For the sake of the economy, the UK needs to invest in gas and nuclear power and drop the wind farms and disadvantageous “green policies”.
Economic growth, or rather the lack of growth, is now central to the economic or, indeed, the political debate. The economy has dipped since autumn last year and there are few “green shoots” of growth on the horizon. But, whatever our short-term woes, the British economy needs a really radical growth strategy in order to reverse the competitiveness lost over the last 10-15 years and prepare it for the challenges ahead. Infrastructural spending should be boosted, deregulation should be accelerated, the tax system should be simplified and, last but by no means least, the Government needs to radically re-think its energy policies, where “green policies” are undoubtedly adding to business’s bills, undermining their competitiveness.
Manufacturing, especially energy intensive users including steel, cement and chemicals, are especially vulnerable to high energy costs, not with-standing some Treasury support. At a time when the government is keen for the economy to be “rebalanced” from financial services to manufacturing and from domestic demand to exports (where manufactured goods are still very significant), this is unfortunate to say the least.
Where better than the Qatari capital to perform the last rites over the Kyoto Protocol?
It’s uniquely appropriate that November’s UN Climate Summit – the last before the Kyoto Protocol formally expires on December 31st – is taking place in Doha. In the league of the world’s highest per-capita greenhouse gas emitters, Qatar currently ranks at the very top. Where better than the Qatari capital to perform the last rites over the Kyoto Protocol?
Not that that’s how November’s talks will be sold, you understand. In typical UN double-speak, the Climate Summit secretariat will fashion a form of words suggesting that the Kyoto process is alive and well and merely moving into a ‘new phase’. So why do the terms ‘flogging’ and ‘dead horse’ come to mind?
When the 1997 Kyoto Protocol finally came into force in 2005 its commitments were only ever aspirational. Yes, a few states, notably in Europe, played the game by making voluntary commitments towards carbon cutting targets. It made little difference. The increasingly coal-fired fast-industrializing nations including China, India, and Brazil, all contributed to blowing away prospective gains elsewhere.
They just can't help themselves, Hollywood liberals live on the high of being a hypocrites. Remember all of the hysteria surrounding global warming? Remember Hollywood liberals and people like Al Gore preaching to the "little" people about how they used too much energy while they lived in mansions and were escorted in entourages of SUVs? The global warming movement has lost much of its steam since the economy tanked and since new media and thousands of scientists exposed much of the data, including the famous hockey stick graph "proving" global warming is real, was manipulated and in many cases, completely made up.
Germany has gone further down the 'renewables' path than any country in the world, and now it's paying the price.
On Friday, September 14, just before 10am, Britain’s 3,500 wind turbines broke all records by briefly supplying just over four gigawatts (GW) of electricity to the national grid. Three hours later, in Germany, that country’s 23,000 wind turbines and millions of solar panels similarly achieved an unprecedented output of 31GW. But the responses to these events in the two countries could not have been in starker contrast.
In Britain, the wind industry proclaimed a triumph. Maria McCaffery, the CEO of RenewableUK, crowed that “this record high shows that wind energy is providing a reliable, secure supply of electricity to an ever-growing number of British homes and businesses” and that “this bountiful free resource will help drive down energy bills”. But in Germany, the news was greeted with dismay, for reasons which merit serious attention here in Britain.
Germany is way ahead of us on the very path our politicians want us to follow – and the problems it has encountered as a result are big news there. In fact, Germany is being horribly caught out by precisely the same delusion about renewable energy that our own politicians have fallen for. Like all enthusiasts for “free, clean, renewable electricity”, they overlook the fatal implications of the fact that wind speeds and sunlight constantly vary. They are taken in by the wind industry’s trick of vastly exaggerating the usefulness of wind farms by talking in terms of their “capacity”, hiding the fact that their actual output will waver between 100 per cent of capacity and zero. In Britain it averages around 25 per cent; in Germany it is lower, just 17 per cent.
UKIP launches major energy policy statement; seeks lower energy prices,rejects wind power as expensive and inefficient.
On Friday Sept 21st, at the Party's annual Conference in Birmingham Town Hall in the UK, UKIP's Spokesman on Industry and Energy Roger Helmer MEP is launching a major Energy Policy Statement on behalf of the Party. It is entitled "Keeping the Lights On: How UKIP would prevent the impending electricity shortfall."
It argues that the theory of man-made climate change is unproven and implausible, and that even if the theory were valid, the costs of the Climate Change Act and other measures designed to reduce climate change will greatly exceed any foreseeable benefits.
UKIP believes that the UK's current energy policy, dictated by Brussels, with its heavy reliance on wind, is seriously undermining the UK economy and driving jobs, industry and investment off-shore. It is forcing millions of households and pensioners into fuel poverty. And over-dependence on renewables threatens security of supply, and raises the probability of electricity shortages by the end of the decade.
Green lobby groups have been defeated, as energy minister favours massive investment in gas generation
Last week saw a truly momentous defeat for the green lobby groups which, in the past decade, have exercised almost complete control over Britain’s future energy policy. The fact that this took the form of a mighty slapdown for Lord Deben (formerly John Gummer), newly confirmed chairman of the Climate Change Committee, makes it all the more telling.
As his first act on being appointed to head this committee, set up to advise the Government under the 2008 Climate Change Act, Lord Deben wrote an extraordinary open letter to Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. This expressed his committee’s “great concern” over a statement by Mr Davey in July that indicated that Britain must continue to rely heavily on gas to produce electricity. Although Mr Davey is still proposing to build 30,000 inefficient and unreliable wind turbines, he was implicitly recognising that these could only help to keep Britain’s lights on if they are supplemented by a massive new “dash for gas”.
As I wrote at the time, this drives a coach and horses through Britain’s legal commitment under the Climate Change Act to reduce CO2 emissions by four fifths in less than 40 years. Lord Deben’s letter made exactly the same point. In the letter, signed by seven members of his committee, all unquestioning believers in the need for renewables to combat global warming, he and his colleagues went even further. Astoundingly, they called on Mr Davey to issue a statutory instrument banning the use of fossil fuels to provide electricity. Of course, they did not put it like that. They urged him to impose a maximum emissions limit on power generation of 50 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour (kWh). But since only nuclear and renewables are below that threshold, while gas emits 400 grams per kWh and coal 700, what in effect they were calling for was an end to any further use of the fuels that currently supply some 75 per cent of our electricity.
In light of Britain’s struggling economy, it is becoming increasingly evident that the passion for green control and command policies is coming to its predictable end. Saving jobs and the economy is now the uppermost priority for Britain and most other European countries.
David Cameron has promised to end his government’s “dithering” and “paralysis”. As part of this, yesterday’s reshuffle was intended to kick-start new initiatives for reviving Britain’s flagging economy.
One of the key political battle grounds in coming months will be the growing divergence between an outdated green agenda and a new push for environmental deregulation and economic growth.
George Osborne has signalled that the UK should no longer place too much emphasis on renewable energy and is openly advocating a dash for gas. The government is widely expected to give the green light for the extraction of shale gas. The only question is how much longer we will have to wait.
The think tanks, including the Centre for Policy Studies and the Institute of Economic Affairs urge the Prime Minister to develop a new "strategy for sustained higher long term economic performance".
It comes amid widespread concern among rightwing Tory MPs that the Liberal Democrats are exerting too much influence on the Coalition. There is also growing unease about the performance of the Chancellor George Osborne, after repeated about-turns following March's Budget.
In a letter published in today’s The Daily Telegraph, they tell Mr Cameron to “adopt a coherent and realistic energy policy” based on rapid development of extracting gas by the controversial method of ‘fracking’ as well as coal and nuclear power plants.
The think tanks say: “The Coalition deserves praise for convincing the international markets that it has a credible deficit reduction plan. But that is not enough. What is needed now is a strategy for sustained higher long term economic performance.
“Central to this purpose is the determined implementation of infrastructure projects, irrespective of whether they reflect promises made before the full onset of the present emergency.”
The letter is signed by Tessa Keswick, deputy chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies and Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, among others.