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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers:If it's not floods, it's drought!

The climate scaremongers:If it’s not floods, it’s drought!

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IT HAPPENS every year, doesn’t it? A couple of weeks of dry weather, and we get warnings of impending drought!

On March 16, the BBC ran an article headlined ‘Drought risk to England regions after dry February, scientists warn’. It reported:

It might feel wet this week but experts are warning that parts of England need unseasonable rainfall to compensate for an abnormally dry winter.

Rivers in some of England and Wales ran their lowest on record for February, according to data from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. England had its driest February for 30 years, according to the Met Office. Rivers and reservoirs that supply drinking water and feed crops rely on winter rain to top up before spring. Without unseasonably sustained rainfall in the coming months, South West England and East Anglia are at risk of drought.

February was a pretty dry month in England, though not unusually so. But more importantly during the winter as a whole rainfall was only slightly below average:

An even bigger irony was that by the time the BBC published their latest piece of climate propaganda, we had just had a week of heavy rain and a foot of snow across much of the country. As a result, the reservoirs in much of the country are now full or close to it.

According to the BBC, for instance, the Severn Trent region was one of the worst affected, but reservoirs are now 95 per cent full. Anglian Water are reporting that their existing reservoirs are at target for how full they should be at this time of year.

We are of course used to the BBC hyping every weather event into some sort of climate crisis. But this time they included in the article a photo to illustrate just how low water levels were. It was captioned ‘Water levels in rivers, reservoirs and groundwater levels were abnormally low in February’ and it can be viewed here.

You will note that the trees are in full foliage. That’s funny – I have never heard of trees in full leaf in February! Thanks to the internet and a website called Tin Eye, we are able to track down where and when that photo was taken. It is Leighton Reservoir in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, and was taken on September 25, 2021. You can read the detail here.

It is hardly surprising that the reservoir was nearly empty after a long hot summer! The use of this fake photo is plainly fraudulent, intended to deceive the public.

Once again, where climate is concerned, the BBC clearly feel the rules of honest, factual and objective reporting don’t apply to them.

The real (high) cost of offshore wind farms

THE Government has been accused of colluding with the wind industry to mislead the public about the true cost of offshore wind power.

Last summer, following the latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round, the then Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng grandly pronounced:  ‘Our renewable energy auction scheme has been an outstanding success, with the latest round securing enough clean energy to power twelve million British homes and the price of clean energy plummeting even further.  Getting contracts signed means projects can push on and deliver jobs and opportunities across the country. This will help to secure our home grown supply of cheaper renewables and bring down the price of energy for millions of British families as we shift away from expensive fossil fuels.’

CfDs give low carbon electricity generators, such as wind farms, an index-linked guaranteed strike price. When the wholesale market price of electricity is lower than this, the government pays the difference to the generator as subsidy, the cost of which is added to our energy bills. When market prices are higher, the generator pays the difference back to the government.

Since the CfD scheme began operating in 2016, it has cost consumers £5.7billion. Offshore wind farms, which take most of the subsidy, are being paid an average of £167/MWh at the moment, compared to a pre-Ukraine war historical market price of around £50/MWh. Even with much higher market prices currently, offshore wind is still being subsidised.

However at the last two CfD auctions in 2019 and 2022, much lower prices were tendered by offshore wind farms, as low as £37.35/MWh at 2012 prices, about £48/MWh at today’s prices.

Expert analysis of annual accounts and project documentation has already shown that the capital costs of wind farms have not declined as implied, and that these lower prices are simply not viable. Indeed the Danish firm Orsted, which has a CfD to build the proposed Hornsea wind farm due to start up in 2027, has already begged for more government ‘support’ because of rising costs.

Moreover, the two latest offshore wind farms to go on stream have decided not to trigger their CfDs and instead sell their electricity on the open market at much higher prices.

Now, following a Freedom of Information request, the Government has been forced to admit that generators are under no obligation to trigger their contracts, and that the Government has no powers to enforce them or impose penalties.

All in all, the last CfD round contracted 11 GW, most of which will come on stream in 2026/27. Unless market prices come crashing back down, it seems inevitable that all of these will opt to sell at the much higher prices available on the open market. The upshot will be that our energy bills will remain stubbornly high.

For years, successive governments, the Committee on Climate Change and the renewables lobby have been selling their renewable strategy on the promise of lower energy bills. Now we know that it has all been a lie.

Germany and Italy protect their auto industry while we destroy ours

THE British media has been strangely quiet about the EU’s dropping this week of an outright ban on internal combustion engine cars (ICEs). The EU Parliament had already voted for a ban on new ICE car sales from 2035, and it had been expected that the Council of Ministers would rubber-stamp it.

That was until Germany and Italy led a revolt. On the insistence of the Germans, there will now be a loophole for cars that burn ‘carbon neutral’ e-fuels. Naturally environmentalists are furious. But the Germans and Italians realise that their automotive industries will be decimated if Europe goes all-electric. They know that China will flood the market with their own cheaply made EVs.

E-fuels are made by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide which has been captured from the atmosphere – hence they are ‘carbon neutral’. In reality, e-fuels are a dead-end technology as they are so expensive and energy-inefficient. The energy in the fuel produced is only 7 per cent of the energy input, and estimates suggest a cost of about £30/gallon. This is fine if you can afford a Lamborghini, but is a non-starter for normal passenger cars.

The German car industry does not care about this. This loophole allows them to kick the can down the road and carry on making the same cars as they do now.

Doubtlessly when we get to 2035 and it is found that e-fuels are not up the job, the ban will be put off for another decade or more. That is if the whole absurdity of Net Zero has not already been consigned to the bin.

Meanwhile the UK Government remains determined to destroy our motor industry through its obsession with Net Zero.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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