Green Energy Cuts


Green companies are in retreat, with a wave of staff layoffs and production cuts that could have dire consequences for government efforts to fight climate change by quickly bringing low-carbon power projects on stream. So begins an article in the Observer. While the USA has committed to spending heavily in this sector to combat the recession the reality in the UK seems very different. E.ON, one of the developers of the London Array offshore project has admitted that the economics are on a “knife edge”.

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13 Responses to Green Energy Cuts

  1. matt says:

    Yes, Brown is yet to do the Obama thing and throw loads of money at infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, railways, the grid or indeed renewable energy projects.

    Maybe the reality is the UK is unable to borrow itself out of recession.

  2. the Grit says:

    Hi y’all,

    Well, Obama and the US haven’t yet committed “heavily” in this area. It’s true that a small part of our recent spending spree is destined to go toward investing in renewable energy and an update to our power transmission lines, but it’s no where near enough and, compared to the total dollar amount of the “stimulus package” is almost not noticeable. On the other hand, someone in our private sector is still pumping money into wind power, as I continue to see at least one new mega watt wind mill pass through town every week. And I’m not out and about all that much, so I’m either very lucky at catching these things on the road, or there are lots of them going past. Of course, for all I know they’re being shipped to a port on the coast from which they’ll make their way to England. Still, at least we’re making them, and they are impressive bits of equipment.

    The same goes for railroad investment. The total amount created out of thin air destined for high speed rail is only $8 billion, which may be enough to fund the planning of what we need, but won’t even purchase the right of way for one new line. And of course, since this is political, instead of focusing on areas where the investment would do the most good, the Government is putting the money into a high speed link between Los Angeles and Los Vegas. Hardly a necessity in my opinion, but our top Senator is from Nevada and our top Representative is from California. Surprise!

    And Matt, my educated guess is that the US can’t carry off the borrow out of trouble thing either. I can only hope that our collapse won’t significantly inconvenience y’all. On the other hand, a massive depression over here will probably be really good for the environment :)

    the Grit

  3. matt says:

    Oh Grit, it’s incredible how few new vehicles are being bought, how oil consumption has fallen away compared to just a year ago and how general consumption levels have dropped.

    Someones going to have to start a new religion and start a war, otherwise people will have too much time on their hands to do things like lying down in meadows and making love/humming nice old 60s hippy tunes. :)

    And we don’t need another baby boom generation = selfish, high earning, high consumption generation!

  4. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    Yep. Oil consumption and vehicle purchases are down, but unemployment is way up. Also, available private investment capital is way down, and civil unrest is going up and, if China and Russia are any example, dictatorships don’t really seem to care about the environment, so movement in that direction might not be a good thing.

    As to religion and war, well we still have the Islamic terrorists to worry about, not to mention that Russia and Iran are still saber rattling despite our election of The Chosen One. Oh, and if you need a religion for diversion Global Warming is still hanging around.

    As to another baby boomer generation, actually we do need one. Really, all of the US social programs (Social Security and Medicare) are nothing but Ponsi schemes that will collapse if our population doesn’t continue to grow and become wealthier and pay higher taxes. Surely you don’t want our old people to starve and/or die from curable medical problems!?

    Also, while lying in meadows and such is great in summer, it doesn’t provide food and shelter in winter. On this I refer you to the story of the ant and the grasshopper.

    And, before you bring it up, we could have chosen a slightly different path, as people in general, with less progress, less variate of goods and entertainment, limits on how many children we can have, and all the other things necessary to bring a low tech, low population, one happy world under a global ruler into being. Of course, giving into the Man like that doesn’t really fit into the peace and love thing :) It is, however, too late for such a choice, considering that there are several BILLION more people sharing the planet than can be supported through low tech means. Well, at least I’m not willing to be the one to decide which ones we kill to make the hippy dream come true.

    the Grit

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  7. keithsc says:

    Hi Grit

    President Obama doesn’t agree with your views about China not caring for the environment.

    “On Tuesday evening, in his first address to Congress, President Barack Obama identified energy as one of the “three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic future.”

    Mr. Obama, who consistently listed energy before two other areas — health care and education — repeated his vow to double renewable energy in three years. He said that solar, wind and biofuels, along with “clean coal” and more efficient vehicles, would receive investments of $15 billion a year, though eventually he wants to ensure that renewables become a “profitable kind of energy.”

    He warned that the United States has fallen behind other countries in production of new energy sources.

    We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient,” the president said.

    He also noted that Germany and Japan were ahead in solar technology, and that Korea was making batteries for new plug-in hybrids. (One of the notable items in the stimulus package is $2 billion for car batteries — an effort to lure the nascent industry to American shores.)

    See http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/obama-vows-support-for-renewables-and-a-carbon-cap/

  8. the Grit says:

    Hi k,

    Well, Obama has said just about everything that could possibly make anyone who is interested vote for him. Politicians, go figure.

    As to China and their efforts toward clean energy, you might want to have a conversation with someone who actually lives there. Of course, what with the total control their Government maintains on communications, that might be difficult. Still, if you persist you may find that China doesn’t give a damn about the environment, or their own people for that matter. Dictatorships rarely do.

    Clean coal, and global warming are jokes. Did you by chance notice the news article about the primary Global Warming proponent, James Hansen, being crazy: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,501064,00.html

    Oh, and as to Obama’s clean energy plans, He has decided to go with a cap and trade system which will suck well over $100 BILLION out of our economy, from which Government revenue He will put $15 billion back into investments in renewable energy. How kind.

