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We just paid Belgium 50 times the going rate to keep London’s lights on – how did it come to this?

September 17, 2022

By Paul Homewood

 

 

h/t Philip Bratby

 

 image

Britain’s energy crisis is a national political humiliation. It is a direct result of a generation of cross-party policy failures and contradictions which have conspired to deliver a perfect storm.

Grave errors by a range of past energy ministers range from: Patricia Hewitt’s opposition to  nuclear power in 2001; Ed Miliband’s refusal to back new clean coal plants in 2009; Chris Huhne renewing opposition to new nuclear in 2012; Ed Davey supporting wood pellet plants over new gas in 2013; Amber Rudd overseeing the end of carbon capture funding in 2015; Greg Clark allowing the closure of the Rough gas storage site in 2017 and Andrea Leadsom banning fracking in 2019, to name just a few.

This brief summary of just some of the failures and short-term policy-making mistakes of recent years ran in parallel with the conscious and consistent run-down of reliable UK electricity generation. Between 2000 and 2017 over a third of the UK’s firm baseload electricity generating capacity was closed to meet EU rules without any comparable net replacements.

Instead, ministers approved weather-dependent renewables and more interconnectors to import power from the Continent, thus offshoring British energy jobs, resilience and security. New nuclear is already twenty years late.

In order to provide a proper understanding and long-overdue analysis of this systemic policy failure, a judge-led public inquiry is needed in the national interest both to prevent recurrence and to identify the key mistakes on the part of politicians, regulators and senior civil servants.

Alongside a long list of former energy secretaries (17 since 1997), ex-premiers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson should also be called as they led governments which oversaw the running down of British energy security, diversity and resilience.

Exposing and scrutinising how we got here and the decisions taken – or not – over this period is vital as it represents one of the biggest national policy failings in the post-war era.

It has huge implications for the economy, households, industry and future competitiveness – as this winter will show.

News in July that the National Grid had to panic-buy staggeringly expensive Belgian electricity to avoid power cuts fundamentally illustrates Britain’s perilous energy supply. As power demand surged during the heatwaves, the National Grid paid £9,724 per megawatt hour, more than 5,000pc the typical price, to prevent London suffering blackouts.

Whilst backbenchers are told to keep citing Russia and Ukraine as the reason for this very avoidable energy crunch, the real story is much more damning, concerning and home-grown. Years of ministerial dithering alongside bad and conflicted planning by Whitehall and network managers have helped deliver the perfect storm of high electricity prices, tight supplies and insufficient power.

The writing was on the wall years ago following the Blair, Brown and Cameron government’s decision to slavishly follow EU diktat and start closing coal and oil-fired power stations without clear policies to build cleaner equivalent replacements; weather-dependent windmills and solar panels could never fill the gap. The EU’s various power station directives, first supported by the Blair government in 2001, forced the UK to start shutting key plants from 2012.

Consequently, ministers are now desperately trying to keep remaining 50-year-old coal power plants running, at huge cost, alongside the hope that they will be able to import more and more electricity from Europe, again at high cost. So how did it come to this? Only a full and proper public inquiry can help us find out, prevent recurrence and deliver better policies for the future.

The emergency bid to Belgium has importantly exposed Britain’s growing overdependence on imported power. This growth has huge implications for energy security, resilience, future bills and climate change. We must stop building interconnectors and instead prioritise reliable home grown generation.

A public inquiry into Britain’s energy crisis will serve to expose the dangerous and failed doctrine of draconian out-of-date targets and poor policy-making over a generation. The public deserves to know who is responsible for soaring bills and the mistakes which have led to a real risk of power rationing this winter and beyond.

A failed energy policy inflicts huge pain on households, industry and the wider economy. It diverts investment and stops job creation. We need to learn and understand how and why political leaders failed in this most critical area of policy in the national interest.


Tony Lodge is a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/09/17/just-paid-belgium-50-times-going-rate-keep-londons-lights/

83 Comments
  1. Andrew Harding permalink
    September 17, 2022 10:11 am

    Morons led by cretins you couldn’t make this up if you tried!

