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« An outbreak of sanity | Main | Science (it says here) »
Thursday
Nov122015

Some weapons-grade sophistry

Take a look at Mark Lynas's latest piece in the Guardian, in which he tries to absolve the wind fleet of any part in the close call the electricity grid suffered last week. This is pretty remarkable, given that at the time - as readers will no doubt recall - the wind fleet was becalmed and delivering just 3% of its installed capacity. Meanwhile the ageing coal fleet was only delivering 65% of capacity because of breakdowns.

Lynas's position is that this was fine and dandy because the near-total failure of the wind fleet was predicted.

Grid managers...had a day or more’s warning that Wednesday was likely to see very little wind generation, and planned accordingly.

Which is an argument that I'm sure you will agree, would only convince someone who was extraordinarily slow on the uptake. I mean, it's all very well being able to plan, but you do actually need capacity to act on your plan. Lynas has spent his whole working life as a writer and campaigner, so you could imagine that little details like these might slip his notice.

However, in fact it seems that Lynas's co-author Chris Goodall is not wholly blind to the point, noting in the comments:

If you put a lot of renewables on a grid, then you make it impossible to finance new fossil fuel electricity generation in the current electricity market. Market reform is therefore vital, combined with a well-thought-through plan to move to 100% renewables with storage.

What a shameless piece of sophistry that is. You "put" a lot of renewables on the grid, do you? Of course you can't "put" wind power on a grid just like that - you have to bribe people to install wind turbines and coerce others into buying the output. Only then can you make fossil fuels look financially unviable. It's quite clear that the authors know that this is the case and that it's the subsidies that are causing the problem, but they are putting on a fine show of pretending otherwise. Nothing to do with wind power gov'nor, nothing at all.

That market reform is needed is undeniable, although you will note that Goodall says precisely nothing about what reforms he wants - more sophistry of course. Moreover, market reform is precisely what what the government is doing by cutting back the subsidies to renewables. Is Goodall in favour? Who knows, but one would guess that he thinks we should subsidise fossil fuels too. It is hard to get to grips with such foolishness.

As for his idea that the problem is going to be solved by storage at any time in the next few decades, this is completely crazy. The amount of pumped hydro you'd need to see the country through a five-day lull in wind is absurdly large. And what then happens when you have a lull in the wind that lasts longer than five days? In the cold winters of 2009-11 we had lulls lasting weeks.

But don't worry, if the lights go out it will be fine if was predicted.

 

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Reader Comments (110)

Seems applicable:

You are so convinced that you believe only what you believe that you believe, that you remain utterly blind to what you really believe without believing you believe it.—Orson Scott Card, Shadow of the Hegemon

Nov 12, 2015 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Bish, excellent spot!

Having read through Lynas's fruitcake-mad article and especially his BTL comments I Was going to flag it UP to you but you're on the case. Excellent, because this degree of stupidity (actually recklessness would be a better word) needs to be seen to be believed.

There's some quite astounding twisted logic going on over there, almost too stupid for words. Those people are complete and absolute weapons.

Nov 12, 2015 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

Failing to plan, is planning to fail.

Unreliable power generation is planned failure, from the outset. The conspiracy of planned failure, is Green Economics at its logical best.

Peak Green has pooped.

Nov 12, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

> delivering just 3% of its installed capacity.

It was worse than that. At 17:20 it was delivering 249MW which is 1.86% of its capacity (13388MW)

Nov 12, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

They WANT the grid to fail, because then they will say that we have to get rid of the grid itself, and transition to simple local grids where people only use what can be generated locally. It will get them in touch with the realities of electricity, so that they understand how truly evil it is, and how it should be limited to only essential uses, such as electrical musical instruments and entertainment equipment. We don't really need anything else, such as lighting at night, medical care, manufacturing, evil chemicals and evil mining of materials to make metals, or any sort of bureaucracies in office blocks. Everything should be made at home or in neighborhood groups, sitting around a fire singing songs together.

De-industrialization of society is the ultimate goal, and this is progress in that direction.

Nov 12, 2015 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterrxc

I cannot remember having read such a load of shite as is contained in Mark Lynas's apologia since giving up on von Danniken's "Worlds in Collision" somewhere early in the first half of Chapter 1 .

