A Bear of Very Little Brain

I wonder why in the United Kingdom the intellectual capacity of ministers and civil servants who deal with energy issues is so low. I know that I am being unusually rude, but energy and the environment are too important issues to have bears of very little brain in charge of policy.

Avid readers of these essays will know that I have always been opposed to wood burning power stations and will know the reason is that they cause terrible environmental damage. Continue reading

The True Cost of Nuclear Energy

Some think that nuclear energy is an important source of electricity and ought to be part of every nation’s energy generating system. Others think that nuclear energy is too dangerous to use and we should decommission nuclear power plants all over the world. I tend towards the latter view, but accept that there may be some merit in the former view. Whatever view you hold about nuclear energy everyone who thinks about it agrees that there must be a safe and perfect way of storing nuclear waste to prevent the waste being used for weapons and to prevent the waste leaking into the atmosphere or the sea or the land where it will cause harm and damage to human health and to the health of the ecosystem where the waste is stored. Continue reading

Professor Robert Watson and Cassandra

Targets are a hit and miss affair and governmental and international targets more than most. The problem is that once a target is set the underlying reason for the target is forgotten and the target becomes a means in itself. Continue reading

My Response to the Latest Renewable Heat Incentive Consultation

The United Kingdom’s Department of Energy & Climate Change has been pussy-footing around with the Renewable Heat Incentive. there is another short consultation which closes on 23rd April 2012. You can get the web link to the consultation at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/Renewable_ener/incentive/incentive.aspx

I have replied to the consultation on behalf of Genersys Plc. I set out my response below:- Continue reading

Accidents will happen on oil and gas rigs, again

For the past few days theElginrig in theNorth Seahas been leaking methane. As a precaution “non essential” workers have left the rig. Methane clouds have been noted above the rig and gas concentrate six miles long has appeared as a sheen on the sea surface. Continue reading

Time to Put on your Thinking Cap, Mr Barker

Greg Barker, the United Kingdom’s Minister for Energy has been vigorously defending his government’s decision to cut the subsidy on photovoltaic solar panels which produce electricity. He point out that indexed linked at 43p per kWh for twenty five years the feed in tariff was too good to be true, although actually it was true and it is about time that the government curtailed the excesses of the electricity feed in tariff for an energy source which cannot be stored and which is produced when we do not need electricity, in daylight hours. Continue reading

Great News for businesses and Non profits – the Renewable Energy Incentive Starts

From Monday 28th November 2011 Schools, hospitals, businesses and communities in the United Kingdom have been able to get financial incentives from the Renewable Heat Incentive for installing renewable heat. The Department of Energy and Climate Change have announced the opening in full of this phase of the RHI, and I expect that the thermal solar (or solar water heating) part of the incentive will be particularly attractive and that my company Genersys will be particularly busy with it. Solar thermal is the cleanest form of renewable heat.

A business installing 200Kwh of solar thermal panels will be able to claim 8.5p per kWh for the renewable heat generated. For businesses in particular there are three financial benefits, and for non profits there are just the first two:-

  1. The 8.5p per kWh is more than most businesses are paying for heat if they use gas, and less than they are paying if they use oil or electricity. The incentive provides an income stream which is produced from the capital cost of the investment over the next 20 years. The 8.5p is linked to inflation so the return is real and predictable in real terms. Coincidentally Genersys solar panels are unconditionally guaranteed for 20 years provided they are properly installed using approved components.
  2. In addition to the incentive there is of course the fuel savings on the fuel that will no longer be used. This adds another financial incentive.
  3. If the business installs solar thermal using Genersys panels, it will be able to claim accelerated capital allowances, writing the investment off against profits in the first year, instead of over a number of years. In real terms, if you do the maths, the real rate of return becomes higher because you can moderate the capital expenditure against corporation tax.

The incentive is very good and should make installation of solar water heating for all businesses and non profit organisations virtually a no brainer.