By Robert Bradley Jr. — March 29, 2022
“Renewables must be put on the same footing as other generators, with no subsidies and no preferential dispatch, and eventually wound down.”
“… the government should be candid with the public and focus relentlessly on replacing the older combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) with new models that are more thermally efficient (and thus cheaper and cleaner) and on increasing UK production of natural gas onshore and offshore.”
The United Kingdom (and EU more generally) is ground zero is the failed war against consumer-chosen, taxpayer-neutral mineral energies. Energy sustainability is affordable, reliable, plentiful energy–and wind and solar are not that.
Net Zero Watch of the Global Warming Policy Foundation is doing yeoman’s work in identifying the UK/EU energy fail in real time. Their latest is “Taking Back Control: Addressing Britain’s Energy Crisis.” Highlights from the primer by John Constable and Andrew Montford follow verbatim. (I do have an editorial comment on nuclear as well.)
• The UK energy system is dysfunctional and on the verge of collapse.
• Further expansion of renewables will make our gas dependency worse; only gas can now support renewables.
• There is no alternative to improving the efficiency of our gas-fired fleet, and diversifying the sources from which we obtain natural gas.
• Radical action is required to stabilise the system and bring down consumer prices.
• Renewables must be put on the same footing as other generators, with no subsidies and no preferential dispatch, and eventually wound down.
• A long-term gas-to-nuclear strategy is wise,  but because of the perilous state of Britain’s electricity grid, the use of ultra-supercritical coal may be necessary to keep the lights on should nuclear fall behind on its timetable.
This paper outlines the policies required to restore the economic and engineering efficiency of the GB electricity system and the energy sector as a whole. These counterintuitive measures would cut costs to consumers in the short term.
They will also improve system stability and energy security, and prepare the sector for a medium- and longer-term reconstruction that will address the systemic failures currently prevailing, returning the system to acceptable levels of reliability, bringing further price reductions for consumers, as well as lowering carbon emissions.
The measures are practical and hard-headed; they recognise that the UK’s current acute exposure to natural gas is, paradoxically, the result of the climate and renewables policies of the last two decades. The plan also recognises that gas dependency is beyond remedy in the short term, since only gas can support the large renewables fleets that we have built, battery storage being wholly uneconomic and likely to remain so. We are overly dependent on gas and must address this dependency by improving the efficiency with which we use this fuel and broadening the range of sources from which we obtain it.
In the short term there is no alternative to gas, and rather than pretending otherwise, with distracting upbeat remarks about nuclear, which is relevant only in the medium to longer term, and naive plans for additional renewables, which will only prolong and deepen the current crisis, the government should be candid with the public and focus relentlessly on replacing the older combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) with new models that are more thermally efficient (and thus cheaper and cleaner) and on increasing UK production of natural gas onshore and offshore.
This will be surprising to many, but it is an unavoidable conclusion from the engineering and economics of our situation. Indeed, the goal of increasing fuel diversity while cutting consumer costs requires that the UK reduce renewable energy infeed and restore the efficiency of the conventional energy system on which we are entirely reliant for security, in spite of vast investment in solar and wind power.
• Rapid and proactive development of all domestic fossil fuel supplies, particularly gas and oil in the North Sea, but also onshore shale gas.
• Rapid upgrade and expansion of the gas generation fleet, improving thermal efficiency and reducing generation costs.
• Use of UK foreign policy and market power to secure long-term natural gas supply contracts from friendly sources.
• Rapid reduction of subsidies and electricity system balancing costs through the imposition of balancing costs on renewables, firm power contracts and the discounted buyback of subsidy entitlements. These measures should be backed up by clear plans, if other measures fail, for compulsory discounted buy-back of subsidy entitlements and temporary state ownership of all previously subsidised renewable energy generation.
• Dispatch of renewables only when economic as a fuel saver, and a progressive reduction of renewable energy infeed to the electricity system as new conventional generation is built, restoring system efficiency, reducing system balancing costs, and obviating the need for underutilised network expansion.
• Firm but judicious support for new nuclear electricity generation in the longer term, and most importantly for new high-temperature nuclear modular reactors to provide industrial heat, reducing natural gas demand.
• Planning for new ultra-supercritical coal generation as a medium-term backstop should nuclear power fall behind schedule. Decisions along these lines are now unavoidable and will have to be taken by a UK government at some point in the future, and the sooner the better if the onset of an acute national economic and security disaster is to be avoided. Unless policy is reformed, system reliability and security will begin to fall precipitately and consumer prices will continue to rise quickly.
The program of measures we outline is daunting and difficult; the consequences of timid inaction will be much worse.
A governing party that recognises the need to reinforce our use of natural gas, nuclear, and current coal, and so restore system efficiency, with a medium-term prospect of more nuclear generation, perhaps with higher-efficiency coal as an insurance policy, will deliver real fuel diversity, security, and lower costs in the short and medium term.
Such a party would survive and be deservedly popular. By contrast, a party that fails to take radical action of this kind now will, at best, only defer the day of reckoning, and eventually be held to account for the consequences.
 Note: I disagree with this statement: “A long-term gas-to-nuclear strategy is wise….” Ditto for “Firm but judicious support for new nuclear electricity generation in the longer term, and most importantly for new high-temperature nuclear modular reactors to provide industrial heat, reducing natural gas demand.” Nuclear must compete in a free market sans subsidies–it should not be given an ideological free ride.
John Constable, the Energy Editor of the Global Warming Policy Forum, has been described as “a vocal critic of the Government’s energy policy,” warning that “the shift to renewable energy will make the economy shrink.” His testimony against the UK’s Net Zero policy is here.
Andrew Montford is Deputy Director and board member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation and Net Zero Watch.
The Federal Government of the Commonwealth of Australia has limited powers, electricity supply is State Government responsibility, State Governments privatised many of the State owned power stations and transmission lines and actioned development applications for so called renewable energy wind and solar business ventures.
