Brexit Britain on EU Green Targets: “Trade and growth are now priorities for all posts”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Britain is preparing to ditch EU Green Targets, on the grounds they promote useless renewables at the expense of plausible solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as nuclear power.

Britain preparing to scrap EU green energy targets as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit

Steven Swinford, deputy political editor 14 APRIL 2017 • 10:00PM

Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit.

The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020.

Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency.

The UK is currently on course to miss the target and incur millions of pounds in fines from the European Union.

It comes after civil service documents, photographed on a trade, revealed that Britain plans to scale down its concern over climate change after Brexit.

The notes say: “Trade and growth are now priorities for all posts — you will all need to prioritise developing capability in this area.

Some economic security-related work like climate change and illegal wildlife trade will be scaled down.

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As British politicians have realised, nuclear power might currently be more expensive than fossil fuels, but the extra expense is not prohibitive. As France has demonstrated since the 1970s, nuclear power is a viable, dispatchable, emission free replacement for fossil fuels.

Intermittent, unreliable Renewables most definitely are not a viable replacement for fossil fuels.

155 thoughts on “Brexit Britain on EU Green Targets: “Trade and growth are now priorities for all posts”

    • To whatever extent this may have encouraged the Brits, we also owe it to Trump for setting trade and growth and fossil fuels as higher priorities over renewables on the world stage.

      • Brexit came first.

        The decision to make policies at a national, not super-national level, was made in the UK first.
        Trump wouldn’t have got the backing he did without Brexit demonstrating his victory was feasible.

        The UK is not following. We were first down the Green rabbit hole and will be first out.

      • M Courtney, I am not sure most of us who voted for Trump did it because of what happened in Europe. I know you guys were first on this train, but nothing here had his support tied to that. Even on election night all the talk was for a Trump loss. I went to bed certain of it, and awoke happily surprised by the election

      • “M Courtney April 17, 2017 at 1:47 am

        The UK is not following. We were first down the Green rabbit hole and will be first out.”

        First out of it? Not by a long shot…too many “well connected” “elites” and “vested interests” for it to fail. Unless you are at the other end. Intergenerational unemployment. I have seen this growing in the UK since the 60’s, UK in the 70’s/80’s and Belgium in the 80’s. And since social medial, a dramatic spawning of media access and instant response, since the 90’s, just recall very very recent history in and around 10 Downing St.

        The UK is down that how so far you are beyond rescue…

        …but at least Australia is about 5-10 years behind you…

    • Yup,

      Leaving a thriving economy to our children is an example of real sustainability.

      Agenda 21 “sustainability” means no economy, starvation, farming illegal, no fossil fuel powered transport, living in communities of tiny “eco” apartments etc etc.
      Have a good read. Esp P.8. The highlight are mine.



    • And recent research showed that of the G7 nations UK grew its economy most while extending renewable energy…

      The UK has reduced its carbon footprint more than any of its G7 counterparts since 1992, while recording stronger economic growth than any other member of the seven-country bloc. (article by former Conservative minister, please note…)

      • None of which, Griff, is any way relevant to renewable energy. All of a sudden you are an expert in the economics of the UK. Do you realise that quoting the Grauniad, especially its Komment Macht Frei column, simply confirms what an ignorant little fellow you really are on the subject.

        Try again after doing some serious research.

      • Britain lost a lot of jobs in manufacturing and gained a lot in banking, which accounts for both the drop in emissions and the growth in GDP. That doesn’t mean that the “carbon footprint” of the average Briton got smaller; the emissions now simply happen elsewhere.

      • I’m still waiting for your answer to the question of what happened to the currency during this time? It’s actually another example of your one-sided thinking and argumentation style.

      • Eric, they just confirmed the latest ‘CFD auction’ to provide additional renewables is going ahead, despite the election. Expected to bring record low quotes for renewables…

    • Since the vulgar ignorant royal who is certainly no gentleman had the gall to call those of us who did not believe climate scientists headless chickens has not had the decency to apologise now that even he has had to admit the predictions they made were utter trash, I really do not think his opinion matters any more than that of any other sub normal IQ geriatric.

      • Oh, c’mon David. Be fair to our next-in-line to the throne. I have it on good authority that Charles has the IQ of BOTH the Oxford and Cambridge boat-race crews combined, including their coxes. So that’s 18, then!

      • David,
        Do be fair – if we didn’t have Charles, we would have had to invent him.
        His sister, Anne, the Princess Royal, is a very different kettle of fish; open to experiment with GM crops on her own farm, for example.

        And John Law – “We have a habit of beheading kings called Charles!”
        Mmmmm – one out of two is not a habit, exactly.
        Mind, the other didn’t leave a legitimate heir (several of the other kind); could our Prince of Wales reign, in due course [and may his Mum, her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth, be with us for many years more!] as George VII?

        A thought.

        We have, I think, only had one King since 1837 who reigned with his own ‘name’ – Prince George, later George V (reigned 1910-1936). His Father was Prince Albert Edward; George V’s sons were Prince David and Prince Albert; regnal names of Edward VII; Edward VIII and George VI respectively.
        Not really climate linked, I appreciate.


      • “David Cage……I really do not think his opinion matters any more than that of any other sub normal IQ geriatric”………You give us sub-normal IQ geriatrics a bad name by associating us with the ‘King in Waiting’.

    • At this very moment, the Right Charlie will be conferring furiously with his closest tomatoes on how to deal with this latest development by “headless chook” “deniers”.

  1. Regarding “Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency”: I have an impression that most article writers in WUWT and most of their fans oppose most government efforts towards energy efficiency. I support energy efficiency along with nuclear power. Including government mandates against penny-wise pound-foolish avoidance of making things more efficient, with such mandates applying to appliance manufacturers, home builders and landlords.

    Not that I think AGW is likely to be even 5% as catastrophic as is said by those who talk it up, although AGW is surely happening, even though to an extent less than predicted by the flawed CMIP5 climate models. There are enough other reasons for energy conservation. A big one is to make fossil fuels last longer, so that we have more time to have replacements of fossil fuels to be tested by time.

    • I gave a presentation on solar energy to my fellow science students in high school around 1975. The 1976 PNE prize home was a “energy conservation” designated design. I grew up during the “energy crisis”. Energy conservation runs through my veins.

      • Energy conservation is perfectly fine. It’s the market distorting greenie renewable/sustainable energy BS that is the problem. Don’t mix up the two.

      • The trouble with “energy efficiency” in the UK is that the powers that be decided to use the wrong method for their preferred way of insulating cavity walls which are there as a moisture barrier, the blown rick wool which is put in is not waterproof and acts as a wick which draws water from the outer leaf into the inner making the whole wall damp and means the warmth inside has an easier way out. Many people have found their homes have become colder and damp as a result of this wonderful bit of bureaucratic work.

        James Bull

      • Energy Conservation is OK if you actually achieve some. In the UK, we have a history of doing things in the name of Energy Conservation that we later realise have downsides that were never considered but should have been.

        For instance, take the promotion of Diesel fuelled cars. Yes, it saves fossil fuels but it pollutes the atmosphere to such an extent that cities are thinking of banning them altogether.

        Then there was the Condensing Boiler (furnace) idea. Yes, it conserves energy but the original installations had water dripping from outside pipes – that froze in cold weather and damaged the boiler. So you had no heating and an expensive replacement to pay for.

        Then we had the Low Energy light bulbs. Many of the bulbs do not last as long as advertised, when old they start off very dark and when they fail you need to consider how to dispose of a mercury-filled device.

    • I have an impression that most article writers in WUWT and most of their fans oppose most government efforts towards energy efficiency.

      Donald. Darwin’s theory is continuously proven by Earth’s most energy wasting species. Homo sapiens is not an exception. Most people aim to save energy already – including the limited resources they have trusted to the governments – always better invested in essentials.

      And not only that. Since WWII the civilised western democracies have purposefully avoided adding energy efficiency in the UN declaration of human rights or in the constitutions. Because this doesn’t seem to satisfy cAGW prophets, I have an impression most of them oppose to most of the articles in these documents.

    • Excellent point Donald K. Just because you don’t adhere to the CAGW religion, it doesn’t follow that you MUST waste our precious fossil fuel resources. I am all for recycling, energy conservation, fuel efficiency mandates, modern, efficient public transport, etc. Fossil fuels took hundreds of millions of years to develop, and we are blasting through them at a rate that can’t possibly be sustained. Renewables will have some place in our future (perhaps 15 to 20 % of our total energy needs, but not more).

    • The problem with “energy efficiency” is that it focuses on the wrong thing. The goal is saving money, and yes, that does mean long-term. It also reminds me of “water-saving” toilets that you have to flush 2 or three times, and flimsy, tiny cars you are lucky if you can fit your groceries in and heaven help you if you get in any kind of accident. Then there are under-powered tools which may or may not get the job done, and will probably take twice as long.

    • With regard to government energy conservation efforts … I think most of the low hanging fruit has already been picked. The Energy Star program has been around since 1992 and, although there have been controversies, it has been at least somewhat successful. Certainly the new houses where I live are wonderfully efficient. Some of that has been driven by government policy and some by marketing.

      During the oil price shocks of the 1970s everyone got on the conservation bandwagon. People started driving small efficient cars. When the prices came down again, everyone went back to driving trucks and SUVs. These days there are way more people driving trucks than there used to be.

      Energy conservation efforts are also thwarted by the Jevons Paradox. When people save money through energy efficiency, they compensate by using more energy.

      • “These days there are way more people driving trucks than there used to be. ”

        It is hard to put a gun rack in the back window of a Prius.

      • Some basic truisms still apply. In Canada, we often say that “the only thing better than a good friend is a good friend with a half-ton”. I drive a Silverado and have tons of friends! I also get better gas mileage with a 350 than I ever got with a 305. Try cutting down a tree and getting it to the landfill in a smart car.

