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What Impact Will Decarbonising Heat Have On Power Demand?

October 16, 2019
tags: , ,

By Paul Homewood



There has been some discussion about the impact of decarbonising heating, in terms of the impact on the electricity grid capacity.

Perhaps the best place to start is the following chart, which was included in Lord Oxburgh’s report on decarbonising to Parliament in 2016:



If all heating was to be electrified, we would need maybe an extra 350 GW of power capacity to meet peak demands in winter, seven times as much as we have now. Not only would this entail the construction of huge amounts of new generators (which would stand idle for most the year), but also a massive upgrading of distribution networks.

Heat pumps, of course, have a higher efficiency than direct heating, perhaps three times as much. So if they were used to replace current gas central heating we could be looking at maybe 100 to 150 GW extra capacity needed. There again, heat pumps become much less efficient as outside temperatures drop, so the true figure will lie in between, as the CCC explain:



There is also the problem that heat pumps cannot provide the sort of instant heat that gas can, so won’t be of much use on cold winter mornings.

The alternative to heat pumps is hydrogen, produced from natural gas via steam reforming. However this is an extremely costly way of replacing gas, both in terms of hydrogen production and converting household appliances and pipes.

Worse still, the process produces CO2, which therefore needs to be captured at great cost. Even then, some CO2 emissions still occur.

In their infinite wisdom, therefore, the CCC have come up with the cunning plan of combining heat pumps with hydrogen in a hybrid system:


In winter months, heat pumps provide a steady background heat, but the hybrid boiler kicks in to give a boost at times when extra heat is needed. This way, the extra demand put on the grid is around 50 GW.

Based on this and expected demand from EVs, the CCC are projecting peak demand of 150 GW by 2050.

The Excommunication of Susan Crockford

October 16, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t AC Osborn


Donna Laframboise brings shameful news from the University of Victoria:



Like geologist Bob Carter before her, Susan Crockford has been stripped of her Adjunct Professor status by a university with which she has a long history. Why? Because she promotes facts and eschews climate activism.

In May, Canada’s University of Victoria (UVic) advised Crockford that an internal committee had voted to end her 15-year stint as an Adjunct Professor. Having undergone hip surgery in the interim, only now is she going public.

When the matter was last considered, the committee voted unanimously in her favour. What changed? Talks she was invited to give to schools apparently “generated concern among parents regarding balance.” That concern was “shared with various levels of the university,” according to an April 2017 e-mail from Ann Stahl, then chair of the Anthropology Department.

These vague accusations, leveled by an unknown number of unknown individuals who may or may not have been garden variety climate activists, were first used to expel Crockford from the UVic Speakers Bureau. They then became the impetus to expel her from the UVic academic community altogether.

I’ve written about this scandalous development in today’s Financial Post, the business section of Canada’s daily newspaper, the National Post: click here.

On the subject of balanced presentations, please see my recent commentary, U of Victoria’s Speakers Bureau. Many of the talks it promotes are one-sided, activist, and controversial. Someone with no science background has, for years, been giving lectures about ocean chemistry. Yet the eminently qualified Crockford was purged.

While UVic has deprived its students of her expertise, this weekend Crockford begins a European speaking tour. Audiences in Oslo, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Munich will have the opportunity to hear her firsthand.

Full Story 


Increasingly we discover that this has nothing at all to do with “science”. It is no more than a religion, and one that won’t tolerate dissent.

Shame on the University of Victoria.

Another Absurd Pro Renewables Letter

October 16, 2019

By Paul Homewood


The Telegraph has already embarrassed itself by publishing a letter last week from an XR activist, Tom Hardy, containing serious factual errors about renewable energy and fossil fuels.


It has now compounded its mistake, by publishing another letter full of errors praising renewable energy, presumably in an effort to give the eco-loons free publicity.

Read more…

Watch Out, They’re Coming For Your Boiler!!

October 15, 2019

By Paul Homewood

h/t oldbrew


Well done Roger, you’re only six months late!!


