Guest post by Mike Jonas
From the UK’s BBC comes this news item:
Under the obligatory photo of chimneys spewing steam, is a totally uncritical article on the final report from an eight-month inquiry by the UK’s House of Lords into the EU power sector.
The report accuses the EU of having a muddled energy policy, but the horribly disturbing aspect of this report is that their lordships are the ones that are muddled. For example, they say that a muddled Brussels energy policy is putting off big investors. Well, they really got that wrong. Brussels’ policy is very clear, and is specifically designed to put off big investors.
The report says that a trillion euros will need to be spent on infrastructure for low carbon, interconnected and innovative energy systems. Their lordships do not seem to have noticed that the EU is already equipped with a complete energy infrastructure.
All they need are adequate efficient power stations to feed it. Germany has at last recognised this, and is building coal-fired power stations again. Mind you, that wasn’t the result of clear thinking, it resulted from a knee-jerk reaction to Fukushima including the muddled idea that coal is “cleaner” than nuclear.
Their lordships said “This should be a great time to invest in long-term assets such as energy, but clear policy is needed in order to release it” and then go on to promote the most muddled policy possible. Reacting to the collapse of the ETS “carbon” price, they advocate taking steps to increase it. How muddled can you get? The collapse of the carbon price will make it more attractive for big investors to build the coal-fired power stations that the EU so desperately needs. In fact, removal of the ETS altogether would provide even more encouragement, as it would deliver certainty that there would not be penalties on CO2 emissions. So now Germany will reap the benefits of increasing coal power, while the UK and the rest of Europe sink further behind.
According to their lordships, a target for the proportion of renewables in the energy mix up to 2030 is rapidly required. Have they not noticed that the energy shambles in the UK and Europe (and Australia too for that matter) is caused by the push into renewables? If you go to the coast of Norfolk, for example, and look out over the North Sea, there are massive windfarms stretching as far as the eye can see. A breath-taking amount of money has been wasted on ugly inefficient intermittent grid-stressing expensive wind energy. Now their lordships are bemoaning the fact that even more breath-taking amounts of money will be needed to be spent on the same mistakes in future. That is indeed muddled thinking. If something is causing a problem, the solution is to do something else, not to do more of the same. Blind Freddie can see that, why can’t their lordships?
Please, please, all you UK citizens and residents that read WUWT, write to the members of your houses of parliament, phone them, pester them, do whatever it takes to un-muddle their thinking for them. Tell them the UK is rapidly nearing an energy tipping-point (they should understand that bit) after which the country descends irretrievably into frosty darkness.
PS. Maybe the real cause of all this is the replacement of hereditary peers by party political hacks. Ordinary people, regardless of who their parents are, can sometimes see things more clearly than those who have been cocooned in politics all their lives.