British Foreign Aid Scandal: “Hundreds of Millions” Wasted on Useless Renewable Projects

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Telegraph, a major UK Newspaper, has investigated a scandalous waste of British taxpayer’s money on expensive renewables projects which deliver very little return for the money invested.

Hundreds of millions of British aid ‘wasted’ on overseas climate change projects

Robert Mendick, chief reporter

12 MARCH 2017 • 10:00PM

Serious questions are raised today over hundreds of millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money being ‘wasted’ on climate change projects such as an Ethiopian wind farm and Kenyan solar power plant.

A Telegraph investigation shows little benefit so far from a £2 billion foreign aid programme to tackle climate change that was established eight years ago.

One scheme, costing £260m of UK taxpayers’ money, has produced only enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of just 100 British households – about the size of a typical street.

Projects including solar parks in Kenya and Mali, a rubbish-burning power plant in the Maldives and wind farmer project in Ethiopia are all earmarked for funding from the scheme.

The Telegraph investigation raises major concerns over the use of international aid money to fund complex renewable energy schemes in some of the world’s poorest countries.

It will also reignite the row over the Government’s commitment, championed by David Cameron, to ring fence the £12 billion annual foreign aid budget, which is fixed at 0.7 per cent of national income.

Critics have accused the Government of “scandalously wasting” taxpayers’ money on the schemes.

The Government defended the funds’ performance.

A spokesman said: “The Climate Investment Fund is helping provide the world’s poorest people with stronger defences to extreme weather which can cause life-threatening crises such as floods, droughts and famine.

Read more:

Britain passed a law committing 0.7% of British GDP to foreign aid in 2015, but the scheme has been misconceived from the start. Instead of having to justify expenditure, British bureaucrats are now required by law to find ways to spend enormous sums of money. The inevitable outcome of this government idiocy has been a tremendous perverse incentive for inefficiency and corruption.

Since British conservatives are much greener than US counterparts, a significant slice of this budget is directed to green energy schemes in the third world, a string of white elephant projects across Africa, dumped in locations which neither need or want them.

It is good at least some of the British Press are finally taking notice of this scandalous waste of money.

Britain has huge domestic problems which could really use some of that wasted money.

The single payer British government healthcare system is so bad in places, Médecins du Monde, which normally offers free medical services in third world war zones and the like has opened clinics in Britain, to treat people who are not receiving proper care from government health outlets.

Waste and poor treatment of British war veterans is an ongoing scandal.

Pensioners and poor people shiver away in policy created fuel poverty, starving themselves to save enough money to pay exorbitant green energy inflated heating bills.

British Government debt is out of control.

Yet despite all this disastrous waste and suffering, the British government still find extra borrowed cash to splurge on worthless renewable schemes in other countries.

The sooner this sorry chapter of British government waste is brought to a close, the better.


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Africa’s Aid Mess
Renowned author Paul Theroux discusses why the philanthropy of Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Bono, and Jeffrey Sachs largely fails. Here’s what works.

The desire of distant outsiders to fix Africa may be heartfelt, but it is also age-old and even quaint. Curiously repetitive in nature, renewed and revised every decade or so, it is an impulse Charles Dickens described, in a wickedly accurate phrase, as “telescopic philanthropy.” That is, a focus from afar to uplift the continent: New York squinting compassionately at Nairobi.


Few things have harmed Africa more than ‘foreign aid’.




Slavery was of course horrible for the poor men and women who were kidnapped and sold. But if you know how things really played out there on the ground, there are a lot more similarities to the foreign aid boondoggles than many like to admit.

First off, it was very rare for westerners to charge in and actually kidnap people – what would happen is that they would make deals with the local slave dealers, who were connected with the local tribal rulers, who would capture and turn over all the people they didn’t like (war enemies, political enemies, whatever) and get some nice goods and payments in exchange.

The slave trade was a way for the Westerners to give tribal rulers money and goods while getting those leaders to do their dirty work for them, and from the tribal leaders POV it was an easy way for them to make some money while getting rid of anyone who they saw as a problem for them.

Africa really hasn’t changed all that much. Neither have we.



Slavery was never imposed on Africa.


Johann Wundersamer


Johann Wundersamer

Africans raping for progress?

Johann Wundersamer

JWurts on March 12, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Slavery was never imposed on Africa.


Because Africa thrives on slavery.

Johann Wundersamer

My first remembrance on the 1950ties is ‘blind children of Biafra’.

Here’s the progress since:

Johann Wundersamer
Johann Wundersamer
Johann Wundersamer

I’ve got the silver. In my hairs, 30 years ago.

Johann Wundersamer

Ain’t no big surprise!

Johann Wundersamer
Jeff Alberts

Johann, threadbombing is not a good thing. please stop.

Walter Sobchak

Better than the Toto version:

“Originally by rock band Toto, “Africa” is given a twist with acapella group Straight No Chaser. The song is off their CD, Holiday Spirits.”

Walter Sobchak

wws: Yes.

Excellent detailed history: “The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440 – 1870” by Hugh Thomas

The European slave traders were only intermediaries. Most leftist propaganda about the issue conveniently elides the fact of African participation.





Africa did not invent slavery. The word “slave” comes from Slav as so many Roman slaves were Slavic. The vast majority of slaves have been white.

