The coming UK energy meltdown

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by alib, Jul 21, 2011.

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  1. On The Oil Drum The coming UK energy meltdown by Euan Mearns
    Worth reading the whole thing.

    It starts by pointing out that the UK has been energy independent for half a millennia and so the delusional behavior of the last half century is perhaps understandable. Its a long story of feckless regulation, under investment and privatized sausage making compounded by giddy dreams of a renewable energy economy that a less than eager private sector is somehow meant to create. Unlike some of its neighbors UK has squandered North Sea gas in a couple of generations and practically destroyed its coal industry along with the rest of its industrial base.

    This isn't so much an argument about the details of technology but the short sightedness of politicians and the people who elect them. Like the much ballyhooed deficit this is another can being kicked down the road to the grand kids. Privatization of utilities (apart from water) can provide marginal benefits to the tax payer but not when managed like this. Utilities that don't turn a short term profit and require long range investment are inherently problematic for the private sector, larding them with public sector bungs can be unwise. Keeping the lights on it a common good, it comes a long way before feel good sops to green piety for most people. This will end in soaring energy costs, collateral damage to the rest of the economy, job flight, massive government intervention and sky high taxes.
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  2. Could be online by 2025 supposedly, well concealed tax payer bung to EDF, still the same happy talk.
    I doubt if this even plugs the gap that'll be left by North sea gas. There are also big downsides to nuclear power over the longterm, the industry has always operated as a ward of the state, I'd be looking at longterm options with coal and shales.
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  3. Even though there millions upon milions of tonnes of coal under there.There are something like 500.000000 tonnes plus both under and near under where i live.they have shot themselves in the foot by closing everything up the money it would cost is astronomical .We have not had a decent energy policy for years thats both main government the lib dems are not worth mentioning (whoops i just did).Thats why we are in the state we are now
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  4. The alternative view, of course, is that we have a viable reserve to be accessed in the event that the options are reduced.
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  5. Yes, that's an upside of wielding the wrecking ball in the 80s.

    Now think about desperately needing to get at it within a decade or two as the UK is forced to pay through the nose fror energy by Gazprom, EDF's French grid etc. The startup costs and lead times will no doubt be considerable.
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  6. If it's needed in a hurry go for open cast or strip mining. The occupants of the former pit-villages may be put out, but in the grand scheme of things, not beyond the legislation of the day.

    I wouldn't get too stressed about running out of gas any time soon. The Norgies are more than happy to sell us their surplus.
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  7. Maybe we could turn off unrequired lights during the night? Have you seen London by night recently? Outstanding visually,but surely a huge waste of expensive leccy? Multiply that by all the major conurbations..........
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  8. Couldn't agree more. While the streets need illuminating, how much energy is wasted lighting-up the bottom of the clouds?
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  9. I'm absolutely chuffed to goolies that our green Marxist Environmetalist Friends want us to concrete over the UK, and build mega-huge wind turbines and more wind farms offshore..... this IS Greeeeaat news.

    Oh f*ck I got that wrong again..... Matron says that wit, sarcasm and Victor Meldrewness does not become me...

    time for more anther coffee and cake...

    Attached Files:

  10. During the Enron inflicted power cuts in Silicon Valley we were being told to live in the dark on Stamford campus while all these cooperate towers were blazing away, some wonk told me it was inherent in the building design, actually turning the lights off buggered the air con, go figure.
  11. Plausible. Having the lights on during the night would keep ambient temps up around where they would be with the office occupied, which means the a/c isn't ramping-up in the morning then cutting out at night; cycles that use up more energy than leaving the lights on.
  12. At what price and against which bidders? The Scandinavians have been much more parsimonious than the regulation shy Brits in harvesting their fields and will be respectful of market forces.

    From that article:
    They are living in la la land.
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  13. As we in the industry well recognise, Government control of crude prices is limited. Having monopolistic control of supplies has a greater influence. ie OPEC. Creating buffers gives you some limited control of seasonal trends, as in the case of the Irish 'Kinsale' field, and the US strategic reserves intially formed for oiling the Fleet.

    Hopefully, we can use the next few years of relative austerity to review our energy usage, and hope that the trickle-down effect of this moderates and modifies those countries who are going through a period of vastly increased expectation of availability. Relatively high energy prices have the effect of forcing people to manage their usage more thoughtfully.

    Am I scared about meltdown and mass-blackouts? No. Historically, Man has found the means to adapt to his circumstances. I have no doubt we'll manage a bit longer.
  14. From a UK PLC point of view UK businesses fear energy risks
    From the report: