NewsBytes: Britain’s Anti-Green Rollback Accelerating

NewsBytes from Dr. Benny Peiser of the GWPF

‘Chris Huhne’s Zealous Ambition Is Being Reined Back’

Ministers are preparing to veto major new wind farms in the British countryside and cut back their subsidies, according to senior Whitehall sources. The decision to pull back from onshore wind farms comes after more than 100 backbench Conservative MPs mounted a rebellion against turbines blighting rural areas. Senior Conservatives have seen an opportunity to re-think policy since Chris Huhne, the former Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, resigned to fight charges of perverting the course of justice in a speeding case. “Chris Huhne’s zealous ambition is being reined back,” one top Whitehall source said. “There’s already enough being built and developed.” –Rowena Mason, The Daily Telegraph, 16 April 2012

Ministers are to scrap plans for a ‘conservatory tax’ following a massive Tory backlash. A senior Government source told the Mail that the proposals are ‘dead in the water’. This latest abrupt U-turn comes only a week after we revealed the move which would force homeowners to fork out hundreds of pounds extra on measures to improve energy efficiency when they build an extension or fit a boiler. Although the Liberal Democrat-inspired plans are still out for consultation, the source said: ‘We are absolutely not going to have a conservatory tax. It is an attack on aspiration and we want nothing to do with it. It will be blocked.’ –Jason Groves,Daily Mail, 16 April 2012

A powerful group of Conservative ministers has launched an attempt to torpedo the coalition’s flagship “green” home improvement scheme in a move which will spark a major new rift with the Liberal Democrats. Leading Tories inside and outside the cabinet believe the £14 billion “Green Deal” – due to start in six months’ time – must be ditched because it risks leaving key “squeezed middle” voters out of pocket by several thousands of pounds. A senior Tory source told The Sunday Telegraph last night: “The Green Deal was Chris Huhne’s baby. He has gone now and this is the right time to kill it off. Forcing people to pay thousands of pounds extra for unwanted home insulation is the last thing hard-pressed families need at the moment. It’s madness.” –Patrick Hennessy, The Sunday Telegraph, 15 April 2012

The recent setbacks reflect deep confusion over the main governing party’s direction on green policy. Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly taken the side against green subsidies. MPs and Lords are under near-constant lobbying [the Guardian's phrase for CCNet] from Lord Lawson’s climate sceptic group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. One prominent Tory MP said: “As someone who’s convinced by the science, and wants to tackle climate change, I’m finding myself an endangered species within my own party.” –Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 16 April 2012

It did not take long. Last month, Matt Ridley argued in a Spectator cover story that the wind farm agenda is in effect dead, having collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions. The only question is when our ministers would realise. In an interview with the Sunday Times, climate change minister Greg Barker admits that his department has adopted an ‘unbalanced’ approach to wind farms and will now look at other options. To Ridley, this was – at root – an intellectual error. An example of how the establishment, and entire government machine, can sponsor something that makes no economic or environmental sense – but no one dares point this out, because the cause is seen as noble. –Fraser Nelson, The Spectator, 15 April 2012

To an almost audible sigh of relief from householders across the land, the Government has now promised to scrap its hare-brained scheme to impose a spurious environmental ‘tax’ on home improvements. The proposal was to force anyone building an extension or conservatory, or installing new windows or a boiler, to spend a small fortune putting in extra insulation. It was all part of the Coalition’s largely bogus Green agenda which also involves covering large swathes of the countryside with pointless wind farms, risking an energy crisis by dithering over building a new generation of nuclear power stations, and trying to tax air travel to death. But while the U-turn marks a welcome outbreak of common sense, why on earth was the tax ever contemplated? –Editorial, Daily Mail, 16 April 2012

Emperor penguins, whose long treks across Antarctic ice to mate have been immortalised by Hollywood, are heading towards extinction, scientists say. Based on predictions of sea ice extent from climate change models, the penguins are likely to see their numbers plummet by 95% by 2100. That level of decline could wreak havoc on the delicate Antarctic food chain. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. –BBC News, 26 January 2009

Nearly twice as many emperor penguins inhabit Antarctica as was thought. UK, US and Australian scientists used satellite technology to trace and count the iconic birds, finding them to number almost 600,000. The extent of sea ice in the Antarctic has been relatively stable in recent years (unlike in the Arctic), although this picture hides some fairly large regional variations. –Jonathan Amos, BBC News, 13 April 2012