  2. Martin Brumby permalink
    September 17, 2022 10:20 am

    At last a few people wake up.

    Two comments: –

    Amber Rudd (who was useless) was quite right to nix Carbon Capture. Even more useless.

    A special mention needed of Deben. The incompetent, venal, twit.

  3. Peter F Gill permalink
    September 17, 2022 10:20 am

    The major omission from this otherwise telling piece is the outrageous and ruinous passing of the Climate Change Act of 2008. The rest was almost inevitable.

    • that man permalink
      September 17, 2022 11:05 am

      Indeed –and at the time, Christopher Booker described it as the most expensive suicide note in history.
      If only he could see how right he was, and probably even worse than he imagined!

      • Peter F Gill permalink
        September 17, 2022 11:52 am

        Chris was one of the now very rare investigative journalists. His significance grew from his time with Private Eye in the 1960s (I bought the first copy). I had the pleasure of sharing a podium with him on a few occasions. He is greatly missed.

      • bobn permalink
        September 17, 2022 1:23 pm

        A good article in The telegraph but alas 20yrs too late. Contributors here, and the noble Chris Booker were shouting these obvious truths decades ago.
        But The Telegraph and all the other media ignored the glaring truth and played suck-up to the econuts and the idiot politicos.
        Why has the media conspired in the ‘green’ agenda???

      • woodburner0 permalink
        September 17, 2022 1:41 pm

        For the same reasons that they have conspired in the COVID-19 scam: corruption, political expediency and stupidity, to name but three..

      • StephenP permalink
        September 17, 2022 5:35 pm

        IIRC the BBC Pension Fund is heavily invested in ‘renewable’ generation, with the inevitable results.

    • September 17, 2022 1:23 pm

      YES INDEED This Act was passed by a brain dead Parliament with only 4 opposing votes. 😱🤯🤯. It calls to mind the workings of some form of communist dictatorship.
      We now rue the day as Chris. Booker forecast.

      What is the most disturbing thing to me is the apparent total inability current politicians have to think logically and read what is clearly there before their eyes. Why they give time of day to those swivel eyed lobbyists beats me.

      • that man permalink
        September 17, 2022 2:09 pm

        Relevant to this day are W.S.Gilbert’s words in Iolanthe:

        “When in that House MPs divide,
        If they’ve a brain and cerebellum, too,
        They’ve got to leave that brain outside,
        And vote just as their leaders tell ’em to.
        But then the prospect of a lot
        Of dull MPs in close proximity,
        All thinking for themselves, is what
        No man can face with equanimity…”

      • September 17, 2022 2:14 pm

        That Man:
        Thanks for that – Appreciated. rgds. Alasdair

      • September 24, 2022 2:18 pm

        Simple. You get pilloried if you rebel against popular fashion, itself spread partly by those with vested interests and partly by journalists being pressured (by their paymasters) into producing ‘news’ stories when there isn’t any fact or non-sensationalist opinion, e.g., “19 French nuclear plants safety similar to Chernobyl disaster”.

    • bobn permalink
      September 17, 2022 7:10 pm

      Indeed the 2008 Act was not the first attempt by our hubristic Parliament to control the weather. A ‘climate change’ bill was first presented to Parliament on 11th Jan 1662.
      https://www.british-history.ac.uk/lords-jrnl/vol11/pp362-363#h3-0005
      Which ordered:
      “The Fast to be observed in Westm. Abbey, and the Bp. of St. David’s to preach.
      ¶Whereas His Majesty hath been pleased, by Proclamation, upon the Unseasonableness of the Weather, to command a general and public Fast, to be religiously and solemnly kept, within the Cities of London and Westm. and Places adjacent:”
      Needless to say this first attempt to order the weather to change was as ineffective as our current idiotic parliamentary Acts to control the weather.

