SNP Energy Policy……a Crime against the Scottish People

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The EU has its 20-20-20 energy policy, which sets eye-watering and unachievable targets for renewables and emissions reductions by 2020, and is driving the stampede to wind and solar power in Europe.  The British government has taken this further with its Climate Act 2008, making the UK the only EU member-state to mandate emissions reductions as far ahead as 2050.  It sets a target of 80% emissions reduction by 2050 from the 1990 base-line.  If achieved, this would end the UK’s rôle as an industrial nation.  The estimated cost of the Act is £18 billion a year until 2050 – or £720 billion over forty years.

But just when you thought things could hardly get worse, here comes the SNP determined that Scotland shall move to 100% renewable electricity generation.  This plan is technically illiterate, as intermittent renewables require conventional back-up.  I don’t know how the SNP proposes to square this circle.  The only methods I know are batteries and pumped hydro.  Pumped hydro is expensive and inefficient, and there is simply not the capacity in Scotland to provide enough, unless they want to dam Glencoe.  The ideas for smoothing demand and even recovering energy from the battery packs of electric vehicles are simply fanciful in the foreseeable future.

There is a delicious irony in the SNP aiming for 100% renewables while basing their hopes for the economy of an independent Scotland on good old fossil fuels – oil and gas from the North Sea.

The SNP seems blissfully unaware of the work by Professor Gordon Hughes at their own Edinburgh University showing that much of the additional generation and emissions reduction expected from wind farms is off-set by inefficiencies in the conventional back-up.  100% renewable generation is simply impossible to achieve.

It is also eye-wateringly expensive – which is why in Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for radical cuts in renewables subsidies. I’m afraid that renewables are (in the true sense) simply not sustainable. And the European Council has called for more emphasis on security of energy supply and competitiveness, and therefore less emphasis on emissions and renewables.

The SNP policy cannot succeed, and cannot significantly affect global emissions or global temperatures (even if you accept AGW theory).  But it will undermine competitiveness, and drive industry, jobs and investment out of Scotland (and maybe to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards – so increasing emissions).  It will threaten security of supply.  And it will force even more Scottish households and pensioners into fuel poverty (they tell me that 40% of Scottish households are already technically in fuel poverty).  To put it in plain terms, Scottish pensioners will die of cold as a direct consequence of the SNP’s folly.

The SNP (and others who should know better) rhapsodise over the “green jobs” that will be created by their policy.  But there are a number of studies from around Europe showing that each “green job” created costs several real jobs in the real economy, because high energy prices stunt growth and investment.  The most relevant study for Scotland is by Verso Economics, and shows that in Scotland 3.7 real jobs are lost for every “green job” created.

Worse still, most of these “green jobs” are overseas.  No wind turbines are now made in the UK.  Most solar panels come from China.  Scots may well ask whether it’s worth losing 3.7 jobs in Scotland to create one green job in Chengdu.

The impact of the SNP’s plans around Aberdeen can be seen from the map above.  Their renewables policy threatens jobs.  It will create poverty and unemployment – an economic waste-land, cluttered with useless turbines.  It will drive Scottish people into fuel poverty.  It will jeopardise security of supply.  It will ruin ancient and beautiful landscapes, decimate tourism, blight homes and lives.  It will kill pensioners.  And it will do nothing for the environment or the planet.  Thank you Alex Salmond.

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33 Responses to SNP Energy Policy……a Crime against the Scottish People

  1. B Hough says:

    Solar panels made in China, where are wind turbines made ? Germany ?
    As you say Britain will become a non industrial nation, how will we exist ? Back to farming as in days of yore ?
    One thing I am convinced of, if wind turbines were made in the UK then they would not be that important to the EU climate change bleaters.
    I would like the weather changes we are seeing now especially the increase in rain/flooding etc. compared with the increase in wind farms across the earth, the tutbulence they create is being investigated in the U.S. why is it disregarded here ?
    But of course profit comes first, flooding ! increase insurance costs ! problem solved !
    Apart from the impact of the cases you quoted on the Scottish people, what about the payment to the EU per year ? Will our portion decrease as they pay their share ?
    I think the SNP are keeping quiet on a lot of points that they should tell the Scots.
    ie. Will they be the government for ever after ? After all they will only be4 passing on the instructions from Brussels / Berlin.

    • Hugh Davis says:

      Wind turbines don’t operate often enough to affect the weather! (25% of the time at most!).

      Anyway, there has been no statistically measurable increase in severe weather of any kind around the world over the past 20/50/100 years.

  2. Teallach says:

    The SNP have let Scotland down in a big way.

    Tourism was down 12% last year. In part, at least, it will be down to the fact that places like Aberdeenshire (now carpeted in turbines) are virtual ‘no go’ areas for tourists.

    They have given no true protection to Scotland’s renowned scenic areas.

    In Scotland they have egged on developers who have built turbines everywhere. For example, when you now drive from the English border to Inverness you will not be able to drive for more than about 6 minutes without seeing massive clumps of turbines.

    In Scotland over 75% of turbines are on peat bogs. Peat bogs which hold more CO2 (if that’s your thing) than Amazonian rainforests. Aberdeen + London University both stated in 2012 – in a study commissioned by the SNP! – that no CO2 was saved when turbines were built on these fragile environments.

    They are just completely and utterly deluded. They cannot take criticism and they will not face facts when it comes to energy. I honestly think they’ll be lucky to get 25% at the ‘independence’ referendum.

    I’d also add that in my opinion it’s unlikely that Otto will make much headway this time round. But he has succeeded – with your help – in getting UKIP on the radar in Scotland. So ‘Step 1’ has been completed successfully no matter what happens.

  3. 1957chev says:

    When will they STOP THE INSANITY???

    • catalanbrian says:

      Only when the anti renewal brigade eventually come to their senses and realise that we cannnot continue to pollute and waste valuable resources on the continued use of fossil fuels for power.

      • Teallach says:

        How many coal/ gas/ nuclear stations have wind turbines replaced globally?

        Ah, yes, none.

        Do CO2 emissions matter?

        Ah, of course, no.

        Read this and weep: http://www.ukpowergeneration.info/

      • Adrian Hey says:

        If, as you say, “we cannot continue to pollute and waste valuable resources on the continued use of fossil fuels for power” then it’s either nuclear power of NO power. The
        so called “renewables” of wind, solar, biomass.. are nothing but an extremely expensive irrelevance. Fossil fuel backup capacity is the only thing that allows us to indulge the eco-loons in their renewable fantasies AND “keep the lights on”. This is just an ENGINEERING reality that anyone aiming for sane energy policy has to understand, regardless of any other political views they may hold.

      • B Hough says:

        Where do the SNP get their financing from ? Do you honestly think that wind turbine manufacturers and landowners care about the environment ? They are in it for the cash and the politicians for the power.

  4. Hey Amigo, give over with all your far flung ideas, if you don’t live here, then, you shouldn’t be saying anything to do with our Country, eh?

  5. Adrian Hey says:

    Apart from the blight on the Scottish landscape and wildlife is this really just a problem for Scotland? Until Scotland is independent, this is surely a national (I.E. UK) economic problem. I thought the subsidies operated at the national level which means that the subsidy needed by Scottish wind farms comes from UK (I.E. mostly English) energy bills. Once Scotland is independent the English will, I presume, not be expected to continue this subsidy (the cost will be born by Scots alone). If so this seems to me like one more good reason to hope that the SNP win their referendum, although this seems extremely unlikely to be honest.

    I must say that recently I’ve been feeling close to despair regarding the future for the UK (with or without Scotland) as a result of the insane energy policies all 3 parties in Westminster seem determined to inflict on an already fcuked up & struggling economy. It seems that the lunatics really have taken over asylum and just about everyone in the country understands this except the BBC and our dimwit MPs. I suppose this is to be expected from Labour & Libdems but the most shocking (and depressing) thing is that even the Tories are supporting this insanity! What is the point of the Conservative Party these days?

    • Teallach says:

      In Scotland each green job costs the taxpayer over £150,000. In Scotland the SNP have made it unbelievably easy to build turbines anywhere. In Scotland the SNP want Scotland powered 100% from renewables – simply absurd.

      ‘Despair’ sums things up well. The current policy is bad for the environment, the economy and the electorate. But it is good at producing meaningless statistics and fulfilling the unachievable dreams of the far left who rule Europe.

      You know who to vote for for a rational energy policy (coal and gas in short term, mass nuclear in long term).

  6. B Hough says:

    They say there is no significant turbulence from windfarms, no effect on weather patterns, in the UK we put them on hillsides, check this website picture and remember what we were taught at school w2ith regard to the process of precipitation. http://northeastwindmills.com/wind-turbine-wake-effects-go-far-beyond-their-location/

  7. Chris says:

    Even so, people will still vote SNP in Scotland. And people will vote Labour, even after they opened the floodgates to third world immigration (which affects low skilled working class), bankrupted the country and took us into two wars.

    Never underestimate the lack of logic from the voters.

  8. catalanbrian says:

    “floodgates to third world immigration”!. The total immigrant population in the UK from non EU states is some 4.8million,(or somewhere under 8% of the population). And that includes all immigrants including those from non developing world countries. That puts the UK behind most of the major EU countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Austria Sweden, Greece and the Netherlands. That includes all non EU (and thus potentially “third world”) immigrants, of which only a proportion will be from the “third world”. It seems to me that the floodgates that were opened were rather small.

    • Chris says:

      Immigration before Labout got into power was averaging 50,000 a year in 1997. When they left, it was 250,000 a year. A total of 3.5 million immigrants in 13 years.

      Do you think this was ok? Was it sustainable? It is still over 150,000 a year. The population in the UK is heading towards 70 million plus due to immigration and the birth rate due to foreign mothers.

      This is causing huge problems in the UK, with social integration, the NHS, housing, employment, infrastructure and utilities.

      You must be living in some guardian reader liberal fantasy world if you think that this is not a problem.

      There are 2.5 million unemployed in this country of which 1 million are between the ages of 16 to 24 years of age.

      “Almost six-in-10 students finished university last summer without a graduate job because of the financial crisis, according to research.”

      “The conclusions – in a study by the website CareerMatters.co.uk – comes just days after a separate report found that employers were receiving 56 applications for each graduate job, a seven per cent rise on the previous year.”

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/9814069/Slump-in-graduate-jobs-market-hits-six-in-10-ex-students.html

      • catalanbrian says:

        The problem with the anti immigration lobby is that it bases its comments on irrational fear and not on proven facts. Your two comments indicate just this. In your first comment you state that the Labour Party “opened the floodgates to thirl world immigration (which affects low skilled working class)”. You are now trying to illustrate the demerits of immigration by referring to an article relating to the lack of graduate jobs. Come on, make your mind up. Is the immigration problem that of workers coming (flooding?) to the UK to take up low skilled jobs or is it to fill graduate positions? There is little, if any ,evidence that immigration to the UK has had any negative effects on the UK economy. The House of Lords report on immigration to the UK (2008) concluded that ““The overall conclusion from existing evidence is that immigration has very small impacts on GDP per capita, whether these impacts are positive or negative. This conclusion is in line with findings of studies of the economic impacts of immigration in other countries including the US.” They also stated that “The available evidence is insufficient to draw clear conclusions about the impact of immigration on unemployment in the UK”.. I will leave it there.

  9. Chris says:

    catalanbrian . There is plenty of evidence showing that mass immigration has created unemployment amongst the lower skilled British workers. There is also plenty of evidence that there is no positive economic impact from mass immigration for the UK when all factors are added in. I recommend you look at http://www.migrationwatchuk.co.uk/.

    The immigration problem affects both low skilled and higher skilled British workers. The low skilled we see by the 1 million East Europeans who now live in the country; have a look at how many are in the service industries such as bars, restaurants and hotels.

    In the IT industry, we have the Indian workers coming to the UK on permits or inter company transfers, as a cheaper alternative to British computer staff. Have a read on the blog sites discussing what is happening in the UK IT business. Then add to this the unlimited access to the UK market by EU graduates.

    If you want to stick your head in the sand and think that everything is ok then that is your decision. People such as UKIP supporters and myself tend to live in the real world and can see what is happening.

    • catalanbrian says:

      You initially referred to “third world immigration” – now you are on to immigration from other places as well including the EU which, whether you like it or not has nothing to do with the previous Labour Government. Citizens of the EU have a right to live and work in any country in the EU. Clearly your problem is not just that you are just anti immigration, it is just that you don’t like foreigners, particularly those that wish to live in the UK. We will not come to agreement on this issue so I suggest that we don’t clog up Mr Helmer’s blog any more with this matter.

