A Pathway to Sustainable Energy

“Will we look into the eyes of our children and confess that we had the opportunity, but lacked the courage? That we had the technology, but lacked the vision?” These words preface the report Energy [R]evolution 2012: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook published this month by Greenpeace, the European Renewable Energy Council and the Global Wind Energy Council.  It’s the fourth edition in a series which began in 2007. The publication is book length and over its pages describes a renewable energy scenario which sees CO2 emissions fall 85% from 1990 levels by 2050. I thought it well worth drawing attention to.

The authors can hardly be accused of utopian dreams. The technology exists to access stores of renewable energy far larger than the world’s energy requirements. The publication describes in careful and comprehensive detail an achievable programme of transition which would leave no need for the world’s fossil fuel resources to be pursued to the point of exhaustion or anywhere near it.  Carbon capture and storage is not part of the scenario, for reasons of cost and uncertainty; nor is nuclear energy, which, for reasons of cost, safety and inability to reduce emissions by a large enough amount, is marked for phase-out.

The reduction of demand through energy efficiency, the “sleeping giant” which offers the most cost-effective way to reform the energy sector, is a vital element in the transition. Over and over again surveys and analyses are making this clear, and the report is very much in line with an increasingly common theme in the literature.  High levels of projected energy demand diminish dramatically when energy efficiency is given high priority. The document shows the effect of best practice in various sectors of the economy.

The kind of material this and similar publications provide ought to be what government departments concerned with energy and economic development are constantly poring over as they seek sustainable growth.  In fact many of them seem more likely to be trapped in the fossil fuel mode, welcoming renewable energy only when it proves economically competitive with that provided by fossil fuels, pursuing efficiency only when the cries of protest are not loud. Sustainable energy remains only a tantalising prospect under such circumstances, no matter how feasible it is. It’s therefore no surprise that the report includes a demand (their word) for policy changes and decisive action from governments to make the energy revolution real and to avoid dangerous climate change. They list eight demands in all:

1. Phase out all subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

The report says US$600 billion per annum is spent in subsidies to fossil fuels.  Even so, it points out, renewables manage to be directly competitive with such heavily subsidized conventional generation in an increasing number of markets.

2. Internalise the external (social and environmental) costs of energy production through ‘cap and trade’ emissions trading.

Not only withdrawing subsidies but also factoring in the cost of climate change from greenhouse gas pollution would, the report goes so far as to maintain, remove the need for special provisions for renewable energy. In market terms it would level the playing field across the energy sector.

3. Mandate strict efficiency standards for all energy consuming appliances, buildings and vehicles.

4. Establish legally binding targets for renewable energy and combined heat and power generation.

5. Reform the electricity markets by guaranteeing priority access to the grid for renewable power generators.

6. Provide defined and stable returns for investors, for example by feed-in tariff programmes.

7. Implement better labelling and disclosure mechanisms to provide more environmental product information.

8. Increase research and development budgets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

It will no doubt be argued that some of the later demands in this list offer special protection to renewable energy. But if they do it is only because the threat of climate change is so dire as to justify the small interference in market operation that they represent. The push for renewable energy isn’t some kind of market manoeuvre. It’s a necessity for a liveable climate. Nevertheless a remarkable feature of the kind of scenario that the report produces is that its future costs are favourable by comparison with a fossil fuel based economy. The level of government support for renewable energy does not result in much more expensive electricity, for example. Here’s what the report has to say:

Under the Energy [R]evolution scenario the costs of electricity generation increase slightly compared to the Reference scenario (a scenario reflecting a continuation of current trends). This difference will be on average less than 0.6 $cent/kWh up to 2020. However, if fossil fuel prices go any higher than the model assumes, this gap will decrease. Electricity generation costs will become economically favourable under the Energy [R]evolution scenario by 2025 and by 2050, costs will be significantly lower: about 8 $cents/kWh – or 45% below those in the Reference version.

Employment prospects are also much improved by comparison with the Reference scenario.

There are 23.3 million energy sector jobs in the Energy [R]evolution in 2015, and 18.7 million in the Reference scenario. In 2020, there are 22.6 million jobs in the Energy [R]evolution scenario, and 17.8 million in the Reference scenario. In 2030, there are 18.3 million jobs in the Energy [R]evolution scenario and 15.7 million in the Reference scenario.

