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Booker On Swansea Bay

January 15, 2017

By Paul Homewood

 

image

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/15/christopher-bookers-column-lost-childhoods-barmy-brexits-tidal/

 

Booker’s take on Swansea Bay:

 

At the centre of all the excitable media puffs given to Charles Hendry’s report on Swansea Bay and tidal energy (led inevitably by the BBC), there was a crucial black hole. Not one report focused on how absurdly tiny is the amount of electricity this colossal expenditure and environmental havoc will produce.

Described as “independent”, this review by an ex-energy minister was all that could have been wanted by Swansea’s would-be developer, Mark Shorrock, who promotes himself as “the Brunel of tidal energy”.

Echoing claims made by his expensive PR firm, Hendry gave a glowing account not only of the £1.3 billion Swansea project itself but of five other, much larger schemes that Shorrock is proposing, including three more in the Bristol Channel, which for £40 billion, they claim, could meet 8 per cent of all Britain’s electricity needs.

The lagoon layout

The lagoon layout Credit: Wales News Service/Wales News Service

In fact, the £1.3 billion Swansea scheme alone, working at full power for just a few hours a day, would on average generate only a pitiful 48 megawatts (MW), which they initially hope to sell for a mind-blowing £123 per MW hour, three times the current normal wholesale cost of electricity. A 2,000MW gas-fired power station recently built for £1 billion at Pembroke is capable of producing nearly 40 times as much, whenever needed and without subsidy, at a third of the cost.

That such projects can actually be taken seriously is a measure of just what a bizarre dreamworld we are being carried into by the drive to “decarbonise” Britain.  The real test will come when we see how ministers respond to Hendry’s recommendations, when all the hard facts indicate that this is one of the most ludicrous confections of make‑believe any British government has ever been asked to fall for.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/15/christopher-bookers-column-lost-childhoods-barmy-brexits-tidal/

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19 Comments
  1. Athelstan permalink
    January 15, 2017 12:55 pm

    Mark Shorrock, who promotes himself as “the Brunel of tidal energy”.

    IKB would be roaring at that, in tears, laughing or crying I know not.

    • Green Sand permalink
      January 15, 2017 3:39 pm

      I didn’t know he could swim

      • Athelstan permalink
        January 15, 2017 4:27 pm

        The colossus of Roads.

        No apologies, I am going to mix my engineers here, since I was a boy occasionally we visited S and N Wales for hols, and still do, I like the scenery and igneous series, very old rocks and glaciology has always been a bit of a thing.
        Anyway, over the years I’ve watched the tides on the Menai straits because the sea and interaction with the seashore and flow force again fascinates me, even if it doesn’t make me want to be on it, contrary to the bolder, most of my fellow islanders.
        Telford built that magnificent thing spanning the strait, even with all the advancements in technological know how and techniques of today, that bloody marvellous Bridge, design of Thomas Telford would still be some feat of engineering.
        Wonder it is to behold and to have the vision, self belief and the guts to take that sort of project on in 1819 is some reflection on the certainty of Britain and of its foresight and courage of conviction.

        We did stuff that was meant to last and be an end to something greater future back in the day.

        Alas, in the present time building useless boondoggles seems to take up all of what diminished imagination that remains, what a shrivelled husk, only the imprint of what we were or even of what we could be again does remain.

  2. David Richardson permalink
    January 15, 2017 1:10 pm

    Why is it that the Western World is governed by lunatics?

    • January 15, 2017 1:42 pm

      Somebody voted them in and it wasn’t me.

      Of course, why would politicians take any notice of a journalist like Christopher Booker, when they have an authoritative report written by an “independent” engineering expert like Charles Hendry, someone who has dedicated years to becoming an expert in how to profit from renewable energy subsidies?

      • Athelstan permalink
        January 15, 2017 1:58 pm

        Of a certain type, I know one, he was I am ashamed to say it at my school though not in the same year.

        He set up some consultancy to do with global warbling and the water industry and gorging on taxpayer funds spread about like by the lavs and then tories like it was going out of fashion “grab this quick, there’s loads more!”……. it’s the green religion and the magic fount! which is never empty and always fills right up, never to stop giving!

        Yup, he’s made an awful lot of money big house flash cars, foreign hols galore though he mainly is sticking to Vegas and CA these days – too much to spend and all of it ill gotten gains. Though, he insouciantly claims it to be, because of his “great ability” [glad handing and power point – I suppose], funny to report I’ve never detected this wondrous ability, apart from a p/t barman all he ever was – a middlin’ civil servant.

    • January 16, 2017 12:50 pm

      You have low information voters who elect them.

  3. Max Sawyer permalink
    January 15, 2017 2:40 pm

    “In fact, the £1.3 billion Swansea scheme alone, working at full power for just a few hours a day, would on average generate only a pitiful 48 megawatts (MW), which they initially hope to sell for a mind-blowing £123 per MW hour, three times the current normal wholesale cost of electricity. A 2,000MW gas-fired power station recently built for £1 billion at Pembroke is capable of producing nearly 40 times as much, whenever needed and without subsidy, at a third of the cost.”

    But, of course, it’s “green”, so the cost to the consumer/taxpayer becomes irrelevant. Is there no-one in government with the courage to ignore virtue signalling and the green lobby and put an end to this (and related) lunacy?

    • January 16, 2017 7:41 pm

      A few good souls like Owen Patterson and Peter Lilley.

  4. Ian permalink
    January 15, 2017 4:32 pm

    I note from a previous thread on this topic that there’s uproar in Cornwall about the plan to take 5m tonnes of rock from a protected area for this white elephant. Where do they plan to get the rock for the bigger ones they’re confident will follow?

  5. January 15, 2017 6:19 pm

    There is something odd about this project. Building 9.5 km of sea wall to enclose a few turbines seems incomprehensible when there must be many places around the UK where such construction would need to be far less.
    The Mersey for instance has a hefty 30 ft. tide on springs and would need probably less than 2 km. if that. Mind you there is the shipping, the eco factors and the silting to contend with; so perhaps that is also a no no.
    Generally I am in favour of utilising water energy where appropriate; but not when subsidised and preferably by way of small units dotted around where nature provides the opportunity.
    The Thames Authority might care to look at this, as much of the infrastructure is in place along the lock system.

  6. David Richardson permalink
    January 15, 2017 11:10 pm

    Athelstan – You touch on a subject (@ 1:58pm) that I often spend a few moments reflecting upon. We have been a very stupid people, we British.

    I have no ready answers as to how we could turn ourselves around – but I often think how my father who left school the day before his 14th birthday, and has been dead more than 20 years, had more idea of where his country was heading and how degenerate it had become than the fools who “lead” us now..

  7. AlecM permalink
    January 16, 2017 8:48 am

    Hendry is clearly a founder member of the Illunaticati……

  8. January 16, 2017 10:04 am

    Euan Mearns has provided more analysis of the lies of TLP concerning baseload power from tidal lagoons. http://euanmearns.com/swansea-bay-tidal-lagoon-and-baseload-tidal-generation-in-the-uk/#more-16484

  9. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 16, 2017 12:22 pm

    Following up Phillip Bratby’s comment, the Euan Mearns assessment is a first class quick-view of this topic and raises very great concerns about the integrity of the Hendry report that need to be properly discussed. He seems to have found a massive flaw in the claim that the on / off cycling can be lived with if several schemes are built, and that is central to the claimed benefits of such irregular-generating power stations.

  10. January 16, 2017 1:00 pm

    We have a statewide radio show which has been very good and discusses many topics. Hoppy Kercheval also does a daily commentary on the WVMetroNews page. He has been on the case of the whole climate situation as it affects the West Virginia coal industry–more then 10,000 miners out of work now. But help in on the way Friday, January 20.

    I commented on one of his climate pieces and quoted Christopher Booker. A left-wing lawyer who sometimes was on Hoppy’s show, gave me a very demeaning reply to the effect: little girl what makes you think you are capable of discussing climate change? And “Christopher Booker, seriously?”

    That prompted me to explain just why I knew a thing or 2 or 3 about climate, including the title of my PhD dissertation with the aspects of ecosystematics including CLIMATE. I offered to meet him anywhere on order for the TWO of us to discuss OUR dissertations. I further told him that I had found the writings of Christopher Booker to be scientifically sound and on target. Never heard back. Guess he couldn’t find HIS dissertation.

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