EU probe into British Drax Biomass Subsidies

Northeast of Drax, author Paul Glazzard, source Wikimedia

Northeast of Drax, author Paul Glazzard, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The British Drax biomass plan has received a substantial setback. The Drax project is a plan to “save” the environment by chopping down vast tracts of forest in the USA and Canada, shipping the wood to Britain, and burning it in a modified coal plant. But the government subsidies Drax negotiated to make this scheme profitable, have attracted negative attention from European regulators.

According to The Telegraph;

Blow to Drax biomass plan as EC launches state aid investigation

European Commission raises concerns that proposed subsidies for biomass conversion may be too generous.

Drax’s hopes of securing lucrative subsidies for its biomass conservion have suffered a setback after the European Commission launched a full state aid investigation over concerns the payments may be too generous.

The Yorkshire-based power plant is in the process of switching from burning coal to biomass, and was awarded a £1.7bn Government subsidy contract in April 2014 for the third of its six units – subject to state aid approval.
The contract would see Drax paid a fixed price of £105 for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of biomass-fired power the unit generated until 2027 – well over double the current market price.

Drax shares fell 5pc on Tuesday after the European Commission said it was concerned that the rate of return from the subsidies “could be higher than the parties estimate and could lead to overcompensation”.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/12082623/Blow-to-Drax-biomass-plan-as-EC-launches-state-aid-investigation.html

Even green news outlets like The Ecologist have condemned the Drax scheme as being damaging to the environment. I suspect this attack by the über green European Commission, against the increasingly unpopular Drax project, might end up being the final blow to this bizarre plan to “save” nature by chopping down the trees.

225 thoughts on “EU probe into British Drax Biomass Subsidies

    • Kill a tree in Canada, power a fraudulent green tax sucking scam in the UK – Yea that sounds like a typical warmist idea!!

    • Owners of wind turbines, solar panels and biomass power plants are paid subsidies for the electricity they generate. The subsidies are funded by levies on consumer energy bills. The total cost of subsidies was supposed to be limited to £7.6 billion in 2020 but is now on track to hit £9.1 billion.
      The costs on your bill:
      £45 Estimated cost per household of key green subsidy schemes in 2014
      £92 Supposed cost per household of subsidies in 2020 under spending cap
      £110 Forecast actual cost per household of subsidies in 2020 due to overspend

      • But it is much more than that.

        A couple of years ago, the Chairman or CFO of Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) in an interview for the BBC, explained that over 50% of the electricity bill is incidental to the renewables programme. The bill is made up of 3 components; the cost of supply accounts for 50%, 25% is infrastructure works, and 25% is for rolling out green deals such as help with house insulation, double glazing, eco boiler replacement and help for those in fuel poverty.

        But what is interesting is the detail behind this breakdown. The infrastructure is coupling windfarms and STOR to the grid, so that is 25% directly applicable to going green. The 25% for supporting house insulation, double glazing, eco boiler replacement and help for those in fuel poverty is also the result of going green since bills have more than doubled that has led to fuel poverty. So one can see that 50% of the bill is directly the result of going for renewables.

        Then as you note, the cost of supply has been put up since the electricity supplier is forced to purchase when available energy from renewables at the high strike rate agreed, and pay windfarms not to supply energy when they produce to much energy and destabilise the grid, and of course, the carbon floor price levied on coal and gas.

        The upshot is that close to about 60% of the electricity bill is entirely the result of rolling out renewables. this means that every UK householder pays about £225 per year for the renewable revolution.

        The position on gas is less stark since gas does not have the new infrastructure, nor the high strike rate agreed, and therefore only has the element dealing with the carbon floor price, and the element dealing with help with house insulation, double glazing, eco boiler replacement and help for those in fuel poverty, which because gas bills are higher, only accounts for about 10% of a gas bill. If the average gas bill is about £900, the then gas customer is paying about £90 per year for the renewable revolution..

      • If only it was just £45 per year, my wallet reckons that Richard Verney’s figures of 60% is nearer the mark and even that feels like an underestimate!!!

    • And then they transport it all the way from the US to Yorkshire – which itself has about 300 years of coal reserves. As Christopher Hitchens said (I paraphrase) – you can get away with any lunacy you want as long as it’s done in the name of religion.

      • Maybe a little off topic, but I see in the paper this morning that Cluff Energy have abandoned their plans for Underground Coal Gasification in Scotland and are concentrating on England.
        So no fracking, no UGS, no new Nuclear, just wind, sun and tides for us. At the moment (9:40) the sun has just risen and will reach about 12 degrees above the horizon at Noon, the tides are at neaps just now (supposing the tidal projects ever become viable) and there is no wind.
        I had better go out and cut some more wood for the fire.

    • “It’s a plot to make room for all those artificial trees by cutting down real ones!”

      It wouldn’t surprise me.

    • @ Marcus –

      Insanity underlies the whole ‘European Project’ – it has become an anti-democratic fantasy land where the unelected and unelectable dictate what the EU subject Nations (like Britain) must or must not do. That is done, where the environment is concerned, using ‘consultation’ with green organisations that the EU fund to advise them and to help make policy for the EU – so in effect you have the likes of Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of the Earth etc creating the policy framework for the whole of Europe.

      Small wonder the EU’s ‘environmental policies’ are such a monumental disaster. And the depths to which green activists have embedded themselves in all levels of government is equally concerning – hence why after the floods in the North of England residents are forced to ask why freshwater mussels are considered more important than people whose homes are now routinely flooding because of policies to protect the mussels !!

      I have long believed, and I think with good justification, that the EU has been the ‘test bed’ for approaches and structures for the UN’s unelected global government intended to be created off the back of the ‘climate change’ scare.

      Worth reminding or pointing out to those who are not familiar that on the few occasions when an EU member state has had a referendum on leaving the EU – they are forced to keep re-running it until the people vote to stay. Similarly worth remembering is that the EU forced the replacement of heads of government in Greece and Italy by their own ‘placemen’ and on the election of a right wing leader in Austria they told the Austrians to get rid of him because he was right wing.

      happy days – the lunatics are in charge of the asylum …………

      • I have long believed, and I think with good justification, that the EU has been the ‘test bed’ for approaches and structures for the UN’s unelected global government intended to be created off the back of the ‘climate change’ scare.

        And you wouldn’t be the first. It is an exact ‘template’ for The UN.

        A World where ‘accountability’ (of figureheads) is much discussed by the ‘bureaucracy’ but in reality people have ‘stuff’ done to them. No consent is required, just fund a panel of ‘experts’ to produce the ‘science’ required to back your desired policy. It isn’t as though the public will ever get to vote on the policy.

        It’s a shame that The US is heading down this route. I had high hopes for my young daughter getting out of it all (The EU) by the simple expedient of heading ‘West’ with a healthy bank account. I’m fast running out of alternate plans for her future.

      • (unable to edit my post above) …

        Comes to something when ‘Communist’ China is now one of my top three destinations for her. It would probably be at the top if it were not for the obvious language barrier.

      • Best comment yet !
        Totally agree.

        EU = European Useless = OPM Dealers = Other People’s Money Dealers

    • Opening paragraph to Climate Central’s investigative report: Pulp Fiction
      http://reports.climatecentral.org/pulp-fiction/1/

      As the world tries to shift away from fossil fuels, the energy industry is turning to what seems to be an endless supply of renewable energy: wood. In England and across Europe, wood has become the renewable of choice, with forests — many of them in the U.S. — being razed to help feed surging demand. But as this five-month Climate Central investigation reveals, renewable energy doesn’t necessarily mean clean energy. Burning trees as fuel in power plants is heating the atmosphere more quickly than coal.

      • MRW
        […] In England and across Europe, wood has become the renewable of choice, with forests — many of them in the U.S. — being razed to help feed surging demand. […]

        Erm … All of them from The US. You couldn’t, legally, cut a single sapling down within The EU without a years worth of paperwork. Don’t even think of cutting down enough, in Europe, to feed Drax for even a month. That ‘proposal’ would have you held up in The ECJ for the next ten years.

        The idea is that SC and other (SE/SW) States are so desperate for money that they will have no problem ‘leveling’ their landscape. HMG can pretend to be ‘green’, Drax can make a fortune and SC can pretend that their trees will grow back sometime soon.

        Everyone’s a winner. (Why am I always reminded of … ‘It became necessary to destroy the town to save it’,)

    • Forrest Gardener January 7, 2016 at 2:27 pm
      Have all the BS detectors been turned off to save power?

      Best quote I’ve seen in a while.

  1. I’m very upset about this.
    A lot of Canadian and American forest industry workers may well lose their jobs. Plus all the trucking and services industry workers to support them. Not to mention the processing companies and the shipping companies. If the UK wants to export their money to us, I see no reason to stop them.

    The trees will grow back (and we’ll sell them again!)

  2. If the CO2 level gets high enough, say 1200 ppm, maybe the additional growth from CO2 fertilisation will exceed the harvested biomass needed to run the plant. At least then there would be no harm done.

    The ‘destroy the forest in order to save it’ meme has a familiar ring to it. Was it coined by the Green-industrial complex?

    • I think this whole climate change issue is a moot point now that refugee muslim men, who were welcomed into various countries in Europe, find that it’s ok to mob rape the local women in these welcoming, stupid, liberal countries. As a citizen of the U.S. I feel a great affinity with Europe because my ancestors came from there. Irish, English, German, Swedish, Prussian. WTF is Merkel thinking? Progressive idiocy? If it was my wife, daughter, girlfriend, etc, I would be out for blood from these anti social, pig, muslim pieces of crap and kick them all out back to where they come from. Go back to your slum, scum and keep to yourselves like you are doing anyway everywhere you go. Is Europe lost now, after 1000 years of keeping the rapists and killers out?

  3. Drax’s management seem happy with the concept of burning wood pellets shipped from overseas as long as subsidies are in place to make this viable. This says as much about the amoral nature of capitalism as it does about green stupidity.

    • Taking money from one group of people in order to subsidize your friends is socialism, it has nothing to do with capitalism.

    • Arnold1 reveals a bit about the indoctrination of persons who call state subsidies ‘capitalist’, too.
      It also reveals the crude and clumsy way the mullah promotes his liberal ‘sharia’ by abusing the concept of morality while pretending to it.
      Capitalism is the economic system that is based on the recognition of the right of the individual to own property, including himself and the fruits of his labor. The individual who finds this to be immoral is properly known as a cannibal.

      • “Arnold1 reveals a bit about the indoctrination of persons who call state subsidies ‘capitalist’, too.”

        I am not calling the subsidy capitalist. I am saying that Drax’s management are amoral because they are willing to accept money stolen from taxpayers. This is amoral by definition.

      • Arnold1, I think you are confusing “amoral” with “immoral”.
        “Amoral” means neither moral nor immoral – i.e. utterly lacking in morals, either good or bad. Fish, for example, are amoral.
        “Immoral,” on the other hand, means the opposite of “moral,” and connotes evil or licentious behaviour.

        So what you are actually saying, intentionally or unintentionally, is that capitalism, and by extension Drax, is neither moral nor immoral.

      • I was taught that doing something immoral was similar to taking the money from a blind beggar’s tin; doing something amoral was thinking about taking the money.

      • My main disappointment is that they don’t have a subsidiary called Drax Industries:

        Try thinking of it as green bioengineering.

      • “willing to accept money stolen from taxpayers. This is amoral by definition.”
        Yeah, like soldiers and policemen. Amoral, the lot of them. Not my opinion, apparently it is by definition.

    • The other alternative for Drax is to be closed down by the government in 2025 so they made the choice and took the money. Capitalism works best with minimal government interference. The UK energy industry is completely ruined by government meddling through subsidies for ‘renewables’ and taxes on reliable generation. The losers are the population through higher bills and fewer jobs as industries close down. Some people strangely think the UK has a right wing conservative government.

      • This initiative started under the Labour Govt of Gordon Brown. I was working in Yorkshire at the time and heard the stories in 2008.

  4. How anybody ever thought that clear-felling US forests, chipping the wood and then shipping it 3000 miles to burn it was a better idea than using the coal that Drax is sitting on top of (that being the reason why it was built there and not somewhere else) is beyond me.
    And how burning wood + all the CO2 emitted by that and the processing of the wood in the first place and the emissions from shipping the stuff is better for the environment than burning the local coal is something that only an environmentalist could understand.

    • Another entry for the “Believe It Or Not!” category; a group of self-styled environmental do-gooders in NW Wyoming decided in 1991 they’d prohibit natural wood fueled stoves and instead require installation of wood pellet stoves that burned “cleaner”. The problem? Wood pellets were manufactured in Sand Point Idaho by a corporation named Lignetics. They were then shipped 700 miles by diesel truck to Wyoming where they were burned. To make matters worse, catalytic wood stoves burn cleaner than pellet stoves, which aren’t even tested for emissions.

      Of course NW Wyoming is literally covered with naturally occurring softwood forests and for a $5/year permit from the US Forest Service residents can gather all the dead wood they can burn. No one stopped to think about the particulates pumped into the air by the diesel trucks. It would be laughable in its gross stupidity if the head of the organization that banned the wood stoves didn’t own a distributorship for Lignetics products that covered the whole county.

    • The more hilarious part (that’s only if you love that kind of very dark humour) is the when they say that:
      – CO2 reduction is an emergency for in the next decade (not the next century), hence nuclear plant building is too slow and not a solution
      – there are “tipping points” which can make the problem worse

      These trees could have continued to grow and fix carbon atoms for a long time. The release of the carbon atoms is done in a instant (in term of tree lifetime). Nuclear plant planning and building may be “slow” (compared to the time needed to chop a tree), but tree growth is SLOWER. Have trees growing next to a nuclear plant and see which one earns “carbon credit” faster!

      The justification for burning wood (and not coal) is that mother Earth will make more wood (and not coal) in a time comparable with human life and economic expectancy (we do economic planning for the next decades and the heads of state plan for the next centuries.

      That would make sense as an economic policy if
      – burning wood could provide a substantial part of our thermal energy needs – it can’t
      – burning wood were “clean” in term of emissions like particulate pollution and gaz (not CO2) – it isn’t
      – buying wood were cheaper than other combustible resource – it isn’t, especially when it becomes n nation-wide policy and everybody is buying it

      As a local energy choice, wood makes sense. That’s all.

      If “carbon” (carbon atoms) is a pollutant, than a forest is a dumb, and burning it makes as much sense as burning La Hague.

      The policy is complete craziness, like the policy for renewable energy justified by “localisme”, where you justify “renewable energy” by the too high distance between from nuclear plants and consumers and then promote:
      – hydro (but half the hydro production of France is in the region of the Rhone)
      – wind turbine and solar panels.

