19 Dec 2008
How about if we get our Mechanical Engineer hats on and talk about building Victorian Water pumps on the Barrage instead of generating electricity directly we pump (sea) water up hill. We have a lovely area near Bristol called Lulsgate which would make an excellent High Level Storage Pond at about 126 Metres above the Estuary. It currently makes for an awful airport .. fog bound and inaccessible .. which planners allowed it ??? The pond would according to calculations store more than a tides' worth and could, depending on depth/dam wall height, be also used for smoothing wind.
This approach TURNS PERIODIC POWER into PEAK LOAD POWER. VERY VALUABLE it is too. The say 3 or 4GW hydro power station at sea level on the Severn Estuary could go from zero to full power in less than 20 seconds and replace much, if not all, spinning reserve on the grid performed currently by coal-fired generators. That has to be worth a lot in Carbon terms.
A few technology challenges - however, our Victoria Engineers would not have been afraid. Just DO NOT employ the engineers who designed Terminal 5 at Heathrow !
We then put an International Multi-Runway Airport on or near the Barrage and a Sea Port there to boot.
That way we do not build at massive cost a full-sized ship lock. Of course a say 100 ft lock for light ships and leisure boats is a must. Good road and rail connections obviate the need to bring ships further nowadays. The road and rail connection across the barrage is a useful bonus. An Ultra High Speed (400+mph) connection to London (Midlands and South Wales) via Mono Rail has to top the 21st Century developments to LEAD THE WORLD.
A consortium under the umbrella of an LLP where Dale Vince, Chris Cook, Dr Nick Bell and a few other Energy Entrepreneurs form and lead the LLP - a Partnership where people (Stakeholders) buy FUTURE ELECTRICITY SUPPLIES AT A FIXED PRICE as investment may well allow this to take off in a new commercial way WITHOUT GOVERNMENT FUNDING.
If people invest in this way, they can then sell their Electricity Allowance to generate income in retirement. This allows investment with income as REAL PRODUCTS which can be sold at future prices making the investment future proof. This approach has Chris Cook to thank.
A similar approach to Concentrated Solar Power in North Africa with HVDC Undersea Connections around the Iberian Peninsula may also apply once the Bell-Stirling Heat Engine has moved from concept to reality.
Unfortunately, owing to severe lack of support by the BUREAUCRATIC AND TECHNICALLY DEFICIENT IMBECILIES at the Energy Technology Institute and the Technology Strategy Board, who failed to see its potential, thedevelopment of the new Bell-Stirling Engine Heat Engine will be EXPORTED and will go to Australia and America. The engine applies modern materials, production techniques .. indeed aero engine technology to a very old idea. The engine is expected to be announced early in 2009.
Sad to say our politicians feel we MUST export all our good ideas so Great Britain Limited cannot benefit ....
22 Dec 2008
ANBs idea of a spinning reserve is great, because we could then increase the amount of wind energy and reduce the installed capacity of standby generators - a few less coal or nuclear power stations would be a great idea.
What might be better is a combination of the two - if you could use part of the energy from a tide cycle to pump-store and then use that energy to bridge the energy gap between the tides, then the energy could be considered base load. Alternatively have 2 barrages seperated by a large distance such that there would be no gap in the energy produced from the 'system'.
The opportunity cost of us paying for fuel subsidy vs the cost of the barrage or several barrages is a neat one.
As you say the government is more interested in gettting people across london rather than sort out the countries energy needs. It would sooner sell out to nuclear generating companies rather than develop and utilise our natural resources. Annoying that we don't have a decent choice when electing our MPs.