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« Monksbane | Main | The Monsoon, variability & climate change - Cartoon sketchnotes by Josh »

ECC work plan

The Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee has just published its work plan for the autumn. Two of the inquiries look rather dull - lessons learned from attempts to improve energy efficiency and making the grid more welcoming for windfarms. (This is not precisely how they are described, but I think this is about the measure of what MPs are trying to achieve.)

One inquiry could be revealing, however.

Investor confidence in the UK energy sector. Stakeholders called for greater coherence, transparency, consistency and evidence in the policies coming from DECC. As a result, the Committee is now seeking views on the energy investment landscape in the UK and steps that DECC could take to increase investor confidence.

I'm not sure they are going to like the answer though.

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Reader Comments (19)

I thought that the policies from DECC have been very consistent. They have been consistently bad for the country, for the economy, for the consumer and for energy security. They have been consistently good for the ruinable troughers.

Sep 16, 2015 at 4:29 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Could they make wind turbines feel more welcome by holding more wine and cheese parties for them?

Obviously if people are forced to pay for them, and getting nothing in return, troughing MP's would like something over and above "great canapes" (thanks Josh!) to continue their support. MP's are not cheap to please (as their expenses have shown) and they would be expecting vintage wines and exotic cheeses from around the world, flown in specially, no expense spared.

Potential investors could be charged a fortune to attend, so it would not MP's a penny, to listen to con artists presenting schemes for electricity from maggot driven treadmills and other environmental rubbish.

Sep 16, 2015 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I agree that it would be good if we had evidence behind the policies coming from DECC. To date their renewable energy policy has been based on the assumption that all renewable energy schemes reduce CO2 emissions. I have asked DECC on more than one occasion for their evidence, but I have always been fobbed off with one of the standard DECC PR responses. The evidence contradicts the DECC assumption, but DECC daren't admit it. I'm not sure that any of the energy ministers over the last 20 years realise that they have been deceived and misled by the DECC bureaucrats.

Sep 16, 2015 at 4:54 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I don't think the lesson of the Hinkley Point C débâcle has sunk in yet. If they pass acts of law (the Climate Change Act etc) to make traditional electricity generation unprofitable, then there will be a premium to be paid to entice such investment back when they finally realise we can't do without reliable electricity.

Going down on one knee will not be sufficient. They'll have go the full Monica.

Sep 16, 2015 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Surely now energy is a no-brainer (making it a bit tricky for greens with no brains):

* Coal is out - too much risk of a Zombie Apocalypse
* Nuclear is out - the UK no longer knows how to do difficult engineering
* Hydro is out - too Scottish, no more wind-turbine-free mountains left

Missing out solar, wind and horse power, that leaves ...

... GAS (LNG, fracking, North Sea coal gasification, many hundreds of years of supply)

Sep 16, 2015 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

North Sea coal gasification, many hundreds of years of supply)
Sep 16, 2015 at 6:10 PM Mikky

Does gasification of coal then burning the product produce any less CO2 per joule overall than straight burning of coal?

Sep 16, 2015 at 6:36 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

The ECC work plan?

Is basically a ECC NO work plan! Or how to look good on the world stage.

A typical political move, reduce national energy demand by divesting the country of high energy demand industries. Impose a tax and environmental regime that forces manufacturing out of the country.

Then pose on the world stage extolling the virtues of their magnificent 2008 CCA!

The beginning of the end for British steelmaking

""UK producers have also consistently complained about high energy costs, environmental levies and high business rates, which can be around 50pc more than other nations.""

Nay worry, they can all work part time at B&Q

Sep 16, 2015 at 6:59 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Has anyone at DECC considered the massive energy and efficiency savings that could be made for everyone, across the whole country, by scrapping the DECC?

We manage to get by without a Department for Estate Agent and Telephone Sales, though a Department for EATS would be popular with MP's their secretaries, and accountants.

Sep 16, 2015 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@ Green Sand: "...they can all work part time at B&Q"

Not sure about that - our local B&Q has just closed. Times is 'ard.

Sep 16, 2015 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Peacock

The DECC will not get very far in increasing investor confidence in the energy sector when Her Majesty's Opposition talks about nationalising the major energy companies without compensation.

Sep 16, 2015 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

Martin A, sadly the UK is lagging behind even in the business of burning coal, which of course we were once a bit good at:

Developments, Projects & Interest

In the last few years there has been significant renewed interest in UCG as the technology has moved forward considerably.

* China has about 30 projects in different phases of preparation that use underground coal gasification.
* India plans to use underground gasification to access an estimated 350 billion tonnes of coal. In 2007 India compiled a 93-page status report on underground coal gasification that highlighted interest from many of the country's biggest companies.
* South African companies Sasol and Eskom both have UCG pilot facilities that have been operating for some time, giving valuable information and data.
* In Australia, Linc Energy has the Chinchilla site, which first started operating in 2000. Carbon Energy has completed a successful 100 day commercial scale study in Bloodwood Creek in 2008.

Sep 16, 2015 at 10:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

The greatest boost to investor confidence would be for the Committee and the DECC top brass to do a public demonstration of taking a very long walk along a quite short plank.

Sep 16, 2015 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

I believe the answer investors are looking for from DECC is spelled 'seppuku'.

Sep 16, 2015 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

Martin Brumby, do not advocate cruelty to short planks. Beneath their thin veneers of respectability, many in DECC aspire to achieving parity with a pair of short planks.

Sep 16, 2015 at 11:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I believe the post refers to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change - not the DECC. Since they lost both Lilley and Stringer in the new Parliament, they appear to have been replaced by a load of greens and greenhorn know-nothings. Take Dr Daniel Poulter for instance:

Clean out of his mind

I don't think they have a clue about anything relevant to energy or investing.

Sep 16, 2015 at 11:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...


"increase investor confidence" - "promise more money or monopoly rents"
"stakeholders" - "people making lots of money from wind farms"

Sep 17, 2015 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Martin A asked:

Does gasification of coal then burning the product produce any less CO2 per joule overall than straight burning of coal?

Obviously not but unlike miners working in conventional coal mines those working in the history would not put their lives at risk.

Sep 17, 2015 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Don't know about short planks but how about thick planks?

Sep 17, 2015 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaleoclimate Buff

Paleoclimate Buff, in the DECC, there are minimum standards for thickness of planks, but no maximum standards. In line with Civil Service recruitment policy, DECC always select employees who far exceed minimum standards, so there is equality with appointed MP's.

Sep 17, 2015 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

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