UKIP launches major energy policy statement; rejects wind power

On Sept 21st, at the Party’s annual Conference in Birmingham, I shall be introducing (as UKIP’s Spokesman on Industry and Energy) a major Energy Policy Statement on behalf of the Party.  I have prepared it with the help of Michael Jose, an Advisor with the UKIP delegation in Brussels, and Francesca Salierno, a Researcher in my Brussels office.

http://ukip.org/content/ukip-policies/2772-keeping-the-lights-on

It argues that the theory of man-made climate change is unproven and implausible, and that even if the theory were valid, the costs of the 2008 Climate Change Act and other measures designed to mitigate climate change will greatly exceed any foreseeable benefits.  UKIP believes that the UK’s current energy policy, dictated by Brussels, with its heavy reliance on wind, is seriously undermining the UK economy, and is driving jobs, industry and investment off-shore.  It is forcing millions of households and pensioners into fuel poverty.  And over-dependence on renewables threatens security of supply, and raises the probability of electricity shortages by the end of the decade.

The UKIP statement draws attention to recent studies indicating that emissions savings achieved by wind power, after allowing for the necessary conventional back-up, are somewhere between trivial and zero.  It also addresses claims that “the green economy” generates jobs and has the potential to aid economic recovery.  We draw attention to a number of studies showing that by driving up energy costs, renewables actually destroy jobs in the real economy.  As I like to put it, “We’re not talking green jobs.  We’re talking green unemployment”. 

UKIP proposes instead a policy based on proven and economic technologies: gas, coal and nuclear.  This implies a rejection of EU policy and particularly of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive, which seeks to ban coal.  The policy statement points out that ironically, our approach could in fact achieve the emissions reductions called for by green lobbyists more effectively and more cheaply than a policy based on renewables.  UKIP also calls for urgent investigation and exploitation of domestic energy sources including shale gas (which has achieved a 50% reduction in gas prices in the USA).

UKIP’s common-sense policy is based on reliable, secure and affordable energy technologies, in stark contrast to the three old parties, which all endorse a flawed renewables strategy.  Our strategy can ensure that households have access to affordable energy, while underwriting the competitiveness of British industry.

ENDS.

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24 Responses to UKIP launches major energy policy statement; rejects wind power

  1. neil craig says:

    Sounds very good. I personally feel nuclear could be 1/4 of the current cost if regulations were related to real risk but this may not be the time to make that further step. It is also clear that shale gas has halved the cost of gas in the US & that this drop is likely to go further as the technology matures.

    However I would not wish to micromanage – the market can decide what provides the most economical power if allowed to.

    Economic Freedom + Cheap energy = Fast Growth …… nobody seriously disputes that but the old parties pretend not to have heard it.

    I also appreciate your “irony” that if the ecofascists honestly believed that we must cut CO2 they simply could not be opposed to nuclear. This touchstone is obviously true & can be held against any supporter of the Climate Change Act.

  2. Pieter K says:

    Please UKIP look at Thorium. Countries ignore Thorium as an energy source despite its obvious benefits – safer (no risk of radiation contamination or plant explosion); more efficient at producing energy (more than 90% of the input fuel is tapped for energy compared to less than 1% in today’s reactors); fuel everywhere (plenty in the UK), the radioactive waste byproducts take weeks to degrade to safe levels unlike centuries for current uranium nuclear fuels; the reactors are cheaper to manufacture and can be smaller, can be located anywhere. The major fault with Thorium to “civilised” democracies is that the byproduct cannot be used in nuclear weapons!!!!!! See the following clip

    • In principle, UKIP has no problem with thorium — we say so in the booklet. But there is a commercial problem. The industry tells me that given they’ve invested in uranium, the advantages of thorium scarcely justify the huge development costs involved.

  3. mactheknife says:

    Oh look! Sanity…

  4. machokong says:

    Pieter K: You’re right, Thorium gets 99% efficiency, while uranium used in nuclear reactors only achieves 1%.

  5. mikestallard says:

    Roger, my wife made a really clever remark (again) last night when the UKIP conference was quite unexpectedly put onto the leftie BBC.
    She said she didn’t like UKIP because of the purple and yellow logo. I am sure that the sign could be rearranged now that Nigel Farrage has actually talked about redesigning the pound sign and all that.
    My point it that this is not just a sort of optional extra – there are a lot of women out there!

    • Purple and yellow are complementary colours on the colour-wheel. I like them, they are distinctive and different. However, despite being female I do not base my support of a party solely on emotional aspects such as the colour of their logo…..and hopefully neither do many other women. Red yellow and blue have now been discredited, so it’s best to go for something fresh.
      Excellent truthful blog post by the way, Mr Helmer.

