Blackouts, deaths and civil unrest: warning over Scotland’s rush to go green

From The Herald Scotland

28th November

Exclusive by Sandra Dick

The green energy sector in Scotland has grown rapidly in recent years.

Scotland faces being plunged into darkness for days, possibly resulting in deaths and widespread civil disobedience, due to the country’s over-reliance on green energy, a new report has warned.

A massive gap in the electricity system caused by the closure of coal-fired power stations and growth of unpredictable renewable generation has created the real prospect of complete power failure.

According the Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IESIS), there is a rising threat of an unstable electricity supply which, left unaddressed, could result in “deaths, severe societal and industrial disruption, civil disturbance and loss of production”.

READ MORE: Herald View: Dark warnings over rush to green energy

The organisation is also warning that the loss of traditional power generating stations such as Longannet, which closed in 2016, means restoring electricity in a “black start” situation – following a complete loss of power – would take several days.

Its new report into the energy system points to serious power cuts in other countries, which have resulted in civil disturbance, and warns: “A lengthy delay would have severe negative consequences – the supply of food, water, heat, money, petrol would be compromised; there would be limited communications. The situation would be nightmarish.”

IESIS is now calling on the Scottish and UK governments to transform their approach to how the electricity system is governed, with the creation of a new national energy authority with specific responsibility for safeguarding its long-term sustainability and avoiding blackouts.

The startling warning comes against a background of increasing reliance on “intermittent” energy sources such as wind and solar power.

Earlier this month ScottishPower became the first major UK energy firm to switch entirely from fossil fuels to green energy after selling its remaining gas and hydro stations to Drax for £702 million.

The closure of Hunterston B nuclear power station in Ayrshire, scheduled for 2023, is causing concern there will be an even wider gap in the nation’s electricity supply.  All UK coal-fired power stations are expected to close by 2025, while reliance on electricity to meet the needs of electric vehicles and domestic heat rises.

READ MORE: Letters: Our power grid and the Titanic scenario

The engineering body has also raised concerns that an electricity system designed specifically for gas and coal-fired generation is being asked to take on a new form of supply without having undergone full engineering assessment.

It also highlights a piecemeal approach to siting new energy generating plants driven by private companies and efforts to meet CO2 emissions targets rather than the overall security of the electricity system.

Iain MacLeod, of the IESIS, said: “The electricity system was designed with generation coming mainly from coal and nuclear energy. However, as we change generation sources to include intermittent renewables, we must review how the system works with these new inputs. The risks involved when introducing new sources of generation need to be controlled. Intermittent renewable energy sources do not supply the same level of functionality as power stations to meet demand at all times and avoid operational faults. Intermittency issues … relevant to wind and solar energy have not been adequately explored.”

IESIS has published its call to action in a report, Engineering for Energy: A Proposal for Governance of the Energy System, which it plans to take to the Scottish and UK governments.

It argues that Longannet was closed “well before assessments of the impact of its closure had been completed” and adds that transmission is now being upgraded “before detailed decisions about the siting of generation facilities have been made”.

The EISIS report warns the closure of thermal infrastructure such as coal and gas-fired generators will affect the restoration of supply after a system failure, when wind generators have a limited role and nuclear generators cannot be quickly restarted.

It also stresses that the cost of integration of intermittent renewables to the current electricity system will lead to increasing energy costs for consumers.

It adds: “The extra generation and storage needed to safeguard security of supply, the facilities required to ensure it is stable, extra transmission facilities, and energy losses over power lines from remote locations will all contribute to rising costs.”

Read the full story here.

HT/A very impatient Oldseadog

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Warren in New Zealand
November 29, 2018 10:19 pm

While I appreciate the trauma the loss of stable and reliable electricity will cause, I am waiting with barely suppressed happiness to see the outcome of this totally misguided foolishness.
As if South Australia hasn’t been enough of a warning.
All I wish for is to live long enough now to watch this entire house of cards collapse.

steve case
Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
November 30, 2018 1:45 am

All I wish for is to live long enough now to watch this entire house of cards collapse.

Too many people have bet their careers on “Climate Change” to allow it to fail anytime soon.

old white guy
Reply to  steve case
November 30, 2018 4:27 am

I look forward to carrying a pitchfork in the upcoming purge.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  steve case
November 30, 2018 6:20 am

Perhaps you don’t understand. People won’t be able to keep it from failing. The design is corrupt and unusable.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  steve case
November 30, 2018 6:53 am

What will they do, stand athwart the power lines and yell “Stop!”? In the end, entropy always wins. The trick is to push the consequence to somewhere is doesn’t really matter (low level heat rejected in a cooling tower). “You can’t win, you can’t break even, and you can’t quit the game.” When the consequence is primary level circuit protective devices shutting down regional distribution it’s not going to end well for anyone.

John Endicott
Reply to  steve case
November 30, 2018 7:25 am

Too many people have bet their careers on “Climate Change” to allow it to fail anytime soon

Too many people have bet their money on ponzi schemes as well, doesn’t make a bit of difference to the fact that ponzi schemes are unsustainable in the long run. The number of people who choose foolishly doesn’t stop the inevitable collapse, at best it just delays it some little bit.

Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
November 30, 2018 4:48 am

Only after the every green “solution” is tried includingg installing beanie hats with mini-windmills, wearing flexible solar panels as clothing, and ….

Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
November 30, 2018 5:41 am

add the Andrews green in disguies idiots in vic shutting coal plants and raving up the econutters option..
30%rise in power suggested again this yr
when ours falls over and the line to nsw isnt up
then vic and sa can both be in the dark
or burn when the powers off and we cant pump water etc

Curious George
Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
November 30, 2018 8:00 am

The Scottish government has an ingenious emergency plan: whenever there is no wind at night, all government employees will get up and blow at windmills. True or false?

Reply to  Curious George
November 30, 2018 9:00 am

The Scottish government has an ingenious emergency plan: They’ll blame the English

AGW is not Science
Reply to  mwhite
November 30, 2018 9:30 am

If they were ingenious, they would blame the EU they seem so enamored with.

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
November 30, 2018 6:09 pm

Me too!

Ian Macdonald
Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
December 1, 2018 12:53 am

Seeing as I live in this house of cards I’m thinking of investing in a few pit props. Metaphorically speaking.

Last year I submitted an analysis to Holyrood via my local MSP highlighting the potential problems of relying purely on English and Welsh fossil fuel backup for our unreliable wind capacity, and at the same time pushing for independence from the UK. That would place Scotland in the same unfortunate situation as Denmark, having to go begging to Norway or Germany when the wind doesn’t blow – and pay whatever the UK asks for power, which might be a LOT more than it actually costs to generate!

My findings were rejected out of hand, citing press releases from Greenpeace, WWF and FoE which (to them) made it absolutely clear how wonderful and infallible wind energy is. Sometimes, I think our politicians are without the power of reason.

Brian RL Catt CEng, CPHys
Reply to  Warren in New Zealand
December 1, 2018 9:23 am

They must suffer as much as possible for their greed and stupidity in believing the technically undeliverable promises of their lying politicians. Was their education totally wasted? If only we could cut the connectors and let Scotland go “off grid”, and make this happen much sooner. We need the people to be seriously and sustainably angry enough to drive out their lying politicians and expose the legalised renewable energy protection racket they set up and control. Happened with the RHI fraud in N.Ireland. itythey cannot be locked up for fraud they legalised.

It seem the Scottish masses are clearly too stupid to learn any other way than from the wholly avoidable and predictable consequences, including from kinsman Chief DECC Scientist Sir David MacKay FRS who explained that believing we could power the UK with renewable enrgy was “an appalling delusion.

They doubled down on the stupidity by electing some very dubious characters who promised to destroy the most important driver of an developed economy on the facts of the matter, the adequate, affordable, sustainable a cheap energy that was first gifted to us by James Watt, a Scott, with the triple chamber steam engine that first decoupled labour from the means of production, and replaced wind and water mills real fast. Just how stupid can you be? They have to suffer to save others just as stupid from themselves.

The worse the cuts and their impacts, the more this deceitful renewables racket will be rejected by those whose grids have yet to be destroyed by the actual science denial of renewable energy supply physics.

Perhaps they can get back onto the treadmills, maybe they prefer living in feudal poverty on renewable energy alone? Or connect their mobile phones to the grid and see how long that keeps it up? Storage simply doesn’t work and the theoretical cost of supporting Scotland’s grid for a significant time is also a significant proportion of Scotland’s GDP, replaced every few years, if they could ever meet their overall 24/7 energy demand with renewable energy to store.

Rather than cutting the connection, perhaps England should do what Poland has with Germany on their border. Put in thyristors so energy flows is controlled by Poland, from the stable Polish 24/7 coal fired grid to Germany when they are short of renewables, most of the time, and ensure unwanted grid destabilising surplus from Germany’s wind farms is blocked when unwanted/unneeded. I like that best :-). Sell the Scotts electricity at a 200% wholesale premium when they are run short by their own stuoid decisions, and only buy their renewables when we need them. In competition with other interconnectors.e tc. “Ditch the fishy SNP liars, vote in loyal politicians, and tow the line, or the grid gets it.” Just a thought.

He who creates the most energy per capita makes the rules, BTW.

Reply to  Brian RL Catt CEng, CPHys
December 1, 2018 10:17 am

Brian RL Catt CEng, CPHys

Thanks for that Brian, you’re proposing inflicting privation on the Scottish public because their government is incompetent.

And whilst I’m the first to agree the idiots deserve it because they voted for the wildly socialist and hugely demented SNP, they like the rest of us have been systematically lied to by these people.

