Join The Dots
By Paul Homewood
There have been three bits of news today, all totally separate, but all also intimately connected.
We start with the following story from the Daily Telegraph.
For years the Labour government refused to commit to building new nuclear capacity, to replace the capacity coming soon to the end of its life. The problems were then further compounded, first by the disastrous decision by Gordon Brown’s decision to sell off Westinghouse in 2006 to China, and then when he sold British Energy, who ran the nuclear plants, to EDF in 2009.
After two years of prevarication, even Chris Huhne accepted the need for new nuclear. But the UK is now in such a weak bargaining position, that potential nuclear operators, such as EDF, can hold the country to ransom.
As of now, the government is refusing to pay price asked, but, at the moment, we are between a rock and a hard place. With the rest of the UK’s energy strategy in tatters, we are faced with a choice – pay up or go without.
Over the last few days, we have had a high pressure over the UK. Now I know, and you know, and even the village idiot probably has a clue. When you get high pressure you don’t get much wind.
As a result, over the last 24 hours, wind has contributed just 1.1% to electricity generation, and is currently even lower, down to 0.4%. Over the year, we would normally expect wind to provide about 4%, though this itself is much less than rated capacity.
Meanwhile, coal continues to provide nearly half of all electricity, because it remains by far the cheapest fuel. Due to EU emissions regulations, most of the UK’s coal plants will be forced to shut soon, despite having plenty of life left in them.
UAH have just released their global temperatures for February, which are down by 0.33C, thus reversing the rise in January. Both February temperatures, and the running average, are at the level seen between 2002 and 2006, when similarly neutral ENSO conditions predominated.
Roy Spencer has also published the latest Sea Surface Temperature Updates, which give a similar message – SST’s are currently bang on the 2003-06 average.
I sometimes think I’ll wake up, and it will all have been a bad dream.