Saturday, August 27, 2022

Net Zero Watch - Green Britain: Three quarters of pubs face extinction as energy prices soar


In this newsletter:

1) Green Britain: Three quarters of pubs face extinction as energy prices soar
Business Matters, 23 August 2022
2) Energy bills to hit £6,600 a year in spring, warns Cornwall Insight
The Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2022


3) Energy crisis may have bigger impact on households than 2008 crash
Bloomberg, 25 August 2022
4) Nobody should say they weren't warned
Net Zero Watch, 29 December 2021
5) Net Zero plans at risk from energy crisis as firms slam brakes on investments 
The Independent, 24 August 2022
6) Energy crisis squeezes smaller firms that power Europe’s economy

The Wall Street Journal, 25 August 2022
7) Winter protests loom as energy poverty sweeps Green Europe
Reuters, 25 August 2022

8) What energy crisis? EU urges major economies to strengthen climate pledges, 25 August 2022
9) A ‘Tsunami of Shutoffs’: 20 million US homes are behind on energy bills
Bloomberg, 23 August 2022
10) Offshore wind: It’s more expensive than we thought
Net Zero Watch, 23 August 2022
11) Fracking ‘could ease soaring energy bills if given immediate green light’
The Daily Telegraph, 25 August 2022 
12) Liz Truss pledges to overturn Boris Johnson's ban on fracking
Daily Mail, 26 August 2022

Full details:

1) Three quarters of British pubs face extinction as energy prices soar
Business Matters, 23 August 2022
Pub landlords are facing an “extinction” this winter as a majority of operators said they feared being forced to shut down in the coldest months.
Some 65 per cent of publicans said they were likely to close over winter, despite a lucrative Christmas period free of Covid restrictions, when surveyed by industry title The Morning Advertiser.

Nearly three quarters of pub and bar operators said they could not afford monster hikes to energy bills, with some even seeing bills rise more than 500 per cent.

Businesses’ energy bills are not constrained with a price cap in the same way bills for households are.

Earlier this summer, the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) said the majority of its members were experiencing a minimum 300 per cent increase in energy costs, all while venues attempt to recover from the side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Venues are also facing the costs of other headwinds spiralling while struggling to recruit front and back of house staff.

Pub industry chiefs have called on the government to issue support for the sector, with calls for measures ranging from a cap on energy costs, a VAT reduction and a freeze on business rates for the next year.

Action is needed now and not when the new Prime Minister steps into the job next month, Ed Bedington, editor of The Morning Advertiser, said.

“This situation is untenable and we’re likely to see the closure of huge swathes of pubs and bars across the UK unless something is done to tackle these spiralling costs,” he added.

The government seemed to be “either missing or ignoring” the potential “loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs” due to an absence of support for pubs, he said.

Heath Ball, managing director of The Frisco Group, which operates three pubs across the South East of England, dubbed the current crisis as “a doomsday scenario.”

“This energy bill crisis comes on the back of the most testing of times as businesses try and recover from the Covid crisis and I think it poses an even greater threat to the survival of pubs,” he added.
Full story
2) Energy bills to hit £6,600 a year in spring, warns Cornwall Insight
The Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2022
Energy bills will almost double again to more than £6,600 per year by spring 2023, new forecasts have revealed, as Vladimir Putin chokes off Europe’s gas supplies to send prices to record highs.

The latest shock to energy markets is expected to cause the price cap to rise significantly in January and April next year as experts warned the deepening crisis is a “wake-up call” for ministers.

Ofgem confirmed on Friday that the energy price cap will jump by an unprecedented 80pc to £3,549 per year in October, dealing a major blow to household finances.

However, new forecasts from Cornwall Insight suggest the cap - which imposes a maximum per unit price on energy - will rise by a further 50pc to £5,387 in January before increasing again in April to £6,616, equivalent to £550 a month. The consultancy’s October prediction was just £5 off Ofgem’s final price cap.

The figures suggest that government support for households will need to last well into next year amid mounting pressure for the new prime minister to outline a new multi-billion pound package.

April’s projection would mark a tripling from the current price cap and be 86pc higher than the new October limit revealed by Ofgem on Friday. The cap is then expected to edge down to just below £6,000 over the rest of 2023 but would remain at painfully high levels not seen before the war in Ukraine.

Craig Lowrey, analyst at Cornwall Insight, warned that the energy crisis “is showing no sign of abating”, adding that the price cap was “created for a different energy market than the one we face”.

He said: “Today should be seen as a wake-up call to policy makers that short-term thinking and triage of the energy system is not enough. Without real change to the energy system in this country it is consumers, suppliers and the economy that will all continue to suffer the consequences.”

Wholesale gas prices have surged again in recent weeks to push up to fresh record highs of more than 700p per therm, up from just over 100p a year ago. The Kremlin has rattled energy markets by slashing gas supplies to Europe as leaders scramble to secure alternative supplies ahead of a bleak winter.

The Resolution Foundation said households should brace for their monthly energy bill to surge to £500 this winter. Families on pre-payment meters could see their energy costs exceed more than £700 for January alone, more than half of their monthly disposable income.

Torsten Bell, head of the Resolution Foundation, warned that Britain is on track for a “winter catastrophe unless significant help is provided”.

He said: “The benefits system has a crucial role to play this winter, but the scale of the crisis means that combining this with more radical approaches now looks all but inevitable. Big bill reductions combined with solidarity taxes, or throwing the kitchen sink at a brand-new social tariff scheme, should be the focus for whoever becomes the next prime minister.”
3) Energy crisis may have bigger impact on households than 2008 crash
Bloomberg, 25 August 2022


More than half of UK households risk being pushed into energy poverty this winter by soaring bills that threaten suppliers with rising amounts of debt that simply can’t be repaid.

The crisis could have a bigger impact on households than the 2008 financial crisis, according to consultancy Baringa Partners. The bleak warning comes as bills are set to surge roughly 80% from October, just as the arrival of colder weather boosts energy demand.

Winter energy bills are expected to be more than triple what they were a year ago. That will further stretch consumer budgets being hit by a wider cost-of-living crisis that’s stoking fears of a recession and prompting calls for the government to offer more help.

“The impact to society will be higher than the 2008 crash in terms of the impact on households,” said James Cooper, a partner at Baringa. “We’re now moving into territory where a majority of households are placed into debt or a very fragile financial position.”

Average annual energy bills are forecast to exceed £3,500 ($4,140) from Oct. 1, when a new price cap kicks in. That’s more than 11% of a household’s median disposable income, according to the Office of National Statistics.

Energy costs could eventually drain as much as 17% of household income next year if the government doesn’t give more help, based on price-cap estimates from Cornwall Insight Ltd.

Customer debt is already on the rise. In the summer, people usually pay down debt built up during winter, when they use more energy. But debts actually increased this summer as energy prices hit records. The situation could get much worse as bills jump in the colder months.

The Don’t Pay UK campaign has drawn over 110,000 signatures from people vowing not to pay their energy bills in protest. Even those who follow through on the threat may only amount to a small fraction of those who can’t afford to pay, particularly if the winter is severe.

Tackling the crisis is a major challenge for the next prime minister, with little chance of new policy until either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak takes office. The energy industry has urged the government to provide more help, beyond the £400 support pledged for each home.

“The big concern we have at the moment is customers’ inability to afford bill rises,” said Dan Alchin, director of regulation at lobby Energy UK. “There’s a need for government to urgently act on that.”

Helping households by freezing the price cap at the current level for two years would require about £100 billion, according to Keith Anderson, chief executive officer of Scottish Power Ltd., one of the UK’s biggest residential suppliers. Centrica Plc’s British Gas unit will offer grants to some customers to offset their energy debt.

Customers who don’t pay can be put on a repayment meter or even cut off -- a lengthy process because suppliers are required to make big efforts to help people pay what they owe. Some companies simply might not be able to cope with the level of bad debt, leading to them going out of business.
Full story
4) Nobody should say they weren't warned!
Net Zero Watch, 29 December 2021


London, 29 December [two months before Russia's invasion of Ukraine] – Net Zero Watch has called on Boris Johnson to declare an energy emergency and introduce radical policy reforms in order to prevent the energy cost crisis turning into an economic and social disaster.

The call comes as fears grow over a devastating energy cost and energy security crisis, with spiralling prices hitting households and businesses hard, and warnings that energy bills could double or even treble next year.

