Friday, 12 October 2007

Not so much an energy strategy as an anti-industrialist's manifesto

[NB: This post is now the basis of an Op Ed, posted here...]

As you'll have heard, the Government has issued a blanket ban on the building of new fossil-fuel power stations -- which means a flat out ban on the production of reliable energy -- and declared it intends instead to place this country's energy and industrial future in the hands of systems of so called energy production which have yet to be proved, and in many cases are unlikely to be proved (and of the few that have been, wind energy for instance still requires the construction of reliable power stations as a baseload backup to any wind energy that is produced).

As I said yesterday, this is not so much an energy strategy but a strategy for less energy, which means it's a prescription for less industry. A sort of Think-Not-So-Big. A Think Small. The biofuels boondoggle has already shown that the promises made about alternative fuels and alternative "renewable" energies are as empty as the heads of those making the commitments to denude us of industrial power.

It's not so much an energy strategy as an anti-industrialist's manifesto.

For the most part, the "renewables" so heavily touted just aren't available. What distinguishes the "new energy" touted by the likes of Parker and Fitzsimplesimons from "old energy" is that while "old energy" is reliable and actually produces energy, so called "new energy" is still experimental, and mostly doesn't. It's the modern day equivalent of snake oil.

This is an energy strategy produced by people who think to bring into existence new science, new technology and a whole new industrial infrastructure based around that technology, it is sufficient only that they pass a law saying it has to happen.

It is the modern-day environmental equivalent of a cargo cult. Legislate for scientific wonders, and they'll just happen. How? Somehow.

As Major Electricity Users Group executive director Ralph Matthes said the market should be allowed to determine whether renewables were cheaper or not. "It's pretty draconian. Not so much a strategy as a green wish list."

One wonders how they think they can get away with it -- one wonders what their real secret is. One would wonder, but astute readers will be aware that that at root their secret is as empty as their promises, and amounts quite literally to that word used by Mr Matthes above. Ayn Rand describes it:
The secret of their esoteric philosophies, of all their dialectics and super-senses, of their evasive eyes and snarling words, the secret for which they destroy civilisation, language, industries and lives, the secret for which they pierce their own eyes and eardrums, grind out their senses, blank out their minds, the purpose for which they dissolve the absolutes of reason, logic, matter, existence, reality—is to erect upon that plastic fog a single holy absolute: their Wish.
It's a secret not confined only to today's anti-industrialists, is it.

UPDATE 1: A chocolate fish to the first person who sees Labour-Lite saying they'll overturn this manifesto for anti-industrial manifesto.

UPDATE 2: For anyone with a historical bent, you might like to compare yesterday's anti-industrial manifesto with the guts of the horrifyingly similar Morgenthau Plan that Franklin Roosevelt intended to impose on a conquered German after the war, a programme to strip German of its industry and turn it into a pastoral backwater -- a plan greeted with horror by everyone other than the Stalinist moles in the State Department who put the plan together.


  1. No more beer fridges. No more big-screen TVs. Add to this the already proposed ban on lightbulbs.

    According to some twat from EECA, electricity has produced a "double-whammy effect" as "by making people's lives easier, electrical appliances had created more spare time for people to enjoy home entertainment powered by electricity."

    And this is a bad thing???

    The Heleban's jihad against electricity will mean one thing. The last person to leave won't have to turn off the lights.

  2. It is going to mean big rises in prices for consumers because all their proposals are for higher cost generation technologies. That is before you add on the carbon charges. More variable transmission means you have to overbuild, probably by about 500% to give you enough cover to meet demand.

    That’s because wind farms only generate at peak about 30% of the time. Then you need some to cover off a farm being unavailable.

    If you look at how much power came from wind on the highest demand day this year, it makes interesting reading. About 6MW out of 150 installed capacity. That’s on the day when you really really want a lot of power.

    So my 500% may be a bit low. But that means an awful lot of assets sitting around not generating for most of the time that investors will still want a return on. Plus there are all the added technical management costs around integrating wind.

    But all that extra cost and consent issues will be good for Labour because it will mean they get to intervene in other areas to counter the ‘market failures’ and redistribute income to all those people who can’t afford to keep warm.


  3. Readers might find interesting the formal debate:

    "We should not be reluctant to assert the superiority of Western values".

    Western Culture Debate at Spectator IQ2

  4. Greg

    OK. Seen that.

    What do you reckon about it?


  5. Good work homey-g. Interesting times...


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