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Hendry replaced as energy minister

Charles Hendry was replaced yesterday by fellow Conservative MP John Hayes as energy minister in prime minister David Cameron’s reshuffle.

Hendry was a popular minister and had a key role in preparing the Department for Energy and Climage Change’s (Decc) energy market reform bill due for its second reading in the Autumn.

“His vast knowledge and experience has delivered a balanced and incredibly valuable approach,” said trade body Energy Networks Association chief executive David Smith. “He leaves very big shoes to fill and will be missed.”

His replacement John Hayes has held shadow ministerial roles in agriculture, local government and transport. He has previously opposed wind turbines in his consitency of South Holland and The Deeping.

Industry view

Trady body Renewable Energy Association chief executive Gaynor Hartnell has urged Hayes to closely look at the economics of renewable energy:

“Given John Hayes’ reported stance on energy subsidies, he might want to take a good hard look at energy policy in the round. We would be happy to meet with him to discuss the latest information on falling costs of renewables and increasing costs of other energy forms. We are about to embark on electricity market reform, which will see just about every form of power generation subsidised.

“Under pressure from Treasury to scrutinise the cost of renewables policies, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is becoming increasingly interventionist. More and more DECC is attempting to dictate how much of each technology should be deployed. This should be left to the market, and the cheapest technologies should be encouraged to make the maximum contribution. Instead we have increasing complexity, and investors becoming more wary.”

 

 

 

Readers' comments (4)

  • "This should be left to the market, and the cheapest technologies should be encouraged to make the maximum contribution"

    To do this you have first to

    1. take out all subsidies,
    2. then ensure you include all CAPEX and OPEX costs for all works necessary for any particular system,
    3. then compare them over a Total System's Life Cycle for costs per unit energy generated and costs per tonne CO2 saved,
    4. and finally compare the reductions in global CO2 provided by this particular UK systemy by, say 2020 given current global CO2 trends and intended UK capacity in this particular Power Generation System.

    Do the numbers for Wind Farms replacing all UK Coal Fired Plants - the greatest CO2 benefit possible with Wind Farms, including Transmission Lines and Gas Turbines as necessary full time equal standby's and then do the same for the equivalent Coal Fired capacity in Gas Turbines. Then compare the benefits of these UK Wind Farms (roughly the 32 GW intended) c/w UK Gas Turbines for unit power costs and then compare the two systems in terms of likely global CO2 emissions savingsallowing for current annual global CO2 emissions increases till 2020 given by the largely uncontrolled fossil fuel emissions from the Developing World, including China and India who are both now on major programmes of Coal Fired Power Plant construction and increased capacity.

    Not only are the costs of UK Total Wind Farm power massively more than Gas Turbine's power; and far more difficult and longer to provide and integrate/manage within the overall UK Power System, but the global benefits in CO2 emissions from the UK using these Wind Farms compared to similar capacity Gas Turbines alone are miniscule - less than 0.05% and falling! What a horrendous penalty for both the UK electorate and UK plc and UK competitiveness for something environmental in reducing CO2 emissions which is totally ineffective - even supposing the histrionics and breast beating about CAGW were justified!

    We used to be a respted Engineering profession, providing efficient products and services and value for money systems

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  • I think your previous correspondent misses the point. It isn't about money, and how cheap gas is, it's about taking the lead in design and action.
    Anyone would think from the previous contribution that the summer polar ice cap was intact, and not likely to disappear in 10 years. (At the time of writing of the Stern Report it was thought the ice would disappear around 2210, not before 2020 as is the present projection.) The consequences of just that one effect of CO2 emissions are frightening. The movement of the Jet Stream into an irregular mode (if it is there at all) will lead UK agriculture to find it increasingly difficult to produce crops. The same will apply in Russia and USA, the bread baskets of the world. In the last 3 years we have seen huge fires in Russia and Australia, visinle from space, and this year's USA harvest is in drought conditions. You cannot put any one weather event down to CO2 but we are now past the point of needing proof that the weather is changing. Southern UK has had its dryest months on record, in the spring, followed by its wettest months on record in the summer. Fortunately this year the weather relented just before the UK harvest was lost.
    So it is no longer about what's cheap in the energy market, it's about what meets the brief, and gas coal and oil power stations no longer meet the brief.
    We engineers should be at the forefront of thinking, not just looking for the cheap fix that produces more greenhouse gas. Even China, slow to wake to the problems ir is causing, has built hundreds of wind farms and is looking at reducing its coal and gas dependency.

    You don't solve a problem by saying " well they aren't doing anything so we don't have to'. It took a lot of effort to get global agreement to the stopping of cfc production, but we did get an agreement, and the ozone layer is still recovering, thank goodness.
    Some parts of the tundra are reported as beginning to melt, and can release tons of Methane, an even worse greenhouse gas than the CO2 we are emitting. ( And for anyone who says it isn't humans doing the emitting, read the scientific data from the last 5 years, not the Daily Telegraph.) More gas turbines for power? No thank you, not one.
    The point is, we only have one chance, and we are failing in our duty. We should be building flood and coastal defences, getting the Severn Barrage built, and, yes, getting every damn wind and tide turbine built that we can. As important is persuading our new energy minister of his role in all this.
    And in case you ask, I have no connection with the wind or tidal power industry, and a more than academic interest in leaving a working planet to my grandchildren.
    Professor Peter Gardiner FICE

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  • I do not think it is in the professions best interests to advise a value for money energy sector based on an eight year prediction and ignoring diversity, interconnections and renewable obligations. Numerous studies have produced concurring results which advise energy mixes with a significant proportion of wind power for 2030, 2050 and beyond based on the lowest unit cost of energy. The peer reviewed evidence is widespread and consensus is in favour of increased wind power within the UK. It is important not to become embroiled in opinion and political power play as engineers but instead act on the best evidence available.

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  • I do not think it is in the professions best interests to advise a value for money energy sector based on an eight year prediction and ignoring diversity, interconnections and renewable obligations. Numerous studies have produced concurring results which advise energy mixes with a significant proportion of wind power for 2030, 2050 and beyond based on the lowest unit cost of energy. The peer reviewed evidence is widespread and consensus is in favour of increased wind power within the UK. It is important not to become embroiled in opinion and political power play as engineers but instead act on the best evidence available.

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