The SNP promised independence, they failed, and continue to fail, not that it was ever a realistic proposition and the SNP knew it.

And that lying, incompetent, idealogical government continues to peddle lie after lie to my brethren Scot’s, which I wholly resent but they have been brainwashed by a compliant media which is rabidly socialist and ‘green’ to boot.

It’s not my fellow Scot’s that need to be punished for their actions, they acted in faith their government was telling them the truth. It’s the likes of Alex Salmond who went from comedian politician to professional stand up comedian (I kid you not) and on the back of his notoriety is carving out a nice little second career as a celebrity. Quite what qualifications he has for that I’ll never know other than his poisoned pixie of a successor can probably arrange plenty of gigs for him.

I think you are choosing the wrong target here.

November 29, 2018 10:40 pm

Nothing here that didn’t already happen in South Australia in September 2016.

Reply to  Pauly
November 30, 2018 12:30 am

The problem in SA was extreme weather knocking out multiple pylons on a power line. It would have tripped even under all fossil fuel.

The wind power need not have gone offline if correct settings had been used: Germany had the problem in 2008, fixed it and have had no trip problems since.

and anyway the new Tesla grid scale battery should enable SA to avoid future such events.

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 12:38 am

Wow, you really inhaled deep and held it long, dude.

Reply to  hunter
November 30, 2018 9:03 am

Isn’t Griff the guy who said something along the lines of “What do you know about polar bears?” to Susan Crawford(sp?) ? I read that the day it was posted. It was one of the best crow-eating incidents I have ever seen in my life.

Roger Taguchi
Reply to  Glen
November 30, 2018 6:08 pm


Reply to  hunter
November 30, 2018 9:15 am

lol +100

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 1:20 am

The figures I have show South Australia having some 4.6 gw of electrical generation capacity. The Tesla battery contains some 130 of energy.

So the Tesla ‘backup’ will give anout 2 minutes of backup. Not very useful….


Bill In Oz
Reply to  ralfellis
November 30, 2018 1:40 am

When the sun goes down, no solar power !
When the wind don’t blow, No wind power !

Right now in South Australia the wholesale price for power is $203.41 a megawat hour. Holy shit that’s expensive !
Wind & solar is generating 50 megawats.
The state is ‘demanding” 1400 megawats
Gas fired generators are producing 1283.
And we are importing 80 megawats from interstate generated in the Latrove Valley in Victoria using brown coal.

Link :

If this your ‘idea’ of a good idea Griff, you are a complete idiot. Because frankly it stinks.

Reply to  Bill In Oz
November 30, 2018 11:33 am

When it’s cloudy, reduced solar power.
When the solar panels or mirrors get dirty or damaged, reduced solar power.
When the wind blows too strongly, shut down the windmills so they don’t destroy themselves; no power.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  ralfellis
November 30, 2018 9:22 am

…and it would have to provide all of it’s capacity in that 2 minutes.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Rainer Bensch
November 30, 2018 10:39 am

Which it can’t.

Bill In Oz
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 1:21 am

All very expensive fixes for problems that we never had before..
1 : The pylons fell over in the wind storm near Port Augusta 300 ks North of Adelaide…
2: This triggered the wind power windmills to shut down.
3 And that triggered a massive surge on the interconnecter from Victoria, which in turn shut down…
4 : And the whole state was blacked out – “System Black” !

We used to have cheap reliable coal fired power system manged by a competent professional skilled electrical engineering workforce employed in a state own corporation named ETSA…

Now power is expensive, unreliable, and has proved itself to be incompetently managed.

Labor who presided over the growth of this mess deserved the big kick up the arse it got last March..

i suggest any Scottish voters take the same approach..

Pollies always remember very sore arses..

Patrick healy
Reply to  Bill In Oz
November 30, 2018 9:46 am

Bill in Oz
Very interesting. A couple of points from arctic gulag Scotland.
Down under you could probably survive for – say- 5 or 6 days without heat. Here at 56 deg N I would give myself 1 or 2. It is 4deg C outside now at 1745.
You seem to think that exchanging one (corrupt) party for another might restore sanity.
Well good luck with that. In the whole of the UK there are only about 4 MPs out of 400 odd that are not fully practising members of the global warming religion.
There was a famous old Scottish private soldier in Dads Army called Frazer.
His catch phrase with the advent of Hitler’s invasion was ” We’re doomed doomed I tell ye”
Interesting how prophetic he was

Reply to  Patrick healy
November 30, 2018 11:44 am

I don’t know about the four but the total is 650. The government want to reduce that to 600. I’m also at 56 deg N and, according to my mobile phone it’s 7 deg C at 1938. (How accurate are those figures?) Unlike Warren in NZ I’m not looking forward to a failure in electricity supplies. And the most likely party to replace the Scottish Nutcase Party is Labour. Nutcases replaced by Fruitcakes. Incidentally a Spanish firm is proposing to take over the Longannet site and use it to make trains. Construction is expected to start in 2020.

Bill In Oz
Reply to  Patrick healy
November 30, 2018 2:56 pm

Patrick, you are absolutely right ….And as I was born in Liverpol in the UK, i know about cold also…The best of luck with the freezing bloody weather there…

I guess should a system black happen, your beautiful, earth worshoping Greenists might get enough of a shock to come back to reality…But yes at the cost of many people’s lives & livelihoods.

PS Outing ‘Griff’ as senator Stirling Griff from here in South Australia, seems to have scared the poor bugger away…

Clearly you were all enjoying his return. But we have to live with his stupid politics here.

Reply to  Patrick healy
November 30, 2018 7:21 pm

Patrick writes

You seem to think that exchanging one (corrupt) party for another might restore sanity.

Comments like this cause me to think of a privateer by the name of Jean Lafitte, who when a price was placed on his head by the Governor of Louisiana, is reported to have responded by placing a price on the head of the Governor..

I’ve often wondered how we could punish politicians, bureaucrats and other authoritarians in Australia where our laws remain so one sided that it’s clear we’re still viewed as incompetent criminals by those in charge – I wonder if a similar price, a reward for information leading to the prosecution of (insert name of overpaid giddy clown charged with whatever civic duty they’re failing in) might work to either remind these tards that they’re being paid to do a job *right*, or failing that, might bring forth an insider with sufficient information to see them stripped of office and incarcerated.

Surely there has to be a way we can make them accountable, and maybe the incentive of good ol’ dollars might do the trick. It would certainly bring the hazy befuddled eye of the media down on them..

So what would it take to set up a crowd-funding project to pay for the prosecution of any particularly offensive public official, and how long would one guess it would take before said individual lost their nerve and bolted from the job?

something to ponder ..

Reply to  Patrick healy
November 30, 2018 11:33 pm

Another 56er here. Good to see this article in the Herald and discussed on WUWT. Most people in rural Scotland would be fine for a day or two at least, longer if they have wood stoves they can cook on, and some food in the cupboard. But it will get very nasty in the cities if there is a blackout for more than 6 hours. No petrol at the pumps, no supermarkets, no power in hospitals, schools, sewage pumps fail, people will likely get hungry and start to loot and riot etc. I and many others (among them very experienced grid control engineers) have been saying all this to politicians for years, but they don’t listen. They (and the renewable-loving BBC an STV) have no grasp of the grid inertia problem, nor the complexity of reactance and instability issues resulting from sourcing and transmitting power from distant windfarms to the cities in the south. I was very shocked when Longannet was closed, a very big mistake but to be fair to the Scottish Government the decision was imposed on SP by the idiots in National Grid and London. The Scottish Government should have fought it harder though. The grid control engineers have done well to keep the grid stable since Longannet closed, but we have not yet had a proper cold spell like we did in 2009-10 and winter 2010-11, when temperatures hit -20C in places and GB demand hit 61GW. Since then Longannet and many coal (and older nuclear) plants in England and Wales have closed, and most of the replacement capacity has been yet more prayer wheels. Hopefully the politicians will learn the error of their ways, but I fear it will be the hard way.

Greg K
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 1:32 am

World electricity prices

Then there is South Australia

So despite its big battery the windmills and solar generators are not quite up to the job.
If you want to run a mine or a smelter in that state you had better make your own electrons..

Reply to  Greg K
November 30, 2018 9:03 am

If you’ll notice, whenever a news article comes out about a battery, they talk about how many megawatts it is, not megawatt hours. Most of the batteries can last only a matter of a few minutes or hours at that power, not helpful when you have a days long weather event.

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 1:45 am

The windfarm was directly and indirectly responsible for the blackout in South Oz .

High winds were forecast and the windfarms should have been shut down and Torrens fired up .

Incorrect settings on the windfarm caused the blackout .

The Pylons were not designed for a high wind loading ,there hasn’t really been a satisfactory reason given for this .

These windfarms are now ordered to shutdown if there’s a storm event forecast and Torrens takes over till the storm has passed .
Also worth mentioning when Solar is working near capacity the windfarms are throttled back .

Too much wind , too little wind or too much Solar puts gives this folly the true name of unreliable .

Bill In Oz
Reply to  Robertfromoz
November 30, 2018 3:11 am

There had been no proper maintenance on the pylons since the major distribution power line network had been privatised in 1999…

Complete maintenance failure by the now privately owned power network..
Otherwise you are right on the money…

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 2:36 am

” It would have tripped even under all fossil fuel.”

No it wouldn’t. Read the report. The collapse was due to two factors

1. Multiple wind farms tripped (quite unnecessarily) because of repeated minor frequency glitches caused by the pylon collapses. Apparently not even the owners knew of this fatal weakness.

2. The replacement of conventional powerplants by (asynchronous) wind generators had decreased the swing mass in the system to a point where there was no longer time for automatic switching and fault isolation (= partial blackout). The whole system therefore collapsed.