    As to plug in technology, it’s crap. The overall cost of the batteries, which have to be replaced every three or four years, and which are really energy intensive to make and even more polluting to deal with once their useful life is over, make them much worse than the SUVs Al Gore drives around in. You should note that President Bush directed several BILLION dollars of tax money into fuel cell research, from which we have yet to see any results. I don’t know about you, but last time I gassed up my truck the pump didn’t offer, “Regular, High Test, Hydrogen.” I’d also point out that, at least in most places, the electricity to charge the plug in cars comes from coal, which I seem to remember isn’t on the yeah-go list of Global Warming Alarmists.

    As to which country will lead in the 21st century, that will be the one which does what is necessary and not what is politically correct. Really, it’s all so easy to scream “we must go green!” but, and while I share some of those values, it has to be done in a rational way, not in an orgy of “no CO2!” and damn the consequences. Honestly, even if you buy into the Global Warming Scam, their dire predictions only come to pass a hundred years from now, so there is plenty of time to let the needed technology mature, and make a smooth transition which doesn’t kill too many people.

    On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry to do something useful, look into AIDS prevention, poverty, child abuse, violence against women, and such. Really, there are plenty of problems that we have the technology to do something about NOW, without getting distracted over something that will, as alternative energy sources become more practical, take care of itself. Take a deep breath…

    the Grit

  9. matt says:

    Keith

    You really have to read every single comment of Grit’s (who still won’t use his real name just in case the FBI have a file on him) to understand that he’s really on the side of practical so-called green technologies (as he likes the buzz & the possible investment opportunities) and prefers an easy life (positively enthusing over smooth rail travel because it allows him to eat & drink without spilling it all over his cowboy boots).

    Grit (aka daddy-o) is with you in a twisted, smoke & mirrors sort of way. :)

  10. keithsc says:

    Last night we had a conference in Woking where we had an Any Questions type forum with Andy Atkins, head of Friends of the Earth, Kate Allen, head of Amnesty UK and Barbara Crowther, head of communications for the Fairtrade Foundation. There was a remarkable unanimity between them agreeing the biggest problem today is global warming which is a huge threat to human rights and alleviating poverty. Andy Atkins came from seven years as Policy and Campaigns director at Tearfund and so has experience of campaigning over both issues.

  11. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    I always figured you were smarter than the average ecologist :)

    As to the FBI, and its British equivalent, I notice that you don’t list your full name either, which is wise both from a trouble with the Government point of view, as well as supporting my idea that our names shouldn’t be as important as our words. Really, if what you say can’t stand on its own without name recognition, why should anyone listen? I’d also point out that “the Grit” is much more informative than “Matt,” or my real name for that matter.

    Grit, as you could look up and know, has several meanings. For one, it means abrasive, which I strive to be in an encouraging, thought provoking way. It also is tied to one of our local foods, grits, which identifies me with my home and gives those who bother to think a bit some insight into my background. In addition, it can be a reference to small bits left over from any one of many manufacturing processes, which fits me as well. I can’t wait to hear why you chose “matt.”

    Also, what is wrong with wanting an easy life? Isn’t that what we’ve been striving for since our very distant ancestors got down out of the trees and went looking for left over meat? Or, are you trying to tell me that a significant number of people, without diagnosable mental disorders, are actively searching for ways to make their lives more difficult? Truly, it’s been my experience that people who advocate changes to our lives that make them harder, only do so for others, never themselves. I present our new President and our Congress as examples.

    Oh, and I don’t wear cowboy boots. They’re not at all practical on my farm. I go with inexpensive Wal*Mart steel toed work boots. They are much more practical and comfortable, and have the added benefit of providing at least a bit of protection should one make a slip with the chainsaw. Really, while they may not be works of art, I’m very fond of my toes.

    As to being with you, I see it more as y’all being with me, only that I have rational support for my views instead of some general feeling that “we have to do something!” On the other hand, given the average intelligence of our populations, you’ll probably get more votes with your approach.

    Oh, and if you want an alternative name for me, I also go by Farmer Bob.

    Hi keithsc,

    Did you by chance happen to ask why, as even Hansen has to admit, that global temperature, using the insane measures that the IPCC is fixated on, have held steady over the last decade even while CO2 levels continue to increase? Also, did you get an explanation why, if the world is truly warming in general, North America is experiencing record setting lows? Have you, by chance, noticed that your Global Warming movement has more in common with a religious cult than with science? Or that your God, James Hansen, has, in the words of his co-workers, gone over the deep end?

    Oh, and if you and your friends could come up for a breath of fresh air, you’d notice that the biggest problem facing the world is over population. Come on, if we only had 2 billion people instead of, what, eight? – we could pollute all we wanted, everyone could have easy healthy lives, and the evil specter of Global Warming would fade away.

    So, let us reason on this topic. What would you think is easier to accomplish, making people in the less populated but more advanced countries switch their life styles back to a primitive level, or keeping the masses in the less developed countries from breeding in an out of control fashion? For that matter, what possible reason is there for encouraging people to have children that, with the best projections, are going to have lives of marginal existence?

    Oh, and as to the economic benefits to the poor from praying to the Global Warming Gods, our new President is pushing for a sweeping cap and trade system for CO2 emissions that will, at best, increase our electric rates by a factor of four. While the rich won’t care, and those of us on the edge of being middle class will cope, the poor will freeze in the winter and die of heat stroke in the summer as a result of this insane policy. Fortunately, the blood is not on my hands.

    the Grit

  12. matt says:

    Farmer Bob it is then. ;)

  13. the Grit says:

    A rose by any other name :)

    FB

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