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UK Windfarms “Lost opportunities “

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Completely agree.

This big push to build and make everyone buy electric cars is largely missing the point IMO. The way we currently use cars is a massive waste of energy, regardless of fuel source. We need to rethink the whole thing.

As you say, most journeys are under 5 miles, and with only 1 or at most 2 occupants. Cars need to be designed accordingly, and people encouraged to use much healthier forms of transportation. More and more fat SUVs carrying increasingly fat people is clearly not the answer.




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7 hours ago, agg221 said:

The UK has 8 planned wind farms. Each wind farm needs how many sub-stations? 2 seems to be about right. That is demand for 16 sub-stations. Each sub-station should last the life of the project, judging by the life expectancy of existing sub-stations. I would say that a total requirement of 16 is pretty limited. Once built, that's it, the demand ends because the UK's supply is more expensive than other offerings in the international marketplace, so it does not have export potential. Other countries are ploughing in the money because they can build cost-effectively to supply an export market. This is because they are building on an existing infrastructure and have a lower labour cost base. The UK would have to invest in the infrastructure and would still have a higher cost base. It would also have to licence the IP. That means it would inherently be more expensive. Even if you believe the extra price is worth paying to serve the domestic market, and that the 'working class families' you believe this will benefit have plenty of spare cash to pay the associated increased costs of electricity that go with this, there is still not going to be any export potential so the whole infrastructure only lasts the lifetime of the UK build projects.


That requirement is also over a short timeframe. That means you would build all the infrastructure and train all the people to meet a short-term requirement. The alternative would be to train far fewer people and build them over a much longer timeframe to artificially create continuous demand. The average working life is now supposed to be 50yrs. The current requirement is supposed to be met over 10yrs. If you drag out construction and hold up implementation, and only create 20% of the workforce then yes, I suppose you could argue it is continuous.


If you geared up to deliver in the UK to the currently planned timeframe, what are all the people you have trained to do this going to do once their jobs are gone 10yrs later?

If you create the very limited supply to delay implementation in order to artificially make the jobs sustainable, what are you going to switch off due to lack of electrical power to meet demand when you don't build it in time?


I am quite open to alternatives, but only if they actually answer the key questions. So far you have not done this. You are quite right that we are not going to agree if you don't believe industries which underpin half a million jobs and contribute billions to the balance of trade are important, and you don't believe it is important to balance the books. I am no Thatcherite - even the GLC under Red Ken believed that was important!



You are right we won’t agree 

you have obviously given up closed your mind and are happy with the current set up. When did I say half a million jobs was not important ??? the debate on this has been quite civilised but I do  get the impression you are very rarely wrong Alec. My views on thatcher and how she obliterated mining communities due to pits being unprofitable then put a whole village of say 1500 in my case on the dole, and subsequently proceeded to import coal from all over the world often from countries with far worse safety standards than ours won’t change. Luckily I do think people are waking up to the whole free for all around our coast and are more or less asking the questions I’ve put so hopefully people won’t be content with the current state of affairs. Substation jackets  and all the extra monopoles or deep water tripods etc ????? Alec there is work for years and years to come in this industry probably for far longer than you or I will be here. 

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43 minutes ago, Stere said:

In the the latest guy martin prog he tried to set fire to a lithuim battery, the newest generation ones  had some inbuilt tech that made them impressively un flamible


Guy explores the world of electric vehicles. Are they the future? Should you buy one?


Thinnk hydrogen may be future though as has energy density better than petrol



Battery energy density are very poor so  for range needs large heavy batteries.


Seem crazy  imo to carrying around massive batteries for 100 - 200 miles range when most journey are under 5 miles, and not very enviromental...

The Guy Martin programme was excellent in showing the pros and cons of current EV in an effective way, both at the vehicle and the systems level. It particularly highlighted the challenges of infrastructure. Just an observation (not a criticism), what it didn't do was to mechanically crush or pierce a cell. That would still induce a short which would set the whole pack off, even in a modern battery pack. That said, the risks are now relatively small. Any vehicle which carries its power on-board (unlike say a tram or an electric train) inherently carries a very energy-rich power supply and that means if it releases that energy faster than planned there will be fire/explosion. We accept this with hydrocarbon fuels so it isn't inherently worse than that, and is probably a lot better.


Hydrogen does have a lot of potential. There are some technical challenges to solve still. The two big questions are on-board storage and the debate over how to use it. Petrol has the high energy density per litre because it's a liquid, but liquefied hydrogen isn't practical as the boil off rate doesn't really work in small volumes. That means pressure cylinders. To store more you can increase the pressure but that means they need to be stronger, so you either use thicker walls (=heavier) or more exotic materials such as titanium or wound single fibre composite (=expensive). An alternative is metal hydride storage but it remains to be seen exactly what the weight penalty is at systems level. It can be used to power an internal combustion engine as a near-direct replacement for petrol, or it can be put through a fuel cell. The former is very straightforward but it is not zero emissions as it still releases nitrous oxides. At the moment, the debate over zero emissions vs. zero carbon emissions has not been resolved. Fuel cells are much more energy efficient (nearly 3x the efficiency) but they use platinum as a catalyst and at 100g/car the entire global reserves are only about enough to convert one continent.


Re-thinking transport as a whole makes sense. We have quietly made a lot of changes during the pandemic with the huge rise in internet shopping and working from home. Hauling the vehicle itself around is a much higher energy cost than the payload so home delivery in loaded vans uses less energy per item than the weekly shop or trips to B&Q and not doing the daily commute helps hugely. These do have to be traded against the societal impact and the effect on mental health though (although that does rather depend on who your colleagues are I suppose!)



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Not read the whole thread, but since Nigg was mentioned in the first post;

There was an interesting programme on the telly tonight about Nigg 

It seems a huge number of local guys now aged 60-80 worked at Nigg at somepoint, lots of great stories you hear. The money was bonkers at it's height, weekly wage many times what you'd get in any other local work. Most of it probably spent on drink

! Sounds like to get a job all you had you do was turn up at the yard gates and pester them. Busses running from every town and village, 24hrs, 3 shifts a day



The story of how over 5,000 men came together to create oil platforms in the North Sea.


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Limited Market !!! 

Announcements such as this are a daily occurrence with the current wind energy boom in full swing, rather than limited the market is enormous. 


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What about a flying wind turbine




The strong wind speeds of Shetland are being used by an inventor to develop innovative technology to generate electricity using kites. Rod Read hopes to





Kite Turbines


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