Amber Rudd is the Fossil Fuel Energy Secritary!

Amber Rudd is the Fossil Fuel Energy Secritary!

Amber Rudd gives a new twist to David Cameron’s administration, outright support of fossil fuels! Amber Rudd has been misrepresenting our best interests for some time! She has, on several occasions, not told the truth to the people and to Parliament. This is proof that we can not trust our current government. We should request an investigation, criminal charges against Amber Rudd, and the end of Cameron’s government.

Here is the complete article from The Ecologist:

Leaked letter: Rudd admits 25% green energy undershoot, misled Parliament

Oliver Tickell 9th November 2015

A letter from Energy Secretary Amber Rudd leaked to The Ecologist shows that she misled Parliament by promising the UK was ‘on course’ to deliver on its renewable energy targets – when in fact there is a delivery shortfall in 2020 of almost 25%. Her plan to fill the gap relies on more biofuels, buying in green power and ‘credits’ from abroad – everything but wind and solar.

Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Photo: Association for Decentralised Energy via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

A letter from Energy Secretary Amber Rudd leaked to The Ecologist shows that the UK is on track to miss its legally binding obligation to achieve strict EU targets on renewable energy by an estimated 50TWh (terawatt hours), or 3.5% of its 15% obligation – that is a shortfall of almost 25%.

This stands in stark contrast to her public position. On 17th September she told the House of Commons: “When it became apparent that we were way in excess of [spending limits on renewables], but  were still meeting our renewables targets, it was right to limit the  amount of money we were spending.”

As Rudd warns, this impending failure to meet EU renewables targets puts the UK at a double risk – of legal action taken in the UK, which the government would probably lose; and of enormous fines imposed by the European Court of Justice:

“The absence of a credible plan to meet the target carries the risk of successful judicial review, and failing to meet the overall target in 2020 could lead to on-going fines imposed by the EU Court of Justice (which could take into account avoided costs) until the UK reaches the target level.”

But by misleading the House of Commons in her statement, she is now certain to have a more immediate problem on her hands – demands for her resignation and a full-blown Parliamentary investigation.

Her first test will come tomorrow before the Energy and Climate Change Committee tomorrow (Tuesday 10th November) when its members grill her on her department’s annual report and accounts.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Labour’s shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy said: “At the very same  time the energy secretary is telling her colleagues in private we’re not  on course to meet our legal target on clean energy, she is cutting wind  and solar schemes that could help us to meet it. It beggars belief.”

The grisly detail of Rudd’s smoke-and-mirrors

The letter, to Cabinet colleagues Philip Hammond (Foreign Secretary), Oliver Letwin (Cabinet Office), Greg Hands (Chief Secretary to the Treasury) and Patrick McLoughlin (Transport Secretary) begins by setting out the scale of what the UK has to achieve:

“The target sets a legally binding obligation on HMG to deliver 15% of the UK’s final energy consumption across electricity, heat and transport from renewable sources in 2020, with a binding sub-target for 10% of transport fuels to be from renewable sources in 2020.
“Beyond a flat rate of renewables for each member state, the effort share for meeting the EU-wide 20% target was based on GDP. As a result of this, and the fact that the UK started from a very low base of renewables deployment, our target requires amongst the most significant annual growth in renewables deployment (16% average annual growth from 2011 to 2020) of any member state.”

And although the UK’s current trajectory is on course for a massive miss of 32-66 TWh (terawatt hours) per year by 2020, with a central estimate of a 50TWh shortfall, the UK’s public position is that there is no problem meeting the target.

Yet her public statements all indicate that everything is on track. As noted above, on 17th September she told the House of Commons: “We had a commitment to limit the levy control framework to £7.6 billion  by 2020. When it became apparent that we were way in excess of that, but  were still meeting our renewables targets, it was right to limit the  amount of money we were spending. That is why we took action quickly to  do so.”

A consistent pattern of concealing the truth

Or as she told Parliament on 22nd June 2015 – ironically in her statement termination subsidies for onshore wind: “This Government is committed to meeting objectives on cutting carbon  emissions and to continue to make progress towards the UK’s 2020  renewable energy targets.

“The renewable electricity programme aims to deliver at least 30%  of the UK’s electricity demand from renewables by 2020. We are on course  to achieve this objective. Renewables already make up  almost 20% of  our electricity generation and there is a strong pipeline  to deliver  the rest.”

Note the subtle switch from ‘energy’ to ‘electricity’ in her second sentence. A DECC spokesman commented: “We do not comment on leaked documents. As the Secretary of  State has set out clearly in the House, renewables made up almost 20%  of our electricity generation in 2014 and there is a strong pipeline to  deliver our ambition of reaching 30% by 2020.  We continue to make progress to meet our overall renewable energy  target.”

However Rudd had also told Parliament a few days before on 18th June, again in the context of the early closure of support for onshore wind, that deployment was set to deliver on the 2020 renewable energy targets: “The Government are committed to meeting objectives on cutting carbon emissions and the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets …

“My Department’s analysis indicates that, after taking into account an  early closure, onshore wind deployment under the RO [Renewables Obligation] will be in the  region of 11.6 GW … this puts us above the middle of the range set out in the  EMR [Electricity Market Reform] delivery plan, our best estimate of what we would need to meet our  2020 targets. It is therefore appropriate to curtail further deployment  of onshore wind, balancing the interests of onshore wind developers with  those of the wider public.”

The message is clear, in statement after statement, she told Parliament that everything was going to plan towards meeting renewable energy targets. But she sets out the truth in her leaked letter. Until 2017 / 2018 the UK will be achieving its milestones, she writes, but after that

“The trajectory then increases substantially, and currently leads to a shortfall against the target in 2020 of around 50 TWh (with a range of 32 – 67TWh) or 3.5% points (with a range of 2.1 – 4.5% points) in our internal central forecasts (which are not public). Publically we are clear that the UK continues to make progress to meet the target.”


The cuts that are destroying a once booming British industry

Since its election to power in May 2015, the Conservative government has unleashed an astonishing series of attacks on the UK’s renewable energy sector which has included:

The government’s claim is that this has been motivated by the need to save money allocated under the ‘Levy Control Framework’ which allocates funds for renewable energy, however the depth and extent of the cuts betrays a strong ideological agenda to destroy the UK renewables industry.

Following her re-election in May, Rudd promised: “I want to unleash a new solar  revolution – we have a million people  living under roofs with solar  panels and that number needs to  increase.” However in office she has done the precise reverse. This letter now shows the desperate position those cuts have put the UK into.

Rudd’s plan to meet target without new wind and solar

The first element in Rudd’s plan to meet the UK’s target is by “Maintaining and improving existing policy performance towards the target”, she writes. “This would require us:

  • “to maintain our commitment to achieving at least 30% of electricity generation from renewables;
  • “to meet the 10% sub-target for renewable fuels in transport;
  • “and to continue support for the deployment of new renewable heating installations after the current funding settlement ends in 2015/16.”

Spot the lack of mention of anything to do with new wind and solar power? Her plan is based entirely on other means of achieving the target – even though wind is by far the lowest cost form of renewable energy, and solar is likely to become cheaper by 2020 with continued support to the point where it competes directly against fossil fuel generation.

The renewable heat incentive alone, Rudd writes, could deliver 20TWh (with a range of 15 – 32TWh), leaving a ‘central shortfall’ of around 30TWh. However she adds that “These forecasts are subject to significant uncertainty as the market for renewable heat is at an early stage and as a result of market and technical performance factors relating to renewable electricity.”

The next element is “Additional UK renewables deployment”, she writes. “Officials across Whitehall are reviewing policy options open to us to address this c.30TWh shortfall through additional deployment of renewables in heat, electricity and transport.”

Current levels of ‘renewable fuels’ derived from crops are already set to be doubled between 2017 and 2020, adding around 2 pence per litre on pump prices, but Rudd suggests that a further increase would be possible.

“An additional 12.9TWh or 0.9% points could theoretically be delivered above the sub target, at an estimated cost of £850m/year (adding a further 2.1 pence per litre on pump prices).”

But she warns that the move would be counter-productive in climate terms: “Due to limited availability of sustainable feedstocks, supply beyond the sub target appears likely to increase carbon emissions by increasing deforestation through new demand for agricultural land.”

There’s also potential to increase additional bio-methane production produced from organic wastes and some specially grown crops, however two thirds of the 6TWh this could produce have already been counted:

“The highest potential for additional renewable heat is from bio-methane injection into the gas grid, which could deliver up to 6TWh (or 0.4% points) by 2020. However a significant proportion of this (up to 4TWh) is already included in the proposals for continuing support for renewable heat post 2015/16.”

The ‘third way’ – buy it in from Norway

Rudd’s third step is certain to cause huge anger in the UK’s renewable energy industry as it involves simply buying it in from abroad, specifically from Norway’s hydroelectric dams. But it comes with one big problem – the required electrical connection to Norway won’t be ready on time:

“Additional deployment of electricity focuses on importing renewable electricity from Norway via the planned interconnector. This could deliver a maximum of 10TWh, depending on market forces. However, my officials do not expect the interconnector to be in operation until late 2021 at the earliest, and therefore would not strictly help the UK to reach its 2020 target.”

But that’s not the only problem: if the renewable power is generated in Norway then how can it be made to count as British just be importing it?

“Should this change, we believe that an intergovernmental agreement would be necessary, under which the UK would be required to make payment(s) to the Norwegian government (on top of that which would be paid for the electricity supplied through normal market mechanisms).”

Which is all very well, but it will cost the Uk money that should be going into our own renewables programme., Moreover there’s no guarantee that the arrangement would be considered valid by the European Commission or by the European Court.

So why not just buy in ‘statistical credits’ from other countries?

Nonetheless Rudd goers on to consider further “Use of co-operation mechanisms” that would allow the UK to finance renewable energy projects in other EU states.

Which raises the question: when the UK has Europe’s richest wind power resource, why would we want to do that? In the process exporting the jobs, expertise and industrial investment to other countries?

“In the absence of other measures to increase renewable energy consumption in the UK, a strategy to meet the target (and to ensure that the target is met in the most cost-effective way) would need to involve the UK purchasing renewables deployment later in the decade from other EU Member States which have over-achieved their target.

