When the power cuts start, blame Labour

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Semper_Flexibilis, Sep 1, 2009.

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  1. And that's another fine mess New Liebour has gotten us into. :x

    When the power cuts start, blame Labour
    Telegraph View: Nowhere is Labour's myopia more damaging than in energy policy, where an obtuse refusal to plan ahead now promises the direst consequences.

    Published: 8:12AM BST 01 Sep 2009

    When confronted by a major strategic challenge, Labour's usual response has been to duck it. Welfare reform, healthcare, the modernisation of the Armed Forces to pursue its interventionist agenda – all required the kind of bold, long-term decisions that governments are elected to take. Not this one, unfortunately. It has made an art form of muddling through.

    Nowhere is this political myopia more damaging than in energy policy, where an obtuse refusal to plan ahead now promises the direst consequences. According to the Government's own figures, in less than 10 years the country will face systematic power cuts of the kind that are all too familiar in the Third World. Data buried in last month's Low Carbon Transition Plan project the level of "expected energy unserved" – that is, unmet demand – for the next two decades. The figures show that just eight years from now, the shortfall at times of peak demand will amount to 3,000 megawatt hours – the equivalent of blacking out a city the size of Nottingham for an entire day. Those old enough to remember the three-day week 35 years ago will be familiar with the impact of regular power cuts. For a modern, advanced economy to be contemplating a return to such a situation beggars belief.

    How could this happen? In essence, there has been a catastrophic failure to plan for our most important strategic requirement: for on energy, everything else depends. Cushioned by North Sea oil and gas reserves, successive governments have been complacent to a dangerous degree. But it is Labour's unwillingness to respond to changing circumstances that has been especially reckless. Our nuclear reactors are ageing – four of the 10 are scheduled to be decommissioned within six years – yet only now, after 12 years, is the Government finally getting round to ordering replacements, and they will not be operational for more than a decade. Even worse, our increasing reliance on imported gas has not been matched by the development of appropriate storage facilities. This country can hold just 15 days' supply of gas, compared with France's 99 and Germany's 122.

    A greater sense of urgency is evidently required, yet Ed Miliband, the Energy Secretary, appears to be far more focused on climate change than energy generation. It will be left to a new Government to take the decisions Labour has dodged, and that will mean extending the operational life of old power plants while dramatically accelerating the development of new generating capacity, notably nuclear, and vastly increasing gas storage capacity. Even then, it is going to be touch-and-go whether the lights stay on or not just a few years from now.

  2. Yep, I am appropriately naming every power failure from now on as a Brown-Out, in memory of the great leader, who presided over the government that couldnt decide how to tackle our energy needs for the next 20 years.

    I consider it as a fitting tribute to the snotgobbling, one-eyed, slack-jawed tosser that thinks that he saved the world.
  3. Any one to connect an extension to my house? My CHP is more than ample to keep me rocking :D
  4. Got solar panels for water, pity the goberments grant money wasn't all that forthcoming as it claimed to be, PV cells sometime
  5. It's somewhat funny that you're planning to blame Brown for a problem that can be easily solved in the time horizon available, but christ-**** help anyone who tries to blame Thatcher for the unfixable problems she caused...
  6. Come on if it is that easy to fix in the time available it would be and there would be dancing in the street at their respective greatness and forward vision, but it isn't so won't be, as for blaming Baroness Thatcher, for things that were unfixable and that you can definitely attribute to her and her alone and proove that all subsequent PMs were unable to correct or maybe unwilling to correct because they liked it as it was
  7. Paraprat,

    Well which government dithered over the choice of power stations required to meet our needs for the next 50 years? it was a decision that was due in 1998, and still hasnt officially been taken. We have had to talk to EDF as they are now the only people capable (with technology and the trained engineers) of renewing our Nuclear power stations (some of which should have been decommissioned 10 years ago). It was not politically palatable to have a Nuclear debate amongst the Labour benches, and so they have dithered the decision up to now. Milipede Brothers have avoided the issue totally choosing to support wind/tidal power stations, neither of which work when our weather is at its coldest.

    Wasn't it under the Blair/Brown regime that the operating company "British Energy" was privatised?
  8. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    This was highlighted 12-18 months ago and they've done nothing since then, so what evidence have you they will do anything now? Past history suggests they will ignore it, as usual.......
  9. Well one resources hasn't been tapped into very much at all, and it's plentiful in this country, and inside the Houses of Parliament! It's called wind - and there's lots of it!

    Now, being a engr of sorts, I do know that this country cannot serve all its energy requirements from renewables, hence I caveat my sarcasm above!
  10. I still remember the powercuts of the `70s, this is why I moved into a place with an open fire, next to a wood. I pity the poor sods in modern housing with no back up to the electric and gas.
  11. Your shallow insults aside, the decision was taken in January 2008.

    It's also quite funny that the article hypes up the problem by stating the shortfall in MW hours (bigger number you see), as opposed to the capacity gap. The whole thing falls apart when you realise that while "the equivalent of blacking out a city the size of Nottingham for an entire day" sounds scary, the power demands of a city the size of Nottingham is about one small conventional power station.
  12. So you agree that it was dithered on for a decade, I am not sure that the use of MWatt hours really hypes it up as unless that is your thing and you know how many MWatts are used in th UK so you see the ratio of shortfall. yes and as you say the blacking out of Nottingham can be prevented by one conventionally sized power station, but if we do not have one where are the electrons going to come from?
  13. Paraprat,

    I refer you to the government's own link. There has been no decision taken on increasing the nuclear power stations as yet as the locations are under discussion, and no firm decision has yet been taken. More hot air from your labour government.

    The capacity gap you refer to may be somewhat increased in circumstances like we had last summer when 4 of our Nuclear plants were out of action (unscheduled) simultaneously due to engineering and safety issues. No amount of "green" energy can compensate for that. Fortunately it coincided with summer, when factories were under reduced manning or maintenance and prevented a power failure issue occuring. It would be a different situation in the winter.

  14. Blackouts have a significant effect on the size of the population – no TV, so people do other things.

    Hope there are plans to increase the housing stock, although goodness knows where the extra will be built as it appears there is a move to encourage us to be more self-sufficient in food.
  15. The decision has been taken, which proves your statement about an unwillingness to have a debate to be a - like much of what you utter - lie, once again backed by a personal insult. As your own link states, it's the where and the how many that are still to be worked out.

    What were the details of this summer shut-down? Design flaw?