UK drug policy is decades out of date – Charlotte Bowyer writes for CityAM

Head of Digital Policy for the Adam Smith Institute, Charlotte Bowyer, explains how UK drug policy has failed in CityAM.

After months of delays and political squabbles, the Home Office yesterday released its survey of international approaches to drug control. Examining the policies of 13 countries around the world, it failed to find “any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country’s enforcement against drug possession, and levels of drug use in that country”.

The report’s conclusions are at odds with 40 years of government policy, which centres upon the belief that harsh criminal penalties deter the (mis)use of drugs. It must have made for uncomfortable reading.

Read the full article here.

Inequality Is Not the Fed’s Priority - ASI Senior Fellow writes for the New York Times

Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, Tim Worstall, contributes to the Room for Debate, NYTimes Opinion Pages.

There's very little in the monetary toolbox of a central banker that can affect inequality. True, quantitative easing and low interest rates are great for those who own assets, as they can soar in value. But the Fed is doing that to try to stop the economy from worsening, which would be bad for rich and poor alike. The impact on inequality is a very second, even third, order effect. Other than that, there's not really a great deal that the Fed can do about it.

Read the full article here.

ASI report "The Trading Dead" is featured in Fox Business news article

The Adam Smith Institute's report "The Trading Dead: The zombie firms plaguing Britain’s economy, and what to do about them" was featured in a Fox Business news article.

The corporate zombie debate is on fire in the U.K., with 108,000 bankrupt firms still operating in Great Britain due to easy money, barely earning enough to pay the carrying costs on their loans, estimates the Adam Smith Institute, a free-market research shop.

It argues banks should quit giving money to the corporate undead, because it distracts funding away from healthier companies that can create jobs. Instead, it says these companies should be put to rest or restructured, to clear the way for more innovative companies.

"Low interest rates and bank forbearance represent a vast and badly targeted attempt to avoid dealing with the recession,” said Tom Papworth, senior fellow of the institute. “Rather than solving our current crisis, they risk dooming the U.K. to a decade of stagnation."

Papworth added: "We tend to see zombies as slow-moving and faintly laughable works of fiction. Economically, zombies are quite real and hugely damaging, and governments and entrepreneurs cannot simply walk away."

Read the full article here.

As QE ends in the US, has it changed the world for the better? Sam Bowman says yes in the CityAM Forum debate

Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, took part in the CityAM Forum debate, arguing that QE helped avoid another Great Depression.

Many people, including me, expected QE to cause uncontrollable inflation and end in disaster. How wrong we were.

The US and the UK, which did QE, are growing healthily. The Eurozone, which didn’t, is in ruins.

QE helps to keep nominal spending steady during recessions, allowing the real economy to reallocate resources as normal without risking the sort of deflation that can cause mass unemployment, which Milton Friedman showed was the cause of the Great Depression.

Read the full article here.

Author of ASI report "Wind Farms Reassessed" speaks to BBC radio Cambridgeshire and BBC radio Wales

Dr Capell Aris, author of new ASI report “Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation” speaks to BBC radio Cambridgeshire and debates David Clubb on BBC radio Wales about the details of the report. The report, published jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance, severely undermines the case for a move towards more wind generation in the UK because it suggests that wind can never be a major reliable source of energy for the UK. Specifically, the report found that wind farms generate below 20% of their supposed output for 29 weeks a year, and only exceed 90% of their rated output for 17 hours a year.

Listen to Dr Aris on BBC radio Cambridgeshire here:

Listen to Dr Aris on BBC radio Wales here:

ASI report “Wind Power Reassessed” is featured in The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph

A new report, “Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation”, has been featured in The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph. The report, published jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance, severely undermines the case for a move towards more wind generation in the UK because it suggests that wind can never be a major reliable source of energy for the UK. Specifically, the report found that wind farms generate below 20% of their supposed output for 29 weeks a year, and only exceed 90% of their rated output for 17 hours a year.

From The Daily Mail:

Wind farms will never be able to ensure the nation’s lights stay on because they are ‘expensive and deeply inefficient’, it is claimed today.

Confirming the long-held fears of many critics, a new study published by the right-leaning Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance argues the green energy revolution has been an expensive folly.

