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Harrabin Gets It Wrong Again!

January 9, 2017
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood



It has not been a very auspicious start to the year for Roger Harrabin.

First he is widely mocked for his naive radio broadcast about Donald Trump.

Then he is caught out falsely claiming that India is aiming for 40% of its energy from renewables by 2030. He should, of course, said 40% of its installed power capacity, thus confusing electricity with energy, and generation with capacity. (An easy mistake for an graduate with a degree in English to make!)



Anxious to redeem his reputation, he tweets:




Unfortunately the Paul Homewood he links to is not me! (CLUE – I do not have a twitter account)

The other Paul Homewood must be getting a bit confused.


The saintly Roger links to a report by Climate Home. However, he might have been better off actually reading the draft Indian Government plan itself.



ScreenHunter_159 Jan. 09 17.51


If he had, he would have learnt that the reason there is no new coal build planned for 2022-26 is that they are already constructing ample capacity to last through that period.

This, needless to say, does not mean that there will none built after 2027.


As so often with Harrabin, it is not what he tells you that is important, it is what he leaves out.

This is what the Draft National Electricity Plan actually says:




1) Current coal generating capacity is 185GW, to which we can add another 50GW already under construction.

Therefore coal capacity will increase by 27% in the next five years.






2) Generation from coal power plants will increase from 921 TWh to 1246 TWh by 2026/7, an increase of 35%.

Also, coal consumption for the power sector will increase from 600MT to 901MT, a rise of 50%.





3) Emissions of CO2 (purely from the power sector) will rise from 859MT to 1165MT by 2026/7, an increase of 36%.





4) Whereas Harrabin claims that “clean power will account for 56.5%” [by 2026/7], he omits to mention that:

a) This figure includes nuclear power

b) It refers to capacity, and not generation. (He really seems to have trouble understanding the difference!)




Far from providing 56.5% of India’s electricity, renewables are only expected to account for 24.2% by 2026/7.






Perhaps St Roger of Harrabin might like to check the facts with me next time, before he puts his foot in it again!

  1. Willis Eschenbach permalink
    January 9, 2017 7:42 pm

    In California, we can’t count either hydro or nuclear as “clean energy sources” … because if we did it would be obvious that we’ve already met our “renewable mandate”.


    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      January 9, 2017 9:40 pm

      Same in the State of Washington.

  2. Harry Passfield permalink
    January 9, 2017 7:48 pm

    Curious numbers: eg: “RES 1,15,326 MW” Can you explain. Also, what is ‘RES’ made up of? (I assume wind and solar?)

    • Dave Ward permalink
      January 9, 2017 8:03 pm

      “Also, what is ‘RES’ made up of?”

      Maybe it stands for “Renewable Energy Sources”? All the other sectors of the pie chart are labelled with individual types of fuel or supply.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 9, 2017 11:16 pm

      Indians often confuse using Western numbers. They use lakh for 100,000, which they sometimes write as 1,00,000, and crore for 10,000,000, which is sometimes written 1,00,00,000. 10^12 is described a lakh crore.

  3. January 9, 2017 8:59 pm

    O/T ish
    Scotland’s wind turbines have generated more electricity than the country used for a record four days in a row.

    The total amount of wind energy produced on Christmas Eve was also the highest ever, with more than 74,000MWh sent to the National Grid – equivalent to the average daily electricity needs of 6.09 million homes


    Wind energy provided more electricity than Scotland used on 23, 24, 25 and 26 December, according to WeatherEnergy.

    So when everything was closed then?

    • roger permalink
      January 9, 2017 10:54 pm

      Most of Scotland is closed, isn’t it?
      Apart from the money trees that is.

  4. John F. Hultquist permalink
    January 9, 2017 9:49 pm

    So when everything was closed then?

    I’ll guess you come from a large extended family and had to keep 3 or 4 conversations going at one time, or miss out on all the family doings.
    I note a lack of this ability within the green individuals — one dimensional thinkers.
    Thus, they will miss the context that seem obvious to you.

  5. January 10, 2017 7:09 am

    What would be amazing was if the headline was “Harrabin gets it right”. I am not aware of one single item about energy in which he has not been confused about the difference between energy and power. He has never managed to grasp the fact that installed capacity tells you nothing about energy produced. Why the BBC would pick an English graduate to be ‘Environment Analyst’ and let him report on energy issues would be a mystery, if it weren’t for the fact that he can be relied on to keep the rest of the BBC in line with the climate alarmism and renewable energy mantra. One thing about Harrabin that you can be pretty certain of is that the truth is usually the opposite of what he says.

    The BBC stable needs cleaning of alarmists, propagandists and generators of fake news such as Harrabin. Like other hypocritical BBC preachers, such as Tom Heap and David Attenborough, he has the ‘carbon footprint’ of a jumbo jet.

    • Bloke down the pub permalink
      January 10, 2017 2:09 pm

      Whether Harrabin understands the difference between installed capacity and energy produced is doubtful, the fact that he believes his readers don’t, can be relied upon.

    • dennisambler permalink
      January 11, 2017 11:16 am

      When you also consider David Shukman as Science Editor and the departed Richard Black, what a crew.

