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Boris’ Wind Power Speech

October 6, 2020

Boris promised today that offshore wind farms could power every home by 2030. It has naturally attracted a lot of attention, but the promise is not quite as revolutionary as it sounds!

For once Harrabin has a factual article here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54421489

He notes that the new pledge raises the target for offshore wind from 30 to 40 GW in 2030, something which was already in the manifesto.

40 GW gives about 120TWh, or a third of total generation, equivalent to consumption by domestic users. This is a common trick used by the renewable lobby, “powering x-thousand homes”, conveniently ignoring all the non domestic users of electricity.

We already have about 25 GW of offshore wind, either operational or in the pipeline up to 2026. The last CfD round added 6GW alone, so getting to 40GW is not pie in the sky.

Indeed Labour’s manifesto last year promised to increase offshore capacity to 52 GW by 2030.

Whether bidders will come forward to build all this new capacity at acceptable prices is another matter.

45 Comments
  1. DMS permalink
    October 6, 2020 5:41 pm

    I think Boris’s pledge included the charging of electric cars, so the pledge is a lot more revolutionary than just bridging the existing gap.

    • In the Real World permalink
      October 6, 2020 6:35 pm

      As I read it , the claim is to increase the wind generation figures from 30GWh to 40GWh .
      As wind turbines just about never reach a factor of 50% of rated capacity , the real figures are about 5 GWh extra , [ or about 10% of existing capacity ].
      So just pandering to the Greens more than anything else .

      It would still need something like another 50 times that amount to cope with a large scale take up of electric cars & domestic heating . And it is just about impossible to run a grid on a large proportion of wind generation .

  2. jack broughton permalink
    October 6, 2020 5:51 pm

    He waffles about creating UK jobs and being a “World leader”. Do they not realise that all of the wind turbines are imported: they are made in Denmark, Germany and the USA. The new jobs are created in those countries not the UK!

    Also, no mention of how the unreliables will be backed-up during the windless, sunless days.

  3. avro607 permalink
    October 6, 2020 5:55 pm

    What happens when the sun don’t shine Boris?

  4. Tonyb permalink
    October 6, 2020 6:02 pm

    It also includes heating which is a big user of power. At the moment most is gas or other sources including nuclear. Surely wind power can’t be the source of all the uk’s domestic energy needs?

    • Steve permalink
      October 6, 2020 6:34 pm

      He also thinks that after refitting all of the housing stock, which is mainly in cities, we will be heating them with ground source heat pumps. They really are clueless.

      • Pancho Plail permalink
        October 7, 2020 8:54 am

        That is a neat trick with a tower block.

  5. October 6, 2020 6:04 pm

    Ah! perhaps boris is assuming most heating will be by heat pumps so the pledge for electric heating is not really valid

    • Beagle permalink
      October 6, 2020 6:17 pm

      I was reading an article about hybrid heating systems, air source heat pumps/natural gas and the selling point was the heat pumps would heat the water down to 2 or so degrees, where they became ineffective and then the gas would be used.
      I have read websites thar discuss there use and many people needed another source of heat as the ASHPs just weren’t up to the task.
      I wonder how Boris is getting on with his and how he finds his electric car?

      • Penda100 permalink
        October 6, 2020 6:52 pm

        Why will we need heat pumps when the weather is going to be so hot?

  6. Up2snuff permalink
    October 6, 2020 6:05 pm

    I hope the PM will have recovered from his Covid-19 well enough to blow on all the wind turbines during a windless day after they have been built and ruined our UK seascapes.

    Or will British industry say to the public during a placid spell: “Here, have some of our electricity for free.”

  7. richardw permalink
    October 6, 2020 6:08 pm

    The same wind that puffed out Sir Francis Drake’s sails indeed! The man is becoming a parody of his former self.

    We are now on an electricity price ratchet racket, all the strike prices are index linked, so we will never benefit from cheaper energy costs.

    We hardly produce any of the new energy infrastructure ourselves, we just install and operate it, therefore adding little productive value to the economy.

    Scottish (and probably other North Sea) wind farms will to generate more and more power that will not be taken by the National Grid, so increasing constraint payments.

    Energy poverty will also ratchet up, while the green elite assuage any mild guilt they feel from their privilege by promoting eco-lunacy.

    I just received notification of a 12% increase in my electricity costs, despite wholesale electricity prices being some 20-30% lower that the comparison point in January 2019.

  8. MrGrimNasty permalink
    October 6, 2020 6:09 pm

    Boris apparently promised a lot more, check my comment on the NATO thread.

    Would need well over 200GW nameplate and still not work. But sounds familiar?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2007/dec/10/politics

    GB already has highest inflation in the price of electricity in Europe in the last decade at 46%, according to Montford the price has doubled since 2002. Even to get to the same position as Germany/Denmark means another 50% price increase?

    https://notrickszone.com/2020/10/06/german-electricity-prices-soar-now-most-expensive-in-europe-taxes-green-surcharges-make-up-53-6-of-price/

    But if people are forced to heat with electricity and not gas their energy price inflation will be many multiples of just the increase in the price of electricity (as that is already v.expensive compared to gas).

    Boris has caused quite a reaction:-

    **https://www.thegwpf.com/boris-johnson-announces-200-rise-in-electricity-prices/**

    **https://www.thegwpf.com/old-boris-was-right-wind-power-is-expensive-statist/**

    **https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-s-wind-power-pledge-won-t-be-cheap**

    **https://order-order.com/2020/10/06/government-hiding-the-true-cost-of-windy-net-zero/**

    • October 7, 2020 7:13 am

      A month ago nPower raised the price of my Economy 7/11 tariff by 49.8%. I am changing supplier; but the dual metering seems to be troublesome for some even if the tariff differentials are eliminated, despite the new supplier content with dual metering. I have had to do the technical information exchange by myself. The story continues.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        October 7, 2020 10:34 am

        I’ve been with BG for years and had Eco7. Some time ago a good friend explained that BG had changed the billing rates so that Eco7 was no longer competitive. When I checked the way the billing was structured I discovered he was right and changed to single billing. They didn’t need to change the meter, just the account: I put in both day and night readings and they just add them together to create the bill.
        Turns out, Eco7 was a bit of a con that became less of a benefit with each passing year.

  9. October 6, 2020 6:11 pm

    Labour’s manifesto last year promised to increase offshore capacity to 52 GW by 2030

    The number of GW is not the issue. Erratic windiness is the issue.

  10. Mike A permalink
    October 6, 2020 6:17 pm

    He actually said “Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands…” – so not just electric cars – out goes gas central heating and in comes electric heating for all – Now that’s revolutionary!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 6, 2020 7:07 pm

      “Now that’s revolutionary!”
      No, Mike, it’s certifiable!

  11. Dave Ward permalink
    October 6, 2020 6:28 pm

    “Vattenfall questions ‘reality’ of Prime Minister’s wind power promise”

    https://www.edp24.co.uk/business/vattenfall-wind-farm-on-green-revolution-1-6870963

  12. Gray permalink
    October 6, 2020 6:46 pm

    Has anybody in Government read False Alarm by Bjorn Lomberg?

  13. Is it just me? permalink
    October 6, 2020 6:54 pm

    Only happen if Boris or his family have shares in it. Cameron’s father-in-law and his gigantic wind farm being a case in point. Mind you it’s the perfect combination. A wind farm needing to operate in a steady ideal 40-50mph breeze and the arrival of wind-bag David – who I’m sure can just stand in the middle of said estate where all the windmills are in and pick up any of nature’s ‘slack’ when he gets into ‘flow’….?

  14. Jackington permalink
    October 6, 2020 7:09 pm

    If I take Boris’s speech literally it seems to promise every home in Britain an intermittent electricity supply. That can’t be right.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 6, 2020 7:27 pm

      In ONE!!!

      • Tonyb permalink
        October 6, 2020 8:17 pm

        Jackington

        No, thats not the right attitude.

        it means that with intermittent power, for half the time you will be killing the planet as you consume power. Boo!

        But for the other half, when you do not consume any power, as none is available, you will be a planet hero. hooray!

        I am sure that greta et al can persuade you to increase your hero status to two thirds. It means you will only have power a third of the time but I am sure you would like to bask in gretas smile and Boris will give you a big thumbs up, even Dillyn will wag his tail

  15. October 6, 2020 7:24 pm

    A bit of reality by the GWPF, but you won’t see any of this in the media:
    https://www.thegwpf.com/boris-johnson-announces-200-rise-in-electricity-prices/

  16. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 6, 2020 7:26 pm

    One wonders if Boris has been bought off by fellow Bilderbergers (that’s you, Ken Clarke, Cameron and Gore – to name but three). Someone (some many!) want to protect their lavish profits from the CC scam and the renewables that follow. They don’t give a toss for the proles.
    I’m afraid that BJ has totally lost it for me. As my late B-i-L was wont to say: ‘it’ll all end in tears’. I fear that his tears will not long become blood.

  17. Jackington permalink
    October 6, 2020 8:15 pm

    Paul, fellow citizens of the UK our Prime Minister has gone stark staring mad. What recourse do we have? Is there anyone that can save us?

    • October 6, 2020 8:21 pm

      Jackington

      I favour four large beefeaters from the tower of London, complete with Pikes, breaking down the door of No10 and dragging off Boris and his chief architect, Carrie, to the tower to be incarcerated there until his trial .

      Pity about the court delays but it might take four or five years before we can get round to him.

  18. October 6, 2020 8:17 pm

    If we could pipe all the hot air emanating from parliament and the devolved states we cold heat every dwelling in the UK. However during recesses and hols. everyone would have to sit in the cold dank house using candles.

  19. October 6, 2020 9:17 pm

    Britain has the second-largest wind farm in the world, off the Cumbrian coast – Walney. The first sector went on stream in 2011 and since then has been joined by two more. Apart from the pathetic amount of electricity it produces, it has succeeded in completely decimating the entire protected bird population around the Isle of Man – some species by as much as eighty percent.

    That doesn’t sound very green to me, Lord Attenborough.

    • Mack permalink
      October 6, 2020 10:17 pm

      Shush John, you might even generate some interest from the RSPB. You know, that mob that used to be interested in preserving native bird populations but got a tad squeamish about complaining about bird munchers and bat slicers dotted around the country because they ‘allegedly’ wore a ‘green’ label. And that was just around about the same time that wind farm generators started donating ‘hush’ money, sorry, I meant ‘generous donations’ to the RSPB. Funny that. A complete coincidence, obviously.

  20. I_am_not_a_robot permalink
    October 6, 2020 9:48 pm

    A clear conscience when boiling the kettle doesn’t come cheap.

    • John Palmer permalink
      October 7, 2020 7:44 pm

      And it’s going to get a lot more expensive!!!

  21. Ben Vorlich permalink
    October 7, 2020 2:44 am

    The Met Office has an interesting page on blocking weather patterns.
    There are two types of blocks; an Omega Block and a Diffluent Block, and are most common in spring. Exceptionally they can persist for months around mid-summer, like in 1976, or mid-winter, like in 1963.

    https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/learn-about/weather/how-weather-works/high-and-low-pressure/blocks

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 7, 2020 10:20 am

      Ben, my BS sniffer detects a ploy to get an excuse for the coming cold winter in before the fact. They don’t want the public claiming bad weather when the PTB have been banging the climate drum for so long.

  22. cajwbroomhill permalink
    October 7, 2020 7:13 am

    Boris and everyone in government need new advisers who would tell them the truth about wind power as an electricitiy generator and ALL OTHER GREEN SUBSTITUTES FOR FOSSIL FUELS EXCEPT NUCLEAR: they are a dud, useless scam, like EVs.
    They are also completely unnecessary, for the UK at least, and the road to ruin.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 7, 2020 10:21 am

      No chance. The BEiS is jammed with card-carrying Greens. I bet there’s not a sceptic among ’em.

    • October 7, 2020 10:38 am

      Well, wind is not *entirely* useless. The trouble for Boris and those who support this ludicrous scheme is that the more wind is installed, the worse it gets.

      Some generators can power the grid by themselves: coal, or gas, or even wood chips if you could source mebbe 100 million tonnes of wood a year at the cost of umpteen thousand square miles of forest… nuclear also, although it would not cope so well with variable demand.

      But a grid composed entirely of wind would fail regularly, flipping from too much power to too little every time the wind changed. Solar would be even worse. Both require back up power for their lulls, which the reliable generators don’t. Adding wind or solar just means you end up doubling or tripling installed capacity for the same power provided. It means you end up dumping energy when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.

      I’m surprised Dominic Cummings is on board with this. From what I’ve read, he’s a smart cookie.

  23. Gerry, England permalink
    October 7, 2020 10:47 am

    When you have no idea about how to deal with current problems – mainly of your own creation – spout on about grand schemes in the future, although this time not that far away, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be around to deliver them. Boris will be gone by the summer.

  24. Vincent Booth permalink
    October 7, 2020 4:38 pm

    Boris Should Consider This.

    The building of more wind and solar is not a sound policy. In 2018 wind and solar provided the UK with 70 terawatt-hours of energy. 7.9% of the total 880 TWh of the UK energy supplied by gas. Wind and solar are very variable and have to be backed up by gas-fuelled generation.

    Note that Germany has next to the highest electricity price in the EU, at 25.59p per kWhr, compared to 14p per kWh in the UK. This is due to a policy of developing a large renewable sector (wind and solar).

    My current gas cost 2.788p per kWhr and my electricity costs 13.621p per kWhr. the public would not like an increase of 4.8 times their energy bill.

    In order to replace the energy supplied by gas today for industry, domestic heating, and electricity generation, (880 TWhr in 2018), also in the future to supply electric cars.

    The UK will need to build and commission the following:
    10 off Hinkley Point C power stations, 8 off tidal barrier schemes,11,000 10 MW wind turbines, think of the protests by the Greens if this were proposed.
    Also, 70 of 880 MW gas turbines, to provide back-up when the wind fails to blow.
    Upgrade most of the distribution network, homes, and buildings to total electricity use.
    Provide at least 200,000 public charging stations for electric cars.
    All this at an approx cost £600 billion and a 70 to 100 year planning & build time.

    Boris is a big liar and conning the public. Contact your MP and advise them of the above facts. We must stop this mad policy of investing in renewable energy to achieve a carbon-neutral economy.

    • tonyb permalink
      October 7, 2020 5:36 pm

      Vincent

      That is excellent information but are the ‘facts’ available from various papers you can link to? No disrespect intended but they tend to have more authority when coming from a ‘known’ source or a maths formula.. Many thanks

      • Vincent Booth permalink
        October 8, 2020 9:17 am

        Hi Tonyb, Thanks for your comment and you are correct, I should include my sources if information. The terawatt-hours info came from government data renewables v gas. The estimate of the resouces and costs to replace gas are mine. My energy costs are from my current British Gas tariff. What annoys me most, is when the proponents of renewables state that we can supply all our energy from renewables, but fail to say it is only the electrical energy and not our total energy usage.

  25. Joe Public permalink
    October 7, 2020 9:03 pm

    The day of the announcement, Britain’s 10,912 metered turbines rated at 24.064 GW generated 161.01GWh.

    Their operational Capacity Factor was 27.95%. But then wind & other renewables do have priority access to market.

  26. October 7, 2020 9:08 pm

    Boris has a short memory but I suppose a lot can change in 7 years:
    “It is a good 20 years since I last drove all the way to Scotland, and in the interim something unbelievable has been done – in our name – to our green, pleasant and precious countryside,” he said.
    “I mean the windmills, the turbines – whatever they are called. I mean the things that look like some hideous Venusian invasion, marching over the moors and destroying the dales; the colossal seaside toys plonked erratically across our ancient landscape; the endless parade of waving white-armed old lunatics, gesticulating feebly at each other across the fields and the glens.
    “They seemed to be everywhere, and I asked myself, when were we consulted? Was there a referendum? Did someone ever warn the British people that these moaning seagull slicers were going to be erected on some of the most sensational scenery that God ever called into being?”
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/wind-farms-a-disease-says-boris-johnson-20130915-2tt61.html

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