UK’s Wind Power Debacle Threatens to Leave Brits in the Dark

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Owen Paterson: want to end up freezing in the dark?
Then stick with wind power.

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Scrap the Climate Change Act to keep the lights on, says Owen Paterson
The Telegraph
Christopher Hope
11 October 2014

The Climate Change Act 2008, which ties Britain into stringent environmental measures, should be suspended – and then scrapped – if other countries refuse to agree legally binding targets, says Owen Paterson MP

Britain will struggle to “keep the lights on” unless the Government changes its green energy policies, the former environment secretary will warn this week.

Owen Paterson will say that the Government’s plan to slash carbon emissions and rely more heavily on wind farms and other renewable energy sources is fatally flawed.

He will argue that the 2008 Climate Change Act, which ties Britain into stringent targets to reduce the use of fossil fuels, should be suspended until other countries agree to take similar measures. If they refuse, the legislation should be scrapped altogether, he will say.

The speech will be Mr Paterson’s first significant intervention in the green energy debate since he was sacked as environment secretary during this summer’s Cabinet reshuffle.

In his address, he will set out an alternative strategy that would see British homes serviced by dozens of small nuclear power stations.

The Climate Change Act 2008, which ties Britain into stringent environmental measures, should be suspended – and then scrapped – if other countries refuse to agree legally binding targets, says Owen Paterson MP

He will also suggest that home owners should get used to temporary power cuts — cutting the electricity to appliances such as fridges for two hours at a time, for example — to conserve energy.

Mr Paterson will deliver the lecture at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank set up by Lord Lawson of Blaby, a climate-change sceptic and former chancellor in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet.

In the speech, entitled “Keeping the lights on”, he will say that Britain is the only country to have agreed to the legally binding target of cutting carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Campaigners fear that this will bring a big increase in the number of wind farms.

They say that to hit the target Britain must build 2,500 wind turbines every year for 36 years.

Mr Paterson will say that the scale of the investment required to meet the 2050 target “is so great that it could not be achieved”. He will warn that Britain will end up worse off than if it adopted less ambitious but achievable targets. Mr Paterson voted for the 2008 Climate Change Act in opposition and loyally supported it when he was in power.

However, since he left office he has considered the effect of the legislation and has decided that Britain has to change course.

He will argue this week that ministers should exercise a clause in the Act that allows them to suspend the law without another vote of MPs.

In his speech, on Wednesday night, Mr Paterson will state that, without changes in its current policy, large-scale power cuts will plunge homes across the country into darkness.

“Blind adhesion to the 2050 targets will not reduce emissions and will fail to keep the lights on,” he will say. “The current energy policy is a slave to flawed climate action.

“It will cost £1,100 billion, fail to meet the very emissions targets it is designed to meet, and will not provide the UK’s energy requirements.

“In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, but there can only be one ultimate consequence of this policy: the lights will go out at some time in the future.

“Not because of a temporary shortfall, but because of structural failures, from which we will find it extremely difficult and expensive to recover.”

He will say that the current “decarbonisation route” will end with the worst of all possible worlds.

The Government will have to build gas and coal power stations “in a screaming hurry”.

Britain’s energy needs are better met by investing in extracting shale gas through fracking and capturing the heat from nuclear reactors, Mr Paterson will argue.

He proposes a mix of energy generation based on smaller “modular” nuclear reactors and “rational” demand management. This would see dozens of small nuclear power stations, using reactors that are already fitted into submarines, being built around the country.

Home owners would also have to get used to timed power cuts using special switches that would cut electricity used by appliances.

“Let us hope we have an opportunity to put it into practice,” he will say. “We must be prepared to stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement and their subsidy-hungry allies.

“What I am proposing is that instead of investing huge sums in wind power, we should encourage investment in four possible common sense policies: shale gas, combined heat and power, small modular nuclear reactors and demand management.

“That would reduce emissions rapidly, without risking power cuts and would be affordable. What’s stopping this programme? Simply, the 2050 target is.”

Mr Paterson has spent the past few months visiting rural Tory seats — he visited six in the week after he was sacked by David Cameron in July.

He said he was appalled at the damage to the countryside from new pylons to take electricity from remote onshore wind farms.

