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Topic Title: Feeding Renewable Policy
Topic Summary: Green energy conference to discuss Government plans for renewables
Created On: 13 January 2013 11:20 AM
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 13 January 2013 11:20 AM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

From David Toke's Green Energy Blog

http://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.co.uk/

A Conference presented by The University of Birmingham and the Claverton Group of Energy Experts, Friday January 18th

This Conference will focus on policies needed to underpin a feed-in tariff system for funding renewable energy and also the sort of policy environment that is needed to ensure maximised expansion of renewable energy. The event coincides with the passage through Parliament of the Energy Bill implementing Electricity Market Reform (EMR) which is concerned with giving priority to a low-carbon electricity strategy. A mixture of expert speakers and participants from industry, government, environmental NGOs, and academia will discuss the details of the issues and options. Attendance fees will be £200 corporate, £50 individuals and free to voluntary groups - also free to speakers of course. Booking should be done through the online shop at;

http://shop.bham.ac.uk/browse/...46&deptid=17&catid=20


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James Arathoon
 20 January 2013 02:17 PM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
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Probably cancelled because of the snow. I wonder if any of the attendees could see the irony? Or are their heads all too deeply buried in the taxpayer subsidy trough?
 20 January 2013 03:16 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Ipayyoursalary,

The big six energy firms were not there. Most of the public subsidies are and will be going them. That's the way they like it.

This conference, which had a heathy attendence, inspite of the snow consisted of smaller energy independents, energy consultants, academics, graduate students at Birmingham, one MP, green lobby groups and range of interested individuals who want to see government policy on energy improved.

All these people need is a level playing field on which to compete and a stable regulatory environment in which to conduct their business.

Compare this with Third Generation Nuclear.

1. 100% subsidies for research and development
2. Subsidies through an array of Government Quangos in Britain and Europe
4, Worker education and training subsisies
5. Construction Subsidies
6. Investment Subsidies
7. Income Subsidies (indended and unintended)
8. Insurance cap subsidies
9. Decommissioning and Waste Cap Subsidies
10. Opportunites (as with all multi-nationals) to avoid some or all UK corporation tax.

Open your eyes - find the worst offenders and attack them. Think before you attack all the small guys, who seem to me, to be slowly trying to make the world a better place, despite having their arms tied behind their backs by government.

James Arathoon


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James Arathoon
 20 January 2013 04:12 PM
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Avatar for OMS.
OMS

Posts: 19623
Joined: 23 March 2004

It's a band wagon James - people playing around the margins with stuff that has nothing like the energy density required to make it mainstream (or even viable in any commercial payback terms).

You'll recall my comments about Green bling on the Savoy House thrad

It's prime importance might be, and I emphasise the might be, to create just a fraction more energy security in europe

If you've been watching the news lately, those poor sods out in the algerian desert work on a plant that puts circa 17% of EU gas through it.

Just think what a coordinated RPG or light artillery assault would do to the lights across Europe, throw in a few unidentified anti vehicle and anti personnel mines and a cluster of IED's and we'd be down for many months - lucky the focus was on a few hostages really.

I'm all for a better energy policy though.

regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 20 January 2013 06:44 PM
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jarathoon

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This is not people playing about at the margins.

DECC's Contracts for Difference [CfD's] (or more correctly entitled "Centrally Controlled Statutory Instruments for Perennial Subsidy") are something that will seriously mess up energy policy in this country for the next 50 years.

If this can be defined as a "bandwagon", then it is a bandwagon that is very large and once it gets going will be very very difficult to stop quickly.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 20 January 2013 10:10 PM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
Joined: 21 November 2009

Hi James, I'm no fan of handouts for the nuclear industry either. Indeed they've been only too keen to jump on the climate change scaremongering bandwagon. Although, in their defence, at least nuclear does reliably generate a useful amount of power. Not something that can be said of snow covered solar panels or stationary windturbines on a cold, still day.
James wrote:
All these people need is a level playing field

I'm all for level playing fields but look what they're actually demanding:
This conference will focus on policies needed to underpin the feed-in tariff system...

a system which sees rich land owners paid vastly inflated prices for the worthless trickle of unreliable intermittent energy they produce - at the expense of poor house holders, freezing pensioners and small business struggling to survive under the burden of energy bills needlessly inflated by various green taxes and subsidies.
 21 January 2013 02:09 PM
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jarathoon

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Ipayyoursalary,

I have great sympathy with a lot of what you say. The main thing that exasperates me about you is that you offer your critique without providing suggestions as to where a solution might lie.

