And if you have a cow you don’t need I have some magic beans…
Between 60% and 90% of the nation’s electricity could come from wind, solar, tidal and other sustainable sources, with the rest supplied via an international supergrid and gas power stations.
OK. Firstly, “Between 60% and 90%” is a hell of a margin of error. If it’s 90% then fair does but if it’s 60% then that is the dark ages. Secondly the international supergrid idea and gas stations. Neither are secure. If the French Prez decided to pull the plug then it’s back to the bloody stone-age. If the Russian Prez decided to close the pipeline then gas is not an option. Or we could buy it from Nigeria or Saudi Arabia both nations noted for their stability and adherence to Western values of fair play and not in the slightest corrupt. We could (and do) buy coal from Poland and Australia which are countries we are on excellent terms with and have loads of the stuff but coal is evil. Well, isn’t gas a bit evil too by the same CO2 token?
“This report is inspiring, but also entirely realistic. It shows that a clean, renewable energy future really is within our grasp,” said David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK. “Failure to commit to a high-renewables future would leave us facing the prospect of dangerous levels of climate change and high energy prices.”
Is he taking the Michael? No. I think he’s doing something worse. He is costing wind-power including subsidies. Like almost every Green economic comment I ever heard it is nonsense. It reminds me of some plane-sense wonk a few years back who claimed the government subsidised aviation fuel. What he actually meant was they didn’t tax it. Now why do you think they don’t tax it? Why indeed do they instead have air-passenger duty? Is it not because air-transportation is intrinsically international? You wouldn’t drive the motor to France for a tank of gas but your motor wasn’t built by Boeing and “fill her up!” doesn’t mean over two hundred thousand litres.
The report states backing renewables would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and new economic growth. “Investing in clean energy offers us a means to tackle the two most crucial market failures that now confront the world: the financial crisis and climate change,” said Nussbaum. “The only question that remains is, are we bold enough to take it?”
No, it wouldn’t. I have no idea why people believe this rot but they do. The greatest ever expansion in economic growth was the industrial revolution. This was not caused by folks “Up Norf” abandoning the Ravelling Nancy for hand tools. It was due to a reduction in jobs which of course enabled productivity to rise per worker. It is not rocket science though of course it led to it. Or put it another way we could have full employment if we ditched tractors, pesticides and the Haber process and had 90% of the populace living as subsistence farmers for a mess of potage. I mean do they have unemployment in North Korea?
The report was welcomed by a host of businesses, including one the UK’s “big six” energy suppliers, SSE. “It’s a useful addition to the debate,” said Keith MacLean, SSE’s policy and research director. “Sufficient certainty that renewables will be a long term part of the energy system, well beyond the current 2020 cliff edge, is needed in order to allow the industry to mature and put renewables on a path of cost reduction that will steadily reduce and eliminate the need for support.“.
And if you believe that I’ve just put the Brooklyn Bridge on eBay!
WWF’s Positive Energy report differs from previous analyses by including a continuation of renewable energy building after 2020, as well as big increases in energy efficiency. The energy scenarios at the core of the report were developed by GL Garrad Hassan, the world’s largest renewable energy consultancy and part of the GL Group, which also works in the oil and gas industries.
So GL absolutely don’t have a dog in this fight?
The electricity not generated from renewables in the report’s scenarios comes instead from gas power. In the most ambitious 90% scenarios, the carbon emissions from those gas plants do not need to be captured and stored underground in order to meet the UK’s climate change targets, but in the less ambitious 60% scenarios, about one-third of the gas plants would require carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to be fitted. There are no coal plants of any sort in the scenarios, or nuclear plants.
I was wrong! GL have two dogs in the fight.
The warning that a new “dash for gas” could lock in high carbon emissions is echoed in another report published on Tuesday, from MPs on the Commons select committee on energy and climate change. The MPs state the current proposals for electricity market reform put too much emphasis on building new gas plants to fill the gap left by the closure of about 19GW of nuclear, oil-fired and coal-fired plants by 2020, and not enough on decarbonising the power sector over the course of the 2020s in which gas without CCS will have “only a very limited role”. The climate and energy secretary, Chris Huhne, told the Guardian last month that the government “will not consent so much gas plant so as to endanger our carbon dioxide goals”.
I agree. A “gas dash” is an epically bad idea. It will happen. It will happen because the real argument contra nuclear is NIMBYS and the luddites already are saying the whole of Japan is a nuclear wasteland with mutants eating brains. Despite the fact that unlike Japan we’re very geologically stable. A further point is that CCS is just an idea. It’s not an extant technology. It is almost certainly do-able but the costs are a complete unknown. Also that is fairly clear that Chris Huhne clearly puts the war on CO2 way above keeping the lights on and that is scary. It used to be said every country is three meals from revolution. These days I think it’s fairer to say we’re two power-cuts from anarchy. If this nonsense brown-outs Birmingham for a weekend there will be hell to pay.
The MPs’ report also echoes WWF’s call for more action on energy efficiency. “The government could be doing a lot more to reduce unnecessary energy wastage,” said Tim Yeo MP, the Conservative chairman of the committee. “It needs to look at how it can use building regulations and energy efficiency standards for electrical appliances to cut waste and save cash on people’s energy bills.“
That is wishful thinking. Everything involves the use of energy. It’s basic thermodynamics. Do these people honestly believe that better insulated homes will not require more energy to build or that wind-farms are built by bunny rabbits?
The committee’s report additionally calls for much more gas storage capacity in the UK, to minimise the damage from supply interruptions or price spikes. The UK’s current storage capacity is just 14 days’ worth of gas, states the report, “a dangerously low level compared with France which has 87 days’ worth of gas storage, Germany 69 and Italy 59.”
Now why do the French have the best gas supply? They don’t have any. What they do have is a massive nuclear industry so almost all their electricity is nuclear so they’re not burning gas so they use less gas… D’oh!
In conclusion I have never read so much drivel in my life.