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Topic Title: The Dark Ages
Topic Summary: Blackouts, Britain's Closing Power Stations
Created On: 05 October 2012 11:31 PM
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 05 October 2012 11:31 PM
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I hear the cost of de-comissioning Britain's dirty power stations and opening cleaner replacements will cost £95,000,000,000. Ouch! ... and I have no doubt it will end up exceeding 150 billion with lawyers swallowing a cool 40%.
I'm predicting a hike in sales of wooly jumpers and slippers!

On a more serious note - I do wonder where all the skilled labour will come from, most probably from Europe and Asia. It seems a real shame that we don't address this right now as it could be a great way to solve the unemployment crisis that the 18 - 25 year olds are experiencing.

Given that solar pv won't quite cut the mustard, blackouts will be a pain, but it will be so satisfying to see civil servant buildings having to address their energy consumption - so far their best efforts have been to replace light switches with occupancy sensors..
 05 October 2012 11:42 PM
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It really does beggar belief that we as a so called power nation cannot manage our resources and we now face problems that under developed countries are having.

It reminds me of the saying....can last one out of the country please turn the lights off.... because other countries must be a better place to live
 06 October 2012 12:07 AM
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I heard from a source recently, that despite everyone going energy saving lamp crazy, due to the very poor power factor of such items(?? no idea), its made no difference on actual power generation which kind of misses the whole point. KWH domestic customers save money but thats it.

Maybe they should just make HF/ PL fittings essential instead

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 06 October 2012 01:31 AM
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I'm sure, while sorting out my old bills of over 10 years, one of them said that we are increasing our prices to invest in the future of our supplies to you the customer.

The energy shares have been sold to private companies and their share holders. They are now responsible, do they realize this , to provide continuity of supply to the customer, not the customer to provide a continual supply to them. We, as customers, are not the limited liability company to supply the shareholders with profits that they obviously don't deserve if they cannot supply the energy.

So, the Government will eventually have to take back the energy supply if the private sector cannot deliver. We have seen something like this recently, but then that will be too late, when we are suffering brown outs on a continual basis.

I suppose there is an alternative. each household develops its own energy supply which is an alternative as opposed to a parallel supply .
There are people who are doing this now through water, light, geothermal, wind, incineration where at first, they'll sell it back to the supply industry but, no doubt they will sell it privately back to local customers.
It doesn't take much organization to set up a private cooperative supply company. Just a bit of 'T&E' strung up somewhere with a steam engine powered by the local wood and rubbish.
Heat + water + sychonization = energy on tap.

Incineration is the best using something like a straw burner with a heat exchanger to supply your hot water and heating then with a small turbine to drive a generator, to supply your lighting.Nothing to it .
Just imagine, I'll supply you a constant supply of electricity for 6 months if you give that goat.
Its's a revolutionary in its concept !



 06 October 2012 10:57 AM
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This could be an opportunity for electricians.
If rota power cuts become the norm in winter in only a few years, there will be more demand for emergency lighting and standby generators.

I have just received a request for a generator install for a rural pub and hotel. This has been considred for a couple of years, but is now to be done.

I suspect that as country we have now left it too late to avert a crisis, event if martial law was declared, planning controls abolished and nimbys shot, I doubt that enough generating capacity can be built in time.
Gas turbine plant is fairly quick to build, but gas import and transmission capacity takes longer, and presumes that someone is willing to sell us the gas.
Coal is out for enviromental reasons
Oil is too expensive except for limited peak load operation.
Nuclear is out of favour after the Fukushima blow-up, is escalating in cost, and anyway cant be built in time.
Hydro is largely exploited already.
Wind and solar help by reducing gas burn and leaving more gas in store for latter use.

I suspect that the answer will be a mixture of wind turbines, electricity imports, expensive peak load gas burning, and reducing demand by exporting jobs to china.
 06 October 2012 05:35 PM
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Some of us lived thru the "Winter of Discontent"

Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 08 October 2012 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by: ebee

Some of us lived thru the "Winter of Discontent"

Not certain that the winter of discontent and the rota power cuts were the same thing ?
AFAIK the winter of discontent came after the power cuts and was mainly local authority workers striking, rather than coal miners or power workers.

At any event I lived through both.
For the power cuts, I equiped myself with a 72 volt standby lighting system which worked fine.
This rather odd voltage was chosen because I considered it to be the highest non-damgerous voltage (unless one was very stupid or very unlucky) and it was also about the lowest voltage on which a flourescent lamp would light, without any tranistorised step up circuit.
 08 October 2012 01:07 PM
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To put this in context - we are only seeing a reduction in spinning reserve from 15% to about 5% - princupally due to turning off dirty coal stations.

The new nuclear are on track, gas stations can be built or modified quickly etc etc.

Despite what you read in the daily mail, the lights aren't going off quite yet - we always have the option of ignoring the EU targets and keeping the coal stations running a bit longer.

It might be a good time to drop the grid voltage to 230V - that would save a bit.

It's all good though, it makes people worry just that bit more about thier consumption - and that's never a bad thing.



Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.

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