ENERGY BILL CRISIS
YOU CAN JOIN: A new radical group
Protest Against SNP Wind Policy on Facebook here
A new alliance of Scottish anti-windfarm campaigners is promising bigger, stronger, more radical action against the Scottish Government’s “ruinous” industrial wind policy.
Pulling together thousands of activists across Scotland and in social media, the new alliance
is building on the anti-wind protest at the SNP’s annual conference in Perth in October.
GRAHAM LANG, 01334 828550
FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES on this, or any other wind energy related stories,
please contact LINDA HOLT, media co-ordinator,
01333 720378 / 07590 994690, firstname.lastname@example.org
AN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY STRATEGY
15 October 2011
The Government's energy policy is failing to meet our energy needs. Energy is one of the most fundamental requirements of a civilised society. We must have access to secure, reliable, affordable and competitively priced energy. Without energy, we cannot cultivate, distribute and store food; we cannot have clean water; we cannot remove waste; we cannot have industry and commerce. Without copious energy we become a third-world country. Energy is so important that the energy policy must be based on scientific and engineering principles and not on green ideology and arbitrary and unachievable renewable energy targets.
Our alternative energy strategy is:
1. Cancel the Renewable Obligations, and all subsidies to wind turbines and solar energy.
2. Dash for shale gas. The UK must exploit these new resources. It has been estimated that the UK has 20 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas. Build gas-fired capacity and more gas storage facilities for the medium term.
3. Tell the EU that we are unable to implement the Large Combustion Plant Directive, and that we will not close down our coal-fired power stations. Add that we will not entertain any fine or penalty for being in breach of the directive.
4. Longer term electricity supplies will come from advanced and safer nuclear plants such as thorium MSRs. Thus government R&D must be redirected into developing this technology. Government must continue supporting international research into nuclear fusion for the very long term.
There will still be high costs for new investment, but at least the investment will deliver competitively-priced energy and help alleviate fuel poverty.
OUR ENERGY NEEDS
We need energy for transport, for heating and in the form of electricity. The current energy situation in the UK is as follows:
Energy for transport is dominated by oil. Road and air transport are dominated by oil whereas rail transport is partly powered by electricity. Bio-fuels are expensive, damaging to engines and the growth of bio-fuel crops has resulted in food price increases and starvation.
Heating is dominated by gas, with oil in off-gas grid locations and also electricity. Air and ground source heat pumps are used in some new-build.
The electricity supply is currently dominated by gas, coal and nuclear power stations. Many coal and nuclear power stations are coming to the end of their lives or are due to be closed in the next few years under the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive. With North Sea gas production declining, there is a shortage of gas-storage facilities.
Renewable energy sources that are intermittent currently only provide a small contribution to the total supply.
The future for the world’s energy systems has recently been transformed by the ability to exploit shale gas and oil shale. So-called “peak oil” is now non-existent. Copious supplies of gas and oil occur throughout the world, meaning that the dependency on a few suppliers in the Middle-east and Russia will cease. The UK must exploit these new resources. It has been estimated that the UK has 20 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas.
- Transport: For the foreseeable future, energy for transport will be dominated by oil. Only rail transport will be significantly powered by electricity.
- Heating will remain dominated by gas, with oil in off-gas grid locations and also electricity. Air and ground source heat pumps will expand in new-build houses and commercial properties.
A reliable grid system (both transmission and distribution) is essential in a modern society. In order to be reliable, since ac electricity cannot be stored, it has to be used as it is produced. A grid code is a technical specification which defines the parameters an electricity generating plant has to meet to ensure proper functioning of the grid. Stable grid frequency is essential in an electronic age.
To support the grid, a generator must perform one or more of three functions. It must provide baseload, it must provide load follow or it must meet peak load. The generator must be despatchable. Coal, oil, gas, nuclear and hydro-electric power stations are capable of providing one or more of these functions.
Without the ability to store vast quantities of energy, intermittent sources of renewable electricity are a liability to the grid. To provide the copious electricity required in the future requires sources of energy that are of high energy density. Diffuse energy sources (low energy density) can never satisfy the demand for energy in a civilised country with a high population density. Trying to convert a source of low energy density into electricity is expensive and resource intensive. Thus there are multiple reasons (based on physics and engineering) why intermittent sources of renewable energy should be immediately phased out. The only despatchable renewable energy source that could make a significant contribution to a reliable grid system is hydro-electric. For that, large mountains and rivers are required. Thus in the UK hydro-electric energy can never form more than a marginal source of electricity. Non-despatchable and uneconomic sources of renewable energy should not be allowed to connect to the grid.
To provide secure, dependable, affordable and competitively priced electricity, a mix of despatchable technologies is required. The EU Large Combustion Plant Directive should be ignored. Nuclear and gas-fired power stations should form the core of the future electricity supply system. Gas storage facilities must be built until UK gas production is capable of exceeding demand. Coal-fired power stations must also continue to have a future in electricity supply and alternate means of extracting energy from coal should be pursued (e.g. modern liquid or gas from coal). Carbon capture and storage (CSS) is unproven, unnecessary, expensive and potentially dangerous. All work on CSS should cease.
With the global revolution in gas supplies that shale gas is rapidly bringing, the UK must embrace the shale gas revolution with urgency.
Longer term electricity supplies will come from advanced and safer nuclear plants such as thorium MSRs. Thus government R&D must be redirected into developing this technology. Government must continue supporting international research into nuclear fusion for the very long term.
It is vitally important that the provision of energy is based on sound science and engineering principles and not on environmental scare stories, unproven technology, wishful thinking and politically-inspired targets.
REPORT AND LIST OF MPS OPPOSED TO WIND FARMS
Recent reports and articles on the shale gas revolution
- Renewable Energy: Vision or Mirgae? Written by Hugh Sharman, Bryan Leyland & Martin Livermore 12 Dec 2011 For full report click here
- Matt Ridley: The Shale Gas Shock Matt Ridley's report on the shale gas revolution and its implications.
- For the full report click here
- KPMG research finds: Nukes and gas would cost £74 billion, Windmills and solar will cost £108 billion. Read more
- Gas is Good, But What About Climate Change? Read more here
- The peak oil brigade is leading us into bad policymaking on energy. Read more here
- Beneath swathes of the UK lie billions of pounds worth of shale gas. And now we can get to it. David Rose reports on how the recession (and wind turbines) may soon be just a bad memory. Read more here
- Greens have been trumped: Jobs or environmental risks? That’s the either/or way in which Cuadrilla Resources’ shale gas discovery in Lancashire was being depicted by media in the UK, according to Benny Peiser, Director of the UK’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, who spoke at the European Unconventional Gas Summit in Krakow, Poland. Read more here