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Hot air: Bombshell report shows green levies backed by government will cost the economy £319bn by 2030

December 11, 2016

By Paul Homewood





It looks as if the MSM is beginning at long last to wake up to the horrific cost of the Climate Change Act.

David Rose writes in the Mail about a new analysis by Peter Lilley for the GWPF:


A bombshell report reveals today that despite years of promises by Labour, Coalition and Tory governments, the radical shift to ‘green’ renewable energy will have cost the economy £319 billion by 2030 – three times the annual NHS budget for England.

Instead of cutting energy bills, the policy will be adding an average burden of £584 a year to every household by 2020, and £875 by 2030. Yet this is only the start. By 2050, green energy policy will be costing every household £1,390 a year, based on 2014 prices.

The report’s calculations are derived entirely from official figures issued by Government departments and the Office for Budget Responsibility. They reveal for the first time the true cost of levies on bills to fund the shift to renewable energy.

The impact results from the 2008 Climate Change Act, and will be felt mainly by the poorest and so-called JAMs – those families who are ‘just about managing’.

These calculations are based on official Government figures and show the true cost of green energy

Over the period 2014-2030, the report says, the accumulated burden borne by every household will be £10,800. The countrywide cost to the economy in 2014-2020 will be £95 billion, rising to £319 billion in 2014-2030, and an eye-watering £1.035 trillion from 2014-50, by which time the economy, thanks to the Act, is supposed to have become almost decarbonised.

The report, The Cost Of The Climate Change Act, is by Peter Lilley, the Conservative MP and former Trade Secretary. He was one of only three MPs who voted against the Act, piloted through Parliament by then Labour Energy Secretary Ed Miliband. The report will be published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the think-tank founded by Lord Lawson. Sometimes attacked for its sceptical view of climate science and energy policy, its advisory council includes some of the world’s leading experts.

Senior figures from all main parties have claimed repeatedly that green energy would be good for the economy and save money. In 2005, Chancellor Gordon Brown said most businesses could ‘easily achieve 20 per cent reductions in bills’.

In 2014, the Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey claimed ‘the impact of all the Government’s energy and climate change policies mean that household bills are currently around £90, on average six or seven per cent, lower… than otherwise’. But this, the report says, was ‘an astonishing claim to make of a policy that involves massive subsidies of costly energy sources’.

In fact, as Mr Davey spoke, the Government’s own Climate Change Committee, which sets the country’s ‘carbon budget’ targets under the Act, had quietly issued figures showing that, even then, the average household was paying out £248.

Philip Hammond echoed the claim while he was Foreign Secretary last year by insisting: ‘Renewables… will reduce the cost of energy and the risks of climate change.’

The Act is the world’s most aggressive law, imposing rigid emissions cuts: 35 per cent from the level in 1990 by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050 – a cut so deep it will require total economic restructuring.

Yet it has so far done nothing to reduce the threat of climate change. The report says the UK’s unilateral measures are increasing its carbon footprint, because industries and jobs are being ‘outsourced’ to high-emitting countries such as China and India, and our imports from such countries are rising.

Under the much-vaunted UN Paris Agreement, India is allowed to triple its already-massive coal production by 2030, and has not said when its emissions will peak. China says it will only begin to reduce its emissions after that date.

Mr Lilley’s report says previous calculations of the cost of green energy have been massive underestimates. First, they take no account of the green levies and taxes paid by businesses, two-thirds of the total, assuming they have no impact on consumers. In fact, official figures show, the cost is passed on.

Second, they fail to take account of the huge ‘system costs’ of connecting and managing renewable energy sources by the National Grid, and of paying for back-up fossil fuel plants needed when – as during the recent still, cold spell – neither wind nor solar panels produce more than a tiny fraction of nominal capacity.

Also being hidden is the colossal cost of restructuring the entire economy: if emissions are cut by 80 per cent by 2050, not only will electricity have to come almost entirely from non-fossil fuel, but total output will have to roughly triple, to power millions of electric vehicles and heat most homes.

It is time to pierce ‘the cloud of messianic idealism’ that has so far dominated policy discussion, the report concludes. ‘Only then can we have a realistic debate about the most cost-effective ways of reducing emissions, and whether it is worthwhile sticking to the Climate Change Act targets.’ While JAM families suffer, the rich will prosper. Citing the lucrative payments made to landowners for wind farms and solar panels, former Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull says in a foreword that the only people to benefit will be ‘the better-off, those who own large properties and extensive land, pocketing most of the subsidies’.

An Energy Department spokesman said: Our priority is ensuring families and businesses have a secure, affordable, clean energy supply.


Incredibly, all the Energy Dept spokesman can say is  “Our priority is ensuring families and businesses have a secure, affordable, clean energy supply.”

It most certainly is not secure or affordable. As for clean, the term is utterly meaningless.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    December 11, 2016 12:34 pm

    Gotta love some of the questions Trump’s Team are now formally ‘requesting’ answers from their Department of Energy.

    For example:

    55 EIA’s assessments of levelized costs for renewable technologies do not contain back-up costs for the fossil fuel technologies that are brought on-line to replace the generation when those technologies are down. Is this is a correct representation of the true levelized costs?


    57 Renewable and solar technologies are expected to need additional transmission costs above what fossil technologies need. How has EIA represented this in the AEO forecasts? What is the magnitude of those transmission costs?

  2. December 11, 2016 1:23 pm

    “Our priority is ensuring families and businesses have a secure, affordable, clean energy supply.” That is a standard response from the bureaucracy (aka greenblob). I wonder how long the Government and the establishment can go on lying to the public. There will be a big backlash to the lunatics who are still running the asylum.

  3. Broadlands permalink
    December 11, 2016 1:50 pm

    Wait until the costs of “Capture and Store” show up. According to an organization which promotes carbon capture and sequestration, it will cost $120-$140 per ton of CO2. One part-per-million CO2 is two BILLION tons. You can do the conversion to pounds and the arithmetic to the cost of just one ppm of CO2 to the UK. In the US it is about $800 per person.

    The “asylum” better move to Mars? The sea level there is not in much danger.

  4. December 11, 2016 5:35 pm

    Raising electricity prices like that sounds like a good way to kill an economy. I guess the powers-that-be don’t understand the connection.

  5. rwoollaston permalink
    December 11, 2016 5:55 pm

    A further cost is the environmental impact of supposedly ‘renewable’ energy sources. In the case of biomass, I was recently given this assurance by my MP:

    “Using this fuel source can help the UK decarbonise its electricity supplies but the Government has made clear, through its Bioenergy Strategy, that only biomass from sustainable sources should be used. New biomass sustainability criteria have already been announced that are amongst the toughest in the world, and Ministers are looking to strengthen this even further.

    Under these rules, bioenergy suppliers must report on the sustainability of their operations if they want to claim Government support under the Renewables Obligation or the Renewable Heat Incentive. Any generators that do not comply with strict sustainability criteria will lose this financial support.

    I am aware of particular concerns regarding the sustainability of wood pellets imported from North America, so I was pleased to hear that in July 2014 the Government launched a new scientific ‘biomass calculator’ that will help investigate this issue. The research does show that responsibly sourced biomass can be used in a sustainable manner, and this tool will help ensure that only this low-carbon biomass is used in the UK.”

    Unfortunately, this ‘biomass calculator’ only looks at the ‘sustainability’ of the harvesting, processing and transportation of the biomass – not the source itself.

    Another political smokescreen.

  6. December 11, 2016 6:05 pm

    So, we follow this idealistic foolishness and kill-off our industries by exporting all manufacturing work to the USA / Far East, then we meet our holy targets……. but the carbon dioxide level continues to rise and the temperature continues its long term slow rising trend…. What then?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      December 11, 2016 10:01 pm

      We will be so preoccupied with scraping out an existence that we won’t care what is happening to the climate.

