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back to article Wind power: Even worse than you thought

A new analysis of wind energy supplied to the UK National Grid in recent years has shown that wind farms produce significantly less electricity than had been thought, and that they cause more problems for the Grid than had been believed. The report (28-page PDF/944 KB) was commissioned by conservation charity the John Muir Trust …

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I might have read this if it wasn't for your mental series of articles on Fukushima

I mean, its all going swimmingly there right? No need to hammer the point home about how safe it is, so you might as well start in on how crap alternative forms of energy production are.

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Megaphone

My point exactly

Great point, was about to write the same...

Editor: why is energy industry analysis of Lewis Page still being posted on here? Is it because it was so accurate last time or because it obviously isn't part of any kind of agenda?

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Re I mean, its all going swimmingly there right?

Lester has never suggested that. The reactors have been trashed by the worst natural disaster imaginable, and it will take time to deal with this. Yet nobody has died other than from the tsunami.

It's a ringing endorsement of how safe nuclear power is.

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Give it time

"Yet nobody has died other than from the tsunami"

They will; it's just that thyroid cancer takes time while drowning is over in a breath.

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WTF? Seriously?

At what point did Lewis Page claim the Fukushima plant's problems are anything *other* than serious? He was highlighting the heroism and commitment of the plant's *workers*. Yes, there was a danger, but this plant had been hit by an earthquake and tsunami *five times greater* than its design allowed for. AND IT SURVIVED. Most of what we've seen since then is footage of plant workers maintaining the *cooling system*. The cores were not only contained, but their automatic emergency shutdown procedures *worked*. Unfortunately, as these plants were designed decades ago, that shutdown procedure takes a long time to complete—days, not minutes—hence all the effort that went into ensuring that cooling continued until the core temperatures were at a safe level. This took time. It also required seawater, rather than their preferred demineralised water, so the side-effects were rather spectacular, but not really all that dangerous for anyone beyond the power plant's fencing.

The point of Page's Fukushima pieces was the *poor reporting*, which blew the whole thing out of proportion.

To put it another way: Nearly *Ten thousand people have died* in a massive earthquake of staggering proportions, as well as its subsequent tsunami. Countless more were injured. Millions are homeless. It's going to be a long, hard, slog to repair the damage. Did the news media give a shit? No: 99% of their coverage boiled down to, "OMFG! NUCLEAR EXPLOSION! CHERNOBYL! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!" Totally ignoring the fact that the total death toll (nil) and injuries (minimal) were trivially eclipsed by the far *greater* disaster surrounding it all.

Unlike you, I went to some of the primary sources—i.e. not media reports as they're inherently secondary sources by definition—and discovered that Lewis pretty much nailed it.

The only thing "mental" about Fukushima was the mainstream media's reporting of it. They should be utterly fucking ashamed of themselves. Seriously. It's bad enough when they blether on ignorantly about matters related to the IT industry—and the BBC has yet to redeem itself there—but this? This was just ignorance, FUD and bullshit of the highest order. Thousands died in a massive national tragedy, yet the media's response was to focus on a minor side-story of heroism and turn it into a fucking godawful movie even Michael Bay would have been too embarrassed to commit to film.

The way the politicians have grabbed for this media circus and milked it for all their worth is an even greater embarrassment. Clearly, damned few people in positions of power have the faintest f*cking clue how nuclear power works, nor of the R&D that has gone into the newer designs that will eliminate the problems we've seen at Fukushima—particularly the long shutdown periods.

(And, as someone who has lived and worked in France, Denmark and Italy, not just the UK, I've seen first-hand just how much of a con some of the so-called "alternative" power sources are. Wind is just one of them. The future is a mix of sources, but giant wind farms are an expensive distraction, not a "solution".)

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Well maybe

it's because he's been right about Fukushima, and is right about wind power?

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He is wrong. Just elsewhere, not where you think.

Well, UK can use much more wind power than now and can have a much more efficient grid than now. However the mere mentioning of the way to achieve it will cause all NIMBYs and "Hysterical Preservationists" to die from a ruptured spleen.

