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AEP Solves The Climate Emergency!

September 10, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier


The usual repetitive nonsense from AEP;



Once again he trots out fairy tale that wind and solar will soon start ‘to undercut the marginal running costs of existing coal plants’, without any facts to back it up and based on propaganda from the renewable lobby.

Even the most recent offshore wind CfDs are currently priced at £48/MWh, well above the wholesale price of £30/MWh. They will all be index linked, so that difference will continue to grow. Even under pre-pandemic costs of gas, the BEIS reckoned that the marginal cost of CCGT plants was only £38/MWh.

And that is before we add on all of the other costs associated with intermittent renewables.

But far more fundamental is the fact that no modern economy can run on a predominantly intermittent energy source, making discussion of costs irrelevant.

Both China and India have expressly acknowledged this fact, which is why they continue to build coal power plants.

Despite lockdown, China for instance have installed 16 GW of new thermal power capacity in the first half of this year alone. 1.3% of existing capacity. In comparison, only 6 GW of wind power has been added, equivalent to only about 1 GW once intermittency is factored in:



Remember too that coal is dirt cheap in China, which is why they favour it to gas power.


Of course, if AEP is really right, we can immediately do away with any further CfD auctions, as energy businesses will be queuing up to build wind farms, without the need for subsidies.

There will also be no need for carbon taxes, which are designed purely to make fossil fuels uncompetitive.

Above all there will be no more need for climate summits, starting with next year’s in Glasgow.

AEP writes exactly the same drivel month after month. I recall a similar piece about Greta last year. You might have thought the Telegraph would expect more for their money!!

  1. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 10, 2020 7:20 pm

    With respect to our host for cross-linking, AEP needs to read the story at to see how far out he is.

    Failing that, he really ought to read the the in-house argument here on

    If neither of these reports persuades him he is definitely an enemy of the west and is working for the Chinese (not so much tongue in cheek!)

    • mikewaite permalink
      September 10, 2020 8:44 pm

      He must have somehow missed yestrday’s post at Notricks:
      and the opening paragraph:
      –“Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act, passed in 2000, was intended to ensure the generation of “green” electricity. Operators of wind turbines were guaranteed subsidies for a period of twenty years – with the hopes the technology would develop to such an extent that it would operate economically without subsidies.
      20 years later, the wind turbines are still not competitive reports here”–
      I wonder if this item by AEP is meant to be a plea to XR to stop blockading their printers. Saturday editions of the Telegraph are, in print area, about 70% advertising (or so it seems when wading through it) so the loss of revenue if the paid- for advertising.did not make it to the public must be quite serious.

  2. Jackington permalink
    September 10, 2020 8:32 pm

    AEP -the king of Hubris. It beats me how such a well educated and experienced economist can be so ignorant of real, established facts. How can that be?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 10, 2020 10:10 pm


    • Nada Sound permalink
      September 11, 2020 1:35 am

      The clue is in ‘economist’.

  3. Tim Spence permalink
    September 10, 2020 8:32 pm

    He writes in the Telegraph but he’s nothing more than a gun for hire, the only question is ‘who is paying him this week?’ It’s just shill, shill and more shill and the years pass by.

    • Kestrel27 permalink
      September 10, 2020 9:01 pm

      I suspect this is way out. He seems pretty consistent in his views even if he’s wrong. And Christopher Booker wrote for the Telegraph for years so I doubt they attempt to limit the views AEP is allowed to express.

      • I don't believe it! permalink
        September 11, 2020 12:26 am

        Booker had issues with the Telegraph which lead to some of his articles not being published because they didn’t like what he had written. AEP is as poor as Silly Jilly ( now at the Getsmuchworse) and her replacement Emma Gatten but his articles are not critical, unlike Booker’s, which is why they don’t get pulled.

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        September 11, 2020 7:33 am

        In the last years of his life, Booker’s column was increasingly marginalised & editted – indeed censored.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        September 11, 2020 1:02 pm

        The Telegraph scum even went as far as not posting a Booker column that had appeared in print on their website. Their response to my complaint was that they could do what they liked. They didn’t have the balls to sack him and were trying to force him to quit. While all newspaper are seeing sales drop – no surprise considering their incompetence and ignorance – the Telegraph is struggling more than most. Maybe their stance as the Boris fanzine is assisting with this the more their hero screws everything up.

    • September 11, 2020 4:27 pm

      What is very clear is that he is not fit to ‘write’ for the Telegraph. Just a lazy cipher for some ragged alarmists. They should save their money.

  4. saparonia permalink
    September 10, 2020 9:14 pm

    How susceptible humans are to their belief systems. If only we had a built in bullshit alarm.

  5. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 10, 2020 10:06 pm

    The API2 coal price – CIF Rotterdam, 6,000kcal/kg quality is about $52/tonne. That works out at almost exactly 7MWh/tonne in GCV terms. So even an inefficient old power station managing just 33.3% thermal efficiency has marginal costs of 52×3/7 or $22.29/MWh, or £17.14/MWh at $1.30=£1. Now, what was that claim?

    Of course, if you load endless green taxes on top you can make the answer come to anything you like.

  6. I_am_not_a_robot permalink
    September 11, 2020 12:21 am

    If only the Chinese Government had read more of impressively-monikered Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s articles they would not have wasted US$27.2 billion on the 1,813.5 km Haoji Railway, an elevated railway from Inner Mongolia to China’s southern provinces designed when fully operational to transport 200 million tonnes of coal per year:

    • jack broughton permalink
      September 11, 2020 11:50 am

      So that’s about 0.5 Gt /y CO2 to be added: about 10% current annual world emissions!

      Ambrose and Greta need to catch the next slow-boat to China!

