Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Your government: making you poorer

Over at Bishop Hill's place, I find that Gordon Hughes has submitted a report on the economics of wind power [PDF] to our lords and masters (on behalf of the GWPF).
The subject is wind power. It makes for horrifying reading.
His Ecclesiastical Eminence is not wrong: consider, for instance, this little snippet... [Emphasis mine.]
Meeting the UK Government’s target for renewable generation in 2020 will require total wind capacity of 36 GW backed up by 21 GW of open cycle gas plants plus large complementary investments in transmission capacity. Allowing for the shorter life of wind turbines, the investment outlay for this Wind scenario will be about £124 billion. The same electricity demand could be met from 21.5 GW of combined cycle gas plants with a capital cost of £13 billion.
Yes, alright, you'll have noted the qualifier of "capital cost" in that last sentence: however, if the government would stop fucking about and give the explicit go-ahead for unlimited exploitation of our shale gas reserves, the running costs could be considerably cheaper than otherwise.

After all, in just four years, shale gas has halved the price of electricity in the US.

But we, of course, are wedded to our ludicrous climate change targets, which Highes also comments on. [Emphasis mine, again.]
Under the most favourable assumptions for wind power, the Wind scenario will reduce emissions of CO2 relative to the Gas scenario by 21 million metric tons in 2020 - 2.6% of the 1990 baseline at an average cost of about £415 per metric ton at 2009 prices. The average cost is far higher than the average price under the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme or the floor carbon prices that have been proposed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. If this is typical of the cost of reducing carbon emissions to meet the UK’s 2020 target, then the total cost of meeting the target would be £120 billion in 2020, or about 6.8% of GDP.
This is utter insanity.

If the lights go out, as Nick Drew observes, the government goes out. The Coalition will be screwed, but they will not be as comprehensively buggered as our economy.

This isn't the 1970s: if the power goes, then so does our entire infrastructure. Banking grinds to a halt, the internet is unreachable (and half of it down anyway), the vast majority of people simply will not be able to work at all.

But even if we do not have to start a series of rolling black-outs, the price of power has been climbing steadily. And power is required for everything these days: as such, as power becomes more expensive then so does everything else.

This government—and its predecessor—have been quite deliberately following a set of policies designed to impoverish everyone in the country. And, throughout all of the other insanities of this time, they have continued to prosecute this war against their own people.

Their aim is simple: to reduce power consumption—whether because of climate change or in order to avoid difficult decisions about building power stations, I do not know (although I have my suspicions).

The government's own report—you know, the one that showed that power would not be more expensive overall—relied on the country using half the electricity that it does now by 2020.

Reducing power consumption may be a laudable aim but it is, frankly, unrealistic in that timescale without a significant down-grading of our current life-style.

But I bet our lords and masters are going to be just fine and dandy, thanks. Even now, they are probably buying up portable generators and investing in every temporary power supplier in the country.

What a bunch of arseholes.


farmland investments said...

I am a green chap at a green investment firm, and even I know that the best way to make a serious dent in CO2 emissions is shale gas! Rather then tilting at windmills (no pun intended), the Government would be best advised to put its renewable spending into basic research, and then gradually let the technology catch up. In the meantime, gas emits not even half the CO2 of coal!

Conspiracy Thierry said...

It will be interesting to see the fallout from the recent blackouts in India considering the use of Indian computing infrastructure in the West.

FlipC said...

If you use the Wikipedia lists for the UK. Hydropower is generating around 0.48MW/station; on-shore wind power - 17MW; off-shore wind - 116.4MW; gas - 732MW; nuclear - 914MW.

Seems kind of obvious which type of generation we should be backing.

Gareth said...

Devil's Kitchen said: "Their aim is simple: to reduce power consumption—whether because of climate change or in order to avoid difficult decisions about building power stations, I do not know (although I have my suspicions)."

It really shouldn't be contentious to renew power stations but somehow they have made it so. Just renewing coal power stations from existing ones to supercritical ones would make them more efficient, let alone replacing coal with gas.

I find it hart to tell whether all the guff about green economies, green jobs and a green investment industry is what they want or just an excuse for not doing the bog standard stuff, as if the latter - including keeping the lights on - is somehow beneath them.

We keep electing narcissists who go for ever more grand follies in order to secure some kind of legacy for themselves regardless of the economics of it.

If more people were aware our representatives support contraction and convergence, and by extension are looking to impose serious reductions in energy use on the population, then we could make a better informed choice at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

It is NOT a laudable aim to reduce power consumption, it is a controling, statist aim.

Daniel Thomas said...

The wheels came off the Climate Change wagon with the Climategate scandal and the tissue of lies contained in the IPPC reports.

The term 'carbon emmisions' is designed to mislead the terminally stupid. If its carbon dioxide they are refering to then thy should know its a trace gas essential to life on earth not a pollutant.

Mr Single acts of tyranny is correct, this issue is fake and is being used to extend state control over our lives.

SteveW said...

At least all the money spent on carbon offsets isn't just being tossed away...

Daniel Thomas said...

Carbon offsets is just a mechanism invented by politicians to increase tax and control.

Just to confirm, there is a difference between carbon and CO2. So called carbon credits is a tax on CO2 therefore we all should pay because its what we exhale. Should joggers pay more than walkers?

Any money spent trying to cool the planet as a result of 'Man Made Global Warming' is a waste of money which hits the poor hardest and makes British industry uncompetative.

Now that MMGW has been exposed as a scam its time for an end to this insanity.

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...