BBC: England Almost Unstruck

Regular visitors to this blog will know that Billothewisp has a very low opinion of the BBC. Especially the way the BBC has airbrushed England out of the political landscape of these shores.

The BBC's stance on the non existence of an English identity was initially explored in  This Early Post Of Mine.

As it is a year since I wrote about this, I thought I would revisit the BBC monolith. Lo and Behold! The BBC has partially relented.

Today on This Page you will find a reference to "Around England"

Of course while N. Ireland Politics, Welsh Politics and Scottish Politics all have detailed references to their own assemblies All the pitiful "Around England" entry boasts is a section on "Blogs around the Regions" Ugh.

Obviously the Great Good and Extremely Well Fed at the BBC are still wedded to Prescotts "Final Solution" to the West Lothian Question. They are fully on-board the concept of destroying England by dismembering it into some regionally antagonistic nightmare. The thought of having an area actually devoted to English politics is still a bridge too far.

I suppose this is progress. Even though it feels like we are all just trying to drag an rusty and obsolete old car up an steep incline. Maybe, one day, this festering travesty of a public service will actually fulfil its duty and really acknowledge an English identity and the existence of English political issues.

Until then, in this blog, England remains stuck out.

A Christmas Wish

In the new year, may all of our lives be enriched by honesty.

May our politicians tell the truth and look out for those who elect them rather than just themselves.

May our bankers guard the money entrusted to them and fairly treat those indebted to them, rather than just lining their own pockets.

May our environmentalists devote themselves to facts and people rather than just fashion statements and wishful thinking.

Happy Xmas.

Love and Kisses.

p.s. Yes. I know. Fat Chance.

Predicting the wind - update

Just an early morning comment. This is the latest NETA data

Notice NETA almost got it right. But the wind arrived late, about settlement period 7 ( 3.30am) on the 23rd when nobody wants it. NETA had estimated that the wind would arrive during peak household demand period in the evening of the 22nd.

Luckily, the amount of power (even from new higher wind) is so inconsequential it would not have caused any issues. But if we had been relying on wind for 30% of our power there would have been mayhem.

Look at the graph.  When I say the "wind arrived" I actually mean the total metered wind turbine output rose from 2% of the much lauded turbine rating to a peak of 18.5%.

Just as an example. If this was the planned Alaska windfarm at East Stoke in the Purbecks which has a projected boiler plate rating of 9.2MW, the actual output would have risen from 0.184MW through to a peak of 1.7MW. That of course ignores the amount of power used internally to heat the turbine blades and gear box to stop them freezing.

Don't forget, these are nationally based statistics, and it has been like this (or worse) for days

Predicting the Wind

If wind turbines are to be used productively then there the wind must be reliably forecast.

NETA produce a prediction of the wind power contribution to the grid. They produce a sliding three day window using their initial and latest predictions with the actual outcome shown for the (usually) first day and a half of the window.

NETA (New Electricity Trading Arrangments site) are the people who sort out trading in wholesale electricity. As part of this they have produced a really informative and detailed site that is constantly updated. They do their very best to stay on top of many different changing parameters that affect electricity generation.

In my post yesterday (and using their data), I indicated that the national output from the turbines looked like it was about to rise to 16% of their maximum rating. This was  from around 4-5% per cent - where it has been languishing for  days.

While 16% is still pathetically poor, the predicted wind has not arrived. The output prediction has now been ramped down to  147MW  ( 6%)

Believe me, I am not getting at NETA for the variability in the figures. NETA is doing the very best job it can in exceptionally difficult conditions.

We call know about the unpredictability of the weather. We know how often the Met Office foul up on really short term weather forecasts. This again is not an issue of competence it is an issue of how very difficult predicting the weather is.

These figures underline in thick black pencil  that nationally  wind power is unreliable and  unpredictable.

It should also be noted that the absolute maximum output that was very briefly reached on the 18th December was barely 23% of their advertised rating. Most of the time during these four days the national output of all metered turbines on the grid has been well below 10%.

I have added the last four sliding window graphs below. Remember they all overlap so you can see the initial forecast (orange), the latest forecast (blue) and the actual outcome (red line) for three of the four days. The settlement period indicates the time. NETA settle accounts in 48 half hour blocks, so block one starts at midnight, block 24 at midday and so on.

(Note: the vertical scale changes between graphs 2 and 3)

Wind Power, Winter and No Wind

Just a short update on the contribution the theoretical 2.4GW of metered wind generation is making  at this critical time.