“There are two ways to do this The first would see HMG directly support a specific renewables project in another EU or European Economic Area Member State or third country, with an agreed proportion of the renewable energy generated being transmitted to the EU where the project occurs in a third country.”

And another problem then strikes: “However, at this stage there are no projects we have identified with the potential to deploy in the right time frames.” Which leads Rudd to attempt to invent a whole new market mechanism in ‘statistical credits’ for renewable energy from other EU countries.

“The alternative is to reach an agreement with an EU or EEA Member  State, which is likely to over-achieve on its target, to buy  ‘statistical credits’ from it in 2020. The market for such transactions  does not yet exist, and there is a low likelihood that sufficient  credits will be available to meet the total UK shortfall of 50TWh.”

Just one small problem there: there is currently no such thing as a  ‘statistical credit’ that the Commission or the European Court would recognise. In addition, adds Rudd,

“We believe there is a medium – low likelihood that sufficient credits will be available to meet a shortfall of 30TWh. Costs are, however, also highly uncertain. Nevertheless, trading has the potential to make a cost effective contribution towards meeting the target alongside a package of domestic action.”

Next step – try to win over other EU states

Which makes it all the more important to get other EU states on side. Not that the time is propitious – just as UK Prime Minister David Cameron is trying to win concessions from them on a host of other issues.

“In tandem with this emerging strategy, officials will seek to build a consensus with other EU Member States which we believe to be in a similar position to the UK, in particular in relation to their renewables target but also to other 2020 targets for greenhouse gas emissions or energy efficiency. This may allow us to negotiate some flexibility in meeting the target.”

The other EU countries Rudd refers to include Germany, France, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands and Ireland who are also “currently off track to meet the target to varying degrees.”

However Rudd clearly has little confidence that these negotiations will be fruitful: “entrenched positions in Brussels and the need to defend broader HMG policy objectives mean that we cannot rely on this to deliver anything to significantly improve UK progress against the target.”

Nor is there ‘strength in numbers’ with other EU target-missers: “Whilst it may be tempting from a UK perspective to take comfort from  this list, it should be noted that Germany in particular sees the target  as a cornerstone of the EU’s climate agenda and has a strong domestic  policy framework in place which may well allow it to make up any  shortfall.

“In addition, the failure of other Member States to meet their  target would not provide the UK with a formal defence in legal  proceedings.”

Transport Minister warns – biofuels costly, unsustainable

In another problem for Amber Rudd’s plan Andrew Jones, minister at the Transport Department in charge of environment and innovation, wrote to Amber  Rudd in a second leaked letter, warning against further increases in biofuel use in transport on cost, food security and ecological grounds:

“I concur with you, however, that meeting the 10% sub-target for renewable energy in 2020 is  challenging. It requires a doubling of current biofuel inclusion rates  right up to the limits allowed for by fuel standards in regular petrol  and diesel in just a few years, and it will also require great care to  secure sustainable sources of biomass supply and avoid consumer  opposition …

“I should highlight that I do not consider it appropriate to go  beyond the transport sub target. As you point out, we understand that  demand at such levels appears likely to cause deforestation through new  demand for agricultural land, and it could also increase food as well as  fuel prices.

“This is why the UK Government argued strongly for the  introduction of recently adopted measures to limit food based biofuels  at EU level. As a consequence, environmental and social NGOs would be  expected to campaign strongly against it.

“I believe such campaigning would be likely to win public support,  not least given the estimated total increase of around 3 pence per  litre on fuel costs that could result.”

Between a rock and a hard place

This all leaves Amber Rudd in an increasingly untenable position. First, she has effectively admitted to having deceived Parliament. That’s something she will surely struggle to justify to the Energy and Climate Change Committee tomorrow.

Second, she has revealed the disastrous outcome of her policy to destroy the UK’s renewable energy industry. The fact that the UK is seriously considering buying in actual power and non-existent ‘statistical credits’ for renewable energy from other European countries also speaks volumes for her policy failure.

As for the idea of supporting renewable energy projects abroad instead of here in the UK, it’s not hard to imagine how that will go down with the UK’s renewable industry. The solar industry alone is set to lose 27,000 jobs as a result of cuts to solar power subsidies.

And her idea to increase the volume of biofuels in petrol and diesel has rightly been shot out of the water by transport minister Andrew Jones.

There is of course one eminently sensible and achievable solution – to restore sustainable levels of support for wind and solar energy and roll it out in bulk for 2020 at ever diminishing cost.

Rudd, clearly, has lost all credibity at this stage, both politically and with the renewable energy industry that ultimately has to deliver the UK’s targets. The obvious choice for Cameron is to bring back Greg Barker, who as an MP was a respected energy minister from 2010 to 2014, and remains honorary president of the British Photovoltaic Association. He now sits in the House of Lords.

Loss of face before Paris climate talks

​Greenpeace Head of Energy, Daisy Sands commented: “This letter shows us the dark side of the government’s incoherent  energy policy in full technicolour. For the first time, we learn that  the government is expecting to miss the EU’s legally binding renewables  target. This is hugely shocking.

