back to article Tories go nuclear, promise to prop up carbon price

The UK faces at least two years of peak-time power cuts in five years, despite the Conservatives' pledge to revive nuclear power. The Tories' energy policy was published Friday, and while a revived nuclear commitment provides some of the promised "energy security", it won't come in time. And, amazingly, the party has committed …

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FAIL

British planning at its best

The irony is that we've known about a potential shortfall for at least a decade. Instead the politicians, the greens and the nimbys have conspired to allow the situation to fester.

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Pirate

(untitled)

The irony is that we've known about a potential shortfall for at least a decade. Instead the politicians, the greens and the nimbys have conspired to allow the situation to fester.

Here here, there has been little spending on infrastructure. The coal that should have been used (and cleaned up with carbon capture to appease the greens) has been replaced with valuable oil and gas.

Put simply, properly looked after nuclear is safe. The greens went bananas over nulcear in the 70's and 80's.. Now, we need it.

Renewables, wind/wave/solar are unreliable. The quoted output of the equipment is an ideal. 30% to 50% is a maximum output for these toys.

Renewable hydrocarbons if employed would decimate the food supply for the planet. They are a non starter.

The problem for the UK is, WE DONT OWN OUR ELECTRICITY GENERATING INFRASTRUCTURE. It is in private hands.

Shareholders demand profits and dividends. This money should be spent on infrastructure first instead of these leeches.

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Anonymous Coward

No-one's REALLY listening...

My son works in the power industry, and we don't even mention energy policies in his presence.

This situation has been predictable for 20 years - inevitable for the last decade. And those who have known all along how crucial the problem was becoming have shouted themselves hoarse at the government, who pay temporary lip service then carry on as usual with knee-jerk short-term measures.

UK energy these days is about votes, grants, jobs for the boys, nimby councils and head-in-the-sand EEC policies. Wind towers across the UK aren't going to save us from the inevitable - they can't be counted on to provide on-demand power. Whatever your views on nuclear, there isn't enough of that to change anything at current investment. Energy-wise, we're busily throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

My son is outfitting his home with alternate power systems and, if I could afford it, so would I.

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Re: (untitled)

You conveniently left out tidal, which is so reliable that you could set your watch by it, and with the UK's long coastline it is available in abundance. The problem is that installing tidal generators is difficult and expensive (with the damage to the sea-bed ecology also being an issue).

The efficiency of on-shore wind farms is low (although I'd question the relevance of efficiency when dealing with an infinite resource), but they are built anyway because they are cheap.

Oh, and not to tread on your general point, but 58% is maximum measured output for any wind farm over the course of a year, and this was in the UK.

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FAIL

What!?

Of course efficiency is relevant - unless you have magic windmills that once installed will run forever without requiring any parts, maintenance or eventual replacement, all of which require plenty of energy. I suppose you also have magic mining equipment, magic factories and magic transportation in your world too.

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@Campbeltonian

> You conveniently left out tidal, which is so reliable that you could set your watch by it

Tidal is predictable, sure. It happens twice a day, at times that depend on the phase of the moon. But you can't rely on a tide happening to occur during the peak load time, every day - it won't. You still need enough coal, oil, gas, nuclear, hydro, or pumped storage power stations to cover that peak load.

Tidal does reduce the amount of coal/oil/gas you burn, so (ignoring the construction cost and the destruction of wetlands) it's "green" energy.

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Boffin

re: Tidal

"Tidal is predictable, sure. It happens twice a day, at times that depend on the phase of the moon. But you can't rely on a tide happening to occur during the peak load time, every day - it won't"

True, but not strictly correct.

The Tides occur twice a day at any point around our coast, but due to the length of the coast, it is always high tide somewhere and low somewhere else so there will always be a high tide at peak load.... Somewhere.

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Coffee/keyboard

Yet again

Yet again the EU wants us to stop producing energy and become even more dependent on countries like Russia and OPEC for their gas and oil while frittering away billions for windmills made in China. How much evidence do we need to prove that they simply want Britain to become a beggar state so that the world can finally do away with our stupid ideas like the abolition of slavery, democracy, liberty, etc

Without all these conditions and human rights that we demand, authoritarianism around the world would be so much better off and there would be world peace, right?

And who the hell is Herman van Rompuy??

