Update on Energy

Readers of these pages will know that for years I have been arguing that the United Kingdom’s energy policy is little more than a collection of words and ideas, rather than a real policy. It has tended to revolve around the generation of electricity, rather than understanding that heat is at least as important as electricity. We tend to worry that the lights will go out, rather than the fire going out. Today there are rumours that energy policy is going to be put on a more rational basis, but I am not too excited about the rumours. Continue reading

We will face a bad encounter with the two degrees of climate change

In 2007 despite all the talking, targets and emission trading schemes, the emissions of industrialised countries rose by 1%. This may not sound much but those emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, will be around for a very long time. The fact that 2008 might see is small drop in emissions does not bring us any hope. It is simply that we have turned the tap down a very small amount, but the atmosphere continues to fill with long lasting greenhouse gases. Continue reading

Dr Steve Chu and Ed Miliband; compare and contrast

It is interesting to compare and contrast (as my teachers used to ask me to do in my homework) the United Kingdom’s various energy ministers appointed by the Labour Government with President Obama’s appointment of an Energy Secretary.

Mr Obama has appointed Dr Steven Chu to run energy. Dr Chu has been a scientist all his life and was born into a family dedicated to scientific research. He clearly has won the admiration and respect of his peers by being award the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997. He has used his fame and prestige to educate people about the importance of renewable energy, without wanting to make a dime out of his beliefs. His appointment was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Continue reading

Dangerous board game found at climate protest

A dangerous board game has been found close to a climate change protest site.The coal fired power that e.on wish to build at Kingsnorth in Kent should not be built. I have already written about this project. It is clear that no new coal fired power stations should be constructed until the operators can prove that they can capture the carbon and sequestrate it. Building the plant now, without having the capture and sequestration technology in place is wrong. There is still enough natural gas available to power Kingsnorth and that should be used because its carbon emissions are less than 50% of those of coal, whatever e.on may claim about their own project. Continue reading