By Paul Homewood
For years, useless journalists, such as the Telegraph’s own Emily Gosden and Jilly Ambrose have been uncritically parroting government propaganda about how wonderful smart meters are.
Finally, at least one seems to have woken up:
Imagine that you do as the Government wants you to do and buy an electric car. Then you replace your dirty old gas boiler with an electric heat pump and install a smart meter. You think you have done your bit to help the environment.
So what is your reward? To have your electricity company use your smart meter to turn off your power because there is not enough juice in the grid. Suddenly, you find yourself sitting in a cold home and your plans to drive to Birmingham tomorrow are scuppered because your car won’t be fully-charged.
Smart meters have been sold to us as part of a green future where we can manage our homes via mobile phone, switching appliances on and off remotely so as to cut our bills. But it is the cynics, so often denounced in the past few years as paranoid and backward-thinking, who have worked out the real reason why electricity companies are so keen to install them in our homes: they want to ration our electricity.
It isn’t just us who will enjoy the convenience of being able to access our appliances remotely. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has proposed a system in which it will be able to turn off certain devices in our homes, such as electric vehicle chargers and heat pumps, when the supply of electricity is too small to meet demand.
For the moment, the company says it will only do so with consumers’ permission and that it will only be for two hours at a time. But I don’t expect that promise to last. Once electricity companies have established the principle that they can cut off consumers in order to cope with shortages of supply, they are bound to come back asking for more. And at the current rate, they will have to do this, because we simply don’t have enough storage in the electricity grid to cope with the switch to renewable energy.
Here’s the problem. Yesterday afternoon, Britain was using 34 GW worth of power. It was a sunny and windy day across much of England – ideal conditions for renewable energy. Wind was producing 5.3 GW and solar 7.6 GW, with most of the rest being produced by gas (12.1 GW) and nuclear (4.7 GW). We were also importing 1 GW from the Netherlands.
But what happens when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, as it all-too-frequently does in cold, anticyclonic conditions in midwinter, when demand for power is at its greatest? Moreover, what happens when electricity demand has been boosted by the switch to electric central heating and electric vehicles?
It ought to be obvious that if we are going to rely on intermittent sources of energy we are going to need massive investment in energy storage. Quietly over the past few years, large battery installations, housed in rows of shipping containers, have indeed popped up across Britain. At present, however, there are only enough of them to meet 1 GW worth of demand – and even then only for an hour or two. The Government is desperately trying to encourage more batteries by speeding them through the planning system. Even chuck in proposed capacity, however, and it would only supply another 4 GW of electricity for an hour or so.
But don’t expect even these batteries to get built. The Government is trying to solve the problem of a lack of energy storage through what is calls “capacity auctions”. The bids for batteries, however, are losing out to something called Demand Side Response. If you haven’t heard that jargon before, it means exactly what Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks is proposing to do: persuading people to turn off appliances when electricity demand is too high.
In other words, the electricity industry has worked out that it is going to be cheaper not to bother building batteries but instead to cut us off when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing. As far as the Government’s capacity market is concerned, a kilowatt-hour of energy saved is the equivalent of a kilowatt-hour stored.
For the consumer, however, there is every difference. Cutting off our electricity threatens seriously to interfere with our lives – especially if we are going to have to rely on electric cars and heating systems in future. It doesn’t matter too much if our heating goes off for a few minutes, but if electricity companies try to plug the enormous gap between supply and demand on a still winter’s night entirely by cutting off our electricity supply to demand, we are going to find ourselves sitting in the dark rather a lot.
Unless the Government acts quickly on this problem and invests in a proper energy storage infrastructure – either that or finds another way to back up supply from intermittent wind and solar – we are going to be back in 1973 and the three day week, when homes had to take it in turns to go without electricity. Then, it was the miners’ unions who were to blame; now it is a failure to plan properly for a green future.
I only have a couple of slight criticisms:
1) Ross Clark might have mentioned the cost of the smart meter roll-out, already heading north of £15bn. The new generation of meters which will be needed for the above control will doubtlessly add much more cost.
It is hard to think of other examples where such large sums of spending have been incurred by govt policy, without the slightest scrutiny.
2) He talks about the need for “proper energy storage infrastructure”, but in reality no such thing actually exists.
To his credit, he has worked out that batteries can only work for an hour or two, so have little relevance other than helping out at peak times. To their eternal shame, Gosden and Ambrose never understood this, despite the fact that they were supposed to be “Energy Editors”!. Presumably they assumed batteries could just go on supplying electricity for days and weeks.
Hopefully Ross Clark will make the final logical leap, and work out that we need a proper dispatchable source of power to fall back on when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
September 19, 2020 at 04:21PM
In just a few days, the climate skeptic movie Climate Hustle 2 will be released. Originally planned for release in the spring in 800 theaters, it was delayed by COVID-19 issues. Now, it is set for an online streaming premier September 24th at 8pm in every local time zone internationally. Additionally, they are offering the broadcast of Climate Hustle Part 1 for instant viewing for those who missed it or need a refresher.
I was able to screen it before release.
Climate Hustle 2 looks at both popular scientific claims surrounding climate change and examines motivations of those clamoring for immediate action. Featuring leading scientists, politicians and policy experts, and hosted by actor Kevin Sorbo, the film showcases many instances of Hollywood hypocrisy, financial corruption, media bias, classroom indoctrination, political correctness and other troubling matters surrounding the global warming issue.
It also includes yours truly in a few scenes.
Here are two trailers:
More info is available at https://www.climatehustle2.com/
My take on the movie:
This movie covers virtually everything that has ever been said or discussed about climate change. It gives a true perspective of just how hard the media and climate alarmists are pushing an agenda, and how equally hard climate skeptics are pushing back.
If you want rhetoric and doom, watch Al Gore’s movie. If you want a practical and sensible view of what is really happening with climate, watch ClimateHustle2.
We really are being hustled by the left, and it’s depressing to see how much they want iron-fisted climate regulations put on us.
If you can’t make the LIVE event date, you can still watch with your viewing ticket because the replay of both Climate Hustle 1 & 2 broadcasts will remain viewable through September 27th.
Get tickets here:
via Watts Up With That?
September 19, 2020 at 12:46PM
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The British Financial Times has admitted there is a grain of truth behind the idea that China is using climate ideology to exploit the West.
Political division makes the fight against climate change ever harder
Tackling extreme weather should be as obvious an imperative as Covid-19 — we must change the argument
The writer, a former head of the Downing Street policy unit, is a Harvard senior fellow
Today, only 39 per cent of Republicans and independent voters who lean right think environmental issues should be a priority for the US president and Congress, compared to 85 per cent of Democrats and left-leaning independents. And intriguingly, if you’re a Democrat, knowledge and understanding of science is highly correlated with a belief that human activity contributes to climate change, but it makes almost no difference if you’re a Republican, according to Pew research.
It makes no sense that one group of voters should care less about conserving nature and protecting their homes than another. Yet in the UK, people who voted for Brexit are much less likely to agree that climate change is definitely happening than those who voted to remain in the EU. The painful irony for climate campaigners on the progressive left is that environmentalism has come to be seen as synonymous with being anti-business, playing into the hands of deniers.
US president Donald Trump was almost wholly wrong when he tweeted in 2012 that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. But he was also just a tiny bit right: China has long used calls for climate justice to demand concessions to help it industrialise.
Twice in one week. First a mildly positive review of prominent climate skeptic books, now a grudging admission that President Trump might be a tiny bit right about climate change.
Still a long way to go though. The suggestion that people who are against climate action don’t care about nature is just intellectual laziness. The climate activist plan to sterilise millions of acres of pristine wilderness and cover the landscape in concrete, solar panels and bird killing wind turbines is not a convincing expression of love for nature.
Video: Bird vs Wind Turbine
via Watts Up With That?
September 19, 2020 at 12:46PM
By Paul Homewood
A plug for the Conservative Woman blog, which has published my essay on California’s wildfires!
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
September 19, 2020 at 12:45PM
The EU pushes ever further into its climate fantasy land, where so-called targets can be raised at will and the victims of them miraculously obey, regardless of any real world obstacles like actually selling cars. It prefers noises made by teenage ‘activists’ to anything said by the wealth-creating vehicle makers. The bill for this insanity is now expected to top a trillion euros every three years. Where are such gigantic sums supposed to come from?
– – –
The EU’s target to reduce its industrial emissions by 2030 should increase from 40% to “at least 55%”, European Commission (EC) president Ursula von der Leyen said in her State of the Union address.
That would seriously burden Europe’s auto industry, says Fleet Europe.
The cause of decarbonisation is better served by better policies rather than stricter targets, ACEA counters.
In March, the EC proposed a European Climate Law, which would make the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 legally binding, and which would include a more ambitious emissions reduction plan than the present one.
Von der Leyen’s proposal to increase the target from 40% to 55% certainly is ambitious. The extra effort requires an additional investment of €350 billion per year.
A part of that amount will go towards accelerating the development of cleaner cars and more sustainable energy generation (solar, wind and hydrogen).
But as yet, her proposal is just that – a proposal. The new 2030 targets will eventually be decided in a ‘trialogue’ between the EC, the member states and the European Parliament (EP).
By the way, the EP’s Environment committee previously advocated a 60% reduction by 2030.
The EC’s stricter emissions targets would have specific consequences for the automotive industry. They imply that average CO2 emissions of new cars in 2030 should be 50% below 2021 levels. The current target calls for a 37.5% reduction.
Full article here.
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop
September 19, 2020 at 12:06PM