Bute Energy Selling Wales For Danegeld?

Yeah, yeah, retirement. If only!

THE STORY SO FAR . . .

I’m returning to a subject I’ve tackled before because there have been developments. But before the update we’ll do a quick recap.

Bute Energy Ltd, operating through a host of other new companies, hopes to build some 20 wind farms (at the last count) across Wales. Bute Energy is based in London. (With an Edinburgh pied-à-terre.)

This company is owned by Windward Enterprises Ltd, which was formed 31.05.2018. With Windward Enterprises owned by Windward Global Ltd, which was given life in May 2017 under a different name and perhaps for a different purpose.

Windward Global is controlled by Oliver James Millican who, when accompanied by Stuart Allan George and Lawson Douglas Steele, are the only directors found for most, if not all, the yearlings in the Bute stable.

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The reason for the Bute boys choosing Wales is partly that England is reluctant to take onshore wind turbines, and partly that the soi-disant ‘Welsh Government’ has worked itself into a frenzy of planet-saving self-righteousness. To the point where it cannot be long before sackcloth and ashes become de rigeur among the worshippers of Deryn.

Which some of you might view as noble and altruistic.

Less commendable – but truer to type – is Labour Party insiders being given sinecures. Explained here in Corruption Is Such An Ugly Word . . . But I Can’t Think Of Anything Else To Call It!

Don’t that title just trip off the tongue!

Having alluded to a multiplicity of companies involved in the Bute wind farm offensive I’d better give you a link to the updated list of those entities.

DEVELOPMENTS

The working assumption was that a new company called Bute, presumably representing City investors, had come to an arrangement with the ‘Welsh Government’.

The deal being the one I just outlined: that in return for keeping Drakeford and his gang in Greta’s good books, and for taking on a few Labour lags, Bute would be allowed to build wind farms just about anywhere they wanted – planning permission guaranteed from Lesley Griffiths MS (and Gary).

Lesley Griffiths (and Gary) with Plaid Cymru MS Elin Jones. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

I recently learnt of a couple of new stars in the Bute constellation.

The first is Grayling Capital Operations Ltd, formed 02.11.2021. This is controlled by Grayling Capital Holdings Ltd. Which is in turn owned by Windward Global Ltd, which we looked at just now.

The other new arrival is Grayling Capital Investments Ltd. This is also controlled by Grayling Capital Holdings Ltd and then, by extension, Windward Global Ltd.

Other news from last week was that Windward Cambria Ltd, formed 08.10.2021, had changed its name to Bute Energy Development Holdings Ltd. This company is controlled by Windward Enterprises Ltd. Which is in turn – and again! – owned by Windward Global Ltd.

Complicated, innit?

Then, in updates received from Companies House last week, I learnt that Bute Energy Ltd and Bute Energy Development Holdings Ltd had taken out loans, or found investors.

Bute Energy owns Bute Energy (Cambria) Ltd, the first link in the chain of ownership for the 20 wind farms on the list I linked to earlier. (Here it is again.) Which means that all the Bute wind farms in Wales are covered by the loan to Bute Energy.

The locations of the Bute Energy wind farms. Click to open enlarged in separate tab

As for the loan to Bute Energy Development Holdings Ltd, seeing as it’s a relatively new company – just over 4 months old – I’m sure we’ll learn more in the near future.

The name that came with the loans is, ‘CI IV Dragon Lender Ltd’.

I’d like to tell you that this is a new Welsh financial institution created with the backing of a pro-business administration in Corruption Bay.

I’d like to, but I don’t do fairy tales.

Explaining who we’re dealing with here is quite complicated, so please bear with me. The company number given on the debenture documents is 13816597, and this is indeed the number for CI IV Dragon Lender Ltd.

Set up as recently as 23 December last year this company, with an address in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, is owned by CI IV Dragon Holdco Ltd, which shares the Rotherham address, and was formed on the same day.

Fancy that!

It’s reasonable to assume that ‘Dragon’ is a reference to Wales, and the 20 wind farms Bute has planned for our country.

The single share issued by Dragon Holdco is held by CI IV Transfer Coöperateif  UA, of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

There are a number of other CI IV companies registered with Companies House. None of which go back further than March, 2020. Many link with Scottish projects, and use as their address, 115 George Street, Edinburgh.

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Some of you may remember George Street from earlier postings. It’s the New Town office of the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (ESPC), used by Millican and his mates.

So who or what is ‘CI IV’? The answer is that it stands for Copenhagen Investments 4. The answer was found through this Linkedin page.

It’s an investment fund and part of the Copenhagen Infrastructure Service Co. Here’s the link to the website for Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. This outfit will invest your money in wind energy and similar projects.

As we read under the ‘News’ tab, ‘CIP is the world’s largest dedicated fund manager within greenfield renewable energy investments’.

Here’s the page for CI IV. The map obviously hasn’t caught up with latest developments in Wales. Which may be understandable, given that Companies House wasn’t notified of the deals until last Thursday. (Though I’m sure negotiations between Bute and CIP had been going on for some time.)

