This is an interesting claim, eh?

As background, so I claimed that energy poverty was, in part, driven by the costs of renewables. This is a response.

Perfectly willing to consider – not agree with, but consider – the idea that total long term bills will be lower. That the costs now are lower than the damages avoided in hte future.

But the idea that renewables now are lowering power bills now? That’s really a hell of a stretch, isn’t it?

29 thoughts on “This is an interesting claim, eh?”

  1. I can’t see how “renewables” could ever lower electricity bills as long as it’s necessary to run conventional plants as hot standby.

  2. A market based approach to renewables wil probablyl lower bills. A binding target funded by consumer subsidies currently is evidently not (if you average out the impact of feed in tariffs at least) . Longer term – given the scale of the UK market, probably not much impact on the emerging market position, UK simply not big enough to eg drive solar. More cost is added by eg making incineration of waste unduly difficult.

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    It’s a well worn game in all projects, whether in politics or the private sector.

    Assume the worst case scenario for whatever your against, in this case the costs of fossile fuel and nuclear waste, while low balling their benefits.

    Do exactly the opposite for your preferred solution, in this low ball costs of renewables eg ignore maintenance, take best case for replacement timescales, ignore carbon costs of manufacturing etc and assume nice benefits.

    I think you’ll soon be able to show that renewables are cheaper. The problem comes when reality bites and people see their energy bills, but these can be dismissed as greedy capitalists and if only we had nationalisation …….

  4. @Baron Jackfield

    The grid doesn’t run conventional plants on hot standby to cover renewables. Weather forecasting lets the grid predict roughly how much solar & wind energy will be produced. If the renewables fall short, pumped storage like Dinorwig handles short term problems, gas turbine peaking plant, interconnectors and load shedding agreements (negawatts) handle medium term, and fast start CCGT systems can be up and running from cold in 30 minutes.

    The UK grid is far more sophisticated than most people’s mental models of it. Unfortunately this means most arguments about the problems of intermittency are based on lack of understanding.

  5. I remember it took the BBC a long time before they would admit the well known fact that renewable’s produced less energy than advertised. People have been shoveled the lies about renewable’s and unfortunately some people are unwilling or unable to think about the subject after tying their flag to their belief.

  6. Arthur–don’t forget the billion quids worth of diesel jenny’s we –the taxpayer–have forked out for to help cover holes caused by green bullshit.

    Eco Liars

    Eco Freaks

    Eco Scum

  7. Can I as an individual opt in to an energy package that involves no renewables driving electrons into my house?
    Even better if I could only select electrons from gas power stations including those supplied by fracking. Would be happy to pay the appropriate carbon tax on top. Then we’d know if I was paying more.
    If suppliers can promise green energy, then why can’t they promise not-green energy?

  8. @Arthur the Cat
    Yes, but the more renewables you rely on, the more conventional power stations you need as backup, and the less you use the backup, the more standby (hot or cold) is costing you per unit of what is used.

    If you only have a car for when it’s raining, you still have to pay for the car, insurance, tax, parking etc., even if it doesn’t rain all year.

  9. @Arthur also remember that these plants might not be on hot standby but they exist. The people who operate them need to cover their costs. So it does add to the cost to the consumer.

    You can see the way things are going if you keep an eye on the local press. For example near where I live:-

    Up to 33 gas generators could be built on brownfield land next to the Camphill Industrial Estate, if a planning application is approved by Woking Borough Council (WBC) .

    The UK Power Reserve (UKPR) plant would be used to “feed electricity into the local electricity network at the point of requirement thereby ensuring that the lights stay on for local residents and businesses”.

    This is the really telling quote:-

    “Providing a localised, low carbon electricity supply which is capable of plugging the gap when the national electricity infrastructure is in stress means that electricity is being provided in the most efficient manner with the minimum negative impact on the environment.”

    They know the green bollocks doesn’t work, this sort of thing is being done quietly at local level in the hope no-one notices.

  10. That’s really a hell of a stretch, isn’t it?

    Your autocorrect is really on the fritz. It substituted ‘hell of a stretch’ for ‘ godd*mn lie.

  11. Of course your electricity bills could be lower using 100% renewable sources.

    The price per kW/hr will be much higher but since you will only be allowed to use electricity between three and four on weekday mornings, (as long as the wind is blowing), your actual bill might be a bit lower.

  12. Bongo, I totally agree with you.

    In a supermarket, I can pick whether I want to be holier than thou and pick expensive Organically Veggies, guaranteed to make my halo shine brighter, or bog standard stuff produced by the unenlightened and non-woke farmers that grow stuff for an obscene profit.

    The woke crowd should be able to buy electricity from woke suppliers. The fact that they are forcing the rest of us to do so is a travesty,

  13. The woke crowd should be able to buy electricity from woke suppliers. The fact that they are forcing the rest of us to do so is a travesty,

    In cahoots with a few chums we are looking at launching a new energy company (a CIC natch) – say hello to Piety Power (present working ID) – where actual, 100% renewables is the only option with electrons and methane molecules charged out at actual cost + operating margin and solely available … *when available* by implementing smart metering with actual disconnection from unclean fossil and nuclear sources.

    We don’t expect any takers but it would be handy if any numerate/knowledgeable commenters here could contribute their estimates of what the likely tariffs would/should be ?

  14. I’ve been arguing with the (most) lefty, enviro-twatty bloke in my office that, when he say’s he gets 100% of his energy from renewables, he isn’t. That there isn’t a separate supply of ‘leccy from windfarms / solar / whatever. That his ‘leccy comes form the total of all supply (and he’s therefore dependant on non renewables. He says no – the contract he has is with a firm that only purchases it’s power from renewables, to which I say it is therefore just an accounting trick (of sorts) to say he’s getting 100% from renewables. His supply (and useage) relies on non-renewables, but on this, he will not budge.

    But here is the thing: if the renewable production is a small proportion of the total supply, then surely it follows that the energy companies / contracts that offer 100% renewables must be very limited with the number of contracts that can be supplied. And either the number of people who could buy from this ‘source’ are limited or the cost of the ‘leccy’ from these companies would surely rise as they run out of available (renewable) ‘supply’. There must be a limit on the number of people who could get their ‘leccy from this source – eithe rin pure number,s or driven by rising cost.

    Does anyone know how this actually works: could the entire population switch to ‘renewable’ suppliers (regardless of how the energy is *actually* produced), or not? The answer must be no, surely?

  15. Lockers

    the credibility of “100% renewable” tariffs is imho zero – somebody challenged the sanctimonious Good Energy about their tariff and dragged out a mealy mouthed admission that they reserve the right to substitute from anywhere to ensure continuity of supply and iirc they wouldn’t volunteer in what proportion of supply this actually happened.

    Keep paying and we’ll virtue signal for you.

  16. That’s a lot of dogma from a cat, Arthur.

    All of your fabulous reactions to ‘if the renewables fall short’ (i.e., the weather changes), requires personnel. Who have to be on the job. Being paid.

    Fixed cost doesn’t go away. Renewables can only reduce variable cost for conventional electricity producers.

    In other words, you are clueless, successfully indoctrinated by the dark side.

  17. Lockers: Depends on what you call ‘renewable’. If they actually mean renewable in the strict sense then yes, the supply is limited, and strictly speaking they should cut the customers off when the wind doesn’t blow.

    My supplier, EDF, supplies what they call ‘Low Carbon’ electricity, which in practice means nuclear. In fact, where I am, the power flow into our locality probably comes almost always from Sizewell B via the Bramford switching node. However there is a small footnote on the website saying that they purchase from the National Grid, not directly from Sizewell B, so it may include power flows from other sources.

  18. the credibility of “100% renewable” tariffs is imho zero

    Yep, but the companies are clever. They know their customers “want to believe” (in a Fox Mulder sense), so will not question the marketing fluff they are so desperate to swallow, and will furiously deny or forget immediately any dodgy manoeuvres these companies are obliged to put out for the haters who question the Great and Glorious Truth.

    Call it a Virtue Premium. Mostly imaginary, but at maybe a tenner s month is chicken feed for a well-off middle class professional virtue signaller.

  19. “Could” isn’t the issue, Christian.

    Tomorrow I “could” wake up and find out I’ve been tapped by Donald Trump to replace Mike Pence on the 2020 Republican election ticket.

    Probability is the issue, Christian. And this is where you have failed.

  20. @Arthur the Cat

    Yes, but EVERYTHING you describe is a cost! So having to do all of that makes electricity more expensive. Plus the strike price for onshore is £80/MWh, whereas free market gas turbine is around £40. The biggest cost of all is the distortion of the market such that no one will build any power plants unless they are subsidised.

    UK Gov needs to stop picking energy winners and losers, and instead leave that to the free market.

  21. Rob, you nailed a neighbor of mine. He had a conspicuous sign in his yard about his solar electricity. He DID NOT want to hear the facts from me – that his electricity came from the same distribution box as mine. He was paying a premium so he could feel better about himself.

    Sign disappeared two days later. I haven’t spoken to him sense, as I now know he is a creep.

    I recommend everyone tell these virtue signalers that they are creeps. When they see that their “virtue” is seen as creepiness, that will put an end to it.

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