A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Some energy home truths for your MP and for those puritan pundits of FoE .....

South Africa confirms plans for nuclear power development, including a 10-year Research and Development programme for a pebble bed reactor;

Ontario is to build a new nuclear power station, probably on the Great Lakes;

In the US, 25 nuclear power plants have received a licence extension from 40 to 60 years; further plants are now applying for extensions;

It is possible that Scotland is to have a new nuclear power station;

In Europe, despite all the hype about so-called 'renewables', the latest figures show that the power-mix remains essentially unchanged at 52% fossil fuels; 32% nuclear; 11% hydroelectric; and 5% (about which we witter on all the time) the rest;

UNICE calculates that electricity prices in the UK will have to rise by 20% if the British government pursues its current windy energy policies.....

And then, as Dr. John Etherington trenchantly points out:

"If we achieved (say) 10% of electricity from wind, and because power stations give only a third of our total CO2 emission, the reduction of the UK total emission would be a little over 2%.

The UK is responsible for about 2.6% of world CO2 emission so the reduction of emission by UK wind power would be considerably less than one thousandth (0.1%) of the global total.

There is no possibility that the saving of CO2 emission by UK wind power could measurably alter world atmospheric CO2 concentration, let alone reduce it by one third or more, which the climate modellers say we need to do, to make a difference.

Even if they quibble with the detail of the figures, it appears ... impossible to 'force' the wind power saving of CO2 to any level which could have a significant effect. This is the crux of the matter."

And John's case is underpinned by the economics that are discussed in 'The Renewables Obligation - a subsidy on windpower' (BBC iCan); see also Wind-Farm.org.

[EnviroSpin's good mate from Downunder, Barry Hearn, has now further refined John's calculations as follows:

"The statement: 'The UK is responsible for about 2.6% of world CO2 emission so the reduction of emission by UK wind power would be considerably less than one thousandth (0.1%) of the global total.....'

This presumably refers to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. This 2.6% would appear ~one order of magnitude greater than the UK's actual contribution to global total CO2 emission since humanity generates (liberates) ~4% of the total global carbon cycle.

I would submit that the UK's contribution is about 0.25% and so a potential reduction from wind power something less than one ten-thousandth (0.01%) of total emissions and that this is an important distinction."

Hat tip, as always, to Barry, who appears to have read this blog in Queensland just 1 minute after it was posted here in the UK on an American server! Such is our wonderful virtual world!]

Moreover, John's figures do not take account of the fact that, over the next 20 years or so, the British percentage use of global power will fall markedly as energy demand rises exponentially in China, India, and the developing world in general.

In other words, wind power in the UK will do absolutely nothing whatsoever about climate change! What a waste of our finest landscapes.

A Green spokesperson was recently reported as calling the ordinary folk who did not support wind power idiots and NIMBYs.

In the light of the above facts, I feel that there is no need to stoop to any reply.....

And meanwhile, the ever-pious and world-lecturing UK stars once again: 'U.K. will miss 2010 carbon-emissions target, Cambridge says' (Bloomberg, July 29). Well, well! Now there's a surprise!

Philip, increasingly ready to come out fighting against the nonsensical policies being developed around the great myth of 'global warming'. Coffee on the patio?

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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