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Firm action on Green Levies and funds could win back support for government

January 12, 2022

By Paul Homewood

 

 image

London, 12 January – Net Zero Watch has called on the government to take firm action and turn the energy crisis into an opportunity for the finances of households, businesses and the economy.

The campaign group is today publishing a simple guide on the options available to the government to effectively solve the energy bills crisis in the short and medium term.

At a time when millions of households are facing the prospects of sky-rocketing energy bills ministers should consider offsetting any costs arising from the measures taken by delaying international green funds – some £12 billion in total – which the government has pledged to hand out over the next five years.

The British people cannot afford handing out billions of pounds every year to green investors abroad while millions of families face unaffordable energy bills at home. Charity starts at home,” Dr Benny Peiser, Net Zero Watch director said.

The energy crisis is the result of failed policy decisions stretching back decades, and presents short-term hardship problems that are extremely difficult to address, as well fundamental problems that require long-term reform of energy policy.

However, we show that with firm action on green levies the government can redeem its reputation and emerge as a consumer champion.

In the short-term government could consider:

• Transfer of the costs of Contracts for Difference renewables subsidies to general taxation (a saving of £2.1 billion a year on the national electricity bill)

• Radical readjustment of the Renewables Obligation subsidy (a saving of up to £6.6 billion a year on the national electricity bill).

• A VAT holiday on gas and electricity, and also, for consistency, on heating oil. This would give a modest but worthwhile saving of 5% on the bill.

• Special grants to pensioners, adding to the Winter Fuel Payment, and increasing its catchment to include all pensioners.

These measures could provide direct relief to bills of households and also to industrial and commercial consumers, containing the knock-on effect on goods and services, and therefore limiting any increase in inflation.

In the medium and longer term the UK could resume fracking, could remove obstacles to the replacement of older CCGTs, could accelerate the introduction of small modular nuclear reactors for both electricity and industrial heat, could wind down and phase out all renewables subsidies, and should ensure that the renewables fleet is compelled to pay for its own system management costs and grid expansion.

These measures would provide direct and immediate relief to households – a saving equivalent to about £500 each – and also to industrial and commercial consumers.

These short-term solutions would also stimulate economic growth and reduce inflationary pressure.
Dr Benny Peiser, Net Zero Watch director, said:

By taking radical action Boris Johnson has a chance to turn the deepening energy crisis into an opportunity to reform Britain’s failing energy policies and emerge as a consumer champion. Unless he grabs this chance now he is unlikely to save consumers, businesses and himself from economic devastation and political oblivion.”

Dr John Constable, Net Zero Watch energy editor, said:

The current energy cost crisis is the result of two decades of mistaken environmental policies. Cutting the £10 billion a year burden of the green levies is the single largest and most effective measure, and will have to be done in any case at some point, so Mr Johnson could regard this as a golden opportunity to improve British competitiveness post-Brexit.”

67 Comments leave one →
  1. Philip Mulholland permalink
    January 12, 2022 11:29 am

    This is all well and good but it will never happen until subsidies, the root cause of the problem, are banned.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 13, 2022 8:41 am

      Do that and we will be without electricity. Perhaps the stupidest part of a very stupid energy policy is that we are utterly over a barrel now, both in terms of how much we have to pay to back up generators and the subsidies renewables require. We require both and so have no choice but to pay

      • Philip Mulholland permalink
        January 13, 2022 9:25 am

        Phoenix44

        Subsidies are just another way of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
        Subsidies transfer ownership of materials (not money). Without the energy-dense high value materiality of fossil fuels (the Peter to rob) then the magic energy industry (the Paul who steals) would not function.
        I say good riddance to the insanity of burning living trees instead of burning fossil trees.

  2. January 12, 2022 11:41 am

    Sounds very sensible, so no chance any government will take any notice.l

  3. Martin Brumby permalink
    January 12, 2022 12:02 pm

    Reason, evidence, common sense won’t cut it with Boris Mumbo Jumbo Johnson (or, more to the point, with Princess Nut Nut). They’d be more interested in a scheme to hand out 72 Million tin foil hats. And likely have a friend who makes pretty good tin foil hats…

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 12, 2022 1:33 pm

      And likely have a friend who makes pretty good tin foil hats…

      Or likely, someone who, until now, has absolutely no idea how to make and market them but is sure open to learning how to when you consider the enormous profits to be made… 🙂

  4. Gamecock permalink
    January 12, 2022 12:06 pm

    ‘Transfer of the costs of Contracts for Difference renewables subsidies to general taxation (a saving of £2.1 billion a year on the national electricity bill)’

    So taxpayers pay it instead of energy users. What does that fix? They are the same people.

    ‘Radical readjustment of the Renewables Obligation subsidy (a saving of up to £6.6 billion a year on the national electricity bill).’

    To the extent that Renewables Obligation are existing contracts, you can’t willy-nilly revoke them.

    ‘These measures could provide direct relief to bills of households and also to industrial and commercial consumers’

    Yes, but they don’t fix the underlying problem. By concealing the problem, you don’t end the problem. Using pain killers instead of eliminating the problem.

    ‘containing the knock-on effect on goods and services, and therefore limiting any increase in inflation.’

    Inflation is monetary, a devaluation of the currency.

    Dr Peiser should avoid economics.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      January 12, 2022 1:10 pm

      I agree entirely that these measures do not address the problem. However, I believe this is more an appeal to in some way soften the blow politically to retain the popularity of the existing government rather than risk it being replaced by some other more loony lot at the next election. Maybe a first step to the ultimate requirement of repealing the Climate Change Act..

      • Robert Christopher permalink
        January 12, 2022 2:19 pm

        “Maybe a first step to the ultimate requirement of repealing the Climate Change Act.”

        At least it wasn’t a Tory Act of Parliament, but we need to forget how many of them voted for it! 🙂

        The rot started two years earlier, when the BBC had their 28Gate meeting, and deconstructing (which is in vogue with the Progressives) the BBC would release a lot of assets as well as an irritant.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 12, 2022 2:25 pm

      There is no question the ROC subsidies are quite unnecessary in the present market conditions, with prices beyond the dreams of avarice for those renewables generators. I have suggested that the way around the conundrum is to defer payment until wholesale electricity prices have fallen to affordable levels – say below £75/MWh for an annual average – (doubtless due to the Saudi Arabia of wind we are promised!), with a backstop of payment when a facility is decommissioned.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 13, 2022 8:46 am

      Exactly. As I keep saying, the costs of the system are the costs, and we have to pay all of them. And unless the renewables operators are making unreasonable returns, then those have to be paid too.

      The problem is the system is much too costly. Lots of people warned it would but they were all ignored. We are now completely locked in, as the Greens wanted and demanded.

    • Julian Flood permalink
      January 13, 2022 6:51 pm

      There is no need for HMG to revoke these subsidy agreements. That would be illegal and not something any government would care to be involved with.

      However, taxation is not restricted by such considerations. Judiciously applied taxation could do much to address the huge and inappropriate subsidies that renewables attract.

      JF

    • Dave Gardner permalink
      January 13, 2022 9:29 pm

      On Gamecock’s comment: “So taxpayers pay it instead of energy users. What does that fix? They are the same people.”

      The kind of people struggling to pay an energy bill probably don’t earn enough money to have to pay income tax. You have to earn over about £12K per year in the UK before you have to pay income tax.

      Switching to having taxpayers pay the subsidy means that the renewables subsidy money is ‘on the Government’s books’ and becomes part of ‘public spending’. When people pay it through the energy bills it’s ‘off the books’. Once something is part of ‘public spending’, it comes under much greater scrutiny. There are parliamentary committees to check whether public money is being wasted. They might notice that burning wood releases a lot of CO2 and doesn’t really deserve a subsidy.

      An example of a payment that large numbers of people make in the UK that is ‘off the books’ (as far as the Government is concerned) is the TV licence fee that keeps the BBC going. The BBC only attempts to represent a subset of the general public and generally does what it wants. They get away with it because there is effectively no scrutiny. Their funding is ‘off the books’.

  5. Colin R Brooks AKA Dung permalink
    January 12, 2022 12:28 pm

    Surely these proposed measures are just the equivalent of moving the deckchairs around on the Titanic? They still mean trying to achieve NET ZERO but in a different way. Sorry but as long as Luke Warmer Andrew Montford is pulling the strings the proposals will continue to support anti CO2 measures.

  6. Ray Sanders permalink
    January 12, 2022 1:01 pm

    Meanwhile over in BBC/Grauniad land https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/12/net-zero-climate-strategy-uk-government-sued
    Can somebody just get back into reality land and repeal the Climate Change Act please (a.k.a. the nutter’s manifesto) .

  7. Thomas Carr permalink
    January 12, 2022 1:06 pm

    Yes Colin Brooks re: deck chairs. We despair of a government that puts forward band aid/ sticking plaster policies without admitting that the lack of independent (sovereign) fuel sources puts us at the disposal of our suppliers.
    Self evidently we need to supply our own coking coal, gas, gas storage and oil or the commercial suicide mob a.k.a. the Greens will subordinate us to the status of supplicant or 3rd world economy.

    • Crowcatcher permalink
      January 13, 2022 6:53 am

      We’re already well on the way to being a 3rd World country, just look at the state of our roads?

      • dennisambler permalink
        January 13, 2022 3:10 pm

        But they won’t be needed in the Net Zero Future, we don’t need to repair the Pol Pot holes.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 13, 2022 8:55 am

      That’s simply not the problem, unless you somehow envisage domestic supiers being forced to sell to us at below market prices. Why would a coal producer sell its product to a UK coal consumer rather than at a much higher price to say the Chinese? And why we would want you lose all that export revenue (if we are thinking in bad economics)?

      And if you think governments have made a mess now wait until they control/plan all that stuff you want us to have. As for being a “supplicant”, producers are just as reliant on consumers as consumers are on producers. Just ask Kodak what happens when consumers no longer consume your product.

  8. January 12, 2022 1:46 pm

    We all know the energy mess is a self-inflicted mistake based on the false theory that CO2 is a polluting “greenhouse’ gas. The only truly sensible solution is to scrap all the greenery and revert to cheap fuel as the basis for a sound economy and body politic. Otherwise….doom awaits. Is this too complicated for our poorly educated “leaders” ?

    • Colin R Brooks AKA Dung permalink
      January 12, 2022 3:28 pm

      Yup

    • jimlemaistre permalink
      January 12, 2022 6:35 pm

      Mr. Carr, Mr. Wheewiz well said . . .

      Pollution, Climate Change and CO2 . . . three separate and distinct issues conveniently co-joined by ‘The Big Green Propaganda Machine’. If pollution is the issue we have had solutions for well over thirty (30) years. There is a choice . . . clean up what is attached to CO2 with scrubbers and Electrostatic precipitators, etc. etc. and clean up the air we breathe . . . the technology is there . . . See Beldune New Brunswick Canada, Coal fired power generator . . . They even make Gypsum Board ( drywall) by recycling the water used in the scrubbers. Environmentalists are NOT into promoting this kind of clean up . . . Pages 7 & 8

      https://www.academia.edu/45570971/The_Environmentalist_and_The_Neanderthal

      Sadly for the ‘Green Movement’, that would mean crawling into bed with the Enemy . . . The fossil fuel industry . . . Instead they let the house burn down because the thermostat doesn’t work. CO2 as the cause of Climate Change is an intellectual, theoretical, scientific possibility that can be shown in a lab. Out here on Planet Earth where all the interconnected moving parts are a living breathing mechanism . . . CO2 is a pip-squeak . . . compared to atmospheric rivers of Heat and Water emanating from the Equator, or the effects of Volcanoes erupting under the oceans like at The Axial Seamount,

      https://www.academia.edu/49442870/The_Axial_Seamount_Nature_s_Response_To_500_Years_of_Cooling

      or The violent effects of Major Volcanoes above VEI 6 which we have not been seen in over 100 years. We are being manipulated by theory and a Grand Theology of ‘Man-Made Climate Change’ that looks good on paper . . . But makes No Sense when compared to Nature. History teaches us many, many lessons . . . Environmentalist propagandists choose NOT to compare the present to the past . . . Why should they . . . They have got it all figured out ?

      My thoughts . . .

      • Gamecock permalink
        January 12, 2022 10:35 pm

        . . . and they don’t even define climate change.

        I don’t know what it means. If they mean changing climates, it is BS. No climate on earth has changed in over a hundred years.

  9. It doesn't add up... permalink
    January 12, 2022 2:17 pm

    Excellent short video from Bjorn Lomborg on forest fires:

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 12, 2022 10:36 pm

      The ironing being that the internal combustion engine gives Man the mobility to manage land and fight fires.

  10. roger permalink
    January 12, 2022 3:30 pm

    We huff and puff for years to little or no effect on the corrupt politicians but even they can’t buck the reality of the market which has moved decisively against them as can be seen on the price graph for coal on
    https://tradingeconomics.com/commodity/coal

    And for live oil prices and futures
    Morgan Stanley the analysts were expecting the price of Brent to reach $90 a barrel in the back half of the year, while rising natural gas prices since the start of December signalled “higher-for-longer prices” in that market as well.
    In parallel, Shell, BP, TotalEnergies, Eni and Equinor were seen more than doubling their combined organic free cash flows in 2022.
    They estimated that, in turn, that would push dividends and buybacks for those five firms from $34bn in 2021 to $46bn in 2022.
    The sector could also be expected to benefit from the rotation to value stocks, valuations were still “compelling” and investors were increasingly aware of the absence of a margin of safety in European energy to accommodate the transition to clean energies.
    As I was told forty years ago…. never sell shell!
    Oh and diggers keep on digging!!
    For coal I mean , not in Boris’s hole which is like a Gruyere cheese!!!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 13, 2022 8:57 am

      The only silver lining is the loss made by all those who disinvested from fossil fuels!

  11. Harry Davidson permalink
    January 12, 2022 4:00 pm

    There is a form of green energy that is completely renewable, 100% reliable, 100% predictable and the UK has huge amounts of it available. Tidal energy. It comes with a stiff cost for the initial setup, the civil engineering to build the dams, but the actual generating gear is relatively cheap to replace when it wears out and there is better kit available. But, that stiff setup cost would be money going to UK engineering firms, not Chinese, German and Danish windmill & solar suppliers. I have not done the analysis but I suspect that all the subsidies spent and promised on windmills and solar would have paid for the full ticket Severn Barrage by now. If anyone has numbers available I would be interested to see them.

    But yet, no politicians or journalists in the Alarmist camp is even slightly interested in Tidal. IMNVHO that’s because Germany has almost no potential for it, so it’s not in the script and they don’t do thinking for themselves.

    • Mack permalink
      January 12, 2022 5:24 pm

      It’s also 100% intermittent. Tidal requires backup for the 10 hrs a day old Neptune is asleep. Just what we need, more giant subsidy farms generating pitiful amounts of energy sporadically and trashing the coastal environment to boot. Marvellous.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        January 12, 2022 6:58 pm

        Correct. It’s expensive and difficult to integrate into the grid when done at scale. Links to a lot more analysis here

        http://watt-logic.com/2017/01/16/tidal-lagoons-too-good-to-be-true/

      • Harry Davidson permalink
        January 12, 2022 7:21 pm

        @It doesn’t add up: That analysis is for tidal lagoons and not relevant.

      • Harry Davidson permalink
        January 12, 2022 7:26 pm

        According to https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmenergy/194/194.pdf
        the Severn Barrage would generate 5% of our current generation. You may call that a pitiful amount, but I would not. Yes, a tidal power installation does not generate 24 hours a day, but it is known when it will generate and when it will not.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        January 12, 2022 7:53 pm

        Tidal energy – so good let us get private companies to produce it if it such a great idea they will be rushing to do so.

