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Government confirms renewables will be massively cheaper than Hinkley C nuclear power even including system integration costs

A Government report issued last month confirms that renewables would be at least one third cheaper than a Hinkley C type nuclear project, and that is even despite the fact that the report ignores the cheapest available storage technologies.

The report, issued by BEIS tries to take into account the extra system costs of absorbing renewable energy. In doing so the report completely ignores what many people think are going to be the cheapest way of integrating renewables, but, such is the cheapness of renewable energy sources such as offshore wind, solar pv and onshore wind, even then renewables comes out much cheaper than Hinkley C.

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Are popular electric car sales being deliberately held back to undermine EU emissions reduction policy?

by David Toke

Car manufacturers are stopping production of some of their cheapest and most popular electric vehicles (EVs) just in advance of EU assessments about how far the car manufacturers should reduce the emissions that their fleets produce. Is this a coincidence, or are car manufacturers once again cheating the public?

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EDF tries to hide its massive state subsidies behind a hydrogen smokescreen

 

by David Toke

EDF are trying to bamboozle ministers to back a scheme that would pay EDF massive subsidies and premium prices to produce hydrogen that renewable energy would generate for less than half the cost. EDF are scrabbling for PR tricks to obscure the fact that they are asking for a blank cheque from British electricity consumers to fund the proposed Sizewell C plant, on top of which EDF will also be paid a high guaranteed premium price for all of their electricity production. Sizewell C will get massive subsidies to generate hydrogen from electricity while renewable energy schemes will be paid no subsidies at all to do the same.

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Alarm! Politicians are being hoodwinked by the gas industry to back blue hydrogen for domestic heating

By David Toke

The natural gas industry has scored a success in persuading the Environmental Audit Committee to back its plans for using hydrogen to substitute for natural gas in domestic heating. But this spells disaster! Even if the hydrogen came from renewable energy this would still be a colossal waste of renewable energy resources. But the reality is much worse!

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Why I don’t believe BP is getting off oil and into renewables

BP’s decision to cut oil production by 40 per cent and shift to renewables big time by 2030 is likely to last about as long as oil prices stay fairly low, which might not be as long as people think. BP’s green programme announcement is obviously a good move to reverse the slide in its share prices. Indeed BP’s previous ‘green’ rebranding as ‘Beyond Petroleum‘ in 1998 produced good trading results and put it in a position to scrap a lot of its investments in renewables a few years later and continue to invest in new oilfields. The same is likely to happen again.

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How bankrupt US nuclear financing schemes are going to be used to fund nuclear power in the UK

As different types of corrupt pro-nuclear handouts in the USA unravel the British Government is expected to support bringing in a legalised version of bankrupt US nuclear financing practices to fund Sizewell C nuclear power plant.

The US nuclear power industry is in danger of implosion as corrupt practices used to maintain its old power plant and pay for new plant are the subject of prosecutions. In Ohio the Speaker of the House of Representatives has been arrested on account of charges that he was bribed to ensure that nuclear power and coal plant in Ohio were given bailouts whilst policies supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency were cut back.
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Breakthrough plant to enable long term storage of renewable energy using ammonia

A massive plant that will produce ammonia from renewable energy is scheduled to be operating in Saudi Arabia in 2025. This will enable renewable energy to be stored long term and thus dispenses with any need for so-called ‘baseload power’ from fossil fuels or nuclear power.

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Government announces funding for fantasy small modular reactor programme

The Government has just announced a £40 million research programme into so-called advanced modular reactor technology that is highly unlikely ever to see any practical use. That is because the so-called small modular reactors (SMRs) are much too expensive for civilian use.

In an important sense it is nonsense to talk about research to develop SMRs as a ‘new’ technology simply because they already exist. They power military submarines and also US aircraft carriers. Their design is simply a smaller version of the Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) design that dominates the world nuclear power industry. Indeed PWRs began as small projects housed in submarines which were then developed up in scale so that they could produce electricity more cheaply.

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Hope in Hell – an interview with Jonathon Porritt about his new book

David Toke writes: Jonathon Porritt is, in my opinion, the most influential British green political thinker. Here I’m interviewing him about his new book ‘Hope in Hell – A decade to confront the climate emergency’, published by Simon and Shuster.

See the interview above through youtube

 

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Is the ‘deep state’ undermining energy efficiency?

By David Toke

The UK Government could be poised to scrap commitments for a programme of energy efficiency and, alongside this, postpone programmes being proposed to boost energy efficiency of buildings. Instead the gas lobby will be given full rein. A range of Government departments and agencies trying to implement democratic comitments are being eclipsed in influence by a sinister ‘deep state’ that claims to really know popular will.

In a report in the Financial Times the Government, advised by Dominic Cummings, is said to be sidelining the £9.2 billion Conservative manifesto commitment for ‘energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals’ (page 55) because it is ‘boring’.

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Why the Committee on Climate Change should target 100% renewables before net zero

By David Toke

One striking fact quoted by the Committee on Climate Change in its newly published Progress Report is that: ‘while the public are generally supportive of action to tackle climate change,
and 75% of people are concerned about climate change, just 35% of people report having heard of ‘Net Zero’ as a concept, and only half of people are aware that their gas boiler causes emissions’ (page 188).

So, barely a third of people have heard of the net zero target. But people will much better understand the concept of achieving their energy requirements from 100 per cent renewable energy. This resonates with popular ideas of being self-sufficient in energy that does not run out. Of course we need to keep the net zero target, but the target of 100 per cent renewable energy should be the headline pathway to meet that target.

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Get on your bike or electric car to head off the next oil price spike

By David Toke

With world oil prices barely touching $40 a barrel and BP announcing major cutbacks in oil exploration you may be thinking this is an odd moment to talk about needing to head off an oil price spike. But the fact that oil companies are scrapping plans for oil exploration is itself a warning sign that as and when the world economy recovers there is not going to be enough production to meet demand.

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Is this the technology that makes 100 per cent energy from renewables the most practical solution?

Yulong Ding

By David Toke

Work is now underway on an energy storage scheme which could be the most significant energy breakthrough project in the last quarter of a century. It is the 50 MW liquid air storage plant in Manchester led by the company Highview. This (as yet small step) has a very good chance to pave the way for 100 per cent renewable energy systems in which sceptics who cite so-called intermittency from solar and wind as a barrier to providing total renewable energy supply are just blown away.

I talked to one of the inventors of renewable energy to liquid air storage systems – known technically as cryogenic freezing of air into a stored liquid –  Yulong Ding (whose picture is featured here), about the technology.

 

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Is China losing the fight to wean its economy off coal?

China has a fight on its hands to wean its economy off coal power

By Andrew Warren

The enormous expansion in China’s coal power capacity means more regional vested interests against decarbonisation, writes Andrew Warren

We in the UK have rightly been celebrating the remarkable shift in how we generate electricity – as well as in the decline in the amount we waste. Across thirty years we have moved from coal generating 80 per cent of our power to zero per cent for much of this year. Year on year, we have been consuming less and less energy.
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Is domestic solar nearly as cheap as big solar? Lessons from Australia and UK

Solar pv expert says domestic solar is nearly as cheap as large scale solar

 RACHEL LEE, who has worked extensively in the solar and also wind industry  discusses how the battery and solar industry is coming together in Australia and how this compares with the UK

South Australia (SA) does have some incentives in place for batteries – I doubt they would yet be economic without support.  However, SA is different to here (UK)- the PV capacity factor is 50% more than southern England/Northern Europe for a start!  SA in particular also had very high electricity prices for a while – that was blamed on a big shift to renewables (there is actually lots of wind resource in SA too), but, having worked for the market regulator in Australia for a while, I doubt that had much to do with economics – more likely to do with Victoria/NSW(New South Wales)/Queensland Government ownership of ancient inefficient coal plants.

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