Power in Winter

I cannot but enjoy this autumn in London. the temperatures are hot and there is none of the equinoctial wind which blows London dust into my eyes this time of year.  I expect it will end soon, and this warm October will give way to a cold November, which will start to freeze the tips of my fingers and pour cold dust into my lungs, to join the accumulation of much other dust.  Continue reading

Farming Solar

There has been a fashion in the United Kingdom of covering large swathes of good farmland with electricity producing photovoltaic solar panels. This fashion has arisen because the government has given ridiculously high subsidies for PV installations. The government gave such high subsidies because the government set itself renewable energy targets instead of carbon reduction targets.

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Be Prepared

“British Energy Policy” is a contradiction in terms. There has been no energy policy for at least twenty years, just a collection of ill thought out statements backed by political dogma which ignores the reality of what the United Kingdom needs for energy and how it can be done. It is likely that the next very cold winter that the United Kingdom experiences will see power cuts and gas shortages. Continue reading

Leave for Warmer Climes When the Winter Comes

EDF is a French energy company. It is one of the six energy companies that control the United Kingdom’s energy supply and enjoys the rights privileges and advantages of it being part of an oligarchy. It specialises in nuclear power and has a number of nuclear generating plants which create heat by means of a chain reaction, uses the heat to make steam which drives a turbine which in turn generates electricity which in turn is fed into the national grid. The nuclear plants create nuclear waste in copious quantities which takes thousands of years to decay into a condition in which the waste in not dangerous. Continue reading

The World’s Largest Solar PV Array

While the United Kingdom’s renewable energy sector is losing business, due to uncertainty about government policy and the administration’s poor understanding of renewable energy the renewable energy sector in India looks as though it will become increasing prosperous and increasing important to the economic development of India. Continue reading

Freezing Energy Prices

The price of energy is a problem, partly because people in the United Kingdom are not used to paying high energy prices and partly because the price increases have continued while household incomes in real terms are falling. Continue reading

Today is Energy Day

According to the BBC today is energy day. The BBC radio 5 programme has a number of gimmicks to mark energy day. They have a temporary studio powered by renewable energy including photo-voltaic panels, wind turbines and exercise bicycles, but these things are merely gimmicks; no doubt more fossil fuel energy has been expended in erecting the temporary studio than will be saved by all these devices. Continue reading

Should Subsidies for Renewables be Paid out of Central Taxation?

Energy bills have been rising since 2005 which means that in the United Kingdom people are paying more and more each year for their electricity, gas and heating oil. The rise has been exacerbated by the government imposing levies on energy bills to pay for things like wind turbines and photovoltaic electric solar panels. Now it is being suggested that instead of the renewable subsidies being paid out of levies on electricity bills, they should be paid out of central taxation. Is this suggestion the right way to deal with subsidies for renewables. Continue reading

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

A Fond Hope

Both the nuclear energy industry and the tidal energy industry are prepared to build new generating capacity but only if the taxpayer guarantees the return of their investment. This is a new kind of capitalism – one which will only take risk if every conceivable risk is covered. The risk reward ratio for these projects, if implemented with a taxpayer guarantee would be virtually 1:100,000. Continue reading