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Author Topic: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!  (Read 11390 times)

w3bby

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2009, 03:22:28 pm »

Sweden is big on wind farms but I have never felt that the environmental impact of windfarms is properly taken into consideration during planning applications. The affect on the wildlife population, birds in particular is skimmed over.
http://www.epaw.org/multimedia.php?lang=en&article=b2
http://www.epaw.org/multimedia.php?lang=en&article=b1
I am also not convinced that tidal and current driven water turbines are all good, to create electrical energy they must take energy from the water. To me this seeems to indicate that these natural systems will be adversely affected, reduction in speed and flow, what will this do to the natural environment.

One of the major impact studies done before allowing the bridge from Malmö to Copenhagen was regarding the effect on movement of water through the Sound. If it is considered relevant with a few large legs and a man made island to interrupt the flow why is it not considered relevant when considering the effects of turbine concentrations in the water?

chingdevil

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2009, 06:39:39 pm »

The amount of energy the the UK requires will not be obtained from a wind farm of any size. Wind farms can not be the future they need too much energy to be constructed, and the return in energy is pitiful. The only way to support our energy usage is nuclear energy, nothing else at the moment other than fossil fuels will be of any use at all.

Andy

That was a pretty graph, pity it did not tell the truth. I presume it comes from the lies the government and environmentalists put out to make us think we can change nature.

Brian
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Bradley

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2009, 08:40:48 pm »

Quote
That was a pretty graph, pity it did not tell the truth. I presume it comes from the lies the government and environmentalists put out to make us think we can change nature.

Thanks for that comment, Brian.  I was not going to add anything further as I thought it was developing into a vendetta by Dreadnought72 against me for having the temerity to put my thoughts into print and I am not a member of Mayhem to get involved in such. :((

Derek.
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sheerline

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2009, 08:58:25 pm »

Apart from nuclear energy, there is little or nothing man can do to produce the vast amount of energy needed to sustain the increasing population and the ever increasing energy it demands. The alternative technologies have never been financially backed up by determined government driven based research. Oil has been their taxable god, all economies are based on oil usage and there is no quick way off the oily slope. Civilised nations can act now to dramatically reduce their energy consumption and pollution by a worldwide concentrated effort to limit and indeed reduce the population such that the demand for energy and resources is equally reduced. It could be achieved by natural wastage and a combined effort to limit the growth by encouraging smaller families. The overall effect would be felt fairly rapidly I would have thought.
 Perhaps if there was as much energy put into this kind of thinking as goes into finding ways to support the massive population growth we have experienced, it could bear some fruit. Why is it never put forward as an option, I have yet to hear any politician speak of it, they only appear to be interested in scheming up ways of issuing large contracts to companies, which invariably are foriegn based.
The graphs are all very pretty but I have heard a lot recently to explain that the considerable rise in CO2 levels is not primarily the result of mans activities although we obviously contribute to it. There was a theory put forward many years ago that any small activity which causes a disturbance in the atmosphere could have an accumulative and knock on effect which may manifest itself as a weather pattern change several years down the line. If this were true, I would have thought that something as dramatic as the atmospheric nuclear bomb tests which were going on for many years, would have dramatically affected our weather patterns. Not one mention of  this is ever made. We are instead being bombarded with guilt and taxes and stand accused of wrecking the planet by our present day activities.
On the whole, I would say our individual contribution to atmospheric pollution may actually be less harmful since we no longer have coal fires roaring away in every firegrate in the land. We do however as individuals pollute in many other and unseen ways and by the sheer weight of consumerism, all the industries which supply us with goods and energy are themselves polluting the planet on our behalf. Therefore, my logic dictates that a large reduction in our numbers would equate to a large reduction in consumption all round with the effect that pollution would diminish accordingly. I know it appears simplistic, but as the clean technology does not exist to support our number and according to the politicians this has become a worldwide emergency (all of a sudden), then surely reduction of population is the logical, quickest and most effective step which can be made.
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Bradley

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2009, 09:06:49 pm »

I agree with you entirely, Sheerline, and the way mankind is heading we will make our own population reduction pretty rapidly with a nuclear strike by one of the many rogue nations and a series of ongoing nuclear 'retaliations'. :(( >:-o  May your God (whoever He may be) protect you (and I am not religious).