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Flame

How?

How is it the fault of the EU if we can't generate enough electricity.

The rest of the EU nations don't have a problem, but that's probably because they have kept essential infrastructure, such as power generation, under state control instead of privatising everything!!!

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Anonymous Coward

The trouble is...

...in every developed nation that I'm aware of but certainly the English-speaking ones...they are full of people who wear the reflected glory of the vanishingly small no. of their countrymen who actually do the forcing change for the better, or the realizing of world-changing technology, or the having ideals that aren't about getting what they can for themselves with the least risk they can get away with. Britain wants Britain to be a beggar state - well, one half wants the other half to anyway. Left to it most people lie, cheat, steal, murder - or pretend they don't see it. That's why we need upstanding citizens who set an example aka leaders. Unfortunately our leaders are worse than nothing. But one might say that the whole charade goes on and on precisely because of all the corrupt and cowardly who all collude to play the 'paragon of virtue' card, part of which involves letting the politicians and big business carry on as per usual.

Being the Devil, I love it!

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Grenade

it had to be done

Everything had to be privatised in the 80s because of the mess the last labour govenment left us with, thankfully back then we had the assets to sell, that is now not the case, we have nothing.

yeah The conservatives back then pee'd a lot of people off, no doubt at all, but the financial state of the UK was considerably better off when they passed it back to labour in the 90s

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Alert

Sorry that's not accurate

The Tory government (if you could call it that) sold off a great of valuable assets at rock bottom prices with this crap about how you, the British public, could own shares in companies you had already funded with your tax in the first place. Every single company sold off was within days, if not months trading at significantly higher value than at sell off. You could say this was acheived as the perseeved value now those companies, free of political control was greater but I am sceptical and believe those reflected the true share costs that should have been asked for at sale.

As for handing over the finances in a fitter state than they took them over - check out the Bank of England base rates up till labour in 97. They were running as high as 14% at one point in the early nineties we were in a crap state.

At the end of the day we have had far more Tory governments in this country than labour and they have killed our mining industry (cheaper deep mined coal in Europe at the time), shut down 30% of our rail infrastructure (Mr Beeching) and then subsequently underinvested in what was left, deregulated our banking which may have made us rich but also got us into the current mess.

I am not too over inthrawled by what Labour has or has not achieved but they have certainly done less damage to the operational efficiency of this country than the Blues.

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Grenade

national debt

check out the national debt around then and compare it to now, our childrens childrens children will still be paying off the mess the "reds" left us, you cant have something for nothing, im not disputing the torys didnt cock things up, im saying we owe a damn site lot more money to banks now then we ever have done and we dont have anything to sell this time regardless of the price they made on it, it worked then at least in the short run to get us out of the hole.

Bass rates means little, the problem then was they fluctuated to much, an the first thing the reds did was to get rid of govenment control of the bank of england so they cant be held responsable for it. Inflation wasnt sky rocketing as in the previous red govenment,

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Flame

*Bass* rates?

Watch the Britards squabble: was it the party in red or the party in blue who did it? The Britards in red deny the record of the current government ("We inherited a mess from Thatcher who used the Dark Side to make us go to war in Iraq!") and all the miscellaneous misdeeds of the Labour past, whereas the Britards in blue deny the record of their favourite party ("We inherited a mess from Callaghan who made us sell everything off just to spite the unions!").

All we need to take away from this is that both of the major parties have had their turn at wrecking the country over the course of modern political history. That anyone could be rampantly pro-Tory or pro-Labour at this point just goes to show how well they fit into the eyes-forward, delegate-thinking-to-others mindset of the true Britard.

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FAIL

Will the last person to leave the UK

Please turn out the lights? Oh, they've already gone out.

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N2

Thankfully

Margaret Thatcher dug us a tunnel

& Im going for a one way trip soon!

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Grenade

Our own fault.

How many of you green freaks are willing to go without power because of knee jerk reactions to unproven issues? because that is exactly what has happend.

How exactly are you going to charge all those millions of electric cars you want whilst relying on the elements and not even having the power to run a toaster?

dont get me wrong, Im all up for not needlessly poluting the world but logic has gone out of the window, least in part you have your selves to blame for this mess by stoking and refueling the fires politictions and the media corperations have made. Dont be fooled in to thinking they are doing this for the good of man, they did it to get votes, get figures and appear to be doing something about an issue that isnt understood.

