Osborne…staying long in emergency generators
Years of Thatcherite sell-offs, fluffy New Labour propellerthink and nuclear generation muddle have left Britain, as in most things, with a woefully inadequate electricity generation infrastructure. And into this mess, George Osborne has injected his usual form of Titanic deckchair rearrangement.
Because our ‘leaders’ have had to secretly resort to a hotch-potch of emergency generators for public buildings, hospitals and so on, the Government is set to make a windfall profit of hundreds of millions of pounds out of a lucrative scam. This will sell power from thousands of the emergency diesel generators it owns to the National Grid. The cash will come from using them to guard against the times when the wind is too low to drive the expanding fleet of wind turbines, so staving off widespread blackouts.
Public buildings, including NHS hospitals, prisons, Army barracks and RAF bases, police and fire headquarters, schools and council offices equipped with emergency generators are to be asked to make them available on 20-minute standby to back-up the grid when supply is short. For this, they will be paid premium rates, soon to rise to the equivalent of £600 per Megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity produced.
This is more than 12 times the rate currently paid to ordinary power station operators, and six times the rate paid to inshore wind farm owners. Potentially, this makes Government-owned generators worth hundreds of millions to Wee Georgie. But it also represents another “stealth tax” on hard-pressed electricity consumers, brought about by the increasing reliance on wind power which is already heavily subsidised. And of course, while he is making a political profit, it is ultimately being funded with our money expended on buying the generators and the pc subsidies in the first place.
What the Draper won’t address, of course, is the issue of reliable and sustainable energy production, fast-track research into innovative solar generation, and the fact that – being as most of it is now owned by the French-owned EDF – what nuclear fuel we wind up using in the future is no longer a decision we can control. But then, this is what happens if your Auntie flogged the family silver.
The obvious parallel here is Unborn tinkering about with £20bn in cuts while the Treasury haemorrhages £300bn a year spent on propping up insolvent banks, and remaining a member of a disastrous trading union. But it is still impossible to find any regular MSM opinion leader to point this out. Will Hutton has retreated back into his Old Labour comfort zone, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard continues to be technically on the money but unconclusive, and the FT drivels on as if boom times are just around the corner.
Here’s an example from the weekend:
‘Britain’s economy will grow faster this year than previously forecast as consumers cut into savings to keep spending, according to the Ernst & Young Item Club.
The U.K. economy will expand 1.1 percent this year, compared with an April forecast of 0.6 percent, the London-based group will say in a report to be published tomorrow. Growth will strengthen to 2.2 percent next year and 2.6 percent in 2015, both faster than previous estimates, it will say.
Consumer spending will pick up as Britons save less, and a revival in housing and global growth will help support the recovery this year. New Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has also taken steps to help the economy, saying last week that interest rates will remain low for longer than investors anticipated.
“It’s looking much more positive,” Peter Spencer, chief economic adviser to the Item Club, will say. “Spending on the high street is holding up nicely, housing-market transactions are beginning to gather pace and, perhaps most significantly, the global economy also appears to be on the mend.”
Make one wonder what bubble Ernst & Young inhabit, doesn’t it? Lest you think that a flip comment, a little deconstruction might be in order.
as consumers cut into savings to keep spending. They’re doing this because their credit cards are maxed out but they still don’t have enough to live in. Their pdis are shrinking, not expanding.
a revival in housing and global growth will help support the recovery. The localised and patchy recovery in the housing markets is driven by Help to Buy, aka taxpayers’ money. Global growth – what Global growth?
Mark Carney has also taken steps to help the economy. He has? Can’t say I’d noticed…but then we read that his ‘steps’ comprise ‘saying last week that interest rates will remain low for longer than investors anticipated’. Er, that’s it. Mark Carney has single-handedly guaranteed that global rates will not go up.
the global economy also appears to be on the mend. Where?
And of course, no mention of a eurozone debt UXB about to go off, stocks about to fall in face of QE withdrawal etc etc.
This is what the MSM does these days: it props up a knackered system by writing fantasy drivel.
Hey-ho – it’s Monday morning….onwards and upwards.