      This was one of Shukman’s finest hours:

  6. January 10, 2017 8:15 am

    It is interesting in that in this article by James Delingpole, he quotes Grauniad commenters:
    “Nothing written by Delingpole is proper science. The man has a degree in English literature”
    “Delingpole is not a scientist, certainly not an oceanographer, so why print his ramblings on things he knows nothing about?”
    I wonder if these Grauniad commenters say exactly the same things about the likes of Roger Harrabin, Tom Heap and all the other BBC staff who aren’t scientists?

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      January 10, 2017 8:37 am


    • January 10, 2017 9:42 am

      No they just ignore what is inconvenient and repeat what is false.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 10, 2017 4:02 pm

      No of course not. Golden rule of the left – be a hypocrite.

  7. January 10, 2017 9:08 am

    ‘As so often with Harrabin, it is not what he tells you that is important, it is what he leaves out.’

    That’s spin doctoring for you 😉

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 10, 2017 4:03 pm

      Or in plain English – lying by omission.

  8. The Old Bloke permalink
    January 10, 2017 9:35 am

    Would this one qualify for “8 Harrabins” out of the maximum “10 Harrabins”?

  9. Athelstan permalink
    January 10, 2017 11:00 am

    If you want to see something truly strange, look not ye to Harrabin, cast your eyes over to Hollywood and Meryl Streep’s and certainly [definitely I canna abide her] she’s never been my cup’o’tea but for pure arrant sanctimony on show, Lord above she’s showbizniz! Gag and gawp, watch the faux emotion, cloying and laid on so thick, nigh it must have been impossible to breathe.

    Overpaid luvvies, why do they think that they ‘get’ politics, come to think of it why do politicians pretend to think they know, ‘get it’ about a thermo-dynamic atmospheric system?

    More to the point and like the beeb’s horrorbin why do they feel the need to lecture us, pontificate on matters they know from, insignificantly little to absolutely nothing of?

    • January 10, 2017 11:14 am

      The BBC radio 4 pm programme played her speech last night, you could almost hear the sobbing of the BBC staff at the end, but they had to quickly move along to a piece about reducing plastic packaging.

      • Athelstan permalink
        January 10, 2017 8:58 pm

        I’m very happy to say that, I missed it!

  10. Bitter&twisted permalink
    January 10, 2017 11:32 am

    No grasp of detail, science, or the truth.
    What else can you expect of a ignoramus and propagandist, like Horrorbin?

  11. Michael Oxenham permalink
    January 10, 2017 12:02 pm

    He is clearly an advanced case of Horobinenza—h/t Grauniad spellchecker app. The symptoms of which are dyslexia (cant read), blind spot for official power stats and a morbid fear of a looming catastrophe long after he is dead. Being a progressive disease other signs will become evident.

  12. January 10, 2017 12:34 pm

    Meryl is the poster child for why I got rid of TV Feb. 1, 2013 and almost never go to movies. Why anyone listens to their latest “performance” is beyond me.

    So Delingpole should not be listened to because he is not a scientist? I found his writings to be very on target, and I AM a scientist. But we should listen to the likes of Meryl Streep and Sally Fields and Leonardo deCaprio on such matters? Because why….?

    Heard this morning that the Chevy Volt has been given some summa cum laude reviews as an all electric car. Thank a coal miner, Mr. Harrabin, cause they don’t run on solar.

    • Michael Oxenham permalink
      January 10, 2017 6:07 pm

      What surprises me is that humanities graduates such as Delingpole, Booker, Darwall and Lord Lawson can learn and understand so much climate science, to nothing of the scientific method and processes. Harrabin is total idiot.

      • Michael Oxenham permalink
        January 10, 2017 6:08 pm

        Typo —-to say nothing—

    • Athelstan permalink
      January 10, 2017 9:00 pm

      Chevy volt, I’ve read quite a bit about it, and………………… hmm we’ll see. I just can’t see ‘real America’ going for it – in CA……….. maybe.

  13. Bloke down the pub permalink
    January 10, 2017 2:18 pm

    Unfortunately the Paul Homewood he links to is not me! (CLUE – I do not have a twitter account)

    The other Paul Homewood must be getting a bit confused.

    Have you ever considered going on twitter? It can be a bit time consuming for a busy chap like yourself, but it would get your work a wider audience. I know some of us here, Jamal Munshi for one , post links to your site on a regular basis, but might have more impact coming from you.

  14. Andrewa permalink
    January 10, 2017 5:38 pm

    That is like saying an Indian city such as Bangalore has more public toilets per head of population than London. If you use one you begin to understand why so many Indians pee and poo in the street. Absolutely horrifically disgustingly filthy does not even begin to describe an Indian public convenience yet statistically Bangalore knocks London into a cocked hat.

  15. January 10, 2017 8:00 pm

    Devious not stzupid ?
    Harra made the SAME error before 15 months ago when hyping Moroccan solar …Capacity instead of output covered on BH
    Thus making the public think that solar is doing way better that it actually is.
    Very handy for his mate Jeremy Grantham with his big green hedgefund

    – So the linking to the other Paul Homewood on twitter could also be deviousness.

    – To me RHs output does seem to be systematically misleading: hyping Global Warming alarm whilst over hyping wind/solar as magic solutions.
    And no hyping of fracking/nuclear which have a proven record of helping CO2 efficiency.
    Suppressing of other stories and discussions.
    BBC has systematic misleading on G Warming and Green for whatever reasons.

  16. Curious George permalink
    January 10, 2017 11:51 pm

    M. Harrabin wants to build a tradition. Very English.

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