    • Donald – yes, you are right on with your remarks.

      Unfortunately, WUWT has attracted more than its share of writers and commenters who are simply knee-jerk anti-everything except coal, anti-government “blow it all up” Trump fan-boys who proudly fly their “stupid flags” on these pages. WUWT would be far more credible if it stopped the anti-government wanking that it routinely engages in, alongside its serious AGW skepticism. The former fantastically degrades and discredits the latter, unfortunately. Such as the never-ending snark here at WUWT directed towards renewable energy sources, which are not the ultimate solution but which are very economical now – cheaper than hydrocarbon energy today – and which have a valid place in the mix of energy sources until we finally master fusion energy, someday, somehow.

      Energy conservation makes tremendous sense – not to the point of extremes that it degrades economic growth, obviously – but to actually improve economic growth, and allow human kind plenty of time to develop alternatives to hydrocarbon fuels which obviously are being consumed at a non-sustainable rate.

      • Duane sure is upset that we don’t all worship at his cathedral.
        So much that he finds it necessary to lie about what those who disagree with him actually believe.
        But then again, Duane has demonstrated that he can’t win an honest argument with a real opponent.
        So straw is his only option for preserving what is left of his dignity.

      • For the government to give to someone they must first take away from someone else. That is the opposition to government interference policies, whether it is renewable energy subsidies or health insurance subsidies

      • Duane, do you have any comparative figures for the cost, say per KwH, for electricity produced by coal, gas, nuclear, wind, and solar? Remember to include under the wind and solar costs the stand-by cost of spinning reserve for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

        Still think renewables are cheaper than hydrocarbon? And if so why do they need subsidies?

      • Duane said: “Unfortunately, WUWT has attracted more than its share of writers and commenters who are simply knee-jerk anti-everything except coal, anti-government “blow it all up” Trump fan-boys who proudly fly their “stupid flags” on these pages.”

        But the title and initial post of this thread is commending GB on their Brexit policies. That’s hardly “anti-government”

      • “Such as the never-ending snark here at WUWT directed towards renewable energy sources, which are not the ultimate solution but which are very economical now – cheaper than hydrocarbon energy today – and which have a valid place in the mix of energy sources”

        So you are ok with killing millions of birds and bats in order to get your electricity via windmills and solar thermal?

    • We have hundreds of years to find a suitable replacement.
      Heck we already do have one, nuclear.

    • If you want to generalize about a population, you should at least be specific about what it is you claim them to believe. The sloppier the claim, the more meaningless, the generalization.

      In fact, WUWT readers, in general, seem to be highly in favor of high efficiency in energy. That’s why we favor the use of fossil fuels as the production method of large-scale electricity grids over low density, inefficient, highly dispersed, high maintenance, intermittent wind and solar power.

      Now, if by “efficiency” you mean that property owners should have super-insulated buildings, high mileage autos, more efficient appliances and things like that, then I think your generalization would start to break down. I’m all in favor of all those things, WHEN THEY MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE and are not forced on you. I’m not in favor of a command economy, where some “expert” bureaucrat tells me how much I have to spend to retrofit an old home, which, after super-insulating is installed, now needs an active air circulation system with new duct work which the bureaucrat had not figured out or costed. I’m not in favor of a government official pronouncing, based on some greenie theory that I must replace all single pane windows to “save fuel” when the cost savings of that fuel will not pay for the extra expense of those windows in my lifetime. I’m not generally in favor of the government setting arbitrary mileage standards for new cars.

      Here’s a perhaps better generalization about WUWT readers than yours. I believe we tend to value freedom over the officiousness and oppressive risks that comes from giving too much economic control to government bureaucrats and scientists.

      Does that help?

      • Four of my kids are in the trades: one carpenter, one electrician, one power supply technician, and one communications technologist.. They face a real dilemma when trying to be environmentally correct and cost effective. Current government regulations drive construction costs far higher than necessary. Coupled with skyrocketing costs of materials are codes that obviate the construction of socially desirable “affordable housing”. One cannot build an adequate (functional) dwelling owing to 2X6 mandates, load bearing regs double what they used to be, expensive roof regs, insulation requirements, HVACs, radon drains, exterior wraps, triple pane glass etc. Sure homes are better with all the bells and whistles. But starting families, especially new immigrants, can’t come up with the $30K down payments, and make mortgage payments on a minimum $300K 1000 sq ft house. Caves are cheaper but hard to find on the Canadian prairies. Maybe sod huts will make a comeback. Canada, like the USA, is a regulation nation.

  2. Somebody should tell these fools that we need more CO2 in the atmosphere not less. Before the industrial revolution it was a dangerously low 280 ppm, at 200 ppm plant life starts to shut down and at 150 ppm it shuts down altogetther and all life on earth is finished. Lowering the standard of living and imposing a UN world government on the Western democracies is not worth the risk of losing life on earth. It was once 7000 ppm and the planet thrived.

  3. There’s still huge pressure to keep the scam going from many MPs & ministers (present & ex) who are busy raking in their rewards for past ‘services’ to the green blob.
    We still need to repeal the disastrous 2008 Climate Change Act written by Friends of the Earth member Bryony Worthington & presented by Ed Miliband (out of 650 only 5 MPs voted against).

    Sadly only one political party, UKIP said – “plans to invest in renewable alternative energies as well as cutting carbon emissions by 60%, were ‘unachievable and unnecessary’”, at least they were right on that.

    • The planet is both too cold and has too little CO2.

      The planet, biodiversity and life in general would greatly benefit from a warmer world, and a world that is more rich in CO2.

      We should definitely strive to emit more CO2. If by some happy coincidence more CO2 truly results in warming that would be a double win win scenario. Unfortunately, there is no empirical observational evidence that supports the supposition that CO2 drives temperatures rather than being a response to temperature change.

      • Not sure about the planet but my wife’s feet were cold, and that is a bad thing. So had to engage the kettle, a soon to be scarce device for boiling water in Australia. Had to use it twice and “She who must be obeyed” had cold feet, twice. So I will have to cut down a log and set fire to it, or a tire, or a car…whatever is available.

        And Abbott, who says Turnbull is on “a road to nowhere” heading to the next election, with his at least ~AU$20mil PERSONAL WEALTH, set a carbon tax just before the last election. South Australia, waste of space. Hazzlemere, 25% of Victorian supply shutdown.

        Australia, the rubbered country!

  4. Children won’t know what windmills are.

    Seeing solar panels will become a rare and exciting event.

      • Sadly solar panels have a serious place and contribution to make and I worry that this will end up on the scrap heap. I have seen one area where the solar panels have been designed into new houses so they are only visible as a slightly different gloss level on areas of the roof and together with the fact that the structure of the houses hold the heat for three days means they earn their keep properly for much of the winter. Oh so different to the bodged on shack look we see most of the time.

      • David Cage. Even when they are blended into the design of the house, solar panels are still prone to causing roof leaks, getting damaged in storms and a hinderance to firefighting methods. And when they are dirty or covered with snow, you gotta climb up and clean them regularly, or pay someone to do it.

        And if they are in any way outdated or unsightly in appearance, they can reduce the selling price of the home by many thousands of dollars.

        Rooftop solar panels can be the worst thing you can have on your home.

      • David, making your house more expensive to buy and maintain, while at the same time making very, little actual electricity is a good thing?

  5. Hmm Nuclear power is dispatchable, but it comes at a price..
    In fact at two prices.

    Firstly throttling back a reactor leads to a different mix of by-products, some of which are unhelpful.

    Nuclear reactors do not respond to quick adjustments or load following, in all reactors, a by-product of fission is Xenon 135. The problem with Xenon 135 is that its missing a neutron to make it stable. This makes it a neutron absorber, essentially starving a reactor of free neutrons. The build up of Xenon essentially kills the reaction…Reactor operators must balance the increase of power inline with the increase of Xenon. Allowing both power and xenon 135 to plateau before increasing again. These step changes in power could be between 3-6 hours. Running a Reactor at say 70% with the intention of load matching at peak periods is not possible with current reactor designs. Nuclear reactors are better suited to being ramped up to full power and maintaining a set load.

    (reprinted without permission from an article by DA Jones).

    Secondly, costwise, nuclear power stations are expensive to build, but the fuel is almost free – its very low cost anyway. EDF reckons 16% of the total O & M cost. So the economics dictate that nuclear will be ‘last man standing’ as wholesale prices fall – typically overnight when demand is (currently) low. I.e. there is no incentive to throttle a nuke back to ‘save the cost of fuel’. Unlike coal or gas sets.

    Which is why the most successful nuclear strategies are to co operate with hydroelectric power. Both France and Switzerland do this to extremely good effect. During the summer, when demand falls, nuclear sets are taken off line for service and refuelling, and the draw down on the hydro damns is reduced as well.

    In the UK, things are a little harder. There is not very much hydroelectric generation at all – or potential for it, though what there is is very useful at covering short term demand peaks. Instead the UK tends to rely on CCGT – Combined cycle gas turbines – built when local North Sea gas was cheap, and the cost of money (interest rates) were very high, militating against nuclear.

    What I am really saying is that the tendency is for nuclear generation to be throttled by the simple expedient of taking whole stations off line and shutting them down, rather than throttling them all back. Dispatch is possible, but it is generally undesirable.

    It is more economic to do load following and peak demand handling with other technologies.

    Note that renewable energy of the intermittent sort simply exacerbates the problem with an extensive nuclear baseload. Instead of coping with fairly predictable fluctuations in demand based on reliable statistical behaviour of human beings, the grid operators have to also cope with wildly fluctuating renewable inputs to the grid that are far far greater in peak to peak values, and far less predictable in timing and size than human led demand.

