Fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil are a finite resource.  They will run out; not today or tomorrow but in the not-too-distant future.  The growing environmental lobby; the greens, the tree huggers and the beatniks blame the burning of fossil fuels for a myriad of environmental concerns.  Governments realise the growing importance of the green-power-votes and court these groups with carbon taxes and heavy, some would argue, overzealous, regulation.  The scarcity of the fuels coupled with Government policies so drive up prices and the search for alternatives becomes ever more frantic.  Solar, wind and wave have all been tried, with varying success levels.  There remains, however, an enormous elephant in the room in the guise of nuclear power.  Nuclear power was going to produce electricity so cheaply that there would be no need to even meter the consumption of it.  We were told this at the dawning of the “nuclear age”.  Then came Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima; constant (and eternal) reminders that nuclear power remains a volatile and dangerous beast.  China and Russia are investing heavily in nuclear technology whilst the west scales back its nuclear capacity as a result of disaster (and as a by-product keeping the greens happy).  Nuclear plants need extremely effective control and regulatory systems.  Given Russia’s and China’s past failings in these areas, it is a worrying development.  Keep tilting at the windmills…

  1. SallyM says:

    There should be a mix of everything in fuel supply. Unfortunately the true cost including the impacts of extraction, use and after effects will need to be paid in cold hard cash to kick start any true change. Coal and oil have their irreversible and dangerous side too; witness the oil spill in the Gulf, deaths of coal miners from injury and lung disease. Carbon capture, energy saving, ‘frugal technology’ and economic theories which consider paths other than raw growth all need consideration.

    Heard this yesterday:

    Interesting even with the off-putting for some hippy associations.

  2. My father in law has a wind turbine on his land. Very productive for him and if the council would let him, he would syphon off the excess energy it generates to his neighbours. However, I’m not really for wind power when it proves to be a blot on the landscape. What about WAVE POWER! We live on an island. We are guaranteed tides. We are NOT guaranteed wind.

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