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UK government cuts electric car subsidies by half, sales mysteriously fall 75%

It’s another Green market wonder story:

The government announced last year that it would extend grants for electric cars for a further two years but halved the payments to £2,500. Around 17,500 cars were registered in the first three months of the year as motorists took advantage of the grants before they were cut.

… According to Department for Transport statistics, between April and June 4,200 plug-in cars were sold – the lowest for two years.

Biofuels international

– GWPF

Environmental reporters seem a bit flummoxed as to how markets work.  When times are booming it’s because of “demand”.  (Don’t say the word subsidy)

Green vehicle demand revs up as UK electric car sales quadruple 

2014 saw a surge in UK green car sales due to increased choice and a demand for lower costs and higher efficiencyreports Edie.net

When the sales disappear, so do mentions of buyers who want “higher efficiency”. Parliament gets the blame, though it never seemed to get the credit.

Spot the economic genius in 2015:

[Nick] Clegg said: “The extremely low running costs of these cars help drivers save money. Electric cars are one of the most promising of our green industries…”

Sounds pretty dire for the rest of the Green world then.

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UK government cuts electric car subsidies by half, sales mysteriously fall 75%, 9.3 out of 10 based on 74 ratings

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88 comments to UK government cuts electric car subsidies by half, sales mysteriously fall 75%

  • #
    Steven Fraser

    Somebody figured it out that you need electricity to power these cars, and that might not be so available as previously…

    352

  • #
    Yonniestone

    What the quasi green industry wishes compared to what the average punter wants appears to be proles apart……

    262

  • #
    Pauly

    So clearly, if the government provided electric cars for free for all its citizens, then the ultimate efficiency of the green car industries would be achieved.

    242

  • #
    Kevin

    “Extremely low running costs”. Just wait until the loss of revenue from fuel duty begins to bite. The government will soon do something about that, as they have done with Vehicle Excise Duty for low emission vehicles

    212

    • #
      bobl

      That’s what “Carbon Tax” is for, you haven’t quite got it yet. This is all about taxes on Energy to fund the UN!

      142

    • #
      Olaf Koenders

      Heh.. Just wait until the battery needs replacing in a few years.

      Post-It note on the steering wheel:

      Second mortgage on the house..

      111

  • #

    Just wondering. Maybe we could we convert old wind turbines to machines for mashing up used Prius batteries, defunct solar panels, sub-standard pink batts, dated classroom computers, CD-ROM Encartas, Collins Class subs…

    With the money saved we could bring back the superphosphate bounty, Holden subsidies and Grocery Watch. Imagine being able to watch grocery prices from a clunky government website again!

    202

    • #
      Dennis

      You reminded me of a Bolt Report comment by former NSW Treasurer Michael Costa in reply to former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello who commented that he drives a “Prius”. Costa replied asking didn’t he mean to say “Pious”.

      202

      • #
        Analitik

        A Chevvy Bolt?

        42

      • #
        Raven

        We shouldn’t be too critical of the Prius.
        97% of all Prius’s manufactured are still on the road today…
        …the other 3% actually made it home.

        201

        • #
          Dennis

          I read a while ago that when battery power pack replacement time is reached the Prius and other Toyota hybrids need factory attention, the price quoted was $13,000 for the replacement. An owner could purchase a lot of petrol for that amount of money. I wonder how many buyers factored this into their purchasing?

          And, that fleet leasing companies are very reluctant to finance hybrids.

          101

        • #
          PeterPetrum

          A Raven, I laughed out loud at that one – brilliant. My green son in law was going to buy one, I must remember to quote you.

          10

  • #

    Could there be some correlation between green technology viability and taxpayer subsidies? ;)

    362

  • #
    delcon2

    It’s enough to make a Greenie turn…uh…green. A new study from the University of Edinburgh finds that electric and hybrid vehicles actually emit more harmful pollution running on streets and highways than conventional vehicles. It turns out that those “zero emissions” from the tailpipe are only part of the story of the pollution emitted by a vehicle as it travels. Chris White of the Daily Caller explains:

    Electric vehicles tend to produce more pollutants from tire and brake wear, due in large part to their batteries, as well as the other parts needed to propel them, making them heavier.

    These pollutants are emitted when electric vehicle tires and brakes deteriorate as they accelerate or slow down while driving. Timmers and Achten’s research suggests exhaust from traditional vehicles is only about one-third of the total emissions.

    A large factor in this weighting of pollutants is the fact that internal combustion engine performance has improved so radically over the past several decades that they actually emit very few pollutants compared to engines of the past. The internal combustion engine is the most highly engineered product on the planet, having been worked on for well over a century by hundreds of thousands of engineers all over the planet. They set a very high bar for electric and hybrid vehicles to beat. The necessity for large, heavy batteries made of toxic materials does increase the weight, complexity, and cost compared to internal combustion vehicles.

