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Friday, 25 March 2011

WORTH THE CANDLE?

The article below has been lifted in its entirety from the free-to-download pdf of VERSO ECONOMICS. It blows the UK’s Policy on renewable Energy clean out of the water.

Quoting a report from the Caledonian Mercury: “Scotland has the potential to become the Saudi Arabia of renewables,” has been the oft-repeated message from the Scottish Government. Ministers have been adamant: Scotland is blessed to have so much wind coursing over its hills, so many waves pounding its shores and such strong tidal currents drawing between its islands.

But the “renewables bonanza”, predicted to bring 50,000 long-term jobs to Scotland and allow us to export electricity to the whole of Europe, never mind the rest of the UK, may not be quite as clear cut as has been forecast up until now.

(You can click on each page to make the print more legible.)

Microsoft Word - WORTHTHECANDLE_ES_

Microsoft Word - WORTHTHECANDLE_ES_

Microsoft Word - WORTHTHECANDLE_ES_

Again – quoting from the Caledonian Mercury: “The main author of the report is Richard Marsh. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a member of a Scottish Government expert group on Input-Output accounting and modelling.

He has worked for governments across Europe and the Middle East, economic development agencies, local authorities, multinational businesses, funding bodies and colleges and universities.

And, when Mr Marsh came to look at ways of predicting employment rates for renewables in the future, he used exactly the same modelling that the Scottish Government had used for its predictions of job losses from the VAT rise.

All of this will help add weight to his findings and head off the criticism which will inevitably come pouring down from the Scottish Government and the renewables industry.”

THE MOST DAMNING SECTION SAYS: “IN CONCLUSION, POLICY TO PROMOTE THE RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY SECTOR IN BOTH SCOTLAND & THE UK IS ECONOMICALLY DAMAGING. GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT SEE THIS AS AN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY, THEREFORE, BUT SHOULD FOCUS DEBATE INSTEAD ON WHETHER THESE COSTS, AND THE DAMAGE DONE TO THE ENVIRONMENT ARE WORTH THE CANDLE IN TERMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION.”

We must get this message out there to out politicians that this is totally and utterly unacceptable.

13 comments:

  1. A very alarming report which questions what state of denial our politicians are in. The Religion of Climate Change has destroyed any objectivity and with it, seemingly, any common sense. This is only one of several reports on different issues such as the Blue Seas Green Energy written by the government that casts a totally conflicting light on the 2008 tourism impact report. I have just decided that I must have strayed into a parallel universe where everything is topsy-turvy. No other explanation.

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  2. They MUST be aware of this surely, so the only conclusion is that they are totally ignoring it any counter argument in their blinkered outlook.
    From responses on the board it is obvious that they are not a reflection of the opinion of much of the electorate. Perhaps we are just a patsy of mindless politicians and the blind following of EU regulations on Renewable Energy Targets.
    The scary thing is the amount of mindless vandalism that has already been done and is sanctioned in the name of so called green. Saying it is green to desecrate the environment is such a blatant contradiction.
    And as for Salmon, well he is the Dr Beeching of his era in another form. What a £**$.

    Oh yes, and what happend to Windfarm Wars on the BBC?
    Who and why was the plug pulled on that?

    Oooohh Rant over ....

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  3. Excellent work Alan and thankyou. Please keep us posted on when the Wake For The Wilderness march is due to take place. We need a 21st century equivalent of the Kinder Trespass to stop this madness. I've emailed the SNP (yet to get a reply) to say that I will cease to visit Scotland in future and spend my money overseas in countries where the governments appreciate and protect their wild land. I was sad to have to had sent that letter. The Wake For The Wilderness needs to be BIG with UK-WIDE PRESS COVERAGE!!

    Jay

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  4. Anonymous - I'll be interested to hear if you get a response. I've written and emailed the Scottish Government many times together with election candidates who stuff literature though my letter box. I have received one reply (in 2008).

    Thanks for all your efforts Alan. They are much appreciated by us all, for sure.

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  5. A great find, Alan.
    It seems obvious that:
    a) if renewables need subsidies, then energy prices will be higher;
    b) if energy prices are higher, business will find it harder to employ more people;
    c) there will be less employment in the general (i.e. non-energy) industry.

    It is interesting to see an estimate for this harm compared to the potential jobs created by the farms.

    Of course, this all goes out of the window if renewables can generate power competitively with oil, coal and gas so they do not need a subsidy. But I doubt that such efficiencies will be achievable with wind.

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  6. Is the full PDF available somewhere Alan?

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  7. I have had two responses now from Dave Thompson SNP. Both times he has ignored my questions - so I am sending them again! He does say he believes the planning system is working well - heaven help us if this shower get in again. We are trying to get the message out there via action groups across the UK but it is hard when the vast majority of politicians don't care and believe in global warming to the extent they think we HAVE to have turbines everywhere to survive! There is little media coverage for action groups and until recently most didn't realise how many groups were out there (I have found in excess of 130) all fighting the same thing, spending hours of their time and thousands of pounds of their own money. The wealthy developers have money to burn and factor into their calculations what it will take to fight the communities - of that we are quite certain. The distress out there is shocking and I am sure there is nothing else you can put into a search engine to come up with such widespread misery as wind farms produce. It is shameful that the governments of the UK treat their citizens like this. Democracy it is NOT.

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  8. The full Verso Report is available to download but at £36. You can pay by Paypal though.
    http://www.versoeconomics.com/research.htm

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  9. Today I drove up to the new Lochelbank wind plant to have a look at what they've done there. The turbines are "only" 90 metres tall so it's not the latest and greatest. Interestingly, neither the wind plant nor the several small turbines at various farms around the area (as you may know, Salmond has just announced new subsidies from the EU for farmers who wish to put in a application but are put off by legal and planning costs. Brussels is going to pay for that. And then the farmer gets the feed-in tariff which is the greatest rip-off of all.

    But anyway, today is a cool day, but completely windless. It's unusual for the end of March because we always get the equinoctial gales this time of year up here in Scotland. Well, neither the giant turbines nor the small ones dotted around the hillside were turning. The big ones at the wind plant were just trying to turn but couldn't quite make it.

    And we've just heard that 2010 has been the least windy year in a long time. So much so that some companies running wind plants have made a loss despite the huge subsidies.

    And that's the most extraordinary thing of all. All other forms of energy production have got their faults, but at least they deliver the goods. Wind is the one that by definition cannot deliver. But they force the turbines down our throat anyway. That's what's almost worse than the visual and environmental pollution brought about. It's the mindless vandalism, as AKKW says.

    When the power cuts start (already announced by the head of the national grid), then the chicken will come home to roost.

    Ah yes, let's not forget the new mega-pylons we'll get from the Beauly-Denny line.

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  10. Andy, I read your comment that some copanies have made a loss. We suggested some time ago that as so many companies are shell companies owned by foreign companies that the management and finacial charges will always ensure that the UK company will never make a profit. That way they don't have to pay taxes. We have studied one companie's cascade of UK businesses and each is making a £60k loss. The Company is still investing like crazy so make your own judgement. As the income and the subsidies will all go abroad and the landowners are more often absentee(Sir Jack Hayward), I wonder where Mr Salmond reckons Scotland is going to benefit from them. Statistically speaking surcharge on each electricity bill is around £157 per yr (based on a three bedroom house) and Community Benefit works out at about £20 per resident in those areas affected. I know Mr Salmond was an economist and I wasn't but it hardly takes Einstein to work out the the sums don't add up.

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  11. That's interesting, John. If so, Salmond is even more of a numpty than I already thought he was. It just confirms then that it's all bluster, smoke and mirrors and nothing more. He can puff his chest with all these big announcements of inwards investment, and the thousands of turbines going up. He can pretend he's actually doing something and that hides his inability to re-invent Scotland as a genuinely innovative nation. It's such a pity because Holyrood did some fine things in the early years before this wind rush madness bit them in the backside.
    By the way, wasn't Salmond an economist with the RBS?? 'Nuff said...

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  12. Is it known if the report was commissioned or financed buy an organisation with an vested interest in the conclusion? Perhaps, somebody with ties to the nuclear industry?

    It's a difficult topic and a difficult problem to solve. But if we keep increasing consumption and populations keep growing we'll need ever increasing, secure, sources of energy. I don't think pillaging our wild land is the answer. I'm sure marine biologists would have some concerns over the impact of harvesting wave power. Nuclear doesn't seem to be popular.

    I've decided that I'd rather see the money / grants focused on micro generation schemes for individuals or small local cooperatives. The cynic in me tells me that this isn't in the interest of the energy companies, who'll ensure they lobby government and influence opinion through sponsored research.

    If you live in Scotland now is the time to act. Challenge your local candidates before polling day.

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  13. NakedEye, let's be clear about one thing. Talk of reducing energy consumption is misplaced.

    The governments both at Westminster and Holyrood are bound by decisions taken by the EU. And one of these decisions is that electric cars (and vehicles more generally, buses and the like) have got to replace combustion engine cars. They also want home heating to be provided by electricity.

    So, there will be more and more wind plants going up not just because of our current needs but also for those that will be forced on us by the 'electrification of transport and heating'.

    Not my words, or those of a Soviet-era bureaucrat, but those of the UK energy minister.

    See this report:

    http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sectors/energy-and-environment/news/decc-plans-roll-out-of-smart-meters-across-britain/1008077.article

    So, electricity consumption is going to sky-rocket thanks to these guys. We'll soon be running out of hills...

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