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back to article Lights out, Britons told - we're running out of power

Carbon quango The Energy Saving Trust has come up with a new reason for Britons to save energy in the home. Our power stations will soon close, and you'll need to do your bit. That's what one Reg reader discovered, after enquiring about the Trust's calculations on the effectiveness of new low-energy bulbs. "A reduction in …

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Footnote

More efficient bulbs may require an increase in the need for space heating, but last time I checked, that was largely provided by gas, which is both cheaper than electricity (per unit of heat), and not facing the same kind of supply gap.

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Unhappy

There are alternatives

You don't *need* the nasty coal and gas power stations. There are new nuclear power stations planned - but people don't like them either.

OK, we can burn our waste: create energy and remove landfill, except poeple don't want that either.

Right, lets use wind power. It's a bit variable because it depends on the weather, but people don't like it. The turbines spoil the view.

Fuck it. Let's all live in the dark, then.

There's some tough decisions to be made, and people are going to be pissed off with the decisions. But we need some way of generating electricity. Unless we're going to buy it (more) off the Frenchies.

Come on Gordo & The Broon-ites, make a decision for once.

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Anonymous Coward

Time We Put National Interest First

Simple, don't turn the old power stations off until new sources of power come on stream. No energy gap. Do you think people will really care that much about the pan European dream or climate change if OAPs start freezing to death & people come home from work to dark cold houses?

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useless

Fucking

Wankers!

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Anonymous Coward

Time to...

Dig out the ol' candles the missus loves so much and start using them!

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What sprang to mind...

...was "Bollocks"

as in, that's my opinion of government policy so far this century.

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Anonymous Coward

gonna be fun

Gonna be fun, we're going to get to enjoy rolling blackouts! I can't wait.

The decisions are all to hard for governments in this era of media driven democracy any decision made may make them unpopular so nobody will make a decision.

Of course the solution should have been, build nuclear power stations, and invest real money in domestic fusion research. Say the billions of pounds we spunked bombing brown people over the past few years.

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Alert

We should look into energy from everything...

... Wind, landfill (like one community already has - burning the methane from their landfill provides electricity and heat to 4,000 homes), coal, nuclear, anything that is safe, clean, and logical.

Burning waste is not necessarily bad, but when health concerns come into play, then yes, I wouldn't want a waste incinerator in my backyard either. Active biodigestion and burning the gas, now there's something interesting. However, the smells are what turn people off.

Stop dithering and get on it.

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@AC - There Are Alternatives

NIMBYism rules KO.

Anyone think the US would shut down power stations and leave themselves at a disadvantage, or the French put a Euro rule above national interests?

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Stop

Nuclear - yes please (reluctantly)

It's the only way to maintain current energy requirement levels.

We need to consume less and, critically, breed less.

People can bury their heads in the sand all they like, but renewables simply can't and won't ever provide enough energy for our requirements while we continue to consume the planet like there's no tomorrow.

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It's going to be like living the 70s

Except we don't have as good music

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Anonymous Coward

The culminaton of 11 years of screwing up....

turns out it's our fault!

They've done the same with roads. I think they went along these lines "We can't manage the transport system, so let's tell people it's there fault for using it too much/in the wrong way".

Now the fact that they've had plenty of time to replace power stations on an EU directive they signed up to (it wasn't forced on us) turns ot to be our fault too.

PS. I think Gas is facing a supply gap in that each winter there's some political problem over supply and threats of shortages.

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Flame

Enough of this eco-bollocks!

Stop building these damn windmills and start building some proper power stations for goodness sake, its not so f**cking hard!

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Coat

So that's why...

Low-energy lightbulbs are being flogged in the supermarkets for a couple of pence each. It's not that they want us to lower our energy bills, it's to reduce the load on the grid.

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This is news?

We've known about this for at least the past 5 years, the government has known , the tories have known as well yet nothing is done

And more than likely, nothing will be done until the power trips out somewhere and the resulting surges take down the national grid.

Then everyone can have a nice inquiry as to what went wrong and why so many ppl froze to death or died in the tube system panics.

Note if the will and courage was there in our so called 'leaders' there would be no power gap as we could easily build new nuclear power stations within the next 5 years( thats 4 months to build, 4 months to evict the direct action protestors and 4 yrs 4 months for the planning inquiry/appeals )

Flames... because thats what we'll be cooking and lighting with....

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Britain's like Iceland...