The key to UK attaining cheap and green electricity is to have a working set of accumulating hydroelectrics which can pump up water to the higher mark when there is surplus and dump it to the lower mark to generate electricity during peak hour.

There is an existing candidate for such a cascade in the UK - it is called "The Lake District". Only a couple of the lakes in it are natural. The rest is reservoirs built by the victorians to feed the industry and they should be put to use as their builders intended. There are plenty of other sites in Scotland, Peak district, Wales, etc which can add to that until the UK has something to soak the wind (and nuclear) energy so it does not need to burn gas at peak time. And if worst comes to worst there is a huge area ripe for building "fake tide" reservoirs to pump-n-dump in the sea which can also double up as tidal plants - the Wash.

Once this is present the wind farms can and will generate way more than 25%. Ditto for tidal.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

FAIL

Lewis slays straw men, fails to convince rational people

Lewis likes to find all sorts of over the top commentary in some media outlets. After slaying these straw men, he then adds a more than a few preposterous assertions of his own such as stating Chernobyl really wasn't all that horrible, despite creating a large wasteland area in the Ukraine.

He never really addresses the problems, such as the incredibly high cost Japan will bear to clean up the nuclear mess. Nuclear power is expensive and dangerous and nowhere near as clean or as carbon-neutral as Lewis attests. If I remember correctly, Lewis also is global warming denier, using the same flawed reasoning strategies. It is always apparent that he works his reasoning back from his strong opinions rather than letting the actual facts point to a conclusion. Anything "fact" that is inconvenient to his arguments is dismissed by slaying straw men or creating absurd conspiracies of supposed bias in anyone that disagrees with him.

While the lack of utilization of current wind power technologies is disappointing, there are possible solutions. If some of the massive subsidies for nuclear power were spent instead to find viable ways to store reserve power, wind will become an important part of the energy mix. Otherwise it may be viable to build a link of low-loss superconducting power feeds around the planet so that surpluses can be delivered to where the power is needed.

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Stop

Don't you think it's already been considered?

But it's a *lot* of water that would have to be pumped for anything but a short boost to grid availability. Given that calm periods can run to half a day or more, you'd need a LOT of water being pumped.

The scale of the storage problem involves much more than flooding the lake district. For instance, when you let that pumped water flow to generate leccy, you have to store it somewhere until you have spare leccy to pump it back up. However long that may be...

Think it through.

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Thyroid cancer?

Isn't that unlikely? I mean if they're anywhere where radioactive iodine is present, they'll have taken iodine tablets. So the radioactive iodine isn't collected in the Thyroid, so you don't get thyroid cancer.

Lung cancer's more of a worry- and only then if a dust mask hasn't been worn / is faulty.

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Last I checked....

...Lewis didn't write the research paper, nor the conclusions therein. He merely brought it to our attention.

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Flame

Er, no, actually....

....it doesn't work like that. Provided those at risk are given tablets to load their thyroids with iodine while the iodine-131 is a significant hazard (a few weeks, its half life is about 8 days) then they will not get thyroid cancer. That is why a number of children were susceptible to cancer after Chernobyl, because they were *not* given iodine-containing tablets when they needed them.

I assume you've also read George Monbiot's column in the Grauniad this week? The one where he admits that the green movement has lied about the science behind the risks of nuclear power, where none of the claims made stand up to scrutiny because their assumptions have not been verified and are just plain wrong? You should.

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Megaphone

Choose a scientifc report, any scientific report

Meanwhile, in Germany, which is likely to reverse last year's politically disastrous decision to extend the life of nuclear power stations with accelerated decommissioning by the end of the year, the Fraunhofer Institute - the people who brought us MP3's - have decided that wind power is more efficient than previously thought and can easily replace nuclear power. The report, in German, is available on the German wind power federation's website. http://www.wind-energie.de/fileadmin/dokumente/Themen_A-Z/Potenzial%20der%20EE/IWES_Potenzial_onshore_2011.pdf

And, yes, noises are already being made about how to ban the import of nuclear power from France and the Czech Republic.