Slavery has been embraced by Islam since its inception in 611 AD and it is the spread of Islam in Africa and the many tribes ripe for raiding that has made Africa a huge slave fruit basket. Get rid of Islam and the major force behind ongoing slavery disappears.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek

“Few things have harmed Africa more than ‘foreign aid’.”
and the reply

There thousands and thousands of slaves, right now, in Africa. Real ones, not economic slaves like Cambodia and Vietnam, I am talking about people owned and enslaved and forced to work their whole lives for another. The whole of the central Sahara is a slave zone. In 1990 (sorry for old stat) there were only 1500 Blacks in Mauritania who were not slaves. Consult UN stats.

Colonialism is the usual whipping boy for discussion of Africa however there are plenty of self-imposed problems. In case there is doubt as my standing to comment, I have lived in Africa longer than the majority of Africans currently alive and worked in African 20 countries. If slavery is something you feel strongly about, go to Africa and try to end it. You can buy a young Black woman slave at the slave market in Khartoum for $10. Over-supply drives down the price.

The biggest problem preventing development (progress) in Africa is ‘the land problem’ which means people are in a great portion of the places, unable to own it, improve it, sell it, develop it, or retain it. It is a major cause of deforestation. No one’s tree is everyone’s tree. Anyone’s land is no one’s land.

Development projects like the crazy solar PV in the middle of nowhere sound great and are troughs into which at least some local snouts can delve. Crazy development employs a lot of people. But it is not ‘development’ in the regular sense. That is why I am concerned that giving a bunch of rank amateurs $100 billion to ‘offset the effects of climate change’ when the interpretation of ‘effects’ is anything you want. Read the Copenhagen Agreement. You think the Brits are wasting money, that is with the pros running it. Wait until you see the show that will be directed by the climate cult amateurs.

Monty Python Goes Developing.
Just imagine it.
Nope, think harder.
It’s gonna be worse than that.

The price is a little higher in Iraq, 2 sheep. .. American women have no idea. In India, a lot of the beggars are women who have been thrown out.

george e. smith

Well it was Africans who enslaved other Africans.
Doesn’t justify it; but that’s what happened.


Boulder Skeptic

“Renowned author Paul Theroux…”

Also read his “Dark Star Safari” for more of the same. I read it after traveling to East Africa and seeing the negative side of the foreign aid culture first hand.

“investigation shows little benefit so far from a £2 billion foreign aid programme,…”

How many coal power plants can you build and operate it for £2billion?

Paul Theroux’ follow-up: The Last Train to Zona Verde: Overland from Cape Town to Angola (2013)

Even darker than Dark Star.

george e. smith

At a Stanford U sponsored business seminar, held at their Fallen Leaf Lodge in the Sierra, an economist Professor, told the attendees, that you can bankrupt the entire economies of the Developed world, (not just the Western World) and you would still not be able to solve the problems that beset Africa.

He of course laid out some of the reasons for that; and no it was so long ago (circa 1975) that I don’t remember those details.

But as to the UK Government wastage on Renewables, and “climate change”, there’s an equally vast wastage by UK and others on ” Putting the energy of the sun in a virtually free clean green infinite sourced box or bottle.

Last weekend, I watched a BBC T&V science show all about thermo- fusion energy projects around the globe some of which the UK is funding. (US too, I’m sure).

We’ve been told we can get ALL of the energy the entire world needs, from the top 1/16th of an inch of the water in San Francisco Bay; which could in fact be Sierra Snow melt runoff.

I didn’t catch the whole show, but enough to leave my hair all standing on end.

One system being funded by somebody, seemed to use some sort of mechanical piston pumps arranged radially about a “chamber”; presumable the box to contain the sun.

I won’t spend too much time here diverting from the other issues; BUT !!

Suppose you have any such whack-a-mole machine, because that’s what they are, and you scrunched your “fuel” pellet, and got out more energy (as heat) than you put in, in some whack form.

Well the idea is for the nuclear fusion to take over from the match and continue to maintain the fusion reaction.

So after you blatch your fuel capsule, just what exactly comes next in this cheap process to put the sun in a bottle.

I conclude that WAM machines are toys for exploring high density high temperature plasmas; but not a cheap source of energy; or even any energy cheap or not.

So if we presume as a given that a magnetic field of some sort, can be used to indefinitely hold some plasma of some materials at a Temperature and pressure; maybe tens to hundreds of millions of kelvin, How do you continuously take out the garbage, and input new fuel, without disturbing the continuous stable reaction.
And how do you get from the thermo-nuclear fusion heated t-to-h MK temperatures, to say 1,2.3 KK bottled sauce to run some super steam turbine.

What the hell is the Carnot efficiency of such a heat exchanger system ??

I’ve NEVER seen a theoretical paper on exactly how a practical thermo-nuclear fusion reactor works from start to finish, with ANY sort of fuel from H2, D2, or DT or whatever.

In a regular fission nuclear reactor, what is the conversion efficiency from fission caused energy; heat and KE of particles, to final grid electric energy ?? What is the ratio of the total energy “released” in the box, and the grid energy out. ??

But back to the renewables.

If we need to use already available fossilized energy to light the match under renewable energy “sources”, then we are eventually doomed to perpetual cold.

Renewables have to light their own damn matches, or they will never be viable.


Sound. I think.

Tom Halla

Sounds like a typical green scandal. Virtue signalling does not care much about cost-effectiveness.

Javert Chip

Wow! 0.007% of GDP (US equivalent $124B)! That’s a stunning amount of money to put on auto-pilot to be given away by politicians/bureaucrats, especially to “Big Men” in Africa. The UK has a bad case of the Ben & Jerry’s disease.

Good thing you don’t have any bad banks, national debt, national defense needs or needy citizens in your own country.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia


Leonard Lane

The post said 0.7% not 0.007%

Phil Rae

Javert Chip

UK GDP is ~USD2.8 trillion and 0.7% of that number is actually around USD20 billion, I think, assuming these numbers are correct. Still a collosal waste of money when it could be spent much better in other ways. Even assuming it was “ring fenced” for foreign aid, there are much better things that could be done with this money. Follwing some of the suggestions of Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen consensus would be a good place to start!

horace jason oxboggle

Yep! 2.6 million pounds sterling per household sounds like a sweet deal (for some, maybe! Mugabe, anyone?)


Money spent on green vanity projects is not expected to be spent wisely or efficiently. It is merely expected to be spent, the expenditure considered a success in and of itself.

The spending is channeled through politically connected channels. So yes, the expenditure is considered a success in and of itself, since it is a redistribution of taxpayer money to privileged insiders. It is a form of payback among friends, using other people’s money.


Foreign “aid” is a slush fund to buy cooperation of local dictators. Whether it is called “green” or not changes little. That is why all the “green” money is basically just redirected foreign aid that was already there.


Oh, they joy that must be felt when spending someone else’s money to boost your own image!


People need to know where their taxes are being spent and vote accordingly. I’m guessing you could not account for all the money taxed and levied on CO2. Much like the UN….. a bottomless pit with no accountability.

Pat Frank

What can you possibly mean by, “scandalous waste of money“?

Those projects most likely made several people very rich! Was that a waste of money?!!?

No, … wait. . . . :-p



There will probably never be a final accounting , but the opportunity cost of CO2/Green fantasies to the people of the UK must be vast. They probably could have done something useful with the billions that have been frittered away for no tangible benefit.

Finally some of this is getting on the news. I believe we can thank Trump, Farage, Wilders and many people that have woken up and are STANDING up against the farce that has been the focus of the MSM in the past decades. We should thank people like Anthony, Curry, Soon, Crockford, Moncton etc etc etc
( too many to name sorry if your name wasn’t there) for having the courage to stand up in the face of terrible attacks on you for your beliefs and the truth.
It is a breath of fresh air thankfully and it is spring to boot ! And please everyone do not stop now, keep up the great work because it isn’t over yet. The insanity has to be stopped and we need to focus again on the well being of our own elderly, veterans and our children.

Javert Chip

Absolutely true.

Citizens smart enough to take themselves out of the EU will be smart enough to figure this one out.

I see this is being reported by the Telegraph newspaper. As an yank, I have no idea the quality of that paper – is their reporting generally high quality or of the Globe & Daily Mail variety?

John V. Wright

Hi Javert – The Daily Telegraph is a well-respected ‘serious’ newspaper in the UK, of a similar standing to the Times. Politically, it is the polar opposite of the left-wing Guardian. The Telegraph has a strong editorial team of reporters and columnists and has broken several major scandals over the years.


The Daily Telegraph is the highest circulation of the “broadsheet” ie serious, newspapers. It is right of centre (but not extreme like the Daily Mail), so reasonably moderate, mainstream Conservative. Good quality, but I would say historically very weak on science and environment reporting. Generally not alarmist. They investigated and broke the MP expenses scandal in recent years, proper investigative reporting.

The Telegraph daily circulation is about 3 times that of the Guardian (472K vs 157K) and slightly higher than the Times. By comparison the Daily Mail is about 1.5M and the Sun tabloid about 1.7M

Leo Smith

For a time the Telegraph had the ability to accept readers comments online, and a vigorous ‘green’ puff section.

They dumped the green puff section because the money went out of green advertising.

They dumped the comments section because it was starting to look like a UKIP festival.

Its now dangling on the edge of bankruptcy but still has a few good articles.

This may be one of them.


John – I think your description needs the words ‘used to be…’ appended in front of it.

The Telegraph has sacked most of its journalists, is losing money, is in thrall to its owners the Barclay brothers and biased towards their interests and like the Mail employs interns to rip stuff off the net.

It is less credible than ever.


As a London ‘Daily Telegraph’ reader of many years, I agree.
Twerps. I have agreed with you twice in a week; one of us is smoking something interesting?
But interesting.

The Telegraph has a reasonably good Sports Section – but, as you say, much of the “news section” is straight rip-offs from the internet. Although they do acknowledge their sources; ‘from a paper in the February ‘Antiquarian Times’ by Smith, Chung and MacAteer’ or whatever. Pretty much cut and paste in some cases, I think.

Incidentally, ‘Private Eye’ (the ‘satirical fortnightly’) has a good column on the UK Newspaper Industry, which has corroborated your comments over the last few years.


Patrick MJD

Knowing Ethiopia as I do, most of that money will be siphoned off by corrupt officials and politicians. BTW, solar projects in Kenya were supposed to provide power to 10,000 homes, it’s one of Griff’s favourite examples of how well renewables are doing in Africa.


