The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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bjn
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:47 pm

Whatever you want to call it, nukes regularly get the playing field tipped in their favour with a variety of mechanisms, as do fossil fuels. Pedantry about whether you call that a subsidy is missing the point and just details the conversation.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:00 pm

bjn wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:47 pm
Whatever you want to call it, nukes regularly get the playing field tipped in their favour with a variety of mechanisms, as do fossil fuels. Pedantry about whether you call that a subsidy is missing the point and just details the conversation.
The way (at least in the U.K.) that nuclear got scales tipped towards it was by having a carbon price factored in to energy costs, which then helped renewables even though the original driver was to support nuclear.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:09 pm

bjn wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:47 pm
Pedantry [...] is missing the point and just details the conversation.
Was that intentional? Because it's a pretty good pun

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:43 am

dyqik wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:22 pm
To me, this reads like a very long way of saying that you believe that subsidies can only be monetary, not other things of value.
I did a search for the word "subsidy" on the Internet and then picked the top results that provide a definition. Here they are:

From Wikipedia:
A subsidy or government incentive is a form of financial aid or support extended to an economic sector (business, or individual) generally with the aim of promoting economic and social policy.
From https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... sh/subsidy
money given as part of the cost of something, to help or encourage it to happen:
From https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/r ... s/subsidy/
A subsidy is an incentive given by the government to individuals or businesses in the form of cash, grants, or tax breaks that improve the supply of certain goods and services.
From https://www.thefreedictionary.com/subsidy
1. Monetary assistance granted by a government to a person or group in support of an enterprise regarded as being in the public interest.
2. Financial assistance given by one person or government to another.
3. Money formerly granted to the British Crown by Parliament.
From https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dicti ... sh/subsidy
A subsidy is money that is paid by a government or other authority in order to help an industry or business, or to pay for a public service.
From https://www.tutor2u.net/economics/topics/subsidy
Payments by the government to suppliers that reduce their costs. The effect of a subsidy is to increase supply and therefore reduce the market equilibrium price.
From https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/subsidy
: a grant or gift of money: such as
a : a sum of money formerly granted by the British Parliament to the crown and raised by special taxation
b : money granted by one state to another
c : a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public
From https://www.dictionary.com/browse/subsidy
1. a direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like.
2. a sum paid, often in accordance with a treaty, by one government to another to secure some service in return.
3. a grant or contribution of money.
4. money formerly granted by the English Parliament to the crown for special needs.
From https://www.wallstreetmojo.com/subsidy/
A subsidy in economics refers to direct or indirect financial assistance from the government to an individual, household, business, or institution to promote social and economic policies.
From https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/Subsidy
Definition: Subsidy is a transfer of money from the government to an entity. It leads to a fall in the price of the subsidised product.
I would therefore conclude that if you want to be understood you should restrict your plain use of the word "subsidy" to referring to money. If you want to describe a non-monetary benefit (e.g. providing premises rent-free), say "indirect subsidy". If you want to refean exr to an advantage gained by externality not being accounted for, don't use the word "subsidy" at all as many people will be deceived by that usage.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Sciolus » Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:20 am

So something that has exactly the same effect as a subsidy, but works in a slightly different way, needs a completely new word? Got it.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Orabona » Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:12 am

'So something that has exactly the same effect as a subsidy, but works in a slightly different way, needs a completely new word?'

Murder / manslaughter.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:51 am

Sciolus wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:20 am
So something that has exactly the same effect as a subsidy, but works in a slightly different way, needs a completely new word? Got it.
Apparently a gift of free access to 100,000 acres of land to a corporation, or preferential access to railways to carry goods, or permission to dump waste on government owned land has no value if no money changes hands.

This is, of course, completely backwards. Money only has value because it can be used to purchase things of value. Monetary subsidies are only subsidies because the money can be used to purchase things of value.
Last edited by dyqik on Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:53 am

Orabona wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:12 am
'So something that has exactly the same effect as a subsidy, but works in a slightly different way, needs a completely new word?'

Murder / manslaughter.
Also known as "killing someone".

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by monkey » Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:05 pm

dyqik wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:53 am
Orabona wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:12 am
'So something that has exactly the same effect as a subsidy, but works in a slightly different way, needs a completely new word?'

Murder / manslaughter.
Also known as "killing someone".
"Homicide" might be useful, if you need to keep things under a word count.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:12 pm

monkey wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:05 pm
dyqik wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:53 am
Orabona wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:12 am
'So something that has exactly the same effect as a subsidy, but works in a slightly different way, needs a completely new word?'

Murder / manslaughter.
Also known as "killing someone".
"Homicide" might be useful, if you need to keep things under a word count.
That's the word I was looking for.

In a more direct analogy, we have a word for illegally taking someone's lunch money. And a word for illegally taking someone's lunch.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by IvanV » Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:13 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:22 pm
To me, this reads like a very long way of saying that you believe that subsidies can only be monetary, not other things of value.
No, that wasn't my intention.

What I was distinguishing between was:

- governmental actions that result explicitly handing stuff over to people, which puts the government out of pocket (whether directly or indirectly), and is the result of direct action taken by government. As M. Al's search demonstrates, this is what nearly everyone means by "subsidy" (including "indirect" subsidies), and

- governmental omissions to charge people money, that would take money out of consumer's pockets, and if implemented actually fill the government's pockets if implemented. The two concepts of this nature mentioned are mainly failing to tax externalities (sufficiently), and failing to tax something as high they tax something else. The first of these omissions the IMF has described as "post-tax consumer subsidy". This not a subsidy as normally understood, but a "post-tax_consumer_subsidy", an academic idea in the minds of some economists. The second of these omissions has been defined as a subsidy by certain reports whose main purpose is to make it look like the fossil fuel industry gets huge subsidies. And no one respectable has even mentioned it, except in the context of a different subject, State Aids.

