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Britain’s Looming Energy Crunch–Geoff Ho

November 11, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dave Ward



This appears in the Sunday Express today:



Geoff Ho is the City Editor. Normally items like this are limited to Booker and the like.

It is unusual to see something like this from a respected financial guy.

  1. markl permalink
    November 11, 2018 4:07 pm

    Is anyone listening or will they only care when the electricity stops?

  2. November 11, 2018 4:09 pm

    Mr Ho makes valid points. The government has still not responded to The Helm report on Energy, published in November 2017? I’ve recently written to Minister Claire Perry and still await her reply. The huge costs of the subsidies for renewables, the nuclear shambles, the cost of smart meters, EV cars and vans and associated infrastructure, the closure of coal mines, the disgrace over biomass at Drax, and an incoherent policy on gas and hydraulic fracturing! Yes we do have a looming crisis, and it’s caused by our woolly headed, virtue signally, incompetent green supporting politicians who are wedded to the CCA! It is a national disgrace.

    • Henning Nielsen permalink
      November 11, 2018 5:44 pm

      I’ll tell you a secret. This energy shambles is a conspiracy by us Norwegians. We are eagerly awaiting the time of crises, when we can send the gas price soaring. Viking raids are simply to exhausting these days, we’ve found a better way.

      • John F. Hultquist permalink
        November 11, 2018 6:33 pm

        A great comment. ++

      • HotScot permalink
        November 11, 2018 7:15 pm

        Half fun, hale earnest, as we say in Scotland.

        Norway as a nation decided that better than spunking revenues from the oil bounty in the 60’s and 70’s on political objectives they should invest it for a better future.

        They are now one of the biggest European investor in the stock market and the country has a secure financial future thanks to their prudence. Mind you, the population suffered for it in those years and doubtless people were angry the money wasn’t spent on immediate needs, but it has paid off.

        Scotland was denied that opportunity, not that I believe for a millisecond Scottish politicians (there were none with any authority then) would have followed Norway’s example, but nor did Westminster, and whilst I admire Thatcher, she was an idiot when it came to dealing with North Sea revenues. But then so were most others.

        Fairly allocated and properly invested taxes on oil could have transformed Scotland. It would have ceased to be the burden on the rest of the UK it has been, and remains.

        But worse is to come. Whilst the rabid SNP now pursue the EU in a futile attempt to ‘remain’ in the EU they are ignoring enormous opportunities to move on, and out of the EU with technology that could be the foundation of a better country. But as usual, Scottish politicians are more interested in the quick fix, in particular the SNP who are obsessed with getting their futile lunge at independence repeated again and again.

        What technology, one might ask. Agricultural policy for a start, and this report provides somewhat more than a thumbnail sketch of the bounty the UK in general, and Scotland’s in particular is already missing out of because of the stifling, precautionary principle nature of the EU. A principle that is scientifically, socially, financially, and practically moribund.

        This is serious folks. Whilst energy is the predominant issue of our time, it will be solved over the coming decades. But we are about to be left at the starting gates of AI and technology advances in general because no other nation, or group of nations, is as risk averse as the EU.

        If we don’t seize these opportunities when we Brexit, whether you agree with Brexit or not, we’ll not just be the poor man of Europe again, we’ll be the poor man of the world.

  3. Peter F Gill permalink
    November 11, 2018 4:36 pm

    Sadly it is not only the “woolly headed, virtue signalling, incompetent green supporting politicians who are wedded to the Climate Change Act” but also similarly the hierarchy of the societies and institutions like the Royal Society, The Institute of Physics, The Energy Institute and almost all others of which I am aware. It is more than a pity that the CCA drafted by an English Graduate and is founded on a failing if not already completely failed set of hypotheses. Perhaps the worst offender, a body of which I am a Fellow, is the Energy Institute. I have provided my dissonant views for years to absolutely no effect other than hiding them from the membership at large.As the only protest left to me I shall be resigning at the end of the current year. By the way over the period since the turn of the century I had a number of disagreements with David MacKay, chief adviser to DECC. Just before David died he was asked about future UK electricity generation. He opined base load nuclear, the rest fossil fuels with CCS. He was wrong about the need for CCS but right about the rest. It is of course too late now to rely on sufficient nuclear base load for the foreseeable future. I wonder when the government will wake up to the need to scrap plans to phase out gas and go all out for it as the only short-tern solution to our energy needs. I trust that those who currently advise and plan our energy future will enjoy their gongs because history will take a very different view of their contributions.

