back to article Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping one per cent of EU energy

The colossal, hugely expensive windfarms that are spread across huge areas of Europe's land and sea, which are projected to drive up household energy bills by more than 50 per cent in coming years, have achieved ... almost nothing in terms of reducing EU carbon emissions. We here on the Reg energy desk only noticed this …

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Well the Portuguese have managed to hit 100 percent supply a few times in the past. They have wind farms everywhere and are one of the leaders in the field. It just shows that it can be done and when you factor in all those people with solar panels that supply the grid with their excess one can see the potential.

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optomistic

I assume thats just electricity needs , still burning loads of petrol , diesel , gas and heating oil , Same creative accounting as described in the article.

Impressive though

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How stable would the grid be with even 50% renewable energy?

What would the black-start options be?

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Re: optomistic

Indeed. The story states that the 8% was of electricity, then goes on to complain that it's only 1% of energy. Poor, detracting, form.

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Re: optomistic

Hardly "creative accounting". The claim was 8% of electricity, not 8% of total energy use; perfectly accurate, and not at misleading. Unless you really try, of course.

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I don't know about Portugal; but I heard someone talking about Spain and how they were achieving 68% of their supply from wind.

Only that wasn't true; the figure was 56% and that was for about 1 hour during a major storm some years ago. On average, it's less than half of that and at times, it's less than 10%.

I'm all for reducing reliance on gas and oil; and I'm in favour of renewable technology. But it does seem that there are a lot of claims being made that don't actually stand up to close scrutiny; and especially being made by people that have an agenda to promote these products.

They actually do themselves and the technology a grave disservice; by over promising, it makes the failure to deliver on a consistent basis, seem much worse than it ought.

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The problem is, wind energy is not reliable. Neither is solar, although there's always some unlike wind. Any source that cannot produce electricity on demand and reliably needs another source of generation to back it up. This is the major problem with these technologies. Gas power stations are the normal source of backup, but that effectively means you have to install generation twice. And one, the backup, is only used very occasionally making them uneconomic.

In the UK, when we get a period of really cold weather, it is normally associated with a lull in the wind. Think back to the last few times and think how much wind was blowing. Just when the weather is coldest and we need power the most, wind power is generating close to nothing. When we need it less, it's generating like a good 'un. But, that's no good. It's really lucky that in the UK we still predominantly use gas for heating, as otherwise the number of people dying through cold would be much larger.

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@Bloakey1, Citations or actual confirmed evidence please, or can we assume those times were in the very early hours of the morning when no one was using power.

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Only if the wind blows and the sun shines

Only if the wind blows and the sun shines. On some days it only manages 0.1% of their requirement.

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Things windmills are bad at

Things windmills are bad at:

* Reducing CO2 emissions from fuel burnt for heating

* Ball games

* They are unable to read sheet music

* Holding doors open for ladies

* Leaving dishes to soak and then forgetting to wash them up.

I could go on, but the point is they're just a waste of time.

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Anonymous Coward

Hydro is one renewable, and at least one hydro station in the UK, Cruachan, has black start capability,. Norway almost certainly has more.

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>The problem is, wind energy is not reliable.

No, that's story-telling and hand waving about a topic you clearly don't understand. It's like complaining that high-level languages can't possibly work because compilers just aren't clever enough to output clean code.

Firstly, offshore really isn't that intermittent. Secondly on-shore isn't built where your semi is in the middle of the city. It's built in - you know - areas where the wind blows. Because building it where your semi is would be really stupid.

Clever people do a lot of modelling and statistical estimation of potential sites, and bankers won't fund projects if the numbers don't work out,

Because the numbers are conservative - those bankers have their uses - wind reliably outperforms the estimates.

Finally, we have this thing called a National Grid, which means - here comes the clever part - that it's possible to move electricity from where it's generated to where it's needed.

Now, as for energy generation - there's been relentless hostility to renewables from the fossil dinosaurs for decades now. They really, really hate the fact that they're not going to able to keep holding everyone to ransom with fossils. (If you think wind is unreliable, why not rely on Russian gas instead? Genius...) So offshore wind build out is some tiny percentage of what it could be.

In spite of this - more than 8% across the EU. That's an incredible achievement, and well above most predictions.

And longer term - do you think we should burn oil to keep warm, or should we keep it for useful things, like plastics?

Elon Musk is betting the farm on electric travel being the future, and if he had to go brain to brain against Lewis Page in an IQ battle, I know who I'd be betting on.

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@TheOtherHobbes.

Spot the man who doesn't work in the 'industry'. Essentially wind farms are allowed to produce as much as possible whenever possible and often other power sources (such as gas power stations) are turned off to allow this. In some cases, wind farms have to be stopped as oversupply is too great. Strangely, they get paid to turn their turbines off!!

However, even if it only happens once a year, you have to have backup capacity for them in the event of a lull. Look at the wind generation over the last few cold snaps in the UK and you'll see this. Doesn't matter if it happens once or a hundred times.....you still need it. And that's the problem. If you look at the stats, you'll also see that the power produced is really quite variable and the band is quite large.

Everything is stacked towards making wind farms look good, but the important thing is ability to reliabily produce electricity when it is required and due to the variability of the wind, wind farms will always have a problem there. One solution to the issue, which national grid are looking it and implementing, is to pay large users to shutdown during periods of low wind and therefore low generaiton. However, they normally want a pretty big 'bonus' for doing this, so economically, it's really stupid. It is done in gas mind, to cover for periods of low gas reserves and high consumption.

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@TheOtherHobbes.

"Elon Musk is betting the farm on electric travel being the future, and if he had to go brain to brain against Lewis Page in an IQ battle, I know who I'd be betting on."

Just because he did something good once, doesn't make him Einstein. Unless you've met both people and spoken with them, the above comment is really silly.

In the end, fossil fuels will run out and cars will have to run on electricity. However, that doesn't mean that batteries are the answer, which is pretty much all the main manufacturers are looking at. Some are looking at hydrogen, but not many. Batteries as a means to store power on a large scale or for things like cars are really stupid. Battery cars will never make it mainstream as they are simply impractical. Electric cars which use another power source, which is converted to electricity; now that's another story.

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I'm interested to know what that mythical 'other source' is. Or why you think electric cars are impractical if battery equipped, given there are 750k or more electric cars being entirely practical out there already.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mad Mike

Solar energy is not reliable in northern Europe.

They need to place the solar farms in deserts where you really can get a decent power level. Maybe north Africa somewhere politically stable.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: north Africa ... politically stable."

"They need to place the solar farms in deserts where you really can get a decent power level. Maybe north Africa somewhere politically stable."

Hmmm.

Not sure whether you're already aware of this, but the technology to do that at gigawatt scale exists today, as does (did?) at least one multinational business consortium set up for the purpose. It even addressed the "politically stable" issue as part of its plans.

Seems to have somewhat fallen by the wayside since its solar peak though.

Go have a read about Desertec

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M7S

Re: Elon Musk is betting the farm on electric travel being the future

He is indeed and I'll probably buy into that vision in due course as prices fall and ranges rise.

How on earth does that relate to wind power, or perhaps I've missed where a spinnaker folded in the boot is the range extending option?

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Anonymous Coward

Battery cars are impractical

"Battery cars will never make it mainstream as they are simply impractical. "

Impractical *for what*, sir?

Do some numbers and you'll find that for the 2nd car in an N-car household, which only ever does the school run, the supermarket run and such like they're eminently practical. Not so practical if you're a Yodel/Uber driver or a techy road warrior. Somewhere in between is a dividing line which moves as battery technology improves.

The snag with that picture is that by definition these are low mileage journeys. Low mileage journeys tend not to use much energy in the bigger picture, although they do account for a disproportionate amount of pollution. So this isn't an obvious winner if you consider energy and pollution separately, as is typically done. Look at the bigger picture and it makes more sense to change.

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Holmes

The Portuguese use donkey carts?

Is it true the Portuguese have a low-methane donkey now, and have stopped using cars?

"A few times" - that sums up the renewables problem. They are unreliable and that means traditional generation is always running at idle to save the day(light). This is why Europe is paying as much as 5x the price for electricity.

The concept of wind/solar renewables is stupid. The technology just isn't ready for mainstream.

If we want to get CO2 out of the air, we need to accept clean nuclear as the alternative

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Portuguese use donkey carts?

And too many will NEVER accept nuclear as clean, figuring the likes of Chernobyl to be just a taste of a true unstoppable meltdown that blows fallout across most of Europe and raises cancer rates for generations which no one will take the blame for since the full effects won't be felt until they're long dead. As far as they're concerned, better by far to slouch back to the Stone Age than to mutate ourselves out of existence, and nothing anyone says or does will convince us otherwise since no one thinks longer-term than they do.

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"

>The problem is, wind energy is not reliable.

