Offshore Wind Farm Will Cost £2.5 Billion in Subsidies

A single offshore wind farm is set to cost £2.5 billion in subsidies over its 20 year life-span, shocking figures reveal. Newly constructed Rampion wind farm, off the Sussex coast, consists of 116 turbines. The project’s HQ was opened this week by hard-hat-toting Maria Caulfield MP. Guido wonders whether she is aware the project is a black hole for bill payer’s money…

According to analysis by the Global Warming Policy Forum, the project will qualify for about £126 million a year in public subsidies over two decades (under legacy arrangements made before the cancellation of the Renewables Obligation). Furthermore:

“The wholesale price of the electricity will only add about another £60 million a year, so roughly two thirds of the annual income of the project will be non-market public support.”

The return on the huge investments involved will mostly come from the public purse, not from selling electricity…

Moreover, an equivalent investment in gas-fired power plants could generate three times as much energy, subsidy-free. And they work all the time, on demand…

Greenpeace Still Making Fake Wind Claims

Eco-warriors at Greenpeace are still claiming wind energy prices have fallen by 50% despite promising the Advertising Standards Authority they would no longer do so. The pressure group was involved in a major green lobby ad campaign promoting wind power fronted by actors Peter Capaldi and Emma Thompson. Posters – including one which went up in Westminster tube station – claimed: “The price paid for electricity from offshore wind farms has fallen by 50% over the last five years.” Wrong – in most cases the prices paid for electricity from the UK’s offshore wind fleet have not fallen at all…

Following an upheld complaint, Greenpeace told the Advertising Standards Authority last month it would no longer make the claim. But a video featuring Emma Thompson holding a giant “50% off” sign next to an offshore wind farm is still being shown on the Greenpeace Facebook page. Thompson claims the non-existent price drop is: “it’s better than the Harrods sale”. The caption reads: “Wow – the cost of offshore wind has HALVED in the last two years!”

A spokesman for the Global Warming Policy Forum, which made the successful complaint, said:

“The ads are deliberately misleading MPs and the wider public into thinking that existing wind farms have been cutting their prices. In fact, the allegedly lower prices are only related to auction bids in so-called Contracts for Difference which apply to tentative future wind projects that will not start generating until 2021/2022 and may in fact never be built — or never generate at these low prices. As a recent study has shown, the capital costs of new offshore wind do not appear to be falling and may even be rising as they move into deeper waters.”

When will Greenpeace keep its promise to the regulator?

Hydroelectric Power: More Deadly than Nuclear and Gas

California’s Oroville dam crisis demonstrates the major risk of hydroelectric power generation: massive flooding after structural collapse. Using official data from the International Energy Agency and OECD, the New Scientist calculates a global death scale for various energy sources. The range shows immediate or subsequent deaths for every 10 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of power generated around the world:

Coal – 2.8 to 32.7 deaths per 10 billion KWh 

Hydroelectric – 1.0-1.6 deaths per 10 billion KWh

Natural gas – 0.3-1.6 deaths per 10 billion KWh

Nuclear – 0.2 to 1.2 deaths per 10 billion KWh 

Even after nuclear disasters like Chernobyl and gas explosions are accounted for, hydroelectric power has still caused more deaths per unit than either. Hydroelectric collapse also threatens the very environment renewable sources are intended to protect: deadly quantities of silt have been displaced in Oroville, leading the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to launch a daring operation to rescue millions of fish (the state has an $8 billion fishing industry). Turns out holding back millions of gallons of water behind walls near a major town and cities isn’t risk free…

£10,800 Green Levy on Every Household

Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband, Ed Davey and Philip Hammond all claimed levies on energy bills to fund renewables would eventually bring down costs for ordinary households. Eight years on from the passage of the Climate Change Act – the world’s toughest decarbonisation law – a damning report from the GWPF reveals the levies are having exactly the opposite effect: the switch to green sources will mean a £319 billion cost to the economy by 2030. That’s over three times the annual NHS England budget and will be passed onto consumers…

Peter Lilley’s Cost Of The Climate Change Act sets the figure in household terms:

“These costs place a cumulative £10,800 burden on each household, between 2014 and 2030. This is money that could be spent on families’ own priorities, and in more efficient sectors of the economy.”

The report also exposes the Act’s demanding emissions targets as unworkable. The law imposed cuts of 35% from the 1990 level by 2020, and 80% by 2050. But these are structurally impossible as total energy output will have to triple in order to meet them, and even then the power for millions of electric cars and green homes will have to come almost entirely from renewable sources. Conclusive evidence the Act was hot air…

EU Taxes and Regulations Killed British Steel Industry

save our steel

Dave is in Lanzarote, Sajid Javid is on an ill-timed jolly Down Under and Jeremy Corbyn wants parliament recalled to debate the dying British steel industry. While cheaper Chinese imports may have forced prices down, British steel prices have risen £30 per tonne since Christmas, with EU prices nearly £50 higher than Chinese in November. The EU’s 37 failed anti-dumping measures are just a sideshow to the real problem facing the industry: excessive EU green taxes and carbon caps.

By pledging to cut carbon emissions by “at least 40%” in 2030, Brussels has forced energy companies into a spate of investments and divestments, causing chaos within the industry and sending electricity prices into the stratosphere. In the fracking-friendly USA, electricity costs just 7 pence per kilowatt hour – down 2% from last year. In China the cost of coal power has fallen by 2 pence. In Britain the average price per kilowatt hour for electricity last year was 13.9 pence – over 50% higher. As Kate Hoey says:

“The EU’s regulations on energy production are killing our steel industry. It is impossible for the UK to compete with non-EU countries like the US, where electricity costs half the price, and Norway, where energy is 25 per cent of the UK price. They unlike us are free from dogmatic, ineffective rules on energy sources.”

Even if Osborne wants to intervene, his hands are tied in any bailout situation by strict EU government aid laws. The UK had to grovel to EU bureaucrats for permission to off-set the new higher energy costs for the steel industry. Labour voters and Remain-backing unions like the GMB should face facts – the EU won’t save their members and will stop the government from doing so…

What Austerity? £6 Million Subsidy For Electric Supercars

Morgan

With one hand, Whitehall is taking away subsidies from the renewable energy industry. With the other, they are doling out a new £75 million government and industry grant to the electric car market. This handout includes £6 million for specialist car manufacturer Morgan to develop a “hybrid and electric powertrain” for a new sports car. ‘Austerity’ means subsidies for supercars…

The investment isn’t only for flash motors. The funding will also go towards developing eco-friendly white vans. At least that will keep the Shadow Defence Secretary happy…

Renewable Subsidy Junkies Dead in Five Years

Renewables

The Indy have published some analysis on the fate of the UK’s renewable energy industry following the announcement of cuts to subsidy junkies. The research predicts that despite 2015 being a record year for renewable energy production, the industry is set to “fall off a cliff” as a result of withdrawn subsidies. This trend will continue until after 2020, when “the new renewables infrastructure will collapse to almost nothing because of a lack of investment”.

irena

So it’s not the best time for the International Renewable Energy Agency to publish a report boasting that a global 36% renewable energy share is in reach, and will provide half the reduction in emissions required to hit the Paris summit targets. This is the renewable industry’s problem summed up. It needs shed-loads of taxpayer cash to survive, and when the subsidies are taken away it goes to the wall…



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Quote of the Day

Dominic Raab wrote in his letter of resignation…

“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”

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