  7. Bitter&twisted permalink
    December 11, 2016 9:00 pm

    Prison is too good for the green fascists and scamsters who have led an ignorant, virtue-signaling parliament to legalize and subsidise “renewables”.
    Ban all new solar and windfarms and remove all subsidies to the existing ones.

  8. December 12, 2016 6:32 am

    Despite (or because of) the £319billion wasted, the lights will still be going out.
    “Ofgem is fully committed to delivering secure supplies for all consumers now and in the future. This is our number one priority. This is why we have driven up network reliability standards and worked closely with Government to ensure secure energy supplies.”
    No wonder we are in a mess if Ofgem thinks reneweable energy such as wind and solar provide energy security.

    • Athelstan permalink
      December 12, 2016 7:48 am

      Mr. Bratby,

      Yeah well,

      there’s a big problem with many government apparatchiks being unfamiliar with much science, even unfamiliar not only with nuance but also to basic communication and maybe it is very likely that, they do not have the merest inkling about the intricacies of which they are trying to explain…………….

      Soon all will be lost?

      The really worrying [imho] bit is, as this current generation of engineers and scientists retire, who will replace them, and is this why the Chinese are coming – the Chinese!!

      Incredible, I wonder what will become of this once great nation, since the Fifties in just about two and a bit generations we’ve and or, ‘they’ve’ seemingly ****ed it.

      • December 12, 2016 8:27 am

        I think you could say that all government apparatchiks are unfamiliar with science and engineering. I posted some while back about how the DECC (as it then was) person responsible foe security of supply had recently been transferred into the post from (I think it was) the Department for Work and Pensions. I have heard from other people who are more familiar with Government bureaucrats how it is assumed that they are all generalists who can move from job to job (and hence promotion to promotion). As soon as they get a bit of understanding of what their job entails they are moved on, and hence there is no understanding and no continuity.

        Since my retirement I still keep in contact with some of my colleagues and I always get the message that more and more of them are retiring (maybe early) and there is a rapidly diminishing pool of engineering experience.

  9. Athelstan permalink
    December 12, 2016 9:01 am

    “Since my retirement I still keep in contact with some of my colleagues and I always get the message that more and more of them are retiring (maybe early) and there is a rapidly diminishing pool of engineering experience.”

    Indeed Phillip.

    “engineering experience” – you can’t buy it, it must be grabbed onto, nurtured and honoured, otherwise the line, the conveyor belt is broken.

    IT skills are great, software design is money but if you ain’t got no lecky, what is the point?

  10. December 12, 2016 10:41 am

    Now superbly covered by Matt Ridley.

  11. manicbeancounter permalink
    December 12, 2016 7:51 pm

    When the Climate Change Act 2008 was passed, the three main political parties were all saying that Britain lead the World on Climate Policy. This claim is false, as no other country is following the extreme policies. Because of this, no matter how much money is spent, and even if the most alarmist prophesies of climate catastrophe are true, future generations will be worse off through these policies. The reason is clear from the theory. Global warming is supposed to be caused by rising levels of greenhouse gases caused by global GHG emissions. To constrain global warming requires reducing global emissions. A country that produces only 1% of global emissions will have approximately zero impact with unilateralist policies.
    The global picture does not change much in the unlikely event other developed countries adopt similar policies. The Rio Declaration in 1992 was only signed by the developed and the transitional (ex-Warsaw Pact) countries. The developing economies have no obligation to reduce GHG emissions. From 1990 to 2012, global emissions rose by over 40% according to the EDGAR data set. The emissions by the non-Annex developing countries doubled, and the increase was slightly greater than the global total.

    So, depending on your beliefs about global warming, the £300bn+ will yield somewhere between approximately zero and absolutely zero benefit to the British people.

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