No, that's story-telling and hand waving about a topic you clearly don't understand. It's like complaining that high-level languages can't possibly work because compilers just aren't clever enough to output clean code.

Firstly, offshore really isn't that intermittent. Secondly on-shore isn't built where your semi is in the middle of the city. It's built in - you know - areas where the wind blows. Because building it where your semi is would be really stupid.

"

Do you know what a synoptic chart is? Do you know how to interpret them? If you have look at such charts reasonably regularly as I do, you will have seen many occasions where there really is very little wind over at least 75% of the UK, and that can be the case for a week or more. Also, it is all very well to state that electricity can be transmitted via the National Grid, but the grid is not robust enough to supply all of (say) the power requirements of Southern England from power sources in Scotland. It was designed for reasonably distributed generation and would not handle the currents of having most of the generation situated in a localised area.

So on the days when there really is little wind over almost the entire country, you would either have to have to have a way to store huge amounts of energy to tide us over the lull, or you would have to have on-demand power stations that are capable of supplying our entire electrical need. Energy storage to that extent is simply not practical, and having large capacity conventional power stations that sit idle for 60% of the time or more is uneconomic.

Of all the "natural" energy sources, in my opinion tidal energy is the most practical because it is 100% reliable, but making use of it is difficult and costly. As the article states, the one and only solution today is nuclear energy which we have stupidly vetoed by exaggerating its risks out of all proportion to reality. Nuclear energy has seen less deaths per TWh *both actual and projected* than either wind or solar energy.

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Anonymous Coward

"Nuclear energy has seen less deaths per TWh *both actual and projected* than either wind or solar energy."

Even taking into account increased instances of radiation-induced cancer that aren't noticed until nearly half a century later?

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I'm genuinely confused here...

You're suggesting that battery powered cars aren't viable long term, right?

But Hydrogen might be okay, except only a few people are looking at it..

Question: Which kind of hydrogen system are you talking about?

Do you mean hydrogen cells or hydrogen combustion engines? these are reasonably different systems. Hydrogen cells are batteries (with all the implied dangers of a battery) insofar as chemical to electrical energy storage is concerned. Hydrogen combustion engines have a lot going for them (like their similarity to a traditional combustion engine) but also involve storing a highly combustible element in much greater concentration, even compared with petrol or diesel.

I think battery technology is a field which still has a long way to progress. Until the full utility of a technology is required, there's no push for it to be reached; in the last 15 years the importance of the battery has sky rocketed, but it still takes time to develop functional market ready products which can achieve the requirements we have now.

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Boffin

"Even taking into account increased instances of radiation-induced cancer that aren't noticed until nearly half a century later?"

yes, including those

it's not hard, as radiation-induced cancer accounts for less than 1% of non-thyroid cancer incidence from stuff like Chernobyl

more people are dying of cancer because we live long enough to die of cancer, not because there is radioactive stuff everywhere

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Anonymous Coward

the one and only solution today is nuclear energy

Don't spoil an otherwise well-reasoned post with loose words like that.

Nuclear energy might have been a plausible solution if we'd started a pilot programme maybe ten years ago. For reasons now irrelevant, that didn't happen. Consequently nuclear is not a solution today. Its inevitable long lead times (even with all the luck in the world) mean it can't be an answer in the short term, and its medium term relevance will continue to be debatable unless the industry can get its own act together and get a few things right, ideally leading to an installation delivered on time and on budget. What kind of odds do you think you'd get on that down the betting shop?

E.g., the current round of UK nuclear applicants can't even get their safety documentation right before submitting it to the regulators. E.g.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Second-regulatory-issue-raised-with-UK-ABWR-17071501.html 17 Jul 2015

"UK regulators have asked Hitachi-GE to address a series of "shortfalls" in the probabilistic safety analysis (PSA) of its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). The request takes the form of a Regulatory Issue, which is the second in as many months in the generic design assessment (GDA) of the reactor for its use in the UK."

...

""Overall, the UK ABWR PSA information received so far does not provide ONR with confidence that Hitachi-GE, without further work and changes, will be able to deliver a modern standards full-scope PSA for the UK ABWR, which is suitable and sufficient for ONR to carry out a meaningful assessment within the project timescales," ONR said. "This is considered a serious regulatory shortfall which ONR, in line with our Guidance to Requesting Parties, is now escalating to a Regulatory Issue.""

...

