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Govt’s New Energy Strategy

April 7, 2022
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By Paul Homewood

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Up to eight more nuclear reactors could be delivered on existing sites as part of the UK’s new energy strategy.

The plan, which aims to boost UK energy independence and tackle rising prices, also includes plans to increase wind, hydrogen and solar production.

But experts have called for a bigger focus on energy efficiency and improving home insulation.

Consumers are facing soaring energy bills after the Russian invasion of Ukraine pushed gas prices even higher.

Under the government’s new plans, up to 95% of the UK’s electricity could come from low-carbon sources by 2030.

It outlines, for example, the hope of producing up to 50 gigawatts (GW) of energy through offshore wind farms, which the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) said would be more than enough to power every home in the UK.

The government’s energy strategy has been much-delayed, with one of the big points of contention reported to have been the construction of onshore wind turbines.

Key points of the new energy strategy

  • Nuclear – The government plans to reduce the UK’s reliance on oil and gas by building as many as eight new nuclear reactors, including two at Sizewell in Suffolk. A new body will oversee the delivery of the new plants.
  • Wind – The government aims to reform planning laws to speed up approvals for new offshore wind farms. For onshore wind farms it wants to develop partnerships with "supportive communities" who want to host turbines in exchange for guaranteed cheaper energy bills.
  • Hydrogen – Targets for hydrogen production are being doubled to help provide cleaner energy for industry as well as for power, transport and potentially heating.
  • Solar – The government will consider reforming rules for installing solar panels on homes and commercial buildings to help increase the current solar capacity by up to five times by 2035.
  • Oil and gas – A new licensing round for North Sea projects is being launched in the summer on the basis that producing gas in the UK has a lower carbon footprint than doing so abroad.
  • Heat pumps – There will be a £30m "heat pump investment accelerator competition" to make British heat pumps which reduce demand for gas.

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Analysis box by Roger Harrabin, Environment analyst

Environmentalists and many energy experts have reacted with disbelief and anger at some of the measures in the strategy.

They cannot believe the government has offered no new policies on saving energy by insulating buildings.

They say energy efficiency would immediately lower bills and emissions, and is the cheapest way to improve energy security.

A Downing Street source said the strategy was now being seen as an energy supply strategy.

Campaigners are also furious that ministers have committed to seeking more oil and gas in the North Sea, even though humans have already found enough fossil fuels to wreck the climate.

There is a strong welcome, though, for the promise of more energy from wind offshore with speedier planning consent.

The same boost has not been offered to onshore wind.

The decision to boost nuclear has drawn a mixed reaction. Some environmentalists say it’s too dear and too dangerous. They ridicule the idea from some politicians that every city could have its own mini reactor.

But other climate campaigners believe nuclear must be part of the energy mix.

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‘Opportunity missed’

Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said the new strategy "did not serve the needs of people or the climate".

Mr Ramsay suggested that if the government was "concerned about energy bills and taking real climate action, it would be going even further on onshore wind."

Former Ofgem boss Dermot Nolan said: "Most of these decisions will take a long time to have an impact and in the short run we will continue to be dependent on fossil fuels.

He said the lack of focus on energy efficiency, on insulation, on improving the quality of people’s homes "is an opportunity missed".

A wind farm on the outskirts of the Lake District with Skiddaw behind, Cumbria

Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow climate change and net-zero secretary, said: "The government’s energy relaunch is in disarray. This relaunch will do nothing for the millions of families now facing an energy bills crisis."

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey also described the plans as "utterly hopeless", while the SNP’s Stephen Flynn called it a "missed opportunity".

Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin, head of analysis at the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit said: "This is an immediate problem that needs solutions now, and this doesn’t do anything on prices.

"It tries to do some things on energy supply, but they’re all medium to long-term measures. So it does seem to fail the exam question," he said.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61010605

 

Once again Harrabin irresponsibly pushes the insulation nonsense, without telling us how much this will all cost, never mind who will pay. [Reminder to Harrabin – It is not your job to promote the opinions of you and your “Environmentalists and many energy experts” chums]

As for the idiot Miliband or the guy from  the ECIU, do they think we can magic energy out of thin air overnight?

The one thing missing from this action list is fracking. A restart of fracking is the single most important thing we could have done, which would have yielded results relatively quickly.

And it is a lie that UK shale gas would not bring down retail prices. Cuadrilla and others would need a licence to extract gas and pump it into the gas grid. There is no reason why such a licence should not be conditional on a CfD type agreement, which would guarantee a price, much lower than current levels, both to Cuadrilla and the grid.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key points:

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Nuclear

The suggestion is that one new reactor is approved each year. That will mean that it will be the mid 2030s before any new capacity is added to Hinkley Point. begging the question of what we do in the meantime.

There seems to be some confusion between “reactors” and “plants”. They talk of 24G  of nuclear by 2050, which would suggest eight plants, and probably sixteen reactors of the size of Hinkley’s.

The current strike price for Hinkley Point C is £113.83/MWh. If prices could be reduced to below  £100/MWh, it would make economic sense given current power prices of double that.

There are two issues raised by this strategy:

1) Who will build and fund them?

2) A nuclear strategy rather undermines the case for wind and solar power. With the baseload provided by nuclear, wind and solar power will be redundant much of the time.

And, of course, you cannot simply ramp nuclear up and down to match the vagaries of renewables. Quite apart from the technical issues, the economic case for nuclear depends on 24/7 operation.

Wind

Plans are now for 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030, rather than the previous target 40 GW. The extra 10 GW may supply an extra 35 TWh a year, which is only about 3% of total energy consumption. In contrast, the 24 GW planned for nuclear will generate 200 TWh.

It will therefore make little difference to overall consumption of oil and gas.

Hydrogen

A dead end! Doubling what the BBC ludicrously calls “cleaner energy” will simply increase demand for natural gas, not reduce it.

There is no way that any significant portion of this hydrogen can be produced by electrolysis from renewable energy, as there will simply not be enough renewable capacity built in this timescale.

Solar

I’m not quite sure what difference “reforming rules” will make. If people and businesses want solar panels on their roofs, they will have them anyway.

I suspect what we have here is a reflection of the deadlock between proponents and opponents in the Cabinet and party as a whole. Ditto with onshore wind.

Oil and Gas

It’s good to see a bit of common sense.

Heat Pumps

A “£30m heat pump investment accelerator competition" is worthless, purely window dressing.

As even the government must realise now, virtually nobody wants to splash out up to £20000 and more on technology which costs more to run and is not as effective than traditional gas boilers.

This is despite all of the subsidies thrown at buyers down the years.

54 Comments
  1. Jack Broughton permalink
    April 7, 2022 11:48 am

    The “shouty-greens” still dominate UK energy decisions.

    It is now 30 years since we were told that we were all going to die from CO2, unless it was stopped: it has increased massively and there have been no measurable effects on the world, other than increased greening. The models that all of this doomsday belief hinges on have been proved wanting and almost useless many times.

    We need proper science as well as proper energy policies, but will get neither because of the “Shouty-greens” domination of the media and politics.

  2. George Herraghty permalink
    April 7, 2022 11:51 am

    How exactly will an exponential increase in toxic mining ‘save’ the planet?
    The ‘Transition’ is just not happening. Green Dreams Mark Mills —
    Just watch this —
    https://www.prageru.com/video/how-much-energy-will-the-world-need

  3. Mikehig permalink
    April 7, 2022 11:51 am

    Awkward timing;
    “Offshore wind developer Orsted is asking relevent authorities to establish ‘no-sail zone’ at some of its offshore wind farms after a catastrophic failure of an offshore wind turbine at a Danish offshore wind farm.”
    We have a lot of this model of turbine around the UK.
    Full article:
    https://gcaptain.com/offshore-wind-accident-orsted-asks-for-no-sail-zones-after-turbine-breaks-into-sea/?subscriber=true&goal=0_f50174ef03-d4ea8725fb-170410014&mc_cid=d4ea8725fb&mc_eid=9275323244

    • dennisambler permalink
      April 7, 2022 2:54 pm

      Baroness Brown no doubt can appraise the government of the situation. She has been on the Climate Change Committee since it started in 2008. She joined the Board of Ørsted in March last year.

      “Ørsted board of directors chairman Thomas Thune Andersen said “She possesses a deep knowledge of renewable energy and government policy perspectives from positions, among others, as member of the Committee on Climate Change and non-executive director of the Green Investment Bank.”

      In other words she was appointed for her inside knowledge of government policy, which she is instrumental in recommending via her position on the climate change committee, of which she is still a member. No conflict of interest of course.

      This resume is from the Ore catapult site, she is a former non executive director.
      https://web.archive.org/web/20210127190830/https://ore.catapult.org.uk/people/julia-king-dbe-the-baroness-brown-of-cambridge/

      The resume mentions she is a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Decarbonising Energy.

      She has been promoting wind farms for some time:
      https://www.renewableuk.com/news/452421/New-task-force-to-make-the-most-of-offshore-wind-power-using-innovative-technology-.htm 21st May 2019
      The Offshore Wind Industry Council says a major programme of work has just begun to ensure that the UK’s low-carbon energy system makes the best use of the increasingly large proportion of electricity we are generating from renewable sources, including offshore wind.

      The task force…is led by Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the industry’s Offshore Wind Sector Champion, and includes senior representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Scottish Government, the Committee on Climate Change, National Grid, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the Energy Systems Catapult, Atkins, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and companies including ITM, Good Energy, Shell, Equinor, Vattenfall and Ørsted.

      Clearly the contacts were beneficial, I wonder how she got that job with Ørsted?

      • Mack permalink
        April 7, 2022 4:09 pm

        Come the day, when the great green scam finally collapses, one hopes that there will be a reckoning for all of those troughers who, in pushing this destructive narrative, have greatly enriched themselves at the public’s expense. And what a stellar list of names will be on the list of those to be held to account.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        April 7, 2022 5:27 pm

        Something like Nuremburg and with the same penalties for the guilty.

  4. Mike Jackson permalink
    April 7, 2022 11:54 am

    “A new licensing round for North Sea projects is being launched in the summer on the basis that producing gas in the UK has a lower carbon footprint than doing so abroad.”
    Duh!

    Wriggle, wriggle! Anything and everything except admit that net-zero is a nonsense and that oil, coal, gas, and nuclear are the only ways to provide guaranteed, cheap, reliable supplies of energy.
    After that set your best scientists loose on finding the long-term replacements and stop faffing about with technologies that can never, ever fulfil the requirements of modern civilisation.
    It’s not rocket science. (Or there again, it may be!) But we’ll never know if we pour all available finance into chasing unicorns.

    • Julian Flood permalink
      April 7, 2022 10:50 pm

      “best scientists”

      ITYM ‘engineers’.

      JF

  5. JimW permalink
    April 7, 2022 11:55 am

    Yes your point about so much baseload nuclear will make wind redundant.
    None of this addresses the clear priority which is to provide the economic signals to attract investment in mid-merit plant, without which the lights will go out however much baseload is available none of which can operate mid-merit; ie load follow.
    The madness continues, the idiots don’t want to listen to any remaining people who know what it takes to operate an integrated electricity grid.
    The UK is doomed if nothing changes.

    • Micky R permalink
      April 7, 2022 7:07 pm

      ” without which the lights will go out however much baseload is available none of which can operate mid-merit; ie load follow.”

      Coal and nuclear as base load can load follow, although not as responsive as gas

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      April 7, 2022 10:43 pm

      Andy Dawson (a former nuclear engineer and energy systems analyst who has also authored pieces for the GWPF) wrote a detailed piece on how to decarbonise the grid without any renewables at all. Worth reading if you are interested.
      http://euanmearns.com/decarbonising-uk-power-generation-the-nuclear-option/

  6. Martin Brumby permalink
    April 7, 2022 11:57 am

    When will we reach Peak Stupidity?

    As well as the brainless Miliband, you might have mentioned Potato Ed Davey. These two Ed cases seem quite vociferous at present, despite being two of the most gormless and dishonest twerps in parliament who have got us into this mess in the first place.

    • Teddy Lee permalink
      April 7, 2022 12:16 pm

      Two Eds not even better than one.

      • Tammly permalink
        April 8, 2022 7:36 am

        Nice one!

  7. Gamecock permalink
    April 7, 2022 12:02 pm

    The government’s new energy strategy will produce zero kilowatt hours of electricity. Net zero, you could say.

    The report is dreamy bullet points that have double ought zero connection to reality.

    ‘The government plans to reduce the UK’s reliance on oil and gas by building as many as eight new nuclear reactors’

    You will all be dead by the time the government does such. Starved. Or old age.

    Also note that nukes produce electricity. Generally, oil is not used to produce electricity. Nukes have FA to do with ‘reliance on oil.’ Lost on your great leaders in charge of your energy supplies.

    • Realist permalink
      April 7, 2022 4:20 pm

      Oil has much better uses as the thousands of products based on it and what is left as transport fuel..

      • Tammly permalink
        April 8, 2022 7:41 am

        Yes, these ‘green’ activists and enthusiasts never mention that without oil, where are the plastics going to come from? There will be no medical facilities, mobile phones, no laptops, no electronics industry at all, just for starters!

  8. 2hmp permalink
    April 7, 2022 12:06 pm

    One can only hope that there is now a growing chink in the greenies’ armour and that time and education will show the foolishness of their ideas.

  9. April 7, 2022 12:07 pm

    In summary:
    Nuclear: Yes. Accelerate programme & remove unnecessary red tape.
    Wind/Solar/Hydrogen: Absolutely not. Dump them, totally.
    Gas: Yes. get fracking ASAP, removing the ridiculously stringent impositions, e.g. tremor limits.
    Home insulation: Not the govt’s business, except to remove VAT from material/services.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      April 7, 2022 4:17 pm

      On insulation the first thing is to stop government regulation from demanding ridiculous unaffordable standards that noone would want to implement in existing homes. Their notion of perfection is the enemy of the good.

  10. Devoncamel permalink
    April 7, 2022 12:16 pm

    A quick look at comments in the so called Torygraph show how opposed many are to on shore bird mincers. Bojo and Co won’t find many ‘supportive communities’ out in the shires. Perhaps that caveat reveals he knows what’s coming? We can only hope.

    • ScepticMeg permalink
      April 7, 2022 2:00 pm

      I really fail to understand how the so-called environmentalists aren’t up in arms over the damage to biodiversity that wind turbines do. German research suggests “ a single turbine located in the temperate zone might kill about 40 million insects per year” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348790564_Insect_fatalities_at_wind_turbines_as_biodiversity_sinks

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        April 7, 2022 4:10 pm

        Not to mention bats and “apex predator” birds which is likely to affect the ecosystem a lot more than decimating the sparrow or blue tit population!
        And aren’t bats a protected species??

      • Gerry, England permalink
        April 7, 2022 5:30 pm

        Bats are protected due to their low reproduction rate. Owls probably take a few but generally they are predator free hence the low reproduction.

        Environmentalists don’t actually care about the environment but want to destroy capitalism.

  11. Thomas Carr permalink
    April 7, 2022 12:46 pm

    The UK power grids have urgent needs today.
    When will Harrabin and others understand that Nuclear improvement is in the mid term and the crucial deficiency is short term?
    Should we suppose that Bojo and a remarkably complacent House of Commons think that it is enough for matters to take their course. I think that it is much worse that complacent. It’s beyond the capacity to understand and the broadcast commentators find it easier to assume that the science is settled. Much easier than setting aside time to understand the issues.

    Even supposedly bright presenters at the BBC ( The Today Programme) seem incapable of asking Ed Milliband what is the sense in a further abundance of wind powered generators when that supply is intermittent.

    As for anyone saying “and solar” in the same conversation about supply one is lost for words. Gridwatch says it all.

  12. HotScot permalink
    April 7, 2022 12:55 pm

    It’s a start. At least we have moved from renewables only, to nuclear and oil/gas.

    And who will want to invest in wind and solar when by 2050 they will be largely redundant. Essentially a single lifecycle, or perhaps two of installations which were set to become the future of electricity production in the UK. They will be, essentially, competing on price with nuclear.

    Could fracking be coming in under the radar? The potential export opportunities, never mind the almost instant reduction in energy costs might be realised before the next election. A dramatic fall in prices would be a big win for the Conservatives and there is plenty of support in the party for it, whilst onshore wind turbines present a real headache for all MP’s. How many MP’s are oop north in the fracking regions Vs how many preside over the rest of England green and pleasant lands.

    As a complete bonus, Boris has fired a shot across Sturgeons bows. You want to leave the UK? Then do it without our Nuclear. As an ex pat Jock living in Kent I’m both sad and happy. It might just see the end of the SNP as people understand what’s going on, but they will suffer in the meantime.

  13. Craig King permalink
    April 7, 2022 12:59 pm

    With nuclear why would we need unpredictable intermittent power from wind and solar? Nuclear makes them redundant. Build 9 nukes and cancel all the renewables. Stop the scam now.

  14. GeoffB permalink
    April 7, 2022 1:18 pm

    The nuclear plan is nothing new, but nobody is willing to build them unless the government picks up the tab and pays exorbitant prices, it has been dead stop for the last 3 years.
    Offshore wind and solar we all know are pure folly. I suppose opening up new oil and gas fields is a small victory and maybe fracking, but the Climate Change Act 2008 is still in place and that dictates policy. No backtracking on Net Zero and of course nothing is going to come to fruition for at least 2 years. It is going to get a lot worse…..before any let up in the high price of energy and the risk of rationing/power cuts.

  15. Micky R permalink
    April 7, 2022 1:38 pm

    ” The government plans to reduce the UK’s reliance on oil and gas by building as many as eight new nuclear reactors ”

    Includes the weasel phrase ” up to ” , lots of wriggle room there. Only coal-fired power stations offer the combination of relatively low construction costs, relatively quick construction programmes and the ability to stockpile fuel at the power stations.

  16. Jack Broughton permalink
    April 7, 2022 1:50 pm

    A panic response from a government that has lost the energy-plot. Renewables cannot meet the required security of supply no matter how many GW are installed: the winter has windless dark periods every year. Nuclear, while an essential component is very expensive for low load-factor operation, also, sadly, the UK can no longer build nuclear power stations, we depend on the French, or possibly the Koreans. Heat pumps need reliable, secure electricity and about 2m houses to be re-built to match them, in addition to the 2m shortfall created by years of governmental inaction.

    We desperately need gas and oil of UK origin to avert the coming economic and social disaster. To back-up the intermittent, unreliable sources I would advocate a mix of open and closed cycle gas turbines, which can now exceed 60% efficiency, the UK can still manufacture these too.

  17. Steve permalink
    April 7, 2022 2:05 pm

    Hinkley is 3.2GW I think, which means that 24 GW nuclear is right, but half of offshore wind capacity but this will produce less than full time nuclear and need 100% backup for two weeks in a freezing winter lull. But even the CCC technical report estimates that full electrical economy for net zero would require 150GW capacity. In order to get anywhere near that would require four times as many HP nukes = 32 and 50GW more of hydrogen from methane or other non intermittent.
    How could the Business Dept produce a plan which does not add up in any way?

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      April 7, 2022 11:20 pm

      “Hinkley is 3.2GW I think” It is actually two separate EPR reactors on the same site of 1,620MW each. On that basis it would represent 16 reactors. The already approved sites are Hinkley Point, Sizewell, Bradwell, Oldbury, Wylfa, Heysham, Hartlepool and Moorside which were established by the last Labour government. Odd how Ed Milliband manages to criticise what he himself actually started but then again he was all for “clean coal” when it suited him.

      • Steve permalink
        April 8, 2022 8:31 am

        I read that Hinkley is already behind schedule for 2026 owing to covid.😂
        Along with Flamainville, Fin!and and the only EPR in China that worked for a while before the fuel rods bent.

  18. terence carlin permalink
    April 7, 2022 2:05 pm

    Might be worth reminding everyone that the public consultation on Sizewell C started in 2012 ten years ago and it still does not have approval, and it will take another 8 to 10 years to build! So our chances of having another eight Nuclear power plants up and running by 2050 are slim unless drastic enabling action is taken by the Government to speed things up .
    Fracking seems the most effective and immediate solution to energy supply issues

  19. dennisambler permalink
    April 7, 2022 3:10 pm

    It’s already too late. We were doomed two years ago…

    “Climate chaos predicted by CO2 study” World will have exceeded 2050 safe carbon emissions limit by 2020, scientists say. This was the Independent in 2011: https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/climate-chaos-predicted-by-co2-study-1676411.html

    “The world will overshoot its long-term target on greenhouse gas emissions within two decades. A study has found that the average global temperature will rise above the threshold that could cause dangerous climate change during that time.”

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      April 7, 2022 3:50 pm

      Fortunately, the world takes no notice of the climate models.
      This mythical “proven science” is:
      1. CO2 dominates the world temperature: aka the greenhouse delusion.
      2. The world mean temperature cannot exceed 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 4 C rise above an ice-age value (depending on the IPCC report used).
      3. Climate models actually model the earth’s climate, even tho’ they exclude clouds and oceanic effects.
      Otherwise, they are perfect!

  20. Realist permalink
    April 7, 2022 4:15 pm

    Long overdue to build more nuclear. It was idiotic to ban the replacements (for those approaching end of service life) and new builds of nuclear (and coal) in the first place.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      April 7, 2022 11:43 pm

      Way back in the days of the CEGB they recommended to the Government to replace the original Magnox nuclear units with Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs). Although they had their own AGR – Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor design prototyped at Wylfa (and a Heavy Water design, the SGHWR at Winfrith) they preferred the Westinghouse PWR. The then energy minister over ruled their choice based on the assumption of being able to export their own unique design – not a single unit was ever exported.
      So while the first AGR at Dungeness first generated in 1983 (taking 18 years to build) it finally expired in 2020 with decommissioning started last year. Conversely the first preferred PWR design in Switzerland (Beznau) first started generating in 1969 after less than 4 years construction and is still going perfectly well 53 years later and could likely be life extended well beyond a total of 60 years (possibly as much as 80 or even 100 if the will was there)
      The Minister who made that decision against professional advice had an Oxford degree in guess what… Philosophy, Politics and Economics so obviously considered himself highly qualified to ignore experts. Tony Benn has a lot to answer for.
      The stand out point is that politicians should get the f’@ck out of energy and engineering decisions.

      • Mikehig permalink
        April 8, 2022 4:58 pm

        Your mention of NOK Beznau was a blast from the past!
        In the early 80s I was working for Westinghouse Nuclear in Brussels. One of the new projects was a major refurb and upgrade of Beznau. (If memory serves, it is a pair of small PWRs).

  21. April 7, 2022 4:18 pm

    We can only wonder how Harabin was re-programmed by the Green nutters to be there spokes person. Why isn’t the Gov not cancelling HS2 and spending it on another 7 N plants and giving us energy security into the 2070s.
    Hi statement today with numb Kasi was trying as usual to please all the perspective voters. When will they ever learn to govern for once.

    Why do these Greens and there lobotomised spokesman never come out with any detail in there plans.

  22. catweazle666 permalink
    April 7, 2022 4:18 pm

    All those pies in the sky and no reference to the unicorn flatulence and fairy dust industries.
    I’m astonished!

  23. April 7, 2022 4:39 pm

    Well I’ve read the ‘British energy security strategy’ twice and it is like a fairy tale – the government will wave a magic wand and we will have clean, affordable, secure energy – just like that. Everything will happen just as the government decrees. It is obviously written by lots of Sir Humphreys who don’t even know the difference between power and energy. Madness!

