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Amber Rudd – Brexit could see UK energy costs rocket by half a billion pounds

March 25, 2016

By Paul Homewood

 

Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, has joined in the Project Fear campaign to dissuade Brexit voters. In a speech yesterday, she claimed that UK energy costs could rocket by £500 million.

Apparently this is based on a report from the National Grid, which she describes as “neutral in this debate” (yes, pull the other one Amber!)

She offers no explanation for these extra costs, other than:

 

The European internal energy market is about making sure it is cheaper and easier for us to buy and sell energy.

Without barriers – a level playing field.

This is Britain’s agenda – trade and liberalisation to drive down prices – which has now been embraced by the rest of Europe.

It was Britain that pushed to break up the monopolies on building cross-border cables, like the one we are at today, exposing them to proper competition that drives down costs and ensures real value for money.

It has been estimated that a fully integrated internal energy market could save up to £50bn per year by 2030.

Existing EU energy efficient product standards for items such as TVs, fridges and washing machines, will save UK households an average of £60 on their energy bills this year, rising to £120 a year by 2020.

And that’s ignoring the benefits of new and tighter product standards in the future.

That would mean lower bills not just for families and businesses across Europe, but right here in Britain.

 

Does she seriously believe that the French and Dutch will stop selling us their surplus power? As for product standards, why do we have to stay in the EU to adopt standards which make sense for the UK?

 

She goes on to say:

 

And over the next five years we intend to double our ability to import electricity with similar new connections to France, Belgium and Norway. And there are potential new projects with Denmark, Iceland and Ireland further down the track.

These new connections alone could save British households nearly £12bn over the next two decades by driving down the price of electricity.

They act as an extension lead to the vast European energy market, bringing cheap electricity from the continent.

They are the perfect example of how being in Europe helps to deliver energy security at home.

She apparently has not realised that Norway and Iceland are not in the EU.

 

Not to be outdone by Cameron and his cronies, Amber even introduces the bogeyman, Vladimir Putin:

 

By 2030, even if we develop the potential of UK shale gas, we are expected to import about three quarters of our gas.

In other words, we will have to continue to work with our closest neighbours to deliver energy security in the future.

Relying on energy from abroad is not without risk.

We have seen how countries such as Putin’s Russia use their gas as a tool of foreign policy. Threatening to cut off supplies or drastically increase prices.

We mustn’t let our energy security be hijacked as a political pawn to bring Europe to its knees.

By working together in the European Union we can stop this becoming a reality.

As a bloc of 500m people, we have the power to force Putin’s hand.

As she ought to know, her own Department’s statistics show that we don’t import any gas from Russia. Most in fact comes from Norway and Qatar. We have managed to negotiate good deals for these without the help of the good Frau or Mr Juncker.

 

 

4.5 Natural gas imports and exports (1)
GWh

2014
Imports


by pipelines from:
Belgium (2) 3,949
The Netherlands (3) 70,293
Norway (4) 267,041
Liquefied Natural Gas (5) 123,912
of which:
Algeria 5,774
Australia
Egypt
Nigeria 534
Norway
Qatar 113,600
Trinidad & Tobago 4,004
USA
Yemen


Total Imports 465,195
Exports to:


Belgium (2) 48,074
The Netherlands (6) 18,852
Norway (7) 9
Republic of Ireland (8) 49,004


Total Exports 115,939


Net Imports (9) 349,256

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/natural-gas-chapter-4-digest-of-united-kingdom-energy-statistics-dukes

 

 

I find it extraordinary that Amber is concerned about half a billion, when her own Department’s policies will be adding £12.3 billion to our bills in five years time.

But, there again, she also says “The global deal in Paris is in the UK’s interests, and frankly we wouldn’t have got it without being part of the EU”. We should not take any notice of anybody so deluded.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. David Richardson permalink
    March 25, 2016 11:09 am

    Drives you mad doesn’t it?! Even Mrs R is beginning to think someone needs to sort this lot out and she thinks that reading NALOPKT isn’t good for my well-being. She thinks it is a good job that I don’t have high blood pressure.

    Next thing AMBER alert will be telling us that BREXIT will cause more ash dieback and whale strandings.

    Keep up the good work Paul.

  2. martinbrumby permalink
    March 25, 2016 11:57 am

    These are comments that don’t just reflect her blatant ignorance and incompetence. Many of them are absolutely barefaced lies which she must be aware have no rational basis whatever.

    If you filled in your tax return along similar lines you’d end up in jail.

    • March 25, 2016 12:34 pm

      Talking about Amber’s ignorance, her lamentable performance on Radio 4 Today this morning was enough to make any half intelligent persons blood pressure rise. The ignorance on display was breath-taking even for a politician.

      I never thought it possible, but she’s in danger of making Ed Davey appear sane.

