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« Cameron and Davis oppose Scottish MPs voting on English/ Welsh laws | Main | Cameron under fire for EPP promise »

Comments

Mark Fulford

A tribute to ingenuity and recklessness.

wasp

Mark that was just daft.

Because of its unreliability wind cannot be used to produce more than 20% of demand, otherwise the grid will fail when the wind does, with terrible effects for the economy.

Emissions capture & carbon sequestration, clean coal, CHP, micro-CHP, photovoltaics, wave power, nuclear fusion, tidal power.

All of these are areas for expansion but wind is not. I will not support a single new wind turbine until the government get serious about energy efficiency.

Daniel Vince-Archer

What about biofuels, geothermal energy and hydrogen cells Wasp? And please forgive my ignorance but what are CHP and micro-CHP?

 Ted

just a thought - its bl***y cold, power consumption high, gas prices at record levels...what's missing? Oh yes any wind to drive those ever so green turbines.

And if we get a winter storm later this week - we'll find the wind too strong so sails (or whatever they are) are put in safe position...still no power generation.

Oberon Houston

So, if the oil and gas is running out, and future security of supply is uncertain as it will need to come from less stable areas of the world... and clean energy is only practicle up to a point... We need Nuclear. In France 80% of power is, and their ultra modern reactors are extremely efficient.

Personally, I don't thing the majority of people are willing to accept a big drop in living standards to go 100% clean (some, the greens are) - therefore we need to comprimise, and I think Nuclear is the clear direction for us to go.

James Hellyer

"A tribute to ingenuity and recklessness."

Not at all. Nuclear power is reliable and safe. It's also the only way we hacve of securing our short and medium term energy needs, as our existing coal and nuclear plants go offline over the next decade.

Rick

Germany is a much bigger electricity market than the UK, in fact electricity consumption per capita is quite astounding when you compare.

Germany is dependent on Braunkohlewerke which is subsidised when Polish coal from Silesia is far cheaper. Each German miner receives a 60.000 Euro subsidy each year. When people talk of Germany they do not look at how much energy is expended to generate the tax revenues to subsidise coal miners, wind farms, and solar panels.

This is getting to be as stupid as the old COMECON Bloc where it was cheaper to feed bread to pigs than grain because of the subsidies.

Rick

What about biofuels, geothermal energy and hydrogen cells Wasp?

How do you make hydrogen cells ? Do you think there is energy required ? Do you know of any product or fuel source where more energy comes out than it absorbs to function ?

Daniel Vince-Archer

Don't get me wrong Rick, I'm not suggesting hydrogen cells are perfect, just like I'm not advocating a wholesale switch to wind power, I was just adding it to Wasp's list of energy generation methods. IIRC Iceland has run a very successful pilot scheme using hydrogen cells to power public transport and I believe similar schemes are being trialled in the US. During the oil crisis of the 70s, Brazil managed to satisfy a significant amount of its energy requirements using biofuels. All I'm saying is that before we rush to embrace or rubbish particular methods of energy generation, we should carefully consider the role that each method can play in an overall co-ordinated sustainable energy generation strategy.

Andrew

Hydrogen cells are not a method of energy generation. They are a method of energy transport and storage. Totally different problems...

Daniel Vince-Archer

"So, if the oil and gas is running out, and future security of supply is uncertain as it will need to come from less stable areas of the world... and clean energy is only practicle up to a point... We need Nuclear. In France 80% of power is, and their ultra modern reactors are extremely efficient."

Oberon, where does a significant quantity of the supply materials for nuclear energy generation come from? Isn't it from West Africa - hardly the most stable area of the world I'm sure you'll agree?

"Personally, I don't thing the majority of people are willing to accept a big drop in living standards to go 100% clean (some, the greens are) - therefore we need to comprimise, and I think Nuclear is the clear direction for us to go."

Personally, I don't think the majority of people are willing to accept a swathe of Monty Burns-type figures, ugly nuclear power stations, toxic waste incinerators and nuclear waste dumps on their doorsteps with the prospect of being the unfortunate victims of the next Chernobyl thrown in for good measure.

James Hellyer

Biofuels are typically a substitute or additive for petrol and motor oils, they are not replacement for civil power generation facilities.

James Hellyer

Known Recoverable Resources of Uranium: tonnes/ per centage of world market
Australia 1,074,000 30%
Kazakhstan 622,000 17%
Canada 439,000 12%
South Africa 298,000 8%
Namibia 213,000 6%
Russian Fed. 158,000 4%
Brazil 143,000 4%
USA 102,000 3%
Uzbekistan 93,000 3%
World total 3,622,000

"Personally, I don't think the majority of people are willing to accept a swathe of Monty Burns-type figures, ugly nuclear power stations, toxic waste incinerators and nuclear waste dumps on their doorsteps with the prospect of being the unfortunate victims of the next Chernobyl thrown in for good measure"

I think people can tell the difference between reality and "The Simpsons", and power stations and toxic waste dumps.

Furthermore, Chernobyl is an entirely false example to use, being as it was an obselete Soviet reactor, which was understaffed and was operating outside its safety protocols. Hardly representative of the UK nuclear industry!

 Ted

Rick

You are right in that for each development you need to look at the whole life energy usage - question being of that what proportion involves release of "greenhouse" gases.

Inefficient use of green or renewables doesnt have same enviromental impact - we can afford to waste 70-80% of wind power if the windmill over its life produces sufficiently more energy from that source to outweigh the additional energy from fossil fuels in producing and erecting the windmill ( If we didn't manufacture and erect that mill then we wouldn't have used x energy so not sure where the breakeven point is - 2x?).

This applies to majority of green solutions - anything that uses cement, aluminium etc. Possibly its only biomass - such as charcoal - which uses biomass to start the process than doesn't have a carbon cost but only if its delivered on foot or on grass fed animal powered wooden carts, without nails...:-)

wasp

Daniel CHP is Combined Heat and Power, essentially it makes very large efficiency savings and can be done on a relatively small scale as well as mass generation.

There is a new biofuels plant near me which is possibly going to provide a few jobs and a market for local agricultural produce, huzzah.

Hydrogen cells are an interesting proposal that is rightly being investigated but its a long way into the future.

Rick

During the oil crisis of the 70s, Brazil managed to satisfy a significant amount of its energy requirements using biofuels

Brasil still uses alcohol-powered engines in its cars - I believe Fiat has a good line in these - but considerng the diesel fumes you inhale on the Marginal in Sao-Paulo from those big 18-wheeler trucks it is the traffic jams that cause most pollution.

I remember how Jimmy Carter had PURPA to push unregulate Co-Generation from refineries and chemical plants; but the nightmare for the utility was that it retained liability for blackouts if the electricity did not arrive from the co-generator, and it had therefore to keep power stations idling as a reserve.

If people would accept brownouts and blackouts instead of wanting 100% uptime, electricity generation could be optimised in other directions. It just depends what people really want as opposed to what they say they want.

Andrew

90-95% availability with occasional blackouts sounds efficient at first glance, until you look at India. There countless businesses have their own power generators to cope, which are incredibly wasteful compared with large power stations.

Mark Fulford

Nuclear power is reliable and safe.

The logic equation is risk times potential damage. Yes, the risk is low, but the potential damage of a nuclear disaster is catastrophic.

The backyard equation is which would you prefer in your backyard: a nuclear power station or a wind farm?

1950’s nuclear power stations were as much reckless as ingenious. 2010 power stations can be much better, but they’re still not an attractive proposition. However, we haven’t done enough elsewhere and thus they’re inevitable.

wasp

Mark its NOT a choice between Nuclear and wind its a choice between Nuclear and gas/coal.

Renewable energy production is no longer about wind farms, they are a red herring being used by the Government to divert attention from their failings in other areas.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I take it this means our entente cordiale (or Nazi-Soviet Pact as some people have referred to it!) is over James? ;-)

"Biofuels are typically a substitute or additive for petrol and motor oils, they are not replacement for civil power generation facilities."

As electricity is increasingly seen as the likely replacement for fossil fuels, surely the use of biofuels in their stead would prevent an expansion of such power generation facilities.

"Known Recoverable Resources of Uranium: tonnes/ per centage of world market: etc"

Ok it appears I was wrong about West Africa, certainly with regards to uranium anyway. I had a quick look to try and find some statistics of my own but it's difficult to do that whilst I'm working! Of course your statistics don't make the distinction between producers and suppliers (and whether this is supply for domestic or external consumption) or enriched and unenriched uranium and they don't take account of other materials involved in nuclear power generation but I'll work with what I'm given. Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan are arguably neither reliable nor stable nor desirable trading partners. I'm not too sure about the situation with Namibia these days so I'll have to give the benefit of the doubt in that circumstance. Your list still leaves 13% unaccounted for but I'll let that pass.

"I think people can tell the difference between reality and "The Simpsons", and power stations and toxic waste dumps."

Point taken about The Simpsons. I never said power stations were the same as toxic waste dumps (in fact I didn't even use that expression). More nuclear power generation does however mean more nuclear waste.

"Furthermore, Chernobyl is an entirely false example to use, being as it was an obselete Soviet reactor, which was understaffed and was operating outside its safety protocols. Hardly representative of the UK nuclear industry!"

Well my point here was that the stigma of Chernobyl (or Three Mile Island if you prefer) is irrevocably attached to the nuclear power issue in the minds of most people. I am aware that Chernobyl isn't representative of British nuclear installations, however I'm not so sure that the British public as a whole wouldn't need some pretty strong convincing in order to get over their concerns that they could be the victims of the next Chernobyl.

James Hellyer

"Mark its NOT a choice between Nuclear and wind its a choice between Nuclear and gas/coal."

I think it's both. We need nuclear and clean coal.

Oberon Houston

Ah, now we are getting into an area of MIXED portfolio of energy supply. That sounds good to me.

Jack Stone

The truth as to be said that successive governments have failed this country by not putting into action a long term energy programme.
We have relied on gas too much and now we are heading for problems because of it.
I believe we have to have a mixture of energy sources including nuclear so we are not reliant on any one source of energy and I do believe more should be done to conserve energy by having a new energy conservation programme with a cabinet leval minister dirctly responsable for the programme. In my opinion far too much energy is wasted in this country by the public, government and business and more should be done to stop it.

wasp

Our biggest problem is a lack of direction from the government which seems to have no energy policy at all.

Energy policy has to be 3 things.

Reliable
Sustainable
Environmental.

Energy efficiency could save up to half the current usage. The rest has to come from a mixed portfolio.

I don't think clean coal is really for use in Britain I think Britain should be developing the technology and then UK firms could be contractors where clean coal is needed, ie India.

concerned

Another very interesting "opinion" from Jack. Perhaps he would like to tell us why he is a Tory party member. You are a party member, right, whoever you are?

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