Just before Paris climate summit, Britain slashes wind, solar subsidies

posted at 4:01 pm on November 21, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

On November 30th President Obama will join hordes of our ecological betters from around the world at the Paris Climate Summit. Weighty topics of how to save the planet will be discussed and agreements are expected which will further push the cause of eliminating carbon, fossil fuels and everything else we rely on to keep civilization chugging along. One of the leaders in the field of green energy and allegedly reduced carbon emissions has been Great Britain, which makes it all the more odd that just before the big confab kicks off, they’ve slashed all of their wind and solar subsidies to the bone, preferring to focus on converting old power plants to natural gas. (Washington Post)

With breathtaking abruptness, the British government has in recent months slashed its support for solar power and other renewable forms of energy, leaving a once-promising industry with grim prospects and throwing into doubt the country’s commitment to clean power.

The moves have baffled environmentalists, business leaders and even many government allies. Britain has long been in the vanguard of efforts to combat global warming. It has been expected to play a leading role — alongside the Obama administration — in efforts to secure a package of tough reforms at the U.N. climate change summit in Paris, which kicks off at the end of this month.

But the decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of support for renewable energy at home, with a planned 87 percent reduction in subsidies for solar power, threatens to undermine Britain’s international authority, while showing just how difficult it can be for a developed nation to break a centuries-long addiction to fossil fuels.

The mournful dirge being sung by the Washington Post reporter sounds like a funeral for your daughter’s first goldfish, but the reality on the ground in Great Britain is quite different than how it’s being portrayed here. The Brits are not outlawing wind, solar or any other form of renewable energy. They’ve just reached the end of their tolerance for the endless promises of how wind and solar in particular were eventually going to become self-sufficient and economical. Up to this point they’ve been dealing with the same situation we have here in the United States. All large scale renewable projects of that type have been heavily subsidized by mandates from the federal government and the liberal application of taxpayer dollars. Without that aid it’s simply not economical and it still doesn’t produce enough energy to come anywhere near supplanting our existing energy sources.

If the wind and solar plants want to make a go of it across the pond we wish them the best, but they’re going to have to figure out how to do it at a reasonable cost. The government is essentially telling them that the time has come to fly from the nest on their own. By the same token, the Brits know that new advancements in energy technology have made natural gas an incredibly cheap option which will last them well through the lifespan of most current plants and they can revisit what sorts of options are available at that time. It’s basic economics.

Meanwhile they’re still dealing with the fallout of stories like this which indicate that the wind farms they’ve built actually have a worse carbon profile than anyone imagined. (The Telegraph)

Wind farms are typically built on upland sites, where peat soil is common. In Scotland alone, two thirds of all planned onshore wind development is on peatland. England and Wales also have large numbers of current or proposed peatland wind farms.

But peat is also a massive store of carbon, described as Europe’s equivalent of the tropical rainforest. Peat bogs contain and absorb carbon in the same way as trees and plants — but in much higher quantities.

British peatland stores at least 3.2 billion tons of carbon, making it by far the country’s most important carbon sink and among the most important in the world.

Wind farms, and the miles of new roads and tracks needed to service them, damage or destroy the peat and cause significant loss of carbon to the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change.

Meh… you win some, you lose some. It’s always so complicated when you go around trying to balance out carbon projections and tinkering with the environment, isn’t it?


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Comments

they’ve slashed all of their wind and solar subsidies to the bone

…they had no ‘bone’ left!

JugEarsButtHurt on November 21, 2015 at 4:08 PM

What is liberals’ psychological obsession with global warming? Is it some kind of “Chicken Little” syndrome of “The sky is falling”? I want to know. I reject it’s simply their attempt at controlling others and growing government, or even tamping down the evil human race by starving them of energy. It goes deeper.

My experience is liberals typically go as far away as they can to provide their ‘social justice’, like to Guatemala or Darfur, while at the same time not talking to their relatives or hating their ex-wife. Love in theory rather than in practice. Loving people 6000 miles away. Then there’s their adage, “Think globally, act locally”.

What hubris to think first they can predict the future of the climate, and then that they can or should control it, rather than letting nature take its course. Keeping the air clean I can understand. But controlling the temperature? I don’t get it.

LashRambo on November 21, 2015 at 4:15 PM

But the decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of support for renewable energy at home

That’s peanuts. Obama lost $536 million on one solar company, Solyndra, alone, as part of the 2009 stimulus. From wiki:

Following the bankruptcy, the government was expected to recoup $27 million under the Solyndra restructuring plan, but no money was ever recovered.

Hilarious! Global warming. Global screwing the US taxpayer.

LashRambo on November 21, 2015 at 4:23 PM

Keeping the air clean I can understand. But controlling the temperature? I don’t get it.

LashRambo on November 21, 2015 at 4:15 PM

It has everything to do with control, and nothing at all to do with temperature.

Doc Holliday on November 21, 2015 at 4:24 PM

It has everything to do with control, and nothing at all to do with temperature.

Doc Holliday on November 21, 2015 at 4:24 PM

I really think it’s something more, deeper. Something psychological I can’t put my finger on. You know how liberals like to say we’re all guilty, we share guilt for society’s ills. (Guilt? What did I do now??) Now we’re guilty for the weather. They really seem to believe this.

I don’t mind people having psychological problems, except when they want to involve me in them.

LashRambo on November 21, 2015 at 4:32 PM

Seek facts and truth.

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com/

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 21, 2015 at 4:32 PM

As the stupid Paris Climate Summit approaches get up to date with the best source for skeptical climate links and news, Tom Nelson on twitter: https://twitter.com/tan123

anotherJoe on November 21, 2015 at 4:33 PM

LashRambo on November 21, 2015 at 4:15 PM They believe we influence weather and cause violent storms…Salon blamed the violent EF-5 tornado in Moore,OK on the people of OK…forget the fact most of the morons don’t understand glaciers grow and recede sometimes or that earth has seasons prone to violent weather…

sorrowen on November 21, 2015 at 4:35 PM

But peat is important in making Scotch.

rbj on November 21, 2015 at 4:38 PM

a once-promising industry

Liberals and cronies have a perverted notion of industry.

Solar and Wind for an island without neither a break in the clouds nor a breeze.

Skipity on November 21, 2015 at 4:39 PM

Tom Nelson Retweeted:
Ralph’sWxEyes [email protected] 23m23 minutes ago
Century-old November Chicago snowstorm record on the verge of breaking today. http://chicagoweathercenter.com/blog/century-old-november-chicago-storm-snowfall-record-poised-to-fall

anotherJoe on November 21, 2015 at 4:44 PM

Wind farms, and the miles of new roads and tracks needed to service them, damage or destroy the peat and cause significant loss of carbon to the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change.

There is no evidence for this. None. This is just speculation based on incomplete data that forms the computer models which is the basis for all their dire warnings, none of which have come true over the years.

otlset on November 21, 2015 at 4:49 PM

Every time they have these climate summits, I just start waiting for the blizzard lololol

djohn669 on November 21, 2015 at 4:49 PM

I am telling you, God has a sense of humor.

djohn669 on November 21, 2015 at 4:49 PM

Shall the bird-choppers fall still? Oh woe!

David Blue on November 21, 2015 at 4:51 PM

Reports: Renewable Fuel Standard Imposes $22 Billion Ethanol Tax on Illinois, $42 Billion Tax on California

Worse, it fouls our engines, decreases gas mileage, and increases the price of food worldwide. All for Iowa.

News flash:

Ben Carson for 30% Alcohol in our gas: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/does-ben-carson-have-liberal-side

anotherJoe on November 21, 2015 at 4:55 PM

Suggestion: We start using GW and environmentalists as ‘carbon sinks’.

GarandFan on November 21, 2015 at 4:55 PM

I really think it’s something more, deeper. Something psychological I can’t put my finger on. You know how liberals like to say we’re all guilty, we share guilt for society’s ills. (Guilt? What did I do now??) Now we’re guilty for the weather. They really seem to believe this.

I don’t mind people having psychological problems, except when they want to involve me in them.

LashRambo on November 21, 2015 at 4:32 PM

Part of it is sheer power lust- the mania on their part to rule over others, and ultimately to have the power of life and death over them. (It will never be used to preserve life, for anyone but themselves.)

But in the end, it’s mostly about nihilism. They seek destruction for is own sake. They thrill to the death of innocents. (Why do you think they simultaneously demand “gun control” and the release of violent criminals from prison onto a now-defenseless populace?)

Their final goal is the obliteration of not just civilization, but humanity as a hole. They tell themselves it’s to “save Holy Mother Gaia!!” , but it’s really to sate their lust for destruction and death.

Hint; it isn’t conservatives who make slasher movies big box-office. It’s “progressive” types who vicariously get off on the gore. And they’re the one who rush to the defense of the makers of same when they are criticized, and you find out that said film-makers are- surprise!- “progressives” themselves.

Tom Clancy nailed them exactly in Rainbow Six. They want to destroy civilization simply because they hate the human race, which they feel they are superior to and have somehow “out-evolved”.

And if they ever did succeed in wiping everyone else out, they would soon off themselves, in search of the “ultimate experience”.

One more good reason never to allow a “progressive” to have control of the “football”.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 21, 2015 at 5:08 PM

The first thread up now on Watts Up With That….

The Real Climate web site of M. Mann etal is down.

Not known for sure why, did not pay on time, hacked, re-tool, or even atty’s told them to hide any thing that any of the law suits could use.

Any how with the big Climate Change get together and even King Obama attending seems an odd time to go dark………..

developing

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 21, 2015 at 5:14 PM

ps

The fact that Trump has another huge crowd this time in Alabama is not news too, odd how that works……

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 21, 2015 at 5:16 PM

And wind farms are ugly.

In the desert, on the hills in Spain, in the middle of Indiana cornfields, they are UGLY.

PattyJ on November 21, 2015 at 5:37 PM

Rare Bird Last Seen 22 Years Ago Reappears – Only To Be Quickly Executed By Wind Turbine

Bishbop on November 21, 2015 at 4:37 PM

Whoopsie daisy!

Judge_Dredd on November 21, 2015 at 5:42 PM

We just had an inch of global warming fall on us today in Indy…..

Indiana Jim on November 21, 2015 at 6:33 PM

But the decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of support for renewable energy at home, with a planned 87 percent reduction in subsidies for solar power, threatens to undermine Britain’s international authority, while showing just how difficult it can be for a developed nation to break a centuries-long addiction to fossil fuels.

GREAT WaPo reporting!

So Britain cut funding because they’re addicted to fossil fuels?

Perhaps instead they looked the books and realized subsidizing alt energy was leading to financial ruin??? Nahhh that couldn’t be it…

Marcola on November 21, 2015 at 6:59 PM

The SOLAR, WIND and ETHANOL NONSENSE continues in corrupt Obamaville!

Obamatrix on November 21, 2015 at 7:30 PM

They’ll simply have to move on to the next crisis they can high jack in order to increase the power of central governments and raise taxes. How about we circle back to overpopulation, resource depletion or Global Cooling?

Fred 2 on November 21, 2015 at 7:44 PM

What is liberals’ psychological obsession with global warming? Is it some kind of “Chicken Little” syndrome of “The sky is falling”? I want to know.

LashRambo on November 21, 2015 at 4:15 PM

I think it is all the normal human emotions operating without the guidance that tradition or a rational philosophy would provide.

Previous societies had strong negative feedback loops that operated on both individuals and on communities. Many people presently alive don’t have strong traditions, nor well founded philosophies to provide feedback and introspection, and to set values and priorities.

We are seeing people following the normal desire to be important, and to belong to something bigger than themselves, and to be part of a tribe fighting in a “great and worthy” cause — but they are doing all of these things without the humbling and calming influence of good philosophy, or the wisdom of elders, or a belief in deities who keep matters in hand.

Hence “saving the Earth” becomes their great cause that gives meaning to their lives.

I think there is also a sanctimonious ‘moral/spiritual/religious’ aspect to it. What I mean is that people like to have rules that they can mostly keep so that they can feel good about themselves. The climate change religion gives them a new moral code to live by, so they can ignore the (much more difficult) demands of longer established moral codes and they can “righteously despise” those who don’t live according to the new morality — in much the same way that there is a certain kind of person who attends church/temple and who feels smugly superior to “sinners”.

YiZhangZhe on November 21, 2015 at 8:06 PM

Never argue global warming or climate change with a true believer.

Argue that there is no evidence that man can control the climate, nor is there any evidence that man wouldn’t screw it up royally and kill us all if he could influence it.

Leave Mother Nature alone. The planet is a self-correcting system, and it has corrected for much more violent actions than carbon emissions by humans.

Meremortal on November 21, 2015 at 8:52 PM

Part of it is sheer power lust- the mania on their part to rule over others, and ultimately to have the power of life and death over them. (It will never be used to preserve life, for anyone but themselves.)

Yes, the only experiences I’ve ever had with them. Power over others, but only because they think they’re the only ones to rule [for “your” own good, of course, but which automatically removes them from the list, in any sane universe]…

One more good reason never to allow a “progressive” to have control of the “football”.

eon on November 21, 2015 at 5:08 PM

Well, at least they’re too stupid to know whether to deflate it or inflate it….

RL on November 21, 2015 at 9:44 PM

Britain slashes wind, solar subsidies

It’s PAST TIME for the USA to do the same!!!

Why should we be saddled with taxes to pay subsidies to Obama’s friends just so they can create stupid energy sources which will never be either technically or fiscally viable on their own??

The whole “Green Energy” thing is just a corrupt scheme to steal money from citizens by taxing “real” utilities.

landlines on November 21, 2015 at 10:27 PM

there is no evidence that man can control the climate, nor is there any evidence that man wouldn’t screw it up royally and kill us all if he could influence it.

Leave Mother Nature alone. The planet is a self-correcting system, and it has corrected for much more violent actions than carbon emissions by humans.

Meremortal on November 21, 2015 at 8:52 PM

So true!!!

And the whole “blame carbon” meme is B.S.!!! All life on the planet is carbon-based.

CO2 is vital to life on earth, just as oxygen is. NEITHER ONE IS A “POLLUTANT”!!! Government cannot control either of these gases because they are the consequence of having life on this planet.

We should not allow lying, corrupt politicians to claim that they have mastery over the wind, the waves, the sea levels, and the temperature…and that they and they alone know the correct parameters for the whole planet.

(BTW: even B.S. is carbon-based!)

landlines on November 21, 2015 at 10:38 PM

This was off-topic in the thread I got it from — h/t whoever put it there — seems more at home here.
http://dailycaller.com/2015/11/20/nonsense-top-scientists-demolish-alarmism-behind-u-n-climate-summit/

AesopFan on November 22, 2015 at 12:23 AM

The SOLAR, WIND and ETHANOL NONSENSE continues in corrupt Obamaville!

Obamatrix on November 21, 2015 at 7:30 PM

True, but I remember Bush signing off on the ethanol subsidies.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 22, 2015 at 1:10 AM

a once-promising industry

Only if one defines ‘promise’ as ‘the ability to extract billions in government funding’

Mr. Bingley on November 22, 2015 at 7:33 AM

Across England, the birds are singing…

MsYoung on November 22, 2015 at 8:53 AM

I really think it’s something more, deeper. Something psychological I can’t put my finger on.

LashRambo on November 21, 2015 at 4:32 PM

Nope, it isn’t anything else.

No more than 500 million people crammed into 800 Sq ft apartments in a limited number of cities throughout the world with only public transportation. That’s what they want and they will get there through policy, war or whatever will work.

People just don’t listen.

LoganSix on November 22, 2015 at 9:25 AM

Nope, it isn’t anything else.

No more than 500 million people crammed into 800 Sq ft apartments in a limited number of cities throughout the world with only public transportation. That’s what they want and they will get there through policy, war or whatever will work.

People just don’t listen.

LoganSix on November 22, 2015 at 9:25 AM

800 sq ft!?

You’re being too generous. Don’t you care about the starving kids in Africa nor the polar bears? ;-(

From what I’ve seen, they think you need a closet of maybe, and I say maybe, 50 sq ft. You’re supposed to be out enjoying life all day (enjoying the many amenities that the beneficent State has provided) and your abode should be little more than a cot and a toilet-rather like prison accommodations.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 22, 2015 at 11:17 AM