Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A problem with the UK energy policy

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11501235/No-one-is-talking-about-our-utterly-mad-energy-policy.html
I am in some agreement with the conclusions  arrived at in this article. My understanding of electricity production is such that wind generation is totally unreliable, but can be useful if it can be stored; which it can't be in any sort of meaningful quantity at present. Although one of the easiest & low tech ways to store energy is by way of water. Pump it uphill to absorb any surplus, & let it flow back downhill to drive hydro generators when needed.
However, solar power, which hardly gets a mention in most of the blurb on this subject, & none at all in this article is more reliable insofar as the sun shines every day, & solar panels produce some power in all light conditions, but they don't at night! So once more a storage method is needed.
The third, & most important thing , that is almost never mentioned is this: individual electricity production rather than relying on large, centralised, & horrendously expensive power plants. I'm not suggesting that a modern economy could be powered entirely by a few solar panels on your roof & a wind generator at the bottom of your garden. But certainly if every house & small business premises produced some proportion of their electricity needs on a regular, daily basis, & stored some of it via a simple battery system this would help to solve the coming electricity generation crisis; & maybe without the need for too many inherently dangerous nuclear plants.
Rather than the latter, maybe wait for technological advances in wind, wave, & solar methods, plus more efficient storage methods? And don't let's forget hydrogen as a clean fuel!


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