"In its response to ONR, which the regulator also published yesterday, Hitachi-GE said it acknowledged that the PSA submissions it made in December did not meet UK regulatory expectations. As a consequence, the company said it must "develop a revised approach in line with UK good practice, in order to build the UK regulator's confidence in our ability to deliver a suitable and sufficient full-scope, modern standards PSA by June 2016."

Hitachi-GE stressed that the design process used in the development of the Japanese ABWR reference plant is "rigorous" and that the company is confident it will demonstrate that the proposed UK ABWR generic design is safe and will meet UK environmental and safety standards.

The company added: "In view of the challenges we have faced in meeting the UK regulator's expectations, Hitachi-GE has enhanced its PSA team, including securing the support of internationally recognised PSA experts to ensure that our PSA submissions meet UK regulatory expectations.""

...

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FAIL

@Ivan 4

Citations or actual confirmed evidence please, or can we assume those times were in the very early hours of the morning when no one was using power.

That's right, I don't need my house heated during the coldest portion of the night....

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Re: @Ivan 4

"That's right, I don't need my house heated during the coldest portion of the night...."

So you keep the heating cranked up all night? That's not very green of you.

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Re: Darryl

"So you keep the heating cranked up all night? That's not very green of you."

Cranked up? No. Turned off? Again, no. There is a difference between LOW heat and NO heat.

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Black start options

Rotating fossil fuel generators tend to need electricity to generate a magnetic field to generate electricity. Hydro is often designated for this purpose in grid black start planning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_start

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Anonymous Coward

Elon Musk isn't "betting the farm", he's betting YOUR farm. He (his companies) have scooped something like $4B in public subsidies in the past few years. Musk's primary talent isn't intelligence per se, it's spotting a very lucrative bit of subsidy farming while pretending to productive. Clever, yes, but not in the way I think you think you think.

Wind power can have uses, there are a few places in the world where it can be paired with Hydro where that hydro has water supply constraints. Thus any wind generation can compensate for the extra cost by saving water that can be used later when there's insufficient wind. It helps if the wind turbines are in areas with consistent flow, and onshore.

Offshore wind is a joke, just wait until the repair bills start piling up, they already are, off-shore wind is nearly at its (heavily subsidized) peak, in a few years there will be a number of those installations left abandoned as not being worth repairing/refurbishing whatever the subsidy level. The off-shore environment is harsh and the repair costs are very, very, expensive.

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Re: @Mad Mike

"Maybe north Africa somewhere politically stable."

Uh yeah, right. Giving african countries get another source of complaints about rich countries stealing their resources and preventing them from moving forward economically.

Not to mention that there would be 10 times more demand south of those solar farms than north of them.

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"Even taking into account increased instances of radiation-induced cancer that aren't noticed until nearly half a century later?"

For all statistical purposes, they simply don't happen.

Radiation exposure tends to kill you relatively quickly or not kill you at all. The bigger issue is poisoning from radiation breakdown products (beryllium is a nasty carcinogen as a for-instance) and heavy metal poisoning from things like uranium 238 - which isn't radioactive to speak of, but is an environmental toxin.

Being exposed to radioactive isotopes doesn't mean you _will_ get cancer. It raises the risks - you might go from a 1 in 1,000,000 risk to a 1 in 500,000 risk as a for-instance (which gets "doubles the risk of cancer" scarelines.) Bear in mind that cancer levels in Nagasaki and Hiroshima are 2% above "normal", whilst down the road at Minamata Bay it's about 25% higher thanks to organic mercury compounds in the seawater.

Pressurised water reactors have a "sweet spot" at 7-10MW electrical power generation (which is hardly surprising, as that's what the original research was aimed at for submarines). Scaling them up to 1400MW is bad news, but they're still safer than every other form of electricity generation and produce less waste than coal ever will. That said, there are safer methods which aren't pressurised and don't use metals which catch fire on expsoure to air, or graphite cores.

An anecdote to amuse: There was a nasty cluster of cancers amogst workers in the old Rutherford laboratories at Oxford. The labs were cleared out and gone over with a fine-tooth comb to fine what residual radioactives might be causing this. Nothing was found, so they virtually tore the place apart trying to find them eventually finding the cause - which was nothing radioactive at all. A long time before Rutherford even set foot in the labs they were used for chemistry research and mercury from broken thermometers had found its way into the floorboards, oxidising and forming nasty carcinogenic organic compounds.

This risk is well understood and looked for in chemistry departments, but because "Radiation" might have been the cause, everyone was blinded to looking for anything other than a radioactive cause.

last week someone posted pictures of deformed daisies around Fukushima as "evidence" of radiation poisoning. Never mind that the species in question is well-known for producing odd shapes all the time without any radiation exposure, somehow these particular ones are a direct result of non-existent radioactive contamination simply because they're in the area.