Two countries, with appalling weather in the North Atlantic. English is spoken in both - although arguably better in Iceland. The economy in each country has been frankly buggered. But Iceland's more appealing because at least they can keep the lights on.

And you can buy delicious free-range organic whale.

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Power cuts starting already

I live about 3 miles just north of Enfield, North London and I have had several power cuts within the last 6 months some lasting a few minutes, one that went on for over 7 hours. My road lost power then about 2 days later a road about 800 yards away lost power for an hour. Something is not quite right out their in the grid.

I did a quick straw poll around my office and found that at least 75% of the people I asked never turn their machines off. I found that bizarre! I always shut my machines down, except my webserver, more than anything to make sure the curtains don't go up in smoke. You can save a few quid, a couple of 500w power supplies running half the time they normally would, soon makes a little dent in your bills and might save a few penguins.

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Keeping us in the dark...

Literally.

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@There are alternatives

Tough decisions are needed but this government does not seem to be able to make them unless it is in order to decrease out freedoms....

...besides without power paedo's can't use the internet anymore, thankfully the children will all be saved by Super Jaqui.

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Flame

Wow! A wrecked economy and no power!

Is Gordon to play the bagpipes while this country [metaphorically] burns?

RE:Time We Put National Interest First

I couldn't agree more -- the ability of the population of this country to keep warm and stay productive should outweigh any European leanings. Still, with our economy the way it is we'll probably be kicked out of the EU for becoming a second-world country.

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Re:There are alternatives

Absolutely. I wish someone would tell these wankers:

http://www.thwart.info/

Tossers who are quite happy to cook, wash, watch TV, etc using electricity generated by a coal / gas / nuclear power station that's blighting someone's life, as long as its not theirs.

Fecking NIMBY arsewipes!

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Anonymous Coward

Another reason to turn out the lights

"But should the public turn out the lights because of the failure of political leadership?"

Yes, because they need the money to pay the taxes to cover the financial commitments entered into by the political leadership.

You lot should stop worrying about heating and invade someplace tropical that has more than just sand and ungrateful natives. Look at how the Aussies turned out - it can't be all bad.

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Anonymous Coward

Another disaster from Mr Blair

what a useless man.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC - There are alternatives

The point about nuclear power is that the planned stations will not be online by the time the existing "dirty" stations are shut down. Given that uk.gov had a 14 year window in which to get the nukes on line this is inexcusable.

Burning waste. Sorry no good under the EU rules, it's not "carbon neutral".

Wind? Whether people like the view or not it is not a practical source of power. When it's windy it's great, but when it's not you need an alternative. Of the clean alternatives nuclear is too slow to come online to cover the shortage; we simply don't have the geography for sufficient pumped storage and even if we did we don't have the time to build sufficient capacity; we don't have the gography for hydro; tidal generation is interesting, predictable and clean, but again we don't have time to build sufficient capacity and nobody has researched the environmental impact; wave is too variable and tends to vary in synch with the wind to some extent; the variation in solar power is somewhat variable and you would need storage for the times when it's offline (long cold nights without electricity anybody).

Of course there are countries with much more reliable sources of solar, wind, wave and hydro power. So a world market in electricity would seem like a good idea. Building solar plants in hot dry countries near the equator and laying cables to client countries would seem like a good idea. Except the world doesn't like the idea much. A lot of countries don't like the power the once poor arab nations gained when they struck oil, if those countries or any others were to gain power and control through their abundance of solar power certain countries wouldn't like it.

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Woodhuysen as bad as Blair

Just another political angle grinder

Whinging that the public shouldn't have to pay the price for a politicians cock-up makes him just another waste of space - if the power stations aren't outputting enough it will be our lights that won't work while he and some Nulab are trading insults.

One of the major problems with the whole energy/climate/environment debate is its stuffed full of people who know nothing but are convinced they are right anyway.

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Paris Hilton

Surprised?

I'm not. Anyone with half a brain realised this about 5 years ago. The problem is you don't get re-elected if you do unpopular things (like nuclear power).

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Stop

I'll switch...

... to energy efficient light bulbs when they make them dimmable, and fit in a small screw cap fitting, and make them the same colour temperature as tungsten lamps, and remove the 'warm up' time, and until then, they can get stuffed.

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Coat

Look at the "bright" side

The last one out need not turn off the lights!

Mine's the flickering one - now you see it, now you don't...

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Anonymous Coward

Economics.

Supply goes down.

Price goes up.

Demand goes down. *

Problem solved.

* Yes, yes, largely because old die in the freezing wastelands of the North, but the tories will be in by then and they'll cop the flack.

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Coat

Politics at it's worst

Cheers Gordo you muppet, he's made hugely unrealistic carbon emission targets to meet and of course not given a moments thought as to how they're going to acheive them and, despite the fact he must know his party's days are numbered, still won't risking upsetting anyone with new builds...well it's simple, landfill incinerators whether the locals bitch or not, gas powered leccy generators on all sewage treatment plants (the one at Slough generates enough to power for the site and sell a bit back to the Grid) and nuclear power stations as they're now, by virtue of CO2 emissions levels the cleanest of the fossil fuels left. As for the stupid quangos, sack whole lot of em and dissapate a majorsourcce of useless, destructive hot air.

Mine's the one with "Generating Renewable Energy From Incinerating Politicians" in the pocket

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Happy

What about during the summer

When the weather is warmer, we certainly don't need the heat gain offered by incandescent lighting, so the energy saving from using efficient lighting is real.

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Flame

Re: There are alternatives

"But we need some way of generating electricity. Unless we're going to buy it (more) off the Frenchies."

According to Wikipedia's "Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom" article, gas is the top fuel for native electricity generation, edging out coal. So Britain is effectively buying the means to generate electricity from Norway - a country whose own electrical power needs are largely met by renewables.

There are alternatives if the average Britard can be bothered to vote, and not to vote for Labour again because every eligible pig-ignorant male in their family tree (and their mates at the pub) did so.

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Flame

"gas ... not facing the same kind of supply gap"

"gas ... not facing the same kind of supply gap"

What planet are you on? Not the same one as most of us.

We're so desperate for gas in the UK that we're importing huge quantities of it from "axis of evil" countries, not just Russia but Libya (and neighbours) too, because we've basically exhausted our own reserves.

Part of an answer could be to produce hydrogen in places where solar hydrogen production is practical and ship it (liquefied, like we already do with natural gas) to run power stations (and other heavy gas users) in the UK. Hey look, power stations and other huge energy users with near-zero carbon emissions.

Having done that, we can still use what little oil and natural gas we still have, as essential feedstocks for the petrochemical-based industries (everything from agricultural fertilisers to plastics and pharmaceuticals).

Imported H2 probably won't replace natural gas directly for small scale (domestic/SME use), but if you combined some of the carbon emissions we're trying to cut down (or some coal that people seem reluctant to burn) on with some imported H2, you could end up with CH4, which fortunately is natural gas by another name, which you could then pump down the gas mains.

Where's the problem with that (other than getting market forces to invest now in something that won't be profitable for more than three years).

Flame, obviously. Tell Sid he used to own it.

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Coat

Will the last energy company to leave the UK...

... please turn out the lights!

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PC World

Maybe they should consider turning off the huge billboard lights, the internal store lights and even the fucking computers that they leave on when they close.

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How about...

...all the council offices, DVLA etc turn THEIR lights out first? How about Westminster turns its lights out? How about MPs put their money where their mouth is?

How about leading by example for once?

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Uncanny correlation

I've noticed that people who use the term "New Labour" (or more frequently 'nu-labour', for some reason) have a high correlation with mindless tossers. The phrase seems to be associated with Daily Mail-reading little-englanders, droning on about "political correctness gone mad", "healthansafety" (as if unhealthy & unsafe stuff were somehow more patriotic) and bewailing the latest blow against the precious, precious bourgeoise. ("Oh noes! House prices are falling!!! Riff-raff will be able to buy houses, and we won't be able to fund Araminta and Tarquin's school fees and fit in that two week break in the Seychelles this year, or even buy a new SUV!!!")

"New Labour" as a marketing tag was a legacy of the early Blair years; even he stopped using it towards the end of his regime, and somehow I can't imagine Brown using it without pausing to hawk up a big glob of mucus in tribute to "Tony's leadership". Those with an interest in politics and current affairs may recall this speech Brown gave at the party conference in 2003:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3147448.stm

...the main point of which was that he pointedly, and repeatedly, referred to "Labour" rather than "New Labour". That was more than five years ago, chaps, pull yourselves together!

(Disclaimer - I am in no sense at all a supporter of the Labour party or the current government, although - let's face it - Cameron's shower of chinless toffs are going to screw things up even more comprehensively when they get their turn next year.)

Mine's the one with the No2ID lapel badge.

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Stop

Where is the incentive?