  7. September 11, 2020 12:41 am

    It’s always easy to solve something which isn’t actually happening much.
    But politicians don’t get re-elected for that sort of thing.
    And there isn’t much money in it for crony blobbers.
    We were always at war with Eastasia.

  8. September 11, 2020 2:07 am

    Only those technologies that cannot compete in the market for energy need climate emergency activism against fossil fuels to the extent that the activism becomes extended to a hatred of capitalism itself.

  9. George Jenatsch permalink
    September 11, 2020 6:27 am

    Some of the comments here are unfair on Mr Evans-Pritchard. He is a brilliant economist but not an energy expert. That may be the problem.

    • mikewaite permalink
      September 11, 2020 11:42 am

      I think that your comment is a little bit unfair on us. Some of us have acknowledged that in his own area of economics he comes up with good suggestions and analysis (if you forget his claiming that the Euro would collapse “in days” at the time of the Greek financial crisis). It is when he strays into the complex technical world of renewables and climate change that he produces comments that unfortunately reveal inadequate research and poor understanding of basics. He is a professional journalist and must know his limitations so I cannot understand why he does that.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      September 11, 2020 1:18 pm

      I don’t think his record on economic forecasting has been much better. Largely because he is so deluded on issues like energy.

  10. John Peter permalink
    September 11, 2020 7:59 am

    I have a look at The Telegraph’s headlines each morning and have to endure their pleas to subscribe. Would like to, but not for as long as people like AEP are featured. It’s getting worse so no money from me.

  11. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 11, 2020 8:08 am

    I’m curious. What are these “leaps in technology” making wind power much cheaper? I’m not aware of any but I don’t follow the technology closely.

    Do they exist or is this simply the usual bs?

  12. September 11, 2020 9:12 am

    I thought that rocket scientists at NASA had already solved it

  13. September 11, 2020 9:25 am

    Sorry bad link in my previous comment
    here is the correct link

  14. JBW permalink
    September 11, 2020 10:44 am

    I seem to recall that a few years ago there where lots of articles saying the electric grid needed to be modernised to supply a cleaner more stable supply due to the coming new digital era. I guess that view didn’t last long.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      September 11, 2020 1:21 pm

      I think that is still very much the view. The problem is that they are beginning to realise what the cost would be, and it’s frightening the horses, so they don’t like to talk about it, pretending it doesn’t exist.

  15. europeanonion permalink
    September 11, 2020 11:10 am

    As the national wealth runs out one would have thought that our richness in natural fuels would be an advantage. Britain would generate cash to enable us to invest in our country for the certainty of a future rather than the XR version of a perhaps future. Even now, XR is undergoing modification and detractors are leaving the organisation upon being faced with practicality, schism and grim extremism, it was fun to propose over a gin and tonic and appealed to the self-obsessed.

    We are part way to being that conception of medievalism that Extinction Rebellion portrays in its street dramas. So cowed, so fragile has the nature of government become that it has encouraged indecision and shown how a legislature can be pushed into positions that are unsustainable for the sake of a media storm and confrontation. They encourage more ‘action groups’ to chance their arms in implanting often lurid conceptions on the minds of the public but which, frighteningly so, have in this climate the greater possibility of adoption. We end up rudderless.

    The facts are in, we had no less ‘pollution’ during lock down than we would emit in times of maximum output. In the past, Germany complained of our exportation of acid rain. Whatever the truth was of that it did serve to illustrate that whatever your local view might be the importation of that which you may rail against needs no visa and brooks no refusal. Caroline Lucas acknowledges that we can export our industry, by so doing we only create the industrial exhaust elsewhere without diminution.

    Global industry attempting to be trumped by local rules is a futile exercise. In a competitive capitalist market invention is the edge, not ppm. The government seems to have turned its back on such things in favour of supposition and stricture. In our rush to comply with local rules, it is quite content with our increasingly damaged ability to manufacture, intent on service activities. All this will do is export vital individuals who might conjure our next economic, environment, step change. (Only Frank Whittle’s attachment to Britain provided the jet engine, he had to fight the British establishment to succeed with his breathtaking conception. We are still in that mode but shorn of the sentiment of the attachment to our country) . Our future has to be more to do with distributable atomic generation based on submarine’s reactors, that is the current state of the art. We have gone back to the future however and adopted a mindset that seems set on rediscovering the wimple!

  16. Robin Guenier permalink
    September 11, 2020 12:09 pm

    It’s not only Ambrose. In the UN’s recently published ‘United in Science‘ report (, the UNEP’s section (on page 19) says this:

    ‘Renewables are by now the cheapest source of new power generation in most parts of the world, with the global weighted average purchase or auction price for new solar power photovoltaic systems and onshore wind turbines now competitive with the marginal operating cost of existing coal plants by 2020.’

  17. Dave Gardner permalink
    September 11, 2020 1:08 pm

    “AEP writes exactly the same drivel month after month. I recall a similar piece about Greta last year. You might have thought the Telegraph would expect more for their money!!”

    I believe the Telegraph does this sort of thing mainly to pander to advertisers. AEP is satisfying the green-leaning advertisers rather than the typical ‘small c conservative’ reader of the Telegraph.

    Bishop Hill wrote a blog post in 2015 where he mentioned a conversation he had with someone at the Telegraph regarding their employment of veteran environmental Journalist Geoffrey Lean:

    In the conversation, Bishop Hill remarked that it was very strange that the Telegraph had decided to give a job to Geoffrey Lean, as he couldn’t see this impressing Telegraph readers. The reply was “Ah, that’s simple”. “He’s not there for the benefit of the readers but because green advertisers want him”.

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