….maybe Griff’s vested interest has been exposed in the form of “dividends” from Kenya. It all boils down to “follow the money”.

So maybe griff is half way right . Or is that wrong, It sure looks like the CYA is starting every where.

Leo Smith

“Corruption is a Western Concept”

Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa.


I think Zuma is correct.

In the west we have lots of “legal” ways to syphon off money involving businesses and non-profit organisations. That makes money for the lawyers and accountants as well.

Think of the money the government “gave” to, for instance, Solyndra. Many government cronies “earned” large sums until the money ran out. Consider also the way that non-profits or foundations work in the US. Some just seem to be money laundering operations for the already rich.

Javert Chip

Given the current state of affairs, you gotta look at the bright side: it’s ONLY hundreds of millions. Our ex-president (Obama) gave away almost $1B to climate schemes in his last few weeks in office. The US Congress didn’t authorize it, he just gave it away.


The Obama administration was also sending hundreds of millions of dollars to other nations to help them out with climate change. Obama sent something like $50 million to Asian nations just before he left Office. Sure is easy to spend other people’s money, isn’t it, Barack.

Trump is going to stop this overseas CAGW gravy train. Now it looks like British citizens are becoming aware of the waste their government is engaged in. Don’t know if this knowledge will stop the British gravy train or not. Trump’s not in charge over there.


Will the last capable professional engineer, if there is one, in the HOC, the HOL or Whitehall please turn off the lights before leaving! That is, assuming they would know how to do this!


No need,they will go out on their own once there is no more power from the “green” energy sector.


They won’t go out because the government has their own gas fired backup plant under Whitehall to provide power for Parliament and government offices.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek

To turn out the lights, all the last person needs to do is to wait for the battery to run down. Renewable needs storage.

Roger Knights

Presumably “schemes” like this are where Obama’s $500 million will be going.

Retired Kit P

More fake news from Eric.

The way to judge an energy project is by the cost of each project and how much power is produced. This can then be compared to say a coal or gas plant.

Finding this info in a newspaper article would be a first. If you conclude anything from this article you guilty of confirmation bias.

Mike the Morlock

Retired Kit P March 12, 2017 at 7:59 pm

“The way to judge an energy project is by the cost of each project and how much power is produced.”

“One scheme, costing £260m of UK taxpayers’ money, has produced only enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of just 100 British households – about the size of a typical street.”

Are you saying that the author of the article one “Robert Mendick, chief reporter” lied?

Do you have any proof that he did not do his research and report accurately?
If you are going to be making such statements offer counter evidence. Name the facility the author is referring to and provide the customer list as well as power consumption records. And before you say “I don’t have to”- yes you do. You after all are the one calling it fake “news”


Philip Schaeffer

Well, perhaps one of you can tell me the details of the 260m pound project from that article. Exactly what are they building, what is the schedule? Where are they up to on that schedule. Details??

How can I know from reading that if it really is not going to produce the expected power for the total cost, or if it’s a case like with the NBN in Australia, where people were making silly claims about how long it was going to take at the current rate of building, as if the project was expected to be constructed at peak speed right from the start?

Retired Kit P


Power production is measured in units of kwh or mwh, not households.

The value of the power is based on the cost of generating or buying power at that location.

The merits of a project are often measured in payback period. For example, whenever I have checked PV for a house I live in a get a a 40 year payback period. So for me it would not be a good investment.

Since the article had none of the basic elements of an economic analysis, Yes Robert Mendick is a big fat liar.

For those who do not see that, you are stupid. That is a fact not an opinion.

tony mcleod

+1 Eric should have a “views are not nesarcarily those of the blog” disclaimer. Most it is just rebadged clickbait.


McClod can now count to 2 !!

Well done, McClod.

Progress.. tiny steps. !!

Looks stuck on one to me.


“It will also reignite the row over the Government’s commitment, championed by David Cameron, to ring fence the £12 billion annual foreign aid budget, which is fixed at 0.7 per cent of national income.”

More like it should be ring-barked.

Gary Pearse

So the Gang Green even knows the 100B a year won’t fix anything reinforcing the idea that it is really part of the scheme to destroy destroy western civilization. The UN, Ngos, and the EU parliament are all working to destroy the rest of it.

Note, in the short time since BREXIT, the UK economy is now the fastest growing economy among major countries. The US Is next and it will blow by Britain’s in growth because it doesn’t have the crippling EU and UK devastation, although Hillary would have maybe finished BO ‘s demolition work. Trump will save the rest of us, too.

Patrick MJD

You’d think Australia would have learned something from the South Australian experience? Apparently not.

Chris Hanley

I guess that means that the tram service will start around 11am and stop around 3pm during summer if the sun happens to be out in Kerang, less in winter if at all:
“The total cloud amount is measured visually by estimating the fraction (in eighths or oktas) of the dome of the sky covered by clouds. A completely clear sky is recorded as zero okta, while a totally overcast sky is recorded as 8 oktas” (BOM climate data online: cloud).


🙂 im in the 8 zone..;-/
sorta off topic but not by much
adeladie advertiser online on Musks power offer?
seems our INfamour Ross Garnuat the rabid co2 accountancy and fearmonger
has a large stake is some idiot battery system here in aus
at $600 a kwh? to run?

Chris Hanley

“The Climate Investment Fund is helping provide the world’s poorest people with stronger defences to extreme weather which can cause life-threatening crises such as floods, droughts and famine”.
There is absolutely no evidence that building “large-scale wind and solar farms in poorer countries” or anywhere else has any effect on the frequency or severity of extreme weather events or prevents floods, droughts and famine.
If I had read those remarks say thirty years ago as a time traveller I would have wondered if a weird apotropaic magic form of religion had taken hold.
Come to think about it, I think it has.

George Tetley

Nonrenewable in Africa ???
How the hell is the consumer going to pay to keep the light (1) on ? If the European household has to budget to pay the electric bill ? Ah, the British taxpayer will provide !

Actually – the UK clinics mentioned are for treating the “asylum seekers” and “undocumented migrants.” In other words, the non-citizen parasites that the NHS is not supposed to be treating. Redirecting those billions to that purpose would not help the British taxpayer one whit – it would most likely just bring in more trouble.


Considering hotels in the Maldives cost $1000/night, and you can bet the local gov’t is taking a big cut of that, you would think they would have the money to build their own rubbish burning power plant if they really wanted or needed one, which they obviously don’t.


yeah thought struck me too re that
they got huge OS mega motels investors using massive water and producing huge waste
but they didnt factor that into the approvals and make them pay?
they even managed to dredge to build i gather?
no outcry on that either?
obviously not so worried re them sinking are they


One place off the radar is Timor Leste.
The average income is $1 a day.
The local hospital has shortages of drugs, as have local area medical centres.
‘Medical facilities in Timor-Leste are limited and evacuation, at significant expense, is often the only option in cases of serious illness or accident (including diving accidents). The cost of medical evacuation can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars depending on the circumstances. Generally all emergency cases are treated at Dili National Hospital, which only has limited facilities available. Dental facilities are extremely limited. A limited supply of basic medicines is available.
There is no hyperbaric (decompression) chamber in Timor-Leste. Travellers who plan to dive should ensure that they have a current medical clearance to do so and that their insurance covers such activities.
In the past, local authorities have advised that fish sold on the roadside has been contaminated with formaldehyde. Heed any local warnings on avoiding contaminated fish.’

This place is ripe for gas fired electricity generation.
The British may want to help these unfortunates.
A good local fishing industry and Technical College education to teach them off shore mining skills would be very useful.
They need Green initiatives like a hole in the head.
As one close to me used say ‘A little help is better than a deal of pity’.

Colin Fisher

There is a big enough story here without sexing it up with misleading assertions about Médecins du Monde, who only encourage illegal migrants to remain in the U.K.

Peter Houlding

Quite right! Mr Worrall chooses to omit that vital information – that their work is dedicated to helping asylum seekers and the “undocumented”.

You won’t hear about this scandalous waste of money on the BBC.

Coeur de Lion

We’ve created a new African tribe – the Wa-Benzi. Those who drive Mercedes Benz.

On Energy:

I have worked in the energy industry for much of my career.

When challenged on the global warming question by green fanatics, I explain that that fossil fuels keep their families from freezing and starving to death.

Cheap abundant reliable energy is the lifeblood of society – it IS that simple.

Furthermore, I suggest that recognition of this reality is an ethical and a professional obligation.

The following numbers are from the 2015 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, for the year 2014:

Global Primary Energy Consumption by Fuel is
86% Fossil Fuel (Oil, Coal and Natural Gas),
4% Nuclear,
7% Hydro,
and 2% Renewables.

That 2% for Renewables is vastly exaggerated, and would be less than 1% if intermittent wind and solar power were not forced into the electrical grid ahead of cheaper and more reliable conventional power.

This is not news – we have known this energy reality for decades. As we published in 2002.

“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.”

On Grid-Connected Wind and Solar Power:

Wind Power is what warmists typically embrace – trillions of dollars have been squandered on worthless grid-connected wind power schemes that require life-of-project subsidies and drive up energy costs.

Some background on grid-connected wind power schemes:

The Capacity Factor of wind power is typically a bit over 20%, but that is NOT the relevant factor.

The real truth is told by the Substitution Capacity, which is dropping to as low as 4% in Germany – that is the amount of conventional generation that can be permanently retired when wind power is installed into the grid.

The E.ON Netz Wind Report 2005 is an informative document:
(apparently no longer available from E.ON Netz website).

Figure 6 says Wind Power is too intermittent (and needs almost 100% spinning backup);
Figure 7 says it just gets worse and worse the more Wind Power you add to the grid (see Substitution Capacity dropping from 8% to 4%).

The same story applies to grid-connected Solar Power (both in the absence of a “Super-Battery”).

This was obvious to us decades ago.

Trillions of dollars have been squandered globally on green energy that is not green and produces little useful energy.

On Global Warming Alarmism:

We also write in the same 2002 article, prior to recognition that the current ~20 year “Pause” (actually a Plateau) was already underway:

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

I (we) now think global cooling will commence after the current El Nino runs its course, prior to 2020 and possibly as soon as 2017. Bundle up!

Regards to all, Allan

tony mcleod

Rock and a hard place Allan.

Michael Jankowski

Your brain and reading comprehension?

I have been hearing since 2008 predictions that global cooling was going to start soon. This seems to keep on getting postponed, like peak oil and snow becoming a thing of the past and the Arctic Ocean becoming ice-free.

I wrote in 2002 that global cooling would start by 2020-2030.