      • Stuart Brown permalink
        January 12, 2022 8:09 pm

        Harry…
        “but it is known when it will generate and when it will not.”

        True of solar too. And wind to some extent. Equally necessary to provide the backup for when it will not. So… If CO2 doesn’t worry you, why not just use the backup 24/7? Effectively anything like this only replaces the gas or coal burnt in the power station you have to have anyway.

        Specifically for the various Severn barrage schemes I understood that silt was a big issue. There’s a lot of it in the Severn estuary – so much that the two nukes needed dredgers to keep the coolant intakes clear.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        January 12, 2022 8:20 pm

        The Rance River tidal station in Brittany was opened in 1966 – pushed by Charles DeGaulle as one way of avoiding oil shortages and price rises.
        Brittany had many tidal pool driven grain mills in the eighteenth century due to big tide level changes and them being more predictable than relying on wind.
        I heard in 2016 when near there that it only operated with one way flow to avoid problems with weeds.
        It seems enthusiasm for these installations suffers once they built.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        January 12, 2022 8:43 pm

        Harry: read the links right through, including specific discussion of the Severn Barrage. There’s a whole PhD thesis on it I linked to in one of my comments which is perhaps the most informative discussion I have come across.

    • January 13, 2022 7:39 am

      Harry,

      we need less uncontrollable renewable energy not more. Being predictable is not an asset, flexibility is. Offshore wind turbines have a hard life above water, imagine the maintenance of underwater generators.
      No tidal or wave are really not a solution.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      January 13, 2022 12:21 pm

      Harry there actually is precious little difference between a Tidal Barrage and a Tidal Lagoon. In fact only the river outflow volume (not a major factor given the scale) is the difference. So the generation time less is a lot less than half of the day at predictable but variable and uncontrolled times. Peak out put at 2:00 am on a Sunday morning is not that valuable regardless of volume.
      The second issue with tidal of any description is the lunar cycle which can affect power output by an order of magnitude between a Spring high tide and a Neap low tide.
      There is a lot of experience with tidal (La Rance and Incheon, South Korea) and it is not showing any great opportunity worth replicating.
      Tidal may well be a great job creation/state intervention but no magic bullet for energy supplies. p.s. the 5% is also considered quite debateable.

    • Gamecock permalink
      January 13, 2022 10:13 pm

      “But yet, no politicians or journalists in the Alarmist camp is even slightly interested in Tidal.”

      Mr Davidson, you appear to have no comprehension of UK’s energy needs. Even if you get tidal to work, at whatever price, it just won’t make enough electricity to make a difference.

      And, as a reverse Chesterton’s fence argument, people have tried it, and got nowhere. Your appeal seems to be, “Real tidal hasn’t been tried yet.”

  12. David permalink
    January 12, 2022 4:43 pm

    Yes obviously expensive but maybe dams could be built that would also serve to stop coastal erosion in some places. BUT don’t let’s sacrifice our Severn Bore!

  13. It doesn't add up... permalink
    January 12, 2022 6:45 pm

    I don’t think Benny Peiser has called this one exactly right over CFDs. The average CFD is worth about £150/MWh currently, weighted by energy production, as this chart shows.

    https://image.vuukle.com/9ffc6604-feed-474e-a82d-c2de2f561502-4b89c6cd-0e60-4fea-9203-d9fa7fe7627b

    With prices mostly somewhat higher, CFDs are no longer a direct cost, but rather provide a payment back to consumers (albeit with a delay of over a quarter, which really should be eliminated). Here’s what has been happening (settlement data are somewhat in arrears, so don’t yet reflect the cheap prices over the mild low demand holiday period)

    https://image.vuukle.com/9ffc6604-feed-474e-a82d-c2de2f561502-30ff263d-2f3f-4a77-b710-b9a8aec53677

    What has been going bananas is balancing costs, as shown in this chart

    https://image.vuukle.com/9ffc6604-feed-474e-a82d-c2de2f561502-0fc0295d-bfba-4ac2-a733-7b75d93edba0

    The average of around £20m a day in November or over £7bn p.a. is a load of cost imposed by our capacity short overly renewables reliant system that needs tackling. It would greatly help if we used coal for baseload rather than for balancing, since coal is by some margin the cheapest cost source of generation at around £45/MWh before green taxes. Which brings up the other point Benny missed: carbon allowances running as high as £80/tonne CO2 have forced up costs by up to £30/MWh for CCGT generators, who are most of the time the marginal source setting market prices. That is adding enormously to bills: on 275TWh of demand it’s worth over £8bn p.a..

    • January 12, 2022 6:59 pm

      Yes, I think the cfd issue is rather a longer term thing. As you say at the moment we are paying the cost up front rather than through subsidies.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        January 12, 2022 9:15 pm

        Is it legally binding that renewables have precedence on the grid? If not, why can’t the grid demand they take their turn in the queue? Or, at least, pay for their own back-up (which seems to have been a sweetheart deal from the days of Huhne and Miliband).

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 12, 2022 8:17 pm

      “What has been going bananas is balancing costs, as shown in this chart
      https://image.vuukle.com/9ffc6604-feed-474e-a82d-c2de2f561502-0fc0295d-bfba-4ac2-a733-7b75d93edba0
      The average of around £20m a day in November or over £7bn p.a. is a load of cost imposed by our capacity short overly renewables reliant system that needs tackling.”

      On 4th Jan 2022 Andrew Montford indicated via a tweet that annual Balancing Costs had risen to ~£2.5billion.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 13, 2022 9:04 am

      In other words we have a hugely complex system that imposes a collar on falling prices but no cap on rising prices, and which hands pricing power to the back-up generator which has every incentive to price as highly as it can. And in which as you use more of the supposedly cheap renewables, costs rise through other mechanisms.

      A classic bureaucratic total mess.

      • Gamecock permalink
        January 13, 2022 12:07 pm

        And the fix is MORE government.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 13, 2022 12:46 pm

      It’s just been announced that CFDs will result in a £39m repayment to suppliers for last quarter. Whoopee!

      https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/cfd-costs-to-be-paid-back-to-electricity-suppliers-as-high-wholesale-prices-continue

  14. steve jay permalink
    January 12, 2022 7:23 pm

    Ian Plimer writes: ‘The climate change act was passed in the House of Commons 463 votes to 3 as the snow fell outside.’ I suggest the 463 MPs dig deep in their pockets, investments, shares and properties and share out their assets to ALL that have been affected by this insane idea of Net Zero !

    • that man permalink
      January 12, 2022 9:46 pm

      But, as W.S.Gilbert wrote in ‘Iolanthe’, Act 2:

      The prospect of a lot
      Of dull MPs in close proximity,
      All thinking for themselves is what
      No man can face with equanimity.

      • roger permalink
        January 12, 2022 10:39 pm

        Would that G&S were operating today! What would they make of the current lot of shysters?

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        January 13, 2022 3:32 am

        I am the very model of a modern politician,
        no ability but loads of ambition.
        I know nothing of electricity or anything practical, but my belief in renewables is quite categorical.

  15. Coeur de Lion permalink
    January 12, 2022 8:18 pm

    Take a look at midday Friday isobars

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      January 13, 2022 12:34 pm

      Yep the coal units are already fired up ready.

  16. Cheshire Red permalink
    January 12, 2022 9:54 pm

    This is a classic case of pitching logical, rational thinking versus undeliverable ideological fantasies.

    Alarmists are desperate to reshape the world to match their preferred world view, no matter how expensive, difficult or downright insane it is.

    Sceptics use logic and evidence-based decision making to do what WORKS. There’s a huge difference!

    Suffice to say the Green Blob is NEVER going to willingly surrender their fantasy. The humiliation would just be too much to bear.