“More deplorably, it is wilfully  hiding this from public scrutiny. The government is planning on cutting  support for the solar and wind subsidies in the name of affordability.  But perversely, we see that the government  believes investing in  renewable energy projects involving buying power from abroad is more  desirable than supporting home grown renewable energy industries.

“Even  more worryingly, it seems the government is seeking to haggle with the  EU to revise down our legal commitments. This policy makes no  environmental or economic sense as the UK is losing jobs and affordable  clean, renewable energy sources.

“The government’s claim to leadership in  the Paris climate negotiations requires us to have targets, but we must  meet them too.”

Green MEP Molly Scott Cato told the Guardian that Rudd had “serious questions  to answer about why she has reported something to parliament which  appears inconsistent with what she has been telling other ministers.

“The UK’s energy policy is bound by European law which Rudd appears  to be flouting. I have already raised with the European Commission my concerns about the fact that the government’s changes to  energy policy make it unlikely we will meet our renewables target.

“The  evidence in this letter shows the secretary of state is aware of this  serious situation and I will now be following this up with further  questions as a matter of urgency.”

My thanks to The Ecologist for outing this important information.

Fuel for the future today – Carbon neutral and made from air and water.

Fuel for the future, todayCarbon neutral from air and water.

Fuels of the future will be made using renewable energy water and CO2 captured from the air. This new form of carbon neutral fuel will be used to drive IC engines and run steam generation plants. Soon all those diesel truck polluting our atmosphere will be using this fuel for the future.   From Audi who invented this amazing fuel:

After a commissioning phase of just four months, [Audi’s] research facility in Dresden started producing its first batches of high‑quality diesel fuel a few days ago. To demonstrate its suitability for everyday use, Federal Minister of Education and Research Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka put the first five liters into her official car, an Audi A8 3.0 TDI clean diesel quattro*, this Tuesday. “This synthetic diesel, made using CO2, is a huge success for our sustainability research. If we can make widespread use of CO2 as a raw material, we will make a crucial contribution to climate protection and the efficient use of resources, and put the fundamentals of the “green economy” in place,” declared Wanka. – Excerpt ends.


Fuel for the future today

Johanna Wanka, and Reiner Mangold in front of the carbon neutral car(Audi Photo)


 Fuel for the future is made from the sun and will drive your car clean.

This concept moves us in a better direction than fracking. By using renewable energy sources to make carbon-neutral fuel, we are not destroying the environment. Fracking destroys the environment in many ways. By capturing CO2 in our atmosphere and turning it into fuel we will be much closer to saving our planet. This is very similar to using biomass to heat your home. The carbon being released by burning wood was captured from our atmosphere as the bio-life grew.

Fuel for the future today

Audi makes clean diesel from air and water.(Audi Photo)

Fuels for the future will change the planet.

We can make fuel out of the carbon in our atmosphere. Capturing then using carbon to make clean diesel fuel removes oil and gas from the equation. Renewable energy from the sun the wind is produced in surplus. This energy needs to be stored to make all renewable energy viable. Making diesel fuel that is clean and clear of dirty oil by-products will clean up our environment. It will store energy for later use. We no have the ability to make clean fuels with out using any oil or gas. This means we can finally stop burning fossil fuels.

Council blocks Little Plumpton fracking application

Council blocks Little Plumpton fracking application

The people have spoke again! The Lancashire Council blocks Cuadrilla’s fracking application for Little Plumpton. This is  another success in the UK peoples movement to ban fracking forever. Here is a photo from the BBC’s article about the victory:

Council blocks Little Plumpton fracking application

Victory In Little Plumpton


Fracking banned again!


It is encouraging to see the will of the people taking precedence over the greed of corporations. Our work is not over yet though. We need to keep a clear focus on the real prize – a total ban on fracking in the UK forever.


Here is a link to, and the entirety of, the BBC article:

An application to start fracking at a site on the Fylde coast in Lancashire has been rejected by councillors.

Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to extract shale gas at the Little Plumpton site between Preston and Blackpool.

Lancashire County Council rejected the bid on the grounds of “unacceptable noise impact” and the “adverse urbanising effect on the landscape”.

Cuadrilla said it was “surprised and disappointed” and would consider its “options” regarding an appeal.

A spokesman added: “We remain committed to the responsible exploration of the huge quantity of natural gas locked up in the shale rock deep underneath Lancashire.”

    ‘Triumph for democracy’

Council blocks Little Plumpton fracking application

Anti-fracking campaigners celebrated outside Lancashire County Hall in Preston

The Little Plumpton bid had been recommended for approval by the county council’s planning officials, subject to working hours, noise control and highway matters.

But councillors rejected the advice and voted 10-4 to refuse the application.

Councillor Marcus Johnstone described the deliberation as “one of the biggest planning decisions ever” for the council.

He said the committee had rejected the application after “listening carefully to many hours of evidence”.

A legal adviser had said any attempt to block fracking at the site on environmental grounds would be “unreasonable” and costly.

Dr Adam Marshall, from the British Chambers of Commerce, said the decision was “perverse, short-sighted and timid” and said “the government now needs to step in”.