Many know Benny Peiser only as the pesky director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation who routinely embarrasses man-made climate change diehards with his weekly compilation of green policy flops — washouts such as Solon, Q-Cells, Solar Millennium and Solarhybrid. These are all once-thriving German solar energy firms that recently filed for bankruptcy, like America’s Solyndra. The irreverent Peiser email report usually consists of a half-dozen or so stinging mainstream news clips with links, chosen partly because they include a “Benny” — a ready-made, slap-in-the-face headline — such as the London Daily Telegraph’s “Climate scientists are losing the public debate on global warming.” But every now and then, a wickedly droll “Double Benny” headline will unexpectedly pop up. –Ron Arnold, The Washington Examiner, 13 April 2012

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42 thoughts on “NewsBytes: Britain’s Anti-Green Rollback Accelerating

  1. It is so common sense. A homeowner, if so inclined to save money, will add insulation and realize some savings. There is absolutely no reason to subsidize (encourage( such improvements at the taxpayers expense—it’s simply not fair to the taxpayer to effectively give tax monies to individual citizens. If not so inclined, they pay for what they use. What’s the problem?

    Governments seem to think that energy is in short supply, but it is only due to their own policies that it is in short supply. Private citizens will always tend toward paying less and thus will make logical changes over time, always in the correct direction.

    No future new wind turbines is a great idea. It will not be long before those already built start to fail and the will to maintain, let alone fix them will be gone. Those offshore will become bottom features in short order, detectable mainly by sonar and hung up fishing nets. Those onshore will be the problem, becoming ugly, rusty collapsing hulks, many parts of which cannot be recycled and are rank with toxic exotic materials. What fun!

    As an ancillary end-user energy source, wind turbines are fine, decreasing a buildings draw from the grid. But, as the main energy source, wind turbines totally suck, producing a grid instability that is untenable in the short or long term and requiring back up power that should be the main power source in the first place. Time to rethink the grid and realize that wind power is so 17th century.

  2. The BBC’s Countryfile programme yesterday had an article about wind-farms and their impact on the countryside and those who live there. They also stated that the number and size of windfarms are due to increase massively over the coming few years.

    I do hope that they simply missed the memo… Or are the tories lying? Again?

  3. [...]This emerged when the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung obtained letters the four [countries] had sent to Brussels in preparation for the meeting of the European economics and energy ministers later next week. Their goal: get the EU to reclassify nuclear energy as low-emission technology, a heavily subsidized category that includes solar and wind power; it would make nuclear power eligible for the same subsidies.[...]

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-15-13/suddenly-nasty-fight-over-subsidies-nukes-europe

  4. Yet, still no commitment to build nuclear power plants.

    The huge government fudge on nuclear power continues and so the time of roaming blackouts and/or brownouts moves ever closer for the UK.

    An official policy of relying on onshore wind farms (offshore ones are an even worse concept) was a completely goofy concept, as they are: i) extremely unreliable, ii) very expensive, iii) noisy and iv) ugly, which v) require an equally large gas power station to support them their stated power generation capability. Yet to the UK politicians these made sense and nuclear power did not, especially after the tragic Japanese experience last year.

    Goofy = Green, as far as energy is concerned. I doubt that will ever change.

  5. Regarding Emperor Penguins:
    I thought that they walked miles over the ice to get to their nesting sites because when they first started to use those sites they were on the shore, and the bird-brains don’t realise that they could nest in other shore sites rather than walk for miles over the ice to their original nesting areas.
    Of course in a couple of decades from now, if they come to Southwest Scotland, there will be the remains of lots of off-shore windmills for them to nest on.

  6. Ken Hall says:
    April 16, 2012 at 7:28 am
    The BBC’s Countryfile programme yesterday had an article about wind-farms and their impact on the countryside and those who live there. They also stated that the number and size of windfarms are due to increase massively over the coming few years.

    I do hope that they simply missed the memo… Or are the tories lying? Again?

    No not lying, but it is not a victory, simply means the allocation is used up so no need to approve any more, the pipeline is full of approved windfarms which will still go ahead, just means the pipeline will not be added too. This has been tarted up as no more onshore windfarms but the pipeline will still feed through and more windfarms will be built on top of the existing ones.

