IN LAST week’s column, I wrote about BP’s warning that the world would still be needing fossil fuels in three decades’ time. The Telegraph reported the claim of their Chief Economist Spencer Dale that the world would still be reliant on fossil fuels for a fifth of its energy in 2050, despite adopting radical climate policies, according to BP’s latest Energy Outlook.
It turns out this forecast was Alice in Wonderland stuff. The Energy Outlook makes projections based around three different scenarios. The one on which Dale’s claim was based is called Net Zero, and it assumes that the whole world has virtually eliminated carbon dioxide emissions by then, down by 95 per cent from today. Plainly this is nonsense: there is no way that Asia or the rest of the developing world will give up on economic growth and improvements in standards of living, which are dependent on cheap, reliable energy. The second scenario, called Accelerated, is barely more credible, with emissions falling by about 80 per cent. The only realistic projections are in the New Momentum scenario, which as the name suggests still assumes that decarbonisation efforts will have to be ratcheted up.
Under this New Momentum scenario, the world will still be needing fossil fuels for over half of its energy by 2050. And because total energy consumption will continue to increase, fossil fuel use is expected to be only 18 per cent less than now.
Interestingly, just a few days after the Outlook was published BP’s Chief Executive Bernard Looney announced that the company was going to dial back on green investments and refocus on maximising returns from oil and gas.
Renewables were only ever attractive to the likes of BP because of all the subsidies that went with them. Now there is a realisation that fossil fuels cannot be replaced by renewables for the foreseeable future, and BP’s ultimate duty is to its shareholders, not those pushing for Net Zero.
Gas keeps New England warm in record cold spell
NEW England was hit by a brutal blast of Arctic weather last weekend, bringing some of the lowest temperatures seen for decades. No doubt it will soon be blamed on global warming!
Fortunately for New Englanders there was plenty of natural gas to keep them warm and the power grid running:
The fossil fuels that Joe Biden has promised to eliminate from the grid by 2035 supplied 65 per cent of New England’s electricity at 8pm on Friday. The wind and solar that he thinks the US can run on managed a paltry 4 per cent.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If Biden gets his way, how many millions of Americans are going to die as a result?
Wind farm profits aren’t the problem, subsidies are
POLITICIANS in Scotland are getting worked up about the profits made by Chinese and other foreign companies who own the offshore wind farms there.
According to the Herald:
‘Foreign governments including China and overseas firms with interests in Scotland’s offshore wind farm revolution are already enjoying more than £200million in annual profits.
‘There is concern that governments in China and the United Arab Emirates which have presided over human rights concerns are among the beneficiaries of Scotland’s green revolution.
‘The array of state government-controlled firms that are making millions from having a key stake in Scotland’s collection of offshore wind farms also include France, Norway, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland. The Scottish Government has no stake in any company reaping the green rewards, even though it is in the nation’s waters that the farms are being constructed. Controlling interests are also being held by privately-owned energy firms in Germany, Spain, Holland and Japan.
‘Kenny MacAskill, the MP the for East Lothian and Alba Party deputy leader, said: “It’s galling enough that state energy companies from the likes of France, Sweden and even Ireland have ownership of Scotland’s natural bounty. What should benefit our own folk in this energy crisis has been given to those who treat their own folk appallingly. This is a failure on all counts and to our own and other people”.’
Politicians like Kenny MacAskill seem to think that because the wind is free Scotland should reap the rewards. He does not seem to realise that the foreign companies he complains about invested billions into building their wind farms in the first place. Instead of aiming his ire at foreign companies for high electricity prices, maybe he should direct it towards the obscene subsidies paid to renewable generators, all financed via energy bills.
For instance, the Beatrice wind farm, which is mentioned in the Herald article, is Scotland’s second biggest and is part owned by the Chinese state. Situated off the Caithness coast, it cost £2.5billion to construct. Last year it made £98million profit, not an unreasonable return on the capital outlay. Since it began operations in 2019, however, Beatrice has received subsidies of £614million, far outweighing the profits made.
Beatrice is not the only one to be paid such massive subsidies. Robin Rigg, for example, the monstrosity which despoils the Solway Firth, earns £50million a year in subsidies and is owned by the German energy giant, RWE. The Aberdeen wind farm, owned by Swedish Vattenfall, pulls in another £40million, and the Hywind floating wind farm gets another £24million.
It was of course Alex Salmond, now leader of the Alba Party, and the rest of the SNP who were pushing as hard as anybody for renewable energy in Scotland some years ago. In 2012, for instance, Salmond boasted about the growth of renewable energy in Scotland, and set a target for renewables to supply 50 per cent of electricity there by 2015, claiming it was a ‘massive economic opportunity’. Now they object to paying the bill!