The UK will not meet its climate change targets without a revolution in home heating, a think tank says.

Read more…

Mungbeans In London

October 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Ian Magness


Michael Gove thought it was a good idea to meet with these fruit loops!

ScreenHunter_4982 Oct. 14 21.44

 [Click on the link to play]

If that’s the future of humanity……….!!

And heavens know what those hi-viz plods thought they were doing. Still, better than a day’s work, I suppose!

BBC Attenborough Complaint Escalated To Executive Complaint Unit

October 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood




You may recall that the GWPF submitted a formal complaint to the BBC back in April about factual inaccuracies in Attenborough’s “Climate Change  – The Facts”.

The complaint, which I helped to draw up, particularly focussed on claims that storms, floods and wildfires were becoming worse because of climate change.

The BBC attempted to fob us off at the first stage with a handful of cherry picked studies which failed to answer our complaint, or justify the programme’s outlandish claims.

The GWPF subsequently re-submitted its complaint, including detailed evidence from IPCC and other authoritative sources, which clearly showed the programme’s claims were fake.

The BBC’s response at this second stage effectively ignored this evidence, and merely stated “ we note you do not accept the findings of the research and references we provided in our previous response, we believe that the reply fully addressed the concerns you raised…” 

GWPF have now escalated the complaint to the Executive Complaints Unit, which is where my regular complaints usually end up.

The BBC’s rather feeble responses so far are a strong indication that they have nothing else up their sleeve.

Watch this space!

Current Costs of British Renewables Subsidies per Household

October 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood



h/t Philip Bratby




The total annual renewables subsidy impact on UK household cost of living is £9 billion — which comes to £340 per year per household.

The low and much-publicised offshore wind bids for Feed-in Tariffs with Contracts for Difference (FiTs CfDs) continue to confuse many analysts, even those from whom one might expect clear-eyed caution. A writer for CapX (“What is the point of Corbyn’s nationalised wind farms?”), to select an example almost at random, quite correctly takes issue with the Labour Party’s reckless plans for major public investment in further offshore wind, but does so on the mistaken ground that “offshore wind is a big success story […] delivering ever more clean energy, at ever lower prices, for a fraction of the price of Labour’s plan”.

However, and as a matter of fact, none of the low-bidding wind farms have actually been built, and the 8.5 GW of operational offshore wind capacity which is “delivering” is without exception very heavily subsidised. Indeed, the most recently commissioned offshore wind farm, the giant 588 MW Beatrice of the North East coast of Scotland, which only became fully operational in the summer of 2019, has a CfD strike price of £140/MWh now worth £158.73/MWh, roughly three times the wholesale price, and indeed about three times the almost certainly unrealistic strike prices bid in the most recent CfD auctions. It is obviously premature to say that the observed fall in CfD prices bid is a “success story”. The CfD contracts are very far from firmly binding, and the penalty for abrogration is trivial. It seems likely, bordering on certain, that they are a sly and low risk publicity gambit, intended to secure a market position, and inhibit competition, in the hope of obtaining a better price by whatever means at a later date.

And of course the cost of electricity from existing offshore wind power has most certainly not fallen; it continues to be very high, like all the other renewable generators in the UK fleet. Perhaps it is worth reminding ourselves just how much that subsidy currently amounts to and how much it is costing British households.

Apart from the Contracts for Difference (CfD),  there are two other systems of subsidy, the Renewables Obligation (RO), including the Feed-in Tariff (FiT). The costs of these are recorded in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the most recent issue of which was published March 2019 (a new release is due shortly). reports the current and projected costs of these subsidies amongst other Environmental Levies, a screenshot of which is reproduced below:

Figure 1: Actual (2017–18) and forecast (2018–2024) consumer cost of environmental levies. Source: Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), Economic and fiscal outlook – March 2019, see “Economic and fiscal outlook – supplementary fiscal tables: receipts and other”, Table 2.7.