This argument for running out of power has been here for years, its not new and the time needed to get powerplants that are not coal or oil up an running is far to long because of serious govenment budget issues.

The whole stinking mess is our fault and a short sighted govenments.

Time for some diesal generators.

Whilst we are at it, you should look in to the resources the planet has left for food, with current and future expected populations increases, its quite a bit less than the time we have left with oil, but its ok, starving to death will be ok because firstly it wont initially effect us, the poorer countries will starve first when we are incapable of supporting them, also CO2 levels will not increase and finally the mass culling of world populations due to lack of food has the upside that more food becomes available to those that survive.

Whats more scary is thats likely to start happening before i leave this world.

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FAIL

Scarecrows...

You know, straw men.

"How exactly are you going to charge all those millions of electric cars you want whilst relying on the elements and not even having the power to run a toaster?"

If you'd actually go out and ask a 'green freak' instead of putting words in their mouths, you'd find most of them are perfectly aware of the issues of electric power. The techno-utopians will say we should just build lots and lots of nuclear plants (and not worry about _nuclear_ fuel running out, natch...) so we'll have enough electricity to provide Electric Ponies For Everyone. Your more tie-dyed type will suggest that, you know, walking never killed anyone. Or riding a bike. Or taking the bus. Compared to Orlowski and his merry band of Panglossians, I'm probably a 'green freak'. I don't have an electric car, and I'm not going to buy one. I don't have _any_ car. Crazy, huh?

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Troll

@Adam Williamson

Typical blinkered 'green freak'. So you live without a car - let me hazard a guess that you live within the metropolitan area of a large city (or perhaps a teepee in the New Forest, but that would probably inhibit your posting of drivel on ElReg). Do you believe *everyone* should live in cities, or do you recognise that other people may not be able to rely on public transport for every activity?

When the lights go out, let's hope neither you nor someone you hold dear is in the operating theatre at the local hospital -- but maybe you expect them to manage without power as well. Never mind, you can always heat them up a pot of herbal tea on your Aga instead.

And as for straw men, do you have any clue as to the number of nuclear power stations needed to fill the energy gap (clue: it isn't "lots and lots" and they would be built on existing nuclear sites). Plus, there's no danger of uranium running out for at least a century and probably much longer if we actually started looking for new suppliers or developing a more efficient nuclear cycle.

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more straw men

"ou know, walking never killed anyone. Or riding a bike. Or taking the bus"

witch is fine if everything you need for the rest of your life can be found with in 5 miles of where you live but most pepol have gotten used to being abel to work more than 30 miles formt here home try to change that and you will have a bigger ressesion than we have seen recently

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Grenade

Scarecrows? really? lets stick our heads in the ground and watch it all magic away.

There are two seperate sentences you quoted me on there,

I never mentioned greens and electric cars together, i asked two seperate questions, one how many greens are going to be happy with power cuts now they have helped kill off the existing inferstructure based on an idea thats still not proven, and secondly how do people expect to power all these new fangled electric CO2 free cars without electricity?

Your point on the availability of Nuclear material is intresting, i suggest you look up how much of that material is available on the planet, i think you will find that the sun will have burnt out by the time we use it all up at current and near future rates.

And i do walk, and own a car depending what needs done, its called using your head, you know, common sence, something the UK is sadly lacking now a days, hence the lack of electricity.

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Flame

Sentences together!

"There are two seperate [sic] sentences you quoted me on there"

Yes, two sort-of sentences one after the other that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Let's have a look, shall we?

"How many of you green freaks are willing to go without power because of knee jerk reactions to unproven issues? because that is exactly what has happend."

End of sort-of sentence #1. Unproven issues would be global warming, would it? In the meantime, proven issues include the depletion of the "nicer" fossil fuels in any territory owned by Britain - something which you can extrapolate reasonably well for the whole planet. Of course, people will tell you how super the technology is going to be sucking oil out of the Arctic seabed, as deep or deeper than the deepest of fields being exploited now and under arguably shittier conditions, but of relevance to Britards is which countries will be controlling those fields. Hint: one of them is already a big supplier of oil, gas and uranium, and you don't like it.

Onto sentence #2 - the *very* *next* sentence - keeping "you" == "you green freaks" in mind...

