The Empire Strikes Out

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I guess having electricity when you need it is sooooo last century … UK families will have to get used to “only using power when it was available”. That constant electricity at home was dangerous anyhow, the unending hum of the wires can drive a man so insane that the only way to cure him is to make him head of the National Grid …

UK persons … comments?


[Update, for those who believe the above is a faked article, I had Green Sand send me a photo and another scan of the actual newspaper. ~ ctm]

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Pearland Aggie
March 4, 2011 10:19 am

….coming soon to an American state near you….

Anything is possible
March 4, 2011 10:22 am

UK persons … comments?
I’ve got nothing that could possibly get through moderation.

March 4, 2011 10:27 am

Looks like the UK inmates/inhabitants will be made into boat people by their political masters (for whom the power no doubt stays on).

Jason Calley
March 4, 2011 10:27 am

Welcome to Great Britian-stan!
Those in power will not be satisfied until humanity has returned to serfdom.

March 4, 2011 10:27 am

In the UK our politicians have been away with the fairies for some time. Wind power is the mother of all scams, nuclear has to be bought from the French and coal is politically incorrect. Our latest energy policy didn’t even mention shale gas, which shows how up to date we are.
My guess is we need a blackout or 2 for everyone to see the folly of our politicians before we get on the right track, at the moment the tree huggers are in control.

March 4, 2011 10:28 am

What an opportunity for a boom in sales for small 1 to 10kw generators!!
I’m buying stock in Onan!!
(Cummins, NYSE: CMI, currently around $102)
I can’t imagine having spent so much in infrastructure to be artificially hobbled, and without power when I WANT it!! ….So I can’t image all of the U.K. to be of a similar mind. Everyone will want their own backup power when it’s really hot, or really cold and the lights go out.

Pull My Finger
March 4, 2011 10:28 am

Welcome to the 21st Century, a lot like the 19th Century.
These people are utterly, flabbergastingly, inane. They would rather people freeze to death than “harm” fragile Gaia.

March 4, 2011 10:29 am

Funny, places like Indonesia and much of the more remote 3rd world have always operated like this. This *used* to be what separated the more advanced economies from them.
Devolution, indeed.
How it works in those areas: those with political power, money, and connections have power all the time, usually by home generators. Which of course end up creating much more air pollution and cost far more than it would have been to have built centralized power plants to begin with.
Oh, and no one complains about that, of course, because no one except those with political power, money, and connections are allowed to have them and that’s always the group able to kill criticism in any culture.
Welcome to the new aristocracy – and the new serfdom of the average person.

March 4, 2011 10:30 am

That’s a novel approach to the issue!
It certainly shows the calibre of people in authority in the UK these days – free thinkers and problem solvers need not apply.
If that is how they want to play it then I will have to consider when I feel I have enough funds available to pay for the sporadic electricity supply. I will also be able to hold back my involuntary renewables obligation donation to the wind turbine gravy train.
The guy’s comments defy belief – I’m sure China and India will be rushing to adopt the same model !

March 4, 2011 10:31 am

Lunatics running the asylum.
Said lunatics is a “coalition” with a minor coalition partner political party. The very same party which has just come 6th (yes that’s sixth) in a regional election for a MP to replace the incumbent who was done for fiddling his expenses to a tune of £14k ($20k)
I’m afraid the UK is joined at the hip with the those nuthouses running our dear ex-colony down the Antipodean way as well as the Europeans who want nothing better than a new Western version of the USSR.
I wish we had the 2nd Amendment here.

J. Felton
March 4, 2011 10:32 am

Mr. Holliday said ” We keep thinking that we want it to be there and to provide power when we need it. It is going to be much smarter then that.”
Reminds me of that old saying your boss used to tell you.
” Work smarter, not harder.”

March 4, 2011 10:34 am

The amazing part is the politicians and civil service folks aren’t being tarred, feathered and ridden out on rails. A very artificial shortage.

Mann Bearpig
March 4, 2011 10:35 am

It is people like this that are so out of touch with the real world that prove that alternative energy is a complete fallacy.
How are businesses expected to run? How are people to cook and keep warm in the worsening cold winters? When idiots like Holliday say so? I think not.
It is long overdue for serious discussions in power continuity and decisions need to be made quickly on the lines of role of Coal and Nuclear generators in the uk. It has been known for a long time that windfarms and solar are not the answer and if politicians and policy makers do not get this sorted out very quickly, then the ballot box will be filled with votes for parties that do provide the people with what is needed for modern day-to-day living.

March 4, 2011 10:36 am

So I guess the human race has just given up. The scramble for dry caves will begin soon. Get yours while you can.

Charles Higley
March 4, 2011 10:38 am

People in 3rd world countries and many cities and towns in the Middle East have power only so many hours a day and that is not always at the same time or not at all some days. They can have pack up generators, but that’s usually not a long term fix.
They would kill to have reliable power. The UK is voluntarily going to degrade their own country to 3rd world status? That’s nuts!
How would you like to be on a limited power and on a night-time breathing apparatus due to lung insufficiency and have the power go off because the government is a bunch of stupid idiots with the brains of a cabbage.
You will not be upset, because you’d be dead.

Yorkshire Chris
March 4, 2011 10:38 am

As a British citizen I absolutely despair…. The lunatics have taken over the asylum… We are already the only country in the world that has set itself legally binding (and unachievable) carbon reduction targets that will squeeze out of the UK the last of its remaining manufacturing industry. All other countries – including our EU partners are rapidly backing away from similar targets.
We have a Government that is putting its faith in wind power even though the experience of the two recent winters in Britain is that periods of highest electricity demand and coldest weather are those when conditions are calm and wind generated power is practically zero. We already have a massive burden on our electric bills (currently £100 per household per year and rising) to pay for wind farms that we cannot rely upon and will not save the need to install a single megawatt of capacity of other power plants.
To think Britain used to be a major economy and a leading nation in the world…. now it is the leader in showing how to reduce a once great nation to a weak power. I hope all our friends in the US, Australia, Canada and elsewhere take note and do not follow our example!

March 4, 2011 10:40 am

This is, and has been for a long time, entirely predictable.
Our political class and our National Grid is completely insane. I say that honestly without hyperbole. They have absolutely no regard for trivial things such as facts. Those annoying things may not be a problem if you are running the ministry of silly walks. However, running the national energy infrastructure means everyone will suffer for their delusions.
Only this week, that [snip] Huhne was claiming that Britain’s energy is currently supplied by 7% renewables. That claim is neatly eviscerated here:
and will be known to be flat out wrong by anyone else who has been carefully watching the bmireports data for the last couple of years.
We truly live in frightening times here in Blighty and unfortunately most of it is self-inflicted. Even the National Grid is allowed to get away with the delusion that between now and 2020 it is going to be able to reliably supply between 13 and 29 gigawatts of energy from wind. The 3000+ turbines already installed could barely supply 0.1% of the 60GW demand on the particular cold days this winter.

Charles Higley
March 4, 2011 10:40 am

Oh, I forgot. Isn’t deconstructing the Industrialized World one of the goals of the environmentalists and the warmists? They’re actually doing it!

March 4, 2011 10:41 am

Thorium reactors are looking better by the day.

Scott Covert
March 4, 2011 10:44 am

Obamacare spawned the Tea Party.
Just imagine the stir brought on by interruption of American Sitcoms!
The blood will flow in the streets.
Sorry about your leaders other-side-of-the-pondies.

March 4, 2011 10:45 am

They’re “looking more to communities and individuals to take power into their own hands.”
Sounds like a jolly good idea to me. Power to the people! Throw the bureaucrats out!

March 4, 2011 10:46 am

So the Brits would rather sit in the dark than build nuclear plants? You’re still a democracy over there, right? Some political party is going to get a rude surprise over that, and some other one is going to get a windfall.

Nigel Brereton
March 4, 2011 10:47 am

We’ll be ok once the solar plants are up and running in Libya, Tunisia and the rest of the North African Mediterranean sea board and we have a cable plugged into Morocco. But what about energy security, don’t worry we will all be Europeans by then or Euromeds I think the new term is.

March 4, 2011 10:47 am

I think there will be a revolution before they act this plan. Thatcher was right about nuclear power.

March 4, 2011 10:49 am

I guess Mr Holliday will be looking for a new job pretty soon…

Bruce Cobb
March 4, 2011 10:50 am

“As a society we all need to be clear about what we can and cannot afford”. Exactly. As in, can you really afford all those expensive, ugly, noisy, inefficient and near-useless bird-blenders some like to call “wind turbines”? Of course not, so out they go. Next, analyze how affordable carbon taxes are. Those are really just dead weight on any economy, so jettison those. Somehow, I don’t think that is what he meant, though.

Jeff Carlson
March 4, 2011 10:51 am

“As a society we all need to be clear on what we can and cannot afford.” Gee, is that how they debated green energy programs ?

Bertram Felden
March 4, 2011 10:52 am

I’m a UK citizen.
I left, some say abandoned ship, almost a decade ago. I live in a country not too far away with 80% of its power generated by nuclear reactors. A country that has just ruled an existing wind farm in Brittany (dang, gave the location away !) was built illegally, a ruling that looks like it could ban all offshore and coastal monuments to human credulity. We have a few windfarms, of course, but they are really only there to shut the looney greens up.

A. Opinion
March 4, 2011 10:53 am

Would the UK allow private enterprise to provide power for the grid? Even with the carbon tax, you could make a killing when no other power is available, if you could charge whatever the market would bear.

March 4, 2011 10:55 am

Well he did warn that ‘the government was looking to communities and individuals to take power into their own hands’
I think that this is just the right sort of action to follow – but rather like in Egypt. – And sharpish too.

Pull My Finger
March 4, 2011 10:55 am

Americans have started to draw the line and resoundingly voted in a congress with there wherewithall and madate to bring sanity into the energy debate. Unfortunately the EPA has way too much independent power and its affiliated NGOs (Sierra Club, Greenpeace, etc) have too many lawyers at its beck and call and can litigate any power company into oblivion. Hopefully we can start rolling back their power and dismantle their bueracratic power base.
I know one congressman is attempting to reverse the banning of incandescent light bulbs. Now we need to get nukes back on the pipling by cutting through the ridiculous fear and demagogry that exitsts.

Jim Hodgen
March 4, 2011 10:56 am

Wasn’t there a chap by the name of Cromwell that sorted out the last batch of tower-dwellers with similar aspirations to make the serfs get on with accepting their proper place in life? Anyone got his number so could ring him up for a sequel with even better special effects?

Chris H
March 4, 2011 10:56 am

What is truly amazing is that he has actually said what many commentators like Christopher Booker have been saying for years that we are heading for rolling blackouts and brownouts because of the gap between new nuclear coming on stream and the old nuclear and coal being phased out. This is very much off-message and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t made to retract in the future. Blackouts can not possibly be any government’s policy, it would be electoral suicide. He may be playing a clever game to put his political masters on the spot. Don’t forget that the grid operators have been complaining recently about the difficulties of coping with wind’s variability and how it unbalances the grid.
I echo all the other comments about lunatics and the management of the UK asylum.

March 4, 2011 10:57 am

I cannot believe this will be allowed to happen. If it did, the political fall-out would be massive. No government that had this as a policy would survive.

Andy Dawson
March 4, 2011 10:57 am

As a Brit who makes his living selling services to the electricity & gas sector….
When you read this, you need to have an understanding of how the UK industry is structured, and how National Grid makes it’s money.
Grid’s one of the remaining regulated parts of our industry. It’s permitted profits are tied to the capital value of the network, and that is largely a function of the sheer length of cable involved. If the network doesn’t grow, Grid doesn’t grow – and the share price doesn’t increase. If the network has to grow fast, Grid looks like a growth stock, and since it funds most investment through borrowing, the share price does VERY nicely.
So, on a small island like Britain, what makes the network mileage increase?
Connecting windfarms. Ideally lots of them. You may not pass much actual energy over the wires, but the regulator will adjust your unit price to compensate for that.
So, Grid’s been talking up the amount of wind capacity it can tolerate for a few years. Even better, since it doesn’t carry the costs of back-up generation, it doesn’t have to address that.
If, rather than building lots of windfarms, we put multiple nuclear units on existing sites, Grid would only have to spend perhaps £4bn on upgrades, as opposed to £20bn or so – but would only get a return on that smaller sum.

Ian Walsh
March 4, 2011 10:58 am

But… but… but… this is the 21 st century…
where is my trip to the moon, where is my sub orbital flight to Australia… where is my flying car?
I never figured that I would need to know where electricity went.

March 4, 2011 10:59 am

All the stories have been told
Of kings and days of old,
But there’s no England now.
All the wars that were won and lost
Somehow don’t seem to matter very much anymore.
All the lies we were told,
All the lies of the people running round,
They’re castles have burned.
Now I see change,
But inside we’re the same as we ever were.
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Living this way, each day is a dream.
What am I, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Now another century nearly gone,
What are we gonna leave for the young?
What we couldn’t do, what we wouldn’t do,
It’s a crime, but does it matter?
Does it matter much, does it matter much to you?
Does it ever really matter?
Yes, it really, really matters.
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Now another leader says
Break their hearts and break some heads.
Is there nothing we can say or do?
Blame the future on the past,
Always lost in blood and guts.
And when they’re gone, it’s me and you.
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line,
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line.

40 shades of green
March 4, 2011 11:00 am

Imagine if the head of the Water Utility said they would only supply water occasionally.
Does this clown not realist that it is his job to keep the lights on.
40 Shades

March 4, 2011 11:00 am

Unfortunately, here in the UK, the eco-loonies are still firmly in control of the agenda.
The BBC unquestionably regurgitates the gospel according to the IPCC and our prime minister is ignorant enough to say “If you want to understand climate change, go and see Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth”.
Luckily, public opinion does seem to be slowly turning and European shale gas could well turn out to be a game-changer.
The UK is in deep, deep trouble, but I haven’t given up all hope just yet.

March 4, 2011 11:03 am

Shimon peres – “We must end oil”

Vince Causey
March 4, 2011 11:04 am

I’m glad you posted on this Willis, as it empitomises the insanity at the heart of British politics. All three main parties are drunk on the Kool-aid of AGW alarmism. They seem to have a contest to see who can out do each other at coming up with the most imaginative ways to cripple the economy.
Once we switch over to ‘renewables’ (ie wind) there will have to be a complete change in the way we do business. Firms and their employees will have to be on standby until they get a paging signal from the grid – the wind is blowing!
Can you hear the noise as machinery hums back into life? The much touted High Speed train which has been sat idle for the last 5 days while a high pressure system downed most of the electricity, is ready to roll, cutting down the journey time from Birmhingham to London from 1hr 40 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes.
It is 4 am in London and it is pitch black- the street lamps that used to line the roads in bygone days are long gone. There just wasn’t sufficient power available. But now – now lights are shining from a thousand windows as the electricity begins to flow like streams in a Spring thaw. If you are careful you can pick your way down Euston Road without tripping up a kerb stone.
Idle machines are hummimg back to life. The country has set up a 3 shift pattern that will role 24/7 as long as the wind blows – no business would risk wasting one second of power-time, as they call it. Some of the old folks remember how it used to be, with shops and factories closing at 5. Now you can go to the bank, have a haircut or get your groceries at 2am on a Sunday. In fact, to avoid confusion they did away with week days. There are just months and day numbers. There are still some people who can calculate what day of the week it is – or would have been – today. But they are considered troublemakers who hanker over the past.
How long the hustle and bustle will continue before the wind passes, and sends the country back to its slumber, nobody is sure. The Met office have got a new model. They say they can predict how long the wind will blow, but to date they have had little success, and nobody listens to them any more. We just toil until the end of power-time, then sit and wait. And wait.

Autonomous Mind
March 4, 2011 11:06 am

This is all about forcing each household to have a personal carbon allowance. It is the rise of the shadow currency.
It should come as no surprise that this issue is borne of the looming energy gap in the UK between supply and consumption. It should also come as no suprise that our now Deputy Prime Minister denied there was going to be an energy gap and claimed all that was needed was a greener energy mix – and not nuclear.
We also have to pay higher energy bills here because of the EU inspired Renewables Obligation, along with a number of other charges loaded into our bills. You can read about it here

March 4, 2011 11:06 am

As has been recognised above, the implications of what was reported are enormous. Yet this short piece was buried amongst other short pieces on an inside page of a so called quality newspaper. It should have been a headline on the front page. UK is sleepwalking to disaster, yet so few of the populace, including the intelligent members of the community, appear to take a blind bit of notice. “Whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.” (Euripides)

March 4, 2011 11:07 am

Within a generation or so, the Unted Kingdom will have become part of the Islamic State of Europe, so getting our electricity supply to match those of so many present day Islamic states seems perfectly understandable.

March 4, 2011 11:07 am

We’re screwed. But I bet there’s someone in Obama’s administration eyeing this enviously. Where we lead today in the UK you’ll soon follow in the US…

March 4, 2011 11:07 am

During the early phase of the American running of Iraq many jounralist/talking heads grumbled about how the electricity was only operating part of the day. Little did we know that it was a good thing and Britain would decide to emulate Iraq.

Murray Duffin
March 4, 2011 11:09 am

I spent quite a bit of one moderatley cold December in Rome back around 1988 or 1989 when we had electricity 6 hours per day, and there was a rotating schedule for when you got your 6 hours. It was interesting, but not devastating. In a colder climate it would be much worse. Dickens anyone?

March 4, 2011 11:09 am

yes – All our polititcians believe in the green utopian energy fairy, one wave of her carbon wand will provide bountiful wind energy, whenever it is required..
That reminds me, just need to finish a blog post about a wind-turbine near me. 🙂

March 4, 2011 11:10 am

Mr Holliday is merely representing the logical outcome of the hand he’s been dealt. He can’t be complicit in this, right? IOW, if I were in charge “electricity distribution,” and my superiors told me “all distribution will be sourced via windfarms by 2030,” then my next statement would be “OK, but there won’t be enough electricity to go around.”
I do the same thing in business every day, when I’m in meetings consulting on database needs and solutions. Most of the time, I’m just there waiting to be told what to do. When I’m asked my opinion on something, I give it, and it’s summarily dismissed by the “dreamers” as a buzz-kill. So I let them pay me to build something I KNOW won’t meet their real longterm needs, but WILL do this one thing very well for a short period of time. So they have to pay me again, later.
Seems to me, Mr Holliday is doing the same thing: “I’m just the messenger. I’ve been told to make due with windfarms. This is the ramification.” All the while knowing it won’t affect him (his job will require 24/7 power; he’s one of the elites), and panders to the Greens. He’s playing it both ways, “my hands are tied.” I don’t think he personally cares either way.

March 4, 2011 11:11 am

The Era of the Power Chief, Steve Holliday, who says that the “Era of constand electricity at home is ending” is coming to an end. If he and his fellow government cult members really believe that people will put up with intermittent service they have a big surprise waiting for them when they no longer get government pay checks.
Yes, the people that need to the change in behavior are people like Steve Holliday and the rest of the National Grid organization. Time for a change in management to people and engineers who have the wherewithal to make the system work and keep on delivering power.
In addition, I do support independent power generation via any means that makes economic sense without subsidies, mostly because it makes sense to have independent distributed redundancy in a power grid. The big question is what technologies and the bigger question is having political policies that permit independent power generation and sale to the grid in a market based approach like they have in Alberta, Canada but prevent in British Columbia due to “green” politics. Yeah, that’s right, in a province which is mostly mountains we can’t put in our own power generation on our lands and sell it to the power grid but just next door in Alberta you can. Sigh.

Tom in Florida
March 4, 2011 11:11 am

We have similar problems with water here on the west coast of Florida. During times of water restrictions, which seems like always now-a-days, there are always those who use 10 to 100 times the amount of water that a normal household uses. And yes, you are correct, they are almost always either a county official or a wealthy resident who just didn’t care about the price or fines. Bottom line was they get what they want when they want while restricting the rest of us.

Robin Guenier
March 4, 2011 11:11 am

Further to the autonomousmind evisceration (Katabasis above) there’s a useful iPhone App referred to here: (“UK Grid Carbon Intensity”). It currently has the following data: Gas 33.4% / Coal 41.6% / Nuclear 16.4% / Wind 0.4% / Hydro 1.5%. OK, the percentages look wrong – but the position is clear: even if hydro is included (applicable only to Scotland) “renewables” are contributing only about 2% of our power supply.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
March 4, 2011 11:12 am

What are refrigerators supposed to do, hold their breaths during times of no electricity?
Absolutely stupid. Many appliances, particularly those burning natural gas, require a small amount of electricity to ensure that solenoids, pilots etc. are proper functioning at all times. I also have to wonder about home health-care devices including oxygen generators, dialysis etc.
My sympathies to the Brits, I lived there in 1992-94 and feel your pain with you. Sheer lunacy.

Cassandra King
March 4, 2011 11:12 am

Energy is power? The ability to control access to energy is power. The UK regime has knowingly embarked on a course of action which is guaranteed to enable the regime to control the energy matrix, rationing is power and the result of this rationing is more power over peoples lives. At a stroke we will become dependent on the state as supplicants, energy becomes the currency of political and social control, some groups will be favoured over other groups, some will prosper and receive more than others. State employees will have certain perks and benefits, the commissar class will also be treated better and have more than the ordinary person, you can already see where this is heading! Divide and rule, take certain things essential to a 1st world life and make them gifts of the states whims to be given or withdrawn as the state sees fit. The art of political and social control, the means of creating an authoritarian state.
In a future world you bathe when the state dictates and you use your appliances when the state says you can, you watch the TV when the state says you can, its all about who is the field hand and who is the boss man, who has the whip and who has the flayed back. The steady implacable progress to a totalitarian bully boy state, the regime believes that this is our future, a post democratic future, a modern future brave new world. Democracy degenerating before our eyes and we are unable or unwilling to wake up and smell the coffee. Little by little the state takes over and dictates the actions of the people for its own good you see. Little by little the rules and laws get pettier and the punishments get stronger, the regimes powers grow along side its arrogance and confidence as the power and confidence of the people ever weaker and as the people become to rely on the state more and more the state becomes ever more arrogant, dictatorial and bullying in nature and demeanour.
The regime takes over, the regime wants to take over, it dreams of taking over every aspect of your life. The regime believes that computer models of peoples average needs will allow the regime to supply those needs more efficiently. Person ‘A’ having a computed ration number that rises or fall according to how important or not the state thinks they are requires 1 pound of bread and 8oz of food product per day, electricity provided by modelled ration with access to other services rationed according to need or the states opinion of the individual need. Sound familiar does it, this brave new modern world where the efficient state provides and the grateful worker drone gives thanks every day for having a state that does so much and cares so much.
Think it cant happen? Think it wont happen? The road we are travelling on now is well used, the road is clearly marked and those who have travelled it before have left warning messages by the bucket load, neon signs as large as a football field and yet we are content to our journey down this road to hell, perhaps that is our recurring destiny?

Honest ABE
March 4, 2011 11:13 am

They’ve been importing the barbaric laws and customs of Sharia so it makes sense for them to return to barbarism in other areas as well.

March 4, 2011 11:14 am

We have a similar culmination in former Eastern Germany. It produces 12 GW of power during peak production times, consumes about 4 GW itself, sends about 5 GW through the three interconnectors to the West, and has 3GW left over that do nothing but destabilize the grid, unless the grid operator can e-mail and fax enough wind turbine operators and convince them to voluntarily reduce production before the grid collapses.
Renewable energies in East Germany are expanded by 1GW/year; new interconnectors to the West do not get built due to protest initiatives; the Eastern neighbours (Poland, Czechia) do not want to destabilize their grid by importing German power surges. Rolling blackouts RSN i’d say.
(info according to Fritz Vahrenholt, head of RWE Innogy)

March 4, 2011 11:14 am

DocattheAutopsy says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:41 am
California, arrogant, misguided, smug. When the coasties get uncomfortable, they’ll start to whine again like in the 2000 power crisis. But this time, it will be too late. We’re in too steep of a dive. And we have Moonbeam back to finish the job he started in 1975. Now it’s California, the pyrite state.

R Lawrence
March 4, 2011 11:14 am

Well, it hasn’t happened yet. In a sense, the sooner this crazy scenario unfolds, the better, if only in the sense that it will inject a shot of sorely-needed reality into the discussion, such as it is, here in the UK.
The AGW/Climate Change mantra has a secure hold on the political class (all three main parties), and I’d guess a good proportion of the educated middle class. Thank Auntie Beeb for this, ably assisted by the Royal Society, the Met Office, Prince Charles, Lord Porritt, George Monbiot – names familiar in this forum for reliably sticking to a hypothesis long after its supports have been knocked away.
All I can say, dear WUWT people, is ‘watch this space’ – I retain a fragile hope that we will see reason prevail.
(Where are the gung-ho investigative journalists in the British MSM? Booker and Delingpole can’t do it all, bless ’em).

March 4, 2011 11:15 am

Sorry, not a UK inmate, but I would venture a guess and say Mr. Holliday and his ilk will will always have power available. Shortages are only for the “little people”.

March 4, 2011 11:17 am

Yep, it is a bad joke, but it’s probably also true.
If you look at our energy consumption and production projections going into the future, we are going to have to wait for the wind to blow before we can make a cup of tea.
The old nuclear stations are practically finished and replacing them with wind was never going to cut it. They just cancelled the Severn barrage on the basis of cost. Wind Energy Subsidy anyone? That’ll be a billion pounds.
A year.
Which comes out of our pockets. At the expense of reliable electricity.
A bad joke, but true, too.

March 4, 2011 11:21 am

For what it’s worth, I can’t google up that article.
That said – IF TRUE then I urge the rational UK folks to… come to the US. Bring the Top Gear blokes with you. Really, we’ll figure out how to do decent tea…

March 4, 2011 11:21 am

“Mr Holliday was challenged over how the country would “keep the lights on” when it relied more on wind turbines as supplies of gas dwindled.”
Supplies of gas are dwindling? Ah well, I suppose these guys are rather conventional.

M White
March 4, 2011 11:22 am

UK families will have to get used to “only using power when it was available”.
UK politicians be warned.

March 4, 2011 11:23 am

Pull My Finger says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:28 am
Welcome to the 21st Century, a lot like the 19th Century.
…..but in reverse.

March 4, 2011 11:25 am

We have third world railways, motorways (freeways to you guys), eductation and health service. Will we notice if another key part of our infrastructure goes into rapid decline?
We (even I helped whilst studying for my degree) built a first world power grid and generating infrastructure in the fifties & sixties – a good mix of nuclear, coal gas & a bit of hydro (no big mountains in the UK).
Our socialist government, which stayed in power for 13 years by copying Clinton, ignored things it found difficult – like sorting out Defence and building new generating capacity. We now have a situation where an incredibly high proportion of our generating capacity needs to be retired in a few years (3 they say – but no doubt it will be extended). It will apparently cost 100s of billions of pounds (if my poor old memory serves me right I have heard figures up to to £250Bn) to bring the generating capacity up to scratch.
Meanwhile Huhne (Minister in Charge of Greenery) is focused on windmills that delivered 0.04% of our supply in a cold and (unfortunately) calm December and whose electricity costs almost 100 times what it costs to deliver electricity by conventional means. The EU (plus the eco Fascists) insists we must not build any more coal powered power stations and they are even insistent that we switch off our old ones. Even though the UK has 300 years of coal reserves available.
Our MPs (embers of Parliament) are investigating the wondrous new gas from shale opportunity (which could give 1-15% of our energy supplies) with a view to throttling it at birth.
Idiots you quote above cannot have lived through our Miners strikes in the seventies. They cannot have travelled to India or Nigeria. All of which have an appalling electricity supply infrastructure.
You could say we have become detached from reality.

March 4, 2011 11:25 am

UK is an undeveloping country.

March 4, 2011 11:25 am

Gee, Nation Grid is my utility in Massachusetts.
They recently signed a contract to purchase 50% of the Cape Wind, offshore wind power, for 20.7 cents/kwh starting in 2013. Even better, there is a locked in 3.5% annual price increase for the duration of the 15 year contract. This more than 2x the current 8.1 c/kwh. They also charge a handsome 4.5c/kwh to deliver the juice.
Did they solicit customer input when they signed this terrible contract? Nope.

March 4, 2011 11:26 am

“Quick, lemmings…to the cliffs!” There are obviously too many of you.
If you get thirsty on the way, the Jonestown Population Reduction Institute recommends Kool- Aid. The green flavour satisfies the best.

March 4, 2011 11:26 am

I see my spelling reflects what I said about educashun – but it was really my TYPING!

March 4, 2011 11:26 am
Malaga View
March 4, 2011 11:27 am

The UK is a case study in economic self-destruction and the death of politics… I always expect to see Abandon hope all ye who enter here writ large in the arrival hall at Heathrow airport and Will the last person please remember to turn the lights off when they leave in the departure hall.

March 4, 2011 11:28 am

With myself a Yank and my wife a Brit (citizen in both) we see both banks of the pond on a daily basis as we watch families make their way inthese two similar but still very different countries. You Brits aought to be accustomed to waiting for what you need – just look at your health care. My father in law has been waiting almost two years now for a rather important operation – and it was just postponed again last week – indefinitely. Waiting a day or two for power – come on. Stiff upper lip and all that rot.
What a load of raving nutters in your government – oh, wait – people in glass houses……

March 4, 2011 11:28 am

Well, having no heat will make the wool comeback a lot easier to manage…

Chris Riley
March 4, 2011 11:29 am

In second world countries the electric supply is intermittent. In third world countries you have the privilege eating when food is “available and available cheaply” If we labeled political-economic system according to results rather than intentions “socialism” would be called “shortagism” because that is what it produces, always and everywhere.
I suppose we have to give the British voters credit for being, as Mr. Holiday says “being much smarter” and, since poverty is a relative term, for fighting World poverty.

March 4, 2011 11:30 am

So when it’s not available in 10 years time with another bitterly cold winter with very little wind over the British Isles what then? Excess winter deaths will rocket and I suspect voters will vote politicians willing to promote coal, oil, gas and nuclear.

March 4, 2011 11:33 am

I’m afraid it’s probably correct.
We have a website which summarises electrical demand versus where it comes from. This winter in the UK was the second colcest on record. I’m 61 years and can only remember a few as cold and with as much snow. Of course with cold comes electricity demand and on one day our electricity grid recorded the highest ever demand. But with cold weather comes still conditions and hardly any sun. So our stupid government’s hope – windmills and solar cells – contributed almost nothing that day. I did hear we were buying electricity from French nuclear plants via a cable under the English Channel.
My solution? We live in a rural area so it’s woodburners, coal fires, and we have two generators.

March 4, 2011 11:33 am

The UK gov is to build new gas fired power station in Derbyshire, the first of many.
Found this, any comments, annual daily mean from 1960 to 2006 increased in spring by 1.57 C, summer 1.7 C, autumn 1.21 C and in winter by 1.95 C,
Daily max over same period has risen by 1.77 C, daily min by 1.36 C.
This must be the only place on the planet where T min in an urban environment has risen less than T max.

March 4, 2011 11:35 am

Neil colling says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:27 am
My guess is we need a blackout or 2 for everyone to see the folly of our politicians before we get on the right track, at the moment the tree huggers are in control.

It almost happened this past winter then the wind failed to blow the wind turbines and the Scottish were forced to use French nuclear energy. Expect to see more stories like this in 20 to 30 years time. ;O)
Warmists, please read the following and realise that windpower is NOT the answer.

Roger Longstaff
March 4, 2011 11:35 am

So windmills can not provide baseload power supply – whoda thunk it?
Perhaps the clue lies in the senior UK cabinet post: Chris Huhne – Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
An oxymoron, or an Oxford moron?

March 4, 2011 11:36 am

At least the landowners (like our PM’s father-in-law) who profit from this evil will be readily identifiable when the blood does flow in the streets

March 4, 2011 11:37 am

When I read an article like this I despair of what this country has become!
We used to be the workshop of the world, now it looks as if we are becoming the workhouse of the world.
I don’t know how much longer this will go in without some form of tarring and feathering being meted out to some of our leaders, but mostly UK citizens are law abiding so i dont think that it will happen unfortunately.
I just checked the NETA site and the contribution of wind to the grid is 0.4%!
So much for bird slicers

March 4, 2011 11:38 am

More details are here. I would not put too much stock in the accuracy of the T.D. story.
National Grid chief says 2011 is ‘pivotal’ year for UK energy market
Power market reforms will determine whether the UK can meet its energy and emission targets, warns Steve Holliday

Mac the Knife
March 4, 2011 11:39 am

“Ending is better than mending….”
Brave New World – Aldous huxley
Throw away those nasty old coal and nuke plants! Join the Brave New World! The new solar cells and wind turbines will stimulate the economy and everything will be fine. Now, take your soma….. delicious soma.

Pull My Finger
March 4, 2011 11:39 am

Luckily for the US, the other 49 states are largely isolated from the stupidity of California. 🙂

March 4, 2011 11:42 am

All I can say is c*^$$+&**”! [snip, snip ,snip and snip again]

March 4, 2011 11:43 am

We, in Sweden, are now the 2nd in the European ‘list’ of paying most of net income for electricity, behind Bulgaria (this because B has a lower avg. income). Yet we DO have a production capacity of appr. 160 TWh/y (last year usage was app 132 TWh). Productions are ~ 48/48% hydro/nuclear, remaining ~ 2 % is partly imported, partly covered up by firing up reserve plants, all to cover up for a totally, really totally!, miss-management (incompetenced based) of the (deFacto non-existent) energy-policy in this country over the last ~ 20-25 years!
We live in a country that has ~ 4-5 months/y cold and dark – the last periods have really proved that fact! – and ~ 30% of the living area is electrically heated…! Prices are going up like moon rockets and our brain amputated minister of energy (about identical w the US ms Jackson/EPA) ‘recommends/advices’ people to insulate their houses more… God grief! Her name is, by the way, Maud Olofsson.
Still, Brgds from Sweden!

March 4, 2011 11:44 am

There was a cable failure in central London in August 2003. The ensuing chaos even led to an enquiry:
“4.1 The power cut in London lasted for just over 30 minutes, yet the disruption that
followed lasted for the entire night. Members of the Committee witnessed the
chaos at first hand as they tried to travel home or to other engagements. The
question on our minds was how could this be happening in London after all the
reassurances given to Londoners post 9/11.”
“Recommendation 1
We recommend that Ofgem together with the DTI monitor and inspect the National
Grid’s programme of equipment review.”
Sure, make sure there is plenty of power transmission capacity assuming adequate generating capacity at the other end.
Joe P will not pay much attention to security of supply so long as the lights come on when the switch is flicked. The main issue is price.
Just wait the first day of power rationing by rota disconnection. The BBC and the Sun (tabloid) will gorge themselves on the latest tale of the blindingly obvious being mishandled by the incompetent.
And guess what will be at the top of the political agenda.
A new public enemy will be routinely whipped by the media. The bankers will gladly pass-on the baton and quietly collect their bonuses in peace and quiet (or should that be cold and dark).

T Stone
March 4, 2011 11:45 am

All aboard the “Wind and Solar Express”, next stop: the Middle Ages. /sarc – ish

Steve C
March 4, 2011 11:45 am

I used the phrase “barking mad” only the other day, in another comment – now you can all see what made us Brits invent the saying. And remember, this guy is not even government, just a company boss who does this sort of thing for the government.

March 4, 2011 11:52 am

Britain gets more electricity from France than from “green” sources.
One question: Do you have a link to the article in the Telegraph?
I can’t find the actual article online.

Ed Zuiderwijk
March 4, 2011 11:52 am

I was just looking for the tar and feathers but couldn’t find them because I have no light in the back.
Signs of things to come …

March 4, 2011 11:53 am

These eco-loonies should be locked up before they do any more damage.

March 4, 2011 11:53 am

Charles Higley says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:38 am
People in 3rd world countries and many cities and towns in the Middle East have power only so many hours a day…..

You are correct. The difference between the Third World and the UK during this past December and January wast the terrible cold. The UK could not handle it as many more people would die from cold than mild, warm, Third World temps. As for the poor in Nepal and Mongolia it is something they have geared themselves for.;O)

March 4, 2011 11:53 am

Someone needs to invent a machine that turns otherwise useless biomass into physical work. It should probably have a nice, stable base so it doesn’t topple. Four legs seems about right. & it should have strong carrot & apple tropism built in so that reward/punishment feedback is simple to implement. Then all we need to do is build another machine to supervise & clean up the waste.

Murray Duffin
March 4, 2011 11:56 am

The optimistically uninformed here that blame the problem on greenies just don’t get it that the problem right now is the beginning of the great fossil fuel shortage. Yeah, the anti-nuke nuts don’t help, but even if they went away last year, nukes wouldn’t contribute in much less than a decade. Both oil and NG are going to be a problem in Europe, especially with uncertainties like Libya, and probable global cooling. The USA is not far behind.

March 4, 2011 11:56 am

This is a joke right? Thats why I cant find the article online.

Green Sand
March 4, 2011 11:57 am

“As a society, we all need to be clear about what we can and cannot afford” he (Steve Holliday – Chief Executive of National Grid) said.
May I suggest that we “as a society” cannot afford extremely highly paid “no can do” Chief Executives?
“We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available”
No Mr CE, because “as a society” we are not going to let you and or our government make your product “exclusive”.
Get your act together and have the guts to tell it as it is. That you can guarantee supply, cheaply, profitably and effectively provided the government allows you to do so.
To spell it out I respectfully suggest that you pee or get off the pot.
Pylons or underground are the least of your problems. Fuel availability and security of supply are and always must be your priority. You need to have a secure balanced mix of nuclear, coal, gas and renew etc. Please stop hiding behind these maniacal government ideologies and for once tell it as it is. You will be absolutely amazed at how much support you will get.
Either get a grip or move over, maybe now is not the time for a Holliday.

John A. Fleming
March 4, 2011 11:58 am

Reagan said it best. If they put the government in charge of the Sahara, there soon would be a shortage of sand.
If there is no shortage, governments create them to accumulate power, punish their enemies, reward their friends.

UK John
March 4, 2011 11:58 am

I have purchased a warm coat, a torch and some candles.

March 4, 2011 11:58 am

Dear AQ42’s MP
It is apparently reported in Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph that:
Era of constant electricity at home is ending, says power chief
The situation where a permanent electricity supply is withdrawn is wholly unacceptable; indeed I am old enough to remember how such a failure led directly to the fall of the Heath government. As a physics graduate I believe that there are plenty of ways to prevent this, and I would therefore urge you to oppose any such steps to the fullest extent.
Yours sincerely
[who is, on a side note, now profoundly impressed by the OCR abilities built into Microsoft Onenote 2010]

Robert Christopher
March 4, 2011 11:59 am

Here is a European dimension (not that we want one, we just get it whether we like it or not!):
Germany Passes Energy Tyranny Act – Will Force Energy Rationing
NoTricksZone : P Gosselin’s Climate Science News And Free Commentary From Germany
“A new law has been passed by the German government, quietly and almost unnoticed. Soon in the future, the government will tell its citizens how much energy they can consume.
It’s “Germany’s first step in declaring eco-martial law.”

March 4, 2011 11:59 am

Expect a hockey stick graph for UK’s exess winter deaths in 10 to 20 years time.

Malcolm Burton
March 4, 2011 11:59 am

Ha! And so it begins…..
Cameron, Clegg, Huhne and the rest, look to the middle East – Mubarak, Ben-Ali, Gaddafi – Only the names are different! What’s happening there will be visited upon you. Your days in power are numbered, true democracy is beginning to flex its muscles. There is a growing disaffection, and it will not be stopped! The supine british population are beginning to rise up, and who knows when it will end? And our fellow westerners, over the pond, are beginning to rise up as well, as far as I can see.
Sorry to US readers – bit of a rant aimed at uk politicians, but it seems to fit both sides anyway.
But, you did ask for our input!!

March 4, 2011 12:00 pm

As an inhabitant of Central England, I have felt this coming for some time. I have tried to rationalise it based on a project management course I attended many years ago.
Essentially, I was taught, PM was not about working out the goal of the project, but the aim of it. It turned out that there is a very good psychological difference between the two. And the way to figure out that difference was to ask a question: Why? To the 7th! Only then would one understand the real aim of the project (and, amazingly, it works).
I think that this is what is happening now in the UK. There is a ‘project’ going on – not just based on global warming – that the government wants to pursue. It is hard to realise their goal if we continue as we are: but if we ask ‘why?’, we will get closer to the truth.

Chris Riley
March 4, 2011 12:01 pm

Sorry Anthony, typos in above. corrected version follows
In second world countries the electric supply is intermittent. In third world countries you have the privilege eating when food is “available and available cheaply” If we labeled political-economic systems according to results rather than intentions “socialism” would be called “shortagism” because that is what it produces, always and everywhere.
I suppose we have to give the British voters credit for, as Mr. Holliday says “being much smarter” and, since poverty is a relative term, for fighting World poverty.

March 4, 2011 12:01 pm

@ AleaJactaEst: * 😉

Gary Hladik
March 4, 2011 12:02 pm

Well, I suppose the UK can always ask to be annexed by India (the US isn’t an option because we’re already owned by China).
Not sure India would want the burden of such a backward society, though…

James Sexton
March 4, 2011 12:03 pm

Well, the difficulty isn’t confined to the U.K. In the Great State of Texas, where there is an abundance of fuels to provide stable and constant electricity, the residents were subjected to rolling black outs during one of the coldest blasts in recent history. Lives of many were risked in this effort to save humanity.
Whirly-gigs and pinwheels. Weird, I could have sworn that would work as viable replacement for fuels.
Lunatics running asylums.

March 4, 2011 12:05 pm

Does anyone else think it is not the time to replace the old corrupt politicians? You either get some in to protect your rights or you go… darkly.

Claude Harvey
March 4, 2011 12:06 pm

“Intermittent” electric service is just as well because customers won’t be able to afford continuous service anyway, once the capital cost of solar and wind is folded into their electric rate structure. The European experience with large-scale wind and solar now stands at: 3x current U.S average cost (at the power plant fence) for on-shore wind; 5x for off-shore wind and between 10x and 15x for photovoltaic solar.
Unlike the U.S., which has hid the true cost via “under the table” construction subsidies, the Europeans elected to pay the true cost “at the fence” in the form of electric rates required to justify the capital costs. Those rates run for the entire 15-20 year useful life of those plants, so forget the story that “it’s all free after the plants are paid off”.

March 4, 2011 12:07 pm

Logic and reason are no longer employed by those who govern us, especially in the UK. Anybody with any sence would just compare France with Spain and immediately recognise France as the better example to follow. (nuclear power).
There has to be another reason why the obvious is ignored in favour of the rediculous. In my opinion, THAT reason is the “Precautionary Priciple” strong version. It is the only explanation which makes sense to me.
I don’t know if you have looked at the PP Willis, but somebody needs to give it some thought because it is enshrined in EU law and therefore, mandatory.

March 4, 2011 12:08 pm

Murray Duffin says:
March 4, 2011 at 11:56 am
“The optimistically uninformed here that blame the problem on greenies just don’t get it that the problem right now is the beginning of the great fossil fuel shortage. ”
Are you talking about the current shale gas shortage? Or about the future methane clathrates shortage? Or the coal-to-liquid shortage? Come on, inform me about the shortage you’re talking about if you think i’m uninformed… give me a link…

March 4, 2011 12:08 pm

I know it’s tempting to write us off – but remember what Chesterton said in the last verse of “The Secret People” :-

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

We’re a passive, unexcitable lot in the main – but when the lights start going out …… wait and see.

March 4, 2011 12:09 pm

That should read, “ridiculous” oops

Wilson Flood
March 4, 2011 12:11 pm

In the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain if people were unhappy then mobs would arm themselves with cudgels and roam the streets smashing things up. It didn’t help but the authorities took notice. In recent years it has been the ecoloons doing the smashing. Perhaps it is time for ordinary middle England (Britain?) to start smashing things up like energy companies, banks, train operating companies etc. To quote an Irishman (WB Yeats) (more or less)
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world
A terrible beauty is born
Since the UK govermnent at GCHQ monitors all emails, I now expect to be arrested at 3am this morning as a terrorist.

March 4, 2011 12:13 pm

We still have room here in the colonies for clear thinking folk from the UK, that wouldn’t include Mr. Holliday though, something about completely barking mad comes to mind.

Julian Flood
March 4, 2011 12:14 pm

geo says: March 4, 2011 at 10:46 am
Some political party is going to get a rude surprise over that, and some other one is going to get a windfall.
Can you imagine the election slogan?
Maybe they’ll eventually think of it as being an electoral disadvantage, but I suppose there’s still the delusion that Green sells.
Barking, absolutely barking mad.

Roddy Campbell
March 4, 2011 12:15 pm

I tried for a while to find out exactly what Holliday said, rather than just what The Telegraph turned it into. I wouldn’t comment without seeing it all. I couldn’t find it.