Of course the National Grid knew there would be a shortfall of wind generation and that they did not have enough combustion plant back up capacity. What Lynas did not ask NG, nor explain to his readers, the reasons why this has been caused to happen which is a combination of the Large Combustion Plants directive mandating the close down of a number of coal fired plants and the framing of the investment environment so as to favour wind generation and make investment in new combustion generation plants uneconomic.

Well the strategy has worked and we now don't have enough back up capacity for the size of the wind fleet when demand is moderately high and the weather conditions are adverse for wind generation. Now you know why you have received a letter telling you your electricity supplier wants to install a "smart" meter in your house so they can cut you off when they can't access enough power to meet their customers needs.

Welcome to the future
1

Nov 12, 2015 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

"would only convince someone who was extraordinarily slow on the uptake"

That would be most politicians, then.

This is, presumably, the same Mark Lynas who predicted that the Maldives should be well submerged by now?

Nov 12, 2015 at 1:07 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

rxc

Lynas refers to himslf as a sparring partner of Paul Kingsnorth who runs an organisation called Dark Mountain (Uncivilisation)


Dartmouth College academic Michael K. Dorsey referred to it in the following way in the Guardian.

Everyone should stay vigilant and keep their danger sniffers on full alert when the likes of those high on the Dark Mountain and others associated with "deep ecological" tendencies get on about "crises" of "humanity." Sadly, we have a great deal of evidence now, that such 'dark' tendencies have been built upon a legacy of misanthropic meandering, petty eco-fascism and immigrant bashing-- souped up in talk of waywardness from the "myth[s] of human centrality"--by the likes of Teddy Goldsmith, the gaggle of old Ecologist sods, inter alia, some of whom helped precipitate the Cornerhouse.

http://discussion.guardian.co.uk/comment-permalink/5160452

Nov 12, 2015 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Amazing!
The only way the grid managed to keep the lights on was by buying expensive electricity, possibly calling on STOR (the dirtiest possible source in every sense), and demanding that industry stop working. Meanwhile wind is providing 3% of its capacity — not 3% of demand, mark you; 3% of its own capacity.
Cockenzie has been demolished and Longannet is going off line next Spring and Lynas is telling us "nothing to see here; move along".
I've often wondered what planet people like Lynas live on; for sure it's not the one where people need constant reliable affordable electricity to survive.

Nov 12, 2015 at 1:23 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike Jackson, agree entirely.

Mark Lynas and fellow collaborators want to portray this as a one-off event, nothing bad happened, and it was all the fault of fossil fuels and underfunding of Unreliables.

Climate scientists have been keen to portray every adverse weather event as a clear signal of what we can all expect more of.

Power cuts due to Green Outs are a clear signal of what we can all expect more of, until Green thinking is Out. They will still blame everyone else, but simplistic thinking is their renewable power base.

Nov 12, 2015 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

This whole mess is not the fault of politicians or money grabbing crooks or environmental fruitcakes, it is the fault of the ordinary people in the developed world.
The ordinary people never asked the questions that we asked, they did not ask any questions at all, they were too busy spending the money that previous generations had worked and sacrificed to provide.
As soon as people get comfortable they switch off and believe it will go on for ever, they do not see that every generation has to play a part in fighting for freedom, democracy and honest government.

Nov 12, 2015 at 1:59 PM | Registered CommenterDung

As the National Grid spokesperson told us, “our weather forecasts are very accurate”.
That is a complete lie. Does anyone believe the Met Office or anyone else can predict wind speeds accurately?

Observation of the predicted versus actual wind power graphs at BMreports shows a completely different picture. I've frequently seen the prediction out by a factor of up to three. A 10% error in predicted wind speed leads to an error of 33% in predicted wind power. So even a 10% error in predicted wind speed would, for 13GW of installed wind capacity, give an error in predicted wind power of about 4GW. That's a lot of CCGTs to have on spinning reserve ready to take up the slack at an hours notice.

Nov 12, 2015 at 2:11 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Nov 12, 2015 at 12:53 PM TerryS

Gridwatch templar shows only the metered output from selected windfarms, not the whole 13,288MW fleet.

If you go to:

http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp.php#generation_by_fuel_type_table

Scroll down to:

"Peak Wind Generation Forecast"

Click on:

"Power Park Modules EXCEL Spreadsheet"

You get a list of the windfarms that are metered.

