The EU Are Never Happy

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Despite claiming to be greener than green and seeking to close down all the coal-fired power stations in Europe, the EU are still not happy.

The UK plans to support the conversion of the Lynemouth coal power plant to operate entirely on biomass – something you would imagine the EU would welcome, but no.  Now they are planning an in-depth investigation to see if the UK government support for the project breaks state-aid regulation.

the Commission therefore has concerns that the actual rate of return could be higher than the parties estimate and could lead to overcompensation.

And more…

The Commission is therefore also concerned that on balance the measure’s negative effects on competition could outweigh its positive effect on achieving EU 2020 targets for renewable energy.


The CCS White Elephant

Jubail Power

One of the many ‘novel’ solutions to the mythical CO2 problems has been CCS or Carbon Capture and Storage.

A process that involves extracting CO2 from the exhaust of power plants, processing it, compressing it and then sending it by pipeline to somewhere useful – like injection into oil wells to aid recovery of more oil.

But, as this article points out, there are many problems with this approach (my emphasis);

Refurbishing the 45-year old Unit #3 to extend its life for another 30 years and retrofitting it with equipment to capture carbon dioxide emissions has cost almost C$1.3 billion, according to the company’s accounts, about three times as much as a similar-sized plant without CCS.

Despite receiving C$240m from Canadian tax payers, the costs are still massive.  And the new plant is considerably less efficient than ones without CCS.

Published estimates for the size of this “energy penalty” at a typical power plant vary. Researchers at Britain’s Imperial College put it at around 20 percent (“Carbon capture technology: future fossil fuel use and mitigating climate change” Nov 2010).

But scientists at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggested the penalty could range anywhere from a theoretical lower bound of 11 percent to as much as 40 percent, with 29 percent as a good target (“The energy penalty of post-combustion CO2 capture and storage” Jan 2009).

Pay more get less – genius.

Another Consequence of Climate Change Alarmism


We are all well aware of the results of global warming alarmism – we see it every day with the wind farms that blight our countryside, we pay for it every day in our energy bills, we are guilt-tripped by it every day with pressure to save energy/ go green/ save the polar bears/ drive electric cars etc.

But that’s only half the story.

As the Developing World tries to catch up with the West, they too are being stymied by the same guilt-tripping of the UN and IPCC and government agencies in a policy of gross hypocrisy.

While it’s OK for the West to have built a way of life off the back of fossil fuels (often from countries in regions like Africa), those same African nations and others around the World are being told to toe the climate change line and commit to using expensive renewables in preference to the oil and gas that many of these same countries have in abundance.

The perversity of this argument goes further.

In getting commitment from developing nations not to increase their CO2 output, the UN has committed to give billions to these nations with a promise of;

$100 billion a year by 2020

As a G7 nation you can bet that the UK will be expected to put their hands in their pocket and stump up a good portion of this money.

So not only are we being stung by green taxes in the UK to subsidise renewables like wind farms, but our government will also be spending billions more of our tax revenue to contribute to this UN Green Climate Fund, who will in turn hand over the cash to the governments of developing nations.

You may have already spotted the potential flaw in this plan, as this recent story somewhat euphemistically comments;

But Africa’s capacity to use the funds once they have become available remains one of the central issues, with many fearing countries lack the necessary frameworks to make sure the money is used for its intended purpose.



EU Green Plans Hang In The Balance


Here are another two reports that caught my eye.  In EU Observer, a report that;

With only three weeks to go before the European Council is to make a final decision on new climate goals for 2030, six Central and Eastern European countries have declared their opposition to the proposed targets.

The governments of the six countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania) have woken up to the fact that meeting these arbitrary climate goals is hugely expensive and will put their countries at a competitive disadvantage versus other countries around the World.  If only our government was so enlightened!

Meanwhile, across ‘the pond’, the US are also waking up to monster that is the renewables lobby.  How familiar does this sound?

A decade ago, states offered wind-energy developers an open-armed embrace, envisioning a bright future for an industry that would offer cheap electricity, new jobs and steady income for large landowners, especially in rural areas with few other economic prospects.

To ensure the opportunity didn’t slip away, lawmakers promised little or no regulation and generous tax breaks.

But now that wind turbines stand tall across many parts of the nation’s windy heartland, some leaders in Oklahoma and other states fear their efforts succeeded too well, attracting an industry that gobbles up huge subsidies, draws frequent complaints and uses its powerful lobby to resist any reforms.

The full article is here and continues;

Opposition is also mounting about the loss of scenic views, the noise from spinning blades, the flashing lights that dot the horizon at night and a lack of public notice about where the turbines will be erected.

Oklahoma went from three farms with 113 turbines a decade ago to more than 30 projects and 1,700 active turbines today.

With the rapid expansion came political clout. The industry now has nearly a dozen registered lobbyists working to stop new regulations and preserve generous subsidies that are expected to top $40 million this year.

It ends with a quote from Texas Controller Susan Combs who says “It’s time for wind to stand on its own two feet”.

Hear hear!

Solar Plants Scorch Birds in Mid-air

I read this somewhat disturbing report on Downstream Today last week.

IVANPAH DRY LAKE, Calif. (AP) — Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

Those that know me, know (and if you don’t but you continue to read this blog you will come to know) I am not a big fan of the green agenda that is skewing our energy system, driving up energy prices, blighting our land and seascapes with pointless windmills and all in the name of the specious theories of global warming . . . sorry Climate Change (we can’t say global warming now, as it’s been more than 17 years since the globed showed signs of warming).

This is yet another example.

The bird kills mark the latest instance in which the quest for clean energy sometimes has inadvertent environmental harm. Solar farms have been criticized for their impacts on desert tortoises, and wind farms have killed birds, including numerous raptors.

The impact of these solar farms and wind farms on the bird population is astonishing.  If this were a hydrocarbon-based industry causing such damage the World would be up in arms – but not here.

Sun rays sent up by the field of mirrors are bright enough to dazzle pilots flying in and out of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Federal wildlife officials said Ivanpah might act as a “mega-trap” for wildlife, with the bright light of the plant attracting insects, which in turn attract insect-eating birds that fly to their death in the intensely focused light rays.

Clearly, there needs to be some serious re-thinking of renewables such as this.