It is reported that Boris Johnson is considering to hand out £20 billion of taxpayers’ money to energy suppliers who are threatening to double or treble energy costs.

Despite the fact that Britain will need natural gas for decades to come, the ban on fracking and the curtailing of conventional gas exploration has led to serious shortages of domestic natural gas production. The result is super-charged energy prices and rising inflation, a painful cost burden already struggling households are now facing.

The government should suspend costly Net Zero plans as a matter of urgency and put energy costs and security of supply at the centre of national security.

The government has only one way to avoid political oblivion, and that’s for Britain to introduce radical policy reforms and to start using the UK’s massive natural gas resources, which would bring down energy costs and enhance energy security significantly.

In fact, natural gas prices in the UK are nearly ten times higher ($35/MMBtu) than they are in the US ($4/MMBtu) where fracking is widely used and shale gas is cheap and abundant.

If the shale gas moratorium was lifted tomorrow, it would take at least 12 months to get the gas flowing. But the Government needs to take strong steps now, in order to send out a clear signal to investors. Otherwise the energy and cost of living crises will become permanent, posing an existential threat to this government and many businesses.

The British Geological Survey estimates that the total volume of shale gas in the Bowland basin is between 820 and 2200 trillion cubic feet, with a central estimate of some 1300 trillion cubic feet. It is estimated that if 25 trillion cubic feet of this huge resource could be recovered it would be worth nearly one £trillion at current gas prices.

The current energy cost and supply crisis is the result of decades of ill-considered climate policy which has prioritised costly emissions reductions technologies while neglecting national security, security of supply and economic and social impacts.

The severity of the current crisis merits emergency measures, not only to protect consumers and the economy, but also to avoid the crisis from turning into an economic and social disaster.

Net Zero Watch is calling on the Government to:

1. Suspend Net Zero plans as a matter of urgency and put energy costs and security of supply at the centre of national security.

2. Suspend all green levies on energy bills, funding subsidies temporarily out of taxation, but acting firmly to cancel these subsidies in the near term.

3. Cancel constraint payments, and compel wind and solar generators to pay for their own balancing costs, thus incentivising them to self-dispatch only when economic.

4. Remove all fiscal and other disincentives to oil and gas exploration, including shale gas, to increase domestic production levels.

5. Suspend carbon taxation on coal and gas generation in order to provide consumer relief and ensure security of supply.

6. Re-open recently closed gas storage facilities and support new storage projects.

7. Suspend all further policy initiatives directed towards the Net Zero target, including the Carbon Budgets, the heat pump targets, and the overly ambitious timetable for the ban on petrol and diesel engines, until the UK energy sector has been stabilised.

8. Facilitate the acceleration of building and deploying Small Modular Reactors for both electricity and heat.

Dr Benny Peiser, Net Zero Watch director, said:

“It is almost certain that energy companies, should they survive the coming storm, will not repay the £20 billion fund they are demanding. In any case, handing out billions to energy suppliers while energy prices are going through the roof would go down like a bucket of cold sick with voters.”

“Boris Johnson must prioritise national security as a matter of urgency by declaring an energy emergency, restarting North Sea gas exploration immediately and abandoning the effective ban on the development of shale gas.”

“By continuing to prioritise the Net Zero agenda over national security and economic stability, Boris Johnson risks turning a crisis into a national disaster.”

5) Net Zero plans at risk from energy crisis as firms slam brakes on investments 
The Independent, 24 August 2022


The energy crisis is undermining the UK’s net zero climate plans as firms slam the brakes on vital CO2-cutting investments to pay soaring bills, business leaders are warning.

Bosses are preparing to halt switching to lower-energy plants and machinery, buying electric vehicles and installing wind turbines or solar panels, the Confederation of British Industry says.

No fewer than three in 10 firms told a new CBI survey that such spending will be “paused or halted entirely” unless the new government acts to cut industry costs dramatically.

In an interview with The Independent, the organisation said bosses’ “hearts and minds” are fully behind the net zero commitment – but “harsh economic reality” is throwing that into jeopardy.

“Cost and cashflow pressures affect the net zero investments they would like to be getting on with – something has to give,” said Matthew Fell, the organisation’s chief policy director.

In a plea for help, the CBI is calling for the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund – a scheme to help firms improve energy efficiency, worth just £315m over seven years – to be beefed up.

Otherwise, investments towards net zero will be delayed until there are “better economic conditions to hit the go button,” The Independent was told.

Full story
6) Energy crisis squeezes smaller firms that power Europe’s economy
The Wall Street Journal, 25 August 2022


Europe’s energy crisis is squeezing the small and midsize firms that form the backbone of the continent’s economy, leading some business owners to curb production or close up shop.
Katrien Vandenheuvel recently decided to shutter her family’s grocery store—nestled in a village outside Antwerp, Belgium—after realizing she needed to sell about 3,000 more loaves of bread every month to cover the higher natural-gas bills. The store had already been charging higher prices for pastries and cheeses than chain stores, she says. Hiking prices enough to cover expenses would have driven more customers away.

“We didn’t want to go further in debt,” says Ms. Vandenheuvel, a 41-year-old former schoolteacher. Local bakeries and regional meat suppliers are losing customers, she says, “and I think it’s not the end yet.”
Many smaller companies in Europe—from bakeries and masons to makers of clothing and carpets—lack the economies of scale to shoulder the surge in energy prices fueled by the war in Ukraine and Russia’s decision to throttle the flow of natural gas to Europe. Global giants that produce steel, chemicals, fertilizer and other energy-intensive goods have been among the first to feel the sting of higher gas prices, closing smelters and other high-cost operations in Europe.

European firms without a global footprint, however, are finding it hard to quickly shift production outside the continent, where energy prices are lower. Instead these companies say they are getting squeezed by suppliers and unable to pass higher costs along to customers. The burden comes on top of supply-chain shocks that are snarling shipments and causing long wait times for raw materials, just as many businesses were mounting a recovery from the worst of the pandemic.

Price hikes will be tougher on Europe’s smaller and midsize companies than on multinationals, says Hauke Burkhardt, Deutsche Bank AG’s head of corporate lending, based in Germany. Mr. Burkhardt said much of the pain will take several more months to ripple through European balance sheets.
Bigger companies also benefit from long-term energy contracts they negotiated before energy prices leapt. Some use financial-market derivatives to hedge price-volatility risks, and they invested more in cutting their energy usage before the worst price jumps hit, according to economists and bankers watching their loan books for signs of distress among business customers.
“Size, purchasing power, efficiency and cost structure,” says Heimo Scheuch, chief executive of listed Austrian construction-materials giant Wienerberger AG, checking off reasons for his edge over struggling smaller peers. The world’s biggest brickmaker, Wienerberger operates across Europe and sells bricks and plastic pipes in the U.S. and Canada. “It’s actually very dangerous for European industry,” Mr. Scheuch says.

Companies with fewer than 250 employees make up around 99% of European Union businesses and more than half of the bloc’s gross domestic product, according to the European Commission. They employ around 100 million people, according to commission data.
“Smaller companies are a mixed batch,” says Holger Schmieding, an economist at Germany’s Berenberg Bank. “Some of them have already curtailed production and will have to do more of it.”
German insurer Allianz SE expects natural-gas price hikes this year to shave around $150 billion from 2022 earnings before taxes and other expenses for European small and medium-size firms in the manufacturing sector. That is a hit of about 2 percentage points off the estimated margin of those manufacturers, says Ana Boata, Allianz’s head of economic research. She says the hardest-hit will be energy-thirsty makers of metals, paper and pulp, chemicals, food and beverages, and textiles.

“The situation is actually pretty dramatic right now,” says Pau Vila, 27 years old, the general manager and fifth generation of a family-run paper business in the Catalonia region of Spain with about 130 employees.
The LC Paper 1881 SA factory makes gigantic rolls of tissue that become toilet paper and kitchen towels for hospitals, airports and offices, and also produces retail-packaged toilet paper for supermarkets. “Customers have big purchasing power, and they expect a lot of stability,” says Mr. Vila. Sometimes gas prices go up so quickly a sale makes no economic sense by the time the order is completed, he says.
Raising prices to cover energy bills can hurt demand, so LC Paper might cut back a work shift to save money, Mr. Vila says. But buyers are shopping by price, and costs are affecting many manufacturers of commodity products like toilet paper. Manufacturers have increasingly been asked to shrink the volume of rolls to keep prices from rising too dramatically, Mr. Vila says.
“We’re not giving you a cheaper product, we’re giving you less product,” he says. “Supermarkets don’t want to raise prices.”