Here are some figures from NETA and a little commentary from me.

Using the same data set, yesterday and earlier today, NETA came up with these predictions:

This gives peak output (NOT the average) as 4% rising to 5% of the rated output. The prediction is that output may treble tomorrow. But this will still be only 16% of the total boiler-plate rating - and will peak at 21:00 - just in time for people to start turning in for the night. Even then it is still a shamefully low figure.

If we look at the contribution made by different types of generation :

We see that the contribution from windpower is 0.1%. From the much lauded boiler-plate rating it should be just under 4.5%

That is, the total metered wind-turbine supply in all of the UK, at this time of maximum demand is providing us with 1/1000th of what we need. The boiler-plate rating the wind industry keeps boasting about states it should be about 1/25th.

We have actually been buying 12 times as much as this from the French. Even the pumped storage facility in Wales (usually used to meet short lived demand peaks and to control the mains frequency) provided eleven times as much. Hydroelectricity, of which we have very little, still provided double the wind power output.

It has been like this for days.

Luckily we are not in a position where we are dependant on wind for serious power generation.

But what if we were?

What if we were dependant on wind power or, in this weather, on its spinning reserve? What if the wind power "enthusiasts" get their way and we largely replace coal generation with wind turbines backed up by CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbines)

On first look, it appears that it would not matter - during a time like this we simply would be using the CCGT spinning reserve.

Regrettibly it does matter. It matters massively. Dare I say it matters catastrophically. During weather like we are having right now, it would push our dependence on Gas to almost 70%.  We would need to significantly increase the gas transport infrastructure to feed these CCGT stations. Most importantly we would need to stockpile much more gas. At the moment, our meagre 7 day supply relies on the fact that power generation can, over a number of days, maximise use of coal and nuclear and minimise gas. That goes out the window if you need to guard against wind power failing and have no other option but to use gas..

I'll explain fully in a future post. Possibly the next, maybe the one after that. But I havn't got time to elaborate at the moment.

Wind Power Today Revisited

I just thought I would give you grubby little Englanders  an update on how the mighty wind turbines have done over night.

Fresh from the BMReports Page At NETA.....

So, it looks like yesterday things actually picked up a bit and the national real output from our spinning monsters actual broke through the 4% of their rated value. Woooaaaa!

And tomorrow, (wait for it.) their output almost reaches 5%.

Strewth. With overnight improvements  like that perhaps we should just shut down all the other power generation plant ready for the mighty wind turbines to take over!

Just as a comparison. If your economical one Litre car was reduced to 5% of its power it would like ripping out the one litre engine and then replacing with the engine from a 50cc moped. I dare say though, that there are some supporters of this wind turbine fantasy who would actually consider this a good idea.

Unfortunately, there is one figure missing in the NETA table. We must always remember that a wind turbine is a machine operating in a unpredictable and harsh environment. They must never be allowed to stop turning in very cold conditions and freeze up. Unfortunately, when the wind stops blowing they stop. To get round this problem they all have heaters. Electric heaters in fact. This is to ensure that they do not freeze solid. Alternatively some can be "motored" This is usually used to start the thing turning in sub-optimal wind conditions. This incidentally is a nice little feature often exploited to give the impression of useful work being done even when the wind is too slow to actually turn the things. An absolute boon when trying to impress a politician or two.

So, in these freezing times when  power generation is being severely tested, not only are the mighty wind turbines providing bugger-all of next to nothing in the way of power, they are no doubt, in many places actually acting as a further drain on the grid.

Pathetic isn't it.

Wind Power: The Reality Today.

In these frozen autumn days, Billothewisp thought he would cheer himself up by having a look at all that free energy flowing into the grid. After all wind turbine generators  get a Billion quid a year in subsidy paid for by the likes of Billothewisp and other assorted grubby English folk, so perhaps a little payback in the form of happy-time may be in order.

He had a look at the NETA Site, which is the site that shows the day-today costings and accounting for the countries power grid. It tells us how our electricity is made, transmitted, paid for and regulated.

Billothewisp puzzled over the figures for the mighty wind turbines. Surely there was something wrong. There must be a mistake! There was no happiness here! A single tear rolled down his knarly cheek.

He had seen this graph:

His rheumy old eyes misty with tears, could barely make out the contribution from wind power. A billion quid seemed a lot of money for a barely legible pixel wide line!

Then he read this.

For a moment his sorrow was placated as he read the bottom line (or boiler plate rating) giving the theoretical output for his billion quid. But then he looked up.

Oh sorrow on sorrow!

The boilerplate rating for all the wind turbines in the country was 2430 MW but the maximum nationwide output today was 276 MW.

11.3% of their much lauded boilerplate rating.

But then it got worse . He looked at the predicted output for the next day. The maximum output was going to be just 94 MW.

That is 3.8% of their boiler plate rating.

I will write that again in large letters in case you missed it.


But even worse than that. This maximum occurs at midnight. Just when Billothewisp and the rest of old England is tucked up in bed, with the low energy light bulbs turned off.

Don't forget these are national figures. Not a single isolated case. National. All major turbines. And these are the PEAK values for these days.

So much for the argument that if the wind isn't blowing in one place it will make up for it elsewhere.

These figures are so bad, so dreadful, so outrageous that I feel I must have made a mistake. Our politicians and assorted environmental dreamers are not really this gullible are they?

Surely we are not spending and extra One Billion quid a year for this?

Thanks to Jockdownsouth and his comment on This Post at WUWT that tipped me off to the magnificent NETA site and the distinctly un-magnificent figures for wind generation.

I think I am going to have some serious fun here with the figures from NETA in the future.

Immigration and the Elected Government

I am only an old oily English rag, but as I remember, the elected government of this country decides the policies that this country should pursue. If my memory serves me correctly, we elect this government.

That is us  - The People. Nobody else.

As I further remember, the current coalition promised to try and stem the flood of immigrants (legal and illegal) pouring into this country (Look at the population forecasts - See Here).

Usually elected governments tend to rescind on difficult policies but this one has actually  tried to do something about this particular issue. Even though it could be argued that what they are doing is too little too late.

So what the hell is an unelected, unrepresentative judge doing saying the recently imposed migrant cap is "illegal". For Christ's sake nobody elected this pompous elitist bastard, so how the hell can he overrule the policy of a legitimately elected government? (See Here)

When it comes to the crunch, we don't have a real democracy anymore. It has been subsumed by a tangled self serving elite who can veto at whim, and direct at their pleasure, what the government does.

The elected, democratic parliament of this country must reassert its authority.

Or ten years down the road there really will be trouble.

You have to ask: What the hell is going on?

Drug Laws and Politicians

It is a pity Bob Ainsworth did not have the courage of his convictions about drug law reform when he was in office. (Telegraph Report Here).

Instead he sat in a government that buckled to the whim of the press, played to the gallery and crassly reversed policy on drug law reform. Finally his almer-mater Gordon Brown went on to sack Professor Nutt for his inconvenient though scientifically based views.

All this and not so much as a squeak out of Bob Ainsworth.

You have to ask if any of our politicians are really up to the job of making  informed decisions on reforming drug law. Especially after they have now packed the ACMD (Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs) with yes-men and other assorted non scientists.

If anyone should have influence on this matter it is exactly the type of people Bob Ainsworth and his pals sacked that we should be listening to. (Guardian Article on David Nutt here)

Perhaps we should pay more regard to people like the Independant Scientific Committee On Drugs rather than spineless politicians out for a bit of quick publicity.

Professor David Nutt's blog is HERE It makes interesting reading.

In our society anyone who sells alcohol needs a license, needs to be approved by a magistrate and must be regarded as an upstanding citizen. Because of this the very severe damage that can be caused by alcohol is mitigated.

Yet to sell illegal soft/hard drugs exactly the opposite criteria are required. Any form of scum-bag can set up shop. Illegal he/she may be, but with no competition (except from other scum-bags) they can sell whatever they like.

It is no wonder that our society is a mess.

There is very little trade in illegally brewed/distilled alcohol because a known and safe source is available. People don't buy dodgy booze so criminals have no market.

Legalise the lot. Tax them, regulate them and use the money to mitigate the problems - Cut out the criminals.

You know it makes sense.

Once Upon a Russian Blonde

My friendly trusting gullible little English compatriots, I have a fairy tale for you.

Once upon a time, in a very old and crumbling land lived a large jovial bearded man. A politician non-the-less. This rather fat but happy individual was so important he was charged with looking after the defences of that crumbly land.

Like all the great good and extremely well fed, he spent long, long hours filling out expense claims. In those odd moments when he was not form filling, or at lunch, or berating his peers for something or the other, he managed to spend time on the more trivial aspects of government. Like nuclear deterrence or procuring advanced weaponry.

But like the other Great Good and Extremely Well Fed, he needed assistants. People in trusted positions. Dare I say, people charged with the safety and security of the nation.

Now, the foolish and paranoid would insist on those aids being security cleared nationals of this crumbly land. But Oh! That is just sooooo politically wrong. Sooooo incorrect.

If you want to show the world exactly how "globalised" you are, you hire willing and pretty foreigners. Even foreigners from countries that not so long ago were mortal enemies.

Prime candidates among these foreigners are attractive young blonde Russian girls. Maybe even one called Katya.

Of course you can tell they can be trusted, just by looking at them. You can always trust a sweet innocent blonde Russian girl. Especially with the nations secrets.

But could her loyalty really be to her Motherland?

Could she be a spy?

No. No. Nooooo. That would be just too silly.

After all, things have got so run down in this crumbly old land that other countries only spy on it for sport.

And pretty young Russian girls simply don't do that sort of thing.

But some foolish members in crumbly lands MI5 have taken it all too seriously.

Even though the fat politician whined and complained and declared his pretty aid innocent, the cruel zealots in the security service still arrested her and will soon send her back to Russia.

Goodbye Katya.

I expect you did a really first class job.

It is a pity you are not taking your bumbling incompetent ex-boss with you.

A Special Subservience

Wiki Leaks has laid bare the true nature of the so called UK-USA Special Relationship.

My grubby little Englander readership may well find these revelations somewhat shocking. But I have to tell you that you are hearing just a fragment, a fraction of the truth. I gather that, at the moment, there are more D notices flying about than cruise missiles.

Even so there is some brutally accurate commentary. Take this article. It ends with a starkly accurate assessment of the the so called special USA-UK relationship. [I quote]

But the underlying message of all this is that the relationship is defined in this way and if, or probably more likely when, the day arrives when the Brits cannot or will not offer so much, they will find that the relationship they still regard as "special" will be very much more ordinary.

For the last sixty years this unnatural and one sided loyalty has slowly seen the corrosive and debilitating subservience reduce and diminish our country. As each year passes , the usefulness of the UK to the Americans reduces. The UK supporters get ever more hysterical and sycophantic in their promotion of this doctrine.

Undoubtedly some Americans have been, and will continue to be our friends. But others, like Hilary Clinton only see us as a diplomatic cash cow, to be milked and loathed.

One day the milk will stop. Then do not expect anyone, especially the likes of Hilary Clinton to ride to our assistance.

A Strange Wind Turbine Morality

 Well, the night was lost. The council planning department had originally recommended rejection. But the councillors, after a barrage innuendo, superstition and false moral outrage decided to allow the wind turbine application to proceed.

The supporting groups had a clever coordinated and focussed mantra. There was running theme through the whole of their speeches.  A bogus child centric theme was pushed and pushed. Non-existent moral high ground was claimed again and again. The moral turpitude of the massive subsidies was brushed under the carpet. No mention was made of the sheer incapability of these things to meet our needs. Only rosy and hopelessly inaccurate figures on carbon reduction and noise output were made. Landscape impact was denied or glossed over.

The average common folk who actually lived in the area were outnumbered and out spoken. Unaccustomed to public speaking their defences flowed uneasily. Other speakers against the turbines tried to show how ineffective wind turbines are. Others showed that they were incapable of addressing  our real energy needs. But all to no avail. The motion was passed 6-3.
One small victory for stupidity
One more step on the slippery slope.

More of the average folk, their homes and families, sacrificed to the false god of Green.

A Final Note:


Actually it will not affect me. I don't live in East Stoke. So why do I bang on about this?

Because I care.

I care about our environment and I care that we should not fall into stupid dead end traps that will deprive our kids and grand kids of a decent life. Neither do I want to line the pockets of the shysters who push these things. Outside of certain niches, wind turbines are a hopeless dead end. In years to come this will become painfully apparent, but by then it will be too late for the people of East Stoke.

As for being a NIMBY. If you like labels, then sure. Not In My Back Yard. Not In My Neighbours Back Yard and certainly Not In My Kids Back Yard.

Football, Honesty and Consequences

So the English World Cup bid was resoundingly rejected. It looks like the bid has been publicly punished for the publicity and scandal surrounding corruption in FIFA. With just the English vote and one other vote from the FIFA board, a clear message was sent. FIFA were not happy with the publicity surrounding their corrupt officals .

There has been lots of talk about whether the exposes on the corruption in world football should have been airbrushed or re-scheduled.  But to do so would have been to quietly collude with the fraudsters.

Honesty, like freedom has a heavy price and sometime severe  consequences.

At least we have done the right thing.

And look on the bright side - It will save us 15 Billion quid.