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Sorry Simon, this is in fact right

It falsely claims that climate action has “sent energy bills soaring”. In fact it is the UK’s heavy reliance on gas that is predominantly to blame.

If we were all still using coal then it would all be nice and cheap. We’ve moved from coal to gas beause climate action……

30 thoughts on “Sorry Simon, this is in fact right”

  1. This is all true, yet it’s telling that not a single politician in the UK has spoken in favour of electricity generated from coal. (Lee Anderson, former coal-miner himself, made some positive comments about coal; but it was in relation to steel-making.)

  2. But it needn’t be expensive.
    Green policies by governments have made gas dear and not resilient to shocks like the Ukraine War.

  3. Is anyone else noticing the pattern of warmest places in the UK being airports and botanical gardens?

    I mean, my Spidey Sense was tingling with Lincolnshire. Why would Lincolnshire have the hottest place in the UK? And it turns out Conigsby has an RAF base, like Northolt. What’s the effect of stations at airports with a high concentration of aircraft, or being near a load of greenhouses?

    I’m not even saying this disproves things, but I think these sort of places really shouldn’t be included in the results. Maybe have a weather station in Richmond, but Kew itself?

  4. One of the small ironies of modern life is that whenever someone says they’re “Fact Checking”, you know they’re a fucking liar.

  5. Theophrastus (2066)

    Domestic electricity in the UK is roughly on average 24.50p per kWh with a standing charge of 60.1p a day. Domestic gas is 6.04p per kWh with a standing charge of 31.43p per day. Relative to electricity, a kwh of gas is cheap.

  6. Why would Lincolnshire have the hottest place in the UK?
    Why should it matter? Anyone who’s ever had to measure temperatures knows that except in very controlled circumstance, much under a degree & you’re measuring how you’re measuring. Point temperatures don’t tell you anything.
    And yes I’d be suspicious about temperature records because they’ll be biased to where it’s convenient to do temperature measurements.

  7. Finally, it is a fact that we humans are causing the climate crisis, not the sun or volcanoes as Tice implies. The IPCC says it is “unequivocal” that humans are responsible for heating the planet and that our emissions have caused 100% of recent warming.

    The IPCC is probably the greatest single collection of Criminals ever assembled outside of a work of comicbook fiction. If it says something is ‘unequivocal’ odds are the exact opposite is true. These are the people driving lockdown and Net Zero – they want 6 billion dead and will stop at nothing to achieve it. The author of this tripe is basically the spiritual heir to Goebbels , with a far less developed sense of humour.

  8. The Earth has warmed a bit in the last 170 years. Big deal.

    It is still cooler now than 1000 years ago (the Medieval warm period), cooler now than 2000 years ago (the Roman warm period) and cooler now than 3000 years ago (the Minoan warm period).

    Start taking measurements during the coldest point (end of the Little Ice Age) in the last 8000 years and show surprise when it goes up.

    This is nothing to do with climate and everything to do with control.

    And, as V_P points out, getting rid of 6 billion humans.

  9. Demonstrably, high energy prices are government policy and they will remain so whichever party gets in. Neither Labour or tories are planning anythink on any issue which would actually ayyress the concerns of the ekectorate.

    I live eight miles from Coningsby and I’m currently freezing my arse off.

  10. Generating electricity from gas has two main costs: the gas burnt as fuel and the fixed overheads of the plant which includes transmission, staff and maintenance but is largely repayment of the capital cost of building it. Increasing renewables mean that the gas plant runs less and less, but when it does it also needs to recover the fixed costs etc. for when it was idle. If the plant were to only run one day a year the running cost would be one days gas but 365 days of all the other costs. The more renewables we have the higher the cost of the reliable power we need for when the wind doesn’t blow. Unfortunately the spot price of electricity is set at the most expensive source at any time. Even if we only need a little of the expensive electricity all contributing generators get that rate. The renewables are rewarded handsomely for under performing. This is a market failure because the Government has made the commodity traded “electricity” but what is needed is “reliable electricity”.

  11. Yeah Andy. I’m thinking of the continual demands that Victoria and NSW provide back up electricity for South Australia.

    And of course the way the Greens blew up the Port Augusta coal burner when they got into power.

  12. @Western Bloke
    That Coningsby sensor is next to the runway.
    Fighter jets on manoevers that day. Full afterburner take off.
    Manmade local temperature spikes.

  13. The more “Cheap Green Energy”(tm) we have the more my electricity bill goes up.
    I suspect causation not correlation.

    Why does gas cost 4x as much as it did 5 years ago? It isn’t infrastructure which is static over that time frame, could it be getting less from under our feet and instead importing it from far away?

  14. Person in Pictland

    “not a single politician in the UK has spoken in favour of electricity generated from coal”

    Maybe they are worried about being confused with the sort of moron who wants to use British steam coal when what you’d actually do is import from Queensland, or Poland, or wherever steam coal is currently cheap.

    “Lee Anderson, former coal-miner himself, made some positive comments about coal; but it was in relation to steel-making.” Was this to do with the proposed Cumbrian mine for coking coal? I have no idea whether it would have made economic sense but I do know exactly how to find out. Give it planning permission and see if a business can make a go of it without subsidy.

  15. @Swannypol

    That Coningsby sensor is next to the runway.
    Fighter jets on manoevers that day. Full afterburner take off.
    Manmade local temperature spikes.

    Temperature is now measured by an electronic device which takes a reading every second. Within any given minute, the highest temperature is the one recorded; even if it lasted only 1 second. The recorded temperature in the minute before the record was 0.6C lower. The recorded temperature in the minute after the record was also 0.6C lower. Oh, and the Coningsby station is in the bottom category of WMO specifications; due to buildings etc nearby, subject to measurement errors up to 5 degrees C.

    All of this was documented on WattsUpWithThat several months ago.

  16. If the Guardian was more honest, they would just call him out for Heresy, rather than this tedious fake fact checking nonsense.

  17. Is anyone else noticing the pattern of warmest places in the UK being airports and botanical gardens?

    Large concrete buildings (like the old WW2 “Air Ministry Roof” reading) and aircraft runways are subject to the “heat island” effect, making readings from them warmer than the surrounding areas.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_heat_island

    The proven liars and fraudsters at the Climate Research Unit (as in the centre of the “Climategate” controversy) say this effect is discounted from their readings, but, as I said, proven liars and fraudsters.

  18. Russia is still supplying Europe with gas. There are 19 compressor stations between Yamal and Germany, burning gas to power the compression.
    To liquify and re-gas LNG you need power, which consumes about 20% of the gas.

    If we fracked the gas under or feet we’d no longer be in hock to Russia, Qatar and the USA and so a lot safer, and global CO2 emissions would decline. But as a fan of MOAR CO2 I’m slightly conflicted here.

  19. SA has/had the world’s biggest battery farm i believe. Why on earth would they need back up from another state? Something isn’t stacking up.

  20. If you had a million Nissan Leaf power packs, fully charged, you could back up the UK National Grid for about an hour.

    Anthony Watts became sceptical about claimed rising temperatures when he was doing a job auditing weather stations. Not only were many of them poorly sited and surrounded by tarmac and buildings that had been added since the weather station was placed. Some had been converted to electronic sensors with heat sinks on the circuit boards close to the heat sensors.

  21. The ‘dash for gas’ in the UK goes back to the 1980s when the unions had had a long history of holding the government and country to ransom by uneconomic pay demands and cuts to output. Green motives may have been there in part, but the opportunity that gas presented to neuter the effect of strikes by Scargill & Co was also significant, in my view.

  22. @Bongo
    SA has/had the world’s biggest battery farm i believe. Why on earth would they need back up from another state? Something isn’t stacking up.

    Media lies.
    The much heralded battery farm does not provide ANY backup/storage.
    It’s sole purpose is as a substitute for ‘rotating inertia’, i.e to balance instantaneous load demand against instantaneous delivery.
    This used to be supplied by spinning generators (allowing the turbine throttles to adjust over seconds) but with ‘renewables’ generating DC and then AC via a grid-following inverter, there’s no stability.

    You may remember a major London outage that was caused by exactly this problem: too many sources being ‘grid-following’ and not enough being ‘grid-defining’.
    Next time, it may not come back. Studies of ‘black-start’ scenarios, with all the coal generators gone, suggest a recovery in weeks or months.
    We should start a sweepstake on who will be the scapegoat kulaks!

  23. Oh, and a similar battery farm to the SA one in San Diego caught fire a month ago. It’s still burning. The Fire people have used millions of gallons of water (in drought conditions) but this just makes it worse by creating short circuits and more thermal runaways. So the Fire people have now given up trying to put it out, and are concentrating of preventing the fire spreading to too many adjacent buildings, and washing away the tons of hydrogen cyanide in the fumes.

    Coverage on the BBC or other media……Nil.

    We are so fortunate that the UK is so vast that huge unpopulated areas exist for thse things here.

  24. I suspect that JT rather oversimplified things. I remember the open coal fires that went out overnight and had to be relit the following morning, with the piles of ash to be disposed of in the dustbin (which really was dusty). They were galvanised in those days, not plastic (hopeless for hot ash). Then, we had fireplaces that could be set with minimum airflow to stay lit longer. My parents got central heating when I’d already left for Uni, and it was an enclosed coal fire driving a back boiler more efficiently than an open fire did the same thing (although I had one such back boiler for hot water). Then, the coal fire was replaced with gas. No dust. No relighting. Automatic. Much though I like the idea that Scargill was shafted, we have to note that the electricity that controlled the switching on and off of gas fired central heating tended to come from coal-fired power stations, so the whole shebang stayed at risk from miners’ strikes. The answer, then as now, was and still is nuclear.

  25. Bloke in North Dorset

    Excavator Man,

    It wasn’t just the miners, coal was taken from the pits to the electricity generating stations by train so the train drivers’ unions had a lot of power, that’s why the Tories had to stockpile coal at the generating stations rather than the pits before they could take on Scargill.

    And it’s also why train drivers have nowhere near the political clout they used to have.

  26. Thanks TtC.
    It sounds like there’s no point to battery storage beyond load balancing – some Merc type dude gets home and immediately starts cooking, boiling the kettle, putting the heating on and charging the car, at the same time as the other arseholes on his street.
    Is there any value in battery storage as energy supply say 15 minutes after the surge battle has begun?

  27. Nuclear, coal, gas, hydro. These all work because they are concentrated and controllable sources of energy, I.e. reliable power.

    Wind, solar, etc are not, and that’s all you need to know. These are Goldsteinism and simply squander resources on a truly epic scale for no result other than to feed the diseased fantasies of genocidal monsters pathologically incapable of seeing humanity at large as anything other than a disease to be “cured”.

  28. WattsUpWithThat has done an excellent job pointing out the issues with the accuracy of temperature recording, not that the media will ever bother to pick up on the issue.
    Blogs and podcasts are were real journalism is being done these days

  29. @bongo
    A couple of 1GW storage facilities are being built. Each costing c £300m.
    UK on a spring weekend day runs at about 30GW.
    So to cover an hour of use you need 30 of those £300m plants.
    I make that £10bn to provide just 1 hour of backup.

    A realistic target might be a week of cover.
    About £1.5tn of cost.
    And they would cover about 100k Acres. Something like 1.5x the size of Birmingham.
    Cheap Green Energy ™

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