March 4, 2011 12:15 pm

Further proof, if any were needed, that the political elite here (uk) couldn’t find their own arses with a map, satnav, two sherpas and a lemur.
It beggars belief. Pray tell- what will the hospitals do?
If this happens you’ll be seeing a middle-east esque coo occuring in good old blighty. Words fail me.

March 4, 2011 12:17 pm

Also- hang on.
So in winter, when the freezing weather knackers all the wind turbines- i suppose we’re all just supposed too freeze to death right?

John F. Hultquist
March 4, 2011 12:17 pm

So when everyone has an electric car and no electricity, just exactly how does that work?
Perhaps, . . .

March 4, 2011 12:18 pm

This is a hoax. Can’t find the article and no link. Me thinks someone is duping you and having a good laugh.

Deatrix Muntz
March 4, 2011 12:21 pm

I need to buy myself a house with a chimney

March 4, 2011 12:22 pm

40 shades of green says:
March 4, 2011 at 11:00 am
Imagine if the head of the Water Utility said they would only supply water occasionally. >>>
Well, does the water utility run on electricity? Because then that would actually correlate…
Big problem for weather forecasters too. They get a ton of static as it is when they miss a forecast and ruin someone’s picnic. But now people will be jumping on line to see what time of day they will be able to watch TV. No wait…its even worse…they can’t jump on line to get a forecast for tomorrow’s TV schedule unless it is windy today. Well, they could listen to the radio because you can get those low power ones that don’t even need a battery…oh crap that won’t work either because the radio station can’t broadcast until it is windy. You could leave the radio on all the time I suppose and then jump up and write down the forecast when you hear it come on. No idea how the papers are going to work, with the delay imposed by printing time, delivery, and now burdened with intermittant work flow as well, their forecasts won’t likely get delivered until after the weather does. Usefull for hindcasting analysis I suppose.
I know! Town Criers! Need no electricity, no wind, no wires, they just wander around at random shouting out the weather so people will know when they can flush the toilet or watch TV over the next few days. Of course they’d need security, the opportunity for radicals to disrupt people’s lives by masquerading as Town Criers and delivering forged forecasts could be highly disruptive to society. And good luck in the courts trying to prove which ones were just wrong and which ones were deliberately wrong. Heck, convict them all and send them to jail.
The jail doors use electromagnets to keep them locked of course, so the inmates will have to be responsible for their own release dates.

Doug in Seattle
March 4, 2011 12:25 pm

I welcome this word from on high because this is precisely the sort of idiocy that makes it clear to all that the AGW bandwagon has lost its wheels and is careening down the hill, just moments away from the 500 foot (170m) cliff that will be its final end.

Stephen Richards
March 4, 2011 12:32 pm

For what it’s worth, I can’t google up that article
You won’t find articles like that on Google. The founder funded Obama in his last election bid. Use Bing.

March 4, 2011 12:32 pm

“Electricity provided by wind farms will increase six-fold by 2020 but critics complain they only generate on windy days. ”
OMG – who would have known? Mr. Holliday? You must be joking? It’s “Brazil” all over again.

Scottish Sceptic
March 4, 2011 12:33 pm

I’m sure the UK government were well aware of the 16-19% figure that caused problems in Denmark, and I certainly had a long talk with the Scottish executive about the need for Pump storage for wind perhaps 5 years ago and at that point if anything they were more pessimistic about the intermittentsy of wind. Unfortunately I haven’t had any contact since then, but as far as I can tell the situation hasn’t changed. The politicians are driving the boat toward the weir, they don’t want to know what lies ahead with power outages. Like always the politicians have their head in the clouds and don’t want to face the reality of their stupid policieis. The first time this will be taken seriously by them is when the lights go out and the electorate vote them out.

March 4, 2011 12:33 pm

John O’Farrell wrote a book entiltled “An Utterly Impartial History of Britain or 2000 years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge” but for reasons I can not recall the book ended in 1945; I quite enjoyed reading the book and the humour rang very true. I am of the opinion that he should write a sequell, possible starting at the time of the asumption of the last labour govenment and continuing through the current coalition.

March 4, 2011 12:36 pm

Communist Romania style. Electricity was rationed for population for several hour per day.
If Tommies keep their mouths shut, they deserve it.

don penman
March 4, 2011 12:37 pm

I don’t have heating on in my house it is too expensive to keep on I only put it on for a few hours in the evening if it very cold .I remember the three day week when Edward Heath was in power and taking on the miners I imagine we will go back to some system like that of rolling power cuts if we allow the green politicians to dictate where our energy comes from.

March 4, 2011 12:38 pm

“As a society we all need to be clear about what we can and cannot afford.”
Can have a referendum on pseudo-intellectual Progressive eggheads?
“Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

March 4, 2011 12:38 pm

Way to go, U.K! What a way to eliminate all those pesky tourists. You’ll just have the youth adventure set who are willing to rough it cheaply, but this should keep the rich ‘uns who value comfort at a nice distance. Prepare to see tourist revenue plummet.

Larry Hamlin
March 4, 2011 12:40 pm

This prospect is coming soon to California. The push to get 20% of the electrical energy the state uses from wind and solar (mostly wind) by 2010 is still in trouble. Even though this reality exists the state is trying to pass new legislation to require that by 2020 33% of the states electrical energy will come from wind and solar. These initiatives have and will continue to raise the states electrical rates to higher levels making businesses here uncompetitive while further raising the states already out of control $26 billion budget deficit.
Because of the unpredictable intermittency of operation of wind and solar significant additional costs are incurred for back-up fossil generation in using these resources. For the 20% renewable goal fossil back-up generation required for electric system reliability amounts to about 4.5% of the total renewable portfolio. As the percentage of renewables climbs compared to the total required system generation the back-up requirements to maintain electric system reliability grow exponentially. Thus California’s 33% goal for renewables by 2020 requires that the back-up fossil generation need grows to 21% of the total renewable portfolio.
The inherent and unavoidable operational limitations of wind and solar make any politically driven scheme to try to establish an electric system dominated by these very expensive resources problematic at best and will always result in massively higher costs for electricity with significant detriments to system reliability.
These unattractive and detrimental cost and reliability realities for solar and wind are carefully concealed from the public by climate alarmists just as the huge shortcomings of climate fear science are concealed from the public – with the help of the biased and politically driven main stream media.

Stephen Richards
March 4, 2011 12:40 pm

Jimbo says:
March 4, 2011 at 11:35 am
We french struggled a bit last December. Italy, Germany, Sth Spain and the pays bas plus the UK were all trying to take french power. On a couple of occasions we have shut off supplies to the countries already. With winters getting colder, and they are, we may have to cut off the UK. One should note that the continent can be and will be very much colder than the UK in future winters.

March 4, 2011 12:42 pm

For those of you who are interested in dropping off the grid, if you have access to shale gas there is a neat little gas turbine power plant from Capstone. It uses electronics to commutate the generated voltage from the turbine shaft directly, no gear reduction. 30 KW for $2K/KW or $60K. It runs on wet gas, sour gas, light, or standard LP gas. If you have a group, they have turbines which can be grouped and load balance automatically. Needless to say, they are widely used on oil rigs for power generation.

Darkinbad the Brightdayler
March 4, 2011 12:42 pm

Cloud Cuckoo Land, where the gentle wind stirs the windmills 365 days per year.
Our children will pay the price for their dreams.

Stephen Richards
March 4, 2011 12:45 pm

One more cold winter and these problems will be highlighted. France are building 2 more Central Nucléaire but we will need them for our own usage.
Good luck UK you are going to need it. Perhaps the idiots will finally come to their senses and hang the politians from the lamp posts of London. Really, the education level of the masses in the UK is abysmal and that includes those from Eaton and Harrow.

March 4, 2011 12:45 pm

I presume Mr Holliday has no intention of ever running getting into politics…. or maybe he is perfect for it and would fit in perfectly with the rest of the numptys.
Diesel gen here we come!

Barry Sheridan
March 4, 2011 12:46 pm

One feels that once the lights start going off the national lethargy that is allowing this to happen will vanish overnight. It is not just a case of domestic supplies but the whole fabric of life that will grind to a halt. I imagine whoever is in power at the time will be frantic as an angry populace seek vengeance. I shall be one of them looking forward to keeping warm as the Houses of PArliament burns down with the feckless ruling elites trapped inside.

Alexander K
March 4, 2011 12:48 pm

I grew up in NZ after WWII with a wood-fired stove for cooking and generating hot water through a ‘wet back’ on the stove, wood-burning fireplaces throughout the house for warmth in winter, a big copper boiler with a fire under it in the laundry for the twice-weekly wash and a bloody great manual wringer to crush most of the water out of the laundry before it went out on the clothesline. No wives and mothers worked for pay, they slogged their guts out operating homes in almost medieval conditions. But in the background, our government was building hydro dams as hard as it could go to encourage industry. We were allowed the first ‘fridge in our neighbourhood as my dad was a returned serviceman and supply was limited. The world was hopeful, we worked and played hard, but after the Berlin wall was pushed over, people with strange ideas and stranger accents started taking over our communities. We were no strangers to socialism and had developed our own self-help, egalitarian variety, but these incomers and their odd ideas were hard to stop and most of us were working too hard to bother with them.
Decades later, the Marxist strain of Green socialism is infecting everything. Flash businesses own the railways, the telephone system, the electricity system and we are almost peasants in our own country. The mad pollies have brought in an ETS and are trying to justify it, but at least everything still works, so I am going home after almost a decade in the UK before I am too old to get started again. I was once proud of my British heritage, but the lot in control in the UK are barking mad and heading for the knackers yard. I spend half of my life here scratching my head and wondering where government common-sense went.

March 4, 2011 12:52 pm

Back in the mid-seventies we endured the ‘Three Day Week’ here in the UK, a situation brought about by industrial action which was in turn a reaction to the wage restriction policies of the Conservative government. Electrical power was rationed in order to conserve coal stocks. See here:-
I remember it well – going to work at the weekend, staying home at other times. There was a General Election in the midst of this period and the Conservatives, despite heaping blame on the coal miners and power workers, lost. There’s a lesson to be learnt here, don’t you think? No matter where the blame actually lies, the people will always hold the government of the day responsible. If the lights ever do start going out, whichever political party that happens to be in power at the time will not be in power for long – no matter who’s responsible. All political parties be warned!

March 4, 2011 12:55 pm

No one cares what they write in there stupid papers, no one cares what they say in their stupid lectures.
The only fact that is guaranteed.
The government in charge when the lights go off will be toast.
The pigs understand that.

March 4, 2011 12:59 pm

I am dumbfounded that people keep commenting on a FAKE ARTICLE. It is not real, no author, no record at the Telegraph NOTTA. Someone is having a good laugh, like

Common Sense
March 4, 2011 1:00 pm

Bertram Felden says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:52 am
I’m a UK citizen.
I left, some say abandoned ship, almost a decade ago. I live in a country not too far away with 80% of its power generated by nuclear reactors. A country that has just ruled an existing wind farm in Brittany (dang, gave the location away !) was built illegally, a ruling that looks like it could ban all offshore and coastal monuments to human credulity. We have a few windfarms, of course, but they are really only there to shut the looney greens up.
I was in France a few years ago, my first trip to Europe. As we were driving from the Loire Valley to Paris, I saw wind turbines for miles, then a nuclear power plant. I took pictures of both since neither were a common sight in the US. We now have the NCAR experimental wind farm a few miles north of us, but not the miles of turbines throughout the countryside.

Peter Plail
March 4, 2011 1:02 pm

In the UK, the results of a by-election (caused by a crook of an MP being sent to prison) was announced today. It was in a solidly labour area, so the outcome was predictable. What was encouraging, however, was the the second placed candidate was from UKIP, the only UK party sceptical about AGW (and the EC, but that’s just another bonus).
They appear to be the only hope for the future in the UK, unless the other parties wake up to the fact that to achieve any level of prosperity then we need our manufacturing and service industries to operate more productively, and our consumers to carry on consuming. It ain’t gonna happen with all the lights out.

March 4, 2011 1:05 pm

Hello tower, this is British Airways Flight 009 coming in from New York, starting our descent from 38,000 feet. Requesting runway clearance….
What? Say again? You are fading in and out…
You want me to climb back to 38,000 feet and circle in a holding pattern? For how long? What do you mean you have to check the weather forecast first?
Oh yeah, run way lights, totaly forgot, makes sense. OK, I’ll circle until the wind picks up or sunrise, which ever comes first. Fuel? Nah, I’m good, these dirigibles float in air you know, and we collect passenger poop for methane to run the propellor motors. You should see how much our efficiency has shot up since we went to all brown beans menus. We can wait. Took three weeks so far, whats an extra few hours?

Latimer Alder
March 4, 2011 1:05 pm

I have a secret plan to defeat these nutters. Here in leafy Surrey I’m going to install an electric powered generator.
That’ll keep the greenies happy since no oil or gas will be needed. And I’ll have constant power!
I’ll use any power I don’t need to turn a fan to blow the local windmill. Win win!
I can’t see any problems yet………. 🙂

Henry chance
March 4, 2011 1:06 pm

People are not that stupid. They know the gubment shut down economical electricity and built expensive un reliable. This means the gubment knows better when you you should do things than you do. Same with rail. In america, the gubment wants rail because they know better where you should go and when than you do.

March 4, 2011 1:06 pm

Re : geo says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:46 am
“So the Brits would rather sit in the dark than build nuclear plants? You’re still a democracy over there, right? Some political party is going to get a rude surprise over that, and some other one is going to get a windfall.”
Unfortunately no – we’re not a democracy any more. All our policies are decided by our European masters in Brussels these days. The EU Lisbon Treaty was the final seal to that. Of the 500 million citizens in the EU only a handful got to vote directly on whether they wanted to be part of this EU superstate. Mostly it was the politicians who voted on whether they wanted to be part of the EU political gravy train. The only exception was Ireland where because of their Constitution the people had to be asked first – they voted NO – that should have been the end of the Lisbon Treaty but no, our EU masters dictated they should vote again until they got the right answer so that after a very heavily funded EU propaganda campaign they eventually voted Yes. Something they now bitterly regret – their economy is a shambles thanks to the economic straitjacket of the Eurozone where one size fits all.
In the UK the leaders of our three main parties are like three peas in a pod, Cameron, Clegg and Milliband, all had meteoric rises through party ranks to take up the reins and all pursue doggedly determined pro EU/UN policies and adhere to the creed of the UN IPCC. Cameron totally disregards traditional Conservative type policies to pursue a similar path to Blair (the true ‘Heir to Blair’ as he likes to describe himself! – and it was he who insisted on giving the outgoing Blair, who had taken this country to war on a lie, a standing ovation in parliament) So whichever party wins you can be sure the same policies will be followed.
In Scotland SNP First Minister is pushing the EU policies hard, ‘leading the world’ in a bid to force the Scottish economy to adopt 80% of its energy from renewables by 2020 – no doubt he is vying for his own place in the UN/EU (after all world governance is the aim as highlighted by EU president van Rompuy in his inauguration speech), sacrificing Scotland on the altar of his political ambition. He is determined to ruin the beautiful Scottish countryside by building as many windfarms as he can both on and offshore, determined that nuclear is NOT an option, he is keen to outdo EU targets on renewables.
So welcome to the world politics of the future. Just as Obama in the US and Gillard in Australia totally disregard the will of the people and lead their countries to economic suicide (with he help of a compliant media ) so the same is happening in the UK.
Our politicians no longer represent the people.

Green Sand
March 4, 2011 1:08 pm

John says:
March 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm
I am dumbfounded that people keep commenting on a FAKE ARTICLE. It is not real, no author, no record at the Telegraph NOTTA. Someone is having a good laugh, like

Its real, I have the paper infront of me, this is a typical “spin” technique used in the UK, slide it out page 14, not attributed. But have no doubt the man said it and he means it. He will not go against his masters policies.

March 4, 2011 1:09 pm


Nigel S
March 4, 2011 1:09 pm

à la lanterne!

Ken Hall
March 4, 2011 1:10 pm

How the hell will we keep our food frozen? This will be a public health nightmare.
The bloke, Steve Holliday, should be sacked!

March 4, 2011 1:14 pm
Brian H
March 4, 2011 1:17 pm

The Guardian also covered the speech, but didn’t think this little tidbit was worth mentioning:

March 4, 2011 1:22 pm

Britain began to cease as a nation-state in the eighties. This process is now almost complete. We are a fracture country, all but under the complete control of the Federal European Union. As Scotland, Wales and Ireland break ever further from union with England, they each sacrifice their perceived independence to central control by the unelected, undemocratic “parliament” of the Euro Soviet. On world-wide issues the British Government does as the US Administration says. Internally, we do what the European Parliament and Courts dictate. The lights might as well go out. I propose that England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales each apply to become the 51st, 52nd, 53rd and 54th states of the USA, respectively. Any seconders?

March 4, 2011 1:25 pm

Marion says:
So welcome to the world politics of the future. Just as Obama in the US and Gillard in Australia totally disregard the will of the people and lead their countries to economic suicide (with he help of a compliant media ) so the same is happening in the UK.
Our politicians no longer represent the people.

They might want to take a look at Egypt and Libya for how the end game of that tends to go… Or maybe that little thing with Hitler and Stalin… or even how things like that lead up to the French Revolution…
Anyone who thinks things are “different now” is a poor student of history…
Then again, Europe seems to like “making a lot of history”. Too bad most of it is wars…

March 4, 2011 1:26 pm

I’d blame this one mostly on poor reporting (coupled with poor phrasing on Holliday’s part). If you listen to the original interview, its clearer that he is talking about the ability of a smart grid to use various demand-response strategies (equipment cycling, etc.) coupled with a time of use price signal to flatten out load variations. We’re quickly implementing something similar here in the U.S.

Arthur Dent
March 4, 2011 1:26 pm

Willis if you are going to quote you should quote accurately not follow the route of the ubiquitous spin doctors. Your head post says “only using power when it was available” this does NOT appear in the article which says “get used to using power when it was available”. This is not a semantic quibble but a different meaning. In your interpretation it implies times when power is simply not there, but the article is making the point that smarter grid systems will enable power consumption to be more closely related to power availability i.e. peak demand being adjusted to mesh with peak supply. To some extent this is done already in a rather crude way by load balancing usually through price mechanisms cheaper power is available at night when demand is low but spare capacity high.
There is enough crap about in this issue without artificailly creating more

Brian H
March 4, 2011 1:28 pm

Speaking of the Guardian, it’s got a dedicated T-Shirt here:

Dan J
March 4, 2011 1:31 pm

A more likely scenario than blackouts would be different electricity prices depending on how the power is being produced at the moment. On a windy day electricity would be very cheap and on a calm day hugely expensive. The metering would be fully automatic and display the current tariff for the consumer to encourage saving energy. People would install 10 cubic meter insulated water tanks and accumulate heat for household needs at the best price. Appliances could be programmed to start preferentially at the lower tariff. Industrial users could get a set tariff for the next 3 days based on the weather forecast.
Of course it seems absurd now that unpredictable power, produced at great expense, should be subsidized by overpricing more reliable energy sources, but five years of this tariff model, and nobody would give it much thought anymore.

March 4, 2011 1:31 pm

Snip snip snip snip snip oooooh that’s gotta hurt snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip snip Hanging is too snip good for these scum sucking, bottom dwelling, snip snip snip snip snips.
That’s my candid opinion.

Ian W
March 4, 2011 1:34 pm

I think as an example of their environmental credentials, that all politicians, the Palace of Westminster (House of Commons and Lords), and the politicians’ private houses and their family residences, plus those of members of Greenpeace and other AGW supporters by volunteering – should be linked to the grid by smart meters that stop any supply from the grid should windfarms fall below lets say 50% of their contracted capacity.
This way they will show that they are leading from the front and relying on renewables. They will be able to set an example to the rest of the population in the ways to cope with power outages.

March 4, 2011 1:36 pm

Watch the rapid rise of the UK Independence party over the next 5 years. I predict the UK Establishment is in for a shock as the population finally wakes up and smells the coffee.

Sam the Skeptic
March 4, 2011 1:37 pm

I’ve tried every way I can think of to track down this report and can’t find it anywhere. Since the source at Bishop Hill was Phillip Bratby I believe it existed — it wouldn’t be like Phillip to play this sort of practical joke and anyway we’ve seen the scan. A commenter on Richard Black’s blog quotes from it but without a link; two other sites link either to here or Bishop Hill.
It looks as if it was either in the print edition only or got pulled very early Wednesday morning, for whatever reason.

March 4, 2011 1:39 pm

The last person leaving the UK won’t need to switch out the lights!

March 4, 2011 1:48 pm

Presumably the smart meters will be smart enough to ensure that the Guardian readers doing safe, grossly over-paid “non-jobs”get electricity when they want it. It will be the rest of us who suffer the power cuts.

March 4, 2011 1:48 pm

At present it is the phoney war… warming since 1998 and all manner of pathetic excuses but the move away from the AGW doctrine is gathering pace and when the political morons come to us for their vote reality will eventually return.
Our Government who until fairly recently would not consider a new generation of nuclear power plants eventually saw the light even if we still have to go through the public enquiry stage.
A few years ago Prof. Philip Stott implored the Government to install the new wave of nuclear power plants, he wanted the same type as France and Finland as we could pool our technolgy and that is exactly what will happen even if french companies like EDF have to do it for us.
The nonsense will contiue for a while but eventually sanity will return…later than hoped for but it will return.
Wait for a raft of “early retirements” in the areas of green science and green media “experts”.
Rocky road perhaps but change will come.

March 4, 2011 1:48 pm

Storm in a teacup – this will never, ever be allowed to happen, the person quoted was either an idiot or misquoted. Given the source of the quote I’m not surprised.

March 4, 2011 1:50 pm

And the Agenda to rid the world of “undesirables” continues apace. Time to man up. You have a choice. You can either be a victim or a victor. Choose.

March 4, 2011 1:50 pm

This is just code for smart grid.
What they mean is that the smart grid will enable people to choose to not consume as much energy when generation output falls. You will choose to turn your aircon off for half an hour during peak load times to maintain the transmission grid integrity. In exchange, you won’t face punitive prices for consuming energy during a load/generation mismatch time.
I’ll agree it is badly phrased, but this is basically what the addled mind is trying to say.

March 4, 2011 1:50 pm

I heard China, India, Russia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Iran, Egypt, Philippines, ………………………
…….were doing the same

Ian W
March 4, 2011 1:55 pm

E.M.Smith says:
March 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Marion says:
So welcome to the world politics of the future. Just as Obama in the US and Gillard in Australia totally disregard the will of the people and lead their countries to economic suicide (with he help of a compliant media ) so the same is happening in the UK.
Our politicians no longer represent the people.
They might want to take a look at Egypt and Libya for how the end game of that tends to go… Or maybe that little thing with Hitler and Stalin… or even how things like that lead up to the French Revolution…
Anyone who thinks things are “different now” is a poor student of history…
Then again, Europe seems to like “making a lot of history”. Too bad most of it is wars…

Mussolini was very popular – and look how that turned out.

Martin Brumby
March 4, 2011 1:56 pm

Although one or two people have commented about generators, no-one seems to have picked up the fact that there are advanced plans being developed to site banks of large diesel generators on various industrial sites in the UK, specifically to be fired up when BigWind power generation drops off.
It seems likely that these are ex MoD generators, and I doubt that they will be burning bio-diesel!
Due to the Grid’s pricing structure, anyone who can supply decent quantities of electricity to the grid at very short notice (when the grid is under great strain) will be able to clean up.
They anticipate only operating a couple of hundred hours per year, but it looks like being a licence to print money.
I’ve not seen a whisper about this plan in the media.
Funny, that, isn’t it?

Dave Andrews
March 4, 2011 1:59 pm

Here in the UK we have a Coalition Government consisting of mainly multi millionaires from the Tory Party with little experience of power and Liberal Democrats who haven’t tasted power for almost a century and are drunk on it.
They are under the impression that they can radically change everything and it will be meekly accepted by the populace. Their come-uppance will surely come in the end but who knows how much havoc they will wreak in the meantime?

Al Gored
March 4, 2011 2:04 pm

Sad news – not.
UN postpones crucial green fund meeting
Row over who should sit on transitional committee leads to delay of first Green Fund meeting
By BusinessGreen staff
04 Mar 2011
“Any hope the spirit of improved co-operation evident at last year’s Cancun climate change summit would continue through to this year’s negotiations appears to be receding, after the UN yesterday confirmed a crucial meeting to discuss the formation of a proposed “Green Climate Fund” has been delayed following a row over who should attend.”

Mark Twang
March 4, 2011 2:06 pm

So how will they address the problem of providing power to those institutions, businesses and people who need it whenever they need it, and not just “when it’s available”?
Hospitals, say, or (Britain going the way it is) mosques?
I’m sure those who can pay or who have a say will somehow magically be spared the artificial “shortage”. The rest will be told it’s good for their moral fiber to do without when the people in charge say they should.
Has anyone addressed what happens when supplies are intermittent and everyone’s laundry all needs to be done within the two-hour window designated for the day? It seems to me the overload would burn out the system.

Al Gored
March 4, 2011 2:09 pm

Is there enough wood in the UK for this?
“03 June 2010
Rising electricity prices are increasing the use of wood for heating in South Eastern Europe to alarming levels, posing a serious threat to health and the environment, experts warned.”

homo sapiens
March 4, 2011 2:09 pm

I have been haranguing my MP for some considerable time now about about the looming catastrophe in the UK that will be caused by a serious shortfall in generating capacity.
I have pointed out that his government is going to be responsible for a dramatic increase in the already shocking number of deaths from hypothermia among the elderly; on top of increasing numbers dying through fuel poverty there will be many freezing to death because of daily power cuts (all central heating systems require electricity to function) during the coldest parts of winter when the the wind turbines are stationary .
His response? I am being unduly pessimistic. Well, there’s none so blind as those that WON’T see – which includes virtually all UK MP’s.

March 4, 2011 2:14 pm

The worst part of all this is that the professional electrical engineers association is busy pratting about things like power generation to deal with climate change. And is too lily livered to say in public what they are all saying between themselves.
Joe Public is well aware that there is a scam in progress but the political class is so thick (for our US cousins =dumb) that it is following the lead of Prince Chuckles.
Still there might be hope. In a very recent by election the Coalition candidates came behind UKIP so it might wake them up!

March 4, 2011 2:14 pm

I notice people talking about backup generators. Cheap Regular just hit 3.72 and Diesel 4.15 at Sam’s club for members in 91733. Think you will be able to afford the gas for that backup generator if we don’t get rid of the MORONS in office NOW!!!

March 4, 2011 2:14 pm

This is so outrageous, I wonder if it’s a spoof. And having the date and newspaper name conveniently placed over the article makes me think it could be. However, these following Bloomberg excerpts lend support to the Daily Telegraph article :
The U.K. is ready to step up payments for factories, offices and supermarkets that switch off electricity as rising demand drives up prices and the nation turns to cleaner but less-reliable power.
The government, planning for a six-fold jump in wind capacity in the next decade, is seeking comment from power suppliers and consumers until March 10 on its so-called Electricity Market Reform. The unpredictable nature of wind generation, combined with rising electricity consumption, is likely to drive up U.K. power prices as plants that burn coal are phased out to help reduce pollution.

Depending on Wind
Wind turbines generate only when the weather is favorable, making it difficult to predict electricity supplies. The power can’t be stored, and there’s no guaranteeing it will be sufficiently windy at time of peak consumption, forcing National Grid Plc to manage demand for electricity as well as supply.

March 4, 2011 2:22 pm

Re: Green Sand says: March 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm
Its real, I have the paper infront of me
Anyway to take a picture of the newspaper page and attach it here? I’d like to see the full or half page photo of the paper in a photograph quality photo.

Vince Causey
March 4, 2011 2:26 pm

Here is another little tidbit from Holliday:
“Holliday will predict that the UK will need to increase its installed capacity of electricity generation from 75GW today to 100GW by 2030, in order to meet the rapidly rising demand for electricity that will result from the move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport and heating – switching vehicles from petrol to electric, and to use electricity for heating rather than gas.”
Electricity is already too expensive to heat your home with (it’s around 20p per KwHr compared to 5p per KwHr for gas). Can you imagine how expensive it will be for the average family by 2020 after all the threatened price hikes have been piled on? But from listening to Holliday I never heard cost mentioned once. But then again, to these government types, there is an endless pool of money to be extracted from the serf – I mean citizens.

March 4, 2011 2:26 pm

So much for the future. This is called “Load Shedding” in Zimbabwe and has been practiced for over a decade. It is what you would expect from a bankrupt leftist third world dictatorship. Sounds like the UK will be in good company!

Paul R
March 4, 2011 2:36 pm

E.M.Smith says:
March 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm
They might want to take a look at Egypt and Libya for how the end game of that tends to go… Or maybe that little thing with Hitler and Stalin… or even how things like that lead up to the French Revolution…
When the Colonel closes the window on the drive through all hell will break loose.

March 4, 2011 2:37 pm

Wow, talk about doubling down on stupid.

March 4, 2011 2:37 pm

From The Engineer Magazine, another strong hint from his speech:-
“He also noted the importance of smart meters and other technology to manage the demand for electricity by remotely controlling appliances in people’s homes.
I wonder which people’s homes – Her Maj?….Govt Ministers?…….senior civil servants and quangocrats?…..captains of industry?……… No, they’ll all have to be provided with state-of-the -art standby generators with stepless auto changeover systems (fully accoustically insulated natch – can’t have joe public getting jealous).
Read more:

March 4, 2011 2:40 pm

I image this will lead to an increase in people using personal gas and propane generators. I’m sure that’s much better for the environment!

John B
March 4, 2011 2:40 pm

The article accurately reports what Mr Holliday said at the end of the 3-minute BBC Today interview when he was asked “Does it work? ‘Cause when the wind doesn’t blow, how does your grid cope?” I can’t vouch for the quotes from his speech at the RAE. The interview is here, with a brief description:
If you’re in the UK you can listen to the audio. Overseas users may need to use a proxy.

March 4, 2011 2:40 pm

There are still a lot of really good power consuming class A hifi-amps produced in the UK. How are these industries going to survive without continous supply of power? The answer is blowing in the wind.

March 4, 2011 2:46 pm

@Vince Causey: Sounds like a do-over of Central Maine Power. That was at the start of the cogen craze here in the states. They had a lot of electric heating up there, and the regulators forced them to buy power way above market (sound familiar?) from cogen facilities burning wood waste from paper and other milling operations. They eventually had to file bankruptcy since the regulators did not give them a way to make their money back and they needed to break the contracts somehow. But all this is sounding a bit close to home. National Grid bought the Boston area electric utility and of course is allowing Cape Wind to be put up and buying its input over the market. They are doing their worst here in the states too.

March 4, 2011 2:51 pm

1) Ken Hall says ….The bloke, Steve Holliday, should be sacked!
Or perhaps he should be thanked for having the gonads to tell the truth which seems to be woefully lacking these days.
2) I am 63…was born in England and moved to Canada at age 8, in 1955…been back a few times. Last summer I met a British couple vacationing here … about my age. We chatted. It was so sad. Almost with tears in their eyes they told me how lucky I was and their main regret was not moving to Canada (or elsewhere) 30 years ago. But at their age and with their finances it was no longer impossible. It was so sad.
Good luck across the pond

March 4, 2011 3:01 pm

LaRouchePAC LPAC Weekly Report 3 2 2011


Frederick Davies
March 4, 2011 3:05 pm

If you think those comments are nuts, just check the mess the Germans ACTUALLY DID with their petrol:,,14888490,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

Cirrius Man
March 4, 2011 3:05 pm

We all have 2 hemisheres in our brains, except for the Green-Socialist persons who only possess a right Hemisphere, with the left brain being completely absent.
I would suggest that these people use only their left hemisphere to make decisions !

March 4, 2011 3:05 pm

And to think they could have all the power they need if they had a couple more nuclear plants going.

March 4, 2011 3:09 pm

Kramer … I logged onto the Telegraph using their one-day free trial and got a print copy of the item and saved it as a PDF … here is the link on my server . .. dunno if that is good enough.

March 4, 2011 3:13 pm

is it april the 1st?

March 4, 2011 3:13 pm

10 : 10 ?

March 4, 2011 3:27 pm

The UK Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, wants to build a lot more wind turbines and has actually said, “that over time we will be able to reduce support for wind power and other renewable energy technologies as they become more economic”.
Of course Hendry’s not sure when wind power will be economically viable because UK governments, on behalf of the very generous UK taxpayer, have only spent over £2.2 billion subsidising wind power in the last eight years.
But we can be sure that it will take quite some time as the UK government has now pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Hendry’s going to have to build hundreds of thousands of bird munchers to meet that pledge. Which he intends to do at a cost to taxpayers of £30 billion a year by 2030.
But who is Charles Hendry?
Hendry is the MP who told the UK parliament that, “…although Scientology may be very controversial… undoubtedly, as human beings they do a great deal of good…certainly as an organisation it has gone through serious hoops in terms of making sure it has the right to broadcast on television, satisfying the broadcasting commission that it isn’t a cult.”
Ron would be proud.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
March 4, 2011 3:31 pm

Demand the use of vast reserve of shale gas

Chris Clark
March 4, 2011 3:32 pm

Welcome to Britain, the first country to industrialize and the first to slip back to Third World status. This is why I am retiring abroad; just hold off on the blackouts until I’m gone.

Green Sand
March 4, 2011 3:32 pm

kramer says:
March 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Re: Green Sand says: March 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm
“Its real, I have the paper infront of me”
Anyway to take a picture of the newspaper page and attach it here? I’d like to see the full or half page photo of the paper in a photograph quality photo.

Well here we go, quite new to me so hope it works!

Bryan Short
March 4, 2011 3:34 pm

As vboring said… if this is a poorly phrased way to describe a voluntary program of energy usage reduction during peak load times to save money… then there really isn’t so much to worry about. We have the same thing here in northern Minnesota during winter, called “ripple”. When the coldest temperatures arrive (and it gets very cold here) and demand peaks, those on the ripple program have their electric heat reduced. We had this growing up because we had electric heat as well as a fireplace, so on the coldest mornings we’d build a fire and didn’t need the heaters (though a few of them would still work). Saved our family resort $$$thousands every year.

March 4, 2011 3:40 pm

Just another symptom of left-wing delusionalism transformed into policy.

Mark Twang
March 4, 2011 3:44 pm

It is time for someone to go full-on Chesterton on these people and write a new version of his great, prescient book, “Eugenics and Its Evils.”
I suggest the title “Greenomics and Its Evils.”

March 4, 2011 3:51 pm

Not a UK person…but…
Wow…the complete lack of common sense displayed by governments these days astounds me.

John Campbell
March 4, 2011 3:52 pm

The EU runs Britain now. The European Parliament reviews new laws. They are elected on the party list system (you don’t vote for a person, you vote for a party and the party slots in the person they think should have the seat). The European Commission in Brussells makes the law. They are not elected. I think that’s called an “autocracy”. Where do I get a green card please?

R. de Haan
March 4, 2011 3:53 pm

Charlie says:
March 4, 2011 at 11:07 am
‘”Within a generation or so, the Unted Kingdom will have become part of the Islamic State of Europe, so getting our electricity supply to match those of so many present day Islamic states seems perfectly understandable”.
Right, just bring in the tents and the camels.

Green Sand
March 4, 2011 3:53 pm

kramer says:
March 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Re: Green Sand says: March 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm
“Its real, I have the paper infront of me”
Anyway to take a picture of the newspaper page and attach it here? I’d like to see the full or half page photo of the paper in a photograph quality photo.

Sorry, cocked up second photo try again

Alan Simpson
March 4, 2011 3:53 pm

I will be honest, I am in the UK, as I walk to my local pub on a night I glance up and admire how many lamp posts we have, if what that article describes became reality there would be a Civil Servant or Politician hanging from every one, fingers crossed.

March 4, 2011 3:54 pm

Although I think not everyone still left over there is a complete energy fruitcake. See this story about approval for a new Gas generation plant in South Derbyshire.

Billy Liar
March 4, 2011 4:01 pm

No-one appears to have noticed that the Dutch Interconnector (wire to Holland) has been finished ahead of schedule (late 2011) and today provided 4.691GWh to the UK. Its capacity is 1GW and with the French Interconnector (2GW) can theoretically provide up to 72GWh/day to the UK grid (assuming the French and Dutch want to sell that much).
As I type, wind in the UK is providing 154MW (from a nameplate capacity of ~5GW ie around 3.1%) and has provided 0.7% of UK electricity in the last 24 hours.
The UK seems determined to avoid generating its own electricity in an efficient manner. I have no doubt that Dutch and French power is more expensive that domestically generated nuclear electricity but the UK has now had two governments that have behaved like bunnies in the headlights when it comes to making electricity infrastructure decisions.
It will undoubtedly end in tears.

R. de Haan
March 4, 2011 4:13 pm

robertvdl says:
March 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm
LaRouchePAC LPAC Weekly Report 3 2 2011
Bunch of BS with all due respect.
Ask the Google and who is about the ‘spontaneous protests’, just to mention a few of the ‘activists’.
The protests have been staged from A to Z.
There is no food shortage, only to high food prizes thanks to the decline of the dollar, the bio fuel scam and high oil prices.
The protests have been triggered by the same scam artists that have pushed the climate change scam and plan for Global Governance.
What you see is an attempt to create the chaos to enable the First Global World Revolution and you better counter it.
Sitting at a table stating this is all ‘spontaneous’ tells me the guy’s at the table have no clue. http:/

March 4, 2011 4:19 pm

people will get used to eating when food is available…. umm, NOT. what a ridiculous comment, by the head of national grid.
the era of cheap gas is just beginning with the opening of shale gas in the US and potentially Europe. There will be vast tankers of LNG delivering gas to the coast of Scotland so that power is around when you want it. Sure it might be more expensive… but someone will pay for it.
oh and what about nukes?

Wayne Delbeke
March 4, 2011 4:26 pm

Nigel Brereton says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:47 am
We’ll be ok once the solar plants are up and running in Libya, Tunisia and the rest of the North African Mediterranean sea board and we have a cable plugged into Morocco. But what about energy security, don’t worry we will all be Europeans by then or Euromeds I think the new term is.
More importantly, after the first few blackouts, you can follow Tunisa’s lead and go into the streets and get rid of the fools running the ship.
Egypt did it and Lybia is on the way.

March 4, 2011 4:26 pm

I can’t find a reference to Steve Holiday’s quote on the Telegraph’s web site.
I have tried searching for the headline and also Steve Holiday and came up dry.
This is very puzzling. Was this an actual print news story that wasn’t included on the web site or is this a prank of some sort?
This is one of the few blogposts on WUWT where a link to the original has not been provided .
I did find a reference to a talk by Steve Holiday on the Guardian Web Site.
It did not contain that quote. He talked about how the UK electrical distribution system was obsolete needed to be upgraded, and that the demand for power will go up, as electric cars will replace gas powered cars. He also pointed out that a smart grid is needed to route the power to where it is needed, and that gas powered generators will be needed to deliver power when demand peaks and other sources can’t deliver.
There is a report by the national grid agency which goes over the same ground.
Are we being punked?

Steve H
March 4, 2011 4:28 pm

Interesting, though perhaps a deliberate attempt to ensure people take energy more seriously and support nukes.. Must admit small scale power generation linked to communities does sound great in terms of freedom from prices hikes etc. Plus of course people taking responsibility, though don’t think they will be either to happy with my plant food producing generator or a micro nuke!…

March 4, 2011 4:31 pm

Bob(Sceptical Redcoat) says:
I propose that England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales each apply to become the 51st, 52nd, 53rd and 54th states of the USA, respectively. Any seconders?

Well, I’ll second it (if only as our beer might thereby be improved 😉
The only “issue”, I think, is that we have this clause about no kings and queens somewhere in our governing law. You would need to lose those particular state welfare recipients from England… I think all the other states would be easily able to join without much fanfare.
You might find the “commonwealth” structure that we’ve used with Philippines and currently with Puerto Rico more convenient, though, as it allows more leeway in what you do domesticaly, what your form of government can be, and easy ingress / egress (should the need arrise) while still granting such niceties as welfare and citizenship (sometimes, as desired…)

Al Gored
March 4, 2011 4:37 pm

More inconvenient problems for Big Green Inc in the U.S.:
“BLYTHE, Calif. — Native Americans are clashing with the federal government over plans to fast-track approval and construction of massive solar energy projects that the Indians fear will harm sacred and culturally significant sites in Western deserts.
Recent lawsuits by two native groups pose a threat to half dozen proposed solar developments that the Obama administration has identified as a high priority in its quest for more clean energy production. One suit already has halted work on a major solar farm in Southern California.”
Will be fun watching this play out.

March 4, 2011 4:40 pm

geo says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:46 am
So the Brits would rather sit in the dark than build nuclear plants?
O yes, in the dark AND the cold. We are sadly congenitally muddle-headed. For Britain’s liberal-left ruling elite, logic = fascism.
The “thinking” goes something like this: since nuclear power is so dangerous, we would rather die than have nuclear power stations.
Hospital managers will choose when to have electricity, as will airports, railway systems, etc. Britain will collectively qualify for a Darwin prize.

March 4, 2011 4:43 pm

Larry Hamlin says:
March 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm
CEC tries to fool us.
California won’t be doing anything like what they advertise. It’s a bait and switch. I’m just not sure what they are switching to. It could be as simple as third world status, or it could be modeling for the nation how to pull off a Maoist revolution. Chairman Jerry and the new Cultural Revolution.
In reality, there is no chance we will get anywhere close to 33% renewable or even 20% renewable, without redefining what renewable is. The state legislature considered legislation delaying certain goals. We were supposed to be at 20% RPS by now. Where are we now? They claim 15% [1]. 30% is out of state. To deliver renewable energy from new projects, California will have to construct as many as 7 major power lines, costing roughly $5 to $20 billion [2].
Here is how the CEC puts the best spin on the plan [3]. Yeah, and I’ve got a big orange bridge to sell you.
Gas now, Thorium LFTRs [4] ASAP.
2. Note: $12 B is an old figure.

March 4, 2011 4:45 pm

Larry Hamlin says:
March 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm
Oops, in my previous post I forgot to put space between his post reference and where I started to reply. I have not quoted anything he said.

Bernd Felsche
March 4, 2011 4:47 pm

John Brignell commented about it a few days ago on his March 2011 Numberwatch
Eloquent commentary on the overall situation in (the not-so-Great) Britain can be found at The Grumpy Old Sod and Richard North’s EU Referendum blog.

March 4, 2011 4:51 pm

Frederick Davies says: If you think those comments are nuts, just check the mess the Germans ACTUALLY DID with their petrol:,,14888490,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

So they are selling E-10? That’s an issue? I’ve run “gasohol” and “E-10” and “Agrol” and all the other names it’s been called on and off since about 1970. No problem.
FWIW, a large number of stations in the USA sell E-10 and all there is is a tiny sticker on the pump saying “may contain up to 10% ethanol”. I generally seek it out as it has a lower tendency to ping in my high compression engines; besides, it smells a lot nicer when you are fueling the car 😉
For a long time it was 76 stations that had it most. Now it’s more widely around.
FWIW, I once ran a lawn mower on Methanol (MUCH more “corrosive” than any ethanol mix including 100% ethanol) for several years. Never did have a problem with it. (just turn the fuel mix screw out a little bit on the old Briggs and Stratton). Eventually replaced it with an electric mower ( I’ve now been through 3 or 4 of them and wish I’d kept the old gas / alcohol one..) after the starter pull thingy broke for the second time. Should have just fixed it again…
At any rate, per E-10: After running the stuff preferentially for about 40 years I have to say that I just don’t see much problem with it. Even in “fine German Autos” like my Mercedes SL with V-8 that just loves the stuff.

March 4, 2011 4:51 pm

The above article quotes an interview he gave on BBC Radio 4. The clip that I have found on the BBC web site, doesn’t include anything constant electricity being a thing of the past.

March 4, 2011 4:53 pm

Wind-power generation on a cold day in Alberta
March 1, 2011 was a very cold day in Alberta

…In central Alberta, at Elk Island National Park, the source of the “local” official temperature values that are being shown for the communities of Andrew, Lamont, Chipman, Mundare and Bruderheim, the temperature reading at 9 a.m. was -39°C. At the same time, 14km away from Elk Island Park, our thermometer in our backyard in Bruderheim showed -28.5°C….
…although of the total Alberta generating capacity a full 5.8% is supposed to be derived from wind turbines, at 11:20 am only 0.022% or 2.2 hundredth of one percent were being generated from wind power….
In the mean-time, the makers of wind turbines, such as General Electric, Siemens and anyone else who is reaping copious profits from the climate craze are laughing all the way to the bank — and we pay.

