Another Blow for Energy Policy

George Osborne has attempted to do something which is both very sensible and very foolish. He is trying to reduce subsidies for wind energy (see the Guardian).

It is sensible because wind energy is a complete dead end. It will never produce reliable energy at any price and it is currently only viable because of absurd hand-outs. The industry says this will kill wind turbines dead, and a good thing too.

Unfortunately, the other effect will be to make all future energy plans very difficult to implement. New nuclear plants, for instance, rely on guaranteed returns. If the government attempts to reduce subsidies for wind power, will anyone rely on promises relating to other forms of energy?

 

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Nuclear Power – Why Are Our Politicians So Dumb?

If Britain continues with its present policies to reduce carbon emissions, there is going to be a serious power shortage. That is why our politicians have (very slowly) concluded that we should have a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Unfortunately, the civil nuclear power programs in nearly all countries were not only intended to generrate power but to create plutonium for nuclear weapons. Even if one is deluded enough to believe that the UK should retain a nuclear deterrent, the country is swimming in plutonium. We don't need any more!

So why is it that Britain is planning to stick with uranium-fuelled reactors when there is far safer and cheaper technology available using thorium? As the Adrew Evans pritchard in the Telegraph points out (here), the Chinese are smart enough to go for this option. Unfortunately, our own politicians (and moribund civil servants) are just too dumb.

 

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Wind Turbines and the Eurozone

What is the connection between the Eurozone and wind turbines? On the face of it, nothing. However, the problems with both are glaringly obvious and debate about both has been ruthlessly suppressed by interested parties. 

Although many people have tried to warn of the inherent dangers of a currency union without closely integrated (and regulated) fiscal policies, European politicians have long dismissed these concerns. Anyone who criticised the Eurozone (or any other EU policy) was derided as a Eurosceptic. Even now, anyone who suggests that the Euro will not survive is criticised for failing to be constructive. So be it. I'm sorry to say that I don't think the Eurozone will survive. I say 'sorry', not because I think it is an admirable institution but because I fear that its collapse will cause everyone in the EU, including us, a great deal of economic trouble.

Wind turbines are an even more worrying example of bullying. First, there are the claims about climate change. I am willing to admit that this is not my area of expertise. However, so many of those who pontificate about it are at least equally ignorant. The BBC has long taken a very strong line in saying that man-made climate change is a fact. It is almost impossible to express a contrary opinion. The BBC commissioned a review of its climate change coverage from Professor Steve Jones. He is a highly-regarded expert on genetics. Does this qualify him to talk about climate change? I think not. 'He's got an ology. He's a scientist!' in the words of an old BT advertisement. Jones is, indeed, a scientist but would you trust just any scientist to formulate a new drug or design a nuclear power station? 

I am not saying that man-made carbon emissions are not causing global warming. However, much of the supposed proof is dubious, not least the graphs which are supposed to prove it until you look at them and notice that the temperature rises first and carbon dioxide concentrations follow. Anyone who challenges the party line is not just a sceptic, he is a denyer - a particularly unpleasant slur, with its absurd and extremely distateful implication that denying climate change is on a par with denying the holocaust.

We should certainly try to reduce our carbon emissions but does anyone without a vested interest really thing that covering the land and sea with wind turbines (and in the case of the land electricity pylons as well) is a sensible way to do it? Wind power is intermittent, unpredictable and startlingly inefficient. I happen to know that a very large engineering company commissioned an analysis some years ago and concluded that it was completely unviable.

Unfortunately, there is no discussion about this at national or international level. The real victim here is freedom of expression.

 

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