Britain’s Green chickens are coming home to roost, as will ours, soon

Christopher Booker in last Saturday’s Telegraph: “It’s payback time…”

As the snow of the coldest March since 1963 continues to fall, we learn that we have barely 48 hours’ worth of stored gas left to keep us warm, and that the head of our second-largest electricity company, SSE, has warned that our generating capacity has fallen so low that we can expect power cuts to begin at any time. It seems the perfect storm is upon us.

The grotesque mishandling of Britain’s energy policy by the politicians of all parties, as they chase their childish chimeras of CO2-induced global warming and windmills, has been arguably the greatest act of political irresponsibility in our history.

Three more events last week brought home again just what a mad bubble of make-believe these people are living in. Under the EU’s Large Combustion Plants Directive, we lost two more major coal-fired power stations, Didcot A and Cockenzie, capable of contributing no less than a tenth to our average electricity demands. We saw a French state-owned company, EDF, being given planning permission to spend £14?billion on two new nuclear reactors in Somerset, but which it says it will only build, for completion in 10 years’ time, if it is guaranteed a subsidy that will double the price of its electricity. Then, hidden in the small print of the Budget, were new figures for the fast-escalating tax the Government introduces next week on every ton of CO2 emitted by fossil-fuel-powered stations, which will soon be adding billions of pounds more to our electricity bills every year.

Be sure to read the rest. Not only is the government in London heavily subsidizing uneconomic wind farms and granting needless subsidies in tribute to get nuclear plants built, but they’re doing all they can to drive coal plants out of business, even though coal plants are necessary as backup for those times when the wind doesn’t blow. Hence the warnings about blackouts in the dead of winter. Britain is looking at a new Dark Ages, one wholly of its own doing.

And before we cluck our tongues at our cousins’ folly, this is just the future Obama and the environmentalist movement would lead us to:

Booker is right that Britain’s energy policy is insanity. But what can we say about a nation –us– that sits atop almost unimaginably immense energy resources, enough to restore the cheap energy needed for prosperity and make us nearly energy independent, and yet fights tooth and nail  against developing it in the name of battling a problem that does not exist?

Madness!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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2 Responses to Britain’s Green chickens are coming home to roost, as will ours, soon

  1. John H. says:

    I’m actually a big fan of renewable energy. Not as a total replacement for coal and fossil fueled electricity, but on the premise that when done properly, it’s sustainable, has great potential for growth, and is just plain efficient.

    With that being said, phasing out traditionally powered electric plants is a bit of putting the cart before the horse. I think a lot of Europeans have these grand fantasies of becoming a country like Iceland (something like 90-95% of power generated by renewables?) Of course, if we all had small populations and practically zero industry we could do the same. But we need to be realistic on how we can integrate renewables with our current set up rather than getting ahead of ourselves and realizes that we can sustain a decent standard of living when it gets cloudy and the wind stops.

    On a side note,have you been down the 10 freeway near Palm Springs lately? It’s a veritable forest of wind turbines. It turns out you CAN actually make the desert even uglier…

    • I’ve got no problem with renewables as long as a) their limits are recognized and b) they aren’t subsidized with taxpayer money by politicians seeking to aid their rent-seeking buddies. When California requires that a certain percentage of the energy purchases of power companies come from “renewable” sources, for example, they’re effectively providing a subsidy for a power source that can’t compete on the open market, and the cost of that subsidy is passed on to the taxpayer in the form of higher rates. (And sometimes the government subsidy “investment” isn’t enough, and the taxpayer money is flushed for nothing, as with Solyndra.)

      I also question the efficiency of most renewables. If efficient means generating enough power to make the cost worthwhile, then wind and solar are largely failures, as they need some form of government subsidy to survive. Ethanol has serious problems with the amount of input needed to produce a unit of energy, not to mention the farmland converted to ethanol production (again, government subsidized) which cuts into food production, leading to higher prices at the grocery store.

      I’m no great fan of fossil fuels and I’m in favor of an “all of the above” plan that includes renewables, but the only way to do it right is to let technological innovation and the free market work. Until the day comes when wind turbines actually meet their claimed output, and wind and solar advocates solve that pesky problem of what to do when the wind is still and the sun doesn’t shine, fossil fuels are our cheapest, most efficient source. And we’re sitting on a planetary mother lode of it.

      RE: the 10. Haven’t been that way in a long time, but I should go have a look. After all, my money is paying for it. :/

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