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Turbophobic Tory MEP Favours Fracking

Renewables scourge Struan Stevenson backs a new ‘dash for gas’

Struan Stevenson, Tory MEP for Scotland, is also president of the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Intergroup in the European Parliament. On the MEP’s website  it says Struan is a ‘firm believer in renewable energy’.

However, Stevenson is resolutely opposed to windfarms, supported The Donald’s recent attack on the Scottish government’s energy policies and most recently came out against marine renewables  as well with a daft claim that they would damage seagrass  ‘blue carbon’ sinks.

Now in an article in today’s Scotland on Sunday   Stevenson is waving the flag for fracking. This must surely destroy the last shred of credibility he has as an alleged  supporter of renewables. Gas is not renewable, it is not low carbon and it is not clean.

In the article Stevenson repeats the usual garbage, claiming   that wind turbines stand idle 75% of the time, that the cause of rising gas prices is the need to provide back-up for wind and that the primary cause of fuel poverty in Scotland is renewables subsidies. Meanwhile he calms fears about fracking with asinine comments like:

‘Shell say . .  that as long as well shafts are properly sealed with concrete there is negligible risk . . . ‘ –   conveniently overlooking the biggest environmental contamination incident in recent years, Deepwater Horizon, which was triggered by a faulty cement job.

What exactly is this guy  doing on a Climate Change group?  What a farce.

4 Responses to “Turbophobic Tory MEP Favours Fracking”

  • ParaHandy:

    On the other hand, oh yes, on the other hand …. to find an MEP anywhere in the UK willing and able to be doing something other than collecting his/her expenses is welcome (however much bollocks he/she spouts). Glass half full, see?

    Shell have found it convenient to suggest that the Gulf was a uniquely BP event and of no interest to Shell … re-writing history, they are, over in the Hague. 7 sisters? 7 bitches more like

  • spanner:

    Stevenson is of course wrong in saying that wind turbines remain idle 75% of the time. I think what he means is that they will produce only 25% of their Nameplate Capacity on average over a year.
    I think it is an uncontested fact that wind generation needs back up(CCGT being the most effective) and the greater the penetration of wind generation the greater amount of back up that is required. As has been found in Danemark the increased developement of wind turbines has not reduced C02 emmissions.
    It is however interesting to note that FM Salmond has not introduced a ban on ‘fracking’. There are huge amounts of Oil shale being discovered throughout the world eg the Bakken field in America and the vast Russian Bazenhof field in western Siberia.
    The cost of gas will plummet no doubt making subsidised wind generation look very expensive indeed.

    With Gazprom and Chinese energy companies wanting to invest in the Gas Power Plant at Sutton Bridge I think we can see what they intend to do with their ‘fracked shale Gas’. Like it or not we’re going to need it.

    Deepwater Horizon was indeed a faulty cement job. This was carried out at a depth of 5000ft undersea and can hardly be compared the the same process being carried out on land where there is ‘fracking’ for shale gas and inspectors on site.

    Stevenson’s article is persuasive if the potential and experience of other countries is taken into account and it is probably why FM Salmond hasn’t ruled it out in the same way as he welcomes deep water drilling off shetland for (“filthy”? ) oil.

  • admin:

    A cement job is a cement job and the same QC procedures are in place offshore and onshore. (Yes, I have worked n the drilling industry – both onshore and offshore). We cannot trust drilling companies to behave themselves. The glib promises that fracking will be safe, clean and painless are just industry spin – but hopefully the UK will be rather more stringent in its regulation of the industry than the US has been.

    If shale gas can be produced and burnt at a lower carbon cost than coal or oil (and that is a big if) then it makes sense to use home-produced gas in the new CCGT stations being built, but it also makes sense – indeed is essential in terms of emissions – to keep fossil fuel burn to a minimum.

    Of course, gas and nuclear are to an extent mutually incompatible as a high carbon floor price is a prerequisite for new nuclear build. Personally, if we are to going to back away from a major expansion of renewables then I would rather see new nuclear build than gas, with gas being used solely as a ‘fast start’ option to balance renewables.

    If you accept the real and present danger posed by unrestricted emissions then you will agree that we need to take conventional economics out of the situation and replace it with carbon economics. If on the other hand you think climate change is a conspiracy then you will of course disagree and there is no point in discussing the issue.

    • ParaHandy:

      Be careful about Gas. The most efficient or timeous gas generation at the margins in a mix which includes intermittent generation, is OCGT or open cycle. However, carbon emissions from OCGT are comparable to coal and it is easy to switch a CCGT system to OCGT.

      There just isn’t any easy ‘fix’ with carbon.

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