Blackouts by 2015?

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the.fee.fairy
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Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267100 the.fee.fairy
Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:25 am

So according to this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... Ofgem.html

(I know it's the Daily Mail...it's the only paper not regularly blocked here) We will have blackouts in the UK by 2015.

I don't really understand the politics behind all this to be honest. But...what can we do?

Wind Farms don't appear to be creating enough power - what about solar and tidal power?

Is is the fault of the higher ups in Europe as the article appears to be saying?

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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267101 okra
Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:38 am

I suspect these stories are a softener to get us all in a mind set to accept the commissioning of nuclear power reactors which the taxpayer will have to massively support to attract private investors. Without sunsidies private companies will not build plants and the coalition's commitment not to use taxpayers money is another promise which will be broken. But we should not forget Fukushima and the whole spurious argument that it's a clean energy which always ignores the issue of nuclear waste.

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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267105 demi
Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:49 am

But we have nuclear fusion to look forward to in the near future:

"Harnessing nuclear fusion, the energy that powers the sun and the stars, has been a goal of physicists worldwide since the 1950s. It is essentially inexhaustible and it can be created using hydrogen isotopes -- chemical cousins of hydrogen, like deuterium -- that can readily be extracted from seawater.

Fusion energy is created by fusing two atomic nuclei, in the process converting mass to energy, which appears as heat. The heat, as in conventional nuclear fission reactors, turns water into steam, which drives turbines to generate electricity, or is used to produce fuels for transportation or other uses. Fusion energy generates zero greenhouse gases. It offers no chance of a catastrophic accident. It can be available to all nations, relying only on the Earth's oceans. When commercialized, it will transform the world's energy supply. "
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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267107 GeorgeSalt
Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:55 am

okra wrote:I suspect these stories are a softener to get us all in a mind set to accept the commissioning of nuclear power reactors which the taxpayer will have to massively support to attract private investors.


But did you not see the earlier story where EDF gave a £/kWh for nuclear that they'd need before comissioning any new nuclear? They're almost pricing nuclear out of the game (I suspect building in a factor for reduced subsidy for clean-up in the future).

Solar, tidal and wind.. all the renewables are hampered by the same thing. They're very good for period of time of varying predictability but cannot be relied upon for 24/7 demands. Picking-up the renewable slack periods by any conventional means (gas, coal, oil, nuclear) is expensive and less environmentally efficient than straightforward conventional generation (articles in the media just last week on open- vs. closed-cycle gas-fired power stations).

Better demand management (ie. reducing grid demand per capita) and above all a means of efficiently storing renewable generated power are both required as part of the renewable equation. Without an efficient energy storage mechanism it's going to be impossible for renewables to significantly replace conventional energy generation.
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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267118 MKG
Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:00 pm

We haven't actually achieved continuous nuclear fusion, Demi. That future may be a LONG way away.

The warning demands attention to a looming problem, which is a good thing. It's going to be interesting to see the way the country jumps (you know - oh yes, I know all about that but are you being serious? What? REAL shortages?).
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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267120 GeorgeSalt
Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:12 pm

the.fee.fairy wrote:Is is the fault of the higher ups in Europe as the article appears to be saying?

It's the Daily Mail, absolutely everything is the fault of [s]Germany[/s] Europe.

Remember, the Daily Mail mantra is that nothing could ever be the fault of the [s]British[/s] English people.


(pretend the [s] is strikethrough.. this must be the T***o Value version of bbcode..)
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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267128 eco-mick
Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:47 pm

Bring it on :D think this country needs a wake up call..

Electric is a luxury, not a right.

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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267129 baldybloke
Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:00 pm

Even if we invest in nuclear, there is only a finite amount of uranium. Some say only 50 years worth and it will take 10 years to build and commission new power stations. So hardly worth bothering with. Also with the increase in electric cars etc we will need lots more capacity.
From what I can see there is no real answer except to use less. Micro generation might offer some glimmer of hope for local communities.
Has anyone seen the plot, I seem to have lost mine?

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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267134 oldjerry
Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:34 pm

Thanks for the cost-free reminder of why the Fail isn't worth wrapping chips in.A more poorly written,copied and pasted,zenophobic piece of right wing drivel would be hard to envisage.
In their world,they completely ignore the effect of Global recession on demand for oil and gas,let alone the ever changing political situation in many of the countries that supply the stuff.
In the real world we all know that energy conservation is probably more efficacious in financial terms than so called green technology, however desirable that might be.
Anyway, IF Armageddon is round the corner,I'm with Mick,......bring it on.

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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267143 demi
Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:27 pm

MKG wrote:We haven't actually achieved continuous nuclear fusion, Demi. That future may be a LONG way away.

The warning demands attention to a looming problem, which is a good thing. It's going to be interesting to see the way the country jumps (you know - oh yes, I know all about that but are you being serious? What? REAL shortages?).



Iv read the first power station will be up and running by 2020.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 114624.htm
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267169 MKG
Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:08 am

Journalists are wonderful beasts, Demi. There is a plan, and given the possibility that all prospective associated technologies do work and that by that time we've managed to get a fusion reaction to work for more than a couple of milliseconds, then yes - we could do it by 2020. But we haven't done that yet - in fact, the project you're talking about is designed to (hopefully) attain continuous running for a whole hour.

We're still a long way away.

The project is a big tokomak - it's meant to be a method of containing what, in effect, is a small star. That's the problem. We know fusion works (it's how stars work) but if you have something which is producing the temperatures found inside stars, then you'd bloody well better have a way of bottling it up. That's the bit we don't know about. A tokomak is our best bet so far - but no guarantees.

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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267171 oldjerry
Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:48 am

Why is it a given,that (in the West at any rate ) that economic growth is a 'good thing'? Take that away and the panic over power supply becomes less relevant.

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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267334 Lost-in-the-Day
Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:29 pm

the.fee.fairy wrote:So according to this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... Ofgem.html

(I know it's the Daily Mail...it's the only paper not regularly blocked here) We will have blackouts in the UK by 2015.

I don't really understand the politics behind all this to be honest. But...what can we do?

Wind Farms don't appear to be creating enough power - what about solar and tidal power?

Is is the fault of the higher ups in Europe as the article appears to be saying?


They should come to Jersey, we've had 2 major blackouts within about 3 months of each other. The first cable to France failed in June, the second cable failed in September and now prices have to go up again to fix them both despite the already high costs of electricity. And the best bit is the twits who run the Rock think Jersey could be a world leader in IT....not when there's no way of turning on the computer! The idea of green energy and sustainable living would turn a politicians stomach. :banghead:
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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267335 Zech
Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:24 pm

the.fee.fairy wrote:Wind Farms don't appear to be creating enough power


There are major issues with infrastructure round here. We have wind farms on the hillsides (upsetting people who like to see uncluttered hillsides) that are switched off a lot of the time because the grid can't handle the power they'd produce. At the same time, not many miles away, the roadsides are decorated with signboards objecting to pylons spoiling the pretty valleys (that's proposed pylons - they're not there yet).

If there was sufficient infrastructure, there'd be potential for more hydro here too, which is very good for evening out the variations in other renewables (store water in reservoir, open sluice gate when power's needed). Of course, large-scale hydro has more potential to change the landscape than all the others put together.
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Re: Blackouts by 2015?

Post: #267337 okra
Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:38 pm

I cannot understand people objecting to wind farms when pylons have been with us for many years and for me are much uglier


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