Great British Nuclear
On 29 November 2022 the Business and Energy Secretary, Grant Schapps, made a significant announcement advertised as helping to secure the UK’s energy independence. A worthy aim, certainly. This included government backing of the development of Sizewell C to the tune of £679M, the plan to develop the plant being now approved by government. Quote, […]
Fracking Part 2: Association with Earthquakes in the USA
In Fracking Part 1 I concluded with the observation that fracking of inland oil or gas wells had been banned in the UK after an exploratory well in Lancashire gave rise to seismic events up to magnitude 2.3, a magnitude of seismic event that occurs 160 times per year in the UK. That hardly seems […]
Fracking Part 1
This is an introduction to the basics of fracking inland gas wells. It is based on an article I wrote in 2013 but I have made several updates. In particular, I have removed the material relating to the possible association of fracking with earthquakes in the USA. This will be covered in detail in an […]
Nuclear Power v Covid-19
In this extremely brief post I make a very simple point. The Government does not have its priorities right. I sense your amazement. The National Audit Office tells us, as of June 2022, that the extraordinary costs arising from the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 saga is estimated to be £376 billion, with £321 billion […]
Could Wind Power Alone Be Enough?
In my previous post, Generation, Capacity and Load Factors, I noted that the data appeared to support the interpretation that CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) generation was obliged to ramp up and down in response to the prevailing generation from non-thermal renewables, essentially wind power. In this post I consolidate this conclusion by looking at […]
Generation, Capacity and Load Factors
In this post I present data on the installed capacity of electricity generation in the UK, by broad type of source / fuel, and how this has varied dramatically over recent decades. I also present data on the Load Factors of these generation sources, again by broad source / fuel types. The Load Factor is […]
Is nuclear power safe? Part 1
Is nuclear power safe? No. There is no safety to be had in this world. End of. Get used to it. Ah, but is nuclear power safe enough? That is a different, and more sensible question. The public do not like the idea that there are degrees of safety. They beg to be infantilised by […]
Oh no, not entropy!
If there’s one concept that perennially defeats even students of physics or engineering it is entropy. So let’s not go there. Let’s talk about engines and heat pumps instead. Don’t worry I’m not about to regale you with Coefficients of Performance or how big your radiators will need to be – though perhaps I will […]
The Iniquity of Gas Generation
No, I do not refer to carbon-dioxide emissions. I refer to the efficient use of energy. I refer to what is long forgotten or never appreciated. I refer to the huge changes that came about due to privatisation of the electricity generation industry in the UK in 1990. For simplicity of exposition I shall confine […]
Subsidies to Renewables: Who Pays and How Much?
This is a tricky time to be presenting data on the cost of energy to consumers. There were massive hikes in domestic electricity and gas prices in April 2022 and again in October 2022 – initially with a further swinging increase on the cards for April 2023. (Do note, however, that wholesale gas prices, which […]