  7. M Courtney says:
    April 16, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Wow! That guy Carrington – whoever he is – has really swallowed the lot.

  8. This “turbines blighting rural areas” thing is a real straw man. Why don’t they just admit it. They can’t afford wind power. Power lines are ugly. Highways are ugly. Wind mills are no more ugly than silos and big piles of cow poop running off into the creeks and rivers. I guess you “gotta do” what ya “gotta do”. But what happens if someone challenges the “blight” straw man and wins? Come clean on wind power. It is a ridiculous waste of money.

  9. It sounds nice to conquer the head lines with big headers and big statements but the fact remains that Governments all over the world are still pushing their “Agenda” and we’re going down the drain.

    Just take a look at the gasoline prices.

    We’re screwed over from here to Tokyo and back.

    Winning the argument doesn’t win you the war.

  10. Pointman says:
    April 16, 2012 at 8:14 am
    ———————————-
    Nice blog.

  11. Greg Barker may talk the talk about offshore wind, but I sense he’s no fool. I think he knows they’ll wither on the vine.

    The capital costs of building offshore wind installations are ever rising. They’re at nuclear build levels now. The maintenance costs are likely to be high, and availability will be affected by limited maintenance access. The assumed ‘learning curve’ reduction in costs is not happening. I therefore think they’ll become increasingly unattractive to developers. They’ve had a hike in subsidies, and I can’t see them getting another. That the government can reverse a policy on green energy sends a strong warning message to offshore developers.

    This announcement, if it becomes firm policy, signals the end of wind power development in the UK.

    Sadly missed/sarc

  12. There will just be more offshore subsidywind farms.
    The green deal thing is only postponed as it’s built around what is likely to become EU diktat.

    DaveE.

  13. .
    Liberal thinking seems to be universal, tax an unrelated transaction and effort of individuals to provide un-noticed taxes to force pet unnecessary agendas on the public. And hide the intent until after it is done.

    Green philosophy: The Antarctic penguin will go extinct no matter how many of the birds are left after the extinction.

  14. JohnH says:
    April 16, 2012 at 7:55 am

    “And more windfarms will be built on top of the existing ones.”

    That should be fun – we now have the bizarre spectacle of one operator blaming another for stealing his wind…

    http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/04/13/caithness-turbine-objector-in-wind-theft-claim/

    @ Anthony or mods – I am experiencing an infuriating problem when trying to post – The reply box (which increases in size as I type more text) keeps collapsing, leaving me with only a couple of lines visible. The only way I’ve found to get the full size back is to hit the space bar, then the carriage return to remove the gap created. I’m pretty sure this has happend on other WordPress sites in the last week or so. I’m running XP home SP3 and Firefox 11.

  15. “Green philosophy: The Antarctic penguin will go extinct no matter how many of the birds are left after the extinction.”

    Yes just like the polar bears in the Arctic. Those pesky bears went and increased their population even after officially threaten by AGW. Dang, don’t they know the Arctic is no longer good for them. Sheesh

  16. EDF energy in the UK have a TV advertising campaign going at the moment for their Blue +Price Promise product, selling electricity from low carbon generation sources.

    Is this a further sign of the tarnishing of the Green crusade that they now referring to low carbon sourced electricity as Blue?

  17. “No not lying, but it is not a victory, simply means the allocation is used up so no need to approve any more, the pipeline is full of approved windfarms which will still go ahead, just means the pipeline will not be added too. This has been tarted up as no more onshore windfarms but the pipeline will still feed through and more windfarms will be built on top of the existing ones.

    Thank you, that does explain the spin. The few tory MPs who are not as “green” can pretend that their party is sceptical of alarmism, whilst the party is not, in reality, changing their policies enough. I cannot believe that the tories are becoming sceptical of alarmism and will not believe it until they repeal the Climate Change Act and not a moment before.

  18. Dave Ward

    Word press is being very troublesome at present as a lot of people have commented. It keeps asking me to sign in then collapses the dialog bog as you mention. I don’t know if they have a problem or if this is all the result of the new features they keep adding.
    Mods? Any ideas?
    tonyb

  19. Anyone living in the Cambridge/Hertfordshire area who would like to get involved with objecting the the proposed wind farm at Litlington near Royston would be most welcome at the stoplitlingtonwindfarm site. I don’t think this news is going to be enough or soon enough to kill the project off without a fight.

