UK energy news this week was dominated by the publication by DECC of the last strand of their energy policy. The document and its attachments struck me as preposterous (see first link below). Does anyone believe that £2 per household will buy 53 GW of back up generating capacity? Does anyone believe that the UK has superior energy security to Canada? I did a bit of digging to find out who lies behind this drivel emanating from DECC:
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, first class BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford.
Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Energy, MA in classics and ancient history from St Andrews.
Baroness Verma, Junior Minister at DECC, attended school and university. A successful business woman she “started her first business at the age of 19 in high fashion, supplying high street multiples”.
Cameron needs to get a grip and replace this trio with individuals appropriately qualified for the job. He could start with an engineer.
Canada in trouble as UK takes top security spot: Britain’s energy security strategy now fully in place
Ed Davey said: Britain is a world leader in energy security – leading in the EU and ahead of every other G7 country. Today’s announcement – coupled with our record amounts of investment in renewables and electricity infrastructure, our revival plans for the North Sea and the most healthy pipeline of investment projects in new generating capacity and interconnectors ever – means we will remain a world leader.
Fashionable energy security: Maintaining UK energy security
Energy security is about making sure consumers can access the energy they need at prices that are not excessively volatile.
Can XL not do this in advance?: Integrating Variable Renewable Energy in Electricity Markets: Best Practices from International Experience
Economic, environmental, and security concerns associated with conventional fuel supplies have strengthened support for clean energy technologies among governments and the private sector on a global scale; yet questions persist about how to effectively integrate large amounts of variable renewable electricity generation
Is that Green Energy companies paying tax?: UK green taxes hit record high of £43 billion
UK households and businesses paid a record £43 billion in green taxes last year, new official figures show.
The Treasury’s revenues from environmental levies increased by £1.7 billion last year, from £41.3 billion in 2012. They have soared from £30.4 billion in 2003.
An expensive coker!: ExxonMobil defies adverse market with $1bn investment in Europe
ExonnMobil will invest $1bn in its oil refinery in Antwerp despite pressure on the European industry from low demand and cheap competition.
The US supermajor plans to build a new coker which will convert heavy oil into useable fuel in an attempt to meet predicted future demand.
Only fools forecast energy prices: Green energy budget faces squeeze as power prices forecast to stay flat this decade
Wholesale power prices are likely to stay at recent low levels for the rest of the decade, ratings agency Moody’s has forecast, in the latest sign that the Government’s green subsidy budget may be exhausted sooner than planned.
Ministers have forecast that wholesale power prices will rise to £63 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2020, driven by a looming crunch in spare power capacity and increasing gas prices.
More bad corporate behaviour: British Gas and Sainsbury’s Energy embroiled in mis-selling scandal
British Gas has become the last of the Big Six energy suppliers to be tarnished by the mis-selling scandal, after it emerged the company had misled thousands of customers through face-to-face sales.
The supplier, part of energy giant Centrica, has now agreed to pay compensation to customers who were provided with inaccurate information when signing up for tariffs.
£2 buys you 53GW of idle capacity!: Ministers must stop misleading consumers over true policy costs
Forecasting commodity prices is a mug’s game. Unfortunately, it’s also central to every Government’s prediction on that most sensitive of subjects: the costs of its policies on consumer energy bills.
On Monday, Ed Davey, the energy secretary said that a new “capacity market” to keep the lights on by keeping power plants on retainer would add £2 to consumer bills.
In fact, his department eventually admitted, it will add £13 in subsidies from today’s levels. However, it believes it will also prevent future power price rises, cutting these hypothetical costs to consumers by £11. Consumers will therefore pay just £2 more than they “otherwise would have”.
It is not the lights that are dim: Households’ lights could be dimmed in winter 2015-16 as Britain faces power crunch
Households’ lights could be dimmed for up to nine hours during the winter of 2015-16 as Britain’s spare power capacity falls to as little as 2pc, Ofgem has said.
The energy regulator said there was an “outside chance” that National Grid would need to reduce voltage for consumers, as one of a series of measures it may use if there is insufficient power to meet demand.
Subsidy upon subsidy: Consumer energy bills to rise to keep power plants open
Consumer energy bills will rise in order to pay retainers to dozens of power stations to guarantee they are available to keep the lights on, ministers have announced.
Under a so-called “capacity market”, ministers plan to recruit more than 53GW of power stations – enough to meet 80 per cent of Britain’s peak demand – to ensure they can fire up when needed.
Households will each pay an average of £13 a year to the power plants, to guarantee they are ready on the system from 2018-19.
I’m lost for words…: Norway to reap £1.6bn subsidy from UK consumers for offshore wind farm
Two Norwegian state-controlled energy companies are in line to receive £1.6bn in subsidies from UK consumers, after deciding to invest £1.5bn in building a wind farm off the coast of Norfolk.
Statoil and Statkraft said they would begin work on the Dudgeon offshore wind farm after receiving a contract from the UK government, guaranteeing they will be paid roughly triple the current wholesale power price for every unit of electricity the project generates.
Thank goodness cold winters are a thing of the past : Ofgem: Margins to tighten but disconnection risk down
The energy regulator’s annual capacity assessment said that margins are set to be at their lowest level for the winter of 2015/16, due to the closure of old power stations.
The latest report stated that the capacity margin could drop to about 2 per cent during 2015/16 before picking back up to between 4 per cent and 12 per cent in 2017/18.
Yet another 73,000 homes to be powered by the wind: Harestanes wind farm near Moffat officially opens
One of Scotland’s largest onshore wind farms has been officially opened near Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway.
Scottish Power Renewables is behind the 68-turbine Harestanes scheme which it says will meet the annual electricity needs of more than 73,000 homes.
I thought wood was made of carbon: UK’s pioneering low-carbon heating scheme helps just 79 households
The much-delayed government scheme to encourage Britons to switch to low-carbon heating has helped just 79 homes install renewable heat technologies in the two months since it launched, it has emerged.
Greg Barker, the climate minister, trumpeted the scheme as the “first of its kind in the world” when it was launched in April, but already there are fears it will go the way of the green deal – the government’s energy efficiency programme that achieved very low take-up.
The cost of generating green electricity has hit a record high as subsidies are handed to expensive offshore wind farms and household solar panels, new figures show.
The annual bill for consumers to subsidise renewable technologies has soared to more than £2.5bn as more turbines are built and households install panels on their roofs.
My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis writes:
News out of Iraq is slowly drying out. The foreign media has access to the Kurdish region, Baghdad and little else. From the newly occupied territories the jihadists are themselves the only reporters available, with gory contents regularly feed to the internet. The Baghdad government launched a counter-offensive last weekend, and although it has failed so far to gain any relevant territory, it seems to have halted, or at least delayed, the advance of the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIL).
Where will it all end? Can the jihadists content themselves with the Sunni territories or will they seek further expansion? Their organisation and capacities do not cease to surprise, how far can they really go?
So far their methods and efficacy have alarmed everyone else in the region, even Sunni majority states such as Saudi Arabia. For us living here in the so called West, life seems to go on exactly as before, but in fact the world has become a different place the past few weeks.
I am just posting a couple of links from Luis this week on basis that interested readers can go over to his blog to access the full content if they so wish.
Sleeper cells in Baghdad: Iraq chases Baghdad sleeper cells as ‘Zero Hour’ looms over capital
Iraqi insurgents are preparing for an assault on Baghdad, with sleeper cells planted inside the capital to rise up at “Zero Hour” and aid fighters pushing in from the outskirts, according to senior Iraqi and U.S. security officials.
Begins to look like Vietnam: 480 U.S. troops now in Baghdad as officials move to secure access to airport
The United States has deployed 300 more troops to Baghdad in the last two days, with some of them assigned to secure Baghdad’s international airport, the Obama administration announced Monday.
One senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, told McClatchy that the troops were moved to Baghdad after American officials determined that Islamist fighters had consolidated their grip on the western outskirts of the capital in recent days. The movement “convinced us this would be prudent,” the official said.
The last week on Master Resource:
The “Yes” vote in Scotland I believe shares this sentiment: Independence Against Big Government
The Founding Fathers explained how intolerable an absolutist and highly centralized government in faraway London had become. This distant government violated the personal and civil liberties of the people living in the 13 colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America.
B’but Man must be affecting climate: $10,000 Bet on Climate Change: Asking the Wrong Question
“Physicist offers $10,000 to anyone who can disprove ‘man-made global climate change’”, the headline at Daily Kos (June 22, 2014) proclaimed. “Climate change deniers using same methods as tobacco industry, says physicist.”
Wow! It’s put-up or shut-up time for climate skeptics like us at the Cornwall Alliance, right? Ten grand ripe for the picking!
Many more stories worth reading on Master Resource, you don’t need me to post links to all of them here. I saw a patch of blue sky today, temperatures have soared to 15˚C and it’s not raining, so I’m off to light my grill 🙂