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A search for ‘Bute’ on the CIP website turned up nothing, but I did find another reference to Wales. For this page tells us, ‘Copenhagen Infrastructure 1 has invested GBP ~155m of equity for a 49% stake in Falck Renewables S.p.A.’s (Falck) operational onshore wind portfolio in Scotland and Wales.’

In this portfolio we find Cefn Croes wind farm in Ceredigion.

This buy-in was financed by PensionDanmark. Which means that a wind farm in Ceredigion is now jointly owned by a Danish pension fund and an Italian company.

With all involved expecting to make a pile of money. Well, everybody except the locals; who’ll end up with crumbs, from their own table.

And perhaps flooding.

The only question remaining, for me is this: Was Bute Energy acting all along as a stalking-horse for others, or did Bute get its foot in the door and then look around for the investment needed to realise its ambitions?

Did the ‘Welsh Government’ care either way?

UPDATE: I found this from December ’21. Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, worries about German pension funds profiting from offshore wind farms. Waters’ gang in Corruption Bay has no control over offshore wind farms.

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Is he also concerned about onshore wind farms – for which his ‘Welsh Government’ will have to give planning permission – benefitting Danish pension funds?

One to watch?

THOUGHTS

When the ‘Welsh Government’ decided that our homeland was to become an al fresco power station those mighty intellects were confronted with three options as to how they might go about achieving that objective.

They could have . . .

  • Invested in Welsh companies to build the turbines, and other Welsh companies to generate electricity. Thereby creating thousands of jobs and enriching the country.
  • Followed their socialist instincts and had our wind farms run by a body owning them for the nation; or else local groups could have owned individual wind farms. (As appears to be happening in Scotland.)
  • Acted like a pimp and invited violators and exploiters to do what they wished with Mam Cymru.

As we know, to our cost, the ‘Welsh Government’ chose the third of those options. All the while trying to justify the betrayal by whimpering about a ‘climate emergency’.

Which goes some way to explaining why these latest developments involve companies and investment fund managers from Denmark, a country not much bigger than Wales, and with none of our natural resources.

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I have no doubt that Denmark is one of the countries the ‘progressive’ consensus in Corruption Bay looks up to, and wants Wales to copy. A kind-of socialist country with a high standard of living, first-class infrastructure, and health and social services that most countries can only dream of.

But how do the denizens of the Bay think these goodies are paid for? Do they believe that Denmark gets a block grant every year, perhaps from Berlin, or maybe Brussels?

The truth is that the Danes have their little piece of heaven thanks to a healthy economy of their own. Due to the likes of the Maersk Group (value, 2018: $28.1bn), the Carlsberg Group ($19.3bn), and Danske Bank (£16.6bn, 5m+ retail customers).

Apropos this article, another reason the luvvies of the Bay look towards Denmark is because the Danes are soooo committed to renewable energy.

Let’s compare the Danish approach to renewables with that of our esteemed tribunes.

The Danes design turbines, and build them at home and abroad. Either way, the money ends up back in the land of the Little Mermaid. Big in this field is Vestas Wind Systems (value, 2018: $17.9bn). And as we’ve seen in this article, there are also the Danish investment funds.

So, one way or another, Denmark gets 100% of the economic benefit from wind turbines erected in and off Denmark, and a healthy slice of the moolah for turbines erected elsewhere. Especially in ‘welcoming’ countries like Wales.

Wales sees only ‘community funds’. The modern equivalent of beads and blankets.

This kind of relationship used to be called colonialism. The sort of thing socialists and ‘progressives’ railed against. Presumably, the ‘Welsh Government’ now believes that such exploitation is OK if it can be greenwashed.

However we look at, ‘renewable energy’ has been one of the biggest rip-offs in Welsh history. Anyone who thinks this exploitation is acceptable because we’re ‘saving the planet’ is either a fool or a liar.

Bute Energy, in various manifestations, with addresses in London and Edinburgh has, for a minimal outlay, landed itself at least 20 wind farms in Wales that it can now exploit with foreign investment, or sell off entirely for a vast profit.

Wales will see none of that money, no jobs, and no other benefits . . . unless of course you’re well connected with the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party.

AND FINALLY . . .

I don’t for one second blame Danish companies for making money; for providing jobs and creating wealth for Denmark and the Danish people. Nor do I attach any blame to Danish politicians for encouraging this entrepreneurialism.

That is what they are supposed to do.

The blame for the growing inequalities between two small European countries, and the growing exploitation of one by the other, rests entirely on the shoulders of those posturing clowns in Cardiff.

They who have failed us, the Welsh people, time after time.

Let’s emulate Denmark by all means. And Ireland, which wants to erect – in Wales, of course! – the UK’s tallest wind turbines.

But let’s remember there can be no substantive improvement until we sever the English connection. Another slavering simian we need to get off our back is a socialism that prioritises gestures and identity politics over the material well-being of our people.

♦ end ♦

© Royston Jones 2022


66 thoughts on “Bute Energy Selling Wales For Danegeld?

  1. RobaRoy splendidly exposes the so called concerns of Murky Waters about the amount German Pension Funds are reaping money from the despoiled Welsh landscape via Wind Turbines approved by Murky and his Senedd Comrades. RobaRoy is also rightly concerned about how many Labour controlled Welsh Council invest their Staff Pension funds in Carbon spewing industries. Freedom of Information Questions need to be asked about the portfolios of such funds that Labour directs investment into. Is it only now that Murky has become aware that foreign investors have profited from Wales’ many Wind Turbine complexes? All so easily granted Planning Permission by the Assembly, now Senedd, Labour Government over the past decade or more, in which Murky is now a JUNIOR Minister. Off the top of my head these foreign investors have been from Denmark; Germany; Ireland (including Irish State owned); Spanish and even the ‘Toxic Texan’ ENRON (that was beloved by Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion before it folded). All taking advantage of the Assembly / Senedd soft touch Planning Policies. Now as Jac has just exposed we have a new major facilitator in ‘Bute Energy’ oozing with Labour smoothies. Wales is also the only ‘soft touch’ in the UK for the Brighton Council Policies of ‘One Planet’ off-grid mini colonies for good lifers in Britain. Here is Murky’s sort of CV which shows he has lived all his life in the political Cardiff Bay bubble atmosphere :- https://profilesinfo.com/lee-waters-wiki-networth-age/

  2. Dafis

    Came across this snippet of news a day or 2 ago.
    https://www.dw.com/en/italy-new-etna-eruption-spews-ash-and-closes-airport/a-60864685

    Seems to have been overlooked with all the rumpus about Putin’s gang upcoming tussle with the other bunch of Fascists in Ukraine. One thing for sure in any contest between Etna’s eruptions and the entire army of net zero windbags and scammers my money is on Etna coming out tops every time. Each time the old mountain burps it’s as though its telling Greta and all her disciples to fuck right off. Nature has its own way of polluting short term but enriches the soil long term. And CO2 plays a part in that process.

  3. RobaRay

    Re your update, Murky Waters, is concerned about Germany Pension funds benefiting from Wind farms, in Wales. Strange that a large number of Welsh Labour run council’s have invested Billions in Fossil fuels, but climate change is now a priority. Hypocrites?

    1. How dare you comment on this blog suggesting that some Labour politicians might be hypocrites! You scoundrel, you!

  4. Lyn Jenkins

    The huge concrete bases of wind turbines can NEVER be removed even if the rest is taken away after 25 years. Therefore, land can NEVER be returned to a pristine natural state.
    Can someone please tell me how big the concrete bas of a 825ft wind turbine has to be? 21 of these 825ft leviathans are planned for “Y Bryn Windfarm” above Port Talbot. Eiffel Tower is ONLY 1060ft !! The 21 monsters will need flashing lights 24/7.
    How safe will it be for air ambulances heading for Morriston Hospital ? What about Police helicopters in a populous area?
    What about flash flooding in the Afan Valley and from Ffrwd Wyllt brook ,whose catchment area will be almost completely covered in tarmac and concrete? Taibach , Port Talbot, could well suffer flooding.

  5. As regards the Danes, and by extension the wider Scandinavian, and further extension European way of doing things. To any ideologue or zealot, or just plain blowhardy thick cunt who thinks it’s pre-ordained that governments can’t ever effectively run things, a simple seven words: Deutsche Bahn Run Trains Here For Profit. I said to my dad the other day that the Senedd [sic] is grist to the mill for every spam-faced, harrumphing gobshite who salutes his queen and was already convinced that Taffy could never operate without Britannia, within and without. You could not make up a better ‘legislature’ for unionists to ejaculate strawmen and non-sequiturs over in their arguments.

    1. Further to my wine-powered comment last night, got a pamphlet through the post today detailing the now illegality of giving your child a clip round the ear or a smack on the bum. Be interesting to see how these do-gooding meddlers or their successors react in coming when there’s hordes of delinquent little bastards up to all sorts of mischief. Nuance, degree and kind are foreign concepts to these busybodying bastards with their conflations. I don’t have children myself but even I can tell that mild physical punishment is light years removed from the actions of sub-humans who batter their children.

  6. Just adding and asking a few points to this debate. As the existing Wind Turbines come to end of their working lives, which was said to be :- “After 25 yrs life and we’ll take them away”. How gullible our Politicians have been. What was really meant by that was :- “That after 25 yrs we will scrap the old Towers, and fail to recycle the blades and parts of the magnetics and leave the concrete bases there for ever!”. Then if public money is again available for subsidies :- “We may use the bases and other infrastructure to replace the old 200 to 300 footers with new breed Wind Turbines over a 1,000 ft tall!”. Even those monsters will rely on erratic windy weather not too weak and not too strong. World beaters are already planned for Bryn near Maesteg / Port Talbot.
    As for Jonathan Dean harping on about his beloved Hydrogen Economy can he give us a precise formula for mass producing Hydrogen commercially. Not a simple schoolboy chemical equation Mr Dean. Please give us the exact ENERGY EQUATIONS of energy in to break the molecular bonds of whatever the hydrogen is compounded to, and then the energy out when we use it. Each compound will have different molecular bond strengths. That should clearly show a surplus according to Mr Dean but how much precisely is the positive gain margin for a given mass? Is it massive or minor? Answers with facts please not bluster.There is no such thing as free Hydrogen floating around. Not free in cost nor in a free element state.

    1. Wynne

      What I would like to see is a “whole-life benefit v cost analysis” of a wind farm project. That would require initial capital cost together with future management / maintenance cost to be taken into consideration over a future timeline of at least 30 years or longer. Decommissioning costs and environmental restoration costs should also be assessed. Future monetary costs and monetary benefits would be discounted to present value using the Treasury discount rate. Town planners should be requesting this information when wind farm projects are promoted. Planning permissions should be subject to legal agreements [S.106 agreements] with developers setting out future management obligations and how the environment is to be restored to its former glory when these monstrosities are eventually removed. Whether enforcement action is taken for non compliance is another matter.

      1. If the ‘Welsh Government’ ever went down that path it would set up a committee of all genders, identities and minorities, and that committee would conclude that after a long, productive and trouble-free life – and after killing no dickie-birds – the wind turbines would be wished away, and the landscape restored, by a troupe of non-binary and inclusive fairies waving their magic wands, leaving nothing but smiling, hopping bunny-wunnies.

        1. With all possible combinations of all possible demographics/identities that are out there these days, before too long it all becomes a bit exponential and there won’t be enough people on the planet to fill all the boxes! 🤣

        2. Dafis

          I’m beginning to suspect that you are a script writer for one of those ever so nice inclusivity-rich promoters of safe havens for distressed gender-indeterminate freaks that don’t appear to inhabit my local landscape ( although the bloody turbines are very visible !)

      2. Dafis

        Far too complex for people whose minds are already made up. They don’t want to take all factors into account, just those that cast their pet theories and projects in the best light. That kraut Goebbels must be having a chuckle in whatever place his dark soul is now lurking.

        1. As I read yesterday, this bollocks all starts with the theory, then some twisted form of reality is made to fit the theory. This explains the ‘No debate!‘ position; and the attempts to dismiss all critics and disbelievers as, ‘fascists’, ‘white supremacists’, ‘TERFs’, ‘transphobes’, etc. Groups beyond the Pale and unworthy of debate.

          It will all come crashing down pretty soon because it’s built on sand. The more public exposure it gets the more obvious the inconsistencies and outright lunacies of Wokeism become.

          But this in turn helps explain how it was operated. There was no attempt to gain public support because those behind the rebranded Marxism that is Wonkery knew the public support was not there. Instead, they worked through pressure groups and others with political influence. To the point where politicians were persuaded to impose the Woke absurdities on an unsuspecting public. So much easier in Wales with no register of lobbyists.

          Because of course – the lobbyists said ‘No!’.

          In Ireland, there was widespread support for recognising gay marriage. But what happened was that gender recognition was tagged onto new legislation while the public debate focused almost exclusively on gay marriage.

          These bastards are devious, they are dangerous, they are intolerant, but most of them are just useful idiots serving an agenda of which they’re unaware.

          1. Dafis

            And at a more mundane level I read today that the Comrades down the Bay ( Not proper leftists, but lifestyle lefties who are big pals !) are going to stop anyone making a profit from child minding and other pre school services. They have developed, late in the day, an awareness that some sharks are making big profits.

            Instead of doing some homework i.e analysis and planning as prep for a robust round of negotiation, these dimwits go off on one of their rounds of whining about the injustice of it all. Watch that space cos my money is an a new bunch of “Party friends”, you know Pals and Comrades, turning up with new 3rd sector ventures to displace those nasty profiteers. Of course they’ll be “not for profit”,so virtue intact, but salting away handsome salaries and other benefits.

            Who needs real socialism when this version is so much more rewarding for the cliques ?

          2. Brychan

            Just a corection, Jac. Gender recognition was not tagged onto the legalisation on gay marriage in Ireland as you claim. It was separate legislation. The Gender Recognition Act is separate from the Marriage Act.

            Oireachtas timetable Dáil Éireann then Seanad Éireann.
            13th Feb 2015 – Gender Recognition Act passed.
            22nd May 2015 – Referendum on gay marriage, 62% yes.
            10th Nov 2015 – Marriage Act passed.

            The Marriage Act was a constitutional change so required a referendum. It was a legal challenge that attempted to ‘tag’ the two issues, but the courts ruled that Gender Recognition thing was completely separate and pre-dated Marriage Act, and the constitutional change was valid due to referendum, 62% in favour. The respective legislation was completely separate both through the Dáil and the Seanad and was not ‘tagged’. This misunderstanding is because both Acts have to be signed off by the President before it becomes law. That was as follows.

            15th July 2015 – Gender Recognition Act.
            10th November 2015 – Marriage Act.

            Hope you are able to correct by means of publishing this comment.

            1. I shall correct myself by saying that gender recognition ‘sneaked through’ while everyone was focused on gay marriage. There was nowhere near the same scrutiny or debate.