The USA let off a large number of atmospheric tests in the 1950s, many of which produced substantial fallout downwind because they were fired too close to the ground. The statistical increase in cancers in those areas is about 5% over "normal". This is down in the noise as changes like that are seen all over the world without radiation exposure (the highest spikes are downwind of coal burning plants and they're more statistically obvious). Areas around US military nuclear installations are bad news requiring superfund cleanups, but that's the military all over. Civilian installations have been very clean.

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"Offshore wind is a joke, just wait until the repair bills start piling up"

For those not paying attention: Large wind turbines chew through gearboxes at a prodigious rate and the cost of replacing them means that without continuous subsidies turbine operators would run at a stonking loss.

The bigger the turbines, the faster they eat their gearboxes.

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Anonymous Coward

"...hit 100 percent..."

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia achieved 50% at one point. It was between 3am and 4am when everyone was asleep, on a comfortable Spring night, with perfect wind conditions. In other words, *perfectly meaningless*.

It's worth mentioning that Canada's grid is already about 85% low carbon, since it's 65% hydro to start, not to mention nuclear energy as well as windmills. Meanwhile Germany, that everyone assumes is 'greener', is only about 30% renewables, and depends heavily on coal. Everyone seems to assume the opposite of the truth.

Sorry about the tar sands, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Hydrogen

Hydrogen in commercial quantities is made from Natural Gas using steam reformation, a process that releases 4 tonnes of CO2 for every 1 tonne of Hydrogen.

Extracting hydrogen from water is still a developing art. Humans need to perfect that process and roll it out on a massive scale, not to mention crack the carbonized coconut or similar hydrogen storage technology, then and only then start thinking about 'The Hydrogen Economy'.

Program schedules with 'magic happens here' are daft.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Mad Mike

"Giving african countries get another source of complaints about rich countries stealing their resources"

Which is why the Desertec setup explicitly considered how to stucture the deal(s) so that kind of accusation wouldn't hold water.

But hey, it's the Interwebz, rant on. At least till the lights go out due to our leaders' collective reluctance to actually change anything that actually matters.

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"Green Prince of Darkness....EXPOSED" at FauxScienceSlayer site....

There is NO Carbon climate forcing, NO 'sustainable' energy and NO 'peak' oil. There is an elitist directed FAKE debate between the Darth BIG Warmists and the controlled opposition Luke LITTLE Warmists, who claim to be 'skeptic/deniers' but still accept the FALSE premise of 'back radiation warming' in violation of the Laws of Thermodynamics. This discussed on two hour interview here:

coasttocoastam.com/show/2015/03/18 > Climate Change & Thermodynamics

and the FRAUD of photovoltaics is explained in...."Green Prince of Darkness"....

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Spanish flies.

I'm impressed that Spain had learned how to build a set of windmills and use half of them in a storm. That is remarkable engineering.

FYI in Britain inclement cold weather is related to increased volcanic activity. A bête noire. I not only hate the cold the weather but the charts inevitably bugger about. If you would like to know how to interpret them, ask and ye shall receive. (But ask loudly I listen quietly.)

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Actually, Elon is betting other peoples farms on electric travel, not his.

Dunno about the brain part either, although he is smart enough to use other brains to do the hard part!

He kinda reminds me about another well-known public money leech...Branson.

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European Grid

Here in the Antipodes we are able to move wind/hydro/gas/coal electricity thousands of kilometres, even across the Bass straight which is several hundred kilometres wide. I feel confident that the windiness or otherwise of UK in any particular week can be offset by connecting to the great European landmass across the relatively narrow channel.

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Re: Battery cars are impractical

Actually it's not quite right that the main use is the urban shopping trolley. The most effective use of the current generation of EVs, e.g. Nissan LEAF, is as a commuter car. They can pay for themselves with the fuel savings.

The average LEAF does 40% more miles per year than the average petrol or diesel. This I think was unexpected by the manufacturers.

http://www.newsroom.nissan-europe.com/uk/en-gb/Media/Media.aspx?mediaid=128282

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Re: optomistic

>>"Hardly "creative accounting". The claim was 8% of electricity, not 8% of total energy use; perfectly accurate, and not at misleading"

In the context of this article, no it's not misleading because this article is clear about the difference. However, look at the sort of press-releases it is in response to. The contributions of wind power are not put in any sort of proper context and presented as having a whopping effect on reducing CO2 and fossil fuel usage. And I have been in debates with plenty of people who are more than happy to conflate the two to make wind power look better. I recall a few months ago someone claiming how Germany is now a net exporter of energy and linking to electricity figures.

