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windmill frenzy over in UK

simoncpsimoncp Posts: 3,260
edited June 2007 in Campaign
Has the government realised the futility of depending on renewable energy sources? If so it's about time. Let's get those new nuclear power stations built.

http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2076039,00.html
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  • ACcpACcp Posts: 655
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by simoncp</i>

    Has the government realised the futility of depending on renewable energy sources? If so it's about time. Let's get those new nuclear power stations built.

    http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2076039,00.html
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Sorry, Can't Understand New Technology
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  • UnkrautUnkraut Posts: 1,103
    Yes, it's better to invest in energy sources that will run out than waste it on those that will last for ever.
  • ransosransos Posts: 380
    Did you post the wrong link? Because it has nothing to do with your baseless assertion.
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    Rank dishonesty in the threead header.
  • mjonesmjones Posts: 1,915
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ransos</i>

    Did you post the wrong link? Because it has nothing to do with your baseless assertion.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Indeed. The issue is simply whether it is good value for money for the government should be using public money to subsidise renewable technology for individual households. Wind power is unlikely ever to make sense at that scale, so I'd agree that the government shouldn't waste our money on it. There is only so much money to go around, so government expenditure on renewables has to be focused on what delivers the highest CO2 savings per œ spent. Which is why wasting money on road fuel tax subsidies for biofuels is also a bad idea.
  • ransosransos Posts: 380
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mjones</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ransos</i>

    Did you post the wrong link? Because it has nothing to do with your baseless assertion.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Indeed. The issue is simply whether it is good value for money for the government should be using public money to subsidise renewable technology for individual households. Wind power is unlikely ever to make sense at that scale, so I'd agree that the government shouldn't waste our money on it. There is only so much money to go around, so government expenditure on renewables has to be focused on what delivers the highest CO2 savings per œ spent. Which is why wasting money on road fuel tax subsidies for biofuels is also a bad idea.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    Agreed. But other micro-renewable technologies at the domestic scale have proven performance (e.g. solar thermal) yet the government has slashed funding for those too. I really don't see the problem with the German model, where the generators are required to buy electricity from domestic micro-gen at a premium, thus making it economic to install.
  • Cannock ChaseCannock Chase Posts: 558
    If they want to site wind turbines out at sea, that's fine by me. At least the futility of them won't blight our beautiful countryside. The odd nuclear power station dotted around 6000 miles of coastline however is a far more appealing proposition no matter what the disaster mongers of doom will forsee.

    I'm not getting old...I'm just getting more stupid...
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  • mjonesmjones Posts: 1,915
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ransos</i>

    Agreed. But other micro-renewable technologies at the domestic scale have proven performance (e.g. solar thermal) yet the government has slashed funding for those too. I really don't see the problem with the German model, where <b>the generators are required to buy electricity from domestic micro-gen at a premium, thus making it economic to install.</b>
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    This is still a subsidy, even though it is paid for by the utilities instead of the taxpayer. However, even though it is a cross-subsidy it is still important to get best value from it. The money spent by the utility supporting micro-generation is money it can't send on something that might have better value for money. So while there is a case to be made for encouraging micro-CHP, and in the longer term photo-voltaic when the technology is ready (e.g. solar roof tiles), I'd be worried about distorting the market in favour of politically popular green measures when there are more useful things that could be done.

    Biofuels (and previously subsidies for LPG) are a good example of this sort of thing: tax subsidies and compulsory biofuel quotas for road fuel divert resources onto a measure that isn't necessarily particularly beneficial (indeed could be positively counterproductive) but then creates a subsidy-dependent industry and associated lobbying that makes it hard to redirect resources when the problems become apparent.
  • ransosransos Posts: 380
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Cannock Chase</i>

    If they want to site wind turbines out at sea, that's fine by me. At least the futility of them won't blight our beautiful countryside. The odd nuclear power station dotted around 6000 miles of coastline however is a far more appealing proposition no matter what the disaster mongers of doom will forsee.

    I'm not getting old...I'm just getting more stupid...
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    ...except when it's your bit of coastline. I do think that the aesthetics of wind turbines are a matter of personal preference. I rather like them, and would be happy to have one near me, but I understand why others don't. However, they are not futile - other countries get a substantial amount of power from them.
  • ransosransos Posts: 380
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mjones</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ransos</i>

    Agreed. But other micro-renewable technologies at the domestic scale have proven performance (e.g. solar thermal) yet the government has slashed funding for those too. I really don't see the problem with the German model, where <b>the generators are required to buy electricity from domestic micro-gen at a premium, thus making it economic to install.</b>
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    This is still a subsidy, even though it is paid for by the utilities instead of the taxpayer. However, even though it is a cross-subsidy it is still important to get best value from it. The money spent by the utility supporting micro-generation is money it can't send on something that might have better value for money. So while there is a case to be made for encouraging micro-CHP, and in the longer term photo-voltaic when the technology is ready (e.g. solar roof tiles), I'd be worried about distorting the market in favour of politically popular green measures when there are more useful things that could be done.

    Biofuels (and previously subsidies for LPG) are a good example of this sort of thing: tax subsidies and compulsory biofuel quotas for road fuel divert resources onto a measure that isn't necessarily particularly beneficial (indeed could be positively counterproductive) but then creates a subsidy-dependent industry and associated lobbying that makes it hard to redirect resources when the problems become apparent.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    I agree with most of what you say, but as a general point, it seems to me that the countries with higher levels of renewable energy supply are the ones with generous subsidies for installing the technologies. And given the extremely generous subsidy that nuclear power has received over the years, I should think that micro-gen would be a drop in the ocean by comparison.
  • alecstilleyedyealecstilleyedye Posts: 1,170
    we surely have the technology to build better nuclear power stations than we did in the 50s. i would certainly be a supporter if i wasn't concerned that the usual pursuit of profit by the private company that runs them would make an accident inevitable.

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
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  • Joe SaccoJoe Sacco Posts: 4,907
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ransos</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Cannock Chase</i>

    If they want to site wind turbines out at sea, that's fine by me. At least the futility of them won't blight our beautiful countryside. The odd nuclear power station dotted around 6000 miles of coastline however is a far more appealing proposition no matter what the disaster mongers of doom will forsee.

    I'm not getting old...I'm just getting more stupid...
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    ...except when it's your bit of coastline. I do think that the aesthetics of wind turbines are a matter of personal preference. I rather like them, and would be happy to have one near me, but I understand why others don't. However, they are not futile - other countries get a substantial amount of power from them.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    mmmm, what looks more pleasing. A field of shiny white windmills or a dirty great nuclear power station.
  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    Or indeed a shiny white nuclear power station or a field of dirty great windmills!

    Too many see windmills as the cure-all for our energy needs. They do indeed have a place but the poster boys of green energy can only ever be one piece of the answer. A lot of CO2 is released during their construction - think of all that concrete, they can be intermittent in their output and they can kill birds (and bats).
    IMO, their place is in micro-generation or as off-shore arrays where the winds are more consistent, there is less need for concrete and they can be positioned out of avian migration routes.

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    God told me to skin you alive.
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  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    The government are currently trying to build a windfarm on one of my dad's nature reserves down on the Kent Marshs. The proposed land has SSSI status and is a haven for rare waders and other birds. Indeed dad was recently awarded an OBE for "Services to Conservation" I cannot understand the logic of building a windfarm slap bang in the middle of a nature reserve- not exactly environmentally friendly is it! Pure political tokenism I'm afraid. Nuclear is the only realistic long-term solution.

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  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    At today's levels of energy consumption you are probably right. The other option is to drastically reduce our demand. That won't go down well...

