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SSE Chief Talks With Forked-Tongue!

January 19, 2022

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dave Ward




In my two decades working in the energy industry we have faced seemingly impossible choices.

Do we cut carbon emissions – or do we keep the lights on and the bills affordable? Do we build new infrastructure cheaply – or do we prioritise UK jobs and supply chains?

You could be forgiven for thinking these choices are now starker than ever.

But only by building more of our own clean energy infrastructure here in Britain can we protect ourselves from the next energy crisis.

Let me give an example.

We recently finalised arrangements for the third phase of building at Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, which we’re constructing off the north-east coast of England.

Each of 190 turbines will be almost as tall as the Shard. Just one turn of its giant blades will be enough to power a home with clean electricity for more than two days. Sounds expensive? You might be surprised.

Like most new low-carbon generation being built, Dogger Bank has a ‘contract for difference’ (CfD).

This means it is paid a fixed price for its output, regardless of the wholesale price at the time. When the wholesale price is lower than this ‘strike price’, it receives a top-up payment to bridge the gap.

When the wholesale price is higher, as it is now, the generator pays the money back into the pot, which should result in bills being lower than otherwise through a reduced price cap and lower tariffs.

In recent months, Dogger Bank’s strike price has been under £50 per megawatt hour compared with a wholesale price north of £200.


What he does not tell you is that those CfDs can be torn up at any time by SSE, who can then take advantage of higher market prices. The penalty for doing so is miniscule.

Will Mr Phillips-Davies give a categorical assurance that SSE will do no such thing?

SSE currently own two operational offshore wind farms:


Beatrice is paid £164.73/MWh, three times the historical market price:



Meanwhile Greater Gabbard is subsidised via ROCs to the tune of £100/MWh, which they receive on top of the income from sales of electricity. With a wholesale price of £200.MWh, SSE are getting an obscene £300/MWh for every unit of electricity they sell.

Funny how Mr Phillips-Davies forgot to mention these inconvenient facts!

  1. January 19, 2022 3:10 pm

    I heard himbeing interviewed on Radio 4 the other day. I couldn’t believe the lies he was telling and the truth he was hiding. Of course the BBC interviewer lapped it all up and didn’t have a clue what searching questions he should be asking – not that the BBC would ever ask any searching questions where renewable energy or climate change is concerned.

    • Crowcatcher permalink
      January 19, 2022 5:45 pm

      I remember some 40 years ago shouting at the television during a news bulletin “For goodness sake ask a proper, searching question!” – plus ca change………. BBC journalists have always been complete and utter scheisters.

  2. January 19, 2022 3:14 pm

    If you empower dumb people all you get are dumb decisions quicker

    • Redrich24 permalink
      January 19, 2022 3:28 pm

      They are not that good.

      • devonblueboy permalink
        January 19, 2022 3:42 pm


      • Harry Passfield permalink
        January 19, 2022 4:56 pm

        I doubt he’s bad at making money. Whether he earns it is a different thing.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      January 19, 2022 6:32 pm

      He’s not dumb, he’s making lots of money for his shareholders. He gets a return no matter what, and if there’s permanently high market prices because there’s lots of expensive renewables, he tears up the CfD and takes the market price. If something new comes along and we get massively cheap energy (or we wise up and go back to coal), he still gets his CfD price.

      He wins either way and we lose either way.

  3. Vanessa Smith permalink
    January 19, 2022 3:15 pm

    I believe the whole NET ZERO story is a fallacy dreamt up by politicians who haven’t a clue how the planet works – Al Gore was a politician NOT A SCIENTIST so was clueless about this but was told he HAD TO DO IT TO SAVE THE PLANET !!!!! Nothing could be FURTHER from the truth. The planet is better able to look after itself than we puny little humans, it has been here for FOUR POINT EIGHT BILLION YEARS and like to continue for many more BILLION years. Shame some people cannot read and teach themselves how the planet works. There is a brilliant film with interviews with SCIENTISTS – THE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE – well worth watching.

    • January 19, 2022 4:26 pm

      Man’s job is to bring some order to the natural chaos of many aspects of nature, and in that process create a habitable and beneficial environment in which to live and prosper. The Al Gores of this world would do the opposite, and let nature run rampant, which is destructive to man.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 19, 2022 5:02 pm

      Sorry, I really don’t believe Gore has an altruistic bone in his body. Like MANNy of them, he’s always been in it for the money. He knows the scam won’t be broken up in his lifetime and his wealth will provide a sybaritic lifestyle for his beneficiaries.

      • Dave Andrews permalink
        January 20, 2022 5:20 pm

        In Michael Moore’s film Planet of The Humans Gore and Richard Branson are interviewed together. The interviewer asks Gore if he was a prophet on climate change? Branson interjects it depends how you spell profit and both he and Gore fall about laughing.

        Very revealing moment.

  4. jimlemaistre permalink
    January 19, 2022 3:34 pm

    Great film !! I watched it on U Tube . . . Outstanding . . . these are the Scientists who pulled back from the IPCC table and chose to tell the truth . . . A MUST see . . .

  5. John Cullen permalink
    January 19, 2022 3:57 pm

    Is that the same gentleman who wrote the foreword to last year’s Insight report from which I quote regarding THE MISSING MONEY PROBLEM OF RENEWABLES GENERATION?

    “With high levels of renewable penetration, wholesale power prices fall
    during times of high renewable output, often to as low as zero.
    This means “wind-captured” power prices fall significantly, and
    unsupported wind plant may be unable to make sufficient returns to
    cover their high ongoing fixed costs. In some cases this would imply
    early closure of plant. Whilst long duration storage in step 3 will make
    use of available renewable resources it does not address the missing
    money problems for renewables generation.”

    Above quoted from page 15 of this July 2021 report:-

    Click to access Net%20zero%20without%20breaking%20the%20bank%20-%20LCP%20SSE%20report%202021%20.pdf

    I understand that we electricity consumers are going to have very significant MISSING MONEY problems in the near future. How is Mr Alistair Phillips-Davies going help us resolve them, I wonder!


  6. Ian Wilson permalink
    January 19, 2022 3:59 pm

    He’s missed the word “sometimes” from his claim a turn of the blades will power a home for two days. In recent anticyclonic conditions all the wind turbines in Britain have on occasion fallen to providing under 1% of our electricity.

    • January 19, 2022 4:32 pm

      Not forgetting of course that these offshore turbines only have an approx 35% (lifetime) load factor, so that 2 days (a peak value presumably, i.e. when it’s turning) actually becomes an average of under 17 hours. Unfortunately, they seem to forget that you can’t always boil a kettle when you only have an ‘average’ of supply.

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    January 19, 2022 4:03 pm

    I am watching to see what they do at Triton Knoll, which is due to confirm its commissioning date by end March that would trigger the start of CFD terms for payment. Its current strike price would be £88.59/MWh, so it would make sense not to trigger the start of payments. The main penalty is that the CFD runs for a maximum of 15 years after end Mwrch, but it’s no penalty when market prices are at a big premium. It has in fact already been producing for some months of “commissioning”, which it has supposedly completed on 13th January. Has it notified LCCC officially? Watch for signs of payments.

  8. jimlemaistre permalink
    January 19, 2022 5:19 pm

    As always in these discussions, The ‘Embodied Energy’ that goes into wind turbines gets left by the wayside. Windmills are the Ultimate in embedded costs and Environmental Destruction. Each one weighs 1,688 tons (the equivalent of 23 houses) and they contain 1,300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel (Concrete and Steel = 15 % Global CO2) 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass, and the hard to extract rare earths neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds and will last 15 to 20 years, at which time it must be replaced. We cannot recycle used blades.

