By Paul Homewood
With just a couple of days left, the Met Office have confirmed just how cold the summer has been in the UK:
Despite a dry and sunny June and a brief heat-wave at the start of July, summer overall looks set to be cooler than average and cooler than either summer 2013 or 2014. It has also been rather wetter than average, however sunshine totals are expected to be near average.
In general the weather has been dominated by a westerly flow from the Atlantic, bringing often cool and rather wet conditions, especially in the north and west, with the south-east generally experiencing the best of any warm, dry, sunny spells.
Using provisional figures up to 26 August* and then assuming average conditions for the final few days of the month, Met Office statistics show the UK mean temperature for this summer will be around 14 °C. This is 0.4 °C below the long term average (1981-2010).
Apart from 2011 and 2012, this would make it the coldest summer since 1998.
Unsurprisingly, the Met Office did not see this coming at the end of May.
Pleased to say the Ma in Law is well on the mend, if bored stiff in a hospital bed.
She’s finally getting a transfer to our local hospital on Monday, so we will be travelling home tomorrow, and normal service will soon be resumed.
Stay tuned for the latest story on Slingo’s incompetence!
US Green Energy Subsidies ‘Unfair and Ineffective’, Study Finds | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)
A University of California study has slammed the fairness, efficiency and effectiveness of billions of dollars of so-called green energy subsidies provided by the US government.
The US federal government has paid $US18.1 billion in tax credits since 2006 aimed at encouraging American households to install energy-efficient windows, air conditioning schemes, rooftop solar in their homes and buy electric and other hybrid vehicles.
The study has found the bottom 60 per cent US households by income received about 10 per cent of the value of the four main ‘green energy’ tax credits available, while the top 20 per cent (those with annual incomes above $US75,000) extracted 60 per cent of the benefit.
“The most extreme [example] is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where the top income quintile received about 90 per cent of all credits,” concluded Severin Borenstien and Lucas Davis, from the University of California, Berkeley.
The biggest credit, the Non-Business Energy Property Credit, permits non-refundable tax credits of up to $US1500 and has cost $US13.7 billion since 2006.
“While there may well be political or other rationales to prefer this approach, it would seem to be difficult argue for these policies on distributional grounds,” the professors said.
The Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit permits tax credits up to $US4000 for purchase of eligible hybrid vehicles has cost $550 million since introduced in 2006. Households earning more than $US200,000 a year enjoyed 11 per cent of this credit and 35 per cent of the benefit of a similar Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles credit, which has cost $US346 million.
“We were struck by the horizontal inequity of these programs,” the study said, referring to the inability of people without tax liabilities to enjoy any benefit.
Their study The Distributional Effects of US Clean Energy Tax Credits found installations of energy efficient household items had soared but couldn’t conclude the credits were responsible. “If credits do no induce additional sales, then the primary effect is just to transfer rents to participants in transactions that would have taken place anyway,” they said.
“A growing body of evidence has shown that these policies are considerably less efficient than first-best policies,” they said. “There is wide agreement among economists that the best policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other negative externalities from energy use would be to use a tax or cap-and-trade program,” the Berkeley economists said, noting that 65 per cent of global CO2-equivalent emissions came not from households but from business use of power.
One of the major concerns in the UK about solar subsidies, is that are transferring money from electricity bill payers, many of them poor, and handing it over to people with large houses and the money to afford solar panels.
Renewables Sector Left Reeling After Government’s Latest Subsidy Cull | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)
The UK renewable energy industry has reacted with shock and anger at the latest attack by the Conservative Government to slash subsidy support through the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
Scottish Renewables described how the removal of support for some wind projects and a reduction of up to 86% for solar would “severely curtail” development.
Cuts to the Feed-in Tariff scheme, through which small renewables are funded, could also spell the end for much of Scotland’s fragile hydro sector.
As part of a comprehensive review of the FiT scheme announced this morning, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced the cuts in addition to a number of other proposals which will limit growth in small-scale green energy projects – and potentially close the scheme to new projects in early 2016.
Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, which represents more than 300 green energy businesses said: “The proposals in the Comprehensive Feed-in Tariff Review are, quite simply, terrible news for homeowners, businesses, communities and those local authorities which have plans in place to develop renewable energy schemes.
“The levels of reduction in support announced today will severely curtail development of small-scale onshore wind and solar projects and endanger jobs and investments across the country.
“The cuts could also spell the end for much of the hydro industry, which has enjoyed a recent renaissance but relies more heavily on Government support because of the length of time taken to develop projects and the sector’s high capital costs.”
Mr Blamire told how renewables developed under the Feed-in Tariff scheme have brought multiple benefits – all of which are now in jeopardy.
Bad news for subsidy seeking renewable investors, good news for everybody else.
We keep being assured that solar and wind power is becoming ultra competitive, so clearly they no longer need these generous subsidies.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is small compared to other government departments, with a gross annual expenditure of just £5.7bn.
However, as the government grapples with how to continue to drive down its deficit, abolishing this arm of the state should be a key priority: it would both provide vital savings and encourage a new emphasis on cost-effective policy-making.
The abolition of DECC would not be difficult to achieve. Energy policy could be transferred to the Department for Business and climate policy moved to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Indeed, in practice, many of DECC’s current responsibilities could be shifted relatively simply. For example, Nuclear Decommissioning – which accounted for 59 per cent of gross expenditure at DECC last year – could be moved to DEFRA with ease.
Furthermore, many unnecessary green expenditure items could be phased out altogether. Spending in areas such as Renewable Heat, Carbon Capture and Storage and on the Committee on Climate Change should all be scrapped.
