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Green Costs Partly Responsible For Increased Energy Price Cap

February 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood



Last week, OFGEM announced that the price cap on energy bills would be going up in April:


  • From 1 April, the levels of the default tariff price cap will increase by £117 and pre-payment meter cap by £106 to reflect higher costs 
  • Customers on default deals are still better off – Ofgem analysis suggests that without the default tariff cap they could be overcharged by £75-£100 a year
  • Households could save more money by switching

The price cap for customers on default (including standard variable) tariffs, introduced on 1 January 2019, will increase by £117 to £1,254 per year, from 1 April for the six-month “summer” price cap period. The price cap for pre-payment meter customers will increase by £106 to £1,242 per year for the same period.

Using published methodologies, Ofgem adjusts the level of the caps twice a year to reflect the estimated costs of supplying electricity and gas to homes for the next six-month period. Ofgem will reset the level of the cap in August for the six-month winter price cap period which begins on 1 October.

Capped prices only increase when the underlying cost of energy increases. Equally when costs fall consumers’ bills are cut as suppliers are prevented from keeping prices higher for longer than necessary.

While wholesale prices are higher than a year ago, it must also be remembered that green levies have also risen, and are partly responsible for this price rise, as OFGEM admit:

Around £74 of the £117 increase in the default tariff cap is due to higher wholesale energy costs, which makes up over a third (£521) of the overall cap….

Other costs, including network costs for transporting electricity and gas to homes and costs associated with environmental and social schemes (policy costs), have also risen and contributed to the increase in the level of the caps.



While higher wholesale costs explain £74 of the increase, network, policy and operating costs, all affected by govt climate policies, are responsible for an extra £32.

The effect of green levies and other climate costs can be seen in the OBR figures:



Levies are expected to be £1.0bn higher in 2019/20. On top there will be an extra £0.2bn for carbon taxes.

2.13 Climate Change Levy receipts

£ billion


2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24
CCL Receipts 2.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.5
of which:

CCL Receipts (ex Carbon Price Floor) 1.2 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.6 1.8
CCL Receipts – Carbon Price Floor 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.7


In total then, electricity users will have to pay an additional £1.2bn this year.

Not quantified are any increases in the cost of smart meter roll outs, grid infrastructure and so on.

While some of these added costs will be stood by industrial users, it is easy to see why domestic bills will rise by £32 to pay for the government’s climate agenda.

And that is just this year’s increase.

In total terms, the country will be paying £14.4bn this year, an obscene amount which should have been put to better use.


Offshore Wind Costs–Facts v Propaganda

February 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood


How often do we hear claims that the cost of offshore wind has halved?

I often see it argued in comment threads in the Telegraph and elsewhere, and it is hardly surprising given the barrage of misinformation fed to the public by official sources, the media and the renewable lobby.

The advert above is one of the most obvious examples, paid for by the renewable lobby, Greenpeace etc. It appeared at at Westminster tube station, and was seen by thousands of passengers. But how many of these will have been aware that the claims were withdrawn after the ASA declared them as false.

And it is not just Greenpeace who lie. Take, for instance, this grossly misleading headline from Roger Harrabin: 



OK, the article then goes on to clarify that it only refers to new offshore projects. But millions will see headlines like this, but never bother to read through the articles.

And then there’s Claire Perry herself making this claim last year in an article written by her for the Telegraph:

Today renewables provide almost one third of our electricity, with wind accounting for half of that and prices falling by more than 50pc in only a few years

Very few people understand the intricacies of renewable subsidies, and will more than likely end up believing that the cost of offshore wind power now being produced costs half as much as it did not long ago. This after all is the deliberate intent of all three examples I have listed.

So what is the truth? How much are we really paying for offshore wind?

Subsidies for offshore wind power are paid via two schemes, ROCs and CfDs:

1) Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs)

This scheme is now closed to new projects, but wind farms already qualified under ROCs will continue to receive subsidies for as long as they carry on generating.

In the latest 12-month figures published by BEIS (to Sep 2018), offshore wind farms covered by ROC generated 21.3 Twh, and received 40.2m ROCs.