      When confronted with the issue of intermittency, the same uber-greens suggest that very high tension power lines could be build to transport power from sunny Spain to Germany (and back when wind blows in Germany); that’s just about one thousands km frontier to frontier. But then the power lines would be very “local”.

      Some (very-uber)-greens even suggest that solar power is sufficient for ALL our energy needs because “the sun always shines somewhere”.

      But then, “localism” done with 1000 km power lines, fixation over “carbon” and saving “mother Earth” by destroying forests aren’t in the DSM, so they aren’t mental diseases, right?

  5. There are plenty of good uses for trees. Burning them to produce electricity isn’t one. It is downright stupid, in fact. Now add the cost of shipping it across an ocean, and all the consequent additional trucking, loading and unloading until it reaches its destination and you have insanity.

      • @Latitude
        There are plenty of good uses for (oil). Burning (it) to produce electricity (for the grid) isn’t one.

      • @ simple- touriste
        Pardon, but very a very small % of electric power is generated by using oil as fuel.

      • >>Wood doesn’t have the energy density of oil.

        And it has the tendency to spontaneously combust. These wood pellets have to be kept damp, to stop a conflagration. I am wondering when the first wood-chip cargo vessel will go down in flames.

        R

      • Bartleby – Wood doesn’t have the energy density of oil.

        It does if you lay it down, under tremendous pressure, for a few million years :^}

  6. davidmhoffer January 7, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    “Plus all the trucking and services industry workers to support them.” Don’t forget all the oil patch and refinery workers to keep the trucks fuelled.

  7. I have to wonder just how much using North American tree pellets as fuel really gets them. The CO2 produced in the process of chopping down, pelletising and all the transport to and from the processing points must add up.

    • I have asked that question of my environmental friends many times and the answer is that “wood is carbon neutral” because in a 100 or 200 years or so it will have recaptured all the CO2 that was burned in the process. I also have a very nice bridge for sale. ;-)

      • because in a 100 or 200 years or so it will have recaptured all the CO2 that was burned in the process
        =============================================================================
        so why not simply burn coal and plant more trees? in a 100 or 200 years or so the trees will have recaptured all the CO2 that was created from burning coal. That would cost a lot less, and the end result would be the same as burning trees today.

      • Ah, but they conveniently “forget” all that nasty “carbon pollution” emitted during the entire process of getting from standing trees in a forest to a useable fuel at a power plant. This is the same sort of “thinking” that goes into the idea that solar and wind energy is “free”.

  8. I strongly object to the image used to promote your article. We’re not stupid enough to think wood smoke is escaping from nuclear plant cooling towers; that’s a tactic commonly employed by “climate deceivers”. That said only liberal idiots could conceive a scam to burn our forests to produce electricity—in any country.

      • For some reason Americans tend to Associate parabolic cooling towers with nuke plants. Not sure why.

      • Fraiser

        For some reason Americans tend to Associate parabolic cooling towers with nuke plants. Not sure why.

        It goes back to the “cooling tower” Wikipedia answer copied elsewhere on this page. Forgive the details here, but each “detail” matters towards the final answer to your question.

        Water on the surface of a hot steel surface (a tube) transfers heat energy by several DIFFERENT boiling conditions: nucleate boiling, film boiling, water-to-water vapor directly, water-to-saturated steam, water-to-superheated steam, etc. Each depends on water flow rate, heat transfer rate, cleanliness of the water and steam, percent of steam present, flow rate of the steam, etc, etc, etc. A coal-fired or gas turbine heat recovery steam generator “doesn’t care” about the heat exchange “method”, it is designed to transfer as much as heat possible as soon as possible at the gas temperatures and water temperatures present at each square cm of the tubes and tubesheets. The penalty for “failure” of a tubesheet or tube is “lost water”, less efficiency, a shutdown to fix the leak, but no catastrophic dangers. No long-term problems. “Only” lost production time, the cost of the repair, and the lost revenue. Not trivial at any time, but recoverable.

        The gas turbine heat recovery steam generator or the coal-fired boiler is expensive, but they are direct heat transfer units: a very hot gas on one side of the tube, and the water being heated on the other side of the tube. Just about as simple as you can get in the complicated world of thermodynamics and fluid flow. Boilers, pressure vessels, pipe design, valve design, and weld designs we won’t go into.

        A nuke is different. It starts with fuel pellets (ceramic cylinders) sliding (not a perfectly solid fit!) inside a tube that is inside a high-pressure water system. So, the pellet heats up, transfers heat through the ceramic to the gap to the inside wall of the tube, through the tube,, through that boiling heat transfer film to the water outside the tube. See the losses? MUCH HIGHER in a nuke than in a fossil plant. So the high pressure nuclear-grade water starts out at a lower temperature than the high pressure pressure water/steam in a fossil plant. Lower temperature = less efficient!

        But! The nuke IS a critical system, and we don’t want nucleate boiling or film boiling at the outside of the fuel tubes because it “might” get too hot at the hottest rod of the hottest fuel bundle of the most poorly toleranced fuel pellet in the entire reactor at the worst point of the entire fuel cycle loading and fuel history.

        SO, we prevent ANY nucleate boiling or film boiling at the hottest part of the reactor … which prevent ANY efficient nucleate or film boiling at ANY point of the reactor – even those that are “cooler” at any given time than the hottest part of the hottest fuel rod. Result is the entire reactor on average is running MUCH less efficient (much cooler) than is theoretically possible for the rest of the reactor all of the time.

        Again, lower temperatures mean less efficient heat transfer.

        So, because of their lower heat transfer efficiency, nuke plants must reject (send to the cooling water and cooling air) MORE heat energy than fossil plants for the SAME output electrical power sent to the power lines.
        But it gets even worse than that!

        About 2/3 of today’s nuke plants are boiling water reactors (GE designs) and about 1/3 are Westinghouse Pressurized water reactor designs. In the BWR, the “boiled water” is turned into saturated steam and goes to the turbine. BUT! Saturated steam designs are LESS EFFICIENT than the superheated steam designs common (and relatively easy to build) into fossil fueled power plants.

        But it is even worse than that!

        The other 1/3 of US nuke plants are pressurized water designs by Westinghouse. Those plants have to transfer all of THEIR heat through the reactors tubes to the primary water, transfer that hot primary water out of the reactor to the steam generator, then transfer that heat through the steam generator tubes to the final outside secondary steam water, then to the turbine. Every transfer loses heat heat energy – though every effort possible is made to reduce such losses – so the final Westinghouse “steam” is less efficiently produced than the GE steam. Cleaner, less radioactive, easier and cheaper to maintain, etc, etc. But still less efficiently produced than a comparable fossil-fueled gigawatt of electricity.

        Because of their regulations, a nuke plant requires MUCH MORE “support and staff” per plant than a fossil powered plant does FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF POWER OUT! (More engineers, more QA techs and radcon techs and enviro techs, and more secretaries and copiers and security staff and more tooling technicians and more test engineers, more procedure writers and trainers and evaluators, etc, etc. SO, to get as much out of THAT staff as possible, it makes sense to make the nukes as large as possible, and run them as long as possible (because once built and fueled up, a nuke has very, very low RUNNING costs!) and to combine 2 or 3 nuke plants INSIDE one physical site so they all can share the same fence and security and engineers and secretaries and legal staff and enviro staff.

        But!

        If you do that “sensible” design and arrangement, you end up with 2 or 3 LARGE nukes inside the same fence, EACH rejecting MORE heat energy to the environment than a comparable fossil-fired plant, because EACH nuke plant is less efficient than its equal-sized fossil plant.

