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My smart meter’s so ‘dumb’ I have to press seven buttons to get a reading

March 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood






From the Telegraph:


Hundreds of thousands of households seeking to switch energy suppliers in the face of rising prices are discovering that their “smart meters” – which in many cases have only just been installed – will cease to work.

Technical flaws in the meters mean the “smart” function of transmitting accurate usage information is lost when households switch provider.

The issue has been known about for several years, but delays in the manufacture of the next generation of “universally compatible” meters means more of the old models have been installed than was expected.

That, coupled with a surge in energy prices which has prompted more customers to switch, means meters could be stripped of their “smart” capabilities in hundreds of thousands of homes.

And householders are reporting other problems with their meters, too.

The Government wants to have every household using smart meters by 2020 because, in theory, automatic, accurate readings will save money for both customers and energy firms, who will no longer have to pay staff to check millions of meters.

However, three years ahead of the deadline, only 4.9 million smart meters have been installed, out of a total of 53 million.

And there are growing suspicions that the devices are not as smart as their high-profile advertising claims.

The difficulty in switching is one issue. Readers in areas with poor mobile phone coverage report that the devices only work intermittently.

And the news from abroad is also worrying. A Dutch study of smart meters found five different models produced erroneous readings, sometimes up to six times higher than actual energy consumption. Distortions were most extreme when “green”, energy-saving equipment – such as LED light bulbs, heaters and dimmers – were used, the University of Twente Enschede research found.

And in Canada last year, energy firm Hydro One was forced to restart manual meter readings on 36,000 households in rural Ontario after widespread complaints.

Divers say less than 5% of Great Barrier Reef is dead, not half

March 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood




From Blasting News:


A team of divers is pushing back on a so-called second mass bleaching event occurring on the #Great Barrier Reef, which media reports said affected 50 to 60 percent of Cape York region. Scientists from the government-funded ARC center also found a 35 percent mortality rate, with an ultimate death toll topping 90 percent. That’s prompted local dive operators, who physically visit the reef each day, to survey the hardest hit parts. They only found between one and five percent damage.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which oversees the 1,250-mile-long structure, also added on their website there were still a great many reefs with abundant living coral for tourists to view, but it was imperative the world acts and carries out the “Paris Climate Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The local divers, however, used their own money and spent two weeks surveying 28 sites on 24 outer reef shelves ARC said were decimated. They found the reefs looked identical to how they did twenty years ago. Despite alarmist headlines of a mass bleaching event, they found no changes in two decades. They said the discrepancy between what they found (five percent damage) and what was being reported was “phenomenal.”

Other reef threats include the crown-of-thorns starfish. This starfish feeds on coral polyps, which are needed for new coral colonies to grow. The starfish population has exploded since the early ’60’s when its chief predator, the Pacific triton, was devastated by shell hunters. Since then, the starfish has wiped out many of the central reefs. The corals survive through a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, which gives them their vibrant colors.

Marine Park Authority Director of Reef Recovery Dr. David Wachenfeld said local weather conditions will also define the final outcome of the dying or bleached coral or lack thereof. More importantly, Wachenfeld said, not all bleached coral will die. He said last year’s bleaching and mortality were highly variable across the 133,000-square-mile Marine Park, which is bigger than Italy.

Reports of death widely exaggerated

Last summer roughly 22 percent of coral became bleached despite claims of widespread destruction. Because coral species have different tolerances to ocean temperatures, some can survive in above-average seawater temperatures. While some scientists are quick to blame #Climate Change on any #Bleaching Event, it didn’t occur across the entire reef but largely in one area.

Last June, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Chairman Russell Reichelt said there was a lot of widespread misinterpretation on how much of the reef was dead, with others saying 90 percent was gone. But only 22 percent of the reef was negatively affected by the 2015 El Nino and green groups intentionally mislead the “extent and impact of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.”

