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UK energy needs

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rdx

posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 10:53 AM
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Does anyone else feel that our country is being left totally vulnerable by an incompetent and inept government?

We are too over dependent on incoming energy supplies, be it gas or oil, and the 'free markets' that govern their availablity and price.

It seems that the pursuit of money is going to finally ruin our great country.

My view is that we should immediately start a build of the latest generation nuclear reactors and where possible refurbish or renew older ones.

Nuclear Power Stations are 'Hard' Targets, certainly more robust that conventional power supply stations - just don't let them be run by private enterprise where profit will always compromise safety.

Stop all new building developments and start reclaiming the land for agricultural use - if we don't freeze to death, because we have no power - we will undoubtdly starve to death as we don't seem to produce any food either.

Ensure that all exisiting coal mines are placed in a state of readiness to mine, if safe to do so. It is absurd that we import coal from Poland when we still have a considerable amount still in the ground - that is 'uneconomic' to mine.

Gas - this has to be the most vulnerable import. Irrespective of the furore over the costs - it is such a simple target for disruption, that it baffles me as to how our so called 'leaders' think that this is a great way to provide energy to the masses. Any terrorist worth his sort will at some point go for the pipelines.

Oil - we squandered the revenue, well we didn't, but Thatcher did and now
we have to pay the price.

Get rid of all those 'consultants' who leech off us and rip us of to the tune of millions of pounds every year.

Finally, find someone who actually knows about the subject and put them in charge. This obviously, negates any involvement by the Labour Party.

And, if all that doesn't work - close our borders - there are too many people here already. Less people will require less energy.




posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 04:47 PM
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Heh. I heard somewhere that if Scotland got some wind turbines up round the windy parts, they could power their own electricity a couple of times over. Wind turbines would be a good idea since this place is baltic, especially in Winter and Autumn.
Sadly I don't think wind turbines are the best answer for some parts of the U.K. Some communities may have to learn to be self-sustaining in the next couple of generations.

Here's a story about a wind farm that can power a town bigger then Paisley.
news.bbc.co.uk...



posted on Feb, 19 2006 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by rdx
Does anyone else feel that our country is being left totally vulnerable by an incompetent and inept government?


- No, I don't.

I did notice a lot of ridiculous scare stories about rolling energy shortages, staggered power cuts, the gas running out, short working weeks for industry and basically a ton of guff about how the lights were going to go out this winter etc etc blah blah blah.
All rubbish, all false and all undoubtedly originating from the political opponents of this government trying to scare each other (and anyone they can get to listen to them) with their silly exaggerated and tall tales.


We are too over dependent on incoming energy supplies, be it gas or oil, and the 'free markets' that govern their availablity and price.


- Why should we be so scared?
What do you mean by "dependant"?
Which other developed countries are entirely self sufficient in all of their energy supplies, hmmm?

This is paranoid nonsense IMO.

Could, mights and maybes gone nuts.


It seems that the pursuit of money is going to finally ruin our great country.


- .....and on the otherhand one might just as easily say the pursuit of money made this country, right?


My view is that we should immediately start a build of the latest generation nuclear reactors and where possible refurbish or renew older ones.


- What for?

The cost (that is the total costs when one includes cleaning up and decommissioning the damned things) is extortionate.

.......and the reason why we are closing down the old stuff is because much of it has already soldiered on far longer than it was ever intended.


Stop all new building developments and start reclaiming the land for agricultural use - if we don't freeze to death, because we have no power - we will undoubtedly starve to death as we don't seem to produce any food either.


- This strange 'closed and paranoid society' doesn't seem to offer much in a world growing ever smaller and trading more and more.
The move from sufficient power to "no power" is a tad overdone, wouldn't you say.......and no doubt you'll be thankful for the various EU food mountains to stop you starving to death, hmmmm?


Ensure that all exisiting coal mines are placed in a state of readiness to mine, if safe to do so. It is absurd that we import coal from Poland when we still have a considerable amount still in the ground - that is 'uneconomic' to mine.


- Relax; that coal isn't going anywhere.
Leave it be until it is economic to exploit again and the clean tech is in place to safely benefit from it's use.


Gas - this has to be the most vulnerable import. Irrespective of the furore over the costs - it is such a simple target for disruption, that it baffles me as to how our so called 'leaders' think that this is a great way to provide energy to the masses.


- Er, that's because it is.
The supplies are set to improve thanks to new pipeline links to continental Europe.
The liquid gas business here also may well grow significantly in future (large gas tankers from the ME are planned, apparently).


Any terrorist worth his sort will at some point go for the pipelines.


- You could say that about almost anything vital.
It's just paranoid speculation and scaring yourself with a little guessing game.


Oil - we squandered the revenue, well we didn't, but Thatcher did and now
we have to pay the price.


- Whilst I would dispute some of the tory priorities the used the oil boom for I still think you are seeing this in a foolish manner.

Why should the UK be self-sufficient forever?

There are international markets out there and like everyone else we are perfectly free to make use of them.
The suppliers/sellers need our money and goods and we need their oil and gas.
Sorry but I see a very obvious and mutually beneficial arrangement in that, nothing scary at all.

Being a member of a global society with interdependence is simply a recognition of reality (and a reality that has existed for quite a long time), it is hardly the end of the world and IMO isn't particularly scary.

We cannot hide ourselves away in a ridiculous replica of times past, nor should we even want to.


Get rid of all those 'consultants' who leech off us and rip us of to the tune of millions of pounds every year.


- Er, seeing as we no longer have a nationalised energy industry what government intervention and action in the private arena are you suggesting to make this happen.......and how, exactly?


Finally, find someone who actually knows about the subject and put them in charge. This obviously, negates any involvement by the Labour Party.


- I think you'll find the British parliament regularly talks to and discusses policy with leading experts in this matter.
Characterising them all as 'know-nothings' really is partisan, a bit silly and rather wide of the mark.


And, if all that doesn't work - close our borders - there are too many people here already. Less people will require less energy.


- I'd leave the simplistic nonsense well alone.
Net immigration to the UK is not going to be the cause of anyone's lights going out.

MacDonagh is right; we should be expanding all the renewable options as fast as possible wherever possible.
We should also be making an proper and serious national effort to conserve and use energy efficiently.
(Hmmm, a proper 'national program', anyone remember them?)

IIRC all the other 'home nations' (meaning Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) could create all their energy needs from clean and sustainable sources; the impact on the country's overall energy imports from that change alone would be enormous.

We should also be looking at bio-diesel, hybrids and power-cells for our transport.

I'm not minimising the problem but sorry the sky isn't quite falling in just yet.


rdx

posted on Feb, 20 2006 @ 12:50 PM
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I respect the careful and well thought out responses that you offer in rebuttal to my contribution. Nevertheless, I would take issue with several of your remarks:

It is my contention that there are many people within the UK, who have no desire for further integration with either Europe or any other 'alligned' group of countries.

The reality of life in the UK is one where 'natural justice' in all manner of environments is just a distant memory. Law abiding, tax paying citizens are seen merely as 'easy fodder', for a government that punishes the poor and disenfranchised and rewards the rich and powerful.

We live in a society where councils and police collude to fleece the easiest targets - i.e - the motorists, yet will not provide adequate resources so that decent people can walk the streets in safety. Think I'm wrong? Pick up any newspaper on any day and read about the latest injustice in our society.

I digress - I am involved in 'defence'. I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever in this government's capability to protect our national interests, let alone any international ones.

It won't be long before UK Troops go into battle wearing Battle Helmets sponsored by McDonalds, with a nicely embroidered Golden Arches icon. Navy Warships will carry a 'war's'r'us' logo. Think I'm joking? This govenment is asset stripping our defensive capability on a level that even the Tories would baulk at. So. Yes. Protecting our energy needs? Pleeezze?

Being self-sufficent in energy and food are two fundemental pre-requisites for any nation in terms of their own structural integrity.

Nuclear Power is proportionately expensive - however in terms of the security of supply - regarding energy output, it is my view that such a price is worth paying.

How many billions of pounds are we spending in Iraq? We simply cannot afford to play at being the world's policeman.

Civilisation is in free-fall. Current global events are merely a precursor of what is to come.

Your view of the world is a very different tasting one to mine!

Paranoid? Maybe? Just ask anyone, who had been fortunate to live in an area that once boasted parks and trees. You know - those natural green things? This government's crazed development plans will leave the entire country, one great concrete jungle -without any thought of the consequences. So. Yes. Too many people? Damn right there are!

Thanks for taking the time to respond.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 07:31 PM
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Some things that I know....
Electricity-
The UK is woefully under-equipped to satisfy its own peak energy demands.
A few months ago, the NGC (National Grid Company) fired out a flurry of emergency generation demands (Basically demanding that Generators increase output capacity to "over-rate" capacity). A 100 MW reactor runs at over its design capacity by a given percentage for a set duration- This is NOT dangerous and happens often. The problems arise mainly in turbine halls with generators being tweaked prodded and cajoled into squeezing a few more mega Watts for the NGC.
They do this in order to lessen the amount of electricity that is imported from France (Nearly a 100% Nuclear nation and a comparatively under-rated) at a high tariff.
The net result tends to be that the design life of components within the Generators plant is reduced and becomes more costly to maintain.
There are several CCGT's (Gas powered stations) about to come on stream this year- This in no way addresses the fundamental problem in the UK, merely exacerbates it. Gas is becoming hugely expensive and our limited reserves are being supplemented with imports. Increasing capacity in electricity production by burning gas and relying more heavily on imports of gas is madness. Gas imports are NOT reliable and are finite and expensive.
So, renewables???
Sorry, but NO WAY! You can look at the figures any way you like, but there is NEVER going to be the capacity or reliability to even come close to satisfying energy demand. Commercial and industrial plants could never be supplied by solely renewable energy producers with current technology.
Electricity demands continue to increase by around 4%/annum and show no signs of reducing.
There is only one EU country that totally satisfies its own electricity demands and has surplus to export at a high profit, and that is France.
No matter how bitter the pill may be to swallow, the ONLY practical solution to our currently insatiable electricity demands is nuclear generation.
Nuclear plants are actually cheap to run (Don't believe the hype) The only problem is that the whole industry has been mis-sold for decades. In the Cold War years nearly EVERY nuclear reactor type that is currently in service today in the world was prototyped and built in the UK. This was done by a Nationalised company with bottomless pockets for R&DD. Their mandate was to produce as much Military Grade Plutonium as possible, as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. This resulted in the Converter type reactors (RMBK Etc.) But also resulted in some happy medium reactors PWR's & GCR's and even some that were useless at producing spent fuel (From which to recover Pu) but brilliant at producing energy (FBR's). (These reactors were deliberately maligned by the then government to ensure that only the conversion type reactors were appealing to the public!)
Anyhow, if you were to build some new fast breeder reactors today with modular core design (This means the core is removed and put into PERMANENT storage after the working life is over) and you replaced the fuel every 8 years or so and stored (Not "reprocessed") the used fuel assemblies they are VERY VERY cheap to build, operate and remove.
That's all I wanted to add. Oh, apart from that if we all tried to use less electricity, these problems would be eased! -Yeah right!



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:44 PM
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Originally posted by rdx
We are too over dependent on incoming energy supplies, be it gas or oil, and the 'free markets' that govern their availablity and price.

The only measure that needs to be taken is immediate closing of all thermal electric plants and building electric plants powered by ocean currents instead.



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 04:29 PM
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I agree that something must be done about the energy crisis in the UK, but definately Nuclear Power is not the solution.

Firstly, it is extremely expensive, not just to build, but once it has to be decommisioned (normally after 30 years, although some plants work longer, max 45), it takes 130 years for the land to be safe, thats a hell of a long time, and there is still is no facility in this earth to deal with our existing nuclear waste, we do not need anymore. Yes, nuclear power does produce quite a lot of energy, but there is an enourmous risk involved in having too many plants, the dreded meltdown, etc. Also, there are not many suitable sites in the United Kingdom, as planning regulations are very very strict, and in reality it is not profitable for electricity companies to build their own Nuclear power plants, as they cost so much money.

The UK has 40% of Europes potential wind energy, one hell of a lot. So if we harness the power of wind properly, we could power our country 3 times over. Wind turbines are clean, and renewable source of energy. With dwindling supplies of gas and oil in the north sea, we need a new source of energy, and i feel wind power is the way forward.

I have also read that oil supplies have been found in the Falkland Islands, with the potential to produce 500,000 barrels a day? Has anyone else heard about that?



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 03:48 PM
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I think we should develop a mixed energy economy, with nuclear, renewables, natural gas and other clean fossile fuels, such as coal.

Wind is good, but not the save-all it is cracked up to be and also an environmental eye / ear sore.
Wave is good, but immature and Britain has quite a few waves.
Tidal is good, but somewhat environmentally damaging if you follow schemes like the Severn one.
Gas is good, and our supplies come from the Middle East - not Russia.
Solar is good, but not with our weather it's more a pipe dream.
Nuclear is good, especially the new technologies. There is such an anti nuclear lobby I often wonder ow many zeros they can stick on the end of there vision of the costs. It is also clean. I would be tempted to build nuclear just to piss of those who are so blinkered and one-dimensional.
Coal is good, and emmissions can be scrubbed and we have alot of coal in the UK.

Regards



posted on May, 24 2006 @ 09:47 AM
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Wind is good, but not the save-all it is cracked up to be and also an environmental eye / ear sore.


Not If it is out at sea, where most would be placed, as we have 40% of Europe's potential, POWER US 3 TIMES OVER!



Gas is good, and our supplies come from the Middle East - not Russia.


With the price continuously increasing in the middle east, it will not be profitable to get if from there so more and more gas will start to come from Russia, and they are firstly extremely un-reliable, remembering that they disconnected Ukraine in the winter , and as supplies continue to run out, up goes the price, meaning more expensive energy. Also, the government has a target to reduce greenhouse gas emmisions by 15% of the 1990 level, i think it is 15, may be 10? Meaning, we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for energy, or face environmental armageddon.




Nuclear is good, especially the new technologies. There is such an anti nuclear lobby I often wonder ow many zeros they can stick on the end of there vision of the costs. It is also clean. I would be tempted to build nuclear just to piss of those who are so blinkered and one-dimensional.


It is not good in the slightest. Yes a lot of energy is produced, but its bloddy expensive. Too expensive, to construct and decommision. What would happen if there was an explosion in the plant? Chenobyl springs to mind, would we have to evacuate a major UK city for a hundred and something years, and yes people can say that "its safe" "new technologies", but all it takes is for one error, and were buggered. Nuclear power is extremely dangerous, and not a desireable source of energy to base an economy like ours on.

Perhaps to generate more electricity is for everybody on their houses to have wind turbines? I read an article not so long ago where a man had a wind turbine on his roof, and he was producing so much energy that British Gas were buying from him!



we have alot of coal in the UK.


That is not the case at all, all of the mines have started shutting. Coal is running out in the UK rapidly, only a handful of mines still operate, certainly not enough to fuel our whole countries needs.

I feel very strongly that wind power is the way forward for the UK, its renewable, so we can use it over and over again, and we are an island, surrounded by sea, with reliable wind, so a lot of energy can be generated.

By simply importing more energy we will be relying to heavily on foreign countries, volitile countries, we will be at the mercy of the Russians, or whoever else sells us gas. And we will basically be moving the problem we have now forward another 20-30 years, what to do about energy? When we really have run out.

[edit on 24-5-2006 by Conspirator_101]



posted on May, 25 2006 @ 10:57 PM
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Nuclear energy is carbon free. So are many other things which perhaps aren’t that much more expensive. I would love it if the government invested in mass produced wind turbines, or other such things.
But I really don't think they are going to. Instead the most carbon free fuel we are likely to get is gas which is increasingly unreliable gas which still produces carbon.
We can put our heads in the clouds and think “they are going to offer us the relatively expensive green clean energy sources the public wants”. Or you can accept what they are offering (nuclear); or you can take their politically motivated compromise (gas). We should not oppose the government over nuclear power, and I am saying that in spite of not liking this government.

Greenpeace opposes nuclear energy stupidly. Fancy an environmental organisation being against an energy source which mostly posses a threat to all things human most because we live a long time; and its not even a huge threat at that!!! According to Greenpeace global warming is a blanket fact, but surely even they acknowledge that modern nuclear power tends to be at most a theoretical threat. And it’s ironic that the human free zones in Chernobyl are full of wildlife.
Realistically we could only be on our way to a near zero carbon economy if we had enough wind and nuclear. And it wouldn’t cost that much taxpayers money ether. But for the moment lets just accept the one non carbon thing the government is offering us which is nuclear.

That said I would like them to name somewhere to put the waste (Westminster has a cellar that I think Guy Forks used), However there is a real way to burn long lasting nuclear waste up in a reactor. Sadly the method is outlawed due to cold war legislation see link but I think (ideally) I think it should be resurrected.

Very Interesting Link
www.nuc.berkeley.edu...
Having seen that I think the reason why Green Peace doesn't support nuclear energy is because they are sadly a bit too composed of people addicted to protest.

Here's an existing way of doing something similar
en.wikipedia.org...


[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]




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