Friday, 18 March 2011

UK To Be Powered By A Pipe Dream

Let's just remind ourselves of this, shall we?

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.

“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.
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 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.

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.
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.

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!


Anonymous said...

The prospect of rolling power cuts has very few pro's that I can see, with the possible exceptions that old cunts like Flynn will be among the first to suffer and die (if there is a God).

More importantly, how will I keep my beer cold if they keep turning of my fridge?

Anonymous said...

i will buy a generator.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Anon: Under the 'smart' system, your beer fridge would be defined as 'non-essential use' and the plan is that, as such, it would be turned off for you.

From the link in the article:

"Smart grids are being developed by utilities worldwide to allow the government to control electricity use in the home, down to the individual appliance. Smart grids would monitor the consumption of each appliance and be capable of turning them off if the power is needed elsewhere."

Now, isn't that 'progressive', eh?

westcoast2 said...

I gave up trying to 'debate' the issue of power cuts with PF about 18 months ago. He is set in his ways, evidence is of no concern since he knows whats best for everyone.

The UK has massive coal stocks that could easily power the nation for years to come.

So as the years pass by and winters get colder, perhaps the excess death count will change peoples minds and consideration will then be given to how these stocks can be used.

The use of Solar worked well in Spain (not) and Bird Shredders do nothing when the wind don't blow. Then of course we have tidal hmm.

If these 'alternatives' were so economicaly viable then they would be developed. Businesses are always looking to reduce cost and if they could gain a competitive advantage then they would go for it. That business does not do this without taxpayer money thrown at them says a lot.

The money will run out, then what?

Mark Wadsworth said...

What WestCoast2 says.

"The UK has massive coal stocks that could easily power the nation for years to come."

Yeah! The main reason why coal mining went wrong was because it was state-owned. Where you have state-ownership you get mismanagement on one side and trade unions on the other, a recipe for disaster, methinks.

Had Thatch simply handed the mines over to the miners and told them to get on with it, it would all have sorted itself out most amicably.

Anonymous said...


Wind turbines are very inefficient and don't turn if the wing is too low or too strong.

Tidal and wave are in their infancy but again have to be locked down if storm conditions. They are also huge for little generation capacity. People forget that the power of the sea is relentless and it will do all in its power to break whatever is in it's way. There was a prototype tidal device recently installed of the coast in Cornwall, the sea destroyed it in days.

richard h said...

What we need now is for someone to figure out a way to derive clean and efficient energy from used cigarette butts. We'd be right back in it then wouldn't we? Christ we'd be heroes....they'd have to pay us to smoke.

Anonymous said...

Windmill farms for electrical generation have been common in California, USA for at least the last 20 years, maybe longer. They exist in great plenitude from Altamount Pass in the north to the tops of the Tehachapis in the south. They look dramatic and sometimes you will even glimpse a few of them spinning in the wind. But usually you will drive by and most of them are just sitting there, drooping and idle. And I've never seen one spin at night. I think they may be an aviation hazard overnight in some locations.

I mostly pity the poor cows who have to graze near these monstrosities or the huge number of birds that get killed while innocently flying by. (California liberal progressive government strangely doesn't care about endangered bird species being killed by windfarms though, only about a tiny minnow in the Central Valley, enough to demand all farming water be shut off forever, turning the nation's former bread-basket into a dustbowl and causing enormous unemployment, crime, misery and poverty.)

If it wasn't for the large amount of tax credits and depreciation write-offs that were given to rich liberal investors for paying to have windfarms built, then they wouldn't have gotten off the ground. A recent story out here talked about so many of them sitting completely inoperable and constantly broken, hardly repaired, but then the owners don't want to pay to have them fixed and to actually generate profit from producing electricity nor produce much electricity at all. The initial and any on-going tax credits, plus non-cash depreciation expense write-offs, the benefit of creating a paper loss that can be carried over to offset other taxable income, makes windfarms a huge tax windfall for wealthy liberal progressive investors.