(Full Story, including graphs)

Mark Twang
March 4, 2011 4:54 pm

General question to the Greeners:
If we tax ourselves into the ground and can’t afford to heat our homes, run our cars, or use our computers, how are we going to “invest in the future”?

son of mulder
March 4, 2011 5:03 pm

So postnormal. Next they’ll be claiming he used to work for Exxon with all that implies.

Bernd Felsche
March 4, 2011 5:24 pm

“Englanders” are not alone:
Borrowing from DirkH’s comment on P Gosselin’s NoTricksZone Blog:

Fritz Vahrenholt, head of RWE Innogy, warns against collapse of East German and Hamburg grid due to Wind overcapacity. (Original FAZ article in German)
He says: On strong wind gusts in Eastern Germany, 12 GW need to be moved. The East Germans consume 4 GW themselves, 5 GW can be sent through the 3 Interconnectors to Western Germany; the remaining 3 GW threaten the Eastern grid. So the 50Hertz Transmissions GmbH sends alarms out, as e-mail and Fax, ordering the 1500 wind generators to reduce output. Most of them adhere to the command, some don’t, as they don’t get paid for energy they don’t deliver.
New interconnectors (highest grid hierarchy level, highest voltage) are urgently needed but cannot be built fast enough, as planning one always leads to the formation of protest initiatives and years of controversies.
Nuclear power cannot be switched off in Eastern Germany to compensate for the wind energy oversupply – there is no more nuclear power in the Eastern grid (we have switched off the old RBMK-1000 Soviet reactors after reunification and never replaced them with W German tech.)
The buildup of eco energy continues unabated with 1GW/year in Eastern Germany. The situation becomes more critical by the day.
Oh – and Poland and other neighbours of E Germany have already made clear that they have no interest in East German power surges to be exported into their grids, thank you very much Sir. This is no surprise – they all have been members of the Warsaw pact and inherited a very bad infrastructure, so they probably have enough problems of their own modernizing their grid.

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001)
March 4, 2011 5:25 pm

Hmmm … well, as a former Brit whose family was kind enough to bring her with them when they emigrated to Canada half a century ago, all I can say is that perhaps Holliday is bound and determined to get a “head start” on the implementation of Pachauri’s “vision” for AR5.
Equity, Fairness, Sustainable Development and Life Style Changes: Problems of collective action, or public good problems that may overlap with various parallel challenges, can only be solved if the solution is considered to be fair and based on adequate equity principles. In general, the equity principle has to be applied to inter- and intra-generational justice as a prerequisite for sustainable development as well as lifestyle changes.”
(With sincere apologies to William Blake)
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And could they have ‘er foreseen
The blight of high satanic ‘mills
Whose darkness fills
England’s once green and pleasant land.

Baa Humbug
March 4, 2011 5:29 pm

I can tell you what’s happening already from an Australian point of view.
The brightest and the best are coming to Australia in their droves. People from all sectors of the economy, financial, banking, tradesman. Heck, even many of our news presenters (on the ABC ofcourse) have pommy accents.
And the poor Irish, so many of their young are coming over to work in the mines, electricians, plumbers, brickies plasterers etc etc.
The only ones NOT coming over from the old dart are their immigrant/refugee populations. She may well end up being Englandistan.

Dave in Andover UK
March 4, 2011 5:31 pm

This article is total bollux ……. We get all our electricity from France ….. Viva La EDF !!!
That is why it costs us so much.

March 4, 2011 5:36 pm

Well we come to the divide;
either this:
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
or maybe this:
Insanity or sanity. 2012 is coming; where you puttin’ yer money, bro?

March 4, 2011 5:39 pm

The falacy of the “smart grid” is that folks don’t have “smart appliances” nor do they have “smart schedules”.
Most folks do the laundry when the clothes are dirty and they have time off work.
Most folks eat dinner at, well, dinnertime.
Most folks run the heater when it is cold outside and the A/C when it is hot outside.
Most folks take their shower in the morning before work, or on return home after work (depending on nature of trade and preference).
Very few folks do their laundry, shower, or eat dinner at 3 AM.
Very few folks avoid heat when it is most cold and A/C when it is most hot.
These simple facts seem to not be evident. Why escapes me at the moment…
BTW, we had something similar in California for a decade or so under governor Gray(out) Davis. He decided we ought to buy all our power on the “spot” market. The best description of this I’ve seen was from the commedian Dennis Miller who described it as “buying all your electricity at mini-bar prices”. The result was Enron who came into existence to “game” the broken system built by Grayout Davis and Loony Left friends.
The end game was “rolling blackouts” in California just about every time power demand was peaking. Several times a season, the power would just stop. (The local utilities were FORBIDDEN to own generation OR to enter long term reliable delivery contracts… yeah, that’s smart…)
I ended up with 2 generators ( A 1 kW Honda that I love for most of the time and a 4 kW Monster that I hated as it was way loud, but let me run A/C, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. all at the same time) along with sundry small UPS devices on all the things you didn’t want to take a power failure (clocks, video recorders, main light in the room). I also collected a few micro-inverters to give minimal power from the car, as desired.
A few years later we sacked the Governor (and got the “married to a Kennedy RINO Governator”…) and things returned to “power when you want it”.
Now, with the retreadding of Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown; I’m regretting the sale of the 4 kW monster….
I really liked it a lot better when the Evil Utility Monopoly was in charge. Power was cheaper and more reliable then…
I suggest the Honda generator and the “minimal power” kit in the link above… I’ve “lived the dream” of government “controlled” electricity (or nightmare or…)

March 4, 2011 5:42 pm

Bob(Sceptical Redcoat) says:
March 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm
“… I propose that England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales each apply to become the 51st, 52nd, 53rd and 54th states of the USA, respectively. Any seconders?”
That will still put us three shy of the 57 that our prez thinks we already have.

March 4, 2011 5:44 pm

”The days of permanently available electricity may be coming to an end, the head of the power network said yesterday. […] We keep thinking that we want it to be there and to provide power when we need it. It is going to be much smarter than that. […] We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available”
Utterly outrageous. This Mr. Holliday should be fired immediately.
It was in 1959, I can vividly remember. I was five and sat on the firelog chest in a candle lit kitchen in the late afternoon, my Grandma at the fireplace, her face reflecting the flames from below. It was one of the frequent blackouts of the time, three years after the bloodbath of the revolution, inflicted by a ferocious Soviet army, the economy still in ruins. She was talking about the old days when she first met electricity. It was 1905, she was five and the town of Deva, Transylvania where she lived in her childhood just switched from gas lighting to electric streetlights “glowing like the light of Heavens”.
To get an idea how it must have felt, have a look at a painting of Csontváry Kosztka Tivadar, one of the greatest painters ever.
Elecric power plant in Jajce at night (Bosnia, 1902)

March 4, 2011 5:47 pm

“Charles Higley says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

the government is a bunch of stupid idiots with the brains of a cabbage.
Sir! you cast a slur upon the cabbages of the world. 🙂

March 4, 2011 5:47 pm

Arthur Dent says:
March 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm
Arthur Dent? Not THE Arthur Dent! The one that Trillian gave the heave to the instant she could, and that Zaphod considered about as dumb as ever existed? The one who insisted on boiling leaves in water which nearly caused that genius computer to crash? Thanks, Arthur, but I think there’s a Vogon Constructor Fleet about to bore through your neighborhood. Remember to carry a towel! You’ll need it.

Bernd Felsche
March 4, 2011 5:48 pm

One of the euphemisms that one hears is “load management”.
Newspeak for rationing. Rationing as a result of a war on common sense.

Sean Peake
March 4, 2011 5:53 pm

The unending hum he was hearing wasn’t from wires. It was caused by his ungrounded brain.

kbray in california
March 4, 2011 6:01 pm

Cutting carbon emissions by 80% let’s see…
Keeping the same power plants in place…
That could be like just under 5 hours of electricity a day.
Come on we can all do this if we try. You just gotta believe…
One hour of power at home in the morning…
One hour of power at home in the evening…
and 2hours and 48 minutes at work.
That would make a hefty 14 hour work week…
Yeah, that’s gonna work just fine… /sarc.

March 4, 2011 6:04 pm

I can see a solution to this. Slow combustion syngas generators running on dried biomass producing H2 and CO to be fed to small four stroke generators. Cars have been run on wood chips with this system. The problems with continuous biomass feed can be solved by producing standardised pellets. These could be produced by a local cooperative and sold as garden mulch thus avoiding fuel taxes. It would only take a few thousand households to install such as system for the government to take notice,.
Given that the AGW hoax is about increased control and taxation, thousands setting an example by going off grid and escaping energy control and taxation would show the government the eventual futility of their CO2 legislation. In such an environment the only way to keep people from going off grid would be to provide continuous reliable grid power. That means coal, gas and nuclear power.
There is much to be learned from the failure of prohibition in America. Micro generation and bootleg power could be the start of the anti kleptocracy revolution. Syngas can even be converted to liquid fuels through the Fischer–Tropsch process. Bootleg petrol? There will be a man with a van doing the rounds. licence plate YAD 061…

March 4, 2011 6:10 pm

In a nutshell
“I’m from the government I am NOT here to help”

Crispin in Ulaanbaatar
March 4, 2011 6:12 pm

Charles Higley says:
People in 3rd world countries and many cities and towns in the Middle East have power only so many hours a day…..
Jimbo said:
As for the poor in Nepal and Mongolia it is something they have geared themselves for.
The power is always on in Mongolia. Don’t know why, but it is. Many poor people struggle to heat their ‘gers’ with coal, not electricity though. The heat downtown is from the power station (Soviet style) raising the system efficiency of the antiquated design far above electric generation efficiency in the West. Many cold cities in Central Asia have these combined heat and power (CHP) systems.
New developments in domestic coal stoves (for gers/yurts) have reduced coal consumption per day by 50% and PM emissions by 99%, nuch cleaner than coal-fired power plants. It was not until recently that some foreign group forced a wind farm onto the population but fortunately it was paid for by the foreigners. The poor will of course eventually have to pay more to run their TV and light (singular) to feed the windmill owners.
Other than that things are getting better all the time.

March 4, 2011 6:15 pm

Something is amiss with this story .Why can I not find the original link from the Telegraph and why is article only presented as a cut-n-pasty sort of thing.Maybe I am
not looking for the article correctly.Skeptical minds want to know.

March 4, 2011 6:28 pm

Al Gored said:
“BLYTHE, Calif. — Native Americans are clashing with the federal government over plans to fast-track approval and construction of massive solar energy projects that the Indians fear will harm sacred and culturally significant sites in Western deserts.”
I doubt there is anything “sacred” about their opposition to wind farms. They just want to be paid off, big time, like with cassinos.

Al Gored
March 4, 2011 6:30 pm
Phil's Dad
March 4, 2011 6:36 pm

UK persons … will change their leaders before they change their behaviour.
I suspect this guy was appointed by the Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – MP in this case stands for MupPet.

Dave Springer
March 4, 2011 6:39 pm

I used to be proud of my British ancestry. Now it’s becoming a bit of an embarrassement.

March 4, 2011 6:50 pm

onbe, I agree, this Telegraph “article” looks like a fake. I found nothing in the Telegraph data base that matched the title. The question in my mind now is can we trust posts here by Willis Eschenbach!?

Phil's Dad
March 4, 2011 6:55 pm

By the way the Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change is a multimillionaire with no less than seven, SEVEN, homes. Footprint anyone?

Ulric Lyons
March 4, 2011 7:02 pm

Andy Dawson says:
March 4, 2011 at 10:57 am
“If, rather than building lots of windfarms, we put multiple nuclear units on existing sites, Grid would only have to spend perhaps £4bn on upgrades, as opposed to £20bn or so..”
For that money you could build a lot of these:

March 4, 2011 7:09 pm

@Murray Duffin
The optimistically uninformed here that blame the problem on greenies just don’t get it that the problem right now is the beginning of the great fossil fuel shortage.
Both oil and NG are going to be a problem in Europe
Electricity is not made from oil and only a small amount is made from gas. Most electricity in Europe is made from coal (bituminous and lignite), nuclear and hydro. No shortages in any of these. We have hundreds of years of coal resources in Europe alone. Besides oil and natural gas aren’t anywhere approaching a shortage either. Especially not natural gas, plentiful resources of which have been found in Europe a short while ago.

March 4, 2011 7:19 pm

No electricity.
No lighting gas.
No whale oil for lamps.
Not nearly enough tallow for candles.
Stone Age, here we come.

March 4, 2011 7:22 pm

That’s impressive… “smarter than that”… you know, only using energy when it’s blowing. So cook and eat a lot when it’s breezy, because next week you may starve!

D Bonson
March 4, 2011 7:33 pm

My sympathies for those listed as low and middle class in the UK. I’m sure the likes of Prince Charlie is willing to sacrifice lives for his religion.
Hopefully, the people power currently in North Africa spreads to areas like Europe, North America and others with similar political climates.

March 4, 2011 7:33 pm

At this point I am going to have to say this article is bs.

March 4, 2011 7:35 pm

They will make it a fight.
You will or you will not be.

John from CA
March 4, 2011 7:37 pm

This would actually be funny, in the context of theater of the absurd, if it wasn’t for the implications. From what I’ve read, Brits are “taxed for washing their cloths in hot water”.
I don’t want to say much more about “It” but WUWT? I guess its what you “get” from labor party “science” logic.

March 4, 2011 7:41 pm

“UK persons … will change their leaders before they change their behaviour.”
How? The last election had two parties which were potentially electable, both run by EU-loving socialists who believe in ‘green power’.
Every significant party in the UK other than the unelectable UKIP and BNP has essentially the same policies, so nothing important can be changed by voting. This is one of the reasons why I emigrated a few years ago and why pretty much everyone I studied with at Oxford has also gone; Britain has been in an increasingly steep decline since the end of WWII and as far as I can see the situation is now pretty much terminal.
Even if you believe that the middle class are going to start rioting in the streets when the power cuts begin, by then they’ll be far too late to start a program of replacing the numerous power stations which are due to close over the next few years. Decades ago you could probably have found the engineering talent in the UK to keep those stations open until such a program completed, but now most of them are working abroad in countries that aren’t suicidal.

John from CA
March 4, 2011 7:47 pm

John from CA says:
March 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm
. . .
I’ll bet they have to carry home wet cloths as well, imagine the Pounds for the dryer cycle.
You just can’t make this “stuff”up!!!

walt man
March 4, 2011 7:48 pm

The UK already has special Grid customers that get CHEAP electricity because they agree to be load shed first if problems happen:
“On 27th May 2008 at 1134–1136 am, the GB transmission system suffered the loss of some 1600MW of power infeed from Longannet and Sizewell B within 2 minutes. The system frequency fell to 48.8Hz, its lowest level for twenty years, and Low Frequency Demand Disconnection relays correctly operated to trip some 900MW of demand to secure the system.”
The talk by Holliday was about smart grid as others have said (you need to check the facts if using daily mail or telegraph as your sources!!!).
i.e. get cheaper electricity to wash clothes/dishes but only when the grid allows during low demand (some machines already allow users to utilise cheaper off peak electricity) All that is being suggested is that this process is automated using smart grid – is this so bad?