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El

Could work in some situations

One of the windiest spots in the US, the Columbia Gorge, also happens to have a hydroelectric dam in the middle of it. Wind would make an excellent supplement to hydro if used to pump water from downstream back to up above the hydroelectric dam. Wind in conjunction with gas or coal fired plants doesn't help that much, because it does nothing to reduce the required peak capacity of the fossil fueled generators.

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Yeah

100 years from now and everyone* who was alive at the time of the earthquake/tsunami will be dead.

Everyday life includes risk - if the media frenzy over the Fukushima nuclear power plant were to be extended to other aspects of life then you could wave goodbye to: cars, buses, trains, planes, bicycles, not to mention all coal, oil, gas and hydro power.

(you can see http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf06.html for the power side of things - I'm not even bothering to dig up figures for the transport side)

As a thought experiment try imagining a world where there is only one source of power (be it wind or oil etc) and see what happens - running out of fuel or covering the land with overkill kit is the most likely outcomes unless you are looking at nuclear.

ttfn

*this is meant as an ironic statement - not an absolute truth

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Re: He is wrong. Just elsewhere, not where you think.

This is one of the most logical and exciting of the renewables projects, is being trialled in the UK, and is being used in Japan:

http://www.searaser.com/

This too is of interest:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7608630.stm

There are a number of projects which utilise wave power in novel ways. These are among the better hopes, because wave power is as constant and as reliable as the moon-earth relationship. It will not be enough alone though.

If you do a search on hydroelectrics a number of problems are revealed. They screw up the environment for species other than ourselves. Interestingly the mass effect of hydroelectrics across the earth would seem to be a change to the 'balance' of the planet. The wash, well, once again the question of other species rears its head.

As to the NIMBYs, do a search and you will find a lot of this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/energy-environment/06noise.html

The only genuinely successful projects that I've seen are in the Baltic. In one case a community pooled money, bought the kit and sited it away from housing. They now appear to have an unlimited source of energy, but they live on a small island... ...in the Baltic sea.

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Re: Re I mean, its all going swimmingly there right?

Indeed, and it is interesting to see the non sequitur, emotive arguments run away with the day. Even so, let's focus for a second:

Fossil fuels kill more people than nuclear power stations (does anyone here remember acid rain, BTW?).

Naturally existing radon in places like Cornwall kills more people than nuclear power stations.

It's been recently discovered that most of our wind farms were wrongly sited if best effects were wanted. IOW people rushed into building projects without first conducting research to see where they ought to be sited.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1303688/More-half-Britains-wind-farms-built-wind.html

In spite of my love of it, renewable energy will never replace bulk reliable generation by, e.g., nuclear power. A read of Sir Fred Hoyle's "Energy or extinction: the case for nuclear energy" might help people to understand what is going on. The maths for renewable sources simply do not stack up to a reliable replacement of sufficient capacity. Regrettably fusion seems to be as far away as ever.

Instead of the faux arguments about how nuclear power is expensive and kills people more than any other energy source (again, see stats on fossil fuels) it would be wiser to take a more comprehensive look at the matter of energy, one free of the argumentum ad hominem and free of scare stories.

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Big Brother

Misplaced trust...

Good summation Sean Baggaley...

It is interesting here to put two and two together and ACTUALLY make four!

Bird mincers don't work, so we will have to import more nuke from France.

The new portable nuclear systems, such as those designed by Toshiba, operate within a closed loop system... Any slight chance of an accident is consigned to the site where they are manufactured like Sellarfield rather than where they are deployed, and they actually work in practice (as opposed to theory).

Therefore the conclusion might be drawn that our government in Brussels (and its lackey in Westminster), is FAR MORE DANGEROUS than something like the 30 year old Fukushima.