    And the Edinburgh study does not even consider the environmental impact of manufacturing the complex, heavy, and expensive vehicles, nor does it consider the emissions of the electric generating stations that supply the juice. Add in these factors, and that “zero pollution” claim becomes a joke.
    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/05/study_finds_electric_vehicles_produce_emmoreem_pollution_that_internal_combustion_cars.html#ixzz4993RIN00

    342

  • #
    Paul Bamford

    Greens seem to forget that Electric cars run on Coal.

    332

    • #
      Dennis

      And they fail to work out that the existing electricity grid capacity could not possibly cope with conversion of the Australian vehicle fleet to electricity or the enormous cost and time factors involved in increasing grid supply.

      232

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      … Electric cars run on Coal.”

      Brevity is not helpful; maybe you can adjust your saying and improve it.
      If anyone in my area has an electric auto, it will be charged via hydro-power. This is not to argue that somewhere in the production of the auto that coal was not involved.
      EVs run on stored energy, and increasingly that comes from a combined-cycle (CC) power plant (gas & steam) and some wind. Carbon is involved with the CC power, but not coal.
      An EV does not produce electricity. Internal combustion autos include electricity production. My current auto will take me over 400 miles on a tank of gas, and will provide electricity for gadgets, A/C, heat, lights, and of course motion. The gasoline comes from petroleum, not coal.

      27

  • #
    Robdel

    Reality bites.

    142

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      I told a Green a fact once. She actually said, “I didn’t want to hear that.” It must be fun to live in Woo-Woo Land.

      181

  • #
    Dennis

    Capitalists allow markets to decide winners and losers, Socialists pick their winners and subsidise them.

    The end result is an electric vehicle trying to compete with proven market leaders.

    182

  • #
    Graeme No.3

    It would appear that even in England that there are lots of people who want to travel more than 50 km. a day and cannot be bribed to give that up.

    The green law of supply and demand. Demand a supply of subsidies, so people demand what you want them to have. Keep adding money until…Oops I think there may be a problem somewhere in that.

    152

    • #
      Dennis

      A service station owner in central New South Wales once commented that most Australians live on the coast and have not got a clue what is over the “hill” from the east. Obviously electric car buyers have no interest in finding out.

      152

      • #
        James Murphy

        If you can put limits on how and where people can move, it makes for a much more manageable populous. If those limits can be blamed on ‘technology’, rather than on a political ideology, then that also suits the types of cowards who think they know what is best for everyone else, but lack the courage to nail their colours to the mast.

        162

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        It takes 10 hours to drive from Brisbane to Mackay in a petrol powered car. I wonder how long it would take in a coal powered car (and a 1900′s coal train for comparison).

        82

        • #
          James Murphy

          If it’s anything like the train service from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, it’s reportedly a significantly slower trip now, than it was when steam trains were the norm.

          The Indian-Pacific is a bit of a joke too, given that it averages only about 60-70km/hr for the ~4300km trip, assuming it runs to schedule. Admittedly that includes some quite lengthy stops, but even so, the actual train speed is woeful, at least on the Adelaide-Sydney leg.

          62

          • #
            Dennis

            It is all about the railway tracks and bridges, they are apparently not to the standard needed for higher speeds. The NSW XPT was modelled on British Rail’s high speed passenger trains but limited here in NSW to far lower maximum speed.

            I understand that the same situation applies in Queensland on too many sections of the track north.

            41

            • #
              Olaf Koenders

              They’ve been prattling on about high speed rail in Australia for decades with no result and I think I know why.

              If high speed rail ever comes out in this country (and I mean EVER), expect the tracks to be littered with speed cameras.

              30

            • #
              Greg Cavanagh

              Queensland also has the narrowest gauge track of any state. This was originally because the shorter sleepers and less ballast made the track cheaper to build. Like every bureaucratic decision, it was made for press release and not for practicality.

              Queensland does have tilt trains, which according to Wiki, can travel up to 160km/h. That’s probably a big “CAN”, but not advisable to.

              20

          • #

            I am sure in the early 1950′s (before electrification in 1957)there was express commuter steam train from Lithgow to Central which was called the Fish (in the morning leaving about 7AM) and Chips in the evening leaving Central around 5.30PM. This I think stopped at Strathfield, Parramatta, Penrith, Valley Height (to couple on a second engine) then Springwood,Laura, Katoomba, Blackheath, Mt Victoria and Lithgow. I think it took about 1 hr to and from Katoomba. I think between Parrmatta and Penrith it reached speeds of 90 miles/hr.

            20

            • #
              PeterPetrum

              Mmmmm? It’s 120k from Katoomba to Central – I doubt even the Flying Scotsman could do that in one hour, especially if it had to stop for a “banker” at Valley Heights. The steepest part of the climb is from the Hawkesbury River to Valley Heights (used to be a zig- zag on the section from the river to Glenbrook) so more likely it dropped the banker at Valley Heights.

              The history of the Blue Mountains railway is a fascinating one, with some really difficult problems to be overcome. The biggest problem now is constant “track maintenance” necessitating buses between stations instead of trains.

              00

          • #
            PeterPetrum

            Actually James, the electric (yes, electric) trains that ply the Blue Mountains route do so at a reasonable lick, considering that the track has to follow the contours on the very narrow ridge that accommodates both the road and the rail for much of the mountain stretch. The issue is the 30 stations between Sydney Central and Lithgow, which at one and a half minutes a stop accounts for 45 minutes of the almost 3 hour trip.

            00

      • #
        Another Ian

        Dennis

        Back in the 1970′s the US dropped interstate speed limits from 70 to 50 MPH. There was the comment that this “took a journey across Texas from a trip to a career”.

        Similar idea with electric vehicles IMO.

        00

    • #
      AndyG55

      I wonder which would be quicker from Newcastle to Sydney.

      Train, or electric car.

      42

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        I’ll go for the train. At least it doesn’t have to stop for fuel along the way.
        Cheers
        Dave B

        62

        • #
          Dennis

          To be fair a Telstra electric car is capable of driving from Sydney (Artarmon charging depot at Tesltra) to Port Macquarie at a highway side winery charging depot without stopping. But once at the winery there is a need to stop for a long lunch to recharge.

          That could result in needing Plan B.

          40

        • #
          AndyG55

          Might still beat the train !!

          Newcastle Sydney trains are woefully slow

          10

      • #
        shannon

        I think a fast ferry via the coast, would leave both for dead..!!

        I moved to the Hunter Valley in the 70s…and there was constant train delays on the line, due to maintenance….45 yrs later its the same old story…pathetic !

        The money spent on maintenance over the years,could have paid for 2 brand new lines between Newcastle and Sydney…too much power manipulated by the TWU, is my guess.!

        00

  • #
    TdeF

    So the price of electric cars goes down but the price of electricity goes up? From the consumer point of view, no gain at all. That is why it is a consumer market. Consumers decide.

    Unless you have a a communist country where the cars are made from cardboard (actually the Trabant was a fibrous plastic), performance and reliability is rubbish and the petrol is too expensive anyway. In a Western democracy people make their own decisions, which is really against everything Green politicians (watermelons) believe. It is not about the environment. It never was.

    132

  • #
    Eugene WR Gallun

    Argued with an electric car enthusiast. He bragged that electric cars have gone from zero market share to almost .75%. Asked me condescending where I thought they would be in 20 years. I said, “After they get rid of the subsidies back to zero.

    Eugene WR Gallun

    212

    • #
      Dennis

      A Sydney veteran car enthusiast has Stanley Steamers, a Dobel steam driven luxury car and a Grandma Duck 1900 period electric carriage, like a Horse drawn carriage but with electric motor and lead acid batteries. Apparently in New York USA there were taxi cab recharging points for these not smokey cars but the general public decided that Henry Ford had the better design using a fossil fuel internal combustion engine, and the rest is history, including the early electric cars.

      51

  • #
    Eugene WR Gallun

    Electric cars are sort of the Deloreans of the 21st century. — Eugene WR Gallun

    51

    • #
      TdeF

      Back to the future then?

      42

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      Probably an unjust comparison. The De-Lorean was a great idea for a vehicle, it was just not developed over time sufficiently to work all the bugs out. (The original commodors were terrible vehicles too, but look at them now). The electric vehicles have several major design flaws which can not be overcome for the foreseeable future (other than using magical thinking methods).

      62

      • #

        Maybe here’s an opportunity
        for a new ‘n fruitful psycho-survey
        by Cook and Lewandowsky,
        a study of Green-ideology,
        “Recursive-Origin-Theory:”
        …chain of being, age of the Earth,
        renewables emissions’ free production
        and virgin birth.’

        51

      • #
        Raven

        I reckon the DeLorean was an OK car too . . but the comparison was perhaps more to do with the fact that a large chunk of start up money came from the British government who were looking to create jobs.
        Sounds familiar.

        32

  • #
    pat

    22 Sept: Reuters: Amantha Perera: High costs slowing Sri Lanka push toward solar energy
    An ambitious plan by the Sri Lankan government to outfit 100,000 homes with solar panels, to turn them into power producers for the national grid, may be too expensive for many families to afford, experts warn…
    But shifting away from coal and other fossil fuel power to renewables – the country’s goal, according to Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, its power and energy minister – will be a challenge, the officials admitted…
    “Solar is still not very popular because entry level costs are high and it does not make economic sense to low-end consumers,” said Thusitha Sugathapala, an energy specialist at the University of Moratuwa.
    The cheapest entry-level home solar panel installation costs over 200,000 Sri Lanka rupees, or about $1,370. That’s because the materials must be imported, and face import duties, Sugathapala said…
    But experts like Sugathapala feel that more incentives will be needed to persuade families to shift to solar.
    “If we are to make solar attractive, then ideally there needs to be more attractive incentives,” he said, including things like cheaper costs for panels, free installation, government help in maintaining panels and a higher government payment for solar energy produced for the national grid…
    Currently, because the cost of imported solar equipment is high and coal is relatively cheap, coal is the cheapest option…
    Energy minister Siyambalapitiya said pressure to keep electricity prices low for consumers meant shifting to cleaner energy was unlikely to be cost-effective in the short run.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-srilanka-solar-energy-idUSKCN11S0BE

