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Monday, August 13, 2007

No energy

Today's Guardian reveals that the UK government is secretly trying to wriggle out of renewable energy targets signed up to by Tony Blair because they are too difficult:

In contrast to the government's claims to be leading the world on climate change, officials within the former Department of Trade and Industry have admitted that under current policies Britain would miss the EU's 2020 target of 20% energy from renewables by a long way. And their suggestion that "statistical interpretations of the target" be used rather than new ways to reach it has infuriated environmentalists.

An internal briefing paper for ministers, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, reveals that officials at the department, now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, think the best the UK could hope for is 9% of energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar or hydro by 2020.

It says the UK "has achieved little so far on renewables" and that getting to 9%, from the current level of about 2%, would be "challenging". The paper was produced in the early summer, around the time the government published its energy white paper.

Under current policies renewables would account for only 5% of Britain's energy mix by 2020, the document says. The EU average is 7%; Germany is at 13%. It acknowledges that Germany, unlike Britain, has built a "strong and growing renewables industry".

EU leaders agreed the 20% target for the bloc in spring. The European Commission is working out how to reach this .

One change being mooted is to lobby European Commissioners to allow investment in nuclear power to be counted against the targets. Of course if renewables had received the same level of investment and commitment as nuclear over the last few decades then we would already be on course to achieve our agreed energy mix.
Some simple junior schoolboy arithmetic the politicians cannot grasp. FACT - the UK produces 2% of Global CO2. Whilst UK CO2 is increasing - it is increasing less than global CO2 outputs (from China; India & USA for example) - so that 2% as a global percentage will soon be much lower - but lets call it 2%. OK. FACTS - by fortunate coincidences that UK CO2 output is split approximately into three near equal parts (thirds) - UK fossil fuel Power Stations or electrical generation 33% approx. Plus UK Vehicle traffic exhausts CO2 at 33% approx. Then Factory / Industrial Processes & Domestic Heating UK CO2 is 33%. FACT - so total UK Power Generation contributes 33% of 2% to global CO2 = 0.7% . FACT - Government wants 20% Wind Power as a target within a few years or a fifth of that 0.7% = approx 0.1% of Global CO2 from UK targets. This will involve many, many THOUSANDS of ugly subsidised Wind Turbines mostly in Wales and Scotland. FACT - on average Wind Turbines only produce less than 25% of their Capacity due to unpredictable fluctuating wind flows. So in order to get the 20% target above as an average output - it will mean INSTALLING Capacity of 80% Wind Power of UK Total Power Consumption from Wind Turbines to produce at peak winds to overcome the majority of time when they are producing nothing - fluctuating from 0% to 80% to average 25%. FACT This means lots of fossil fuel stand by on Spinning Reserve for the NIL periods and the collapse of the National Grid when 80% surges in with gusts and then dies to zero as the gusts die down. FACT This means countless THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of Wind Turbines to collapse the Grid and the spinning reserve will negate the 0.1% Global figure. QUESTIONS Even if it all went smoothly with a continuous steady wind forever - would a UK contribution of cutting global CO2 by less than 0.1% stop Global Climate change? Can someone with big scientific influence write these facts into national UK newspapers? (and to politicians who will hide them). LAST SADDEST FACT :- Quote from a planning seminar of the National Assembly for Wales 8-7-07 recently :- “The landscape of Wales is going to change fundamentally and forever!” referring to their hell bent pursuit of Wind power in Wales!
RENEWABLES are NOT GREEN ,Better it would be if the listing AM of south Wales West ,member of the official opposition in Cardiff BAY joins forces with his equally listing Bourneron Tories to get this insane and wasteful daliance with inefficient and despoiling Wind machinery well and truly off the current Plaid/labour inspired
agenda once and for all.
Why not try talking about zero carbon Public Transport,Tidal energy and Marine Turbines to at least entertain some sound rationality in the efforts on Climate Change and not seem such an easy target as a Turby-sitter or as Cardiff-ocentric "enemy of reason".
Look out for Channel 4 and Prof Dawkins to see real angel believers and turbine huggers in action-when confronted with science ..hang in there Pete you know it makes sense.!
Believe it or not when I refer to renewables I do not exclusively mean wind turbines. I am supporting a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay for example. I am also supporting measures to promote public transport and encourage micro-generation. I think the government needs to do more on all of these as well.
Opps, some typos ... try again:

"Weird", but I thought it was obvious that the UK would not meet the renewable energy targets or even Kyoto for that matter. The people of Britain are addicted to hydrocarbons.

Wind power, absent a fundamental change in how we live, is just that, wind power. If we over populate the countryside with mega huge wind driven turbines we will harm one of our greatest foreign currency earners, tourism.

We are fooling ourselves if we think wind power is going to seriously dent the UK's thirst for hydrocarbons. It is like North Sea Oil - the nation was sold on the "oil bonanza" that it NSO would benefit everyone. The reality? NSO allowed the government of the day to run down the unionized manufacturing sector. Factories closed down. People were encouraged to retire in their 50s. Downsizing was the order of the day - the UK's economy shrunk, the so-called bonanza from NSO did not materialize or if it did, ordinary working people did not benefit.

Wind-power is likewise being over-sold - China is not buying into wind-power (it is building more coal power stations). Personal choices have a deeper impact, love of holidays abroad, fashionable clothes and shoes, latest hair styles, glossy magazines, updating kitchens, building extensions, etc. All these things have a carbon footprint.

Outsourcing manufacturing to China might reduce industrial pollution in the UK, but overall world pollution will go up, and it is the overall pollution figure that counts. While we import more and more goods from China we are ensuring that world pollution will go on increasing, and world pollution will continue to climb.
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