I wrote Greenhouse Gassing at the beginning of this year. A lot has changed since then, and yet, in many ways nothing has changed. It’s still very much full steam ahead, business as usual. The regular conferences organised by Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum are as much a feature of the Westminster landscape now as they were then, and updates about yet more of them keep dropping into my in-box.

Next steps for climate change policy in Scotland

This conference is to take place on 7th October 2022. Of course, quite apart from all the expense and complexity associated with the net zero project, given devolved government in this country, it’s all replicated elsewhere within the UK. Speakers include David Mallon, Head of Climate Change Policy & Implementation Unit at the Scottish Government, a role he has held since March 2020. In that role, his Linkedin page tells us he “led development of Government-wide package of over 100 policies for Scotland’s Climate Change Plan to deliver ambitious national climate change mitigation targets for 8 sectors up to 2032 (including energy and industry) and contribute to net zero by 2045” (remember, thanks to the provisions of the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019, the Scottish plan is to complete economic suicide by 2045, five years ahead of the UK government’s plan.

The conference will be chaired by Fiona Hyslop MSP, Deputy Convener of the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee. Inevitably, perhaps, other speakers include representatives of WWF and Scottish Communities Climate Action Network, who say:

We serve as the Transition Scotland Hub which links us to the global Transition Network and we are also actively engaged with the European Ecolise network, including their Communities For Future programme. As a community based network, we are active members of the Scottish Community Alliance and, through this, have the opportunity to engage with 25 other community networks that embrace several thousand community organisations across Scotland. These links can help to support and inspire and provide further learning and sharing opportunities for our members as to how best to create the conditions in which community action on the climate and environmental emergencies can thrive – and enable the rapid decarbonisation required whilst creating the sort of future we want.

The more I read, the more I am staggered at the number of these organisations, all hungrily hoovering up grants and subsidies, and distributing cash among others similarly minded. Take a look at the list of members and be staggered at just how many little climate organisations and hangers-on there are – and this is just in Scotland. Reading their potted biographies, it’s obvious that many do good work and are made up of sincere people. On the other hand, others such as Climate Futures (“We are a multidisciplinary environmental consultancy, and are passionate about accelerating a sustainable future. We’d love to help you with improving the impact of your research, business and communication”) seem happy to operate as a business making money out of all of this. However, that’s only my opinion, and I’ve already digressed substantially. What’s the conference about?

Well, “[t]his conference focuses on the way forward for achieving net-zero in Scotland, and a just transition.” There’s a lot about “just transition” in Scotland, and of course in principle this is very good. An unjust transition is something to be avoided, even if for some of us one of the many major problems with the proposed net zero transition is its inherently unjust nature, hitting the poorest in society hardest.

We learn that that there is to be a new Just Transition Commission, but a quick look at the Scottish government website lets you see that there is a lot more verbiage than realism associated with this. The opening words, instead of applying a salve, ignite indignation and irritation in equal measure:

For the Scottish Government a just transition is both the outcome – a fairer, greener future for all – and the process that must be undertaken in partnership with those impacted by the transition to net zero.

Yeah, right. Try telling that to all those communities torn apart by the Scottish government’s relentless insistence on inflicting wind farms on them even in the face of opposition from “those impacted by the transition to net zero.” Words, only words.

This isn’t the first Just Transition Commission, by the way. There has already been one in situ from 2019 to 2021 . The members of the new Commission have already been appointed, and their biographies can be read here. I say nothing against any individual member of the Commission, and I am sure they are all well-intentioned and will all do their best. Nevertheless, colour me unconvinced by a Commission whose membership strikes me as weighted against objectivity, including as it does a Professor of Sustainability who was also a founding member of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, acting as its Scottish champion; a Deputy Executive Director Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK; a project professional with a PhD in carbon capture and storage, and international experience in energy and climate change mitigation working across industry, government, community and academic sectors, whose most recent projects include Uist Wind; a Chief Executive Officer for the Net Zero Technology Centre, an organisation committed to the research and development of technology to accelerate the Oil and Gas industry’s transition to an affordable net zero future; a Policy Coordinator for the joint project between the Boston University Global Development Policy Centre and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); an economist, community organiser and entrepreneur currently leading Bridging Ventures, a global effort working to accelerate a just transition to a thriving and regenerative future through catalytic collaboration and systems change, who serves as an Advisor to Columbia Climate School and who convened the Climate Action Lab in Glasgow at COP 26; the author of The Case for The Green New Deal; a Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance with the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science who is also author of The Road to Net Zero Finance for the UK’s Climate Change Committee; a Chief Sustainability Officer at SSE; and the Chief Executive of NECCUS, the membership organisation supporting and representing members through the challenge of industrial decarbonisation primarily through Carbon Capture and Hydrogen.

A cynic might think this is a Commission providing jobs for the boys (and girls) who will say what is expected, and that discussions will be less than controversial. A cynic might think that – I couldn’t possibly comment. Suffice it to say, should any member of the Commission read this and not recognise a description of themselves (I haven’t mentioned all of the members), then their lack of a mention is honourable, and I am pleased to see them possibly providing some much-needed balance.

By the way, while a shortage of funds has seen striking Council workers and rubbish piling up on Scottish streets, there is apparently a Just Transition Fund – “a £500m, ten-year commitment to supporting projects in the North East and Moray which contribute towards the region’s transition to net-zero”.

What else is on the climate agenda in Scotland? Just as in the UK more generally, there is a Heat in/and Buildings Strategy. This topic could justify an article in its own right, so for now I’ll just note what the Government website says in terms of its overall objective:

Sets out our vision for the future of heat in buildings, and the actions we are taking in the buildings sector to deliver our climate change commitments, maximise economic opportunities, and ensure a just transition, including helping address fuel poverty.

It was written last October, so almost a year ago, and was put in place just as the energy crisis started to ramp up. How’s it going helping to address fuel poverty? Well, here’s the view from Shetland:

By April, it is estimated that the average energy cost per year for a household in Shetland will be £10,300 – around double that of the UK. Fuel poverty will increase to the point where, by that time, 96% of Shetland households could be spending 10% of their income on energy costs. It is estimated that, by next April, a household in Shetland would need to earn £104,000 per annum to avoid being in fuel poverty.

Statistics show that, even under normal circumstances, the cost of living in Shetland is anything from 20-65% higher than the UK average. Shetland’s significantly colder climate, coupled with the risk of poor insulation and lack of availability of cheaper energy options – for example, mains gas [my emphasis] – further compound the effects on its island communities of the cost of living crisis…

Shetland has contributed, and will continue to contribute, significantly to UK energy exports, and yet people in our communities will struggle to heat their homes in the coming year. This is particularly ironic, given the continued development of offshore and onshore renewable energy production around Shetland.

Yes, that is ironic, isn’t it? I wonder if it will give any attendees at the conference or policy-makers at Holyrood pause for thought? Actually, no I don’t wonder about that. Nothing is likely to change. The agenda is set.

Priorities for UK energy security

This conference is due to take place on 14th October 2022. Given recent developments, its subject-matter is rather important. One might have thought that there really ought to be a single priority – to achieve, as quickly as possible, energy security for the UK, meaning a lack of dependence on imports and the securing of forms of energy that are reliable, and ideally not too expensive. As so often, one might think that, but it seems one would be wrong. For instance, there is no recognition that the UK is sitting on rather a lot of fossil fuels, and that in these difficult times it might be a good idea to make use of them. Instead, the focus remains on reducing fossil fuel use and continuing down the net zero path.

The first session is titled “the way forward for reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels – accelerating the transition towards a clean energy system”.

There are four bullet points here:

the state of UK energy capacity – barriers to increasing energy security – geopolitical pressure

implications of the strategy – for key stakeholder groups

outlook for the UK energy mix – the future role of renewables, nuclear, coal, oil and gas

industry obligations and expectations

I suppose I should be mildly encouraged that they are looking at “the state of UK energy capacity”, though I am less than convinced that the mindset is right, given that instead of looking for solutions they are busy looking at barriers to increasing energy security, apparently including geopolitical pressure. I would like those words (geopolitical pressure) to be explained. Are they talking about international events such as COP26 and nonsense about the UK “leading the way” and “setting an example”? Are they talking about sanctions against Russia?

Then there’s that final circle that can’t be squared – “delivering reliable, cost-effective, and decarbonised UK power supplies”. We’ve been going full steam ahead (or should that be full wind ahead?) for long enough now, and things have got worse, not better, so far as concerns the first two objectives (reliability and cost-effectiveness). What will it take before the penny drops and they realise that we can’t have all three?