The current value of an ROC is £47.22, so the value of the ROCs is £1898m. This equates to £89/MWh.

As these wind farms also receive the market value of the electricity produced on top of the ROCs, the value of the ROCs is pure subsidy, and is added to electricity bills.


2) Contracts for Difference (CfDs)

In 2014, a new system of subsidy was introduced to gradually take over from ROCs.

CfDs offer a guaranteed strike price to successful applicants, index linked for 15 years, (with the exception of Hinkley C which lasts for 35 years).

Strike prices are agreed via auctions, and have declined over the years, not least because the first tranche were arbitrarily set by Ed Davey, rather than by auction, and were arguably far too high.

Below is t he list of CfDs currently awarded. Some are operational, but others won’t start until as late as 2024:


Price MW
Beatrice 155.53 664
Burbo 166.59 258
Dudgeon 166.59 402
EA 133.29 714
Hornsea 155.53 1200
Hornsea Project 63.66 1386
Moray 63.66 949
Neart 127.21 448
Triton 82.75 860
Walney 166.59 660
WEIGHTED AV 116.93 7541


CfDs for offshore wind projects are guaranteed and index linked for 15 years, so all of these will still be paid well after 2030.

Based on the average weighting, the average strike price is £116.93. With market prices around £55/MWh at the moment, this equates to a subsidy of about £62/MWh.



  There is about 6200 MW of capacity covered by ROCs. Averaging this together with the 7541 MW of CfD capacity, and we get a weighted average subsidy of £74/MWh, and an actual price of £129/MWh.

This is of course more than double the market price of £55/MWh.

Based on 39% loading, output from these projects, both operational and planned, amounts to 47 TWh, meaning the annual subsidy will total £3478m.


Remember that these prices are index linked, so subsidies will rise each year.

Remember also that these subsidies will continue to be paid out well into the 2030s. Whilst new schemes will also be added in future CfD auctions, they will continue to add to these subsidies, even if the overall average price drops.


Remember all of this next time Claire Perry, the BBC or renewable lobby try to persuade you that we are getting a good deal from offshore wind.

What’s Behind Climate Change Activist Greta Thunberg’s Remarkable Rise To Fame?

February 14, 2019

By Paul Homewood


Andrew Montford writes in the Spectator:


The rise to fame of Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist, has been nothing short of extraordinary. Less than a year ago, she was an unknown schoolgirl from Sweden, albeit an unusual one: she is the daughter of a famous opera singer and an actor. Thunberg also has Asperger’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and selective mutism. The latter, she says, ‘basically means I only speak when I think it’s necessary’. ‘Now is one of those moments,’ she said in a Ted talk watched hundreds of thousands of times on the topic that first brought her into the public eye: her decision to stage a ‘school strike’ last August to draw attention to climate change. Thunberg’s profile has only grown since. Her appearance at the UN climate conference in Poland propelled her to international fame. Most recently she was in Davos. Her message to the billionaires at the World Economic Summit was stark: ‘I want you to panic’ about climate change.

Greta’s steely gaze and call to action has won her legions of fans online. She certainly makes for a good story: the sweet girl who is moved to climate action and ends up as an unlikely international celebrity.

However, her sudden appearance in the limelight has led to some pointed questions: is Greta’s celebrity status less to do with chance and more to do with a carefully orchestrated public relations campaign?


Read the full story here.

EM-DAT Forget To Count Vietnam’s Red River Flood

February 13, 2019

By Paul Homewood

In August 1971, one of the world’s worst weather disasters of the 20thC hit North Vietnam, the Red River Flood:


A severe flood of the Red River in North Vietnam kills an estimated 100,000 people on this day in 1971.

This remarkable flood was one of the century’s most serious weather events, but because the Vietnam War was going on at the time, relatively few details about the disaster are available.

What is known is that the Red River, which runs near the capital city of Hanoi, experienced a "250-year" flood. Torrential rains simply overwhelmed the dyke system around the heavily populated delta area, which is not far above sea level. As well as directly killing thousands of people, the flood also wiped out valuable crops, causing further hardship, especially as it occurred during wartime.

