Embrace The Revolution

Links,News Monday 20th September 2004

Hands up who’d rather have a whole load of wind turbines over a nuclear reactor. Sign here: embrace the revolution.


One comment

  1. Hmmm Hmmm.

    Wind turbines are nice and all, but the numbers required are still massive if you want to replace nuclear, I mean everyone would have to have one. Wind power is only so useful, even 10% wind power would cause havok with the grid as power stations would have to constantly change output to match wind conditions. Anything beyond 15% just isn’t possible. You computer would be switching off all the time. There are pumped storage units but you only get about a 20% return on the energy put in.

    The problem with nuclear is the waste, which although dangerous locally causes little damage to the globe, I would prefer to have a habitable planet with a small region which is uninhabitable. The problem with nuclear waste is that instead if “glassifying” it, they put it in barrels so the plutonium can be recovered for financial reasons. An interesting point is that nuclear is becoming prohibitively expensive, companies now have to cover clear up costs before they start, which all other types of power generation do not.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am really interested in renewables and energy efficiency, it’s just that wind power is only a small part of the answer. In a long term view there are several other options regarding environmentally friendly energy production and use. Most of the energy lost in factory operations and energy production is in waste heat, sometimes up to 50%. The temperature are ideal for heating homes and water for showers etc. In parallel with this, combined heat and power (chp) plants which run off gas can be installed in the basement of towerblocks and be around 80% efficient rather than 40% if the electricity came from a gas fired station only producing electricity and venting heat. CHP plants can also be created to burn household waste, some of the heat goes to drying the incoming waste though.

    One thing I am interested in is tidal barriers producing tera watts of energy. Although these are variable depending on the time of day, which is a big problem, but they are at least predictable. Such a barrier _may_ destroy an estuary or at least shift it to a different exosystem but to save the planet? it’s a small price to pay.

    Other solutions include better insulation and heating methods. Bar radiators are pretty inefficient whilst underfloor heating, while expensive, is far better.

    In summary, wind is a small part of the bigger plan, and nuclear may save the planet. At least think about it.

    Did I get carried away?