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Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bloody Windmills

One of the most effective Lent landscape-in-snow photos was published in the 'Mail' this week showing a sepulchrally beautiful moorland scene disfigured by several absolutely static wind turbines. With hardly a breath of air, one could imagine the crystal-bright icicles hanging from the tips of the unmoving blades. They will only start turning again when we don't need additional electrical power.  

Co-ordinating the UK's shambles of an energy policy is the DECC, and co-ordinating the DECC is the department's Permanent Secretary. From the department's inception under 'mentalist' Brown in 2008 until November last year DECC was run by Moira Wallace, a general careerist mandarin with previous experience of economics in the Treasury and of crime in the Home Office but unfortunately with no experience of Energy. She was replaced in January this year by Stephen Lovegrove, a former banker with previous experience of running the Post Office and on the board of LOCOG.  

Neither would have been appointed if they didn't believe in bloody windmills. So they run a department that's utterly away with the fairies; today a dossier on collecting methane from cows' bottoms, tomorrow a study on farming sunbeams and next week a plan for local councils to collect human faeces in wheely bins for power stations. All the while the most lunatic tax changes and Eurostandards are closing viable power stations, raising the costs of energy to levels that cripple commerce and industry and ladling out subsidies to every crank, fool and deluded moron with a hare-brained scheme to make electricity from daisies. 

Moira Wallace, as is the way with Whitehall's most dismal failures, has returned to Oxbridge to become Provost of somewhere or other. Lovegrove has already been decorated with a CB, like a small Christmas tree at the inception of its dressing with balls and tinsel. And the rest of Britain shivers and faces gas-outs, power cuts, food shortages and thousands of premature deaths.


Peter Whale said...

I really should stop reading your posts as I am tempted to fantasize on the retribution I wish to inflict on the assholes in government and the green lobby and the pathetic media that have been castrated and given sops to toe the government propagander line. Fuck off all of them I would rather have Farage and UKIP in every constituency than carry on with this garbage of a parliament who should be deposited in a landfill site.

G. Tingey said...

Still, ONE contract ha been let for ONE new nuclear power station.
It's a start.

In the meantime l endorse THIS piece ...
( & if you haven't heard of xkcd before, it's time you learnt! )


DeeDee99 said...

Nothing to add.

Except I am looking forward to to the day when the power fails across the UK and the current equivalent of Huhne is forced to justify the lunacy of the EU/UK puppet-Govt's energy scam.

Anonymous said...

This cold snap is set to stay and gas consumption (and its related wholesale price) is rising. We don't just need a change of government, we need a radical change of thinking in this country.

Coney Island

Robert said...

Heating on full blast and roast in the oven at gas mark 6 doing my best to deplete the UK gas stocks. It's costing a fortune, but it's worth it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, 'ang on a minute... Its just been announced that its beena "record breaking wind day" in Britain. Axshully, some guys turned up at a conference in London and scoffed a load of beans, fish vindaloo and rhubarb. Gas crisis over.

Coney Island

B. Stoat said...

I don't disagree that the renewable 'energy policy' of HMG is rubbish, but wind has actually been doing quite well in the last few days. This fantastic site gives more or less real time readout for what's happening on the National Grid, I found it fascinating.

Demetrius said...

But there are some companies who have reported healthy figures and are more than meeting their financial targets, albeit with the support of a good deal of government (our) money. This is said to be "good for growth". This is true for those who were on the inside of the deals.

Nick Drew said...

Tingey - nope, no new UK nuke contracts let (despite the sound & fury emanating from EDF)

Coney Island - I bow to no man in my hostility to subsidised windfarms (see C@W passim), but as Stoat says, the fact remains they put out 5 GW for 24 hours this weekend, a first

of course, the case they must still answer is - what about Dec 2010, and earlier this year, when there was sustained 0 wind across the whole of northern Europe

no amount of serendipitous generation on one day in March overcomes that objection

Anonymous said...

5.08 GW maximum, and they've been at 5.0 GW(+- a bit) for the weekend.
About 20% of the entire countries possible wind output...which will never be realised of course. Coal and nuclear have borne the load this weekend. Coal will be gone by next year. Nuclear [new] may never materialise because EDF want a guaranteed price, and not a low one. We've been drawing heavily on the Dutch and French interconnectors for the past year. Funnily enough, the wind guys get paid even if they're not spinning !

William Gruff said...

I'll happily recycle my own faeces, and that of The Mrs Gruff, if the collection point is my MP's letter box.

JimS said...

There is a number that ought to be in the minds of evryone that is concerned about energy and that number is one million.

Maybe it is difficult to conceive? As an example it is about 100 miles from Birmingham to London, that is about a million times eight inches. Eight inches wouldn't take you far on the journey would it?

The underlying resource that has powered global industrialisation and development is the exploitation of ever denser energy sources, more 'bang' for each kilogram.

Why is the number one million important? Well that is the magnitude of the ratio of the energy density of coal to the typical wind in the UK. In other words moving from coal to wind power is a million-fold step backwards in energy technology.

Anonymous said...

Jim S wroteThe underlying resource that has powered global industrialisation and development is the exploitation of ever denser energy sources, more 'bang' for each kilogram.

As reliability and innate regulation ( in the electrical engineering sense)


Weekend Yachtsman said...

@Greg: excellent cartoon, thanks!

(PS xkcd is a regular visit - genius, some of it! - here's one of my all-time faves: Enjoy!)