A related application for a monitoring array, to study seismic activity and water quality, was also rejected.

An application to start a fracking operation at Roseacre Wood was also rejected on Thursday.

Anti-fracking protests were held outside the hearing in Preston, which began on 23 June.

Fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – was suspended in the UK in 2011 following earth tremors in Blackpool where Cuadrilla previously drilled.

It is a technique in which water and chemicals are pumped into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas.

Helen Carter, BBC News reporter

For a moment, there was silence as the planning committee voted on a motion to turn down the Little Plumpton planning application.

That was followed by a huge roar of approval and a boo as two councillors had abstained.

People wept openly but they were tears of joy, not disappointment.

A chorus of “Frack free Lancashire” sounded outside County Hall. Then “Frack free world.”

Fylde deputy mayor Heather Speak said she felt like she had won the lottery.

Jamie Peters of Friends of the Earth wept and said it “shows people power has worked.” He said it had been grassroots campaigning. “The councillors have listened to what people want,” he said.

Chris Riley from Kirkham said it was brilliant they had overturned both decisions, adding: “We were hoping they would, but they couldn’t possibly go ahead with the damage it would cause.”

Council blocks Little Plumpton fracking application

Anti-fracking signs were put up in the village of Little Plumpton

Another protester said: “It is brilliant. But this is just round one.”

The jubilant anti-fracking campaigners marched through Preston for a spontaneous rally outside Lloyds Bank in Fishergate.

They were told: “Keep up the fight,” amid cheers.

Katherine Seary, from Bipsham, with her dog Molly, who was wearing an anti-fracking T-shirt feels “ecstatic.”

She said: “[I] couldn’t believe my ears” initially, “It took me a second listen to take it in.”

“I am sure Cuadrilla will appeal, but it is a good start.”

Although there was a strong police presence, one said: “Well done, ladies,” to a group of protesters.

Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Daisy Sands said the decision was “a Waterloo for the fracking industry” and a “triumph for local democracy”.

She said: “Their decision sends a powerful signal to other councils that the fracking juggernaut can indeed be stopped.”

Furqan Naeem, from Friends of the Earth North West, said campaigners will “breathe a sigh of relief – safe in the knowledge that this dirty industry… has been stopped in its tracks once again”.

“The stakes for local people, for democracy and for the environment could not be higher. The fight against fracking and dirty energy is far from over.”


Plant Closures =/= Energy Deficit

Plant Closures =/= Energy Deficit

The UK government and DECC have decided that the best way to prop up the Big 6 energy companies is to give them billions to build more polluting fossil fuel plants.

Plant Closures =/= Energy Deficit

Billions in new subsidies for failing energy companies

The reprint of a PV Magazine article:

UK auctions capacity, sparks controversy

A capacity market auction last week led to the procurement of 49.26 GW of new capacity, mainly from fossil and nuclear fuels, at a clearing price which will cost U.K. households nearly £1 billion. The government said the capacity market is necessary to ensure the lights stay on, specifically as power from renewables increases, but the policy has sparked controversy.

National Grid, the company that owns and manages the United Kingdom’s electricity grids, has been commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to run the country’s first capacity market auction. The auction ran for four days last week, leading to the procurement of 49.26 GW of fossil fuels-based capacity at a clearing price of £19.40 per kilowatt a year a day ahead of schedule. The auction’s gross cost is £990 million and will need to be paid after 2018, according to the DECC.

U.K. capacity market: The first round

According to the Department of Energy, the purpose of last week’s auction was to estimate how much capacity will be needed in 2018/19, which is the first year the Capacity Market will be running. “Electricity providers have then bid into this capacity auction, promising if they win a contract that they will be available to provide electricity when needed. In return, they will receive a steady payment on top of the electricity that they sell”, the DECC said.

Referring to the price bids, DECC Secretary of State Ed Davey said, “This is fantastic news for bill-payers and businesses. We are guaranteeing security at the lowest cost for consumers. We’ve done this by ensuring that we get the best out of our existing power stations and unlocking new investment in flexible plant.”

Not everyone is equally optimistic though. Last week’s auction price is near the lower end of the range of prices DECC’s financial modelling had predicted could prevail under a rolling auction scheme that aims to ensure the U.K.’s lights stay on after 2018 to 2030 and beyond. However, the billions of subsidies expected to flow to power groups in the coming years could also rise.Furthermore, the list of new investments triggered by the capacity market mechanism disappoints. The main bulk of winners in the auction are existing gas (22.3 GW), coal/biomass (9.2 GW) and nuclear (7.9 GW) power plants, while new installations will only form 2.6 GW or 5% of the capacity auctioned, including a new 1.8 GW gas plant in Trafford Park, Greater Manchester, by independent supplier Carlton Power under a 15-year contract.The DECC notes that auction results are provisional until confirmed by an independent auction monitor. Publication of confirmed results are expected on January 2, and approved bidders will need to have refurbished or built the auctioned capacity in three years. Should successful bidders not make their capacity available when needed, they will be penalized.

Capacity market: An excuse for fossil fuels?

Internationally, capacity markets have sprung out of the need to compensate utilities for the loss of their power market share due to the dynamic increase of renewable energies. Traditional power market incumbents have argued their income has been severely cut, leaving them unable to build new power plants or keep operational ones alive. Responding to this, some governments have introduced capacity markets aiming to encourage new, mainly fossil-based plants that guarantee reliability of the power system when renewable plants do not generate adequate capacity.

The U.K. is the first European country to run such a market. DECC’s main argument in favor of a capacity market is that the country is facing a looming energy supply gap as old nuclear power plants and many of its polluting coal-fired stations are due to close by the end of the decade and a capacity market will make it affordable to replace them. Otherwise, DECC argues, the country risks black-outs by as soon as 2018.

However, Michael Pollitt, professor of business economics and assistant director of the Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) at the University of Cambridge, told pv magazine that “the whole idea of a capacity market for Great Britain was based on scare mongering about electricity supply shortages, which would not have materialized. There was no serious evidence of capacity shortages developing in the light of the anticipated evolution of supply and demand. Given the actual evolution of supply (where, if anything, renewables have been added quite quickly) and demand, which has remained flat, there would have been even less of a problem that might have been anticipated.”

Asked about the anticipated closure of large nuclear and coal power plants, Pollitt said that “large power plants are built on a replacement cycle. The fact that old
plants are due to close as planned can easily be handled by the market. This
process has been going on for nearly 25 years, since liberalization [of the British energy market in 1980s].”

Therefore, Pollitt argued, “papers which show the planned closures of power plants leading to a projected deficit in capacity are economically illiterate, because they ignore how this would lead to incentives to build new plants if these are needed.”

Renewables Energy Association (REA) Chief Executive Nina Skorupska told the audience at October’s Solar Energy UK event in England that the U.K. government is planning to auction 50 GW of fossil fuel capacity via the capacity payments mechanism, while it could have plugged the capacity gap with all kinds of renewable energy and energy storage technology that replaces fossil fuels.

Instead, the British government has chosen to devise a policy that clearly intervenes in the market. Paradoxically, this is the country that first among Europeans liberalized its domestic energy market 30 years ago and — many would say rightly — pushed Europe towards an open energy market.

A fracking video you must watch

A Fracking video you must watch.

A fracking video you must watch

Stop fracking or we will die

Here is a fracking video you must watch: From an article in ProPublica.  For years, environmentalists and the gas drilling industry have been in a pitched battle over the possible health implications of hydro fracking. But to a great extent, the debate — as well as the emerging lawsuits and the various proposed regulations in numerous states — has been hampered by a shortage of science.

A video that explains the unbelievable truth about fracking effects on the people of Colorado is HERE.

A Fracking video you must watch.

The industry, by and large, has regarded the studies done to date — a number of which claim to have found higher rates of illness among residents living close to drilling wells — as largely anecdotal and less than convincing.

“The public health sector has been absent from this debate,” said Nadia Steinzor, a researcher on the Oil and Gas Accountability Project at the environmental nonprofit, Earthworks.

Studies performed have found damaging chemicals in humans

1.    An Exploratory Study of Air Quality near Natural Gas Operations. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 2012.

The study, performed in Garfield County, Colo., between July 2010 and October 2011, was done by researchers at The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, a non-profit organization that examines the impact of low-level exposure to chemicals on the environment and human health.

In the study, researchers set up a sampling station close to a well and collected air samples every week for 11 months, from when the gas wells were drilled to after it began production. The samples produced evidence of 57 different chemicals, 45 of which they believe have some potential for affecting human health.

In almost 75 percent of all samples collected, researchers discovered methylene chloride, a toxic solvent that the industry had not previously disclosed as present in drilling operations. The researchers noted that the greatest number of chemicals were detected during the initial drilling phase.

The second part of this video is HERE.

This is the most disturbing truth about fracking I have seen so far.

While this study did catalogue the different chemicals found in air emissions from gas drilling operations, it did not address exposure levels and their potential effects. The levels found did not exceed current safety standards, but there has been much debate about whether the current standards adequately address potential health threats to women, children and the elderly.

The researchers admitted their work was compromised by their lack of full access to the drilling site. The air samples were collected from a station close to what is known as the well pad, but not the pad itself.

The gas drilling industry has sought to limit the disclosure of information about its operations to researchers. They have refused to publicly disclose the chemicals that are used in fracking, won gag orders in legal cases and restricted the ability of scientists to get close to their work sites. In a highly publicized case last year, a lifelong gag order was imposed on two children who were parties to a legal case that accused one gas company of unsafe fracking operations that caused them to fall sick.


Clearly more research is need. We should not allow fracking in the UK. We must start building the renewable energy systems of the future now.


Environmental Audit Committee calls for halt to fracking

Environmental Audit Committee

calls for halt to fracking

Environmental Audit Committee

Fracking protest seals off Cameron’s home

From the Parliament website today:

Shale fracking should be put on hold in the UK because it is incompatible with our climate change targets and could pose significant localised environmental risks to public health.

That is the conclusion of MPs on the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee who will attempt to amend the Government’s Infrastructure Bill in Parliament today.

Joan Walley MP, chair of the Committee, said:

“Ultimately fracking cannot be compatible with our long-term commitments to cut climate changing emissions unless full-scale carbon capture and storage technology is rolled out rapidly, which currently looks unlikely. There are also huge uncertainties around the impact that fracking could have on water supplies, air quality and public health.”

“We cannot allow Britain’s national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty to be developed into oil and gas fields. Even if a national moratorium on shale drilling in the UK is not accepted there should be an outright ban on fracking in such special sites.”

“The Government is trying to rush through changes to the trespass laws that would allow companies to frack under people’s homes without permission. This is profoundly undemocratic and Parliament should protect the rights of citizens by throwing these changes out when they are debated later today.”

Report overview

The report warns that only a very small fraction of our shale reserves can be safely burned if we are to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees. And that considerable uncertainties remain about the hazards fracking poses to groundwater quality, air quality, health and biodiversity. It points out that continually tightening carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act will have significantly curtailed the scope for fossil fuel energy by the time shale gas is likely to be commercially viable on a large scale.

Infrastructure Bill

The Committee is also calling for other changes to the Infrastructure Bill. Proposed changes to trespass law that would grant companies automatic right of access to land at depth should be removed from the Bill because they seriously undermine citizens’ rights and are not supported by the public. Fracking should also be prohibited outright in nationally important areas such as National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, SSIs, ancient woodland.

The Committee is also insisting that:

  • Licences and permits must not be issued if commercial operators cannot demonstrate sufficient resources and insurances to cover full liability in event of pollution incidents.
  • Venting of methane emissions is unacceptable. Full containment of methane must be mandated in all fracking permits and permissions.
  • To protect groundwater a minimum separation distance — between the shales being fracked and underground aquifers — should be defined and mandated.

Monitoring and transparency

Current plans to allow fracking companies to handle the safety monitoring for fracking wells are also unacceptable, the report concludes. Independent monitoring must be conducted to ensure the public can have confidence in the results. Regulators must also conduct regular unannounced spot checks and audits of all fracking sites, and facilitate clear and accessible public disclosure of all monitoring data. Companies must be made to disclose — in an accessible way — all of the chemicals used in shale gas exploration and production, and the potential risks they pose. It is unacceptable that there are currently no monitoring requirements for decommissioned or abandoned wells.


Eight MPs on the Committee have put forward an amendment to introduce a moratoriums, linked to the Bill’s clauses aimed at setting a strategy to maximise fossil fuel extraction

Some MPs have also used the opportunity to also put down amendments to give the Strategic Highways Company an explicit legal duty to address air pollution in its work, to reflect a recommendation in another of the Committee’s reports — Action on Air Quality

 Further information

Image: iStock

Write to your MP – Keep Democracy Alive

Write to your MP

There are now just days to go until MPs will vote on David Cameron’s plan to force fracking on us. MPs will vote on this bill without having read the whole DEFRA report on the damage fracking will cause.

David Cameron wants to change the law so fracking companies can drill under our homes without permission.

But the plans can’t go through without MPs votes. MPs will vote on this bill Monday the 26th but they don’t know all the facts. We must help our MPs to force David  Cameron to release the DEFRA report without reactions then our MPs can finally see the damage fracking will cause.

Write to your MP. Only you can give MPs the power to stop this vote until the full DEFRA report is available to read.

74% of the public in Britain are against changes to trespass laws that would allow fracking companies to drill under homes without permission. I urge you to write to your government now. How can any MP make a decision on this bill without all the information?

The DEFRA report is redaction about fraction!

Thomas Jefferson one said that an educated populace is required in order for democracy to prevail.

Write your MP

We need to know ALL the facts before deciding.

We must know all the facts. Our MPs should not be asked to vote on any bill with out all the best information to hand.


Urgent - Sign the petition

Please write to your MP today to send a clear and strong message to David Cameron that we do not want a vote on fracking bills without a clear understanding of the impact of fracking.

I have included a letter, below, which you can cut and paste into your email to your MP.

Dear          ,

I am writing to ask that you demand David Cameron release DEFRA’s ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts’ report in full before MPs vote on the contentious Infrastructure Bill on Monday 26th January.

Last month, Anne McIntosh MP asked the Prime Minister to release the report. In his reply, he said “I am very happy to look at that”. Downing Street has yet to confirm whether the Prime Minister had considered the request.

A total of ten MPs have since urged David Cameron to release the report in full including four MPs from his own party. Yet still it remains redacted. It’s crucial that what’s hidden in this report be released before the Infrastructure Bill is finally voted on in Parliament, This is surely required so you can properly understand the impacts that fracking will have on our house prices and our communities.

Although the Government has repeatedly said ‘the public should be given all the facts’, this report was redacted 63 times, including the section on how fracking could affect house prices. DEFRA claim this was best for ‘public interest’.

Next Monday, MPs will vote on the Infrastructure Bill, which proposes controversial changes to our Trespass Laws that will erode our land rights, and pave the way for fracking. How can you possibly vote on the merits of this Infrastructure Bill when 63 pertinent points from this report have been scrubbed out?