Another advantage to windfarms is while creating this huge tax benefit to wealthy liberal progressive investors, they are at the same time given high honours and accolades for being so noble and wise, huge glory hallelujahs and laureates to these gods and goddesses of the one-world-green movement for giving us an alternative to "big bad oil" and "mean old nuclear" industries. So wealthy liberal progressives taking advantage of the windfarm tax situation entirely for selfish personal gain makes it more costly for the non-wealthy taxpayers who are essentially robbed through the tax system, will have to eventually pay more, to essentially subsidize the wealthy liberal progressives who cobbled together the entire windfarm and "green" scheme in general mainly to pay less taxes. And they will do so while hiding behind a platitude of good intentions so it will never be questioned, what they are up to, no hint of evil greed or selfishness apparent on the superficial surface, which is all deeper the media dares scratch these days.

In former times, it was more common, when someone wealthy wanted a tax advantage, including non-cash depreciation expense, they would invest in a rental income property. They would obtain a desperate renter from the government welfare rolls, so the government sent the wealthy investor the subsidized rent payment directly each month and it was never missed. Then they would simply let the property fall into disrepair and turn into a slum, becoming slum lords. But that scheme, which once carried a high-minded tone to it, was long ago brought into public awareness and doesn't carry a high-minded tone to it the way "green wind farm investor" does today. And so we have windfarms, or windslums, instead.

Anonymous said...

The newest addition to California's alternative energy landscape will be down in the Mojave Desert where a giant experimental sunfarm is being built, I believe maybe using taxpayer dollars, an array of solar cells essentially. Whether this will turn into another tax subsidy and credit bonanza for the wealthy liberal progressives who control California remains to be seen, but it could be the next coming scheme. Whether it replaces all the "big bad oil", "mean old nuclear", "foul nasty coal" or "dangerous hydro-electric" sources - well it probably won't.

They are instead instituting "smart meters" and remote control cut-off of "non-essential" electrical use by consumers in California currently, the same way they are proposing in UK. This will give more cover up over what is really going on and the switch from abundant reliable energy, general wealth, freedom, jobs and happiness for all to energy only enough for the wealthy, will become accepted as normal and essential - the rolling blackouts will "prove" green is the way to go - and will be "believed", as the California windmill farm schemes were turned into normalcy and that scheme proved workable.

It's not really the generation of electricity that is being proposed anyhow. That's just fancy words to build the excuse around. The technologies are less efficient than other forms which could be improved in many ways and modernized, but still be more efficient in the long run. But it is the acceptance of one-world-greenism as the new normal that is at stake, plus all the benefits to the wealthy class at the expense of everyone else, that is the purpose of normalizing these liberal progressives' "advancements", not creating more abundant energy for all. Progress, for the progressive, has come to the end. They want it reversed, all for themselves, at the expense of everyone else.

The California state income tax form already reads like a progressive bill of "rights" since at the end is a list of dozens of purely liberal progressive fake-charities to which one can donate tax money each year as California apparently sits at the center of trying to manufacture and normalize this idea that the US Constitution and sovereign basic rights is old-fashioned and non-progressive when compared to the glorious international one-world UN government version, the politicians and wealthy in California are apparently on course of giving full support, with full participation of California residents required, whether they like it or not.

For the wealthy liberal progressives, there are tax schemes - slums of yesteryear - and there are tax schemes - windslums of today. But it's not to generate electricity. It's to generate belief in greenism, elevate the wealth liberal progressive class at the expense of everyone else and generally devolve the world into a one world feudal state, with them and other worldly liberal progressives as overlords, with the power to get rid of anyone who stands in their way. In California at least, that is the general course things have taken and has strong roots here in America's most Soviet style territory.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for being so long winded.

I just thought it important to know to "follow the money", the same as with the anti-smoking fear mongering to enlarge controls over society - it is a similar type of scheme going on with the windfarms and remote power control issues too.

Anonymous said...

They don't want progress.

Anonymous said...

We've always had 'soft' loonies of every description throughout the ages. What we've rarely had are Governments either composed of them or so ready to believe them.

Sad and dangerous.