  4. dave permalink
    November 11, 2018 4:37 pm

    No one with political power is listening. They are too busy with operation “Screw the People!”

    As regards the Citizens, they are not listening, because they do not comprehend that Government is deliberately wrecking an excellent, working, system, which is the product of one hundred years of development, and is gambling on replacing it using plans that are pie-in-the-sky tosh.

    This Mr Ho has courage:

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      November 11, 2018 6:39 pm

      Thanks for the link. A really nice story.

  5. Jackington permalink
    November 11, 2018 4:49 pm

    No disrespect to you Paul or to Booker but this needs someone like Matt Ridley to pick it up.

    • HotScot permalink
      November 11, 2018 7:35 pm


      In reality, the climate change and energy issue is now a bit of a dead duck. Politicians know that proceeding with renewables is a non starter. They have failed the task they were set and it’s really only a matter of time before there is a shift change to a properly balanced energy policy using coal, gas, nuclear, and a smidgen of renewables for outlying areas.

      Granted it’ll be late, expensive and ill considered, but it’s going to happen.

      Climate change is a non event now, the public don’t care so politicians will abandon their environmental pedestals as they dissolve beneath them.

      And as you seem to like Matt Ridley, you are likely to enjoy this but, more than that, recognise the next international economic battleground, technology and AI. And what you must remember is, that Matt is a Lord of the Realm, a member of the House of Lords. There’s a lot of influential people listening to him and as the climate change movement gradually erodes, they will be looking for the next opportunity to keep the UK ahead of the game. As well as themselves of course. Indeed, I suspect these people are already well ahead of the game.

      Click to access Effect-of-Innovation-in-agriculture_web.pdf

  6. Mike Jackson permalink
    November 11, 2018 4:56 pm

    Meanwhile in other news, Baron Deben of Winston (previously John S Gumdrop) has joined the call for us all to eat less meat in order to save the planet.

    According to the Sunday Times, the Committee on Climate Change has calculated that “enteric fermentation” in Britain’s sheep and cattle produces the equivalent of 23m tons of CO2 a year thus undermining any possibility of cutting our greenhouse gases emissions by 80% by 2050.

    We need to change government policy to encourage people to eat less red meat and dairy products,which, Gumdrop is telling Michael Gove “will also cut emissions”.

    Apparently farming is still emitting 49 million tons of CO2 a year, a figure which has “hardly changed despite big cuts in other sectors.”

    Report due this week apparently. You really, really could not make it up!

    • November 11, 2018 5:15 pm

      And there was I thinking he was a beefburger man. Don’t I remember him feeding his daughter in public with one? However it would seem that he, not his daughter, got the mad cow disease.

    • Henning Nielsen permalink
      November 11, 2018 5:49 pm

      Excuse my ignorance, but has gumdrop something to do with bad dentistry?

      • M E permalink
        November 11, 2018 8:43 pm

        Gum drop is a candy of gum like consistency coloured and sweet much loved by children. . Winegums are those from Britain with no sugar coating.

    • J Martin permalink
      November 11, 2018 5:49 pm

      How many million tons of co2 do farm animals eat ? That would surely balance out the methane farted out as it turns into co2 in the atmosphere.

      • November 11, 2018 8:00 pm

        A good point J Martin. Same logic as biofuels. Do I need to explain?

    • keith permalink
      November 11, 2018 6:02 pm

      Yes, and unfortunately Gove is fool enough to listen. Remember his idiot protestations about EV’s. He still thinks they are the answer!!!