This later weakness might actually be helped by the Tesla battery. Though it might burn out when it happens.

Bob boder
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 3:14 am

Really, your back, I thought you left forever Griff!
Oh well, all good things must come to an end.
Let the nonsense begin.

Reply to  Bob boder
November 30, 2018 10:24 am

“your back” Did he have a problem with his spine or the nerves occupying same?
If you’re welcoming him back, it is “You’re back”, as in, “you are back”.
Thank you.
And yes, I am a spelling n a s i …

Reply to  _Jim
November 30, 2018 2:45 pm

I used to be one of those you reference in your last line, but I had an epiphany.
Does the writer communicate with his/her [etc.] chosen audience.
If so – then the spelling is ‘good enough’.



Bloke down the pub
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 4:22 am

As I understand it, the problem, as expressed by the Scottish engineers and as experienced in SA is not just that the system trips but that it takes so long to get back running. This is due to the problems around matching frequencies. When you have a large thermal plant running, the frequency is determined by the speed of the turbine which can be accurately set and the rest of the system adjusted to match. With only small wind turbines to rely on, the frequency wanders and stabilizing the system becomes a nightmare.

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
November 30, 2018 7:40 am

Bloke down the pub November 30, 2018 at 4:22 am
… With only small wind turbines to rely on, the frequency wanders and stabilizing the system becomes a nightmare
some turbines do not rotate synchronously, do not use rare earth magnets, will help get a black grid up, will provide power into overload conditions and of course will follow grid frequency within milliseconds.
an example of grid feed using electronic convertors would be Enercon:

“Staying connected when grid problems occur
Most transmission networks and ever more distribution grids require wind energy converters to remain connected to the grid in the event of grid short circuits. Like conventional power plants, wind turbines are not allowed to suddenly disconnect from the grid during voltage dips or overvoltage caused by grid problems. ENERCON wind turbines with the optional ENERCON UVRT feature have this capacity. No matter what type of short circuit occurs, ENERCON wind turbines can ‘ride through’ faults for several seconds, even if they were operating at rated power before the fault. This is also possible if the wind turbine voltage completely breaks down as a result of a power system failure. These outstanding power plant properties have been certified by independent institutes during actual grid fault testing. Flexible setting options offer maximum performance according to the respective grid operator’s specifications or to the project’s framework conditions.
Depending on the selected parameters, the wind turbine can feed in either mainly active or reactive power to maintain grid voltage. If necessary, voltage-dependent reactive current can even be supplied to the grid; this current can be maximum rated current as stipulated by the latest German grid code. If desired or required, fault ride-through is also possible without power feed-in. The ENERCON wind turbine remains in operation during the fault. After the grid problem has been resolved and grid voltage has been restored, the wind turbine can immediately resume power feed-in. Thus the ENERCON Undervoltage Ride-Through feature facilitates adaptable settings in order to meet grid standards (e. g. of the German
Association of Energy and Water Industries) and to maximise the amount of installable wind farm power.”

Reply to  thefordprefect
November 30, 2018 9:18 am

Goo start. But it is only with the “optional ENERCON UVRT”. How many wind turbine owners will pay extra for that option? If the wind trubines don’t have the option installed, it isn’t going to avert the known problems.

Reply to  thefordprefect
November 30, 2018 9:19 am

Arrrrgh. Good, not Goo.

Reply to  thefordprefect
November 30, 2018 10:31 am

@ thefordprefect, I would be highly surprised if you know the first thing about power generation and transmission, let alone what the term “stability” means WRT a power system grid and what it means concerning the multitude of ‘rotating’, interconnected generators comprising such a system.

I would recommend a course or two in power engineering, but I don’t think it would do much good.

Reply to  thefordprefect
November 30, 2018 9:05 pm

_Jim November 30, 2018 at 10:31 am
@ thefordprefect, I would be highly surprised if you know the first thing about power generation and transmission, let alone what the term “stability” means WRT a power system grid and what it means concerning the multitude of ‘rotating’, interconnected generators comprising such a system.
you’re correct. My knowledge is limited.
I base my comment on details supplied by national grid and Enercon. Are these people lying?
Enercon details the operation of their WECs. DC is obtained from the annular generator output and fed to a dc-ac convertor for feeding the grid. The frequency of the convertor can obviously be easily adjusted (similar to the various interlinks from France, Netherlands, etc., which all add up to 3 to 4 GW of dc power over undersea cables to/from the UK)
The National Grid is tasked with supplying the needs of the UK – it has nor raised disaster scenarios. It is free to do so.
I have to admit I cannot fully respond to your comment as I do not really understand what you’re saying about my knowledge in your comment.
Did you look at my link concerning the may 2008 power outage – this seems to state most of the problems with the uk grid.

Reply to  thefordprefect
November 30, 2018 9:11 pm

Here is a better explanation of Enercon WEC systems and their integration in the grid:

Bill In Oz
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
November 30, 2018 4:08 pm

Thanks for piece of the jig saw puzzle of our SA ‘system black’

Yes, wind & solar do not provide power at stable frequencies..So the system is set to trigger if there is no steady power generator balancing the entire system…

Here now, in SA it is very expensive natural gas that does that job.Before it was cheap brown coal from SA’s own coal field.

Dopey bastards !

kent beuchert
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 5:23 am

You apparently don’t understand the purpose of the small capacity Tesla battery – it was designed solely to bridge a small gap that occurred while switching to external supplied power.
Germany gets a mere 10% from wind, 22% from imported gas, 43% from coal, 12% from nuclear and some from biomass and solar

Barry Constant
Reply to  kent beuchert
November 30, 2018 12:08 pm

Germany has built 20 new coal power plants. I dunno how well their green revolution is working.

Tom Halla
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 6:25 am

Gee, Griff, what flavor was the KoolAid?

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 6:27 am

Griff you always seem to surface to spread your bovine excrement of uninformed opinion on subjects you know little about.

Honest liberty
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 6:52 am

The infamous Griff hath returned. Needless to say, you didn’t disappoint.

That’s not a compliment

Eric H
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 7:16 am

Wow…the griff troll makes an appearance, it has been a while….we must have hit a nerve!

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 11:30 am

Oh my, look who’s back…Griff. I guess he just loves this blog too much to stay away.

Anyway, one of the many problems which I think anyone with half a brain would notice about the Green Movement and it’s push for wind and solar would be an apparent inability to understand or realize or care about the difference between an experiment and something in science and engineering that has actually been shown or proven to work.

Yes, solar panels and wind turbines can generate electricity. However, has any developed First World nation (or state or province within it) proven that wind turbines and solar panels are capable of commercially scaling up successfully against fossil fuels PPs to a point where coal and natural gas for electricity can be phased out completely? I don’t know of a single one that has done so. If not, then the U.S., the EU and Australia are being subjected to what can rightly be called an experiment with no proof that the desired end goals of the experiment are at all achievable.

Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread. Shutting down fossil fuel plants on the blind religious belief that this experiment will work is right up there with the belief back in 1912 that the Titanic was unsinkable. One can only hope that politicians here in the U.S. understand this, but I am far from the belief that they all do. There are too many renewable energy mandates written into law already. That is what happens when activist pressure groups have too much political clout.

Rushing into an unproven experiment with blind and unquestioning religious faith that it will work demonstrates how far we humans still need to evolve if we are to stop doing really stupid things. I suppose scientific and engineering illiteracy can often have a lot to do with that.

At any rate, the solar panel (invented in 1954) has had nearly 65 years to demonstrate that it can do what the true believers are expecting it to do. The U.S. fed govt’s EIA says it still has a veeeerrrrry long way to go, because their numbers show that it has yet to produce more than a minuscule portion of our energy needs. And how long have wind turbines been around?

Griff, with his blind religious faith in wind and solar, is amusing if nothing else. He makes this website more interesting to visit now that he appears to be back on board.

W. B. Grubel
Reply to  Pauly
November 30, 2018 10:29 am

Well, except for the snowy winters and frozen country that has to be dealt with, When the power fails the
consequences will be greatly amplified.

November 29, 2018 10:43 pm

Well who could possibly have predicted that green policies will lead to prolonged blackouts? Engineers, of course, the people who are ignored by Scotland’s green politicians.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
November 29, 2018 11:57 pm

We wrote in our 2002 debate with the Pembina Institute, sponsored by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta:

“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.”

This statement is still clearly true today – and global primary energy is still 85% fossil fuels, unchanged for decades.

We also concluded in the same debate:

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

That statement is also true – all the observations point to a low climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 – no greater than ~1C/(2xCO2). The IPCC’s climate computer models run far too hot, as they are designed to do to create false alarm.

Global warming alarmism and grid-connected intermittent green energy schemes are harmful, costly nonsense, promoted by scoundrels and believed in by imbeciles – they are destructive falsehoods that harm humanity and the environment.

We told you so, 16 years ago. Since then, trillions of dollars of scarce global resources have been squandered on green energy failures, caused by global warming alarmist falsehoods.

Allan MacRae, P.Eng,

November 30, 2018 12:18 am

“Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and higher education positively fortifies it.”
– Stephen Vizinczey

The entire Canadian federal Cabinet seems to have this terrible affliction – they are either incredibly evil or incredibly stupid – and most days I just don’t think they are all that evil.

Same goes for the Australian Cabinet until this week – we’ll soon see if they get smarter.

The British Cabinet seems to be even more obtuse, and they have had a much longer time to learn just how idiotic their green energy schemes truly are!

As I recall, Britain’s foolish green energy schemes started with Tony Blair about 20 years go, and have continued until now, when there appears to be a slight perturbation in The Farce, with the permission to frack-on.

There may be method in their madness – the UK’s per-capita Excess Winter Mortality Rate this past year was about 2.5 times the average for the USA – with about 48,000 Excess Winter Deaths in the UK vs an average of about 100,000 per year in the USA, which has five times the population of the UK.

Excess Winter Mortality rates are high across the planet, even including warm countries like Thailand, Brazil and Australia.

Earth is colder-than-optimum for humanity at this time – world Excess Winter Deaths total about 2 million souls per year.
By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae, September 4, 2015

Green energy systems are an effective method of killing off the elderly and the poor. Given the tenacity of governments around the world to hold on to these proven costly, intermittent and ineffective green energy schemes, in spite of these obvious grave defects, maybe the killing off of the elderly and the poor is the government’s objective – I mean really, can anyone truly be this stupid?

AGW is not Science
November 30, 2018 9:40 am

Thanks, Allan, for all you efforts and diligence to reveal and put a stop to the mass stupidity.

And I LOVE the quote – it’s priceless!

November 30, 2018 12:40 am

Thank you sir.
Your attempts to step in early and prevent the madness are appreciated.

Reply to  hunter
November 30, 2018 1:51 am

Thank you Hunter. We tried… … a few more thoughts:

Earth is significantly colder-than-optimum for humanity and the environment. Twenty times more people die from cold than die from heat – about 2 million Excess Winter Deaths every year worldwide.*

In the USA, Excess Winter Deaths average about one hundred thousand souls per year, equivalent to two 9-11’s per week for 17 weeks every year!

Even more startling is the preliminary estimate of Excess Winter Deaths in the UK – about 48,000 this past winter! The UK suffered about HALF the average annual Excess Winter Deaths of the USA, but the UK has only ONE-FIFTH the USA’s population. High energy prices, or “Heat or Eat” as it is termed in the UK, is becoming a significant cause of premature deaths of the elderly and the poor.

Anti-fracking groups in the UK, many of whom are phony-green Marxist fronts, have cost Britain dearly in lost billions of pounds sterling and hundreds of thousands of needlessly-shortened lives.

Conclusion: Excess Winter Deaths are increased by foolish green energy policies like mandatory wind and solar power in the grid, which produce little useful (dispatchable) energy and drive up energy costs, preferentially killing off the elderly and the poor.

* Reference:
By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae, September 4, 2015

Increased Winter Mortality (Excess Winter Deaths)

The Increased Winter Mortality (Excess Winter Deaths) figure for Scotland in 2017/18 was 4,800.

Increased Winter Mortality or Excess Winter Deaths are recorded by the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

There is no single cause of ‘additional’ deaths in winter. Very few are caused by hypothermia. Most are from respiratory and circulatory diseases such as pneumonia, coronary heart disease and stroke. In only a small proportion of deaths is influenza recorded as the underlying cause.

The seasonal increase in mortality in the winter has been defined as the difference between the number of deaths in the four ‘winter’ months (December to March) and the average of the numbers of deaths in the two four month periods which precede winter (August to November) and follow winter (April to July).

Statistics of the seasonal increase in mortality in the winter inform public debate and the development of government policy on matters such as the health of the elderly population, fuel poverty and whether there is a need to improve the housing stock in terms of central heating and thermal insulation.

Key facts:

There were 23,137 deaths registered in Scotland in the four months of winter 2017/18 (December to March), compared with 20,946 in winter 2016/17. It was the largest number since the 23,379 deaths registered in winter 1999/2000.

Alan the Brit
November 30, 2018 2:57 am

Hear, hear!!!!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
November 30, 2018 9:38 am

Hi Alan,

I recommend a formal UK inquiry into the Green groups who have vilified fossil fuels and promoted costly and ineffective “green energy” schemes, which are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy.

Who are they – group and individual names?
Who funds them – how much and when?
What are their stated political objectives?
What are their covert political objectives and their affiliations, domestic and foreign?

Why should this inquiry be held?
Because every winter, tens of thousands of Brits die before their time due to energy poverty, caused by false global warming alarmism and costly, ineffective “green energy” schemes.

The same inquiry should be held in other countries that have spent (squandered) large sums on green energy, such as Germany, the USA, Canada, Australia, etc.

Regards, Allan

November 30, 2018 2:59 pm

ALLAN, you ask – rightly, and amongst much else –
“Who funds them – how much and when?”
Answer – Poisoner Putin and his cronies fund them
How much – well, perhaps not ‘beyond the dreams of avarice – but pretty comprehensively, and pretty regularly, too, I would suspect.
Anything to do down the West.
P. Putin has not got over the Reagan[& Thatcher] defeat of the old Soviet Union.
Poroschenko, in the Ukraine, has stated that the Russians want to take over – annex – ALL of the Ukraine.
A Reuters report referenced here: – although it does not dignify Putin with the epithet ‘Poisoner’, for some reason.


December 1, 2018 1:28 am
December 1, 2018 7:17 am

I sent the above recommendation for a public inquiry to senior parties in the UK and the USA. Let’s hope that it happens.

Global warming alarmism and associated green energy schemes are the greatest fraud, in dollar terms, in the history of humanity. This fraud has been obvious to competent scientists for decades and was publicly confirmed by the Climategate emails.

The harm done to humanity and the environment by costly, ineffective green energy schemes far outweighs the trillions of dollars squandered on this nonsense – specifically, the energy poverty that has been imposed on the elderly and the poor of the developed world, and the energy starvation that has been imposed on the billions of poor of the developing world has cost millions of lives.

These are not innocent errors, they are crimes against humanity.

It is long past time to shine a bright light on the scoundrels and imbeciles who promoted this destructive scam.

Regards, Allan

Steve Heins
December 1, 2018 7:56 am

Allan, you say, “This fraud has been obvious to competent scientists for decades and was publicly confirmed by the Climategate emails. ”

Why hasn’t there been a criminal prosecution for fraud in the nine years since the release of the emails?

December 1, 2018 10:01 am

Steve Heins

Why do you think?

Perhaps the announcement by Christina Figueres and others that the climate scare is an opportunity to change the political world order?

Why would compliant, ambitious politicians let a little matter like fraud get in the way of that opportunity?

November 30, 2018 4:15 pm

I agree with you Allan Macrae.
Our Prime Minister is pushing our country ,New Zealand towards carbon neutral ,high cost energy and fuel ,and it is then forced to reward beneficiaries and over 65s with winter power payments.
Ideology led governments led by politicians with very little understanding of how the world works and how food and all other consumables get to the supermarkets can cause immense damage to a countries well being .
I knew ministers from previous governments and they agreed with me that no one should be allowed to stand for parliament until they had run a business successfully .
I know that I am going to be clobbered for stating this but how many elected members of any western democracy parliament ,senate or congress would be worse than useless on the board of directors of a public company .
All countries have to be run on business lines and when they are governed with an ideological goal common sense is the last requirement .

Reply to  Gwan
December 1, 2018 7:37 am

Gwan wrote:
“I know that I am going to be clobbered for stating this but how many elected members of any western democracy parliament, senate or congress would be worse than useless on the board of directors of a public company.”

No disagreement here Gwan.

Gentlemen, you are correct.

Eliminate fossil fuels and most people in the developed world would be dead within a few months.

The destructiveness of warmist scientists and politicians is astonishing – these villains and fools should not even opine on energy, let alone set energy policy.

The policies of these climate clowns are so destructive that one has to wonder if this is their true intention. Many of them say they want to reduce world population; well, their energy policies will certainly do that.

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

We have known these facts since forever, and published them in 2002 (below).

Regarding energy policy, we are governed by scoundrels and imbeciles.

Regards, Allan


Energy is my area of expertise and I have a very successful predictive track record. I have two engineering degrees and have studied this subject for many decades.

Fully 85% of global primary energy is fossil fuels, and the rest is hydro and nuclear. Green energy would be near-zero except for massive wasted subsidies and use mandates. Only a few places have enough hydro to provide their needs, and greens hate hydro. The only practical alternative is nuclear, and the greens hate nuclear too.

Without fossil fuels, most people in the developed world would just freeze and starve to death. This means you and your family.

[excerpts from 2009 and 2002]

Re successful predictions, here is one that the Europeans should have heeded, as cold sets in and their inadequate alternative energy systems fail to keep them from freezing this winter.

This disastrous scenario was predicted by Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and me in September 2002:
Originally published at at:
Now at:

“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.”

Regards, Allan

November 30, 2018 5:02 pm


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Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
November 30, 2018 1:31 am

Yep, enginneers. The profession that does the same maths as scientists who do a maths major, who study physics and chemistry as basics, then go on an study applied statstics, the physics and chemistry of the carbon cycle and the water cycle not to mention hydrodynamics and thermodynamics…

But is their experise listened to? No!! Why? Because they are not climate ‘experts’.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
November 30, 2018 4:55 am

Engineers results are guaranteed by law. Engineers practice strictly within their areas of expertise. You literally bet your life on their work many times every day.

Scientists purpose is to explore new stuff. They make hypotheses. They do experiments. They publish their results in peer reviewed journals. Most of their published research findings are false. Sometimes they can’t even reproduce their own experimental results. link

BTW, do you even have a clue how much math engineers learn? It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that most engineering texts are nothing but math.

Reply to  commieBob
November 30, 2018 7:53 pm

The topic of how much maths engineers are required to learn compared to mathematicians came up in discussion in the pub with some work colleagues a few years after we’d graduated. We were talking about partial differential equations of the third degree, which is where maths ceased being easy for me, when the mathematician in our group stated that he’d studied them in his maths degree honours year. I lent him my copy of Advanced Engineering Mathematics by Erwin Kreyszig and he was surprised to discover just how advanced it was.

Mind you, I was not all that surprised by his reaction. Many people don’t seem to have a clue what engineers do.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
November 30, 2018 5:06 am

I misread your comment. Sorry.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
November 30, 2018 11:50 am

Maybe not! What you failed to predict (that politicians have foreseen) is that a technological breakthrough will occur, and be implemented throughout the world in less than a week! Everything will be just fine, and we’ll all see that the wind mills and sun catchers were truly our saviors.

Reply to  KaliforniaKook
December 1, 2018 8:21 am

Good comment KK – and I have discovered a SOLUTION!!!

The key problem with grid-connected wind power is intermittency, and the resulting lack of predictable, dispatchable power that is the primary requirement for grid electricity.

I have heard and read many energy neophytes say that grid-scale storage is the solution – and they act like it actually exists. In practical terms, it does not – except for a few rare cases where pumped storage is feasible.

So I would like to announce that I have invented a SOLUTION:

It consists of millions of huge flywheels that are wound up by wind power while the wind blows, and then the power is released back into the grid by tapping power from the rotating flywheels. For longer periods when the wind does not blow, the flywheels are spun by great herds of unicorns, galloping round and round at great speed.

Once we have solved the unicorn-supply challenge we are sure to have a green energy winner!

We are applying to the Canadian government in Ottawa for a development grant – PM Justin Trudeau and Climate Barbie have already declared their support.

[I suppose I must say “Sarc/off for the warmists out there, who tend to believe ANYTHING!]

December 1, 2018 8:23 am

Damn double-post. Apologies.

November 29, 2018 10:48 pm

Finally a professional Engineering body that is prepared to speak up and deal with the reality of what is being created. They have been sadly missing in action.

Even if it falls on deaf ears as it probably will, at least there is a line in the sand now. It will be harder for the green fantasists to feign surprise when the inevitable happens.

Johne S. Morton
November 29, 2018 10:56 pm

EU politicians from the mainland are blowing so much hot air that, if it could be captured, aught to be enough for Scotland’s need with leftovers. 😉

James Bull
November 29, 2018 11:03 pm

What was the title of one of the Star Trek films.
“Into the Darkness”
Seems appropriate for what’s going on here.

James Bull

Alan Tomalty
November 29, 2018 11:14 pm

“when wind generators have a limited role and nuclear generators cannot be quickly restarted.” If you already have a nuclear power plant to provide electricity why in the hell would you ever need wind and solar? The operating costs are very low for a nuclear plant including the fuel. The BIG cost is capital cost but once the nuclear plant is up and running why would you ever want to shut it down except for maintenance. Nuclear doesn’t work as a backup for wind and solar. The only true backups are fossil fuel, pumped storage and hydro. In the future there is massive battery or capacitance storage , but that is a long way off. You certainly shouldn’t shut down a nuclear plant just because the wind starts blowing. The EU commission wants 0 fossil fuels by 2050. The only way that can happen is they start building nuclear plants immediately.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 30, 2018 12:29 am

Ah, but the old “Nuclear Power Bad!” program installed by the USSR is still running.
That they can’t rethink this, just demonstrates the NPC meme applies to Greens as well as SJWs.

Besides, the goals of the people in the Green side who can think, is power, and killing off large swaths of other people has always been one of their tools.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 30, 2018 12:39 am

In the future there is massive battery or capacitance storage , but that is a long way off.

Even Bill Gates admits that breakthroughs in energy storage are needed. link Breakthroughs can’t be planned and they’re far from guaranteed.

In terms of massive storage, ammonia is attractive. It can be stored in large tanks so you can have as much storage as you want for relatively little cost. Work on ammonia, for generating ammonia efficiently from electricity and converting it back to electricity, doesn’t seem to be as vigorous as it once was but it is proceeding. example Here’s a link to a list of developments over the last year.

So, what’s the downside of ammonia as an energy carrier? The energy you get out compared to the energy you put in (ie. the round trip efficiency) is miserable. link

What about other technologies? Do the Math points out that “we are yet again fresh out of silver bullet solutions. More generally, large scale energy storage is not a solved problem.” Breakthroughs are needed. What are the odds of a breakthrough? What odds can we live with?

Let’s pull a number out of thin air. Suppose that there is a 50% chance of the necessary breakthrough in the next ten years. What are the consequences if the breakthrough doesn’t happen? If we put all our eggs in the energy storage basket, I would say that the consequences would be catastrophic.

Unlike the wild speculations of the CAGW alarmists, the calculations of engineers are nearly certain. If we rely on energy storage to develop, we are playing Russian Roulette with half the cylinders loaded.

Loren Wilson
Reply to  commieBob
November 30, 2018 9:27 am

This has to be an inefficient way to store energy. Chemical reactions plus all the separations before and after are energy-intensive. A lot of energy is lost to entropy, and the process cannot be made even theoretically close to 100% efficient. So you lose energy making ammonia, and then using it to produce energy again (reaction, combustion?).

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 30, 2018 2:26 am


The key problem with grid-connected wind power is intermittency, and the resulting lack of predictable, dispatchable power that is the primary requirement for grid electricity.

I have heard and read many energy neophytes say that grid-scale storage is the solution – and they act like it actually exists. In practical terms, it does not – except for a few rare cases where pumped storage is feasible.

So I would like to announce that I have invented a SOLUTION:

It consists of millions of huge flywheels that are wound up by wind power while the wind blows, and then the power is released back into the grid by tapping power from the rotating flywheels. For longer periods when the wind does not blow, the flywheels are spun by great herds of unicorns, galloping round and round at great speed.

Once we have solved the unicorn-supply challenge we are sure to have a green energy winner! We are applying to the Canadian government in Ottawa for a development grant – PM Justin Trudeau and Climate Barbie have already declared their support.

[I suppose I must say “Sarc/off for the warmists out there, who tend to believe ANYTHING!]

November 30, 2018 4:37 am


November 30, 2018 4:50 am

Brilliant! I honestly think at least 90% of the population don’t understand that a battery has to have it’s energy pumped or manufactured into it. They have the same reverence for pumped hydro, as though it’s somehow free energy unconstrained by the laws of thermodynamics.

Reply to  Dixon
November 30, 2018 5:12 am

Perhaps you can explain why we’ve been using pumped hydro for more than a century. link There are few places where it’s viable but it is cost effective in those places.

Reply to  commieBob
November 30, 2018 8:53 am

Hi Bob, here is my response, written from 2012 to 2017:

RE: “We need storage”

“Storage” is a buzz-word that is tossed around like popcorn. In reality today, practical grid-scale electricity storage does not exist, with rare exceptions.

Pumped hydro storage rarely exists because most hydro projects have no large water reservoir at the bottom of the hydro dam.

Battery and other proposed storage schemes are uneconomic.

Offsets do exist – such as curtailing hydro power when the wind blows, and ramping it up when the wind stops – but then you are under-utilizing your hydro facility. The same offsets are done with gas-turbine power, but then you are under-utilizing your gas turbines.

The grid needs reliable, dispatchable power, not wildly varying power that fluctuates with wind speed or clouds.

Wind and solar power schemes need almost 100% conventional backup, and this makes them uneconomic.

Perhaps if battery-powered cars ever become commonplace, we can use them to create a distributed “super-battery”. Maybe some other ideas will work, but for now practical, economic grid-scale storage really does not really exist.


Electric cars are now appearing in the marketplace, and they may succeed or fail, but there is no need for them to have the same range as a gas vehicle – most people seldom use the full range of their gasoline vehicles, instead using their cars almost exclusively for short daily commutes to and from work.

The key to using all these electric cars in a ‘super-battery” is that this application is essentially free (secondary use of the resource), which means that your economic argument about the high cost of batteries does not have much traction.

I still see great practical obstacles for the “super-battery” concept, and I use the term broadly, to include batteries, capacitors, recycled hydroelectric power, or whatever, and I doubt that a super-battery will become a practical reality in the next twenty years.

In conclusion:

Wind power is still an energy dog. I wrote this conclusion, with confidence, in newspaper articles in 2002 and 2003. A decade later, this energy dog still has fleas. Even if we overcome the fatal flaws of wind power’s highly intermittent power generation profile through the use of a “super-battery”, there is still the serious problem of bird and bat kill.

Grid-connected wind power is uneconomic and anti-environmental.

Dodgy Geezer
November 30, 2018 6:29 am

I would like to join you with my proposal to provide those millions of flywheels, at no cost to the taxpayer.

There are millions of cars in existence, most of which have two driven wheels. My proposal is that, when the electricity supply becomes scarce, people should be paid to jack up their car’s rear wheels, start the motors, and connect the alternator to the mains via a boost circuit to match the mains supply requirement.

Problem solved! And we didn’t need any unicorns (which went extinct about 40,000 years ago)…

Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
November 30, 2018 9:32 am

They became extinct, of course, because of CO2.

November 30, 2018 2:26 pm

Aren’t flywheels dangerous? Unless they are small?

Martin Hovland
November 29, 2018 11:15 pm

Stock up on blankets and silver reflective thermo cloth! It seems you will need it in February, when the ‘Beast from the East’ awakens to life. Just take a look at the temperatures in Eastern Siberia right now. This is what is coming over the New Year, aimed for Southern Norway and Scotland. At least in Norway, we still have our log fired stoves if a blackout comes (which is unlikely, as we also have reliable hydroelectric power).

November 29, 2018 11:21 pm

“deaths, severe societal and industrial disruption, civil disturbance and loss of production”

A normal Saturday night in Glasgow, then.

November 29, 2018 11:27 pm

Yes we in South Australia have had the ‘benefits’ of renewable energy for quite while…I wish the Scots all the best as they follow in our footsteps..But it will be a very expensive to buy electricity .And in the freezing Winter you are having there, the opportunities for extortion are just amazing…

PS we threw out the idiotic Labor government that brought SA to this pass last March…But so deep and so far reaching have been the move to renewables, that the current more conservative government is struggling to make any changes that make sense.

Reply to  Bill
December 2, 2018 1:54 am

Hi Bill,

Here is some energy advice for South Australia – from an energy expert:

Here’s an even better solution:
1. Build your wind power system.
2. Build your back-up system consisting of 100% equivalent capacity in gas turbine generators.
3. Using high explosives, blow your wind power system all to hell.
4. Run your back-up gas turbine generators 24/7.
5. To save even more money, skip steps 1 and 3.

Bill In Oz
December 2, 2018 2:06 am

Thanks Allan
Good advice… However we do not have enough ‘backup’ gas power generators..And the cost of LNG gas here is astronomical. Gas is a major export from Oz with Billions. And it is sold at a relatively low price under export contract signed years ago with the ‘intended’ consequence o driving up our own local gas retail prices.

And yes I am Bill, as well as Bill In Oz; just a slip up when posting

Reply to  Bill In Oz
December 2, 2018 2:13 am

Hi Bill,

Years ago I looked at a natural gas project in NE Oz and gas was cheap – less than $2/GJ – so our project was uneconomic. Maybe you need pipelines.

You have lots of coal – use that to generate power (alternate step 2) – but do skip steps 1 and 3.

Best, Allan

Bill In Oz
December 2, 2018 2:21 am

It is sold dead cheap to China mostly..

But sold dear to locals….

A pipeline network from the North West was proposed by a radical polly.But he was quickly shuffled off by the higher ups as dangerous..

Now that is a great argument for a Nationalised Gas Company..Which we once had in each state..But our pollies were conned into selling them off..

Reply to  Bill In Oz
December 2, 2018 2:18 am

I predicted that natural global cooling would commence by 2020 to 2030, in an article published 1Sept2002 in the Calgary Herald. I am now leaning closer to 2020 for cooling to start, possibly even earlier. I hope to be wrong. Humanity and the environment suffer during cooling periods.

I suggest that it is long past time for society to prepare for the possibility of moderate global cooling. This would involve:
1. Strengthening of electrical grid systems, currently destabilized by costly, intermittent green energy schemes;
2. Reduce energy costs by all practical means.
3. Development of contingency plans for food production and storage, should early frosts impact harvests;
4. Develop contingency plans should vital services be disrupted by cold weather events – such as the failure of grid power systems, blocking of transportation corridors, etc.
5. Improve home insulation and home construction standards.
The current mania over (fictitious) catastrophic global warming has actually brewed the “perfect storm” – energy systems have been foolishly compromised and energy costs have been needlessly increased, to fight imaginary warming in a (probably) cooling world.

I suggest this is the prudent path for Western societies to follow. It has no downside, even if global cooling does not occur, and considerable upside if moderate cooling does commence.

Best, Allan

Phil Rae
November 29, 2018 11:32 pm

I’m sure my fellow countryman HotScot will show up shortly to comment further on this topic. The UK has embraced renewables, (particularly wind but also other ridiculous thermal fuels like wood pellets imported from the US) while destroying the industrial infrastructure that made Britain the birthplace & powerhouse of the industrial revolution. Scotland, in the north of the UK, governed by the crypto-communist Scottish Nationist Party, has been the worst offender in this ridiculous charade. There are thousands of windmills scattered across vast tracts of beautiful landscape – eyesores that certainly disfigure this wild country and do a major disservice to Scotland’s proud engineering traditions.

Meanwhile, the self-serving single-minded SNP continues with its quest for independence while increasing taxes, undermining the country’s energy supply (they have effectively banned hydraulic fracturing that would access large potential gas reserves) and raising electricity prices thanks to subsidies for “green” energy. All the while crowing about their leadership on environmental policy. What a sick joke!

Reply to  Phil Rae
November 30, 2018 3:07 am


Too angry to comment mate.

Barely restrained apoplexy.

Socialist Numpty Party, eating out country bit by bit.

Reply to  HotScot
November 30, 2018 3:43 am

Phil and Hot Scot

What can possibly be wrong with investing billions in solar farms for the famously sunny climate of the UK?

Wind of course is ok when it blows but it must blow just right, not too strong and not too weak and as we know our wind is always obliging

Anyway you have far too may fabulous upland views to worry about wind turbines spoiling them.

Onwards and upwards and accept the wisdom of our glorious elite who know far better than ordinary people, even if they often appear to be bereft of common sense

Phil Rae
Reply to  tonyb
November 30, 2018 6:20 am


I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you forgot the /sarc tag.

Wind is indeed OK when it blows within the correct windspeed range but, of course, the ~30% nameplate output from windmills in Scotland would suggest that is but a fraction of the time, requiring a shadow grid of thermal stations to back-up this expensive, subsidized and non-despatchable nonsense.

As for solar, well, best not to even mention that ridiculous concept to most of those doughty souls who live north of Hadrian’s Wall above 55 deg N . The temperate, oceanic climate in Scotland is renowned for grey skies and “dreich” days! Brrrrr!

Honest liberty
Reply to  Phil Rae
November 30, 2018 8:18 am

Once again, why are any of you feigning ignorance about the real agenda? We all know this is about energy austerity and depopulation. It has always been about depopulation and will always be about depopulation, and control. Eugenics faked it’s own death, they just changed the name to sustainability.

The technocrats hate humanity, hate themselves, want to manifest singularity, and reduce world population to the smallest number possible to do whatever manual jobs cannot be performed by robots. Complete surveillance, complete control of the human mind body and soul.

If you aren’t aware of this then you are woefully unread

Reply to  Phil Rae
November 30, 2018 3:45 pm

Honest liberty

No one is feigning ignorance about the real agenda. We all know what’s going on but expressing it is a sure way to be called a nutter or conspiracy theorist.

Having said that, if a desire to change the worlds political order is vocalised by Christina Figueres and others, is it a conspiracy any longer?

However, announce to a believer that their belief is a conspiracy and they’ll condemn you out of hand as the concept is to vast to swallow.

No one can eat an elephant in one bite, it must be done one small bit at a time. Therefore persuading someone they are involved in a conspiracy theory must be done incrementally. They must reach their own conclusions by presenting them with mounting, irrefutable evidence.

That’s how it’s done.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories myself, but I’ll continue to incrementally influence people to my way of thinking, bit by bit, just in case. 🙂

Reply to  HotScot
November 30, 2018 6:41 am

How to kill a party – Green it. And not just in the Isles, on the Continent even more so.
Now who would benefit, cui Bono, I wonder?

Reply to  HotScot
November 30, 2018 7:30 am

Theres the solutions to Scotlands energy crisis right there, Immersion of Apopletic HotScot in liquid.

Reply to  heath
November 30, 2018 3:47 pm


Ideally Whisky. 🙂

Michael Keal
Reply to  Phil Rae
November 30, 2018 9:35 am

I know of some people who are not going to enjoy reading this report from Scottish engineers. Allow me to explain.

Down here in Thurrock UK the fake Conservatives are busy demolishing a coal power plant, not content with having had it run on woodchips the last few years. We’re now paying a German company to build a gas power plant for us. If Hitler was alive today, he’d be cheering! All that infrastructure destroyed without a single bomb being dropped! And it’s my guess the gas probably comes from Russia!

Imagine the beast from the East kicks in good and strong this year. Electricity fails. Boilers go out. Houses and their occupants freeze. Pipes burst in millions of houses all at once. Take a while to fix, maybe in time for the summer. I think those tough enough to survive might well get a little feisty. I plan to survive. I’m feeling feisty already!

And just so you know the fake Conservatives don’t bang on about Global Warming anymore, and not even much about climate change. The new word now is ‘pollution’. And of course they also often wax lyrical about ‘the environment’.

In other words I think they realise, or have been told by lawyers, that they need to be careful in their wording to avoid getting sued once enough people realise that Global Warming is a hoax designed to make the UK less competitive with high energy prices.

Evidence? Well if we (and they) were really all gonna fry, drown etc and die due to a ‘climate catastrophe’ due to human caused CO2 they’d already be putting pressure on the world’s biggest coal burning nations. That’s because the little we do will make little or no difference in the big scheme of things. Instead they’re quite happy to import from them all the things we once made here. (When the UK was the world’s richest country and number 1 superpower.)
In the meantime? Well just think how grateful suppliers must be for all the deals in renewables and low ‘carbon’ generating plant they sign up to. And of course, ‘green’ energy is, for them, a gift that keeps on giving. That’s why they do stupid things that create problems because those problems will then need to be fixed. More gratitude.

This will only stop when we in the UK vote all the legacy party politicians out of office.

Reply to  Michael Keal
November 30, 2018 3:55 pm

Michael Keal

Dartford here mate. With you all the way.

Joel O'Bryan
November 29, 2018 11:39 pm

“unstable electricity supply which, left unaddressed, could result in “deaths, severe societal and industrial disruption, civil disturbance and loss of production”.

This is exactly what the Green Socialist movement is counting on.
Create the series of crises and disorder to acquire more political power and destroy capitalism.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 30, 2018 12:26 am

I agree Joel – this is the covert Marxist strategy – destroy the economy and seize control.

It has worked for them in over 100 failed countries around the world.

November 30, 2018 2:14 am

Most “conservative” politicians are gullible enough to have fallen for the Marxist strategy.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
December 1, 2018 9:00 am

Phillip B wrote:
“Most “conservative” politicians are gullible enough to have fallen for the Marxist strategy.”

True – In the USA they are called RINO’s – stands for “Republicans In Name Only”.

In Canada they are called RATS – stands for “Rats”. 🙂

This is ironic, because Alberta used to be a rat-free province. The rats keep infiltrating across our borders, and our rat patrols used to control them – but we have now been overwhelmed.

John F. Hultquist
November 29, 2018 11:49 pm

Tax payers are going to have to own the backup facilities if the unreliable wind and solar are subsidized and required, or until they no longer exist.
Private companies owned by investors do not have an incentive in the current situation. Just the opposite. So all this is going to get worse. A nation squanders its wealth.

November 30, 2018 12:28 am

alarmist nonsense!

I thought readers here were against alarmism?

Yes, closure of coal and nuclear plants means changes to the Scottish grid, but there are new HVDC lines going in and increasingly grid scale battery black start capability (these also provide frequency regulation)


By 2025 there’s no reason to suppose this won’t have been sorted out

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 12:45 am

Your particular blend of inanity and trollishness, with a strong jokt of counter-factual claptrap has certainly been noted as missing if not actually missed.
Thank you very much for demonstrating the near psychotic break with reality it takes to be a true believer in the consensus.
Welcome back!

Bill In Oz
Reply to  hunter
November 30, 2018 1:27 am

The weird thing is that I suspect that he is actually Stirling Griff, a very well paid elected senator for South Australia.He was elected as part of the Nick Xenophon team in July 2016 which when Nick left changed it’s name Center Alliance. I actually voted for him then – in ignorance. But in recent months his party has become more of a “Greenist Alliance”

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 1:29 am

And how long will those backup systems last, Griff ? Come on, give us a figure. A week, a day, an hour, a minute….?

BTW, I calculated that the UK needed to build 1,600 Dinorwigs, to secure its renewable systems against 10 days outages. And how much would that cost, eh? And how much extra renewable would be required, to charge up that backup system.?


Dave Ward
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 3:00 am

“But there are new HVDC lines going in”

Yes, to England, and we are nearly as far down this crazy road as Scotland. When push comes to shove (as it soon will) we won’t have the surplus power to prop up “Wee Krankie’s” renewables only paradise anyway…

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 3:23 am


Whilst the Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IESIS) announce concern, the all seeing, all knowing griff announces “Alarmist nonsense”.

Awa an’ bile yer heid laddie.

John Endicott
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 7:20 am

By 2025 there’s no reason to suppose this won’t have been sorted out</blockquote.

considering the technological hurdles, there's no reason to suppose that by 2025 it magically will have been sorted out. It's better to be cautious and assume that magic solutions won't happen, then to be foolishly optimistic in thinking magic solutions will happen.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
November 30, 2018 7:33 am

Looks like I messed up the ending blockquote tag. Only the first line is a quote, the rest is my reply.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  John Endicott
November 30, 2018 2:48 pm

Years ago, a mistake like that would have made everything following look that way.
They figured out how to stop it.

Reply to  griff
November 30, 2018 9:11 am

grid scale battery black start capability

Yeah, along w/unicorns and fairies.

Reply to  beng135
December 2, 2018 1:42 am

Careful Beng – we are relying on unicorns for grid-energy storage – it’s our only solution.

Alan Radlett
November 30, 2018 1:16 am

Why haven’t I read of this important report in the Guardian or heard about it on the BBC??

Bill In Oz
Reply to  Alan Radlett
November 30, 2018 1:43 am

Because the Guardian does not care at all about the poor of Scotland or indeed in Australia…it’s too busy caring for some other poor buggers in some other poor country.. I think the Guardians founder would be totally horrified.

Michael Keal
Reply to  Alan Radlett
November 30, 2018 10:00 am

If they don’t want to you to know something they release it on a Friday preferably in a regional or even local newspaper. This Friday was especially good because everyone in the UK is wondering if our Dear Prime Minister will or won’t get her ‘deal’ with the EU through parliament.

The Soviets used secrecy and disappearances for anyone spreading ‘lies’. It was probably counter productive.

Present-day Marxists have upped their game considerably. They’ve probably worked out the number of people in the know for a story to go critical which is why this article here on WUWT is so important. The internet has set them back but I’m sure they have a plan in the works.

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2018 1:17 am

What is the capacity of the Broxburn battery installation? I have now been searching for 20min and only found incompetent statements like this:
From WebFG: “Once Broxburn is completed in early 2018, TRIG will have net output of 774mW across its 56 projects.” 774milliwatt is not a lot 🙁
It is not very helpful to state that it is a 20MW facility, when we talk batteries. Yes it may tell the rating of the inverters, but for how many minutes will this power be delivered?
Does anybody here have the numbers?

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2018 1:33 am

Presuming that means 774 MW, as in mega watts. And possibly But very few reporters know the difference between power and energy.


Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2018 4:41 am

It is a Green Blob myth that batteries solve the intermittency problem, nobody says so explicitly, they just let the MSM patsies and True Believers believe it. Batteries do help with stability problems, but not with the absence of energy problem.

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2018 1:36 am

I lived in Scotland from 1989 to 1998. It did not take long, before I had to buy a small generator, 1200W, in order for my business and computers to keep going. We were often cut off for hours, and when you phones Scottish Power, they came with the standard answer: “We are sorry, a crow has fallen on a transformer”. One day a colleague and I went surfing with the car, to see the crow in the transformer. It did not take long before we found the culprit. However, it was of cause not a crow, it was a 10kV overhead wire, crossing a busy road, that had fallen down due to very poor maintenance of the grid.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2018 2:14 am

I have lived in Scotland my entire life, and the astounding thing about this story is that it was published in one of Scotland’s newspapers at all. The media in Scotland is so ludicrously green in its reporting that it makes the Guardian seem sceptical.

Reply to  Bill Toland
November 30, 2018 3:32 am


That was the first thing that struck me.

Bill Toland
Reply to  HotScot
November 30, 2018 5:32 am

Even more absurdly, we currently have a government which thinks Scotland is too warm. In reality, Scotland would be a much more pleasant place to live if we did have significant global warming in the future.

Reply to  Bill Toland
November 30, 2018 9:39 am


The idea that Scotland is so warm that it urgently needs to shed a couple of apparently surplus degrees in order to get back to normal would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious.


Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2018 2:46 am

The “crow in the transformator” story might be true some of the time. Here in Sweden the power companies finally switched from uninsulated to insulated leads to the transformers after many years constant prodding from bird-watchers (many of the fried birds were rare raptors). To their huge surprise they found that it actually saved maintenance money….

Steve Richards
November 30, 2018 1:57 am

I am shocked to hear that there is a professional body that has not sold its intellectual soul to the alter of climatism.

The majority of the UK professional bodies have bought into the climate hysteria meme.

I hope that the IESIS can weather the storm that will follow from the green zealots.

I had a quick look at the paper discussed:

It is shocking that it does not mention global temperatures at all!!!

Is the the start of a new beginning in climate realism?

Reply to  Steve Richards
November 30, 2018 2:19 am

Interestingly, there are no Letters to the Editor about this in The Heral tody.

Reply to  Oldseadog
November 30, 2018 2:22 am

Today, even.

Reply to  Oldseadog
November 30, 2018 3:35 am


Herald, even. 🙂

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  Steve Richards
November 30, 2018 3:04 am

..Is the the start of a new beginning in climate realism?…

No. It’s the end of several promising careers for selected Scottish engineers…

November 30, 2018 2:14 am

11.November 2018
Earthquake that shook the earth
Just before 9.30am on Sunday 11 November, a series of unusual seismic pulses rippled around the world almost undetected. They crossed the Atlantic, and were picked up in Chile, New Zealand, Canada, and even Hawaii nearly 11,000 miles away, the National Geographic reports.
Despite their huge range, the waves were apparently not felt by anybody. However, one person monitoring the US Geological Survey’s live stream of seismogram displays did notice the unusual waveform and posted it to Twitter, sparking the interest of other geologists and earthquake enthusiasts.
comment image
said Independent

Reply to  vukcevic
November 30, 2018 3:39 am


Epicentre seems to be the Cuadrilla fracking site in Lancashire.


It’ll be blamed anyway by the eco nuts.

November 30, 2018 2:16 am

Thanks, Charles.
Repentant Oldseadog.

Dodgy Geezer
November 30, 2018 3:02 am

…According the Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IESIS), there is a rising threat of an unstable electricity supply which, left unaddressed, could result in “deaths, severe societal and industrial disruption, civil disturbance and loss of production”….

In other news, Scotland will shortly be recruiting a more compliant Institution of Engineers ….

Bill In Oz
November 30, 2018 3:19 am

My comment about the SA power system as it was an hour ago, has gone into moderation..
It illustrated the problems with solar & wind perfectly

And illustrated perfectly how expensive the whole business is for us..

David Stone CEng MIET
November 30, 2018 3:37 am

I have been saying this for some time on the UK IET website, but no one seems very interested. The IET is largely run by academics who are climate change enthusiasts, and there has been little comment allowed, although a few have tried.

There is a second point, particularly for Scotland and that is space heating from fossil fuels. I can see a day not very far away when coal, oil and gas space heating is banned in these Green countries, although we cannot do this by electricity because it would need at least a doubling of the supply. Our country gets cold in winter, (despite the alleged warming) and older people in particularly already die because they cannot afford sufficient heating. At this point rationing is by price but later…..

Bruce Cobb
November 30, 2018 3:48 am

Extreme irony. “Green” energy is supposed to “save the planet” by lowering CO2 emissions. But, by creating an unstable power supply, it forces more and more people to rely on generators, which are inefficient, producing not only way more CO2 for the same amount of power, but actual air pollutants as well as noise.
Producing a grid system that relies on expensive unreliables and being shocked with the consequences is like jumping off a building and being shocked with those consequences. Total insanity.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
November 30, 2018 4:28 am

Can anyone see the rest of the U.K. getting away with not making up the forthcoming power collapse in Scotland? Seriously, the greenie clamour to keep the lights on in Edinburgh and Glasgow would be enormous if only to hide the consequences of their stupidity.

Still not a word on national broadcast media about a report from a respected institution telling us that people will die and daily life collapse for a time – obviously unimportant in the scheme of things.

Nice to see Griff resurface, sorry to see the treatment hasn’t worked. Otherwise best wishes!

Chris Morrison
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
November 30, 2018 4:58 am

I too find it difficult to understand how the conclusions of a respected body of civil engineers is being ignored by mainstream media. Actually scrub that first line – it is the least surprising thing that has so far happened to me today. Deaths, severe societal dislocation and civil disturbance caused by green policies – where is the story in that?

In the absence of anything to write, perhaps the mainstream media will revisit a 2014 Guardian story that reported the former First Minister Alex Salmond telling an admiring audience in New York that Scotland could be the Saudi Arabia of renewables with natural energy resources that are the envy of Europe. Blathering on he said: “Our energy resources can power much of Europe: our energy innovation can power the world. It’s a time for Scotland – working with nations and companies from across the planet – to become the intellectual powerhouse of green energy”.

If windy rhetoric could keep the lights on, Scotland would lead the world. The more sensible advice might be to stock up on candles.

Jon Scott
November 30, 2018 4:58 am

Sold Hydro to Drax to rely on gween nonsense? Is that correct ? Surely not! Hydro is as green as it gets!

Reply to  Jon Scott
November 30, 2018 9:45 am

Oh no its not! (Sorry, Pantomime season approaching). Hydro depends on those eveil dams – they aren’t green.

01 Cat
November 30, 2018 5:04 am

Vote green, go BLACK!

Flight Level
Reply to  01 Cat
November 30, 2018 5:36 am

+ many times

Coach Springer
November 30, 2018 5:10 am

Once the politicians and their rent seekers take over, science and economics mean nothing.

kent beuchert
November 30, 2018 5:29 am

The shallow thinking Scots were enticed to install wind power because the wind is free and Scots are cheap, and not too bright. None of thos pushing wind power had a clue – they apparently believed
the almost impossible notion that replacing a power source with another than didn’t even remotely resemble it would have no effect on the grid.. We are talking world class dumb.

Phil Rae
Reply to  kent beuchert
November 30, 2018 7:06 am

kent beuchart

Sadly, globally, with about 600 GW installed (nameplate) capacity and ~ 400,000 windmills around the planet, it seems the Scots are not alone in their folly. They are, in fact, relatively recent entrants into the world of dumb “renewables”despite that nation’s history of invention and engineering excellence.

You need to look elsewhere for the countries with the largest installed capacity of wind-derived power……go figure!

Reply to  kent beuchert
December 5, 2018 4:55 am

Ken B – suggested reading Sir – for your personal enlightenment:

The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It
is a non-fiction book written by American historian Arthur Herman. The book examines the origins of the Scottish Enlightenment and what impact it had on the modern world.More at Wikipedia
Author: Arthur Herman
Subject: Scottish Enlightenment

November 30, 2018 6:50 am

I have just been through a power outage that was caused by ice forming on power feed lines, ahead of a snow storm, and nearly 400,000 people lost power. Hardware stores in my area were completely sold out of generators and kerosene heaters.

When even reliable sources of electricity are impaired by bad weather (which was forecast incorrectly by the weather service) which turns rain into globs of slush that freezes on power lines as temps drop faster than forecast, I think it’s fair to say that people who want so-called green power, instead of what is tested, proven and improved by time and experience, are out of their tiny minds. Period.

Civil unrest in Scotland over power outages? Keep us posted! The academics who think this nonsense is a better idea need to be booted outdoors in a blizzard with 18F temperatures and wind chills of -10F or worse. But they never will be, so it’s a moot point.

November 30, 2018 7:26 am

Blackouts and brownouts that leave people freezing/ roasting in the dark are GREAT teaching moments. When people fail to understand basic aspects of the energy grid and energy economics, more direct methods can prove invaluable… specifically, pain, discomfort and deprivation.

November 30, 2018 8:13 am

I find it amazing that so many here suggest they know more than the National Grid who seem to have things under control in the UK

A major problem to the grid is loss of major source of power – a turbine trip removes 450MW from the grid in an instant and a reactor trip could lose up to 1GW of power. In general a destroyed WEC will lose 7MW of power at most if tripped out. If it is wind speed reducing then power will reduce slowly allowing gas powered thermal stations to supply the loss.
the only recent significant grid problem in may of 2008 was caused by trips of 2 power stations and failure of diesel backup.

Currently in UK there are 5 nuclear powered turbines off line That’s about 2.5GW loss. one of these is a mechanical failure so only short warning

2 have been offline for months due to cracks in graphite. Return to service keeps getting put back

2 others have been taken offline for “statutory outage” and again return to service has been postponed a few times and now will not be until February next year.

WECs are not the complete solution but currently produce some of the cheapest energy in the UK

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  thefordprefect
November 30, 2018 1:06 pm

“WECs are not the complete solution but currently produce some of the cheapest energy in the UK”
Wait until you reach Denmark or Germany’s level:
comment image
The wind is blowing well in Scotland and windmills are useful for pumping water at remote places, but for modern electricity production, they seem a lesser practical and esthetic option, with environmental and economical issues.
If a feasibility study had been done in the same way as when you develop a new product for a factory, I am pretty certain it would conclude IESIS.
“Renewable” is a state of mind. In practical term “renewables” are less renewable than hydro and nuclear as I see it. Some of the raw materials used for wind and solar is far more limited than water flow, uranium and thorium. It does not help that the Sun is shining sometimes and that the wind is blowing sometimes, and that wind and solar has extremely low energy density.
Yes, I have have participated in developing wind turbines in the mid 1980’s in Denmark, I can see the benefit at some places and in some situations, but see mostly negatives when used on a large scale industrial bases connecting to a previously well engineered electrical grid that used to optimize quality and economics.

November 30, 2018 8:15 am

This would be a real shame. Scotland was once a source of some of the world’s best innovators and engineers.

John Sandhofner
November 30, 2018 9:01 am

“raised concerns that an electricity system designed specifically for gas and coal-fired generation is being asked to take on a new form of supply without having undergone full engineering assessment.” Anybody with half a brain can understand, that without huge storage capacity, fully depending on wind and solar for ALL your energy needs is a disaster. How can people like this be given the power to dictate such important government policy? Liberals seem to think because they give their blesses to such endeavors as this that it magically happens. No further action needed. Time and again we see this sort of behavior.

matthew dalby
December 1, 2018 1:49 pm

I’m a resident of Scotland, and don’t believe that major blackouts will ever happen for the following reason. We currently have 2 nuclear plants, Huntersten and Toreness, between them supplying aprox 2GW of power, plus 0.5GW of hydro, a smallish gas fired power station, and it is very rare to get no power from (far too many) wind turbines. Peak demand rarely exceeds 3GW, so we’re fine for now. While the Scottish government may be incompetent, they are not totally stupid, and once someone points out what will happen if the nuclear plants were to close, I think they will see a bit of sense and keep them running for a few more years while they come up with a sensible alternative, probably relatively quick to build combined cycle gas turbine stations. (I bet I’ll still have the electricity I need to view WUWT whenever I want to in 2024)

Bill In Oz
Reply to  matthew dalby
December 2, 2018 2:17 am

You canny Scots !

Here the doppies knocked down the base load coal fired power plant in 2016 to prove their pure intentions. Instead they proved their own stupidity. And the Labor government that presided over that little stuff up is gone; it exists no more; demolished away by voter anger..

yes a ‘System Black” is an excellent way of focusing voter attention ! A voter revolution that I am proud to say I played a ( very small ) part..And I was a member of the Australian Labor Party for 20 years….

Good grief !

PS : I notice that Griff is still missing in action..It was only a hunch that he is our own dearly ‘beloved’ Senator Stirling Griff – Senator for South Australia in the Australian Commonwealth parliament….Leader of our Center Alliance party, now effectively reborn as a Greenish Alliance…

Johann Wundersamer
December 4, 2018 8:02 pm

Sad to tell “the compromised supply of food, water, heat, money, petrol” resulting in “deaths, severe societal and industrial disruption, civil disturbance and loss of production”

is political wanted and any intervention is prone to prosecution.

December 5, 2018 3:17 am

Nice post this; brings many old (ancient?) memories.

Remember power plants have finite life-spans and would need replacement with updated techniques and materials. Also power plant engineers have finite working life spans, and cannot be replaced by lawyers and accountants.

December 12, 2018 6:15 am

Nice research Rob. The math bears out your conclusion that LEDs are less costly of the life of the bulbs compared to the alternatives. I wonder whether 20+ years is what one can realistically expect from an LED bulb’s lifespan. I remember expecting 10 years or so from CFLs but never saw that ever. When I would put in a new CFL, I would write the installation date on the bulb’s socket for reference. Usually I’d have a CFL last for about 2 years max. I hope LED bulbs last 20 years but I’m wary of those claims. All my LEDs have installation dates written on them.

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