Merging DECC into other government departments would bring the UK in line with other developed nations too. Australia recently abolished its Climate Commission, transferring its essential functions to the Environment Department.
Were the UK to introduce similar efficiencies along with the removal of wasteful spending, the Exchequer could save £380m by 2020-21, according to analysis by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
Green activists claim that abolishing the department would send out the wrong “signal” in advance of the UN Climate Conference in Paris later this year. However, this PR approach is not in the interests of the consumer.
Amber Rudd, the department’s secretary of state, is right to stress that DECC’s new priority is to keep the cost of policy “as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses.” This pragmatic focus on cost-effectiveness should be the government’s number one priority, not costly PR and token policies.
There are a number of other compelling reasons to abolish DECC, not least its failure to control costs for consumers.
Figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility suggest that, by 2020-21, the limits set for renewable subsidies are due to be 20 per cent higher than permitted, while DECC’s mismanagement has led to a policy-driven increase in energy bills of more than £100 per household annually over the past five years – despite falling oil prices.
Moving energy policy to the Department for Business would give ministers a fresh impetus to ensure that costs for consumers and businesses are driven down, not pushed further up.
When it comes to necessary savings across Whitehall, the abolition of DECC would be easy pickings. Unlike other cuts across government, splitting up the department would have absolutely no material impact on the public.
Moreover, the current political climate is favourable for such action. With green opposition deeply divided and ineffective, it is an ideal opportunity for the government to abolish this unnecessary arm of the state without much fuss (although, in practice, it is likely to happen after the Paris conference).
Such a move would be good for cost-effective energy policy, good for consumers and good for the Exchequer.
In a normal world, there would be no debate about this. Unfortunately the crooks and eco loonies are in charge.
Gross Suppression Of Science …Former NOAA Meteorologist Says Employees “Were Cautioned Not To Talk About Natural Cycles”
Former NOAA meteorologist David Dilley has submitted an essay below that has 2 parts: 1) How the government has been starving researchers who hold alternative opinions of funding, and 2) climate cycles show we are starting a cooling period.
Readers will recall that David Dilley is a 40-year meteorology veteran and the producer of the excellent video: “Is Climate Change Dangerous?“, which first was presented at NTZ. Since then the video has been viewed more than 10,000 times and the NTZ story shared in social media over 800 times.
Just more confirmation of what we have known for a while, that NOAA have become a corrupt and politicised organisation, which can longer be trusted.
Carwyn Jones hits out at Westminster over soaring energy prices, saying they are crippling Welsh industry – Wales Online
The First Minister was reacting to news that 250 jobs are under threat at Tata steelworks, including Llanwern.
Meanwhile as many as 73% of manufacturers want to see legislative reform of the UK’s current environmental and climate change policies, according to a new survey by the manufacturers organisation EEF.
Respondents claimed that existing regulations are harming their international competitiveness.
There are at least 10 pieces of legislation affecting manufacturers on waste alone, with another five key pieces of legislation that relate to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of their desperate attempt to retain the BBC contract, the Met Office have been trying to persuade us how accurate their forecasts are.
They reckon that they are in the top two in the world for accuracy, based on WMO guidelines. There is however a huge problem with this, and that is that they mark themselves.
Nevertheless, let’s look at some of their marks:
So they are bragging that they can get 92% of their daily max temperatures right to within 2C, and this only the day before!
In old money, this is close to 4F. And even then they can only do do it 92% of the time.
Pardon me if I am underwhelmed!
Only 45% of Scottish people believe climate change is an ‘immediate and urgent’ issue – Home News – UK – The Independent
Only 45% of Scottish people believe climate change is an ‘immediate and urgent’ issue
Adults with a degree or professional qualification were more than twice as likely to view the issue as an immediate problem compared with those with none.
The saddest thing is that, supposedly, the most intelligent people are more likely to fall for the claptrap.
Anyone with an ounce of commonsense would realise that Scotland would be much worse off with the colder climate prevalent in the 19thC.
China’s wind and solar developers are getting much less than they anticipated in handouts from the government because of a quirk in subsidy policies, threatening to stymie growth in the world’s biggest market for clean energy.
The issue relates to the support China pays power suppliers as enticement to develop clean energy projects. Surcharges slapped onto electricity bills to fund the subsidies are too low, leaving a gap between what was promised and what’s being paid out, said Meng Xiangan, vice chairman of the China Renewable Energy Society, an industry group.
Left to continue, the trend may foreshadow a reckoning for what has become the engine of growth in the global renewables industry. While China’s hunger for energy is un-sated, less money flowing to developers could ultimately constrain China’s capacity to generate power from nonpolluting sources.
“This will weaken enthusiasm for investment and go against the development of renewable power in the long run,” Meng said.
Additional delays could ultimately eat into cash flow at companies such as China Longyuan Power Group Corp., China Datang Corporation Renewable Power Co. and others.
About 30 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) to 40 billion yuan may be owed by the government to developers in unpaid subsidies, said Li Junfeng, director general of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation. Some developers have been waiting since before 2012 for payments they’ve yet to receive, Li estimates.
A fax sent to the Ministry of Finance, which retains responsible for allocating the subsidies, wasn’t answered.
In the U.S., state and federal incentives have been used to help cover the cost of renewable energy projects, mostly in the form of production and investment tax credits. China by contrast supports renewables mainly in through government-set pricing.
Since 2006, China has levied a surcharge on consumers to fund the subsidies. The surcharge is currently 0.015 yuan a kilowatt-hour paid for by users, excluding residential and agricultural customers.
The renewable industry and their useful idiots would still like us to believe that wind and solar can operate without subsidies.