    20 Sept: Reuters: Maja Zuvela: First Balkans private power plant boosts coal dependence
    * Chinese-built plant is first privately built in Western Balkans
    * Plant increases regional dependent on dirty coal
    * Chinese investment playing growing role in region’s power
    STANARI, Bosnia, Sept 20 The Balkan region’s first privately-funded power plant came online on Tuesday, increasing the region’s dependency on coal-fired power stations even as environmental concerns are driving them to the brink of the extinction elsewhere in Europe…
    Lignite – the most polluting type of coal – is widely available in the Balkans, making it appealing to governments seeking ways of ensuring security of supply and keeping energy prices low while also placating influential mining lobbies.
    The new plant, which will generate 2,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, creating 1,000 jobs, will strengthen Bosnia’s position as a leading energy exporter to the region…
    Some 2,800 megawatts of extra coal-fired capacity is planned across the region in coming years at a total cost of 4.5 billion euros, most of it financed by China. With EU membership, carbon trading regulations will further increase the cost of coal, environmentalist Igor Kalaba said.
    EFT and Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic government, on whose territory the plant is situated, have dismissed these criticisms, saying the plant will meet EU environmental standards.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/bosnia-energy-idUSL8N1BV3AA

    22

  • #
    pat

    INSANE!

    22 Sept: Bloomberg: Jonas Cho Walsgard: Tesla Sued by Norway Car Owners as Speed Not Insane Enough
    Tesla Motors Inc. customers in Norway are seeking money back from the U.S. electric-car manufacturer, saying their models marketed with an “insane mode” of acceleration didn’t go fast enough.
    Some 126 owners of the Tesla Model S sedan’s P85D performance version are seeking unspecified reimbursements after the model only reached 469 horsepower instead of a pledged 700 hp, said Kaspar N. Thommessen, an attorney at Wikborg Rein law firm representing the plaintiffs…
    Tesla rejected the claims. The car meets requirements “according to the measurement method required by the authorities,” said Even Sandvold Roland, a spokesman for the automaker. Oslo District Court said it has scheduled hearings in the case for mid-December…
    ***Norway is one of the biggest markets for the Model S, in part because of state subsidies to encourage electric-car purchases…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-21/tesla-sued-by-car-owners-in-norway-as-speed-not-insane-enough

    22 Sept: Fortune: Tesla Gets Sued for Falsely Advertising Its ‘Insane Mode’
    Tesla just can’t catch a break…
    While Tesla no longer sells the model in Norway, its successor, the P90D, sells at $96,700…
    This is just one of the lawsuits the carmaker, helmed by businessman Elon Musk, is facing regarding false marketing and advertising. Gao Jubin filed a lawsuit in China, claiming the company exaggerated its autopilot feature’s capabilities, leading to his son’s death, according to the Wall Street Journal.
    It’s still unclear whether the autopilot feature was engaged when his son fatally crashed in January, but the Gao family plans to seek a third-party investigation into the events…READ ON
    http://fortune.com/2016/09/22/tesla-insane-mode-lawsuit/

    32

  • #
    Analitik

    Look at this report trying to hype Tesla sales in the UK as the UK “overtook” Norway in sales during Q2 of 2016
    Reality is that both markets took a dive but it was bigger in Norway than the UK

    UK becomes Tesla’s biggest European market, surpassing even Norway – for the moment

    The US news services don’t seem to have noticed the UK subsidy cut as they point to the UK as a shining light for future Tesla sales. I’ll have to bring this up on seekingalpha – thanks Jo.

    52

    • #
      Dennis

      US citizens, well some of them, are obviously keen to get back some of their taxes via a Tesla subsidised by Federal Government.

      12

      • #
        Mari C

        Even WITH the subsidies, even if they -doubled- the subsidies, I could not afford a Tesla. And honestly, if I could, I wouldn’t get one. There are too many other things I’d rather do with that kind of money than buy a giant paperweight.

        30

        • #
          tom0mason

          I’d never own one but I may rent one for a day or two at sometime, just so that I can recount I drove a publicly subsidized giant paperweight.
          You know, it’s that same feeling of maybe owning a DeLorean.