Researchers found that, on average, wind farms produce 80 per cent of their potential power output for less than one week annually – and they manage 90 per cent output for only 17 hours a year.

Read the full article here.

From The Daily Telegraph:

Wind farms can never be relied upon to keep the lights on in Britain because there are long periods each winter in which they produce barely any power, according to a new report by the Adam Smith Institute.

The huge variation in wind farms' power output means they cannot be counted on to produce energy when needed, and an equivalent amount of generation from traditional fossil fuel plants will be needed as back-up, the study finds.

Wind farm proponents often claim that the intermittent technology can be relied upon because the wind is always blowing somewhere in the UK.

But the report finds that a 10GW fleet of wind farms across the UK could “guarantee” to provide less than two per cent of its maximum output, because “long gaps in significant wind production occur in all seasons”.

Read the full article here.

Ben Southwood discusses ASI report "Wind Farms Reassessed" in op-eds for Spectator Coffee House and the Yorkshire Post

The Adam Smith Institute's Head of Policy, Ben Southwood, discussed the findings of the new ASI report, "Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation”, in op-ed pieces for the Spectator Coffee House and the Yorkshire Post. The report, published jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance, severely undermines the case for a move towards more wind generation in the UK because it suggests that wind can never be a major reliable source of energy for the UK. Specifically, the report found that wind farms generate below 20% of their supposed output for 29 weeks a year, and only exceed 90% of their rated output for 17 hours a year.

From the Spectator, Coffee House:

he UK is quite windy. We need to reduce our carbon emissions. Take these two propositions together and it seems obvious that wind power could be a significant chunk of the solution. We already know that wind-power is costly and nearly always runs way below capacity. But a new paper out todaysuggests the problem is worse than that – its output is so variable and unreliable that we’d need nearly the same amount of fossil fuel capacity alongside wind just to guarantee supply.

The paper, Wind Power Reassessed by Capell Aris, released jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance, looks past the average-efficiency numbers widely available to see how this average is actually arrived at. Dr Aris accessed RAF and civilian data of half-hourly readings at 22 sites across the UK and 21 further sites across Ireland and Northern Europe.

Read the full op-ed here.

From the Yorkshire Post.

IT is widely known that wind farms are inefficient compared to what they could theoretically produce.

Officially, they run at about a quarter 
of their “nameplate” (i.e.potential) capacity. But we have only now discovered just how intermittent and variable wind farms’ electricity output is – a fact which should make us very sceptical about the intention to make it such a large part of the UK’s carbon reduction plans.

This is important – the UK, says the National Grid, is facing its tightest energy crunch in eight years this winter and may be forced to resort to emergency measures to keep the lights on in the event of worse-than-normal weather.

Read the full op-ed here.

Is our present wind fleet really fit for purpose? - Author of new ASI report "Wind Power Reassessed" writes for Conservative Home

Dr Capell Aris, author of the new report Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation”, wrote an op-ed for Conservative Home detailing the findings of the report. The report, published jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and the Scientific Alliance, severely undermines the case for a move towards more wind generation in the UK because it suggests that wind can never be a major reliable source of energy for the UK. Specifically, the report found that wind farms generate below 20% of their supposed output for 29 weeks a year, and only exceed 90% of their rated output for 17 hours a year.

As you drive along the M6 in Lancashire, you pass close to a huge, solitary wind turbine. It’s always rotating in even the lightest winds and you might be impressed, thinking that it’s delivering between two and three megawatts (MW) to the national grid. You are wrong!

In my recent paper Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation, published jointly by the Adam Smith Institute and Scientific Alliance, I have gathered nine years of half-hourly wind data from 22 locations across the UK and used this to drive a model wind fleet comprising more than 3,600 modern wind turbines. The wind fleet is thus roughly the same nameplate capacity as the present UK fleet – 10 gigawatts (GW).

The results are disappointing. The output power surpasses 80 per cent of its rated capacity for just 163 hours of the 8,766 in a year—19 per cent of the time. It passes 90 per cent for only 17 hours a year.

Worse still, the power delivered is below 20 per cent of the available for 3,448 hours (20 weeks) per annum, and below 10 per cent for 1,519 hours (9 weeks) per annum.

Read the full op-ed here.