New Green Jack New Green Jack

5 responses to “A week in the life of….”

    • Adam

      Reading the provisions of the planning bill, it seems that onshore generation projects of capacity (one assumes in the case of wind this applies to peak capacity) of 50 MW or more. Given that any such project falls within the purview of the new streamlined planning system, will Ecotricity be considering these sorts of projects in the near future, rather than sticking with the current (and more distributed) approach?

    • Justin Noe

      Professor David J C MacKay e-book certainly makes an interesting read. Simply put the concern here is that renewables could never meet our present day demands. I’m parafrasing somewhat (and I do urge others to read the book) but it does beg the question how on earth are we going to make up the difference? As it’s huge.
      Ecotricity is certainly trying but is it worth broadning the portfolio? Solar technology is surely a good string to add to the bow. Maybe Ecotricity could also sell domestic wind turbines in local DIY centres. I like the idea of an electric car that joe public can afford but I do worry that there is an awful lot of hype around the electric supercar. Which to be honest isn’t a practical idea.
      Also perhaps a way to get round our somewhat ridiculous planning laws would be to petition the prime minister to give incentives to industrial estates to build wind turbines and solar panels. These are often well away from residential sites and areas of natural beauty. Ecotricity could supply and maintain the gear!
      I realise this isn’t always a practical solution as these sites aren’t necessarily endowed with lots of wind or sun. But each case could be assessed on merit.
      What do you think?

    • nommo

      I am not sure he is saying that renewables could *never* meet our present day demands – he seems to say that renewables will not meet our present day (or predicted future demands) without considerable inconvenience. None of his ‘mixes’ are going to be easy or cheap – whichever choice we make is going to be difficult and will require huge changes and each will entail their own unique drawbacks, technological, social and psychological challenges and also unique benefits.

      With the ‘nuclear heavy’ models – there is always going to be the little issues of sourcing the radioactive material (it doesn’t grow on trees!), and then disposing of it once we have squeezed some juice out. We already have massive stockpiles of waste from our few decades of dabblings with nuclear generation, and still the best we can come up with is to pay councils/local authorities to bury it. The archaeologists, miners and sandcastle makers of the future (if there are any) are going to have to be careful where and how they dig…

      I didn’t realise solar was getting so efficient though. He is right that they won’t be much use in the UK though – particularly in the new mid-July ‘rainy season’ – we need to come up with a technology that harnesses the power of flash floods!

    • Justin Noe

      What I have never quite understood is why Geothermal energy is still considered far too expensive an option in this country. I am led to believe that the cost of a new Nuclear power plant is around £1.5 billion, plus huge maintenance costs. To follow that up we are facing a £70 billion clean up bill for the past decades of nuclear waste.
      I’m not sure about Geothermal costs but they must be favourable against this. Can anyone shed some light on this matter?
      Was the Eastgate deep geothermal exploration borehole a glimpse into possible alternate future?