This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
An interesting comment is that whether we like it or not we use more nuclear power than we generate - usually.
This is because we take power from France which has a much more extensive and modern nuclear power program than ourselves.
To a degree, this ability to acquire power from external sources has perhaps contributed to the dithering and the belief that we can invest hugely in wind power and overcome wind power deficiencies from other peoples power generation.
Interesting that Holland, the role model for wind power has been dumping wind power on Norway(is it Norway?) in exchange for hydroelectric but have found the whole process inordinately expensive.
But curiously enough this summer we exported power to France in a bit of a wake up call.
The UK has its reactors on the coast for sea water cooling (including Dungeness which is excluded from the new reactors list because of erosion fears) while France has many of its on rivers.
Well, in a long dry summer they didn't have enough river water flow.
Now if you believe in Global warming, that means we have to expect less rainfall as France turns into a desert (a moot point, so far as I can tell the AGW crowd declare any extreme of weather, whether excess rain or drought, to be due to GW or AGW) and France is in for a bad time of it in the future and the UK cannot then rely on France's excess capacity getting us out of our own mess all the time.
I wonder, when they quite those power generation stats for the UK do they look at the UK's generating capacity or where the energy comes from? Is the French Nuclear contribution counted? It should be because it doesn't seem to matter where the electricity comes from if you pt for "green tariff".
Electric cars.. green? but where does the electricity come from?
Ah, a new posting from Kevin.
I hadn't realised we were getting nuclear from SCotland too... and they are such committed Greens who think they will be the leading country for green energy use and green technology they can export to the rest of the world - as if Scotland is better placed than Norway for hydro electric or as if they can become world leader over the Dutch.
Of course, when it comes to wind or solar our tax premiums are actually going to China who are providing the manufacturing of the wind turbines fr the larges proposed offshore wind farm in the world... of the Norfolk Coast.
Its a good line to talk but harder to deliver.
I think you've mixe up Holland with Denmark. It's Denmark who are currently turning their back on wind power.
Have a look at this link
If you Google 'denmark wind turbine problems' you get several other links that are worth a look at.
One of the key points to note about the Danish experience since the 1980's is that despit ebuilding in excess of 6000 wind turbines, the Danes have failed to displace any significant propportion of their fossil fuel generation capacity with wind generation. The wind turbine industry has at least however managed to keep some Danes in gainful employment.
Here's a ****ing extract from teh AWEO link above
"Despite their being cited as the shining example of what can be accomplished with wind power, the Danish government has cancelled plans for three offshore wind farms planned for 2008 and has scheduled the withdrawal of subsidies from existing sites. Development of onshore wind plants in Denmark has effectively stopped. Because Danish companies dominate the wind industry, however, the government is under pressure to continue their support. Spain began withdrawing subsidies in 2002. Germany reduced the tax breaks to wind power, and domestic construction drastically slowed in 2004. Switzerland also is cutting subsidies as too expensive for the lack of significant benefit. The Netherlands decommissioned 90 turbines in 2004. Many Japanese utilities severely limit the amount of wind-generated power they buy, because of the instability they cause. For the same reason, Ireland in December 2003 halted all new wind-power connections to the national grid. In early 2005, they were considering ending state support. In 2005, Spanish utilities began refusing new wind power connections. In 2006, the Spanish government ended -- by emergency decree -- its subsidies and price supports for big wind. In 2004, Australia reduced the level of renewable energy that utilities are required to buy, dramatically slowing wind-project applications. On August 31, 2004, Bloomberg News reported that "the unstable flow of wind power in their networks" has forced German utilities to buy more expensive energy, requiring them to raise prices for the consumer.
Very interesting thread. Can I ask, since our UK policy makers must have had ample time? to see the failure of expectations for wind power in Denmark, why did they procede with our windpower programme with such gusto? (No pun intended!)
Sorry, thanks for the correction Kevin.
I think it is Holland who are building a polder to act as a reservoir for wind energy?
Maybe that's it.
PS Orde, do you really think there is a logical reason for any government action?
I have to assume your question is rhetorical.
SOmeone posted some information on the Sun story about the Chinese weld failures somewhere but here is the link again:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/geoffrey-lean/6468103/Its-time-to-pluck-the-golden-goose--of-green-taxation.html see the comments by JMANON at 4:45pm where the link to the Sun story is found - Oh, OK, here it is:
That is, by the way, a very good link to the Dutch experience.
It makes one think that this Telegraph story has sugared the pill a bit though you wouldn't think so from the headline
"The wind farm industry has been forced to admit that the environmental benefit of wind power in reducing carbon emissions is only half as big as it had previously claimed. " sounds like very bad news indeed but from the Dutch experience it sounds like they are still being very economical with the truth (about the only thing they are economical with).
Have a look at this link
and the advertisement for John Etherington's book 'The Wind Farm Scam' and the review by Roger Helmer MEP. It's sold out at the moment but is on my reading list for the upcoming festive season.
In regards to your question as to why the UK government is still pushing ahead with its renewables policy, I can only say that I personally don't think that this is some 'Club of Rome' master plan to ruin the UK economy but rather is an indication of just how desperate our eco-infiltrated political system has become. The 'pols' and their advisers in DECC have finally woken up to the fact that 'renewables' are an economic disaster and are even more environmentally damaging than 'non-renewables'. They know that we are 'up ***t creek without a paddle' in but a few years time if they don't do something about our long term energy policy. The same, but to a lesser extent, is also true of our transport policy.
Despite finally realising the problem our 'eco-pols' (like the Milibands and cameron) are nonetheless still desperate to maintain their 'feel good' heavily subsidised renewables committments hence why we've recently seen a concession by our 'pols' to re-invest in nuclear. They don't have any choice. Unless something is done very soon, they know we won't have any indigenous natural gas left. They've already closed all our coal mines and will only allow new coal-fired plant if the CO2 the is 'captured and stored'. So what else is left as they know that wind power just isn't suitable (it's far too intermittent) for base load generation as we need to 'keep the lights on'? Answer - nuclear!
It's a sad fact that nuclear is unfortunately considered to be the lesser of two evils by our 'eco-pols'. Remmebr I'm an ex-nuclear man and I personally find this logic (that nuclear is preferable to coal from an environmental impact point of view) bizarre particularly given that we still have the post cold war nuclear power programme 'liabilities' to deal with. Surely we should at least deal with them first as they are 'real' legacies that we are leaving to our next generation to have to deal compared with what is almost wholely 'natural' climate change?