In Portugal and Italy, privately operated textile mills have all but written off hitting year-end holiday production targets, companies say. Some have voluntarily curtailed production to save on natural gas by running boilers fewer days a week or extending employees’ late-summer holidays.

Mário Jorge Machado, 60, employs 320 people in his textile business near the northern Portugal city of Porto. His company, Adalberto Estampados, dyes fabrics that he says end up in clothes carrying labels such as Hugo Boss and Moschino.
He says his natural-gas costs, essential to the dying and fabric-drying processes, are more than 10 times what they were a year ago.
“Every time that you sell a meter of fabric, you are losing money,” says Mr. Machado, who says he is hopeful Portuguese officials will increase relief for textile-industry companies battered by energy costs. But subsidies won’t be enough for some companies, he says.
“There are many small players in the industry that have limited financial capacity and limited reserves,” says Dirk Vantyghem, head of the European textiles and apparel trade group Euratex.
Some industries are also worried they will end up at the back of the line if gas supplies run short and EU governments are forced to triage which industries need to receive the fuel.
Demand for household and industrial ceramics remains robust, feeding everything from toilets and tableware to clay bricks and drainage pipes, so European factories have mostly kept humming, says Renaud Batier, head of European ceramics trade group Cerame-Unie.
But it is getting harder for individual companies trying to conserve gas while maintaining production, executives say. “If the governments decide to prioritize and not allocate gas to our industry, there will be a very long-term and downstream effect,” Mr. Batier says.
7) Winter protests loom as energy poverty sweeps Green Europe
Reuters, 25 August 2022


BRUSSELS, Aug 25 - Europe is facing a major social test ahead of winter, as it juggles rising discontent, fuelled by soaring energy prices, and pressure to meet climate goals as the Ukraine conflict drags on.

British grassroots group "Don't Pay UK" is calling for people to boycott energy bills from Oct. 1, while the trade union-backed "Enough is Enough" campaign kicked off a series of rallies and actions in mid-August calling for pay rises, rent caps, cheaper energy and food, and taxes on the rich.

A worsening cost-of-living crisis across Europe has already seen workers in France, Spain and Belgium go out on strike in the public transport, health and aviation sectors, pushing for higher wages to help them cope with rocketing inflation.

Meanwhile, the European Union has committed to reducing its Russian fossil-fuel imports by two-thirds and cutting gas demand by 15% by year's end. Before the Ukraine war, it had already set a target to become the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.

The squeeze on oil and gas imports from Russia, after its February invasion of Ukraine, has left countries scrambling to plug the energy gap through a mix of energy efficiency measures, firing up old coal plants and boosting renewable energy projects.

Some economists say the immediate need to keep Europe's electricity and heating running should trump medium-to-long term goals to adopt more clean energy and curb climate change, especially heading into the colder winter months.

"Nobody wants to see blackouts," said Simone Tagliapietra, senior fellow at Bruegel, a Brussels-based economic think-tank, adding that all options must be considered to avoid that scenario, "including polluting ones".

But climate campaigners want to see governments turn their back on fossil fuels entirely, invest more heavily in efficiency measures and add more renewables to their energy mix.

Whichever route they choose, the coming winter is set to be plagued by social unrest, warned Naomi Hossain, a professor of development politics at the American University in Washington D.C. who is studying energy, fuel and food riots.

At a conservative estimate, 10,000 such protests have taken place worldwide since last November, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation - with more expected in an uncertain future.

"If I were a politician, I'd be really worried," she added.

Faced with the threat of power outages, EU countries have introduced a raft of energy efficiency measures to help slash power bills, as annual inflation hits a record 8.9%, with about 4 percentage points of that due to more expensive energy.

Spanish citizens have been feeling the heat during a sizzling summer, after the government ordered air-conditioning to be set no cooler than 27 degrees Celsius (80.6F) in public buildings, hotels, restaurants and shopping centres.

France, meanwhile, is focusing on "energy sobriety" with measures to be launched by the end of summer including dimming illuminated public billboards overnight, and fining shops that leave doors open while using heating or cooling.

Germany, the EU state most dependent on Russian fuels, has announced heating limits of 19C (66.2F) in the winter for public buildings and colder public pools, while cities like Augsburg are contemplating which traffic lights to turn off.

Such efforts form part of a wider EU drive to slash gas demand as the bloc races to shore up supplies ahead of winter, amid fears Russia will further restrict gas deliveries in response to EU financial sanctions.

Full story
8) What energy crisis? EU urges major economies to strengthen climate pledges, 25 August 2022


The European Union considers that current climate actions from the world’s largest polluters are insufficient and will call on countries to strengthen their emission-reduction commitments ahead of this year’s climate summit in November, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a draft document it had seen. 
All members of the EU combined represent the third-largest polluter in the world after China and the United States. The EU has a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030, and become climate neutral by 2050.  
Ahead of the COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, this November, the EU says in the draft document that “global climate action remains insufficient.” 
Many developed countries have pledged to become net-zero economies by 2050, but big Asian polluters China and India, for example, have their net-zero targets set for 2060 and 2070, respectively. 
“[The EU] calls upon all Parties to come forward with ambitious targets and policies and urges in particular major economies that have not yet done so to revisit or strengthen the targets,” the EU says in the document seen by Reuters. 
While nearly 200 countries are expected to discuss climate change and climate action this November, the talks will coincide with the beginning of the heating season in the northern hemisphere amid a severe energy crisis and low natural gas availability in Europe and Asia, which has already forced utilities and industries to turn to oil-fired and coal-fired power generation to keep the lights on. 
Full story
9) A ‘Tsunami of Shutoffs’: 20 million US homes are behind on energy bills
Bloomberg, 23 August 2022


Surging electricity prices spur worst-ever crisis in late utility payments.

Adrienne Nice woke up early on the morning of July 25 to news she’d been dreading. The power company, Xcel Energy Inc., had shut off the electricity to the small Minneapolis apartment she shares with her teenage son, just as a heat wave was bearing down on the city.

Nice had been struggling financially ever since the pandemic hit, racking up more than $3,000 in past-due utility bills. The warnings she’d gotten on her monthly statement—“FINAL NOTICE” scrawled in big, bold letters—had prepared her to some degree, but it was still jarring to find the fridge dark and the air conditioner silent. With temperatures set to reach 95F (35C) in the coming days, she needed the power back on, and fast.

The Nice household is one of some 20 million across the country—about 1 in 6 American homes—that have fallen behind on their utility bills. It is, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (Neada), the worst crisis the group has ever documented. Underpinning those numbers is a blistering surge in electricity prices, propelled by the soaring cost of natural gas.

The power bill crisis is even more acute in Europe, where the spike in natural gas prices has been far greater in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Policymakers there have sprung into action, throwing billions of euros in aid at struggling families to help them pay bills. There’s been no meaningful talk of doing anything on a similar scale in the US, where the hand-wringing has been dedicated, as always, to the gyrations of gasoline prices at the pump.

Utility shutoffs can have deadly consequences, though, a risk that’s becoming more palpable as summer heat shatters records. Already gut-punched by soaring prices for just about everything, more and more people are facing a choice among food, housing, and keeping the power on. “I expect a tsunami of shutoffs,” says Jean Su, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, which tracks utility disconnections across the US.
Full story
10) Offshore wind: It’s more expensive than we thought
Net Zero Watch, 23 August 2022


By Andrew Montford

Trying to work out how close together you can pack turbines in an offshore windfarm is a vital engineering decision for the developers of offshore windfarms. That’s because the turbine wake – the slower and turbulent air that has just passed through the turbine can reduce the output of any downwind turbines.
As turbines become bigger, their wakes become much larger, and so, over time, engineers have been advising larger and larger spacing (Figure 1).


But the engineering models are, well, models, and each time a new, larger generation of turbines is introduced, they enter terra incognita: a scenario that is outside the range of their calibration data.Inevitably, they sometimes get it expensively wrong. The Burbo Bank Extension windfarm is currently paying over 5% of its turnover to next door Burbo Bank Windfarm in compensation for wake losses.
Now, an important new working paper from renewables consultants ArcVera is reporting that wake effects behind the huge turbines that are now coming on stream are going to be much worse than previously thought. The conventional engineering wisdom is that there will be a 10-15% loss of output for a turbine placed less than 2 km downwind of another. ArcVera are suggesting that new windfarms could experience losses of as much as 25% at a distances of 10 km(!).
The paper is another model, so it too needs empirical validation, but if it’s right the implications are very serious for windfarms coming on stream. Turbines are going to have to be spaced much further apart, and windfarms are going to need to be further apart too. This is just going to increase the cost of an inherently expensive technology still further. And you are going to foot the bill.
11) Fracking ‘could ease soaring energy bills if given immediate green light’
The Daily Telegraph, 25 August 2022


End to drilling ban could produce much-needed supplies as early as January, according to government source

Fracking should be given the green light immediately to ease bills next winter, the Treasury will tell the new prime minister.

Whitehall officials are drawing up a “three winter” strategy to help families with soaring energy costs between now and 2025, The Telegraph understands.

They are working on options including short, medium and long-term proposals that will be presented to Downing Street early next month.

Work is under way to determine which measure could be rolled out immediately and in place this autumn, when the energy price cap will rise to over £3,600.

Treasury officials are also examining ways in which the UK’s energy supply could be bolstered in time for next winter.

“There is even one fracking company who reckons they could even get some energy into the market by next winter if they were allowed to get cracking straight away,” said a senior government source.

The firm, based in the north of England, has told the Treasury that, if it is granted a fracking licence immediately, it is likely to be able to inject new supplies into the market by January.

A “moratorium” on fracking has been in place since November 2019, but both Tory leadership candidates have said they would support it in areas where local people are willing to see it take place.

The Conservative manifesto in December 2019 said the party “will not support fracking unless the science shows categorically it can be done safely”.

Full story
12) Liz Truss pledges to overturn Boris Johnson's ban on fracking
Daily Mail, 26 August 2022


Liz Truss will end the ban on fracking as part of a plan to make the UK an 'energy-secure dynamo', she writes in the Daily Mail today.

The Foreign Secretary said Britain cannot be 'held hostage' by authoritarian regimes and must end its reliance on foreign imports within a decade.

She pledged to win the support of local communities for fracking by 'ensuring' they see the benefits, and said new projects will only go ahead if there is a 'clear public consensus' in their favour.

It came as one fracking company in the North of England claimed, in a letter to the Treasury, that it would be likely to be able to inject shale gas into the energy market by January if it were granted a licence immediately.

This morning Ofgem will announce the new price cap to around £3,600 per year from October 1.

'Energy security starts at home, which is why we must radically boost our domestic supplies,' said Liz Truss

Boris Johnson placed a moratorium on fracking in 2019 after widespread opposition from the public, and concerns over earthquakes. Pictured: Preston New Road drill site where energy firm Cuadrilla Resources had fracking operations to extract shale gas near Blackpool

Writing in today's Mail, Miss Truss said: 'In a world where authoritarian regimes are willing to weaponise energy, we cannot afford to be held hostage... We do not rely on Russian gas, unlike our European allies, but no country is safe from malign efforts to push up energy prices. Energy security starts at home, which is why we must radically boost our domestic supplies.

'We will end the effective ban on extracting our huge reserves of shale gas by fracking but be led by science, setting out a plan to ensure communities benefit. Fracking will only take place in areas with a clear public consensus behind it.'

The comments suggest she will go considerably further than previous Tory administrations to win over local communities.

Boris Johnson placed a moratorium on fracking in 2019 after widespread opposition from the public, and concerns over earthquakes.

YouGov polling recently found 53 per cent of Britons would support fracking if it meant a reduction in bills for people in the community. Miss Truss also today states her support for nuclear power, citing small modular reactors made by Rolls-Royce, and promises to 'champion renewables such as wind and tidal'.

She concluded: 'This is why I believe our great country can become over the next decade an energy-secure dynamo, which could be powering Europe as a net energy secure exporter.'

Full story

The London-based Net Zero Watch is a campaign group set up to highlight and discuss the serious implications of expensive and poorly considered climate change policies. The Net Zero Watch newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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