Thursday, August 24, 2006

Concentrating Solar Power gives me the horn

I'm afraid to say it really does . . . .(!) Honestly- this is what the world has been waiting for! Its, like, totally renewable, totally free, totally doable, proven technology. Moreso because it has a foolproof solution to one of the most commonly raised objections to renewables- their inability to provide baseload supply. Basically, IT ROCKS!

Don't take my word for it- read these goddamn links and write to your MP and your MEP tell your neighbours (I did!) (-Yes. I got funny looks.) Tell your Mum (again, I did- she likes it), tell your fellow employees/business people/civil servants/unemployed people. SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only concern I have is that, although this surely answers the question: "What do we do when the nasty black goo runs out?" . . .it doesn't propose a solution to the political climate that results from Europe's reliance upon imported energy. I can't see that many of the nations targeted for CSP plants will deal any better with the billions of pounds of funding on offer than those nations that currently benefit from enormous hydrocarbon reserves. Notable examples of authoritarian or otherwise dysfunctional regimes include Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Lybia, Iraq, Nigeria, etc. etc.

Its wonderful to have a proven response to the whole "where do we get the baseload supply from if we get rid of all the nukes and hydrocarbon-fired power stations?" I've discussed this with a couple of (pro-nuke) people on the website who seem to be pretty well read on the practicalities of large-scale generation and they can't seem to grasp the fact that weather patterns and tidal patterns and wave patterns are all different! These people can pour out figures about costs per kilowatt hour of a modern nuclear facility but if you ask them whether you can generate energy constantly from renewables they will laugh in your face. This is why we have a barely established renewable industry in the UK whilst countries such as Austria and Denmark push out a healthy fraction of their entire output from renewables and have been doing for years!

The inspiration for this rant is my appreciation that the wind blows and the waves wash and the sun shines and the tides stream at different times to each other. Although you can't generate power from solar at night or from wind and waves when there isn't any, we are talking about a whole country here! For funk's sake! Any retard who watches the weather will be able to tell you that while its cloudy in Devon (and it often is) it may well be sunny in Anglia (and it often isn't there either, but you get the point). At the same time when there's no waves in North Wales there may well be a gale blowing in The Solent and wind and waves for all to share! The technology described above shows that long distance transport of significant quantities of energy is possible without excessive loss and the changing weather patterns of our nation and our continent have the potential to keep our lights lit for ever.

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