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MPs criticise government clean energy policies

May 16, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Joe Public




Heavy criticism has been levelled at UK government energy policies by two separate parliamentary committees.

The Environmental Audit Committee says ill-thought out policies caused a dive in clean energy investment, which fell 10% in 2016, and 56% last year.

And the Public Accounts Committee says a government scheme to encourage clean heat is a failure that often produces dirty heat.

The government says it is determined to meet its climate change targets.

Investment in clean energy in the UK has slumped following a fusillade of changes to government policy.

These include:

  • A ban on new onshore wind farms
  • Withdrawing subsidies from solar
  • Taxing renewables
  • Selling the Green Investment Bank;
  • Dumping the Zero Carbon Homes policy;
  • Cancelling the £1bn Carbon Capture & Storage competition.

Annual clean energy investment in the UK is now the lowest it has been since 2008 and the rate of installation for new renewables capacity is slowing.


Once again, we see the lie that “onshore wind farms have been banned”. As I have repeatedly pointed out, this is simply not true. All that has happened is that new wind farms have had subsidies withdrawn and been made subject to local planning approvals. (Note – the Environmental Audit Committee report makes no mention of “banning”. This is merely Harrabin’s interpretation)

But Harrabin misses the wider picture, that wind and solar power are only viable with generous subsidies.

Interestingly he goes on to quote the PAC report:


Meanwhile the Public Accounts Committee has been examining the government’s renewable heat incentive – designed to reduce dependency on fossil fuel for heating by using wood-fuel boilers instead.

MPs say the government’s forecasts for the scheme were "wildly optimistic".

The boilers are too big for the average home and they cost too much for the average family. The result is that the amount of renewable heat produced is only a third of the level forecast, and carbon cuts are 50% of the anticipated level.

The committee complains that some boilers create local air pollution – but it says that the government hasn’t properly monitored that.

Many of us have been highlighting the nonsense that is the RHI scheme. Perhaps, if Harrabin had been doing his job, he would have been making the same arguments years ago.



If anybody had any doubt at all about the left wing bias of the BBC, take a look at the comments, which apart from one or two are almost wholly anti-conservative and pro-renewable.

  1. May 16, 2018 1:01 pm

    There is more about the RHI costs, pollution and fraud at the Mailonline:

    PS I don’t like to look at the BBC comments, thank you.

    • May 16, 2018 1:05 pm

      The ‘Best rated’ comments at the mail are much better than those at the BBC.Examples:
      “This is what happens when you allow a looney Lib Dem into a position of power.”
      “£20 billion wasted on this and another £20 billion on Millipede’s smart meters and then you hear the same Lefties blaming everyone else for fuel poverty.”
      “£380K each? – Free house with every boiler? People should be in jail for such incompetence and misuse of public funds.”
      “So it will cost £23,000,000,000. That’s £383,333 for each boiler. Who pockets that? This is a typical ‘liberal left (by a Liberal political) shambles and total waste of our money.”

  2. Charles Wardrop, permalink
    May 16, 2018 1:08 pm

    Since the BBC’s Charter calls for balanced reporting and, implicitly, no own agenda, why are these clear points ignored, with no sanctions against infringements, such as, ultimately, dismissals?

  3. geoffb permalink
    May 16, 2018 1:33 pm

    from chris huhne’s wickipedia entry..coincidence i guess…..

    .Zilkha Biomass Energy
    Soon after his sentence, Huhne was appointed European manager of Zilkha Biomass Energy.[82] The firm makes wood chip pellets in the United States, selling them as green energy around the world and is owned by Selim Zilkha and his son Michael, who was a contemporary of Huhne’s at Westminster School. Huhne’s work in sustainable energy raised concerns that a cosy relationship between ministers (or former ministers) and energy companies may affect renewable energy policy adversely.[83] Huhne’s role is to be responsible for “growing the business in the European Union”.[84]

    The Times reported that green subsidies for wood pellets, championed by Huhne when he was energy and climate change secretary, have cost the UK taxpayer at least 400 million pounds in subsidised power stations burning American wood pellets. The report suggests ministers following European renewable energy targets falsely assumed burning trees was carbon-neutral, while in fact shipping wood across the Atlantic produces more greenhouse gases than coal, at much greater prices.[85]

    Huhne is also a consultant for Nationwide Energy Services.

  4. May 16, 2018 1:39 pm

    Paul, you are a numbers man, so I am surprised you haven’t written about the claim by Christopher Monckton that global warming computer models have been using an incorrect formula for feedback.

    Monckton and his team of experts claim to have identified a giant error of physics in the way official climatologists defined feedback, an error that has been promulgated into all the climate computer models (GIGO?). Monckton et al. would seem to have demonstrated that after applying feedback correctly, global warming in response to doubled CO2 will not be up to 5 K, as the modellers claim, but will be around 1 K this century.

    Earlier this year Monckton and his eight co-authors submitted an amicus brief to Judge William Haskell (People of California v. British Petroleum plc et al). Since the rules of court require the brief to be lodged as an exhibit, the brief stands part of the court papers and is now publicly available.

    Monckton concludes that the man made global warming we can now expect will be small, slow, harmless, and even net-beneficial.


    and two follow-up articles

  5. Athelstan permalink
    May 16, 2018 1:50 pm

    NB conservative commenters on al jebeeba have all but disparu because you have to sign and bestow all, ex shoe size to hat fitting details probably what sexual proclivities you selectively indulge:- a *priority question! if you don’t answer, do not pass go.

    Amazingly, it transpires that, most freedom loving souls are neither willing nor even reluctantly half arsed to so do, hence (ala CiF) total bias on al jabeeba website comment threads.

    On Parliamentary jibbering.

    I can’t quite summon the will to compute the light years wide enormity of, the rampant hypocrisy of all MPs, they sit on committee’s galore (extra’s incentives!! ie they gain on the swings plus taxpayers $ and the roundabouts ie, free trips and lot of other goodies). Haughtily lecturing, telling the Executive and general public, the world and ephemera and phenomena to do, this, that and the other and Achtung! under strict instruction. Strict? peut etre, maybe they just merely advise and it* being as legit as the intergalaxial planetary Neptune branch of the human rights commission – no one takes a blind bit of notice.

    Oh did I say MPs and “hypocrisy” sorry got myself a tad carried away> Yes Hypocrisy, you know like getting elected on a manifesto promise; eg, to leave the EU and then since forever campaigning to stay in the EU, or how about fully signing up the green agenda, unreliables (thanks Phil!) and in the same ‘house’ (of Parliament), then having sheer gall to go on about nit picking and making irrelevant critique about the green agend and their useless palliatives called “unreliables” birdmincers etc.

    I call that, an Ocean going hypocrisy, what would you name it?

    *(Environmental Audit Commission)

  6. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 16, 2018 2:28 pm

    I shouldn’t be surprised at anything Conspirator Harrabin says. He’s serially biased and incompetent . Public misleading Shukperson is no better. The BBC comes bad last to Al Jazeera and others for truth.

  7. Joe Public permalink
    May 16, 2018 2:38 pm

    Adam Vaughan, the Graun’s so-called Energy correspondent on 22nd Jan 2018 reported:

    “A record amount of onshore wind power was built in the UK last year, but government policy has been stalling the sector and risked increasing energy bills for consumers, the industry has warned.

    Turbines capable of generating 2.6GW were installed across Britain in 2017 as developers rushed to meet the government deadline for securing subsidies. The previous record was 1.3GW in 2013.

    The Conservatives’ ban on onshore windfarms ….”

    Perhaps Harrabin failed to read that Vaughan’s sentence continued …

    ” …competing for subsidies …”

  8. May 16, 2018 4:40 pm

    So good news. The gov actions are cutting the waste even if thery ztill pay lip service to climate change. Some ofv this is just inertia, some perhaps due to ongoing brexit negotiations. In related news uk economy doing better. When you reduce the money you throw down the drain…you have more money!!

  9. Kestrel27 permalink
    May 16, 2018 9:25 pm

    Well, I’ve just had the tedious experience of trawling through the most recent four or so pages of comments on the Harrabin piece. To my surprise many are sceptical in one way or another even if the are anti Conservative; perhaps even Beeb readers are becoming infected by a touch of realism. Harrabin himself is beyond the pail; an advocate for renewables who shows his bias in everything he writes.

    • Phil permalink
      May 17, 2018 8:45 am

      Beyond the pail? Does that mean he’s kicked the bucket? ☺

      • Kestrel27 permalink
        May 18, 2018 10:33 pm

        Apologies. It should have been ‘beyond the pale’. Anyway he’s completely beyond it!

  10. Rowland P permalink
    May 17, 2018 1:43 pm

    I believe the BBC is embarking on a massive global warming propaganda programme daily next week on Radio 4 9.30am – but I might have heard wrong.

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