Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

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clv101
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Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by clv101 »

This is quite interesting, the ten points filed under "Why Kingsnorth?":
http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/node/4

It's mostly good stuff and I'm really pleased to see climate activists get around to focussing on coal rather than oil, and getting closer to the supply side than the demand side.
7. Without these power stations there will be an energy gap.
The old ones are the best ones. Problem: a load of companies want to make big bucks but can only achieve it by doing the rest of us over. Answer: come up with something scary so people are distracted and don’t notice what you're up to. O’oo the energy gap. A frightener isn’t it. It’s meant to be what happens if we don’t build new coal and nuclear power stations to replace the ones that are being decommissioned. We run out of energy, the Christmas lights go out , rubbish blows in the streets and we’re all transported back into the 70s and forced to listen to crackly Val Doonican records on pedal powered stereos.

But the energy gap is a nonsense.

Check out the Government's own projections:

• The amount electricity generating capacity reduction by 2027 from closing old coal and nuclear power stations: 35%
• The amount of energy Gordon Brown has said we will generate from renewable sources by 2020: 40%

On these figures there is no energy gap. In fact we're up five percent seven years early. There are other gaps. A commitment cap, a vision gap, a take the bull by the horns and do something useful for a change gap. But no energy gap.
I find it interesting that such a radical organisation as Climate Camp is able to accept so readily some highly suspect Government figures suggesting there won't be an energy gap. So they really believe we'll be getting 40%, some 160TWh per year from renewables by 2020, 11 and a bit years from now? So they really believe we'll still be generating over a third of our electricity from gas in 2020? I'd say not a chance.


Climate Change thinkers must get to grips with the energy security side of this issue. Such blinkered, single issue thinking is not likely to deliver the best outcome.

EDIT: To generate 160TWh in a year is equivalent to an average rate of generation of 18.3GW. If this is to come from renewables with an average 30% load factor 61GW of name plate capacity would be needed. This is around six times the current nuclear fleet capacity and would cost close to £100bn at today's prices.
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Post by Adam1 »

Their unquestioning acceptance of official figures here reflects that of the IPCC.

It would be more honest, albeit a harder sell, if they said: yes, there is going to be an energy gap but building new coal isn't the answer because doing so risks changing the climate such that it will kill billions - powercuts are better than mass death; plus, coal doesn't secure our energy supply anyway because we don't know how of it we will be able to access over the coming 40+ years.
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Re: Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by skeptik »

• The amount of energy Gordon Brown has said we will generate from renewable sources by 2020: 40%
Yes... Gordo's target, aka typical new Labour style aspirational blather does not constitute a solid energy policy, which will of necessity have to include a ton of Govt money - a massive tilting of the table in favour of renewables - in order to get the job done. At the moment we're just drifting. 12 years? I doubt it's even physically possible, no matter how much money thrown at it, in that timescale.
Such blinkered, single issue thinking is not likely to deliver the best outcome.
Delightfully understated, as ever, Chris.

Pity we wasted £100 billion nationalizing Northern Rock. That could have provided a good step in the right direction.
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Re: Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by Andy Hunt »

skeptik wrote:Pity we wasted £100 billion nationalizing Northern Rock. That could have provided a good step in the right direction.
Yes indeed. The future income from £100 billion of renewable energy infrastructure would have provided excellent collateral with which to guarantee the Northern Rock. Just a bit of lateral thinking and an innovative business model is all that is necessary, surely.
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Post by Totally_Baffled »

Makes you wonder what other information the climate camp crowd have been economical with.

And they wonder why people are skeptical!
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Post by skeptik »

Totally_Baffled wrote:Makes you wonder what other information the climate camp crowd have been economical with.

And they wonder why people are skeptical!
Lise damn, lies, and statistics are found in every sphere of life. It pays to be skeptical about everything. OPEC's leapfrogging reserves revision war is still my favourite. Another is the the constantly revised basket of goodies used to calculate the CPI.
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Post by newmac »

The only way I can see that the governments target of 40% renewables is going to be reached is if the capacity is reduced - Gas shortages close down the 30% gas plants, Nuclear cliff closes down the 30% nuclear plants and the coal plants are shut in. The current 3% from renewables and 5% from France, will give us roughly 40% of the total capacity - perhaps Gordon will be proved correct.
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Re: Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by Keepz »

skeptik wrote: 12 years? I doubt it's even physically possible, no matter how much money thrown at it, in that timescale.
You might be interested to have a look here;

http://renewableconsultation.berr.gov.u ... _documents

there's a report entitled "Quantification of the constraints on growth of renewable generating capacity" here which examines the issues in detail.
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Re: Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by Keepz »

clv101 wrote:
The amount electricity generating capacity reduction by 2027 from closing old coal and nuclear power stations: 35%
• The amount of energy Gordon Brown has said we will generate from renewable sources by 2020: 40%