      • BLACK PEARL permalink
        March 25, 2016 12:57 pm

        Owing to the large sums recieved from the EU
        Any EU reporting by the BBC is an outright conflict of interests, yet no one in position pulls them up

  3. March 25, 2016 12:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    Who in their right mind is going to be taken in by this nonsense? It’s only because successive governments have contrived to kill off fossil fuel power generation that we are in the mess we are.

    • March 29, 2016 3:03 am

      The death of fossil carbon power is long overdue, and practically every government between the Caucasus and the western shores of the USA is failing to appreciate the necessity and urgency of that demise. Unfortunately, the Cold War and superstition and propaganda about civilian nuclear power may have doomed the rest of the world to its eventual subjection under the “People’s Republic” of China, where the Mandarin tradition still prevails, and they know that both human multiplication and fossil carbon combustion are utterly ruinous.
      Subjection? They have a plan to export renewable fission energy capacity to the rest of the world before 2030. If you like our dependency on the Middle East for petroleum, you will love the Far East’s ownership of nuclear.

      • catweazle666 permalink
        March 29, 2016 5:45 pm

        Drivel.

  4. Ben Vorlich permalink
    March 25, 2016 1:29 pm

    Paul,
    how sure are we that the gas coming from Belgium and the Netherlands although only a small percentage of the total UK imports isn’t coming from Russia or only available because of Russia? There is a gas pipeline into Belgium from Russia coming via The Czech Republic and Germany with a connection in Germany to another Russian link. Russia plays a key role in the EU’s import of natural gas (30%), oil and solid fuels .

    With regard to selling of surplus power by French and Dutch, there are more and larger interconnectors on continental Europe than to the UK. I have no knowledge of contracts etc but it is possible, in my view, that EU members would carry more weight in buying spare power unless a hefty premium was involved particularly if French politicians carry a grudge (just as President de Gaulle bore a grudge against the Anglo-Saxons until his death.)? There’s no evidence that this won’t happen.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 25, 2016 11:55 pm

      We can be fairly sure that the physical supplies of gas to the UK do not at present come from Russia. The Zeebrugge area in Belgium is one of the main landing points for natural gas in Northwest Europe, its reception capacity of about 50 billion cubic metres per year corresponding to around 10% of the total border capacity needed to supply the European Union. The Zeebrugge area harbours the Zeebrugge LNG terminal, the landing point of the UK-Belgium Interconnector pipeline, the landing point of the Norway-Belgium Zeepipe and the Zeebrugge gas trading point. So the gas that comes to us via the Interconnector will have come from Norway or as imported LNG (not yet available from Russia for European destinations until Yamal LNG starts up). In fact, the line is used far more to export gas from the UK to Belgium than the other way around.

      http://www.icis.com/resources/news/2016/01/05/9956982/lng-glut-groningen-supply-cut-boosts-iuk-gas-flows/

      Dutch gas supply comes by virtue of its own (mainly) Groningen production and Norwegian gas landed at Emden, which also flows into Germany. We are seeing reduced flows on the BBL line because the Dutch have decided to restrict Groningen production. However, there is no route across the Netherlands from Germany for Russian gas. This map may help:

      http://www.entsog.eu/public/uploads/files/maps/transmissioncapacity/2015/ENTSOG_CAP_MAY2015_A0FORMAT.pdf

      Gazprom have been keen to expand their trading expertise and knowledge of different gas markets. To that end, they have bought gas in a variety of markets and on-sold it. They are known to have contracts to supply BG based on purchased gas. That is not Russian gas by origin though – it’s like buying a Cambridge University Press book from American company Amazon.

      We may end up buying some real Russian gas after the Yamal LNG project comes on stream. When the Arctic ice is too thick for their icebreaker tankers to reach the Far East they will have to divert to Europe – and the UK has plenty of LNG reception facilities. They will have to sell into Europe, because the tankers have to get back to pick up the next cargo, otherwise production would be halted. In short, they will depend on us and our ability to act as an offshore LNG terminal for Europe, rather than us having to depend on them.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      March 26, 2016 12:37 am

      ” There’s no evidence that this won’t happen.”

      Don’t be silly.

      Things have changed a LOT since de Gaulle’s time.

      You see Ben, the UK is the fifth largest economy and the fourth most powerful military on Earth, so if the French were to start playing silly buggers, we would be more than in a position to give as good as we got.

      We hold considerably more cards now than we did then, and economically France is in no position to cut off its nose to spite its face.

      How about a shortage of energy causes a little hitch in the export of Rolls Royce engines, Airbus wings and Dowty landing gears? Think of all those billions euros’ worth of of Airbus contracts sitting on the assembly line at Toulouse, how much do you think the customers would demand in damages if the completion was seriously delayed?

