Expensive Green Energy A ‘Bad Gamble’ As Gas Price Drops — Britain’s Green Energy Fiasco Deepens

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Fam­i­lies face pay­ing up to £40 extra each year for wind and solar farms to meet cli­mate change tar­gets after the gov­ern­ment revised its ener­gy price fore­casts. The sub­sidy required for each unit of renew­able elec­tric­i­ty will rise after the Depart­ment of Ener­gy and Cli­mate Change (DECC) con­ced­ed that gas was much cheap­er than it had pre­dict­ed. A glut of gas on the world mar­ket means gas-fired pow­er sta­tions have become cheap­er to run, mak­ing wind and solar farms com­par­a­tive­ly even more expensive.—Tim Webb & Ben Web­ster, The Times, 3 Octo­ber 2014

Peter Ather­ton, ener­gy ana­lyst at Liberum Cap­i­tal, said that green ener­gy was “always a hell of a gam­ble and now looks like an increas­ing­ly bad gam­ble”. “Year after year [ener­gy sec­re­tary] Ed Dav­ey has been bang­ing on that one of the core rea­sons [for back­ing green ener­gy] is to pro­tect our­selves against inevitably high and volatile fos­sil fuel prices. Now their own fore­casts are say­ing fos­sil fuel prices are going to be very afford­able,” he said.—Emily Gos­den, The Dai­ly Tele­graph, 3 Octo­ber 2014

The impact of ris­ing house­hold ener­gy bills will be great­ly reduced by cli­mate change poli­cies which could save con­sumers around £166 by 2020, accord­ing to the ener­gy and cli­mate sec­re­tary, Ed Dav­ey. “Glob­al gas price hikes are squeez­ing house­holds. They are beyond any government’s con­trol. The analy­sis shows that our strat­e­gy of shift­ing to alter­na­tives like renew­ables and of being smarter with how we use ener­gy is help­ing those who need it most to save mon­ey on their bills,” he said.—John Vidal, The Guardian, 27 March 2013

In a bizarre state­ment, ener­gy and cli­mate change sec­re­tary Chris Huhne told the House of Com­mons that his [green ener­gy] poli­cies mean con­sumers will actu­al­ly be bet­ter off. Dr Ben­ny Peis­er, of the Glob­al Warm­ing Foun­da­tion, said Mr Huhne’s reas­sur­ances were ‘polit­i­cal spin’. Gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy is based on an assump­tion that gas prices will con­tin­ue to rise, but Dr Peis­er said the price could fall. He said: ‘Prices are like­ly to come down very significantly.’—Sean Poul­ter, Dai­ly Mail 24 Novem­ber 2011

By 2020, British Ener­gy & Cli­mate Change Sec­re­tary Chris Huhne rou­tine­ly insists, fam­i­lies and busi­ness­es in the Unit­ed King­dom will be bet­ter off – despite his plan to shift the coun­try towards expen­sive renew­able ener­gy. His claim is based on the assump­tion that the price of fos­sil fuels can only go up as we “run out” of oil and gas sup­plies. As a result, ener­gy prices will inevitably shoot into the stratos­phere, mak­ing very cost­ly renew­ables com­pet­i­tive in the future. I am afraid Huhne’s assump­tions are mis­guid­ed. In real­i­ty, we are in the mid­dle of a glob­al nat­ur­al gas rev­o­lu­tion. Indeed, gas prices have dropped by half in the Unit­ed States in the last two years as a result of a glut in cheap shale gas.—Benny Peis­er, Pub­lic Ser­vice Europe, 19 Jan­u­ary 2012

As we look at UK ener­gy pol­i­cy now, DECC has had the coun­try make a mas­sive finan­cial gam­ble on the back of a pre­dic­tion that was whol­ly unfound­ed and which has been obvi­ous­ly so for many years. We now learn that DECC has also dis­trib­uted this aston­ish­ing wave of pub­lic mon­ey in a man­ner that can only be described as mon­strous­ly incom­pe­tent, and which many will assume to be mon­strous­ly cor­rupt. Any rea­son­able per­son would close down DECC right now and lay off all the envi­ron­men­tal­ists who staff it.—Andrew Mont­ford, Bish­op Hill, 3 Octo­ber 2014

Glob­al warm­ing is a ‘pub­lic health emer­gency’ that will cause thou­sands of deaths world­wide, a lead­ing med­ical jour­nal warns. The BMJ’s edi­tor Dr Fiona Godlee calls on the World Health Organ­i­sa­tion to declare the issue a pub­lic health emer­gency – putting it on a par with the cur­rent ebo­la out­break in West Africa. Dr Ben­ny Peis­er of the Glob­al Warm­ing Pol­i­cy Forum accused the BMJ report of being need­less­ly alarmist. ‘The World Health Organ­i­sa­tion would become a glob­al laugh­ing stock if they were to fol­low the ridicu­lous­ly over-the-top demands of a green alarmist edi­tor. There is a real dis­con­nect between what they are say­ing and the reality.’—Sophie Bor­land and Ben Spencer, Dai­ly Mail, 2 Octo­ber 2014