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Wind is not working

The Scientific Alliance and the Adam Smith Institute have a joint report out on windfarms. Martin Livermore, the head of the Scientific Alliance, has a blogpost up summarising the paper here.

The results will be no surprise to anyone who has looked at this topic in any detail: output is highly variable, and the entire fleet would only produce 80% or more of its rated output for about one week a year. The problem is that, however much we hear about wind being a free resource and the cost of equipment coming down, the effect of adding more and more wind turbines to the electricity grid is to push prices up with only a modest impact on carbon dioxide emissions (the whole reason for current policy) and no improvement in energy security.

If there were no arbitrary renewable energy target, governments would be free to focus on what most voters expect: providing a framework in which a secure and affordable energy supply can be delivered. If emissions are also to be reduced, the most effective measures currently would be a move from coal to gas and a programme of nuclear new build. In the meantime, the renewables industry continues to grow on a diet of subsidies, and we all pick up the tab. Getting out of this hole is not going to be easy, but it’s time the government started the process rather than continuing to dig deeper.

The report is here.


Your future in their hands

Take a look at the new Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss discussing the green blob with Andrew Neil. It is scary to think that people like this have our collective future in their hands. Even scarier to consider that a Prime Minister would want them in his cabinet.


Lights on, factories off

There is some interesting stuff around in this morning's papers, which is good to see.

In the Mail on Sunday, David Rose has been taking a look at the network of green billionaires and trust funds that fuels the UK's green blob.

Meanwhile, in the Sunday Telegraph, Ed Davey is unequivocal that the lights are not going to go out. But there's a catch:

To boost supply, “mothballed” plants could be brought back into use. Generating companies could also be told to “max-generate”, running at full capacity for a short-term surge. New demand-side contingencies are potentially more disruptive. In the event of a sudden shortage of power, big industrial consumers such as factories would be paid to switch on emergency backup generators and produce their own power.

So, our heroic Secretary of State is telling us that he has got the country's energy market into such a shambles that factories are going to have to be switched off to keep the lights on.

A scandal.


A new low

Competition among environmentalists to reach new lows of taste and decorum is always intense. A few years ago we had the 10:10 campaign's executions of schoolchildren. A couple of weeks back Lord Deben was comparing climate sceptics to Jehovah's witnesses. It's an battle of witlessness that seems to have no end.

Today's entry in the competition will be right up Lord D's street, with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition trying to insinuate that coal miners are akin to paedophiles.


A climate change action group has canned a suggested billboard image after critics accused it of comparing coal mining to 'paedophilia'.

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) is hosting a billboard competition on its Facebook page for a sign to be displayed at Brisbane Airport when G20 leaders arrive next month.

One proposed billboard featured the slogan, 'Don't let the coal lobby get their dirty hands on our future' and a picture of a child with large, wrinkly hands covering her mouth.


Beat that M'lud!

Deal or no deal?

Accompanied by the obligatory picture of steam coming from the cooling towers of a power station, and another of a fracking site tower looking as though it had been surreptitiously photographed by  a "Frack Off" supporter, the BBC online reports:

 In the early hours of Friday, Mr Van Rompuy, wrote in a tweet: "Deal! At least 40% emissions cut by 2030. World's most ambitious, cost-effective, fair #EU2030 climate energy policy agreed."

The EU also agreed to boost the use of renewable energy to 27% in the total energy mix and increase energy efficiency to at least 27%.

Van Rompuy  is also reported as saying that this decision is “about survival”, and unsurprisingly the environmentalists were less happy about the latest proposals.

For those without high blood pressure, Roger Harrabin’s analysis is on the same page.


Update 12.11pm

GWPF report that the "agreement "is non-binding. Read all about it.....



Here we go again

With the bit between his teeth this morning at about 6.40am BBC Radio 4 Today, Harrabin was busy anthropomorphising sea urchins as he interviewed a marine  biologist callled Kerry Lewis, about the "acidifying of the oceans" due to that pernicious CO2. She moderated  her position somewhat by saying the pH was "slightly down" but still inaccurately referred to the water as being more acidic.