              1. Brychan

                Not true.
                The GRA was done and dusted in February.
                The MA was didn’t get to Dail until September.
                No “sneak through”.
                Unlike our Senedd or Westminster. TDs can speak freely.
                The people also spoke.
                Don’t impose Brit conspiracy theories on Ireland.

                1. This is the pro trans lobby talking:

                  “‘Another technique which has been used to great effect is the limitation of press coverage and exposure. In certain countries, like the UK, information on legal gender recognition reforms has been misinterpreted in the mainstream media, and opposition has arisen as a result. ….Against this background, many believe that public campaigning has been detrimental to progress, as much of the general public is not well informed about trans issues, and therefore misinterpretation can arise.

                  In Ireland, activists have directly lobbied individual politicians and tried to keep press coverage to a minimum in order to avoid this issue.’ (Emphasis added).”

                  From this Spectator article.

                  1. Brychan

                    That article is nonsense. It says “This provided a veil of protection, particularly in Ireland, where marriage equality was strongly supported, but gender identity remained a more difficult issue to win public support for.” Not true. They were mutually exclusive by chronology. There is no veil with time machine. The reality is that the GRA was no big deal in Ireland. A bit like Wales. Two English radical fems settled in Gower after Uni and AM with body image issues v the Bangor exhibitionist and a bloke from Maesteg with a dog. All are not relevant. Wales like Ireland is not phased.

                    1. Yes, by chronology; but also by ensuring that gender identity was publicly debated as little as possible.

      3. Jonathan Dean

        Totally agree, and as well as whole life cost analysis we need a life cycle carbon assessment. Unfortunately, I think, neither are “required” as the drive for onshore wind is enshrined in policy, so no further justification has to be given. Remember that policy consultation? Many don’t, as they didn’t even know it was happening!

        1. Wynne

          Yes, but should not the government “onshore wind policy” itself be subject to a benefit v cost analysis, and, if so, over what future timeline [30 years, 50 years etc.].

    2. Jonathan Dean

      I’ve not done such calculations for over 40 years when I was at school, but they are irrelevant if you know the efficiency of the electrolysers, which can be up to 80% but a more conservative estimate would be 50% … ie 0.5 kWh of hydrogen is produced for every kWh of electricity used. It’s a dreadful efficiency, which is why the “hydrogen economy” is nonsense. However, hydrogen as storage for constrained wind isn’t.

      We have always had excess installed generating capacity, back in days of coal we had 90GW installed capacity to meet peak winter demand of 60 and an average annual demand of 30 … so the overall utilisation of the power stations was 1/3

      It’ll be the same in future with offshore wind, with capacity installed to meet peak demand when the wind blows, and then used off peak to produce hydrogen for when the wind doesn’t blow. But hydrogen will always be too expensive for domestic use (in my opinion). All the details are in National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios, updated each year

      Hydrogen can be made from gas (steam reformed methane, as currently used in the chemical industry), but you then have to store the carbon, which isn’t ideal, and you still need gas! Westminster seems to favour that route, but no other country does

      Ok? FYI, it’s Dr Dean. Mr Dean was my father

      1. Oops to the Mr Dean – for not using your Dr Title (Dr of what? Is it a Doctorate as used by Jane Davidson)?). Whether you are a Dr or not, you are still a Mr! Please give us the PRECISE ENERGY EQUATIONS, not vague approximations, for the various several methods of obtaining Hydrogen from its compounds by breaking their molecular bonds.

        1. Jonathan Dean

          A PhD in chemical engineering (three phase fluid dynamics, to be precise). I’ve never been called Mr for well over 30 years, other than in Germany where I’m Herr Doktor. My passport, driving license, bank accounts etc all say Dr

          The precise energy equations are irrelevant to the reality of producing hydrogen. What matters is the efficiency of the production process. I’m sure you could tell me the approx mpg of your car, but not the PRECISE ENERGY EQUATIONS for the combustion of petrol, and in any case that wouldn’t include all the losses due to heat in the exhaust, sound, friction, wind resistance etc

          The two main processes are splitting water with electricity, turning H2O into H2 and O2, or steam reforming of methane turning CH4 and H2O into H2 and CO2. The PRECISE ENERGY EQUATIONS, while interesting, would tell you the theoretical maximum, not what is achievable in practice

          But, if I were to rummage through my text books to get you the PRECISE ENERGY EQUATIONS, what would you actually do with that information? I might do it if you actually have a good reason for wanting it, but I don’t see how it contributes to the debate

  7. NON DAVIES

    Plaid’s bid to secure monies accrued from the Crown Estate for Wales is tokenism unless similar action is taken in regard to this exploitation of Wales at our expense… hang on though isn’t it WG who is facilitating this sellout? …awkward…

  8. Brychan

    Why Denmark?

    This latest revelation reminds me of a fight a few years ago between two vegan MEPs, one Swedish (Green Party, Gothenburg) and one Danish (Socialist People’s Party, Aarhus). They sat in the same parliamentry group as our very own Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru, Rhondda).