Derek.
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sheerline

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2009, 09:28:21 pm »

I certainly believe we will see a population reduction and in a way we may not like. If we don't create a holocaust by our own hand then certainly nature will. If the apparent climate change were to continue unabated on the lines of that put forward by the 'experts' and politicians, then the change in our natural environment will ensure our numbers will be reduced very dramatically.
When that happens, our pollution level will definately drop and one can only assume that if it were our pollution which caused it in the first place, then nature will slowly repair the damage.
I am not convinced by any figures, grahs or numbers spouted by  politicians as it is all coloured by money, greed and manipulation.
l am wary of what government based scientific research produces as I believe that to be maniputated too.
Use your eyes and your senses, they will tell you what is wrong with the planet... it is staring everyone in the face.   
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2009, 09:35:52 pm »

Quote
Use your eyes and your senses, they will tell you what is wrong with the planet... it is staring everyone in the face.   

Or just try travelling on the London Underground.  >:-o
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cadman17_36

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2009, 02:38:15 am »

Well I believe the Japanese have a limit as to how many offspring a family can have. As for the technology we have for producing power is in its infinities but we as a people can do what we can to help use more energy efficient items make our homes more energy smart. As for being nuked well there are still countries out there that has nukes and are threatening to use them if they do not get there ways.Nuclear energy has it problems to what do we do with the spent fuel leave it for our children the half life of the fuel is 50,000 years. We need to spend more money on research and less on tiring to fix what we have we need something else what? I'm not sure but I have been doing my small part i and now composting I plan my trips to do as much as possible in the same area. I use reusable bag at the market I try not to printout things unless I really need them. Heck I even use E-books from on-line sites etc... if we all do our part maybe the world will be here for our great great grand children.

Steve 
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Bowwave

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2009, 11:48:55 am »

I seem to remember in the distant past a former Servant of the Crown stating that we have but 45minutes  to stop WMD .?
Perhaps as a fitting reminder another WMD !

Windfarm   Made Dormant    lack of  the main ingredient  they tell me ?  Save us all from this green experiment  and it wont be CO2 that will send us all back to penury !!
Bowwave  >:-o
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chingdevil

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2009, 11:56:41 am »

Steve

I totally agree recycling is a different matter and we should all do as much as possible. Planet earth has finite resources and we should reuse them rather than taking more.



Brian
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oldiron

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2009, 07:15:37 pm »

  I've been without a computer this past week and a half, so I haven't been able to field my comments on the windmill thing.
Having read over the comments made by the various entrants onto this thread, I've noticed a glaring omission that contributes in a major sense to the cost effectiveness and practicality of windmills as a serious power source. That that omission is the effect of windmills and other such alternate energy power sources on the power system (grid to many).  Electrical power systems are run on a generation matches load scenario. That is, you turn on a light motor, whatever, there has to be a generator in the system to adjust upward to supply that extra load. If this is not done, the power system frequency ultimately slows down.  If the frequency reduction is enough the grid's clocks will slow down (this means any clock driven by electricity that is not on a battery. Slow the frequency even more, and the electrical power system becomes unstable and , hopefully, automatic load shedding takes place to balance and stabilize the system again.
  Most of our electrical systems are traditionally supplied by one or more of the following, nuclear, fossil or hydraulic power. Nuclear power is a base load power source, that is, it takes a long time to change load,particularly in a downward direction, and therefore is kept at a base or constant load, usually at or near full power. Fossil plants are designed to be the same for efficient operation, but can change power outputs relatively quickly. Hydraulic generation is very maneuverable, but is usually run a maximum when the water is available because it is so cheap.  This leaves fossil fired plants to look after most rapid load changes inn the power system.
  If we go back to windmills, they are subject to the vagaries of the wind. The wind can change hour by hour and minute by minute. Those changes up or down have to be compensated for by the traditional power sources as I mentioned above. The only one capable of doing it and maintaining the system stable are fossil fired plants. This means fossil generation, with the capacity available equal to that of the windmills, has to be on line at all times to adjust for swings in windmill loadings, which is frequent. Therefore, what are we saving from a carbon , fuel consumption or cost standpoint when we can't rely on a constant reliable out put from windmills.
  In the Ontario power system, it is seen that windmills only produce about 14 percent of their capacity of the course of the year. Winter has the highest winds, but the windmills still don't approach anywhere near full power output. In summer,when the load requirement is highest, the windmill output is at its least.
  Ontario windmills are still being pushed because the government pays for half of their cost and guarantees the builder income regardless of whether the machine produces or not. The farmers want them on their property because they get paid rent regardless of whether the machine produces or not. Who gains, certainly not the consumer and neither does the environmentalist whether you agree with their opinions or not.
  Its all a smoke screen for big money from our taxes.
  To get an idea of what Ontario's windmills put out on an hour by hour basis check out this web site   http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/siteShared/windtracker.asp?sid=ic
   What are my qualifications? I was a power system dispatcher for 15 years.

