Skip to content

Wife, Family & Solar Farm To Support–Please Give Generously

January 4, 2017

By Paul Homewood




Two connected news stories today.


First, from the Guardian:


Investment in windfarms will fall off a “cliff edge” over the next three years and put the UK’s greenhouse gas reduction targets at risk, a thinktank has found.

More than £1bn of future investment in renewable energy projects disappeared over the course of 2016, the Green Alliance found when it analysed the government’s latest pipeline of major infrastructure plans.

Investment in wind, solar, biomass power and waste-to-energy projects will decline by 95% between 2017 and 2020, it added.


While a slowdown in green energy investment had been expected after ministers cut several subsidy schemes over the last 18 months, the figures lay bare the dramatic extent of the decline.

“This cliff edge needs to be avoided if the UK is to meet its world leading carbon budgets and Paris agreement pledge,” Green Alliance said in its analysis.


This confirms my observation a couple of weeks ago that additions to wind and solar capacity had dropped sharply in the last year.

The Guardian claims that renewables will be cheaper than new fossil power stations by 2025. But fails to explain why we should therefore offer guaranteed subsidies for the next fifteen years to renewables, rather than wait another ten years, when we could have them subsidy free.



The we have dear little Emily, in the Telegraph:



More than one in 10 small businesses now generates electricity on site, according to new figures that underscore the increasing shift towards localised power production in the UK.

The Federation of Small Businesses said that 12pc of its members generated their own power, primarily using solar panels, which have boomed in recent years thanks to Government subsidy schemes.

However, the group said ministers must do more to encourage other firms to follow suit to help meet the UK’s climate change targets while also addressing fears about Britain’s reliance on energy imports.


Emily unquestioningly accepts the figures put to her by the FSB. Apparently she does not believe that fact checking should be part of a journalist’s job these days!

I would suspect that many businesses have always had back up generators on hand, and would also question how many actually now have solar panels now.


However, the key sentence is:

“which have boomed in recent years thanks to Government subsidy schemes. “ 

Unsurprisingly, the FSB would like a lot more of this bribery, to be paid for by the rest of us.


The message from both of these stories is clear. Renewable energy schemes are unsustainable without large subsidies.

  1. Joe Public permalink
    January 4, 2017 11:33 pm

    Gotta love the Graun’s image of the offshore wind farm.

    Investment will fall, because the early birds leave late-comers in their wake, with less to harvest.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    January 4, 2017 11:44 pm

    Here’s hoping the Torygraph’s Picture Editor isn’t due for a Performance Appraisal Interview any time soon.

    For a story about UK businesses using solar panels, it’s a shame he/she/it selected an image of a German domestic property.

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 4, 2017 11:48 pm

      Apols, my ‘Image upload’ attempt was only partially successful. To view the source, click the link.

  3. Athelstan permalink
    January 5, 2017 12:43 am

    “Investment in windfarms will fall off a “cliff edge” over the next three years ”

    “fall off a cliff edge”……..oh dear!……. a very big cliff and an unending plummet – I do hope……..

    and that effin misused handle – “investment” – should read enforced obligatory taxpayer subsidy facilitated via; the fuqwit lunacy of the Climate Change ACT perfidy, a Bill drawn up by FoE activists – if you please!! Oh – and the lav party tosserati RED ED who aided and all ignominiously enacted by a set of weasels and W-anchors namely the HoC – Westminster.

    And the other thing – and concerning the FSB it makes sad reading, though musing, in some ways, you cannot blame them, small businesses will try to claim back money from the onerous shed load of taxes they do have to pay – a sort of payback if you understand me.

  4. Graeme No.3 permalink
    January 5, 2017 2:33 am

    From Emily “to help meet the UK’s climate change targets” — can she prove that more renewables actually cut emissions? Germany has spent over €200 billion and carpeted an area about 50% bigger than the UK with over 25,000 wind turbines.

    The reduction in emissions 2009 to 2015 = ZERO.

  5. January 5, 2017 6:37 am

    It’s not often that the Grauniad brings good news. Let’s hope the even more expensive offshore wind also falls off a cliff.

    There is further good news in that the farmer troughers will also have to pay more tax on the subsidies they extract from those in fuel poverty.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 5, 2017 1:56 pm

      All good news as far as I can see.

      I think you are tarring all farmers with the same brush. Given how they are royally screwed by the big supermarkets on price, I am not surprised many look to whatever might give them a better return. One of my local farmers applied for solar panels but was rejected. He is no rich landowner and also complained how under EU regulations he is required to grow 3 crops regardless of whether the soil is good enough for such a variety.

  6. Green Sand permalink
    January 5, 2017 8:21 am

    A E-P is off on one again:-

    ‘Iceland’s volcanic heat may be the perfect solution to Britain’s energy crunch’

    “Iceland is the answer to our prayers. The country has a surfeit of cheap electricity from volcanoes and melting glaciers that is either sold for a pittance, or goes to waste.

