Fact Check: Debunking Claims That Britain Is 100% Wind Powered (Try Gas, Nuclear, Coal & Woodchips)

Burning woodchips – so much cleaner and greener than coal!!

 

It only takes a couple of windy days and the loons start heralding the end of coal-fired power. But, of course, when calm weather inevitably sets in, the same lunatics run silent until the next gale hits. A bit like the gambler who tells you all about his wins, but never about his losses.

Following that theme, a couple of windy days in the UK (coupled with low demand thanks to the coronavirus lockdown) had renewables zealots and rent seekers crowing far and wide, including Downunder – that wind was King and coal-fired power was as dead as the dodo.

The truth behind the hubris and hoo-ha turns out to be little more mundane.

Terry McCrann reports on what’s really powering Britain (and it ain’t the wind).

Twittering twerps’ hot air over coal’s demise
The Australian
Terry McCrann
19 June 2020

Our esteemed duo of twittering twerps — former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull — were deliciously and entirely unknowingly inanely beside themselves with joy this month: they had separately seen the future and it was a future without coal.

Rudd tweeted: “For anyone who thinks it cannot be done: the UK has not produced any electricity from coal for the last two months — the longest period since the Industrial Revolution. Let that sink in,” he concluded with all the deadening portentousness he could muster.

Interestingly, Rudd chose to link to an article in Turnbull’s favourite newspaper, The Guardian; while Turnbull in contrast linked to a written piece by the BBC’s chief environment correspondent, merely repeating the piece’s headline: “Could the coronavirus crisis finally finish off coal?”

The piece, in all its long, long desperately hopeful stupidity tried every which way to avoid arriving at an utterly undeniable simple, single word, answer, that should have rendered the 1000 or so words unwritten in the first place and so was not actually stated: “No”.

“Some industry observers are even saying that coal may never recover from the coronavirus pandemic,” it started hopefully.

But if you wound your way through all the bromidic generalisations about declining coal and booming so-called “renewables”, you arrived at this unpalatably stated reality: “Coal plays a big part in China’s latest five-year plan, with a potential 20 per cent increase in the size of the coal sector.”

Hmm. What was not stated — it never is by the chattering cretins of climate change — is that China is already easily the biggest CO2 emitter at 33 per cent of the global total; that increase would — will — swamp any reductions elsewhere.

And, that’s to say, nothing of China “also helping fund coal-fired power stations in many developing countries as part of the so-called Belt and Road Initiative”.

So did the BBC moron answer his own question with the unavoidable “no”? Well, no: he concluded instead that it left us in a “strange limbo”.

The Guardian piece had been content to merely recycle the — what should have been — obvious: when you shut down an economy, you reduce demand for electricity.

The BBC piece stated it explicitly without the slightest sense of understanding what it was really saying; the real, serious and indeed tragic harm it would permanently do to billions.

“Locking hundreds of millions of us down in our homes around the world has led to an unprecedented fall in energy demand, including for electricity”.

Yes, we can get rid of real power generation if we are happy to return to the 18th century or to go all North Korean-dark by closing down our economy permanently. It is not exactly rocket science: indeed it is antediluvian “science”.

Let me turn to the two pieces’ central point of agreement: Britain’s coal-free future. Or, as the BBC moron (it’s a shorter and more accurate word than correspondent) enthused: “When I spoke to the National Grid, they said they weren’t expecting a coal generator to be turned back on anytime soon.”

News flash: “anytime soon” lasted, cough, cough, less than a week. On Wednesday, they turned on the coal and they kept it on for a couple of days (so far). At its peak, coal was generating about 650MW — that’s a sizeable power station.

There was the obvious reason they had to go back to coal — when the wind don’t blow, the power don’t flow. For much of the week the UK has been lucky to get just 1-2 per cent of the electricity it needed from wind (and the grid gets a big fat zero from solar).

But ominously in addition, someone seems to have pulled the plug on the extension cords they have into the various European grids and in particular France’s, cough, cough, again, nuclear power stations. Often-times the UK gets as much as 15 per cent of its electricity from the cords, for much of the week it was getting the same amount as it was getting from wind: four-fifths of five-eighths of sweet copulating all.

Now the broader, utter, dishonesty in the two pieces was the projection that the coal generation of yesteryear had been replaced by wonderful so-called clean renewable energy generation. The Guardian wrote it explicitly: the shutdown collapse in energy demand had “enabled the country to increase its reliance on solar power and other renewable energy sources such as wind”.

Actually, just, well, false; or should I write: Fake News?

First off, when the UK wasn’t using coal and even when it was for those couple of days, it was generating close to 10 per cent of its electricity from the quaintly (as in thoroughly dishonestly) named “biomass”.

That is burning woodchips shipped from the US in a former coal-fired power station the size of a Liddell or a Hazelwood; and in the process generating far more CO2 than it would if it was still burning coal.

But the big lie — and especially when the “wind don’t blow” — is that the UK gets most of its electricity from the reliable sources of, first, gas generation and then, second, nuclear power.

Take one typical day: 86 per cent from gas (68 per cent) and nuclear (18 per cent). Followed by 9 per cent burning woodchips, another 2 per cent from the “cords”, just 1 per cent from hydro, a tiny contribution from coal, and all of, wait for it, 1.4 per cent from wind over the, to stress, entire 24-hour period.

If you want electricity you have to get it from one or more of these three sources, two of which are fossil fuels: coal, gas and nuclear power.

The UK is a working definition of national insanity in trying to force-feed wind, but at least it is hanging on to gas and nuclear as the main generators.

What we propose is insanity-on-steroids: closing coal but prohibiting nuclear and making gas near-impossible: perhaps though, a fitting future for a country that spawned those twittering twerps.
The Australian

About stopthesethings

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

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