    In short renewable energy is simply a problem, not a solution, to a largely nuclear grid.

    I have always likened adding renewables to a nuclear grid as akin to putting sails on a nuclear submarine. They add nothing in terms of emissions whatsoever. In fact they make things harder and increase emissions on the gas powered kit that is generally used to infill. Renewable energy means less nuclear and more gas to balance it. Exactly what no one wants or needs.

    And the renewable lobby understands this completely, but have been slightly outfoxed by the government..

    No attack on renewables has been made, just simple instructions to get best value for money have been issued, and broadly to forget about EU-emanating ‘renewable obligations’ in favour of ‘reduced emissions’ instead.

    This has called the massive bluff and fraud that is renewable energy. The government can argue, quite rightly, that you can get more emissions reductions per £ with nuclear than with solar and windmills, and at far less environmental impact too. If renewables had to stand in line and be taken up only in direct competition to other technologies, shorn of their ‘first preference’ status*, and massive subsidies, they would wither and die.
    One can but hope that Brexit – and I personally voted for it to escape EU renewable energy policy as anything else – will result in the end of UK renewable deployment, and a resurgence in nuclear power, not because anyone likes it as much, as it is the only game in town when you have no hydro, no decent coal left to extract economically, and gas is getting a bit expensive and is now coming from an unstable Middle East that it is increasingly embarrassing to be associated with.

    If Brexit means using cost benefit analysis rather than ideology to set government energy strategy, then that bodes well for UK manufacturers and business in general.

    If Government policy means separating irrevocably renewable energy and climate change as being two independent issues, so much the better.

    Note that this is entirely orthogonal to issues of CAGW and climate change. Greens cannot complain (though they will, of course) about a strategy that achieves the results they claim they want, better, at a lower cost. Nuclear is simply better value for money than renewable energy, at achieving low carbon targets. Irrespective of whether those targets are worth achieving anyway.

    *operators are required to take any renewable energy on offer at a huge price disadvantage, whenever it is available, or pay a curtailment fee if it is too much to handle.

    • Then for Britain the obvious answer would be to field about 80% of your baseload with nuclear power and use gas combined- cycle for the other 20% of baseload. Keep about 40% of the baseload value on reserve in gas turbine plants to cover peaks. The grid would then be completely stable and power always available.

      Of course the above answer could work for just about everyone though some places (parts of the US and Australia) could replace a good bit of the gas and some of the nuclear with clean coal.

  6. Solar panels on homes will be obsolete as soon as they stop “being held in place” by other people’s money.The sooner the better!

    • Don’t throw out the baby with the ideological bathwater.
      Solar panels have their place in the mix – not using them in places where there is plenty of sun makes no sense – of course putting them in cloudy Northern Germany for greenie reasons makes no sense either…

      • Solar panels only make sense when your home is far enough off the grid that the tie in costs become excessive.

      • photo-voltaic cells have no place on a home! Solar hot water in places with lots of sunshine makes sense however. (I don’t think I’d try it in Britain or Germany though)

      • Really? Of all the bills I have to pay in a cold N Europe, hot water for washing is the most trivial

        I know this how? By looking at how little oil I burn in summer when there is no need to heat the house, but every need to wash and shower!

        It probably amounts to less than a couple of hundred dollars a year.

        Which is less then the cost of employing someone to wash the bird excrement off roof mounted solar heating elements.

      • A lot depends on where you live. In places like Florida the solar heater can work 10 months out of the year, and it rains just about every day so the bird poo problem is pretty much taken care of for you.

    • There can hardly be anyone with two braincells to rub together who is not aware that the Open Europe study on the costs of EU regulation has been thoroughly discredited.

      I didn’t bother to read beyond that.This is the standard fact free virtue signalling emotional narrative of the New Green Left.

      • Yes, a forgotten factor. In order to charge the batteries the supply, from whatever source, must meet commercial, residential and recharging demand at the same time. What can we expect? IMO< we can expect commercial and domestic consumers will be kicked off the grid in favour of "recharging storage", at the expense of consumers of course.

    • “vukcevic April 17, 2017 at 1:23 am

      …shows that electricity storage can play a vital role in the changing energy mix.”

      …shows that electricity storage can play a vital role in forcing the changing in energy mix to totally unreliable energy storage technologies.”

      It looks like a massive waste of space. All that energy used to light the facility, all the control systems, all the wiring etc etc etc…

    • Portions which are the equivalent of the clear cut forests in the U.S. wood pellet exports converted into stacks of batteries in the UK

  7. The UK has already closed most coal plant and is committed to closing it all by 2025 -that won’t change.

    It already has wind projects equivalent to 1.5 times current installation in the approved pipeline -that won’t change

    It is still installing solar at a rate the National Grid says will reduced minimum summer demand by another 2GW by 2020.

    It is still building interconnectors to the continent.

    Really, the UK and UK govt remain committed to CO2 reduction and renewables. And the Scottish govt remains even more committed to renewables and has much of the wind and tidal resource…

    The Telegraph is just a mouthpiece for a certain viewpoint which wishes it were not so…

    • Shipments of clear cut U.S. forests to the UK boilers also won’t change. What will it take to unmask the political-tax reward system behind these contrived projects and the individuals benefiting from them?

      • The political will to do so.

        The tide is slowly turning against this monstrous rape* of the taxpayer and electricity consumer. But it will take time.

        *The true meaning of the term: ‘to take by force ,or plunder’ is to be understood here.

      • Yup. The AMO bodes ill.

        Warming from c. 1987 to 2011, then cooling for the past five years and counting.

    • “Griff on April 17, 2017 at 1:43 am
      The UK has already closed most coal plant and is committed to closing it all by 2025 -that won’t change.”

      Politically motivated decision by a single Person, M.Thatcher.

      Backed by no known economic or scientific bases.

      But – she found enough voters. So what.

      • Harry Passfield:

        I wish Johann Wundersamer were “wrong” but sadly he is not.

        I was the Vice President of the British Asasociation of Colliery Management and we applied the Ridley Plan that the Thatcher government used to close the UK coal industry.


      • “richardscourtney April 17, 2017 at 10:02 am”

        Don’t forget Wilson before Thatcher, he closed more mines than Thatcher ever did.

      • Richard: Patrick answered for me, but in any case, I think Griff was confusing ‘coal plants’ (mines?) with ‘coal-fired plants’ (power stations?). My response to him was assuming he meant the latter.

        BTW. Good to ‘talk’ to someone so close to the action from those days – which I remember very well. Was Ridley’s plan all his own work or the product of the Civil Service which had served Wilson?

    • Griff

      As a fellow Brit, can you tell me where cost effective base load energy will actually come from once the coal plants are shut down, oil fired plants are reduced and no new nuclear plants are available for 20 years?


  8. “Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency”.

    The British Governments old answer to an energy crisis was free loft insulation, their new answer is persuading us to switch to a cheaper energy supplier.

    • Actually, that did make a difference. My first home in the early 1980’s was a 102 yr old house in Portsmouth, England. That “free” grant came with a cost because the “free” part didn’t cover the entire ceiling space, but once covered it made a huge difference. I didn’t complain once the installation was complete for the first winter which was bitterly cold.

      • As always, the right answer depends on many things.
        How much insulation is already present, how cold the winter is, how hot the summer is.
        In most cases, insulation up to R-30 is a no brainer. When I lived in Iowa, the standard for attics was R-50.

        If you live somewhere that has a mild climate year round, it’s hard to justify the cost of any extra insulation.

      • @Patrick

        The problem with insulating old houses is that they need an air circulation system as well to eliminate damp and mould that inevitably builds up.

        Houses designed 100 years ago used coal fires that naturally circulated air around the house. Modern central heating systems and double glazing effectively seal an old house and stop any meaningful air circulation.

        I live in a 200 year old cottage, trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

  9. When it comes to solar farms I’d like to get a movement going to force them to have a large illuminated display board – think Times Square/Piccadilly Circus type of things – on the road nearest the ‘farm’. These boards would show the amount of power being generated at current time; the amount generated over a given period; both compared to name-plate power; and, maybe, the cost/kWh.
    I live near a large(!) solar farm and the very busy main-road runs right past the gate. The rows and rows of panels are easily visible to drivers. I like pointing out to my passengers that this is a part-time power-station and (if travelling at night) is switched off. A billboard display would bring home to the public just what a waste of time and money they are.

    • Our house is 50 years old. We have attic insulation but that is about it. Old, leaky windows. We get monthly energy efficiency reports from our utility company. We are always 30% more efficient than our “energy efficient neighbors.” and about 50% more efficient than everybody else.

      Our secret? Turn down the thermostat in the winter. I wear heavy clothes in the house in winter and a knit cap a lot of the time. Rarely, I will wear gloves. I sleep under a mountain of blankets in the winter, usually wearing a knit cap. Flannel sheets of course.

      Our biggest offender is our electric dryer. If we bothered to dry clothes on a clothes line in the summer, that would be a big help, but that would be more work and the neighbors wouldn’t like it.

      BTW, our power company has never asked us how we are so efficient. At least we don’t get ads for energy “audits” of our house from them. I am annoyed at our neighbors putting up solar panels on their roofs. I suspect I am paying for them.

      BTW, thanks to the fracking, our bill for heating (natural gas), is quite moderate.

      There are no secrets here. But, reality is so much more boring than the promise of a clean, carbon free future.

      • @joel

        The timer on our central heating stopped working several years ago. I have deliberately not had it replaced because it means someone has to get off their ar5e to turn the heating up.

        Our bills have never been as low as they are now, over 30 years.

      • My son lives in Germany in a 1900s house retrofitted with 6 inches of external insulation and triple glazing…

        Very low heating bills…

  10. In the end, those nations that establish and maintain economical, efficient, and reliable power generation facilities and grids will force all the others to do the same. It’s simple matter of economics. That is why the EU had to have the whole herd invested into renewables. Brexit represents not only the first corner stone removed from the whole concept of a central European government but also is the death knell for uneconomical and heavily subsidized renewable power generation as long as the British governments actions match the words of “Trade and growth are now priorities for all posts”. Eventually all others will have to follow or will suffer economically because many sectors of their economy will not be able to compete. And that will show up as a relatively lower standard of living for their populations which will not be tolerated in the long run. Only those countries like Norway with it’s abundance of exportable natural resources providing greater than average national wealth and a very high proportion of hydro power will be able compete without changing in the long run.

  11. No need to despair of climate models predictive ‘accuracy’.
    FeliX (named after the inventors cat) is a new kid on the block

    “The model consists of stocks and flows, the interactions among which are defined by coupled differential equations (only if anyone knew how to solve them . Flows define feedback loops which propagate impacts and integrate outcomes across the eight model sectors: Economy, Energy, Carbon Cycle, Climate, Biodiversity, Water, Population and Land Use.” For details look up
    Now you know it.

  12. I think it is fair to say that the vast majority – probably 97% – have misunderstood the meaning of this. The photographed notes are referring to the strategy for negotiating trade deals. While many still think trade deals are about sorting out the tariffs, the reality is that the tariffs take about 10 minutes to settle. It is the non-tariff items that stretch negotiations out for years as these can be very wide ranging. This is why bilateral trade deals should be avoided and trade guided by multilateral rules. Trade deals stretch to such things as human rights, workers rights, environmental legislation and species protection. What the document is saying is that negotiators should not include any environmental or species protection clauses in order to speed up deals. In their response to the UK Article 50 declaration, the EU want us to continue with the climate change BS as they wouldn’t want us to have a competitive advantage. So the chances of us removing the protection for the abundant Great Crested Newt (because the Germans don’t have many) or the taxes imposed on landfill (because it is too wet in the Netherlands to bury stuff) are not looking good since May’s government seem keen to keep them.


    The draft of a EU constitution was never signed by the member states of the EU – on account of the right to veto for every single member state.

    It was foreseeable that several Member States would refuse ratification of a common constitution on the basis of simple national surveys.

    The draft constitution covers ~ thousand DINA4 pages, no single human being has read the whole thing.

    After the foreseeable rejection of this constitution, national representatives of the individual countries have held a ‘discussion of values’ for more than a year. The non-committal transcript of this ‘value discussion’ once again includes ~ 1000 pages.

    It was simply attached to the draft constitution.

    In its current form this constitution is rejected by the majority of the population of the EU countries.

  14. I am not against renewable per se. Just that they need to be appropriate (and efficient)

    . In Britain’s case Tacitus the Roman historian noticed 2000 years ago that Britain was a wet and cloudy island. Consequently our increasing reliance on solar power is not a good plan.

    However as an island we have lots of free energy sloshing round our coasts in the form of waves, currents and tides. However the technology to harness them is still at a very early stage.


    • in the form of waves, currents and tides. However the technology to harness them is still at a very early stage.

    • Water wave motion does not cause mass transport.

      Tides cancel each other in relation to mass transport.

      • Wave motion doesn’t rely on mass transport. The schemes I have seen involve using the up and down motion of the waves to generate energy.
        For tides, the proposed solutions I have seen is to have a create a dam and whether the tide is flowing in, or flowing out, it turns a generator.

        The problem comes from the low energy density of both waves and tides. There are a few places with very large tides, but this is the result of harmonic resonances, adding a dam would mess up the resonances and reduce the size of these tides.

    • Not enough power to make a difference unfortunately. You need a really colossal movement of water to generate a significant amount of power.

      For example, given a tidal movement of 2 metres, how much water moving over a period of 24 hours does it take to power a single household 2Kw heater?

      Energy = Force x Distance
      2000w * 24 hours * 60 minutes * 60 seconds = Force x 2m
      172800000 joules = Force x 2m

      Force = mass x acceleration
      Acceleration (gravity) = 9.8m/s^2

      172800000 joules = 9.8m/s^2 * Mass * 2m

      Solve for mass

      172800000 joules / (9.8m/s^2 * 2m) = Mass
      = 8,816,326kg of water

      To power a single household heater for 24 hours, given a 2 metre peak between high and low tide, just under 9000 tons of water has to pass through your turbine in that 24 hour period.

      There are a few places like the Severn where geography produces an unusually extreme tidal movement, where a barrage might be able to produce more power, but for most of the coast tide power is a washout.

      • There are tidal barrages, tidal lagoons and tidal streams (using underwater turbines)

        all have different characteristics.

        UK tidal power is currently tidal turbines (google e.g ‘Meygen’) but tidal lagoons have been proposed.

        Tidal barrage on the Severn will always get rejected due to environmental damage (e.g to fisheries)

  15. @vukcevic April 17, 2017 at 1:23 am

    This seems to be the Leighton Buzzard battery shown here:

    Looking for information on this, I found the following: the original specification:

    and a June 2015 progress report:

    All very good reading, demonstrating the problems implementing of large battery systems.

    I await the final project report which should include total costs, predicted income and what it actually offered to the grid.

    A the project was meant to last for 3 years, it should be all over now…..

    The docs say they have identified over 500 sub-stations, where these systems could be ‘inserted’ into the system to help combat the use of intermittent generators.

    Oh for a regular generator.

  16. We can cheer all we like about this, however, it’s not going to happen. The ardent Brexiters are death & blind to all those who point out, that this wonderous bonfire of red tape isn’t going to happen. What will happen, is assuming we do manage to cast off from the foundering SS United Europe, we’ll find that most of the rules that have apparently been emitted by her owners, are actually part of those produced by global bodies and also of our own doing.
    Item 1 being the 2008 Climate Change Act. Read Dr North’s comments here.

    • Still, nothing like a risk though aye? The UK did not need the Common Market (CM) in 1973, but still, without mandate, Heath took the UK in to the CM. In 1974, the “people” got to “choose”, and they chose to stay with vast amount of political propaganda, or be “hog tied”. And the UK is still “hog tied”…wish all the best to Brexit. It’s democracy!

    • Well nothing like a totally bigoted view eh?

      The whole point of Brexit is that the 2008 climate change act can be repealed without reference to the EU.

      And what would happen if we failed to meet its targets anyway, once out of the EU.

      The government would have to fine itself?

      This ( is pathetic drivel really. As are most of the comments.

      Its all ‘Gosh golly, well I and chaps like me from my Uni think that its all jolly rotten of the plebs to have gone and voted us out of a properly moral organisation like the EU, and we all totally 97% agree that climate Change is – well. whatever it is, is definitely Wrong, and we ought to light candles or put up huge signs in lights and send people all over the place to international conferences if they all promise to Do Something About It! I mean gosh well and those windmilly things – no, precious few in Islington haha – but that’s what the plebs deserve – country bumpkins, inbred all – for being so stupid as to vote us out of the common market thingy. Of course they are little Englanders. Most of them never been past the next village, but we all go on holiday to Spain so we know what a boon it is to not have to go through customs and so on. And so that’s why we are in favour of lots of renewably thingies. I means what’s not to like? Fill Plebland with solar panels and dams and tidal barriers and windymills and let them have a taste of what it takes to support us in the style to which we are accustomed, and which we totally deserve for not being nasty right wing plebs.We all say it, so it must be true.”

  17. Hydro energy from river power plants and storage plants is renewable.

    When the normal course of nature is taken into account.

  18. It comes after civil service documents, photographed on a trade, revealed that Britain plans to scale down its concern over climate change after Brexit.

    …photographed on a train…?

  19. “Britain is preparing to ditch EU Green Targets, on the grounds they promote useless renewables at the expense of plausible solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, such as nuclear power.”

    And it’s taken how long to work out this no-brainer by the planet’s handsomely recompensed climate scientists and engineering experts?

  20. If we are going to have nuclear though, let it be a safer technology than the PWR/BWR route. Anyone who has studied what happened at Chernobyl and Fukushima will be aware that the dangers of this technology have been played-down, and that both incidents could have actually been a lot worse.

    The critical issues with this technology, surprisingly, are not nuclear but chemical. The problem with water as a coolant is that its boiling point is too low for efficient heat engine operation unless it is held under extreme pressure. The other related problem is the use of flammable materials in reactor core construction, notably zirconium alloy in fuel cladding.Whilst these materials are not easy to ignite, once ignited they burn furiously and cannot be extinguished with water.

    A safer reactor would use a coolant which remains liquid at low pressures, and would avoid the use of flammable materials in the core. The molten salt reactor is probably the best design to consider, although the British AGR is considerably safer in these respects.

    • Chernobyl is a completely different technology, and even that one only happened because they turned off most of the safety systems in order to run a test. Regardless, Chernobyl was only as bad as it was because to save money they didn’t build a containment vessel.
      The leakages from Fukushima was extremely minimal, the containment vessel did it’s job.

      It really is sad how people have to tell lies about other technologies in order to sell their preferred technology.

      • And even Fukushima wasn’t a new reactor design. We are two generations between that design and it still did a pretty good job of containing the nuclear material. It was human stupidity that it could not contain. The new generation reactors are trying to work out even the human stupidity factor.

        That given, newer innovations are always welcome. Now if we could only find materials that hold up to highly corrosive salts and high temperatures for more than a couple of years…

  21. UK PM May calls snap general election over Brexit. Clear example of how EU democracy isn’t working. Well done Cameron for ducking out leaving May, to shaft the will of the people, just like Heath in 1973/74.

    • Though note the govt has also announced the election won’t delay the latest ‘CFD’ auction for provision of renewables…

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