"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

UK To Be Powered By Sea Breezes and Pixie Dust says Barker!

Greg Barker,the Climate Change Minister of the UK Government has delusions of grandeur planning a future of unlimited green power (music please) with "energy doctors" helping the population to find the correct way in this Energy Utopia. When the public stop dancing over the meadows long enough to find out they cannot afford this intermittent and expensive power they will send this dreamer to the political oblivion where he belongs.

The 43-year-old believes Britain could become the “Saudi Arabia of renewable energy” by investing in offshore wind, wave and tidal sources. In the Budget, the Coalition pledged to set up a Green Investment Bank to help finance renewable power stations, and Barker has ambitious plans to make London “the world hub of green finance”, creating “green ISAs and pensions” so that the public can invest in, and benefit from, the massive growth in the clean energy industry.
Ten thousand quid a house will about do it ,but don't worry we'll put it on the never-never and the kids can pay for it.
This strategy is central to the Government’s Green New Deal to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050. If that is to be achieved, between 400,000 and 1.8 million homes a year will have to be upgraded between now and then, at an annual cost of between £5 billion and £15 billion.

A flagship “pay as you save” scheme will allow people to book a free consultation with an “energy doctor” at a participating supermarket or store. After an energy audit, corrective measures up to a cost of £10,000 will be recommended. Home owners will repay the cost over time through savings on their fuel bill, says Mr Barker. Although details are yet to be finalised, the scheme could start as early as next year.
He hails this policy as a “completely new radical and ambitious approach to insulating the nation’s homes” that will not only help combat climate change by cutting emissions but help cut the average family’s fuel bill, which has soared to around £1,300 per annum.
“We have to help families reduce the amount they are spending on electricity and heating their homes, and we will do this by creating a new market,” he said. “We will bring new participants into the insulating business, like B&Q, Marks & Spencer or Virgin, as well as trusted energy companies like British Gas and others, to help pay for the upfront cost without the householder having to incur debt on their bills. The cost of upgrading each property will be attached to the energy bill and repaid over 25 years.”
The salutary lesson of the on-going Spanish "green energy disaster" together with the parlous state of the UK piggy-bank ( it is empty - less than empty,in fact) should encourage very sober energy decisions,not fairy-tale schemes.
In a preview of Barker's Britain the island of Eigg was hailed as Britain’s first “green” island and a glimpse of the what the future could hold for the rest of the country.

The future turned out to be one of power rationing and a return to reliable fossil based fuel technology.
But when the inhabitants of the remote Scottish island of Eigg put their faith in the wind and rain to provide all their electricity they did not reckon for one thing – mild weather.
Now the 95 residents are being asked not to use kettles, toasters or other kitchen appliances after uncharacteristically mild weather caused a critical shortage of power.
Other household equipment such as washing machines are to be used only outside times of “peak” demand for the island’s 45 homes and 20 businesses.
Weeks of what passes for heatwave conditions in the Inner Hebrides have caused water levels on the island’s three main burns to drop uncharacteristically low, cutting off the island’s hydroelectricity supply.
The normally powerful Atlantic gusts in the tiny island south of Skye have also reduced to a pleasant breeze leaving the island’s wind turbines idle for hours on end.
As a result, the community owned power company has placed the island on “red alert” and issued notices effectively rationing electricity.
It has had to revert to using old-fashioned diesel power to run a backup generator to keep the lights on.
The shortages come only months after Eigg’s innovative renewable power grid won a share of a £1 million first prize in a nationwide competition to become model on how to tackle climate change.
At least the money from the Climate Change prize will come in handy to buy diesel fuel.


  1. Can you imagine scaling up Eigg's problem on the mainland? It would be catastrophic.

  2. Not would be - will be, and planned so.

  3. you can see the result of the Australian governments attempt at a “completely new radical and ambitious approach to insulating the nation’s homes” in this 4 Corners report.

    "Four Corners takes a forensic look at a chain of events that began with so many good intentions but ended in death and political humiliation."