      Do you really think that Hollande – or any other EU state leader – really wants to start a trade war with one of their best customers over a little thing like LNG exports, there are far more factors than just balance of payments involved.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 26, 2016 9:25 am

      Power networks on the Continent are already being stretched by the consequences of EU energy policy, and particularly by the German Energiewende. Germany has to import power every time the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, and also it has to export power in large quantities on sunny summer days, when its solar panels produce close to maximum. This is quite profitable for the Norwegians, who simply buy German surplus power at knockdown (even negative) prices and shut off their hydroelectricity production. They sell extra production at premium prices when Germany is short. The power flows are very disruptive on some other neighbouring networks (particularly Czech and Polish ones, as they are effectively used as a route for power between Northern and Southern Germany, taking grid capacity). So much so, that they are considering installing blocking devices to prevent the German power flows.

      Further interconnection of the UK grid to the Continent would tie us into their disruptive system, and far from offering security, would open the UK to Continental insecurities. Our existing interconnnectors are effectively to offshore nuclear power stations in Northern France, and coal fired power stations at Maasvlakte (Rotterdam) in the Netherlands. What we need is a reliable UK power system, not more connection to an increasingly unreliable one – which would certainly drive our power costs much higher as we bid for power during EU wide shortages. Shortages of wind and solar are often highly correlated across Europe – the idea that the wind is blowing somewhere else turns out not to be true all too often even on that scale. Of course, we all have little to no solar power during midwinter – and none after dark.

      You may find the French grid data on its connections to other countries of interest

      http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/france/

      Now imagine what happens if the French close their reliable nuclear power and replace it with wind and solar.

  5. March 25, 2016 2:00 pm

    “It was Britain that pushed to break up the monopolies . . .” Or was it some in Britain that temporarily held power, lamented by so many to this day? Centrally mandated expensive appliance requirements save you money, if you can by one, we might suppose. Duly noted.

  6. March 25, 2016 2:26 pm

    Interconnectors work in both directions. No reason why anyone would want to reduce their import options AFAIK.
    http://www.interconnector.com/operational-data/daily-summary/

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      March 25, 2016 6:04 pm

      True who does most of the importing?
      Mostly going EU->UK currently, why would that continue with a huffy French President, désolé mon ami, il n’y a pas d’excès pour vous aujourd’hui? No problem going UK->EU when Scottish and off-shore wind are chucking out more than the grid can handle and the National Grid is trying to manage the situation (next week?). The grids in the EU can shove it down to Greece at cost, zero or negative, and help them out of their financial problems?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 26, 2016 12:09 am

      Indeed, Belgium has long been a net importer of gas from the UK (as has the wider EU, despite the volumes we’ve had from the Netherlands):

      Electricity interconnectors can be rather more hair-raising – look at the wild swings in this example from January:

      Now imagine swings with another 5-7GW of reversible power lines based on bidding wars between markets. We already have a parlous power supply picture for next winter:

      Who gets the blackouts when the wind assumed in those forecasts doesn’t blow and neither does the interconnector flow to us, but instead to the continent?

  7. Terry permalink
    March 25, 2016 3:29 pm

    Please stop giving that awful woman Amber Rudd publicity. Publicity is key and you are not helping by giving these nasty people publicity.

    Terri Jackson

    On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 10:54 AM, NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT wrote:

    > Paul Homewood posted: “By Paul Homewood Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, > has joined in the Project Fear campaign to dissuade Brexit voters. In a > speech yesterday, she claimed that UK energy costs could rocket by £500 > million. Apparently this is based on a report from the” >

  8. markl permalink
    March 25, 2016 4:22 pm

    With the vote only a few months away the propaganda machines will be in high gear. Brexit to regain your sovereignty and standard of living. Don’t be pulled further into one size fits all lie that really means the lowest common denominator becomes the norm. This colonist is rooting for you.

  9. Bloke down the pub permalink
    March 25, 2016 5:03 pm

    ‘And that’s ignoring the benefits of new and tighter product standards in the future.’

    Would that for example be like the suggested reduction in wattage of electric kettles?

    • Billy Liar permalink
      March 25, 2016 8:38 pm

      I believe they’ve twigged that the current water we boil takes the same amount of energy regardless of the speed at which the energy is delivered.

      European scientists are now looking for water that is more energy efficient.

      /sarc

  10. catweazle666 permalink
    March 26, 2016 12:41 am

    But, there again, she also says “The global deal in Paris is in the UK’s interests, and frankly we wouldn’t have got it without being part of the EU”.

    What deal, the one that obliges us to fork out untold billions to Third World dictators ostensibly to ameliorate their CO2 emissions? THAT DEAL?

    Well, frankly Ms Rudd, you know exactly where you can stick that!

  11. tom0mason permalink
    March 26, 2016 3:16 am

    “The European internal energy market is about making sure it is cheaper and easier for us to buy and sell energy.

    Without barriers – a level playing field.

    This is Britain’s agenda – trade and liberalisation to drive down prices – which has now been embraced by the rest of Europe. “

    So by her logic if Britain leaves Europe then Britain’s agenda in Europe will cease and European energy prices will rise…?! Or Europe only strives for a competitive liberalized market because Britain insists on it.
    Well I could believe that!
    Surely by Ms Rudd’s logic it is imperative that Britain leaves the EU and its crooks now and seeks better deals elsewhere immediately.

    Now from —

    Existing EU energy efficient product standards for items such as TVs, fridges and washing machines, will save UK households an average of £60 on their energy bills this year, rising to £120 a year by 2020.

    And that’s ignoring the benefits of new and tighter product standards in the future.

    it is obvious that Ms. Rudd wishes to have trade barriers – to manufacture an unlevel playing field. She is in favor of restricting the market, and customer choice primarily by legislative means and not through market forces.
    This flies in the face of the statement that “This is Britain’s agenda – trade and liberalisation to drive down prices…”, as obviously Britain’s government’s agenda is not for “liberalisation to drive down prices” in all markets but only in those in which the British government’s bureaucrats have decided the British public can have a voice but no power in.

    Amber clarifies the government’s case with a miasma of words as well as Sir Humphrey Appleby from ‘Yes Minister’ ever achieved.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      March 26, 2016 10:07 am

      Having recently been through the process of buying new appliances it is quite clear what the consequences of the EU standards are. Anything rated A+++ comes at a price premium of several hundred pounds that far exceeds the value of lifetime claimed power savings – and that is before considering the higher maintenance cost of more complex appliances which may well have shorter lives, requiring energy of manufacture to be expended all over again. Fridges and freezers have much reduced internal volumes to accommodate all the extra insulation, with the consequence that either you buy a larger appliance if you can accommodate it, or you will be forced to shop more frequently (expending far more energy than is being saved by the appliance) as your stock runs out. In short, it is all about green virtue signalling, and not real economics – and it leads to higher household bills overall.

      It should be noted that Rudd’s quote for 2020 doubtless make outdated assumptions about high cost power so that the value of “savings” is apparently higher.

  12. March 26, 2016 8:36 am

    If you actually believe this story you must be rather gullible .The facts are all energy prices are set by energy companies .Which are a greedy bunch of capitalist and always have been .If you remember the other year when the price of gas and electric soared ?.Now think back had we left the EU then ?. The answer is NO the price was pushed up by the companies and nothing to do with the EU whatsoever .So far I’ve heard leaving the EU will be bad for everything under the sun .Yet before the referendum date was set did you ever hear a story of how good the EU was for anything ?.The answer is 100% NO Infact you only ever heard negative stories .So please please don’t be taken in by the fat cat scare stories use your brain and remember the facts .

    • March 26, 2016 12:26 pm

      Stunning. Follow commodities prices much? It is impossible for non-governmental power generators to set their own prices because customers can always turn off all their electric stuff and stop charging batteries or, if the state will let them, buy their own off grid setups. The price to a customer who refuses to buy is zero. Agreed that the quoted article is to create FUD. No majority ever when asked agreed with the EU project.

  13. March 28, 2016 2:43 am

    The stupidity, ignorance, and malicious lying (depending upon which segment of tha denial of AGW is almost matched by those who think that anything, form wind turbines to “Carbon Capture” can solve it.
    Given that Amber Rudd is a Tory, but has sense enough (almost) to insist that wind power stand on its own actual value (which I believe is zero), suspect that she does not know what Republican (still, Demon, are you sure?) Christie Todd Whitman knows — that no matter where in the world the carbon is burned, ALL of it joins the jolly CO2 party in the sky. It doesn’t just do its warming of the planet today, it does so forever until either the photosynthetic population catches up (where, how), or the land and sea surface gets warm enough to emit more energetic infrared photons.

    • catweazle666 permalink
      March 29, 2016 5:43 pm

      “that no matter where in the world the carbon is burned, ALL of it joins the jolly CO2 party in the sky. It doesn’t just do its warming of the planet today, it does so forever until either the photosynthetic population catches up (where, how)”

      Rubbish.

  14. March 29, 2016 6:14 pm

    Another Tory minister vying for the title of top pro-EU garbage spouter.

    Leaving EU ‘devastating for young’, says Nicky Morgan.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35911017

    How’s the youth unemployment rate in Europe these days? Grim.

    ‘Currently nearly 20% of young people (aged 15-24) in the EU-28 are unemployed. This represents one in five young Europeans; and nearly one in two in Spain and Greece, where youth unemployment rates are particularly high.’
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html

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