      • Peter F Gill permalink
        September 17, 2022 7:38 pm

        One could argue that the prayers of 1662 in the LIA worked albeit with a delay of about 15 years, during which the weather first got worse. It is however unarguable that the prayers cost almost nothing. We better informed people intend to spend trillions of pounds to no effect. I notice that you have used the word “idiotic” to describe parliamentary action. You are far too kind.

      • Rowland P permalink
        September 19, 2022 7:07 am

        As recorded in Pepys’ diaries, this was due to to extraordinarily hot weather in January 1661 and 1662 if my memory serves me correctly.

  4. September 17, 2022 10:21 am

    “In
    order to provide a proper understanding and long-overdue analysis of this systemic policy failure, a judge-led public inquiry is needed in the national interest both to …..”

    Just like the Chillcot enquiry?
    The conclusion is our method of choosing our political elites is hopelessly flawed.

  5. devonblueboy permalink
    September 17, 2022 10:24 am

    The last thing we need is a judge led public inquiry. What we do need is the repeal of the Climate Change Act. ASABP.

    • September 17, 2022 2:22 pm

      ABSOLUTELY 100%. It is the crux of the problem; but not likely now as institutionalised Cognitive Dissonance will fight like mad.

      • devonblueboy permalink
        September 17, 2022 3:02 pm

        But is it cognitive dissonance? That occurs when people’s behaviours are different from their beliefs. It causes personal discomfort which they try to avoid, often by avoidance. I think the green blob’s avoidance is more likely to be be due to an inability to admit to mistakes. Their behaviours are in synch with their beliefs. Due to their lack of any scientific knowledge and consequent analytical failures they truly believe in the rubbish they spout. They exist in a self perpetuating, group thinking gloom loop where all their esteemed, humanities graduate colleagues believe the same thing. They are all working from a position of wilful ignorance and thus cannot countenance that they are wrong. After all, weren’t they the best of the best at school and university and now in the bureaucracy? If there’s a better example of the failure of functional vs emotional intelligence I’ve yet to see it.

      • September 17, 2022 8:59 pm

        My take on this Cognitive Dissonance thing is that it is used to avoid taking responsibility for an action or opinion you did or had in the past and blaming events or others for the consequences. The perpetrator seems to have persuaded him or herself of this in order to keep in their comfort zone. It can result in a great deal of aggression if not controlled.
        We all suffer a bit from it ourselves as it is not easy to admit you are or were wrong. It gets very serious at institutional or political level. As we are Witnessing with the current extraordinary rise in energy costs.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 17, 2022 5:51 pm

      Quite right! We need some cheer of late: why not an inquiry led by Attenbllx? What fun.

  6. Ian PRSY permalink
    September 17, 2022 10:59 am

    I picked up this video from the “About” link:

    Scary and “It’s Worse Than We Thought” but not in the way silly Sir David thinks (he’s at it again).

    • StephenP permalink
      September 17, 2022 6:52 pm

      If you want to pass the talk on it is available on:

      https://smi.uq.edu.au/event/session/11743

    • StephenP permalink
      September 18, 2022 7:58 am

      Every politician should be forced to listen to this talk and be questioned to ensure that they understand the implications..
      It would also be useful to see the figures recalculated in a way to see the impact on individual countries.
      One conclusion from the talk might seem to be – invest in mining shares and metal processing companies.

  7. Realist permalink
    September 17, 2022 11:07 am

    Did Brexit actually happen?
    All the climate and “green” madness should have stopped and been reversed, yet it continues

    • Stephen Fox permalink
      September 17, 2022 5:12 pm

      The biggest disappointment of all. We expected rubbish behaviour from the likes of Gummer and Davey. But Johnson, having ‘got Brexit done’ then seemed to lose his nerve completely. I suppose he was trying to appease the Remain crowd, which was never going to work anyway.