"How exactly are you going to charge all those millions of electric cars you want whilst relying on the elements and not even having the power to run a toaster?"

That's right: because only hippies and Al Gore (also a hippy) drive electric cars, "you green freaks" are still the people being referenced. Your juvenile "I meant nuffing of t'kind guv'nor" protest is hereby invalidated. I won't go into your stereotypes of "green freaks", many of whom probably have a much firmer grasp on energy issues than you do.

Now the "availability of Nuclear material" (as opposed to "nuclear" with a small "n"?) is an interesting issue. Estimates about how much uranium is left seem to vary quite widely depending on reserves and issues like reprocessing. People like to bang on about thorium, but that's not really a change in paradigm despite the apparently greater availability of fuel. If you move away from the "build more nukes" crowd and consider really forward-looking solutions like fusion, the situation is a lot better, but this obviously requires people to follow through on these solutions rather than throwing money at EDF and friends and telling them to do all the thinking.

It's wonderful to fling mud at "those dirty hippies" or whatever choice terms you might use for people who point out the problems with, say, the nuclear industry, but if anything, history has shown that someone has to hold such industries to account. At least the "green freaks" have a sophisticated view of the energy situation; charging head-down in one direction without considering the consequences ("breeder reactors for everyone, now!") is, if anything, the real knee-jerk reaction.

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Grenade

why Anonymous?

Im sorry, i got bored of your comments there, but congratulations for pointing out my Dyslexia and generally poor English

you make severl assumptions but i never refered to any one as dirty, and im happy to consider myself as a "green freak" the difference is i do what i need to do but do it in the calculated clean way. if politictions and the media didnt panda to the possibly incorrect assumptions of the public (created by the politictions and media) we might not be in this situation we are now faced with.

your last point about knee jerking is intresting, we wouldnt need to build new plants if we hadnt had knee jerk reactions about firstly nuclear plants and their saftey and secondly coal and oil plants because we are jumping up and down about CO2 levels (which incidently is following global temperatures not coursing them)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: why Anonymous?

Well, I apologise if my remarks exploited any weaknesses in your prose that are due to dyslexia, but you cannot honestly write two sentences together and then claim that they have nothing to do with each other.

As for knee-jerk reactions, it's all about bad planning by both Tory and Labour administrations, the legacy of which are a bunch of deregulated power companies wanting more and more gas, some big coal-fired generators, and those nuclear plants that will need decommissioning in the not too distant future. Meanwhile, there's all that plutonium sitting around not being used. All the Tories and Labour have managed to do is to delegate everything to the market and to pretend that private enterprise will magically bring solutions, when such businesses will merely pay whatever it costs to keep the current flowing and then pass those costs directly on to you.

That's what Britain has become now: a country with no vision, managed by a bunch of paper-pushers who want to look good by standing next to the captains of industry as they open the next facility with which they will shaft the general public. And don't blame global warming: all of this started a long time ago.

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Unhappy

I agree with all of that

And global warming isnt the beginning of all this, im sure would could sit here and blame the Romans if we tried hard enough, I think the point is firstly politics need to be taken out of the equation, the right thing to do isnt nessisarly going to be the popular thing to do, politictions are incapable of doing this, they can not be allowed to decide what is going to be done, only how it is going to be done.

Secondly the media needs to stup up and stop dramatising things to increase viewing/reading numbers, they are all guilty of it and they all have political agenders, this of course will never happen

so thirdly, the public needs to either be given balanced information or needs to be kept out of the loop.

I hate to say it because there are too many commities out there doing nothing but make our lives that much more boring but someone needs to say " we have looked at all the posibilites, they have all been given equal attention and this is what is going to happen"

or something like that, what we need now is a quick sustainable fix, we then pump money in to R&D of alternate power, tidal or Nuclear fission / fusion and deal with the CO2 or other waste products on a sensable long term plan, no pissing about, its not ideal but thats what is going to happen or we are screwed kind of attidude.

There is no point cuting CO2 by half if we are getting regular blackouts which potentially could course serious harm to people, or having to pay through the roof to get it from France whilst money gets taken away from R&D of our own energy systems. My only worry is its already too late, the economy is screwed, no money ot build plants, we have to buy in more at inflated prices thus leaving less to sort out our mess.