    • belsay bugle permalink
      November 11, 2018 7:16 pm

      This carry-on about ruminants emitting greenhouse gases that cause ‘global warming’ is utter nonsense.
      It’s hard to work out why (apart from group-think) so many people in power (including Gove) appear to accept every wrong-headed word of it.
      They even have the effrontery to say we should be eating factory-farmed pig-meat and chicken instead of pasture-fed beef and lamb.
      Do they know nothing?
      How much carbon is released by growing the soya and maize (abroad) to feed these creatures, the artificial fertiliser, the shipping and processing, the buildings, the packaging and the distribution, not to mention the cruelty in rearing them.
      We really are ruled by idiots.

  7. Stonyground permalink
    November 11, 2018 5:00 pm

    Well if they totally screw up the electricity supply it will stop them from inflicting useless electric cars on us.

    • J Martin permalink
      November 11, 2018 5:51 pm

      I look forward to seeing queues of electric cars at the motorway services, unable to charge because of power cuts. I will drive past them slowly whilst revving the engine and waving goodbye.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 12, 2018 1:55 pm

        In a loud V8 or V12 I would hope. A bit of wheelspin to let them breathe some tyre smoke would also be good.

  8. November 11, 2018 5:05 pm

    It’s like pass-the-parcel. As long as you’re not the energy minister when the network finally cracks under the strain – no worries.

    • November 11, 2018 8:01 pm

      Funny isn’t it how every energy minister says that the lights will not go out on their watch. They know they will be gone from the job before it happens.

    • November 11, 2018 8:11 pm

      Claire Perry’s job is to maintain the sand castle while the tide comes in. She will get a place in the Lord’s for that.

  9. November 11, 2018 5:09 pm

    You would think that ALL financial journalists would know how the world works, but sadly even the Telegraph, and now the Daily Mail, seem to be staffed by wrong-uns, coupled with the tendency (exemplified by the BBC) to pass energy reporting to “environmentalists” rather than business types, who do little more than copy and paste press releases from the Green Snake-oil industry.

    No meat, no petrol/diesel, no plastic, no chemicals, no dissent, who in the MSM is challenging this narrative?

    • HotScot permalink
      November 11, 2018 7:57 pm


      We are currently still in the EU where the precautionary principle has infected everyone. That’s why the narrative isn’t challenged, it risks the very nature of the EU.

      Hopefully when we Brexit there will be a move back to innovation, technology and the spirit of adventure the UK was renowned for.

      Had we adopted the precautionary principle in the 18th Century we would now be living in squalor. If the EU continues with the precautionary principle, it will be living an equivalent life in 200 years time whilst the rest of the world has moved on.

      We can’t save everyone and progress comes with risks, but without risky progress we wouldn’t have the world we have now with cures for diseases, which would be fatal, readily to hand.

      80% of early cancer patient detections result in a positive outcome. In other words, 80% of patients live beyond their historic expectation (crude way of describing it, sorry). A cancer diagnosis even only 30 or 40 years ago was a death sentence.

      None of that would have been possible were it not for pioneering, adventurous steps in science, some of which were risky, beyond the precautionary principle. In other words, that reprehensible restriction would see many more people die of cancer today than they do now. It took us generations to get where we are now. The AIDS ‘epideminc’ of the 80’s has largely been conquered in a single generation and Ebola has treatments already in the pipeline thanks to technology, a matter of years following major outbreaks.

  10. William Szabo permalink
    November 11, 2018 5:50 pm

    the sun is entering a quiet phase–it will get colder on Earth it isnt CO2, Its not people–its the sun, —Piers Corbyn Astrophysicist: Uptick in Global Climate Events and What to Expect into 2023

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      November 11, 2018 6:45 pm

      The best thing about this theory is that we don’t have to wait 80 years to see how good it is.
      With luck I will still be here in 2023.

  11. Ian permalink
    November 11, 2018 5:52 pm

    The impact of head-in-the-sand politics is already playing out in Australia. Just read Jo Nova. They learned little in 14-18 and since. Is it a sign of insanity that we expect anything else?

  12. John F. Hultquist permalink
    November 11, 2018 6:30 pm

    Geoff could better have expressed the following:

    “. . . demand for electricity to power electric cars and heating is rocketing.

    There are two issues in this; One, cars, and two heating.

    Are sales of electric cars “rocketing”? Further, the hybrids being sold apparently are mostly running on liquid fuel.

