Good News from Redcar Steelworks

After the catastophe of of TATA, and the disgusting "hands off" betrayal of British steel workers by the last government, at  least there is a little good news for my friends and fellow grubby Little Englanders in Redcar.

Sold off to TATA, Redcar steelworks was then closed down.  Mothballed was the term - but mothballs don't feed the kids.

Finally earlier this year, TATA sold Redcar to Thai steelmaker Sahaviriya Steel Industries (trading as SSI UK).

Billothewisp has to admit that at the time I thought that the future looked bleak - Yet another foreign owner of a strategic industry. I has dark thoughts as to the purpose of this purchase.

Possibly SSI was there only to extract as much in goverment grants, secure extortionate trade deals, run the plant into the ground and then dissapear. Or worse, simply keep the place closed so removing a competitor from the market (which was, I suspect TATA's original motive).

But so far, SSI look like a significant improvement over TATA.

SSI are planning to reopen Redcar and have now started hiring, so we should perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt. (See their Website Here)

The need for jobs, and the eagerness of the people the North East to gain  honest work in a hard and gruelling industry is shown by the fact that each of the 1000 jobs had at least ten applicants. (See BBC Report Here)

On many occasions, the people of the North East have been sold down the river by government. This betrayal has been variously aided and abetted by the sharp suits in London and a putrid adherence to the false doctine of Globalisation.

This betrayal has gone on for far too long.

It is about time the good people of the North East had a few (dozen) good breaks.

I still have my fears and reservations. But at this time, I wish SSI Ltd all the best.

European Petrol and Diesel Prices Compared

The European Energy Portal provides information on a whole range of energy prices/issues, including Petrol and Diesel prices across Europe. This great site must be one of the few benefits we get from the EU.

Take this table on relative fuel prices (Petrol and Diesel).

Unsurprisingly Petrol in the UK is among the highest in Europe, although not as bad as some.

But rather shockingly, UK Diesel is by far the most expensive in Europe.

In fact the nearest rival (price wise) is Sweden. But even in Sweden the price of Diesel is still 7.5% cheaper than in the UK.

The cheapest European diesel price is in Luxembourg which is a whopping 30% less than the UK

Diesel is of course used in road transport as well as private vehicles. No wonder the transport industry is moaning all the time.

So why is Petrol and especially Diesel so expensive?

Here is another table from the EU Energy portal, giving a cost breakdown.

Notice the root cause of the price of diesel being so high is the outrageously high UK excise duty on diesel.

Diesel requires less refining, gives a higher mpg, and for a well tuned engine is just a clean a petrol. We should be encouraging motorist to use it in preference to petrol. It is also the life blood of industry.

  • No Diesel = no distribution. 
  • No distribution = no industry.
  • No industry = no taxes to pay MP's expenses.

Any government, committed to enabling UK industry to dig us out of this current economic mess must cut the excise duty on diesel. How can industry compete when it is crippled by distribution costs?

Even from an environmental viewpoint the government must at least level the playing field with petrol.

Kyoto, Quotas and Fashion Statements.

Well, it looks like the UK is the bad boy again. We are not meeting our renewables target.

All you grubby little Englanders - hang your heads in shame. Here is the offending graph. (see The EU Energy Portal )

But the funny thing is, that on the same website just a bit further up the page is a neat little bar graph related to progress towards the Kyoto protocol. Whatever you think of Kyoto it was at least aimed at reducing emissions and gave some figures.
Here is the graph.

Now in this graph, far from being the nasty bully-boy bad-guys pumping the filth out into the atmosphere, grubby little England is actually one of the golden halo'd nations that have not only reduced emmissions, but have actually reduced them more than their allocated quota.

Even our Eco-zealot friends in Germany have not managed to do so well. But now, of course, our German friends have also shut down all their nuclear power plants and started burning coal like it is going out of fashion. I expect that very soon they will be slipping into the bad boy red sector. In fact they are likely to join their eco friends in Denmark who are spectacularly under target.

Then there is Spain.

Oh dear Oh dear.

Although Spain ranks as number 3 in the European wind turbine league they are also number 3 from the bottom of the Kyoto table. Bad Bad Bad.

Now, of course there are a couple of little issues here. Not all the Kyoto targets are the same. The UK's target was 12.5%. Germany bigged theirs up to 18% and Denmark did the most grandstanding by stating that they would cut their emissions by no less than 21%. Spain though was actually allowed to increase their emissions by 15%

Big words from Germany. Even bigger words from Denmark.

Or was it just hot air?

Obviously, we need to compare like with like.

So let us use the UK as the benchmark and compare how our European pals are really doing.

So, the base line is the UK. We have exceeded our target reduction by 7.63%. As our target was 12.5%, that makes about a real cut of over 20%

Our German friends, (remember this was before they shut down their nuclear power) had a target of 18% and exceeded their target by 1.52%. So their real cut is 19.5%

Demark did the most grandstanding at Kyoto and took the applause for promising to cut emissions by 21% (Huhhah!) but they have missed their target by no less than 16.42%. Whoops! That is a real cut then of less than 5% OUCH!

But then we come to Spain.

Oh Dear Oh Dear.