Note that the Outturn column on the left is incomplete and has to be filled in by reference to Footnote 1, where we learn that the cost of the Feed-in Tariff in 2017–18 was £1.4 billion, which when added to the cost of the RO (£5.4 billion) and the CfD (£0.6 billion) gives a total of £7.4 billion. Adding the FiT the RO and the CfD projections we can calculate the forecast renewable subsidy costs for the following years as follows:

2018–19: £8.6 billion

2019–20: £9.2 billion

2020–21: £10.2 billion

2021–22: £10.8 billion

2022–23: £11.2 billion

2023–24: £11.6 billion

The current annual subsidy will be about £9 billion, and the grand total for the years 2017 to 2024 will come to nearly £70 billion.

These costs are recovered from the prices per unit of electrical energy (kWh) sold and thus the bills paid by all types of consumer, domestic, industrial, commercial and public sector. Consequently, about 30 to 40% of the total cost is recovered directly from consumer bills, because household consumption typically comprises 30% to 40% of total consumption in a year. In truth, the impact is likely to be slightly higher than the proportions suggest, firstly because industrial and commercial consumers can buy closer to the underlying wholesale price, and secondly because some intensive energy users have partial exemption from these costs, meaning that the burden is transferred to other consumers including households. It is worth noting also that VAT is charged on these subsidy costs and domestic consumers cannot recover that cost. However, for the purpose of a general estimate we can ignore these details.

In 2017 domestic consumers accounted for about 38% of GB electricity consumption, and we can assume that this is approximately correct today. Thus, the direct impact on British household electricity bills is 0.38 x £9 billion = £3.4 billion.

There are about 26.5 million households in Great Britain thus the mean annual renewables subsidy impact on a GB household electricity bill is £3.4 billion / 26.5 million = £129 per year per household.

However, this is not the end of the story. While the other 62% of the renewables subsidies are paid for in the first instance by industrial, commercial, and public sector consumers, these costs are obviously passed through to households in the costs of goods, services and general taxation. If a supermarket is compelled by policy to pay more for electricity to refrigerate milk it must recover that additional cost at the checkout. Of course, those companies with overseas customers could in theory pass on some part of that extra electricity cost to their consumers abroad, but given the intensity of international competition that is unlikely to be a strong effect.

Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that the vast bulk of these costs are recovered domestically, in Britain, meaning that we can calculate a total “cost of living” impact of the renewables subsidies by simply dividing total subsidies by number of households.

Thus, the total annual renewables subsidy impact on household cost of living is £9 billion / 26.5 million households = £340 per year per household, of which about £129 a year is recovered directly from electricity bills and the remainder, over £200 a year, from increased costs of goods and services.

Given the scale and regressive nature of these impacts it is high time that the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) resumed publication of its formal estimates of the total impacts of policies, of which the direct subsidies to renewables are only part, on both gas and electricity prices. These figures were last published in 2014 (Estimated Impacts) and discontinued, many of us suspect, because they were so embarrassing. At that time the department calculated that in their central scenario for 2020 domestic household electricity prices (NB, prices per unit, not bills) would be some 37% higher than they would have been in the absence of policies, and that prices for a medium sized business would be some 62% higher. Future projections out to 2030 were equally disconcerting, and it is thus imperative to know whether government attempts to contain the costs of energy and climate policies are having any significant effect. Judging from the OBR forecasts the answer is clearly no. The public needs and has a right to see the details.

Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor.


In fact, John is underestimating the full cost, as currently the cost of the Capacity Market Mechanism, which pays generators to remain on standby to cover for intermittent renewables.

Currently this cost is excluded from the OBR table, as it has been challenged by the ECJ as illegal state subsidy. Whatever the outcome, we will need some form of standby mechanism.

The cost of the current mechanism would have been £1.0bn this year, so the real cost of renewable subsidies would have been £10bn this year.

Green Britain Kills Its Shale Bonanza

October 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood



h/t Dave Ward


 Sadly the eco-rabble along with virtue signalling politicians appear to have succeeded in shutting down Britain’s energy future:


Cuadrilla, the fracking company most active in England, has begun removing equipment from its only testing area after the work was blamed for minor earthquakes in August.

