The State of the Blog and Sponsorship Appeal

On Wednesday 16th December, after 27 months on line, Energy Matters passed the landmark 1 million views. Below the fold some of the key site statistics are summarised. I am using this opportunity to launch a fund raiser which I have not done before.

My personal circumstances have changed, and the oil price crash has also had an impact, so that I can no longer dedicate all my time to the blog without some significant financial support.

The target is to raise £100,000 for 2016

I know that sounds a lot, but I have been blogging now for 10 years and that has left a major hole in my finances. Please read on….

There are a number of ways to skin this cat:


Donations received thus far total £1715, mainly made up of £100 sums. I am extremely grateful to all those who have donated so far. And to be quite clear, if you donated £1 or £10, I am equally grateful for that.

The larger sums indicated above are targeted at companies, organisations and wealthy individuals who are are interested in supporting the views on climate change and energy policy expressed on this blog that run counter to the UN, EU and national government policies.

Roger Andrews

At this point I want to acknowledge the huge contribution made by Roger Andrews and to offer him my sincere thanks. Roger has brought immense knowledge and presentational skills to the climate and energy debate. He will hopefully be back at the helm of Blowout tomorrow.


My motivation stems from a desire to provide data-grounded counter-arguments to Green Thinking that is extremely well funded by global institutions, national governments and tech billionaires. The energy and climate change world seems increasingly driven by fantasy and propaganda. Those in charge do not seem to understand the importance of energy to everyone’s well being. For example, in Syria, crop failure is blamed on burning fossil fuels while in fact the exact opposite is true and the abundance of crops owe their existence to fossil fuels. The level of ignorance is staggering.

Too much is now upside down. The root cause is the UN and other institutions dictating energy policy based on climate science. Academia now seems preoccupied with finding evidence to support the policies rather than conducting objective research to inform policy decisions.

Most Read

Top posts are listed below.

The posts with most reads on this blog are:

What is the real cost of shale gas?
The 2014 Oil Price Crash Explained
The Arguments For and Against Wind Power
The 2014 Oil Price Crash Explained
How Much Battery Storage Does a Solar PV System Need?

In addition to being read on Energy Matters, certain posts find their way to Oil Price.Com, Oil Voice, The Automatic Earth, Seeking Alpha and Zero Hedge as well as a plethora of other blogs. I can only guess they get 100,000+ reads. While this exposure is welcome, it is a great pity that these cross-posts tend to send  little traffic back, which tends to undermine the viability of the source. Perhaps the owners of these commercial news aggregation sites would like to find their way to the “Donate” button 😉

Top Referrers

We have amassed 537 email subscribers and an unknown number of RSS subscribers who form the backbone of site traffic.

Far and away the top referrers are search engines. Google “Laschamp Event” and you’ll find an Energy Matters post at position 3, just behind Wikipedia. This is followed, somewhat surprisingly by The Oil Drum that still sends about 30 hits a day.

A big thank you to Kate at Small Dead Animals who regularly links to our articles and sends thousands of readers each time. Also a big thank you to Andrew Montford at Bishop Hill, who links to and promotes certain articles that tickle his fancy.

Thank you also to all those who promote our content on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve been told to get a Twitter Account but did not find it straightforward to set up. Possibly foul play at work?

Jon Droz also deserves a mention for regularly linking to our posts in his regular email drops that are posted to Master Resource.


Two years ago I made a mail list of about 1000 addresses from my own contacts and from gleaning internet sources like “Nuclear Energy Association”. I send out links once a week that does drive traffic from targeted sources. This list is now totally broken with about half the addresses not functioning. This results in a cascade of returned mail. I simply don’t have time to fix or expand this mailing effort and so if I get anywhere close to target funding I will use some of this to buy-in marketing support.

How to Donate

Donating is simple. Top right of the home page provides access to my Pay Pal account. Simply enter any amount, denominated in £ Sterling, and hit the donate button. You will then arrive at the page shown below. Fill in your details, that are all held securely, and proceed to next page where account information is required. While donations are in £ Sterling you can pay using any card or currency.


I have thus far resisted adverts on the site assuming that readers would prefer not to be distracted by ads for Russian ladies and the like. But corporate advertising is another matter. If you are Rosatom, EDF, Areva, BP, Shell or the British Nuclear Association and wish to sponsor this site through advertising then please get in touch*. My email is at gmail dot com.

 * Note that it is often alleged by Green Groups that accepting corporate donations undermines integrity and objectivity. This is just another one of many false premises circulated by these groups today, designed I dare say to discourage funding of opposing views. There is two years of content already on this site, enough to establish our credentials.

How Else to Help

If you know of any institution or wealthy individuals who may be sympathetic to this cause or have contacts with relevant industries then please send them the link to this post and ask them to consider supporting Energy Matters.

Seasons Greetings

Christmas is upon us once again and Roger and I wish all our readers a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Blogging will be a little lighter over the festive season. I will kick off the New Year with a look at consequences for Scottish power supplies when the 2.4 GW Longannet power station closes next year.


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43 Responses to The State of the Blog and Sponsorship Appeal

  1. Joe Public says:

    As Mr Tesco proudly states “Every little helps”.

  2. garethbeer says:

    Yep agreed, 2016 going to be a decisive year (I hope) when some chickens will roost home – with many GW of quality base load power disappearing off the grid!

    Personally I want to see blackout, brownouts and district power transformer melting down – my only fear is the (useless) msm will literally pretend and cover up such events, and an opportunity to throw the ‘greenies’ under-the-bus will be lost!

    It still hasn’t dawned on many that they (dummies in charge) are serious about getting rid of Gas for heating and cooking (let alone Power Generation) in just over a decade!

    Plus the 19/20 (subsidy bung) for gas, diesel, nuclear & coal is 5gw short of winter-peak demand!

    I’ve p-pal a tenner – expensive time of year – Merry Christmas!!!

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Thanks Gareth, I once wrote a post, many years ago called “Energy Decline in a Freezing Climate” but couldn’t publish it then because parts of The Oil Drum had turned bright Green. The energy decline bit was from a peak oil perspective which seems a bit strange now. But I never suspected then that our institutions and governments would set out to deliberately sabotage our energy systems. I think there is a high chance that Europe sees some very severe winters in the years ahead and that the electricity system could break down. Surprised to see 5 half nukes offline yesterday. As capacity is squeezed that’s the sort thing the system won’t cope with. It would of course be blamed on the unreliability of nuclear. Maybe I’ll write a bit of fiction over Christmas.

  3. Willem Post says:

    The fields in your donation sheet are not active. I tried entering data, but no response.
    Donations should be allowed in $ so US folks can use their credit/debit cards.

    • oldfossil says:

      Willem, designate the donation amount in £ Sterling and PayPal will automatically convert it to USD.

    • euanmearns says:

      The sheet in the post is a screen capture for illustration purposes. See my reply to Hubert. Once you enter the amount and hit the donate button you come to Paypal. You then select pay by card, and then fill out details. The amount has to be designated in £ but comes off any card in any currency.

  4. Flocard says:

    You write
    “Donating is simple. Top right of the home page provides access to my Pay Pal account. ”
    I pressed “Support Energy Matters”. The page you describe in this post did’nt appear.

    • euanmearns says:


      Above UK grid graphed logo there is a field to either select amount or to enter amount. You then press the gold “Donate” button and that takes you to Paypal.

      The amount designated has to be £ Sterling but you can pay in any currency.

  5. donation worked OK for me. Paypal £10.

    But it isn’t “support energy matters” at top right. There is an orange “Donate” button just above the pylon pic part way down the right hand side of the home page.

  6. rogue says:

    Done. I’m surprised Bishop Hill doesn’t have you on its blogroll. Andrew Montford also recognises that Energy Policy is too important to leave in the hands of naive idealogues. It is essential that a serious engineering based discussion gets a wider hearing. GWPF and Judith Curry are other sites where you might find a receptive audience.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      I don’t think we appear on anyone’s blog roll 🙁 GWPF do occasionally link to our posts but don’t send a huge volume of traffic. I do find it difficult to judge what drives Benny’s and Andrew’s selection process. Some posts have had outings on Judy’s blog. But when the whole thing is cross posted, little traffic comes back. And dealing with the comment volume is exhausting. I feel Judy could include a lot more of our posts in her weekly roundups. A couple of posts also had outings on WUWT. But I’ve also sent a number of posts to Anthony that he has not used.

      • rogue says:

        I value your fact based analysis and reporting and will paste links in to commentsat these other sites when it seems appropriate.

      • You got my selection policy right in your comment above – it’s “whatever tickles my fancy”. The blogroll thing is just because I never look at it, think about it, or maintain it. I think blogrolls are almost redundant these days. People get added when they pester me about it.

  7. Hugh Sharman says:

    Euan, some 4-5 years ago, my Danish Paypal account became confused about who I am.

    I have not needed it since and in any case, don’t particularly wish to struggle to fix this. May I recommend you give us an option, please?

    Is it unacceptably complicated and/or costly to take donations directly by credit card?

    If so, please let us old fogies pay directly and electronically into your the site’s bank account. For this, you must let us know your bank details, in particular IBAN and SWIFT numbers.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Hugh, this sounds like you’ve lost your PW for Paypal and you want my account details to mount a dawn raid 😉 You can use a debit card, should be no charge to you though Paypal do deduct a fee per transaction.

      I’ll send you an email.

  8. “Is it unacceptably complicated and/or costly to take donations directly by credit card?”

    Clicking the Paypal button should take you to a page where there is either the option to pay via a Paypal A/C or the option to pay via Paypal using a credit card. It is not necessary to have a Paypal A/c to pay via Paypal. They just take a small cut, about 2.9% I think.

  9. heriotjohn says:

    Due to the usual inability to read instructions correctly you will see two donations from me — I got there in the end.

    Please keep up the good work — as you know we used part of one of your blogs to help us write a simple paper for submission to wind farm inquiries and that paper has now been quoted by two Reporters as part of their decisions to refuse consent.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      John, many thanks. I’m glad to hear that our work has been of some use. I’ve driven down the M74 a couple of times this year and there are stretches there that should be called turbine alley. I really don’t know what the SNP are thinking about, trashing our beautiful country in this way. You get to England and there are no turbines.

  10. Very interesting post and comments on battery storage requirements for a PV system, including the analysis supplied by Willem Post.

    I did some analysis of my own:

    And I must say I am surprised by how viable off-grid 100% renewably heated and powered single family houses actually seem to be.

    Assume new build, 200 m2

    PV (5 kWp, 8000 Euros)
    Battery (10 kWh, 5000 Euros)
    Wood pellet CHP (8 kWth, 0.6 kWe, Ökofen Pellematic e, 23000 Euros)

    Annual consumption:

    10000 kWh of space heat (50 kWh per m2, times 200 m2)
    4000 kWh of domestic heated water
    4000 kWh of electricity

    That consumption can be fully met with the above system.

    Over 20 years I get this very rough cost comparison:


    20000 Euros of electricity at 25 cents per kWh
    22400 Euros of natural gas at 8 cents per kWh
    4000 Euro for natural gas central heating system

    Total: 46400 Euros

    36000 Euros capital cost
    16000 Euros of wood pellets (16000 kWh per year, 5 cent per kWh)

    Total: 52000 Euros


    I get the following monthly values for 5 kWp PV

    Assuming demand of 4000 kWh and 500 kWh of battery losses, this gives the following net numbers:
    So, 580 kWhe need to be covered by the CHP unit in winter, and the surpluses are always smaller than hot water demand of 333 kWh per month (apart from one month, where there is a surplus of 2 kWh, small enough to be stored in the hot water tank included in the Ökofen package deal). So all the surplus PV can be used for supplying domestic hot water (remember off-grid, no way to export the surplus).

    Remaining domestic hot water demand is then 2270 kWh, plus 10000 kWh of space heat.

    The CHP can do this with 12270/8= 1533 operating hours, in which 920 kWh of electricity are produced, way more than the required 580 kWh. This is easy to deal with: surplus electricity from the CHP is also converted to heat, same procedure as for surplus PV electricity.

    • John Eardley says:

      What about the interest payment on the 36K capital? If you add it to the typical mortgage of 3.5% it works out at another 45K over 20 years making the total cost of off grid some 50K more expensive.
      In the UK I only pay 14c/kWhr for my electricity not 25c.
      My central heating combi boiler fits on my kitchen wall in a 300mm X 800mm cupboard, where do you propose I put a wood pellet CHP and how much do you think the builder would charge for the additional space given houses in the UK typically sell for about 6000 Euro/sqm.

  11. The reason for that 6000 Euro/sqm figure is the socialist planning system in the UK, which allows little to be built, and that little is not what people want, but low quality, unattractive high density flats without gardens and with few car parking spaces. Now that is green command and control really ensuring that living standards are taking a dive.

    Not that command and control and socialism are all bad, at least they worked pretty well in terms of France getting its high share of low cost nuclear.

    But for housing, that is an unmitigated policy disaster in the UK, and clearly much less socialist policy in Germany is getting way better results. No concreting over the countryside and still housing being built that people want (detached houses with gardens).

    From the Policy Exchange report:

    “Green and Pleasant Cities:
    Germany’s Localised Planning System
    • Central government grants are linked to population
    and tax revenues, so local politicians compete to make
    their cities attractive – both in the sense of pleasant
    places to live and places that draw more inhabitants.
    • The right to develop property you own, subject to
    conditions developed by all the federal tiers of government,
    is enshrined in the constitution.
    • The main responsibility for planning lies with local
    planners and politicians, so plans are responsive to
    local needs and the environment. Plans are binding
    and subject to judicial review.
    • Germany’s planning system has delivered house price
    stability, spacious homes and green cities despite a
    similar population density to the UK.”

    “It may be surprising to a Briton that the position of
    the individual property owner against the state is much
    stronger in Germany than in the UK. There can be little
    doubt that a land-use planning system like the 1947 Town
    and Country Planning Act would be considered unconstitutional
    and struck down by the German Federal
    Constitutional Court.”

    Regarding the cost of capital:

    This is a very, very rough comparison, neglecting inflation etc..

    I live in Germany, I do not have a mortgage, because housing is cheap enough that here I can afford a decent home without one. The interest rate I get at the bank is precisely zero.

  12. A C Osborn says:

    Heiko Gerhauser, like most people outside the UK you seem to have very little understanding of what actually drives housing costs here.
    There is virtually no Government/Council housing built in the UK due to the policy of Margaret Thatcher who sold off Council properties cheaply, but forbade the use of the cash aquired by the sales to be used by Councils to build new housing stock.
    Basically no government since has overturned that policy.
    Plus there is a very strong Green Belt phylosphy here banning building in areas designated as green belt areas.
    Therefore House building is in the hands of Capitalist Builders, either small or large and private individuals having single houses built for themselves, so the price is driven by Supply & Demand and cashflow.
    Demand is further heightened by a great deal of older housing stock being purchased by rich people for Buy to Let purposes, taking those houses off the sales market.
    City Centre house prices are therefore very high in desirable areas and quite low where no one wants to live.
    Why you think Houses in the UK are built that are not detached and have no gardens I do not know.
    But most housing is Semi-detached, but still with gardens, built on cost grounds, especially as building land is at premium prices in the UK, so it is a case of pack them in for maximum profits.

  13. I lived in the UK between 1994 and 2007, high house prices are a major reason I left.

    Policy Exchange have produced a number of reports on the issue, and I concur with their analysis. In the UK the supply of housing is not determined by market forces, the supply response to higher prices is zero, and what gets built is not what the market demands, it is what government dictates through restrictive planning permission.

    Regarding the miracles to be expected from social housing I also concur with the Policy Exchange view below.

    “Central planning attempts to ensure that what is thought
    best for the people by the central planners is what is
    produced. So, as we showed earlier, the system currently
    attempts to produce exactly the number of dwellings which
    are estimated to be required from calculations of need,
    calculations involving assessments of demographic change,
    household formation, household splits, migration, deaths,
    births, etc. Built into the system is a pressure at all levels to
    provide the minimum. Using green field sites is politically
    problematic. The cry goes up that the countryside is being
    buried under tarmac. And anyway, as we have shown, the
    system adjusts. If too little housing is provided, house
    prices rise and housing becomes expensive. When it is
    more expensive, people can afford less and so buy smaller
    homes. With smaller homes, more dwellings can be
    provided on less land because homes can be built at higher
    densities, namely flats or houses with tiny gardens.
    But is this really what people want? In March 2005, a
    widely reported survey carried out by MORI on behalf of
    the Commission for Architecture and the Built
    Environment found that over 50 per cent of those
    questioned wanted a detached house and 22 per cent
    preferred a bungalow. Only 2 per cent per cent expressed a preference for a low rise flat and less than 1 per cent a
    flat in a high rise block. But since detached houses and
    bungalows use more land than other kinds of house,
    fewer and fewer are built each year. And many are also
    demolished to make way for terraced houses or blocks of
    flats. So while as recently as 1990 only about an eighth of
    newly built dwellings were apartments, by 2004 the
    proportion had increased to just under a half.

    So the current position is that what people want, when
    asked, is lower density housing. What they get, what the
    planning system now insists upon, is high density development,
    much of it in the least desired form – blocks of flats.
    Thirty or forty years ago, when much housing was
    provided by local authorities, large numbers of tower blocks
    were built in and around Britain’s towns and cities in order
    to save on land. They too were not what people wanted, but
    when their houses were demolished this was the subsidised
    accommodation that was provided to them. Only when one
    of the towers collapsed was it accepted that people’s preferences
    had to be taken into account.28 Now the same cycle is
    being repeated. True, fewer tower blocks are being built, but
    high density developments are now being put up with even
    less garden or ‘amenity space’ than was provided around the
    tower blocks.”

    • Euan Mearns says:

      The capital appreciation model of UK economic growth is proven to be a disaster not yet abandoned.

      • David Comrie says:

        Euan, my contribution is absolutely paltry across any comparison. Your and Rodgers’ works across this blog are inestimable. Peter Post’s contributions too really summarise the current situation. Yes, I’m skint but know Aberdeen a wee bit as a sometime natural sciences grad from around 1984. Thank you both for your continued wisdom and further enlightenment.

  14. Note that it is often alleged by Green Groups that accepting corporate donations undermines integrity and objectivity.

    Hilarious! You wrote earlier in this post that The larger sums indicated above are targeted at companies, organisations and wealthy individuals who are are interested in supporting the views on climate change and energy policy expressed on this blog that run counter to the UN, EU and national government policies and My motivation stems from a desire to provide data-grounded counter-arguments to Green Thinking.

    How on Earth can you defend your objectivity when you are specifically calling for sympathetic organisations to fund you which are aligned with your self-declared views and objectives?!

    There is two years of content already on this site, enough to establish our credentials.

    Indeed. I cannot say anything about your integrity, but it is clear that your prejudices taint all your analyses. I don’t think I’ve ever read a balanced argument on here about renewables or climate change since you spammed my email address several years ago. However, in the spirit of Christmas, I’ve sent a donation your way so that you can at least make the claim that your blogs are funded impartially 😉

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Dear Kit, here are your last x published comments on this blog that I’m reproducing here so that others can judge your contribution to our understanding of the complex relations between energy, climate and policy.

      29 Dec 2015

      “Note that it is often alleged by Green Groups that accepting corporate donations undermines integrity and objectivity”

      Hilarious! You wrote earlier in this post that The larger sums indicated above are targeted at companies, organisations and wealthy individuals who are are interested in supporting the views on climate change and energy policy expressed on this blog that run counter to the UN, EU and national government policies and My motivation stems from a desire to provide data-grounded counter-arguments to Green Thinking.

      How on Earth can you defend your objectivity when you are specifically calling for sympathetic organisations to fund you which are aligned with your self-declared views and objectives?!

      There is two years of content already on this site, enough to establish our credentials.

      Indeed. I cannot say anything about your integrity, but it is clear that your prejudices taint all your analyses. I don’t think I’ve ever read a balanced argument on here about renewables or climate change since you spammed my email address several years ago. However, in the spirit of Christmas, I’ve sent a donation your way so that you can at least make the claim that your blogs are funded impartially

      5 Dec 2015

      “I agree with all of this…It increasingly looks like a gigantic scam…these climate scientists and renewables enthusiasts cannot possibly be as insanely stupid as they now appear to be on paper.

      I might add that academics with their snouts in the trough, sucking the poor dry, are particularly culpable.”

      Is this Euan Mearns’ “jump the shark” moment? I suspect he jumped it long ago and I missed the precise moment.

      11 Nov 2015

      Apologies, not directly related to this post, but perhaps of interest to some. I got an email flyer yesterday, begins:

      The School of GeoSciences presents
      Prof. Dieter Helm, Professor of Energy Policy, University of Oxford
      ‘What’s wrong with British energy policy – and how to fix it?’

      20th Nov 2015
      16.00 – 17.30
      Appleton Tower Lecture Theatre 1, 11 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9LE

      This event will receive an opinion piece lecture from Professor Dieter Helm, explaining his views on UK energy policy and the direction of future travel. Professor Helm is one of the UK’s leading energy economists, with added flavours of renewable and natural ecosystems capital economic analysis. Dieter is able to explain energy options and policy in simple terms, and has persistently been able to give direct advice to Energy Secretaries of State in multiple Governments from multiple political parties. “What Dieter thinks” is an established energy policy benchmark. Short questions after lecture.

      To book tickets:

      25 Oct 2015

      Wunderground and The Met Office both cite sustained 200 mph winds and historic low pressure of 879 HPa, as measured by aircraft prior to making landfall.

      I wouldn’t expect many ground-based instruments capable of measuring wind speeds like that, so of course data from Mexican weather stations will be subject to some scrutiny where anomalies are identified. Doesn’t mean there’s an intention to deceive.

      5 Oct 2015

      Anyway, I don’t know why you converted CO2 to C, since emissions targets are about carbon dioxide (‘carbon’ is the default shorthand for ‘carbon dioxide’). Taking the CO2 numbers in your tables, this gives around 12% burnable, which means an awful lot of reserves need to be left untouched, if 2C is the aim.

      14 Sep 2015

      Peter Lunge

      You have to do that your self. The whole purpose of me asking you is so that, hopefully, you will recognise the nonsense you trust unquestioningly. Then hopefully, you may become more questioning about the whole cult you are following and the nonsense you accept.

      Firstly, you are the one pushing that once we take into account generated electricity, then the subsidy situation looks a whole lot different. Your evidence for this is an entirely partisan report by a lobbying organisation. One should be sceptical of such findings, as one would be from, say, Greenpeace. You cannot accuse me of unquestionable trust when citing such references.

      Secondly, I do not have to the time to chase down data to prove your point correct: I work 12hrs a day writing my PhD thesis, have several hobbies, a social life, have chores, and need to sleep, on top of several chronic illnesses. Perhaps when I’m retired, or little else in my life to satisfy me, then I’ll have plenty of time to indulge you. Until then, if you want to make a point, do so properly.

      Given that there are enormous positive externalities from many technologies, it will often be the case that externalities are net beneficial. This explains the enormous net-benefits of fossil fuels: .

      You only need to consider what would happen if they were not available to understand the ovewhelming benefits of them.

      Picking out just the negative externalities of roads, cars, etc. and assigning them to electricity generated by fossil fuels, is ridiculous and should be obvious to any critical reader. Furthermore, picking on just the negative externalities of energy And not all the other negative externalities of everythig we do, and completely ignoring the positive externalities, is highly selective – clearly driven by motivated reasoning.

      Have I ever said that FF have not been beneficial to society? This blog, and the majority of posters herein, rarely state the case against FF. I make my points as counters to the relentlessly positive points made here. This does not mean I do not support the use of FF, but simply recognise that there are other issues to be considered. You might be interested to know, in fact, that I wrote an industry funded report on environmental impacts. It came out positive, having assessed the data. Does that fit with your assumptions of me? Of your world view that because I support environmental protection measures that I am anti-industry or anti-fossil fuels? Who’s the highly selective one, especially when you – again – use a partisan report to make your case. I’m sceptical of everything I read, and so should you be, especially when your parting shot to me is “And you swallow it all, hook line and sinker..“

      10 Sep 2015

      Peter Lang:

      I spent a small amount of time trying to find data that would let me answer your first question, but to no avail. I have other priorities, but if you can point me to the numbers then I’d be happy to do the calcs.

      Regarding your second question, why do you feel it is important that we do not take into account all discounts? If the FF (or renewable) industry is not paying for their environmental damage, then that is a subsidy and should be counted as such.

      I note that you use a coal lobby/advocacy organisation commissioned report to assert that coal and gas have fewer subsidies that renewables. I’m sure, of course, that you applied the same sceptical rigour in assessing their claims as you do with, say, Greenpeace reports. I find their assessment suspicious. After all, what else would they possibly conclude?

      9 Sep 2015

      Yes, well done Euan. Did you read my links? The subsidy costs are broken down for FF: environmental costs account for $4tn of the $5.3tn. So the vast majority of subsidy has nothing to do with how exploration or citizen fuel costs are discounted, as per your post.


      I’m afraid that in context or out of context I’ve learned zero of scientific value from this. But I have learned a fair bit about how your mind works and the system within which it operates. Kit, you are a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh working on Carbon Capture and Storage. My advice to you is to stop posting mindless comments on blogs and to focus on the science and socio-economic consequences of your work.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      How on Earth can you defend your objectivity when you are specifically calling for sympathetic organisations to fund you which are aligned with your self-declared views and objectives?!

      Basically through the time honoured attributes of decency and honesty. I might add that right now I believe the most tainted research funds on the planet come from government. We now live in a command economy where government commands 100% renewables and provides effectively unlimited research funds to deliver on that command. Its an interesting research topic. What % of Scottish government research funds go to those who seek to question the wisdom of the government policy?

      I don’t think I’ve ever read a balanced argument on here about renewables or climate change since you spammed my email address several years ago.

      Well I imagine your email arrived in my data base via the Global Energy Systems conference that I conceived and co-convened, held in Edinburgh maybe 3 years ago. It was hailed by many as the best energy conference ever – and of that i’m quite proud. And that came about through seeking a broad spectrum of opinion, much of it on multiple levels I did not agree with!

      And as far as balanced arguments go on climate change, try these:

      And so here is the acid test. Are you an honest man donating £1 to Energy Matters to ensure its integrity of funding? Or are you donating £1 to try and humiliate me? My view is the latter, and I assure you that I will dispose of your government penny into the nearest charity box at earliest opportunity because I am not happy to be in possession of it.

      You just have to flick through the links above and wonder “who funded this?” Well the answer is nobody but me + a few very small donations. Who pays you and the Uo Edinburgh is the more interesting question.

  15. stewgreen says:

    Euan BBC seem like they are trying to start up the failed Desertec project with a radio prog and news item
    see my comments on Facebook .

    • stewgreen says:

      Here’s their intro “But believe it or not the world also has a solution at hand: sunlight. Harvest it where it shines brightest, in the Sahara Desert for example, and you have the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card: a techno-fix to the mother of all problems.
      So, our question this week: why don’t we solar panel the Sahara?”

    • Euan Mearns says:

      100+ GW of HVDC cables from Sahara to Berlin, all in the name of saving the planet. Backed up by 100+ GW of coal. Or is it in the name of lining the pockets of Green entrepreneurs?

      • Hugh Sharman says:

        As regards Desertec, and supplies of Saharan PV power to Berlin, noone seem to have realised yet that all solar in the EU is more or less synchronous and this situation would be immeasureably worsened by Saharan power on the scale proposed. Without an equal capacity of storage, it would be completely useless.

        Now, I am “into storage” as everyone knows…but at this scale?…dream on!

  16. Hugh Sharman says:

    @Kit Carruthers,

    I am sorry to hear that you are suffering several chronic diseases but that does not entitle you to berate others over their objectivity and and honesty.

    If indeed it is true that you are writing a PhD about CCS at Edinburgh, then I suppose you must be connected with and working for the Scotttish Enterprise (tax-payer) funded Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (, whose Stuart Haszledine is your supporting professor.

    It is still true that North Sea oilfields are extremely well suited for CCS/EOR, as I and my colleagues at Kinder Morgan CO2, ELSAM (before it was swallowed up by DONG) and at one time Scottish Hydro pointed out to all who wanted to listen, during our promotion of the CO2 for EOR in the North Sea (CENS) project promotion, that ran from 2001 – 2003. At that time, the UK and Denmark actually boasted many coal-fired power stations and other, even better, richer CO2 sources that were well suited for CCS. For all sort of reasons that maybe, one day, I write a book about, CENS failed and the academics, including Stuart, took over.

    They have been milking the tax payers ever since, mostly on fruitless and pointless efforts to sink CO2 into undersea acquifers. Finally, 12 years later, (emphatically Scottish!!) SCCS was born.

    There is one major hitch which none of you seem ready to honestly acknowledge.

    Nearly all the CO2 resources have disappeared. As I wrote to Stuart in June…


    While we were promoting the CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery in the North Sea (CENS) project, between 2001 and 2003, led by Kinder Morgan CO2 and the Danish utility ELSAM, there were still ample, capturable quantities of CO2 available all around the North Sea rim.

    We enjoyed support and much interest from the power companies, not just in UK but also Denmark, Netherlands and Germany (pre-Energiewende) were looking for ways of preserving and/or enhancing their assets. By 2020, it will be very surprising if any UK coal stations can remain open.

    The reservoir engineers at the oil companies we visited were also supportive.

    As you know, carbon capture from CCGTs, especially operated so intermittently (because of wind), will be hugely costly compared with capture from base-load coal plants.

    So your very well organised and highly qualified effort is all dressed up for a party that can never happen for simple lack of CO2. After all, even Longannet is closing.

    It’s a pity that so much time and treasure has been fruitlessly wasted in the mean time. It will not look good in history!

    Kind regards


    Stuart has never replied! May be you will bring this post to his attention? He knows who I am!

    • Hugh,

      I am sorry to hear that you are suffering several chronic diseases but that does not entitle you to berate others over their objectivity and and honesty.

      My WordPress avatar links to my science blog, where no mention is made of my illnesses. They are an irrelevance to any discussion here, or elsewhere, on science. I have made no reference to it with respect to how I, or Euan, conduct ourselves, so I don’t know why you chose to raise the issue. But thanks anyway for your sympathy.

      As for the rest of your comment, with respect, I don’t know what your point is. Yes, I am under the umbrella of SCCS, as well as UKCCSRC. Euan raises the issue of funding – I was funded by a UKRC grant and a significant amount of cash from Scottish Power (not Scottish Power Renewables). I was also contracted to produce a report for SCCS, which was a joint industry funded project (Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, 2Co Energy Limited, Nexen, Shell). I am well aware that CO2-EOR is currently the most financially viable route into North Sea CO2 storage, but whether that is viable any longer is questionable. That is not a failure of academics and researchers, or even industry; it is a failure of Government to commit fully to the technology. And particularly so now that we have a UK government who says one thing and does the opposite.

      I’m afraid you will likely never get a reply from Stuart, although I’m sure I’ve seen him comment here before, so you might get lucky.

      • Euan Mearns says:

        I’m shortly going to delete all comments linked to Kit. I should never have approved the first one. Kit, you are a Green Troll and evidently have nothing of scientific value to contribute on this blog. Your basic interest appears to be social commentary and insulting me. But it is hailarious. You think its OK for you to accept funds from industry but not me. You are a total hypocrite.

  17. Hugh Sharman says:


    While I agree that Kit is a complete hypocrite with regard to funding, let his postings be! I now regret some of the rubbish I heartily believed in and wrote about 40 years ago but most of us evolve over time, as the facts change.

    As you know, I don’t accept all the views I read here, including yours, but most articles and comment is well written, well researched and deserves respect.

    It will soon enough become self-evident that the SCCS and most of its prececessors has been a shameful waste of public money. Worse, this fact has been well-known to all its promoters and richly rewarded beneficiaries since its inception.

    May be, one day, when I have the time, I will write my own “history of CCS as public folly”. Meanwhile, take a look at It is filled with rich material for biting satire!

    But it’s your blog, of course!

  18. Nial says:

    Euan, £50 contributed to keep fighting the good fight (or is that Bishop Hill?).

    Please keep up the good work.

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