Still about right – maybe cooling starts sooner…

James Francisco

Allen. Regarding the spinning backup I am curious as to the amount of fuel, if any, is saved when the windmills are supplying some of the electrical load. Do you have any numbers?


Full life-cycle, I think wind power is net-negative on energy.

It is certainly net negative on dollars, since it requires life-of-project subsidies.

Money often, but not always, is a good proxy for energy.

Best, Allan


One place off the radar is Timor Leste.
The average income is $1 a day.
The local hospital has shortages of drugs, as have local area medical centres.
‘Medical facilities in Timor-Leste are limited and evacuation, at significant expense, is often the only option in cases of serious illness or accident (including diving accidents). The cost of medical evacuation can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars depending on the circumstances. Generally all emergency cases are treated at Dili National Hospital, which only has limited facilities available. Dental facilities are extremely limited. A limited supply of basic medicines is available.
There is no hyperbaric (decompression) chamber in Timor-Leste. Travellers who plan to dive should ensure that they have a current medical clearance to do so and that their insurance covers such activities.
In the past, local authorities have advised that fish sold on the roadside has been contaminated with formaldehyde. Heed any local warnings on avoiding contaminated fish.’

This place is ripe for gas fired electricity generation.
The British may want to help these unfortunates.
A good local fishing industry and Technical College education to teach them off shore mining skills would be very useful.
They need Green initiatives like a hole in the head.
As one close to me used say ‘A little help is better than a deal of pity’.


My best friend years ago went to Malawi working as an engineer for CUSO. He would get simple but very effective wells dug and the village would get a man to charge a pittance for clean water. Money was for his salary, gas and maintenance of the small pump. Nobody paid of course and when the pump broke down the women would return to walking a great distance to get water from the river. He said that the village knew that someone from the agency would return sadly showing little gratitude for the endeavour.

He also got malaria and was flown to South Africa for treatment. His African friends said he was very lucky he was white since they would not have been so fortunate. He loves the people and is still there but also believes much of the aid is misguided.

Wayne Delbeke

Polski: And that is why in Ethiopia in our well program we installed simple hand pumps and trained WOMEN to operate and maintain them since they didn’t want to walk the many miles to other (often unsafe) water sources. They had motivation to keep the pumps working and keep spare parts on hand.

Where did they have a problem with arsenic in those types of Wells?


The income tax collected in the UK is about 158 billion pounds. link
The foreign aid budget is 12 billion pounds.
That means the bureaucrats get to waste about 8% of the money the government has to spend.

If you say that foreign aid is less than one percent of the national income, it sounds trifling. If you put it in terms of income tax paid, it’s a big chunk. It’s that much more annoying when you consider that foreign aid is largely counterproductive.

Peta from Cumbria, now Newark

Its the Modern Way innit.
Shiny. New. Hi Tech.

Devils Avocado rant:-
Everyone says, technology will save us in the future, oil & gas drilling tech will find endless amounts of fuel and warmists tell us windmills, sunshine panels and batteries will save us.

And what happens to the technology.?
Hi tech stuff in Africa and the like is stolen and sold, basically for scrap and not least because it is hi tech, shiny and new.
And The Internet is such a fine thing?
How often do we hear on here “The internet never forgets”
Is that *really* such a good idea, to be forever vindictive, holding grudges and being unforgiving?
What else, do we learn now that ‘Social Media’ is actually causing & exacerbating social isolation (loneliness)
And what else. to supple endless spam, fake news, relentless advertising, p0rn & smut and the enablement of folks to escape reality via trash films & trash TV
The very fact that all these things happen tell us that someone somewhere is already in an alternate reality, that they think this is ‘good’

If anyone really wanted to help these foreign folks, they’d be sending some kit to grind up chunks off the nearest mountain (ideally a semi-extinct volcano) and spreading the product (rock dust) across patches of desert.
But of course, that is not shiny or new, it is dirty & old technology and everyone now is so well educated they know that CO2 fertilises deserts.
Plus, that the more money you spend, the greater your virtue signal. But no-one has the strength of character or ‘guts’ anyumore to even acknowledge the fact.


On the other hand, we’re living longer and healthier. I wouldn’t trade places with any of my ancestors.

Also, on the other hand, my son and his fiance can video chat for free for an hour every day when they’re on opposite sides of the globe.

People don’t need technology to waste their lives away. They’ve been doing it for thousands of years. Laozi said that only one in ten lived life fully.

Johann Wundersamer

Bye the way, Eric – do you come from a land down under

Peter Houlding

Eric does come from a land down under – not the one I’m writing from, thank goodness – and like too many of his countrymen he has a loud, opinionated and repetitive voice. Regrettably, he’s given far too much space on this website. However, “Quot homines, tot sententiae; suo quoique mos.”

Moderately Cross of East Anglia

And if anyone can still be in any doubt about how hard it is going to be to slay this vast entrenched Green monster you only had to be listening to BBC radio 4 news this morning (the UK’s most serious and once wholly respected radio station with nationwide coverage) to hear some pollution activist actually say “…about the threat of all this Nitrogen in the air”. Unchallenged by the simpering presenter in anyway. I didn’t hear the whole piece and I’m sure they were talking about car exhausts, but it was those words that came over. Can we borrow president Trump after you’ve finished with him please.

M Courtney

They actually said that wild flowers were being harmed by sources of nitrogen, including from agriculture.

The idea that fertliser is bad for plants was certainly novel and so newsworthy.


Too much nitrogen can hurt plants. Since nitrogen is a trace element in the metabolism of plants high concentrations can over stimulate growth and even damage plants. Too much nitrogen in water can cause algae blooms that can damage other aquatic life. Unlike CO2: plants are mostly CO2 and water. Nitrogen is more problematic.

Michael Jankowski

As with anything, it’s the dose that makes the poison.

Trace element?
Nitrogen is a key requirement to plant growth.

Nitrogen is so common it is ubiquitous throughout nature, beginning with the atmosphere.

Farmers pay for any nitrogen they spread around or ammonia injected into the soils. Farmers hate wasting money or fertilizer.

Suburban households that ignore fertilizer container labels and instructions or those that pay for frequent lawn fertilizings’ are major sources for excess nitrogen and potassium that flush into drainages.
EPA tried for years, by claiming that farm wastes are major pollution sources, but were mostly unable to prove pervasive pollutions by farmers.
Instead population centers and their sewage are far greater problems.

From your USGS link:

“Sources of nitrogen
Although nitrogen is abundant naturally in the environment…”

And:comment image


“Can we borrow president Trump after you’ve finished with him please.”

Yes, you can! There’s plenty of Trump to go around.

I think Trump is actually inspiring people in other countries to look at things a little differently and not be blinded by the false reality created by the left and the MSM (of all western nations). He’s emboldening a lot of people to say what they really think about things.

The Old Way isn’t working. Trump is the New Way, and a lot of people are starting to hear that message. And why not, Trump is succeeding. Success breeds success. Happily for us, the success is in the right direction, for the U.S. and the world. Trump may just pull us out of our tailspin.

James Francisco


James Francisco

Should have said no because he will be very tired by the time we are finished with him.

Rhoda R

Yeah, the next eight years will be trying and he’ll be 78 at that point. But look around, Europe does have some Trump like people, you just need to find them. Look to the business sector-preferably construction which apparently tends to breed up realists.

H. D. Hoese

“About 98% of an organism’s mass is composed of just six elements: oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Approximately 14 other elements are consistently present in living things, but in smaller quantities. Some of these, such as iodine and copper, are known as trace elements because they are present in such minute amounts.” From an older biology text, don’t think it has changed. Water is a problem in excess, last time I checked nitrogen was a major element in plant fertilizers.

Our local government has been concerned about excess nitrogen that would produce noxious algal blooms. With encouragement from grants and bad science and little or ignored real science, they put in nearly a mile long oyster reef in order to sequester nitrogen. They got what appears to be a recurring several acre algal bloom. Reality eventually intrudes.

H. D. Hoese

Can’t count, left out hydrogen.

Stephen Brown

The BBC’s own website for schools gives the proportions of the gases making up our atmosphere. Nitrogen is 78%, oxygen is 21%, the last 1% includes argon at 0.9% and carbon dioxide at about 0.037%.

“…about the threat of all this Nitrogen in the air” indeed!

Robin Hewitt

I am in the UK and it doesn’t seem quite as bad as you make out. You can have trouble getting free health care and a free pension but only if you are in the country illegally or if you can’t help stabbing the people who are trying to help you.

There are a lot of doom and gloom predictions around at the moment from everyone who stands to lose money, grace and favour from the Brexit. We who voted for Brexit keep pointing out that most of our European neighbours have a lot more to lose than we do.

The National debt is probably down to one Gordon Brown who got a lot of hospitals built on a terribly expensive “buy now pay later scheme” back before 2008. Unusually for this day and age, the debt will probably be paid off. It is not too late if we can avoid more Gordon Browns.

Luckily his spendthrift leftwing Labour party have made themselves unelectable by replacing Gordon Brown with a weird Trotskyite throwback to the 1950’s called Jeremy Corbyn. Sadly Jeremy has a brother, Piers Corbyn, who appeared in The Great Global Warming Swindle documentary where he predicted the weather by counting sun spots.

Prime Minister Teresa May will have to do something truly stupid if she is not to stay in power for the foreseeable future, I wonder what it will be.

Rhoda R

Do you mean that your leftist media isn’t out there making up scandals to bring her down like ours is trying to do for Trump?


The reality is that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which Mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is really zero. So the projects in question will have not effect on climate. Even if we could somehow stop the climate from changing, extreme weather events are part of the current climate and will continue unabated. So the projects in question will not in any way help anyone to avoid the ravages of extreme weather events. There are many good reasons to be conserving on the use of fossil fuels but climate change is not one of them.


“There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is really zero.”

That’s the heart of the matter. There is no indication that anything unusual is happening with Earth’s weather or climate, which means there is no evidence CO2 is having any effect on the weather or climate.

Robert of Ottawa

I disagree that these schemes are failures. They are performing exactly as intended and the bank accounts of those involved are now overflowing with the green stuff.







It is depressing to see how the limited views of science-unqualified politicians continue to influence the world . In the UK, a majority of cabinet members `educated` at Oxford with the PPE (philosophy, politics and economics) degree, are blinded by green vision. They are captive to what Thomas Carlyle called the `collective wisdom of individual ignorance` his `unenlightened mob`.

“A Telegraph investigation shows little benefit so far from a £2 billion foreign aid programme to tackle climate change that was established eight years ago.”

That means £2 billion was wasted.

How much of that £2 billion could have done for food, water and sanitation for those areas?

Michael Jankowski

Food, water, and sanitation would have saved and prolonged lives, which leads to more climate change.


How much of that was used to support UK green industry lobbyists with exports of what is already a policy distortion domestically?


But it is endorsed by big green so it must be good. Not.


OK, so they found a way to keep socialism going forever – tap into philanthropy, and you never run out of other people’s money.

1/2 sarc, 1/2 real

CAGW is characterized by people who are ” thieves of virtue ” .


The so-called “green revolution” did manage to shift and obfuscate the location of environmental disruption throughout the energy cycle during recovery, production, operation,and reclamation , so that there is both an imagined and real benefit, especially in high density population centers.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia

It is bad enough that so much money is being wasted on hopeless green energy – I can barely bring myself to call it renewables because the only renewable feature appears to be constantly increasing subsidies – but the worst aspect is the constant drip feed to young people that everything is getting worse, harmless substances, or harmless concentrations, warming etc etc are going to destroy the Earth, now or next week unless we embark on insane anti-science projects or accept ludicrous beliefs. In fact, as is constantly shown on WUWT, there are good reasons to be optimistic about our future; instead an incessant narrative of catastrophe pours relentlessly into people’s homes and consciousness from people who know or should know better. With notable exceptions politicians in the UK seem to be a part of the problem.
I really hope President Trump ditches the Paris accord, the reaction will be volcanic in Europe.

Michael Jankowski

“…Projects including solar parks in Kenya and Mali, a rubbish-burning power plant in the Maldives and wind farmer project in Ethiopia are all earmarked for funding from the scheme…”

A “rubbish-burning power plant?” That’s green? Not in the US.


While burning U.S. trees in the UK power plants. That in turn is not permissible in the U.S. power market. The circle would be complete if they could subsidize some green export program from Kenya to dump on the U.S. and around we go again with other people’s money.


“While burning U.S. trees in the UK power plants.”

This epitomizes the CAGW craziness.

Peanuts. We wasted £3.5B in 2015 on ROCs alone, and climbing. 90% and 180% Renewable subsidies added to our bills by fraudulent DECC law to put straight in the pockets of their lobbyists – and help pay off Yeo, Deben, Hendry, Huhne and Davey, etc. in untroubling directorships. And the greatest deceit is that renewables make net CO2 emissions from the grid worse than spending the money on gas replacing coal on grid connected sites, and nuclear replacing both, no subsidy required for the most adequate, affordable, sustainable and fastest pathway to zero carbon.

Sid F

It is well known that many people travel to the UK simply to be treated for free by the UK NHS. Britain does not have identity cards so it is very difficult for health providers to establish a persons right to free health care in the UK.

For the cost of airfare, people show at the hospital in the US to get treated as charity where care might not be available in the country of orgin. Women from South and Central America do that. They wait until it’s almost their due date, then show up. Some guy crossing the border in Arizona illegally, broke his leg running from the border patrol. The local clinic was required to treat him. From the cost of treating the illegals, the clinic went bankrupt.
How do you account for being being charitable, but not being the world’s hospital when they aren’t supporting It? Once upon a time, I had a horse. I went to many of the events and shows at people’s farms. They were mainly to raise money for hospitals. There is a plaque in Bryn Mar Hospital and a statue of a horse in the lobby. And that was only a small part, others donated money to build a room. Our hospitals didn’t build themselves. My costs go up because I have to pay for them and myself. If they don’t build the facilities in their own country, I think the country of orgin should remit health care costs to the provider.

michael hart

The real story in Africa is…China.
For example:

Not weighed down by Western post-colonial guilt and dewy-eyed environmentalists, China will do more to develop Africa than all the Western hand wringing and UN bureaucrats. Of course it is done for Chinese self interest, and some people will call it a new colonialism. But there is nothing intrinsically wrong in doing something good for selfish reasons, and fortunately no one in China will listen to those people anyway.


The reason there’s a symbiotic relationship between the two countries is graft. It’s endemic with both cultures. Not saying it’s bad. It just is. Western culture looks upon graft as a crime while most of the remaining world regards it as the cost of doing business. Anything to pull Africa out of its’ death spiral is worthy in my opinion. My take is China is cultivating resources….mainly food and minerals… that it requires to grow and doesn’t want to rely on the vagaries of Western politics to ensure them.

Retired Kit P


“Kit is ranting about straw men. Tune him out.
When they’re too busy to check sources and follow links, they’re not worth the time to read or listen.”
Did you check to see what I wrote? Or were you too busy? Could it be that MarkW’s comment had nothing to with what I wrote? If fact it was entirely on a different topic.

My comment was about making electricity. I went back and checked. I did not miss anything in the links. I stand by what I wrote.

Philip Arlington

The name of “The Conservative Party” is merely a historical accident. David Cameron and Tony Blair are very similar men with very similar rotten values based primarily on false guilt, and accompanied by a complete indifference to the welfare of ordinary British people, whom they regard as racist scum who deserve to suffer.

Btw, I know how these people think because like them I went to Oxford, and only a few years later. Back when I was an eighteen year old freshman I assumed that intelligent people had superior judgement. I know better now.