There are no plans to continue at the Lancashire site, and an imminent energy white paper from the government is set to prioritise renewable energy over fracking, which blasts a mixture of water and chemicals into underground shale rock to release gas.

Once lauded by David Cameron and George Osborne as a technique that would cut energy bills and create tens of thousands of jobs, fracking was losing political support even before the tremors at Cuadrilla’s site near Blackpool.

Jamie Peters, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “Fracking in the UK is now dead. Cuadrilla’s test drilling at Preston New Road was the flagship scheme — and it’s gone badly.

“To get this industry off the ground, regulations would need to be relaxed, and that’s just not going to happen after those August quakes and the growing environmental concerns around fossil fuels.”

Even before the latest Extinction Rebellion protests last week, polls have suggested that mainstream public concern over climate change is growing, making it less and less likely ministers would champion a new fossil fuel industry.

Although the leadership of the Conservatives Party still officially supports fracking, between 30 and 40 Tory backbenchers are understood to favour a ban.

In a speech last Thursday in Northampton, Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would “ban” fracking, echoing calls from the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

Full story (£)



What none of these morons have worked out is that we cannot simply run a modern economy on wind and solar power. Even the Committee on Climate Change have accepted that. In their Net Zero Plan they have said that we will still need large amounts of natural gas, both for power and heating, albeit subject to Carbon Capture & Storage:



Last year, gas power generation totalled 131 TWh, so the CCC’s projection of 148 TWh is actually an increase.

Domestic demand for gas is currently 309 TWh a year. The CCC reckon we will need 225 TWh of hydrogen from steam reforming to replace this. This process, of course, uses natural gas to produce the hydrogen. Furthermore some of the gas used in the process gets wasted, so it is likely that demand for gas will remain close to today’s levels.

With North Sea supplies of natural gas running out, perhaps the eco nut jobs might care to tell us where we will get it in future.

Extinction Rebellion Founder Blasted For ‘Blind Hypocrisy’ After 11,000-Mile Flight For Luxury Holiday

October 13, 2019

By Paul Homewood

Oh dear!


Gail Bradbrook clocked up 11,000 air miles as she flew to Costa Rica for a week’s £2,500 stay at the New Life Iboga retreat then a week touring the tropical paradise.

Last year the 47-year-old helped set up the XR climate-protest campaignwhich is a week into two weeks of disruptions across London.

Thousands of protesters brought the capital to a standstill last week as they blocked roads and bridges, forcing ambulances to be diverted and causing mayhem for motorists. Some protesters handcuffed themselves to cars or glued themselves to government buildings. Activists occupied London City Airport and militant vegan offshoot Animal Rebellion took over Smithfield Meat Market.

The activists caused more chaos in London — and the mayhem is set to continue this week. The leftie XR group is calling for a reduction in air travel and wants the Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

Yet Bradbrook, who has posted about the need to ground aircraft, proudly put pictures on Facebook during her 2016 Costa Rica jaunt — which left a carbon footprint of 2.6TONNES of CO2 emissions. One photo was of her in a flowery dress at the beach taking snaps of monkeys.

She revealed that her holiday of self-discovery included taking hallucinogenic drugs that inspired her calling “to get with the spirit of the otter”.

And she said it was “filled with nature and the warm sea”, cooing over lizards, iguanas, birds that “nick your breakfast” and monkeys that “smash mangoes on the roofs”. She also gushed that she wanted to use her visit to “express my most passionate self” in “the most filthiest, animal way”.

Bradbrook said she contacted a spirit known as Grandmother Ayahuasca and got a “kick up the a*** on negative habits”.

I am sure The Sun are being very ungenerous here, Surely Ms Bradbrook’s airplane plane must have been solar or maybe a rubber band powered!

The Truth About Extinction Rebellion

October 13, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dave Ward



An excellent and entertaining video on XR: