The Energy Bill

In the United Kingdom legislation about energy has tended to be a mish-mash of silly subsidies and wishful thinking. The present proposed Energy Bill is no different.

The silly subsidies arise because of provisions that will provide a very large de facto subsidy for nuclear power, probably in breach of European law. A levy will be placed on household energy bills which will be used to guarantee profits for those who have wind turbine businesses and nuclear power businesses. It seems to me to be an odd way to proceed.

The wishful thinking is the existing commitment for the United Kingdom to meet a legally binding target of 15% of its energy (heat and power) being generated from renewable sources. It the UK fails to meet this target then it will face heavy fines, which the tax payer will have to pay.

Existing energy policy is confused about clean energy and dirty energy, useful energy and useless energy, renewable energy and low carbon energy, and this confusion is apparent in existing policy and in the Energy Bill. It is not surprising that the United Kingdom government is confused. Its laws are shaped by the European Union to a large extent and the EU is similarly confused about energy. Ultimately those in control of the money, the finance ministers and multinational energy and fuel businesses set energy policy. It is as though a free market in energy has made us all slaves of those with money.

Energy policy has long been designed to satisfy many conflicted interests and as a result satisfies none. Of course there must be sufficient power and heat to enable the people to live and work in comfort, people should find energy affordable and it should be clean and it should be reliable but you have to accept that you cannot design a policy that ticks all the boxes. We should decide which box is most important and devise energy policy around that, leaving other policies to mitigate the hardship that might be caused by having a sensible energy policy.

 

3 Responses

  1. I haven’t looked at the Energy Bill but I believe there is no recognisable or consistent Government policy on energy production because our Government is full of career politicians who:
    1. haven’t studied Maths, Physics and Chemistry beyond the most rudimentary comprehensive school curriculum;
    2. are weak minded but arrogant renderering them easy prey to lobbiests, promises of glory, or money;
    3. have no ‘own knowledge’ to apply to advice given by lobbiests;
    4. have a career dependent on a vote by a populous which is predominantly in the pay of the state. (Pensions, Social Security, housing benefit, tax credits, HMRC, Unemployment benefit, Sick benefit, Politicians, Civil service, Local authorities, NHS, Fire brigades, Police, Prison officers and inmates, Quangos, Charities directly funded by the state, etc etc Billions worth!!!).

    As a result of the above Politicians have largely accepted the AGW nonsense because it allows them to rely on the opinion of so called experts then tax wealth through energy use and spend it on voters thus keeping them in power!

    Poor old CO2 has become a bete noir. Unjustifiably. Many regard it as a pollutant but it is essential to plant growth and to fill the small gaps between nitrogen, oxygen and argon etc.

    But the Government/DECC does not understand how ridiculously unsustainable its plans(?) are.

    As you say, full of wishfull thinking:
    A. That windmills will generate enough energy to allow decommissioning of gas fired power stations.
    B. That windmills will provide even one tenth of the electricity required by the grid.
    C. That Electricity will be the universal energy transfer method.
    D. That Nuclear power sources will be ready when coal fired power stations are planned to be shut.
    E. That electric powered vehicles will match present buses, trucks ships etc.

    Because Government/DECC doesn’t understand basics like transmission line losses, power to weight ratios, electrical storage limits it indulges in unfounded assumptions that technology will find an answer. It might, but not in the short term.

    Yet, we have plenty of coal, shale gas and (dwindling) oil which are ‘sinful’ energy sources, yet could, if used wisely, avoid all of this subsidy nonsense and having to buy gas from Russia or Libya.

    Its strange that our need to be warm has left us with rather undesirable trading partners.

    Instead of subsidies we could consciously use our fossil fuels to buy time without the need for subsidies or costly incentives. Unfortunately such a decision would cause howls of anguish from all the CO2 haters. Politicians will not even try to challenge them because they do not understand the science and fear what voters might make of it. ( I think many voters would support continued use of coal fired stations to give the country some time to develop newer sources)

    I do not pretend to have an answer to the nation’s energy problems but as an individual I will use my log burning stoves, try to afford PV and solar hot water, not trade in my old car and continue to work from home.

    All of which will make me less reliant on the global money/energy scam that is in reality behind “dangerous man made climate change”. I will hopefully also reduce my subsidy of such nonsense.

  2. I still cannot understand why nuclear power is considered “green”. From the environmental viewpoint it seems to me to be much the worst option. It is the only energy source that has the potential to kill millions of people and devastate huge areas in an instant. We have had accidents before and will have them again. Moreover there is still no absolutely safe way of storing the waste. There was a time about 20 years ago) when those in power momentarily seemed to appreciate this, but for some reason I do not understand nucear power is now strongly back in fashion.

    • Who said nuclear was “green”? Is it important that its not “green” What is “green”?

      Windmills are a visual blight but presumably thats OK? Manufacture of PV panels require chinese children to be exposed to arsenic and other dangerous chemicals but presumably thats ok too.

      The point is its nuclear pollution “can” be managed to be harmless. It is inherently dangerous but what in life is completely safe?

      Nuclear power stations can supply all our present home and industrial needs for electricity………. wind and solar cannot.

      Therefore we have a choice, give up our industrial and technological base, seriously depopulate the country back to pre 2nd world war numbers, become predominantly farmers or…..Nuclear.

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