We have been using French nuke for a very long time (about 20% of our total energy requirement) and that is OK, other EU member states have similar symbiotic relationships. The EU wants us to DEPEND on these relationships to further blur the nature of the nation state, so that we could not leave, even if we wanted to.

The agenda is NOT the relatively safe and secure generation of power, the agenda is one world government, and therein lies our real Armageddon.

...Oh and did I mention shale gas?

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And a good thing too.

Elderly people still remember how difficult it was to ween the czechs from tried and proven reactor designs such as RBMK. Still older people remember having heard in their youth about embrittlement (which seemed to be a predominantly french phenomenon).

However, as nothing has seriously gone wrong yet, nothing ever will*.

*(Truthfulness of that sentence may vary depending on your definition of nothing, serious, wrong, yet and ever)

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Boffin

RE: Don't you think it's already been considered?

Reply to http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/1034457

You are right, it is an immense problem. Gee, it's a shame that there isn't a large industry devoted to solving the problem of storing water and using it to generate power for days on end. Oh, wait...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowy_Mountains_Scheme

And that's in the world's flattest, driest, continent.

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Did you actually read Mr. Page's Posts?

Fukushima is not over yet, but Mr. Pages reporting hopefully seems over. There was one point, however, where he was undeniably right: the mainstream's reporting about Fukushima was deplorable. Which is no excuse for him.

Apart from that, it seems plausible that the wind-farmers business modell is distorted. However, they are not alone in this. Take a look at the business model of Calder Hall - that might make you hug a wind farmer.

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Nuclear fallout!

There is something I don't get: this article is about *wind* power. Why is everyone talking about nuclear power and the Fukushima situation?

What? Aren't the forums for the Fukushima articles filled of enough flak already?

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Meh...

>At what point did Lewis Page claim the Fukushima plant's problems are anything *other* than serious?

He kept going on about how safe it was despite the uncertainty of the situation. Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good", "Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA", "Fukushima: Situation improving all the time" and I'm sure there was one that said Fukushima: A triumph of nuclear engineering. Doesn't sound particularly serious from his article titles.

>The point of Page's Fukushima pieces was the *poor reporting*, which blew the whole thing out of proportion.

There was only one article where he focused on the mainstream press coverage. His reporting style was just as biased as the main stream press albeit on the opposite side of the scale.The pro nuke bias and all the trumpeting of nuclear power in the face of a disaster that could have been much worse made his articles all that much harder to take seriously.

>Unlike you, I went to some of the primary sources

That's a massive assumption on your part. I see and hear little broadcast news as the main stream media is obsessed with the dramatisation of everything no matter how trivial and for me it detracts from the news they are trying to report. I personally found mitnse.com (which links to the TEPCO reports) very informative, Ars Technica also ran some interesting articles and for the other disparate sources, google was helpful in filling in the details or displacing F.U.D.

>The only thing "mental" about Fukushima was the mainstream media's reporting of it.

Again I agree that the main stream media's reporting (what little I saw/heard of it) was appalling and misleading, I was suggesting that Mr Pages articles on the Fukushima disaster were unbalanced*. I enjoy his articles on military technology though, where his writing is clear and unbiased, I guess he doesn't have an axe to grind there.

>The way the politicians have grabbed for this media circus and milked it for all their worth is an even greater embarrassment

You'll get no argument from me on that one.

>The future is a mix of sources, but giant wind farms are an expensive distraction, not a "solution".)

I agree the future of power generation is a mix of sources, big (power plants & farms) and small (micro and mini generation), nuclear and renewable. I'm not so sure that wind is as big a waste as some might suggest. Sure, betting the farm on wind is stupid, and I suspect the people who are, are those who stand to make the most money in that industry. Wind has its place, and to dismiss one form of power generation (and I'm speculating on the content of the article based on the comments as I still haven't read it) out of hand seems churlish.

*You probably think that I am anti nuclear power but that is not true. I am a realist and understand that the developed world is selfish and will not easily give up that to which it has become accustomed. Nuclear IS a part of our future (albeit 10 to 20 years away).

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Boffin

Or..