Even private car transport is treated gently under the Energy [R[evolution scenario:

Significant savings are made from a shift towards smaller cars triggered by economic incentives together with a significant shift in propulsion technology towards electrified power trains – together with reducing vehicle kilometres travelled per year.

The preface to the report speaks of courage and vision. Perhaps that is what the requirements look like to nervous politicians. But good sense would do equally well.

45 thoughts on “A Pathway to Sustainable Energy”

    1. Let’s face it, andy, you’re this blog’s equivalent of the guy in the pub.

      Loud, boorish, and all in an inverse ratio to being competent or well-versed in the issues you’re mouthing off about.

      Beaker just completely humiliated you. You have not got a friggin’ clue.

      Further, I predict your particular buffoon tribe holding less and less sway as the decade marches on. The empirical evidence for AGW is overwhelming your paltry defences; already it’s notable that it’s really only a handful of die-hard fanatics and prominent Dunning-Krugerites – such as yourself – roaming the Warmist blogs and keeping up the characteristic sneering.

      The rest are cowering in their confirmation bunkers, and many either already have or will slip quietly away over the next few years, and many will eventually, ironically, deny even Denial!

      No-one cares what you or the rest of the wreckers think. The Daily Mail may have some impact among the lumpen droogs of the UK, but by definition these pointless, irresponsible whiners who never feel obliged to get up to speed on anything are not people of any import as individuals. Like barnacles, all they can do is glom on to things in huge numbers and slow everything down…

      Certainly they – and you – are irrelevant on issues of energy creation and distribution. Ultimately the real, warming world has to belong to those who know what they’re talking about, and are capable of adapting.

      That’s not you.

      1. Sorry Bill, beaker did not humiliate me. He made a comment that is unsubstantiated and I was hoping he could shed some light (natural of course) on the topic.

        No-one cares what you or the rest of the wreckers think


        By the way, why did you mention AGW?. This is a thread about energy. I was directed to a thread where we could discuss wind. I thought I had found an appropriate thread.

        1. Sorry andyS, your output of anti wind concoctions as been so high lately that this one slipt through the net. I know you like to have a complete set of replies to ignore.
          If you read the comment of mine that you provide a link to, you will see that I do not say that the small wind turbines do not contribute to the NETA data that you loiter over waiting for your prized cherry pick moment. I pointed out that only the largest wind farms are on and the majority of wind farms are not. The turbines in these smaller wind farms are by no means smaller, in fact some of the largest turbines on our green and pleasant land are in small wind farms.
          You then go on with your usual exaggeration in claiming “…rest of the fleet is stationary…” when all you had in fact noted was an event when the contribution of some wind farms to demand was very low.
          As we have discussed many times before, as a wind farm is added to existing generation capacity rather than replacing the existence of a fossil fuel generator, your fascination with such events has no interest beyond the likes of Christopher Booker and his risible claims.
          Will any of these explanations dampen down your anti wind turbine cobblers Tourette’s? I doubt it … “Birdchoppers!”

    2. Beaker has not answered my question yet. See above

      Continue with your abuse and patronising comments, but I will persist until I get an answer

      Also, Thomas, I’d like an answer to my query to your claim that wind has generated more power than coal in NZ.

      This is clearly wrong, but I want to see your reasoning.

  1. Just to be clear here Bill. I am prepared to invest time and money in low-carbon technology that I think will work, such as Thorium, geothermal and hydro.

    I do not like wind because it is inefficient, low energy density and provides an insecure and uncertain energy that is non-dispatchable,

    I love the British countryside and I find it offensive that large swathes of it are being chopped up for wind farms that provide little or no energy, make a large amount of money for the landowners via ROC subsidies, and destroy one of the things I love most about the UK, being a keen outdoorsman who has done lots of climbing and ski touring etc there.

    I find it particularly grating when urban “liberals” whose idea of the countryside is watching a David Attenborough documentary refer to me as a “wrecker”

    So if you don’t care what I think Bill, and you don’t care about the countryside or the people who live there, I can find some appropriate words for you that cannot be written here.

