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Winter Draws On

Today is known as “the big switch-on” — the day on which the majority of homes in Britain are expected to turn on their central heating for the first time this autumn.

I'm waiting until Friday before I start withdrawing the graphite rods from the core of the AGA to set the beast in action, at least I will be able to do it this year - I really worry in ten years time it will neither be warm enough not to want to nor unrationed to be allowed to. But then I'm not completely reassured by;

There is "no danger" of mass power cuts in the UK during the next decade, Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has said.
He told the BBC it was possible to meet the country's energy needs while using more "sustainable" sources such as wind farms and nuclear stations.

And if you believe that then have a got a bottle of Cure-all to sell you.


As a maladious person your Cure-all interests me, do you give a discount for bulk purchases?

I'd trust Ed the Millibeast, work experience boy at Westminster, over the new Energy Minister any day. I mean, obviously he's going to know more than the person whose job it is. Right?

My first attempt was some days back, blogged about and resulted in an engineer to come fix the boiler. How was yours?

Nuclear stations? Does he mean the ones in France, from which the UK is importing power, will supply more in the next decade? Because as far as I know, the UK (like the US, sadly) has none scheduled for completion during the next decade.

And the 10GW of "capacity" he says is due: yes, perhaps, except for two things. First, of course, is that is "rated capacity," ie capacity when operating optimally. For gas/coal/nuclear, that is 24/7/365 capacity: for wind, which is the supposed 10GW, it is 6/6/200 or less, and the only way to "smooth out" delivery is to put about a third or more of the actual output into some sort of storage such as pumping water up from a reservoir (further reducing "rated capacity") and then releasing it to drive turbines, or as E.On wants, to have an equal-rating "conventional" power plant (capable of full-time output, of course, but turn it about and use wind as backup and you may save some coal or gas) to supply power when the wind is not. Second, building the wind/solar farms will need a vast amount of power to get the components to the building site - mining, refining, manufacturing...


Second, are the "renewable" options on schedule? Not as far as I know, even leaving out nukes. Locals are becoming more alarmed about the size and appearance of wind/solar, and better at petitioning/suing against proposed installations.

Add in that the components are increasingly being made in China (even with government subsidies, Euro and US makers cannot compete, especially as some key raw materials are imported from China in the first place), with at least some part of what we pay going to building new coal power plants, and jsut where is the Global benefit?


I've sailed past quite a few of those much-vaunted wind farms over the last four days.

They were all stationary.

Come on Mr. Salmond, how many 000's of "homes" were your useless machines powering last Sunday? Or Saturday; or Monday...

Thank God for Hunterston, say I.

And thank God, too, that the Aga doesn't need electricity. We run the soup kitchen for our street, whenever there are power cuts - always nice and warm in our kitchen, thank you very much.

I'd get irritated by Ed Miliband if I could work up the [sustainable] energy. I live on a narrow boat which produces around 7% of the national average carbon emissions for a UK property. Eco medal for me? No. It's move on, move on move on...

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