Command & Control: Subsidised Wind Power Central to Britain’s Great Socialist Reset

As Margaret Thatcher put it: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

That adage, however, doesn’t appear to trouble Britain’s current PM, Boris Johnson, whose plan to squander a further £50,000,000,000 on subsidies and over-the-market contracts for intermittent offshore wind power beggars belief.

But that colossal crony-capitalist boondoggle, is a mere snip by comparison with the £3 trillion that he’s planning to squander on an effort to completely remove carbon dioxide gas from the British atmosphere – well, at least the kind generated by all human activity, that is.

Andrew Montford takes a look at the numbers in order to get a grip on the cost of Boris Johnson’s ‘net zero’ CO2 plan for Britain.

Honesty is needed on the huge costs of attempting “net-zero”
Conservative Home
Andrew Montford
5 December 2020

Politicians can be divided into those who like to spend big (and posture), and those who know what a dangerous course that is. The Prime Minister might well complain about being labelled one of the big spenders; it is, after all, hardly his fault that his time in office has coincided with a pandemic. He would surely argue that the bill for keeping the country on its feet – around £350 billion – was a case of spending through necessity.

However, the bill that will result from Boris Johnson’s plans for another a major cut in greenhouse gas emissions cannot be waved away so easily. Quite what it will cost is unclear, but we can get some sense of the scale of what is planned from recent work on the costs of total decarbonisation of the economy. When the Government announced its net-zero plan 18 months ago, it was on the back of a recommendation from the Committee on Climate Change, which said that the cost was modest, amounting to only £50 billion in 2050. Unfortunately, they later admitted that they hadn’t actually calculated the cost of getting us to net-zero at all. Some time next year, they be appearing before the Information Tribunal to explain their refusal to release the calculations they used to persuade the Government that decarbonisation could be done on the cheap.

The Treasury and BEIS have bandied around their own estimates of the bill, with figures of £1 or £1.5 trillion quoted in the press. However, like the CCC, they too have refused to reveal their calculations to scrutiny. Despite the lack of clarity, numbers of this magnitude seem to have gained a certain currency in Whitehall. A report from the National Audit Office, published this week, speaks of having to spend “hundreds of billions”.

Apart from the secrecy over a matter of vital public concern, even a brief consideration of what needs to be done shows that all of the Whitehall estimates are so absurdly low as to smack of an almost complete lack of numeracy, or worse, a complete lack of honesty, among senior civil servants. It is simply impossible that decarbonisation can be achieved for a few hundred billion, or even a trillion pounds. Take domestic heating, for example. The cheapest way to achieve decarbonisation will be through use of air-source heat pumps, which will cost over £10,000 each to install. Putting them into 35 million homes by 2050 will therefore cost at least £350 billion – another pandemic’s worth of spending. Upgrading the electricity distribution network to deliver the extra demand will cost another £200 billion, more than the annual cost of the NHS.

So if we are spending £550 billion installing heat pumps alone, it’s fairly obvious that decarbonising the whole economy is going to come with a bill that is at least order of magnitude higher. And as if to confirm this idea, earlier this week, National Grid published the first serious official attempt to cost the project, putting the figure at around £3 trillion.

It is noteworthy that the underlying calculations for this estimate also remain unpublished, but £3 trillion may be the correct order of magnitude. However, the figure is obviously wildly understated, because of some absurd input assumptions, such as the cost of building offshore windfarms – the core of a decarbonised power system. The Grid assumes that these will set us back just half what they actually cost according to published financial accounts. Looking forward, they say the cost will fall still further, while windfarm developers are reporting that there are no cost reductions on the horizon.

It seems clear then, that net-zero is going to be much more expensive than the Grid says. My own work at GWPF suggests that we are going to be spending £3 trillion on electrification of heating and private cars alone between now and 2050. We will probably spend nearly the same amount again on decarbonising electricity generation, and then there is industry and agriculture and freight and air transport and trains and shipping to come.

It’s hard to comprehend numbers of such magnitude, but £3 trillion amounts to £100,000 per household, and we could easily end up spending double that amount. So you can get a sense of the pain that is coming. And remember, this is only the capital cost. Householders will also have to swallow a doubling of the cost of motoring and a tripling of domestic fuel bills. The price of everything will soar.

What is worse, there can be little doubt that spending on this scale cannot be achieved in a free society. Net-zero is, in effect, a programme for the conversion of the UK to a command economy, with all that entails for civil liberties and hard-won freedoms.

Johnson might protest that the tab for the pandemic was simply unavoidable, but when it comes to assigning the blame for runaway net-zero spending and the economic ruin and loss of liberty that his environmental policies will bring about, there will be nobody else to blame. Poverty will be our lot, Johnson will be the man who will be cursed for being its progenitor, and the Conservative Party will be swept aside for being responsible for the social and economic carnage.

Still, as we look back, we will at least be able to console ourselves that Johnson was the last of the big spenders, because there will simply be no more money to spend.
Conservative Home

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. You can have gas-powered heatpumps. Absorption gas heatpumps, absorption gas heatpumps and engine gas heatpumps are available. More efficient than gas boilers.

  2. Colin Megson says:

    Wind and solar plants (WASPs) built on a yearly basis now will have to be decommissioned and new WASPs built by 2050. The yearly bill goes on FOREVER.

    I make it £18.47 billion per year to meet one declared scenario put to Boris by the National Grid and that still includes the necessary fossil-fuelled backup plant. To decarbonise the electricity sector completely would require WASP capacity at least doubling to manufacture green hydrogen in order to fuel and decarbonise the backup plant.

    Starting 2030, advanced nuclear power plants (NPPs) could decarbonise the electricity sector for the equivalent of £4.06 billion per year – at least 1/4 to over 1/8th of the cost of WASPs.

    And there’s only one place that money comes from – out of the pockets of every income earner. Paying more for essentials – powering the washing machine and running the fridge – degrades our lifestyle choices of goods and services.

    The green-jobs that contribute to racking up the cost of WASPs kill jobs in many other sectors, ramp up each and every electricity bill, affect the poor and underprivileged disproportionately and kill people:

    “…The winter of 2017/18 saw the highest recorded number of Excess Winter Deaths since 1975–1976, with 50,100 excess deaths in England & Wales (provisional). Of these, 15,030 (30%) were attributable to cold homes…”

    Search for: billion-every-year-forever

  3. I’ve recently renovated my small flat. Before I started I had a figure in mind for how much it would cost and how long it would take. So how long did it take and how much did it cost, more than double.

    A tradesman friend of mine says re time and cost of any project a good rule of thumb is to double it and add some.

    So the 3 trillion becomes about 7 trillion and 2050 become around 2090 or so. And as you say that’s only for heating and private cars.

    • Congratulations on discovering what has been known for years by engineers as “Cheop’s Law”. They is EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER AND COSTS MORE! Enjoy your flat once it’s finally finished!

    • LeedsChris says:

      So true. Every major home renovation project I have done over the years always ended up double my original estimates – even using my carefully constructed spreadsheets!

  4. Died in USSR says:

    Boris doesn’t have any issues with “socialism” as in Thatcher’s terms, because she told about taking money from “high-earners” and giving to low-incomers. Boris takes money from middle- and lower-earners since high-incomers usually don’t pay taxes anymore.

  5. Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    As COVID drains the national exchequer, plans to hose a few trillion pounds at the phantom problem of a few carbon dioxide molecules go almost unnoticed.

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