The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail are carrying a story, which says that National Grid, want all appliances to be able to be switched off, automatically, when there isn’t enough electricity. The story is here in the Daily Mail.
The problem is that for every method of electricity generation or method of saving, there are vociferous opponents.
Coal produces CO2 and therefore adds to global warming.
Wind farms blight the countryside.
Nuclear power kills everybody with radiation.
Fracking causes earthquakes.
Barraging the Severn and other rivers would upset the birds and the RSBP.
People won’t insulate their houses, as why should they spend money for no visible improvement?
People can’t get it into their heads, that AGAs and other high energy use appliances are antisocial.
Energy saving bulbs are ugly and give a bad level of light.
Perhaps not having power for a few hours every day, will make Daily Mail readers and the other ostriches see sense.
Well not directly, but he has just said on BBC Breakfast, that he will break the link between power generation and distribution and bring in a tough new regulator to force prices down, when wholesale prices come down.
It’s all motherhood and apple pie, and might appeal to voters, but it would have the effect of stopping major power companies investing in the generating capacity we need.
So the lights will inevitably go out!
The only way to avoid building generating capacity is to find ways to insulate our poor housing stock and force consumers to actually do it!
But then the British public is addicted to using as much energy as possible.
Paul Lewis, the BBC’s respected personal finance expert, has just flagged up this story on BBC Breakfast. Although, it’s not a big financial failure like PPI, it could have been inconvenient for some former Abbey customers. This is the first three paragraphs of the story.
Santander, the country’s second biggest mortgage provider, says 30,000 of its customers may be due compensation, after errors made in 2008.
All were former Abbey customers, who were put on standard variable rate (SVR) mortgages after coming off fixed-rate deals.
But they were not told clearly enough that they could have transferred their accounts elsewhere.
He also flagged up that there is no central way to notify customers that there might be a problem with their bank or insurance company’s systems and said there was a business opportunity.
He’s right on that last point!
What is needed is a site, where you register with just e-mail address and short post code, like N14 or IP4. You then enter your bank, insurance company, supermarket, broadband and energy suppliers, phone and mobile companies and perhaps your make of car.
Then when anything turns up like this Santander problem or the Virgin broadband failure, the site would send you an automatic e-mail.
All warnings would of course be available for any registered member to view.
Unlike the price comparison sites, the site would never sell or give your details to any third party.
Paul Lewis said it was a business opportunity! It certainly is!
In Vienna if there is one place I had to see, it is Spittelau.
You walk out of the station of the same name and it’s there, only a kilometre or so from the centre of Vienna.
When you first see it, you think it is some weird work of art or even a chemical plant designed by a benign Devil.
It’s actually a waste incineration plant, which provides district heating and to be fair it’s more beautiful than SELCHP.
The world needs a lot more Spittelaus. As they often do, the Japanese are copying the ideas in Osaka.
It is a superb example that shows the close relationship between art, engineering and architecture.
Can you imagine the fuss, if they decided to build a plant like this at say Silvertown in East London? On the other hand, the plant shows that refuse incinerators can be good neighbours.
Every large city should have it’s Spittelau!
It is a walk, I have driven many times in the past and I regularly used to fill up my cars at the garage shown. But not at those prices, of which as a non-driver, who is scientifically-green, I heartily approve.
The flats seems good value to me. When C and I got married, we’d have never been able to buy something on a deal like that. you could get a 75% mortgage if you were lucky.
I am not a great fan of coal as, I think it’s a dirty fuel, that is dangerous to mine and causes all sorts of problems like subsidence for the neighbours.
So this news of a large fire at Daw Mill Colliery in Warwickshire, that might spell the end of mining in the county, is just typical of the problems of this fuel.
I will not be sorry if this hastens the end of the UK coal industry. For everybody’s sake, we should have put together a comprehensive plan to shut the lot down perhaps half a century ago.
To many there isn’t one benefit from using fracking to extract gas from the ground. but here’s one even the most total opponent of the technique might concede.
Modern Railways this month states the following.
The major rail operators in the US are all reporting reduced profits as coal volumes plummeted by up to 20% in the last year. Here, the shift in generation mix is being driven principally by the exploitation of shale gas now being produced on a massive scale as a by-product of crude oil exploitation. although a frighteningly high proportion of this gas is just flared, sufficient is being used in power-generation to undermine the need for coal, and for rail freight.
I would suspect the facts are correct. So fracking is cutting the need to burn coal, thus reducing global warming, as burning gas creates less CO2.
The Sunday Times is reporting the Eco-report for HS2 stretched to 50,000 pages and weighs half-a-ton.
Partly this is due to the fact that Parliament needs a hard copy.
Surely though, that in this case to save a large number of trees, they should receive it electronically.
The head of Ofgem, Alistair Buchanan, is warning that we’re running out of power capacity and that bill will rise. It’s all in this article on the BBC. This is the first few paragraphs.
Consumers are being warned they face higher energy bills as the UK becomes more reliant on energy imports.
In a speech, Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan will say that falls in Britain’s power production capacity are likely to lead to more energy imports and customers paying more.
The energy watchdog predicts power station closures could mean a 10% fall in capacity by April alone.
So what have successive governments over the last ten or so years been doing?
Nothing really, except building useless wind farms.
We should have barraged the Severn, which done properly would create ten percent of our power.
A handful of nuclear power stations would have helped.
As would some gas extracted from fracking, which it seems now, will be the most promising cheap source of energy. Like it or not, we’ve going to have to get fracking! Both the gas and the echnology is there! A few power cuts or higher energy bills, would turn the public’s mind!
We should of course, insulate our houses better. Wouldn’t that create a few jobs too?
My Buchanan has just appeared on the BBC. He talked a lot of sense and we need to see more of him! But the politicians won’t like him, as he’ll make all of them unelectable.
I just sent this e-mail to the BBC.
The public is to blame, as they don’t want generating capacity like the Severn Barrage, wind farms, fracking or nuclear power stations and they continue to want to live in inefficient supposedly beautiful houses. When the bills quadruple and the lights go out, they’ll change their tune.
I suppose it will cure the immigration issue as no-one will want to come here to sit in the dark.
I doubt they’ll read it out.
I do sometimes worry about the grip some people have on sense. Look at this article, about the damage done by the slag heap from a coal mine to the railways near Doncaster.
We should have got rid of our coal mines just after we found we had North Sea Gas and Oil, and probably developed nuclear power for most of or electricity. Instead we struggled on with the world’s most polluting fuel for many years.
Now the Nimbys don’t want any developments, be they fracking, nuclear power, wind power or even new railways like HS2. I suspect, if you had a vote on new motorways it would pass, provided they didn’t build one near to the voters.
But how many people will call this trouble with the trains near Doncaster, an environmental disaster caused by not getting rid of coal years ago? I will!