The difference between combined cycle and open cycle gas turbines is explained here: http://www.ipieca.org/energyefficiency/solutions/27321
Our apparently incompetent Secretary of State responsible for ensuring that the lights keep on admitted that she does not know how many gas fired power stations are needed, but is going to ensure that the UK’s remaining coal generating capacity is gone by 2025!
Ms Rudd has also announced that wind and solar generators must bear the burden of dealing with their intermittency and stated that UK could double its offshore wind capacity if costs come down!
Oh Dear! Please bear with us Dear Reader, whilst we advise give Ms Rudd the following “advice” – the ONLY way the intermittency inherent in wind turbine technology is to ensure that the wind blows at a constant pressure over the turbine blades 24/7 hours/days 365 days/year! The only one who can see to this is the Almighty!
But then we jest! Because Ms Rudd clearly knows this. So the question we must ask is this: What is behind all this?
The answer of course is: POLITICS!
Ms Rudd is first and foremost a politician and thus her statements must be interpreted accordingly. As such, one must study the words, look at the situation and draw conclusions.
Central to Ms Rudd’s strategy is to achieve two objectives:
1. Keep the lights on! Failure to do this will result in failure to keep her job!
2. To persevere with the “decarbonisation of the British economy for the sake of the planet!”
In other words, one objective is rooted in reality whilst the other is founded in fantasy!
It is therefore with some relief we can report that there are indications that Ms Rudd does know which is which! Which is more than can be said for one of her delusional predecessors the Unfortunate Davy!
Ms Rudd has clearly shifted the focus of energy policy in a couple of ways. You see there has to be the so called “green energy source.” To date this has been for the most part wind turbines.
Wind turbines suited the government admirably. You see, the generation of electricity by these wind turbines was of secondary importance! The principal reason for the encouragement of wind turbines was to be seen to be doing something. You see, to the politician, wind turbines have the following advantages:
1. They are highly visible! People complain about them! This means that the politicians can point to them and say; here is the evidence! We are tackling the problem!
2. They are not expensive. A word of explanation here: Whilst the unit cost of the electricity generated from these devices is high, the actually cost of a single wind turbine when compared with the cost of say a coal fired power station is insignificant. Thus the wind turbine justifies its existence in the so called “mix” of energy providers! In other words, wind turbines produce an insignificant output to the grid but their cost is insignificant to the grid as a whole!
However, further expansion will only drive up energy bills further!
This however does nothing to to diminish the perceived need to be seen to be doing something! Ms Rudd therefore needs another high profile distraction! She now has it. It is called “Hinckley C” and it is in Somerset! “Hinckley C” is going to cost a lot of money and is likely to send it’s first MegaWatt of electricity to the grid in thirty years time!
The figure of thirty years is one your Editor has come up with based on the facts that the French designed reactor has had and continues to have huge problems and the two plants in France and Finland are way behind schedule and way over budget.
Of course, the Chinese investors are rubbing their hands with glee in the prospect of trousering millions upon millions of GB £ when the plant eventually generates electricity! So much so, the British Gazette suggests that Hinckley “C” should be renamed.
As you know Dear Reader, Hinkley Point is a headland on the Bristol Channel coast of Somerset, 5 miles north of Bridgwater and 5 miles west of Burnham-on-Sea, close to the mouth of the River Parrett. It is a popular location for birdwatching and fossil hunting. It is this latter feature that suggests the new name that reflects the origin of the funds which will have built it. Such fossils as are found can be those of dinosaurs, or let us say, “dragons” – so we therefore suggest that the Chinese investors may prefer to call their new money spinning enterprise, The Lucky Dragon Power Company PLC!
It sounds like a Chinese Take-away! We hear you say. But of course! It is. It is where the Chinese will take away your money! – The huge increases in your electricity bill!
Of course this does nothing to address the urgent need to keep the lights on!
We can therefore be confident that the bulk of the UK’s electricity will come from combined cycle gas turbine power stations. These stations of course will use gas which is a “fossil fuel.”
There is of course much talk of fracking.
Ms Rudd has made statements on this subject which appear to support fracking.
In any event the stations will require gas. The bulk of it is likely to be imported from Russia.
This means we must all be very polite to that very nice gentleman, President Vladimir Putin!