Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Britain’s energy cost crisis and the Mad Hatter’s Tea-Party of Westminster

Responding to the front-page news that Boris Johnson and Liz Truss are both supporting the lifting of the so-called “ban” on onshore wind in the UK, Net Zero Watch today described the Westminster energy debate as a “rationality-free zone”.

Since becoming Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has, against logic and all evidence, re-imposed the ban on exploring the vast potential of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil in the UK, a thermodynamically competent fuel that could reinforce UK security of supply and, by giving UK markets a domestic option, reduce the price of imported gas. His chancellor, Mr Hunt, has imposed a windfall tax on energy companies, including those that Britain needs most such as oil, gas and nuclear, that will discourage investment for decades unless it is swiftly reversed.

The Prime Minister’s critics within his own party are no better. Led by Simon Clarke MP, but now joined by the ex-Prime Ministers, Johnson and Truss, some Conservatives are supporting a renewed drive for onshore wind, apparently believing the absurd industry propaganda claims that wind power is cheap. As is well known in the markets, but not apparently understood at all in Westminster, wind both on and offshore is extremely expensive, with stubbornly high capital costs and rising operational costs, to say nothing of system management costs to address its uncontrollable variability.

Meanwhile, the Opposition front bench, notionally led by Sir Keir Starmer, but in fact driven by the radical views of Ed Miliband, are promising to nationalise the energy sector and call it GB Energy, freeze energy bills and pay for the cost by taxes on oil and gas companies, while quadrupling offshore wind (to about 40 GW, up from 11 operational today) and doubling onshore wind (up to 28 GW from 14 operational today).

Dr John Constable, NZW’s Director of Energy, said:

"The intellectual quality of the UK energy policy debate is a disgrace to parliament, revealing both the ignorance and folly of elected representatives. Like Alice in Wonderland it is utterly surreal nonsense; but, unlike Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, it isn’t funny. The British people deserve better."


Dr John Constable
e: john.constable.1837@gmail.com


Green Europe: VW warns soaring energy costs render battery plants unviable

Investment in German and EU industrial projects such as battery-cell factories will be unfeasible if the region’s policy makers fail to control ballooning energy prices in the long-term, the head of Volkswagen AG’s namesake brand said.

“Unless we manage to reduce energy prices in Germany and Europe quickly and reliably, investments in energy-intensive production or new battery cell factories in Germany and the EU will be practically unviable,” VW Brand Chief Executive Officer Thomas Schaefer wrote Monday on LinkedIn. “The value creation in this area will take place elsewhere.”

An outline for industrial-policy cooperation hatched by the French and German economy ministers last week “falls short in crucial areas and does not address the envisaged priorities,” Schaefer said.

Europe’s energy crisis is compounding pressure on how to respond to the US’s Inflation Reduction Act, President Joe Biden’s climate and tax law that aims to boost domestic production of electric cars and reduce reliance on China for battery components and materials. European Union officials have said the subsidy program violates World Trade Organization rules and discriminates against non-US companies.

The EU’s programs don’t focus enough on “the short-term ramp-up, scaling and industrialisation of production,” Schaefer said, critizising what he called “outdated and bureaucratic state-aid rules.”

Volkswagen plans to have six battery factories in full operation across Europe by 2030 under its battery company PowerCo, which broke ground on its lead plant in Germany in July of this year and signed a €3 billion ($3.1 billion) joint venture with Umicore in September for cathode material production.


Man Stunned When He Sees Bill for Charging Hummer EV: 'You Won't Believe How Much It Costs'

There is the idea going around that electric vehicles are an efficient and inexpensive alternative to gas-powered vehicles. With the price of gas soaring in the past year and pressure to find an “eco-friendly” alternative to gas cars, electric vehicles are promoted as the future of driving.

But one man illustrated that the reality is much more complicated when he posted a video on YouTube showing how much it costs to charge a Hummer EV.

On Nov. 10, Kyle Conner, who runs the YouTube channel Out of Spec Reviews, posted a video in which he revealed the cost of charging the Hummer EV Edition 1 from zero to 100 percent.

The video was titled “You Won’t Believe How Much It Costs To Charge The Hummer EV” — and that is accurate.

No, your eyes did not deceive you. Charging the vehicle’s 200-kWh battery using the basic rack rate from Electrify America cost $96.32 — and that is without the taxes, which can bring the total price to over $100, Conner said.

“It’s the first production EV, passenger EV, that cost more than $100 to charge zero to full,” he said.

Yes, you can get a lower rate by buying an Electrify America Pass, but it still costs about $70 to charge the car, and you need to pay $4 per month for a pass.

It does get significantly less expensive when you get to per-minute charging, but the total cost still hovers around $40 without taxes and fees.

This is not the first test to show the high cost of charging the Hummer EV. In August, Car and Driver’s Testing Hub reported that an 80 percent charge of the vehicle cost $81, including tax, so a zero to 100 percent would run more than $100.

This is on top of the purchase price for the vehicle itself.

The Hummer EV usually costs around $100,000, and with the high demand and low supply, some people have paid more than $200,000 to get their hands on one.

Then you have to start considering the maintenance costs. It can cost over $8,000 to replace the taillights, and if you have to replace the battery, that can run $30,000.

Clearly, the Hummer EV is mostly a toy for the rich. The average person could never afford those expenses.

But electric vehicles overall are out of the reach of many Americans. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price of a new EV in August was a whopping $66,524.

Combine that with the maintenance expenses and the surprisingly high price of a recharge, and it’s clear that electric vehicles aren’t the money-savers that President Joe Biden and other Democrats claim they are.


Australia: Climate reparations are sycophantic, virtue-signalling lunacy

Mike O'Connor

Summer, praise the Lord, is all but upon us so what will it be this year – fire, flood, cyclone or perhaps a plague of locusts?

Whichever is visited upon us, it will be hailed in apocalyptic terms as presaging the end of civilisation and a vindication of the beliefs of the wild-of-eye zealots who shriek “climate change” at the approach of every passing shower.

Reporters will stare sternly down the barrels of TV cameras with well-practised frowns and declare that we are experiencing the hottest/wettest/coolest/driest summer in history.

History shows that it’s all happened before and is guaranteed to happen again, but climate change and its attendant mantra of net zero emissions are the new religion, the opium of the people, with the federal Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Chris Bowen its anointed high priest.

To suggest that the end is not nigh is to court mindless wrath and tiresome self-righteousness so better, perhaps, to sit quietly and wait for the lights to go out as our little nation of 26 million souls seeks to save the planet and destroy our children’s future.

Our latest commitment is to pay climate reparations to developing nations for the damage as a developed nation that we have allegedly caused them to suffer.

Lots and lots of free money, it seems, will go some way to assuaging this hurt.

China is classed as one of these so we will be in the happy position of paying one of the world’s biggest emitters for our alleged sins.

If anyone can find a better example of sycophantic, virtue-signalling lunacy, I’d like to hear it.

As well as the imminence of extreme climatic events, these being those previously known as tropical and sub-tropical weather, the onset of summer signals the end of the parliamentary year, reason enough to crack a coldie and utter a silent prayer of thanks that we will be spared the self-congratulatory, chest-thumping crowing of our leaders for a precious few months.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese continues to enjoy the support of the electorate, but the storm clouds are beginning to gather as the unions call in their markers and Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke dances puppet-like to their tune.

How lovely it would be if all you had to do to create a workers’ paradise was to give everyone a pay rise and entitle them to work fewer hours.

It’s amazing that no one has thought of it before.

More paid leave is also a sure way to lift productivity – paternity leave, maternity leave, domestic-violence leave and now a campaign for menopausal and menstrual leave.

The cost-of-living “crisis” will continue to make headlines through summer, a ”crisis” apparently lost on the millions of Australians who rushed out to buy things they didn’t need on Black Friday because a lot of retailers told them that they would save money if they did so. The more you spend, the more you save. Brilliant!

In sunny Queensland, Opposition Leader David Crisafulli must be looking at the Daniel Andrews victory in the Victorian state election as confirming what he suspected, which is that it is possible to fool most of the people most of the time as the Palaszczuk government staggers from one disaster to another, arrogance building on arrogance.

Crisafulli keeps jabbing away, but the only person on the Opposition benches whose punches appear to do any damage is his deputy Jarrod Bleijie.

The fact that Health Minister Yvette D’Ath and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll have not resigned in disgrace says everything you need to know about this government.

Police Minister Mark Ryan should have joined them but could be spared, perhaps, in the light of his emerging talent as a stand-up comic.

As evidence mounted that your average goldfish would have a greater grasp of the police portfolio than his good self, the minister fired back by saying that Crisafulli should change his name to “Crisa-full-of-it.”

The cut and thrust of such a rapier-like wit is truly a joy to behold. I don’t know who is writing his lines, but I would suggest that they seek another line of work. Please!


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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