On these figures there is no energy gap. In fact we're up five percent seven years early. There are other gaps. A commitment cap, a vision gap, a take the bull by the horns and do something useful for a change gap. But no energy gap.
I find it interesting that such a radical organisation as Climate Camp is able to accept so readily some highly suspect Government figures suggesting there won't be an energy gap. So they really believe we'll be getting 40%, some 160TWh per year from renewables by 2020, 11 and a bit years from now? So they really believe we'll still be generating over a third of our electricity from gas in 2020? I'd say not a chance.

Climate Change thinkers must get to grips with the energy security side of this issue. Such blinkered, single issue thinking is not likely to deliver the best outcome.
Even if you accept the figures - (I agree with clv on 160 TWh per year, less so on gas generation, but leaving that aside ) - the point is still totally invalid. They don't seem to understand at all the difference between electricity generation and electricity generating capacity, so their 35% versus 40% is not comparing like with like.
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Re: Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by clv101 »

Keepz wrote:
skeptik wrote: 12 years? I doubt it's even physically possible, no matter how much money thrown at it, in that timescale.
You might be interested to have a look here;

http://renewableconsultation.berr.gov.u ... _documents

there's a report entitled "Quantification of the constraints on growth of renewable generating capacity" here which examines the issues in detail.
So looking at table 9 on page 59, and summing the high growth scenario for all 13 energy resources gives us ~130TWh by 2030. It seems highly unlikely that every one of the potential renewable energy resources will simultaneously meet it's high growth scenario. The low and medium scenarios total to 53 and 83TWh.

The message is that renewables won't generate enough to offset the planned decommission, let alone tackle the likely shortfall in gas by 2020.
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Re: Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by skeptik »

Keepz wrote:
skeptik wrote: 12 years? I doubt it's even physically possible, no matter how much money thrown at it, in that timescale.
You might be interested to have a look here;

http://renewableconsultation.berr.gov.u ... _documents

there's a report entitled "Quantification of the constraints on growth of renewable generating capacity" here which examines the issues in detail.

Thanks. Confirms what I'd guessed, not physically possible by 2020. Didnt take long to find the first bottleneck, its on page 8. Cant be arsed to read the other 62 pages

and here we have it:
Wind turbine generators (WTGs) for both onshore and offshore windfarms. The supply of WTGs from existing manufacturers is booked up for the next five (5) years and at present most manufacturers are only interested in large orders and require a significant reservation payment.

To meet the UK targets for onshore and offshore wind generation will require about 10,000 WTGs of ratings between 3MW and 5MW to be installed over the next 10 to 15 years (approximately 800 WTGs/y). This compares to the current rate of implementation of about 250 WTG/y and a significant increase manufacturing capacity[/b]

Quantification of Constraints on the Growth of UK Renewable Generating Capacity will be required to meet high growth targets. There are currently no indigenous manufacturers of large WTGs based in the UK.

so all we have to do is suddenly snap up the rate of onshore plus offshore turbine installation from 250 a year to 800 a year RIGHT NOW, even though theres a five year waiting list...

bottleneck 2 comes in the next para
b) Specialist vessels for the installation offshore WTGs. Taking into account the level of European offshore oil and wind power activity, there are estimated to be only two (2) installation vessels that could be dedicated to the installation of WTGs in UK waters and this limits installation to about 350MW/year (approximately 100 offshore WTGs),
oh dear. looks like we need a crash shipbuilding scheme too. Unfortunately it continues
There is limited shipbuilding capacity for these vessels to
sourced from UK shipbuilders.


... and I bet theres a waiting list in Korea or China for those too.

Looks like Gordo is all mouth and no trousers.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Meanwhile, every man and his dog are selling Ground Source Heat Pumps as the best thing since sliced bread and gas condensing boilers. There will be a lot of people with cold houses and very long payback periods.
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Post by Bandidoz »

...not to mention "Air Source Heat Pumps"....
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Re: Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by biffvernon »

there are estimated to be only two (2) installation vessels
Estimated? How difficult is it to count to two?
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Re: Climate Camp: "the energy gap is a nonsense"

Post by SunnyJim »

biffvernon wrote:
there are estimated to be only two (2) installation vessels
Estimated? How difficult is it to count to two?

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Gordon never was very good at maths was he?
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