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20/07/15

Britain’s Green Energy Subsidies Face The Axe

UK Government Plans ‘Big Reset’ Of Green Energy Policy


Subsidies for new wind farms and solar power plants are set to be cut as ministers move to protect millions of families from rising energy bills. The government is expected to announce the decision this week, after official figures revealed that so-called “green” energy schemes will require £1.5 billion more in subsidies – paid for by customers – than originally planned. Whitehall sources said the subsidies – under the so-called Levy Control Framework – could be reduced, or the scheme closed early. Details of the how the subsidies will be curbed are still being finalised. --Tim Ross, The Sunday Telegraph, 19 July 2015
 
 
 
1) Britain’s Green Energy Subsidies Face The Axe - The Sunday Telegraph, 19 July 2015
 
2) UK Government Plans ‘Big Reset’ Of Green Energy Policy - Daily Mail, 17 July 2015
 
3) BBC Announce End Of World – Scottish Councils To Lose Wind Farm Subsidies! - Not A Lot Of People Know That, 19 July 2015
 
4) UK Government To Fast Track Plans For Fracking - City A.M., 20 July 2015
 
5) Brave Cardinal Pell Challenges Pope Francis’s Dogma On Climate Change - The Spectator, 18 July 2015
 
6) And Finally: Global Cooling - Current Decade Running Colder Than Previous Decade - No Tricks Zone, 19 July 2015

 
 
 
Green taxes which push up energy bills are to be slashed by the government, MailOnline has learned. A ‘big reset’ of the support given to the renewable industry is expected to be announced within weeks, including cuts to funding for the solar industry. Cabinet insiders say the view on tackling subsidies has ‘hardened’ over fears recent price cuts announced by power firms will be wiped out by rising environmental taxes. The Tories have already announced that taxpayer subsidies for wind farms are to be axed a year early. But the government is expected to go much further and review all support given to green energy which is funded by levies on bills worth £4.3billion-a-year. --Matt Chorley, Daily Mail, 17 July 2015
 
 
Another woefully one-sided piece of propaganda from the BBC. It appears that some Scottish councils have been investing in wind farm projects, hoping to profiteer from electricity bill payers in the rest of the UK. Now they are up in arms that the subsidy tap might be switched off. Nothing, of course, is stopping the said councils from carrying on with the projects, without any subsidy, and letting their council tax payers foot the bill. But don’t expect the BBC to point this out! --Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 19 July 2015
 
 
Fracking could begin in the UK sooner than previously expected, following the government’s decision to award onshore oil and gas exploration licences in two stages, fast tracking the applicants whose proposals do not require extensive environmental assessment. The government is aiming to drive the development of the UK’s shale sector, which will help to create jobs and grow local economies, and has projected investment in the industry reaching £33bn. --Caitlin Morrison, City A.M., 20 July 2015
 

In an interview in Thursday’s Financial Times, the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy stepped out of line. It was a brave thing to do: Cardinal Pell’s wholesale reform of the Vatican’s finances is making him plenty of enemies as it is, and now he’s even more vulnerable to attack. Why take the risk? Because, I suspect, Cardinal Pell considers Laudato Si’ to be the most ill-judged encyclical of modern times. --Damian Thompson, The Spectator, 18 July 2015
 
 
So, where’s the warming? Robin Pittwood at the New Zealand Kiwi Thinker has posted an update on the climate bet for charity that NoTricksZone and its readers entered with a gaggle of global warmists, among them Dana Nuccitelli and Rob Honeycutt. So far we are 4.5 years into the current decade and Robin tells us that it is running cooler using RSS and UAH satellite data, which Messieurs Honeycutt and Nuccitelli agreed to use. Awhile back in comic fashion devout anthropogenic global warming believer  William Connelly even demanded the terms of the bet be changed. So clearly we see panic setting in. --Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 19 July 2015
 


 
1) Britain’s Green Energy Subsidies Face The Axe
The Sunday Telegraph, 19 July 2015
 
Tim Ross
 
Subsidies for new wind farms and solar power plants are set to be cut as ministers move to protect millions of families from rising energy bills.

 
 
 
The government is expected to announce the decision this week, after official figures revealed that so-called “green” energy schemes will require £1.5 billion more in subsidies – paid for by customers – than originally planned.

If left unchecked, the rising costs would mean every household in the country would be forced to pay an estimated £160 to £170 a year by 2020 to support renewable electricity developments.
 
However, Whitehall sources said the subsidies – under the so-called Levy Control Framework – could be reduced, or the scheme closed early. Details of the how the subsidies will be curbed are still being finalised.
 
After the Conservatives won a majority in May, ministers announced that subsidies for new onshore wind-farms would close a year early. Similar action could now follow for subsidies given to help build new offshore wind projects and solar farms.
 
Ministers want renewable energy schemes to become economically viable without the use of subsidies.
 
The coalition decided that investment in renewable energy would be paid for by energy companies, rather than through taxation. Firms were allowed to recover the cost of these subsidies from their customers by adding it to household bills.
 
The huge projected rise in spending is thought to result from higher-than-expected numbers of rooftop solar panels being fitted on houses, falling wholesale energy prices, and offshore wind farms proving more productive than anticipated.
 
A source at the Department for Energy and Climate Change said Amber Rudd, the Energy Secretary, “is determined to get a grip of these out of control subsidies and make sure that hardworking bill-payers are getting a fair deal. These demand-led schemes have been allowed to spiral out of control for too long and Amber has made clear to the Department that this can’t and won’t continue. The public is in favour of action to cut carbon, but not at any cost and the bottom line is that subsidies should help industries get off the ground, not be relied on indefinitely.”
 
Full story
 




 
 
2) UK Government Plans ‘Big Reset’ Of Green Energy Policy
Daily Mail, 17 July 2015
 
Matt Chorley
 
Green taxes which push up energy bills are to be slashed by the government, MailOnline has learned. A ‘big reset’ of the support given to the renewable industry is expected to be announced within weeks, including cuts to funding for the solar industry.
 
Cabinet insiders say the view on tackling subsidies has ‘hardened’ over fears recent price cuts announced by power firms will be wiped out by rising environmental taxes. Chancellor George Osborne has torn up the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition government’s commitment to increasing the proportion of revenue from green taxes
Chancellor George Osborne has torn up the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition government’s commitment to increasing the proportion of revenue from green taxes
Chancellor George Osborne has torn up the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition government’s commitment to increasing the proportion of revenue from green taxes
 
The Tories have already announced that taxpayer subsidies for wind farms are to be axed a year early.
 
But the government is expected to go much further and review all support given to green energy which is funded by levies on bills worth £4.3billion-a-year.
 
The solar industry in particular is braced for an announcement on cuts to its support.
 
The Cabinet discussed this week election promises to focus on only ‘backing good-value green energy’ with a promise to ‘cut emissions as cost-effectively as possible’.
 
There will be a major expansion of nuclear and gas, but solar farms and plans for a tidal lagoon to generate power off the cost of Swansea could be ditched.
 
British Gas this week announced its second price cut of the year, which together will reduce the average annual bill by around £72.
 
But ministers have been told that state funding for green energy and a carbon tax on coal and gas will together add £175 to the average household bill by 2030.
 
‘We need to deal with those extra costs at the top of the electricity bill,’ one Cabinet source said.
 
‘A struggling pensioner has to pay it when she doesn’t have the benefit of putting solar panels or a wind turbine on her roof.
 
‘There is a hardening view in the Cabinet that we’ve got to deal with green subsidies.’
 
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has warned the renewables industry and campaigners that support for the environment has to be weighed against the impact on families’ energy bills.
 
‘All that support costs money,’ she said last month. ‘We cannot ignore the fact that, obviously, people want subsidies if they are on the receiving end of subsidies, but we have to ensure that we get the good measure of it.
 
‘We are trying to reduce emissions and give a variety of renewable energy, and to ensure that individuals who look at their bills when they get home see that they continue to come down.’ She has ruled out backing large-scale solar farms and favours small community energy projects on people’s homes and on other buildings.
 
There are calls in the Tory party to go further and cut or abolish subsidies given to offshore wind farms as well.
 
A spokesman for the Department for Energy and Climate Change said: ‘Reducing energy bills for hard working British families and businesses is this government’s priority.
 
‘We’ve already announced reforms to remove subsidies for onshore wind, and that work to make sure bill payers are getting the best possible deal is going to continue.’
 
The plan is the latest stage of Conservative plans to cut the costs of going green made possible by the loss of the Lib Dems from the government.
 
George Osborne has also torn up the Coalition government’s commitment to increasing the proportion of revenue from green taxes.
 
Full story
 
 
 
3) BBC Announce End Of World – Scottish Councils To Lose Wind Farm Subsidies!
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 19 July 2015
 
Paul Homewood 

image















 
 
Another woefully one-sided piece of propaganda from the BBC:
 
Scottish councils may lose out on more than £44m of income over the next 20 years if changes are made to wind farm subsidies, according to a trade body. The UK government recently announced changes to the way onshore wind energy schemes are supported. Critics fear this could lead to some proposed schemes getting the axe.Industry body Scottish Renewables said five Scottish councils could lose out on income if developments they have invested in do not go ahead.
 
It appears that some Scottish councils have been investing in wind farm projects, hoping to profiteer from electricity bill payers in the rest of the UK. Now they are up in arms that the subsidy tap might be switched off.
 
Nothing, of course, is stopping the said councils from carrying on with the projects, without any subsidy, and letting their council tax payers foot the bill. But don’t expect the BBC to point this out. 
 
 
 
4) UK Government To Fast Track Plans For Fracking
City A.M., 20 July 2015
 
Caitlin Morrison

Fracking could begin in the UK sooner than previously expected, following the government’s decision to award onshore oil and gas exploration licences in two stages, fast tracking the applicants whose proposals do not require extensive environmental assessment.

The department for energy and climate change (DECC) will grant a number of licences from the fourteenth round of onshore applications over the next few weeks. 

Licence applications that require additional environmental checks will be delayed however.

The UK’s shale industry has not enjoyed as dramatic and upward trajectory as that of the US, and was recently dealt a major blow when planning applications made by Cuadrilla Resources to drill in Lancashire were rejected, a decision the company described as “regrettable”. 

Fracking, as hydraulic fracturing is widely known, is a somewhat controversial method of onshore oil and gas extraction, and environmental groups continue to oppose the industry moving forward in the UK.

The government is aiming to drive the development of the UK’s shale sector, which will help to create jobs and grow local economies, and has projected investment in the industry reaching £33bn.

The deadline for applications in the most recent round closed last October.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom said DECC is aware of the importance of the results of the fourteenth round of onshore licence applications: “That’s why we’ll be pressing ahead and announcing early the winners of licence blocks that do not need further environmental assessment.”
 
Full story
 
 
 
5) Brave Cardinal Pell Challenges Pope Francis’s Dogma On Climate Change
The Spectator, 18 July 2015
 
Damian Thompson
 
The Church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters.’


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In that one sentence, Cardinal Pell puts his finger on what is wrong with Laudato Si‘, Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment. In that document, Francis waded into an argument about climate change and took sides. Moreover, he gave the impression that he was speaking for all Catholics when he did so; and, if by any chance he wasn’t, errant faithful should fall into line.
 
In an interview in Thursday’s Financial Times, the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy stepped out of line. See above. It was a brave thing to do: Pell’s wholesale reform of the Vatican’s finances is making him plenty of enemies as it is, and now he’s even more vulnerable to attack.
 
Why take the risk? Because, I suspect, Cardinal Pell considers Laudato Si’ to be the most ill-judged encyclical of modern times. As the New York Times columnist Ross Douthat put it, it is ‘catastrophist’ not just in its climate science but also in its attitude towards modern technology in general:
 
Its catastrophism also leaves this pope more open to empirical criticism. For instance, he doesn’t grapple sufficiently with evidence that the global poor have become steadily less poor under precisely the world system he decries – a reality that has complicated implications for environmentalism.
 
But let’s stick with climate change. We’ve moved on, thankfully, from the days when climate scepticism was represented by statistically illiterate Right-wing culture warriors opposed by scientific zealots who were happy to hide inconvenient data to make their case. But the science isn’t ‘settled’; it’s just that the debate has become more sophisticated.
 
Recently I was talking to a libertarian journalist trained in statistics, a rare beast indeed. I asked him about global warming, expecting a denunciation of Lefty alarmism. Instead, he replied: ‘I just don’t go there – I don’t know enough’, and poured scorn on amateur commentators of every persuasion.
 
With Laudato Si‘, Pope Francis joined the ranks of those amateurs. In addition to embracing the scientific consensus on climate change – and it is a consensus, albeit challenged by credible experts – he proposed a ‘new world political authority’.
 
Douthat described this bit of the encyclical as ‘drenched in frank contempt for the existing global leadership class’. True, though I suspect this contempt is ultimately directed at the United States: Argentina has always been the most anti-American country in South America.
 
One dreads to think how this ‘new world political authority’ would behave, endowed with unlimited powers by corrupt governments and sanctified by papal authority. I can’t imagine it giving a moment’s consideration to arguments such as the following, from Jim Manzi in National Review:
 
Fair-minded cost/benefit analyses show that various global carbon-rationing proposals that would reduce economic growth rates in return for lower emissions – whether mechanically structured as a carbon tax, a cap-and-trade system or direct regulation – have real-world costs in excess of expected benefits.

You may or may not agree with Manzi. Pope Francis seems scarcely aware that  this critique exists. Cardinal Pell, however, certainly is.
 
But he, too, holds amateur views on climate science. Does that undermine them? Yes – but no more than those of an any other well-informed non-expert taking sides. Here’s an extract from a [GWPF] speech he gave in 2011:
 
Whatever our political masters might decide at this high tide of Western indebtedness, they are increasingly unlikely, because of popular pressure, to impose new financial burdens on their populations in the hope of curbing the rise of global temperatures, except perhaps in Australia, which has 2 per cent of the world’s industrial capacity and only 1.2 per cent of its CO2 emissions, while continuing to sell coal and iron worth billions of dollars to Asia.
 
Extreme weather events are to be expected. This is why I support the views of Bjorn Lomborg and Bob Carter that money should be used to raise living standards and reduce vulnerability to catastrophes.
 
The cost of attempts to make global warming go away will be very heavy. They may be levied initially on ‘the big polluters’ but they will eventually trickle down to the end-users. Efforts to offset the effects on the vulnerable are well intentioned but history tells us they can only be partially successful.
 
Again, you may not agree. But Pell is not the pope and he has not attempted to incorporate a temporary scientific consensus and a grandiose political project into the teaching of the Church. Indeed, if he were pope, I’m certain he wouldn’t use the chair of Peter as a platform for his own secular manifesto.
 
This is what Laudato Si’ does. The encyclical is not primarily a secular document: Pell himself says that it ‘beautifully’ sets out the Christian obligation to protect the environment. But, in fantasising about supra-national climate police, it betrays apparent ignorance of a subject on which the Australian cardinal possess more expertise than his boss – the proper relationship between the eternally valid magisterium of the Church and the always tentative conclusions of scientists.
 
That is why Cardinal Pell spoke out. And why he was right to do so.
 
 
6) And Finally: Global Cooling - Current Decade Running Colder Than Previous Decade
No Tricks Zone, 19 July 2015
 
Pierre Gosselin
 
So, where’s the warming?
 
Robin Pittwood at the New Zealand Kiwi Thinker here has posted an update on the climate bet for charity that NoTricksZone and its readers entered with a gaggle of global warming cultists, among them Dana Nuccitelli and Rob Honeycutt.
 
So far we are 4.5 years into the current decade and Robin tells us that it is running cooler using RSS and UAH satellite data, which Messieurs Honeycutt and Nuccitelli agreed to use.
Climate Bet, June 2015
Source: Kiwi Thinker.
 
Awhile back in comic fashion devout anthropogenic global warming believer William Connelly even demanded the terms of the bet be changed. So clearly we see panic setting in.
 
At his latest July 18 Saturday Summary here, Joe Bastardi presented the latest NCEP global temperature chart for the past 10 years, and here more confirmation that the globe has cooled off a bit.

ncep 2005-2015
 
It really is tough to find warming anywhere outside of models. Joe, as polite as he is, is unable to hold back his ridicule of the warming claims.
 
Of course this year is an El Niño year and so we are going to see the gap close somewhat, or perhaps even see the current decade become a bit warmer than the last – for a little while. But as many readers here are familiar, cool La Niñas typically follow El Niños. Moreover the North Atlantic has turned cool and that will make the battle that much tougher for those betting on a warmer current decade.
 
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