Wind Turbines Spoil the View But less so than Fracking

Wind turbines do spoil the view. These huge revolving one legged creatures do have an impact on the countryside in terms of changing what people call its visual amenity.  However, power stations have a bigger impact on the visual amenity of the countryside and fracking operations will also have a visual impact on the countryside and they will Continue reading

Pollution on the Streets of London

On Monday and Tuesday of this week when I walked the streets of London I noticed an orange dust had settled on cars. I also noticed that I coughed and sneezed, putting this down to a cold coming, although the orange dust I put down to mere pollution. In fact I had no cold coming and pollution was not mere pollution, but had reached 10 on the DEFRA scale of air pollution, which is the UK government’s highest scale reading. It is probably time to re-adjust the scale, perhaps to 20, as there is more pollution to come. Continue reading

Subsidising Global Warming

We hear much about the large subsidies paid for renewable energy. In Many countries a feed in tariff system have been developed to subsidise the production of electricity from photovoltaic panels and large subsidies are paid to landowners and electricity generators who install wind turbines. Both PV and wind turbines do produce electricity but what they produce cannot be stored easily and the production is intermittent. Nevertheless governments, who regard energy as electricity, are happy to spend taxpayers’ money on these measures, rather than on measures, such as solar water heating, which can produce renewable heat at a cheap cost; unlike electricity heat can be stored.

Subsidies come in different guises. In essence any measure or favourable tax treatment which distorts the market or provides an un-level playing field is a subsidy. The Overseas Development Institute thinks that as a whole the governments of the world spend half a trillion dollars in subsidising…fossil fuel! 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

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

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

Time to Kick Start the Renewable Heat Incentive?

I do not have much time to write a considered essay today, Luckily I have a lot of work to do and tonight will listen to what Mr Greg Barker, the Minister responsible for the Renewable Heat incentive, has to say about it. There will be many people concerned in microgeneration that will listen with interest to what he says.  Continue reading