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Britain’s energy crisis: How long till the lights go out? | The Economist

The Economist asks some very reasonable questions: Thanks to its posturing politicians, Britain will soon start to run out of electricity. What should it do? IN THE frigid opening days of 2009, Britain’s electricity demand peaked at 59 gigawatts (GW). Just over 45% of that came from power plants fuelled by gas from the North Sea. A further 35% or so came from coal, less than 15% from nuclear power and the rest from a hotch-potch of other sources. By […]

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FT.com – The brighter side of expensive oil

Perhaps cold comfort to those of us who live out of the city: It is often pointed out that if Martin Luther King’s most famous speech had declared: “I have a nightmare”, he would not have persuaded anyone. He might not have sold very many books, either. There is only so much gloom the average reader can take, and today’s publishing climate is not receptive to Old Testament prophecies of imminent destruction. … Expensive petrol, he suggests, will bring all […]

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Some favourite quotes from Karl Popper

Karl Popper is without doubt my favourite character in political philosophy. He was rational, believing knowledge and truth to be objective, but aware of the boundaries of reason. A scientist but concerned with the mechanisms of society. By humanitarian inclination a social democrat — when that meant “Marxist” — but by reason a liberal: a believer in freedom. In the course of things, I rediscovered these quotations by Popper, which seem apt today, as we hastily seek solutions to our […]

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FT.com – Call for more intervention on energy

Via FT.com / UK / Politics & policy – Call for more intervention on energy: An “interventionist” approach by the government will be needed if security of energy supply is to be guaranteed, a report commissioned by the prime minister will conclude on Wednesday. Malcolm Wicks, the former energy minister appointed by Gordon Brown as his special representative for international energy issues, will say that “the time for market innocence is over” and that the government needs to do more […]

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A pipedream of six turbines a day until 2020 – Telegraph

Via A pipedream of six turbines a day until 2020 – Telegraph: Last Wednesday, two days before our Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, told us that motorists could help save the planet by changing more quickly to a lower gear, his underling Lord Hunt made one of the most absurd claims that can ever have been uttered by a British minister. Solemnly reported by the media, he said that by 2020 he hopes to see thousands more wind turbines round Britain’s […]

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Fixing the Grid: Make Conservation Simple (and Easy)

A smart grid requires smart electric meters that let households track and manage their power consumption in real time. The Obama administration wants 40 million homes to have technology like this installed within the next three years. But smart meters require smart consumers—or at least attentive ones—and most people don’t think about their energy use until it’s time to pay the bill or until the lights go out. 7 WAYS TO FIX THE GRID, NOW: Power to the People Generate […]

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Hydrogen cars – just a thought

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If the Californians have a “Hydrogen Highway“, which includes self-service hydrogen pumps, and if hydrogen internal combusion engines are possible, what are we waiting for and why are we talking about fuel cells?  Wikipedia refers to claims of 20% extra power… And surely the conversion effort would more or less that for LPG… Surely we could reduce our consumption of non-renewables faster if we used the cars we already have? And can fuel cells run on ethanol? Why not tri-fuel […]

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Gas supplies to Europe dry up as row between Russia and Ukraine deepens – Times Online

Gas supplies from Russia to Europe plummeted overnight with four countries reporting a complete halt as the dispute between Moscow and Ukraine over payment rates dramatically worsened. Kiev said that Gazprom, the Russian state gas company, had cut the flow by 60 per cent following Vladimir Putin’s threat yesterday to punish Ukraine for allegedly stealing fuel it is supposed to allow to transit through its pipelines en route to Europe. via Gas supplies to Europe dry up as row between […]

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BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Tidal energy system on full power

A tidal turbine near the mouth of Strangford Lough has begun producing electricity at full capacity for the first time. The SeaGen system now generates 1.2MW, the highest level of power produced by a tidal stream system anywhere in the world. via BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Tidal energy system on full power. I am a fan of tidal power. Inconstant as it is, it is regular, predictable and reliable. The same cannot be said of  wind or wave […]

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Coskata: next generation ethanol?

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Try searching Digg for biofuel: it’s not encouraging, but Coskata may be: Coskata is a biology-based renewable energy company. Our technology enables the low-cost production of ethanol from a wide variety of input material including biomass, municipal solid waste and other carbonaceous material. Using proprietary microorganisms and patented bioreactor designs, we will produce ethanol for under US$1.00 per gallon.

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