Accidental discovery

Exploration of the reef began when British explorer Captain James Cook accidentally ran his vessel into the reef. Charting the reef’s many mazes, channels and passages continued into the 19th century. Dating of the reef shows it was growing on Australia’s continental shelf around the Miocene Epoch (23.7 to 5.3 million years ago). Tectonics pushed the continent northward into more tropical waters, allowing coral to form.

The Great Barrier Reef survived multiple ice ages, which lowered sea levels, another cause of coral death. It also survived multiple warm periods (ex: Medieval and Roman) when the Earth experienced above-average temperatures of three to five degrees. And fossils showed widespread bleaching events occurred well before CO2 levels reached today’s levels.

US Shale Boom Is Back

March 20, 2017

By Paul Homewood




The Times reports:


Among many bold promises made on the presidential campaign trail, Donald Trump pledged to unleash an “energy revolution” that would release vast riches from America’s shale oil reserves. It is doubtful that he expected Saudi Arabia to do the job for him.

Yet, since the Saudi-led Opec cartel agreed to cut oil production in November, the US shale industry has been boosted to levels not seen since 2014.

Read more…

The Cost Of Going Green

March 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood


Booker’s column today highlights the bit that most of the Press forgot to tell us about the Budget:





This is the table from the OBR, detailing Environmental Levies:


2.7 Environmental levies

£ billion

Outturn Forecast

2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Carbon reduction commitment 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.0
Warm home discount1 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4
Feed-in tariffs1 0.0 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.6
Renewables obligation 3.9 4.6 5.4 6.3 6.6 6.8 7.0
Contracts for difference 0.0 0.1 0.7 1.3 1.9 2.7 3.2
Capacity market 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.7 1.0 1.3 1.4
Environmental levies 4.6 6.9 8.7 10.7 11.9 12.6 13.5
Memo: Expenditure on renewable heat incentive (RHI) 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2
Note: The ‘Environmental levies’ line above is consistent with the ‘Environmental levies’ line in Table 4.6 of the March 2017 Economic and fiscal outlook.
1 The ONS have yet to include Warm Home Discount and Feed-in Tariffs in their outturn numbers. If they were included, they would have been £0.3bn and £1.1bn respectively.

Does Government Really Expect 24% of UK Electricity to be Imported in 2025?

March 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood




From the GWPF:


New UK government projections of capacity and supply suggest that interconnection and electricity imports must grow by over 300% by 2025 if demand is to be met. While imports are not in themselves to be feared, it is worrying that government appears to be using assumptions about interconnection as a free parameter to paper over deficiencies in what is now in effect a centrally planned electricity system.

Read more…

Talk Of Flexible, Smart Energy Systems Misses The Point

March 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood



“Flexible” and “smart” are the new buzzwords when discussing energy.

We need electricity to be our flexible friend”, says Richard Black.

We want to move from a 20th Century energy system to a smart, clean system fit for the 21st Century”, says Greg Clark.

Smart meters, battery storage, demand side response. These are thrown up as examples of how we can manage the inherent intermittency of wind and solar power.

But just how much difference will they make?

Black’s ECIU has just published a report suggesting that the Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR) scheme has been a waste of money, as The Times reports:


A government scheme that paid £180 million to keep old power stations open as an emergency reserve to prevent winter blackouts has ended after never being used.

Read more…

“Green” Germany’s Emissions Keep Rising

March 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood




From The American Interest:


Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions rose last year, according to a new report. CO2 levels rose by 4 million tons in 2016 (0.7 percent), which means Berlin will have to reduce those levels by 40 million tons over the next three years in order to meet the country’s 2020 climate targets. As the FT reports, the country’s opposition Green party (who sponsored the study) is blaming an increase in vehicle miles traveled for the emissions increase:

A key reason for the increase was rising emissions in the transport sector, the Greens said. That was backed up by figures from the Federal Environment Agency, which showed carbon dioxide emissions from transport rose by 5.4m tonnes, or 3.4 per cent in 2016 — partly due to an increase in freight traffic, which expanded by 2.8 per cent. […]

The Greens also blamed a pick-up in oil consumption, driven by an expanding economy: German gross domestic product rose 1.9 per cent last year, its fastest pace in five years. They said higher consumption of diesel was also a factor.