John
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cadman17_36

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2009, 01:02:18 am »

Very well said John and i hope you get your computer back soon.  :-)) I know wind is not the only answer, it may not be the answer at all but we ( the world over ) need to stop putting our heads in the sand and really look for a new way to power the grid. fossil fuels are running out and killing the planet. I know it will take time to get the governments to see the light and stop feeding the oil and coal pigs money belt and start putting some of that money in to research into new power sources. Maybe inorder to make wind power or solar power more useable it to find a way to store the extera power generated at the low demand times and use that to back up the system during high demand. I know these are very broad statements but we do need to move forward with this fossil fuels are running out faster then we think. O0

any way Merry Chirstmass everyone 
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oldiron

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2009, 08:00:00 pm »

  I just got my computer back. We'll see if a new graphics card helps.
  I agree we need another alternate, reliable, energy source, because fossil fuels won't last. An idea ggeorge and I have tossed around is ponding water and letting it generate electricity at peak hours. This is already done at Niagara Falls both on the US and Canadian side. A set of large pumps pump water up into a very large storage pond (a small lake actually) during low peak hours. During peak the water is allowed to run back through the "pumps" which now turn their motors as generators. Its been there for years and works away very quietly and reliably.
  The same thing could be done more efficiently with windmills. If head ponds were filled with water, over a period of time using the "cheap" air, electricity could be used at peaks times allowing the base load units to operate at base load making the them More efficient both from a fuel consumption and pollution standpoint. This removes the electrical system form the vagaries of wind power, but takes advantage of the cheap rate. I'm surprised no one has done it yet.

John
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ZZ56

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2009, 09:52:09 pm »

I read somewhere that less than half of all dams in America (probably in Canada too) are generating stations, the rest are just for 'flood control'.

It would make sense to start looking at hydroelectric add-ons since the dams are already in place and not going anywhere, so the major concern with dambuilding (environmental effect) isn't applicable. 
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oldiron

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2009, 10:09:17 pm »

I read somewhere that less than half of all dams in America (probably in Canada too) are generating stations, the rest are just for 'flood control'.

It would make sense to start looking at hydroelectric add-ons since the dams are already in place and not going anywhere, so the major concern with dambuilding (environmental effect) isn't applicable. 

  I don't know of the percentage of flood control dams versus power dams, however, flood control dams are a necessity when a head pond is created. When the water level is raised for a power dam, there are inevitable low areas of ground that the ponding can escape through due to the higher water level. That doesn't necessarily mean these are natural water courses and, indeed, the head may be very little, which means the power available may not be worth the cost of installation and reconiguring the land to form a downstream escape for the water. Too, if other power units are installed in controll dams, that is water robbed form the main power house and a lower overall head level is realized. Its a combination of head level and water flow that determines the output of a hydroelectric generator.


John
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Welsh_Druid

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2009, 08:41:01 am »

    An idea ggeorge and I have tossed around is ponding water and letting it generate electricity at peak hours. This is already done at Niagara Falls both on the US and Canadian side. A set of large pumps pump water up into a very large storage pond (a small lake actually) during low peak hours. During peak the water is allowed to run back through the "pumps" which now turn their motors as generators. Its been there for years and works away very quietly and reliably.
  John

This is done in the UK as well. In fact right next to where the North Wales Mayhem Rally had been held for the last two years. See  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinorwig_Power_Station

Don B.
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Inkmark

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2009, 12:17:46 pm »

Hi Guys
Having given 45 years to the electrical industry I would like to add a few commments.
Wind is a waste of money, as stated there needs to be a 'conventional' power station on line all the time to counter the vagarities of the wind.
This is expensive because it means running plant at less than full capacity, something we try very hard to avoid.
Tidal power is a definite contender, as long as the moon stays in the sky the water will flow. Also in this country we
have two tidal systems, the North sea and the Atlantic.
Fossil fuels have a finite life as we know. Nuclear is expensive but would seem the best bet at the moment.
Sewage gas is a renewable conteder. Not much is said about this technology but with our growing population there is no shortage of raw material.
But one other point I would like to make, nature is a balancing act. A tree burns, gives off CO2 and more trees grow using the CO2 as food.
We are attacking nature from both ends, burning fossil fuels and cutting down huge areas of forest.
So perhaps we should invest more in saving and planting the natural combatant to CO2 while we figure out what is the best low emmission route.
I believe doing nothing is not an option but while large countries argue about how much CO2 to cut we could increase forestation to slow the impact.
Cheers
Mark
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boatmadman

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2009, 12:42:30 pm »

I just read this thread today, and was surprised at how people are being fooled by our government over windfarms. Then I got to John's input and breathed a sigh of relief.

I work in power generation and have been trying to point out to anyone who asks the reality of these windmills. The general public are being ripped off and conned big time.

Ironically, the company I work for has several large windfarms around the UK coast, but also has 7 power stations and a large slice of the future nuclear development.

Its my view that windfarms are seen by owners to be an easy source of income, money comes in as subsidies whether they run or not! And the subsidies are taxpayers money.

Interestingly, B&Q have recently withdrawn from sale windmill turbines for the home because they have been found unable to produce the power as advertised.

Ian
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tigertiger

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2009, 04:22:40 pm »

Slight tangent but Ironic

One of the guys wanted to/did drop a water turbine in the stream running through his back garden. When this was discovered, Welsh Water wanted to charge him for the privelage.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2009, 06:08:39 pm »

Just a little question.
All my life I've been under the impression that CO2 is heavier than air. If that is so, then why isn't all that gas sitting at about eye-level instead of rising up into the upper layers of the atmosphere? Apart from that, I believe in the theory that it's water vapour that's causing the "problem". BY.
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allnightin

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2009, 07:06:44 pm »

Gents,

Before this thread completely degenerates completely into a "let's bash windpower" sub section of the Daily Mail perhaps a few hard facts would be in order instead of the many inaccuracies I have seen so far.  Firstly, all energy generation technologies have their good and bad points and wind is no different. True, it doesn't deliver when the wind speed is below the cut-in speed, but a properly sited turbine will typically generate at least some energy for about 80% of the time.  The claim that you have to have a conventional generator running at the same time misrepresents the actual situation as seen from the point of those controlling the National Grid.  Demand for power varies enormously over the day and, even before wind power came on the scene, there has had to be a substantial margin of spare capacity on line and ready to go to meet sudden increases - think what happens when everyone puts the kettle on at the end of Eastenders or other popular TV programmes.  Much of that is done by sophisticated computer modelling of what demand is predicted for each day so that coal or gas fired plant can be ready for the changes of demand but on top of that you need extra capacity that can respond at very short notice to allow for the unpredictable.  For that reason the Dinorwig pump storage scheme in Wales (mentioned above) is the most recently built (1980s) but there are 3 others in UK built before that. These can be kept "spinning on air" and immediately ready for the water valve to be opened so that they can deliver a very large output to the Grid in seconds and maintain the frequency stability that Oldiron talked about above. 

At the moment the proportion of windpower generation in UK is too small to affect the management of the Grid to any real extent and, as I understand it, the current wind contribution effectively reduces the fuel consumption of the current large generators, like Drax coal powered plant, rather than replace it.  As the proportion of wind generation increases, there will come a stage (around 2020?) when the issue of variability in wind generation could affect the safe margin of total available capacity.  That is where more pump storage hydro capacity such as Dinorwig could come in very handy. Power links to other countries generation could also help to smooth out the
variability and are increasingly being considered.  Trying to keep the current method of grid generation management (which is little changed from the 1930s) just isn't the best way forward and a "smarter" Grid is being developed where non-essential loads (such as some industrial users and also appliances such as fridges and washing
machines) can be temporarily switched off until alternative supply can be activated.  This makes sense, not just to accommodate wind power, but also many of the other Renewable technologies such as solar and wave power which are also intermittent in output. 

Tidal power was also mentioned and this can make a very useful contribution but every such scheme faces a lengthy and very expensive environmental impact assessment process which is a hefty disincentive for a private company to invest in this technology if there is no guarantee that the scheme will eventually be approved to go ahead.  The
costs of off-shore schemes are also much greater than those on-shore and under current legislation they will get twice the Renewable Obligation support (= subsidy) of onshore schemes.  Landfill/sewage gas was mentioned by Inkmark and in fact it is currently one of the larger contributors to UK renewable energy production but its actual potential for exploitation has already been largely taken up.  And that is the main point about wind power - there are plenty of studies that show that onshore windpower is the cheapest source of renewable generation in UK that has any real scope for growth.  Every other technology, including tidal, wave and solar, are all either far more expensive or have a much lower total growth capacity as things currently stand.