    If this policy is going to be changed it will have to be done by political force. The only likely Tory to change it is Steve Baker. (Forget all Labour and Lib Dem options; they’re captured by the Doom Goblin)

    The problem is does Steve have a realistic chance of leading the ‘Conservative’ party post-Boris? I don’t think he’ll get the support, precisely because he’s a genuine right of centre Conservative.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 13, 2022 9:07 am

      And blame the bureaucrats too. When you look at the energy “market” it’s quite clear it is the sort of lunatic mess only bureaucrats could devise, and as ever with bureaucrats, one in which many scenarios have simply been ignored or not thought of, leading to the sort of insane situations we now find ourselves in.

      • dave permalink
        January 13, 2022 2:14 pm

        This goes back to the fact that much decision-making is governed by ‘priorities’ as opposed to a balancing of costs and benefits. In other words if a bureaucrat has, for whatever reason. the priority of, “looks very green,” then
        the only suggestion he will present will be the one that “looks very green.”
        Feasibility, or cost or, for that matter, being actually ‘green,’ will not even be calculated, except, perhaps, in a deliberately untruthful and sexed-up pretend plan.

        ‘Priorities’ are very, very dangerous. Only very, very clever people should set them. And even then, they should suggest them tremblingly.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      January 13, 2022 1:01 pm

      This may seem a long shot but whilst Steve Baker almost certainly would not get the leadership, he could be in a cabinet with a more likely unity candidate. The former Secretary of State for Defence has made HER ultimate ambitions for leadership quite clear. The military connections of Penny Mordaunt may well come to the fore.

  17. cookers52 permalink
    January 13, 2022 6:44 am

    My barometer for detecting whether some News item is of real concern is my wife of 50 years.

    After listening to the dire predictions of future costs of keeping warm and keepingthe lights on, she asked me ” why did we demolish all the power stations?”

    I answered that this decision was taken by talented politicians with the advice of the greatest scientific research and minds available. In fact there is only one small thing wrong with the plan, it’s boll*cks.

  18. Harry Passfield permalink
    January 13, 2022 9:34 am

    I still have an unanswered query about who owns Cuadrilla and whether it the Chinese? Anyone??

    • Stuart Brown permalink
      January 13, 2022 10:02 am

      Not that I know anything on this subject, but, according to Wikipedia:

      “Cuadrilla is a privately owned company with headquarters in the United Kingdom.[3] The company was founded in 2007, financed with investment from the Australian engineering company A.J. Lucas and the Anglo-American equity firm Riverstone Holdings.[4] It is owned 47% by AJ Lucas, 45% by Riverstone Holdings, while Cuadrilla employees (including former employees) own the remaining 8%.”

      Looks like AJ Lucas are buying Riverstone out, so they will be (or are already) the majority owners.

      AJ Lucas don’t appear to be Chinese.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        January 13, 2022 1:01 pm

        Many thanks, Stuart. Should have tried Wiki…. 😀

      • Stuart Brown permalink
        January 13, 2022 3:00 pm

        Harry – further idle wanderings reveal that Kerogen Investments No 1 HK Limited has a 65% share holding in AJ Lucas.

        They bought up some zombie oil lease in Oz and no-one could work out who they are, other than some offshoot of Kerogen Capital, based in Hong Kong and London. They claim to be carbon neutral, sustainable, ESG friendly, etc etc. Wiki defines kerogen as the organic stuff found in shale that oil comes from if cooked underground for long enough.

        Make of that what you will, it’s beyond me!

    • Vernon E permalink
      January 13, 2022 3:45 pm

      I read somewhere recently that the Chinese had bought Cuadrilla and they had a huge shale (fracking) success somewhere but I couldn’t find any reference on the net.

      • dave permalink
        January 14, 2022 11:43 am

        At this moment ,Coal (5%) and Interconnector Imports (12%) are all that is preventing the Electricity Grid of the UK from imploding.

        Wind is providing 2% of energy power and 0% is coming from Solar.

        God, I hope I live long enough to see the end-game of all this!

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