  6. fenbeagleblog says:

    Well I couldn’t find anything to disagree with in the policy mr Helmer, in fact it was identical to my own thoughts on this. But you have avoided answering the difficult question, the one I am awkward with myself. By what mechanics will Nuclear power stations be financed, if not by subsidy? They are long term investments. I have no desire to see them built with subsidy, and feel if they are profitable enough, long term, to be built at all, then the benefit of this should be passed back to everyone involved in the investment. Which isn’t the case with state finance, which impacts regressively on the poor, who are not treated as shareholders. So how could it be made possibly for small businesses (for instance) to invest in nuclear, as part of a national building programme, and benefit from the investment in a user friendly manner. …With national bonds perhaps?
    …If the Federation of Small Businesses (for instance) asked you this question, how would you answer their members?….Has this detail been considered?

    • Like you, I’m instinctively against public subsidy. But nuclear power stations can be done by the private sector, as they have been in Finland, for example, where a consortium of intensive-energy users co-financed a programme. At that time, the electricity was at a premium to fossil fueled supplies. Today, after thirty years, they have lower prices locked-in for decades. Smart move. But two other points: first, if you want investors to look at a sixty-year project, governments must offer regulatory assurances. You can’t have Angela Merkel deciding to close down the industry before it’s made a profit. And if there is an over-riding national priority (for example to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels), there may be a case for tax-payer investment.

      • neil craig says:

        Nuclear’s problem is that at least 3/4 of the cost is unnecesary regulation. Chapter 9 of Bernard Cohen’s book Nuclear Energy Options available online goes into detail. A free market would, by definition, not involve regulatory costs above those needed to make nuclear as safe as other sources (currently nuclear is at least orders of magnitude safer).

        I have no doubt that in a world where nuclear cost 1/4 of what it now does (& consequently we were growing fast) real investors would be queuing up to invest in thorium too.

  7. mikestallard says:

    Good point. In the past, the railways were assisted by public support even though they were private companies. There is no reason why nuclear projects should go the same way.

  8. K. Hogarth says:

    An excellent analysis but insufficient emphasis on wave power development for keeping the lights on. We should be developing the technology for making use of the tidal power around our island. Such expertise can be sold to other countries with a 6 meter tidal rise and fall. Let the rest of the EU watch when the windmills are motionless and the UK tides just keep on occurring every day, twice a day and in some places, even four times a day.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      There are very few areas suitable, a tide rise and fall of 16ft is inadequate, 38ft is better and the French Rance system was built to work in both directions but fails badly.

      The way our Government seems to work is development is never tried small scale, so failure is always on a grand scale.

      • K. Hogarth says:

        Accept all you say given past experience and existing knowledge but newer technologies under development will be able to utilise the twice daily power of the tides. Why not direct funds into this research instead of the monstrosity of Hinkley Point, old and unsafe technology that relies on taxpayer subsidy until infinity? Various small pilot schemes are already taking place in Scotland to harness wave and tidal power. Swansea’s barrage looks set to start. The future lies there.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        The results of research and development need to be positive before committing to vast expenditure, this has not been the case with alternative technologies so far! We should always build a prototype and fully evaluate it first.

        The Wave hub off Hayle in Cornwall was built at great expense several years ago, it has still to produce a single watt for the National Grid.

        We need to all be concerned about wastage and all resources. What is of immediate concern is have the extortionate carbon taxes reduced carbon output by a gram? Buying carbon credits and uplifting Africa will only change a currently low carbon economy into a carbon producer. These taxes are all counter productive. Reward current carbon producers who cut down by efficiency, not move carbon production elsewhere.

  9. truck part says:

    I have seen several blogs pertaining to this subject, but your post definitely offers the most factual data.

  10. Fond of living says:

    Ohhh dear! just when I think I have finally found a party that serves the interests of the people – you go and do this! Fracking is a baby industry (by comparison) and there is so much research to do. It requires tens of millions of gallons injected into the earth, water and chemicals – there is a great deal of secrecy around the precise chemical “recipe” that needs investigating. Then there is the issue of cleaning the dirty water. The environmental impact could be catastrophic. Since when is nuclear energy clean????? How on earth do you think that average Joe in the UK is going to stump up yet more money for the Government to “invest” in Nuclear. It’s already been mooted that electricity will cost 3 times as much in the future to appease the investors in the current project.

    I am so disappointed!

    I’m not an “ecofacist” but I do care about my future and especially what our children will inherit from these kind of choices. Oh and by the way – I am a woman and I couldn’t care less what colour the logo is!! how absolutely patronising and out of touch you really are Mike.

  11. grumpydenier says:

    Fracking is a baby industry. . .

    Sorry? 50+ years of experience in the States and Germany equates to a baby industry?
    You lost me there, I’m afraid.

  12. Val Martin says:

    Hi . I challenge any supporter of wind energy to produce a mathimatical formula to count the contribution of wind energy . There is none , not in any university anywhere . This is because wind does not contribute to security of supply of save fuel . Regards . Val Martin E P A W Ireland

  13. Pingback: UKIP’s energy policy suggests a possible climbdown on fracking. More details please.

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