When a shortage means you have too much

The response in the UK to the price spike in gas prices has been somewhat perverse. The spike, it is said, demonstrates that our dependence on dirtypollutinguglyfossildugupstupidfuels is a cardinal mistake. Instead, we should develop freerenewablereliablegoodhonourableunicorn energy.

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said that by decarbonising the UK’s power supply, the country will protect customers from volatile fossil fuel prices.

“The UK so far, as many of you know, has made great progress in diversifying our energy mix. But we are still very dependent, perhaps too dependent, on fossil fuels and their volatile prices,” he told a conference organised by trade body Energy UK.

He said that the government’s recent pledge to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2035 – 15 years ahead of the previous target – would help. “Our homes and businesses will be powered by affordable, clean and secure electricity generated here in the UK, for people in the UK,” Mr Kwarteng said.

BBC, 7th October 2021

So we are too dependent on volatile fossil fuel prices according to our Business Sec. Here’s what the head of the IEA’s Fatih Birol said to the BBC (as reported by Mark in the “Through the Looking Glass” thread):

A failure to invest sufficiently in green energy means “we may well see more and more turbulence in the energy markets”, the head of the International Energy Agency has told the BBC. IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook warns clean energy and infrastructure need a $4 trillion a year investment.

[The BBC article is illustrated by some workmen dragging solar panels onto a lake. I suppose it is too late to warn them that if a significant proportion of the water is covered, this is likely to cause anoxic conditions which will in turn kill most things in the water.]

From the same article, an interview with an activist:

Failing to invest in renewable energy make [sic] little economic sense according to May Boeve, executive director of the international climate campaign group 350.org. “What is expensive is paying for disasters that are caused by climate change. What is expensive is cities paying the bill for floods and fires.”

Utter tripe, nonsense, gobbledigook, and incomprehensible that the BBC should find it newsworthy to report it. They might as well have interviewed a poached egg about what it means to white on the outside and yellow on the inside. As to Birol, here is a man who is supposed to know something about energy, but seems not to know his a55 from a hole in the ground, as Randy Newman would say. To May Boeve we might timorously mention that once she has destroyed hydrocarbon-based civilization, the floods and fires she speaks of will still occur, but will cause more damage, and the repairs will be less and less affordable.

Now, here is the figure that the BBC used a couple of days back to illustrate the problem (and has used on multiple occasions over the last few weeks, updated as they go):

The BBC’s figure is lacking a little context. Here’s another view of the same data from the Economist:

(Note the different axes: 1 million btu = 10 therms ish. Also this version ends earlier.)

Something similar, but covering the last 12 years, can be seen at Manhattan Contrarian here.

Now suddenly we begin to see that there might be something more to this story than too much reliance fossil fuels. Why has the US not seen the same increase in prices as we have? Maybe it’s because they no longer rely on fossil fuels, and have built out an energy system based 100% on renewables instead? I think we know the answer to that question.

Yes folks: it looks like the malaise has spread so far that our own ministers are gaslighting us. Our national broadcaster prefers to present an entirely partial view, and interviews bovine activists whose opinions should not have detained them or us for a picosecond. The question remains: how bad do things have to get before the façade cracks?

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via Climate Scepticism


October 17, 2021 at 06:11AM

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