Wind power and windy politicians ensure the lights will go out in Britain.
18/09/2008

TELEGRAPH Power cuts warning must be taken seriously By David Hughes Wake-up calls do not come any more strident. Professor Ian Fells of Newcastle University, one of the country's foremost experts on energy conservation, warns today of a crisis in supply that could see the lights going out within a decade. In a disturbing assessment of the parlous state of power generation in this country, he says serial power cuts could cripple the economy and create mass unemployment. Alarmist? Far from it. Professor Fells has crunched the numbers and exposed the shocking complacency of the Government. Between now and 2020, 23 gigawatts of generating capacity will be lost as old coal and nuclear stations are de-commissioned. Yet Labour Ministers spent a decade twiddling their thumbs over energy policy. Only last year, when our dangerous dependence on energy from either potentially hostile (Russia) or unstable (Middle East) sources finally registered, did the Government belatedly accept that there has to be a new generation of nuclear reactors to meet the shortfall. Since then, there has been precious little evidence of any sense of urgency in getting that programme under way. Today's report shows how dangerously negligent this lackadaisical approach has been. It also confirms that wind power, on which the Government has expended the better part £1 billion a year in subsidies [directly passed on to the consumer in electricity bills -cs], is little more than environmental window dressing. Its unreliability ? wind is not a constant ? means it cannot replace a single watt of permanent generating capacity. One renewable project that could make a difference is the Severn Barrage for tidal power is utterly predictable. Professor Fells estimates it could be supplying five per cent of the nation's needs within a decade. What is the Government doing about it? It's commissioned yet another feasibility study. But the real focus has to be on nuclear and coal. Professor Fells says existing power stations must have their lives extended to try to bridge the gap. At the same time, a new generation of nuclear reactors and clean coal-fired stations that use using carbon capture technology must be commissioned ? and fast. Yet as Philip Johnston argued earlier this week we are already lagging behind other countries in Europe in developing this technology of the future. The most depressing aspect of this analysis is that it exposes the way a country that pioneered nuclear generation and sits on immense stockpiles of coal - together they could make us energy self-sufficient ? has, through a lack of political will, left us facing the threat of power cuts just a few years from now. Unforgivable

 
 
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