Included under the heading “relevant developments” is the Energy Security Bill, obviously a very relevant development indeed. The Government factsheet isn’t terribly encouraging, however. It talks of “diversity and resilience”, which sounds good, but then the meat of it (am I still allowed to talk about meat?) is this:

Accelerate the growth of low carbon technologies. We will introduce state of the art business models for carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, attracting private investment by providing long-term revenue certainty. Together with the measures on CO2 transport and storage, this will put the country on a path to seize market share and grow the economy.

Enable the set up and scale up of the first of a kind CO2 transport and storage networks. The Bill will establish the economic regulation and licensing framework to ensure successful deployment.

Taking further steps to explore the role for hydrogen to heat our homes and workplaces. We will enable the delivery of a large village hydrogen heating trial by 2025, providing crucial evidence to inform strategic decisions in 2026 on the role of hydrogen in heat decarbonisation.

Scale up heat pump manufacturing and installation, and a new white goods industry in the UK. We will establish a market-based mechanism for the low-carbon heat industry to step up investment and lower the cost of electric heat pumps, through economies of scale and innovation.

Yes, there’s talk of nuclear fusion too, but also delusional stuff like this:

Protecting consumers from cyber threats with new protections for smart appliances. We are taking powers to deliver appropriate protections for consumers and the grid by placing requirements on energy smart appliances.

Helping consumers manage their energy use and cut their bills to help with the cost of living. We are continuing to drive industry progress on the smart meter rollout which is set to deliver a £6 billion net benefit to society [sic].

Another relevant development is the creation of The Future System Operator (FSO). Net zero remains front and central:

The new Operator will have a duty to facilitate net zero while maintaining security of supply, and an efficient, coordinated and economical system.

There we go again – the circle that can’t be squared; the mutually inconsistent objectives.

The next relevant development is the “Energy white paper: Powering our net zero future – from BEIS, outlining the long-term strategy for the UK energy mix and for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050”.No change there, then.

Also, “the ninth round of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund – £10m aimed at encouraging the development of green technologies that can help cut the UK’s reliance on expensive fossil fuels.” They’re still in thrall to the idea that reliable energy sources are expensive. Yes, gas may temporarily be very expensive, but we are supposed to be planning for the long-term here, not just the short-term.

Finally, “Future Nuclear Enabling Fund opens – designed by BEIS to develop new nuclear energy projects across the UK”. Better late than never, I suppose.

The future of the UK’s electricity and gas system

This conference will take place on 1st November 2022. There is some overlap with the conference about energy security just discussed, though this one deals in more detail with the role of the Future Systems Operator, which we learn is to be established by the end of 2024, with Ofgem’s new strategic functions probably being established next year.

I note the euphemistic language used: “heightened concern around the ability for current networks and markets to cope with changing demands” and “the UK energy market undergoing multiple changes, with potential to develop a more holistic approach to the energy system”. Also “low-carbon energy – meeting energy security needs – overcoming customer affordability challenges”.

Those three little phrases contain rather a lot – I take them to be unspoken acknowledgement of the facts that the National Grid will struggle to absorb large-scale renewables into the energy system, the disruptive and difficult nature of the changes being forced on us by net zero, and that renewable energy is neither reliable nor cheap. Not that they can say so in so many words.

Finally, I think this is curious:

Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) – major review announced by BEIS designed to ensure cost benefits of cheaper energy trickle down to consumers in the long term, with proposals for initial consultation including changes to the wholesale electricity market to stop volatile gas prices setting the price of electricity produced by much cheaper renewables.

They still seem to think that over the longer term renewables are cheaper than gas, despite the considerable body of evidence to the contrary, especially if one takes into account the problems and costs they know about, but have hidden in the euphemistic language mentioned above. It’s not too encouraging to think that these supposed benefits of cheaper energy are destined only to “trickle down” over the “longer term”. A cynic might think they know that it isn’t going to happen.

Next steps for the UK maritime sector

This conference will take place on 22nd November 2022, and has the sub-heading “Ports, shipbuilding and decarbonisation”. We are told that “[d]iscussion will focus on achievement of decarbonisation objectives, attracting investment, improvement of port infrastructure, plans to re-establish shipbuilding across the UK and its contribution to local economies, as well as changing trade patterns and shipping trends”. Hailing as I do from the town that a little over a century ago was the largest ship-building town in the world (whose shipyards were subsequently devastated), I am delighted to see that there plans to re-establish shipbuilding across the UK, though I am a little bemused at how this is supposed to go hand in hand with “decarbonisation objectives”.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy seems to have had little publicity since it was first published in 2017. Certainly, I was unaware of it until now. As ever, the focus remains on being “green”:

Over £4 billion of government investment will galvanise and support shipyards and suppliers across the UK, with new measures including better access to finance, vital skills-building, and funding for crucial research and development into greener vessels and infrastructure.

This strategy includes the creation of a Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce and there is also to be a Maritime Capability Campaign Office. I learn further that there is a Maritime Skills Office and even a UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions. It is here that we see the net zero agenda in all its dubious glory:

Decarbonising maritime is essential to achieve net zero emissions across the UK economy by 2050, as domestic shipping alone produces more greenhouse gases than buses, coaches and rail combined.

Urgent action is needed today – the average lifespan of vessels means that greener ships must start being deployed by 2025 to achieve a zero-emission fleet by 2050. It’s vital that every sector plays its part to remain in line with the Paris Agreement.

This transition of the shipping industry to zero emissions, as well as fulfilling our objectives to combat climate change, will also improve air quality in and around our ports and coastal communities.

Earlier this year the National Shipbuilding Strategy announced £206 million to establish in my department a UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions, or UK SHORE. This is a world-leading initiative showcasing our climate leadership and commitment to decarbonising maritime…

…We will continue to build momentum towards the publication in 2023 of a refreshed clean maritime plan. This will bring together our commitments, setting out a plan of action towards net zero for the UK domestic maritime sector.

Thus spoke Robert Courts MP.

There’s talk of ammonia or hydrogen-based fuels, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see us reverting to the age of sail at this rate.

As ever, they see opportunities, where I see only problems:

The transition to zero emission shipping is a unique opportunity to radically reboot our marine manufacturing and gear up productivity, building on our competitive edge in clean maritime solutions.

I’d like to be wrong and for the policy-makers to be right, for once. Unfortunately, their track-record to date doesn’t give me much confidence.

24 Comments

  1. Mark – to much info to take in at one gulp.

    but this bit stood out –
    “Earlier this year the National Shipbuilding Strategy announced £206 million to establish in my department a UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions, or UK SHORE. This is a world-leading initiative showcasing our climate leadership and commitment to decarbonising maritime…”

    “showcasing our climate leadership” – god help us if that’s the main/only aim.
    virtue signalling, with no idea how the real world works.

    but the money rolls in for this madness.

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  2. had a look at –
    https://transportandenergy.com/2022/03/14/dft-launches-uk-shore-to-boost-green-investment-in-maritime-sector/#:~:text=Funding%20under%20UK%20SHORE%20will%20relaunch%20manufacturing%20hotspots,jobs%20and%20opportunities%20while%20levelling%20up%20local%20economies.
    to many quotes I could pick, but the 1st should give a taster –
    “housands of ships, cruises and vessels will become greener and cleaner with £206 million investment to support zero emission sailing and skilled maritime jobs, as part of the Government’s Shipbuilding Strategy.

    Taking steps to cement the UK’s role as a world leader in shaping the future of transport, the Government will create its first office purely dedicated to making maritime greener – pioneering new research and development of technology which could make journeys by sea as green as they were hundreds of years ago.”

    think about the oak tree’s!!!

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  3. Looks like the Scottish Government (or at least it’s appointed acolytes) has/have the intention to convert the country into being a wind-driven, cloud-cuckoo land. Appropriate musical instrumentation I suppose.

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  4. dfhunter, yes there’s a huge amount of information to be gleaned from these WEET conferences. As I said in the article, some of the individual topics are so big, they could generate articles in their own right. My main takeaways are:

    1. Nothing that has happened regarding price rises for energy and the possibility of blackouts has changed the mind-set of the establishment one iota.

    2. There is so much of this stuff, covering every aspect of life, that it’s an overwhelming obsession on the part of the establishment, to the extent that it must be a massive distraction from the real job of trying to run the country (whether the UK, or its constituent parts) properly.

    3. It’s all costing a fortune. A few million here, a few tens of millions there, hundreds of millions for something else, billions for the bigger stuff. It all adds up. It would be good if somebody who can track it all down would add it all up. When they talk about net zero costing less than the alternative (and they seem to assume that the alternative is a world free from human-induced climate change, even though the rest of the world by and large isn’t adopting the UK’s net zero policies) I am sure they have no idea just how much net zero is costing. Those costs should be factored in before repeating the lie that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels.

