Large Scale Solar Farms Generating Electricity

In Broxford in Suffolk Santander are building a 60 hectare array of solar photo-voltaic panels, which they expect to generate 32.8 megawatt of electricity. The array is being built on a disused airfield.  It will be one of Britain’s largest photo-voltaic installations. and will feed electricity into the grid during daylight hours, cashing in on the very large subsidy that the United Kingdom taxpayer pays. Continue reading

Power for the People

The energy policy of the United Kingdom has been in a mess for at least two decades. Ofgem has indicated that it expects power cuts to be frequent from 2015 onwards as the plant load factor – the amount of spare capacity at the electricity generating stations – reduces to very dangerously low levels. For successive governments energy has been an afterthought, and addressed in words rather than deeds and coherent policies, and the government is in denial about the risk of blackouts. Continue reading

Wind Turbines and the foolishness of subsidising them

About ten miles north of Ramsgate, in the middle of the Thames Estuary some 175 offshore wind turbines have been installed and are now operating, as wind turbines operate, in their own misunderstood fashion. If it is windy, and not too windy, the turbines generate electricity. The publicity claims that the wind turbines will generate enough electricity for 470,000 homes but the publicity is imprecise. There are only 22.5 million homes in the United Kingdom and to power them all will need another 50 arrays of similar turbines but unfortunately it is not as simple as that. Continue reading

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Solar – some inaccurate stuff about solar

On 26th June the Mail on Sunday published an article in its “Live” supplement about solar, both the electricity generating kind and the thermal heat producing kind. It claimed to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about solar roof tiles and unfortunately not only failed miserably in its claim but was full of errors, so perhaps a better title would be “ Some inaccurate stuff about solar”. Continue reading