    1. What about solar and tidal? Not to mention the possibility of improved energy storage technologies so that excess solar energy can be used when light is limiting. The solar potential is massive and not so obtrusive.

      I agree that setting up wind farms should be carefully thought out, and not at the expense of land space that is either useful for food production or plant and animal species, aka biodiversity, where such a conflict might exist. On the other hand planting massive turbines out to sea seems reasonable to me, with quite a big bang for the buck and scope for expansion.

      1. Tony, in your objections to onshore wind, I see that you fail to mention any of the negative aspects of wind turbines on humans.

        Do you not regard this of any importance?

        1. What negative aspects to humans? I honestly can’t think of any. They are on ridges in rural areas, are well away from habitation and IMHO are quite attractive to look at. As a fellow kite-boarder, I am rapt when I see the turbines spinning on the road trip to Raglan.
          I must admit that I am puzzled as to the connection between your hatred of windmills, your beliefs on AGW, and any links that you might have to the oil industry. It’s all very quixotic.

          1. What negative impact to humans?

            Noise pollution, sub audible causing nausea, headaches sleeplessnes, depression etc

            Reduction of property prices , now confirmed in the UK as councils reduce rates because properties rendered worthless because of turbine placement,

            Destruction of tourist industry. People don’t go to areas of formerly outstanding natural beauty destroyed by industrial turbines etc etc

            Do you wonder why I get exasperated by repeating this ad nauseam? These are well documented. Are you all blind, in denial or what?

            1. OK, nimbyism and property values. All of the above apply to transmission pylons and then some as there are less options on where to put them.

            2. andyS “These are well documented.”
              There are claims from some of your ‘wind turbine syndrome’ but well documented? Thats like saying alien abduction is well documented. The plural of anecdote is not evidence.
              “Reduction of property prices , now confirmed in the UK …” I presume that you mean a VOA tribunal that reduced to the best of my knowledge, the rateable value of 3 homes in over 4 years. A VOA tribunal is three people who look at your application. It is site specific, not case law and it is not evidence to put agaisnt the existing academic studies or the absence of any house price signal following the building of a wind farm. But you say now confirmed in the UK
              “…properties rendered worthless …” please point us all to the evidence for this.
              “Destruction of tourist industry.” again as it is well documented, please share.
              “People don’t go to areas of formerly outstanding natural beauty destroyed by industrial turbines etc etc” an AONB is a statutory landscape designation. Please provide me with the well documented incidence of any AONB designation being compromised by a wind turbine development in or near it.
              “Do you wonder why I get exasperated by repeating this ad nauseam?” No I don’t. You have been caught out here (and it appears at several other sites with a variety of pen names) spouting nonsence but don’t seem able to admit to yourself what a twit you are. Your apparent compulsion to carry on in this obvious denial must be exausting for you.

    2. andyS “I do not like wind because it is inefficient, low energy density and provides an insecure and uncertain energy that is non-dispatchable”
      Is geothermal dispatchable, no. Is nuclear dispatchable, no. Is hydro dispatchable, why yes it can be, and NZ has lots of Hydro that it can dispatch in response to the fluctuation in wind output, and more importantly the much greater, faster and more frequent fluctuations in demand.
      Inefficient – as a maths graduate, to continue trotting this out shows the depths of your desperation. But don’t mind me, please, elaborate!
      Low energy density. Why is it a problem that you can continue to run combine harvesters or livestock around and between wind turbines, or for that matter maintain biodiverse habitat between turbines. Does NZ have a land shortage that trumps carbon emissions. Given that the UK, Holland and Denmark don’t, I doubt it.
      Insecure and uncertain energy. You profess this as a concern, but it has not manifested any significant issues so far in UK, NZ or grids with a far greater penetration of intermittent renewables. Perhaps on the youtube vid the man from National Grid was downplaying his horror at adding wind power to the grid because the British Gas sponsor was holding a gun to his kids head – OR – this concern of yours is not shared by professionals in the industry who know what they are talking about.
      “…wind farms that provide little or no energy, make a large amount of money for the landowners via ROC subsidies…” but the ROC ‘subsidy’ is only paid against units of power dispatched to the grid, and is roughly equivalent to the average value to the turbine of that power generated. I find it hard to believe that you can have forgotten that much maths yet still log on to a computer, so am left to conclude that you sir, are a twit.