"After slaying these straw men, he then adds a more than a few preposterous assertions of his own such as stating Chernobyl really wasn't all that horrible"

I liked it when he said that The Japanese did not consider Tsunami's when designing coastal Power stations... I mean it must be True because the great nuclear engineer Lewis said it.. but I just have one question:

'Tsunami'? that's an old Welsh name isn't it?

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Boffin

Waves != Tides

"wave power is as constant and as reliable as the moon-earth relationship"

Err.. No mate, that would be Tides.

Waves are driven by, fanfare, The Wind.. ie the same unreliable motive force as discussed in the article.

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Perfectly Elucidated

Sean that was perfect, will you run for President of the USA? I will vote for you.

Also, I love how the current President was filling in his basketball pool and right before he started he was like "Oh yeah Japan sorry about your current issue.... and now on to my picks!"

I'm picking on him a little I know, just thought it was kind of callous.

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Misrepresentation of the Lewis Page ilk

Perhaps I don't read the same sites Lewis does but the most hysterical articles I saw on the Fukushima nuclear accident were his vainglorious 'everyone hysterical but me' rants.

S. Baggaley follows in kind with this sort of misrepresentation: "Countless more were injured. Millions are homeless. It's going to be a long, hard, slog to repair the damage. Did the news media give a shit? No: 99% of their coverage boiled down to, "OMFG! NUCLEAR EXPLOSION! CHERNOBYL! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!""

Perhaps you two are reading the same sites. I didn't see it at the BBC, or the broadsheets. What I saw was plenty of coverage of the tsunami, it's consequences, and some articles expressing concern about the Fukushima accident.

All the while Lewis was posting body count comparisons and saying: this is no disaster, it's a triumph... in his best Crimean Sgt. Major voice. At times I wondered if they weren't intended to be read in a Windsor Davis voice and that, perhaps, TheReg was laying on the comedy a little thick.

Lewis has written as an apologist for the nuclear industry and now he is turning his sights on renewables. The facts are these:

Fukushima:

Release of various radionuclides: ongoing. Full extent of clean-up as yet unknown. Current estimates being put at 30 years to sort it out.

Sea contaminated with various radionuclides. Full consequences still unknown: some fishing restricted and exports affected. Compensation to fishermen promised by government (not Tepco)

Large area evacuated: no time frame for return home. Tepco suggest some land will be permanently closed. No outline on compensation for farmers and home owners

Result for nuclear industry:

Increased insurance costs. Damage to reputation. Many projected generators being reassessed.

Results for consumer:

The costs will be passed onto the consumer. The level of begging for taxpayer bailout and its success as yet unknown.

Bloomberg gets it right regarding the cost and consequences:

"Japan’s taxpayer, not the nuclear industry or insurers, will cover most of the cleanup cost from the worst accident since Chernobyl, a financial rescue that may spur moves by nations to make companies assume more liability. Tokyo Electric Power Co., in its 13th day fighting to avert a meltdown at its Fukushima plant 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of Tokyo, at most is required to cover third-party damages of 120 billion yen ($2.1 billion) under Japanese law. "

So Lewis' triumph of an accident, that should cause all governments to build more nuclear power stations is this: a 30 year clean up that Tepco bill the taxpayer for, and a bill for compensation to farmers, industry, fishermen and evacuees that the taxpayer pays.

That's not a triumph, it's a disgrace... and that's why Lewis has played the health and hysteria card.

Now a summary of the actual news in Lewis' hatchet job in wind power:

Intermittent nature of wind power requires some form of buffering. Insufficient buffering in place. Industry currently receiving help in the form of price guarantees (like the nuclear industry).

That's all... but Lewis sets about it by ignoring that while wind generation tends to be at night, solar generation occurs during the day, providing some of the buffering required. Solar panels continue to drop in price and increase in efficiency. Recently I read that they break even in 5 years in Spain... so perhaps 10 in the UK. That creates an upper limit for electricity pricing (obviously not an absolute but a downward pressure) which Lewis ignores in his scaremongering about wind.