"This little chap" -[a sea urchin], according to RH "is going to suffer" and he's going to require more energy to make a shell in future.

Perhaps this little chap could have a little solar panel or small wind turbine attached to him somewhere?  


House of cards?

I was having a look at the Appendices to Ofgem's Grid Capacity Assessment for 2014 (as you do) and chanced upon the section on interconnections. Now obviously, if you are going to make use of interconnections to other countries, there needs to be surplus capacity at the other end of the cable. It's therefore interesting to see Ofgem's assessment of grid capacity in countries from which the UK can import power.

Click to read more ...


Quote of the week?

 [The green movement]

excels more in preventing than in proposing: it closes factories, blocks projects, forbids the construction of super-highways, airports, railway lines. It is the power that always denies.

Pascal Bruckner The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

H/T Donna Laframboise


Thinking about energy costs

Ahead of the upcoming EU summit [the independent think tank] Open Europe has today published a new analysis of the EU’s energy and environment policies. The study reveals that by 2020, EU-measures in this area will on average add 23% (£350,000) to small and medium sized firms’ energy bills in the UK. Meanwhile, household bills will increase by almost £150 (11%) a year.

Read more here

[Link repaired. TM]


Give your opinion

Those of you with concerns or opinions about or expert knowledge of smart meters might like to be reminded that the deadline for submissions of evidence to the House of Commons ECCC will close on Tuesday 4th November.

The deadline is Tuesday 04 November 2014. As a guideline submissions should state clearly who the submission is from e.g. ‘Written evidence submitted by xxxx’ and be no longer than 3000 words; please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this. If you need to send hard copy please send it to: The Clerk, Energy and Climate Change Committee, 14 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NB.

Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted via the inquiry page on the Energy and Climate Change Committee website.

[Link repaired. TM]







Matt Ridley: on cheaper oil

Matt Ridley has an optimistic article in Times today [paywalled] on the benefits of cheaper oil.

His encouraging words are available at his website

Cheer yourselves up.



Nonsensical green employment

NHS Wales is facing budget cuts of one percent this year, which brings the total reduction in spending to eight percent since 2010. But Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board still found the money to employ a “carbon manager” on £43,414 a year plus a £6,078 contribution to their pension. The package would easily be enough to employ two newly qualified nurses.

Read more here:




Primary science

I was interested to read this article about  boosting primary science teaching. In view of the fact that it originates from Imperial College , I just wondered if anyone has had experience of using the materials supplied and whether they are even-handed about our favourite topic.



The 97% in Parliament

From Hansard

Question Asked by David T. C. Davies (Monmouth) [N] Asked on: 10 September 2014

Department for Energy and Climate

Q. To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment he has made of (a) the implication for his Department's policies of the paper Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature and (b) allegations of fraud in that paper.

Answered by: Amber Rudd

A. The 2013, peer-reviewed paper Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature analysed the abstracts of around 12,000 scientific papers and found that, of the third which expressed a view on the cause of global warming, 97% considered it to be man-made. We are not aware of any evidence of fraud relating to this paper.

The main conclusion of the paper is consistent with findings from all other such studies, and as is evident from the recent Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that recent global warming is largely caused by human activity.


Nothing changes

DECC have just published their latest policy paper on emissions trading with their fingers in their ears. "The UK believes"...really? TM

The UK believes the EU ETS, the world’s largest cap and trade system, should remain the cornerstone of EU energy and climate change policy. The centrality of the EU ETS in delivering the objectives of the 2030 framework was highlighted by the European Council in March 2014.

The UK’s vision for the future of the EU ETS is for a System that:

  • delivers EU emissions reductions consistent with meeting the long-term EU objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80%-95% by 2050 at least cost, including a 2030 emissions reduction target of 40% moving to 50% in the event of an ambitious global deal, including by driving investment in the low carbon economy
  • is designed in such a way that energy-intensive industries remain competitive during the transition to a global low-carbon economy, adequately protecting them from the risk of carbon leakage so that they can adjust over the longer term
  • demonstrates global leadership through delivery of an effective and economically efficient emissions trading scheme, ready to link with all suitable ETSs as the foundation of a global carbon market