Archive for May 2013

Australia plans solar subsidy cuts

The Queensland government is considering higher charges and subsidy cuts for solar panels saying that it is unfair that the majority subsidise the minority.

Solar subsidies have been cut by the British government in recent years too with further cuts to come.  Solar panels just don’t produce enough electricity in this country to cover the cost of their installation, maintenance and eventual disposal.  And if they don’t produce enough electricity to be economically viable in Queensland which has unbroken sunshine for as much as a third of the year then there is no hope in England where we have sunshine for about one sixth of the year.

Solar panels are a false economy just like windmills.  They don’t produce enough electricity to power your home and they are only economically viable if you’re subsidising yourself through your taxes.  It won’t be long before the subsidy on solar panels drops below the payback level for the companies that own them and who pays then?  I can’t imagine the contracts leaving the solar panel companies out of pocket.

The only way solar power is going to pay is by building them in right from the outset with photovoltaic roof tiles on new builds and some more thought at the design stage to align houses north south to make them sun traps.  These winding, “organic” looking road layouts might look great on an artist’s impression and break up the monotony of the built environment but they’re no good for solar power and if the industry is serious about making solar pay then they have to start supporting it by design.

Australia is miles further down the road of environmentalist lunacy and solar power as it is now won’t survive the subsidy cuts.  In a few years’ time we’ll point at houses with these big shiny bits of plastic on their roof and mock them like we did with BSB’s squarials and Ionica’s octagonal microwave dishes.

Co-operative Bank closes to new business

The Co-operative Bank has been closed to new business while its Co-op parent group decides whether it can be saved from bankruptcy.

The Co-operative Bank - Don't panic?


The Co-op bought the Britannia Building Society a couple of years ago for stupid money and has made big losses ever since.  Its business model of shunning profitable business to invest in left wing political projects and the global warming scam have done nothing to improve their profitability.  Nor has laundering a quarter of their profits through the Co-operative Party to prop up the Labour Party with MP sponsorships and party funding.

Labour owes £3.8m to the Co-operative Bank whilst receiving 47 donations last year from the Co-operative Bank totalling nearly £111k.  Co-operative Bank also has another bank which it uses to fund Labour – Unity Trust Bank.  Labour owes Unity Trust Bank nearly £1.9m.  The Co-op also donated over £1m to the Co-operative Party via various subsidiaries last year which the Co-operative Party uses to sponsor Labour MPs.

If the Co-op reined in its spending on political activities and concentrated on running its bank as a business it might not have found it being downgraded 6 points to junk status by Moody’s and be facing the prospect of winding the bank up or selling it off.

Gove heckled by headteachers

Michael Gove has been heckled by delegates at the National Association of Head Teachers conference who are mainly opposed to the drive to turn schools into academies, SATS and difficult OFSTED inspections.

It’s right that schools should face tough OFSTED inspections.  We send our kids to school for a decent education – they don’t get a second chance.  The quality of their education determines their prospects in adult life, of course we should demand high standards.  I don’t want my childrens’ teachers burdened with unnecessary targets but I want them to be under constant pressure to achieve because the better they are, the better my childrens’ education will be.

I do agree that SATS are a bad idea though, as are exams as a whole.  Continual assessments are a much better way of assessing ability than performance under stressful exam conditions at a certain point in time.  The worst thing about SATS, though, is that they’re essentially useless – SATS are taken after secondary schools have made decided which kids they’re going to offer places to which negates their only real use which is to stream children into grammar schools.

Academies are a different matter entirely – they are absolutely the right way to go.  Headteachers are better at running schools than local council officers.  It takes years to the right qualifications and experience to be a headteacher, a council officer doesn’t.  It’s no co-incidence that the top performing schools in the country are outside of local authority control.  Headteachers who don’t have the ambition or competence to run a school without administrators at the local council telling them what to do should stand aside for someone who does.

Subway Surf never ending magnet bug

Here’s a gift for the Subway Surf fans out there: I’ve found a bug that will give you a never-ending magnet (at least until you’re caught).

The other night I was lying in bed playing Subway Surf (as you do) and was approaching a jetpack when I accidentlly swiped into a train, allowing the secuity guy to catch me up.  As I was pickig up the jetpack I swiped into a train again, allowing the security guard to catch me.  Except he stayed on the ground while my character flew into the air upside down as if being held up by one leg with magnet in hand.  Capture avoided.

What was interesting though was that after the jetpack ran out my character dropped to the ground again and still had the coin magnet in hand even after the timer bar had run out.  My curiosity got the better of me and I crashed into a barrier to se if I was invincible.  I  wasn’t but was a bit wealthier than I was when I started!