      • Chris says:

        Let me give you some more facts. Labour allowed in 3.5 million immigrants from 1997 to 2010. Of these, 75% were from outside the EU. Labour, allowed the A8 countries to have full rights to work and live in the UK as soon as they joined the EU unlike most other countries. This meant, that they had few choices and therefore a lot more came to the UK than would have if other countries such as Germany had allowed them in.

        I don’t dislike foreigners so stop putting words in my mouth. What I don’t like is uncontrolled open borders, where anybody, whether skilled or not, can enter the UK. If you looked at the issue of immigration, it comes from both the EU and also outside. The difference is that now, the government is trying to control immigration from non-EU countries. They can do nothing about the EU while we remain a member.

  10. David says:

    This is what the commies are good at.

  11. catalanbrian says:

    Teallach. I am not quite sure what that has to do with the price of fish, however I assume that the information presented is accurate. But it does not tell the whole story. In order to establish the relative efficiency of wind in comparison with other sources of power the absolute production numbers, such as those in the graph and tables, do not assist. What is required is the amount of power actually generated measured against the installed generating capacity of that power source. And similar figures for other methods of generation. And, perhaps also some indication of costs per Kw generated (not just taking into account the installation cost but also the running cost over the anticipated lifespan of the generating equipment. Therefore the answer to your question is – Yes this is another piece of misinformation that is intended to deceive the careless observer. In any event I have never argued .that wind power could or should be the sole, or even the main, source of power in the UK,, although there is room for an increased wind capacity. I have only argued that we, who inhabit the planet today, should be a lot more careful in the use of natural resources, especially fossil fuels, and that we should be planning future power generation around renewables, which includes nuclear.

    • Chris says:

      If you look at the evidence, wind farms do not reduce CO2 and NOx emissions. Neither do they reduce gas usage per MWh of the backup or spin reserve. If you want to reduce these, then the answer is nuclear with lower emission gas power to absorb the peaks and troughs of demand.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I think that you will find that the anti wind lobby considerably overstate the required backup/spin reserve required for wind (and the pro wnd probably understate it). I have yet to find any reliable figures (i.e.from a non biased and peer reviewed source) to prove the situation one way or the other, so I cannot look at the evidence because reliable evidence is not available. I am however inclined to believe that wind does, over the projected lifespan of the installation, make a contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions arising from power generation. I agree that the future has to be with nuclear as the main power producer but am not so sure that gas is the answer. Low emission gas power does indeed produce less CO2 than coal but my main concern is the wasting of limited fossil fuel resources on power generation.

  12. B Hough says:

    What really gets to me sfter all the arguments I hear about wind generation, solar, nuclear etc. is the fact that no mention is ever made of the Bio-Fuel giants, I have to pay more on my gas and electricity bills to help pay for all these, especially wind farms which make a fortune for landowners, but no mention is made of the destruction of the Amazon rain forestr and now Indonesia, all in order to grow and cultivate various oil producing plants, not to help me. but to ensure an income for certain people when the fossil fuels run out.
    In the UK we have the opportunity through fracking to help our financial situation, but no ! this would stop us buying electricity from abroad, other countries no problem, here, earthquakes !

    • catalanbrian says:

      I agree absolutely with you on the matter of biofuels. There is nothing wrong per se with biodiesel but only if it is obtained by refining waste oils, much of which is currently poured down the drain thus blocking the sewers and adding to the costs of cleansing waste water. I disagree fundamentally with the concept of growing plants for biofuel production,and especially if this involves the cutting down of rainforest. Whilst I am not yet convinced of the advantages of fracking in the UK I agree that the risk of earthquake is very small (although not non existent) but this should alone not prevent test fracking to see whether or not it is the major fuel source that its supporters claim it to be. However we should not squander this gas (as we did North Sea gas) and should only use the gas obtained from fracking to buy us time whilst we fully develop the nuclear option.

  13. B Hough says:

    Just a point about the deaths and damage from flooding in India, they have increased their wind farms by a vast amount over the past few years, any connection? No research being done ?

  14. IAN PAYNE says:

    I do enjoy THE HISTORY OF SCOTLAND though on BBC 1 every Saturday at 9am.

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