Spain was allowed to increase their emissions by 15%. But they still missed their target by 22.35% So compared to us un-green nasty little Englanders, the Spanish have made a real cut of...

Well, there is no cut, real or otherwise.

Their emissions have increased by nearly a third. Doh!

Now let us look at the relevence of these two targets.

The "renewables" target has been put in place to meet (among other targets) the 2012 Kyoto quota's.

Germany has the largest number of wind turbines in Europe, Spain comes a close second. Denmark has by far the highest per capita fleet of turbines anywhere in the world.

But all to no avail. While they may have all grandstanded at Kyoto about how green they were, and while they have foolishly wasted billions on intermittent, unreliable and ultimately ineffective wind turbines, they have, on a real comparison failed to even match the UK cuts, let alone meet their bigged up targets.

There is one year left to run for Kyoto. I'll be interested to see if they pay the fines for missing the "legally binding" Kyoto targets.

Does a Dead Cat Bounce? (if named Footsie?)

So the FTSE 100 went up by over 1.5% today after initially falling by over 4%. This wild fluctuation came after it lost somewhere around 18% in the previous week.

But it went up. So everything is fine and dandy.

(There was me thinking we were up sh*t creek without a paddle.)

The Yanks, are still smarting from being downgraded from AAA to AA+. They are moaning that they only owe 13 trillion dollars.

For the mathematically challenged that is:

(I think I got all the noughts in)

The US Treasury is outraged at  Standard & Poors downgrade. Personally Billothewisp thinks Standard & Poors has done a pretty dismal job too.

Billothewisp thinks that, if you have allowed yourself to sleep walk into a position where you owe the aforesaid 13 trillion dollars, really your credit rating should be ZZZ-, not AA+, let alone AAA.

Finally here in England, it seems the (parody of a) government might want to do some more Printing Money Quantitative Easing.

As I remember, one side effect of Printing Money Quantitative Easing is that inflation takes off.

Of course being a simple soul I may be wrong and the current 5% (and rising) inflation is purely coincidental with the last batch of Printing Money Quantitative Easing.

I wonder what inflation will go to after the next print run?

Neodymium and Wind Turbines

Take a look at these two old Chinese NIMBYs complaining about how a six mile wide lake of effluent has ruined their country-side. A lake of effluent, produced mining Neodymium. (See Mail Article Here)

Neodymium is a rare earth metal. It is increasingly being used in wind turbines and is seen by many turbine supporters as a magic bullet. Something desperately needed to improve the farcical output, and improve the reliability of these white elephants.

Neodymium allows turbines to get over the need for horrendously complex gearboxes needed to drive the doubly fed induction generators currently used. Doubly fed induction generators need to turn at about 1500 rpm minimum. You can imagine the gearing ratio needed.

This is what happens when the bearings fail.

With Neodymium magnets, the generator is simplified and the gearbox can be (almost) dispensed with. Grossly ineffective and unreliable turbines become (ever so slightly) less gross.

But at what cost?

To the rich and powerful owners of these things, along with glazed eyed brown nosers who support them, the answer is a small amount of the ROC subsidy for a short time.

To the Chinese peasants who lose their land and see their families broken up the answer is somewhat more devastating.

But, they are only common folk and a world away at that. Even if their existence is known of, they scarcely matter to our eco warrior friends.

Even so, Neodymium cannot break the laws of Physics. The best that you will ever get out of a turbine (it is called Betz law) is theoretically 59% of the actual wind energy, Practically though you would be doing very well to get 40-45%.

Even then, however big and powerful your Neodymium magnets, if the wind does not blow, 40% of nothing is still nothing.

All Neodymium provides are cheaper gearboxes, less embarrassing turbine fires and less need to employ maintenance technicians.

It also provides slave wages to a dispossessed people while lining the coffers of a elitist dictatorship.

Like so many aspects of the wind turbine scam, the rich and powerful, both here and in China, do very well out of Neodymium and wind turbines.

As usual, it is the average person who pays the price.

Turbine, Turbine, Burning Bright

A turbine burns. No doubt the bearings in the gearbox on the doubly fed induction generator failed.

An unattended machine suffering a catastrophic failure.

One turbine. Among many. For the rich and influential owners, an easy and occasional sacrifice.

With the new Neodymium gearboxes, you may argue, even the flaming turbines will be a thing of the past. The horrendously complex gearboxes that fail so frequently  will soon be replaced.

Maybe that is true.


But if you are an avid windy supporter, you need to understand why so many people will be cheering as the flaming monster burns.

You need to understand that those cheering and applauding will inevitably be the bog standard average folk who live nearby.

Those whose lives are ruined, impacted, or maligned by a useless gesture to a Luddite clique.

Meanwhile those reading through the clauses in the insurance policy, the owners of the burning monster, will be the rich and the well connected. The likes of Sir Reginald Sheffield (see who he is related to) would no doubt, be getting one of their minions to sort out the mess.

That is what it comes down to.

Are you with the rich and well connected? As they make their enormous profits while carelessly ruining the lives of many?

Or are you with the common folk, those whose lives and welfare are impacted by these pathetic totems to greed and ignorant stupidity?

The decision is yours.

I hope that you, like me, you are celebrating the burning of the monster.