Monday 13 December 2021

Energy Crisis: Nobody Seems To Care - Yet

The only time the global energy crisis was front and centre in the UK's dozy media was when there was also a completely coincidental "shortage" (i.e. mass hysteria) at the petrol pumps.  That resolved itself, as it was bound to do: at which point everyone stopped gawping at the levels of international wholesale prices of gas and electricity.

This negligence is of course encouraged by Theresa May's domestic energy price cap, under which most of us will be sheltering as our fixed-price deals roll off, and we can't find anything cheaper.  But of course this time-bomb is set to explode in April.

European wholesale 1-year power price for Calendar 2022

Just feast your eyes on this chart; and imagine what's going to happen when this works through to ordinary punters.  I reckon it will be a serious factor in Boris' decision-making on his political future.  Whoever's holding this baby when it goes off will be well-and-truly covered in ordure.   (To mix idioms freely.)

So: when will it get the attention it deserves?



Sobers said...

"So: when will it get the attention it deserves?"

When it reaches the political event horizon, ie when the media realise it can be used to berate the government with, and start to show the bleeding wounds of the publics wallets on TV. If its not on the BBC news, it doesn't happen as far as politics is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Aren't the media in catch-22 situation here?

If they were being honest they can't admit to an energy crisis and the impact this has on the poor without acknowledging the climate policies that they love to trumpet is making the poor poorer.

You'll be able to see the cognitive dissonance at work

DJK said...

Yes, looking at this earlier this morning. Is Boris cunning enough to exit before prices rise in April? That, I rather doubt. In any case, Boris may decide that events could make the price go down again --- or else (war in Ukraine) turbocharge them skywards. If we knew the future we could make some serious money.

Still, your wider point, that this is a political crisis waiting to happen, stands. The only excuse the government might have is that this is a worldwide, or at least Europe-wide event. But then again, covid has taught us that much of the commentariat discusses events here as if the challenges we face all stop at Dover.

John in Cheshire said...

The obvious solution is to:
Curtail the influence of the lefty echo-nutters
Repeal the Climate Change Any
Encourage the refurbishing of existing coal fired power stations and building of new ones
Revisit the Fracking options
Make it attractive for oil and gas companies to develop new oil and gas fields in the North Sea
Re-establish a Nuclear Energy industry

That is, correct all of the lunatic policies that the government has forced on is over the past 30 or so years.

John in Cheshire said...

Corrections to my comment:
Climate Change Act
..forced on us...

Nick Drew said...

Shame - I liked the idea of a lefty echo-nutter ...

andrew said...

It is going to be a crisis because someone thought they could cap the price of electicity / gas.
That is how venezuela got where it is.
May should have been honest and either let people get rather cold (as they did from the dawn of time to about 1980) or upped benefits.

lilith said...

Candles and camping stoves all round! Elby and I are already policing each other turning off lights.. though not yet moved into one room. Hey ho. Cold showers are good for the immune system. One hot meal a day/week? Don't change your creates laundry. Throw away your mobile...all that charging it up is unaffordable and it will stop them putting vax passports onto it.

lilith said...

At least if we can't afford to turn on the telly/radio we won't have to listen to Boris's edicts.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Hinklypoint C guaranteed at least £92.50/MWh

Anonymous said...

Blair's decision to stop new nuclear build in 1998 is (like so many of his decisions) coming back to bite us on the bum.

We have used most of the NS oil/gas and Wee Krankie doesn't want us to use what's left. So we are stuck with a newish design of French reactor (most of our nuclear engineers are now either early in their careers or past retirement) which doesn't work properly.

Nick Drew said...

anon: the Hinkley Point strike price is, via CPI inflationary escalation, is now £106

i.e., if they were generating today (HAH !) they'd be paying back into the kitty, because they'd be getting more than £106 from the market and it's a CfD, not a "guarantee of at least ..."

and if pigs could fly ...

Anonymous said...

ND - If only we had decided to build a few reactors of our own design in 1998, rather than letting them grow old and die! We might still have an aluminium industry as well.

We have the worst of all worlds now, the research/dev is done elsewhere so we don't learn/maintain a skills base, but we pay up.

Did you notice Johnson Matthey pulled out of battery development? I just wonder what exists of our indigenous green energy industry now?

Nick Drew said...

anon - Johnson Matthey? Yes, I know about that. They've been trying to get some kind of unique advantage in batteries for a while, and it hasn't worked out for them (a crowded field). They have much more background in hydrogen - fuel cells and large scale production - and reasonably successful current businesses in these fields: and at the same time as pulling out of batteries, they've made a fairly big play in the H space. So there you go!

E-K said...

On an island of coal and shale the Tories (after 11 years) deserve to be covered in odure.

The party that forced us to become car dependent now telling us "owning your own car is so 20th century"

Well. So is owning your own home and being able to heat it, matey !

What is the Tory party's USP, someone tell me ???

(Speaking to a gas engineer the other day. A heat pump is really dire - tepid and only works (using the word loosely) in a super insulated and hermetically sealed building and that brings its own problems.

By the next general election things are going to be so shit that I cannot see the Tories winning ever again.

E-K said...

PS, being father of twins one agrees that holding a baby when it goes off usually ends up in the holder being covered in ordure.

Anonymous said...

"things are going to be so shit that I cannot see the Tories winning ever again"

We were saying that in 2007 as well, then the "end to boom and bust" went bust. And only 6 months ago people were wondering if Labour could ever win again. "A week is a long time in politics"

A pity Boris was stupid enough to sack Dom.

A pity Dom was stupid enough to **** all over Boris for sacking him, instead of keeping schtum and waiting for the inevitable crises, which are here but with more queueing up.

E-K said...

Anonymous - They were kicked out for 13 years under Major.

13 years will do for me.

Anonymous said...

Just to emphasise again. Hinkley Point C is basically a clone of the French EPR, which is currently 11 years over schedule (it was meant to take less than 5 years to commissioning) and was due to cost 3.3bn euros - now 12bn euros.

Nightmare. But the good news is that Hinkley Point C will cost 25 bn euros, more than twice as much!

Anonymous said...

E-K - labour will be even worse, hard though that might be to visualise right now.

andrew said...

Au contraire anon,

I see the current labour leadership as being true conservatives.

In that I can see them gaining power and then doing absolutely nothing.

That may be for fear of upsetting someone but I care more for the result than the motivation.

Elby the Beserk said...

Johnson? Need to go ASAP else Tories are dead in the water. Country's dead in the water as it is, so no, Labour will I am sure make matters worse when elected.

FUBAR doesn't even begin to describe this.

BTW, Ferguson reckons COP26 kicked off Omicron in the UK, as the hot spots are Glasgow and London.

Beyond angry. These fuckwits are laying waste to the UK.

Thud said...

In last 10 years I've installed, air and ground source plus helped with a borehole heated hotel, all total shite.

Anonymous said...

The slope of that graph is identical to the growth in UK Civil Servants since 2016. Increase of 22%

A coincidence? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

"moving the UK away from volatile foreign fossil fuels" oh the irony.

timing is everything. many years until these turbines will be spinning. the big bet is that battery/hydrogen is good enough by then to save some for days when the wind dont blow. even then its very small compared to the uk gas consumption on a cold day.

Sobers said...

"BTW, Ferguson reckons COP26 kicked off Omicron in the UK, as the hot spots are Glasgow and London."

Could be the best thing that COP26 will achieve, given Omicron is a decent step on the way to covid being no more fatal than the flu, and possibly considerably less so.

Nick Drew said...

anon @ "moving the UK away from volatile foreign fossil fuels" oh the irony

yup. Boris has spouted this crap before. What seems not to be understood is that the more wind power is in the fleet, the MORE volatile* prices will be - and the more linked to "foreign fossil fuels" whenever the wind isn't blowing
*though not necessarily high, on average

Elby the Beserk said...

Well if we used our own abundant supplies of fossil fuels, we wouldn't need any of that AWFUL foreign fossil fuel anyway.

Oh, hold on.

E-K said...

Labour would be worse.

Um... no.