    At issue was the finance of wind farms.

    Sweden had passed its own domestic legislation that required wind farm investors to register a liability with the government, a sum secured that when a wind farm reaches the end of its operational life, to cover the cost of its removal and restore any damage to the landscape. A kind of escrow clause. You can see these substantial sums in the accounts of Vattenfall of Sweden for its Swedish wind farms but absent for their one in Wales, Pen Y Cymoedd.

    Denmark (a world leader in the manufacture of wind turbines) objected as EU funds, or exemptions allowed from domestic taxation or energy billing, was being used against Danish companies. They were effectively being taxed for exporting wind turbines to Sweden. A simar issue arose in Germany, but nobody argues with the Germans.

    As ever, this EU dispute was settled by ‘derogation’.
    Each member state was allowed to apply escrow agreements as they see fit.

    Now, however, the United Kingdom is no longer in the EU and is a ‘third country’ and Wales, for purpose of energy matters ruled by Westminster. I have no doubt that London has considered the ‘escrow issue’. What if the Senedd (unlikly) or Holyrood (possible) applied the Swedish method?

    There is no possibility of loading liability costs of a wind farm on a Danish ‘investment’, unless of course Westminster passes primary legislation to allow or mandate it. This however, would form part of the ‘trade arrangement negociations’ between the UK and the EU. No matter, just stick the turbines in Wales and ignore the environmental damage. Bizarrely the Welsh government are doing Westminster a favour and offering Danish companies some free land coated in sugar and paying the Danes for Wales to be exploited.

    If it was the South Downs or the Cotswolds there’d be uproar.

    Note – It was a time when the PM of Denmark was called Mrs Kinnock.

    1. Brilliantly informative, as usual, Brychan.

      Because the one question nobody’s asking is – will the current wind turbines be replaced when they come to the end of their working lives, or what? I think we know the answer, but we need to get more people asking the question.

      It’s a question that will strike a chord because some of the areas affected also saw opencast mining, and when the time came to restore those areas it was found that the companies it was believed were responsible for the restoration had decamped to offshore locations so as to escape their responsibilities.

      1. Brychan

        That’s a question they will be asking in Gilfach Goch.
        A turbine which was felled by wind over the weekend.

        I also monitored the amount of electricity generated by wind as Storm Unice blew over South Wales. There was actually a dip in the energy fed to grid from wind at its peak. This is explained in engineering journals who tell us that to stop ‘overspin’ power is actually fed into the wind turbine alternators in order to act as brakes. A similar dip was observed a few hours later when the storm blew over SE England, the only windfarm of note being offshore, in the Thames estuary.

        For every turbine we need to burn gas.
        Something Putin doesn’t need to spin.

          1. Jonathan Dean

            We buy virtually zero gas from Russia! Mainly from Norway. Russian behaviour does impact the wholesale price, even though we don’t buy the stuff

            1. Brychan

              Norway sell all their gas abroad at a premium and it funds their ‘sovereign wealth fund’.

              They don’t burn it themselves as they are almost 100% native hydro. The situation is best understood when we see Germany import gas from Russia using Nord Stream 2 rather than pull off expensive supply from their existing pipelines (Norpipe and Europipe1 and Europipe2) from Norway. Although not EU members Norway are still bound by single market rules. Since Brexit exports via the pipes to England and Scotland means now they can charge what they want.

              Of course, Wales’ biggest power station on Milford Haven is fuelled by LNG tankers from Africa and Arabia. Both gas and the resulting electricity goes mainly to England. Imagine what we could do if Wales was independent and also had a ‘sovereign wealth fund’. Might even sell then some water too, and we have lagoon possibilities.

              Instead of a sovereign wealth fund those muppets in the Bae hand our cash to Denmark and despoil our landscape.

          2. Dafis

            Now here’s another dark thought for the day – Putin’s Russia ends up governing the whole of Europe as part of the “World Government/UN/New World Order/ Call it what you like” carve up of the globe. Why ? Cos the really big gangsters at World HQ decided Putin was the only cnut with a bit of muscle who could organise a piss up in a big metaphorical brewery and accordingly gets handed the prize.

            Dark and dismal that, although it could be worse, it could be Boris or Macron.

        1. Jonathan Dean

          But that gas can be hydrogen, made from renewables, so we can be 100% renewable. We’re just nowhere near it yet

      2. Fusion power is the one with real massive potential to transform energy for humanity. But of course there are some seriously big and powerful vested interests who would not want it to happen.

  9. Dafis

    The peddlers of wind based solutions fail to factor into their calculations the effect of weather extremes. Storms,gales etc require the plant to be shut down. At the other end of the spectrum periods of stillness yield very low near zero outputs. So anyone aspiring to something approaching net zero while maintaining a steady supply side to its markets has to adopt a more even handed policy in investment in marine and other alternatives. Much scope for Solar as well although using good farmland for solar farms is plain bonkers in my view. For instance, Urban areas could have far more cladding of high rise using solar efficient materials for on site conversion. Biomass is highly suspect as wood burning yields ?????. Better off burning high grade coal and capturing effluents in the stack to convert into gypsum and other value added products.

    1. Ah! but you’re missing the bigger picture, Dafis. It’s fine to put solar farms on good farmland because we won’t need it for grazing. We’ll all be eating artificial meat made by Bill Gates and the other experts of Silicon Valley. And it’ll come endorsed by Justin Trudeau and his ilk. But if you make a fuss he and other ‘leaders’ will freeze your bank accounts.

      1. Andrew

        We have to be thankful that the Tories stopped the subsidies for on shore windfarms otherwise Wales would have seen even more of the things.
        Thankfully Westminster has kept them ‘in check’ to a certain degree.

        1. Jonathan Dean

          The next CfD round will include onshore wind, which is why all the developers are racing to get proposals in

    2. Jonathan Dean

      The peddler’s of wind based solutions do factor all of those things into their calculations. It’s all embedded in the capacity factor, about 35% for onshore, over 50% for offshore

  10. Jonathan Dean

    Wales doesn’t need any more onshore wind!

    Electricity consumption in Wales in 2018 was 14.9 TWh of which 7.4 TWh came from renewable sources (50%)

    National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) estimate that to achieve net zero by 2050, electricity consumption will increase by 2.3 – 3.0 times, mainly depending on the route taken to decarbonise the majority of building heating and industry (electricity or hydrogen), and the source of hydrogen (electrolysis of water or steam reforming of methane/natural gas with carbon capture)

    Sources of power include onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, nuclear, biomass, gas with carbon capture, hydro and other smaller sources

    This will mean Wales needs to generate from 34.3 – 44.7 TWh of power, of which 26.9 – 37.3 TWh will need to be new, carbon free, generation

    The amount of GB offshore wind capacity will be just over 80 GW installed capacity to almost 120 GW, with an estimated capacity factor of 50%. Of this, at least 15.4 GW will be in North Wales/Irish Sea (over 18% of entire GB capacity)

    Given the area of the Welsh part of the Irish Sea currently undeveloped, it is reasonable to assume that at least 6 GW capacity (possibly more) can be installed. This would generate roughly 26 TWh, almost enough to get the whole of Wales to net zero. Currently there is one wind farm licensed in this region of 1.5 GW (the BP/EnBW Mona development) which should be operational by 2028

    In order to reach the higher estimate of generation to achieve net zero a further 12 TWh of power are required. If this were to be supplied by additional offshore wind this would required a further 2.7 GW installed capacity

    The Crown Estate has already announced plans for an initial development of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea of 4 GW, although this has not all been leased yet. However there is no reason to believe leases will not be granted. There is significantly more potential above this. While the Celtic Sea is shared between Ireland, Wales and England, the areas with most potential in the U.K. Celtic Sea are in the Welsh part. Achieving an additional 2.7 GW capacity in the Welsh Celtic Sea should be entirely feasible

    The recent leasing round by Crown Estate Scotland has granted 25 GW of leases, of which 14 GW are floating wind, indicating the industry is showing significant confidence in the technology

    Based on this, Wales does not need onshore wind to achieve net zero. All necessary generation can be achieved using the ample resources at sea. Other technologies such as tidal lagoons, tidal flow, solar and biomass can all be utilised as well. Balancing and storage will be required, and these services can be either local/distribution level or in the transmission system as a whole

    Sources of data

    https://www.regen.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Energy-Generation-Wales-2018-1.4.pdf

    https://www.nationalgrideso.com/uk/electricity-transmission/document/202851/download

    https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/183031/download

    1. A major problem for me with onshore wind is that Wales sees no benefits. The comparison with Denmark is telling. So whether we can generate enough ‘renewable’ energy from offshore wind is largely irrelevant if – again! – Wales sees no benefits.

      You mentioned the Crown Estate, Jonathan. I would have expected you to remind us the Crown Estate is devolved in Scotland. So Scotland gets the benefits. It is not devolved to Wales.

      1. Jonathan Dean

        Oh I’m well aware the Crown Estate isn’t devolved, but that’s a separate argument, but does address the issue of benefits for Wales. Before devolving the sea to Scotland they installed 1 GW. Now it’s devolved they license 25 GW. Wales can have the same

        Still doesn’t address the fact that the Mona wind farm will be co-owned by a German regional government!!!

    2. Jonathan Dean

      It’s exactly the same argument why Wales doesn’t need solar parks on the Gwent Levels or nuclear power stations. We are particularly blessed with masses of energy just offshore. We can have them if we want them, and can make a strong enough argument for them, but we don’t need them to keep the lights on

      1. I’m still not clear how you would overcome the unreliability of wind and solar, plus the massively increased demand if we’re all forced to drive electric cars.

        1. Jonathan Dean

          The estimate above includes for the increase in demand due to EVs and heat pumps, and includes for producing hydrogen to use in repurposed gas stations to cover for variability and wind free weeks. We can store it in depleted gas reservoirs to use in winter. Tidal flow and lagoons can also be used depending on overall economics. Short term storage can be battery or pumped storage (North Wales uses that daily)

                1. Jonathan Dean

                  TheTelegraph oscillates between supporting more nuclear or supporting more gas via onshore fracking, and South Wales will have loads of coal bed methane if folk want to abandon net zero and blast the living daylights out the the valleys. Fracking is tried and tested and we’ve been doing it for decades in the North Sea

                  I admire the confidence in Rolls Royce at building SMRs, given that they haven’t built one yet, and the National Infrastructure Committee say there is no evidence they will be any cheaper than “conventional” nuclear

                  https://nic.org.uk/studies-reports/national-infrastructure-assessment/advice-note-on-nuclear-power-plant-deployment/

                  Hydrogen is very unlikely to have great uptake for the long awaited hydrogen boilers. For every kWh of electricity you can have 0.5 kWh from your hydrogen boiler or 3 kWh from your heat pump. I know which I’d choose. Will retrofitting insulation be needed … yep … but not as much as you’d need with a hydrogen boiler where it’ll cost so much to run you’ll hardly be able to afford to fire it up

                  https://www.nationalgrideso.com/future-energy/future-energy-scenarios/fes-2021

                  The article repeats many of the myths about heat pumps and low temperature performance … the ones that the Scandinavians and Canadians don’t listen to

                  1. The cost of nuclear energy is one factor, the other is the reliability. And it’s this that gives it the edge over renewables.

                    1. Jonathan Dean

                      Nuclear is reliable (well, not Dungeness, or Hunterston), but also extremely inflexible, so you can choose to have not enough or too much. As the most expensive generation method on earth, you don’t want too much. Both National Grid and the Climate Change Committee suggest it’ll have a minor role to play by 2050. The National Infrastructure Committee recommend no more after Sizewell C for the next 15 years. The Westminster Government will only commit to one approved this parliament (there is only Sizewell C available to approve) … subject to value for money! For the U.K., no one, not even the nuclear industry, is predicting it’ll have a big role to play, mainly because we have so much offshore wind potential. Plus of course, for Wales, it brings less employment than renewables and huge liabilities. We will get more nuclear though as the navy needs the supply chain subsidising

          1. Brychan

            Have always thought a similar pump storage arrangement would be good between Llyn Celyn and Llyn Tegid. That would, however, mean turning off the supply to Liverpool and we’d get to see Tryweryn again. Twice a day.

            1. Jonathan Dean

              More pumped storage would be wonderful, but we’ve not built any since the days if the CEGB. Huge upfront cost and long payback, so like tidal lagoons, the right thing to do but private industry is reluctant. The Nuclear Financing Bill aims to address similar issues for nuclear, but short sightedness prevents it also applying to pumped storage and tidal

              1. Brychan

                I did notice that the Westminster veto on the Swansea lagoon rested on a public finance guarantee of the 25yr payback, yet we know the facility will generate for 100years or more. The nuclear financing deal its 40yrs, and after that time we know that it will be useless, indeed a costly burden at payback maturity. It doesn’t make sense. We know we have nuclear waste but the moon will still be there, making tides.

                1. Jonathan Dean

                  I suspect that when they hunted for reasons not to allow a funding mechanism for the Swansea lagoon it was more about not making Hinckley C look bad. The economic evaluation that was done was unique and didn’t follow any standard approach

                  With the Nuclear Financing Bill they have designed a method for the public to pay for nuclear stations to be built, rather than buy the electricity that is generated. This approach would be ideal for tidal lagoons and pumped storage, but it’s only being allowed for nuclear!

                  Someone is desperate for some more nuclear stations, yet they will contribute little to net zero?

                  1. I find it difficult to agree with that interpretation given that the beneficiaries of the UK sticking with nuclear will be companies from France and elsewhere, even China.

                    1. Jonathan Dean

                      France will certainly benefit from EDFs Hinckley C and Sizewell C, and it looks as though the Chinese will be forced out. The other “great hope” is Rolls Royce with their SMRs, although a lot of the backing there isn’t from the U.K. SMRs would provide an exportable product, and I’m sure countries around the world will be desperate for a nuclear station with an RR badge over the door and union jacks everywhere

                      Tidal lagoons though … you can’t really export them! Yes they would employ loads during construction, and have lots of spin-off benefits for the local economy, but Global Britain is less interested in things like that

                      I got the following mail from Charles Hendry …

                      Dear Dr Dean

                      Apologies for my slow reply to your email.

                      The Government’s official response was given by the Secretary of State for BEIS, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, in Parliament on 25 June 2018:

                      https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/proposed-swansea-bay-tidal-lagoon

                      I would however say that I did not consider this an adequate response to my Review, as it distorted points I had made and ignored all of the benefits! It was ultimately a political decision not to proceed, so it was not able to be considered for a CfD.

                      I hope that helps!

                      Kind regards
                      Charles

  11. Jonathan Dean

    Bute will not build anything. Having secured permission they will sell to the highest bidder

    1. You could be right. Planning permission is often the key. And by taking on Labour time-servers Bute seems to have realised that. However, no planning permission has yet been applied for.

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