Christopher Booker today ridicules the Government’s 2050 pathway calculator – an interactive device published by the Climate Change Department. The calculator allows its users to pretend to oversee Britain’s future energy policy. Booker repeats Tim Worstall’s argument that the calculator is biased cost-wise in favour of renewable energy and against fossil fuels, not to mention nuclear power, and adds that it takes no account of shale gas development. The lesson Booker draws is that the calculator’s flawed. The lesson I draw is that according to the Government’s own calculations it needs more nuclear as fast as possible. Not so long ago, Huhne and the Liberal Democrats were unmistakably anti-nuclear. And David Cameron’s own position was that nuclear power was a “last resort”. However, our own party shifted its position as the last election approached and Huhne has done so since.
Conservative Home 8th Jan 2012 more >>
If a ministry were to publish a completely dotty and misleading 220-page report on an issue of the highest national importance, one might at least raise an eyebrow. If it appeared under the names of David Cameron and Nick Clegg, one might even be rather worried. But if one then saw that it was also signed by Chris Huhne, as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, one could become seriously alarmed. At the beginning of last month, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published two documents purporting to solve the riddle of how Britain will meet its obligation, under the Climate Change Act, to cut CO2 emissions by 80 per cent before 2050 (the UK being the only country in the world committed by law to do this). One document was a lengthy report entitled Carbon Plan: Delivering Our Low-Carbon Future. The other was an interactive computer model on the DECC website called 2050 Pathway Calculator, produced under the aegis of the DECCs chief scientific adviser, David Mackay (and with a puff from Friends of the Earth). Worstall was startled to discover that relying on renewables to generate our electricity would, according to DECC, be significantly cheaper than relying on conventional power sources, such as nuclear and fossil fuels. As everyone knows, renewable sources such as wind farms are far more expensive than conventional ones, hence their need for massive subsidies. But the model had been designed on the assumption that, with wind power, Britain would require much less energy, because we would have become more energy efficient, by insulating our homes and so forth.
Telegraph 7th Jan 2012 more >>
Hinkley Point B’s second nuclear reactor is back to full power after a planned period of maintenance. Reactor 4, which had been shutdown since 14th October for its three-yearly inspection and maintenance check-up, was synchronised to the National Grid.
Burnham-on-sea.com 7th Jan 2012 more >>
As an example, according to an email seen by Engensa from the energy regulator Ofgem, officials have calculated that the cost of the Feed-in Tariff to household energy bills is less than £1 per year. This agrees with Engensas own research found here. In contrast, the UK tax payer pays hundreds of times more than this towards the cost of decommissioning nuclear power stations and looking after the nuclear waste they generate. According to the Governments own figures, £6.93bn of taxpayers money was given to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2010-2011, which equates to £260 per household.
Engensa 29th Nov 2012 more >>
As the world marks the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Unions demise at the end of 1991, the U.S.-Russian effort to lock up nuclear weapons and avoid a doomsday scenario has been revealed. Soviet nukes falling into the hands of rogue states or terrorists has, as far as is known, remained fiction, despite occasional doubts about whether the system was airtight. The vast nuclear arsenal, scattered among several newly independent nations, was secured because Russian military officers acted with professionalism and honesty, Moscow and Washington shared clear priorities, and the U.S. taxpayer coughed up billions of dollars, former top officials who dealt with the Soviet nuclear legacy say.
Daily Mail 8th Jan 2012 more >>
Letter: “The very existence of nuclear weapons, whoever has them – is always going to be a cause for concern” This is an extreme understatement. Everyone and everything is on the razor’s edge of global destruction. For this reason, the “father” of the Soviet H-bomb, Andrei Sakharov, wrote: “Preventing nuclear war has absolute priority over all other problems of our time.”
Herald 9th Jan 2012 more >>
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is suffering a severe and deteriorating crisis of confidence among its staff because of cutbacks and bad management, according to an internal survey leaked to the Sunday Herald. Most MoD civil servants no longer believe their managers can steer them through difficult times, feel more negative about almost every aspect of working for the MoD than they did a year ago, and their morale is much worse than the rest of the civil service.
Sunday Herald 8th Jan 2012 more >>
Iran has begun uranium enrichment at a new underground site built to withstand possible air strikes, in another show of defiance against western pressure to rein in Tehrans nuclear programme.
Scotsman 9th Jan 2011 more >>
Guardian 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Daily Mail 8th Jan 2012 more >>
FT 8th Jan 2012 more >>
A study in the Netherlands found that turning back-up gas power stations on and off to cover spells when there is little wind actually produces more carbon than a steady supply of energy from an efficient modern gas station. The research is cited in a new report by the Civitas think tank which warns that Britain is in danger of producing more carbon dioxide (CO2) than necessary if the grid relies too much on wind.
Telegraph 9th Jan 2012 more >>
Civitas wind power report relies on the work of cranks. RenewableUK, the trade association for the wind, wave & tidal industry, has criticised a report published by the thinktank Civitas for failing to understand how wind power works as part of the UKs electricity generation system. The study, by Ruth Lea, Director of Civitass Manufacturing Renewal Project, claims that both onshore and offshore wind power are the most expensive forms of electricity generation. This is based on research by Colin Gibson, a former Director of National Grid (1993-1997), who recently spoke at an anti-wind conference in Scotland. Mr Gibsons research was based on a range of assumptions, particularly the need to build a new fleet of rapid-response gas power stations (known as open-cycle gas turbines, or OCGT) to back up wind generation on a MW-for-MW basis. These assumptions significantly inflate the cost of energy from wind.
Renewable UK Press Release 9th Jan 2012 more >>