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  5. Given that the net zero obsession is embedded in all aspects of government policy, one wonders what world these people inhabit:

    “Just Stop Oil protesters leave Grays tunnel after 13 days”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-62790218

    Climate activists have ended a 13-day occupation of a tunnel dug beneath a road in Essex.

    Three Just Stop Oil campaigners were in the tunnel under St Clements Way in Grays, where they had been protesting against what they see as government inaction over climate change.

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  6. How can a transition from wealth to poverty be a “just” one? We’re heading for neo-feudalism if all this comes to fruition.

    It’s a pity Shetland is not well-endowed with woodland, or else the good folk there could revert to burning wood to keep warm. Anecdotally folk in the wilds of Norfolk are stocking up with wood and even coal.

    Regarding energy independence, I don’t see how interconnectors increase it. If you rely on the interconnectors at all, then your security is lower than before. Unless you’re very good friends with the folk on the other end of the cable.

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  7. I forgot to mention the smorgasbord of moron boards. Is there a separate committee for thinking up good acronyms for new committees/quangos? There should be another to keep track of them all. I propose QUACCC. Quango and committee counting committee.

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  8. Jit:

    >It’s a pity Shetland is not well-endowed with woodland, or else the good folk there could revert to burning wood to keep warm<

    Shetlanders have only ever burnt wood if it came free as driftwood. They did burn peat and as far as I know, the peat banks are still there. The only people who would be inconvenienced by a shift back to peat would be those that bought fancy tripled-glazed Swedish kit houses that came with oil-fired central heating.

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  9. SNP and shipbuilding not a good mix, going by current performances they will need 4x the budget and the boats are still not sailing 4 years later.

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  10. James S, indeed:

    “Forget Scottish independence — in the Outer Hebrides, they just want a working ferry service
    Government mismanagement of Scotland’s ferry system risks cutting off islanders’ lifeline.”

    https://www.politico.eu/article/scotland-independence-outer-hebrides-working-ferry-service/

    The word “remote” is greeted with an eye roll by the tight-knit communities of the Outer Hebrides, a collection of spectacular islands off Scotland’s far northwestern coast where residents insist they have all they need.

    But the Scottish government’s mismanagement of its ferry network is in danger of making the word a reality. And 250 miles away, in distant Edinburgh, it’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who’s feeling the heat.

    This year was meant to bring the first “normal” summer tourism season in Scotland since the coronavirus lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 — yet islanders and tourists alike have been plagued by a litany of issues caused by massive disruption to the Hebrides’ all-important ferry services, which connect the separate islands to one another and provide a lifeline link to the mainland.

    “Every morning the first thing I do — everyone’s got the app — is to go through and see which ones are off,” Hebridean business owner Kenny MacLeod told POLITICO, while flicking through a ferry service application on his mobile phone which confirmed a depressing array of “amber” and “red” status updates next to various routes…

    …Much ire has been directed at a Scottish government decision to award the contract for two new vessels to a now-nationalized Scottish shipyard in 2015. The ships are now four years late and forecast to cost double their original budget, while the decision to award the contract has been sharply criticized in a report by Scotland’s independent auditor….

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  11. Three simple points: 1. If carbon capture and storage can be made to work, all “dirty” sources of fuel are acceptable, including coal!
    2. Switching to hydrogen means burning it to produce heat and H2O, i.e. water, and water vapour is the worst GHG there is, much worse than CO2 at 400ppm. So, no gain there if you are trying to stop “global warming”!
    3. Drax burns wood, instead of coal, and we pay them huge subsidies to do it. BUT for each unit of electricity the wood produces, coal would produce LESS CO2 – and reducing that is the reason for them switching from coal to wood. Make sense of that, please!

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  12. Ken, re item 2 in your list: water is strongly altitude limited in the atmosphere. It condenses and falls back to earth. You can pump as much of it into the atmosphere as you like, and the concentration won’t change.

    Regarding item 3: the CO2 savings from burning wood is an accounting trick, unless the forest that is burnt was a barren wasteland on which a forest was grown for the purpose of burning in Drax. As things are, we have mature forests that are cut down, making an initial debt that will take decades to pay back, but will never be fully repaid thanks to transport and other emissions.

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  13. Jit, I have huge respect for your offerings here, but you must agree that the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere varies with time and place, so deciding to add a vast amount more (once hundreds of cars and trucks run on H2, and it used for heating as well) is not a sensible way to reduce GHG!
    Agree on the stupidity of supporting Drax burning wood – biomass, and hence excellent! 5% of our electricity is from biomass as I write…

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  14. Ken, you are free to disagree, which is the bedrock of scepticism and is actively encouraged here.* However, as well as the short residence time of water in the atmosphere, we also have to contend with the relative size of the fluxes.

    Let us say that humanity is emitting 40Gt CO2 per year. If this was all from burning methane, it would produce 32Gt of H2O.

    The following water cycle data I take from (ahem) Wiki:

    Total annual evapotranspiration amounts to approximately 505,000 km3 (121,000 cu mi) of water, 434,000 km3 (104,000 cu mi) of which evaporates from the oceans.

    32Gt of H2O is roughly 32 km3. The natural flux is much larger than the “anthropogenic.”

    [The figure for evapotranspiration is equivalent to the figure for rain and snow; it is a cycle.]

    ==

    *I read this striking quote on Mark Steyn’s website yesterday, originally from GK Chesterton:

    A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.

    https://www.steynonline.com/12784/going-with-the-flow

    [Edit: no-one spotted the deliberate mistake. I have doubled our emissions of H2O from 16Gt to 32Gt because I forgot that for every molecule of methane burnt, you get 2 molecules of H2O.]

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  15. There will be yet another WEET conference on 12th January 2023. This one is headed “Next steps for UK heat and heat networks. Government strategy, market frameworks, heat pumps, and decarbonising buildings”. Anyone (XR and Insulate Britain, please take note) who thinks that the net zero insanity isn’t embedded into absolutely facet of public life hasn’t been paying attention.

    Apparently, we have a Director for Net Zero Buildings – Clean Heat, BEIS (he will be in attendance and will participate in a keynote session). Areas of discussion will include sector challenges, priorities for expansion and growth, the rollout of heat pumps, and opportunities for zoning – as well as the skills pipeline, the policy landscape for decarbonisation and net-zero, and the phase-out of gas and oil boilers in new-build homes by 2025.

    Delegates will assess progress towards the Heat and Buildings Strategy, as well as more recent developments announced in the Energy Security Bill, which outlined Ofgem’s new role as regulator of heat networks.

    The UK Heat & Buildings Strategy can be found here:

    Click to access 6.7408_BEIS_Clean_Heat_Heat___Buildings_Strategy_Stage_2_v5_WEB.pdf

    Including front and back covers etc, it runs to 244 pages, so please don’t expect a summary from me!

    A couple of the key areas for discussion are particularly interesting:

    “barriers to heat network expansion – efficiency measures – zoning – the skills pipeline
    implementation and impact on households and businesses – behavioural change – supply chain requirements – affordable low carbon heat alternatives”.

    I note the almost casually inserted “behavioural change”. That seems to be a steadily increasing part of the net zero agenda. We (the plebs) will have to change our behaviour.

    Relevant developments:

    Relevant developments

    – Energy Security Bill – recently introduced into Parliament, with details including:

    o Energy Security Bill Factsheet: Heat Networks Regulation and Zoning

    o appointment of Ofgem as the new regulator for heat networks with oversight for pricing and reliable supply

    o the establishment of a Zoning Coordinator role to enforce use of district heating solutions – expected to be fulfilled by local government

    o the provision of a new market standard and trading scheme for electric heat pumps in the consumer market

    – Heat Pump Ready Programme: Stream 1 Phase 1 projects – announced by BEIS to support the development and trial of solutions for the deployment of domestic heat pumps at high density

    – Recovering the costs of heat networks regulation – consultation outcome by BEIS, announcing that Ofgem’s and Citizens Advice’s total ongoing costs of regulating the networks will be spread evenly across consumer bills

    o The National Housing Federation has warned that 400,000 households in England are not protected by the government’s energy price cap

    – Proposals for heat network zoning – following the recent consultation, BEIS has set out plans for elements of the proposed framework, which include:

    o the development of a nationwide methodology to identify and design heat network zones

    o the establishment of a new zoning coordinator role

    o the condition for heat networks developed in zones to meet low carbon requirements

    – Green Heat Network Fund – running until 2025, the £288m grant fund will go towards low carbon technologies to help deliver clean heating to homes, and commercial and public buildings

    – Spring Statement 2022 – including announcements that:

    o VAT on energy saving materials, such as heat pumps and roof insulation, will be cut from 5% to 0% for five years

    o a 100% relief for eligible low-carbon heat networks will also be available

    – Boiler Upgrade Scheme – provision of grants for property owners to install low carbon heating systems

    – £54m heat network funding helps households ditch fossil fuels – from BEIS, to be split between four heat networks in England, assisting nearly 28,000 homes and businesses

    – Heat and Buildings Strategy – from BEIS in Autumn 2021, setting out plans to decarbonise UK homes, as well as commercial, industrial, and public sector buildings, to meet net-zero ambitions by 2050

    – Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) – supporting policies within the HNIP to help UK homes, universities, and public buildings becoming cleaner and more affordable

    – Progress on building a fairer, greener Scotland – the Scottish Government has announced £16.2m in funding for five zero emission heat networks to cut carbon emissions in homes and commercial properties

    o Scotland’s Heat Network fund will offer long term funding support to deliver more climate friendly ways of heating Scotland’s homes and buildings

    There’s another third of a billion pounds casually being splashed out.

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  16. Jit, thanks for the information on water vapour. Naturally, water is a major constituent of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but I noted that you did not give any figures for CO2. Even now, it is no more than 420ppm, and yet that level is taken as the reason for a total change in our use of fossil fuels, and hence a total change in our way of living, eschewing more or less everything we use in our daily lives.
    That is the reason behind Net Zero and it is total madness, and I question the motives of all who espouse it.

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  17. Ken, in Denierland I estimated the atmospheric stock of carbon to be 850 Gt, with 5 Gt added annually. [Multiply by 44/12 to get to the mass of CO2.]

    I also noted that CO2 does not reach toxic levels until 2500 ppm at minimum, which would be impossible to obtain if we burnt every hydrocarbon we could find.

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  18. Agreed. Enough said. Can we persuade our political leaders, not to mention XR, etc.???

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  19. Net Zero, mad in so many ways. I like to recall Primo Levi, chemist and writer, writing
    about carbon , ‘the key of living substances,’ set himself to write about the life of a carbon
    atom released from a bed of carbon…

    ‘It is again among us, in a glass of milk. It is inserted in a very complex, long chain, yet
    such that almost all of its links are acceptable to the human body. It is swallowed; and
    since every living structure harbours a savage distrust toward every contribution of any
    material of living origin, the chain is meticulously broken apart and the fragments, one by
    one, are accepted or rejected. One, the one that concerns us, crosses the intestinal
    threshold and enters the bloodstream: it migrates, knocks at the door of a nerve cell,
    enters, and supplants the carbon which was part of it. This cell belongs to a brain, and it
    is my brain, the brain of the me who is writing; and the cell in question, and within it the
    atom in question, is in charge of my writing, in a gigantic minuscule game which nobody
    has yet described. It is that which at this instant, issuing out of a labyrinthine tangle of
    yeses and nos, makes my hand run along a certain path on the paper, mark it with these
    volutes that are signs: a double snap, up and down, between two levels of energy, guides
    this hand of mine to impress on the paper this dot, here, this one.’

    Primo Levi, The Periodic Table

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ken, XR are rebelling in favour of extinction, rather than against it as they believe.

    Beth, a book that everyone should read. [With an off-camera tragic ending.]

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Another WEET conference will take place on 6th December 2022 on “Next steps for UK green finance – Policy developments, regulation, new markets, place, trust and UK global positioning”.

    From this we learn that there is a Head, Green Finance Unit, HM Treasury, and there are organisations such as Bankers for Net-Zero; Green Finance Institute; UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF); and the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment.

    These bits caught my eye:

    2022 Progress Report to Parliament – the CCC’s report highlights issues with the current approach to emissions reduction, including:

    o the absence of credible plans to meet 61% of emission reduction requirements and a total lack of plans for 5% of emissions

    o significant risks in the reduction plans for certain sectors including manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and aviation

    o a lack of effective co-ordination in the implementation of current plans and the absence of contingency plans to manage the risks associated with implementation

    – Green upgrades for public buildings ­- up to £635m of funding will be made available to public sector organisations so they can install low carbon heating and energy efficiency measures.

    Interpretation – a target has been announced, there isn’t a credible plan to achieve it, such plans as there are might not work, are uncoordinated and risky, but loads of money is being thrown at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Mark – seems to me it’s time for Truss to knock heads together, it’s all pie in the sky stuff, but will it happen?

    ps – my target for next year is to win the lottery & keep my thoughts to myself.

    Like

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