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Final Say
BRING IT
WHY VOTE YES FOR
RENEWABLE ENERGY!
By Donald
Swift-Hook
L
et me make it clear; I’m not anti-nuclear. Iled
a research division in the electricity supply
industry when much of our research was on
nuclear power and I think the nuclear
industry has had very unfair treatment from
the media and general public s i n e Chernobyl.
However, there has recently been a spate of ill-informed
anti-renewables comments from the nuclear community I
don’t like to see false arguments allowed in - on either side
the true pros and cons are difficult enough to weigh up
without that. These ill-informed and damaging comments
should not go unanswered.
First the hoary old mistake about wind needing extra
back-upor storage plant now, rather than later. Back~up
POLITICAL MOVES
So why does Government now favour renewable energy?
Are politicians finally listening to arguments on how
economical wind turbines can be when used in large-scale
energy production?
Possibly. but if cost is Government‘s main motivation,
why provide so much support to offshore wind power?
Wind farms are a lot cheaper on land.
So is global warming the real reason? This problem
is still staring us in the face and perhaps Government
thinks wind power will provide a n answer. It won’t of
course; temperature rise forecasts are predicted to be
inevitable.
However, politically, it does look good to take action
and storage will not be a n issue for intermittent energy against global warming. Unfortunately installing
supplies until total wind generation penetration on the grid renewable generation at the rate of 1%per year does not
reaches W % ,which will not be for another 20 years.
show any great sense of urgency.
Nuclw, on the other hand, is alnady facing its own 25%
Ithink that the main motivation is security of supply.
penetration problem. If you installmuch more nuclear plant Britain has always been self-sufficient in energy. When
beyond base load you will have to start cycling the King Coal was toppled, oil production was rising and it was
reactors,which is p o t e n t i y dangerous and also expensive. our dash for gas that finally put him to rest.
So we don’t want any more nuclear plant right now
But now that North Sea oil production is declining and
But what about cost? When If r s t discovered that wind gas has flattened out, we will - for the first time - no longer
was cheaper than nuclear, pwple used to stop me and say: be self-sufficient. So having ow own limitless- or at least
“You can’t say that“.
renewable supplies of energy within our own borders
However, times have changed. Government is now in must seem a very good idea politically, whatever the
favour of renewable energy LIK has a definite commitment economic or environmental advantages.
to 10% renewable energy production hy 2010 and 15%by
2015, with a plan to extend this to 20% by 2020. Iretired Dr Donald Swift-Hwk is a director and secretary of the Wodd
when the electricity supply industry was being privatised Renewable Enegl Network He launched the European Wind
and Ican’t tell you how strange it feels to be on the side of Enegl Association and has been chairman of the British Wind
Enegl Association.
the establishment instead of fighting against it.
Government has also found a splendid way of
subsidising renewable energy They make it a requirement.
You don’t get paid for installing any,but you have to pay if
you don’t.Such f m c i a l penalties will make sure that new
renewable builds take place, like it or not.
~
~
48
IEE Power Engineer I OrtoberlNavember 2004
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