Articles Tagged "Energy & Fuel"
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Sunday, March 31st 2013, 7:19 PM EDT
My cover story for The Sunday Times (the biggest UK broadsheet with 1m copies).
Getting smarter with global warming:
"As I fly into a snow-bound Britain, I realise that you might be asking where global warming has gone as you shiver in the coldest March for 50 years and wonder what you will do if gas has to be rationed. I have been involved in the climate debate for more than a decade, but I am still amazed at how wrong we get it. Let us try to restart our thinking on global warming.
Yes, global warming is real and mostly man-made, but our policies have failed predictably and spectacularly.
Source Link: facebook.com/
Saturday, March 23rd 2013, 4:41 PM EDT
As the snow of the coldest March since 1963 continues to fall, we learn that we have barely 48 hours’ worth of stored gas left to keep us warm, and that the head of our second-largest electricity company, SSE, has warned that our generating capacity has fallen so low that we can expect power cuts to begin at any time. It seems the perfect storm is upon us.
The grotesque mishandling of Britain’s energy policy by the politicians of all parties, as they chase their childish chimeras of CO2-induced global warming and windmills, has been arguably the greatest act of political irresponsibility in our history.
Three more events last week brought home again just what a mad bubble of make-believe these people are living in. Under the EU’s Large Combustion Plants Directive, we lost two more major coal-fired power stations, Didcot A and Cockenzie, capable of contributing no less than a tenth to our average electricity demands. We saw a French state-owned company, EDF, being given planning permission to spend £14 billion on two new nuclear reactors in Somerset, but which it says it will only build, for completion in 10 years’ time, if it is guaranteed a subsidy that will double the price of its electricity. Then, hidden in the small print of the Budget, were new figures for the fast-escalating tax the Government introduces next week on every ton of CO2 emitted by fossil-fuel-powered stations, which will soon be adding billions of pounds more to our electricity bills every year.
Sunday, March 17th 2013, 12:59 PM EDT
The implications of the inconvenient truth we publish today are profound. Since the Kyoto Treaty in 1997, Britain has been impoverishing itself in a lonely quest to cut its CO2 emissions – even though the world’s powerhouse economies, such as China and America, have refused to set any limits.
It is clear that the science, supposedly ‘settled’, is deeply uncertain, while growing numbers of experts now say that the effects of greenhouse gases are much less bad than they feared: any warming is going to happen much more slowly than they thought a few years ago.
It is time to join the dots. The way is open to solving this country’s most serious problems, all at once.
The Chancellor, pondering next week’s Budget, knows the US is not only avoiding a triple-dip recession but is also expecting more than three per growth this year. This is thanks mainly to ‘fracking’ for the natural shale gas beneath its soil, which produces 37 per cent of the CO2 emitted by coal when generating cheap, clean electricity.
In the US, once-moribund industries are being reborn, with jobs lost to China now returning home, while CO2 emissions are back to 1990 levels. Britain can follow this lead.
We too have vast reserves of shale gas, as yet untapped. The time has come to scrap the Energy Bill, together with existing ‘renewable’ energy subsidies. It is now clear that we have decades to come up with the really serious low- carbon energy sources which may one day be needed.
By abandoning wind, nuclear and other failed, risky or dubious ‘renewables’, and exploiting the benefits of shale gas, we can simultaneously boost our economy and shrink our national carbon footprint. It would be irresponsible to ignore such an opportunity.
Click source to read:The Great Green Con no.2: How councils duped by bad science hire 'eco' snoopers - but slash OAPs' benefits
by David rose
Sunday, March 10th 2013, 11:44 AM EDT
Listening to the political debate in Canada over man-made climate change, you’d think the two greatest threats to humanity are the development of Alberta’s oil sands and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Wrong. While North American governments, environmentalists and media obsess about oil, the far bigger threat to the planet, if the theory of anthropogenic global warming is correct, is the use of coal to produce power by the U.S., China, India, Africa, Australia and parts of Europe.
By comparison, coal use in Canada, particularly to generate electricity, is limited and, in many cases, declining.
Ontario’s Liberal government, for example, which came to power in 2003, has largely replaced coal-fired electricity with natural gas, although it pretends, for political purposes, that it has accomplished this through the use of unreliable wind power.
A scientific paper published last year by Canadian climate scientists Andrew Weaver and Neil Swart concluded that when it comes to anthropogenic climate change, the global use of coal is a far greater threat than oil, including Canada’s oil sands.
Weaver and Swart didn’t give the oil sands a pass. To the contrary, they argued every country must do what it can to lower its greenhouse gas emissions.
Saturday, March 9th 2013, 4:01 AM EST
There could be no better symbol of the madness of Britain’s energy policy than what is happening at the giant Drax power station in Yorkshire, easily the largest in Britain.
Indeed, it is one of the biggest and most efficiently run coal-fired power stations in the world. Its almost 1,000ft-tall flue chimney is the highest in the country, and its 12 monster cooling towers (each taller than St Paul’s Cathedral) dominate the flat countryside of eastern Yorkshire for miles around.
