Sunday, October 12, 2014

“decarbonisation route” will end with the worst of all possible worlds: Paterson on U.K. electricity policy

“We must be prepared to stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement and their subsidy-hungry allies."

The Telegraph has an article on an upcoming speech by the U.K.'s former environment secretary ("sacked" this past summer). If nothing else, the article provides some great quotes on topics I frequently cover.
UPDATE - The speech has now been delivered and the text posted at the Telegraph
The Committe on Climate Change issued a response to the news report cited below.

Scrap the Climate Change Act to keep the lights on, says Owen Paterson | The Telegraph
...the current “decarbonisation route” will end with the worst of all possible worlds.
The Government will have to build gas and coal power stations “in a screaming hurry”.
Britain’s energy needs are better met by investing in extracting shale gas through fracking and capturing the heat from nuclear reactors, Mr Paterson will argue.
He proposes a mix of energy generation based on smaller “modular” nuclear reactors and “rational” demand management.
“We must be prepared to stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement and their subsidy-hungry allies.
“What I am proposing is that instead of investing huge sums in wind power, we should encourage investment in four possible common sense policies: shale gas, combined heat and power, small modular nuclear reactors and demand management.
Read the entire article at The Telegraph

In related news...
The U.K. Independence Party (Ukip) gained its first MP this week as Former Tory MP Douglas Carswell easily won a by-election in Clacton, called because he switched parties - a show of respect for constituents not exhibited by one of Canada's two Green MPs. The minority partner in the current Cameron government, the Liberal Democrats, received only 483 votes in Clacton.

The Telegraph article quotes "Edward Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary" dismissing Owen Paterson's commentary:
“The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that climate change exists while most leading British businesses and City investment funds agree with the Coalition that taking out an ‘insurance policy’ now will protect the UK against astronomical future costs caused by a changing climate."
That doesn't really deal with the substance of Paterson's comments.

"You don't need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows"

Ukip is today polling at 25% support, having won only 3% of the vote in  2010's election.
The Liberal Democrates are at 8%, down substantially from 2010's 23%. While Cameron's Conservatives appear most susceptible to losing votes to Ukip, that's not apparent in this polling.

SMR's, inclusive of combined heat and power opportunities, natural gas, and demand management are a rational option for a lower carbon future, and that is likely to be far better than a no carbon fantasy.

Archduke Ferdinand and Hinkley Point

Also this week, the European Commission approved the procurement arrangement for new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in the U.K.

Austrians say they will appeal
Germans say they might too

Rod Adams has posted Paterson’s plan for CO2 emission reductions, which includes a link to another article in the Telegraph, by Christopher Booker, Global warming: Can Owen Paterson save us from an unimaginable energy disaster?


  1. Thank you for pointing to the Telegraph article about Paterson's advice to reject the Climate Change Act.

    Most of the suggested measures seem more effective than the current wind-heavy plan, but I'm not sure why he emphasizes the importance of demand management and tells people they will have to get used to their appliances switching off.

    Why not plan to build enough nuclear generation to make that sacrifice unnecessary? Do you understand why Paterson only mentions SMRs and does not include the already planned large reactors in his recommendation?

  2. Thank you for the comment Rod.
    I hope to have a post upcoming dealing with small modular reactors that will feature your "The Canadians are coming."

    I'd guess Paterson's choice of SMR's and demand management is to present himself as more enlightened than Ukip, but delivering the speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation isn't likely to win him points for enlightenment.
    I'm hoping the text of the speech is put up at after Paterson delivers it, and I'll hold off on assuming more about his motives for the speech until then.