By Paul Homewood
A few further thoughts to add to the Hinkley saga.
Last Sunday, the Telegraph interviewed Tim Yeo, (yes, him), who has now set himself up as a lobbyist for nuclear power. He suggests we should be looking at cheaper options with already proven technology (while still going ahead with Hinkley).
One wonders why he was not recommending these alternatives, when he was still on the Select Committee. (But as has been pointed out, he was not being paid to then!):
By Paul Homewood
I was just about to post on the Hinkley go-ahead, when this appeared!
From the Beeb:
Plans to build the first new UK nuclear plant in 20 years have suffered an unexpected delay after the government postponed a final decision until the early autumn.
French firm EDF, which is financing most of the £18bn Hinkley Point project in Somerset, approved the funding at a board meeting.
Contracts were to be signed on Friday.
But Business Secretary Greg Clark has said the government will "consider carefully" before backing it.
According to reports, EDF’s chief executive Vincent de Rivaz has cancelled a trip to the UK on Friday following Mr Clark’s comments.
Critics of the plan have warned of environmental damage and potential escalating costs.
They are also concerned that the plant is being built by foreign governments. One third of the £18bn cost is being provided by Chinese investors.
EDF still hopes to have more than 2,500 workers on site by next year.
Announcing the approval of investment earlier, EDF described the plant as "a unique asset for French and British industries", saying it would benefit the nuclear sectors in both countries and would give a boost to employment.
The announcement was immediately welcomed by employers’ group the CBI, the Nuclear Industry Association and engineering workers’ union GMB.
Ahead of the vote on whether to approve the Hinkley project, an EDF board member, Gerard Magnin, resigned, saying the project was "very risky" financially.
Earlier this year, EDF’s finance director, Thomas Piquemal, had resigned amid reports he thought Hinkley could damage EDF itself.
Hinkley Point C is expected to provide 7% of the UK’s total electricity requirement.
The project has been hit in recent months by concerns about EDF’s financial capacity.
Despite the Chinese investment, Hinkley Point would remain an enormous undertaking for the stressed French company, which has had to raise money from its owners.
Earlier this week, EDF shareholders approved plans to issue new shares to raise 4bn euros (£3.4bn) to help pay for the project.
The French state, which owns 85% of EDF, will buy €3bn worth of new shares in the fundraising.
But Mycle Schneider, who used to advise the French government on nuclear and environmental issues, told the BBC that neither the state nor the company were fully on board.
"There is now a large front inside EDF, inside the nuclear establishment in France, advising against the construction because the sheer size of it could put not only the company EDF at risk, but this could actually put the whole state finances at risk."
The project has many critics in Britain too.
"The price of every other form of energy is falling. That includes gas, which is plentiful and wind and solar are both coming right down in price," Nick Butler, visiting professor and chair of King’s Policy Institute at King’s College London, told the BBC.
"We should step back and review it. The danger of what we are getting into is that are now locked into a very high price for a very long time."
Ahead of Thursday’s vote, EDF had said Hinkley Point was a "unique asset for French industry as it would benefit the whole of the nuclear industry and support employment in major companies and smaller enterprises in the sector".
‘Too big to fail’
Although French unions are urging the company to push back the decision until the company is in a better financial position, UK unions – including Unite and GMB – have welcomed the project.
Environmentalists are concerned about the plan. After the announcement about the go-ahead, Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: "Countless experts have warned that for British families this power station will be terrible value for money."
He added: "Today’s decision doesn’t prove the UK is open for business post-Brexit – it just shows the Hinkley deal became too big to fail in the eyes of British and French politicians."
The campaign group added that more investment was needed for renewable energy like offshore wind.
I’ll take a closer look tomorrow, after a date with Mary (my dentist!).
But a few initial thoughts:
1) Hinkley is scheduled to provide about 24 TWh pa. The guaranteed price is £92.50/MWh. This, however, is at 2012 prices, so is probably about £100/MWh at current prices. This means that we will be paying Hinkley about £2.4 billion a year, over the contract period of 35 years. In other words, a total of £84 billion at today’s prices, of which approximately a half is subsidy.
2) Reuters report that the EDF Board voted for Hinkley by a very small margin of 10 to 7. Hardly a vote of confidence, particularly since one board member resigned before the vote.
3) Given Greg Clark’s statement, one wonders whether the French might be tempted to pack the whole thing in!
4) Finally, why do the BBC insist on including comments from the likes of Greenpeace, whenever energy issues are raised. They are not qualified to comment on such matters any more than my dog is.
If you doubt this, simply weigh up the logic of this statement:
“Countless experts have warned that for British families this power station will be terrible value for money.
More investment was needed for renewable energy like offshore wind”
So paying £100/MWh for nuclear power that is available on demand is terrible value, yet paying the Dudgeon wind farm £159/MWH for offshore wind power, the contract price agreed at the latest CfD auction, for power that is not even available much of the time, is eminently sensible!
Unfortunately, our supposedly totally unbiased state broadcaster never seems to think to question such “logic”.
By Paul Homewood
Breitbart reports on the Luvvies’ Love In at St Tropez:
Leonardo DiCaprio sounded a dire warning at his charity foundation’s annual climate change gala in St. Tropez Wednesday night, telling the dozens of celebrities and dignitaries in attendance that they represent the “last generation” that has a chance to halt the deleterious effects of global warming.
By Paul Homewood
h/t Joe Public
The BBC provide yet more free advertising space for Elon Musk:
Does Elon Musk have more money than sense? Or could it actually be more sense than money?
The chief executive of Tesla is, in a post-Steve-Jobs world, the stand-out visionary voice in Silicon Valley. There’s no question about that.