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
  • simoncpsimoncp Posts: 3,260
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by alecstilleyedye</i>

    we surely have the technology to build better nuclear power stations than we did in the 50s. i would certainly be a supporter if i wasn't concerned that the usual pursuit of profit by the private company that runs them would make an accident inevitable.

    if i had a better signature, i'd use that instead
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Chernobyl? Was that run by a private company? USSR plc?
  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    I don't think accidents are inevitable. Nuclear power stations are built and run according to extremely stringent regulations. Their safety records are, on the whole much better than just about any other generation system. It's just the potential results should it go tits up are so much worse.

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by papercorn2000</i>
    It's just the potential results should it go tits up are so much worse.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'm not sure they are though, compare Chernobyl going pear-shaped to the (claimed) results of our forays into fossil fuels, i.e. climate change. At least with nuclear power we have a clearer picture of the results of any major catastrophe.

    Though reducing energy consumption (as per your previous post) is by far the easiest and cheapest option... ...but that's never going to happen.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by papercorn2000</i>

    A lot of CO2 is released during their construction - think of all that concrete, they can be intermittent in their output and they can kill birds (and bats).
    IMO, their place is in micro-generation or as off-shore arrays where the winds are more consistent, there is less need for concrete and they can be positioned out of avian migration routes.

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    The comment about concrete puzzles me as it is not unique to windmills - a fair amount of concrete is used in the construction of nuclear power stations.

    Also feel that the nuclear industry is unfairly subsidised as the costs of decommissioning later on when they are redundant are never fully taken into a/c.

    Personally quite like the wind turbines and feel that they should be used in conjuction with other forms of generation other than nuclear.

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  • JadedJaded Posts: 6,663
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rprodgers</i>

    The comment about concrete puzzles me as it is not unique to windmills - a fair amount of concrete is used in the construction of nuclear power stations.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Nuclear power stations tend to have one large concrete lump. In a relatively contained area.

    Wind factories tend to have concrete blocks laid all over a huge area, along with the roads, huts, cables, bird graves etc.

    Then they only work when it is windy, but, hey, they look nice and they appeal a lot. Who cares if you need the same conventional generating capacity for when it isn't windy, a load of Islington voters and electricity company shareholders will back you.

    --
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  • simoncpsimoncp Posts: 3,260
    Do the CPRE want nuclear power stations built on brownfield sites in inner cities?
  • Gary AskwithGary Askwith Posts: 1,835
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Peyote</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by papercorn2000</i>
    It's just the potential results should it go tits up are so much worse.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'm not sure they are though, compare Chernobyl going pear-shaped to the (claimed) results of our forays into fossil fuels, i.e. climate change. At least with nuclear power we have a clearer picture of the results of any major catastrophe.

    Though reducing energy consumption (as per your previous post) is by far the easiest and cheapest option... ...but that's never going to happen.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Ignoring [url][/url]http://www.drunkduck.com/The_Idiot/pages/4034329d29464b5171a01f017011d888.jpg[url][/url]
    [xx(]

    Peyote is correct...my deep green instincts might not like the idea of nuclear fission but it is <i>by far</i> the lesser of several evils
    21% of british electricity comes from nuclear, decommissing begins in a few years, to replace this capacity will require 56,000 1Mw windmills which only work efficiently for 16% of the time....
    the dangers of nuclear power and even accidents have been hugely amplified by the greens and uninformed media-as i have mentioned on here a few times...radiophobia is a utterly irrational though understandable by product of Hiroshima and the cold war
    The subject deserves a thread to itself-maybe next week when i have more time[:(!]

    BTW Windfarms are ugly hideous fairly hopeless monstrosities which turn countryside into industrial parks to satisfy various political and financial vested interests

    Great in theory useless in practice




    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....
  • FnaarFnaar Posts: 1,985
    Aesthetics...I like the windmills, personally, I think they look rather beautiful. In a couple of hundred years time, they might seem as quaint/lovely/worthy of keeping as these:
    http://lava.nationalgeographic.com/pod/ ... p752-3.jpg

    Oo'er missus!
  • Gary AskwithGary Askwith Posts: 1,835
    Right on!
    well they do say theres no accounting for taste[;)]
    [url][/url]http://www.wojack.net/California/WIND FARM CA 0732.JPG[url][/url]



    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....
  • papercorn2000papercorn2000 Posts: 4,517
    On purely aesthetic grounds I don't wind windmills.

    On a purely selfish note, I say bring 'em on. There's a huge windfarm being constructed on the muirs above our village:(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/1467352.stm) My neighbour, who works for Scottish power assures me that there are plans for miles and miles of singletrack all over the site.

    In a more reflective mood, I do worry about the environmental impact.

    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
    God told me to skin you alive.
    http://www.ekroadclub.co.uk/
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    There's some rather silly extremism here - Gary, you included unfortunately.

    Wind turbines have their place, as Denmark and the Netherlands have demonstrated, but the wind boom in Britain and the rush to plants massive fields of turbines in much valued landscape is a product of particular politics - starting with the way the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation was set up by the Thatcher government and continuing in much the same vein under subsequent administrations. Rather than a proper long-term national energy strategy (remember Energy as a government department had already been abolished by the Conservatives), there was a competitive subsidy scheme that encouraged massive schemes and the dash for quick returns. At the same time research into other continuous and renewable sources was almost entirely cut, leaving wave, tidal and solar research in this country high and dry, just when we needed investment. Then on top of this you add the disastrous approach to nuclear which, instead of a sensible program of decommissioning replacement and renewal, managed to simultaneously throw money into a financial black hole that was reprocessing largely aimed at an international market whilst doing absolutely nothing about other nuclear plants. We could have paid for a lot of this through taxes on north-sea oil revenue, but we weeed that away on corporate tax breaks (again under the Conservatives but continued subsequently).

    We could have and should have had by now, a serious and sensible long-term energy policy which combined an underpinning base of nuclear, with an increasing percentage of a whole variety of continous and renewable sources, from micro-generation through small-scale community-owned projects to the large scale, and especially here the possibility of combined generation - off-shore wind and wave stations for example. We should also have started thinking about how the national grid could become less about top-down distribution and more about multiple movement, so that small-scale generation becomes not only viable in terms of self-sufficiency but can also contribute seriously to national energy needs.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum
  • Gary AskwithGary Askwith Posts: 1,835
    I'm listening FM..ok they may have a valued minor role in an integrated whole but lets site them offshore ..the scattergun/blunderbus approach of sticking them on every escarpment/hilltop is lunacy.....I dunno maybe everyone else wants a monocrop landscape of oil-seed rape and windmills but not me thank you[:(!]

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....
  • We have ALOT of nimbys down here. All the old sods who've retired here and don't want their view spoilt.

    I'm in favour of wind turbines. Easy to install/clean/little impact on the environment and easy to take down if not required.
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Gary Askwith</i>
    I dunno maybe everyone else wants a monocrop landscape of oil-seed rape and windmills but not me thank you[:(!]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Yes, but that's a result of policy, not of the idea of 'windpower'. So there's no point in attacking 'wind turbines' in general because you object to the way in which they are being funded and sited, surely?

    Did you not agree with the rest of my post?

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum
  • JadedJaded Posts: 6,663
    Green Park, Reading. A great site for a wind turbine. Possibly not as efficient as it might be if it was in a previously unblighted area, but hey. The key factor is that the office users sit in their lit offices with their PCs on and see their view affected by their usage.

    The proposed wind factory on Lewis to (occasionally) power TVs in Liverpool is a disgrace. It sends out all the wrong messages (that our electricity is green). By the time it opens (if it does) our usage will have grown by the amount it will generate. It puts money into the pocket of the people who make the decision to build it. It is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    --
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