After the IPCC Kyoto Japan Conference and Agreement signed afterwards for Australia to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions” a trial only basis Renewable Energy Target amounting to 3 per cent of electricity supply sources was introduced with very few private sector applications received. A decade or so later a Renewable Energy Target of over 30 per cent was introduced together with a carbon tax of 10 per cent and a renewable energy surcharge of 10 per cent on consumer electricity accounts. That was around the same time that State electricity assets were sold and privatised or leased, and some coal fired power stations demolished to make way for the transition to renewable energy with subsidies for profit additional to what Greens claim are subsidies to coal mines and power stations, being company tax deductions for expenses incurred in producing taxable income and rebate of fuel tax when used off road for any purpose, that tax is for road maintenance. The mines and power stations cannot apply for renewables subsidies.
However, since 2013 the Federal Governments have managed to reduce the RET percentage, abolish carbon tax and renewable energy subsidy, change company laws to force greater pricing competition between electricity suppliers and end Federal Government renewables subsidies by 2030 resulting in fewer applications for new business ventures.
The Federal Government proposed construction of four gas fired power stations and one coal fired power station for Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. To date only the one, a gas generator has been given State Government planning approval, New South Wales for the Hunter Valley.
The sooner renewables subsidies are abolished the sooner investors will think harder about what to invest shareholder’s monies into.
Australia will be fine, it is Germany which is in trouble
Germany takes step towards gas rationing over payment stand-off with Russia
BERLIN, March 30 (Reuters) – Germany triggered an emergency plan to manage gas supplies in Europe’s largest economy on Wednesday, an unprecedented move that could see the government ration power if there is a disruption or halt in gas supplies from Russia.
The announcement is the clearest sign yet that the European Union is preparing for Moscow to cut supplies to the region after President Vladimir Putin demanded that Europe and the United States pay for gas exports in roubles.
Vuk, The sanctions on banking and commerce put ordinary payment mechanisms out of the picture. Like everything else EU does, they don’t think holistically. Apparently there is also a multitude of European commercial aircraft stranded in Russia, and tit for tat policies also prevent following fly routes over Russia, making a trip to SE Asia up to 17hrs instead of 12hrs or less.
The statement is a paradox – How can something requiring subsidies claim to be “renewable”.
No intermittent source of electricity is “renewable” in terms of modern manufacturing processes. It would be impossible to manufacture intermittent energy extractors relying on intermittent power sources.
They are called renewables because they last for only a few years befor they wear out and then have to be renewed, i.e. replaced.
That was how I learned about renewable. Brake pads, clutch disks, bearings, etc. Basically anything designed to wear out during normal use and is replaceable.
Dammit we have bets that the UK grid is going to be the first to collapse and then you get sensible people like this come along and try and stop it.
Don’t lose hope yet……
Put ur feet up & have a cold one. Who else would put up solar panels
where the fog can disappear a 4-story building a block away in 45
minutes in the middle of the afternoon! Was griff on the other side of the
Don’t worry – we still having a lying oafish clown in charge so plenty of chance of a grid collapse. In fact, as much as everyone thinks it will happen in winter due to a supply shortage, it is more likely in summer when grid demand is at its lowest and unreliables at a higher level. A sudden outage then will have a big effect.
In an ideal world no power source for a grid should be subsidised. But should be able to deliver a set amount at any time on any day for a specific period.
Does this report have any political support ?
My understanding is that the so called right wing party , the Conservatives, does what Boris’s wife tells him.
As for the UK Labour Party it’s a long time since they concerned themselves with the working class.
I will be surprised if the vast Green Blog will go quietly.
Sadly it will take a total collapse of the Grid, & with it of course the country.
So will it be the UK or Germany who go down first.
Back here as long as the incoming
Federal Labour Government can say “”No”” to the Greens, Australia will it’s
vast coal & gas will do very q well in the future.
There is a lot of back bench (those not on Bori’s Cabinet) response to the rising cost of living including some of the big hitting, old guard MP’s – David Davis (a scientist) Ian Duncan Smith (past leader of the Conservative party) and Steve Baker (well known for organising successful, sensible back bench revolts).
It really is the rock Boris will perish on. If he’s not seen to do something big to address energy costs he will be ripped to shreds very quickly, and he’s yet to escape a report on ‘Partygate’, following on from the Police report into MP’s breaking covid regulations. He might not be in office next month (I’m sure he will be) if that goes badly.
One alternative he’s proposed is to relax planning laws on England’s green and pleasant land for onshore wind, but that’s meeting stiff resistance. Mess with the rolling Dales at his peril!
Right now, he’s between a rock and a hard place. Appease the green loonies and torture the middle class with sky high energy prices or bite the bullet and open up the North Sea for exploitation, and begin fracking for gas onshore.
He’s already called off the sealing up of the fracking wells to one of the richest shale gas resources in the world. It’s estimated 10% of what’s there would provide the UK with gas for 10 years. The rest is a matter of political spin to push it through. He just has to tolerate the smelly rabble of green protestors turning up there, however, it’s been exposed they have been paid by the Russians to stop fracking, so we all now have the opportunity to call the greens ‘Putin’s lap dogs’ for a change. That won’t go down well.
Nor will the choice of ‘heating or eating’ be confined to the elderly and poor, this is now a genuine, wage earning, middle class problem when families will be forced into penury to pay energy bills.
Everything we warned of is now hitting the UK government (and the European governments) in one huge tsunami, and no matter what government is in power over the next five years, they will be left holding the baby.
There’s no escape now, it’s personal.
Davis, IDS and Baker are the 3 most intellectually challenged of a low IQ bunch…
It takes one to know one.
They have nothing on you though griff.
Your renewable fantasy worldview is in ruins at your feet, but you pretend not to notice. You have been lied to and made a complete fool of, but your pride will never let you admit it.
Stolen your crown then Griff
One constant with leftists, going back well over 100 years, is their conceit that they are the smartest people in any room. Which of course means that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid.
They just lie all the time, and are stupid enough not to know they’re lying.
And the most virtuous.
Do the labour party still employ Dianne Abbott?
‘My understanding is that the so called right wing party , the Conservatives, does what Boris’s wife tells him.’
That is sheer nonsense, isn’t it? Because Net Zero and renewables have for a long while had the support of this govt… Net Zero was on page one of the 2019 manifesto…
Parliament is totally woke and you know it
No, griff, it is entirely true.
David Cameron played with huskies and put a wind turbine on his own roof.
Griff is right this time. The Conservative Party is Green by long-standing tradition.
It’s not down to the latest bedmate of the latest PM.
It seems, as with global temperatures, that UK/EU politics has been homogenized. Not only is there no choice for voters, but they have outsourced constituencies to the NW Order headquartered in the UN.
Irony of ironies, when the Irony Curtain came down, Freedom on the way in had an equal unobserved flow of apparatchiks coming out to patiently take over the UN, its phalanx of “green” NGOs, global universities’ admins and department heads, major institutions, children’s education … Vladivostock is the Far East but do we really know where the Far West is?
Boris was anti-green when he was working for a living. When he thought going green would buy him votes, which it undoubtedly did, he changed course.
Shot himself in the foot though, hasn’t he griffy?
Green politics is being slaughtered and we can all look forward to north sea oil, fracking and the abandonment of wind and solar farms.
It will take five years to sort out the national financial mess we’re in, meanwhile no one will be remotely interested in buying expensive and dirty EV’s, therefore the deadline for banning sales of ICE’s will be put back, until eventually it recedes into the forgotten future.
Personally, I can’t wait, if only to hear your squealing. 🤣
The GWPF is essentially a privately funded think tank, acting as a pressure group and lobbying agency to try and counteract the pressures placed on the government by the green lobby and the renewables lobby.
What it has done here, is persent an ‘oven ready’ suite of policies that are sane, rational, well considered and economically sound in the hope that a political party will pick them up and run with them. As compared to the emotional knee jerk virtue signalling narratives of the other parties.
Sadly the other lobbies have been well funded up to now, although there is hope that Russian money will at least be removed from them. And the dangers of dependence on Russian gas and oil have been revealed to even the most mulish of the European Donkey Farm. AKA political elites.
But will the U.K. government and it’s advisors take any notice whatsoever?
Our Business secretary is pushing for more onshore wind farms to be built; when is the government going to understand how poor wind is as a primary source of power. We have just had about eight days or so in a run of very low wind generation levels and even this morning it’s only about 5 Gwatts, well below average.
No – they won’t. Not until the lights actually go out will they be confronted with the reality of their policy failures….
I have been repeatedly warning my Conservative MP that if the lights go out on their watch they will be unelectable for a generation. Ditto with the rising costs of electricity. The public is waking up, hopefully its not too late and we can avert the worst.
And we had considerable solar output during that period, even in Match.
The energy supply of course must be set up to cover such periods which are infrequent over the course of any year.
What energy supply would that be that must be “set up”? Prayers to the gods of wind and clouds?
“The energy supply of course must be set up to cover such periods“.
For once you seem to acknowledge reality.
So do go on. Tell us. How can the “energy supply” be set up in such a way?
Because that is the problem. Make that go away and I will be more at ease with Net Zero.
Griff is a cat beller* par excellence. As are all the Greens. And all political ideologues.
The world would be a better place if it wasn’t for humans.And the laws of Physics.
All we havce to do is change humanity and repeal the laws of physics.
*The Belling of the Cat.
Belling the Cat is a fable also known under the titles The Bell and the Cat and The Mice in Council. In the story, a group of mice agree to attach a bell to a cat’s neck to warn of its approach in the future, but they fail to find a volunteer to perform the job. The term has become an idiom describing a group agreeing to perform an impossibly difficult task.(Wiki)
Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Angus (1449 –1513), a Scottish nobleman.Traditionally nicknamed Archibald ‘Bell-the-Cat’ Douglas earned his nickname by offering to “bell the cat”, initiating the action against James III to start by eliminating his favourite Thomas Cochrane, as a prelude to the arrest of the king. All this happened during one of the many periods of conflict with England. James III was eventually murdered after the Battle of Sauchieburn in 1488.
Nocturnal solar, static no-wind generators and grid scale batteries are just around the corner. Right grief?
The power grid worked great for decades with the utilities making
the most money on hot, muggy, windless days & cold, windless
nights, with those profits used to maintain the power plants & the
grid. So how well do solar & wind work under those conditions?
Where will they make their money for upkeep? Solar panels last 15
years & are big polluters in both manufacturing & disposal, with
recycling costs exceeding that of manufacturing. With London Fog
being an apt trademark, the UK isn’t a great place for solar, either.
After a 20-yr lifetime of being bird choppers, wind blades can’t even
be recycled. It’s amazing how a little stupidity can go such a long
way, probably setting a few world records along the way!!!
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away!
Most of the profits that come from extreme temperatures are
paid by heavy users as the light users still pay what they
usually did- real social justice in action!!!
Under the new system, everyone gets soaked as solar & wind
are several times as expensive, which hurts the light users
the most. Greens can only say they’re for the little guy as the
facts prove them wrong yet again.
Considerable, by what standard? Compared to the usual pathetically low levels provided?
Have you taken up the challenge to match your electricity consumption to renewables yet?
Solar is zero every night, and is worthwhile (>1GW) between 09:00 and 17:00 at the moment. Wind was AWOL between 23/03/2022 and 28/03/2022. The UK daily use is about 700GWh, so for the wind absence period you need about 5,000GWh of storage which would have to be capable of producing 40+ GW continuously for 12+ hours. Any suggestions?
And then recharge the storage when the wind picks up again.
Wow! Miraculously wind is now producing THIRTEEN PER CENT of our electricity after eight days of three and under! Thank goodness for coal.
coal which produced just 2% of UK electricity in each of last 3 years and is usually switched off over the entire summer?
What a silly comment. Comparing coal which is intentionally crippled by government policies with wind which is subsidised and given preferential access.
Remove the shackles from coal and it could supply reliably 24/7/365 to whatever level of power is required.
Car brakes, which are used just 2% of the time and usually never touched for the entire duration on a motorway? I mean who needs em?
Yeah that would go over Griff’s head.
so efin what !… but then again it sure is nice to have it in the winter
when it gets cold, ain’t it ? Your comment was about as stupid as it gets
Nuclear is still in its infancy – there’s potential to for a much higher temperature, higher thermal efficiency, closed fuel cycle system that’s inherently safe but that will require government help. At least develop it for naval and remote use, and then it can be scaled up commercially.
Like the rolls Royce SMRs, currently getting some funding from UK govt…
5 times 470MW reactors by 2035, if all goes according to plan… not much, a long way off…
Unreliables get 25% of my current £2000 energy bill
That’s 500 smackers straight down the toilet and into Dale Vince’s pockets
Unreliables get more subsidised funding than anything else. Prove me wrong….
Remind us all how long it took to get to the current wind and solar contributions to the country’s energy supply griff? All 3% of it.
While you’re at it, remind us of the environmental destruction it has caused. No jumping spiders ever appear near a wind farm, do they?
All irrelevant. We dont care about thermal efficiency. 10% less uranium burn is not worth chasing.
Akl we need is government guarantees oif lifetime operation without interference, and removal of all the regulations surround them that are pointless.
Nuclear must compete in a free market sans subsidies–it should not be given an ideological free ride.
I have no problem with that – but nuclear does not operate in a free market – it is subject to overbearing regulation – ostensible for safety but as with all safety regulation is hopelessly out of date with current technologies.
The second problem is “lawfare” – the never ending sniping by green groups which is responsible for almost all the delays and consequent costs.
Surely one lawsuit is sufficient – by law – done and dusted – one shot only.
Certainly a government can make nuclear illegal (by popular vote), unfortunately nuclear operates in a kind of no mans land where the government has not made it illegal but offers no certainly against “lawfare”.
Since most politicians seem to be cowed by green groups, even the mention of supporting nuclear is thought of as political suicide.
So – no – the nuclear program will not meet its timeline objectives – not by half generally.
Except of course we can see that the price agreed for nuclear electricity will be – must be, to get return on investment – far, far higher than gas or renewables.
“The price for Hinkley’s electricity was fixed in a so-called “strike price” at £92 per megawatt hour, rising with inflation. That will not go up beyond that limit, even if the costs of building Hinkley Point C rise.
But critics have pointed out that Hinkley’s energy will be expensive.
The latest offshore wind farms have agreed strike prices of around £40 per megawatt hour.”
(BBC report 2021)
Hinkley also just announced another delay on finish date…
Here griff you need to understand State sponsored domestic dumping by unreliables on the grid- Dumping (pricing policy) – Wikipedia
Can be stopped by requiring a level playing field amongst tenderers. ie every tenderer can only supply that quantity of power that they can reasonably guarantee along with FCAS 24/7/365. You are living in a fool’s paradise with the unreliables dumping at present because their real cost only becomes apparent when the grid fails.
Utter tosh. Nuclear used to be profitable at 4p a unit. Wind needs 16p a unit. Solar 30p a unit. Plus the cost of batteries and gas backup plant. Hinkley point is contracted to cost no more than 9p a unit,
I diont know whether you believe the lies you tell Griff, or whether you are simply paid to tell them.
The point is that its not the same product. The electricity supplied from a wind farm is not the same product as that supplied by a nuclear plant.
The key parameters of electricity considered as product are first the amount supplied, and second the consistency with which it is supplied.
The way to make them the same product for contractual purposes is to go out to bid for supply of a given quantity of MW, with a specified variation.
For instance, supply is to be 10MW plus or minus 10%, with scheduled maintenance outages not to exceed 10 days in any 365.
Do that for wind, and you would find no windfarm could bid. They would have to install so much storage that they could not mount a competitive offer. Solar similarly.
Now people on Ars and in the Guardian commonly object to this that its insisting on imposing unreasonable conventional power standards on the bidding process, and that intermittency doesn’t matter, the two supplies, one of 10MW plus/minus 10% is as usable as one of 10MW plus or minus 50 – 60%.
In this case the solution is to free the bidding. Don’t have any Renewables Obligation or Contracts for Difference. Just let the grid operator buy whichever he wants at whatever price strikes him as good value.
You can be quite sure that wind will be unsaleable on those terms. Just look at the chart of Australian wind in March which someone has posted a link to elsewhere. Use the MW tab. This is a classic example, its a supply that is just not fit for purpose as delivered. Only a legal obligation to buy will make any grid operator take it. Or, huge amounts of storage to level it out.
One small point — reality is 10MW -40% to -95%. What a deal.
Yea griffy, but nuclear operates 24/7/365.
Wind and solar?
30% of the time if you’re lucky.
So you need to add in all the gas/coal/nuclear/biomass backups required to your turbine utopia when they don’t function for 70% of the time.
Typical socialist. No matter how many times the reality is pointed out to these goons, they keep ‘circling back’ to their pathetic arguments.
Enjoy your brainwashing griffy, the rest of us have the ability to think critically.
The idiocy of one-off nuclear designs with the atmosphere that the industry has to operate under shows little sense prevails on all sides. Get a design approved and then manufacture this identical unit over and over.
The world’s best performing reactor’s are the Canadian Candu design, a heavy water pressurized type using natural uranium (non-enriched). Candus cost $3B, remarkably with no cost overruns and take only 3yrs to build. They are the safest in the world and operate at the highest capacity factor in the world. They are refueled without interrupting operations.
An upgrade to Ontario’s Candu reactors a few years ago resulted in 2 to 3 cent (USD 2c/kWh) power cost.
Bruce power plant in Ontario was for years the world’s largest nuclear powered plant at 6550MW, made up of 8 Candu units. The plants are run for 40yrs with an upgrade after 27yrs.
Some years ago, the UK did a joint venture to build in UK. The UK dissolved the JV and went on it’s own, resulting in a dozen years or more of time overrun and astronomical cost overrun until it abandoned the project.
It seems the world believes nuclear is too costly, takes many years to build and experiences doubling and tripling cost overruns and delays. Because of chauvinism by the big guys in the market, the Candu which competes easily with gas, is the best kept secret in the world.
Wow! Sound, practical advice based on actual science and the use of proven, reliable technology! Think our Government will go for this? Me neither.
Wind turbines are provable reliable technology.
When the wind blows, griff
Only when the wind blows and the wind doesn’t always blow, does it?
So they are unreliable
I have to back griff on this one. You can 100% rely on wind turbine output to go to zero when the wind doesn’t blow or the wind is too strong.
grif did not specify exactly what you could rely on wind output to do, true? And it is provable the output is zero at times, true?
So griff is right, but I don’t think “provable reliable technology” means what he thinks it means.
Wind Energy in Australia | March 2022 | Aneroid
Wind turbines are provable unreliable expensive and high emissions technology.
Wind turbines are reliably unreliable.
@12:56 on 28/03/22.. reliably inefficient?
How can anything that works less than 1/3rd of the time be considered reliable?
Griff’s arguments work (much) less than 1/3rd of the time, but he can be relied on to turn up on WUWT.
Afraid your argument falls down there………🤣
Griff is absolutely correct. Wind turbines are indeed provably reliable technology – for harvesting subsidies. That’s their real purpose.
So is coal. What are you saying griffy?
The only thing wind turbines can reliably do is be worse than useless.
yeah… for a farmer filling up the watering trough
I ask again:
I look forward to your response.
The piece leaves out two equally important requirements:
Because even if the recommendations on increasing stability of the grid are implemented, it will be impossible to increase supply in time to deliver power for the increased demand from EVs and heat pumps.
It will also be completely pointless even were it possible – because if you have had to revert to fossil fuel to generate the electricity to charge the EVs and to run the heat pumps, there is evidently no CO2 savings to be made from doing it like this, rather than just using the gasoline and gas directly.
Once again we see that the UK Net Zero plans are impossible to implement, will not reduce UK emissions even if implemented, and will not reduce global emissions even if they were to reduce UK emissions.
The UK Net Zero plans are an exercise in insanity. Its best understood in terms of a mechanism that Kathleen Stock has written about. Once a cult has started out by denying some aspect of reality, it is led into more and more outlandish and absurd beliefs because they have to be true to justify the starting point.
So we start out saying that Net Zero is possible and desirable. We then have to accept the corollaries. If it is possible, it must be possible to convert all energy use to renewables. The only renewable available is electricity. Therefore cars and homes must be exclusively electric. The only source of renewable electricity is wind and solar. Therefore it must be possible to convert the grid to them. This requires us to believe in higher and more consistent output from wind than is possible. Fine, we fix the numbers. Its also going to require a larger grid to supply the heat pumps and cars. Fine, we just figure building more wind farms. Or we raise the output numbers. Or we testify to our faith in the imminent arrival of cheap compact storage, batteries made of unobtainium, or mythical mountain fastnesses which we can use for pumped hydro.
And as with any cult, anyone in the work groups questioning any of these moves, or the original starting point, gets banned and excommunicated.
Except it is VERY unlikely all gas boilers will be replaced by heat pumps.
The current strategy is to replace gas with a hydrogen/gas mix and/or hydrogen.
The plan calls for 600,000 heat pumps a year, and it calls for outright banning of new installs of oil fired boilers from 2025, and of gas boilers from 2035. New build gas installations will be banned earlier than 2035, I think that too is 2025.
There are about 28 million households in the UK, 85% of which are heated by gas. So that is around 24 million to be converted. And that means not only converting the boilers but also the cookers and ovens.
You touch on a key point in the insanity of the Net Zero proposals. The idea is to convert to hydrogen, for which there is no supply, and which the transmission network cannot at present carry. But at the same time it is proposed to cut off the demand for gas by converting the heating to heat pumps, which also requires converting the water heating to electric resistive heating.
This is a classic example of Stock’s phenomenon. The requirement is to believe in an alternative to gas, and the orthodox belief is that heat pumps and electricity are the way to get there. This requires replacement of boilers.
But you are unwilling to mandate wholesale replacement of the gas boilers by heat pumps, so you propose moving to hydrogen. This too requires the replacement of boilers and cookers and internal piping. So you end up replacing the boilers anyway. This is what happens when you start from the wrong premise – you end up in contradictions.
It then gets worse. Confronted with the impossibility of converting the whole installed base of boilers and cookers and piping, including the grid and storage facilities, to the non-existent hydrogen, you then propose supplying a mix of hydrogen and gas. This will also require rebuilding the pipe network, maybe not the appliances though. And it requires you to believe that in some way 10 or 20 percent hydrogen supply is making a worthwhile difference to UK CO2 emissions.
But you are still deep in it. Because now you are proposing as green the mix of hydrogen and gas, which if it works, why will anyone in their right minds buy a heat pump? Now you have chosen the horn of the dilemma which means minimal changes and minimal customer investment.
But its at the price of remaining a big gas burner and of making it less interesting to buy a heat pump. And if you make it attractive enough for them to buy the heat pumps, then you have lowered the demand for the hydrogen for which you have so expensively converted your gas grid.
Which, lowering the demand, might not be so stupid considering there’s no hydrogen to put over the new and improved grid!
The whole thing is not simply stupid, its a maze of contradictions in which people in charge of policy are obviously grabbing at policies one at a time and refusing to develop a coherent and consistent energy policy.
But that is the price of insisting on starting the discussion from beliefs which are inconsistent with reality. The further you get towards concrete policies, the worse it gets.
It would be quite reasonable to propose the wholesale conversion to electricity, heat pumps and EVs. In that case, build a huge conventional grid. Or you could take the grid to intermittency. In that case keep gasoline cars and gas boilers and invest in insulation and long underwear.
But this inconsistent mess of policies is both impossible and pointless, and it should be dropped at once. And those responsible for it replaced with people capable of consistent thought.
You can’t accuse griff of thinking anything through. He reposts for The Guardian.
Don’t forget the BBC. Griffy lurves Auntie.
This inconsistent mess of policies sounds brilliant, and that is it’s point. People like griff and Carrie Johnson are stupid enough to believe that it will work, and that gets Boris the green vote and plenty of nookie.
The problem is that most people are not quite that stupid – even at the BBC and the Guardian, these days.
And it is clear from everyone’s energy bills that all that wind and solar has done nothing whatsoever to protects us from a gas price shock.