Every day, Drax burns 36,000 tons of coal, brought to its vast site by 140 coal trains every week — and it supplies seven per cent of all the electricity used in Britain. That’s enough to light up a good many of our major cities.
But as a result of a change in Government policy, triggered by EU rules, Drax is about to undergo a major change that would have astonished those who built it in the Seventies and Eighties right next to Selby coalfield, which was then highly productive but has since closed.
Sunday, February 24th 2013, 5:07 PM EST
Like all MPs, Tim Yeo is paid £65,000 a year. But he never has to make do with just that. Last year alone, three ‘green’ companies paid the Conservative MP for South Suffolk £135,970.
For this, he usually did just a few hours’ work a month. Yet he may be the firms’ most valuable asset, as Mr Yeo is chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change, and so plays a key role in shaping the green economy in which his sometime employers – AFC Energy, Eco City Vehicles and TMO Renewables – operate.
And he may be about to perform his most valuable service yet.
Mr Yeo has moved an extraordinary amendment to the Energy Bill that would set a crippling and binding target for the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by generating power in 2030. It would transform the electricity industry and bring huge benefits to the business sector, which has so generously rewarded Mr Yeo.
For the rest of us, however, the effects will be very different. It will cause already high energy bills to soar further and could lead to more power cuts. The effect on business is likely to be even more dramatic.
Yet despite the considerable drawbacks, the amendment is likely to be passed into law. Following intense campaigning by an alliance of dozens of green pressure groups and renewable-energy firms, the move has won the support of Labour, many backbench Liberal Democrats and some Tories, which may be enough to push it through Parliament.
Monday, December 10th 2012, 4:36 PM EST
It’s green, it’s cheap and it’s plentiful! So why are opponents of shale gas making such a fuss??
If it were not so serious there would be something ludicrous about the reaction of the green lobby to the discovery of big shale gas reserves in this country. Here we are in the fifth year of a downturn. We have pensioners battling fuel poverty. We have energy firms jacking up their prices. We have real worries about security of energy supply – a new building like the Shard needs four times as much juice as the entire town of Colchester.
Our nukes are so high-maintenance that the cost of disposing of their spent fuel rods is put at about £100 billion – more than the value of all the electricity they have produced since the Fifties. The hills and dales of Britain are being forested with white satanic mills, and yet the total contribution of wind power is still only about 0.4 per cent of Britain’s needs. Wave power, solar power, biomass – their collective oomph wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding. We are prevented from putting in a new system of coal-fired power stations, since that would breach our commitments under Kyoto. We are therefore increasingly and humiliatingly dependent on Vladimir Putin’s gas or on the atomic power of the French state.
Saturday, December 8th 2012, 8:59 AM EST
Thirty years ago, I was Secretary of State for Energy in Margaret Thatcher’s government, and one way and another I have been a close observer of the energy scene ever since.
In all that time, I have never known a technological revolution as momentous as the breakthrough that has now made it economic to extract gas from shale.
Geologists have long known that shale — a finely grained rock created from compressed mud, which sits in layers — contains, trapped in it, massive amounts of gas, and in some cases, oil.
Wednesday, October 24th 2012, 4:51 PM EDT
Alan Jones is Australia's most popular talk back presenter. Alan Jones is a phenomenon. He is described by many as Australia's greatest orator and motivational speaker. Alan has the mind and capacity to make complex issues understandable to the largest Breakfast audience in Australia.
Alan Jones talks to Greg Hunt about the carbon tax and other environmental failures.
Click source for MUST LISTEN Interview
Saturday, October 20th 2012, 4:36 PM EDT
David Cameron's promise to control energy bills runs counter to the Government's own 'green' policies
Last week, I returned from a visit to India – which last July suffered the most extensive power cut in history, affecting 600 million people – to find our own energy policy in a worse shambles than ever. Provoked by soaring energy bills, which have recently risen by a further 13 per cent, David Cameron again displayed his astonishing naivety in such matters by promising to force energy companies to charge only the lowest prices for their gas and electricity – just when even Ofgem has been warning us that we too face the prospect of massive power cuts, thanks to the imminent closure of so many of our power stations.
It is more than five years since I began warning here that Britain’s lights were in danger of going out, thanks to the lunacy of successive governments in shutting their eyes to this crisis. Yet Mr Cameron’s only response is to indulge in a political gimmick prompting almost universal howls of derision, and serving only to show that he knows even less about the real world of energy than his technically illiterate Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey.
What Mr Cameron clearly hasn’t realised is that the main reason why our energy companies need to charge us ever more for electricity lies in his own Government’s deluded policies. He and his colleagues prattle on about how, over the next eight years, we need to spend £100 billion on building 30,000 useless, unreliable and grotesquely subsidised wind turbines. They want to see billions more spent on giant pylons and interconnectors, to carry power from the remote onshore and offshore wind farms where it is generated to the places where it is needed. Then, as even Mr Davey has finally admitted, further billions will need to be spent on new gas-fired power stations – not only to fill the gap left by all the coal-fired and nuclear plants that are due to close, but also to provide ever more expensive, “carbon”-emitting back-up for the times when the wind drops and our turbines are scarcely functioning.
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