UK could face blackouts by 2016

#1
After reading the article below, I started thinking (dangerous I know)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8249540.stm

Why does the governmnet persist in giving money to just about everything except our own infrastructure.

Could we not create a state firm that specialises in Wind power technology (or buy out one that currently exists). This plan is based upon the UK requiring electrical power at an ever increasing rate and the governments insistance that this should be from renewable sources.

So..

We own the firm/s (the money is there for Northern Rock, Rover, Vauxhall, RBS so why not?) that produce the wind turbines, associated equipment, R&D and only import the raw materials. This leads to job creation in the UK therefore a reduction in welfare and an increase in tax receipts.

Place the wind farms on the current proposed sites using the regulations that allow the government to build housing wherever thay want (prior to an energy crisis existing), utilising UK construction companies further boosting the construction industy and again increasing tax receipts.

We become a world leader in this technology and are able to pursue export markets. As the government is obsessesed in helping out the third world at great expense we provide these turbines free (we currently give them money for nothing so this is cost neutral) further securing UK jobs and a global green policy.

There are possibly many flaws in this plan but it would seem to be more coherent than current policy and it only took me a day.

Any political party wishing to utilise this stategy can pay for my pearls of wisdom by employing me as a one man think tank at 2m a year
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#2
While your idea is laudible, it probably infringes an EC Trade Directive somewhere, hence it'll never see the light of day.
 
#3
And not only that, there is a modicum of common sense in the idea and common sense seems anathema to this govt.
 
#4
Simple really, Andrew Brown (brother of Gordon) is a senior executive for EDF
EDF will be producing electricity for the UK by then (most if not all of it), if the government were to do anything about power generation for itself then Mr Brown's brother wouldn't have quite such a lucrative future.
 
#5
cloudbuster said:
While your idea is laudible, it probably infringes an EC Trade Directive somewhere, hence it'll never see the light of day.
Bugger
 
#6
jagman said:
Simple really, Andrew Brown (brother of Gordon) is a senior executive for EDF
EDF will be producing electricity for the UK by then (most if not all of it), if the government were to do anything about power generation for itself then Mr Brown's brother wouldn't have quite such a lucrative future.
Well thats the end of that eureka moment then, back in me box.
 
#7
stinker said:
jagman said:
Simple really, Andrew Brown (brother of Gordon) is a senior executive for EDF
EDF will be producing electricity for the UK by then (most if not all of it), if the government were to do anything about power generation for itself then Mr Brown's brother wouldn't have quite such a lucrative future.
Well thats the end of that eureka moment then, back in me box.
Terribly sorry!
IF you want to know how anything works in this country you need to look at who gains from something before seeing what the outcome will be. Good ideas and logic count for nothing, everything is entirely dependant on who is making the backhander from it.
In the case of the UK's energy policy, everything is heavily influenced by Andrew Brown's interests.
 
#8
Best way to deal with this is at the consumer end and then work back.

The nation as a whole squanders electricity, we need to cut back on the consumption of electric first.

Homes that are insualted and naturally lit for example not these lego jobs that are thrown up on Greenfield sites.

Encourage better water heating, CHP systems for example that actually generate electric too. You could link several houses up to the large CHP boilers, and provide alot of electric and all of hte water needs.

PV cells and solar cells on the houses, with only a top up coming from the grid.

Why have electric cookers? Bring in gas and other non-electric means.

Finally, the cows we keep for milk, and the human poo we send down the toilets, can be gathered and composted producing methane and fertilizer.

We spend a lot of energy cleansing water for consumption, yet the vast majority of it is used to flush poo and wash clothes. Houses should be encouraged to store rain water and reuse water where needed.

A white, grey and black system (like ships) is ideal. White for drinking, preparing food, which can then be flushed in to a grey tank (with a small filter). This is used to wash clothes, shower in, etc. Which can then be used to either water the grass or flush poo.

