The Climate Change Committee is (it claims) “an independent committee” created under the terms of the infamous Climate Change Act 2008. Independent maybe, but fully bought-in to the IPCC carbon fantasy.
Their latest pronouncements show a mind-boggling degree of ignorance. How can these people, utterly detached from the real world, advise government on anything? And how shall we cope with the economic fall-out from their prescriptions? See a report on their statement here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/9362804/Greenhouse-gas-emissions-fell-last-year-but-only-because-of-milder-weather.html
Let’s see what they said.
“Greater investment is needed in low carbon energy including wind power”. Haven’t they read all the research on emissions from systems consisting of wind plus back-up? Don’t they know that emissions savings from wind power are trivial or zero? That it’s just money spent on political gestures and garden ornaments, not power generation?
“Firms are putting in a third of the annual investment needed for off-shore and on-shore wind”. Same comments apply. More investment in wind will not reduce emissions to any significant extent (if that’s what you want to do). But it will force up the cost of electricity, drive business, investment and jobs offshore, condemn families and pensioners to fuel poverty, and jeopardise security of supply.
They want carbon capture technology (CCS), which would drive up costs, and reduce the amount of electricity available from a given amount of coal or gas. Surely they understand that this is unfeasible — even GreenPeace has questioned the viability of long-term storage of CO2. It’s not going to happen. CCS is for talking about, and for buying-off green concerns about fossil fuels — it’s not for actual implementation.
Then the killer: “Relying on gas would be more expensive than investing in low carbon technology due to gas costs and the rising “carbon price” that electricity generators have to pay for pollution”. Two points. First, the “carbon price” is a red herring. It’s simply a regulatory construct. If it stops us from doing the right thing, then we simply need to change the rules. And don’t worry about EU rules: in a few years, either the EU will have fallen apart, or the UK will have left it. Either way, we don’t need to worry about it.
But the real prize is their reference to the gas price. Have they noticed shale gas? Do they know that gas prices in the USA are only a fifth of those in Germany? And that as a consequence electricity prices in the US have halved? Do they know that China has huge shale gas reserves, and is likely to become self-sufficient, or even to become an exporter? Looking further ahead, have they even heard of Methane Hydrates, which offer potentially more energy than all of the world’s existing fossil fuel reserves combined? Hasn’t anyone mentioned to them that we have gas potential not just for decades, but for centuries?
In twenty years time, we are far more likely to be driving cars powered by natural gas than by electricity.
Finally, why doesn’t someone explain to them that we could achieve the EU’s emissions targets (if that’s what they want to do), more quickly, more safely, more securely, with nuclear and gas than we ever will with wind turbines?