    The Icelanders would dearly love to sell this power to us at global prices to pay down the banking debts of 2008. Britain would dearly love to buy it from them as our coal plants and ageing nuclear reactors are shut down, with little to replace them beyond the variable winds of the North Sea…….

    • January 5, 2017 9:21 am

      I don’t know what A E-P’s qualifications are, but he is totally unqualified to write about energy/electricity issues.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        January 5, 2017 9:40 am

        Seems like one of the more sensible suggestions (considering the choices made so far) to merely import a volcano into the UK.

    • January 5, 2017 10:24 am

      Four problems here, firstly Iceland is tiny, so we are talking about a tiny amount of electricity, secondly they are uber-green and begrudge even generating electricity for their own aluminium smelters, thirdly the transmission losses from Iceland to the UK must be enormous, and the biggie: the cost of the interconnector would be enormous.

      This is just about extracting large amounts of GB bill payers money to maintain the “Transition-to-nowhere” industry in the style to which it has become accustomed.

    • January 5, 2017 10:50 am

      He’s a bit off the pace – it’s called The Atlantic Super Connection

      • Gerry, England permalink
        January 5, 2017 1:58 pm

        It would probably come as surprise to AEP – mind you most of life probably does – but there is a finite limit to how much you can extract from geothermal before it actually starts to cool and drop off in performance.

  7. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    January 5, 2017 10:21 am

    Small Business (es)…whats that exactly. I ran a small business in my house for 8 years and many exist that way. Others are in shops or on trading estates. I don’t see all the panels associated… a few dotted here and there. If business needs subsidy then it is not a business. Certainly a good few installers going bust though…big and small.

  8. January 5, 2017 10:44 am

    What about the ‘target’ of having a reliable electricity supply? Any other so-called target has to be of lesser importance – if any.

  9. Frank Everest permalink
    January 5, 2017 11:38 am

    I think subsidies are completely wrong, too. But I’m ashamed to say that I profit greatly from them, as follows:
    I have 3.75kW of solar panels, costing £6.5k a couple of years ago; I generate 2,800kWh a year; I have an electric car in which I do just under 12,000 miles a year – that uses around 2,800kWh to do that mileage. I also get 15p/kWh FIT for all the electricity I generate, so ALL my mileage is FREE, paid for by electricity customers and I get a 6% tax-free return on my £6.5k investment.
    Is that barking mad or what?

    • Athelstan permalink
      January 5, 2017 11:56 am

      Some would say you’re taking advantage of what’s on offer, if it’s a case of morals and justification I don’t particularly like it – at all, on the green agenda – I think it’s total BS solar arrays, domestic roof panels I could go on and on but it’s still just about a free country and so, why should you not?

      Divide and rule, set one against another, left versus right, lav versus tory, have’s and have nots………………… that’s the idea, keep ’em off balance, keep ’em divided,thus, to keep ’em down under the boot of government lickspittles and therein the real movers and shakers – TPTB.

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 5, 2017 6:12 pm


      You receive 15p/kWh FiT

      I pay 10.82p per kWh (day-rate) & 6.08p per kWh (night-rate)
      (Plus Standing Charges: 21.00p per day)

      With a long-enough flying lead, we can interconnect & split the profits*.

      *NB – Do remember to disconnect each day as the sun sets – they may get suspicious at night-time “solar” generation.

  10. January 5, 2017 11:49 am

    Please! In the name of whatever deity we believe in, can we put an end to this crazy notion of the UK having anything as stupid as “world leading carbon budgets”, let alone trying to meet them? With all the other fuss going on around Whitehall at the moment might this be a good time to persuade the civil servants that we no longer have an empire and that nobody looks to us to set an example — except increasingly in how not to do something?

    GB is currently hell-bent on destroying what little is left of its manufacturing base and everyone that we poor peasants have to rely on to keep at least a modicum of civilisation alive are only listening to eco-fascists with an agenda! I’m glad I’m out of it but I seriously worry for my grand-daughter and her generation. Emigrate, girl!

    I would add the Sun’s famous headline from 1992: Will the last person to leave Britain, please turn off the lights”. Except that there won’t be any lights left to turn off.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 5, 2017 1:31 pm

      Mike, that headline could be modified to read: Will the last person to leave please blow out the candles.

      • January 5, 2017 4:35 pm

        Right, Harry, I’ll go with that version.

        Presuming that by that time we still have the technology to make candles. Though I suppose we could buy some fancy ones from IKEA!

  11. tom0mason permalink
    January 5, 2017 11:57 am

    “which have boomed in recent years thanks to Government subsidy schemes. “

    Government’s greenwash without which all these schemes manifestly fail.
    If the project can only get backing from government and not (everything) from private backers it must be a scam, and worthless as a technology to power the nation.

  12. rwoollaston permalink
    January 5, 2017 12:02 pm

    I only know her by reputation, but could I suggest that the rather patronising comments directed at Emily Gosden are avoided in future, and that comments about the inaccuracy of her reporting are restricted to factual refutations, communicated both here and to the editor of the telegraph.

