4 comments on “Chris Huhne – the Bumbling Energy Minister

  1. Maybe this is another case of the Civil Service needing a lot more scientists on its staff. They’ve never been good at looking at issues involving science. This attitude to the Severn Barrier is unbelievable.

    • I certainly agree with you about that. But the point is that Chris Huhne should be on top of his brief. Even if he doesn’t understand the science himself, he should be up to asking awkward questions.

      Here’s a quote from the civil service report:

      In the light of these findings the Government does not see a strategic case to bring forward a Severn tidal power scheme in the immediate term. The costs and risks for the taxpayer and energy consumer would be excessive compared to other low-carbon energy options.
      Furthermore, regulatory barriers create uncertainties that would add to the cost and risk of construction. The Government believes that other options, such as the expansion of wind energy, carbon capture and storage and nuclear power without public subsidy, represent a better deal for taxpayers and consumers at this time.

      “Regulatory barriers create uncertainties that would add to the cost and risk of construction”!!! Really, Mr Huhne ought to be able to see through utter garbage like that.

  2. ‘taking into account likely decommissioning and waste disposal costs as well as the cost of construction.’

    Although in fairness that will be paid out a lot later and hopefully when the PSBR is back under control – a bit like pensions – rather than a barrage where 90% of the cost is upfront.

    As you know, I blogged on this before, and I think there were pretty serious unresolved issues with the scheme – most of all, the amount of material carried in suspension in the river and the question of traffic to Bristol.

    However, that wouldn’t have stopped the building of a half a dozen smaller tidal lagoons at strategic points around the coast for much the same cost as the full barrage – one in the Severn, one in the Thames, one in the Humber, one in the Forth, one in the Mersey, etc. They would have been better than one big barrage trying to power a whole country (Wales) because less would have been lost in transmission. Moreover, they allow for more security.

    I think this is really a failure of political imagination. The engineering technology, as you say, is in place and has been for decades. We just don’t have politicians who think properly on a national scale.

    Incidentally, re. Hain – everyone in Wales was really disappointed when he got back in despite losing every proper election he’s fought (Castellnedd doesn’t count). It’s worse even than Cheryl Gillan, who was at least born in Wales!

    • I completely agree (although I don’t see why we shouldn’t have the full Severn Barrage AND those other schemes you mentioned).

      Given that the report (as I mentioned in the last comment) contains quite a bit of pure drivel it is clear that Huhne hasn’t even bothered to read it.

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