Never mind that even if Germany were, it would still be a grossly inefficient approach to it made sustainable only by subsidies.

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>>"Now, as for energy generation - there's been relentless hostility to renewables from the fossil dinosaurs for decades now. They really, really hate the fact that they're not going to able to keep holding everyone to ransom with fossils"

Now that's a character attack on your opponents. I'm about as vicious a critic of wind power as you're likely to find and I have NO association with any fossil fuel industry that I'm aware of (other than being a customer just as you are). I'm pretty sure you'll find that many of us from the author of the article to the posters here are actually strong proponents of NUCLEAR power. Claiming our arguments are biased because we hate not being able to hold people hostage over fossil fuels is wrong. In fact it's silly. Do you really think all those people modding down your post own shares or hold positions in oil or coal companies? Rather than just think you're wrong?

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>>I'm interested to know what that mythical 'other source' is

It's called hydrogen fuel cells and Toyota have a commercially available family car that uses one right now, so you have a funny definition of 'mythical'. Lot of London busses run on HFC as well. It's far more energy dense than any battery ever produced or likely to be any time soon. And the exhaust is water vapour.

Hydrogen can also be produced cleanly with electricity and hot water - something nuclear powerstations have in abundance. So you have power generated by nuclear and you can do it efficiently because you use the troughs in demand to produce the hydrogen as a storage mechanism for energy. Nuclear power is most efficient run at a steady output so they're a perfect compliment. And you get cars that are clean, lighter than battery equivalents, have greater range and use existing petrol infrastructure with the relatively simple addition to the station of a new pump and accompanying tank.

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Facepalm

>>Hydrogen cells are batteries

Wrong in both technical terms AND in layspeak. Hydrogen Fuel Cells are not batteries.

A battery is something you charge up with electricity and then you discharge it over time. Even lay people understand that a battery is something charged with electricity.

A hydrogen fuel cell is connected to a tank of hydrogen. The hydrogen is reacted with oxygen to produce energy and the resulting water vapour is expelled. Have you ever seen a battery that you plug a hydrogen tube into and watched it give out steam from the reaction? No, because that's not what a battery does.

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Re: the one and only solution today is nuclear energy

>>"UK regulators have asked Hitachi-GE to address a series of "shortfalls" in the probabilistic safety analysis (PSA) of its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR). The request takes the form of a Regulatory Issue, which is the second in as many months in the generic design assessment (GDA) of the reactor for its use in the UK."

Isn't this what is supposed to happen? A process between the designers and the regulators to iron out problems and get documentation in order. I do the same with software requirements documents every month and I'm dealing with specifications far less complex than I imagine a nuclear power station to be. Do you really imagine whole books of documentation being handed over to the regulators and them NOT coming back and saying "we need more on this bit" or "please clarify or amend this" ? If you do, you have no experience of complex projects. If you don't, then why are you damning nuclear power for the process working as it should?

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Gangsters running on vodka.

What is special about Chernobyl is that it was a nuclear pile run by a country with a dark ages mentality in the Soviet era, built without containment or any safety measures and run by monkeys; yet it only killed everyone ever killed in accidents at nuclear reactors.

But it was not even an accident. It was sabotage by someone who had a poor translation of The Simpsons, a "People's черный рынок" version and missed all the nuances.

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Hydro

"Hydro is one renewable, and at least one hydro station in the UK, Cruachan, has black start capability,. Norway almost certainly has more"

I am not sure where you are going with this?

Hydroelectrical power is brilliant. However, Norway was designed by a guy named Slartibartfast. Awardwinning work for sure, but it left the entire country with a topology perfect to build cheap hydroelectrical dams all over the place.

It is hardly a solution that will fit well in other countries. In addition, the construction of these facilities has a profound impact on local wildlife. A Fukushima-style nuclear spill will look like a walk in the park in comparison.

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Black Helicopters

Divine retribution

If yellow-cake turns out to be the stone cut out "not by human hands" we can only tell ourselves that we have none to blame but our wise men. And that we chose them. I am not looking forward to being right but it is nice to think that it might be nearly over. I am going to have to start behaving. I certainly don't want poetic justice I'd much rather have forgiveness.

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