  24. europeanonion permalink
    April 7, 2022 5:26 pm

    The narrative is still ‘climate emergency’. The degree to which the various unscrupulous groups have been selling AGW had its embodiment in a lady campaigner breaking down on TV in a manner that was more appropriate to Ukraine than say fracking. You would have thought that the death and desolation in Ukraine should be proof positive what the end of the world really looks like, what is the causation. A generation that did not experience the Cold War, Boris for instance, did not live through the Cuban crises, should have been glorying in our positive peace bonus and an end to real global dangers. But the confidence of ignorance has won through. Boris has been fortunate in Putin waiting for the end of the winter Olympics (before he started his own games) with the coming of spring (I am assured it is coming) his electorate will be a little less under the cosh. Meanwhile he must be grateful that he may not be PM when the energy situation, his ten year plan, pauperises us all.

  25. eastdevonoldie permalink
    April 7, 2022 7:34 pm

    The Energy Strategy paper is pure bluster with the singe most important point, i.e. cost and funding, glaringly absent.
    The Govt baulked at the costings EDF produced for building and operating Hinkley Point and that is not even near completion,
    The chances of several more new Nukes by 2050 is absolutely ZERO – not going to happen.
    100% wind powering every home by 2030…….. total pie in the sky.
    The BBC trotted out the same old faces representing the eco-loon lobby but did not ask a single one a bout cost and who is going to pay!
    The lack of sound cost/benefit analysis will be the downfall of NetZero but not before untold damage is done to the wider population of the UK.
    In the meantime India, China,,,,,,, et al will continue burning coal. the UN IPCC will continue predicting doom and gloom, UK politicos will continue to wallow in total ignorance …………….. somethings just ever change.
    .

  26. tomo permalink
    April 7, 2022 11:39 pm

    That wind turbine photo is missing the Teletubbies – no parks either….

  27. April 7, 2022 11:45 pm

    State of this tweet from @RHarrabin
    Which would you prefer next to your house
    – a frack site, a wind farm, or a mini-nuke station?
    Ask an estate agent. @RICSnews

    Yeh cos ONE frack site, ONE wind farm, ONE mini-nuke station
    ..are all *equivalent *in terms of annual energy output N O T

    Roger’s tweet is PRtrickery using the Fallacy of False Equivalence

    Anyone want to put some numbers in ?

  28. M E permalink
    April 8, 2022 10:21 am

    You know, someone can make a killing investing in candles now before the lights go out!…..
    Tallow was the thing in the past for candles.. Render down sheep carcases as they did in New Zealand for the tallow.
    and also to grease the wheels and cogs of industry.

    New Zealand is trying to climb onto the NetZero bandwagon so here are the new /old industries ready to begin.

    Couldn’t resist it, 😉

  29. Dave Gardner permalink
    April 8, 2022 2:30 pm

    My advice to the UK government would be to go back to the energy policy in the last few years of the Thatcher era, which was effectively the CEGB’s energy policy. The current energy mess I regard as being mainly the work of John Major’s inept government that succeeded Thatcher in 1990. Subsequent governments in the past thirty years have then just kept the mess originally started by the Major government going, and have even managed to augment the mess further.

    To give some idea of what the energy policy was in the last few years of the Thatcher era, here is some information:

    This is the relevant extract from the Conservative party’s 1987 General Election manifesto:

    “Energy

    Britain is the only major Western industrial country that is a net exporter of energy. This owes much to North Sea oil so successfully developed by free enterprise. But it is an advantage that will not last indefinitely.

    Coal will continue to meet much of the steadily rising demand for electricity. Renewable sources of energy can make some contribution to the nation’s energy needs, which is why government-sponsored research has been increased. Nevertheless, to reject, as our opponents do, the contribution of nuclear energy to supplying reliable, low-cost electricity, and to depend on coal alone, would be short-sighted and irresponsible.

    The world’s resources of fossil fuels will come under increasing strain during the 21st century; so may the global environment if the build-up of carbon dioxide the so-called “greenhouse effect” significantly raises temperatures and changes climates.