          10

  • #
    pat

    21 Sept: MarketWatch: Barry Randall: Even Musk can’t make SolarCity, Tesla deal make sense
    The only things Tesla and SolarCity share besides Elon Musk are a) a history of burning through vast amounts of other people’s cash, and b) billions of debt on their balance sheets.
    It’s been widely and credibly reported that SolarCity is running low on cash and that it can no longer reliably access the capital markets…
    If having a solar-installation company as part of the Tesla mothership is such a “no-brainer” (Musk’s words), why not simply let SolarCity go bankrupt, which it most certainly will without Tesla’s offer, and buy whatever operating assets you need for pennies on the dollar and avoid assuming SolarCity’s billions in debt?…
    But, you may ask, who’s really getting harmed here? Everyone involved is a grown up. Isn’t stock “risk capital?” Yes, most definitely. But Tesla and Musk are the beneficiaries of huge subsidy and tax-credit programs offered by federal and state agencies to develop alternative-energy sources and vehicles. Benefits put in place to jump-start industries that might eventually employ many tax-paying workers.
    Why should Musk be allowed to issue billions of dollars of Tesla stock, diluting existing shareholders and putting his whole enterprise at undue risk when he could so easily acquire what he wants merely by waiting for SolarCity’s bankruptcy, which will be along shortly? So Musk’s personal brand remains unsullied?…READ ALL
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/even-musk-cant-make-solarcity-tesla-deal-make-sense-2016-09-21?link=MW_TD_popular

    also worth reading all:

    21 Sept: MIT Technology Review: Doron Levin: Tesla’s Next Broken Promise
    Now Musk, assuming that Tesla will be able to develop and debug a factory production system that operates unlike any the world has seen, has promised a jaw-dropper: that Tesla will deliver 500,000 vehicles in 2018, two years more quickly than an earlier forecast. Once that goal is achieved, Tesla’s output will grow by 50 percent annually, Musk says, reaching about a million vehicles delivered annually by 2020. Although that output would constitute roughly a tenth of the number of vehicles currently manufactured annually by GM, Volkswagen, or Toyota, it would elevate Tesla from a plucky niche producer to a serious industry player.
    It will be a big jump for Tesla. In the first half of 2015, the carmaker built and delivered 21,537 vehicles from its single assembly plant in Fremont, California. That’s about half the total vehicles GM builds in one day at its 75 factories around the globe…
    With a typical assembly line producing around 60 vehicles an hour or roughly 1,000 a day on two eight-hour work shifts, a line might, at the outside, be able to manufacture more than 250,000 vehicles a year. (Several North American automotive assembly plants operate on three shifts of six-and-a-half hours. The biggest produce more than 500,000 vehicles a year.) The two-shift total assumes production goes flawlessly. Factor in supplier parts shortages, machinery breakdowns, quality problems, labor issues and changes to vehicle design, and annual production drops to the more typical 100,000 to 150,000 vehicles per assembly line per year.
    Those numbers show how hard a task Musk set for his company when he promised to ramp up production to 500,000 cars two years from now. The CEO may yet come up with some new surprise to keep his company in the game, but this deadline is destined to be missed.
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602436/teslas-next-broken-promise/

    42

    • #
      jorgekafkazar

      It’s good ta be da King of Woo-Woo Land!

      42

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      pat:
      It sounds like Tesla is in trouble and Musk is trying to hype his way to the next subsidy.
      Don’t buy any shares or bonds, which I expect is the reaction on the Stock Exchange.

      20

  • #
    pat

    22 Sept: NYT: Coral Davenport: Donald Trump, in Pittsburgh, Pledges to Boost Both Coal and Gas
    Mr. Trump’s energy promises to those attending a corporate conference contained a fundamentally incompatible concept, as expanding the exploration of natural gas is the surest way to hurt coal production, and vice versa. Since the two fuels compete directly for the same market — the power plants that light American homes — it is effectively impossible to increase production of one without decreasing the other.
    But ever the salesman, Mr. Trump gave it a go and promised to restore the region’s old coal economy and pump up its booming new gas economy…
    Energy experts said Mr. Trump’s pledges on gas and coal pandered to his audience while showing a lack of basic knowledge about energy markets…
    (Clinton) has also vowed to uphold President Obama’s climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan. The heart of the rule is a set of aggressive Environmental Protection Agency regulations intended to curb planet-warming carbon pollution, which comes mainly from coal-fired power plants. The rule has been temporarily suspended by a Supreme Court order, but if it is eventually upheld, it would most likely lead to the shutdown of hundreds of coal-fired plants — and an eventual freeze of the nation’s coal markets…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/us/politics/donald-trump-fracking.html?_r=1

    21 Sept: news.com.au: AP: Mead Gruver: Defying downturn in coal, 2 mines open
    Mines are closing and the US coal industry is facing a run of bankruptcies and other bad news, but a company backed by a $US90 million ($A117.13 million) investment is defying conventional wisdom by preparing to open two new mines in Appalachia, the hardest-hit coal region.
    The mines in West Virginia and Virginia will create some 400 jobs in counties where unemployment ranges close to three times the national average, Ramaco Development CEO Randall Atkins told The Associated Press.
    “It’s a fairly big deal, frankly, for southern West Virginia,” Atkins said…
    This coal won’t be used for electricity but for steel manufacturing. Metallurgical coal prices are up lately due to a mix of international market factors. But Ramaco can make the mines work even at even fairly low prices, Atkins said.
    The Elk Creek Mine in southern West Virginia and the Berwind Mine spanning the boundary between southern West Virginia and Virginia will be operational for around 17 years…
    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/breaking-news/defying-downturn-in-coal-2-mines-open/news-story/40ba19ceea1429603d5d1f9ce384badf

    Surging price of coking coal reflects China’s muscle
    Financial Times-21 hours ago
    The price of premium hard coking coal has more than doubled in the past six weeks to more than $200 a tonne as supplies have dwindled and …

    42

  • #
    pat

    meanwhile, something fishy going on!

    22 Sept: WaPo: En banc panel for Clean Power Plan expands (creating potential for a tie vote)
    By Jonathan H. Adler
    On Thursday, in a brief order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced that all but one of the court’s active judges (Merrick Garland) will be participating in the en banc review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan regulations. What this means is that the case will now be heard by 10 judges instead of nine.
    Why did this happen? Presumably because whatever conflict had required Judge Cornelia Pillard to recuse herself has been eliminated, but the court did not say.
    One interesting consequence of this change is that there is now an even number of judges hearing the case, and this creates the possibility (however remote) of a 5-5 split. When the Supreme Court splits evenly, the judgment of the lower court is upheld without opinion (and without a precedential holding)…
    Does it follow that a 5-5 vote is a win for the EPA? I would assume so — without a majority, the court lacks the power to vacate or remand the rule being challenged — but I do not know of a specific rule or precedent that speaks to this precise scenario…
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/09/22/en-banc-panel-for-clean-power-plan-expands-creating-potential-for-a-tie-vote/?utm_term=.d396e6060362

    22 Sept: E&E News: Amanda Reilly: Court adds 10th judge to hear arguments over landmark rule
    In a surprise twist to the legal battle over the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit expanded the panel of judges that will hear arguments next week.
    Judge Cornelia Pillard, who has sat out previous decisions on the litigation, will hear arguments Tuesday, according to an order issued this morning.
    All the court’s active judges — except President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Merrick Garland — will participate in the en banc arguments, the D.C. Circuit order says…
    In an extremely rare move, the D.C. Circuit had pushed back arguments on the climate rule that were originally scheduled for a three-judge panel in June to Tuesday in front of the full court.
    With Pillard, an Obama appointee, the panel hearing the case comprises six Democratic appointees and four Republican.
    The change could make it more difficult for challengers of the rule to succeed, said James Rubin, a partner at law firm Dorsey & Whitney…
    The court has given no indication of why Pillard didn’t participate in prior decisions or why she’s now been added to the panel.
    Russell Wheeler, an expert in judicial ethics at the Brookings Institution, said it’s possible Pillard got rid of an investment that had required recusal. Under the law, judges are required to recuse themselves from cases if they have stock ownership in a party involved in the litigation…
    http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060043279

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    Owen Morgan

    I actually saw a car plugged into a charging socket, for the first time, recently. It was in London, where they do have these ostentatious charging stations (there’s one in Berkeley Square, just outside the Bentley and the Rolls-Royce showrooms – an electric car certainly wasn’t there, last time I was in the neighbourhood). Any electric car is a design for short distances.

    I travel from my home to Edinburgh fairly regularly, always in one day. It’s about four hundred and fifty miles by road – a tiny distance, by Australian, US, or Canadian standards, I realise. The thing is that I couldn’t possibly do that in an electric car. It just wouldn’t keep going that long. Coincidentally, somewhere near the three hundred mile mark (the Tesla limit), there is one (yes, just ONE) socket for drivers of Teslas to re-charge their cars.

    Luckily, while they are queuing up, for about twelve hours, the people in the queue can enjoy the stunning Cumbrian scenery.

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    AndyG55

    OT, but surely NOAA has gone too far with their temperature data fabrication this time.

    http://realclimatescience.com/2016/09/noaas-namibia-fr**d/

    (copy link and change the ** to au)

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    pat

    22 Sept: Bloomberg: Jonathan Tirone: Three Brothers Seek to Overtake Tesla With Souped-Up Plug-In Cars
    BMW and Porsche are customers of Austrian garage startup.
    Auto executives are traveling to a remote Austrian town where three brothers are designing electric cars they say can go faster and further than anything made by Tesla Motors Inc.
    Kreisel Electric GmbH says it’s fielding 20 inquiries a day from automotive icons including BMW AG, Mclaren Automotive Ltd. and Volkswagen AG. They’re asking the Kreisel brothers for help negotiating a U-turn away from fossil fuels to join the electric-vehicle revolution.
    “The whole industry is searching, and we actually have the solution,” Markus Kreisel, 37, the middle sibling in charge of sales, said in an interview…
    Working out of a three-door garage, the Kreisel brothers — Johann, Markus and Philipp — are making battery packs and drivetrains for a new generation of plug-in cars, boats and airplanes…
    Closely-held Kreisel Electric has kept a grip on the business by eschewing bank debt and venture capital. Instead, it taps low-interest state loans earmarked for startups. Markus Kreisel said he knows Austrian Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner “very well.”
    “We have all the financing we need,” Kreisel said. “We can build our factory off cash flow. What we need is time.”…
    As orders grow, Kreisel anticipates a steep drop in battery prices, from about $140 a kilowatt hour now to less than $100 a kilowatt-hour.
    “The sales price today for large volumes over 100,000 cars would already be under $100,” said Kreisel, who buys cells from vendors including Panasonic Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. “Unfortunately, nobody’s making 100,000 cars today.”
    Kreisel doesn’t see the 100,000-car threshold reached until 2019, by which time Tesla will have ramped-up production and German automakers will have entered the fray of the electric-automobile revolution…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-22/three-brothers-seek-to-overtake-tesla-with-souped-up-plug-in-car

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      Owen Morgan

      “Plug-in airplanes”! What’s not to like?

      One thing that annoys me about any meter that predicts availability of power is that it doesn’t do the job in any mathematical way. I used to have a laptop (which never reached 100%, however long it was charged), which told me I had five hours of use at 97%, but only two and a half hours, at 92%.

      My car, not the most economical in the world, once told me, after I’d filled it up in Ross and Cromarty, that I had 480 miles’ worth of fuel. When I had crossed the whole of Inverness-shire, I supposedly still had 475 miles left. Anybody who has driven the A9 will know that it is difficult to use up fuel in any wild way there, but that was ridiculous.

      I don’t like the idea of “Sure, we’ve got enough electricity to get to New Zealand! Look at the monitor.”

      How would an electrically powered aeroplane actually get off the ground? I’m guessing that it wouldn’t (luckily for all inside).

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    Dave in the States

    How long can nations continue to flush wealth, ultimately borrowed from their children, down the toilet? This is what most of what Obama calls “green energy investments” amounts to. Not only are the numbers of the waste enormous out front, but the opportunity costs compared to leaving most of this wealth and capital in the private sector is incalculable.

    Even reasonable chunks of public money now being wasted on this phony crisis and on piles and piles of redundant “climate science” would be, and should be, much better spent on other real science.

    It only only makes sense to pull the plug on EV, and many other green energy, subsidies.

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    Roy Hogue

    UK government cuts electric car subsidies by half, sales mysteriously fall 75%

    There’s no need for Jo to say another word beyond that headline. This is so utterly predictable a fencepost could see it and I wonder why those who govern cannot.

    This phenomenon goes at least as far back as Ronald Reagan’s tax incentives to install solar water heating. When the incentive was there a lot of people got into the solar water heating business and sold systems left and right in such supposedly ideal places as sunny Southern California. And then the tax incentives disappeared and so did the people who sold the systems.

    This is a variation on the free lunch theme, nothing more than that to the buyer. And to the government? I think we all know it’s an attempt to force people into a government approved behavior. It hasn’t really worked out very well, has it?

    Big flop in the end. :-(

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      Roy Hogue

      The question now is, can they who govern learn from this? And so far the answer is no.

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      Roy Hogue

      That stray ” was supposed to be ?

      [Saw your comment and fixed it for you.] AZ

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      Mari C

      Roy, -everyone- knows Republicans don’t support alternative energy. Reagan could not have subsidized solar water heating, he was a Republican!! Evil incarnate!!!!!!

      Facts rarely stand in the way of the American ideologists, no matter what side of which fence they are standing.

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        Roy Hogue

        Sorry, but Reagan fell for it hook line and sinker. He had to sign the bill into law. No one could do it for him. :-)

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        Roy Hogue

        Mari,

        Your comment started me thinking and I did some research. You are correct in that solar water heating tax credits began in the Carter administration, not the Reagan. However it appears that they were not eliminated until 1986, roughly 5 years after Reagan took office in 1981. A good single source was hard to find but that appears to be the important detail. So that’s quite a long time under Reagan and probably why I thought I remembered that Reagan started it all.

        He took his own sweet time to eliminate them although he had a lot of congressional opposition during his whole presidency. Nearly everyone in the country and around the world hated him by 1986 (an exaggeration but not as much as you might think).

        My bad. :-(

        I actually fell for solar twice, both times after Reagan was in office. I bought one system and it didn’t work, still had credit left and bought a much better one and it didn’t work either.

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    ScotsmaninUtah

    Charging a battery is a bit like using your microwave to defrost your Turkey

    It is impossible to convince a Greenie that some things in life are impractical, like making long distant road trips in an “environmentally friendly ” electric car, or rapidly defrosting your 20lb Thanksgiving Turkey in a microwave …. :o

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    pat

    9 Sept: Quadrant: Tony Thomas: Left-Brained Science
    The Australian Academy of Science has a new chief — a woman with no PhD but, rather, the sort of credentials that so often these days seem prerequisites to head any body demanding taxpayer “investment” in its members’ pet causes and passions: Labor staffer, warmist and beat-up artist
    The Australian Academy of Science has a new chief executive, veteran Federal Labor Party adviser and activist Anna-Maria Arabia (left)…
    Arabia, whose role starts on October 24, has been director of policy/principal adviser to Bill Shorten for the past three years, earlier spending half a decade as adviser to Kim Beazley and Anthony Albanese. Pre-Shorten, she was CEO of Science & Technology Australia (STA).[1] On June 20, 2011, she led a war party of 200 STA members on an anti-science crusade to parliamentarians, her message being that “political leaders must put a stop to the misinformation campaign” by skeptics of the catastrophic global warming hypothesis, whom she bizarrely labelled “climate deniers”. Maybe she mistook federal parliament for the Reichstag…READ ALL
    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2016/09/left-brained-science/

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    pat

    23 Sept: CityAM: Jessica Morris: Business group calls for government to review its smart meter programme
    It comes after a survey by the Institute of Directors found less than one per cent of its members would pay for a smart meter upfront. It added that while the devices are being offered at no extra cost, the roll-out effectively works out to £400 per household through higher energy bills…
    Whitehall wants every home and business to be offered a smart meter by the end of 2020. This means 53m meters will need to be fitted in over 30m premises over the next four years…
    “There are much cheaper ways of automating meter readings, increasing switching and monitoring energy use, but instead we are pushing ahead with costly technology without consumers having all the facts,” Lewis added.
    “It looks very unlikely that smart meters will meet the target to be fully deployed December 2020. Even worse, many of the smart meters going in now will not work if the customer switches to a new supplier.”…

    23 Sept: EnergyLiveNews: Jacqueline Echevarria: Business group urges government to review smart meter programme
    Its latest survey, which asked 998 members of the group, revealed less than 1% of customers would willingly cover the full cost of smart meters if they had a choice.
    Nine in 10 said they would pay no more than half the cost of the technology (£200), while half would refuse to pay anything if they had the choice…
    https://www.energylivenews.com/2016/09/23/business-group-urges-government-to-review-smart-meter-programme/

    sounds a bit like the NBN! read somewhere in comments that one of the problems is they’re installing them one house at a time, rather than doing entire streets, which would be more economical:

    17 Aug: UK Register: Alexander J. Martin: £11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests
    This would be funny if it wasn’t worth 31 years of non-existent Brexit NHS funding
    There has been yet another delay in the ongoing saga of cash-burning that is the UK’s national smart meter initiative…
    The Data and Communications Company (DCC), which is responsible for providing the communications infrastructure for smart meters’ readings, is a subsidiary company owned by Crapita (often comically referred to as “Capita” by Private Eye), infamous for its outsourcing “successes”…
    Last year, the Institute of Directors warned that the smart meter project would add billions to consumers’ bills and that the rollout “should be ‘halted, altered or scrapped’ to avoid a potentially catastrophic government IT disaster”.
    Formerly run by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) — which has now become the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) — the project was initially intended to be operational by April 2015, though it was subsequently delayed until April 2016, then August 2016, and is now slated for September 2016…
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/17/smart_meters_delayed_again/

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    pat

    nothing’s too tacky for Bloomberg!

    23 Sept: Bloomberg: Eric Roston: Want to Slow Climate Change? Stop Having Babies
    The alternative? “Give up your toys.”
    That’s a glib summary of a serious and seriously provocative book by Travis Rieder, a moral philosophy professor and bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University…
    An edited transcript of an interview with him follows…

    Q: Pope Francis wants to fight climate change, but I’m not sure he’d be down with your full argument here.
    A: Religion—not only Catholicism but Mormonism, ultra-orthodox Judaism, that sort of thing—probably is a really good reason to think about using population as a way to raise the stakes. If you’re Catholic, and you’re really going to stare climate change in the face, refuse contraception, and continue to have sex anyway, there’s the foreseeable outcome that you will have more children than average. Well, then you really better be doing your darnedest in all sorts of other ways. When you make that choice, there’s a cost. You have to pay for it in some way…

    Q: How’s the reception to this work been?
    A: The far-right hate machine is in full swing, and I’m getting hate mail. All that good stuff.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-23/want-to-slow-climate-change-stop-having-babies-bioethicist-travis-rieder-says

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    [...] Funny what happens when the free market is left alone ~ UK government cuts electric car subsidies by half, sales mysteriously fall 75% ~   The Garbage Philosophy Behind The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Myth ~ The whole global [...]

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    Wayne Job

    Hi to all, I have been of line for many months due to a move, however relevant to this electric vehicle stuff, the chiefio has does an analysis of the comparison in MPG terms. It would seem that only when power supplies are cheap are there any gains, and in most cases it costs more per mile to run an electric vehicle. The co2 cost is probably more from a coal fired plant, so they are not so green. Then there is the cost of battery replacement when it no longer gets you to work and home. He did not look into the pollution involved in the making of the batteries or the disposal of the toxic waste. Cheers.

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