And who didn’t see this coming?

Energy prices have spiked to a record high in Britain after calm weather shut down the country’s wind turbines amid a global shortage of natural gas.

Wholesale power costs surged to more than four times their normal level, forcing officials to fire up coal-based plants to handle demand.

What we should actually hope for is a nice, nice, high pressure system to park itself over the UK for a couple of weeks this winter.

Solar doesn’t really work this far north in winter. High pressure systems mean very little to no wind. There would be rolling power cuts. Which would bring home the technological vulnerability being built in. At which point someone – well, we can hope at least – will wake up. Allow fracking and we can get on with having the necessary back up power supply.

24 thoughts on “And who didn’t see this coming?”

  1. “What we should actually hope for is a nice, nice, high pressure system to park itself over the UK for a couple of weeks this winter”.
    Germany gets this every year, around November / December. They have dealt with this intermittency by closing their nukes, building lignite fired power stations (much dirtier than that regular coal stuff)and buying lots of gas from Angela’s bestest pal, ‘You can trust me’ Vlad.

  2. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    You think so?

    After 1.5 years of universal compliance to “DON’T GO OUT YOU WILL KILL GRANNY”?

    People will wake up?

  3. @Jgh

    Pretty well sums up the insanity perfectly.

    This whole “green” lunacy WILL run into the brick wall of reality and the sooner the better. It’s a tribute to the adults that still remain in the utilities that it hadn’t yet happened (coupled with a bit of luck no doubt).

    I keep reading that there’s a milk float revolution in progress. Which means, being the luddite dinosaur that I am, that this is just wishful thinking on my part.

  4. “People” won’t achieve anything, Binkers, it needs someone “in authority” to make a stand.

    And the Red Arrows start to use Gloucester Old Spots instead of Hawks.

  5. Bearing in mind the mild weather, we must be pretty certain of power cuts when it gets cold. It would be nice if that coincided with COP26.

  6. I’m increasingly coming to the view – and I apologise if this sounds mad – that they aren’t worried about trying to provide power for 70 million of us because there soon won’t be 70 million of us.

  7. Not “universal” LD compliance Biggie. Lots of us took no notice. Our main problem was no businesses open to patronise.

    Almost certain that bogus Johnson will return a LD this winter as a power-grab and to push his vax pass tyranny. This time millions of us wont comply or avoid contact with Official scum as last time. And I hope businesses will stay open–or they will be gone for good which is what Johnson is after from his actions. Our aim is to break any LD. Many more are awake and have had enough this time around.

    Things will stay peaceful if the costumed thugs–ploddie or squaddie– do. If Johnson thinks he will turn them loose Aussie or French-style and we will stand there while they bash us–he has another think coming.

  8. We also need to calculate how much of the energy bills are going to the Greenfreak show. And then pay our bills minus that calculated amount. Energy companies will still have their share and they can report to their political masters that people aren’t paying any Geenfreak subsidy. My energy bills used to have a statement of what the Green rip-off was-11% if I remember rightly. But now they don’t. Which suggests I’m not the first to come up with this idea.

  9. Accelerationism doesn’t work. Look at California – they’ve had rolling blackouts for donkeys years, but nothing gets done. In the UK official policy is to disconnect factories first, residential last; so most people won’t even be aware of the problem.

  10. The grid collywobble a couple of years ago gave us a taste of what might happen. Now lots of stuff is built assuming 24/7 electricity and when that goes off it doesn’t come up again cleanly. So cue lots of electric trains stranded until the little man with his laptop turns up to reboot it, plus lots of screwed up production lines full of sticky biscuit mix gone solid, or worse, solid steel/glass.

  11. “What we should actually hope for is a nice, nice, high pressure system to park itself over the UK for a couple of weeks this winter. ”

    Which would, of course, be said to be due to climate change. And another reason to double-up on greenery

  12. Just a thought…

    Have any real, competent ecologists realised that the ‘industrial supply chain’ – the interlocking energy, raw materials, half-finished materials, manufacturing plants (for both big things like cars and wind turbines and ships and construction steel and tiny tiny electronics chips), energy supply, transport network of entities and activities – is itself an ecology, and a complex one at that?

    And that disturbing such a system could have a catastrophic effect in the very, very short term?

  13. “We must be pretty certain of power cuts when it gets cold. It would be nice if that coincided with COP26”

    I’ll lay odds that COP26 will have a fleet of diesel generators concealed round the back…

    “Now lots of stuff is built assuming 24/7 electricity and when that goes off it doesn’t come up again cleanly”

    We are told that old fashioned “Copper Pair” internet & phone lines will be replaced with full fibre & VOIP within the next few years. Add that to the mix when it all goes dark, and mobile phone site battery back ups die in a couple of hours! Don’t these fuckwits realise that all existing telephone exchanges have back up gensets, which keep “Old Tech” lines & internet working for days – unlike the “Street Corner” cabinets running fibre networks, and the current “FTC” services. I know most folks don’t have alternative power for their routers and PC’s, but at least conventional landlines work during blackouts…

    I’ll drop this link here, for those who’ve not already seen it:
    https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/media/lancaster-university/content-assets/documents/engineering/RAEngLivingwithoutelectricity.pdf

  14. @AndrewM
    “In the UK official policy is to disconnect factories first, residential last” This will change as smart meters become ever more present. They will be able to shed load by turning off the power for a few houses here and a few there till the wind decides to blow again. Because they will have the granularity down to individual household they won’t have the embarrassing problems associated with turning off the power a district at time and shutting down hospitals and “vulnerable users”.

  15. Should we face a shortage of wind power for any reason, the response will inevitably be that we didn’t install enough wind-power generation.

  16. Paul, that is the argument the windies make here in Oz against subsidising coal fired power stations because they’re now forbidden to generate enough electricity to make them economical.

  17. Close enough Paul. There’s talk in Australia about paying coal electricity operators for firming/backup because they are going out of business trying to compete on the spot market. It’s not so much that they’re forbidden to supply than that the way the market is set up encourages buyers to go for the cheapest at the time, which doesn’t fit the operating model for coal well. Naturally the wind pushers are furious about this.

    The coal operators are getting fed up and starting to retire plants.

    Nuclear isn’t allowed here so goodness knows where we’re going to get reliable baseload from.

  18. ‘theconversation.com/as-the-world-battles-to-slash-carbon-emissions-australia-considers-paying-dirty-coal-stations-to-stay-open-longer-166814’

    Yep. The above is an anti-coal reference. A quick google didn’t really turn up any pro-coal references.

  19. @ BiTiN “Have any real, competent ecologists realised..”

    For decades… The basic principles and underlying math are the same. Pointing this out gets a lot of shouting along the lines of “out of field of expertise” and “it is not the same!”.
    Same as how molecular biologists can possibly have no idea about medicine, because they’re not “medical doctors”, or their specialisation hasn’t got “medical” attached to it because it’s not focused on that one all-important special species…

  20. Yet somehow a physicist can become Britain’s ‘leading’ epidemiologist without a single medical (or even biological) qualification.

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