    3. Your desperation is showing.

      I work in the ‘countryside’, you silly man, though no doubt you’d also manage to object to my restoring the original vegetation that used to exist there prior to your noble ‘country folk’ of yore knocking it all down or rooting it all out. However, the country folk I work with now are more than happy to participate, having, as they do, the wit and imagination to realise that there’s somewhat more to the world than endless bloody sheep-paddocks! Doubtlessly this renders them ‘inauthentic’ in your eyes. Like all the thousands of farmers that are more than happy to install wind-turbines.

      From what you’ve presented to us thus far the landscapes you’ve been beating yourself into a frenzy over have consisted of said sheep paddocks, some hedge rows, and vast monoculture pine plantations! You’ll excuse me for not thinking much of any claims to pristine authenticity! Do you know anything about biology and landscape?

      Overall, your sentimental lather is about as convincing as your crocodile tears for the poor! You are merely a reactionary who hates wind power because it represents a world you can’t bear the thought of.

      Guess what? We’re winning!…

      And anybody who’d credit the likes of you and the Daily Mail ahead of, say, the guy who actually runs the grid is every bit as much of a reactionary fool as you are!

      PS: the anticipated huge expansion of the world’s largest uranium mine, here in South Australia, was officially nixed yesterday. This is a very, very big deal, and BHP simultaneously announced a huge loss, too. Now, why would that be? Nuclear is dead, perhaps? Your Thorium reactors are an unrealised dream, decades away from implementation, it would be sheer madness to rely on. Geothermal’s got potential, but it’s too freakin’ far away from where it’s needed. Hydro in, say, Australia? Don’t make me laugh. And in case you hadn’t noticed, rainfall’s getting a bit unreliable across huge chunks of the globe!

      Solar and wind are the renewables we have to hand that work, and work quickly. Along with conservation they’re by far the most important path out of this mess. And a wrecker is what you are, spreading hysterical disinformation merely to further your toxic, backward-looking, rigidly hierarchic political agenda. Shame on you.

      1. I am referring to the swathes of wind turbines that are cropping up all over Scotland and the North of England, many in areas of outstanding natural beauty.

        Not that you care Bill,.

        As for the comment from SimonP, I recently posted links to a Campbell Live piece from Makara where the locals have to go to the city to get some sleep

        Anyway, I have about 30 emails to read from anti wind campaigns in the Uk, fighting againist corporate and government fascism supported by you.

        1. Andy: Energy mining (digging up a-non renewable resource and dumping the exhaust chemistry into the environment – in particular messing with the intricate and life sustaining carbon cycle) is unsustainable. You know this.
          The only future we have for a high tech civilization is to intelligently harvest the ongoing energy streams accessible to us. Solar and Wind are the prime energy streams we have to do this, besides Geothermal and Tidal. Compromises will need to be made to keep the proverbial lights on. The sight of Wind Turbines is one of these compromises. Another is the sight of power transmission lines etc. And as per your hyped up noise nonsense, there are several orders of magnitude more people affected by the noise of civilization otherwise such as highways, rail corridors and airports. We cope because we want the luxury of our daily personal and public transport. The few (in comparison) land houses close to mills who are noise affected, well, lets give them double glazing etc.
          And your constant harking that Wind power is ineffective is complete nonsense as has been aptly pointed out to you.
          Take your sour gripes elsewhere mate. You are not winning anybody over here. So what is the point?

          1. Thomas, so wind requires no mining? Turbines have a lifetime of maybe 20 years.Where do the raw materials come from?

            There is no evidence that wind energy.backed by gas, reduces CO2 emissions, and some that it increases them.

            There is no such thing as “sustainable” energy.

        2. Bong. Another Godwin. That’s about, what, 20?

          (Ironic, given that the actual fascists were populist reactionaries in unholy alliance with elite industrial power blocks, don’t you think? Which side of this debate does that describe? Projection, much?)

          1. It is not a Godwin to refer to corporate fascism. Nazism is a specific instance of it and I didn’t mention Nazism.

            Furthermore, I wasn’t referring to “you” as fascists. I was referring to the corporate and government culture in the UK that it trampling on the rights of its citizens

            1. “corporate fascism”? So if you don’t get the outcome that you want – an end to windmills – you pull the “Fascism” register? How low. I can see the corpses of my ancestors killed by the real fascists turn in their graves.