Imagine that, Greens inveighing against economic progress. If you need a reminder of how politically toxic and counterproductive environmental dogma can be, look no further than this example.

Of course, there’s another culprit for rising German emissions apart from an expanding economy, and it’s one we’re also not surprised to see the Green Party skip over. Germany’s energiewende has propped up renewables at extraordinary cost to consumers, but it has also shuttered the country’s nuclear reactors. That decision, made largely in response to the 2011 Fukushima disaster, doomed a fleet of zero-emissions baseload power suppliers. And, because solar panels and wind turbines can only supply power when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, those binned reactors had to be replaced by fossil fuels.

And not just any fossil fuels: Germany has been ratcheting up its consumption of domestically produced lignite, a particularly dirty variety of coal. That’s how Berlin managed to simultaneously raise its power prices while also raise its greenhouse gas emissions in the process. It’s hard to argue that Germany is any better off for having implemented the energiewende.

Germany’s director general of energy policy recently told the BBC that Berlin plans to use its impending G20 presidency to push for a carbon tax. The way things are going, that seems almost masochistic.


How dare Germany expand their economy!

The Summer of 1826

March 18, 2017

By Paul Homewood




It is widely known that the summer of 1976 was by far the warmest in the Central England Temperature series.

What is much less known is that the next hottest was in 1826.




Curiously however, in 1982, when he wrote Climate, History and the Modern World, HH Lamb stated that 1826 was actually warmer than 1976.



 HH Lamb: Climate, History and the Modern World – p251



Funny how the past always seems to get cooler!

Green Energy Costs to Double, Committee on Climate Change Reveals

March 17, 2017

By Paul Homewood




From GWPF:


They announced, just as five of the big six energy providers raised prices by between 7-10%, that ‘Britain’s low carbon energy revolution is actually saving money for households’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tucked away at the bottom of a technical annex was a shocking revelation; households would be paying almost twice as much for climate policies than the CCC had estimated in their previous report on energy bills.

The Annex of the report includes an estimate of £235 for the cost of low-carbon policies on household energy bills in 2030, a cost that the CCC claimed in 2015 would only be £125 (p. 21).

Read more…

Climate change financing dropped from G20 draft statement

March 17, 2017

By Paul Homewood




There have been suggestions of this coming this week.

From Reuters:


Opposition from the United States, Saudi Arabia and others has forced Germany to drop a reference to financing programs to combat climate change from the draft communique at a G20 finance and central bankers meeting.

A G20 official taking part in the meeting said on Friday that efforts by the German G20 presidency to keep the wording on climate change financing had run into resistance.

"Climate change is out for the time being," said the official, who asked not to be named.

At their last meeting in July 2016 in the Chinese city of Chengdu, the G20 financial leaders said they encouraged all signatories of the Paris Agreement on climate change to bring the deal into force as soon as possible.

But U.S. President Donald Trump, who took office in November, has called global warming a "hoax" concocted by China to hurt U.S. industry and vowed to unpick the Paris climate accord that is supposed to curb rising temperatures.

Under the Chinese G20 presidency, finance ministers last year called on all governments to implement financial commitments made under the Paris deal in a "timely" way and promised to continue working on climate finance in 2017.

Trump’s administration on Thursday proposed a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, as the White House seeks to eliminate climate change programs and trim initiatives to protect air and water quality.

Asked about climate change programs, Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director, told reporters on Thursday "we consider that to be a waste of (Americans’) money."

"I think the president is fairly straightforward. We’re not spending money on that," he said.


Some have been concerned about an apparent backtracking by the Trump administration on climate change.

My view is that he is happy to push things forward on the basis of gradual, commonsense policies, rather ideological ones. Both will end up with the same result.

We have already had an indication of this with his recent withdrawal of funds from UN climate programmes.