Electricity consumers in the UK will need to get used to flicking the switch and finding the power unavailable, according to Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid, the country’s grid operator. Because of a six-fold increase in wind generation, which won’t be available when the wind doesn’t blow, “The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030,” he told BBC’s Radio 4. “We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it. It’s going to be much smarter than that.I'd say that the big cheese of Britain's electricity distributor is as prominent an authority on such matters as is possible, don't you?
“We are going to change our own behaviour and consume it when it is available and available cheaply.”
Holliday has for several years been predicting that blackouts could become a feature of power systems that replace reliable coal plants with wind turbines in order to meet greenhouse gas targets.
We are already facing the possibility (or probability judging from Holliday's tone) of rolling power cuts due to political ideology. But with the increasingly knicker-wetting coverage of events in Japan, the focus has now turned on why we also shouldn't be relying on nuclear energy either.
Years after being squeezed out of the debate on nuclear under the spotlight of scientific reality, lefties have come scuttling out of their hidey-holes to spout their backward-looking 'progressivism' on the matter, and party like it's 1981.
Take Labour MP Paul Flynn, for example.
A pal from campaigning days in the early 80s contacted me with the message ‘Just like old times’.Doesn't that conjure up images of an unexpected gleeful reunion of sad dreamers, hurriedly wiping the mould from their loft-consigned CND banners, and cracking their aging knuckles ready for a new assault on a nuclear industry which has already comprehensively beaten them on pure rationality?
Like all spokespeople for the Nuclear Establishment he tried the usual blackmailing threat of ‘Nuclear or blackout’. It’s all cobblers.Because Paul Flynn - a precious, beardy old dogmatic lefty tax-leech from Newport - knows better than the man tasked with the job of managing the country's power supplies. Obviously.
But the best bit is his hinting that a tsunami of cataclysmic, and extremely rare, proportion in Japan could somehow possibly be replicated in, err, Wales.
It’s the fear of a Fukushima here that will inflame public opinion.Yes, but flooding does not a tsunami make, and I don't reckon there's much chance of an magnitude 9 earthquake being likely in the Bristol Channel anytime in the next, say, 10,000 years? And anything less would have precious little chance of beating the impressive safeguards in a modern nuclear power facility.
Fascinated to see Newsnight mentioning that even in the Bristol Channel nuclear power stations are at risk from flooding. Hinckley did in the late 80s but not seriously.
One has to wonder what exactly is going to satisfy such blinkered people. They don't want coal; experts in the field state categorically that wind just isn't going to cut it; solar? In rain-soaked Britain?; and they don't want nuclear either because of some ideologically-led hatred of industry, backed up by quite laughable scaremongery.
This is 'progressive', is it? Hmm, time to buy into candle futures.
UPDATE: Even Monbiot agrees that Flynn is one of many counter-productive dinosaurs!