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So, err, umm?

The Labour party leader slashed the clean energy policy to just £4.7bn per year, but kept plans to invest £7.3bn in a National Wealth Fund to help create jobs in a zero-carbon economy.

This includes investment in carbon capture and storage, floating offshore wind farms and green steel across Britain, creating thousands of jobs for plumbers, electricians, engineers and technicians.

Anyone think that carbon capture, floating offshore wind, will actually be profitable? Without the externalities being included that is, profitable on a straight financial basis? Then this isn’t investing through a wealth fund, this is buying public goods with public money.

Buying public goods with public money is fair enough as an idea – depends what’s being bought for how much – but it’s not a wealth fund.

Green steel is, of course laughable. Because we’ve already done that, they’re paying a £billion to the two blast furnace sites to install EAFs. There, that’s already done.

14 thoughts on “So, err, umm?”

  1. WTF is “green” steel ?

    It’s steel where the price makes you feel a bit queasy. ie, anything bought by the Simple Shopper and paid for by us.

  2. Sorta, but not quite exactly – steel made from iron ore but without coke and the resultant emissions. It’s possible to do it. Techniques like DRI. But to do it you need hydrogen, and to make hydrogen – well, to make green hydrogen – you need to electrolyse water using renewable generated electricity.

    It’s all technically possible. And if H2 from electroysis ever becomes cheap enough perfectly sensible too. But that’s what it depends upon, that cheapness.

  3. But Shirley one needs the carbon to bind the iron molecules, otherwise it’d be too brittle.

    That’s my Olevel Geography talking there, I’ll have to look this up.

  4. The committee will be chaired by Rhian-Mari Thomas, a former Barclays banker and currently chief executive of investment firm Green Finance Institute. Her company, which raises investment for environmental and ESG projects, will provide admin support

    Sounds like it’ll be profitable for politically connected bankers.

  5. It’s actually quite funny, the politico’s getting all sword-waving and bigger-spend-for NATO at exactly the same time the same politicos are closing down the steel making industry in favour of steel recycling (which of course is already well established). Those blast furnace aren’t green: “Close them!” in favour of arc remelting scrap steel.

    So each time we fire a 155mm shell at dem rooskies, we’ll have to ask the survivors in the target area to gather up the shrapnel and hand it back to us so we can make the next one.

    It’s also a big problem making high grade steel this way, because all the alloying impuries build up each time you recycle it. Good for rebar pehaps, and Fiats, not armour plate.

  6. this is buying public goods with public money

    No, Tim, they don’t satisfy the definition of a public good.

  7. The trough comment has already been made so I will note how little a billion pounds gets you nowadays. The Peninsula and Raffles hotels in London cost that each didn’t they? Hotels. In London.

    Maybe much was location value rather than building cost but still…. £1,000,000,000

  8. How can carbon capture ever be profitable? By definition you’re expending effort on something with zero value. You can pretend that it has value by selling government-invented carbon credits or whatever; but there is no intrinsic value.

  9. “creating thousands of jobs for plumbers, electricians, engineers and technicians.”

    They mean those thousands of Expats with Skills that left the UK/Ireland and are quite happily earning their daily bread elsewhere, where they’re not forced to become part of the Mafia Unions, not beholden to Grievance Studies HR “Diversity Managers”, and there’s actual, y’know…. work?

    And are very much not planning to go back, because of the above?

    (I live 5 miles from where Bezos’ yaught was built. And several others.. And…about 5 of the same ilk being built right now.. Besides the “normal” maintenace/refurbishing wharves..
    It’s funny how many UK/Irish expats with skills in the nautical/offshore Trades there are here.. All with basically the same story… )

    Or those newly homegrown skilled workers….. oh wait… turned all the Trade Schools into “Colleges” flogging “Educational Enrichment” , have we? Oh dear…. There’s a pickle and a half….

    Oh, you want to do Offshore and Infrastructure with Imported Vibrancy… m’kay… Lemme know when you get to the results of that….

    Lovely, lovely Clown World…

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