New Labia now have no incentive to fix problems like this. Since they will be out of power by mid 2010, the more problems they can leave stored up for the incoming government the better for them. They've already spent everything that can be spent for the next 100 years. Made sure the country has insufficient power. Increased the bureaucracy of government by massively increasing its size (and cost) without actually doing anything useful.

A lot of people who lived in the 80s hated Thatcher. What she did was absolutely essential for the country to survive after the last Labour shower screwed up everything. The next leader of the country has the same problem. Fixing the problem Labour have created will be unpopular and painful, but absolutely essential if Britain isn't to become a third world country.

Remember of course that "no boom and bust" Brown actually saw this coming. Why do you think that he pressured Blair so much to go earlier than he intended? It was simply that he didn't want to be in the Treasury when the disaster hit since that would mean he would never win a leadership election after the departure of Blair. Brown wanted to secure his place in the history books. Of course the place he has secured is the most disastrous leader the country has had since Chamberlain. He will be remembered as a weak and incompetent leader who pushed Britain nearer the abyss than any leader before.

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Unhappy

So

They're bleating about low-energy bulbs making up 20% of our domestic usage. I'm not too worried about the exact effects of that here (cos the writer and other comments have already made my points)

But what about the rest?

The office I work in burns more electricity lighting the building overnight when it's empty than my house lights would burn if I left them on for a year.

There are shops throughout my town centre lit 24/7.

One set of (ignored and boring) Christmas lights in my town burns the same as my entire house including the Wii, the telly and the cat warming mat.

Advertising hoardings are back lit 24/7.

There are street lights outside my house firing huge amounts of photons straight up instead of at the road and pavements (reflectors anyone?)

There are escalators in my shopping centre running for 10-12 hours a day, ferrying people with perfectly good legs down stairs (up, I can see, for the infirm, but the handful who can't do down can take a lift), and that helps with our obesity problems... not.

Basically, I'm sick of the "go green at home" message - I've done my bit, now please go hassle people who can really make a difference.

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Linux

Crash McIdiot wants us all in Electric cars by 2012

Powered by what exactly?

What a complete Hoon he is.

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Re: There are alternatives

Right, lets use wind power. It's a bit variable because it depends on the weather, but people don't like it. The turbines spoil the view.

You forgot to mention that they also kill Birds too...

So that's a whole other group of People upset w/those Turbines

Sitting in the dark (w/luck w/some Candle Light), is what these Tards are dreaming of.

Save that they'd [i.e. Health & Safety Nuts] would deem the "Candle Light" to be to great a fire risk to be use by the great unwashed masses.

Flame on for Candle Power

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Poor old Gordo

He shouldn't have bottled the election. If he'd called a snap election he might have actually won it, either that or been remembered as a good chancellor and an OK PM. Unfortunately while Tony is out there messing around in the Middle East he is left with the aftermath of a decade of making Tony look good.

Credit crunch - direct result of policies to defer a recession in 2001.

Energy crisis - direct result of not building any more power stations because they might be a little unpopular

Massive government debt - direct result of increased public spending and lowered taxes. Blowing a wad on the credit card without thinking of the repayments.

Can we get some grown ups in charge please?

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Anonymous Coward

The government ...

... acts on pressure from people. PEOPLE didn't want the nuclear stations, so the gov said "ok .. ok.., we will do what you want", to stop people complaining. Now people are complaining because they did what was asked of them!

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Coat

Come on Reg

This is ancient news, the looming energy gap has been forecast for ages and fart knocker wind turbines isn't going to cut the mustard or any other eco-power as it's too unpredictable for supply.

Strapping dynamos to all those idiots on bikes in gyms isn't going to work either !

Fast breeder nuclear power ?

Yes please or we freeze !

Getting my coat as I will need it soon.

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Anonymous Coward

@ The BigYin Re: Lead by example

I think the term the McBroonies use is "Do as I say, Dont do as I do".

If we ever got a politician in that lead by example, the rest would have him up on a cross.

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Stop

MP's 'Leading by example'

They've been doing that since the dawn of politics!

The Energy Saving Trust.

Now THERE'S an oxymoron.

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MJI
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Keep them running

Easy answer - keep the power stations running, if we need the power what can the EU do?

Shutting down a power station when we are already at a crisis point is a completely daft idea.

Mind you so are a lot of ideas!

Flame for the boilers.

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The Plague...

Me thinks we're back to our global over-population problem again. Perhaps, just perhaps, the human race has reached plague proportions...too many people and not enough resources to go round.

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