IT’S summer, so just as they do every year the media go into overdrive using a couple of heatwaves to push their globalist climate agenda. They’ve even started giving heatwaves silly names such as Cerberus. Every day there are more bloodcurdling headlines, and it is clear that they are all part of a well-coordinated propaganda campaign.
One particularly fraudulent item on Sky News this week claimed that the Earth would soon become an inferno if we did not all do as we are told. The article also wrongly stated that extreme weather was leading to crop losses, when in fact world food production continues to rise to record levels every year or so.
In fact, according to the BBC, temperatures in Europe won’t reach anywhere near record levels. Neither will they in California which is also sitting under a heat dome, where the record high of 134F was set in 1913.
Fortunately many who live in hotter climes now have air conditioning; but they might not be able to use it in years to come, when we are all reliant on intermittent renewable energy!
Far from the Earth burning up, we see the usual mix of hot and cold. It was, of course, only a couple of weeks ago that we were told that last month’s heatwave here was sign of things to come. Since then it has been back to normal – damp and cool!
The simple fact is that there are always heatwaves somewhere in the world during summertime. As one commentator in Rome pointed out, a heatwave may be a nuisance, but it is not the end of the world.
It’s the cold you need to worry about
However a Lancet study in March found that cold weather kills nine times as many as hot weather does.
And an earlier Lancet study in 2021 concluded that heat-related deaths in Europe between 2000 and 2019 averaged 178,000 a year, proving that there was nothing particularly unusual about last year’s death toll. The same study put cold-related deaths at 657,000.
But you won’t hear that on the BBC.
Net Zero disaster is staring us in the face
EVERY year the National Grid publishes ‘Future Energy Scenarios’, or FES, which ostensibly give us an idea of what our energy system will look like as we go down the road to Net Zero. The real aim though is to convince everybody, not least the National Grid itself, that the UK can get to Net Zero in 2050 without the wheels coming off. This year’s newly published FES again fails in this regard, and does nothing to address the very real problems looming over the horizon.
As usual, there are four scenarios. The most optimistic is called Leading The Way, which has as much chance of being achieved as pigs flying. The most realistic is Falling Short, which cuts emissions by about half come 2050.
I’ll concentrate on the other two:
Consumer Transformation (CT) – this looks a highly unlikely outcome. It assumes, for instance, that 12million heat pumps will be installed by 2035. There is simply no prospect of this unless the gas boiler ban takes effect a decade earlier. It is also unlikely that consumers will drastically alter their habits in terms of switching off devices when power is short, or be willing to spend thousands on insulation, on which the scenario relies.
System Transformation (ST) is slightly more realistic, but not much! This assumes 3million heat pumps by 2035, with an annual rollout of about 160,000 as soon as 2025 – again extremely implausible. Because of this slow take-up of heat pumps, the scenario assumes most heating will rely on hydrogen boilers, which in turn raises a separate question: where will this hydrogen come from? The FES answer is mainly from steam reforming natural gas, in theory using Carbon Storage (CCUS).
In turn, this raises two more issues:
a) Steam reforming uses much more natural gas than if you just burned it in the first place, about 50 per cent extra. It is therefore extremely expensive and energy-inefficient.
b) Even with CCUS, there are still some emissions as the process captures only about two-thirds of the CO2. And capturing the carbon wastes even more energy.
Under System Transformation, we will still be consuming 581 TWh of natural gas in 2035, compared with 986 TWh currently. This clearly makes a nonsense of the Labour Party’s plan to stop all new North Sea exploration.
Now we come to the crucial question of what our power system will look like in 2035, when it will be supposedly fully decarbonised. Below are the capacity assumptions in FES:
In both scenarios, dispatchable capacity (excluding interconnectors) is woefully short of what is needed. Even with interconnectors, a large shortfall remains, despite the retention of most of our existing combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) fleet. Demand is much higher than now because of the electrification of heating and transport, double in the CT scenario.
Storage, according to the FES, will be only about two hours worth on average, enough to manage only short-term peaks in demand. Solar, as we know, will produce next to nothing in winter.
At a push, you could possibly count on getting a minimum of 5 per cent out of the wind capacity, even on relatively windless days, about 5 GW. But this still leaves us well short in both scenarios.
Sure, we might be able to reduce peak demand by maybe 10 GW by smoothing out daily demand. On the other hand you would need to build in a reserve of at least 20 GW on top of the FES scenarios to cover for plant outages etc.
The only way to ensure security of supply with these increased electrification scenarios would be to treble our existing CCGT fleet, if necessary modified to burn hydrogen. In the longer term, a tranche of new nuclear might help to plug the gap, but that would likely take many more years to come about.
Every year I raise this problem. And every year a new FES totally ignores the disaster staring us in the face. There seems to be a naive belief that all that wind and solar capacity will somehow always provide the power we need.
It really is a case of the emperor having no clothes!