Though many more reservoirs have since been built in the Hanoi region, the area remains vulnerable to flooding.

Within a period of 45 years (1900-1945), there were 18 years in which dykes failed, or one dyke failure with crop losses every two to three years on average. In the 1945 flood, the dyke system failed in 79 places, flooding 11. Provinces over a cultivated area of 312,000 ha and affecting about 4 million people. The 1971 flood caused the dykes to fail in 3 large sections, inundating 250,000 ha and seriously affecting 2.7 million people.


It even made NOAA’s list of the 20th century’s top weather and climate events.

You would have thought then that it would have made EM-DAT’s database of disasters since 1900.

But you would be wrong.



Indeed there are no floods at all recorded in Vietnam prior to 1999, meaning that the big flood of 1945 is also not recorded by EM-DAT, nor all of the other ones mentioned prior to 1945.

It should come as little surprise then that, according to EM-DAT, the number of disasters has rocketed, as so many in the past have never made it onto the EM-DAT database, despite being well known about.

ScreenHunter_3707 Feb. 13 18.03


And if these big disasters have not been registered, what hope the thousands of minor ones that have occurred over the years.


Indeed, EM-DAT themselves accept that their data cannot be used for long term trends, and that their real objective is to to serve the purposes of humanitarian action now.

But that does not stop climate shysters from misusing the data for their own political purposes.


Meanwhile Harrabin’s article on the fake IPPR report which yesterday claimed:




has been amended to :




And, as if Harrabin was actively collaborating with IPPR, they too have changed the wording on their paper in exactly the same way.

Perhaps someone has been reading Notalot!!

Not that this change makes any difference, as the claim is still utterly fake, because we know that so many disasters were not recorded in those early days.

BBC Repeat Fake Extreme Weather Disaster Claims

February 12, 2019
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood


h/t qaesoveritas



Politicians and policymakers have failed to grasp the gravity of the environmental crisis facing the Earth, a report claims.

The think-tank IPPR says human impacts have reached a critical stage and threaten to destabilise society and the global economy.

Scientists warn of a potentially deadly combination of factors.

These include climate change, mass loss of species, topsoil erosion, forest felling and acidifying oceans.

The report from the centre-left Institute for Public Policy Research says these factors are "driving a complex, dynamic process of environmental destabilisation that has reached critical levels.

"This destabilisation is occurring at speeds unprecedented in human history and, in some cases, over billions of years."

The IPPR warns that the window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic outcomes is rapidly closing.

The authors urge three shifts in political understanding: on the scale and pace of environmental breakdown; the implications for societies; and the subsequent need for transformative change.

​They say since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold.

At least climate change features in policy discussions, they say – but other vitally important impacts barely figure.

What issues are being under-played?

  • Topsoil is being lost 10 to 40 times faster than it is being replenished by natural processes ​
  • Since the mid-20th Century, 30% of the world’s arable land has become unproductive due to erosion
  • 95% of the Earth’s land areas could become degraded by 2050

These matters are close to home for British politicians, the authors argue, with the average population sizes of the most threatened species in the UK having decreased by two-thirds since 1970.

The UK is described as one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.

Some 2.2 million tonnes of UK topsoil is eroded annually, and over 17% of arable land shows signs of erosion.

Nearly 85% of fertile peat topsoil in East Anglia has been lost since 1850, with the remainder at risk of being lost over next 30–60 years.

The IPPR says many scientists believe we have entered a new era of rapid environmental change.

The report warns: "We define this as the ‘age of environmental breakdown’ to better highlight the severity of the scale, pace and implications of environmental destabilisation resulting from aggregate human activity."


I have no particular views on most of this report, but would strongly challenge this statement:

They say since 2005, the number of floods across the world has increased by 15 times, extreme temperature events by 20 times, and wildfires seven-fold.


That immediately set of the BS buzzer, so where did this patently ludicrous claim come from?