This week’s speech will be Mr Paterson’s first intervention since he lost his job in the Cabinet reshuffle in the summer. He is to make another speech on Europe before Christmas as he seeks a more active role on the Right.

Mr Paterson has already set up a think tank called UK2020 to consider new policies on personal taxation, immigration and the economy.

However, his intervention was dismissed last night by Edward Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

Mr Davey said: “Ripping up the Climate Change Act would be one of the most stupid economic decisions imaginable.

“The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that climate change exists while most leading British businesses and City investment funds agree with the Coalition that taking out an ‘insurance policy’ now will protect the UK against astronomical future costs caused by a changing climate.

“The majority of European countries are ready to implement proposals that would see [them] adopt targets similar to our Climate Change Act in a deal the Prime Minister should seal later this month.

“With the USA, China and India also now taking the climate change threat seriously, the global marketplace for green technology is increasingly strong.”
The Telegraph

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Ed Davey measures the chance of his beloved
wind power plunging Britain into darkness.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. There should be no question about the imminence of catastrophic climate change. For lovely Cornwall and the west of Scotland and Ireland, it could be loss of the Gulf Stream Drift, in spite of the cause being oceanic global warming.
    But equally, it boggles my mind that the country that produced Turner’s picture of the Fighting Temeraire being Tugged to her Last Berth, to be Broken, and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, could possibly be boggled into thinking that wind could displace coal and fossil hydrocarbons.
    Before Thatcher, the British people owned nuclear power plants that at one point provided 30% of the electric energy. She sold them to private hands, and lost a substantial amount of institutional memory in the brains of engineers that were not part of the deal. I’m not surprised that the buyers found half of these reactors uneconomic. For one thing, the product had been sold cheaply, just as it still is in France. They’ve lost their minds, too. Even Japan knows better.

  2. You may be right STT about minister Davey’s gesticulation, but given the standard of logic he has advanced so far to justify his trashing of the UK electricity grid, the destruction of manufacturing industry and the crippling of the economy, I not so sure. In fact to me it seems far more likely that what Ed is trying to say is likely to be more along these lines.
    As for the gate keepers of climate science, homogenisation, and adjustment of weather data are just a couple of the many methods they employ to ensure that those uncooperative real world observations match their favourite orthodoxy (the hypothesis which cannot be disproved). As for the BOM being called to account don’t get your hopes up that the long awaited oversight panel will inject some transparency into the BOM’s black-box mysticism. We hear at last that:

    BOM are going to “rush” to set up an oversight panel that they were told to set up back in 2011 or 2012. Hey, it was going to take three years to set up the panel, but now they’re doing it in two! That’s what I call “action”.

    But never fear all is not lost to the intrepid climateers at the BOM after all:

    BOM will be vetting nominations: (Dated Sept 23rd) Public nominations are not being called for, however any nomination will be passed on the Director of the Bureau of Meteorology for consideration. Nominations must be received within the next fortnight and all nominations must be verified by the person concerned and include academic resume and relevant reviewed scientific publications to ascertain credentials.

    There was one in UK after the UEA climategate scandal, now we’re to have our very own whitewash here in Oz.

  3. Terry Conn says:

    The Weatherzone article referred to by STT has another interesting aspect. Professor Crimp and an entourage of other academics have been gobbling up tax payers’ money preparing a web page in very big writing and simple sentences to assist Australian farmers on how to deal with ‘climate change’, brought about by anthropogenic global warming. They are somewhat perplexed by this extended frost period in Victoria and NSW because the BOM’s figures on temperatures show a ‘warming trend’ they say. The problem is, we now know that the BOM’s warming trend has occurred because they have (in their parlance) ‘homogenised’ the records ie. they have ‘cooked the books’ (try doing that to your income figures and the tax office institutes criminal proceedings). Scientist, Jennifer Marohasy (who has blown the lid on the BOM’s distortion) has apparently informed the Minister for Environment (Mr. Hunt) but to date has received no response. At the very least all this proves that the catastrophists in respect to the impacts of increasing GHG emissions don’t have the faintest idea as to the ‘future’ reality. No wind for wind turbines would be the ultimate irony. One thing is certain, however, building windfarms remains the biggest scam this planet has ever witnessed as Mr. Paterson has finally acknowledged.

  4. Paul Daniel says:

    What if the “changing climate” is no wind?

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