Thursday, March 04, 2010

Only another million

Shannon Love, over at Chicago Boyz picks up on the fatuity of basing our energy policy on "alternative energy".

"There exists no alternative energy source, no combination of alternative energy sources, and no system of combinations of alternative energy sources that can fully replace a single, coal fired electric plant built with 1930s era technology," he writes. "Yet many want to make this group of functionally useless technologies the primary energy sources for our entire civilization."

The theme is amplified by Wolf Howling, who makes more cogent points, referring also to this blog. We are voices in the wilderness.

Back in the "real" world, continuing my laborious (to say nothing of tedious) search on climate change spending, I happened on a press release from DECC. Of recent origin (18 January 2010), it tells us that "the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the United Arab Emirates have today announced £1m of joint funding for renewable energy policy research."

DECC and the Masdar Institute, it says, have agreed to co-fund research which draws on domestic experiences of policy designed to promote renewables deployment. The research will support the work of the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) to advise nations on putting renewable energy legislation in place.

Eh? IRENA? Was is das?

And so, wearily, we track down a new monster, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This article tells us about it, where we learn that:
After much hard work and advocacy by the German government and others, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is now a reality. The two most important decisions for getting IRENA off the ground were taken at a meeting of IRENA member Governments, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, on 29-30 June 2009. The formal name: The Second Session of the Preparatory Commission of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
And this current little deal was put to bed during the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, 18-21 January of this year (pictured above). A taste of the stitch-up comes with the rest of the DECC press release, which tells that "DECC and the Masdar Institute are also launching a partnership made up of government bodies and private sector companies to be directed and hosted by the Masdar Institute."

We also learn that the partnership "will develop, support and guide small businesses as they look to deploy low carbon energy sources on a massive scale. London-based sustainable financiers Earth Capital PartnersT have estimated a potential investment opportunity for the private sector of up to £2bn." Money talks once again, and we pay. But hey! It's only another million - for now.

More to the point, while we win the intellectual arguments, the machinery of government goes on regardless ... all of which puts the polar bear garbage in perspective. We get assailed by vacuous stories in the media, while the real news goes untold.