March 4, 2011 7:56 pm

alan says:
March 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm
onbe, I agree, this Telegraph “article” looks like a fake. I found nothing in the Telegraph data base that matched the title. The question in my mind now is can we trust posts here by Willis Eschenbach!?
What is supposedly a scan of the paper even looks suspicious to me. I am a resident of the US, so I have never seen a print version of the Telegraph, but the logo of the Telegraph is in Gothic lettering on their web site. The header of what is scanned is not in Gothic lettering . There is no reporter’s name attached to the article. The more I think about this, the more rotten it seems.

March 4, 2011 8:08 pm

The falacy of the “smart grid” is that folks don’t have “smart appliances” nor do they have “smart schedules”.
Increasingly people do have smart appliances (quite cheap to add in these days of fancy electronics) and it is sheer laziness which prevents some (some) rescheduling.
In France the power is cheaper in the evening. Not late at night, just after most workplaces have shut and people have cooked their dinner. That’s because Nuclear might as well run all the time (whereas gas, hydro, coal etc are turned off when demand drops). Supply tends to outrun demand at night in France, as a result.
A lot of French choose to run their dishwasher late to save money. They put their washing machine on hold, and it runs at night. They hang it in the morning. Some even chose to not heat their houses on the peak cost days because they know that (a properly insulated) home can go a day without heating. Some heat water overnight to use during the day. Big savings can be made with small changes of routine. (Cooking dinner is not a big issue – the French mostly use gas, because they like to cook well.)
Now I’m picking that most people on this list are for free markets and free enterprise. In which case they should be for differential pricing according to supply and demand. However, many people go all cry-baby when free markets don’t suit them. They want socialised services – electricity at one price day and night. They whinge if lack of supply causes peak prices to be too expensive.
But the issue of differential pricing is completely unrelated to the issue of insufficient supply. Things should be more expensive when demand is high or you get distortions in the incentives of suppliers and users.
The UK should build more electricity generation for the future. It’s madness to think that lack of supply will somehow cause demand to drop. (The same madness that thinks not building roads will decrease the amount people want to drive.)
At the same time, people who are too stupid or willful to use modern appliances to take advantage of cheap supply should be punished in their pockets. If they chose not to buy “smart” appliances, it is not the fault of the electricity suppliers or the grid.

March 4, 2011 8:12 pm

Jack Daniels and I are out on the porch looking at this here post and comments. We can’t make much sense of it. Seems Jack’s relatives watched folks do the same things back in the 1800’s and decide that it was just STOOPID. Some of ’em froze that winter, so we quit that shit and started drilling.

March 4, 2011 8:14 pm

eadler, alan et al
Search “electricity” here:
There it is on page 14 … log on for a one-day freebee and it is yours.
Here is the copy I “printed” to PDF. (Second post.)

March 4, 2011 8:19 pm

It does not exist online. Doesn’t anyone check before posting these things?
The closest thing I could find is,
National Grid chief says 2011 is ‘pivotal’ year for UK energy market (The Guardian, UK, March 1, 2001)

March 4, 2011 8:23 pm

alan says:
March 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm
onbe, I agree, this Telegraph “article” looks like a fake. I found nothing in the Telegraph data base that matched the title. The question in my mind now is can we trust posts here by Willis Eschenbach!?
I trust this post was made in good faith, because I am familiar with its author.

March 4, 2011 8:30 pm

I did locate a print edition of an inside page on the web, and it does look similar to in format to what Eschenbach scanned and posted. The header of the paper doesn’t have Telegraph in gothic on the inside page, and the stories are not attributed to specific reporters.
I still haven’t found a reference to the quote on the web.

March 4, 2011 8:32 pm

It was easy to find for you doubters. Go here:
Type “electricity” in the search window. Page 14.
Here is a screen capture I got:
Here is a PDF of same from their printing service.

Scottish Sceptic
March 4, 2011 8:32 pm

Willis Eschenbach: So your claim is that this all has nothing to do with the rolling blackouts that are impending for the UK? Or what? I don’t see the difference you’re pointing to. THE UK IS RUNNING OUT OF POWER.
I have a cunning scheme! We can build a power system of windmills tapping into that source of never ending rising thermals:
Rising hot air over Westminster & Holyrood , welsh assembly, etc.
And if that isn’t enough we shall just create a lot more assemblies & quangos to create a lot more hot air.
That’s the British way. If you ever have a problem, form another assembly, give the people another group of useless airbags to vote for and problem solved!

March 4, 2011 8:34 pm

Here in BC we’ll likely be in the same situation in the near future as the watermelons seem to be in charge. BC has huge hydroelectric power generation potential (all those mountains and gravitational potential energy), but the moonbat government has decided that no more dams will be built and we won’t have any nuclear power plants. Instead we will be using “renewable” power which means unreliable unsightly and noisy bird blenders (those Bald Eagles are eating far too many salmon) and “smart” power meters. The latter “innovation” is likely to drive me to install my own generator as I don’t like having an overly complex device controlling my house power nor do I want anyone to decide to limit how much current I can draw from the power grid.
In the 1950’s N. America and Europe had widely available very reliable electric supplies and it’s hard to believe that half a century later this excellent system would be dismantled for religious reasons. At least in the US there is a strong government tradition of separation of church and state so the watermelon lunatic cult is not likely to get very far.
From the standpoint of controlling medical costs, intermittent power has numerous benefits. Keeping a patient on a ventilator in an ICU is one of the highest costs/patient day in a hospital and loss of power for a few hours/day will free up all of those expensive ICU beds. Also, people on home oxygen from O2 concentrators are more likely to die when they’re without power as are people on home dialysis. All of this would add up to considerable savings for the British NHS.
The only positive aspect of this idiocy is that it will greatly decentralize electricity generation. I can afford to install my own generator running on natural gas but would prefer to not have yet another household machine to look after. Where I live has enough sun in the summer to produce my electrical needs if I covered my roof with solar panels and installed a large battery system to provide power at night; interesting from a technical point of view but I’d far prefer to buy my power from someone else. When that power supplier has undergone a bizarre religious conversion, then it’s time to take matters into one’s own hands.

Alexander Harvey
March 4, 2011 8:36 pm

To tea, or not to tea, that is the question.
Why save a planet if we can’t have a celebratory cuppa?
Smart grids and appliances rule. 😉

March 4, 2011 8:40 pm

Thanks for posting the PDF. Much appreciated.

March 4, 2011 8:43 pm

Re: , March 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm
Green Sand, thanks, that’s exactly what I was looking for. Unbelievable that they are really considering heading in that direction.

March 4, 2011 8:55 pm

Thanks. I used electricity and nothing came up.Then I used Holliday and sure enough
there was the article.

March 4, 2011 8:58 pm

“It does not exist online. Doesn’t anyone check before posting these things?”
Why do people think that if something isn’t online it doesn’t exist?
Anyone who knows much about Britain should have no difficulty believing that this kind of idiocy would happen there; if this was an article talking about building a hundred new nuclear plants, that would be an obvious fake, but two governments have now chosen to push ‘renewable’ power over new power plant construction which would probably cost a fraction of what they’re planning to spend on ‘renewable’.
Absent major changes, the lights will go out in a few years. Reality can’t be ignored forever.

March 4, 2011 9:18 pm

“Now I’m picking that most people on this list are for free markets and free enterprise. In which case they should be for differential pricing according to supply and demand.”
Yeah, and we could introduce haggling in supermarkets; everyone could argue with the person at the till until they agree on a price for each item that they’re buying.
The reason why we don’t want ‘differential pricing according to supply and demand’ is the same reason why we don’t haggle over every item at the supermarket checkout: it’s insanely, absurdly, stupidly inefficient. No-one in their right mind wants to have to check the current price of electricity before they put the kettle on because it’s a colossal waste of time.
Having a few different fees at different times of day makes some kind of sense, because it doesn’t require much more effort on the part of the users (‘power costs less at night so I’ll put the dryer on before I go to bed’). But dynamic price changes so no-one can use power without haggling over the price every single time? Insane.

Thomas L
March 4, 2011 9:21 pm

Jim Hodgen says: March 4, 2011 at 10:56 am
… a chap named Cromwell …
ABRIDGE, v.t. To shorten. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people to abridge their king, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. – Oliver Cromwell

Mark Twang
March 4, 2011 9:22 pm

‘If [people] chose not to buy “smart” appliances, it is not the fault of the electricity suppliers or the grid.’
People with limited funds and perfectly good “dumb” appliances should not be penalized because they can’t buy brand-new stuff at the drop of the word “green” by the likes of Al Gore.

Alexander Harvey
March 4, 2011 9:24 pm

For those that haven’t or can’t play the original recording of the interview on the Today programme the following is verbatim or very close:
The grid’s going to be a very different system in 2020 2030.
We keep thinking about we want it to be there and provide power when we need it.
It’s going to be a much smarter system then, were going to have to change our own behaviour and consume it when it’s available and available cheaply.
The telegraph report does put quotation marks around some paraphrasing which is a bit naughty or possibly just sloppy, but it largely the same statement.

March 4, 2011 9:30 pm

Clive says: March 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm
Thank you for the links. Here are a few more:
BBC’s Radio 4:
Where Holliday did indeed say what he has been quoted as saying… unfortunately, the clip ends right there, so additional context is unavailable…. however, the Royal Society of Engineers did record and post the entire speech and the QA afterwards here:
I’ve not listened to it yet, but anyone who wants to discuss what he said and meant should probably listen first.

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001)
March 4, 2011 9:35 pm

To all the doubters … First of all, perhaps it has not occurred to you that not all newspapers (least of all the U.K. Telegraph) put all their material online for all readers (at no cost).
This article did appear on page 14 of the March 2nd edition of the Telegraph e-paper – which suggests to me that it may well have been made available to paid-up digital subscribers only. If you scroll back through this thread to:

Clive says:
March 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

You’ll see how he succeeded in acquiring a pdf of the article which he indicated he has posted for your convenience at:
Furthermore, Google can be your friend. That’s how I found:
in which Holliday was speaking on BBC 4’s “Today” program (on March 1). Towards the end of the 2:45 interview (during which he had waxed euphorically over all the jobs that would be created), Holliday can be heard saying (exactly as quoted in the article):
“The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030. We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it. It is going to be much smarter than that.
“We are going to have to change our own behaviour and consume it when it’s available and available cheaply”.
You’re welcome – and your gracious apologies will now be accepted, I’m sure.

kbray in california
March 4, 2011 9:41 pm

The Telegraph article refers to an interview on March 1, 2011 on BBC 4 by Holliday.
See time stamp 0846 below that mentions the Holliday interview…
or follow the link….
Today Weekdays 6-9am and Saturdays 7-9am
BBC News Today
Radio 4 Home
The World at One PM
The World Tonight
Broadcasting House
BBC News
Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Tuesday, 1 March 2011
Today: Tuesday 1st March
The Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, has repeated his determination to cling onto power, declaring that his people love him. Also on the programme, new claims that paranormal activity is nothing more than our minds playing tricks.
To speed up the loading time for this running order, we have replaced the audio with links. To hear the reports, interviews and discussions, just click on the links.
Get in touch via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.0615
Business news with Adam Shaw.
In the second of our series bringing ministers face-to-face with those affected by the cuts, our chief political correspondent Norman Smith took the Universities minister David Willetts to a sixth form college in East London to examine the impact of spending reductions on the aspirations of young people.
The UK is about to embark on a huge process of change in the way it produces, transports and uses energy. Steve Holliday, chief executive of National Grid, explains how 2011 is the crucial decision point for investment decisions that will have huge long-term implications for the UK’s energy policies.
Thousands of Libyan refugees have fled to Egypt, Tunisia and Niger during the recent unrest. Baroness Amos, head of the UN’s Office of the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, outlines her call for Libya’s neighbouring countries to allow the passage of refugees across their borders.
Most information is available to you if you take the time to look for it… kbray.

kbray in california
March 4, 2011 10:02 pm

WOW !!
I feel like an instant member of:
“The Willis Eschenbach Online Defense League”
Willis, you have automatically generated a loyal group of supporters who will gladly fight for you and defend you. It’s an intuitive thing from the heart. I love your work. kbray.

Mark Twang
March 4, 2011 10:10 pm

Personally I find it hard to believe that anyone could believe that this was faked. It’s exactly the kind of thing that the moralizing sustainability wizards spout all the time.

March 4, 2011 10:14 pm

MarkG says:
March 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm
“…Yeah, and we could introduce haggling in supermarkets; everyone could argue with the person at the till until they agree on a price for each item that they’re buying…”
Why not? I got a good pair of pants and a shirt for an empty bottle of scotch in Columbo Sri Lanka.

March 4, 2011 10:17 pm

It is not only the U.K. ….in Belgium a warning is issued for overconsumption and the trouble that gives to the old grid-system….
Same in Spain……..
The problem is that the whole grid is not made for such a grow in consumers and consumption…..
tie that together with wrong ( or none at all..) investements…and voila :

March 4, 2011 10:18 pm

Hi Willis.
I always enjoyed your articles but have spent a frustrating hour trying to find the link to the story as many other readers have.
Thanks to Clive I have the link but finding it is still a real pain!
Clive says:
March 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm
It was easy to find for you doubters. Go here:
Type “electricity” in the search window. Page 14.
Here is a screen capture I got:
Here is a PDF of same from their printing service.
In future please link the page or website to remove any doubts about authenticity, even with the above links I am still puzzled by no author or an alarm or outrage in the UK to this story?
It smacks of jackboot to the throat authoritarianism right out of George Oswell’s novel 1984. I swear if scared the hell out of me, then totally pissed me off, is there no limit to this green madness?

March 4, 2011 10:27 pm

Thanks everyone for all the information.When I originally saw the article -I could not find anything on this. All I wanted was a source. With hoaxes it isn’t the outrageous ones that work- it is the believable ones. It isn’t just a lack of wind that shuts down wind power.High winds shut them down.Ice storms tear em up. And then according to the article the plan would be to use overhead cabling –LOL. Doesn’t sound like a smartgrid at all. Sounds more like a lot of needless pain and misery for many folks.

March 4, 2011 10:28 pm

Actually, we do “haggle over every item at the supermarket”.
There are supermarkets here that I don’t go into on a bet–poor quality it the most common reason, high price a close second. I buy some items at one store, pthjer items at another. Some things I do without.

March 4, 2011 10:33 pm

To the person who wished for the 2d Amendment: Our Constitution merely affirms our right to bear arms, and restrains gov’t from infringing upon it (albeit poorly). The right to self defense is a “natural or God-given right”, and we brought the concept with us from England.

Thomas L
March 4, 2011 10:39 pm

There is still coal at Newcastle, is there not? And many other places, should one choose to look. Put some miners back to work, and ditch the current batch of [snip] and even if the sun sets, the lights must go on.
For a modest proposal, Irish babies have quite a bit of tallow, and potatoes can be distilled into a fine fuel, saving it for the electric cars that would otherwise drain power.