    If the UK is moving toward, and soon to have, a Mediterranean Climate would we not expect “heating” to be a lesser demand than previously?

    While our house is 100% electric (hydro), I think most in our area are not. Piped gas and propane (carried by trucks and stored at homes) are common.

    • November 11, 2018 6:41 pm

      Yes – he really meant “will soon be rocketing”

    • Dave Ward permalink
      November 11, 2018 9:11 pm

      @ John – further to your earlier query (and Paul’s reply) about “Company Cars” here in the UK, this comment by “oldbrew” over at Tallbloke’s Talkshop helps explain the reason for so many hybrids being bought by the business sector:

      “The UK company car ‘benefit-in-kind’ rate is an annualised % charge based on the vehicle list price and CO2 rating. So hybrids having a low CO2 rating get a lower % charge than most others, regardless of how the vehicle is powered in real life.”

      Note that a “Company Car” is considered as part of the overall salary package for anyone expected to drive as part of their job. The higher up the pecking order you are, the better class of car you expect! These vehicles are invariably kept at the drivers home (hence their reluctance to charge them), and private use is normally part and parcel of the deal. They are usually leased, with inclusive servicing taken care of by the supplying dealer.

      Hope that helps.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        November 11, 2018 11:47 pm

        Of course, these vehicles will be starting to appear on the second hand market in increasing numbers soon. It will be interesting to see what second hand buyers are prepared to pay, and whether they are more inclined to make use of the electric part of the system. A brief look around suggests they may not be a very popular purchase.

  13. Ian permalink
    November 12, 2018 8:16 am

    The BBC News, the UN’s propaganda arm, was at it again this morning, lauding the renewables energy industry in Scotland for creating almost 100% of the needs of the whole of Scotland in October. Unfortunately, their schedule was so tight that they didn’t have time to mention the £millions paid to the energy companies to switch off (covered on this site) in that same period.

  14. Malcolm Bell permalink
    November 12, 2018 8:19 am

    I just now got a “congratulations you have won a Google prize etc” dialogue box. You asked to be told.

    As for the power fiasco I have been saying this for ten years. But I am only a Chartered Engineer not a PPE so couldn’t possibly understand!

    Oh Yes?

  15. November 12, 2018 1:47 pm

    In 2012 I learned of a body called Institutional Investors Group for Climate Change hereinafter IIGCC. I understood that it was set up invest money raised by the CO2 tax on Industry. The working involved is way beyond my understanding but inserting IIGCC in Google tells you that about 150 groups are now involved including the BBC Pension Fund.
    I do not remember where I first heard of IIGCC but at that time the Chairman was said to be Peter Dunscombe who was also head of the BBC Pensions investment department. Several MP’s were also named but the only one I recall was Ken Clarke. Neither of those gentlemen appears on the current IIGCC web site.
    I’m sure that there is nothing illegal in this set up but does go someway to explain the attitude of the BBC and Parliament towards our changing climate.

  16. Gerry, England permalink
    November 12, 2018 1:59 pm

    The crisis might arrive earlier than expected as we head to a no deal Brexit in March and exit from the Single Energy Market that allows us to use the electricity and gas interconnectors.

    • dave permalink
      November 12, 2018 4:56 pm

      The rules for the use of the electricity inter-connectors by the UK will not change in March 2019. The “‘Directives” are incorporated in domestic law and the “Regulations” can be continued by a stroke of the British Government’s pen. Of course,the French can flick the switch if they want to break the connection at any time for any reason, just as the British can do. But it would be completely irrational. And if they are so crazy-mean, better to find that out now rather than later.

      And let us not forget that we can flip the switch on the Republic of Ireland, which gets 9% of its electricity from us. Tit-for-tat, “capisch?”

      But none of this is going to happen. Even Russia and the Ukraine continue to trade energy despite their bitter differences.

  17. John permalink
    November 14, 2018 11:50 pm

    For a number of years people have been commenting on this energy shambles.
    Removing perfectly good coal capacity, before having a replacement energy source on line and proven.

    The Climate Change Act played its part in the removal of Coal, We will look back on this piece of Ed Miliband and the EU regulation, as one of the most monumental pieces of stupidity this century

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