      • Chris Phillips permalink
        September 18, 2022 10:14 am

        My view on Johnson’s sudden conversion to green zeolotry was that he was got at by his new wife. She is best friends with the green zeolot Zac Goldsmith and the two of them were able to completely mislead the scientifically illiterate Johnson. At least with Johnson gone we’ve also lost Carrie’s malign influence as an unelected PM

      • woodburner0 permalink
        September 18, 2022 12:42 pm

        Princess Nut Nut is now underground. She may even divorce Boris Johnson…

      • Stephen Fox permalink
        September 18, 2022 6:04 pm

        That’s interesting. I think I heard Goldsmith has been relocated somewhere he will be relatively isolated. Hope so…
        Perhaps Ms Truss will have some steel in her after all.

    • alastairgray29yahoocom permalink
      September 18, 2022 12:27 am

      The only reason I voted for Brexit was that I could see the European energy train wreck happening but never in my worst nightmares did I imagine a cockstruck buffoon shafting us even worse with his flatulent unicorn policy

  8. September 17, 2022 11:26 am

    An excellent, hard-hitting, straight talking article, -right up to the point when ‘Climate Change’ was mentioned.

  9. Sepulchrave permalink
    September 17, 2022 11:27 am

    What a depressing list of short sighted wrong headed decisions.

    Kwasi Kwarteng commenting on Government ending support for fracking on 2nd November 2019 :

    “Today’s decision will not in any way impact our energy supply. The UK benefits from one of the most active gas markets in the world, with security ensured through diverse sources – including domestic offshore production, pipelines from Europe and liquid natural gas terminals.”

  10. September 17, 2022 11:28 am

    the conscious and consistent run-down of reliable UK electricity generation

    Sawing off the branch of the tree we’re sitting on – what could possibly go wrong?

  11. September 17, 2022 11:45 am

    “We need to learn and understand how and why political leaders failed in this most critical area of policy in the national interest.”
    They didn’t ‘fail’ at all; they made a killing with renewables and walked away laughing. If the writer didn’t understand that, he’s ‘failed’ as well.

  12. Ben Vorlich permalink
    September 17, 2022 12:13 pm

    The problem we currently have is that very rarely is the French interconnector running on import at the moment and hasn’t been for almost a year Frequently it operates exporting 3GW continuously for days. The Norwegian link is export at night import during the day since April/May.
    As we’ve had a few months of low wind it appears to me, note I don’t know how the grid does it, that this export is by using the gas generation plants. It looks like it is quite windy in Germany for a change today so France is importing their surplus wind and not our gas generated electricity.
    It’s going to be a hard winter.
    I’ve got a good stock of candles, LED camping lights with lots of spare batteries, a camping gas ring with spare cylinders and am ready to do Residual Heat cooking. They don’t tell you slow cookers don’t work during power cuts, in which case it goes into the Haybox.

  13. thecliffclavenoffinance permalink
    September 17, 2022 12:24 pm

    Be thankful for the interconnectors and Belgium having spare power to sell

  14. It doesn't add up... permalink
    September 17, 2022 1:08 pm

    What Tony Lodge missed was that British consumers got to pay to help keep the lights on in France. The power shortage could have been solved by cutting our exports to France. The use of the UK as a transit route between Belgium and France just speaks to the lack of diect interconnection.

    The NEMO landing point at Richborough connects to the IFA and Eleclink converter stations at Sellindge via a substation at Etchinghill with a direct route and an indirect route via Canterbury North.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      September 18, 2022 4:28 pm

      Hi IDAU not sure where you are getting your info on the interconnector routings. IFA 1 runs as DC to Sellindge and is converted there. Eleclink is converted on the Channel tunnel site and runs at 400kV AC via a separate route to connect to the grid also at Sellindge. Nemo converts to AC at Richborough (Sandwich) and runs exclusively (also at 400kV AC) to Canterbury North.
      The Etchinghill substation is a local DNO unit connected at 132kV and is not involved.
      I worked on the original construction of all three converter stations (and even post construction on the original interconnector at Dungeness) and live in the valley running south of Canterbury and north of Etchinghill. This map may clear up the details.
      https://openinframap.org/#2/26/12

  15. September 17, 2022 2:14 pm

    Let’s not overlook that our new, trusty PM has been voting for at least a decade to add to this mess, which any 12-year-old could have fixed. Apart from the obvious problem that, after sunset, and with no wind, we need an excess backup of all renewables. Thus the question occurs, “why have renewables at all” ? But the real cause is that the UK became a thoroughly socialist scam last century. ALL socialist states eventually fail, some very quickly. Anybody out there with a spare 150 Billion to spend on price controls for energy in the best soviet tradition ? Thought not.

  16. Gamecock permalink
    September 17, 2022 2:31 pm

    ‘We just paid Belgium 50 times the going rate’

    Moron. You paid them the going rate.

    • AC Osborn permalink
      September 18, 2022 10:06 am

      Since when was £9,724 per megawatt hour the “going rate” for electricity?
      Massive profiteering at times of emergency is the current way that business is being done.

      • Gamecock permalink
        September 18, 2022 2:03 pm

        When the National Grid paid £9,724 per megawatt hour. That was the rate. They would have paid less if they could. A transaction between a willing seller and a willing buy sets the rate. By definition.

        ‘We just paid Belgium 50 times the going rate’

        ‘Going rate’ is a fiction. Having read Lodge’s article, I believe someone else tacked on that headline. Lodge is smarter than that.

        “Massive profiteering at times of emergency is the current way that business is being done.”

        Lodge doesn’t say that. ‘Massive profiteering’ are your words, not his. Indeed, he explains why the price is so high.

        “On the contrary, Mr Bond, I think you’ll find those wounds quite fatal.”

        Your populist assertion can get people killed. Lodge explains that government constraint of power generation is the problem. Complaining about ‘profiteering’ can lead to the government constraining pricing, as well.

        Backup suppliers no longer spread their costs over a year of generation; they have to make their money when called on. Hence, extreme pricing is justified.

        Complaining about ‘profiteering’ can get the backup business killed. UK’s worst nightmare. You better hope the backups are making money.

      • AC Osborn permalink
        September 18, 2022 2:17 pm

        No the backup business being killed is not our worst nightmare, continuing as we are with unreliable and unaffordable energy costs due to government stupidity is our worst nightmare. If they did their jobs properly we would not need anywhere near the backups we currently do.
        I don’t care what excuses you give, charging 10 times the normal price is pure profiteering, Belgium had the spare capacity that did not cost them 10 times as much to generate.
        Pure profiteering.

      • Gamecock permalink
        September 20, 2022 2:03 am

        Show us your numbers, AC.

      • Gamecock permalink
        September 20, 2022 2:15 am

        “Pure profiteering”

        My state, South Carolina, passed a “no gouging” law a few years ago. A gas (petrol) station near here got fined for charging too much for gas during an “emergency.”

        Whenever an emergency is declared now, they CLOSE. SLAP SHUT. Any product they have stays in the tanks. People who would pay dearly for it can’t. Thanks, government.

        Appeals to government over pricing will get people killed. It is especially precarious in UK.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      September 18, 2022 4:49 pm

      Gamecock, I fully understand and agree with your point…and I do rather like your blunt style! It will probably never be popular but the truth rarely is.

      • dave permalink
        September 19, 2022 10:08 am

        A precisely correct story might have run:

        “Last night, the going rate for Belgian imported electricity went up by 5,000 per cent for a while. The Belgians made a killing, as they were entitled to. We hope to return the favour at some time.

        The situation was an unfortunate consequence of appallingly bad business management by the Government of the United Kingdom over many years.

        All culpable persons have remained in post. This is an unfortunate consequence of appallingly weak moral fibre in the general public
        of the United Kingdom over many years.

        Far worse is to come.”

  17. Dick Goodwin permalink
    September 17, 2022 3:43 pm

    Can anyone tell me why the Central Electricity Generating Board was closed down all those years ago? EU Directive?

    • Dave Andrews permalink
      September 17, 2022 5:13 pm

      Don’t know the answer to your question but do know that in the 1980s, following on from the oil crisis of the 1970s, the CEGB showed little interest in wind power because of its variability.

