences? If there have been great successes in the renewables industry, why do they still require financial support? The only thing that renewables have been successful at is in harvesting subsidies.

Also interesting to note is that comments are not allowed. I suspect this is because he knows full well that any commenters would well and truly shred his arguments. His Gandhi quote is interesting, though; sceptics were initially ignored, then laughed at – now they are being fought. How soon before they win?

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:23 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Those aren't the only causes. Barack Obama declared they would go bankrupt, and he didn't mean because of shale.

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

Anthony Hobley has a very bizarre take on the history of the automobile as a parallel to the growth of alternative electricity generation. The automobile was cheaper, much lower in maintenance and usage costs, much more efficient and manageable than the alternative forms of transport and a leap of magnitudes in realising one of the great personal freedoms - that of movement. All without a hint of government subsidy until the need for infrastructure improvement.
The economic effect of the internal combustion engine was huge and possibly resulted in the second surge in the industrial revolution.
Renewable energy could not exist without support and subsidy from central governments and achieves the very opposite of the internal combustion engine. At this moment wind provides 4.67% of power generation in the UK (which is good -see Grid-watch.
Last week I holidayed in a coastal cottage with a view across the stunningly beautiful estuary of the Taw and Torridge and of the hillside of Fullabrook Down, site of the UKs largest on shore wind farm, 22 * 3 megawatt turbines.
The entire week not one blade moved. Was it maintenance or, unable to cope with input fluctuation from 0 to 66 megawatts the grid had paid them to produce - nothing. That is an "impact of renewables" that Hobley doesn't seem to mention.

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Carbon tracker funded lavishly by the green blob foundations.

Including European Climate Foundation, Grantham, Oak, Tells Mattel and many many others

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Green energy the subsidy hog.

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

diogenes2: It is the largest onshore wind farm in England, not the UK. There are many much bigger ones in Scotland. The Fullabrook turbines are often not turning. They also have problems with noise as they are not meeting the limits and are causing a massive noise nuisance. It is an unresolved problem.

Sep 22, 2015 at 2:58 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Having been involved in well over a hundred renewable energy planning applications involving dozens of different renewable energy companies, I have to say that I have not yet come across an honest renewable energy company. It is pretty obvious that when a subsidy system is set up which means any incompetent person can make money out of it, all sorts of low-life and cowboys will come out of the undergrowth (eg the Mafia in Italy). They are 100% prepared to tell lies and even (heaven forbid) make mistakes that always go in their favour (sounds familiar). Of course they can get away with it because the whole system has been set up by incompetent Government ministers with incompetent advisers backed up by an incompetent (and corrupt) bureacracy. Planning permission is then granted by incompetent (or corrupt) planning officers or incompetent councillors or incompetent planning inspectors.

Sep 22, 2015 at 3:18 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Thanks for the clarification Phillip. Local enquiry affirmed the inactivity of Fullabrook. In November 2014 they were found to still be in breach of planning consent over noise after previous bad fixes. they were given 3 weeks to come up with a solution which seemed unlikely. Perhaps, in view of the very large number of turbines feeding into the western power distribution, perhaps they cut a deal with the grid to stay offline. A form of danegeld , currently know as demanding money with menaces. I have always wondered whether the deceit and mendacity displayed during the bidding and planning consent could enable a government so minded to prosecute and cancel contracts.
Pity that we don't have a RICO act - Fullabrook is ultimately owned by the Irish State, so it would certainly qualify.

Sep 22, 2015 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Barry Woods, is it clear whether those companies subsidising Carbon Tracker are doing so as a tax dodge? It is difficult to understand why such a company expects to be taken seriously about its financial know-how, when its know-how only consists of putting its hand out for financial hand outs. Or is it just typical of how the Green economy works?

Sep 22, 2015 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

all those foundations 'believe' - stuffed full of 'important' 'caring' people spending dead billionaire money. good chunk of ECF money comes from the Packard Foundation, and Hewlett Foundation.

Sep 22, 2015 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Radical Rodent:

In my experience, if comments are not allowed, the author (or publication) wants to persuade, not inform.


Sep 22, 2015 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames

Given the BH update, would Hobley like to explain the 'perfect storm' of events that have stopped the Globe from Warming? Could it be linked to German fabricated data on emissions actually being good for the environment?

It would be fun if VW found it cheaper to expose climate scams, and offered their own evidence as proof.

Sep 22, 2015 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"...good chunk of ECF money comes from the Packard Foundation, and Hewlett Foundation."

And to think of all the money I gave them in exchange for RPN calculators.

Sep 22, 2015 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPiperPaul

Among the 'perfect storm' factors affecting British coal are US coal (which can be exported) being displaced by cheap (and reliable, naturally) shale gas (which can't) and exported to Europe.

Then there is the carbon 'floor price', now higher than the production cost of coal in the UK, and recent tinkering with NOx emission standards which will make British coal impossible to burn early next year.

The only effect of Ruinables is that the unpredictable output of BigWind (which the generators have to give first priority) has made generation much less profitable and the grid has now been importing as much power from France and Holland as possible, for a couple of years.

Of course, we also have Drax importing US wood chip and producing half as much power at double the cost and probably emitting more CO2. But at least they can keep production going and make a juicy profit, whilst their immediate competitors have been sending their workforce home when the wind blows and are now closing Eggborough and Ferrybridge.

Hatfield colliery, now being closed, apparently has 97,000 tonnes of fully 'in specification' power station coal still on stock. Drax wouldn't take it FOC. No doubt the Ruinables mafia will claim this as another triumph, the product of a Ruinables 'perfect storm'.
In fact credit should be given where it belongs, to a 'perfect storm' of policy corruption and ineptitude, not least from the weapons grade nincompoop Ed Miliband, whose constituency, of course, includes Hatfield.

Sep 22, 2015 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

It was reported in The Australian Financial Review newspaper about 10 days ago that the Japan and China are financing 1000+ new high tech coal fired power stations that are being built or are definitely planned to be built in Asia (not including India)in the next few years. A lot of coal has to come from somewhere.

"The International Energy Agency estimates an additional 1 billion tonnes of coal will be used in 2019 compared with today and by 2040 global coal trade will grow by 40 per cent, and it is expected Australia will capture the largest share of that growth…
A new report by the IEA Clean Coal Centre has detailed the changing electricity generation landscape in the rapidly growing countries of south and east Asia.
The findings of the report indicate a strong uptake of cleaner, high-efficiency low-emission (HELE) coal-fired power stations among the 10 surveyed countries…
An impressive 670 of these generation units are already operating in these countries. Moreover, there are an additional 1066 now under construction or planned, which is the equivalent of 24 times Australia’s current coal-fired generation. This is the fastest expansion and modernisation of coal-fired generation in history…"

Maybe this is why George Soros is buying up shares in companies like Peabody.

Sep 22, 2015 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Quite correct.

But don't forget that for some years, all UK political parties (except UKIP) have insisted:- NO investment in modern coal generation plant without CCS technology.

Asia, rightly, point out that CCS technology on an appropriate scale doesn't exist and would make coal more expensive than Ruinables.

Which, of course, is the whole point of CCS, anyway.

Sep 23, 2015 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

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