Every time we mention climate change around here we get rather a lot of stick. People insisting that it's not happening, it's just a front to impose the Forward to the Middle Ages movement on us all and so on. And it's even possible that those things are true. However, that's not actually how we look at it. There's a sufficient head of political steam under this process now that we know that people are going to do something about it. Our energy is thus concentrated on trying to make sure that people don't do stupid things about it:
One of Britain’s dozen remaining coal-fired power plants is to be converted to burn wood pellets shipped in from North America, after the European Commission approved a £1bn subsidy contract for the project. RWE's Lynemouth power station in Northumberland is due to close by the end of this year under environmental rules, but will now be resurrected as a biomass plant following EU state aid approval for the consumer-funded subsidies. The 420 megawatt plant, which produces enough electricity to power 450,000 homes, could be up and running again within 18 months, subject to a final investment decision early next year, RWE said.
Shipping a million or more tonnes a year of low energy density wood pellets across the North Atlantic in the name of lower emissions just isn't sensible. In fact, it's stupid. But this is the sort of thing that happens when no one does in fact impose the correct solution to climate change if any solution is in fact needed. That correct solution being the carbon tax which we have been shouting about for this past decade.
The subsidy to this adventure will come in the form of the feed in tariff, at £105 per MWhr. That's more than the subsidy to either wind power or solar for goodness sake. And they don't even have to build the power station to get it, just convert already sunk capital.
This is not, in fact, just stupid, it's insane. And it's exactly the sort of uselessness that a carbon tax would stop. Stick the social cost of carbon into the price system and allow the market to work out what is the cheapest manner to provide the energy that people desire at that price. Rather than politicians and bureaucrats spraying our money around on things that patently are insane.