Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The UK and energy

I have an addiction to reading nonsense. Others may flee from reading dumb documents; I find them irresistable. I had great fun reading the UK's Renewable Energy Strategy - a 238 page of New Labour posturing:

"We need to radically increase our use of renewable electricity, heat and transport. This Strategy explains how and why we will do so. It sets out the path for us to meet our legally-binding target to ensure 15 percent of our energy comes from renewable sources by 2020".

The problem is that at the moment, just under 3 percent of the UK's primary energy supply comes from renewable sources. That amount is far lower than any other major European economy.

There is an obvious case for increasing renewable energy, but a dose of realism would be nice. Increasing the proportion of energy coming from renewable sources from 3 to 15 percent in nine years isn't terribly likely. Without any increase in total energy supply, the UK renewable supplies would have to grow at 20 percent a year. With the benefit of compounding, this would give us the 5 fold increase demanded by the UK energy strategy.

(The data used in the chart is from the OECD).


Anonymous said...

Presumably Iceland's renewable energy source is seal blubber. Just encourage them to breed faster. no probs.

A David

Anonymous said...

Since successive governments have been sitting on their hands for the past 15 years, our power stations will eventually have to close short or even long term due to their age.

Since we have a link to France, we can still import electricity from there - 75% nuclear.

Nuclear is the solution but we've been so brainwashed by eco-lobby and the carbon-credit traders, we'll happily get a proportion of our power from [nuclear] France while claiming to be green!

formertory said...

Some still don't get the renewable energy thing..........


Crosbie said...

We can quickly attain our legally binding quota by closing down 80% of our existing thermal capacity.

jaffa said...

#1 anonymous

Iceland has the worlds greatest supply of geothermal energy 'hot springs' In some parts water will boil ony feet below the surface.

#2 anonymous
The link to France is not very fat it can at maximum supply 10% of UK need. Also what price do you think the frogs will sell it for.

bill said...

Renewable will never meet the need for cheap energy, and its CHEAP energy an economy needs for any kind of prosperity. Cheap energy created our modern industrialised world, without cheap energy we will have to revert back to a lifestyle more in common with the Edwardian times.

Renewables dont solve the problems of transportation fuels. If all transport went electric then the grid will need to be expanded by several hundred percent. Something that renewables can NEVER do in this country (too far north).

As a short term measure we need to fast track building fission thorium reactors. Combined with significant R&D (a tiny percentage of the cost of the banking bailouts) for the longer term solution of clean fusion - pB11.

India & China are investing VERY heavily on nuclear as its the only power source capable of providing power to the population & industry. Interestingly the major arab (Saudi, Kuwait etc) oil producers are fast tracking their nuclear programs. And its not for concern over global warming, or nuke weapons (iran/israel).

The debate needs to change from being so single-mindedly focused on global warming. The very real problem facing the UK today (and the world) is high and ever increasing energy costs due to dwindling fossil fuel production & increasing production costs.

The UK energy policy is dooming the UK to poverty.

Nick Drew said...

the only reason that NZ, Denmark, Portugal, Germany and Italy can run with the levels of renewables they have is hydro - as a source in its own right but, just as important, as being capable of the highly flexible response required to balance the largely useless windpower

the UK's 'decarbonisation' dream is quite simply infeasible - but it may not become obvious until large amounts of £££ have been wasted

the only hope is that oil costs - which are destined to go through the roof - do so before we have wasted too much on subsidising renewables. Reducing inflation will become the predominant goal of policy and decarbonisation will go by the board

UK CO2 emissions will continue to fall anyway - a combination of greater energy-efficiency (which will be accelerated by high oil prices); some renewables becoming economic without subsidy (ditto); the replacement of coal by gas (the price of which will not rise as fast as oil's); - and, unfortunately, de-industrialisation