Read more…

Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

February 12, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dennis Ambler


From the Guardian:



An offshore windfarm on the Yorkshire coast that will dwarf the world’s largest when completed is to supply its first power to the UK electricity grid this week.

The Danish developer Ørsted, which will be installing the first of 174 turbines at Hornsea One, said it was ready to step up its plans and fill the gap left by failed nuclear power schemes.

The size of the project takes the burgeoning offshore wind power sector to a new scale, on a par with conventional fossil fuel-fired power stations.

Hornsea One will cover 407 sq km, five times the size of the nearby city of Hull. At 1.2GW of capacity it will power 1m homes, making it about twice as powerful as today’s biggest offshore windfarm once it is completed in the second half of this year.

“The ability to generate clean electricity offshore at this scale is a globally significant milestone at a time when urgent action needs to be taken to tackle climate change,” said Matthew Wright, UK managing director of Ørsted, the world’s biggest offshore windfarm builder.

The power station is only the first of four planned in the area, with a green light and subsidies already awarded to a second stage due for completion in the early 2020s.

The first two phases will use 7MW turbines, which are taller than London’s Gherkin building.

But the latter stages of the Hornsea development could use even more powerful, 10MW-plus turbines. Bigger turbines will capture more of the energy from the wind and should lower costs by reducing the number of foundations and amount of cabling firms need to put into the water.

Henrik Poulsen, Ørsted’s chief executive, said he was in close dialogue with major manufacturers to use the new generation of turbines, some of which are expected to approach the height of the Shard in London, the tallest building in the EU.

The UK has a great wind resource and shallow enough seabed to exploit it, and could even “power most of Europe if it [the UK] went to the extreme with offshore”, he said.

Offshore windfarms could help ministers fill the low carbon power gap created by Hitachi and Toshiba scrapping nuclear plants, the executive suggested. “If nuclear should play less of a role than expected, I believe offshore wind can step up,” he said.

New nuclear projects in Europe had been “dramatically delayed and over budget”, he added, in comparison to “the strong track record for delivering offshore [wind]”.


My eyes are obviously failing me! Nowhere in this Guardian piece can I find a mention of how much we will all be paying for Hornsea.

So, just for those who also have poor eyesight, here is the confirmation that the price is £155.53/MWh, triple the market price:



Major Union Boss UNLOADS on AOC’s New Green Deal: “Will Destroy Workers’ Livelihoods”

February 12, 2019

By Paul Homewood



AOC’s Green New Deal has not gone down well with her party’s union backers:




As in the UK, there is an increasing disconnect between left wing parties and their traditional working class supporters.

AOC, Corbyn and co seem to care more about their metropolitan ideas than the interests of their voters they are supposed to represent.

No, Guardian, Wildfires Are Not Caused By Climate Change

February 11, 2019

By Paul Homewood





Tasmania is burning, screams the Guardian.

The Australian BOM used to have a Climate Education section on their website, which has now disappeared.

Thanks to Wayback, we can see what they were saying about wildfires back in 2001:







Note the comment about SE Australia being one of the three most fire-prone areas in the world, along with California.

15% of land area burning is an absolutely horrific amount. Some of the other fires were almost as bad:








The Guardian would rather you believed that bad fires were caused by climate change.

Met Office Decadal Forecasts Running Hot

February 11, 2019

By Paul Homewood





Time to take a closer look at the new Met Office decadal forecast of global temperatures. (By decadal, the Met Office mean five years, apparently!)

Tallbloke handily updated the Met Office forecast from January 2017 with actual temperatures since (see above chart), in order to see how good their forecasting prowess actually was.

As you can see, it was pretty crap in reality!

For the period 2017-21, they predicted an anomaly range between 0.42 and 0.89C.

By stark contrast, the actual anomaly last year was 0.30C, way below the predictions.

It is also worth highlighting that even the retrospective predictions (that is retrospectively modelling past temperatures using known variables) were at the high end of the bands till the mid 1990s, and since have been trundling along the bottom with the exception of the record El Nino of 2015/16.

It is even more noticeable that the green band, (the range simulated by CMIP5 models that have not been initialised with observations), has overestimated warming by much more still.

This is classic evidence that the models are still running much to hot.

It hardly gives much confidence that the latest decadal forecast is going to be anymore accurate. As we can see below, the forecast for 2019-23 is still way above current levels.



Note also that they now calculate the anomaly against 1850-1900, rather than 1981-2010, which is the accepted norm. As I pointed out before, the use of a “pre-industrial” temperature baseline allows them to make the numbers sound much bigger and scarier.

The Met Office now say that global temperature anomalies will range between 1.03 and 1.57C for 2019-23. In comparison, last year was 0.91C, and even 2016, when the effect of the El Nino was at its height, only reached 1.11C.

Will temperatures really jump by half a degree or more in the next five years?


What we can say is that average temperatures have only risen by about 0.5C since the 1940s.



That is equivalent to 0.7C/century.

I have never seen any convincing evidence such a small increase would be detrimental in any way. And I cannot believe that our descendants, given a hundred years to sort themselves out, could not adapt to such a change.

Relax the rules on earthquakes to let fracking expand, say scientists

February 11, 2019

By Paul Homewood


From The Times:




Almost 50 geoscientists have urged the government to commission an urgent review of the fracking earthquake limit, which they suggest should be raised to allow the industry to expand.

They say that the scientific rationale of the 0.5 magnitude limit before fracking must cease is debatable. They call for a “realistic regulatory framework”.

The letter to the Times, signed by 49 scientists, will increase pressure on the government to accede to the fracking industry’s demand for a review of the limit. The business department repeated this week that it had no plans to review the limit despite Cuadrilla and Ineos both saying that fracking would not be viable unless it was raised.


This is the letter:

Sir, As practising geoscientists working in UK universities and institutions, we recognise the potential existence of a nationally valuable and exploitable shale gas resource, and support its development subject to a firm but realistic regulatory framework being in place. Part of this framework is the traffic-light system used to manage the risk of damage being caused by induced seismicity associated with hydraulic fracturing operations. At present it is set very conservatively to be triggered by extremely small seismic events (above 0.5 local magnitude).

This is very far below the levels set in other countries, or for other comparable industries in the UK (such as quarrying, mining and deep geothermal energy). It is widely believed by industry, and among informed academics, to be so low that it threatens the potential development of a shale gas industry in the UK. The scientific rationale for this trigger level is debatable. The threshold is not something that is absolute, and in the spirit of the declared intention expressed in the original Department of Energy and Climate Change document in which it was proposed, that it should be subject to continuing review, we urge the government to instruct the Oil and Gas Authority to commission an expert review of the present traffic-light system threshold levels without delay.

Professor Quentin Fisher; Professor Ernest Rutter; Dr Nicholas Riley; Professor Gary Hampson; Dr Julian Mecklenburgh; Mr Paul Grant; Professor Andrew Hurst; Dr Simon Oldfield; Reader Emeritus Michael de Freitas; Emeritus Professor Richard Selley; Dr Mike Chandler; Professor Paul Glover; Professor Chris King; Professor Jonathan Redfern; Dr Roger Clark; Professor Bruce Yardley; Dr Tom Argles; Mr Chris A Smith; Mr Christopher Quirk; Mr Brian Nottage; Mr Gary McGuicken; Senior Lecturer Sina Rezaei Gomari; Mr Tom Morgan; Mr Richard Puttock; Miss Jane Kelsey; Mr John Beswick; Dr Piroska Lorinczi; Mr Mark Williams; Mr Stuart Chandler; Consultant Hydrogeologist Thomas Kelly; Dr Philip Benson; Mr Peter Kennett; Dr Lateef Akanji; Associate Professor Simon Holford; Dr Nick Schofield; Dr Ian Stimpson; Associate Professor Dr Mohaddeseh Mousavi Nezhad; Professor Akbar Javadi; Professor Michael Kendall; Dr Catherine Isherwood; Dr Tim Harper; Mr Kes Heffer; Dr Kate Brodie; Mr Chris Eccles; Professor Gary Couples; Professor Andreas Busch; Professor Ian Croudace; Professor Richard Worden