To further reduce CO2 emissions and the use of resources, some tasks such as hedgerow cutting on the road sides, or turning over fields could be carried out by penal slaves and those who are living off the state.

Foodstuffs grown locally don't require the same sort of logistics train. And certainly connecting green houses to powerstations to use up the excess heat instead of venting it to the skys in cooling towers, would provide the UK with all year round veg.
 
#9
I kind of agree with frog of chocolate. I personally think that it would be better if we provided our own electricity. As in using solar panels, wind genes and whatever else generates power. The unfortunate side effect of that would be people haveing the craziest things going on in their garden producing power. However, this government has successfully ensured that (despite us paying our taxes) it will ruin all the services it can for us into the foreseeable future. So I say try to be as self sufficient as your lifestyle allows.
 
E

EScotia

Guest
#10
chocolate_frog said:
Best way to deal with this is at the consumer end and then work back.

The nation as a whole squanders electricity, we need to cut back on the consumption of electric first.

Homes that are insualted and naturally lit for example not these lego jobs that are thrown up on Greenfield sites.

Encourage better water heating, CHP systems for example that actually generate electric too. You could link several houses up to the large CHP boilers, and provide alot of electric and all of hte water needs.

PV cells and solar cells on the houses, with only a top up coming from the grid.

Why have electric cookers? Bring in gas and other non-electric means.

Finally, the cows we keep for milk, and the human poo we send down the toilets, can be gathered and composted producing methane and fertilizer.

We spend a lot of energy cleansing water for consumption, yet the vast majority of it is used to flush poo and wash clothes. Houses should be encouraged to store rain water and reuse water where needed.

A white, grey and black system (like ships) is ideal. White for drinking, preparing food, which can then be flushed in to a grey tank (with a small filter). This is used to wash clothes, shower in, etc. Which can then be used to either water the grass or flush poo.

To further reduce CO2 emissions and the use of resources, some tasks such as hedgerow cutting on the road sides, or turning over fields could be carried out by penal slaves and those who are living off the state.

Foodstuffs grown locally don't require the same sort of logistics train. And certainly connecting green houses to powerstations to use up the excess heat instead of venting it to the skys in cooling towers, would provide the UK with all year round veg.
Laudible sentiments, however, when al the above is in full swing and the nation is using much less energy, the only way power generating companies will be able to make sufficient profits in order to pay their staff and invest in new technology and R&D will be to massively invest the price of electricity to the user :x
 
#11
Why is there this constant cry for wind power? It's unreliable, expensive, and still requires a back up system for windless days.

Put it this way, if you were on a life support system, would you want it plugged into;

A) A coal fired power station.

B) A nuclear power station.

C) A tide powered system as in the much mooted Severn barrage.

D) A wind farm.

As a tip the local school's token wind turbine hasn't turned a blade in the last five days. Lucky the school has mains electricity.
 
#12
Cabana said:
I kind of agree with frog of chocolate. I personally think that it would be better if we provided our own electricity. As in using solar panels, wind genes and whatever else generates power. The unfortunate side effect of that would be people haveing the craziest things going on in their garden producing power. However, this government has successfully ensured that (despite us paying our taxes) it will ruin all the services it can for us into the foreseeable future. So I say try to be as self sufficient as your lifestyle allows.
I agree with your sentiments. I have looked at sticking a wind power generator on my garage roof, but apparently you need a fairly constant minimum of 5 metres per sec of air flow for it to work. The average here is 2 metres/sec so that's out. I then looked at solar panels and found that I could save about £250 a year on electric by installing photovoltaic panels on the roof of my house. Since the cost of installing such a system is about £8000, return on the investment would take 32 years (without taking into account the cost of annual inspection/servicing/repairs. And the system, once installed is probably only good for 16 - 20 years. Bol locks!All my good intentions come to nowt. .

Probably the best thing I could do is to install a wood burning stove or fire, since we live in an area with lots of forestry. This would take the strain off the central heating which would only need to be used as background heating thereafter. I know I can get a wood burning fire that will also heat water, but installation costs are excessive.

There are some grants available for installing alternative energy sources, snag is that the grants aren't really enough to make the hassle and expense justifiable

For anyone thinking of becoming less reliant on fossil fuels, Avaganda
 
#13
Alternative energies such as windfarms do have their place, however just to feed the power into the grid is not the answer. In very windy areas (West coast, North coast and the highlands) windfarms can gather energy for many days in a given year, however supply rarely ties in with demand. If however the electricity generated was used to produce hydrogen the energy could then be stored until required by demand. That is you build localised generating facilities which burn the hydrogen. Remember too that when hydrogen is burned it only produces water! The byproduct of hydrogen generation using electricity is oxygen which can also be utilised. Electrolisis is not efficient, however if windturbines are set up to generate at all windspeeds and not furl when wind gets too strong this will be less of a problem.
Turbine design needs to be looked at too. Savonius style turnines combined with aerofoil blades, although inneficient do not have the inherent problems that conventional 'propellor' styles have.

Tidal energy is another underutilised resource in the UK, however quangos such as SNH,SEPA and EPA require to have less power of veto before this direction can be fully researched.
 
#14
The steelplant I work in makes (amongst other things) steel plates which are used in windtowers. Orders are down 84%, which is funny considering Cyclops says he's building a 'low carbon economy'.

There's only one factory in the UK which makes windtowers. Another 'outstanding' Nulab bit of policy there methinks.
 
#15
Chef said:
Why is there this constant cry for wind power? It's unreliable, expensive, and still requires a back up system for windless days.

Put it this way, if you were on a life support system, would you want it plugged into;

A) A coal fired power station.

B) A nuclear power station.

C) A tide powered system as in the much mooted Severn barrage.

D) A wind farm.

As a tip the local school's token wind turbine hasn't turned a blade in the last five days. Lucky the school has mains electricity.
Wind power can be used to augment such systems.

Nuclear has many drawbacks, not least of which being the 250,000 years required for the waste fuel to become safe. During which time this matierial MUST be stored securely.

Coal stations are using fuel that we cannot replace, so we need to look at renewables. Also nice clean non CO2 producing sytems are needed.

One solution is to use gas, coal or nuclear stations as the "plodders". Certainly nuclear is more efficient when run at a constant. With the surplus used to produce fuel cells etc when during "low" consumption points.

Yes, your school's turbine may not have turned in five days, but that is ONE turbine. What if your school was equipped with a turbine AND solar?

It is easy to rip renewables apart, but one often wonders if the same could have been done to fossil fuels, had they only just been thought of.

It is not hard to implement such systems, it just needs a bit of vision by the the manager.... and a bit of cash.
 
#16
This is Labour's strategy for an election win in 2015.

Remember Heath in 1970-74. Three day week... power cuts... election defeat.
Callaghan 1976-79. Winter of discontent... power cuts... election defeat.

If the lights go out the electorate does not forgive. The next government, whatever its colour, will have to embark on an immediate and substantial power generation construction program if it is to avert the spectre of power cuts before a 2015 election. Labour is taking a punt that Cameron wont achieve it in time.
 
#17
chocolate_frog said:
Best way to deal with this is at the consumer end and then work back.

The nation as a whole squanders electricity, we need to cut back on the consumption of electric first.

Homes that are insualted and naturally lit for example not these lego jobs that are thrown up on Greenfield sites.

Encourage better water heating, CHP systems for example that actually generate electric too. You could link several houses up to the large CHP boilers, and provide alot of electric and all of hte water needs.

PV cells and solar cells on the houses, with only a top up coming from the grid.

Why have electric cookers? Bring in gas and other non-electric means.

Finally, the cows we keep for milk, and the human poo we send down the toilets, can be gathered and composted producing methane and fertilizer.

We spend a lot of energy cleansing water for consumption, yet the vast majority of it is used to flush poo and wash clothes. Houses should be encouraged to store rain water and reuse water where needed.

A white, grey and black system (like ships) is ideal. White for drinking, preparing food, which can then be flushed in to a grey tank (with a small filter). This is used to wash clothes, shower in, etc. Which can then be used to either water the grass or flush poo.

To further reduce CO2 emissions and the use of resources, some tasks such as hedgerow cutting on the road sides, or turning over fields could be carried out by penal slaves and those who are living off the state.

Foodstuffs grown locally don't require the same sort of logistics train. And certainly connecting green houses to powerstations to use up the excess heat instead of venting it to the skys in cooling towers, would provide the UK with all year round veg.
Methane is about 20 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2 and it is produced in vast quantities by cattle.

So let’s all go vegetarian.

But even that is not the answer as more methane and other gunk emerges from vents in the earth surface – e.g. volcanoes and the sea bed – in one day than mankind produces in a year.

The answer is to turn the thermostat down, turn out the lights and other items when not in use, and wear a bloody jumper.

Edited to add:

Remove all non-urban road lighting.

Remove traffic lights. The Dutch have found that at junctions where they have been removed accident rates actually decline - drivers take more care.

Finally, local and national government should set an example. It is absurd that most of their offices are still lit out of working hours.
 
#18
Balleh said:
Methane is about 20 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2 and it is produced in vast quantities by cattle.
It is also a very good fuel, get all the sewage, human and animal, put it in sealed tanks with the appropriate bacteria and collect the methane. You can burn it when and where you need the power.

If our alternative energy gurus were not obsessed with wind, we would have been doing this for 30 years.

The other areas we should be developing and micro-hydro, wave and tidal generation.

Wind is only viable in a few locations and solar power is currently too expensive in our climate.

On the main point of this thread: There are lots of solutions to getting power, the problem is that we should have started work on them 5-10 years ago. All forms of alternative energy require huge investment and we simply cannot spend that much money in the next 7 years, so we either need to keep out old, polluting, coal plants running longer than planned or we need to start building new coal plants now.
 
#19
Mobat said:
On the main point of this thread: There are lots of solutions to getting power, the problem is that we should have started work on them 5-10 years ago. All forms of alternative energy require huge investment and we simply cannot spend that much money in the next 7 years, so we either need to keep out old, polluting, coal plants running longer than planned or we need to start building new coal plants now.
There will never be black/brownouts in the coming future.
As the energy output starts to be over taken by demand, the price of utilities will rocket, thus pricing the average consumer out of the market place. Customers unable to pay their bills will be given 'pay as you go' smart meters. They will then have a choice of paying for either electricity, gas, council tax, car tax, cigarettes, alcohol etc.
Brilliant, I have now solved the economic crisis facing the UK, at no cost to The Government.
Next year as we notice houses in darkness as we go up our cul-de-sac/dead end street, we will be smug in the knowledge, that we are considerably richer than our neighbours.



It might be of no cost to the government, but I still want a backhander
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#20
chocolate_frog said:
Snippity

Why have electric cookers? Bring in gas and other non-electric means.

Finally, the cows we keep for milk, and the human poo we send down the toilets, can be gathered and composted producing methane and fertilizer.

We spend a lot of energy cleansing water for consumption, yet the vast majority of it is used to flush poo and wash clothes. Houses should be encouraged to store rain water and reuse water where needed.

Snippity
All good points, but I am going to look at this one:

Refering to an old text book of my father's Blake's Drainage & Sanitation (13th ed. 1965) it passes comment on the West Middlesex Sewage Disposal Scheme at Mogden, which used sludge digestion, now more commonly known as Bio-digestion/Biogas production used the process to on one hand to produce fertiliser out of the digestate and bottled the gas to sell to firms such as Ford at a profit. More recent systems are more efficient

It's a case of adapting existing infrastructure How much effort would it take to convert all sewage treatment plants in the UK to a Bio-digestion system providing a decentralised source of gas and fertiliser?
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top