And the old griffism that when socialism/renewables don’t work the remedy is more socialism/green energy, is wearing thin…
Laughably, the Guardian/BBC are desperate to blame the Conservatives for fuel price hikes, but can’t do it without admitting that the solution is fracking and north sea oil.
The whole thing is hysterically funny. They are thrashing around like trout in a puddle.
Yes and those 600,000 heat pumps per year from 2028 are going to be installed by people who have been given a weeks training in how to do it.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well the UK government backed a cavity wall insulation programme in the early 2000s and provided grants for it. Outcome was millions of botched jobs often made worse by attempts at remediation and still millions of legal cases going on and enriching the lawyers
Instead of one plan we know can’t work, we’ll try another plan that we know can’t work.
That’s an improvement.
Makes sense to a socialist. Looks like griff is pen pals with slow Joe.
ROFL I will remind you of this stupidity in following years. It’s a bit like your stupidity with HVDC interconnectors and not understanding energy security and what could possibly go wrong 🙂
griff doesn’t need energy security, to post from his Big Oil reliant, well bashed plastic keyboard, attached to his Big Oil reliant computer, run by Big Gas/Coal/Biomass electricity, in his Big Gas/Coal/Biomass heated, semi detached council house.
“hydrogen/gas mix and/or hydrogen”
LOL it went from heat pumps, now on hydrogen, what next? Unicorn farts?
Great thinking to just pump hydrogen through the gas lines. That is another one that sounds good but those proposing it have no idea what it involves. Have you heard of hydrogen embrittlement? Pump hydrogen through all those steel pipelines and you will destroy the entire delivery system; pipes, pumps, valves and everything else. Oh, Griff will say just fix the pipelines. Yes, just replace them with hastelloy? That ought to make it REAL affordable if you can even get much of the material. Everything is easy if you don’t have to make it work!
And the hydrogen comes from?
Hydrogen is not a fuel, because as the “Elizabeth Taylor of elements,” it is always “married” to something else. And the “divorce” will consume more energy than burning the liberated hydrogen will ever get you.
Like windmills and solar panels, just think of hydrogen as another really inefficient way to get energy from fossil fuels.
The piece here leaves it out, the GWPF paper includes the heat pump and EV coercion. See page 5, point #8.
I remember they said wind and Solar are free. And then I saw this…
“ Imagine the Saudis sitting on all that oil, which has a cost of about ½ cent per kilowatt hour – no renewable can match that,”
Further expansion of renewables will make our gas dependency worse
Every new solar farm of wind farm reduces UK annual gas demand…!
There are multiple pieces of evidence that onshore shale can’t produce a meaningful part of UK gas demand… The former head of the Centirca energy company has said so, for example…
And pretty much all new solar and wind now comes in subsidy free. Strike prices are for 15 years: when existing agreements run out, new strike prices will be lower.
How long can the mysteriously funded GWPF keep recycling the same old rubbish?
The Guardian admits that unreliables cannot compete with oil and gas, Griff
“…oil, which has a cost of about ½ cent per kilowatt hour – no renewable can match that”
It isn’t economic to build any more wind or solar and the energy they generate is wholly unreliable. Better to go with gas, griff.
It really is a no-brainer; if you want people to prosper, that is….
No, it raises it. As compared to the same amount of generation from coal or nuclear. Read the paper. Look at the intermittency. Its not running on wind, its running on gas supplemented by wind.
Or as I prefer to put it..
Man shall not live by renewables alone.
And of course so called renewable energy is not renewable. It all depends on the capture of highly dangerous cancer inducing radiation that is intermittently available from the giant unshielded and uncontrollable nuclear reactor in the sky, whose fuel will run out one day.
Seems a lot more sensible to have shielded controllable reactors here on earth.
Not so much supplemented as aggravated.
Actually, it increases it, griff.
How did you think and the required back up plant, and they got manufactured and installed?
Here’s the proof:
I think this chart shows why we are going to continue to need gas for a good while yet: we used to manage some of our energy demand seasonality though coal, but gas has been the fuel that has really managed to offer the flexibility required. There is no sign that renewables will be capable of handling the seasonal element, and even less that there is a storage solution for renewables.
Has griff ever provided a reliable source for any of his claims or are his contributions just a lot of wind?
griff is producing a mountain of BS which can then be used for pumped hydro.
The griffffff has to be a professional shill, hard to believe anyone could be this naive and brainwashed.
Hardly “professional”! Useful idiot more like.
He’s probably a lowly clerk in the UK Climate Change Committee’s office desperately trying to gain a promotion, any promotion.
Useless idiot……..Even the greens are laughing at his stupidity.
Often claimed, however the real world evidence goes the other way.
We are wondering how far the UK grid has to end up down the toilet before you realize your stupidity.
Remember you are the guy who didn’t think energy security was an issue and wanted old school 1950’s HVDC interconnectors everywhere. Putin gave you a little lesson didn’t he.
Biden gave him a lesson long before Putin reinforced it.
Centrica sells gas from only 1 N Sea field and has recently moved in heavily on renewables – it looks very much like they are switching horses mid stream. Do you have an unbiased source you can quote?
“Every new solar farm of wind farm reduces UK annual gas demand…!“
No it doesn’t. Every GW of wind power needs the equivalent backup from fossil fuels for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
How many times has this been pointed out to you?
Is it too difficult a concept for you to understand?
The answer to renewables is to (a) remove all subsidies and force straight price competition in the market and (b) require them to provide guaranteed, dispatchable power. So if batteries are such a good idea, the wind farm operator should install them at their own cost as part of their wind farm and then bid to supply a guaranteed level of power over a timeframe. If they fail to deliver, massive penalties.
Of course in reality wind and solar would then be completely uncompetive. That is hidden currently by the preferential market access, subsidies and constraint payments.
If the UK government doesn’t change course eventually they will either end up with the madness of simultaneously subsidising renewables and domestic end users and gas power generation or the lights will go out. But these are the end results of idiot government ministers who are clueless about physics, the real world and think that simply passing laws and policy changes reality.
Precisely, if a wind farm had to be able to
Then they would all magically disappear except where they belong…
In a museum.
14th century technology in a 21st century world.
Unfortunately the government is too deep into energy to ever be able to give any energy a free ride.
Your statement is itself, an ideological one.
Just proliferation of nuclear materials is an aspect that really has to be controlled by a centralised hopefully disinterested agency, but as we have seen, such an agency can be leaned on by political pressures to make nuclear power either cheap, or economically un-viable. Reactors in the UK are reaching end of life, not in an engineering sense, but in a regulatory sense, as the remedial work required to meet regulations, is too expensive compared with the additional energy they would generate.
The fact is that the interplay of politics and economics is now so entrenched that it becomes almost impossible to separate them.
We see it everywhere – food and drug safety, environmental agencies, electrical safety, building standards,minimum wage standards, emissions standards…all these are used by companies to advance their interests and to prevent competition.
The clever use of public money to fund new nuclear at least means that questions will be asked should a future government shut it down for ideological reason.
There is no easy answer to the public/private debate over crucial public infrastructure – health care, telecoms, power generation, education, railways…lack of regulation leads to the ‘tragedy of the commons’ and over regulation leads to monopolistic inefficiencies.
…At least in the UK we have, for example, recognised the need for regulatory oversight of de facto monopolies. So the descendant of the public telephone system is required to meet standards of quality and reach that are not of themselves economic, which is why I am sitting surrounded by fields with a gigabit capable fibre optic line coming into my house. And a choice of whose product I use at the other end of it.
My point being that the moment you introduce regulation into the nuclear industry – or remove it from windmills – there is no longer a free market in which to compete.
Financial times just reported:
The German government has taken the first formal step towards gas rationing as it braces itself for a potential halt in deliveries from Russia due to a dispute over payments.
Robert Habeck, economics minister, on Wednesday morning activated the “early warning phase” of an existing gas emergency law put in place to deal with acute energy shortages.
The move was triggered by German concern that Russia might cut supplies to the country and its neighbours because they are rebuffing Moscow’s efforts to force payment for gas imports in roubles.
Russian officials said on Tuesday that Moscow would not “supply gas for free” to Europe, a day after G7 countries unanimously rejected President Vladimir Putin’s directive requiring rouble payments.
During the early warning phase — the first of three stages in Germany’s emergency response — a crisis team from the economics ministry, the regulator and the private sector will monitor imports and storage.
If supplies fall short, and less draconian attempts to lower consumption do not work, the government would cut off certain parts of German industry from the grid and give preferential treatment to households.
Griffo will tell Germans that their solar panels and wind ‘bird choppers’ will provide more than it’s required to keep the power supply to industry unaffected.
The question for Griff and similar true believers.
Here is how to approach it using rough numbers. You have a Northern European country where normal demand is 40GW with some variation about that number by time of day and season.
Let us suppose we are to supply this with a mix of wind and solar. Assume its to be 70% wind and 30% solar. Assume that solar output ceases at 4pm for November, December and January.
Assume further that you must provide for the case where wind generation falls to 5GW or below for two periods of 7 days during November, December and January. Which is fairly optimistic.
List how much of the following you need to meet that demand with no outages:
And bear in mind that you have to provide enough capacity not simply to deliver the 40GW when demanded, you also, after a period of low wind in the winter, have to provide enough capacity to recharge your storage at the same time, once the wind picks up, to get ready for the next calm.
Bonus points if you can show how to do this when heat pumps and EVs raise demand to about 80GW for several hours a day on long winter evenings.
Play with the numbers how you like, change the assumptions if you like. But find some way of providing 40GW (or 80GW if you are going for it) without outages as its required just using wind and solar and storage.
I don’t believe it can be done. Menton’s pieces make perfectly clear why not. You’ll end up vastly over providing wind, and even then you will need more batteries than its possible to buy and install. Or you’ll need to turn Scotland, Wales and the Lake District into pumped hydro.
But if you think it can be done, just fill in the numbers showing it can. Otherwise stop telling us how wind is any kind of answer to anything.
Maybe word salad Bob can come up with something?
Are you assuming everyone comes home and plugs their EV in every night and immediately starts charging it? Because that’s not a valid assumption, given the average mileage of most UK drivers and the developing capacity for smart charging…
also there is likely to be less heat pump installation than you think, given the push for hydrogen/hydrogen mix delivered via existing gas system.
You set out the basics very well there… but are you really motivated by the desire for an answer or have you already formed your conclusion based on political opinion, like many Watt’s contributors?
Anyway, here are some of the paths to net zero and solutions and background the National Grid is working with…
Just had quick read of that document Griff.
It had me recalling how Adolf was standing over his map bench in his final days and crafting orders to deploy phantom divisions and launch imaginary super weapons.
Notable omission from that document griffy.
Not a single mention of it throughout the entire document.
We are facing the consequences of bungled energy policy right now with energy bills rising by as much as six times over the last year or so.
Where’s all this cheap, renewables derived electricity we’re all assured will come to our rescue?
How about the 25% of householders who won’t be able to pay their energy bills next winter? What are they to do, freeze?
Before the current inflation crisis the country i.e. individuals, not the magic taxpayers will be on the hook for between three and five trillion pounds (£) to achieve NetZero by 2050. That’s just gone right out the window with inflation as it is right now. We’re now likely looking at five to seven trillion pounds (£).
Where is all this money to come from griffy?
I’ve looked at them in detail, including their supporting workbooks, and also the studies they paid consultants to provide. They’re based on Hopium, Unicornium and ridiculous assumptions, and they don’t even show how energy supply could be maintained over a whole year with periods of Dunkelflaute. They are not a serious basis for planning.
Are you assuming everyone comes home and plugs their EV in every night and immediately starts charging it?
No, not particularly. My question is, if current usage patterns continue, how much storage? How much faceplate capacity?
there is likely to be less heat pump installation than you think
Could be. Though there is at the moment neither hydrogen nor a grid that will deliver it nor appliances that can burn it. But could be. But that is not the point.
The point is, there will be some increased demand. You can argue if its an extra 40GW or an extra 20GW. It makes no difference to the case for going to Net Zero for power generation, because you cannot even do it with the existing 40GW. You cannot get the required combination of excess capacity in generation and adequate storage to meet demand. You cannot install enough wind, and you cannot buy enough batteries.
Or, if you think you can, put up some numbers. Make up your own numbers, and figure out for yourself what combination of storage and over provision will be needed.
…are you really motivated by the desire for an answer or have you already formed your conclusion based on political opinion, like many Watt’s contributors?
For me this is not a political issue, its an engineering and policy issue. I don’t have any political objection to renewables. My objection is that they are not working and will not work, except in some very specialized circumstances, to deliver the constant supply our society depends on.
Have I made up my mind? Yes, pretty much, but not on the basis of any political opinions, simply on the basis of reading the data that has emerged about our collective experience with renewables over the last couple of decades, and the analysis that has been done. Which is ably summarized in irrefutable form by the ‘Manhattan Contrarian’. Read his posts, work through the New York State piece, and its obvious to anyone paying attention that the Net Zero proposals for power generation, whether for the UK or New York State, simply cannot be done.
Supplying existing demand cannot be done through renewables. To attempt to go to them while adding substantial demand from heat pumps and EVs is little short of madness.
What I want people to do is come clean about the consequences of any serious attempt to implement these proposals. And as I say, I can see two realistic outcomes.
One is to drop the heat pump and EV part of the program and reduce electricity consumption in some way, just live with power going on and off unpredictably, especially in winter, but keep using gasoline vehicles and gas boilers. This would happen because there would not be enough wind power installed and there certainly would not be enough storage, so this way you accept third world electricity supply.
The other way would be move to EVs and heat pumps, but provide realistically for the power generation this would require. This means large investment in gas generation, and probably high temp (so called supercritical) coal.
You can go all electric, or you can go all renewable electricity (though at a social price). You cannot do both at once regardless of price. Its impossible.
If you differ, put up some numbers.
Also just consider one aspect of intermittent electricity supply in the modern era. The power goes out, you lost heating. Because whether its oil or gas fired, it depends on electric pumps. Think about the implications of that, before proposing to accept intermittency and unpredictable power cuts.
Well, wind IS the answer to something…
“How to return modern society to Stone Age living in record time.”
It’s not just the subsidies that must go, but the mandates as well.
In most places utilities are required to buy whatever wind and solar produces, whether they need it or not.
Or unreliables are allowed to bid without a specific timeframe to deliver.
“… the government should be candid with the public and focus relentlessly on … increasing UK production of natural gas onshore and offshore.”
Which means overcoming Russian-funded anti-fracking propaganda.
Robert, ordinarily I would agree with you in opposing government choice of energy replacement for renewables, but UK (and EU) are not far off from a Soviet state, certainly on energy policy. After all the suffering under their globalist governments, 79% of the citizens apparently support so-called ‘clean energy’ (you can imagine how pollsters worded the questionnaire!). Like junkies the population needs to be rehabbed on a surrogate prescription to put the sorry state of energy on a path to recovery
Slightly off topic, but “‘The Wanted’ star Tom Parker has died at the age of 33 after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-60934411
I have never heard of him, nor his boy band, but tragically this has left his wife alone and his two young children fatherless.
How many years has humanity been battling cancer? Still no meaningful cure, although recovery is better than it was years ago.
However, we are s p u n k i n g trillions up the wall on wasteful wind and solar projects that could be put to genuinely good use to find technologies to alleviate human suffering that’s happening right now.
Instead, we are helpless, watching the corrupt Biden crime family destroying American and global energy policies, ruining businesses and driving people to destitution in order to virtue signal and posture over renewable energy.
Meanwhile in California, television and press adverts by Energy Upgrade California-
“Now’s the time to think of energy.
Let’s harness the power of California’s abundant wind and solar energy.
But when demand goes up, clean energy availability goes down.
It’s on us to use less energy from 4-9 pm.and Keep it Golden”.
When the Golden State is reduced to asking its citizens to use less of California’s “abundant wind and solar energy”,one wonders how far off rationing will be.
Aside from the obvious fantasy world found in old sci-fi/Buck Rogers comic books that I read at the corner drugstore, there’s a real question that no one is addressing here, so I thought I’d drop it in.
Why in the blue-eyed blinking world does that bunch of Greenie loons want to revert civilization to the pre-industrial state that we left behind a long, long time ago? I don’t get it. They want their comfort, instant food resources when they have no idea where food comes from (oh, from The Store!) and actually think that eliminating the industrial world will solve all those problems they cook up.
It’s almost 2 decades since I watched “Children of Men”, which had its own collapse of civilization underway, never mind “Survivors” (TV show) and a few other such dismal episodes of societal collapse, and we’re really under more of a threat from a virus that shifts its RNA at will just to stay alive (at our expense, of course) and Russia is trying to claim Ukraine turf (don’t get me started), China’s soil is so polluted that there are places where nothing can be planted as food crops, and the cost of natgas has risen so much that my gas bill has gone up 50%, but these things come and go all the time. Eventually, they sort themselves out.
So I’m asking why the Greenbeaners want to send us back into the pre-industrial era, which is what they seem to want. It appears to me that they don’t want to save the planet as much as wipe out people for no reason. Just askin’, because I have no idea why they’d see that as the right thing to do. I’ll just go order more of those medieval and 18th century cookbooks from the bookstore and stock the pantry again.
Why do they want to destroy the very thing that lets them stay alive? If you have an answer that makes sense (No, griff, you don’t) let me know Civilization was fun while it lasted.
Yours is the fantasy: having a renewably powered hi tech civilisation is the aim.
and we’d avoid pollution like china produces from its fossil fuel exonomy in the process.
“…having a renewably powered hi tech civilisation is the aim.”
Show how that is possible. The onus is on you to do so, and if you can’t, then you have no grounds on which to demand it.
Renewables must be … eventually wound down.
Note: I disagree with this statement: “A long-term gas-to-nuclear strategy is wise
I was beginning to think this was an intelligent writer, but no – just another brainwashed air-head.