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Thread: Energy policy rethink needed

  1. #1
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    Energy policy rethink needed

    I read this article in the Business Insider magazine and thought I'd copy it here as it to me clarifies the population issues around the world and makes an interesting point about renewable energy....

    Aggreko's Soames warns on renewables focus

    Scotland needs a clearer plan to compete with emerging economies and should rethink its energy policy, according to a networking group of the country’s top business leaders.

    The global shift of power to countries including China, India and Brazil and Scotland's renewables-focused energy policy were the key topics of debate at the Finlayson Wagner Black (FWB) 2010 Leadership Dinner at Edinburgh's Balmoral Hotel.

    Key speaker at the event - attended by around 90 top board directors and other senior executives - was Rupert Soames, chief executive of Aggreko.

    He told guests: "In both the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, geo-political eminence flowed from economic supremacy. The direction of the 21st century is already clear - that the iron rule of political power following economic power will remain intact; and that the balance of economic power, and with it political power, will become more diffuse."

    Soames pointed out that Europe, North America and Japan account for about 700 million people and were growing around three per cent a year; while India, China and Brazil had a population of around 2.3 billion and were growing at about 10 per cent.

    He also repeated his warning to the Scottish Parliament earlier this month that the "lights could go out" over Scotland by 2018 unless new power stations were built in the next two years to replace the capacity of stations that were closing.

    He pointed out that gas-fuelled power plants had a capital cost per megawatt delivered to the grid of around £1 million; nuclear was around £3 million; and wind up to £12 million per delivered megawatt.

    He asked: "How do we persuade those who have invested huge political capital in a renewables-only policy to adopt a more balanced and realistic approach?"

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    Re: Energy policy rethink needed

    I might add that here in Canada we've recently seen big increases in our utility bills and especially for electricity. Part of that is because they've now applied HST (similar to VAT) to those bills. However it has also been pointed out that renewable energy is a lot more expensive than traditional energy and that also is pushing up the price.

    Recently many pensioners have been complaining about this as on a fixed pension they have no real means of reducing their costs on this essential part of their household costs and thus is is biting hard into their income. In many parts of Canada it is often below freezing in winter but can also be very hot in peak summer. The above article thus highlights the cost of moving to renewable energy.

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    Re: Energy policy rethink needed

    Alastair, I am of the opinion that, as far as the UK is concerned, tidal power should be THE way forward.

    A scheme was put forward in the 1960' (I think). to take a hill from the Dunoon area and place it as a barrier, across the Clyde to the mainland near the Cloch (south from Greenock).

    There would be at least two generating stations which would work with the incoming and outgoing tides. There would also be locks for boats (but with limited size), and fish ladders.

    I rather think the project was turned down due to Faslane submarine base and the American navy at Dunoon.

    The 'story' at that time suggested 'all', of Scotland's power could be produce that way. Should that not be the case, Scotland has many other locations where use could be made of tidal power.

    This type of barrier could also take in a rise in sea level due to global warming, allbeit limited time, but for many hundreds of years.

    France has tidal power at St Malo - Dinard, and I have driven across the barrier.

    A brief web page follows... but have not yet found a really good one showing the large dam.

    http://www.afranceattraction.com/fra...tor-centre.htm

    Ranald

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    Re: Energy policy rethink needed

    I think part of this is the cost Ranald. Like that article I put together showed gas at 1 with wind farms at 12 so what would tidal provide as a ratio. I have no doubt Scotland could be energy independent but at what price?

    Alastair

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    Re: Energy policy rethink needed

    Wind Farms are NOT the way forward. They are inefficient and only proliferate here because of the HUGE subsidies being given to the "mostly foreign" companies who are building them and also to the landowners for permitting them to be placed all over the place.
    Hydro, wave and tidal energy are the way forward.

    Something else that is being very much overlooked is the natural way of reducing the carbon emissions effect is the planting of trees!!!!
    I have a friend who is a respected leader in the paper industry and he has been advocating planting trees for this very reason for YEARS.
    The forestry commission in the UK is investing some money and study into this, see...

    http://www.forestry.gov.uk/newsrele....2577840048C821

    as one of the items of interest.

    Despite all the work many "Western" countries the big impact will be for the US (yes the US), China and India to make REAL reductions in their fossil fuel consumptions.

    Sandy

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    Re: Energy policy rethink needed

    I did see a news item the other day where the Forestry commission were concerned that not enough trees were being planted. They said that while lots of trees were being planted for social reasons not enough commercial planting was being done to replace the trees that were being cut for paper, etc.

    As to tidal power... we don't seem to be getting any costs on that. We need to know what the costs are versus gas fired power stations.

    Alastair

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    Re: Energy policy rethink needed

    From the BBC just now.... Ranald

    Bristol firm plans Scotland's first tidal energy farm

    2 December 2010 Last updated at 13:55

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...lands-11898739

    MCT's SeaGen unit at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland

    A Bristol-based company said it plans to install Scotland's first tidal energy farm in 2013.

    Marine Current Turbines (MCT) said the project at Kylerhea, narrows between Skye and the Scottish mainland, could supply electricity to 4,000 homes.

    The company already operates a commercial-scale tidal power device at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

    It would install a group of four SeaGen tidal units at Kylerhea at a cost of £35m.

    MCT will hold a public exhibition in Glenelg next year before finalising a planning application for the scheme.

    Project manager David Ainsworth said: "Engagement with local interests is an important part of our work and so far the response to our plans has been generally positive.

    "Our experience of working in Strangford Lough has been hugely valuable in taking forward our plans for Kylerhea, and has helped assure people about the impacts of deploying our technology."

    MCT said its plans would complement, and not rival, Sheffield-based Pulse Tidal's plans for Kylerhea.

    Pulse proposes to put a device on the seabed. It would be fully submerged and would not be visible on the surface of the sea.

    In May, Pulse said it had started an environmental study ahead of an application to Marine Scotland, which is part of the

    Scottish government, for a licence to start producing electricity commercially in 2012.

    The Kylerhea Narrows is the shortest sea route from Skye to the mainland at a distance of about 550m.

    A community-owned ferry crosses the stretch of water from Glenelg on the mainland to Kylerhea on Skye.

    In the past, cattle drovers swam across the narrows with their black Highland cattle on their way to cattle fairs in lowland Scotland.

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    Re: Energy policy rethink needed

    That equates to £8,750 per person and it doesn't mention anything about running costs.

    Alastair

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