Britain’s Green Energy Fiasco Deepens

From The GWPF and Dr. Benny Peiser

Expensive Green Energy A ‘Bad Gamble’ As Gas Price Drops

Families face paying up to £40 extra each year for wind and solar farms to meet climate change targets after the government revised its energy price forecasts. The subsidy required for each unit of renewable electricity will rise after the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) conceded that gas was much cheaper than it had predicted. A glut of gas on the world market means gas-fired power stations have become cheaper to run, making wind and solar farms comparatively even more expensive. –Tim Webb & Ben Webster, The Times, 3 October 2014

green_money_windmills

Peter Atherton, energy analyst at Liberum Capital, said that green energy was “always a hell of a gamble and now looks like an increasingly bad gamble”. “Year after year [energy secretary] Ed Davey has been banging on that one of the core reasons [for backing green energy] is to protect ourselves against inevitably high and volatile fossil fuel prices. Now their own forecasts are saying fossil fuel prices are going to be very affordable,” he said. –Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 3 October 2014

The impact of rising household energy bills will be greatly reduced by climate change policies which could save consumers around £166 by 2020, according to the energy and climate secretary, Ed Davey. “Global gas price hikes are squeezing households. They are beyond any government’s control. The analysis shows that our strategy of shifting to alternatives like renewables and of being smarter with how we use energy is helping those who need it most to save money on their bills,” he said. –John Vidal, The Guardian, 27 March 2013

In a bizarre statement, energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne told the House of Commons that his [green energy] policies mean consumers will actually be better off. Dr Benny Peiser, of the Global Warming Foundation, said Mr Huhne’s reassurances were ‘political spin’. Government policy is based on an assumption that gas prices will continue to rise, but Dr Peiser said the price could fall. He said: ‘Prices are likely to come down very significantly.’ –Sean Poulter, Daily Mail 24 November 2011

By 2020, British Energy & Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne routinely insists, families and businesses in the United Kingdom will be better off – despite his plan to shift the country towards expensive renewable energy. His claim is based on the assumption that the price of fossil fuels can only go up as we “run out” of oil and gas supplies. As a result, energy prices will inevitably shoot into the stratosphere, making very costly renewables competitive in the future. I am afraid Huhne’s assumptions are misguided. In reality, we are in the middle of a global natural gas revolution. Indeed, gas prices have dropped by half in the United States in the last two years as a result of a glut in cheap shale gas. –Benny Peiser, Public Service Europe, 19 January 2012

As we look at UK energy policy now, DECC has had the country make a massive financial gamble on the back of a prediction that was wholly unfounded and which has been obviously so for many years. We now learn that DECC has also distributed this astonishing wave of public money in a manner that can only be described as monstrously incompetent, and which many will assume to be monstrously corrupt.
Any reasonable person would close down DECC right now and lay off all the environmentalists who staff it. –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 3 October 2014

Global warming is a ‘public health emergency’ that will cause thousands of deaths worldwide, a leading medical journal warns. The BMJ’s editor Dr Fiona Godlee calls on the World Health Organisation to declare the issue a public health emergency – putting it on a par with the current ebola outbreak in West Africa. Dr Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum accused the BMJ report of being needlessly alarmist. ‘The World Health Organisation would become a global laughing stock if they were to follow the ridiculously over-the-top demands of a green alarmist editor. There is a real disconnect between what they are saying and the reality.’ –Sophie Borland and Ben Spencer, Daily Mail, 2 October 2014

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128 thoughts on “Britain’s Green Energy Fiasco Deepens

    • I hear some of the wood fired power stations in the UK will run on wood chips imported from the USA. One is already I think, can’t recall.

      • Absolutely right. As part of the UK’s slow motion train crash of a Green energy policy, one unit of the Drax station has already been converted. The stupidity of one of Europe’s largest stations burning imported wood pellets is beyond belief, but fortunately it now looks as though they may not follow through with the other units, as the subsidy structure has changed.

      • I suspect that the ‘energy density’ of wood chips is a fraction of that of coal, thus making burning wood much more polluting than coal and producing much more CO2 in the process. This is stupid beyond belief.

      • Yes, these plant investment announcements are springing up all over in the U.S. and most say they are for exports.

      • No: apart from water content wood is a carbohydrate largely so it actually has less CO2 per unit energy than coal when burnt. NOTHING is worse than coal :-) If CO2 is bad. Which it probably isn’t.

      • no matter what the green energy loonies tell us,most of the uk biomass plants currently run on gas,and i suspect in the near future it will be the only viable financial option when the subsidies are cut.

      • Absolutely right. They’re harvesting wood in North Carolina and other places (you can actually look at the Drax website and they’ll tell you) to ship to Drax. I live in the southeastern (Tidewater/Chesapeake Bay) area of Virginia, and they’ve already constructed a storage/transport facility on the Elizabeth River (you can look it up) to transport the wood pellets to the UK.

      • Leo Smith October 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm, good comment, but I must respectfully disagree regarding coal being the worst. Cement is the worst, because you release CO2 when you burn coal to cook the limestone to make cement, but the cooked limestone (calcium carbonate) also releases CO2. A double whammy, so to speak. This accounts for the fact that the process of making cement accounts for roughly 5% of worldwide man-made CO2 emissions all by itself.

        I agree with you that the available evidence suggests that the current level of CO2 is probably still too low,

      • The biggest one at Ferrybridge has been expensively converted and burns almost exclusively imported wood chips.
        Censorship is not just limited to the BBC. In the UK both the independent and the Guardian even stop comments from those who are not global warming disciples. The establishment allows groups like Greenpeace which use overtly terrorist tactics in their anti climate change activities to have charitable status but remove it from the opposition for being commercial when both Greenpeace and FOE have commercial interests in renewable energy.

      • jose lori October 3, 2014 at 9:30 am

        Yes, but it’s RENEWABLE. Ergo clean by definition, even if it is not. In the same way, EcoFascists laud turbines despite the appalling heavy metal pollution in their production, the appalling concrete pollution they leave behind, and the slaughter of wildlife they bring about.

      • Wood-fired boilers burn less efficiently than coal, they have much higher carbon monoxide emissions. Many wood-fired boilers in the US add 10-20% heat input in TDF (tires) to increase the efficiency of the unit and reduce the carbon monoxide emissions. Maybe we can ship the Brits some old tires along with the wood pellets.

      • Leo Smith’s comment piqued my interest as well. As a backpacker, you get to know calories per unit weight. The rule is that fats and oils, including vegetable oil, lard, candle wax, kerosene, gasoline, fuel oil are ~9Kcal/g. Pure carbs such as crackers, dry rice, sugar, dry pasta, dry cold cereal, potato flakes, cotton, and dry wood are ~4Kcal/g. On this scale bituminous coal would also be ~4Kcal/gr and anthracite would be about ~6Kcal/g.

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fuels-higher-calorific-values-d_169.html

        Of course, more CO2 is produced per pound of coal than pound of carb.
        Carbs C6H12O6 + 6O2 –> 6H2O + 6CO2 Combustion produces 6 CO2 per 180g fuel
        Coal C + O2 –> CO2 Combustion produces 1 CO2 per 12g fuel

        That means somewhere on the order of 2 and a half times as much CO2 is produced per unit of bituminous coal heat as for carb heat.

    • The Lefties don’t seem to understand spontaneous combustion.
      And I am not referring to the idiots who spontaneous explode due to their formation of a massive black hole of dumbness.

      • Yes they need to run perforated culvert pipes through the piles to vent out the hot air produced by decay, if they don’t vent the heat, the piles will just keep on spontaneously combusting periodically and pouring on water will just increase the frequency.

  1. Something I’ve been wondering recently with prices dropping for gas is to wonder how competitive it would be to build small scale gas generation plants, big enough to power say a very large Condominium building. Here in Ontario we are seeing the same thing as Britain with electric prices rising.

    Actually, I’ve been wondering for some time why really big users have not built their own plants. Over thirty years ago Hydro tried to stick it to big consumers like the Auto sector, but when they started looking into the logistics of building their own plants, Hydro backed down and adjusted their rates.

    You would think with cheap gas a mega-auto plant would save money, and if they built with a surplus in mind, they could even sell power to the grid as well.

    • There are a number of options to do this, like using a fuel cell or a microturbine to generate power and then use the exhaust (yes, even fuel cells have hot exhaust) for heat, very efficient.

    • This has a lot to do with laws and jurisdictions. In some places energy is a monopoly, state owned or a very close knit group that prevents this from happening.

    • Under the system in the UK, that would make you an electricity generator, subject to all the regulations and taxes that the big boys are.

      • There’s a commercial tomato growing operation in the UK that heats its greenhouses using waste heat from a local energy generating business.

    • Denmark has a lot of waste burning CHP plants for municipal housing. Greens wanted to close em cos they couldn’t be throttled back to make way for wind.

    • To peter:

      To get the maximum benefit of gas turbines you need to run a combined cycle plant, and ideally you need to have something useful to do with the waste heat (like heat the buildings). I think with all that going current CCGT technology can reach 70% thermal efficiency. You also need qualified staff to run the thing, so add that into the cost side.

      In 1993 Yale University (New Haven, CT) after discussing it for years installed a 16 megawatt CCGT power plant for the main campus. Yale already had their own electric distribution grid and used steam to heat many of their buildings. So it was a relatively simple matter to gut an existing heating plant and drop in the CCGT system. The waste heat is turned into steam and distributed through the steam tunnels. They talked about using the waste heat during the summer to run a gas absorption process to produce cooling and pipe chilled water around to provide A/C, but I don’t know whether they actually implemented that idea, as this got done the year after I left.

      A few years later they put in a second 10 megawatt unit for the medical school campus. This was all pre-fracking, so I suspect they have been very happy with their fuel costs the past few years.

      CCGTs don’t do well when run as peaking plants, so if you don’t have a guaranteed use for the full capacity you need to run a single cycle turbine and give up some efficiency.

      I don’t know what would be considered a “very large condominium” building, but I’m thinking the complexity, maintenance and regulatory burdens put this out of reach for strictly residential complexes. Large industrial and university campuses seem a much better fit. On a much smaller scale (single residence), a number of companies make natural gas whole-house generators, but these are not rated for continuous use.

      In general, economy of scale means it will be better to pay a power company a metered rate for usage, and let them build a really big CCGT plant, balanced with peaking capacity to smooth out demand variations rather than run your own. But obviously this depends enormously on local conditions.

      As I said, Yale spent years looking into all the trade-offs before taking the plunge.

    • You can actually buy fuel cells which burn natural gas very efficiently. The cost of one to run a typical household is about $55,000 US. The government gives a subsidy for about 1/3 the cost. BE takes about 15 years as I recall. Efficiency is higher if you use the residual heat from the fuel cell to heat your home as well.

      It might be possible to get a larger version for your condo community.

    • Also here in Ontario, I have a neighbour who fitted his house with an array of wind and solar devices to generate 12v, and fitted his house with 12v lighting and appliances. Apparently gets by in the summer off the grid fairly nicely. For the Canadian winters, he demonstrated that strategy sometimes outweighs technology – he married a woman with relatives in Southern California. Being retired, he packs up the travel trailer and heads to SoCal… About 40 years ago, a fellow in Burlington Ontario buried several hundred feet of copper pipe in his yard below the frost line and filled it with refrigerant. Ran one of the first heat pumps to heat his house in the winter – it worked – and did not need supplementary heat during the winter.

    • Kind of sad really, a Canadian company can jump the border and come to Michigan and buy electricity made in Ontario cheaper in Michigan than they can at home. I wonder if Onario law wouldn’t impose some taxes for not having some percentage of “renewable energy” produced along side the real energy.
      Also I knew a guy who was a power-station operator for a paper-mill, basically the cost savings for generating their own power was consumed by the lease on the sub-station connection to the grid for backup power, they only came out ahead because of a tax credit for using alternative fuel, but they had to mix a bit of diesel into the ligin to get the credit.

  2. Twelve years ago in 2002 we published the following statements that have proved true to date:

    “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

    “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

    http://www.apegga.org/Members/Publications/peggs/WEB11_02/kyoto_pt.htm
    [PEGG debate, reprinted at their request by several professional journals, the Globe and Mail and la Presse in translation, by Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and Allan MacRae]

    Regards to all, Allan

  3. I can hear the canard now “but it is only…….!!!”

    Yes, a pinch here, a poke there, and shortly, people are out of discretionary funds. What made the first world the first world was not the rich having discretionary funds, it was the middle class. And policies like these are what is unmaking it.

  4. The keys to saving the UK from green energy bankruptcy are not held in the DECC.
    They are held in the Treasury.

    Frankly, the Department of Energy and Climate Change needs to be scrapped so as a new broom can recruit competent energy experts to whichever Department picks up the slack..

      • Really? The Labour Climate Change Act that started all this stupidity was only voted against by 3 Tories, so they are just as much to blame. Call Me Dave promised to lead the greenest government ever to please his soppy tree-hugging wife – probably one of the reasons he won the election but no majority. And I don’t believe he promised to end all of this nonsense in his conference speech this week.

      • Gerry Lightfoot – Don’t forget that Camoron’s father-in-law is hoovering up wind farm subsidies to the tune of (at the last count) c. £1000 per day. So it’s not just to please ‘er indoors but to keep on the right side of Sir Reginald Sheffield, 8th Baronet as well.

        And to think that some people believed that things might have improved once Chris Huhne, convicted crook and proven liar, was hauled off to the Scrubs. How naive can you get?

  5. “The BMJ’s editor Dr Fiona Godlee calls on the World Health Organization to declare the issue a public health emergency – putting it on a par with the current ebola outbreak in West Africa.”

    This Dr.Godlee is out of her mind. Malaria alone kills 500,000 Africans every year, most of them are children. Ebola isn’t in the same league and neither is global warming.

    This person has made the BMJ a laughing stock, she must resign. Now.

  6. Has anyone got a time series graph of the number of Brits killed from cold each winter including the time spanned by flawed climate policies condoned by the Royals and English law? It would be interesting to overlay the anomaly of that over the 18 years, 11 months pause graph as an indicator of policy efficiency.

    • Over time not much to suggest there is high impact but 12/13 did spike upwards during a comparatively cold spell and when there was a low attribution to death involving flu like symptoms.

      1950 onwards.
      http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health2/excess-winter-mortality-in-england-and-wales/2012-13–provisional–and-2011-12–final-/stb-ewm-12-13.html#tab-EWM-trends-in-England-and-Wales-

      12/13 winter
      http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health2/excess-winter-mortality-in-england-and-wales/2012-13–provisional–and-2011-12–final-/stb-ewm-12-13.html#tab-EWM-and-temperature

      At the time there were reports of people struggling to handle the costs of heating bills. Talk of choosing between food and heat was common.

      Mick.

      • So the rate of “excessive winter mortality” continues unimpeded at a rather fixed rate. That alone is a policy failure.

      • dp
        Whilst agreeing that the policy needs attention, we are not – yet – able to review the life choices of the deceased, compare with a peer group that did not figure in these terrible mortality statistics.
        Maybe nothing to see.
        Maybe there is, also.
        People – adults, with votes, etc., (ref the USA 2008/2012) – must take the consequences of their actions.
        This – from (now defunct) Filthy Jokes – may cover my points:

        Neal Boortz is a Texan, a lawyer, a Texas AGGIE (Texas A&M), and now a nationally syndicated talk show host from Atlanta. His commencement address to the graduates of a recent [2007-2011 ish, I guess] A&M class.
        It is lengthy, but please read it all. Thanks.

        QUOTE
        “I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It’s about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you’ll have enough smoke blown up your bloomers today. And you can bet your tassels I’m not here to impress the faculty and administration. You may not like much of what I have to say, and that’s fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.

        This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You’ve heard the old saying that those who can – do. Those who can’t – teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

        By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn’t mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot’s license many years ago, he said, ‘Here, this is your ticket to learn.’ The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.

        Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all you’re a compassionate and caring person, aren’t you now? Well, isn’t that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in.

        Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast … including your own assessment of just how much you really know.

        So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. then, compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear “I feel.” From the Right you will hear “I think.” From the Liberals you will hear references to groups — The Blacks, the Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

        That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think — and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual. Liberals feel that their favored groups have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives and Libertarians, I among them I might add, think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

        In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.

        If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven’t developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

        Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You’re going to actually get a full time job! You’re also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn’t going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn’t want to share in your effort, but in your earnings.

        Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a strange and diverse group of people; an agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child; an agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist, but who just can’t manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

        Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills, but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million- dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent’s for their personal enrichment and benefit.

        That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have A power that no individual has, or will have. This agent has the legal power to use force, deadly force to accomplish its goals. You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.

        Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I’m sorry, there just isn’t any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can’t decrease its share of your income. That power rests with him, not you. So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes, … a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless …. somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

        Now let’s address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.

        First is that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity! You have been taught that the real value of any group of people – be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever – is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual’s abilities or character, but on a person’s identity and status as a member of a group. Yes, it’s that liberal group identity thing again.

        Within the great diversity movement group identification – be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status – means more than the individual’s integrity, character or other qualifications.

        Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. From this day on every single time you hear the word “diversity” you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess. We also need to address this thing you seem to have about “rights.” We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called “rights” in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.

        You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right – the right to a Beemer for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

        Forget it. Forget those rights! I’ll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to the results of 60% -75% of your labor. I’ll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.

        You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn’t she? But you cannot receive healthcare unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time – his life – to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that’s his choice. You have no “right” to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person’s life or to any portion thereof.

        You may also think you have some “right” to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would scream if some urban outdoorsmen (that would be “homeless person” for those of you who don’t want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money. The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs – the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn’t cost anyone else either property or time. It’s their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

        By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase “less fortunate” a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you’ll understand why.

        To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is “less fortunate” is to imply that a successful person – one with a job, a home and a future – is in that position because he or she was “fortunate.” The dictionary says that fortunate means “having derived good from an unexpected place.” There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street.

        If the Liberal Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of fortune” or “luck,” then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit. This “success equals luck” idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Former Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as “people who have won life’s lottery.” He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky. It’s not luck, my friends. It’s choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled “The Greatest Secret in the World.” The lesson? Very simple: “Use wisely your power of choice.”

        That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He’s there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other – victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, “Look! He did this to me!” than it is to look into a mirror and say, “You S. O. B.! You did this to me!”

        The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.

        Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.

        Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block – some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the rich.

        The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

        Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.

        Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: “The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it. The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more “fair.”

        You have heard, no doubt, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government’s own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor … there’s an explanation — a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.

        Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor. So, you need to know that under our government’s definition of “poor” you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and a million dollars in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as “living in poverty.” Now there’s something you haven’t seen on the evening news.

        How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is “living in poverty,” the government measures one thing — just one thing. Income. It doesn’t matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are ‘living in poverty.”

        This isn’t exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it? Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government’s own statistics show that people who are said to be “living in poverty” spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. Just remember all this the next time Charles Gibson tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.

        Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of “poor” is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.

        I’m about to be stoned by the faculty here. They’ve already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That’s OK, though. I still have my Ph. D. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It’s a trap. Think about it – the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you’ll be unable to deal with life, or the truth So, get over it.

        Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.

        * You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again.

        * When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.

        * Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the country. If someone can’t deal honestly with you, send them packing.

        * Don’t bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it — to take their money by force for your own needs — then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.

        * Don’t look in other people’s pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What you earn is yours Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the hell alone.

        * Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don’t see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.

        * Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.
        * Finally (and aren’t you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,
        “1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
        2. Use wisely your power of choice.
        3. Go the extra mile … drive home in the dark.
        Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can. Now, if you have any idea at all what’s good for you, you will get the hell out of here and never come back.
        Class dismissed”

        END QUOTE

        Long – but worth reading, I trust.
        Auto

  7. Cook, Mann, Lewandoski et al are looking for a communications “magic bullet” to convince the public that bad science makes for good policy. Their latest foray is the hashtag #climatedoorstep. To quote Doug Fischer editor of The Daily Climate and one of the founders of Climate at Your Doorstep “the denier community is less active on social media than they are on the comment sections of news stories and blogs”!!
    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140930/scientists-explain-climate-your-doorstep-new-online-hub
    Join http://www.twitter.com and http://www.facebook.co. Follow this hashtag, as well as my counterhashtag #climatedoormats. It is highly effective and even at times fun. Get active on social media. They believe it is a backwater where they can spread their lies. Don’t let them. I’m @gtmgq on twitter, screen name Windy.

  8. Energy policy in the UK is an utter disaster. I was convinced that when the criminal Huhne went to jail there was no way the current coalition government could find anyone as incompetent to run the DECC. I was wrong. The current incumbent, Ed Davey, is completely delusional and seemingly oblivious to the real world.

    But alas I do agree with the BMJ’s editor Dr Fiona Godlee that global warming is a disaster and danger to public health but not for the same reasons as her. The real disaster is that Davey and his ilk are making electricity un-affordable and the threat to public health from frozen pensioners is a predictable disaster witing to happen.

    For none UK readers who haven’t had the pleasure of Chris Huhne.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27350050

  9. I pity your Britons.

    Guardian – 26 November 2013
    Excess winter deaths up 29%
    In the past year, the Office for National Statistics estimates that 31,000 excess deaths were due to winter conditions.
    Like other European countries, more people die in the UK in winter than in summer – but how many more? Each year since 1950, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has looked at excess winter mortality, which parts of the country have the highest numbers, how old the individuals were and what the average winter temperature was.
    http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/nov/26/excess-winter-deaths-up-29

      • Jimbo, that’s very kind of you. On the other hand, M. Mann is American. Through my tears therefore, I reserve a modicum of pity for your good selves.

      • Jimbo, I always thought you were British – evidence based on time each one of your helpful posts – often backed up by excellent links – features on a thread. Like many regulars, our obsession to fight our sceptic corner means we must respond to WUWT news at ‘stupid o’clock in the morning’. I’m going back to bed now – even though it’s 11:20am here in the UK!

      • Jimbo, I’ve always figured you for a Brit too. I love WUWT. Here there is the whole world of people. (Me Mum’s a Brit but I’m a Yank.)
        PS. Thanks, Jimbo, for all you do here. I have learned much from you.

  10. The recent DECC report on wood biomass concluded that it has a larger carbon footprint than fossil fuels. Despite this, coal fired power stations (including the largest coal fired plant in the UK) are receiving millions of pounds in subsidies to switch from coal to wood chip,which is mostly imported from the USA. So we are not only paying even more for our electricity we are actually paying to INCREASE our carbon emissions!
    Now that is dysfunctional government.

    • Here’s what you will be told:
      Trees do regrow. Coal does not (in the time scale of CAGW). So trees across the Atlantic will be taking in CO2 while it is produced in Britain. A global problem requires a global solution.

      Where I live hydro-power via precipitation and dams is not, repeat not, renewable. The reason is that if it were so acknowledged then some places, such as Washington State, would have much green energy and no incentive to go for wind and solar. Thus, no subsidies and no transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich.

      I haven’t followed the wood chip money but I suppose the growers, brokers, and shippers have fatter wallets than the coal producers.

      The other issue is guilt. You are supposed to feel guilty about your manner of living and thus feel better about paying for green initiatives. The greens feel good just for making you feel guilty, so they won’t need to sacrifice. Personal jets, yachts, and $100,000 subsidized green autos – fine for them, not for you.

      • I’ve often wondered what the ratio of captured/restored truly is. Clearly, not all carbon in living matter outgases to CO2 when it dies and decomposes. After all, isn’t that supposed to be how we get fossil fuels in the first place?

    • From your linked article:

      The refurbishment includes retooling the 110-megawatt coal-fired plant, adding solvent-based processors to strip away carbon dioxide, and then piping the CO2 to a nearby oil field where Cenovus Energy Inc. will use the gas in its enhanced-oil-recovery project. Most of the CO2 is expected to remain trapped in the oil-bearing structures.

      First, 110 megawatts is a small power plant. Second, this depends on having a “nearby” oil field where you can pipe the CO2 for use in enhanced oil recovery. Technically, I don’t see this scaling into an affordable and effective CO2 reduction strategy. Politically, I suspect you are exactly right about Greens not accepting this because (a) using it effectively forces more oil production, and (b) I really can’t see them signing on to “… CO2 is expected to remain trapped …”. We could say the same thing about the “missing” heat — it is expected to remain trapped in the deep ocean, and I doubt we would get any takers from the AGW camp.

      And finally Gaia knows, maybe even the Koch brothers will profit from it — and we can’t have that.

      • Furthermore, “stripping” the exhaust of CO2 requires 50% of the energy output of a coal power plant. This just serves to double the demand in coal.

  11. @spen: Yes, how environmentally friendly is that? We here in the Peoples Democratic Republic of the European Union, or if you like the Union of European Socialist Republics, with our EU Commissars pontificating upon how we should all live our lives, they decide we should burn biomass to save carbo, by chopping down squillions of trees in the US, mulching hem (all using fossil fuels of course), then transporting 1000s of miles across the Atlantic Ocean to the UESR, then burn it in power plants releasing lots of carbon back into the atmosphere to reduce our carbon footprint. Sure was a genius who came up with that one!

  12. It was Jimmy Carter that beat the drum for nuclear power with no mention of the possibility of high costs, cost overruns, or uncontrolled accidents, or revised estimates for waste storage costs either to the rate payers or the taxpayers. In the case of wind power, who pays for the unspoken cost overruns of repairs, replacement, and deviations from performance promise? And is anyone factoring the cost impacts on the grid or is that a step-wise series of admissions later?

    • Carter did as much to harm nuclear power as anyone. He prohibited recycling used fuel rods, an order that still stands. He also shut down all development of a breeder reactor, something France has used for years.

  13. Does the U.S.A. Get A carbon credit for exporting wood chips.
    Should the United Kingdom get a demerit for importing them.
    OH! My head hurts.

  14. “monstrously incompetent”

    The larger a government or organization and the more money available to spend, the more incompetent they become. It’s just a basic law of large organizations and human nature.

    But when you throw in zeolots like envornmentalists or other types of zeolots then you move into “monstrously incompetent” territory.

  15. UK Energy Policy would be a joke if it wasn’t a tragedy . While it was in Department for Trade and Industry the voice of economic reason still occasionally got a hearing, but when Gordon Brown invented DECC and put Ed Miliband in charge, “saving the planet” became more important than keeping the lights on, industry working and the bills in check. So Minibrain let a Greenpsss lawyer draft the Energy Act that not only put into statute the anti-coal policies that the Labour party continued unchanged after 1997, but also ensured that, by requiring anyone considering investing in replacing 50 year old kit with state-of-the-art coal-fired generating units to also install ‘carbon capture and storage’ technology (which handily brings additional costs which probably outweigh what the tested firing technology would have saved), no new capacity would be added. Little Ed’s good work has been continued by the two Lib-Dem secretaries of State who have followed him in the coalition years. They, of course, have added the carbon levy that will make it impossible for an operating coal-fired station to make a profit after 2018. Against this background, the wonder is that any operator other than Drax is investing to keep operating beyond that date – in fact, only today the largest coal-fired plant in Scotland has indicated that it probably won’t. The result will be UK dependent on imported gas for any system resilience before the end of this decade. Of course, that’s what the OG industry wanted all along, so I shall not be weeping with them if their anticipated bumper profits are hit by lower gas prices. But taking all in all, UK policy has been constructed on the cracked pillars of unreliable models which have produced the AGW lie on the left and spivs’ market forecasts on the right. And it’s UK taxpayers, who are already paying billions to subsidise inefficient wind and solar “renewables”, who will pay the price in even higher prices and increasingly insecure, unreliable energy supplies as those pillars collapse.

    • The funny part is that many Labourites simultaneously whine that ‘Evil Thatcher closed all the coal mines’ and that coal is evil and we must stop burning it because Global Climate Warming Change.

      • Patrick:

        The UK coal industry was modernised and mechanised in the decades following WW2. We changed it from an inefficient death trap into an efficient organisation which conducted the safest mining in the world. During this process mines were closed as a result of exhaustion and because only the efficient, mechanised mines were needed.

        Then the Thatcher government came to power.
        Thatcher implemented the Ridley Plan that fulfilled her policy of closing the UK coal industry.

        I explained the Ridley Plan, Thatcher’s reason for it, and its implementation on WUWT here.

        Richard

  16. But think about the jobs!

    Oh wait, paying more and getting less doesn’t lead to more employment? Huh.

    • The current ratio is that every green tax payer susidised non-job destroys 3.4 real jobs that produce something useful, generate tax income and can maybe be exported. For example Jaguar – excellent company making cars that are in demand, but happens to be owned by the Indian company Tata. How long before expensive energy makes you consider making castings in India? Then complete engines. Drivetrain components. Body stampings. And then, well why not the whole car? Goodbye lots of direct jobs and those in smaller suppliers and servicing companies – no cleaners needed for an empty derelict factory.

  17. “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    W.B Yeats

    For which, many thanks, the present situation described perfectly. The beliefs of the Uber-greens are being demolished by reality in ever-increasing numbers.

  18. If one of the key reasons for burdening their economy with green energy was rising fossil fuel prices, why didn’t these idiots just invest in more fossil fuel production? Their logic falls apart at the lightest application of the brain.

  19. The GWPF is a fossil fuel lobby organisation which was recently instructed by the Charity Commission to stop using its charity status for political campaigning.

    Renewables are expanding worldwide. Some countries (eg Portugal, Scotland) are producing up to half their electricity from renewables.

    Yes it will cost money to develop renewables – just as it does for every other form of energy.

    Perhaps those who spend so much time attacking renewables on cost might like to look at nuclear. UK taxpayers face a bill of around £70 billion to decommission the Magnox reactors. That’s £70 billion to take down power stations no longer producing any power.

    • Where are the references for your misinformation?

      Renewables will be useless for eternity – they are grossly inefficient and they are expanding worldwide because half-wits run the asylum and fast-breeder greedy greencrats can’t resist the taking money from half-wits.

    • James,
      “renewables” are about to collapse world wide. Their very survival depends of the AGW hoax, and the death of the hoax is inevitable. No sensible nation sent their leaders to the last UN AGW fund-raiser. The rubinesque diva is practising her scales and the buses are warming up. This sorry performance is all but over.

      The first to fall will be the Big Wind subsidy farmers. Big Wind faces the worst problems of all.
      Their product –
      -delivers weak intermittent power
      -is location limited
      -has no effective power storage means
      -requires back up from other power plants
      -is mechanically complicated
      -spreads maintenance requirements over a vast geographic area
      -causes health problems in humans
      -kills wildlife
      -is uneconomic
      -can only survive with favourable laws and government subsidies

      Given the abundance of shale gas there is only one possible justification for these bird blending subsidy farms and that is the threat of CAGW. CO2 reduction from wind turbines has not been demonstrated and besides every climate model based of the flawed assumption of a net radiative GHE has failed..

      Other “renewable” technologies, such as PV solar and bio-fuels may survive the collapse of the AGW hoax as they have other justifications. But the crippling negatives associated with Big Wind means they are going down with the hoax. There is no AGW, so there is no future for Big Wind. Billions have been “invested” and there is now no hope of a return.

      I would expect that Big Wind will spend millions more on propaganda to keep their sorry subsidy farming game going as long as they can, but it is a dead end. For Big Wind there is no way out. No CAGW = no Big Wind. It is that simple. They can’t survive without the hoax.

      In Australia the carbon tax of the Labor/Green socialist alliance has been repealed and the Renewable Energy Target, the life blood of the subsidy farmers, is under review. This means that current subsidies may be subject to “grandfathering” and no further subsidies offered for Big Wind.

      Killing future subsidies is key to killing this fraudulent industry even if subsidies for existing follies continue. If no new turbines are being built, the cost of replacement parts and maintenance will climb as economies of scale are reduced. Because gearbox and blade problems are so chronic, failures will continue but maintenance will become uneconomic. Without the prospect of future subsidies, those machines that fail will stay dead.

      Without the prospect of future subsidies to back their “business”, the current subsidy farmers will soon be unable to afford capital. No one will lend to them. They won’t even be able to afford to properly dismantle the rusting towers of shame. While there are desirable recyclables such as steel copper and neodymium, no one wants to deal with the blades and concrete bases. These towering monuments to the inanity of the AGW believers are going to be a reminder of their burning shame for a good while to come.

      The future of Big Wind –

      But to every cloud….
      We will get to see the AGW believers begging for the removal of wind turbines and their shame. Delicious ;-)

      • Konrad:

        I would like to share your confidence in the imminent collapse of renewables, but I think you underestimate the staying power of the “sustainability” zeitgeist once it has metastasized through all levels of government and corporate culture. Both public and private sectors are now infested with people whose jobs depend on maintaining these initiatives. When a major company CEO states publicly and to his board of directors that green energy is bull***t and he is not going to waste another corporate dollar on it and is not forced out as a result, then it will be time to break out the champaign.

        There is some hope Tony Abbott in Australia will provide this catalyzing moment but it hasn’t happened yet.

      • Alan,
        The US is labouring under the curse of Obarmaclese, but the tide is turning in the UK. It is Australia where things are going to move quite quickly now.

        The issue is “capital flight”. Because Big Wind is essentially a pyramid selling scheme, or a “bitcoin game” if you like. When there is going to be no next layer at the bottom of the pyramid, the scheme collapses. Revising the RET and grandfathering current subsidies means no next layer.

        The subsidy farmers will of course pump further millions into propaganda. The global anti shale/coal seam gas movement proved that. The anti gas push has failed, so now the focus will be back on CO2 in a big way. The current signals are that “ocean acidification” will be the next big propaganda push. They believe you can still demonise CO2 in a cooling world. It’s actually a propaganda dead end, the warming meme is too entrenched. (Not that this will stop the “green” groups writhing in ecstasy in the trough of Big Wind cash, soaked as it is in the blood of endangered species).

        The problem is Big Wind can’t use the “sustainability” thing without CO2. Big Wind is simply too costly and environmentally damaging compared to shale gas.

        For the professional left, particularly protest groups in Australia it is going to be a double blow. First they are facing the permanent shame of the AGW propagandist, no one will pay heed to their next “cause”. Second the money is going to dry up. Considerable funding for these groups comes from the union movement. Currently the union movement is is being “torn a new one” for misuse of member funds and standover payments from business. Their back up source for slush was the money-go-round involving “investment” of union controlled pension funds in, you guessed it, Big Wind.

        Normal fund managers will flee swiftly. The unions, being wholly corrupt, will try to push on with those “investments”, but in Australia there are set rules for super fund investment. Very shortly Big Wind will no longer meet the criteria. The plug is about to be pulled.

      • “I lost my ass in wind power” – so said billionaire Boone Pickens during a TV interview last year. He invested in a Big way, erecting a series of wind farms beginning in 2008.

        Big Wind has flopped and it is running out of Big Suckers as the smart money runs the other way and the dumb money gets blown away. Big wind is a green swindle, as the report on 60 Minutes documented earlier this year. Big Wind is green? Not really, but money is- no more suckers.

      • From the Weekend Australian –

        Australia’s target of providing more than 20 per cent of electricity needs from renewables by 2020 is under review, as the Abbott government considers a report by businessman Dick Warburton on the renewable energy target.

        His report recommends grandfathering the RET to existing participants or pegging increases in the target to any growth in electricity demand.

        The federal government and Labor met this week on the future of the RET, but it is understood any deal is far off.

        Private investment in Australia’s renewable sector is expected to remain frozen until the government’s position is clarified.

        Bloomberg highlighted that the hiatus in investment would continue for several years if the recommendations of the review panel were not rejected.

        In the third quarter of this year, large-scale asset finance in Australia was 78 per cent lower on the $861m invested in the same quarter last year.

        Assuming financing remains at similar levels in the fourth quarter, Australia is on track to record its lowest annual result since 2002.

        “Investment” in subsidy farming collapsed 78% just on discussion of a report? It begins…. Bwahahaha!

    • James Abbott appears to be a paid shill acting on behalf of the UK Green Party whose policies are designed deliberately to send the UK back to the days before technology was used to improve everyone’s lives. These people will, of course, exempt themselves from any of the evil effects of their anti-human policies. They do after all, believe themselves to be better than the rest of us, and therefore they reserve to themselves the right of dictators throughout history – don’t do as we do, do as we say (on pain of death).

      http://greenparty.org.uk/people/james-abbott.html

      Of course, this could be a different one, although if so it would be an understandable error.

    • James Abbott. Only those ‘liarists’ with a vested interest in protecting the squillions they’ve already personally thrown at renewables (pretending all along that it will save the planet from warming up a couple of degrees by 2020) continue to insist that their green energy get-rich-quick dream is the way forward. It’s not.

    • I have to question your statement of 70 billion pounds to decommission the reactors.

      I looked it up and they are talking 12.6 billion to decommission something like twenty reactors and these are first generation reactors that are sixty years old. Considering how poor the design was, that does not seem excessive at a per reactor cost, and I have to think that they have generated far in excess of that in power over their lifespans.

      If they were not setting aside fees into a fund from the sale of power over their lifespan that is the fault of politics not the reactors.

  20. It’s a rare treat to read a comment here where every single assertion is wrong. But, as part of my policy of not following trolls down every rabbit-hole (which is what they want), I won’t bite, James. You remind me very much of Chandra and BBD, who used to infest Bishop Hill before the denizens and the boss got sick of their endless thread derailments.

  21. TYoke says: October 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    “http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fuels-higher-calorific-values-d_169.html

    Of course, more CO2 is produced per pound of coal than pound of carb.
    Carbs C6H12O6 + 6O2 –> 6H2O + 6CO2 Combustion produces 6 CO2 per 180g fuel
    Coal C + O2 –> CO2 Combustion produces 1 CO2 per 12g fuel

    That means somewhere on the order of 2 and a half times as much CO2 is produced per unit of bituminous coal heat as for carb heat.”

    But let’s look a bit more closely at your equations. Take the formula for your carbohydrate. Remember that the definition of a carbohydrate is that the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in each molecule are in the same proportion as in water. So we can rewrite:

    C6H12O6 = 6C(H2O). Then 6C(H2O) + 6O2 => 6CO2 + 6H2O.

    It is clear that the only energy derived from this is the combination of carbon with oxygen, the quantity of water involved does not release heat in the burning of the carbohydrate. Eliminate the water from the equation and you have 6C + 6O2 = 6CO2.

    However, when the coal is burnt your 6C =72 units of mass.
    When the carbohydrate is burnt C6H12O6 = 180 units of mass.

    Result is that you have to burn two and a half times as much carbohydrate to get the same amount of heat as you would from burning coal.

    Again, when you burn coal, your heat goes into CO2. When you burn carbohydrate your heat goes into CO2 and H20. You have twice as much gas going through the boilers. Same heat, twice as much gas, so the gas temperature is probably rather lower for the mixture than for the pure CO2 output. This means you have to have extra fuel to get the designed temperatures. Waste! And you will notice that you need two and a half times as many trains to carry the fuel, More Waste! But because the density of wood chips is probably half that of coal, you will have to have five times as many trains because the wagons will only be able to carry half the mass of fuel. More Waste!

    Burning wood is good for a backyard barbeque, but as for burning wood in a modern power station designed to burn coal, it is insanity.

    • Well said, could not have said it better myself. Shame these people simply don’t understand. Another factor however is in the harvest and transport of trees from the USA to DRAX. More waste…and transport ships use a very dirty form of diesel in international waters.

    • so the gas temperature is probably rather lower for the mixture than for the pure CO2 output

      You are correct. Coal with a higher water content gets a lower sale price for this reason.

    • The wood chips also include a large mass of water (ex-tree sap) that must be physically heated past boiling before the wood actually burns. The heat to boil out this water is also a waste that needs to be added to the chemical losses above. You can see this sap boiling out if you put a log on a fire.

      (The more dry the wood chips and bark are, the less water has to be heated, and the greater the efficiency. But, the drier the wood, the more time it takes to dry it in the sun (more money!), or the more heat you need back at the chip facility to heat the wood mass back there (more money).

      Pay me now, or pay me later.

    • I’m sure you see, your expansion of my comments is for the most part, not inconsistent with my post. My only real point was that for equivalent heat produced, coal produces more CO2 than carbs. I did not address the weight or cost of fuel used or transported, and I did not address the temperature of the combusted gases. Further, though I did not address the point, I have nothing particularly against coal consumption. CO2 is plant food, and it is at least arguably the case that we would be better off with more CO2 in the atmosphere.

      Having said that, I am not necessarily persuaded of the importance of the reduced temperature of the combusted gases for carbohydrates. My own understanding is that the working upper temperature in conventional power plants is for the most part set by safety and metallurgical concerns, not just theoretical Carnot heat engine efficiency. It was my impression that the upper working temperature used in either coal or wood burning power plants is well below the max temperature achievable for (dry) carbohydrate combustion.

      As to Konrad’s comment, higher water content in the coal will of course reduce the calories/wt of that coal, and consequently the value per pound. The same is obviously true for wood or any other bio-fuel. And of course, if water content is TOO high, the max combustion temperature could be reduced to an unsatisfactory level and your objection about low combustion temperatures would become a determinate factor.

  22. One of the things that is poorly understood when value of renewables is assessed in comparison with traditional fuels is how vital an independent fuel supply is. In Germany they understand this well being subject to the whims of Putin who can turn off their supply of gas at any time. We know that much of our oil comes from highly unstable regimes in the middle east which can implode at any time. Renewables are uneconomic on a purely financial basis, but on a security basis they are worth their weight in gold. Countries like the US who have their own oil supply are not overly concerned by these issues, but in western and central Europe it’s a critical factor. If we explore all energy production including fracking, wind generation, PV, Tidal, Hydro and Nuclear we will be laying down a secure future for our children.If we rely on foreign dictators to act nicely and supply cheap energy we will surely come to grief.

    • Gareth Phillips
      October 4, 2014 at 12:57 am
      “Renewables are uneconomic on a purely financial basis, but on a security basis they are worth their weight in gold”

      The concrete foundation of a 5 MW wind turbine easily weighs 800 metric tonnes, assuming 1200 USD/ounce Gold price that’s 28 billion USD per wind turbine.

    • Gareth,
      the “energy security” argument with PV and Big Wind “hidden in the mix” won’t work. There is no “save” for the subsidy farmers there.

      There is no excuse for the subsidy farmers. The green policies and Big Wind propaganda dollars are a major contributing factor to the delay in fracking, resistance to nuclear and energy insecurity in Europe. The subsidy farmers and their bird blenders must be eliminated.

  23. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/19/laki-caused-1783-could-icelands-bardarbunga-volcano-trigger-another-year-without-a-summer/#comment-1741826

    We predicted global cooling, starting by 2020-2030, in an article published on Sept. 1. 2002.
    The following post is from 2013:

    I fear for the future of Britain and its people.

    An Open Letter to Baroness Verma – please see:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/blind-faith-in-climate-models/#comment-1462890

  24. Well its interesting just how entrenched some people’s views are on renewables that they cannot even accept stone wall facts.

    Renewables are expanding worldwide, they work, though efficiencies clearly vary.

    Even if you are fundamentally opposed to renewables and don’t care how much carbon we put in the atmosphere, you need to explain how we provide energy in the centuries to come from fossil fuels that are by definition finite and are going to become increasingly expensive to extract.

    Mr Green Genes you expose your utter ignorance of reality. For a start, I don’t get paid anything by the Green Party. Greens strongly support sustainable technologies – try IS for an organisation that wants to send us all back to the dark ages. As for your dictators jibe, its pathetic. Greens utterly oppose totalitarian regimes and dictators and are strong supporters of grassroots democracy.

    Many contributors to this thread seem oblivious re the differences of scale that renewables offer. Yes there are legitimate debates about huge solar farms or wind turbines built in the wrong places, but what about micro and community scale renewables ? I would have thought that given their other opinions, many of the contributors to WUWT would support the reduced dependence on big business that domestic and community scale renewables offer

    We have a biomass system and solar PV here. Our net electricity and heating costs from spring to autumn are zero. Those that say renewables don’t work just don’t know what they are talking about.

    • But isn’t it the case that wind farms need back up – so called spinning reserve – because wind can switch off of its own volition? If that is indeed the case, then how do wind farms save fossil fuels if you have to keep gas fired spinning reserve? Solar pv may have a future, but wind farms? There are just too many problems.

    • You support Democracy.

      Does that include allowing people to make up their own minds about what power source they want? The Liberal government allowed protestors to influence them and shut down two under construction Gas Plants in an area where they were at risk of losing four seats in a coming election.

      On the other hand when communities in the north, where they had no seats, protested the construction of large wind farms they were called Nimbys and told to shut up, we know what we are doing.

      In the meantime the cost of canceling those gas plants is hovering around a billion dollars.

      I’m a big supporter of individuals, or groups of individuals using renewable to get off the grid, but to date I have seen no indication that they are competitive in any area with a good dependable base load. They are far more practical in areas where getting power is hard, and when you do it is unreliable.

      You say your net electricity and heating costs are zero for three quarters of the year. Tell me, how did you manage to build this set up for nothing?

      Frankly that sounds like the sort of math our government uses. And the argument often made in favor of ‘free’ solar and wind.

      We heated my family home with wood, and my dad built a water circulation system that ran through our wood furnace. We heated the house and our water for zero cost for the same period you are talking about, because we were cutting dead fall off the local marshes and our own wood lot.

      That is, If you did not count the hundreds of hours of labor my dad put in building the system and with us cutting the wood, splitting the wood, hauling the wood out of the bush, by tractor and snowmobile, the gas they used, the maintenance on that equipment, etc.

      and how many people have access to beaver marshes they can harvest and their own 120 acre wood lots?

    • James Abbot:
      Your own private wind turbine is just fine with me; solar panels, too. Biomass? I guess you mean burning wood for heat. Well, wood smoke is poisonous, please do not pollute my air with wood smoke it makes me ill.

      And wind turbines kill birds and I like birds. I prefer them to wind turbines. Wind turbines make noise – quality of life issue; I really do not like noise.
      You would kill the birds, pollute the air and disturb my peace for the sake of CO2, which you have been taught to hate. Your hatred of this substance upon which all life depends is unreasonable. You say that it causes warming but the most recent data show that it does not.

    • James,
      some renewables show promise but those with no storage capacity are a serious problem at large scale. Some without storage, such as solar thermal pre-hearting or pre-compressing of air to gas turbines can also be useful.

      We can move forward to a future involving cleaner technologies, but the subsidy farming games must end. Further, any activist, journalist or politician who ever used the “D” word to vilify AGW sceptics must be removed from any further public influence. They caused the problem and cannot be part of any future solutions. Trust is frangiable.

    • :-)

      Ahem, I’ve read your manifesto. It’s all aboput high taxes, high government spending, nationalisation etc. That is so far from your view as expressed above as to be laughable. To claim to be in favour of democracy and at the same time be such enthusiastic fans of the anti-democratic EU is displaying double think of epic proportions.

      Most people do not want much of their lives to be controlled by a government – any government, let alone one in the hands of a party who would espouse such policies as those in view on your website.

      And for the record, yes, I do support such local initiatives as “community scale renewables” etc., but here’s the difference between us. You and your party view them as as end in themselves, something to be forced on the local community for idealogical reasons with no regard for the costs, as you would pile subsidy on subsidy to make them appear economical, without regard to the source of such subsidies (but here I go back to my original sentence about your party being in favour of high taxation). In my community, the Parish Council which I lead is very mindful that nothing is cost free: subsiding otherwise hopelessly uneconomic projects would simply increase the cost to the many pensioners who live here, but in an underhand fashion.

      Face it – the whole matter of the demonisation of CO₂ is entirely political and has nothing to do with science, something which has been amply demonstrated by (if nothing else) the refusal of the temperature to rise for 18 years.

  25. I wonder what the net energy balance and total emissions footprint is, on wood grown in the US, cut down and transported to a factory in the US, processed into wood pellets in the US, then shipped across the world … to be burned as energy ….

  26. James Abbott says:

    The GWPF is a fossil fuel lobby organisation…

    Renewables are expanding worldwide….

    …might like to look at nuclear…

    If it were not for your constant non sequitur posts, you wouldn’t have much to say.

    Try to keep one thought in mind when commenting. It makes things easier on the rest of us.

    ‘K? Thx bye.

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