There is no Free Lunch

It has been suggested that hydro electricity and nuclear energy are better alternatives to burning fossil fuel, because these sources do not provide emissions. Those suggestions are wrong. Continue reading

Something Will Not Turn Up

It has taken the United Nations many years to reach the conclusion that I reached ten years ago: the people of the world must move away from fuels which when burnt emit large volumes of carbon dioxide. It seems odd to me that this simple and obvious statement has taken the UN many years to conclude, but obvious and universal truth can be hard to recognise, especially when the obvious conclusion of such truth requires people to change their behaviour. Continue reading

Subsidising Global Warming

We hear much about the large subsidies paid for renewable energy. In Many countries a feed in tariff system have been developed to subsidise the production of electricity from photovoltaic panels and large subsidies are paid to landowners and electricity generators who install wind turbines. Both PV and wind turbines do produce electricity but what they produce cannot be stored easily and the production is intermittent. Nevertheless governments, who regard energy as electricity, are happy to spend taxpayers’ money on these measures, rather than on measures, such as solar water heating, which can produce renewable heat at a cheap cost; unlike electricity heat can be stored.

Subsidies come in different guises. In essence any measure or favourable tax treatment which distorts the market or provides an un-level playing field is a subsidy. The Overseas Development Institute thinks that as a whole the governments of the world spend half a trillion dollars in subsidising…fossil fuel! Continue reading

Ignorance is Everywhere

Ignorance is everywhere but in some places it is more deeply spread than in others and on some topics, such as the environmental protection I can find myself in despair about the ignorance.  Fox News is a good example, although it is not unique. I have seen similar ignorance displayed on the BBC and by the Advertising Standards Authority. Some may be well educated but education does not make you smart.

The following is a good and recent example of what I mean. Continue reading

The Shrinkage of the Green Economy

Mr Stern now thinks that he understated the consequences of climate change when he wrote his report. He also thinks that the government should engage the private sector in developing economic growth without increasing emissions. I cannot disagree but is not that what the government has been pretending to do for the past four years? Continue reading

Wind Turbines and the foolishness of subsidising them

About ten miles north of Ramsgate, in the middle of the Thames Estuary some 175 offshore wind turbines have been installed and are now operating, as wind turbines operate, in their own misunderstood fashion. If it is windy, and not too windy, the turbines generate electricity. The publicity claims that the wind turbines will generate enough electricity for 470,000 homes but the publicity is imprecise. There are only 22.5 million homes in the United Kingdom and to power them all will need another 50 arrays of similar turbines but unfortunately it is not as simple as that. Continue reading

Time to Kick Start the Renewable Heat Incentive?

I do not have much time to write a considered essay today, Luckily I have a lot of work to do and tonight will listen to what Mr Greg Barker, the Minister responsible for the Renewable Heat incentive, has to say about it. There will be many people concerned in microgeneration that will listen with interest to what he says.  Continue reading

How to Save on Fuel Bills: Solar Water Heating

The Government of the United Kingdom has announced that it will enact legislation to force energy companies to offer no more than four tariffs and to advise their customers of the cheapest tariff. At a time when energy companies are making record profits from record margins the change is long overdue. Sometime son energy companies will no longer be able to confuse customers with a plethora of tariffs and they will be forced to abandon the so called legacy tariffs under which someone that has not to time or to skill to understand that the tariff they are paying is ridiculously high. Continue reading

The Rationale for Green Policies

It seems that many people are blaming green policies for high energy costs and all our present economic woes. Green policies seem to be a convenient scapegoat. However there are good reasons why green policies should be continued, but I write those words on the basis that not all policies that pretend to be “green” are in fact useful or helpful for environmental protection. Continue reading

Mindless Renewable Energy Targets

In the almost mindless race to meet the United Kingdom’s emission targets the government has decided to subsidise, at taxpayer’s expense, the generation of electricity in a way which will mean the creation of far more greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading