Skip to content

Labour’s Promise 60% Low Carbon Energy By 2030

May 17, 2017

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier




Robin has pointed out one of the key messages from Labour’s new manifesto which seems to have escaped the attentions of the media.

It comes under the section “Upgrading our economy: Labour’s Industrial Strategy”:






Bear in mind that this is “energy”, and not “electricity” they are talking about. And electricity only accounts for about a quarter of total energy consumption.

Last year zero carbon sources still only accounted for 17% of the UK’s energy, and half of this came from nuclear, which is unlikely to increase by 2030, even if Hinkley Point ever gets built.




There is also a limit to how far we can push the use of biofuels. Despite billions in subsidies, wind and solar still account for less than 2%.

Increasing electricity from renewable sources can only have a marginal effect. To get anywhere the Labour target, there would need to be massive cuts in the use of oil and gas across the industry, transport and domestic sectors.

Naturally, they don’t tell us how they will do this!




  1. May 17, 2017 1:20 pm

    It’s time Jeremy listened to his much much much cleverer brother Piers about the lack of any need for zero-carbon energy and the huge benefits of “carbon emissions”.

  2. TinyCO2 permalink
    May 17, 2017 1:38 pm

    Don’t worry. When we’re broke, our energy use will fall right off.

  3. Joe Public permalink
    May 17, 2017 2:00 pm

    The Reds are attempting to out-green the Greens. Hallelujah.

    • Jackington permalink
      May 17, 2017 2:13 pm

      In other words Watermelons with Red outside and Green in the middle

  4. May 17, 2017 2:19 pm

    60% energy from renewables, 30x more than we generate now. 30x more bat mincing, bird fryers needed with no guarantee that this power will be reliable and save more CO2 produced than manufacture, erection and maintenance of these monstrosities will create. Oh, I forgot to factor in wood pellets shipped across the Atlantic too, for the back up reserve for when the wind does not blow between 20 and 50mph and the sun does not shine. Last week nationalisation and taxation, this week energy. No doubt next week: to how to nail jelly to the ceiling. it is beyond parody!

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      May 17, 2017 3:32 pm

      “how to nail jelly to the ceiling”

      Freeze it with a nail hole & use a big headed nail to fix to ceiling ….simples (:-))

    • May 17, 2017 3:54 pm

      Have you checked ScrewFix for an adapter?

    • spetzer86 permalink
      May 17, 2017 8:35 pm

      Do you ever wonder why Drax imports US wood pellets and Canada imports Norwegian wood pellets? What about shipping these things back and forth across the Atlantic makes them greener?

      • Henning Nielsen permalink
        May 18, 2017 8:25 am

        Barnacles are green, aren’t they? Sort of.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        May 18, 2017 12:38 pm

        Helps mix the water in the seas and oceans so we don’t get too hot?

      • Vanessa permalink
        May 23, 2017 11:36 am

        No other country has the amount of wood needed to be cut to feed Drax. We are deforesting the world so fast the only trees we will have left will be those poor specimens in “parks” surrounded by concrete.

  5. A C Osborn permalink
    May 17, 2017 2:26 pm

    They are totally clueless, but we already new that, the Climate Change Act started with them in the first place, especially Millipede.

  6. May 17, 2017 2:51 pm

    Here’s the Libdem one, slightly less bonkers because it says electricity not energy:

    * Expand renewable energy, aiming to generate 60% of electricity from renewables by 2030, restoring government support for solar PV and onshore wind in appropriate locations…

    And they also say they will reduce energy bills!

    • May 17, 2017 2:57 pm

      We know that Blair didn’t know the difference between energy and electricity, so it’s probably still the same with Corbyn and Dim Tim.

      • John F. Hultquist permalink
        May 17, 2017 3:14 pm

        Remedial physics and chemistry classes might help.
        And math.
        These folks cannot do simple arithmetic.
        Ex: How many wind towers must be built each day to make a difference in 2030?

      • gallopingcamel permalink
        May 19, 2017 3:47 am

        John F. Hultquist,
        So how many nukes should we build?

        We need at least two per day in the 100-150 MWe class. In less than three years the USA could become much less vulnerable to EMP attack because small generators greatly reduce the need for a high voltage GRID.

    • Old Englander permalink
      May 17, 2017 4:22 pm

      So the Labour pitch is a direct copy-cat of the Libdems. As others say, Labour won’t know the difference between energy and electricity so they think they’re matching the LibDems, whilst actually being impossibly more ambitious. And I doubt either of them realise the carbon footprint of construction of either wind or solar, rendering the objective pointless even on its own terms.

      Per Mr Hultquist, I hope he’s heard of Diane Abbot’s great interview when she so spectacularly fumbled costs of increased policing. No, they absolutely cannot do arithmetic – even orders of magnitude.

    • Colin permalink
      May 18, 2017 11:30 am

      The government legislates for a reduction in CO2 emissions, whilst simultaneously legislating for reduced energy prices. Of course anyone who doesn’t believe this will work just hates Government.
      OK maybe not so simple but we do have the countries finest brains working on the legislation, they do the difficult stuff and all we have to do is turn up, obviously business, industry,WORK, is piss easy compared to what politicians have to so.

  7. Dung permalink
    May 17, 2017 2:54 pm

    I think it can already be said that the 16% industrial consumption would a lot higher if we left it alone and stopped ramming renewable crap down their throats.

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    May 17, 2017 3:25 pm

    Lab: We want to increase low carbon energy production to 60% by 2030
    Voter: Why?
    Lab: We want to reduce our greenhouse emissions
    Voter: Why?
    Lab: To reduce Global warming
    Voter: Why?
    Lab: Because it’s better to be cold
    Voter: Why?
    Lab: Because we want children to see snow again.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 18, 2017 12:41 pm

      Oh for it to be snowing while you have this doorstep conversation.

  9. HotScot permalink
    May 17, 2017 4:21 pm

    World energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.

    If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

    At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area half the size of the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area half the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.

    ………….the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and ministers should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.

    [Turbines]……need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine.

    A two-megawatt wind turbine weighs about 250 tonnes, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel. Add another 25 tonnes of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year (or a smaller number of bigger ones), just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output.

    Courtesy of Matt Ridley

    Clean energy? Cheap energy? 60%? Not on yer Nellie!

    These people are utter fantasists.

    • gallopingcamel permalink
      May 19, 2017 4:12 am


      A few years ago I looked at what might happen if Florida decided to go solar and found that much of our state would be covered by mirrors or Photo-Voltaic arrays:

      Six years later solar has expanded but only to the extent our government is prepared to subsidise…….that turns out to be tiny even though Florida solar plants generate twice the output of similar UK plants. If solar does not work here what chance have you got?

      FP&L was planning to build nukes but the likely contractor (Westinghouse-Toshiba) is in big trouble. Government regulations may be killing NPPs (Nuclear Power Plants) in the USA.

      It won’t be difficult for Florida Power & Light to replace the planned nukes with Combined Cycle plants running on natural gas:

      • HotScot permalink
        May 19, 2017 7:50 am


        The late Sir David MacKay, a self confessed greenie, does a brilliant TED talk on the subject of renewables. He uses simple arithmetic to illustrate the futility of what governments are allegedly attempting.

        Well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

  10. Mike Higton permalink
    May 17, 2017 4:35 pm

    Something looks a bit askew with that pie diagram of primary energy. If nuclear is 8% of the total then it must be 32% of electricity production (as that is ~25% of the total). However the govt figures for 2016 show nuclear at just under 24% of electricity production.
    Any ideas?

  11. Athelstan permalink
    May 17, 2017 5:35 pm

    Well we all know that the chances of the scum party holding the reins of power are akin to finding snowballs in hell, the dim bums are a joke as much as the green party.

    What is no joke whatsoever is, the very real threat of blackouts and capping energy prices for ‘those unable to meet the fabulous demands of affording the green agenda’……… all of us, takes us all out onto the bounds of sanity and to the abyss of financial catastrophe and all for what, so that we can all shout at the rest of an unblinking planet……………”we turned the lights out so that, you could go on polluting!”

    The tories can be no comfort they are as bent on the green agenda as are timmy and compo – for all those hard of hearing, mother theresa will bind you into the EU and darkness, that’s just what the RoP and Germany & the KSA require.

  12. Dung permalink
    May 17, 2017 5:41 pm

    Amen to that Mr Athelstan hehe

  13. May 17, 2017 10:02 pm

    They’re still calling biomass and biofuels low carbon.

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      May 18, 2017 6:30 am

      Not specifically, oldbrew. They refer to “zero carbon or renewable” – and biomass and biofuels are renewable.

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        May 18, 2017 7:07 am

        biomass and biofuels are NOT “zero carbon”;

        coal,oil & gas are also ‘renewable’;

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        May 18, 2017 7:21 am

        Not I think as commonly understood.

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        May 18, 2017 7:51 am

        And its not commonly understood that biomass and biofuels produce more CO2 than coal, oil or gas per derived MW (all to do with energy balance & energy density),

        Sadly there’s a lot of common misunderstandings about physics & chemistry & no understanding by politicians, yet we allow THEM to make decisions for US, which makes us the fools.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        May 18, 2017 9:16 am

        Your solution?

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        May 18, 2017 7:55 pm

        Well, we could stare by making all MPs re-sit (& pass) O levels before they can sit in the house,
        & make prospective ministers re-sit (& pass) A levels plus at least 5 years experience in a similar area of the department they will control before entering the cabinet.

        Some can’t even do basic maths; they just make stuff up….& lie.

  14. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 17, 2017 10:22 pm

    The entire manifesto is a fantasy – the energy portion is at least consistent with that. At least it allows a calculation of the likely degree of economic collapse were it to be implemented – almost total.

  15. Robin Guenier permalink
    May 18, 2017 7:15 am

    Last week Euan Mearns commented on the leaked version of Labour’s manifesto. It was slightly different from the final version, referring to “low or renewable” rather than “zero-carbon or renewable”. What I found interesting was that Euan’s percentage shares of renewables were different from Paul’s: solar/wind/hydro – 6.4% (Paul – 2%) and other renewable – 3.4% (Paul – 7%). Can anyone explain?

  16. May 18, 2017 11:38 am

    Tory manifesto is now out.
    Yes to shale, no to more onshore wind in England, review of energy cost.
    Blog here

    • Dung permalink
      May 18, 2017 12:30 pm

      Yes to shale gas because it can help us achieve our 2050 emissions target!

  17. Dung permalink
    May 18, 2017 12:28 pm

    Conservative Manifesto:

    We will continue to lead international action against climate change

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 18, 2017 12:44 pm

      There speaks the Blue Labour party.

  18. Jack Broughton permalink
    May 18, 2017 4:48 pm

    Meanwhile in the EU:
    The plot to stop the UK building new nuclear plant has been referred to the European court as being unfair subsidy;
    the new 400 MWe CC plant proposed in France (a government project of course), has been nodded through, despite guaranteed power sales price of 94 Euro / MWh for 20 years.

    Who’s the soft touch of Europe wherever energy is concerned??

  19. May 18, 2017 4:50 pm

    The odd thing is that very few of the electorate care at all about global warming. So why they continue to promote this policy/ideology/nonsense is anyone’s guess. The man in the street just does not care, unless of course someone points out to them the inconvenient truth about impact on energy prices.

  20. Dung permalink
    May 18, 2017 5:35 pm

    It is about sustainable development (as newly defined by the UN) and ultimately that takes us back to the ideas of Thomas Malthus.

    • gallopingcamel permalink
      May 19, 2017 4:25 am

      The gloomy Malthusians have been wrong every time. Eventually they will be right but by then us Cornucopians will be colonizing distant planets:

      If Albert Einstein’s “Special Theory of Relativity” is right you can reach the center of our galaxy (27,002 light years away) in 10.6 years. All you have to do is accelerate at a steady “one gee” which is exactly the acceleration needed to keep you healthy.

      • Dung permalink
        May 19, 2017 10:31 am

        Thanks for that link, another good blog to follow ^.^
        By the way NASA say there is a source of Anti Matter in the Van Allen belt waiting for us to acquire the technology to handle it. NASA also claim to have tested Anti Matter engines in a small way but we need to cheap[ suff in the Van Allen belt to start playing with it 🙂

    • gallopingcamel permalink
      May 19, 2017 11:16 pm

      If you like relativistic rockets you may enjoy this:

      Ethan’s numbers are similar to mine but not identical. Ethan and Michael Kelsey are real physicists. Michael Kelsey works at SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator). You may find his comments interesting.

      In a Newtonian universe you can reach the speed of light by Christmas as long as you start on January 1 assuming you are accelerating at a rate of one “g”. At midnight on December 31st you will be traveling at 1.03c.

      In a Relativistic universe you will reach only 0.459c after one year (as measured from Earth) while only 351 days will have elapsed in “Ship Time”.

      I am a mine of useless information.

  21. Dung permalink
    May 19, 2017 9:55 am

    Hello galloper and I hope you are escorted by a camel jockey??
    I subscribe to the lego theory myself: the earth is a huge box containing every type of lego piece in abundance, we just have to develop the plans which we are steadily doing of course.
    Politicians understand neither Cornucopia nor Lego -.-

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: