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Discussion > 5 BBC Green energy items

Philip, Alex Cull 2 energy podcasts for you (5 total items)
Official : Fracking "This is what's led to this incredible fall in gas prices in the USA and a glut of carbon fuel on the world markets" ..that came from the mouth of the Harrabin himself, in June 18th Radio5 podcast about fracking. At the beginning he just came calmly out with that line , as if he's been saying that all along. And the way he spoke was if he had carefully prepared not to sound like his normal climate activist self. That was in contrast to the FoE speaker, who sounded like a naive student activist having her first radio interview (ie having little credibility) . There were industry experts aswell.
- Hara claimed 'we really really don't know if we can get much out, it's just a government hope'
- But he spoke as if he always talks down earthquakes, saying "tremors are tiny, tiny, like a train passing"
- Followed by Matthew Sinclair : economics consultant,
young Donna Hulme of FoE objected primarily on Climate Change grounds saying "keep 80% of fossil fuels in the ground", 'science is not settled whether it's as bad as coal, due to extra methane emissions'.
Dr Robert Chase from US - profracking, David Eden from Calgary.
- Bottomline the presenter seem reassured by the fracking expert.
( Sometimes I go back to the streamed radio version cos there maybe bits there that were edited out, but it's the same)

- That prog also had bit about axing onshore subsidy 12 months early 3.5mins Amber Rudd bit, Matt Smith from RenewablesUK "onshore is cheapest form of renewables". What is it cheaper that hydro ?

Jul 8, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

2 stories about micro-hydro problems on Radio Wales Country Focus
#1 A new micro-hydro project can't afford to connect to the grid cos "it's at the top of the hill at the thin end of the power grid, so that grid is already full". The power of that hydro project is tiny 31Kw?, so that reason seems strange ..wonder if the grid is being kept aside for a windfarm.

#2 They want to stop a hydro scheme bordering on reserved wood. It's bigger than the other 90 projects combined

#3 There is a romantic story about an offgrid farmhouse ...ends min 21

Jul 8, 2015 at 9:45 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Around 740ish on Today, today, the BBC had a remarkably pro-GM food report.

British scientists have grown crops that store fish oil. This is likely to reduce the strain n fish stocks as these plants could be used for feeding farmed fish.

There was no Greenpeace spokesperson at all. Indeed they mentioned that here had been no recent opposition to GM food. No campaigners or vandalism.

The BBC didn't quite work out that the rent-a-mob are currently distracted by fracking and that these activists are a tiny minority of (probably less than 250 in the UK) who are given way too much publicity...
But it was progress.

Jul 8, 2015 at 10:22 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Hydro was always able to manage without subsidy. Only after the RO subsidy was introduced did some operators of hydro downrate their facilities to obtain the subsides. The renewables industry has always lied about onshore wind being the cheapest form of renewables. From an independent 2005 report:

DURING CONSULTATION on New Labour’s renewable energy policy and the Renewables Obligation, which ran from March 1999 to March 2001, government and stakeholders alike agreed that existing large hydro-power stations should, as a mature and profitable technology, be excluded from the subsidies regime.
However, after consultation closed, hydro generators pressed the government to reverse its decision, citing ageing plant and poor trading conditions.
Two major changes were subsequently made to the regulations, both of benefit exclusively to large generators. The first, which eased the qualification criteria for subsidies to include all hydro-power stations under 20 MW, was made public.
The second, which was all-but hidden from public view and did not generally come to light until 2004, brought an even larger portion of the UK’s hydro portfolio into the scheme. It authorised owners to cut the capacity of turbines to bring them below the declared qualification limit.
As a result, since the Renewables Obligation schemes became operational, UK hydro-generation capacity has gone down, not up, for the first time in the technology’s 100-year history.
Claims that efficiency improvements offset the capacity cuts are disputed as losses due to increased water wastage are inevitable. These losses are equivalent to closing Pitlochry power station.
This report examines how these decisions came about and the reasoning behind them. It argues that the subsidy payments which large hydro-generation now attracts are not justified by the modest quantity of additional electricity being produced.
Compared to production before the schemes became operational, a megawatt-hour of additional electricity, typically worth around £30, is now attracting subsidies of around £500.
The policy is costing electricity consumers £60 million a year, possibly more, but has done very little to increase the quantity of new ‘renewable’ generation.
It is an appallingly inefficient way to cut CO2 emissions.
This is happening at a time when emerging technologies, including marine technology and photovoltaics, are being starved of resources – both have recently suffered significant setbacks.
This puts yet another question mark over the competence of the Renewables Obligation schemes to tackle the emissions crisis. However, discussion of this issue is explicitly excluded from the current consultations on the schemes.

Jul 8, 2015 at 10:33 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Many thanks for the heads-up re podcasts etc. - I've been OD'ing on transcripts lately (mostly to do with the Sir Tim Hunt case) but will give these a listen and see if I can write up some of them..

Jul 8, 2015 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

No @Alex Cull, I am not pleading for transcripts this time..I think I've already quoted the most salient lines. ..cheers

Jul 9, 2015 at 10:42 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen