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Govt Finally Waking Up To Ruinous Green Policies

July 17, 2015

By Paul Homewood


h/t Paul2




Two pieces of news today which link together.


1) The govt seem to be getting more and more concerned about the impact of the cost of decarbonisation. The Mail report:


Green taxes which push up energy bills are to be slashed by the government, MailOnline has learned.

A ‘big reset’ of the support given to the renewable industry is expected to be announced within weeks, including cuts to funding for the solar industry.

Cabinet insiders say the view on tackling subsidies has ‘hardened’ over fears recent price cuts announced by power firms will be wiped out by rising environmental taxes.

The Tories have already announced that taxpayer subsidies for wind farms are to be axed a year early.

But the government is expected to go much further and review all support given to green energy which is funded by levies on bills worth £4.3billion-a-year.

The solar industry in particular is braced for an announcement on cuts to its support.

The Cabinet discussed this week election promises to focus on only ‘backing good-value green energy’ with a promise to ‘cut emissions as cost-effectively as possible’.

There will be a major expansion of nuclear and gas, but solar farms and plans for a tidal lagoon to generate power off the cost of Swansea could be ditched.

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has warned the renewables industry and campaigners that support for the environment has to be weighed against the impact on families’ energy bills

British Gas this week announced its second price cut of the year, which together will reduce the average annual bill by around £72.

But ministers have been told that state funding for green energy and a carbon tax on coal and gas will together add £175 to the average household bill by 2030.

‘We need to deal with those extra costs at the top of the electricity bill,’ one Cabinet source said.

‘A struggling pensioner has to pay it when she doesn’t have the benefit of putting solar panels or a wind turbine on her roof.

‘There is a hardening view in the Cabinet that we’ve got to deal with green subsidies.’

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has warned the renewables industry and campaigners that support for the environment has to be weighed against the impact on families’ energy bills.

‘All that support costs money,’ she said last month. ‘We cannot ignore the fact that, obviously, people want subsidies if they are on the receiving end of subsidies, but we have to ensure that we get the good measure of it.

‘We are trying to reduce emissions and give a variety of renewable energy, and to ensure that individuals who look at their bills when they get home see that they continue to come down.’ She has ruled out backing large-scale solar farms and favours small community energy projects on people’s homes and on other buildings.

There are calls in the Tory party to go further and cut or abolish subsidies given to offshore wind farms as well.


We keep being told that solar is now so cheap that it can compete with fossil fuels. Now is the time for solar operators to put their money where there mouths are.



2) The company behind the proposed Swansea Tidal Lagoon is thinking about a much bigger one along the coast.




The company behind the Swansea Bay lagoon project is also proposing a tidal lagoon further east from Cardiff to Newport

A proposed tidal lagoon between Cardiff and Newport which could power all the homes in Wales is expected to cost up to £7bn.

A report due to go before Cardiff council’s cabinet today says the authority should “consider fully” the opportunities and impacts that might arise from the construction of a lagoon.

The project has been proposed by the same company that wants to build a lagoon at Swansea.

A report by Cardiff council’s director of city operations, Andrew Gregory, on the council’s energy programme says the possibility of such a project “has been mooted in the public domain”.

The report adds: “Although the opportunity remains at an initial stage of development the council has been approached by a private sector company with an interest in developing the concept into a major project.

“In response the council needs to consider fully the opportunities, impacts, and risks involved in such a major undertaking.

“Part of this work will need to involve a shared understanding of the issues arising from tidal power generation along the Severn Estuary in the context of work being undertaken by Great Western Cities.

“This will need to inform the council’s own assessment of a development that would cost up to £7bn and generate circa 600mw of energy per annum.

The basic design has not yet been fixed but the lagoon would be substantially larger than the Swansea equivalent, which received planning consent from the Government last month.

According to the Tidal Lagoon Power website for the Cardiff scheme it will have a capacity of between 1.8 and 2.8 gigawatts and could produce enough electricity to power every home in Wales.

It is likely to cost between £6bn and £8bn to build although the estimates are very approximate at this stage.



As the Mail points out, the tidal lagoon at Swansea may end up being ditched as the subsidies are likely to be even higher than for offshore wind. No investor will be the slightest bit interested in the Cardiff project unless subsidies are generous and, just as importantly, guaranteed from the outset.

It would therefore a pear that any potential investors should be extremely nervous about committing money at this stage, when the govt could pull the plug anytime before final contracts for a strike price are signed up.

Compared to the Swansea scheme, which is said to have a capacity of 320MW at a cost of £1 billion, it is clear that the new scheme will not be any cheaper.



What is becoming apparent from these two developments is that the coalition govt turned a blind eye to all of this, with the Tories afraid to upset the Lib Dems. With control of the Dept of Climate Change handed over to first the criminal Huhne, and subsequently the incompetent Davey, the govt was allowed to get away with spurious and dishonest claims that all of these extra costs would be offset by the benefits of their munificent policies.

Now it seems that the chickens are coming home to roost! It is a pity that it has taken them so long.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    July 17, 2015 11:09 pm

    Is the “Govt Finally Waking Up To Ruinous Green Policies”, or is “Govt Finally Waking Up To UKIP’s Green Policies”

    Whatever, the majority of energy consumers can be thankful.

  2. AndyG55 permalink
    July 18, 2015 1:35 am

    ““This will need to inform the council’s own assessment of a development that would cost up to £7bn and generate circa 600mw of energy per annum.”

    Someone got their units wrong. ! What do they actually mean ?

    “and could produce enough electricity to power every home in Wales.”

    While the tide is changing.. what powers the homes when its not?
    Do real power supplies have to shut down to accommodate, thus becoming uneconomical, closing down, thus leaving no electricity when the tides aren’t running fill.

    • AndyG55 permalink
      July 18, 2015 1:36 am

      I guess at least tides are predictable, unlike wind. (except after beans)

      • jericho horn permalink
        July 18, 2015 3:43 pm

        Yes,tides are predictable – that’s also their greatest weakness in supplying electricity. The problem is that tides do not occur at the same time every day & only provides enough energy to produce electricity for 10 hours a day. The situation creates issues in matching supply to the demands of the National Grid when needed & unless there is a means of storage ( expensive ) when such incongruence occurs, the electricity will be wasted.

  3. July 18, 2015 7:42 am

    New gas plants ‘to be shelved after failing to win subsidies
    @Paul News on Power plant subsidy round , Wonder if any of Deben’s are the ones that will be delayed for at least a year ?

    A “reverse auction” to award the contracts has been taking place this week and is understood to have closed on Thursday night at a price of between £15 and £20 per kilowatt of capacity – far lower than had been expected by the industry, and less than half the £42 assumed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in its impact assessment.
    The result should lower the cost to consumers, which had been estimated at £14 a year on annual bills, but will not result in new plants being built and could have unintended negative consequences, experts said.

    Brigg and Killingholme were supposed to close but now are NOT according to Jul 3rd newspaper

  4. Mark Hodgson permalink
    July 18, 2015 7:43 am

    I always value the investigative work and reporting on this site, and today’s article about extreme weather in the 1950s is an excellent example of that work.

    However, I think this article concentrates on probably the best area to highlight. Too many people are too convinced about so called “man made climate change” ever to change their minds, even when confronted with excellent evidence about the history of climate change and the lack of statistically significant warming for almost 2 decades. They will always find ways of “explaining” it all away and reiterating their views – just like any religion.

    But emphasising the undeniable costs (both in cash terms and to jobs – see e.g. the article about Tata Steel being paid to reduce its energy requirements and the job losses proposed there) of “sustainable” energy might – just might – register with a few of the committed. Thank goodness the Tories have woken up to it, anyway.

  5. July 18, 2015 7:47 am

    “The Greek debt crisis,
    The first one we’ve seen
    That was helped on by an economy
    Converting to green;
    With renewable energy
    They tried to impress,
    But all it generated
    Was a financial mess…..”

  6. July 18, 2015 7:48 am

    \\The world’s largest ever single shipment of biomass has arrived at Immingham Docks after journeying from British Colombia.

    It landed at the Humber International Terminal (HIT) at the Port of Immingham ready for onward transit to Drax power station at Selby, North Yorkshire.//
    Read more:

    Drax must be using West coast Liverpool and east Coast Immingham ports

  7. A C Osborn permalink
    July 18, 2015 10:08 am

    If Swansea got the go ahead to build the Lagoon, then the AM at Cardiff would have to have a bigger, better one, that is the way they are.
    The cost would not matter as it is only Tax Payers money, they would just cut spending in the rest of Wales.

  8. Bloke down the pub permalink
    July 18, 2015 10:57 am

    With control of the Dept of Climate Change handed over to first the criminal Huhne, and subsequently the incompetent Davey.

    That’s unfair, Huhne may have been a criminal, but he was incompetent too.

  9. July 24, 2015 5:46 pm

    Decarbonization is turning out so expensive due to climate campaigners mixed motives. They talked about reducing carbon emissions but their real goal was expanding renewable energy. That’s why they came up with renewable obligations. One single regulation: “fee and dividend” is all that’s needed for maximum decarbonization while raising prices the least. Climate campaigners never considered F&D because it puts nuclear power on an equal footing with renewables.

  10. September 29, 2015 9:11 pm

    Tip of the iceberg on where this is all going

    From the FT

    “The governor of the Bank of England has thrown down the gauntlet to the fossil fuel industry with a blunt warning that investors face “potentially huge” losses from climate change action that could make vast reserves of oil, coal and gas “literally unburnable”.


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