    Worst though, is the Neo Dymium Boron rare earth magnets. It takes 800 lbs. of these magnets to produce electricity in every Wind Turbine. Believe it or not the BBC did a documentary on this as did Al Jazeera. More radiation is emitted into the environment from the tailings pond in Chinese Mongolia than ALL the nuclear reactors in the USA . . . Every Day . . . These Rare Earth Magnets were invented by general dynamics in the USA in 1993 and production was banned in the USA in 1996 because of the excessive radiation emitted from the tailings pond.

    Clean Green energy . . . I think NOT . . . . See page # 4 . . .

    My Thoughts . . .

  9. john cheshire permalink
    January 19, 2022 5:33 pm

    The solution is clear to anyone who wants to find a solution:
    Repeal the Climate Change Act
    Refurbish any coal fired power stations that are still available
    Authorise the building of new coal fired power stations
    Make our country energy independent, make energy cheap
    Concentrate on a demand side economy and stop the move to a supply side economy.
    But I don’t think the rats in the Houses of Parliament want a solution.

    • jimlemaistre permalink
      January 19, 2022 5:49 pm

      Refurbish the old Coal fired plants with Scrubbers, Electrostatic precipitators and Nitrous Oxide burners . . . This will remove over 95 % on the noxious gases from the Power Plants and they will then be virtually as clean as Gas Plants . . . over 95 % of the following things are removed . . . No Joke !

      REAL pollution . . .
      1. Sulfur dioxide (SO2), which contributes to acid rain and respiratory illnesses.
      2. Nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contribute to smog and respiratory illnesses.
      3. Particulates, which contribute to smog, haze, and respiratory illnesses and lung disease.
      4. Mercury and other heavy metals linked to both neurological and developmental
      5. Fly ash and bottom ash, that are residues created when power plants burn Coal.

      95 % or more can be removed with Electrostatic Precipitators special burners to remove Nitrogen Oxide and scrubbers that remove 99% of solid particles from the flue gases. Common sense solutions. See pages 7 & 8 . . .

      I have actually been there and say it operating . . . Very impressive !

    • January 19, 2022 5:52 pm

      You omitted “Fully utilize our large shale gas resources”. The ‘rats’ in the HoP will sink (or is it stink) in their own ship. They can only keep up their Net Zero pretence for so long before reality catches up with them, and the populous (electorally) lynches them.

    • Vernon Evenson permalink
      January 20, 2022 10:58 am

      And make all our CCGT stations dual fuel and fire them with kero or diesel.

  10. January 19, 2022 7:21 pm

    Net zero wonderworld could only exist if zero gas was burnt, either at power stations or in homes, industries etc. Of course there wouldn’t be anywhere near enough electricity to go round, but hey ho.

  11. avro607 permalink
    January 19, 2022 11:44 pm

    I am confused.Does he actually pay back into the pot as he says?

  12. Gamecock permalink
    January 20, 2022 2:07 am

    ‘But only by building more of our own clean energy infrastructure here in Britain can we protect ourselves from the next energy crisis.’

    Wait . . . building more of our own clean energy infrastructure IS the next energy crisis.

    • January 20, 2022 8:58 am

      The logical policy change is to end decarbonisation as unecessary and futile.
      All the resources should immediately be devoted to genetating anenergy and using it constructively.

  13. Steve permalink
    January 20, 2022 8:25 am

    SSE should be windfall taxed on their ROC windfall farms.

  14. AC Osborn permalink
    January 20, 2022 9:38 am

    Is this statement tue?
    “In recent months, Dogger Bank’s strike price has been under £50 per megawatt hour compared with a wholesale price north of £200.”

    How often does the Electricity wholesale price go above £200?

  15. dennisambler permalink
    January 21, 2022 3:59 pm

    SSE retail owned by OVO:

    “The Bristol-based supplier was established in 2009 and took over SSE’s retail arm in 2020, increasing its customer base to 4.5m.

    It is now the UK’s third-largest gas and electricity supplier, behind Centrica’s British Gas and E.ON Next.

    The Unite union said it warned in 2020 that Ovo was taking a risk when it took over the retail base of energy giant SSE.”

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