That's not the end of the story: there are decisions to be made about how, and which, renewables to plug into the national grid. My point is that Lewis writes like a cold war dinosaur. His ideological viewpoint is the one that caused Margaret Thatcher to hand the assessment of the nascent renewables industry to British Nuclear Fuels. They obviously dismissed it, and carried on demanding public funds for their 'too cheap to meter" electricity.

I don't come to TheReg to read that kind of junk.

To TheReg: I've read this site for it's insights for longer than I can remember and now I am seriously considering deleting it from the links I open daily because the misinformation in Lewis' articles call into question the site's journalistic integrity.

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Too many environmental effects

Unfortunately, there is no free lunch with hydroelectric. The recirculation of water that you describe would be directly counter to the efforts being made to restore the salmon runs on the Columbia and other West Coast rivers. Efforts to restore or halt further damage to these runs include running MORE water through the dams and restrictions on pumping from the river for agricultural, municipal and industrial use (or in your case, recirculating water back above the dam).

I think we are going to have to bite the bullet on some painful decisions around energy:

1. Use a lot less, with attendant impacts on standard of living

2. Nuclear--with the safety and waste disposal issues that can bring

3. Coal--cheap and plentiful, but polluting even if you don't believe in global warming

4. Natural gas--probably the best option out there overall, but subject to commodity price spikes and transport problems.

5. Wind--Not reliable, expensive, lots of "visual pollution", harmful to bird and flying insect populations if large concentrations of wind turbines deployed.

6. Geothermal--runs out over time, lots of corrosive effects on machinery used, limited availability

7. Solar--Anotherer decent option, but sunshine is unreliable and transmitting the power generated from rural, sunny areas to cities can be a challenge

8. Tidal--reliable, but expensive to build and very harmful environmental effects to local waters

enclosed for the tidal resevoir

9. Oil--enough said

10. Hydro--largely exploited. Dams have huge environmental effects and can be very expensive initially. Droughts impact hydro generation

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some dditions

Natural Gas, while is quite clean to burn, has serious CO2 footprint, so it has an aggravating effect on Global Warming. It is a good option only if the feedstock is renewable bio-methane from landfills, and dedicated digesters. I see a big potential in bio-methane production.

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Flame

Out of 4000 Chernobyl thyroid cancer cases 9 people died

The title of this post says it all. Mr.Carter's post is exemplary for the wrong ideas hammered in the heads of the population by poltiticians and action groups.

The 9 people dying out of 4000 Chernobyl cases (mostly children) comes from an official UN report. Of course, this is a terrible situation still, so many sick people.

Also, the situation in Fukushima is totally different from Chernobyl, as has been commented time and again. Near Fukushima, most of the radioactive iodine is in the seawater. Close to the power station the values are pretty bad, but out towards the ocean the iodine gets diluted pretty quickly.

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Energy from waste

There are also various energy-from-waste schemes which use numerous methods to turn different types of waste into fuel. They're not going to solve all the energy problems but they do have the nice effect of getting rid of stuff you don't want (municipal waste) and converting it into something you do (heat & power).

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Perpetual Motion?

That only makes sense if they have to restrict the flow through the dam due to lack of water. I know that is a big problem in a lot of the SW (aka DESERT!) so maybe that is the case here.

Still, your solution smells a little like perpetual motion. Because, if you are using wind to pump water back you can never (rarely) use wind to generate electricity. So you've added a huge crushingly expensive infrastructure in order to feed the hydroelectric generators. I hasten to emphasis I haven't studied this particular case, but if it is economical it would certainly be the exception not the rule.

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Geothermal?

>Geothermal--runs out over time, lots of corrosive effects on machinery used, limited availability

Depends. If you are using a geothermal resource heated by magma like Iceland and New Zealand then it doesn't run out. The other hot rock geothermal which is basically a granite based nuclear reactor may run out after a several hundred years.

Also depending on the source geothermal is no more corrosive on machinery than many other forms of generation.

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Unhappy

It is an ill wind.

And it is doing nobody any good.

Unless they trade in ROCs.

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Nuclear option

It would seem with fossil fuel reserves running out, this is the only viable option to meet the nation's power demands. Then we get the tricky problem of where do we site the new plants that will be required. In remote coastal areas? Probably not a good idea because they will need all the infrastructure to support the plant building as well.

One thing is certain, green energy is not as green as they think.

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Flame

Running out?

We've shite loads of coal left, hundreds of years worth maybe. the problem being is that because we've closed down most of the mines it's going to hard to get back at most of it again.

Better investing some cash getting at out our own coal reserves and looking at ways to make it cleaner than spending money on these fairy wheels that only make money for eurocrats.

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Nuclear plants less toxic to local environment than coal

I'd live near one. You could get a huge house for pennies next to a reactor building!

You can guarantee you'd never get a black out, and you'd never need worry about nosey neighbours.

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Actually, not so much

Actually we probably have far less coal than commonly reported because most countries reserves are largely theoretical. There is a huge incentive to inflate these numbers.

The low-cost coal is currently what is being mined. Once this are gone, the remaining coal is much harder to extract. Nevertheless, we probably should stop using coal ASAP because it is such a dirty way to produce energy. There is no such thing as "clean" coal.

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Anonymous Coward

coal

there is plenty of coal around, your right, and the tech to make it very clean is there too but it will never happen, cost for one, thats why they closed and two, politictians have used the green argument for their own ends so much so that any back tracking would be political suicide, the public sucked up all of this vote winning nonsense, and whilst im not saying its all rubbish, the way it was reported was and any reversal in policy would be very hard to get passed general opinion now

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Joke

Bad siteing.

If they put a wind turbine in the House of commons, they could power half of London.

Tidal and Geothermal are the way to go in the country. I really cant see why people think wind is such a good idea. I assume because its quick.

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Anonymous Coward

The maths is much easier for current tidal technologies

And has been proven to generate bugger all power. Until some new method for extracting power for waves comes along, it's not going happen.

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Anonymous Coward

And...

...because it's a big, visible icon for the public, to make it look like the powers that be are doing something.

Pity 'thinking' isn't on the list of things to do.

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WTF?

Cargo Cults...

"I really cant see why people think wind is such a good idea."

That is partly the point.. wind is very visible. Politicians, journalists and other simpletons like big shiny things they can pont to and say "See! THIS is what I am doing for you!"

They are mostly shiny M&S lovin 'consumers' who like big shiny wind turbines because they match their big shiny cars and tv's and ipods etc.. They are not selling us Energy, they are selling us dreams and ambitions and the promise of a bright shiny future..

Meanwhile the real future is geothermal, nuclear and solar.

- Tidal suffers similar problems of poor efficiency, high maintenance and appalling ROI as wind.. Unfortunately the UK might have to destroy the Severn estuary in order to learn that..

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Anonymous Coward

Forget windmills...

... I want to see more waterwheels. The rivers round here flow 24/7/365. Why can't we make like the old mills and stick a waterwheel with a turbines along the banks?

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Coat

What about solar

Solar would be much better, after all... Wait, for the UK you say? Oh, well never mind then.

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FAIL

Wave / Tidal

Post Title = "The maths is much easier for current tidal technologies"

Post Contents = "Until some new method for extracting power for waves comes along, it's not going happen."

You do realise that wave and tidal power system are different right?

God what I would give for a decent quoting system in these forums.

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... but there's rain...

And all that rain flows into creeks and rivers and back to the sea.

As is mentioned (a lot) before why not use that in the UK?

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waterwheels - why not?

because they make 2/10ths of f**k all power.

Go look at your river. Say it's a metre deep, five metres wide. And flows at a metre a second (which is pretty fast for most rivers), over a drop of a couple of metres.

Guess how much power you can make, if you extract every single watt?

20 kilowatts.

That's not exactly about to make a difference....

How much power can

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