Today, the capacity of that list is 8,972MW

So the % at 17:20 was 249/8972 = 2.8% which is still FPCOFA anyway.

The missing 4,318MW pf wind (and the 9GW of solar) is embedded and this gives a false impression to the arts graduates in DECC that the "use of electricity" is going down.

The "Demand" label on Gridwatch templar gauge is a misnomer, it should really be labelled "Total Metered Output".

Somebody needs to be constructing proper power stations (e.g. CCGTs) to be ready when all these mickey mouse windmills and solar panels on rooftops start to fall apart and deliver SFA.

Just now there is about 23GW of mickey mouse generation, and this amount is rising rapidly.

There is only one CCGT under construction just now, to give a measly 800MW sometime next year.

At 31 October 2011 there was more that 9GW of CCGT power stations approved but not one has started construction.

Just to top it off, National Grid, in their Winter Outlook, have included 12.9GW of wind in the magic number in order to arrive at their "reassuring" statement:

"We assumed a total of approximately 72 GW of generation capacity to be available for the winter".

We are ruled by imbeciles.

Nov 12, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Met Office windspeed forecast accuracy. They claim 91% of 'Next day' forecasts are correct within 5 knots. (2.57 m/s)

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/accuracy/forecasts

However, that is around the cut-in speed of most turbines. So therefore it's not possible to predict whether there'll be 'some' or 'no' wind-generation.

Nov 12, 2015 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

If 91% of next day forecasts are "accurate" then 9% are not. That means in a year there will be just over a months worth of days where the forecast is not accurate. And nobody knows when those 33 days will fall........ These are failure statistics which should shame a mature engineering industry that has become an important part of our national infrastructure and an industry where failure consequences are potentially catastrophic.

Imagine if aviation or railways took the same approach.....

Nov 12, 2015 at 2:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Paget

Its about time all these green-meanies who forced the whirling (well whirling all the time) things on the rest of us were on a separate wind and sun grid. It would not take long for them to change their minds.

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:05 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

National Grids temporary solution was to ask (or force) big industrial users to cut power consumption with compensation offered.

This might seem reasonable (in this and other circumstances) but I can see why such users will be reluctant to take up the offer.

1. Will the compensation fully cover lost production and orders.

2, If repeated, such industrial users will build up a reputation for unreliability which in 'just in time' industrial framework might exclude them from further contracts.

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Phillip Bratby, in sailing, Met Office forecasts will be used for guidance, with an assumption that actual wind strength may be +/- 1 Force on the Beaufort Scale, which approximates to your +/- 10%.

Cricket fans will know the reliance on the Met Office's Rainfall Radar, which is the most accurate NOW cast of where rain is NOW, and where it has come from over the last 6 hours. A very useful tool, which the Met Office ought to promote to the public, for planning whether to walk the dog/paint the shed/cut the grass etc now, leave it for a few hours or abandon all plans for the day.

Formula 1 teams will send up helicopters when they know rain storms are likely.

The technology has improved for forecasting output from wind mills, the technology to cope with low output has been deliberately downgraded.

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Further to Nov 12, 2015 at 2:13 PM, I forgot to mention (plagued by bloody 403 error again) that, although Nation Grid assumed at the end of October 2015, that "72 GW of generation capacity to be available for the winter", they have another document which indicates that they expect 8,089MW of generation to go offline by 1 April 2016.

http://www2.nationalgrid.com/UK/Services/Electricity-connections/Industry-products/TEC-Register/

By closures:

Longannet - coal - 2,260MW
Eggborough - coal - 1,940MW
Ferrybridge C - coal - 980MW
Littlebrook - oil - 800MW
Wylfa - nuclear - 450MW
Ironbridge - wood chips - 385MW
Deeside - CCGT - 259MW
Barry - CCGT - 235MW
Rooscote CCGT - 99MW

By reductions in output:

Fiddlers Ferry - coal - 498MW
Peterborough - CCGT - 146MW
West Burton B - CCGT - 37MW

Total loss = 8,089MW

It is interesting to look back to October 2009 when the Winter Outlook was published for 2009/2010.

For Winter Outlook 2009/2010 (dated 01 October 2009) National Grid show 26.3GW CCGT, 28.1GW coal and 10.4GW nuclear, that is 65GW of reliable proper power generation.

For Winter Outlook 2015/2016 (dated 26 October 2015) National Grid show 26.1GW CCGT, 17.9GW coal and 9GW nuclear, that is 53GW of reliable proper power generation.

Therefore, over a period of 6 years the grid lost 12GW of reliable proper power generation.

However, unless something amazing happens, between 29 October 2015 and 01 April 2016, National Grid are expecting a further loss of about 8GW of reliable proper power generation, giving only 45GW of reliable proper power generation for the rest of 2016.

If this loss of generation is realised then, from April 2016, there will only be about 12.2GW of coal-fired generation left in service, but for how long?

How many of the owners of this coal-fired plant are plotting graphs of "revenue as we rundown the stock pile of coal" and "cost of doing business" against a time scale measured in months to try to estimate the date when the two lines will cross and losses begin to accumulate? They will presumably shut down just before that date.

Good luck everyone.

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

A much better article today from the Guardian on this subject, better because it comes from the business section, rather than the religious wing:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/12/will-the-lights-go-out-in-the-uk-this-winter

Estimates from the National Grid (and Ofgem, who shamefully sub-contract their checking to NG) must be regarded as dodgy, as they make a lot of money from connecting dim and distant wind turbines to the grid, and buried away in hard to find places is that they assume some non-zero minimum input from wind (around 8% capacity factor).

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Hit the jackpot and the lights go out on Christmas Day.

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

"combined with a well-thought-through plan to move to 100% renewables with storage".

Isn't this the essence of the problem with renewables, that renewables WITH storage is simply not on the menu? Invent a way of storing wind power and you make a fortune and do a massive public good as well.

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Peter Hitchens comment (perhaps not long for this world???);

"This article claims I said things I didn't say, and rebuts claims I didn't make. I specifically said the new intolerance needed and used no gulags (the reverse of what you assert I said), and I did not blame the power shortage on a failure of wind power. I attributed it instead to the (indisputable and continuing) dogma-driven closure and demolition of viable coal-fired power stations, which has removed the grid's margin of safety. I pointed out (correctly) that wind could not fill the gap because there wasn't any wind that day. To note this is not to blame the shutdown on a failure by wind. This is the crude and dishonest level of debate which I all too frequently find on the rare occasions when I feel it essential to write about this subject. Combined with its general self-righteousness and spiteful intolerance, this characteristic of the Warmist movement is one of the main reasons why I find it unconvincing. A confident, truly science-based campaign would have no need to resort to this sort of thing. You hate dissent because you secretly fear the dissenters are right, the uniting feature of all fanaticisms."

Regards

Mailman

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

'a well-thought-through plan to move to 100% renewables with storage.'

is that the one that involves fairy dust, wishful thinking and ton of lies , because that is the only one the greens have been able to put forward so far ?

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

When your plan depends on something that doesn't exist (renewables with storage) then you are not living in the real world. It is the same with social schemes which depend on all men being virtuous or economic schemes which depend on infinite wealth to redistribute (and even that doesn't work--ask Venezuelans where their infinite oil money went).

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

Nov 12, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Brownedoff
===================================================
FPCOFA? As an ex IT bod, I'm well acquainted with acronyms (chiefly FUBAR and SNAFU) - but not FPCOFA. Please enlighten! as the internet can't...

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Cricket fans will know the reliance on the Met Office's Rainfall Radar, which is the most accurate NOW cast of where rain is NOW, and where it has come from over the last 6 hours. A very useful tool, which the Met Office ought to promote to the public, for planning whether to walk the dog/paint the shed/cut the grass etc now, leave it for a few hours or abandon all plans for the day.

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:12 PM | golf charlie
#===============================

My dogs don't give a flying duck if it is raining, and make that very clear to me should I defer to rain...

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

You missed this beauty!

"Wind, being composed of lots of smaller generators, cannot by definition all fail unexpectedly together, so could be argued to be more resilient, not less. "

Could be argued only by a steaming idiot more like! No wind is no wind regardless of the fact they work when wind is there. Happily only other steaming idiots could be convinced. Unhappily...there are so many of them nowadays...

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"Wind, being composed of lots of smaller generators, cannot by definition all fail unexpectedly together, so could be argued to be more resilient, not less. "

Could be argued only by a steaming idiot more like! No wind is no wind regardless of the fact they work when wind is there. Happily only other steaming idiots could be convinced. Unhappily...there are so many of them nowadays...

