Letters to the Editor

Green energy policy – nothing that works

quill pen

To the Editor
Climate Conversation

29th April 2015

Modern industrial society commenced with the use of coal and oil to power factories, trains, ships and agriculture and to generate electricity. With abundant energy prosperity increased and people could save enough to support leisure, education, culture and environmental concerns.

But the dark greens have a dream to dismantle all this and return society to the hunter/gatherer era. Continue Reading →

In climate believers the river of reason runs uphill

Professor Michael Kelly last night gave a deeply thoughtful presentation full of insight into what has become the perilous intersection between UK policies on energy and climate change. (Thanks to Bryan Leyland and the Auckland branch of IPENZ for hosting the event at the University of Auckland.) This is a brief note; I’ll be saying more about Michael Kelly’s plain and practical message shortly. Continue Reading →

Future energy needs and engineering reality

Prof Mike Kelly

Professor Michael J. Kelly, Kiwi physicist, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1993, has been Prince Philip Professor of Technology at Cambridge University since 2002.

UPDATE 2145, Wednesday 8 April: See below.

Professor Kelly will speak tomorrow evening at the University of Auckland. These are the details as I know them; the room number has not yet been allocated but I presume will be posted at the venue. I’ll post the room number here if I learn it.

Thursday 9th April, 2015, 5:15pm for 5:45pm start
School of Engineering, University of Auckland. Continue Reading →

Denmark fools with fuels


Our youth unoils us

The youths in Generation Zero have heard about Denmark’s tremulous venture into 100% nuclear- and fossil-fuel-free power generation and want it for New Zealand.

So who is Generation Zero? Their web site asserts they are “a youth-led organisation, founded with the central purpose of providing solutions for New Zealand to cut carbon pollution through smarter transport, liveable cities & independence from fossil fuels. We can power our homes, our industries and our economy with clean safe energy. We can build more liveable cities with greater housing and transport choices to attract the best and brightest to New Zealand. We can move beyond fossil fuels and create a safer and healthier nation by doing so.”

Their motto is striking, if enigmatic: “a future that’s not shit.” Now, I know that might sound, to some, a despondent note (and perhaps sets our national goal a wee bit short), but it surely proclaims a young elite—intellectual and well-educated, not to mention professional in engaging across the generations. Continue Reading →

Energy Spot flaws

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) seems to believe that we’re causing global warming and we must be stopped.

The alternative is that they’re really trying to save us money. But it’s impossible to accept that they really want the best for us. As the old joke puts it: “I’m from the government; I’m here to help you.” Ha ha.

EECA spends about $130,000,000 a year (p48). In the year ended June 2012 the actual expenditure was $123,016,000 against a budget of $155,761,000 from revenue of $127,926,000 (budget was $154,600,000). I don’t yet know where all the money goes. Through the “Energy Spot” they tell us we spend too much on electricity, although they don’t mention that could be due to constant price hikes from the “national” power stations our fathers and grandfathers proudly paid for, rather than actual increases in the cost of generating electricity. [The original comment here said that our power stations now have private owners, but that’s wrong. The shareholder is our government. My apologies. – RT] They also nag us nightly to use less petrol and they hand out government subsidies for biodiesel and an experimental wave power device. Continue Reading →

Britain facing blackouts

from The Global Warming Policy Foundation

The Daily Telegraph, 5 October 2012

Britain faces an increasing risk of power blackouts and higher electricity bills in the next four years, power regulator Ofgem has warned in a report.

An “unprecedented combination” of the eurozone crisis, tough EU environmental laws and the closure of ageing coal and oil-fired power stations, has increased “the risk to consumers’ energy supplies”, Ofgem said in its annual Electricity Capacity Assessment on Friday.

The regulator, which first highlighted the problems in its Project Discovery report in 2009, said: “Today’s report shows that these problems have not gone away.” Continue Reading →

EU: strengthen energy, not useless climate targets

from The Global Warming Policy Foundation

Financial Times Deutschland, 5 October 2012

The EU Energy Commissioner opposes a tightening of the EU’s climate targets. Instead, energy policy should focus more closely on the needs of European industry. In Berlin, Günther Oettinger made jokes about the green “do-gooders” in his own party.

Günther Oettinger fears the decline of Europe if energy prices continue to rise and competitiveness deteriorates further compared to the United States and other parts of the world. He wants to convince his colleagues in the European Commission to introduce an industrial policy objective instead of new climate targets. At a meeting of the European Christian Democrats (EPP) in Berlin last night, Oettinger said the share that manufacturing contributes to the GDP of the economies of the EU should increase from currently 18 percent to 20 percent. Within the European Commission, he is fighting for a corresponding definition.

His appearance before a few dozen party members in Berlin’s Adlon Hotel was a day of reckoning with the EU’s energy and climate policies. Energy policy had long been climate policy, he said, but in the future it must be industrial policy. Continue Reading →