Plainly this is arguing over what words mean, which, it can be said, rarely matters for anything. But when what words mean is used to come to conclusions, then it starts to matter.

Clearly governments often "help" the fossil fuel industry. The nature of this help depends whether it is profitable, or mainly oil and gas, and also some largescale opencast coal, or unprofitable, such as much deepmined coal.

The main reason for "helping" the oil and gas industry is that governments typically collect huge sums of money from it. So it's cooperation to ensure that the government gets a lot of money, not cooperation that results in a net positive benefit to the companies producing oil and gas. It seems funny to call this a subsidy, when the net effect is that the government makes a lot of money out of it. It's the same kind of cooperation the government might give to any industry that will develop the economy and generate positive tax receipts.

The main reason for "helping" unprofitable coal industries, typically deep mined, is what happened in Britain in the 1970s and 80s. Your electricity industry depends on it and you'll have power cuts unless you transition slowly enough. And often the miners are a major political force, which the government might wish to keep onside.

Another issue is consumer subsidies in countries which have traditionally kept the price of fuel low as a kind of income support for the poor. It generally happens in low income countries. It's not a great idea, but then you need to have a different idea for income support to the poor. And typically there are major riots when you try to withdraw it.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by dyqik » Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:24 pm

Ignore this. I don't have time to write a response.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by lpm » Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:33 pm

Not much point in discussing one person's individual take on the meaning of a word.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:16 pm

Grumble wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:00 pm
bjn wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:47 pm
Whatever you want to call it, nukes regularly get the playing field tipped in their favour with a variety of mechanisms, as do fossil fuels. Pedantry about whether you call that a subsidy is missing the point and just details the conversation.
The way (at least in the U.K.) that nuclear got scales tipped towards it was by having a carbon price factored in to energy costs, which then helped renewables even though the original driver was to support nuclear.
I'd love to pull down the data from https://www.lowcarboncontracts.uk/cfds and estimate how much each generation source gets paid over their lifetimes. 3,277MW * 24 * 365 * £104 at 90% capacity is quite alot (~£7.1M/day). No other single generator on that register will get anywhere near as much. Some early wind farms have a higher strike price, but they are only a few hundred MW. The new large farms going in Dogger Bank are ~1,600MW in aggregate and only have a strike price of around £48.

One of the main things that nukes get is mitigation of massive risk by state subsidy (f.ck it I'm using the word, don't care what Ivan thinks). Hinckley has the government picking up the tab if it goes Chernobyl, and picks up the tab if it goes Summer/Flamanville (the construction of the first bankrupted Westinghouse, the construction of the second should have bankrupted EDF). The EU even wrote a report on how Hinkley was contracted wasn't really a good idea. They also pointed out that they are sufficiently large that they could manipulate the market, Enron stylee.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:17 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:09 pm
bjn wrote:
Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:47 pm
Pedantry [...] is missing the point and just details the conversation.
Was that intentional? Because it's a pretty good pun
I wish it was!

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Sciolus » Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:43 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:33 pm
Not much point in discussing one person's individual take on the meaning of a word.
Normally I agree that bickering about the meaning of a word is the most valueless argument possible, but when people define a word to exclude a certain phenomenon and use it to pretend that that phenomenon doesn't exist, it's an issue. (Not saying that Ivan does that second bit, but plenty of people do.)

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Fri Oct 22, 2021 9:55 am

If people want another word then "benefit" will probably suffice. "Subsidies and benefits". There. Nice and neat.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:47 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Fri Oct 22, 2021 9:55 am
If people want another word then "benefit" will probably suffice. "Subsidies and benefits". There. Nice and neat.
I quite liked "help". As in, "the government helps the fossil fuel industry when they should be working to shut it down". Easy peasy.
You can shove your climate crisis up your arse!

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by plodder » Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:18 pm

or "military / industrial complex" if you really need to say a lot in a short space.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:07 pm


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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by FlammableFlower » Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:27 pm

What gets me is that he then tried to:
1) Make out that he'd "won" the argument when the guy from Insulate Britain didn't respond
2) Claim that actually he was right by trying to use bacterial concrete as an "ah ha" - except it's barely used and would still require dredging for sand.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Aitch » Thu Oct 28, 2021 10:38 am

https://www.fossilbanks.org/ don't seem to think fossil fuels are dying fast enough. They may have a point.

Though I don't think they're poster campaign is having much effect round here.
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Only seen two; probably put up by the same person who does the XR posters.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:25 pm

Lazard’s have their latest LCOE and LCOS reports out, as well as a new Levelised Cost Of Hydrogen report.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:43 pm

Summary page from the LCOE report. New build wind and solar are cheaper than other forms of generation; new build wind and solar are also cheaper than the marginal cost of production of coal, they are now nearly cheaper than the marginal cost of production for nukes and CCG.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Wed Nov 10, 2021 4:01 am

Interesting analysis (youtube) of the electrification of short haul aviation (less than 300kms or so). Basically the reduction in fuel and maintenance costs more than make up for the increased capital cost of the aircraft. This would lead to large drops in ticket prices and invert the economics of aviation, so that short haul becomes cheaper per mile than long haul. Short haul airlines (eg Cape Aviation in the USA) are already placing preorders with electric aeroplane startups.

This kind of thing leads to a virtuous technology cycle. There is a compelling business case for a technology that works in a specific market, so things get built to satisfy that market. As that tech matures it improves and costs drop, which means it can then satisfy adjacent markets. Rinse and repeat and until suddenly Kodak goes bust. However, there are physical limits as to what you can do with batteries in a plane, so Rolls Royce will still be making engines for long haul jets for a while yet.

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