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Thumb Down

Scotland may help

10 wave and tide projects total 1.2GW.

Some will win, some will loose, but it's the biggest step forward in this form of energy in *decades*

One of the few *usable* energy sources the UK has a *very* significant advantage to most countries in the EU.

But thumbs down for the *massive* hole in forward planning.

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Stop

What?

After all the abuse you've been hurling at us over the past decade about us being a bunch of scroungers, the theft of most of our oil and the horrible piss taking of our football teams, you think you can just help yourself to our electricity? I dinna think so, laddie.

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Big Brother

Let's Spike this one up

O ye, the Prophet Spike hath spoken and seen that Britain will be likened unto the darkest valleys of death should it liveth with carbon credits and rationing under the shadow of the EU beast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi__r7ZjY4U

Big Brother watcheth thee

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Well...

Time to invest in UPSes for my computers then. Have been meaning to for a while.

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Alert

Green Power

Get those (probably unemployed) greenies to get on a dynamo bike. Pay them for it with carbon credits. 100kg worth minus whatever they breathed out... should buy them their dime bag for the day.

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Flame

Where did my white cat go?

So I guess buying that summer house hooked up to the service circuit of the biggest accumulating hydroelectric in Europe was not such a bad idea after all. Now, all I need is a white cat and to work on my "evil laugh" a bit... Bwahahahaha...

On a more serious note it is time to consider fitting onto the house anything and everything that can generate some extra energy. It is no longer a question of "will it pay back", it is a standard of living question now. I have had endure through a couple of episodes of 2:3 hourly power cuts in midwinter in other countries and it is not a pretty sight. Even less so today when everything in our houses is digitally controlled and needs electricity to function.

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What's with the charts

Should be in color.

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Go

Thorium:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THTR-300

see also German version...

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re: darren tuffs

Darren, as a "green freak", im MORE than happy to put up with losing power for 15 mins a day. I'd happily lose power for 2-3 hrs a day if it came to that. Please do not assume because YOU are unwilling to do something about AGW, that others are not.

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Paris Hilton

Mmmm, suffering, discomfort, bliss...

Dont have small children, in good health and no a sick/invalid relative do you ?

Probably all of 25 years of less old too.

There used to be mobs of people like you around Europe before the Enlightenment.

Loved hair shirts, self falgelation.

Most of us prefer to live like civilised humans.

if you want 3rd world conditions, go to 3rd world and try to convince them,

that a hard life is better.

Paris, because she knows her persona is not bright

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Pint

hay elf

my problem is not that i cant put up with it, its having to put up with it because of vote winning media centric ideas for people who messed it up in the first place. The media and the politictions kick up a fuss about something they know little about, everyone jumps on the band waggon and decides knee jerk reactions are the solution which in the long term makes it worse for everyone.

So again, i have no problem putting up with it, simply because i will have too, my problem is having to put up with it in the first place because of numpties trying to score points.

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Anonymous Coward

In -15? In mid-winter?

I have lived through two winters of power cuts in one Eastern European country which at the time decided that keeping to its electricity export obligations is more important than the welfare of its cittisens.

A 2:3 or 3:3 in mid-winter with -15 and 30cm of snow on the ground is _NOT_ something you will happily endure. I can tell you this as someone who _HAS_ endured it. Even if your heating is not electric pumps and controls are.

And by the way if you try to counter that with Global W***ing argument, may I remind you that if the proponents of GW are right the UK will freeze and if the proponents of GW are wrong the UK will once again freeze because we will hit the other side of the Atlantic oscillation. In either case this winter's 30+ days of sub-0 is more likely to be a walk on a spring meadow compared to the next 5-7 years.

In either case, I wiring your central heating pump to a 3000KWa UPS may actually be a very smart idea... You really do not want to lose it if the leccy goes dead.

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Re: Mmmm, suffering, discomfort, bliss...

Over 25, 1st on the way, but yes - decent health.

We used to have tons of people like you before we realised 6.6 billion people couldn't all afford to live like pompous spoiled brats demanding instant gratification for our every whim.

:)

I dont consider "taking a bus" and "not having power for 15 mins" to be roughing it. But there you go - maybe I need to be more demanding hey?

