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Monday, 25 June 2012

Our Electricity Transmission Network in 2020

Those in the congregation who haven’t nodded off (Wake up and sit up straight at the back, and those in the aisle, stand in a polite line, thank you) might recall me talking of the growing unpleasantness of these new wind farms. Yes. They are sprouting up all over the shop, in all our lovely little places. All quite nasty, really.

Well: Brace yourself, Sheila, because that’s nothing compared to what’s coming next.

If you build these wind power stations in out of the way, windy places to make electricity so we can all have toast and coffee for breakfast, it’s going to be quite important to ship the stuff to the places where we are eating breakfast. Electricity is tricky stuff to shift. You can’t load it into wagons and send it on the motorway down to London. It needs cables. In fact it needs lots of cables. The cheapest way of doing this is to sling the cables from giant pylons and straddle the country with them, the cables hanging out of the way of the cars and bicycles up in the air.

There are already thousands of miles of these cable routes all over Britain. However, with the new wind power stations being nowhere near the old coal, gas and nuclear power stations, there needs to be a complete new set of cable routes to link up the new wind power stations with your toaster and coffee machine.

So, the government got together a group of clever chaps to look at this problem and come up with possible solutions and cost it all out. The fellows who owned the network (the three “Transmission Owners”) got together with the Electricity Networks Strategy Group and came up with their plans. The group was chaired jointly by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)

They are proposing “strengthening” the network with a mass of new pylon runs:

And the estimated cost? At current estimates a mere £8.8billion. When the pro-wind lobby talk about the cost of wind, they never ever include this figure. I wonder why?

It looks like the Lake District, Snowdonia and mid Wales are about to be trashed.

You can find the very readable summary by clicking HERE. Get yourself a pot of tea and some iced buns. It’s a good half hour read.

41 comments:

  1. I don't understand why they don't turn Scunthorpe into a wind farm. It's perfect - windy as hell, and it's already been raped by industry. Maybe we should compile a list of all the shit holes that are already so ugly they can only be improved...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having never been to Scunthorpe I have just beetled about the place via the miracle of Google Earth. It looks jolly pleasant...

      I am always amazed that websites allow "Scunthorpe" where there is language censorship.

      Delete
  2. Upgrading? Well that'll be a waste of time, money and effort... by 2020 the "potential" demand may well be higher but the "actual" demand will probably be lower than expected due to pricing - a great many folk won't be able to afford this "free" electricity.

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    Replies
    1. True, Oh Wise One: Demand has been falling recently...

      Delete
  3. Well, that's it then.

    The UK is fucked.

    Might as well go and live abroad, if you can find a country that hasn't sold it's soul to the EU dictates, and hasn't raped it's own land.

    Civilisation?????

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    1. I quite fancy a TGO Challenge crossing the Pyrenees... Maybe we should have a chat with young Mr Manning... It would be cheaper to get there too.

      Delete
    2. I quite fancy the Pyrenees.
      Been there a few times, and never been disappointed.
      And then there are those oasies with beer :)

      Another fine set of Mountains can be found in New Zealand.

      Delete
  4. Wholly predictable development, this one. When these guys are done with it, there won't be much land left untouched from their efforts to save the planet.... Remember, these are the guys who think that fracking is dangerous but that Carbon Capture Storage is perfectly safe. 'Nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-)
      Ignore the idiots Andy. Did you hear that Friends of the Earth may now be reconsidering their stance against nuclear power?
      I can't quite see Stan Blackley taking that one very well... He'll have a hissy fit and die.

      Delete
    2. could you provide a link to any evidence of FoE chnaging on nuclear please?

      Delete
    3. Here you go Mike:
      Sunday Times Article: LINK

      Delete
  5. Yes, this nonsense was mentioned in the Western Mail today. My wife suggested that I did not read it as I had not taken my angina pills.

    perhaps we should all take up lightweight caving!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Before I read any of the papers in the morning I ensure I am properly medicated. I then spit out my coffee in wild rages...

      Then all is calm again...

      I'd like to live with one of these "Green" Bastards, just for the day.

      Delete
  6. What's the alternative though? To have those awful, beastly turbine thingies built in places where we can actually see them from our suburban conservatories?

    As a busy person, I need to be able to leave my plasma on standby while I charge my iPad. In context, £8 billion doesn't seem so bad to me; is there not some way we could get poor people (who have no plasmas or iPads to maintain) to meet the cost?

    [Disclaimer: this post may not necessarily reflect the views of the author]

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Maybe we could remove all the housing benefits that the young people get... That would save a few billion...

      Oh, hang on....

      Delete
  7. Would £40.2 billion help?

    "British-based graduates pay back their student loans automatically through the tax system once their earnings exceed £15,000. However, there is no equivalent mechanism for those who move abroad... Officials have only taken legal action to recover funds against nine EU students since 2009."

    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2163414/EU-students-British-universities-owe-75-MILLION-taxpayer-funded-loans.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My university fees were paid for by my LEA and I received about a 50% grant.
      The kids now leave university with huge debts at a time when they will need to buy clothes for work, a car, and start to save for a house.
      Their future incomes almost guarantee that they will pay back grants in tax, should they have received one. Our problem is that we are sending too many kids to universities.

      Delete
    2. "Their future incomes almost guarantee that they will pay back grants in tax, should they have received one."
      So long as they're within the UK tax system when they are earning. Some of them appear to be as good at avoiding paying as J. Carr was.

      "Our problem is that we are sending too many kids to universities."
      I'd add to that the fact that we've promoted far too many former colleges to the rank of university, thus devaluing a degree in the same manner as the gelded A-level.

      Another can of worms, methinks. Sorry for going O/T.

      Delete
    3. I agree with all of that Stef. I don't see anyhting wrong with going back to 'O' Levels & CSE's either. Far better suited to the skill sets.

      Delete
  8. LOL - did you put that apostrophe in "CSE's" just to wind me up?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. To my eternal shame.... no....
      AAAGGGHHHHHHH"

      Delete
  9. They'll have to introduce an A** soon.
    Which will be about. C in old money, having seen some papers.
    Soon University will mean any educational institution post Primary.
    Ok, exaggeration or is it?

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    1. When we did 'A' levels we had the option of doing 'S' Levels as well which were even harder than the 'A' levels. Would that be a degree these days, I wonder?
      ;-)

      Delete
  10. We seem to have drifted off subject :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I blame Stef.
      Let's all blame Stef. He brought down the Euro too. Didn't he have something to do with the Ford Edsel too?

      Delete
  11. "They brought me in here to do a job, they asked me to stir the damned tanks, and I stirred the tanks!"

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Have you read the report produced for JMT and available to download?
    this is well worth quoting in all blogs, very noteworthy.
    FoE - am thinking of referring them to ASA for misleading advertising, what do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mike
      Which report was that from the JMT?
      And which FoE advert are you referring to?

      :-)

      Delete
  13. If you want to see wholesale destruction come and view the Beauly-Denny line. I could write a book but would only end up with depression!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I walked through the devastation near Trinafour this May on the TGO Challenge. Haul roads, massive tree clearances. very depressing.

      Delete
  14. On the Beeb today at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16979484

    Household energy bills could rise £7 this year and £15 by 2021 to help pay for upgrades to the UK's gas and high voltage electricity networks, says energy regulator Ofgem.

    About £15bn of the proposed £22bn investment will go towards the upgrade and renewal of the high voltage electricity network in England and Wales and the UK's gas networks.

    Bills will increase by £11 on average each year for the next eight years.

    But the work could create 7,000 jobs.

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    Replies
    1. If they are trying to justify the costs with the jobs created, that comes out at over £3million per job.

      Delete
    2. Sounds good, I'll have one of those jobs. I suppose that I'd have to move to Gdansk, take Polish citizenship and then come back to Blighty as an eco-migrant in order to qualify. But hey, for £3million over 9 years I'd do almost anything :-)

      Delete
    3. "...almost anything."

      So - what wouldn't you do then, Stef?

      Delete
    4. Well, for starters I wouldn't carry the can for the Ford Edsel thing.

      Delete
  15. I'm not sure I'm getting this right, but this is another piece of news that may well deserve another of your splendidly excoriating posts, Alan.

    You know how both Holyrood and Westminster (but this is particularly true of Holyrood) always come back to you, when you criticise their obsession with wind, by saying "we're committed to a mix of energy sources"?

    Well, it's clearly a lie.

    While they have cut the ROC bribes for wind by only 10%, they have slashed the ROC for hydro by 30%, effectively killing off any new hydro development! In effect, they are once again putting all their eggs into the wind basket (and their pockets). It's sad beyond belief because it means yet more pressure on communities and wild land from wind developers.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Andy
      I read this as well. To be honest, I don't know. I understand that the ROC is based upon profitability of the energy source without the support. Could it be that the hydro schemes just don't require as much support? ie they are more likely to break even with less ROC support?

      I haven't noticed anyone complaining about the 30% cut, but I will have a dig around to see if I have missed that.

      I believe Osborne did rather well to get the green lobby to agree to another review in a year's time and also to back away from a Carbon pricing scheme. Tim Yeo (arch hypocrite with directorships and shareholdings in wind ) must be feeling particularly bruised.

      Delete
  16. Well, SSE has announced it won't build any new hydro schemes following the subsidy cut:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-19009385

    So, it looks as if it is already having an impact in Scotland.

    Yes, the 2014 review is a good thing, but for the time being wind continues to be the only player in town, as far as snakeoil salesmen are concerned...

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've just found this article in the Scotsman, which summarizes the situation north of the border quite well: If Salmond wants to boost Renewables more than Westminster, then he'll have to pay for it:
    LINK

    ReplyDelete
  18. More stuff here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/9434291/Foreign-energy-firms-pressured-ministers-to-keep-wind-farm-subsidies-high.html

    I'm sure Nick Clegg's spouse had nothing to do with that...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for that, Andy. Perhaps, more importantly, this article from the same day's paper should be read and considered. The Devil's in the detail, as they say and there is one great big devil for Ed Davey in this article: :-)
    LINK

    ReplyDelete

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