On subsidies, sorry boatmadman but the Renewable Obligation is only paid after power has been generated.  The subsidy may well be too generous to onshore wind at the very large scale and personally I think that small scale hydro deserves better support than is currently on offer but that is what the government currently has decided and if you disagree I suggest that you contact your MP.

But before you do, I would really recommend that you read David MacKay's "Sustainable Energy without the hot air" which is as good an explanation of this subject as you can find.   It is available free as a download at http://www.withouthotair.com/ and he does a good job of making a complex subject readable and even entertaining.   

I am not saying that wind is the only solution, only that if we don't exploit it where it makes sense, we will pay more for less than otherwise could be the case.
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Nordsee

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #46 on: January 06, 2010, 04:50:14 pm »

Arghhhh, wind farms being green? improving the carbon footprint!!
how much energy and non replacable rescouces(?) go in to building a turbine? especially the blades?
colin
Regarding "Renewable Energy" We have just received a letter from our Power Supplier saying that our Electricity will cost 14% more this year as they are changing over to such Energy Sources, away from Fossil Fuel, and because of the increased costs of producing Wind Electricity we will have to pay more!! Renewable? How does that work?
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2010, 09:54:35 am »


At the moment the proportion of windpower generation in UK is too small to affect the management of the Grid to any real extent ...


There is little point in trying to describe all the technical issues in a discussion about power generation, when so many people seem to take a semi-religious position.

All I can say is that I worked on a Grid power trading floor last year and had a good opportunity to see how the system worked. And the one thing that stood out was that wind power and our Grid do not match, and the costs of trying to make it match would completely eradicate any possible gain.

Keeping a Grid operational is like blowing into a balloon with thousands of pin-holes in it and keeping it half-inflated within narrow limits. A critical difference which is not greatly appreciated is that electricity cannot travel very far across a grid without incuring unacceptable efficiency losses, so you can't even out demand in the South with energy from Scotland. The major source of instability in the current grid is variable demand, and the one thing you do not want is variable supply as well...

Then ask anyone about wind generation capability during a blocking high, which is the weather we are currently experiencing....
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Inkmark

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2010, 11:04:39 am »

Hi Guys
One thing that does stand out is the lack of direction and forward planning that seems to had dogged the industry since privatisation.
The governments of both colours seem to have thought that they could put it all in private hands and just walk away and let
market forces drive the industry. We now see the disparate arguments for various types of generation without it seems a clear lead.
I worked for the old CEGB at privatisation and at that time we had ten or so new power stations planned to cope with the demands of
the next generation. Those plans were binned and various smaller plants, fuelled mostly by gas, sprung up.
We are now faced with an ageing steam fleet, much of which will have to go in the next few years because of the new EU emissions laws
and as we know gas is a finite and sometimes variable supply.
So wind, water or whatever, someone somewhere has got to make the decision to build a lot of generation capacity fairly soon or we
could be in a bit of trouble. We could of course put even more cables across the channel and buy more electricity from France than we do at present.
Cheers
Mark
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Mega wind farm for the Thames Estuary !!!
« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2010, 11:47:59 am »


One thing that does stand out is the lack of direction and forward planning that seems to had dogged the industry since privatisation.


Not only power generation and supply. Water, and most other central utilities like roads have also suffered the same way.

While utilities were government run, the service was often inefficient. But they were planned for the long term. In particular, plans for new generators or reservoirs were made depending on population, and budgets were lined up for these.

Now we use private industry. Private industry needs continuous profits, and does NOT want to find money for long-term investment when they may not have the contract in 5 years, let alone 20.

The reason we are getting all these 'green' initiatives to 'save' water, gas, electricity - you name it, is that the providing industry does not want to spend the money building, say, a new bridge or sewage station. It would much rather run with what we have, and get people to use it less while still paying the same amount of money (or more, if it can get away with it!).

More population means more profits even if the price remains the same. What would mean less profits is investment in new infrastructure. So the 'environmental' excuse is being cynically used to suppress demand while charging us more.

In the UK there is no shortage, for instance, of water. There IS a shortage of reservoirs and supply infrastructure. We could provide ten times the current water deliveries to each house and not make any difference to the water cycle so long as the supply services were there. But in practice it is much more profitable for the water companies to put meters in each house, suppress demand, and keep operating without extending the Victorian infrastructure they inherited....
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