The UK's Surreal Energy Policy Continues

The UK's surreal energy policy is continuing, despite its expense and despite the recession. Our money continues to be spent on schemes which cannot deliver the energy we need.

DECC seems to be more interested in meeting carbon emissions targets than generating power.

Now Britain is to work with the US to develop "floating wind turbines". They are anchored to the sea bed with cables rather than concrete.

In the unlikely event of them staying anchored in rough seas, we will eventually have another way of generating electricity at ten times the price of gas.

Ed Davey said that floating wind turbines could help meet emissions targets, and he repeated an earlier remark about wind energy being critical to the UK's energy future.

An air of unreality hangs over all of this. The critical thing about an energy policy is that it should deliver the energy we need, when we want it, at a reasonable price.

Wind turbines cannot do this. They have been shown to be ineffective in generating electricity for the Grid. They are inherently unreliable. They wear out after about 15 years; a conventional station lasts three times as long.

On top of this, wind power is frequently generated at times when it cannot be used; for example, in the middle of the night.

This triggers a so-called 'constraint payment'. The turbine is switched off, and the public has to pay for the electricity it would have generated if it had been left on.

Most people are not aware that this is occurring.

As I've said repeatedly, you couldn't make it up...

A recent study found that gas-fired generation is one tenth the price of wind.

Nevertheless, ministers from 23 countries will meet this week to discuss floating turbines and other schemes, which they describe as "clean energy solutions".

Floating wind turbines will, apparently, enable us to exploit more of the wind resource, without the expense of trying to attach them to the sea bed.

I was reminded of the island of Laputa1, where mad scientists try to extract sunbeams from cucumbers and to make food from human excreta......

In the unlikely event of a politician attempting to learn some science and reading some of these pages....

Please can we have sensible solutions to our energy problems?

1. No more wind turbines.

2. An expansion of shale gas.

3. Some action on new nuclear; subsidised if necessary.

4. No more to be spent on carbon emissions or its associated propaganda.

N.D., habitat21, 23 Apr 12

1. Gulliver's Travels, book 3, Jonathan Swift

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