Tiree. Does it really deserve the world’s largest off shore windfarm?
The renewable energy industry is helping to destroy the UK economy and drive up unemployment says a new report. For every one of David Cameron’s green jobs created in the renewable energy sector (mainly solar and wind), another 3.7 jobs are being lost in the real economy, says the independent study by Verso Economics. In total, measurable policies to promote renewable energy cost £1.4 billion in the UK and £168 million in Scotland in 2009/10. But this doesn’t take into account the additional economic damage inflicted by the erection of enormous, bird-chopping monstrosities all over some of Britain’s most attractive tourist spots including, for example, the hitherto unspoilt island of Tiree.(H/T Michael Daly)
Still, its not all bad news. Until really quite recently, it was only lonely voices like Christopher Booker’s which were prepared to speak out against the great Wind Farm scam (and related Climate Cons). Now, as the Verso Economics report shows, more and more people are waking up to the horrendous economic and environmental damage being done in the name of combatting AGW/climate change/climate disruption/fill in fashionable new phrase here.
Booker lays out the facts yet again in a storming piece in the Daily Mail entitled Why the £250 billion wind farm industry could be the greatest scam of our age. The real villains of the piece, he argues, are our political classes Tories, Labour and Lib Dems alike who are completely out of touch with their increasingly sceptical electorate.
. Our Government has embarked on one of the most reckless gambles in our political history: the idea that we can look to the vagaries of the wind to provide nearly a third of the electricity we need to keep our economy running, well over 90 per cent of which is still currently supplied by coal, gas and nuclear power.
It is true that this target of raising the contribution made by wind by more than ten times in the next nine years was set by the EU.
But it is no good blaming Brussels for such an absurdly ambitious target, because no one was keener to adopt it than our own politicians, led first by Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband and now by David Cameron and the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.
To meet this target, our Government wants to see us spend £100billion on building 10,000 more turbines, plus another £40billion on connecting them all up to the grid.
According to the electricity industry, we will then need to spend another £100billion on those conventional power stations to provide back-up — all of which adds up to £240billion by 2020, or just over £1,000 a year for every household in the land.
And for this our politicians are quite happy to see our countryside and the seas around our coasts smothered in vast arrays of giant industrial machines, all to produce an amount of electricity that could be provided by conventional power stations at a tenth of the cost.
When pressed on this, politicians talk airily of all the Green jobs which will ensue from investment (ie massive taxpayer subsidy) in renewables and of all the energy security which will result. The chutzpah required to come out with this guff is astonishing given that there is not a scintilla of real-world evidence to back up these claims. We already know that wind and solar power have proved a disaster in Germany, Denmark and Spain (where Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez calculated that for every green job the country had destroyed 2.2 jobs in the real economy). We also know that because of the unreliability of wind power, it has to be permanently backed up by conventional power. And we also know that energy security is no longer the problem its cracked up to be because of the shale gas revolution, which will provide us all with cheap, abundant energy for the next 250 years, some of it from as close to home as Blackpool.
Shale gas, as Andrew Orlowski notes here, has everything going for it:
No technology in the world is as disruptive as shale gas right now. Shale disrupts the conventional gas and oil businesses by decoupling the price of natural gas from the price of oil. It disrupts the petroleum industry by providing a cheap alternative to petrol: UPS is putting liquified natural gas-powered trucks into its fleet. It disrupts both by allowing new entrants into the field, which upsets the existing cartels, and state monopolies.
It disrupts the nuclear industry by providing energy buyers with a supply thats cheap and reliable – with no subsidies required. Politically, shale frees much of Europe from a dependence on Russias gas production. It also disrupts the environmental movement in several ways, making the high subsidies that investors demand to build ecologically correct renewable energy, such as wind and solar, hard to justify. An economy dependent on gas, rather than coal, cannot but help but lower its carbon footprint.
With so many vested interests upset by shale, no wonder its so popular!
Yet the economic benefits of an abundance of cheaper energy cant be overstressed: cheaper manufactured goods, energy independence, and an end to the obscenity of fuel poverty, where the poorest freeze – and pay to subsidise solar panels on the roofs of the wealthy. There are 5.5m UK households today living in fuel poverty – and thanks to carbon emissions targets and renewables commitments, the average household will have to pay £300 extra every year to 2020.
Which of course, Orlowski goes on, is why eco-nut politicians like the dreadful Chris Huhe are so determined to stamp on it.
But even if the politicians don’t understand the situation, the markets do.
Heres a report from Bloomberg, for example, on the sudden end of the UK solar gold rush:
Britain is moving faster than any other European country to contain a surge in solar power and prevent the boom-and-bust seen in Spain and predicted for the Czech Republic. The risk is scaring off the investors who would create the “green jobs” Prime Minister David Cameron is seeking to revive the economy.
“It’s going to completely kill the market,” said Tim German, renewable energy manager for the local government in Cornwall at the U.K.’s southwest tip. “Investors are starting to get cold feet.”
Why is this happening? Because the British government has belatedly come to realise what the Spanish government had already discovered months ago: that the renewables industry (being economically worthless in its own right) is only sustainable (tee hee) through massive government subsidy known as feed-in tariffs. These subsidies are so costly to the Exchequer and therefore to the taxpayer that they not only wreak enormous damage on the economy but prove extremely unpopular with voters.
When it comes to saving Mother Gaia and being able to feed and clothe their kids, people can very suddenly become very pragmatic about the threat of Man Made Global Warming. We’ve just seen a delicious example of this in Ireland which has been playing the green energy scam game more enthusiastically than perhaps any other country in the world whose Green party has been utterly destroyed in the recent elections.
I also like to think of it as another important sign of our fast-changing times that Watts Up With That? has won the 2011 Bloggie award for Best Science Blog. Thoroughly deserved of course, but can you imagine this happening even two years ago: an avowedly AGW sceptical blog being lionised in this way? I cant. The AGW industry is collapsing faster than Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. All those of you who have done your bit in fighting the great climate wars, I salute you!
- Green jobs? Wot green jobs? (pt 242)
- ‘Global warming’: time to get angry
- What the Chinese really think of ‘Man Made Global Warming’.
- Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?