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Sunday, October 10, 2010


Scotland's energy future

Scotland's renewable electricity target for the next decade is being raised from 50 per cent to 80 per cent, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.

The FM confirmed the Scottish Government's increased national target - now 80 per cent of Scottish electricity consumption to come from renewables by 2020 - ahead of a major international conference in Edinburgh next week to help accelerate investment in the growing low carbon economy.

So with about 20% of our power coming from nuclear which Salmond wants to close we are going to have to replace almost all our current electricity generation with windmillery.

This is, of course, impossible: windmills only work at about 27% of rated capacity so, even if we assume a windmill capacity twice the total generating capacity needed this will still mean that the back up will be producing about half of all our power. That back up must be gas because only gas can be turned on & off fast enough to hope to make up for the unreliability of wind.

It also assumes that the inherent variability of wind power, which will make the entire system unstable & likely to crash at any moment if wind provides much more than 10% of capacity, can be ended simply by politicians wanting it. This is, of course, impossible.

Perhaps the Scottish government are relying on the sea turbine X-Prize, to be awarded some time after 2015, being so successful that by 2010 10s of thousands of them will have been built, without teething troubles & be producing intermittent but reliable power. Despite the faith in X-Prizes this demonstrates there is no reason to believe a commercial sea turbine is possible at all (in which case no prize should be awarded if it is a genuine X-Prize). The timescale is, of course, impossible.

Calling these people not intelligent & incompetent is clearly understating it. These inhabitants of the Holyrood Insane Asylum are clearly, 1 & all, unfitted to be trusted to tie their own shoe laces. In fairness it is possible to argue that, since Nicol Stephen previous LudDim leader, is leaving Holyrood at the next election to take up a well paid job with the renewables industry for which he has no apparent qualification these people are not wholly moronic, merely wholly corrupt.

Meanwhile the Scottish media continue to give free reign to lunacy while censoring anything remotely honest. This is a letter which in this & an earlier draft, I sent to the Scotsman, nominally the only part of our media marginally sceptical about windmillery, when they twice let Scottish Renewables & then a a rent a mouth Councillor make the 100% dishonest claim that there is no method of power generation which will not produce massive increases in electricity costs.
That Cllr Euan McLeod echoes Scottish Renewables claim that all possible power options will result in higher electricity prices so we had better just get used to subsidising Scottish Renewables doesn't make it any less untrue than it was originally.

In previous long discussion here it was acknowledged that the French nuclear figure of 1.3p a unit was indisputable. Dr John Etherington then pointed out that in quoting windmill power being promised to fall from 9 to 8p I had forgotten the renewable certificate subsidy of 5.5p (letter 30th Oct 2008). Thus the cost of nuclear is slightly less than 1/10th of wind - it is also more reliable & produces much less CO2. This was not at the time disputed by any "renewable" supporters. Instead it appears their, relatively successful, tactic has been to wait a while & come back with the same old untruths trusting that repetition & their more ready access to the media will trump mere facts.

This is why no politician who is in any way honest can claim to be opposed to both fuel poverty & mass nuclear power. Granted politicians in Holyrood who are, to some degree, honest appear to be an extinct breed.

Since we see the opinions of quangos, organisations formed to campaign for government subsidy & government funded "fakecharities" prominent among "reader's" letters may we hope, for balance, to see fewer of their press releases being used, uncritically, to form "news" items?
It is not just that the Scotsman did not allow my reply but that while promoting what they knew to be total & deliberate lies from a Scottish Renewables they thus know to be wholly & completely corrupt they censored any other letter from any honest person telling the truth.

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