Feeds

Climate Change 'wise men' recommend more nukes, power cuts

Some things don't just add up

Top three mobile application threats

It's a market, but not as we know it

What they are referring to in "carbon price" is really a legally-mandated wholesale minimum price for energy. Chancellor Osborne introduced one in March, after much lobbying from energy companies with bets in nuclear and eco.

But the biases show. Renewables receive a capital cost discount rate of 10 per cent. By 2030, the committee says, "there are plausible scenarios where these other renewable technologies (eg, offshore wind, marine, solar) have become cheaper than fossil-fired generation" ... but there's a catch. The renewables would require a carbon price of £70 per tonne of CO2.

What does this mean? It effectively stops cheap energy being sold on the market, and makes energy much more expensive than it otherwise would be – thus adding to the cost of food, products and services. The Treasury says this is needed to add "support and certainty for low-carbon investment". Last month the UK pledged to introduce a floor carbon price of £16/tCO2, rising to £30/tCO2, which nevertheless adds a £9.3bn burden to UK business, according to analysts.

The Wise Men beg to differ.

"We estimate that the cost of supporting renewable electricity to 2020 will add up to 2p/kWh to the electricity price, increasing the average annual household electricity bill by around £50-60 in real terms," we learn.

Which is then contradicted a few PowerPoint™ bullet points later, when the Committee claims:

"Delivering renewable heat ambition will not increase energy bills under the current financing approach. It could require fiscal support of the order of £2bn a year by 2020."

So something plainly doesn't add up.

In summary, we know that the current batch of renewables are technologically inefficient, and therefore produce much more expensive electricity that technologically superior alternatives. To maintain their competitiveness, these renewables need both a "floor price" prohibiting us from benefiting from cheap energy innovations (such as shale or in the long-term, synthetic replacements for hydrocarbons) – which means the public pay much more than they should – and tax subsidies.

As even George Monbiot has noted, this logic produces a wealth transfer from the poor to the rich. Already, one in six households in the UK is in "fuel poverty" (or one in four households in Wales). In an age of cheap energy, this is one hardship that is completely unnecessary. By 2030, you'd be more likely to find a climate change advisor swinging gently from a lamppost, than competitive renewable energy. Committees of wise men and other bureaucrats can make recommendations – but politicians, who must implement the policies, have to face real voters.®

Andrew warmly welcomes your comments.

Related Link

The Climate Change Committee Report on Renewable Energy

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery
SpaceX reports Falcon booster made controlled touchdown in ocean
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.