      How times have changed!

    • Dave Andrews permalink
      September 17, 2022 5:20 pm

      Don’t know the answer to your question but I do know that, following the oil crisis of the 1970s, the CEGB showed little interest in wind power citing its variability.
      How times have changed!

      • Dave Andrews permalink
        September 17, 2022 5:24 pm

        Apologies for the double posting!

      • alastairgray29yahoocom permalink
        September 18, 2022 12:32 am

        A message that needs repeating again and again but no-one is listening anyway

    • Micky R permalink
      September 17, 2022 6:20 pm

      ” Can anyone tell me why the Central Electricity Generating Board was closed down all those years ago? ”

      Thatcherism

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        September 17, 2022 9:01 pm

        ‘Thatcherism’ – the alternative being, what?

      • September 17, 2022 10:14 pm

        “‘Thatcherism’ – the alternative being, what?”

        Communism at the hands of the “we will bring the country to its knees” USSR-supported Trade Union movement.

      • Micky R permalink
        September 17, 2022 11:12 pm

        ” ‘Thatcherism’ – the alternative being, what? ”

        Competent politicians acting for the benefit of the UK population would be a good start.

        The CEGB was broken up to permit the privatisation of the UK electricity generation and transmission sector.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      September 18, 2022 4:57 pm

      Polarisation of extremes. The CEGB rather gold plated everything and had its own extreme levels of aggrandisement. I recall the station manager’s office at one particular oil fired plant – the plant itself was an exceptional monument to the premier quality of British Engineering, the office was more befitting Buckingham Palace and was presided over by a monarch. There did need to be a midway point but instead the almost jewel encrusted CEGB was privatised to an ultra extreme cost cutting exercise that was equally excessive in the opposite direction.

      • Micky R permalink
        September 18, 2022 7:45 pm

        “… oil fired plant – the plant itself was an exceptional monument to the premier quality of British Engineering, ”

        Fawley!

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        September 18, 2022 8:58 pm

        Hi Mickey R, no it wasn’t Fawley (I’ve never actually been to that one but I suspect it was an excellent unit) it was Littlebrook D which had the almost surreal claim to fame of running at 115% of capacity for almost 18 months straight. Mind you we eventually turned one turbine into scrap come the end of it!

  18. ancientpopeye permalink
    September 17, 2022 3:56 pm

    Is it possible to subpoena George Soros bank accounts?

  19. September 17, 2022 4:02 pm

    It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

    Thomas Sowell

  20. September 17, 2022 5:11 pm

    here is a good appreciation of Climate situation in Canada by Lord Conrad Black

    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-a-measure-of-dissen

  21. avro607 permalink
    September 17, 2022 6:02 pm

    Well done to the Telegraph.Everything that most of us have been commenting on for years,has now got a wider audience.
    Let us hope that they get much praise from all of us.Perhaps encourage them to delve deeper.
    Some of you will remember the second IPCC report(I think) where the Science Group had stated that CO2 was not to blame for supposed rising earth temperatures.Along came the World governments reps. and in their Summary Report wrote exactly the opposite.The IPPC then went and altered the Science report to agree with the politicians,and the big GREEN LIE was born.
    It would be nice to know the names of the Brits involved.

    • September 17, 2022 6:20 pm

      Also from the IPCC, this gem:

      “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

      So stated the IPCC’s Working Group I: The Scientific Basis, Third Assessment Report (TAR), Chapter 14 (final para., 14.2.2.2), p774.

      Worth noting also, for many years both Chris Booker and later – until he was sacked – James Delingpole carried the standard for AGW scepticism in the DT.

      I believe it was Delingpole who coined the epithet “Watermelons” – Green on the outside, Red on the inside – to describe the Green hoax aficionados.

  22. avro607 permalink
    September 17, 2022 7:04 pm

    Correct sir.Dear Dellers,he also wrote the book-Watermelons,a very good read.

  23. John Brown permalink
    September 17, 2022 7:14 pm

    Paul,

    I thank you for your excellent work.

    April 23rd this year you posted that renewable subsidies have cost £78 billion in the last 10 years.

    Do you have a figure please for the total amount spent on building (and operating?) wind farms over the last 10 years?

    I would like to compare the total cost of building wind farms, which I believe now total 27 GW of installed capacity, but which, according to the TWhrs produced for 2021 (BEIS Energy Brief 2022), only produced an average of 8 GW, with what it would have cost to build 8 GW of nuclear capacity over the last 10 years.

    This is of course is completely ignoring the renewables’ substantial additional costs caused by intermittency but it would still be an interesting comparison.

    Another consideration would be that nuclear power plants have double the life or more of a wind turbine.

    Thank you for your help.

    • September 18, 2022 8:21 am

      John Brown,

      Dr Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University analysed the accounts of I believe some 450 wind farm operators. Perhaps that paper would have the information you are looking for?

    • Micky R permalink
      September 18, 2022 12:34 pm

      @ John Brown, you could consider the wider picture to estimate the true cost of renewables in the UK. As previously posted, I estimate that the costs associated with decarbonisation are as follows:

      c£150 billion handout from the taxpayer to the “energy suppliers”
      c£150 billion “excessive profits” for the “energy suppliers” i.e. paid for by the UK consumer
      c£100 billion in subsidies to renewable energy companies?
      c£20 billion carbon tax?
      Other?
      c£500 billion to date?

  24. Joel Leonard Hammer permalink
    September 17, 2022 10:42 pm

    China has 1100 coal fired power plants and is currently building about 190 more, as I write these words.
    What in the world are these people thinking/smoking/snorting?

  25. September 18, 2022 10:26 am

    The laws of supply and demand are supposed to determine prices.
    If you have a lot more of something than is wanted , it is supposed to be harder to get a good price for it.
    We are told that Russia not supplying gas to Europe has caused gas price inflation.
    But Russia is selling more gas to Turkey , China , India and any one else that wants it. With much of that gas being reimported into Europe. So there has not been a huge reduction in the world supply of gas. If the supply is about the same what about demand. We are told that China has increased its demand for gas mostly from Russia. But the supply demand ratio has not changed to the extent of the price changes. So it is probably market speculation driving price rises. Speculation is based on future forecasting and these use computer modelling. As a retired programmer I know garbage in garbage out. Particularly
    if it is just the type garbage you wanted before you started.

    • Jordan permalink
      September 20, 2022 8:15 am

      No, the reason for high gas price rises is our over-dependence on one fuel source (gas) after the EU, Europe and Australia turned their backs on coal.
      If we (UK) still had the ability to consume coal, we would have had much better access to world fuel supplies today.
      People talk about inelasticity of demand for gas. The ability to switch to coal makes gas demand more elastic – if gas prices rise, switch to coal and reduce demand for gas.
      This is revealed by the large difference between the clean dark-spread (market signal for profit on coal fired generation in UK) versus the much higher clean spark-spread (for gas). This combination means power prices would be lower if we could switch to coal fired generation … except there is almost none left to turn to. So we have inelastic demand for gas in the UK (and elsewhere).
      This can be directly blamed on our collective stupidity. Too much feelgoodery with announcements of planetary salvation, and too many photoshoots with child-like messiah figures. No point in looking for scapegoats like “speculators”, we got here by our own mistakes.

  26. Gerry, England permalink
    September 18, 2022 11:37 am

    Tony Lodge has talked sense on this for over a decade. It is reasonable to be sceptical of public inquiries but remember that they often hobbled from the start by the drafting of their scope. Given that an inquiry would require all the culprits of incompetence to be questioned along with the respective PMs at the time, so B Liar, Broon, Call Me Dave, May and the lying oaf, it would serve to show the public who is to blame for our energy disaster. Whether the public are intelligent enough to absorb the lesson is doubtful.

  27. avro607 permalink
    September 18, 2022 9:51 pm

    Micky R on costs-any chance of a breakdown to how you arrived at those alarming figures.

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