  20. @Sean71

    Too many of us are in the same position. The tories must be punished at the polls or this madness will not stop. Good luck with your fight, I was born and bred in Cambs and see these monstrosities as an attack on our county and country.

  21. j molloy says:
    April 16, 2012 at 8:57 am
    the emperor penguin’s got no clothes on !

    Quick, someone tell Joey Skaggs’ organization!
    (The one that crusaded against the spectacle of naked farm animals by the roadside.)

  22. Just need to point out that whatever the UK Government decides it will have no effect in Scotland. Alex Salmond and the SNP Government are still dead keen on making Scotland totally dependant on renewable energy.

  23. Dave Ward, tonyb & ??
    RE: The small collapsable reply box

    I use MS-Word as a text editor and then cut and paste into the reply slot. So I am blissfully unaware of your problem or its cause. You could try doing the same thing using your favorite text editor. After ‘paste’ I do have to hit an up-arrow key to view (or preview).

    ——————–
    However, I do hate having to log in to WordPress with a password.

  24. Unless there are pressing immediate needs to do so, politicians do not make dramatic policy changes. They need to make haste slowly. So I am a bit more optimistic than others here about the insanity of UK’s energy policy being reversed….just don’t expect everything to happen in one go.

    In the last six or so months we’ve seen: virtual abandonment of solar PV as a supposedly viable source. Disappearance (hopefully forever) of the madman Huhne as Energy Secretary. Encouraging noises about shale gas production. discouraging noises about onshore wind…and ambivalence about offshore. A Chancellor of the Exchequer (the man with the money) pretty much sceptical about any ‘green’ initiative. And apparent abandonment of the LibDems flagship ‘Green Deal’ is also a major step in the right direction. Each of these are important..collectively they represent a major change of policy.

    So look back in a couple of years, and I think/hope that you’ll find that the worst days of the Green Terror are behind us. It won’t come by victory in one big battle, but by the gradual but persistent erosion of the lunatics’ power base. Softly, softly catchee monkey……..

  25. “Alba says:
    April 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm”

    What I read recently was that the Scottish govnt were planning for Scotland to be 100% supplied by alternatives and any surplus from a mix of both alternatives *and* fossil fuel derived power generation would be sold to England, Wales and anyone else who wanted it. Seems to be a bit of a no-win-no-win situation if you ask me, especially when the sun don’t shime and the wind don’t blow.

  26. Until recent years I was a lifelong Conservative, but no longer. Still, their loss is UKIP’s gain.
    Until there is a dramatic change in the government’s policies on energy and climate change I will continue to vote UKIP. I strongly agree with UKIP’s policies on Europe (I want Britain out of the EU so we can once more be a truly independent nation) and UKIP is by far the least alarmist on climate change, if not outright sceptical.
    .
    With Chris Huhne out of the way, and with luck a prison cell his destination, there are definitely some signs of a move back to sanity in UK energy policy.
    .
    Eventually wind power must be scrapped, and all subsidies for green fantasies also scrapped. Wind power simply doesn’t work. This year, when the UK weather has been dominated by some big high pressure areas, the total UK wind output has repeatedly fallen to around 200 MW for sustained periods. This is a pitifully small amount. You simply can’t have a major source of energy that depends on the vagaries of the weather. How this state of affairs came about is far beyond any rational process. I can only assume that the global warming scare made many of our politicians mad.
    .
    I hope that one day I can return to voting Conservative. But I’m not holding my breath.
    Chris

  27. Higley7 said:
    Those onshore will be the problem, becoming ugly, rusty collapsing hulks, many parts of which cannot be recycled and are rank with toxic exotic materials. What fun!

    Might not be too bad. There’s a thriving trade in recycling in the UK.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9176160/Foreign-criminal-syndicates-behind-metal-thefts-in-Britain.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8973605/Scrap-metal-thefts-crime-by-numbers.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8973155/Metal-thefts-hundreds-of-churches-left-with-trauma-from-crimes.html

    …and more. And more….

    With any luck, someone will be recycling turbines, cables and unsightly fences even before they break down! If only carbon fibre blades were burnable as fuel…

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