    After the most careful and painstaking independent assessment of the safety case for a new pressurised water reactor at Sizewell, therefore, the Government has decided to proceed with the next phase of our nuclear programme. It is vital that we continue to give the highest priority to safety. Our nuclear industry has a record of safety and technical excellence second to none.

    We intend to go on playing a leading role in the task of developing abundant, low-cost supplies of nuclear electricity, and managing the associated waste products.”

    In the manifesto it introduces the idea of global warming (called the ‘greenhouse effect’ back in the 1980s) for the first time in British politics, and promotes nuclear power as being the main method of tackling this issue. There is no intention in the manifesto to start phasing out coal.

    The CEGB’s energy policy is given in an article in the “NNC Magazine” of Autumn 1987 (the nuclear power firm which built all the Magnox and AGR nuclear power stations in the UK that I used to work for in the 1980s):

    “The Board claim that by the turn of the century, they will need up to ten new power stations to meet the upsurge in electricity demand, and to replace ageing plant. It is anticipated that the new capacity will be met by nuclear and coal-fired power stations.

    Of the projected nine or ten stations, including Sizewell B and Hinkley C, two coal-fired stations at Fawley near Southampton and West Burton near Nottingham will have applications made for building consent by the end of 1987.

    Potential PWR sites are being investigated in six areas for further development, and three coal-fired sites are being considered.”

    But when Major took over from Thatcher in 1990, none of those stations mentioned in the magazine article got built, apart from Sizewell B (I suspect Major would have cancelled Sizewell B as well if there hadn’t been a commitment to build it in the 1987 General Election manifesto). Instead a fleet of gas-fired power stations got built by the newly privatised electricity supply industry. Some people claim Thatcher ‘invented’ global warming just to get rid of the coal miners. Not so, it was the gas-fired power stations brought in by Major and Heseltine that began the phase-out of coal-fired power stations and killed off the coal-mining industry. Heseltine told the House of Commons in 1992 that there was plenty of natural gas from the North Sea to fuel the new fleet of gas fired power stations, supposedly 50 years supply for them, but it turned out the UK was having to import significant amounts of natural gas as early as 2005 (Heseltine was however right about there being plentiful supplies of natural gas, if you include shale gas, but he wouldn’t know about the existence of that in 1992, and it remains to be seen whether the shale gas can actually be exploited).

    Othe contributions by Major to the overall energy policy mess was that he started the idea of the UK trying to impress the world by being amongst the world leaders in tackling climate change (despite killing off the UK’s nuclear power plant building programme at the same time), and brought Green advisers (specifically from that small subset of the Green movement that believes in the idea of ‘Green growth’) like Tom Burke, who Major awarded a CBE, into government.

    So my advice is to re-boot to the end of the 1980s, before the energy policy mess started by Major began. Go back to the CEGB energy policy of building nuclear power stations and coal-fired power stations.

    • Ray permalink
      April 8, 2022 9:32 pm

      Spot on Dave.

  30. Mikehig permalink
    April 8, 2022 5:19 pm

    Meanwhile all is not well in the world of wind:
    https://www.rechargenews.com/wind/were-all-in-trouble-wind-turbine-makers-selling-at-a-loss-and-in-a-self-destructive-loop-bosses-admit/2-1-1197217?mc_cid=9acd144434&mc_eid=66c7ca370e

    There’s a particualrly interesting comment about how a vicious circle has developed in pricing whereby manufacturers have based their costings on volumes of business which have not materialised. They then feel forced to bid at uneconomic levels to try and build volume.
    This corroborates the work by Gordon Hughes, John Constable, et al who have shown that the projects’ own accounts do not add up.

  31. April 8, 2022 5:38 pm

    Every attempt at gov run insulation of older homes has been subject to massive fraud and technical failure. Example the cladding disaster.

  32. April 8, 2022 8:44 pm

    Channel 5, Kate Humble is at Camber Castle, Sussex
    “This was built in 1500 on the coast, but abandoned just 100 years later, cos the sea had retreated 1 mile. Now it’s two miles away”

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