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The British Energy Horror Story

August 28, 2022

By Paul Homewood

 

This is really an excellent summary of the looming energy horror story, coming our way soon:

 

 image

Looking for a light read? Perhaps a fairy tale to settle the kids before bed?

If so, I highly recommend the publications page of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). You will find endless exciting tales about the near future. Stories of a high-tech world, in which humanity has “Built Back Greener” and enjoys prosperous existence in equilibrium with a revitalised natural world.

But perhaps fantasy is not your thing. Maybe you’d prefer something scary — a horror story to make your hair stand on end. Never fear — BEIS has you covered. As a fellow spookophile, I encourage you to scroll past the utopian titles, right to the bottom. Here we find the department’s “generation capacity” estimates.

Generation capacity is the amount of electricity our country can generate or import if supplied with sufficient fuel.

As with most horror stories, the setting will initially appear rosy. Aided by the world’s biggest offshore wind market, the amount of clean electricity the UK can generate is expected to soar ever upwards —  hinting at a carbonless world just around the corner. Indeed, journals spanning from the Guardian to the Spectator have run glossy graphics to this effect. 

But things are not as they seem. Look at the estimates of National Grid’s Energy Systems Operator (ESO) and you’ll begin to feel goosebumps. These projections “de-rate” energy generators based on how reliable they are (generators rarely run at 100 per cent efficiency). Applying this method nearly halves generation capacity — from 115 gigawatts to 62. At this level, supply is barely keeping level with demand.

Full story here.

I have been of course been writing about this for years, but I had not come across the BEIS projections, which are mentioned above. BEIS describe these “baseline projections”:

image

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-and-emissions-projections-net-zero-strategy-baseline-partial-interim-update-december-2021/net-zero-strategy-baseline-covering-note

And here are those projections:

 

 

 image

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-and-emissions-projections-net-zero-strategy-baseline-partial-interim-update-december-2021

 

The tables run from 2019 to 2040, but I have only shown the 2030 to 2035 period for clarity.

The tables specifically note that these capacities are not de-rated. Although “renewables” includes a small amount of biomass, maybe 5 GW, the vast bulk will be wind and solar.

In reality then, by 2030 we will only have about 45 GW of dispatchable capacity. This also needs to be de-rated, as it is not reasonable to have all of that capacity online 100% of the time. Traditionally, a figure of 85% has been used, so as to provide a safety margin. That of course means we can only count on 38 GW.

Quite why the BEIS thinks that we can guarantee to have 17 GW available from imports is a mystery, not least given Europe’s own energy crisis.

By 2035 demand will have risen considerably from current levels, if cars and heat are decarbonised as planned, likely peaking at near to 80 GW.

As the article explains, this kind of make-believe has been self generating within official circles, with the green blob in BEIS fudging the figures, using accounting tricks and even making stuff up, and ministers justifying their policies by reference to the Committee on Climate Change.

Reality may well be worse than even the BEIS projections allow. All of that gas generation will need to be with carbon capture, in order to meet the carbon targets. Most of our existing CCGT capacity will therefore have to be scrapped. BEIS therefore are projecting 22 GW of new build gas generation by 2035, but since 2012 only 4.4 GW has been added.

It is not clear why any investor would spend billions building gas plants, if they are all going to be banned long before 2050.

I’ll leave the summing up to The Critic:

 

There is no silver bullet to kill this monster, but disaster may be avoided if we’re prepared to acknowledge it exists. Blackouts remain unlikely if electricity demand is constrained, which means the government must abandon its plans for the grid to go green by 2035, along with the aim to switch to electric cars and heat pumps. Coal stations will need to keep burning, and mothballed generators may require re-recommissioning. Whilst it is too late to build the necessary plants in the next few years, the government can save future pain by loosening restrictions on new gas-fired power plants. It should also be prepared to finance new projects directly (60% of the bill for Hinkley C is borrowing costs, due to the government’s refusal to provide direct funding).

Above all, the Government must tackle the perverse incentives which lead it to walk blindly into this mess. The CCC must be abolished, or at least matched by another quango responsible for scrutinizing climate policy’s impact on energy security. CCC members who might have misled the public should be investigated. Legal requirements to meet impossible climate targets must also go — if the department can meet targets, that’s good, but its priority has to be to keep the lights on. Finally, civil servant pay caps must be removed to promote continuity in departments.

This tale speaks to a deep dysfunctionality at the heart of the system. Keeping the lights on is a basic function of modern government, and we are close to critical failure. The next PM’s first task must be to exorcise vested interests and create clear lines of accountability. If the eco-blob cannot be tamed, the future of the country looks dark. 

33 Comments
  1. William George permalink
    August 28, 2022 11:41 am

    Well done to The Critic to sum up this monstrous problem in short order.

    • In The Real World permalink
      August 28, 2022 1:27 pm

      Very good article by the CRITIC .
      But 1 thing that you have to read the whole article for , is the claim that wind generation will work .
      The CCC used a computer generated projection to try to say that there will 2000% less days without wind in the future .

      So , along with all of their other propaganda , none of this will be published in the media .

  2. jamesrethomas permalink
    August 28, 2022 11:47 am

    Does anyone know what progress there has been on the carbon capture Allam cycle natural gas plant as this could be a transition technology (for the many decades we’ll actually need to get to net zero) whilst nuclear is ramped up?

    • August 28, 2022 12:58 pm

      30+ years the dream of carbon capture has kept this BS alive. It remains a dream today and will remain so in the future.

      • Broadlands permalink
        August 28, 2022 2:25 pm

        Carbon capture and storage is a scam. Even scaled up globally the total amount of CO2 stored will never be enough to possibly affect the climate. 40 million tons a year? That is totally trivial when one realizes that just one ppm of CO2 is 7,800 million metric tons to bury safely somewhere. The atmosphere wouldn’t even miss it.

    • dennisambler permalink
      August 28, 2022 4:17 pm

      We don’t need to get to Net Zero, which is a fraudulent beast anyway, dependent on computer projections, guess work, “carbon” credits, impossible solutions like CCS and H2 and fudged spreadsheets. It is all in the virtual world, whilst the climate couldn’t care less.

    • Mikehig permalink
      August 31, 2022 12:05 pm

      Re Allam cycle power plants, the last I heard is that NetPower and their collaborators are building four 300 MW plants, one of which will be at Wilton on Teesside. Website: https://netpower.com/
      While CCS will never make any impression on atmospheric levels of CO2, some oil companies are doing quite well being paid to sequester it into old wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Slightly ironic!
      Even more so is when the CO2 is used for Enhanced Oil Recovery when they also get the oil. The product has been tagged “Blue Oil” and it is carbon-negative: the amount of CO2 sequestered is greater than that released in producing, refining and consuming the oil. It’s a nightmare for the greenies!!

  3. Gamecock permalink
    August 28, 2022 11:58 am

    ‘There is no silver bullet to kill this monster, but disaster may be avoided if we’re prepared to acknowledge it exists.’

    This is why I have suggested that Putin did you a favor, by bringing the timing forward on calamity. Sooner is better than later.

    ‘Keeping the lights on is a basic function of modern government’

    Uhh . . . no. It’s not. Government involvement is what has caused this mess. There is a magic bullet, and that is for the damn government to butt out.

    • August 28, 2022 1:02 pm

      Companies may be private, but the UK government retains the obligation to provide supply. If electricity, gas, water are not provided, then tax payments may properly be withheld.

      • Gamecock permalink
        August 28, 2022 8:26 pm

        “UK government retains the obligation to provide supply.”

        Absurd. They have no facilities. All they do is badger those who do.

        ‘Keeping the lights on is a basic function of modern government’

        ‘Modern’ translates to communist. If government is responsible, they must also have authority, and the means of production.

        You on board with this, JW?

    • dave permalink
      August 28, 2022 1:22 pm

      “Sooner is better than later.”

      Of course, but what if the powers-that-be simply double down on their madness?

      My Council has just sent me a message telling me,

      “Food waste is a huge cause of climate change.”

      With ingrained idiocy like this, there is not a chance in a thousand of the U.K. avoiding an unimaginable disaster in the next few years.

      Meanwhile, where have all the cyclones gone? Not one anywhere in the world for a month.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        August 28, 2022 1:30 pm

        My water supplier thanked me for “fighting” climate change by using less metered water than “average”. Since when did the water supplier know how many people occupy my house? Total ingrained and pointless idiocy at its finest.

      • Stephen H permalink
        August 28, 2022 8:22 pm

        Quieter than usual, for sure, but Severe Tropical Storm Florita, left Manila underwater last week.

  4. Martin Brumby permalink
    August 28, 2022 1:06 pm

    My preferred magic bullet would be for Suss or Trunak to immediately get an organisation, (maybe the SAS if they have yet to go Woke. The Police are far too busy dancing the Macarana at ‘Pride’ events.), to sieze all documentation from the Committee for Climate Change, Horrorbin, Drax, GangGreen, Ecotricity, Imperial College and many many others, together with BEIS and get Paul to supervise a team of forensic scientists and accountants to go through it all and document the incompetent but blatantly illegal activity that has been going on.

    It would also generate enough bumf to keep the home fires burning for a while. And the malefactors could spend 12 hours a day chained to bicycle generators for the rest of their worthless lives.

    Somehow, I think my idea will correctly be thought “pie in the sky”.

    • woodburner0 permalink
      August 28, 2022 1:19 pm

      …reductio ad absurdum…

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      August 28, 2022 1:26 pm

      Last week poster ItDoesntAddUp referred (with evidence) to a situation where two interconnectors (IFA and ElecLink) were simultaneously importing and exporting the same amount of electricity from the same place at either end…a totally circular transaction that benefitted nobody. National Grid were paid on both sides of the transaction….corruption in full view.
      Somebody has got to get a grip on this urgently.

      • woodburner0 permalink
        August 28, 2022 1:39 pm

        “…corruption in full view…” indeed. The stink must be overpowering…

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        August 28, 2022 3:04 pm

        Quite often the balance of the interconnectors is around zero, but all are either importing or exporting.

        I’d naively put this down to moving electrons from one part of Europe to another when there’s not enough capacity between the various grids. For exactly getting them from Norway and Holland to France. Today we’re a net importer

      • August 29, 2022 3:27 pm

        Ben V – imports are negative today, so we’re an exporter.

  5. that man permalink
    August 28, 2022 1:21 pm

    The Critic summary is good, apart from this: “Legal requirements to meet impossible climate targets must also go — if the department can meet targets, that’s good…”

    Why is it ‘good’ if the department can meet targets? All ‘climate targets’ are meaningless, because reducing UK ‘carbon’ emissions would make diddly-squat difference –even assuming that CO2 is the main driver of climate in the first place. ALL ‘legal requirements’ must go.

  6. mwhite permalink
    August 28, 2022 1:49 pm

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 28, 2022 2:09 pm

    Doesn’t anybody want to take over from Deben?

    https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/appointment/urn503-climate-change-committee-chair/

    Application deadline extended. He was supposed to be gone 5 years after appointment, or September 4th AFAICS.

  8. August 28, 2022 2:13 pm

    Gotta love the inclusion of a few GW (13 for 2030) of ‘capacity’ from storage.

    13GW would be the power; in 2030 Britain’s storage capacity would be approx 60GWh (Current ~30GWh + 30GWh from Coire Glas.

    So if all are full beforehand, that capability would last maybe 4 hours at simple average discharge.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 28, 2022 2:19 pm

      Foire Glas would add 1.5 GW of redelivery capacity. Much of the rest is from short duration batteries, with perhaps a little from “long” duration (=4 hours) options like LAES, CAES or even highly inefficient hydrogen.

  9. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 28, 2022 2:15 pm

    Timera have a nice chart that summarises the position

    There are no plans for replacement thermal capacity for that which is expected to close.

  10. Chilli permalink
    August 28, 2022 2:52 pm

    > Finally, civil servant pay caps must be removed
    > to promote continuity in departments.

    I’m not following the logic here. How about they all get the sack for gross negligence? Seems more appropriate than a pay rise.

    • dave permalink
      August 28, 2022 8:44 pm

      “…continuity…the logic…”

      Perhaps Civil Servants can only get an advancement in grade and pay by jumping between departments?

      The only Civil Servants I know are retired and say,
      “Thank God I got out before going mad!”

  11. August 28, 2022 3:05 pm

    I saw a video on Bitchute yesterday warning about a breakdown of electricity trading in the European grid, apparently this is being discussed at meetings of electricity traders. Highly plausible IMHO, when everyone is guarding their resources to stave off blackouts.

    This would mean nothing coming via interconnectors!

  12. Devoncamel permalink
    August 28, 2022 5:55 pm

    Perhaps we need blackouts to show this green nonsense for what it is. Of course the fanatics will never be convinced but we must change course now. The Utopian dream is over and those responsible should be banned from public office.

  13. August 30, 2022 1:54 am

    Green means Econazi. It’s pretty much the same as Vichy or Soviet. Once English writers realize socialism and fascism are the same thing and go back to physics and engineering, there’s no stopping you. Ask Eric Blair.

  14. Richard permalink
    August 30, 2022 11:42 am

    It’s almost as though the Ukrainian shenanigans were created to destroy the green dream.

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