Saturday, 18 December 2010

£millions more of our money misdirected by Ministers



Another massive cost of trying to achieve the Kyoto promise.........

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (oh what a presumptive title) has proposed that Taxpayers' money should be further redistributed, via the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

The Treasury (using our taxes) is to pay to anyone 9p/kWh for heat generated using a small (less than 45kW) solid biomass boiler.

The payment will be based on a 'deemed' output based on what the installed system will be expected to deliver, if the property is well insulated. [Cue for the creation of an Assessing Quango; and, the Training of Assessors Quango - someone has to be paid to 'deem' all these systems.] Payment will continue for a guaranteed 15 years.


Will the scheme be policed & monitored to prevent unscrupulous claimants stealing taxpayers' money? [Cue another 'Monitoring' quango.]

Will the final installation be inspected to prevent a fraudster claiming they've installed a solid biomass boiler when they haven't? [More inspectors?]

What's to prevent a fraudster claiming they're running a solid biomass boiler (with it's labour-intensive hassle) & getting paid 9p/kWh, when in fact an installed biomass boiler lies idle whilst they use their fully-automatic gas boiler that costs them only 3.202 p/kWh at Tier 2 prices?

Does biomass save any CO2? Will it continue to do so in 14 years when all our forests that take 25 - 30 years to grow, have been cut down & burnt? How much CO2 is expended cultivating / growing / using energy to cut it down & transport it to a processing plant many miles away (remember, all the 'local' trees were cut down in the early years) / using energy to regularly transport truck-loads from processing plant to consumer etc?

The Clean Air Act 1993 states "Dark smoke shall not be emitted from a chimney of any building, and if, on any day, dark smoke is so emitted, the occupier of the building shall be guilty of an offence." Why does DECC encourage (by subsidy) the use of a potentially polluting fuel that will inevitably contravene CAA 1993?
There's also the irony of using "Kiln-dried timber" as a CO2-reducing fuel source.

Contributed by JoePublic

29 comments:

Smoking Hot said...

The amount of hot air produced by politicians, civil servants and councils should be capable of heating the world.

Quiet_Man said...

Burn an environmentalist from the Department of Energy & Climate Change, you know it makes sense ;-)

Richard said...

Point of Information, Mr Chairman: kiln-dried timber is used in furniture-making. No-one in their right mind would use it for fuel. Way too expensive.

Joe Public said...

Richard, this outfit seems to think it's OK for fuel.......

http://www.logs2u.co.uk/using-wood-fuel

I agree that for furniture making, timber has to have a relatively low water content to prevent it drying & warping in a centrally heated house.

Richard said...

That's madness. Kilned timber for furniture needs to be ~11% moisture, which is pretty dry. As you say, that's with a centrally-heated location in mind. My fuel timber comes to me at between 20% and 30% moisture, and is ready to burn at 15% or lower. Those last few % take a long time.

I suppose there is a kind of sense to it, although I would like to see the sums. I have noticed that timber at <10% moisture burns far better than wetter stuff (no surprise), but you also only use about half as much, as it isn't wasting its own energy drying itself out before it burns. Dry wood burns better, and hotter, for longer, cleanly, and more efficiently. There may, therefore, be a case for kiln-drying firewood, but it would be a slim one. Those kilns cost a lot to operate.

Richard said...

Bloody hell! £134 a cube! I get mine at £150 a load, which is just over a tonne, or about 2.5 cube. And that's just until my own felling dries out enough to join the cycle.

JRB said...

Having spent a lifetime cutting timber, transporting it home, where it is cut and split into usable pieces, which are then stacked and stored for drying, and once dry they are then carried into the house for use in the wood burning stove which has to be cleaned out on a regular basis.

I probably expended more energy in getting the dried timber to the stove, than the energy the stove actually produced. The romance of having a wood burning stove, fuelled by ones own sustainable timber, has long since been lost.

I’m sorry, but in my advancing years there is something satisfying on cold days like these in simply being able to adjust a thermostat and hear the oil fired boiler roar into life producing all the heat required.

Now I just enjoy walking through the trees, and the chain-saw remains in the tool shed, but if the prices in Joe Public’s link are anything to go by, then I might start cutting timber again – to sell to unsuspecting townies.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

JRB.
With you all the way.

I've three log burners in the house. One in my study which is a necessity because its in the barn and has no other means of heating. The other two are purely for emergencies or ambiance.

There is a load of work to the stacking, kindling and servicing of these which makes their viability dubious to say the least.

There is however one aspect that I'm committed to; the costs go to people not rip-off conglomerates. I take some satisfaction from that.

cynicalHighlander said...

The Firewood Poem
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year,
Chestnut's only good they say,
If for logs 'tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold

Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
it is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E'en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke,
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and old
keep away the winter's cold
But ash wet or ash dry
a king shall warm his slippers by.

The firewood poem was written by Celia Congreve, is believed to be first published in THE TIMES newspaper on March 2nd 1930.

Richard said...

@JMB - true, but I enjoy it, and somehow it feels better than just flicking a switch. As they say, wood warms you twice.

@CH - a nice poem, which may be roughly reduced to - burn hardwood. Softwood spits and crackles, and never seems to get the temperature of hardwood.

Demetrius said...

Yup, also biomass burning puts stuff in the air just like other stuff. Biomass needs land to grow on. With a growing world population we need more land to grow food. But we need the biomass to transport the food. There is something there that does not quite fit.

Oldrightie said...

What doesn't fit is the sheer number of people wanting to be warm or cool simultaneously!

subrosa said...

I thought I would have a biomass stove not so long ago but then realised the cost is excessive.

Like you John I prefer the simplicity of switching a thermostat.

Do hope you're not having oil delivery problems.

Joe Public said...

Smoking Hot........

With a moniker like that, its two contraventions - Clean Air Act & excessive energy consumption!

Joe Public said...

Quiet_Man .......

Why does it have to be an environmentalist? Anyone from that propaganda outfit will do.

Joe Public said...

JRB .........

As Richard says, providing your own fuel warms you twice.

The biomass wood pellets get delivered via lorry & dumped in your hopper.

What? Only a narrow drive and no space for a hopper? Oh dear, well there's always that other 'renewable' money maker called photo-voltaics.

Joe Public said...

C&RAPs......

Maybe your woodburners may qualify?

If you leave an internal door open, you may be able to classify it as warm-air central heating.

Joe Public said...

(not so) cynicalHighlander .......

Great find / memory.

That would be a good submission for Britain's Got Talent - Poet Laureate edition.

Joe Public said...

Richard in response to cH........

Apt truism.

Joe Public said...

Demetrius .........

Yup, yet another conflict & contradiction.

Joe Public said...

Oldrightie ........

So much for David Milliband, as UK Environment Minister, stating:-
"I think that the scientific debate has now closed on global warming, and the popular debate is closing as well"

Joe Public said...

SubRosa ..........

You've highlighted another issue that'll get swept under the carpet.

During times of greatest need (like when its just snowed), and the rural locations of most customers will have the the trickiest road conditions, reliable lorry deliveries will be 'challenged'. In addition, because the fuel is so bulky, one lorry can't carry anywhere like as much 'heat' as an oil or LPG tanker.

This means more lorry journeys, using more diesel. Oh dear - there goes all the savings.

Unless of course they re-introduce the steam-engine with a log-fired furnace. Fred Dibnah would be in his element.

cynicalHighlander said...

@Richard try European Larch and re poem I disagree about Elm when dead will give a great heat but watch your grate. Only twice? felling, clogging,loading(transporting), unloading,splitting and stacking all prior to putting in fire basket before benefitting from the heat.

Richard said...

I'm pretty sure the saying means 1) felling, and 2) burning, but I agree - there's a lot of warm work besides those two.

Anything that gives me an excuse to use the chainsaw gets my vote. Chainsaws go 'brum'. This is good.

Apogee said...

I recall reading that at one time the Egyptian Railways fuelled their locomotives by burning mummies, seems from the report there was a good supply.

Joe Public said...

Apogee ........

I guess many readers & others would consider some of the Climate Change 'proponents' would be more useful to mankind fuelling an energy need.

After a little research I found:-

"About 15% of the body weight is skeleton and perhaps 50+% is water (plus a little bit in the skeleton that we already counted), so you end up with 30-35% combustible material by mass. Let's just estimate that about 1/3 of that is fats and fatty acids (36 MJ/kg), and the rest is protein and carbohydrate (21 MJ/kg). Then you get an average of 26 MJ/kg of combustible material. But only 1/3 of the body mass is combustible, so the end result is 8-9 MJ/kg."

adamcollyer said...

Sounds nearly as bad as the feed in tariff scheme (where your energy supplier pays you 41p per kWh, or roughly four times the going rate, guaranteed for 25 years, for electricity generated from a domestic solar panel installation).

Joe Public said...

AdamC ...........

There are similarities, and there's one huge discrepancy.

With Feed-In Tariffs, you get paid on a metered input to the National Grid.

The RHI scheme pays out on a theoretical (i.e. Guessed) basis. It is subjective & based upon the personal opinion of an Assessor of questionable experience / qualifications / ability / training.

Not quite, but nearly, "Here's a blank cheque, fill in the amount you'd like taxpayers to give you."

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Joe Public
Ah you mean this scheme is run on the same lines as politicians salaries, expenses etc.?

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