I’ve come across a wonderful EU website that tells you all about the money they’re spending on their amazing projects in the UK, region by region. What a great resource.

An alternative viewpoint is that what we have here is a useful website for showing you how the EU is wasting your money in the UK.

You decide.

I decided to go for a little random wander about the site. Had a look up north, and look what popped up straight away:

Development and demonstration of intelligent non-contact inspection technology for concentrated solar power plants






The EU provided Applied Inspection Limited with £162,323 to fund 15% of the “INTERSOLAR” research project.

Over 160k for a couple of years research on a solar power project? Just what everyone in the north of the UK has been clamoring for, more solar power. The EU really knows what’s good for us, doesn’t it? Just think, if we leave the EU we won’t have the wise men and women of Brussels deciding what we should spend this money on. We can’t have ordinary people making such decisions, can we? Or Brexiteers? They might want to spend it on sick people. Or have lower taxes. No, no, we can’t be having that, better to stay in the EU so we can have some more of that lovely solar power, which will be powering all our homes after just one or two hundred more years research.

Even funnier is is the following — it looks really boring at first sight, but when you realise what it’s about it’s funny:

Solar thermal power plants still face several technical problems related to the structural integrity and inspection of critical components such as the absorber tube and piping of the coolant system. It is currently impossible to inspect the absorber tube as it is located inside a glass envelope under vacuum. Moreover a significant proportion of the coolant system is insulated to minimise heat losses and therefore it cannot be inspected unless the insulation has been removed beforehand. One of the highest priorities for the European solar thermal energy industry is the significant improvement of the structural reliability of critical components of CSP plants. This should involve a solid reduction in inspection and maintenance costs mainly associated with unpredicted failures and leaks.


INTERSOLAR seeks to decrease by a noticeable margin the number of failures associated with the coolant system and absorber tubes of CSP plants resulting in the minimisation of corrective maintenance costs. The consortium members of the project will achieve this through the development and successful implementation of an intelligent guided waves inspection platform based on the use of preferably non-contact Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer Sensors (EMATs).

In other words, solar power technology is hard to inspect, and so it’s always breaking down, so the EU wants to spend our money on trying to make solar power less useless and hugely expensive.

God bless each and every person involved in making EU decisions.

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5 thoughts on “My EU

  1. If solar power was worth doing private investors would be putting money into it without the EU having to get involved. The fact that they are involved strongly suggests that it isn’t worth doing.

  2. I was involved (as a farmer) in an EU funded scheme to try and develop a market for flax fibre in the UK, an early renewable resource if you like, this was 20 odd years ago. Some company got an EU grant to buy a decorticating machine (it basically splits the fibre from the hard stem material), and it wanted farmers to grow flax for it to process and then market to end users. So we grew flax. It was a great deal for us, we got a big subsidy to do it, plus we could sell the seed, and we provided the baled flax straw back to the company organising it all. Great, right? A good example of how EU grants can seed new industries.

    Wrong. The problem with growing flax for fibre in the UK is that the climate is all wrong. It grows fine, no problem there, however in order for the decorticating machine to be able to split the fibre from the stem, the straw has to do a thing called retting. Which basically means leaving the straw out in the fields to get rained on, so that the stems start to break down naturally, then baling it all up for processing. The trouble is that flax is only ready to harvest in September. So in order for the whole harvesting/retting/baling process to work you need the following weather: a dry period in early to mid Sept to harvest it, followed by some wet weather (but not too wet) to get the stems breaking down a bit, followed by another dry period to get the straw dry enough to bale up without all going mouldy. How likely do you think that is, in the UK? Put it this way in the 3 or 4 years we grew this flax I think we had one crop that was actually suitable to process for fibre. All the others were ruined by the wrong weather in Sept/October.

    So eventually the company trying to do all this (on EU money of course) realised it was a daft idea, you could never get a consistent supply of product thanks to the UK’s weather. So the whole scheme died a death. God knows how much EU money went into it, but would have been hundreds of thousands if not millions.

    But they’re the clever ones apparently………….

  3. Just read my first post again and substitute growing flax for solar power and it stays true. I suspect that it is almost always the case when politicians are “investing” other people’s money.

  4. I’d like the EU a lot more if they just gave all the money they got from the British government straight back to ordinary taxpayers.

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