The bombshell report shows that the cost of green energy will be £319bn by 2030, more than three times the annual NHS budget in England
- The radical shift to green, renewable energy will have cost £319bn by 2030
- The huge sum is three times the annual NHS budget for England
- The policy will be adding an average burden of £584 a year to every household by 2020 and £875 by 2030
- Shocking report takes its calculations from official figures issued by government
A bombshell report reveals today that despite years of promises by Labour, Coalition and Tory governments, the radical shift to ‘green’ renewable energy will have cost the economy £319 billion by 2030 – three times the annual NHS budget for England.
Instead of cutting energy bills, the policy will be adding an average burden of £584 a year to every household by 2020, and £875 by 2030. Yet this is only the start. By 2050, green energy policy will be costing every household £1,390 a year, based on 2014 prices.
The report’s calculations are derived entirely from official figures issued by Government departments and the Office for Budget Responsibility. They reveal for the first time the true cost of levies on bills to fund the shift to renewable energy.
The impact results from the 2008 Climate Change Act, and will be felt mainly by the poorest and so-called JAMs – those families who are ‘just about managing’.
Over the period 2014-2030, the report says, the accumulated burden borne by every household will be £10,800. The countrywide cost to the economy in 2014-2020 will be £95 billion, rising to £319 billion in 2014-2030, and an eye-watering £1.035 trillion from 2014-50, by which time the economy, thanks to the Act, is supposed to have become almost decarbonised.
The report, The Cost Of The Climate Change Act, is by Peter Lilley, the Conservative MP and former Trade Secretary. He was one of only three MPs who voted against the Act, piloted through Parliament by then Labour Energy Secretary Ed Miliband. The report will be published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the think-tank founded by Lord Lawson. Sometimes attacked for its sceptical view of climate science and energy policy, its advisory council includes some of the world’s leading experts.
Senior figures from all main parties have claimed repeatedly that green energy would be good for the economy and save money. In 2005, Chancellor Gordon Brown said most businesses could ‘easily achieve 20 per cent reductions in bills’.
In 2014, the Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey claimed ‘the impact of all the Government’s energy and climate change policies mean that household bills are currently around £90, on average six or seven per cent, lower… than otherwise’. But this, the report says, was ‘an astonishing claim to make of a policy that involves massive subsidies of costly energy sources’.
In fact, as Mr Davey spoke, the Government’s own Climate Change Committee, which sets the country’s ‘carbon budget’ targets under the Act, had quietly issued figures showing that, even then, the average household was paying out £248.
Philip Hammond echoed the claim while he was Foreign Secretary last year by insisting: ‘Renewables… will reduce the cost of energy and the risks of climate change.’
The Act is the world’s most aggressive law, imposing rigid emissions cuts: 35 per cent from the level in 1990 by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050 – a cut so deep it will require total economic restructuring.
Yet it has so far done nothing to reduce the threat of climate change. The report says the UK’s unilateral measures are increasing its carbon footprint, because industries and jobs are being ‘outsourced’ to high-emitting countries such as China and India, and our imports from such countries are rising.
Under the much-vaunted UN Paris Agreement, India is allowed to triple its already-massive coal production by 2030, and has not said when its emissions will peak. China says it will only begin to reduce its emissions after that date.
Mr Lilley’s report says previous calculations of the cost of green energy have been massive underestimates. First, they take no account of the green levies and taxes paid by businesses, two-thirds of the total, assuming they have no impact on consumers. In fact, official figures show, the cost is passed on.
Second, they fail to take account of the huge ‘system costs’ of connecting and managing renewable energy sources by the National Grid, and of paying for back-up fossil fuel plants needed when – as during the recent still, cold spell – neither wind nor solar panels produce more than a tiny fraction of nominal capacity.
Also being hidden is the colossal cost of restructuring the entire economy: if emissions are cut by 80 per cent by 2050, not only will electricity have to come almost entirely from non-fossil fuel, but total output will have to roughly triple, to power millions of electric vehicles and heat most homes.
It is time to pierce ‘the cloud of messianic idealism’ that has so far dominated policy discussion, the report concludes. ‘Only then can we have a realistic debate about the most cost-effective ways of reducing emissions, and whether it is worthwhile sticking to the Climate Change Act targets.’ While JAM families suffer, the rich will prosper. Citing the lucrative payments made to landowners for wind farms and solar panels, former Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull says in a foreword that the only people to benefit will be ‘the better-off, those who own large properties and extensive land, pocketing most of the subsidies’.
An Energy Department spokesman said: ‘Our priority is ensuring families and businesses have a secure, affordable, clean energy supply.’
Now SECOND set of data shows world temperatures have cooled… and spikes were caused by El Nino – NOT by man
New official data issued by the Met Office confirms that world average temperatures have plummeted since the middle of the year at a faster and steeper rate than at any time in the recent past.
The huge fall follows a report by this newspaper that temperatures had cooled after a record spike. Our story showed that these record high temperatures were triggered by naturally occurring but freak conditions caused by El Nino – and not, as had been previously suggested, by the cumulative effects of man-made global warming.
The Mail on Sunday’s report was picked up around the world and widely attacked by green propagandists as being ‘cherry-picked’ and based on ‘misinformation’. The report was, in fact, based on Nasa satellite measurements of temperatures in the lower atmosphere over land – which tend to show worldwide changes first, because the sea retains heat for longer.
Cooling: New Met Office world data shows a big fall from heat spike caused by El Nino this year
It is true that the massive 2015-16 El Nino – probably the strongest ever seen – took place against a steady warming trend, most of which scientists believe has been caused by human emissions
However, now the drop in temperature is also showing up in the authoritative Met Office ‘Hadcrut4’ surface record, compiled from measurements from more than 3,000 weather stations located around the world on both sea and land.
To the end of October, the last month for which figures have been released, Hadcrut4 had fallen about 0.5C from its peak in the spring.
The reason is the end of El Nino. The natural phenomenon, which takes place every few years and has a huge impact on world weather, occurs when water in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America gets up to 3C hotter than usual.
It has now been replaced by a weak La Nina, when the water becomes colder than usual. This means temperatures may still have some way to fall.
El Nino is not caused by greenhouse gases and has nothing to do with climate change. It is true that the massive 2015-16 El Nino – probably the strongest ever seen – took place against a steady warming trend, most of which scientists believe has been caused by human emissions.
But when El Nino was triggering new records earlier this year, some downplayed its effects. For example, the Met Office said it contributed ‘only a few hundredths of a degree’ to the record heat. The size of the current fall suggests that this minimised its impact. When February produced a new hot record for that month, at the very peak of El Nino, newspapers in several countries claimed that this amounted to a ‘global climate emergency’, and showed the world was ‘hurtling’ towards the point when global warming would become truly dangerous. Now, apparently, the immediate threat has passed. It would be just as misleading to say lower temperatures caused by La Nina meant the world was into a new long-term cooling.
The Mail on Sunday’s report was picked up around the world and widely attacked by green propagandists as being ‘cherry-picked’ and based on ‘misinformation’
But the big question is: what will happen when both El Nino and La Nina are over and the Pacific water returns to its ‘neutral’, average state? Professor Judith Curry, of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, who is president of the Climate Forecast Applications Network, said it would take years before it was clear whether the long-term warming trend was slowing down, staying the same or accelerating.
‘The bottom line is that we can’t read too much into the temperatures of a year or two,’ she said. ‘We will need the perspective of another five years to understand what is going on.’
The Mail on Sunday report two weeks ago, showing that world temperatures are fast falling from their record peak, triggered outrage from green lobbyists and rival papers around the world.
There were claims – now exploded by the Met Office data shown here – that our report was ‘misleading’ and ‘cherry-picked’.
Yet bizarrely, the fiercest criticism was reserved for claims we never made – that there isn’t a long-term warming trend, mainly caused by human emissions.
This just wasn’t in our report – which presumably, critics hadn’t even read.