The solution appears to be framed by the question:
Is it better to make spurious and partial analyses (as DECC is currently using) to inform rushed and non-sensical policy making or is it better to doing nothing and let the private market and nature take its own course?

These seem to me to be the only alternatives currently on offer to us, and I can see why there are valid objections all sides of the debate, and why many engineers feel they have no directing role to play in any of this.

What appears to be happening is that public and bill payer funds (that should be limited to support and encouragement for new generation technologies for eventual equity driven private sector roll-out) are being directed into slush funds for the building of vast amounts of uneconomic generation capacity. As part of this process public money is and will be used to guarantee generator profits and remove all their private sector risks.

Feed in tariffs are being justified to support new technologies so they can be evaluated in real world use, and I agree with this use. However where does public support for new technologies end and gross market manipulation by picking winners begin? We have no clarity on this and this is an unacceptable and unsustainable political position in my opinion.

If you are a developer and want to build new third gen nuclear (EPR, AP1000) and offshore wind (using a range of inappropriate onshore wind technologies) you are quids in for now apparently (well at least until some future government changes its mind as to the sanity of all this).

At this moment in this cold snap 45% of our electricity is being generated by coal. Politicians either want to get rid of coal on an absurdly quick timescale without having a reliable and cheap technology to replace it, or they want to put their full faith in a technology to reduce its carbon emissions, CCS, that hasn't even been costed and developed yet.

Now I am all for reducing our carbon emissions, but its not going to happen in way politicians currently envisage - no matter what the arbitary targets they put in place.

I agree with Robert Hargraves (Author of "Thorium Cheaper than Coal"); we need a new cheap and viable source of energy to be able to reduce our carbon emissions. The only even half plausible candidate on the table for this at the moment is Molten Salt Thorium Reactors.

- Third Generation Nuclear is an expensive and unsustainable dead end that needs vast amounts of public subsidy to roll it out.
- Tokamak Fusion Power, even if it does work, will be too expensive and we already know that without building ITER.
- Renewable energy covers some electrical generation, some of the time, but will never be able to meet our entire global energy needs.

What about heating and transport? Are we going to close down our gas grid and put all energy supplies via the electrical grid in the UK? The energy flows and the peaks and troughs of gas use are far greater than for electicity in the UK. Even if we could generate all this extra winter electricity where do all the extra pylons go?

James Arathoon


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James Arathoon
 23 January 2013 12:28 AM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
Joined: 21 November 2009

Hi James,

Those are some good points and valid questions. In my opinion the free market should be left to sort it out - regulated only to ensure free and fair competition and to prevent monopolies. It is madness to think the central planners at DECC can come up with an efficient one-size-fits-all solution to such a multi-facetted ever changing issue as energy supply.

And I would dispute your assertion that 'we need to reduce our carbon emissions'. There's been no warming since 1998 despite one third of all man's CO2 emissions having occurred since that date. This graph of RSS Satellite global temperature vs Man-made CO2 illustrates my point. How long must the temperature plateau continue before we re-evaluate whether 'reducing CO2 to fight climate change' should be the primary objective of energy policy?

In my opinion the government's only objective should be to ensure the free market supplies UK customers with the lowest energy bills possible. But at the moment this is nowhere on their list of objectives. In fact quite the opposite; Instead they see price rises as a valid tool to enforce a reduction in consumption. A complete anathema to human health and wealth creation.

PS.The USA is currently seeing roughly a 5% year-on-year decline in CO2 emissions largely thanks to the use of more efficient shale gas generation - Once again the free market at work - without any need for wasteful state run emissions trading schemes or carbon pricing money-go rounds.

Edited: 24 January 2013 at 01:10 PM by Ipayyoursalary
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