        Running a 1 or 2 unit nuke plant in the winter rejects a lot of heat energy to the local water supply (a lake, bay, or river).
        Running the same 1 or 2 nuke plants in the summer rejects MORE heat energy into that same local body of water (lake, bay, or river.)

        For many years, the local enviro groups INSISTED than nuke plants be limited in how much heat energy could be rejected, citing “environment” concerns almost all of the time. So, to reduce the heat energy sent into the “water” of the local bay or river, the nuke plant designers began rejecting the excess heat energy released into the air (because there were almost no regulations for “heating up air” compared to “heating up the fishies’ water!” that could be measured.

        The best, least costly, way to heat up the air is through the hyperbolic cooling towers. So, American nuke plants became associated with hyperbolical cooling towers BECAUSE OF their thermodymanics and envirodynamics.

    • Drax is a large coal-fired power station in North Yorkshire, England, capable of co-firing biomass and petcoke, and its name comes from the nearby village of Drax. It is situated on the River Ouse between Selby and Goole. Its generating capacity of 3,960 megawatts is the highest of any power station in the United Kingdom and Western Europe, providing about 7% of the United Kingdom’s electricity supply.

      Opened in 1974 and extended in the mid-1980s, the station was initially operated by the Central Electricity Generating Board. Since privatisation in 1990 ownership has changed several times, and it is operated by Drax Group plc. Completed in 1986, it is the newest coal-fired power station in England, flue gas desulphurisation equipment was fitted between 1988 and 1995; high and low pressure turbines were replaced between 2007 and 2012. Because of its large size, the station is the UK’s single largest emitter of carbon dioxide.

      The station was c. 2010 co-firing biomass; in 2012 the company announced plans to convert up to three generating units to solely biomass, burning 7.5 million tonnes imported from the United States and Canada.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drax_power_station

      Follow the link to see the original picture of the plant. Carbon burning thermal power plants need cooling towers just like nuclear powered plants.

      The circulation rate of cooling water in a typical 700 MW coal-fired power plant with a cooling tower amounts to about 71,600 cubic metres an hour (315,000 US gallons per minute)[11] and the circulating water requires a supply water make-up rate of perhaps 5 percent (i.e., 3,600 cubic metres an hour).

      If that same plant had no cooling tower and used once-through cooling water, it would require about 100,000 cubic metres an hour[12] and that amount of water would have to be continuously returned to the ocean, lake or river from which it was obtained and continuously re-supplied to the plant. Furthermore, discharging large amounts of hot water may raise the temperature of the receiving river or lake to an unacceptable level for the local ecosystem.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooling_tower

      • Wow.. look at all that horrible CO2 gushing from the cooling towers ;-)

        Why isn’t it backlit !!!!!

      • “cooling tower”
        ============
        human beings have not yet invented an engine that can produce power with a hot side only. all engines require a hot side and a cold side, and the efficiency is determined by the temperature difference. Thus the cooling towers.

        the interesting point RACookPE1978 made is the inherent low efficiency of water cooled nuclear reactors, due to the small temperature differential between water and low pressure steam. High pressure steam is much more efficient, but this involves the problems of a high pressure containment vessel. It is OK if you are containing water, but not OK if you are containing radioactive material.

        Thus, the advantages of cooling nuclear reactors with something other than water, with a higher boiling point. For example a lead cooled reactor could function at standard atmospheric pressure with much higher efficiency than a water cooled reactor at the same atmospheric pressure.

      • Not far from where we live Andy, Bayswater. Unfortunately I don’t have any photo-shopped or dusk -dawn photos.

  9. I’m surprise that we pay to burn the tree pellets.
    Surely according to perfect green anti-CO2 CAGW logic, it would actually be far more beneficial to load the trees into weighted cages on barges and then dump them into the deep ocean.
    Ideally in a subduction zone.
    Hence sequestering the evil “carbon pollution”.
    Maybe they could set up submarine bases in the Netherlands and send eco-nazis on missions into the Atlantic to sink the convoys of wood pellets.
    Why is it left to me to come up with all the best ideas?!!!

      • Prof. Peter Wadhams probably already thinks that we are planning to dispose of him in this manner.
        That’s the problem with alarmism.
        Alarmists tend to get alarmed very easily!!!

    • indefatigablefrog

      Maybe they could set up submarine bases in the Netherlands and send eco-nazis on missions into the Atlantic to sink the convoys of wood pellets.
      Why is it left to me to come up with all the best ideas?!!!

      Because the greenies know that all of the current Swedish and Netherlands/German/Japanese submarine designs are diesel powered.

      To sink the trees environmentally safely requires a FR/UK/US/USSR/Chinese submarine. Indian subs might become available soon!

      • Yeah, well if they can send Obama to Paris in Airforce One, then I see no problem using a wolf-pack of diesel u-boats – for the “service of the greater good”.
        Nobody ever said that saving the world was going to be painless!!!(sarc).

  10. We had to switch from paper to plastic to “save the trees”, despite the fact that brown paper bags were made from trees specifically grown for that purpose.
    So now we’re burning them instead. Indeed, insanity.

  11. I remember the local news Item on TV about the Drax biomass plant a year or so ago – saying it would be cheaper, greener, etc. What I do NOT remember is any mention of my taxes being used to subsidise the process!

  12. European Commission raises concerns that proposed subsidies for biomass conversion may be too generous.
    Drax’s hopes of securing lucrative subsidies for its biomass conversion have suffered a setback after the European Commission launched a full state aid investigation over concerns the payments may be too generous.

    Does anyone else remember when Britain was an independent nation that a one time had the motto “The Sun never sets on the British Empire”? What date will the history books show as when they were conquered by a bunch of Brussels Bureaucrats?

    How the mighty have fallen.

    • That’s what I was wondering. Who is Drax’s contract with, the UK? In which case EU can drop dead. Or UKIP gets more and more votes.

  13. What ever happened to Tree Hugging? Or is it called Biomass Hugging now?

    They you can tell when a lawyer is lying: his lips are moving. Likewise, you can tell when a progressive lying: they invent a new name for something.

    • What ever happened to Tree Hugging? Or is it called Biomass Hugging now?

      Il bacio della morte?

  14. I would like to make 3 powerful arguments in favour of what is happening at Drax
    but I can’t
    so I won’t

  15. The DRAX biomass plan goes even beyond the depth of stupidity that declares CO2 being the master control knob of climate.

  16. The contract would see Drax paid a fixed price of £105 for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of biomass-fired power the unit generated until 2027 – well over double the current market price.

    Meanwhile in other news from UK:

    “Winter death toll ‘to exceed 40,000’
    The cold weather death toll this winter is expected to top 40,000, the highest number for 15 years.
    The figures were described as a “tragedy for the elderly” by campaigners who warned that not enough was being done to protect pensioners from unnecessary deaths in cold weather.

    Strangely, deaths from cold of those in energy poverty each winter month are running at 5 times the deaths on the road in a year

    But the same UK Members of Parliament who voted for the ‘Climate Change Act’ which directly causes many of these deaths, are not concerned, not even enough to raise it in Parliament.

    Who cares as long as UK reaches ‘renewable targets’?

    • Nuclear energy doesn’t kill off Humans fast enough to make the greenies happy, but a hard winter with inadequate energy supplies that freezes a few thousand will put a smile on their face !!