Please support the amendments to the Bill proposed by Dr Caroline Lucas MP and Norman Baker MP, which call for the removal of the fracking-facilitating clauses and a ban on fracking.

We all deserve to see the censored material in this important document that our government is keeping from us. Don’t take away our land rights until you have convinced David Cameron to release the full contents of that report.



Cut and paste this into an email for you MP now. add the MPs name at the top. Your name at the bottom. Please also add your phone number and address. MPs always listen to their constituents and having your address there shows you are represented.

Write to them now! here is the link for connecting with you MP: writetothem

You can also sign this petition too! Greenpeace is working hard to help us all stop fracking.

Sign this petition.





Urgent – Sign the petition

Urgent – Sign this petition

URGENT: There are now just days to go until MPs will vote on David Cameron’s plan to force fracking on us. Please sign the petition today!

David Cameron wants to change the law so fracking companies can drill under our homes without permission.

But the plans can’t go through without MPs votes, so if we can get them to see how unpopular Cameron’s idea is, they’ll think twice before voting it through when the time comes.

Sign now and leave a comment for your MP. We’ve also teamed up with Friends of the Earth to launch this petition and increase our strength.

74% of the public in Britain are against changes to trespass laws that would allow fracking companies to drill under homes without permission. I urge you to oppose government plans to change the law and vote against them when you have the chance.

Urgent - Sign the petition

Fracking protest at Cameron’s home

Please sign this petition to send a clear and strong message to David Cameron that we do not want fracking under out homes with or without our permission.


Sign this petition.






New York VS London the fracking wars

New York VS London

In New York VS London we will look at two different ways to deal with fracking.

There are many communities around the world that are against fracking.

New York VS London

Balcombe Fracking Protesters Stop Quadrilla

Countries all over the planet are banning fracking. There are many reasons to ban fracking too. The environmental damage created by fracking alone is reason enough to ban it. Then there is the problem of earthquakes like we had around Blackpool in 2011.

Fracking causes earthquakes

A new report just released in the US has confirmed that fracking caused earthquakes in Ohio. There are other blights upon the landscapes of countries where fracking occurs. Here is a picture of a “flood” reported in the Colorado News.

New York VS London

Colorado Fracking mudslide Kills 3

I put the “flood” in parenthesis as this event happened at the top of a mountain during a dry spell. No rain for days and no source of water to cause the flood. There were several fracking operations ongoing in the area around this site tho.

Then there is the Lapindo mud flow. Lapindo is the largest man made mudflow in the world. Depending on whom you talk to it was the result of some oil drilling that went wrong or an earthquake. The place is named after the oil drilling company, so you decide which one is more likely.

For the last five years, due to drilling by  Lapindo, the volcano has been pumping out boiling hot mud from the ground. More than a hundred thousand people were forced to abandon their homes, without enough compensation to buy new ones.

New York vs London

The never-ending Mudslide from drilling for gas

The volcano that erupted as a result of Lapindo’s drilling operation is still spewing out mud today and will for many years to come. Lusi, the volcano, is located in the Sidoarjo district of the island of Java, and erupted on May 29, 2006 in the middle of a rice field.

It has destroyed 13 villages, dozens of factories and shops and a highway, prompting the government to build dykes 10 metres (33 feet) high to try to contain its spread.

New York has banned fracking. So, here in the UK we have still not stopped fracking yet. But we are getting closer. You can help by contacting your representative in parliament. It is also worthwhile visiting your local council and talking about these important matters with local representatives.

Fracking Mess

Fracking mess for YOU! K?

A fracking mess awaits us all. David Cameron is pushing fracking on our green and pleasant land. You and I and the whole country will pay the price.

The fracking mess, the damage done.

The damage is already done at many fracking sites. Fracking has stopped but the environmental damage is done.  The damage is irreversible and long term. Drinking water is polluted for future generations.

fracking mess

Fracking destroying water supplies

Excerpt from

Nearly 3 billion gallons of waste water were illegally injected into central California aquifers. Half of the water samples collected have high levels of dangerous chemicals. Arsenic, a known carcinogen that can also weaken the human immune system was found.  Thallium, a toxin used in rat poison was also found in the water.

Timothy Krantz is a professor of environmental studies at the University of Redlands. He says these chemicals could pose a serious risk to public health. “The fact that high concentrations are showing up in multiple water wells close to wastewater injection sites raises major concerns about the health and safety of nearby residents.”

MORE DAMAGE – A video we all need to see:

4 Mile Long eruption of Liquid Sand + stored CO2 @ Fracking operation in Colorado.


From sumofus website:

fracking mess

Cameron close to fracking firms

A massive 40,000 people formally objected to proposals to change trespass laws so that fracking companies can extract oil and gas from under people’s land without permission. Showing utter disdain for democracy, the government has decided to ignore this outpouring of public opposition, and go ahead with changing the law in favour of the frack-happy 1%.

All this to get gas from the ground we do not need and must stop using.


In the UK wind, sun, bio-mass, heat from the earth, and tidal and wave forces can each provide a vast and constantly replenished energy  supply. These diverse sources of renewable energy have the technical potential to provide the electricity nation needs.

The Union of Concerned Scientists website has a nice article about this.

Write your mp now!