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Old 26 February 2009, 12:57   #21
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Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
If you had a boat with 3 outboards on it and 1 of them was hardly doing anything or only worked for 15% of the time you would soon ditch it if it was costing you money!!!
I've got one engine that only works 50 % of the time and cost a fortune - does that qualify ?

Seriously I agree with the Nuclear & gas ideas, but as long as the govt are SEEN to be giving in to the eco-loonies they dont care & will build this stuff any way to keep the ill informed/ stupid happy & voting. It'll be my council tax proping it up ( like the surf reef) but real world I have no say - whatever I vote this stuff gets the nod from 'higher powers' like some bunch of over paid paper pushers that are 'independant' from the govt or councils .
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Old 27 February 2009, 11:48   #22
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We all use the seas / oceans and the power generated by them are immense. If we are going to build on the sea then surely it should be to harness the power of it, not the power of the wind.

Energy generated by waves and tides should be invested in, its an area that seems to be largely overlooked. Come on Great Britain, lets get back to what we are great at, innovation.
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Old 27 February 2009, 12:25   #23
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We all use the seas / oceans and the power generated by them are immense. If we are going to build on the sea then surely it should be to harness the power of it, not the power of the wind.

Energy generated by waves and tides should be invested in, its an area that seems to be largely overlooked. Come on Great Britain, lets get back to what we are great at, innovation.
Couldn't agree more - totally different story to wind.
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Old 27 February 2009, 14:10   #24
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think there is wave power generators getting tested and soon to be put out at sites all round the uk, i think its a great idea! i love the windfarms too even though i know they are a big waste of time and money! i also heard that they are building a 6 mile long thing on or in the severn. Great!
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Old 27 February 2009, 18:44   #25
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there is a tide turbine off lynmouth in service, did intend goung to have a look last summer but the weather foiled the attempt.
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Old 28 February 2009, 09:24   #26
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And here's another artist's impression (from the Dutch school):
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Old 28 February 2009, 12:58   #27
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Seagen have an interesting unit up and running in Strangford, NI. It has a 1.2MW capacity relying on the massive tidal flow at the Narrows. Not a machine you'd want to meet on a drift dive .
Not sure how it's working for the seals and dolphins....
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Old 28 February 2009, 14:41   #28
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On a photography forum a debate was going on about Pylons and windfarms and how they spoil a good landscape and a gent who works in the industry piped up with some interesting info.

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As some know I'm in the process of returning to Scotland after around 30 years south of the border and I have been stunned by the huge number of windfarms around the Borders and Central belt hills. I don't actually see them as unsightly but I do feel that they spoil the landscape particularly where this would have otherwise been more or less untainted by human intervention.

My main problem with windfarms is from a technological standpoint. Again some know that I am invloved professionally with the Power Industry and fundementally I cannot see that windfarms will ever produce enough electricity to make a significant contribution to the power demands of the nation. Eack windmill has a maximum output of around 3MW so it therefore requires 200 windmils to replace just one 600MW generator in a conventional (coal or Gas) or Nuclear Power Station and each conventional station in the country has at least 2 generators and up to 6 at Drax. The arithmetic is simple to replace one Power Station requires at least 1200 windmills but other factors mean this is increased to more like 2000! In short Windmills will never be the solution to all the nations power requirements but it can be a part of the solution.

Earlier this year I was involved in the development of Grid connections for an offshore windfarm planned for the North Wales coast comprising around 200 windmills. I can only imagine in my mind what this installation will look like from the resorts alond the coast, not a pretty sight IMO!

Another part of the equation is that al, the coal fired Power Stations in the UK and most of the Nuclear Stations are over 30 years old many over 40 which was their original design life. They are all approaching or past their sell by date and need replacing. But what with? Nobody in their right mind would consider coal fired to be a viable solution these days and gas fired has it's strategic problems, the only real option is Nuclear. The last Nuclear station toi be built (Sizewell) was commisioned around 15 years ago and took around 10 years to build plus a planning period and public enquiry of about 5 years altogether a lead time of 15 years from Governmental Green Light and that was when this nation had the skills and industry to support the project. Nowadays probably 90% of the plant and equipment and Engineering expertise requuired will need to be imported at a price. The replacement programme needs to start now for new stations to be online before 2020 at which point I can imagine that we will be suffering regular power couts and electrcity rationing
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If anybody has more than a passing interest in the subject (and in reality we all should!) there's a feast of information here http://www.theiet.org/factfiles/energy/index.cfm

In my view windfarms have a place in small numbers connected locally like the instance cited by Mime above but they have no place when grid connected for major power supply purposes, the only answer for that purpose is Nuclear. When it comes to the safety argument against Nuclear it simply is not a valid arguement, the track record in UK is not perfect but is excellent the only significant nuclear incident was Windscale in the 1950s and we have relied on Nuclear Generation for 5 decades. Globally the only major incident has been Chernobyl in the 80s with a few near misses e.g Three mile Island. Nuclear Power is SAFE. The only sustaonable arguement against is the fact that the waste from the stations needs to be kept in strictly controlled conditions for around 1000 years! Which opens up another question! Previously all power stations were built by the nation for the nation but since privatisation in the late 80s it is now down to private companies to invest in these projects. in these tough financial times what company is likely to be able to put together a 1000 year investment package to develop Nuclear Power Stations in the UK? I hear the French or Japanese may be interested............................. watch this space!

As far as I'm concerned MT has a lot to answer for in the downfall of this once Great Britian! But that's a political view and has no place here!
Don't know if he is right or wrong but seems we aint to rich in energy.
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Old 28 February 2009, 16:06   #29
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Don't know if he is right or wrong but seems we aint to rich in energy.
Well, I don't know what his qualifications are, but he can't spell "Britain", and doesn't know what the "Great" stands for. He might be right about "MT" though, although I was a fan, in the day.
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Old 28 February 2009, 16:32   #30
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He is quite a way out in his calculations. Only the newest and biggest turbine will generate 3mw - and that is at peak. In practice they only generate about 25% of their maximum output over a period of time so your 3mw becomes 750kw.

Drax alone has a total output of almost 4,000mw - that is the same as 5280 of the biggest wind turbines. The massive Kent windfarm will only have 341 turbines.

All the windfarms in the UK produce about 1% - Drax on it's own produces 7%.

He is right in saying that Britain has a big shortfall and it's going to get worse unless something major is done and they stop literally pi**ing in the wind!!!

The Baglan Bay power station I mentioned earlier cost 300 million to build and generates as much power as 3x the Kent windfarm. The current Kent windfarm is costing about 2 billion. So in other words 6 billion to compete with a 300 million station. Of course the windfarms don't use any fuel but it still works out 3x more expensive for the electricity.

That is why I am so against them!!!
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