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Councillors in Kent have backed plans to build Britain's first coal-fired power station in more than 20 years.
It's good to see investment in new forms of energy! This made me think that if everyone in the UK took a little step to change, like closing doors to keep in heat, or unplugging things instead of leaving them on standby, we probably wouldn't need this. People just waste far too much energy these days, yet complain when bills go up. My school for example ends up with most printers being left switched on overnight, similar story for lights and so on. The heating is always on, yet doors and windows are really draughty. If they fitted a few foam seals and switched off lights, they could save a fortune. It's a mockery, and before christmas the head even sent round a memo asking what each department was doing to reduce its carbon footprint. Now I do believe in global warming to a degree, but I'm not going to ram it down everyones throats. But what I do think needs to be tackled is the huge waste of energy in this country, if we all lowered our energy usage, it would lower demand and there would be more supplies of energy, therefore possibly lower prices. Do you think energy is wasted too much?
Still, I'm glad it was a coal fired power station and not some of those ugly windmills ;)
that about a third of the UK's electricity is still generated by coal, and about 40% of all generated electricity on the planet comes from coal-fired power stations, so coal is alive and well, so to speak.
We have enough coal under the ground in the UK to cover energy requirements at the present level for the next 200 years, but it's not that simple. Coal isn't that cheap or easy to mine, although as oil prices continue to rise it begins to become more of an attractive proposition. There are ways of obtaining energy from coal deposits without ever having to bring them to the surface, and there are ways of obtaining energy - in the form of methane - from old, long-closed deep coalmines. Both of these methods are technically viable, but would require considerable investment, and that isn't likely as things stand.
Meanwhile, large sums are going to be spent on developing alternative energy sources, so don't polish up that old coal scuttle just yet.
I was being sarcastic ;), but I know I'm not great at it! FE, thanks, some interesting facts there.
now we've closed all our deep mines, we'll have to import the coal from Columbia, where it's mined by 12 year old ragamuffins...
I see that Npower is announcing electricity prices for its domestic customers will rise by 12.7%, while gas bills will see a 17.2% increase.
So I look forward to coal fired power stations and also ( dare I say it) Nuclear ones. WE need energy sources that we control. Depending on ANY energy supplies from overseas is stupid.
I entirely agree about those (virtually) useless windmills.
A true blot on the landscape, they are of very little value energy wise compared to initial cost and a serious risk to wild life.
What puzzles me is that we fail to make the most of (to me) far superior sources of energy (the sea alone could provide much of our needs if utilised properly); whatever happened, for instance, to hydro-electricity plants?
Scotland has some of the most consistent all year round levels of rainfall in the UK and I well remember some years ago visiting the New Lanark hydro-electricity plant on the Clyde.
Whether it's still in operation I don't know, but I would have thought it would be vastly more efficient than the horrendous windmill offerings.
The trouble with hydro power is it requires the flooding of valleys and draining of water courses to provide a constant reservoir of water to provide power.
A lot of land was flooded and many prime fishing rivers are a shadow of what they were because the water was diverted into the hydro schemes.
My father was an engineer on the post war hydro schemes in the Central Highlands and used to recall of the lost beauty these changes brought to the environment.
Locals were 50/50 for or against it. So it was very much a contentious issue even then.
So, what goes around, comes around...
As an anecdote of those days, all the labour on those works was with demobed soldiers using ex-army equipment. I was told stories of ex-paras that used to go stalking with a Sten gun and take a whole heard of deer out at a time, engineers that blasted the river with explosives and netted the entire Salmon count in one go (some of the best Salmon spots now are these deep blast holes), and my father who was a surveyor, got to go up mountain sides in a Bren Gun Carrier with his theodolite!
I am all for new nuclear power stations,we have sellafield just down the coast being decommisioned after 60yrs.
We also have a council with intelligent planners,I just found out that one of the local windfarms had its permission granted with a proviso that if any of the turbines was out of commission for greater than 6mths then it had to be removed and the land returned to as was.One turbine has just reached 6mths out of use,and E.on have said they cannot repair it as "parts are extremely scarce" Unfortunately,I also have just heard that we're getting more of these eyesores built and these are going to become the tallest masts in the UK.
It also seems that even if everyone says no(council planners,local residents,etc)the developers can just keep on appealing until they get planning consent as the government tries to maintain its percentages of renewable energy for the EU.
Apparently,they are busy building another windfarm out in the solway firth(which initially I thought was a good idea)but its going to be just as visually intrusive as the land based variety plus its electricity has to be brought to shore resulting in further eyesores on land.
I'm not sure which 'eyesores' I prefer - wind turbines, or those horrific national grid cable masts that march across the countryside.
Like it or not, we are facing a new era as far as power generation is concerned, and there will be pains associated with the gains.
I had visions of firemen warming themselves round an open coal fire!
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