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM | JamesG


At the appeal recently against the decision to reject four turbines to be erected near us, the QC for the rent-seeking company noted that

1. The wind blows all the time (yes. but not everywhere)
2. Wind is the cheapest form of energy.

Sigh

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

The Perfect Storm for Greens, is no wind at all.

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:52 PM | golf charlie
==============================================
Up that. No wind and no sun. Ref Scotland not that long ago. Good luck with that 100% renewable crap up there.

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Britain is closing dispatchable generation plants and will no longer capable of meeting 100% of demand at any time (including a reserve for breakdowns and unexpected demand). In that case, renewable power (mostly wind) must be capable of RELIABLY delivering the rest. That obviously requires energy storage for periods of total calm. More importantly, it also requires recognition of the fact that there will be long periods when wind output is 10% or 20% of nameplate capacity. Storage is far too expensive to get through those periods. You actually need to build nameplate capacity that is about 10-fold larger than the demand that won't be met by renewables.

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank

@ Mailman -

My thoughts exactly - and the comment is worth repeating!


Peter Hitchens comment (perhaps not long for this world???);

"This article claims I said things I didn't say, and rebuts claims I didn't make. I specifically said the new intolerance needed and used no gulags (the reverse of what you assert I said), and I did not blame the power shortage on a failure of wind power. I attributed it instead to the (indisputable and continuing) dogma-driven closure and demolition of viable coal-fired power stations, which has removed the grid's margin of safety. I pointed out (correctly) that wind could not fill the gap because there wasn't any wind that day. To note this is not to blame the shutdown on a failure by wind. This is the crude and dishonest level of debate which I all too frequently find on the rare occasions when I feel it essential to write about this subject. Combined with its general self-righteousness and spiteful intolerance, this characteristic of the Warmist movement is one of the main reasons why I find it unconvincing. A confident, truly science-based campaign would have no need to resort to this sort of thing. You hate dissent because you secretly fear the dissenters are right, the uniting feature of all fanaticisms."

Regards

Mailman

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Mailman

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougUK

Grid managers...had a day or more’s warning that Wednesday was likely to see very little wind generation, and planned accordingly.

Does anybody know what the generation forecast was for wind 24 hours before the shortage?

The initial forecast for this moment in time was 6676MW and the reality is 5476MW. - about 18% less than expected.

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Jeremy Poynton, what we need are loads of huge barges, with windmills mounted on them, pulled around by wood pellet fuelled steam tugboats, so that they can always be where the wind was, yesterday, or the day before. And some big extension leads from B&Q, so we can always be connected.

Now the Met Office is naming depressions, the current depression is called Abigail, we can all pretend they are like the US hurricanes. Another panic measure by the Met Office designed to increase public panic. A genius method of restoring public confidence in failed forecasting.

Could the Beaufort Scale have wind strength calibrated to show the probability of wind turbines to fail catastrophically?

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

FPCOFA? I suggest the last bit is "close on f..k all". The rest could be "for practicality"?

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Schofield

Lynas refers to himslf as a sparring partner of Paul Kingsnorth who runs an organisation called Dark Mountain (Uncivilisation)
Nov 12, 2015 at 1:11 PM | esmiff
======================================================================================
And "uncivilisation" is what we'll get if these shysters (I'm being kind. It's good to be kind) get their way. Sooner or later, we're going to see what happens when the grid goes down for a significant time. And it won't be fun.

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

"Extremely slow on the uptake"

Yep, that's who buys the Guardian.

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Frank 4:31, No. We need to abandon the abandon the madness of unreliable power. Forced disinvestment from fossil fuelled power generation is the problem created by dumb Green ideology incorporated into politics.

This is Planned Failure. It is working! The countdown to 'public backlash' clock is ticking. Bring Back Coal will not be the three lettered abbreviation chosen. Greens love a good disaster to get their message across. It is coming, though not necessarily the disaster they hoped for.

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Lots of OT stuff deleted.

Nov 12, 2015 at 5:04 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


Lots of OT stuff deleted.

Oh noes, censorship :D

Nov 12, 2015 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Nov 12, 2015 at 3:49 PM Jeremy Poynton
Nov 12, 2015 at 4:42 PM David Schofield

Forty Percent Of UKW.

Nov 12, 2015 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Looking at today's BMreports shows the forecast wind power has been out by up to ±2GW. The only time it was correct was when it went from under-forecasting to over-forecasting (the broken watch effect).

Nov 12, 2015 at 5:37 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The remaining uk engineering base work bloody hard on thin margins and tight schedules.
The very last thing they need is for National Grid to pull the plug.

Currently over at ATTP site the consensus seems to rule out the Nuclear Energy option (and I'd agree with that).
So whats left?

Don't expect any rational solution from that corner.

Moving 90miles an hour down a dead end street as the song goes

Nov 12, 2015 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Green Unreliability remains something we can all depend on, as their clasp on the Power Control Knob starts to wither. A couple of good Green Out disasters is all that it is now going to take, as this Mark Lynas article demonstrates, as he tries to counter MSM criticism, with support from Guardian censorship of comments that are Off Message, not just OT.

If it happens before Paris is over, the UK Govt reps are not going to agree to anything more than an extended teabreak, that may drag on for a few months, waiting for public opinion to settle on a new consensus.

Climate science knows they are skating on ice thinner than anything in the Arctic.

Nov 12, 2015 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Not so much sophistry from Lyingar$e as being "economical with the truth".

In short lies.

Nov 12, 2015 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Don Keiller, the truth must be kept buried in the ground, in accordance with Guardian policy.

Nov 12, 2015 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Plenty of wind this afternoon in Wales, but the turbines around us are switched off because it's too windy.

Nov 12, 2015 at 6:27 PM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Brysn

If you were a company approached by the Grid for load-shedding, surely you would only agree if you had back-up power supplies, probably in the form of filthy Diesel generators. So you go off-grid and get paid by the Grid to run filthy, noisy Diesel generators.

I believe all NHS facilities are also required to have stand-by power. So, if getting the industrial users is not enough to balance things, they then get the hospitals to run off filthy, noisy Diesel generators. All in order to cut down emissions.

It makes a lot of sense. Ed Davey and co were masterminds.

Nov 12, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Oh no, its worse than we thought, National Grid are now assuming 22% availability of the wind capacity in their Winter Outlooks, way up from the highly dodgy 8% that they used to use. Ofgem, who are meant to look after the consumer, have allowed/persuaded them to switch to 22%.

I know that as a sceptic I have a psychological defect that makes me see conspiracies everywhere, but it would appear that there is not only an AGW scam, but also a wind power scam, and "they" are all up to their necks in it.

Nov 12, 2015 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Nov 12, 2015 at 4:31 PM Frank

You actually need to build nameplate capacity that is about 10-fold larger than the demand that won't be met by renewables.

Your solution mentioned above is not only unaffordable it is also unachievable in the time remaining.

In 2014 the demand met by renewables was 58TWh.

In 2014 coal provided 101TWh sourced from 19.2GW of plant, consequently to replace 58TWh at the same rate by coal would require 19.2GW existing + 11GW new = 30GW of coal plant just to keep running on the spot.

However, forget coal, "no new coal without CCS" remember (copyright Ed Miliband)?

In 2014 gas provided 101TWh sourced from 28.4GW of plant, consequently to replace 58TWh at the same rate by gas would require 28.4GW existing + 11GW new = 39GW of gas plant just to keep running on the spot.

However, a large proportion of that 28.4GW is in need up of replacing with modern plant, say all the pre-2000 stuff, which is about 14GW, so you will need (11 + 14)GW = 25GW of new CCGT just to keep running on the spot, say 13 x 2GW CCGT power stations..

Also remember we will probably lose 8GW coal by April fools day 2016, so another 4 x 2GW CCGT power stations needed just to keep running on the spot.

Of the remaing 12GW, 10GW are doomed over the coming months, so that is another 5 x 2GW CCGT power stations needed just to keep running on the spot.

We are now up to 22 new 2GW CCGT power stations just to keep running on the spot.

At todays prices that is £44 billion and it could take at least 20 years of on-site time to build 22 new 2GW power stations.

Of course, the arts graduates are permitting the installation of more windmills and solar panels so you need even more new 2GW CCGT power stations, at least another 15.

You are now at 37 new 2GW CCGT power stations at God only knows what cost taking inflation over 20 years into account..

Also, you also need 5 new 2GW CCGT power stations to replace the ancients nukes due to disappear quite soon now.

At this point it is time to give up, over to you Frank.

Cheers.

Nov 12, 2015 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

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