    It is a sad fact these days that fact checking of releases from organisations such as the FSB is vestigial at best, due to reductions in journalist headcount. This makes the press vulnerable to the views such organisations wish to promote.

    • diogenese2 permalink
      January 5, 2017 1:36 pm

      ” It is a sad fact these days that fact checking of releases from organisations such as the FSB is vestigial at best, due to reductions in journalist headcount. This makes the press vulnerable to the views such organisations wish to promote.”

      So, due to financial constraint, MSM journalism has become worse than useless by propagating the deceits of vested pressure groups to the public as fact. However you have a point. The above article shows no form of input at all from Emily apart from her name. Since that was correct therefore there was nothing to criticise HER for.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        January 5, 2017 2:02 pm

        She put her name to it so fair game for criticism of the content.

      • rwoollaston permalink
        January 5, 2017 2:28 pm

        If her name is on the article, she should be corrected. The point I originally made was that it is more effective to counter propagandist messages with facts, rather than by belittling the author.

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 5, 2017 6:15 pm

      Hence my comment directed at the Torygraph’s Picture Editor.

  13. Joe Public permalink
    January 5, 2017 12:51 pm

    “The Federation of Small Businesses said that 12pc of its members generated their own power, primarily using solar panels,”

    I call that bullshit.

    Thanks to Google Earth & ‘satellite view’ in Google Maps, it’s hard to spot any solar panels in High Streets and industrial estates.

    There are a few, but nowhere near on 1-in-8 premises.

    Not forgetting also, that multiple small businesses may occupy a single premises.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      January 5, 2017 10:19 pm

      “Thanks to Google Earth & ‘satellite view’ in Google Maps, it’s hard to spot any solar panels in High Streets and industrial estates”

      Just remember that the imagery on GE can be several years old – and the “default” view you get when starting the programme isn’t always the latest. The only way to be sure is to select the “Time Slider” (the clock symbol on the toolbar) and see the exact dates for various views.

    • January 5, 2017 11:19 pm

      To be honest Joe, most micro businesses are not operating from High Streets and Industrial Estates. Not least because of the high costs involved. It might seem like a high figure, but that was the result of the membership poll, from the members that volunteered to take part.

      • January 7, 2017 11:22 am

        I would add another point for Paul (I hope Paul receives it). In point of fact the figures would suggest that most FSB members are not receiving subsidy for solar panels etc. But are paying towards those members that do, (as we all do), members that could also be business competitors….. This is not necessarily an arrangement that all FSB members are comfortable with.

        ……and should not be the message taken from this report. There is clearly a very complicated situation here, caused by politicians gaming the market, and the FSB is caught in the middle of it, as we all are.

  14. Gerry, England permalink
    January 5, 2017 2:06 pm

    If I were running a business where a reliable power supply was vital I would have my own generating plant but it certainly wouldn’t be solar panels or a bloody windmill. If it starts to make sense for more companies or even households to go off the grid that will result in a big loss of income for grid maintenance. For those who go off partially and rely on the grid for when their solar or wind doesn’t work it has been suggested that they will have a connection fee.

    • Athelstan permalink
      January 6, 2017 12:16 am

      Good points, well said.

      Though, ‘going off grid’ its possibility should never have occurred……..

      Again and again, repeated ad nauseum by politicians over the years, every UK liblavCon who ever had pretensions of winning a seat, being in power, serving on the executive, even becoming PM, all of them make noises about “beefing up”, “securing the prosperity of”, “bolstering”, “boosting the ‘flagging nation’s’ economy”………………”jobs, wealth, GDP!!!”

      Something the Victorians knew as Gospel, the Chinese and Indians came to realize – that, without cheap, plentiful, reliable supply of electrical power, you, your nation has no chance of building a successful, vibrant economy.

      Is there a disconnect, why can’t they [Westminster] see the obvious? Because, or, surely they’re not all thick libtard green loonies.

      Oh – they are.

  15. rwoollaston permalink
    January 5, 2017 2:24 pm

    I’m sure the s**t will start to hit the fan soon about energy prices – my domestic contract for electricity supply finishes in Feb and the best deal I can get costs an extra 20% compared to what I currently pay.

    So much for looking after the JAMs!

  16. January 5, 2017 3:11 pm

    The FSB data would be as a result of a members tick box survey.

    The FSB has a very high percentage of micro businesses among it’s membership (employing ten people or less) And the majority of those are single owner operators and freelancers.

    Many freelancers work from home (and could be very small dogs indeed.). (It’s possible that some of them may have solar panels, Although this dog doesn’t.)

  17. January 5, 2017 3:57 pm

    Some farmers let solar PV firms put the panels up on their buildings and get a cheap electricity deal in return. That may be in the 8% figure quoted above.

  18. tom0mason permalink
    January 6, 2017 11:07 am

    I see that Finland has a new record cold at -41.7°C see

    and the mass transit stops running see –

    and the windmills have major problems see —

    I wonder if the Guardian or the BBC report such real news?

  19. A TULL permalink
    January 6, 2017 12:21 pm

    These figures presumably include the Northern Ireland biomass debacle ?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: