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UK — “A Horrendous Energy Crunch” … increasingly clear that intermittent renewables don’t deliver

Roger Helmer — February 27, 2013

A horrendous energy crunch.  At least that’s how the Daily Mirror described it, and for once they weren’t exaggerating.  The USA may have its Fiscal Cliff, but we’ve got an Energy Abyss, a Power Precipice.  And let’s be clear — it was our green pretensions (or rather Brussels’ green pretensions) that precipitated this predicament.  And our politicians seem more concerned with playing the blame game than with finding a solution.

I’ve been warning about this for a long time.  Back in October I launched UKIP’s energy policy, “Keeping the lights on”.   I predicted blackouts by 2020.  Now it looks more like 2016, and make no mistake, that’s practically tomorrow in infrastructure terms.  New nuclear capacity will take 10 to 12 years to build, while even gas, the default option, takes two or three.

We have most of our nuclear fleet closing, and meantime we’re being forced to close perfectly good coal-fired power stations because of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive (or LCPD — not to be confused with the Los Angeles Police Department).  Remember, as we close our coal-fired capacity, that there are 1200 new coal-fired power stations in the global pipeline, and even Germany is building 25, to replace their nuclear power stations.  So our sacrifice will make not a scrap of difference in terms of global emissions.  And instead of grown-up electricity generation, we’re relying on a playground technology — wind turbines.

But it’s increasingly clear that intermittent renewables don’t deliver.  The power generated, and the emissions savings, are largely offset by the inefficiencies inherent in running fossil fuel generation intermittently as back-up to complement wind.  Wind power is not only desecrating our countryside — it’s also failing to deliver, even in its own terms.

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