    • It as climate change, not cold, that is causing these deaths; and we have always been at war with Eastasia. – The Ministry of Truth

    • How many more people must die of energy poverty before the IPCC can be indicted for crimes against humanity?

  17. “Winter death toll ‘to exceed 40,000’

    I have a question about this. I see numbers like this quoted for Britain on a regular basis. I have to ask, how is this even possible?

    I spent several decades living on the frigid Canadian prairies which make “cold” in Britain look like the tropics. I’m talking too cold to snow cold, dogs frozen to fire hydrants cold, too cold to skate cold, if the block heater wasn’t plugged in it ain’t gonna start and maybe not even THEN cold. Did we have deaths due to cold? Sure. Every year a few people would get lost in the woods or go off the road into a ditch during a blizzard and freeze to death. A drunk or two would pass out on his front door step and freeze to death. Every year. But we’re talking a few people every year. Not ten’s of thousands.

    So what is it about Britain that such a thing is even possible? I’d really appreciate if someone could explain this because it just doesn’t seem like a plausible number.

    • Excess winter deaths, UK, 1999-2009 averaged around 27,000 with 1999/2000 being an outlier of about 44,000.

      Excess winter deaths 2014/2015 was about 43,900.

      WUWT did a post on excess winter deaths back in 2010. The third figure on that page gives data for England and Wales back to 1951. The death rate has been declining pretty steadily from the 1951 high of 104,000 excess deaths. Still, if excess deaths hit 40,000 again in 2015/2016, the juxtaposition of two high-mortality years will be unusual. There have been only four of them since 1980.

      Maybe we’ll see another unprecedented worse than we thought trend with climate change: a systematic rise in excess Winter deaths due to cold. Such an emergence would be a grim irony indeed.

      • WUWT did a post on

        Yeah, I read it.
        Shows Canada at about 6,000 deaths due to cold per year. See my point? Canada pop ~ 35 million, UK’s about 60 million, but UK has 8X the deaths due to cold in a country with an arguably much warmer climate than Canada’s?

        Is there some difference between countries in the way the attribution is done? Or does the UK house the elderly in card board boxes? There must be some explanation for why so many more people die of cold in the UK.

      • the statistic of excess winter deaths is computed by the difference in deaths during non-winter months vs winter months.
        attribution of deaths to cold temperatures is not supported.
        “Previous research has shown that although mortality does increase as it gets colder, temperature only explains a small amount of the variance in winter mortality, and high levels of EWM can occur during relatively mild winters Brown et al, 2010 (293 Kb Pdf) . Curwen and Devis (1988) showed that both temperature and levels of influenza were important predictors of excess winter mortality. The relationship between temperature, influenza and winter mortality is complex.”

        http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health2/excess-winter-mortality-in-england-and-wales/2014-15–provisional–and-2013-14–final-/stb-ewm.html#tab-Excess-winter-mortality–EWM–in-2014-15-by-underlying-cause-of-death
        and links on the side panel

      • @ gnomish January 8, 2016 at 1:13 am

        The deaths due to someone’s bronchitis flaring up because they are cold will show as a ‘respiratory death’ . The statistics should be in Monthly increments by using a wider smoothing you hide the deaths from cold. Cold months have more deaths and they are put down not as cold but as pneumonia (respiratory) or the weakened dementia patient finally dies in a cold month. Anyone who has worked in health care knows this.

        The reason it is worse in UK than Canada is that Canadian housing is set up for the cold. UK housing is not but it was possible to keep warm with ‘lossy’ heating systems, such as open coal fires in all rooms. The clean air acts, design changes to gas and electric heating changed that approach but then energy prices ‘necessarily sky rocketed’ to pay for windmills and changes to the grid to accept intermittent energy inputs, and to pay bonuses to the richer middle class who put PVs on their roofs. Taxes were raised on private energy producers penalizing them (just an opportunist tax) for using coal fired – forcing Drax to go to wood or shut down for example. To paying all these green subsidies and taxes made the costs to poorer people difficult – choices of heating or eating. Going low on eating and heating in the cold when you are over 70 can be the last straw to your immune system.

        It is not only UK of course – costs of energy in Germany are now so high that hundreds of thousands of families are living ‘off grid’.

        This is what the Malthusian’s want they just don’t say it overtly.

      • Ian- i find your assertions to be extremely tenuous.
        remember our beloved slogan:
        correlation is not causation

        “Thus, Cuba joins other tropical areas where major causes of death peak in the winter. For example, Seto et al. (1998) found that in Hawaii, mortality from carotid artery disease was 22% higher in the winter.”

        http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jul/27jul2011a4.html

        the ‘winter death alarmist narrative’ is no stronger than the co2 control knob one.

      • And how much of Alzheimer and dementia are just the effects of unproven and unnecessary treatment routinely given to older people?

        How is influenza defined?

    • The difference, David ,is simple – money. About this time last year one of the Age charities carried out a survey on elderly people and pensioners concerning their heating arrangements . They found out that 2/3 of those polled were very worried about the cost of heating the homes and 1/3 only ever heated one room for that reason .
      It is a combination of the cold and flu that kills the elderly in large numbers each winter according to the Govt itself . Many people , especially the poorer members, live in Victoria and Edwardian terrace houses with no effective insulation because way back then (as I remember ) coal was cheap and for many households in mining areas it would actually have been free.

  18. I bet all the greenies in the USA and Canada must be up in arms about all those trees being cut down. !

    Are you having blockades, and demonstrations yet ?

  19. People are gradually noticing that the entire Green/Warmitas idea is a boondoggle. Slowly one by one the money-eating schemes are being reeled back in, starting with the most obviously insane ones like British Drax Biomass first.

  20. Just another European Union ponzi scheme nicked before the EU “Feds” received their “Kick back” euros into their Swiss Bank Accounts

    Ha ha

  21. CAGW-obsessed Guardian sees a precedent for approval:

    6 Jan: Guardian: David Hellier: Drax biomass conversion must comply with EU state aid rules
    The (European) commission, which late last year gave approval for the German energy group RWE to undertake a similar conversion at its Lynemouth plant, wants to ensure the Drax plans are in line with EU state aid rules.
    The carbon footprint is reduced by 86% by burning wood pellets rather than coal, according to figures audited by PwC…
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/05/drax-biomass-conversion-must-comply-with-eu-state-aid-rules

    7 Jan: UK Telegraph: Emily Gosden: RWE sells Lynemouth power plant to EPH (Czech-based company) ahead of biomass conversion
    Owners of Eggborough power plant add to UK portolio, buying Lynemouth from German energy giant RWE
    Lynemouth, a 420MW coal plant in Northumberland, stopped generating in December under environmental rules but is due to be converted to burn wood pellets and reopen within about 18 months…
    The economics of the project hinge on a subsidy contract awarded by the Government in April 2014, at which time Lynemouth was expected to be converted by the end of 2015 and receive subsidies for the power it generated until 2027.
    However, the project only won state aid approval from the European Commission last month, eating into the value of the contract…
    Mr O’Hara also confirmed that Eggborough – which had been expected to close by March – could be saved through a possible contract with National Grid to keep it as an emergency back-up plant to help keep the lights on in winter 2016-17…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/coal/12088002/RWE-sells-Lynemouth-power-plant-to-EPH-ahead-of-biomass-conversion.html

  22. If a Republican gets in at the next election, he should immediately shut down the export of American forests.

      • There’ll be woodchips over
        The black cliffs of Dover
        (They won’t be white because of coal).
        There’ll be lives made hollow
        With poverty to follow
        A New World Order is the goal.

        The chip-ships will sail the seas,
        The Greenies we must appease
        By sacrificing all our trees
        We can save Planet Gaia, please!

        There’ll be Drax a-plenty
        Beyond twenty-twenty
        Our future, just you wait and see!

  23. By my calculations, both UAH USA and USA49 have 2015 as the warmest in the satellite record.

    RSS continental USA has 2015 in 2nd place.

    • As far as I can determine, every data series has USA 2015 as warmest or second warmest

      Can anyone confirm?

      • Meh! 2016 is already the warmest evah! And wait until 2017, 2018, and so on! All because of woodchips, or woodfries in the US!

      • David.. forget about the stupid comments.

        Look at the data.. is it correct or not..

        “every data series has USA 2015 as warmest or second warmest”

        yes.. or no.

      • Stephen can you give a link or pointer to where he gives USA only analysis. I can’t find it.

        Thanks.

      • AndyG55:

        I am only replying to you for the benefit of any onlookers who may not be aware of the egregious nature of your behaviour.

        You are only trying to disrupt this thread!

        If you had any other purpose then you would be posting to the appropriate thread your information with your interpretation of its relevance. And you would NOT be threadbombing this thread with demands for others to do your homework for you.

        Richard

    • AndyG55:

      Forget about your stupid soundbites.

      2015 is at the end of two centuries of warming from the Little Ice Age and its temperature is enhanced by El Nino.

      yes.. or no.

      Richard

      • hint.. if you do the world that are some other interesting pieces of data you might find..

        up to you… do the work… or don’t.

      • another hint.. .. look at north and south poles for UAH and as close as you get in RSS.

        I’m not giving away anything… up to you ;-)

      • AndyG55:

        Of course I “have the ability” to “confirm the data”; see this.

        Try to read its Appendix B and attempt to learn from it in the unlikely event that you have the ability.

        Your attempt will take you a little time so will have the added benefit of stopping you threadbombing this thread with irrelevance for some minutes.

        Richard

      • Let’s start with UAH USA48 and USA49.. where does 2015 sit?

        Then you can look at RSS ContUSA

        Then USCRN and ClimDiv.

        Once you have them, look at UAH NoPol and SoPol, and RSS 60-82.5N and RSS 60-70S.

        Off you go.

      • Mods:

        I am surprised that this off-topic threadbombing from AndyG55 is acceptable.

        It contains nothing of interest or use.

        Richard

      • AndyG55:

        If you had the ability to read the link I gave you then you would have learned that for many years I have had great interest in “temperature data analysis”.

        The only “bizarre” thing is that an anonymous troll is threadbombing this thread with irrelevant twaddle about 2015 temperatures when there is an active WUWT thread which is discussing that subject here.

        Richard

      • Richard.. I am trying to get you to do the yearly analysis for UAH NoPol and SoPol (and the closest equivalents in RSS)

        The result is very interesting compared to the USA only results

        I strongly suggest you do the analysis.

      • AndyG55:

        I am only replying to you for the benefit of any onlookers who may not be aware of the egregious nature of your behaviour.

        You are only trying to disrupt this thread!

        If you had any other purpose then you would be posting to the appropriate thread your information with your interpretation of its relevance. And you would NOT be threadbombing this thread with demands for others to do your homework for you.

        Richard

      • On the temperature data thread now , Richard..

        Perhaps you can have some positive input there…………………….. or not.

      • FWIW..

        1. that other thread did not exist when I first posted.. no other temperature data thread nearby either.

        2. Richard obviously finds discussing temperature data very difficult, otherwise he would have gone to the other thread with me to discuss things in a polite manner…….. something he seems incapable of doing..

      • AndyG55:

        If you were able to read the link I now provide for the third time in this threadhere then you would know I enjoy proper discussion of temperature data.

        If you enjoyed proper discussion of temperature data then you would be contributing to the appropriate thread instead of continuing your attempts to disrupt this thread.

        Nobody enjoys interacting with trolls and I find your content-free disruptive and insulting drivel unpleasant.

        Richard

  24. There is another aspect , not so far mentioned here , that bothers me and perhaps some one more knowledgeable about the technology can reassure me.
    I was incredibly lucky in being born in Oxfordshire and as a youngster could walk along country lanes and beside fields lined with huge , majestic elm trees . Then , within a few years in the 60s they all disappeared, victims of Dutch Elm disease brought in on imported timber from North America , leaving a scrubby wasteland and the loss of important environment for birds and insects. We are now also seeing diseases amongst ash , oak and chestnut , again associated, I believe from media comments (I am not a biologist) with imported, fungally contaminated, timber products .
    Now we are importing massive quantities of wood pellets and storing them in warehouses until use as fuel.
    What precautions are being used to ensure that there is no contamination or disease in the imported wood.
    I understand that some countries , like Australia , have very strict rules on bringing agricultural produce into their country and that tourists have to be searched for the odd apple to prevent any problems like that have occurred in the UK . Very sensible, but too late for us .

    • mikewaite: My mother’s cousin in Farnham south of London used to visit Canada to inspect wood and develop procedures to prevent the introduction of bugs and disease into the UK from importing of wood from Canada (and elsewhere). He received some sort of award from the Queen for his work before he passed away. I am guessing that all that work is for naught now.

  25. They did it to save Drax. Under EU and their labour party law of 2008 Drax will have to close very soon if it continued to burn coal. I don’t know Drax’s relative size to the grid demand but I suspect it is large. If they are forced to stop burning wood they may have to close. That would be a disaster for britain but may be the final nail in their membership of the ridiculous EU

    • Drax is a 4 gw plant, one of the biggest in Europe. So on a day-today basis, it reperesents 10% of the UKs electrical consumption. And many of the turbines are quite modern. Without Drax, the UK goes tits up.

      Ralph

      • Or to put it another way, Drax reliably produces base load power, that is 3 times the peak power of all the renewables in the UK combined. On one site.
        Political games with this power plant are like trying to play Russian roulette with a pistol.

      • Stephen Richards:

        Why not? If the street lamps go dark for lack of power, they might as well be put to some other use.

  26. Before anyone gets the idea that DRAX is an investors dream just look at the share price.

    November 2014 price 800p today its around 230p.

    The crazy green energy plan has seen a high tech coal plant degraded to burn wood chips transported all the way from USA.
    Apparently British woodchips are more expensive so not used
    The thermal efficiency has gone down the carbon footprint has gone up.
    The greens the british government and the EEC run around like headless chickens.

    Anyone who invests in british energy systems must be mad.

    Meanwhile cold sub zero temperatures are on there way just as the efficient coal fired plants are now closed or closing!

  27. Eric Worrall:

    Thankyou for your essay that reports the Telegraph as saying

    European Commission raises concerns that proposed subsidies for biomass conversion may be too generous.

    Drax’s hopes of securing lucrative subsidies for its biomass conservion have suffered a setback after the European Commission launched a full state aid investigation over concerns the payments may be too generous.

    The Yorkshire-based power plant is in the process of switching from burning coal to biomass, and was awarded a £1.7bn Government subsidy contract in April 2014 for the third of its six units – subject to state aid approval.

    The subsequent thread has not discussed a serious underlying issue.

    The Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) of the European Union (EU) was established in response to the ‘Acid Rain’ scare of the 1980s. The bureaucracy which the EU established to operate the LCPD still exists. And those bureaucrats justify their jobs by imposing ever more stringent, always more pointless, and extremely expensive emission limits which are causing enforced closure of UK power stations.

    The LCPD constrains emissions of oxides of sulphur and nitrogen (SOx and NOx). The last remaining UK deep coal mine was at Kellingley and was closed just before Christmas because its coal contained much inherent nitrogen and, therefore, power stations would have needed to fit expensive catalytic converters to burn Kellingley coal without risk of exceeding the latest NOx emission limit. It is this additional equipment cost that made Kellingley coal uncompetitive with coals imported from the US and Poland: the imports had much higher transport costs than Kellingley coal.

    There are three aspects to this, and they all relate to the subsidies for substituting wood for coal as fuel in the Drax power station.

    Firstly, most NOx from coal combustion in power stations results from oxidation of atmospheric nitrogen and is called ‘atmospheric NOx’. The formation of atmospheric NOx occurs with increasing efficiency as temperatures increase above 800°C. Hence, low-NOx burners are used to conduct ‘staged combustion’ which minimises the volume of the necessary highest temperature flame.

    Additional NOx is formed from the nitrogen chemically combined in the coal. This addition is small relative to the variability of atmospheric NOx formation. But a power station cannot afford the risk of burning high inherent nitrogen if emission limits are lowered sufficiently and penalties for exceeding them are set sufficiently high.

    The inherent nitrogen content of wood is high and is more variable than that of Kellingley coal.

    Secondly, the ‘green’ subsidies for power generation are all intended to encourage displacement of coal as power station fuel with the stated objective of reducing CO2 from power generation. If “proposed subsidies for biomass conversion may be too generous” then existing subsidies for intermittent power generators (e.g. windfarms) must be too generous.

    Thirdly, the legislations and subsidies affecting power generation do not form a coherent structure. The LCPD has enforced transport of coal with resulting CO2 emission that was not necessary and has raised costs. And subsidy for substitution of biomass for coal as fuel for Drax is calculated without inclusion – and with no legal need to include – the addition to CO2 emission from transport of the biomass (i.e. the wood pellets).

    The clear underlying issue for this mess on incoherent legislations and subsidies is an attempt to stop the use of coal as a fuel for power generation. Why this is being attempted is a mystery although it has clear beneficiaries; e.g. Gazprom.

    Richard

    • Richard:

      Thanks for this detail, but you say “The inherent nitrogen content of wood is high and is more variable than that of Kellingley coal”. Does this not imply the converted Drax plant will likely run afoul of the latest NOx limits anyway? Did the Drax project get an exemption from LCPD because it would reduce CO2?

      • Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7:

        You very reasonably ask me

        Thanks for this detail, but you say “The inherent nitrogen content of wood is high and is more variable than that of Kellingley coal”. Does this not imply the converted Drax plant will likely run afoul of the latest NOx limits anyway? Did the Drax project get an exemption from LCPD because it would reduce CO2?

        Obviously, it does “imply the converted Drax plant will likely run afoul of the latest NOx limits anyway” but I don’t know if Drax has some kind of “an exemption from LCPD”.

        Please note that I am not evading your question: I am admitting my genuine ignorance. I ceased my investigation of these matters when told I need bother no more because it had been decided to close Kellingley.

        Richard

  28. The EU has two obsessions: being “Green”, and taking care of Germany and France, this investigation is probably mostly about the latter. Since both Germany and France opted for relatively expensive electricity (nuclear, wind and solar) they have to force the same costs on everyone to maintain competitiveness of their energy intensive industries, they don’t like the fact that this is relatively cheap electricity.

  29. Once again, the supporting picture shows harmless steam coming from the cooling towers, with seemingly no ‘polluting’ smoke coming from the chimney.

  30. Why are they chipping the wood, Then shipping it?
    Trimmed and dressed logs would be denser and could be chipped prior to burning.
    The trimmings and dressing’s could be chipped and shipped.
    Also logs do not burst into flame on there own.
    The wood does not need to be wetted down so less heat to evaporation lost.
    As a poor pensioner I find that this UK government is gambling with my life.

  31. Suppose you dig a ton of coal from a deep mine. You then cut down trees (which are far less energy efficient than coal) to get the same amount of energy.
    Which causes the greater environmental and natural habitat destruction?
    The answer is obvious.

    The truly sickening thing is that this destruction is being done in the name of the green religion.
    It’s extraordinary that so many “green” policies end up destroying the environment and killing people
    e.g. biofuels that push up the price of food and have caused renewed rain forest destruction.
    Volkswagen: green policies based on the demonisation of completely natural and harmless carbon dioxide increased *real* pollution that may have killed tens of thousands of people.
    The Drax power station.

    I’m truly green because I believe that carbon dioxide is completely harmless, that it is making the planet greener and that it is completely beneficial.
    Chris

  32. On a slightly different topic…..

    Europe is lost….Dozens of women are raped in Germany on New Years Eve by muslim refugees and the mayor of the city tells German women to ” Avoid ALL men ” to be safe?? N.U.T.S

  33. I think the 100 Billion dollars per year to be collected by the UN for the 3rd world countries to adopt to green energy is just a front !!! The money will be required to cover the flood of refugees that will bankrupt Europe.

  34. I really feel for Drax. they had some up to the state coal plant, fully de-sulphurised, running well. Then the givernment said ‘thou shalt not burn coal’ and as they were already burning straw and other waste, they set about a huge investment to burn wood, on the promise that this massive investment would be paid back by getting access to a green tariff. Then the government said ‘actually no, you wont get that tariff, we will give you a lower rate’ and now the EU is getting in on the act.

    Regardless of the wisdom or otherwise of burning imported trees, the EU and the UK government have utterly reneged on the agreements they made with respect to Drax which is the biggest power station in the UK and an asset we cannot afford to see closed, as we are already in negative territory in terms of reserve capacity for 2016

    • When 70,000 people die this winter for lack of affordable heat, MAYBE the English peons will wake up and throw the socialists out !!

      • Marcus:

        You ignorantly say

        When 70,000 people die this winter for lack of affordable heat, MAYBE the English peons will wake up and throw the socialists out !!

        The socialists were “thrown out” six years ago in the election before last.

        The UK has a Conservative government that is demonstrating the traditional incompetence of all Conservative governments.

        Richard

      • Dear misbegotten Richard…

        Your English version of a Conservative Party is NOT the same as a Canadian or USA version !

  35. A conservative US blogger (Ace of Spades, check him out) once commented ‘What a stupid time to be alive’. CAGW and the reaction of various governments define this statement.

  36. How can UK and Germany be so idiotic as to join in a union of European countries: Two giants technologically and economically in a welfare kindergarten of nations that they will have to support. UK is the bigger fool. They have a global English-speaking, economically, politically and culturally homogenized network of nations – the US and the British Commonwealth of Nations which comprises continents and sub continents to put together an economic colossus as an alternative!

    I’m not British, but I am outraged that some EU overpaid, nonelected neomarxbrotherly bureaucrat who (you can be assured) is bitterly jealous of the history and impact of this nation, is going to go onto this hallowed land and decide if he will overturn an agreement made by the British government with a British enterprise. I sit worrying that my sentiments are not shared by a tranquilized British citizenry. Get up on your hind legs and kick this guy’s ass into the ENGLISH Channel.

    • ..If you really want an example of stu.pidity, look above to ” richardscourtney ” unintelligent / ignorant prognosis…The rule is.. …you.. can’t ..fix STU.PID ….ever !

      • He does seem to be stuck in the mid 1940’s. He can’t seem to comprehend that it was “socialist” Govn’ts, yes Richard…LABOUR Govn’ts, that destroyed the UK after WW2. And yet it’s all blamed on Thatcher. She stole milk from primary schools. She stopped the coal industry. She closed railways. She made bad quality cars and bikes. Yes it was all her fault! Sheesh!

    • Marcus and Patrick MJD:

      Thankyou for yet another clear demonstration that ultra-right trolls have nothing to offer but insults and lunacy.

      Today is NOT the 1940s and the legacy of Thatcher is that 80% (yes, four fifths) of UK GDP is now ‘services’ with half of that being financial services so when the US or China get an economic ‘cold’ then the UK gets economic ‘pneumonia’.

      None of that is pertinent to this thread, but – as you demonstrate – anonymous ultra-right trolls seek any opportunity to promote their nasty and untrue political beliefs.

      Richard

      • Patrick MJD:

        Untrue smears and misrepresentations of the person are “insults” and not “Different opinion”. Your insults of me have the clear intention to personally defame and to flame as a tactic to disrupt debate from its subject: that behaviour is trolling. Your post I answered only consists of insults and trolling.

        That is everything which needs to be said on the matter because the truth of it is apparent to all whatever excuses you may present in attempt to provide additional trolling.

        Richard

      • Not juste UK, many countries cannot keep factories except in a few sectors, almost everything is outsourced.

        The cost of labour is just INSANE:
        – cost of housing driven up mostly by politics designed to cure the problem with the cost of housing, and by construction codes designed to help poor people with energy bills
        – cost of cars driven up by anti-pollution and anti-CO2 rules (that in the end probably increase complete cycle energy consumption)
        – cost of energy
        – cost of social security or other medical insurance driven up by the replacement of old, well-known, mostly safe cheap drugs with modern, badly known, very costly drugs esp. anti-cancer drugs (like anti-tumors that makes tumors grow), and other unproven anti-cancer policies like breast screening, that probably harm health
        – unstable and irrational regulations that do nothing for health or safety

        Even the minimum salary is sky high, and people can barely live with that.

        The Occident think its population is mostly highly educated. It is NOT. The school system tries to teach factoids but very often almost no understanding of the method.

        Most people lack skill to evaluate claims and policy, and buy snake oil, esp. via public policy, where “it’s free the State pays” (François Hollande).

      • If you can identify the insult, please do. If you can identify the trolling, please do. I can see no insult or trolling anywhere in any reply post made by me to a post made by you. I am also not in breach of site policy, otherwise my posts would be moderated and appropriately so.

      • Marcus and Patrick:
        Richard is a drama queen. His secret shame is that he full well knows that in a free market he has absolutely nothing to offer and could not survive. That’s why he nurses at the breast of Nanny State and seeks relevance as her defender.

      • “gnomish

        January 9, 2016 at 4:24 pm”

        Not at all. His posts are very informative and I enjoy reading them however, if he can show a derogatory, trolling and smearing post I made in response to a post he made then I will retract and apologise. Otherwise…

      • Evidence? He don’t need no stinkin evidence.
        But note that he is now your topic and he is now my topic. His Offendedness, the usurper, has reclaimed top billing because ‘wictimhood uber alles!’

      • gnomish:

        Get back in your cell. There are no padded walls outside to inhibit you hurting yourself. And your silly posts are hurting you.

        Now, diddums, is you going to claim “wictimhood” or have some other tantrum?

        Richard

      • Patrick MJD:

        I had intended to ignore your further posts but have changed that decision as a result of your interaction with the childish troll posting as ‘gnomish’.

        You say

        If you can identify the insult, please do. If you can identify the trolling, please do. I can see no insult or trolling anywhere in any reply post made by me to a post made by you. I am also not in breach of site policy, otherwise my posts would be moderated and appropriately so.

        You supported an unsolicited post from Marcus that said in total

        ..If you really want an example of stu.pidity, look above to ” richardscourtney ” unintelligent / ignorant prognosis…The rule is.. …you.. can’t ..fix STU.PID ….ever !

        That is pure flaming insult which cannot be true because I made no “prognosis”.
        Your support said in total

        He does seem to be stuck in the mid 1940’s. He can’t seem to comprehend that it was “socialist” Govn’ts, yes Richard…LABOUR Govn’ts, that destroyed the UK after WW2. And yet it’s all blamed on Thatcher. She stole milk from primary schools. She stopped the coal industry. She closed railways. She made bad quality cars and bikes. Yes it was all her fault! Sheesh!

        But I had made no reference to the 1940s or Margaret Thatcher. Your inventions are additional defamatory inventions; i.e. insults.

        I replied to you and Marcus saying in total

        Thankyou for yet another clear demonstration that ultra-right trolls have nothing to offer but insults and lunacy.

        Today is NOT the 1940s and the legacy of Thatcher is that 80% (yes, four fifths) of UK GDP is now ‘services’ with half of that being financial services so when the US or China get an economic ‘cold’ then the UK gets economic ‘pneumonia’.

        None of that is pertinent to this thread, but – as you demonstrate – anonymous ultra-right trolls seek any opportunity to promote their nasty and untrue political beliefs.

        Now, please apologise or go away.

        Richard

      • Please, Richard, may I have another wall of text to prove how little I mean to you?
        You’re unconvincing when you restrain your passion.
        Also, Patrick may need additional persuasion if he is to acknowledge The Red Queen.
        (This has been entertaining, may the Mods forgive me. But now I must find my swooning couch. Buhbye.)

  37. Another Euroland scheme goes bust. Their mistake was in not getting Greece involved in the project. The Greeks are much better at getting deals extended, revised, and delayed with debt haircut in the end.

  38. It would save on fossil fuel transport cost if they just mix the coal with paper money and certify it as Green Energy.

  39. I’m told that only the lowest value wood tracts in the eastern U.S. are viable for this pellet market and that much of that is marginal with transport cost of extraction factored in. (It’s not lined up next to rail lines or ports.) Add in a long recovery in the U.S. housing market and timber price recovery and it is only a matter of time before this subsidy-driven enterprise flops. So they are buying some time is what the subtitle translation means.

  40. In the 19th century the development of coal technology saved the forests of Europe from being cut down to keep buildings warm for a burgeoning human population. Now, the same forests are threatened by human stupidity (or greed) of the highest order. When a hundred year old tree is cut and burned the CO2 is released immediately. The tree that replaces it will take a hundred years to suck the equivalent CO2 out of the atmosphere. If the tree in question had remained there it would have continued removing CO2 during the whole time the replacement tree was much smaller. This is not carbon neutral over the short term or the long term and does nothing to mitigate what we’re being told is a climate emergency. For this travesty to be subsidized by governments at any level is a disgraceful waste of money.

  41. Let’s not forget that after the trees are chopped down the wood is processed into pellets and then soaked with water so they don’t spontaneously combust on the way over to the UK.

    Then they are dried out again before being burned. All this produces vast amounts of CO2, as well as killing off a natural carbon sink.

    After all that, the extortionate cost of the electricity pushes households into fuel poverty so that thousands of our elderly and infirm fellow citizens suffer a premature death during winter.

    What a wonderful idea! Not.

  42. This is a link to an interesting video that appeared on, of all places, PBS. It seems to be a pretty neutral take on Green Energy. The presenter’s view on ethanol from corn, and the mistakes made by Germany (I am beginning to doubt the intelligence of the German people) are especially interesting.

    http://powertothepeoplefilm.com/

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