The prime minister said if current policy remained unchanged there would be a "dramatic gap" on targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 2025 forcing Britain to become heavily dependent on gas.
"We will move from 80 or 90% self-reliance on gas to 80 or 90% dependency on foreign imports, mostly from the Middle East, Africa and Russia," he told business leaders.
Biggins said:i think is could be a better idea if ppl were encouraged to cut down on their electricity consumption. but that might impact on business through less consumerism
the thing is its all so complicted, but no one seems to have the balls to actually wanna change anything. for example, and i'm no supporter of fossil fuels, but theoretically fossill fuels (and other existing infrastructure) can be made to be much cleaner by using decent scrubber systems on the stacks
and other types of things and if you tie that into more efficient living then that would really help without having to build more power stations.
nor will they serously invest in alternative energies
or MAKE house builders produce sustainable housing.
Goz said:Even with encouraging better efficiency power usage will still go up. The problem is the "digital home". The more things become automatically controlled and such like the more power used ...
Goz said:Invest a few billion in subsidising people installing system on their houses and, suddenly, we have a fraction of the power problems. The residential power issues are, then, cut back massively. Many businesses could then do similar things and suddnly we need a fraction of the power stations we do today ... SCORE!
Goz said:It is f**king ridiculous that they don't, tbh. From what i've been reading building a house that is completely power grid independent (and even feeds back on) actually costs only about Â£10K more than building a house the normal way. With house prices as high as they are this is a very insignificant margin ...
Goz said:Mind if we then moved to a hydrogen economy to get away from fossil fuels (Im doubtful that we could generate enough oil from biomass to power all the vehicles on the road)
Goz said:Energy efficiency WILL help short term but in the long term we end up back at square one.
Biggins said:not necessarily, i have a few friends that have basically hooked up their house to their computer and tweak the water heaters and what not to their most efficient state. Its an arse to do but possible and it pays for itself after a while. Plus if you can ensure that manufacturers are made to make more efficient items (and ppl buy more effiecient stuff) then you really can make a difference. these ppl have bills to prove it. but........
yeh i agree, as far the fossil fuel thing goes something needs to be done. We will run out of fuel and the thing is that individual power stations over here put out more greenhouses gases than a number of small countries. Furthermore, as far as the carbon sequestration thing goes, i agree its not the answer, far from it, its only stop gap but it could help with eeeking out the fossil fuels that bit longer whilst an alternative. Combine this with making things more sustainable then things could improve Admittedly, there would also be the added environmental burden of dealing with the scrubbers and finished cleaning equipment but how does that compare to nuclear technology?
re: cars: whats the deal with the ethanol shenanigans that go on in the US and South America?
Re: biomass; there are a few successful biomass power stations in the North east, In North Yorkshire I think. Carbon negative fuel production (although the scale thing is a bit of an unknown for me)
yeh i hear what your saying. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve heard it all before, wind power/wave power etc etcâ€¦â€¦ i dont know enough about it to comment. If we can a) make ppl take responsibility for their power use and production and b) SERIOUSLY look to find other alternatives then that would be wikkid.
I'm just not sure that nuclear power is the way to go. yes nuclear power is not a carbon emitting energy source but it does have big pollution issues that should be addressed (including some gas emittance) and our nuclear power organisations dont actually have record that inspires confidence. The ppl that are saying that nuclear is the way to go, have misled the public before and have not consulted completely. Add this to the fact that Tony bliar is looking for a saving issue to go out on, he has his head industries bottom and i just cant help thinking that there must be a better way. As martin pointed out, its not like we (the UK) have a vast supply of the fuel for this energy source either, we will still have to ship highly dangerous fuel and spent fuel around the globe.
Goz said:Btw nice little interview with one of the people behind the IFR design here ...
Well my big issue with carbon sequestration is what happens when the CO2 escapes? It is bound too ... we are just pumping it wholesale into the ground in the hope that we can forget about it
... at least nuclear waste breaksdown into something we don't mind getting out eventually.
The problem is with how it compares to nuclear energy is that most people tend to compare this sort of thing to Generation 1 and 2 nuclear reactors. They WERE shite but id truly recommend reading up on Generation 4 and, specifically, the Integral Fast Reactor. I used to be vehemently anti nuclear until i started researching more and more into this sort of thing ... now i just can't see a problem. IFR has huge advantages on fuel efficiency (20 to 30 times more fuel actually burnt) it produces some far lighter scale waste (to the order of a few hundred years to break down) and to actually remove any plutonium (or other fissionables) from the cycle and use it in a bomb would require irradiating yourself so severely you'd be dead in a split second. Add to that that you can use Uranium-238 directly with no reprocessing AND the thing can't go into metldown. .
I agree that we have been lied to on these thigns many times but the enivornmentalists aren't exactly squeaky clean on the lieing through their teeth front either. .
Biggins said:Yeh for sure, well kind of, it totally agree with you that it depends on what you do with the carbon and definitely reckon it would be a stop gap for what ever replaces it. It should be done anyways. Like I said above, five power stations churning out more CO2 than numerous countries is bad. As for how, well, the sequestration, IIRC (I may not) can be done thru filters that are used to extract solids from the gases releases and can be landfilled as solid wastes (ÃŸ-yeh yeh landfill, I know). The thing is, many Large process industries do this anyways, the technology is there NOW and we could seriously start to cut the emissions NOW.
As far as the depositing gaseous CO2, thatâ€™s scary, do you read sci-fi? Greg Bear wrote a series called The Manifold Trilogy, the first book being about the earth being uber fooked up (natch) and there being a massive problem with CO2 escaping from under the permafrost in siberia when it melts due to global warming, pretty interesting (for fiction, and greg bear knows how to destroy the earth in his books always epic (and feasible)) and makes you wonder what will happen to the CO2 being pumped into the north sea. So yeh, we agree itâ€™s a stop gap thing and but I feel that change has to start somewhere and cleaning what exists makes a good starting point .
eventually, in the meantime it can cause a lot of problems and dangers (i.e. dangers for transportation, groundwater contamination if incorrectly stored etc etc)
â€¦..Fair enuff, I will go off and read up on it, sounds pretty interesting. If it is possible to produce electricity in a totally safe way using this nuclear power then thatâ€™s fair. Iâ€™ll reserve judgement till Iâ€™ve read up and come back to the thread (but not tonight)
I really think that the changes at home towards sustaonble and vaguely independent power production combined with ppl being made more aware of what is happening and being encouraged to live more sustainably is a massive key to this issue but certain ppl donâ€™t want to know and probably dont want to empower the public and remove there dependence on big business. I mean some individuals wont even admit that there is an issue with energy production as it stands and until that changesâ€¦â€¦then well......i dunno.....
(can you tell that Iâ€™m trying really really hard to not write that â€œweâ€™re all fucked and there is nothing we can do about it?â€, I find it really hard not to when I start thinking bout stuff like this?)
i tihnk i need to go to bed, cheers for the info mate
martin_e said:... or you could just use a Carbon-Neutral biomass. If you use the most efficient and hardy plant for the job then 1) you're not going to eat too much into agricultural land as you can grow on presently unusable land and 2) it's fully renewable.
Here's a rough idea of a fully renewable source, requiring no uranium mining, no deadly waste to deal with and a cash crop which could make unsubsidised farming a practical reality in the UK: http://www.jackherer.com/chapter09.html
Goz said:I really would be interested to see how much land would be required to provide for all our vehicular and power generation needs ... I'd, genuinely, be surprised if we have enough land to do it ...
Know anywhre to find such info Martin?
martin_e said:There's a lot of the basics in the article I cited earlier.
An acre of hemp could provide 1,000 litres of Methanol once every 4 months, by products include charcoal (which is a low-sulphur replacement for coal), fuel oils such as diesel, as well as chemicals important to industry: acetone, ethyl acetate, tar, pitch and creosote.
I don't think a national solution is an appropriate answer in the long term. There's no reason biofuels couldn't be produced in areas with poor agricultural land and provide cash crops for some of the world's poorest areas... a new large nuclear plant is simply going to drain tax money and fuel money into the hands of a few very rich company shareholders. A distributed, biomass-centred system would profit poor farmers...
Biggins said:Hey there,
Okies spent a little bit of time looking into the new generation of reactors and it was pretty interesting but I fail to see that it addresses all the issues. A major selling point of these new reactors is that they are MUCH safer than the older generation reactorsn and that is no bad thing. Now there seem to be two main designs of G4 reactors, â€œthermalâ€ and â€œfastâ€ reactors. These two categories in turn seem to have three main designs each. So taking these six reactor designs, four of them claim to have passive safety features (i.e they can shut themselves down if something goes tits up). This is no bad thing. The other advantages of G4 reactors are that the fast reactor desigsn use about 90% of the fuel as opposed to much less by current reactors and the thermal reactors, many of which are once thru reactors utilising upto about 40%- 45% of the fuel. The other advantage of the fast reactors is that they create their own fuel through the nuclear fission process in the reactor.
There do seem to be a number of problems tho and these are outlined in the following document
and this guardian comment piece (yes I know itâ€™s the guardian BUT the good thing about the guardian comment is if you wade thru the mud-slinging you can source some good info from both sides of an argument)
the things that stuck in my mind (and I am biased against nuclear by the way (I think) are that
a) they reckon there is maybe 50 years worth of uranium left (source: some Australian mining body)
b) renewables costs are dropping dramatically while efficiency is climbing
d) there are still serious safety issues for nuclear power sources, all sources that I can find do not highlight disadvantages or admit unknowns such as containment of neutron bombardment fields and the use of highly corrosive/toxic cooling agents
as for other stuff, its interesting to note that apparently tony (whilst prempting the studys has in actual fact been being quoted wrong and has called for investmant into nuclear/renemables and efficieny)
martin_e said:Gosh, lucky we're self sufficient with all of our Uranium mines then...
... oh, hang on!