But with each product launch – or, in this case, a building launch – it seems he needs both more time and more money to realise his own ambitions.
The more he achieves, the bigger the task, and budget, seems to get.
During a typically scorching Tuesday afternoon in the Nevada desert, near Reno, Mr Musk told a group of journalists about his global manufacturing ambitions.
We had just had a tour of the new Gigafactory, Tesla’s $5bn (£3.8bn) 3,200-acre battery-manufacturing plant that has already begun production but will not be in full swing until about 2020. At that point, it will have the largest physical footprint of any building in the world.
By making battery cells here, Mr Musk hopes he will be able to innovate faster and cut out about 30% of the cost.
The factory is a tie-up with the company that already makes Tesla’s cells, Panasonic.
Nowhere does the BBC mention how many billions in subsidies have been gobbled up by the charlatan Musk. But then, that would not suit their agenda, would it?
By Paul Homewood
Claims of “hottest evah” months are heavily dependent on much higher temperatures than usual in the Arctic. However, there is a big problem here, because there is very little actual data above the Arctic Circle, as NOAA admit below.
To get around this problem, GISS guess temperatures, based on stations up to 1200 km away.
h/t Moderately Cross of East Anglia
1st August 1911: Men sleeping on the sands at Westcliff during a heatwave
When New England was experiencing arguably its worst heatwave on record in July 1911, Old England was having an equally remarkable one of its own. Official figures show it was the second hottest summer on record, beaten only by the even more exceptional summer of 1976.
The hot weather effectively began at the beginning of July, when high pressure began to build.
By Paul Homewood
Change.org are organising this petition, which says:
WHEREAS, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has suggested that air conditioners are as big a threat as ISIS, and
WHEREAS, it is the duty of our elected and appointed government officials to lead by example,
THEREFORE, we call upon the U.S. Department of State to remove air conditioning from all property that the Department owns, rents, or otherwise employs, including but not limited to embassies, consulates, office buildings, etc., all vehicles owned and/or operated by the Department, and any other property, real or movable, owned, rented, or otherwise employed by the Department.
This petition will be delivered to:
- President of the United States
You can sign up here.
By Paul Homewood
Latest post from Guido, who, to those not familiar with him, is the scourge of the Establishment in the UK:
This weekend saw the launch of More United, “a tech-driven political startup” which wants a closer relationship with the EU, more immigration and action on climate change. It is as dreary as it sounds – basically all the worst people from the referendum teaming up to virtue signal and cry about losing. Celeb backers include the most frightful bores like Dan Snow and Caroline Criado-Perez. But who is working at More United behind the scenes?
Well, top LibDem Paddy Ashdown is a director. As is Elizabeth Mayhew, Nick Clegg’s former correspondence secretary. Then there is LibDem peer Rumi Verjee. And former LibDem press officers Debbie Gore and Autin Rathe. As well as former LibDem candidate Maajid Nawaz and one time LibDem supporter Sunny Hundal. What a surprise that this collection of metropolitan losers masquerading as a non-partisan political movement is just a front group for tired old LibDems. Why not get former Clegg and BSE spokesman James McGrory in to do the comms? It’s guff like this that lost them the referendum…
Many of my generation will remember Private Eye magazine, which similarly held the establishment to account in the 1960s. It is extremely sad to report that the Eye, under the editorship of the BBC enthralled (and paid) Ian Hislop, has long lost that soubriquet. Indeed Hislop and co are now more part of that establishment than the Archbishop of Canterbury was fifty years ago.
By Paul Homewood
Jason Samenow is worried that Washington might hit 100F today.
It’s just as well he was not around in 1911, when an 11-day heatwave is estimated to have killed 2000 people in the northeastern United States. It has been described as “The Worst Weather Disaster in New England History.”
The heatwave most affected the area from Pennsylvania up to Maine, with a top temperature of 106F recorded at Nashua, NH. (The Weather Warehouse have data back to 1988 for Nashua, which shows that the highest temperature recorded there since was only 103F in 2011. In the meantime, of course, Nashua has been transformed from a small town to a highly urbanised environment).
The New England Historical Society has this history of the 1911 heatwave:
In July 1911, a heat wave killed thousands of New Englanders and sent many over the brink of madness.
During 11 hellish days, horses dropped in the street. Babies didn’t wake up from their naps. Boats in Providence Harbor oozed pitch and began to take on water. Tar in the streets bubbled like hot syrup. Trees shed their leaves, grass turned to dust and cows’ milk started to dry up.
In every major northeastern city, the sweltering heat drove people to suicide.
On July 4, temperatures hit 103 in Portland, 104 in Boston (a record that still stands), 105 in Vernon, Vt., and 106 in Nashua, N.H., and Bangor, Maine. At least 200 died from drowning, trying to cool off in rivers, lakes, ponds and ocean – anything wet. Still more died from heat stroke. It was possibly the worst weather disaster in New England’s history, with estimates of the death toll as high as 2,000.
By Paul Homewood
More fraud from Climate Central.
The Washington Post reports:
By Jason Samenow July 14
The temperature Thursday in Washington soared to 98 degrees, the hottest so far this summer. The heat index, which factors in humidity, registered 104 degrees.
Get used to it.
An analysis released Wednesday by Climate Central, a nonprofit science communication group based in Princeton, N.J., says these kinds of brutally hot and humid days are becoming more common.
Climate Central’s States at Risk project, featuring an interactive website, not only analyzed historical heat and humidity data to document observed trends but also, using climate models, projected how hot and humid days will evolve into the future.
All data point toward steamier times ahead.