Saturday, January 08, 2011

Getting there

I was pretty pointed about The Daily Telegraph finally noticing that wind was a crock, so what does one say when The Daily Mail comes in even later? There was even a piece on the local BBC TV News, "Look North", with Paul Hudson doing a tolerable job, until they put a dismal wind industry spokesman on, who claimed that wind generated for "85 percent" of the time. Of course, she wasn't challenged, so we have some way to go.

Gradually, though, the media is getting the point, and as the facts leach out, even the warmists in The Guardian are not going to be able to hold the line. But what is going to sink the warmist ship, one suspects, is the fickleness of our EU colleagues, who might be talking the talk on greenery but, on the other hand, they are investing heavily in coal. The particular culprit here is Germany, and we have recent acquired a list of new coal projects in the pipeline – listed below:

- EVONIK, Walsum (Duisburg), 800 MW black coal (2010)
- RWE, Neurath (Cologne), 2 x 800 MW lignite (2009)
- RWE Westfalen (Dortmund-Hamm, 2 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
- EON Datteln (Dortmund), 1 x 1100 MW (!) black coal (2011)
- ENBW Karlsruhe, 1 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
- Trianel (municipality) Lünen, 1 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
- Vattenfall Moorburg (Hamburg), 2 x 800 MW black coal (2011)
- Vattenfall Boxberg (close to Leipzig), 1 x 800 MW lignite (2011)

The dates in brackets are the completion dates of the boilers (hydraulic testing and first fire).

In mainland Europe the German utilities are building the following units

- EON, Maasvlakte (Rotterdam), 1 x 1100 MW black coal
- RWE Eemshaven (NL), 2 x 800 MW black coal.

That is over 11 GW, coming on-stream this year or next, while we are doing our best to close down our coal plants. The bizarre thing though is that these are high efficiency plants, with a conversion factor of 45 percent, compared to British coal sets which deliver about 38 percent.

Replacing our current coal capacity with high efficiency sets would, therefore, save vastly more "carbon" than the savings that the entire wind estate – current and planned – will deliver.

Eventually, inconsistencies and anomalies like these will show up, and become a political issue. That will happen because the current policy is to price energy out of the reach of ordinary people, at the same time as it is getting colder. That is something politicians cannot ignore forever – and the media coverage here shows that the process of education is beginning.