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Re: hay elf

Ok fair enough. In your original post, you seemed to be saying "all you greenies caused this, now you'll bleat cos you dont have power for 15 mins". Which as a "greenie" i took offense to!

But I agree with you - I wish all the parties would just sit down, decide what to do about it, then just get on with it (kinda like the swedes have done) instead of all trying to out "green" each other.

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Re: In -15? In mid-winter?

I live in Canada, and walk to work in winter in -30C. And I would still put up with no power for 15 mins to a couple of hours if thats what needs to happen.

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WTF?

Organic Planets

This is one for the monkeys among us:

How come organic life evolved on a planet with more oxygen than is good for carbon molecules when umpteen planets much larger and hence available for lucky chances, haven't evolved much to speak of but one or two rather endearing storm cells and volcanoes?

Or to put it another way:

When the only people involved in the decision making are scientists and politicians, it leaves one with a "certain" feeling about this.

I'm in favour of Thomas Gold's Deep Hot Biospherical alternative.

And nuclear furnaces based in Westminster.

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WTF?

Scientists and politicians

"When the only people involved in the decision making are scientists and politicians, it leaves one with a "certain" feeling about this."

Who do you propose we ask instead? Bishops and CEOs? I'm sure they'll make *much* better decisions.

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Badgers

Only Greater Manchester?

"The Tories note that by 2017, the 3GW hour shortfall will mean "a 15 minute power cut for every household in Greater Manchester, every winter night for a month"

What, they're not going to spread it out across the country? It's grim enough up here as it is. Won't someone think of the Northern children?

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Joke

Re: Northern Children

"Won't someone think of the Northern children?"

If they were still down t'pit where they belong, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place!

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Unhappy

Time to..

Install a log fire in my living room and buy a gas fired camping stove then!

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Silver badge

When I studied nuclear power at uni

I moved from nuclear fan to the opposition.

The only reason to support nuclear (it will never create cheap or clean energy and don't get me started on what a couple of terrorist with a small amount of knowledge can do) is that it funds employment for people who would otherwise be at your doorstep 24hours a day selling you timeshares or chocolate teapots: Politicians and lobbyists.

Nuclear requires massive funding that can be streamed away into a million pockets - that's why we still hear about it.

If nuclear is so good then let the industry insure it, fund it and profit from it. They tried that in the US and now the government is guaranteeing loans (funding it again) after a couple of decades of it accurate placing in the energy hierarchy - at the very bottom.

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Flame

I Want....

the free electricity we were promised in the 1950s, when they started building nuclear power stations and everyone said to output would be too cheap to meter....

Flame because the greenies don't seem to understand thermodynamics....

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FAIL

Looking after their own?

Setting a price on carbon

= providing certainty for the market

= looking after their own (banks, investors, big business, old money)

Never mind that it's a market made of thin air. (Pun intended, of course.)

Why are they doing this? Because the Eurocrats in Brussels told them to do it... Makes you wonder where the Tories' Euro-scepticism went?

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That first graph--

- seems to show "other renewable" dropping to zero by 2030, and hydro slowly dropping slowly all the way to 2060.

Now obviously individual wind turbines etc. have a limited life, but this doesn't seem right--.

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Thumb Down

despair...

I really despair when i read the anti green comments that this forum attracts, one guy, Darren Tuffs refers to the fears over nuclear safety and the enviromental impact as a "knee jerk reaction and unproven issues"

Obviously you have been watchng more clarkson than you have the news, documentaries, reading new scientsist etc...

Is the evidence of spent nuclear fuel taking 100,000 years to become safe not enough for you?

Are you one of those types that think that Chernobyl was faked?

If it's so frickin safe then why not build some new plants outside your house?

If we all stopped using to much power then this would not be such an issue. We're running out because we are usng more. Do you really need 5 computers running 24/7 plus thayt NAS box in the attic?

Did you know that the average houshold set top box, when in 'standby mode' continues to consume around 50% of the power that it does while switched on?

Turn all your stuff off at the mains, or buy a remote controlled mains switch,if everyone did that then this would not be an issue.

We (they) should be encouraging us all to use less power not building more power stations.

And what's wrong with being a green anyway, they are looking out for you too. You may loose your 3rd car and 5th computer if your wrong, if they are wrong then you loose your life.

Better to let them continue to point out the obvious to those that refuse to see it for themselves.

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