              You are free to form the “UK Don Quixote” party and run for election on the platform of ripping all windmills from their foundations and having those “fascist” community wind farm conspirators pay for visual damages to the landscape and ruin of a good fox hunt season of the angry nobles and their snorting horses…..

              As you seem to think that you have the majority of the people on your side good luck and may the force of democracy be with you!

            2. andyS is completely out of touch with reality:

              I was referring to the corporate and government culture in the UK that it trampling on the rights of its citizens.

              andyS likes to pretend that he is the most knowledgeable person there is on wind farms. Of course that is a figment of his over active imagination. Peoples’ rights are not being trampled by the wind farm promoters. There is a great example of the opposite happening in Scotland.

              A wind farm company wanted to put a wind farm in the close proximity of the village of Fintry in Stirlingshire, Scotland. The promoters put on an open house to discuss the proposed wind farm and were expecting all the usual rubbish the typical wind farm haters like to put forward (how come you missed the opportunity to be the sole person against wind farms at that meeting andyS?).

              The promoters were shocked by the response they received at the meeting. The locals told them to go ahead, with one proviso. They asked the company to build another turbine at the wind farm which would belong to the village. They even put together financing so that it could go ahead.

              Two years after the turbine stated producing electricity the village is 200,000 BPS to the good,. All the money received is going into projects to make the village more energy efficient and saving the residents even more money. And not one case of bleeding nose, dizziness or any other supposed symptom of “wind farm syndrome”.


            3. The “corporate fascism” I am referring to is when a community votes against a wind farm development (via the local council) and this gets overturned by central government who override the wishes of the community and allow the corporate wind developer to move ahead irrespective of the wishes of the people

              Of course this should come as no surprise when the “leaders” of the UK have their own financial interests in pursuing the wind farm scam. For example, David Cameron, (father in law) Nick Clegg (wife) and Tim Yeo to name a few

              It is now standard in the UK to corrupt the planing process to line your own pockets.

              Meanwhile, the UK government are suggesting that the spot price for electricity could hit 10,000 pounds per MWh (up from a max of 938 pounds per MwH)


              [Snipped: keep your bizarre fantasies to yourself, please, or future comments will just be binned.]

            4. andyS “The “corporate fascism” I am referring to is when a community votes against a wind farm development (via the local council) and this gets overturned by central government who override the wishes of the community and allow the corporate wind developer to move ahead irrespective of the wishes of the people”
              It is clear that you do not know much about planning policy in the UK. It looks like you are just reproducing some petulant foot stamping from your British NIMBY penpals who are outraged that they can not veto an application in their back yard (someone else’s land).
              Local planning committees draw their members from local councillors, but they are instructed to act in a judicial role, not a political one, to ensure that planning policy is correctly applied.
              If the planing inspectorate overturn a rejection, they are looking at exactly the same planning policy as the local committee had in front of them.
              You characterise this as corporate fascism, overturning the wishes of the people? Even if you were 10 this would mark you out as a twit.
              Your claims are made all the more ridiculous in light of your previous attempts to gain say the slew of pro wind power public opinion surveys we have had in the UK.
              As ever, I doubt that countering your rantings with what actually happens satisfy you. Instead of just slinging about claims of wrongdoing (by the Prime Minister no less!) why dont you go to the planning documents (all on line) and show us where a wind farm application was permitted contrary to planning policy. If that sounds a bit much like hard work (and as the conspiracy goes all the way to the top, digging for that evidence may expose you to executive action with extreme prejudice) you could just go on a new cycle of Birdchoppers, subsidy, dont work, wind turbine syndrome, house prices etc. After all, doing some actual research on an issue before giving everyone the benefit of your wisdom, would cut in to your loitering at NETA time.

            5. It is clear that you do not know much about planning policy in the UK. It looks like you are just reproducing some petulant foot stamping from your British NIMBY penpals who are outraged that they can not veto an application in their back yard (someone else’s land).

              yes it is clear ,Beaker, I know nothing, I am a twit, I need to read the Guardian, blah, blah etc etc

              Remind me again exactly how much money Lord Deben has lined up for himself via “renewables” projects in the North Sea and the Severn Barrage?
              Nice little earner isn’t it, when you have direct influence over these projects via your parliamentary influence?

              Since when did Great Britain become a banana republic? At what point did the MPs cease to represent the people of the nation and just take their jobs to line their own pockets?
              Perhaps it was always like this, who knows.

              All I know is, this is going to get ugly

            6. andyS “yes it is clear ,Beaker, I know nothing, I am a twit, I need to read the Guardian, blah, blah etc etc” No andyS, before you make outlandish allegations regarding planning applications, you should read the planning application and policy documents, not a newspaper.
              I see that you have shot off on a tangent about Gummer, perhaps Yeo is not far behind for your insinuations. You may not know this but Dellingpole is also busy slagging these two off – I know, what a coincidence!
              Strange that two people who have not done anything wrong or have not made a string of god awful deniers claims against climate change, are criticised for investing in the type of company we need to get us out of this mess. Lord Lawson however repeatedly cranks out the howlers and sets up the egregious GWPF, and has a significant interest in Coal, but he is a hero to Dellingpole and the UK’s current (but hopefully not for much longer) chancellor.

            7. Actually Beaker, I agree with you. Tim Yeo and Lord Deben are “good people” for leveraging their position to further their own financial position.

              Those of us that have earthquake damaged properties in Christchurch NZ feel the same about the “good people” that are grabbing our land, taking our life savings to further their own political and financial goals

              These are “good people” Beaker, I am sure you can feel the overwhelming love that flows from me to our glorious leaders who have worked so hard to shaft us make our lives more fulfilling and rewarding

            8. I know that you never put up or shut up, but for the record, please back up or retract your claim that Yeo or Gummer have leveraged their position for their own gain.
              Without any such cause to make such a claim, your comments are just petulant slurs.
              Pointing to a Christopher Booker collumn in the Telegraph will not suffice as he also does not substantiate his claims, and has a poor history of having to retract such claims, for instance against the IPCC chair.

          2. Beaker, no I will not retract my claims against Gummer or Yeo.
            You can read the threads on Bishop Hill to see the business interests that Gummer has.

            These people are corrupt politicians, leveraging their positions for their own financial gain.

            The whole British government is riddled with corruption, including all the so-called independent climategate inquiries.

            The only way forward is to rid ourselves of these people, by whatever means we can find.

            [I’ve let this stand, but be warned that unsubstantiated and wild accusations of impropriety are against comment policy. As are veiled threats of violence. But HT’s readers deserve to know where you’re coming from, so it stands. No more. GR]

            1. andy merely reflects the desperation of the rabble whose true character becomes increasingly clear, as their world-view melts-down along with the Arctic sea-ice and Greenland.

              (How’s the arctic sea-ice doing, andy? Unequivocally the biggest news in climate and your cowardly hero – Montford – can’t even bring himself to post on the topic. Not a freakin’ one! Talk about an acknowledgement of defeat! He’s afflicted with a bloody malady, alright; it’s just more freakin’ Mann-bashing over at the Sticky Mess, because the entire enterprise really is all about hate, isn’t it? Phhhtt..)

              The angry horde of Denier half-wits has nothing left to offer but more wild conspiracy theories and threats of violence. Who are the real fascists here again?

              To think we’ve already permanently damaged the planet because of this dreck. Genuinely appalling.

              The Most Stupid People in History. How did this pathetic bunch of nonentities ever get so far?

            2. Bill, what the hell has Arctic sea ice got to do with corrupt Tory politicians?

              I never thought I’d see the day when a bunch of left wing activists would defend Tory MPs

              Truly amazing. What happened Bill?

            3. By the way Bill, is your definition of “fascist” someone who threatens violence?

              I would have thought it pertained to the state taking away your rights as an individual, amongst other things.

              So when the NZ govt does a land grab in Christchurch, or a wind farm developer forces themselves onto peoples land, this could rightly be described as “fascism”

              Johah Goldberg describes the modern phenomenon well in his book “Liberal Fascism”

              By the way Bill, I am not a violent man. If “getting rid of these people by whatever means” is a violent threat then you should start reading the comments in the Telegraph which regularly talk of killing Tories these days.

              We still have the remnants of democracy and law, but only just.I’d prefer to work within that framework where possible

            4. Andy: Conflict of interest is when oil execs fund climate denial to delay fossil fuel use reductions at the cost the planets climate and the well being of the future generations. The oil execs interests are in conflict with the interests of future generations to a sustainable future.
              On the contrary people advocating alternative energy concepts for the benefit of society who actually put their money where their mouth is, I can’t see a conflict there.

            5. Thomas says ” I can’t see a conflict there.”

              So a person that sits on a panel that decides on whether their project should go ahead has no conflict of interest. This is because their project is inherently “good”,
              I guess the fact that Pauchauri has interests in carbon trading is also not a conflict of interest, because carbon trading is inherently “good”

              I must get one of these “good” jobs

            6. Conflict of interests are declared and panels decide how to deal with them. Members can exclude themselves from decisions and votes when conflicts of interests are a matter of concern.

              Andy, you and your denier circus have long run down any business person putting their money towards the investments we need that will wean us off the fossil fuel burden and who publicly also support climate change action. Such talk is nonsense and a sad last straw attempt to discredit the future in a futile attempt to cling to the past.

              We need more people who put their weight and their resources behind saving our bacon.

              So stop dissing the very people who are doing the right thing to our descendants.

            7. andyS “So a person that sits on a panel that decides on whether their project should go ahead has no conflict of interest.” Parliamentary Select Committees and the Committee on Climate Change do not deside on any projects, never mind ones associated with their own members.
              “I never thought I’d see the day when a bunch of left wing activists would defend Tory MPs” Their political affiliation has no bearing on their understanding of climate change and energy issues. Your slander appears to be the result of your knee jerk reaction, as you have failed to offer any substantiation. I may or may not be a left wing activist, but your reckless flailing demonstrates that you are a twit.

            8. My point, little andy – and your entire tribe would do well to remember this – is that people who indulge in eliminationist fantasies may well find themselves literally hoist by their own petard, or equivalent thereof. Sauce / goose = sauce / gander.

              Backpeddling ain’t going to save you; we know exactly what you meant, because, at heart, this is exactly what you are.

              Many people regard you all – with considerable justification – as enemies of not only human civilization, but of the entire biosphere. Too much swaggering talk of ‘by whatever means’ is pretty damn risky when many are likely to perceive you as the most beneficially expendable items on the agenda.

              Yep: even Tory ministers are now not insanely reactionary enough for you. Congratulations.

  2. ‘Solar and wind are the renewables we have to hand that work, and work quickly.’
    Bill, I wish you were right.
    France, Sweden and Switzerland all started nuclear power programmes after the 1973 oil shock, and in about a decade they decarbonised their electricity supplies- over ninety percent hydro and nuclear, in various combinations. Denmark and Germany are trying to do it with wind and solar, but their CO2 output remains about forty percent higher than their nuclear neighbours. I know the latter two had less (or no) hydro, but Austria voted against nuclear -by 51%- at about the same time as Switzerland voted by 51% for it. Austria converted its first, unused, reactor to a solar plant, didn’t build the half dozen that were to follow, and continues to get nearly half its power from coal and gas.
    Denmark’s emission reductions have much more to do with a reduction in total power produced than with relying on wind; they still get most of their power from coal. The richer European countries were reducing power demand even before the recession, but the Asian countries now doing a lot of their manufacturing for them are more than making up for it , and largely using coal. China is already making more CO2 per head than France, even though the French have four times the income. If they used Aussie uranium instead it would be much better for their lungs, and everybody’s climate.

    1. Yup, France’s nuclear dominance helps keep its power generation CO2 down, but would not be viable were it not for all those interconnectors to neighbours. Nuclear is not flexible so the excess and deficit is traded with neighbours. France is also investing in lots of wind power. Sweeden is building lots of wind power too including the biggest onshore wind farm in the world.
      Denmark, they had their own response to the oil shock. Lots of small coal plants that also provide district heating. Like a nuclear plant, these are not dispatchable. Turn down the power generation and you turn down the hot water to the whole district. Linked to lots of neighbours grids they can, just like France, manage this inflexibility by trading. When CO2 emisions put the oil shock in the shade, the Danes sensibly got into wind power in a big way. They still have the relic of that fleet of district heating coal power plants that are as inflexible as ever, but adding the wind means that they dont have to buy in so much off neighbours, and have more to export. This benefits them and the neighbours who get more low spot price power reducing the generation of their own peaking plant and conserving more hydro supply for more lucerative peak response. Across this transnational grid, fuel use and CO2 are displaced by the Danes wind power.
      Now, where were we? Ah yes, your point, what is it?

    2. There is virtually zero chance that Australia will ever go nuclear; it’s pure moonshine to hope or lobby for it.

      (Many do, including a well-known ‘Warmist’ academic who’s based in my own city – Adelaide – but he’s dreaming, too. Particularly after he called the disaster at Fukushima wrong over and over and over again.)

      I’ll let Beaker comment on the economics/realities of using such a byzantine and behemoth centralised technology in a country with the widely dispersed population density of ours. When do you imagine the first nukes would come on-line? What would happen in the interim? Given the ridiculous would-be conflagration the likes of andy are fanning over mere bloody wind-turbines, just who do you imagine is going to accept nuke/s in their BY?

      Let’s be clear, the market for Australia’s uranium is not internal. At all. We even dropped the requirement that only signers of the non-proliferation treaty could be importers, and it’s certainly hard to imagine that exporting nuclear materials to India could ever turn out badly. (/sarc)

      It’s the market that’s killing nukes.

      Did you know that Roxby was proposing to use half this state’s electricity by 2020? Guess where that was going to come from!

      1. ‘ a well-known ‘Warmist’ academic who’s based in my own city – Adelaide –’ …Barry Brook rocks! Adelaide’s ok too- lived there years ago, for a few months.
        ‘ in a country with the widely dispersed population density of ours…’ ? Australia is one of the most urbanised countries on earth. Ninety percent of the population near the main state capitals, and all handy to the sea for cooling too. No need to build solar plants out the back of Burke and hope the sun keeps shining there.
        ‘Did you know that Roxby was proposing to use half this state’s electricity by 2020? Guess where that was going to come from!’
        How about something like this thing –
        All the Nimbys would see is a cable coming out of the ocean. Tell them it’s Ocean Thermal, just don’t say the hot end of the circuit is at 300C and inside a pressure vessel.

        1. The difference between the underwater civil nuclear power plant and the roll out of wind turbines and solar plants, is that the wind and solar generators exist and can be working and displacing fossil fuel generation straight away.
          Perhaps this proposal for a standardised submarine nuclear generator may turn out to be a good thing, but that is many years of design and prototyping, and lots of cash before anyone get close. It is something that we may be able to do in the future but has absolutely no bearing on our current energy decisions now.
          Lastly on population density, even with 90% near the state capitals those are state capitals spread across a vast land mass without a unified grid. The thing that nuclear power (and renewables) likes is a big grid like the trans national one the French make such good use of. Australia does not have that, yet. It may turn out to be a worthwhile investment hand in hand with a suite of renewables (an Oz Desertec), and perhaps in a few decades time, submarine nuclear power plants.

  3. This excerpt is an interesting read:

    “Subsidies for renewable energy, which the government sees as essential to tackling global warming and securing a sustainable energy supply, are added to home energy bills. These have soared in recent years, mainly due to rises in the global gas prices. Yeo said: “If we shut down all the onshore wind in the country, families would save just £6 a year.”

    A poll for the Independent shows that two-thirds of people in the UK believe more wind turbines is an acceptable price to pay for more green energy. The findings back those of a poll for the Guardian in March, in which 60% of people said they would support new windfarms in their area, compared with 20% for a coal-fired power station and 24% for a new nuclear power station. The Guardian poll also showed the debate had polarised since 2010, with the number of people strongly opposed to windfarms tripling to 21%.”

    See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/04/countryside-windfarm-bribes-wind-turbines

    Clearly there is an overwhelming opposition to wind by the UK public in preference for nuclear and coal and clearly on shore wind is the reason for all their economic woes. Yeo must be using all his corrupt influences to force his will against the will of the people he represents. No wonder Hill and Delingpole are so upset.

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