Breath of Fresh Air 13

I am in person a notably happy, I hope humorous chap, whereas this blog tends to be a relentless criticism of those who wield power. It makes a change, therefore, to note a positive development. Vestas have announced plans to open a wind turbine plant near Sheerness in Kent, bringing 2,000 much needed jobs to the area. The move is dependent, however, on the government setting out a secure long term policy framework for the development of renewable energy in this country.

That is something to which Energy Secretary Chris Huhne is genuinely wedded, and this move by Vestas will strengthen his hand against the coalition Tories and their love of oil and nuclear. Vestas deserve criticism for their fickleness, with this coming just three years after the closure of their Isle of Wight manufacturing facility, but that event was also a stunning indictment of New Labour’s lack of genuine belief in renewable energy and lack of genuine commitment to UK manufacturing industry.

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13 thoughts on “Breath of Fresh Air

    • craig Post author

      Renewable enrgy is only more expensive than hydrocarbon energy or nuclear energy if you take an extremely short term view and narrow definition of costs.
      What you report is important, and is an argument against private sector power generation, not against wind power. I agree with you. I think electricity generation, distribution and sale is a natural monopoly and should be in the state sector.

  • Clark

    Someone may have linked this a few threads ago, but I want to link it again:
    I also want to introduce thorium LFTR reactors into the debate. It isn’t nuclear in general that the status quo support; it’s traditional solid fueled uranium reactors, ie Cold War technology. LFTRs (“Lifters”) could be particularly good at supporting renewables such as wind power, as it is claimed that they can rapidly vary their output.

  • gyges

    @Craig said, “Renewable enrgy is only more expensive than hydrocarbon energy or nuclear energy if you take an extremely short term view and narrow definition of costs.”

    I’m not talking about the difference in price I’m talking about using environmentalism as a fig leaf to hide the mechanism of transferring wealth from poor people to rich. Poor people cannot afford wind turbines: rich people can afford to own land and shares both necessary requirements to receive the transfer of wealth.

    Here’s another example of a rich corporation being subsidised by poor people.

    This should be condemned not praised.

  • spectral

    I do not believe in “green” notion, of what gov. media outlets promoting. Capitalists are launching murderous wars around the globe, why wouldn’t launch media campaign with benign slogan “Green” of this and that.
    The other day I was looking to buy hard-disk drive I saw label the “green”. I have no idea what it means. It is the exact same with wind turbine; they are neither sustainable nor efficient. More importantly, there are not an answer to growing need for energy of all kinds. It is not even temporary fix, not to mention that they are extremely ugly and the land intensive.
    So, if we install x number of wind turbines, what is the impact on environment and national GDP, for example. As a reference point: US DoD spent fuel per annum as the Sweden.

  • angrysoba

    “Someone may have linked this a few threads ago, but I want to link it again:”
    Wow! There are some miserly misanthropes on that George Monbiot thread.
    “Population control!” They blare. Okay, but I think they’ll have to volunteer to be the first for the chop or risk being called NIMBY.

  • Scouse Billy

    Hope you are going to volunteer to clean the seabird gore (sic) from the blades.

    Btw as wind energy is unreliable it needs conventional power stations as back up.

    Also are you aware Sam Cam’s dad as a wealthy landowner will get subsidies from us, the poor taxpayers for the windfarms on his land?

    Increased CO2 does not lead to increasing temperature, in fact, it’s the other way round. As temperature rises the oceans ability to hold CO2 reduces and leads to “outgassing”, i.e. release into the atmosphere.

  • Clark

    Angrysoba, “population control” is not as bad as people sometimes think. The replacement rate is between two and three children per woman. So I don’t think anyone needs “the chop” in order to stabilise population.

  • ingo

    To just concentrate on one single alternative generation would be cynical, all eggs in one basket and bound to fail. What we are seeing is the last desperate attempt by the nuclear industry to make out that we dearly need them.

    Britian is blessed with latent energy capabilities, easily harvested with many differing conventional devices, whether its wave power, sea currents driving large underwater turbines, or windpower.

    The criticismn of extremist’s who drive halfway round the country in their 4×4’s to see some rare bird, is misplaced. Most birds can avoid turbines, they have to learn as well as we have to in a changi9ng envrionment.
    Then there are our threatened eastern estuaries, all screaming for sea defences, easily married with tidal generation schemes, for example, a storm surge sand barrier from Skeggness to Hunstanton could generate enough or more power than two nuclear power stations, continuously and without interfering with the environment much, bar the salinity decreasing slightly. This would not just generate tidal and enable wind power, it would also safeguard the Fenlands, were 1/5% of our fresh food supplies come from nationally a 4 billion annual business. Shipping, some 150 movements per annum can be enabled via a lock system, there can be marinas developed in the wash basin, as well as outside it and the bridlife can be enabled further by developing more swimming islands and ensure that there are enoguh environs for them to thrive.
    Costs, 2 billion, roughly, build form sand pumped into textile sausages, 5000 yards long, three at the bottom, followed by two above and a third on top, new modern dike building methods from Holland, without a single HGV needed, bar for the concrete work that is involved for locks and turbine sections of the damm.
    To enable french nuclear power and Russian gas to screw us down, they are already at it. Gazprom/Centric is to shut highly taxed North sea gas sources and is importing lesser taxed gas to Britain and makes us pay more for it anyway. That is not sustainable.
    Then there is the Concentarted solar power propject desertec, which would not only enable the Magreb countries populations to develop and thrive, but would harvest enough energy to supply us here in Europe many times over, via HVDC cables, far more sustainable and less dangerous than any nuclear power station.
    The only people who need nuclear reactors are arms manufacturers! Ehhh and keep out of the rain for a while.

  • Efendi

    On the subject of both Vestas Wind Systems and a “relentless criticism of those who wield power” – isn’t this the same Vestas which has a joint venture with Cham Holdings – a company owned by Syrian billionaire businessman Rami Makhlouf? And, I should add, this is the same Mr. Makhlouf which is under EU sanctions (as of the 9th of May 2011) for ‘bankrolling the regime’ and who is also under sanctions from the US Treasury for corruption. I wonder if Mr Makhlouf’s connections as the first cousin of President Bashar al-Assad (and being the brother of the Deputy Head of Syrian Intelligence) may have helped assure that both Cham Holdings – and Vestas – secured the contract which Vestas has to build renewable wind farms outside Damascus?

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