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« Putting the boot in - Josh 365 | Main | Sea ice holds firm »
Wednesday
Mar302016

Jolly green giants toppled

Two of the headlines on Greenpeace's daily news review stuck out at me this morning.

Coal: Nearly $1 trillion could be wasted on unneeded plants

Renewables: SunEdison on brink of bankruptcy, Abengoa files

The companies named in the second headline are two of the largest players in the renewables field, so it's pretty big news that they are on the brink of exctinction, despite all the millions in taxpayers' money that has been poured into them by wise and noble politicians.

Who knows, perhaps there might be room in the marketplace for coal-fired power stations after all.

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Reader Comments (159)

Not surprising. It just takes a long time before these subsidized boondoggles are eventually cut off from the gravy train. It's too bad it takes so long. A very painful process, and so annoying to listen to the scientifically illiterate bleat on about the "green economy" and all the jobs it creates.

Mar 31, 2016 at 3:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobert

"Arch Coal paid execs $8M in bonuses on eve of bankruptcy," 3/22/16
http://www.wyofile.com/arch-coal-paid-execs-8m-in-bonuses-on-eve-of-bankruptcy/

Mar 31, 2016 at 7:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Appell

No more Greenpeas :-( ?

Mar 31, 2016 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterPunksta

"trade protectionist policies are in no-one’s long-term interest"

Wrong. It is certainly in the long-term interests of the cartel of protected companies left standing after the unprotected have closed down. Free-marketeers often prefer to pretend it's a level playing field out there but it patently isn't.

I notice the sudden clamour to protect Port Talbot. Even that pretence would have been appreciated up North during the equally devastating Ravenscraig closure - a plant that actually could have been sold off to competitors (due to it having the highest productivity in Europe) had British Steel's boss been forced to do it via the golden share. Alas the sniffy indifference demonstrated by London mandarins to all manufacturing industry combined with a blind fixation with the mythical free market won out over common sense.

China protects her manufacturing industry and so they now have all the money and we are bankrupt for believing you can make money by just moving it around. As a consequence we have to beg China for help in building a single sodding, badly-designed, French-owned power station at an extortionate price. Rank stupidity!

Mar 31, 2016 at 9:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Today's topic Greenpeace has finally admitted Solar corps are not on a firm financial footing, despite big subsidies.

Green Campaigner @David_Appell find some mud against US coal corp execs from one corp and turns up here to throw it.
Arch Coal Inc execs apparently received bonus payments before it filed for bankruptcy reorganisation.

Yep if they turn out and the end of the day to be fraudulent, then that is wrong and the courts will deal with it.
I say "Two wrongs don't make a right" ..do you agree @David_Appell ?

Now he might have a claim - 'Hey some big US coal corps are filing bankruptcy reorganisation too'
I'd argue that yep some might be, but the case of politically unfavoured US coal corps is a different case from the bankruptcies of heavily subsidised corps WORLDWIDE in a politically favoured supposedly rising industry.

March 29
Arch has indicated it believes it has enough cash to continue operating normally while it restructures its balance sheet in bankruptcy court. Arch was weighed down by high leverage and a dropping coal demand due to low natural gas prices and stricter air regulations.

Mar 31, 2016 at 9:10 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

srewgreen & David Appell,

clearly there is a smack of fraud if David Appell's allegation is founded in truth. Perhaps a bit more information?

1. Were these bonuses funded out of taxpayer subsidies and grants, without which these coal mines would never have been dug in the first place?

2. Were US consumers forced to pay over the market price for the coal?

3. Did US Consumers buy the coal in a free market economy?

4. Did the coal companies go bust because they were priced and forced into an uncompetitive market by subsidies and legislation brought in by the Government, based on bogus xcience, that was welcomed by David Appell and others?

People all over the world are dying for lack of Reliable Power.

Mar 31, 2016 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"People all over the world are dying for lack of Reliable Power."

That is precisely what the ruling eites want to happen, imho!

Mar 31, 2016 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Alan the Brit 12:28, yes, but by reducing the rest of the world to abject poverty, it will reduce queueing times at airports for climate scientists and politicians flying off to parties at taxpayer's expense, to talk about glamourous tropical locations they are going to visit next.

Mar 31, 2016 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie: Surely they are guided onto the planes to their First Class/Business Class seating by individual guides! That uses even more taxpayers' dosh! Oh to be a Climate Scientist, the finest still & sparkling wines, the finest foods prepared & cooked by the finest chefs, the first class hotels & accommodation, millions of £s for fancy puter models that can't get the weather right more than 5 days ahead, yet are able to accurately predict the Earth's climate a hundred years in advance! You know it makes sense!

Mar 31, 2016 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Alan the Brit, after the unexpectedly cold snowy weather at a climate conference in Copenhagen, climate freebies have to be scheduled for tropical island paradises. This is enshrined in climate science legislation. This does give them the opportunity to test airconditioning systems around the tropics, as well as different local fruit combinations in poolside cocktails.

Fortunately for humanity, few climate scientists have landed lucrative swimwear and suntan lotion sponsorship deals. I don't think the world is ready for the Mannkini yet, with or without a smothering of organic lard.

Mar 31, 2016 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mannkinis! I am utterly repulsed. I just hope Josh isn't listening. The image just won't go away. You b****tard gC!

Mar 31, 2016 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Sarid Javid however you spell it ,business secretary how to save Port Talbot

Exempt the British Steel Industry from the Climate Change Act

PS and the rest of British Industry whilst you,re at it

Mar 31, 2016 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

JamesG 9:03am: Figure I'm in your court here. I can understand people who say protectionism doesn't work, but that's only the case if there's a fully free market. My take on it is, if Port Talbot represents the last outpost of Britain's ability to produce its own steel, then it should be protected - on the basis that we should not be beholden to any other country (China, FFS!) for our infrastructure.The same goes for electricity: I would not allow our power production to be wholly owned by non-UK companies. And I would make wind and solar compete on a level playing field (Cue the trolls who will tell us that oil and gas are more heavily subsidised).

Mar 31, 2016 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

The climate imperialists seem to want to sue the oil companies and force them into huge settlements that will likely include subsidies of renewals.

Mar 31, 2016 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Major differences between the DECC and IEA elec production / consumption figures for 2015, at least from my amateur perspective.
Differences in methodology or something else?

DECC figures point to static production while IEA provisional data is declaring major declines.

Refer to both energy trends publication (March 2016) covering 2015 and Iea monthly electricity report.
DECC data illustrates major coal fuel input declines and corresponding electricity production declines in the coal electric sector.
However more or less compensated by increases in wind, biomass and nuclear elec production.

Can any professional explain the discrepancies?

Mar 31, 2016 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Alan Kendall, if we are really unlucky, Gavin Schmidt might wear an identical Mannkini to Mann, to go with their matching beards, and demonstrate Hockey Team Unity.

To guarantee a centrefold spread in PlayClimateScientist Monthly, or the Guardian, a photographer would need to snap them both swimming freely with one or more, of these starving and emaciated polar bears, in the tropical seas of the Arctic, that we are all told to believe in.

Mar 31, 2016 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"trade protectionist policies are in no-one’s long-term interest"

I think you will find that there isn't a single mature, developed economy that hasn't become so without trade barriers.

Apr 1, 2016 at 1:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

I can picture Rajendra Pachauri in a Mannkini. It's not a pretty sight.

Apr 1, 2016 at 1:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Jimmy Haigh, I wish I hadn't thought of Pachauri in a Mannkini, but now that I have, you are right.

The entire Hockey Team in Mannkinis, could be turned into one of those Calendar Girls type, novelty, semi-nude calendars for Live Aid or Comic Relief. Loads of under graduates studying Climate Science would want some souvenir of their wasted time and money at University.

Those studying real courses at University might want some novelty dart boards, or use them more usefully, to prop up a shonky bookcase, as a tribute to shonky climate science.

Apr 1, 2016 at 2:23 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

“I think you will find that there isn't a single mature, developed economy that hasn't become so without trade barriers ….” (Jones).
====================================
You’re (presumably) standing in it (British free trade 1850 - 1914): http://www.ehs.org.uk/dotAsset/11cabff5-3f6a-4d69-bba0-1086d69be6c7.pdf
For the UK to introduce trade protection would be a humiliating admission of decline into national decrepitude.

Apr 1, 2016 at 6:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris Hanley

golf Charlie and Jimmy Haigh,

This is cruel punishment indeed. Have you no pity? My mind repeatedly conjures images of a toady of Mannkinied climate worthies (I'm sure that's the correct plural) on a catwalk. Perhaps each Mannkini© comes with a little hidden pocket to store vital computer data (as flash drives?) thus keeping it safe for future FoI study.

My brain heats up without a pause with a succession of visions of the entire toady of IPCC apparatchiks clad in Mannkinis© of varied hue. Go away evil shades. You utter, utter bar****ds.

Apr 1, 2016 at 6:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Protecting certain industries because of "the national interest" doesn't make sense when those industries depend mostly or even partly on exports for revenue. Who will buy their overpriced product?

Who determines the "national interest"?

Do workers in such protected industries agree not to make excessive demands to help preserve the "national interest"?

History suggests otherwise. That's how British cars ended up in the 1970s and 80s costing more to make than they could sell them for.

Should UK military personnel be forced to only wear UK-made cloth woven from UK-grown fibres?

OMG what if there's a war and we're dependent on imported cloth and it's blockaded!

Apr 1, 2016 at 8:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

"a humiliating admission of decline into national decrepitude."
Well everything else is in place except that admission. I note that the US, the supposed bastions of capitalism, are not slow to use protectionism when required. Theorists talk big about free markets but when the miserable theory falls flat they always ask for government help as recently witnessed by the banking sector. It might be nice if someone imagined that the steel industry was 'too big to fail' too, especially with the biggest steel market being just offshore.

Apr 1, 2016 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-us-is-the-most-protectionist-nation-2015-9?r=US&IR=T
"There is one country that imposes more protectionist measures than any other. It isn't China, Mexico, or Japan. It is the US."

Apr 1, 2016 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

And for the Brexiters....a reality check!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/11952884/Steel-industry-rages-against-dying-of-the-light.html

John Beeley, managing director of Finnish-owned Outokumpu Stainless in Sheffield,...........says that Government introducing a rebate on electricity prices would give the wider industry breathing space. “We’ve worked hard to become more efficient but our work has been cancelled out by green levies........Brussels taxes very heavily but it’s even more extreme here.”

Apr 1, 2016 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Theorists talk big about free markets but when the miserable theory falls flat they always ask for government help as recently witnessed by the banking sector.

More fool government for giving it. They only ask because they know it's on offer.

Apr 1, 2016 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Alan Kendall, the MannKeenies who frequent this site, fail to see how ridiculous their appearances are becoming.

The Hockey Stick is the WMD, Weapon of Mann's Destruction, it could yet destroy an entire sub-species of Homo Sapiens, Homo erectus disfunctionia, and no amount of Viagara is going to stick the dumpy-numpty's stick back together again.

Apr 1, 2016 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"They only ask because they know it's on offer"
Because deep down nobody except out-of-touch academics really believe in such a simplistic world. When it has been thoroughly tested and failed there is even less reason to believe than before but some myths persist despite masses of evidence to the contrary....as with AGW and it's many pessimistic offshoots, some of which don't even have any theory behind them in the first place.

Apr 1, 2016 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Protect us Your Grace.

Excommunicate the Evil One amongst us (golf Charlie) with his false doctrine of the Mannkini©.

Lead him back to the true faith typified by his previous visions of dissolving polar bears and fertilizer-spreading eco-tanks.

We beseech you to save the pure utterances of Ayla the Fair (let her not be bewitched); lead Saint Josh away from the dark one's cult, so preserving his sanctity (we can only dimly perceive the havoc that would be caused if he conceived a triptych of the climaterati in all their near nakedness (physically as well as in their judgment)).

Destroy this perversion.

We await your wise decision with trepidation. We request your guidance.

Apr 1, 2016 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Mar 31, 2016 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered Commenter Harry Passfield

Curiously enough, in the 1990s, structural steel was being shipped from the UK & large parts of the EU, to..........................China, as she developed, & I can tell you, as a structural engineer, the cost of domestic steel rose considerbaly at the time! Irony?

Apr 1, 2016 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Alan Kendall, unpleasant smears, smells and stains from Climate Science, can be eradicated with Lew Paper. If only Lewandowsky would have it printed on more absorbant, and perforated paper, it would prove more useful.

Apr 1, 2016 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf Charlie. A feeble attempt to shift focus away from your heinous crimes. Lew paper© cannot cleanse your soul.

Apr 1, 2016 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Uk energy trends data.
Electricity generated : 337.7 TWH (0.4% yearly decline)

IEA monthly electricity report (Jan -Dec)
Electricity production
307~ TWH ( 3.9% yearly decline)

Both figures do not include imports of electricity

What am I missing?

Again to repeat electricity is a product of production, it is not a fuel.
Thus we are not witnessing a saving of fuel.as such.
More a decline of production.

Is the DECC disguising a collapse of electricity production?
Can anybody explain this 30TWH gap?

Is is perhaps a production vs net generating gap ( power stations require energy etc)
I am not sure.
Also the differences in % decline is striking and perhaps independent of relative numbers.

Answers on a postcard.....

Apr 1, 2016 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Please, not the Dork!

Apr 1, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

@David
The equivalent of a Ireland is missing between these two calculations.
Perhaps I am missing something important.
I am simply asking....
Evenso the % decline difference is inexplicable.

Statistics can be bent very easily.
Perhaps for political gain.

I simply cannot imagine diffuse energy replacing the massive coal generating capacity lost last year.
Something is just not right with these figures.

Apr 1, 2016 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Ps.
We are not dealing with stuff like Total final energy consumption and the like.
We are dealing with production of electricity in TWH.

The two different words used in these publications is production and generation (DECC)in the other.

I suspect the generation calculated in the DECC publication is lost somehow.
I.E. It is not production ( it is vented perhaps)

Apr 1, 2016 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Try to imagine a car plant where a large % of the cars are duds.
They are not counted as production but these cars are generated in house and disposed of.
The Iea is counting production while the DECC is counting in house generation of duds.

This is how I suspect these figures are calculated.
I am just looking for confirmation from professional observers of such things.

Apr 1, 2016 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Whirling lollipops of avian death,
Sucking from the earth, not pleasant water as in yesteryear,
But subsidies.

Joined here and there by fields transformed
Into mirrored carpets that smother nature's bounty,
Gathering grants and sometimes the sun.

Yet watered holes with gaseous promise
Attract penalties and threats of death.

(Funny old world).

Apr 1, 2016 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall, Lew Paper will cleanse all our souls of Schmidt. In Climate Science, every day of the year is regarded as April Fools Day, as they continue to be paid by taxpayers, to laugh at gullible taxpayers.

Apr 1, 2016 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mr K: I have asked you before, and plead with you, now – please leave the humour to GC (who is, I hate to admit, rather good at it, and is in serious danger of being added to my hate list for just that reason), and stick with your excellent scientific treatises. You might enjoy the wit of GC, but in creation of your own wit… well… stick with your excellent scientific treatises.

Apr 1, 2016 at 6:17 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR. One complaint from you (repeated). I acknowledge my inferior status vis-a-vis golf Charlie, but feel I have been able to provoke him into even greater excesses, which even you admit you enjoy. I shall be guided by comments from others.

Have a go at my even feebler attempts at poetry perhaps (see 2.53pm)?.

Apr 1, 2016 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Perhaps others are too polite? In which case, I am obviously the defender of their sensibilities! Ta-daaaa! (Leaps out in tight clothing, with knickers over the leggings, cape a-flutter behind me… Picture that, if you dare!). As for your attempts at poetry… well, I am too polite to mention it…

Anyway, you wouldn’t want to risk being added to my hate list, would you?

Apr 1, 2016 at 7:22 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

JamesG, I assume your comment (following) was directed at centrally planned economies like Comecon:
"Because deep down nobody except out-of-touch academics really believe in such a simplistic world. When it has been thoroughly tested and failed there is even less reason to believe than before but some myths persist despite masses of evidence to the contrary....as with AGW and it's many pessimistic offshoots, some of which don't even have any theory behind them in the first place."

A free market is so complex that it cannot be centrally planned. But there are lots of academics keen on central planning, and they teach our new politicians. Hence the hole digging continues. Government central planning always fails in the end, but unlike the free market there is no competition to take over. The UK steel industry is being shut down for two reasons. Firstly our electricity is around twice the price of our competitors due to Labour's 2008 Climate Change Act (only 5 MPs opposed it - all Tories). Secondly steel is being dumped by a communist centrally planned economy that has over invested in steel (huh, nearly said 'tractor') production. Both factors are the result of politicians' decisions, not a free market.

Apr 1, 2016 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

RR. Very quiet out there, so accept your judgment. Disappointed.

Elvis has left the building; all of him.

Apr 2, 2016 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Well if phil isn't going to show I suppose zed is a bad alternative. Someone needed to drop the IQ level here.

Apr 2, 2016 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterClimateOtter

Wharfside must be shut – or has chucked out the indolent.

Apr 2, 2016 at 11:44 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

And wasn't it Abengoa who were found to be generating solar power at night, using cheap diesel?

Apr 2, 2016 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRuss Wood

Climateotter: while your observation regarding zed might be right, you are being a bit harsh on Mr Clarke (assuming “Phil” is short for Philip and not Philomena), who is an able debater, most probably from jousts in the fields of law, something that zed is demonstrably incapable of. It is a shame that he displays the same level of scorn, though, but, please, do not fall into that trap, yourself.

Apr 2, 2016 at 3:00 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Radical Rodent, Phil Clarke does have Legal knowledge gained from his Greenpeace training in Non Violent Direct Action, which involves obstruction of those carrying out work that they are legally entitled to do, by whatever means, because 'saving the planet' is a noble cause. Lying on a website is not a criminal offence, as Greenpeace continue to prove.

Redundant UK Steelworkers have never been consulted about the relative merits of NVDA.

Apr 2, 2016 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Uk steam coal imports fell 42% in 2015.
58% in the 4th quarter.
Russia is no longer the primary supplier....

These are huge numbers and unprecedented numbers

If the UK had become a agrarian society again this would be at least be a honest new experience.
However the UK remains a burb industrial society.
It has now effectively outsourced all primary and secondary economic activities.

Apr 2, 2016 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

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