Underwater turbines are ideal for the UK, and would provide work all around the country. I can think of a lot of shipyards that can be refitted to produce the turbines. Also it would make a good reason to keep our steel production plants in operation.
At over £92.50 per KW the cost per hour is extortionate. I am sure every other renewable energy source is cheaper. I would rather see us buying turbines, or the licence to make the ones being tried out in Alderney Race than build a nuclear power station.
Perhaps it would be better to consider supporting the solar industry again, and offer better feed in tariffs for solar arrays, and to offer subsidies again for putting solar on roofs. If every home had a three kilowatt array that fed into the grid, and could use a battery backup for night time to use for fridges and freezers we might not need huge power stations.
One of the things us Brits use that causes peaks is the electric kettle. Also the toaster is an energy grabber. One of the easy ways to stop using huge amounts of energy is to boil the kettle and then put the water in a thermos flask. Agreed tea is not quite as good made with water from the flask but you soon get used to it.
We leave way too many things on standby, there ought to be a law saying there must be a built in battery to save settings for up to a month on the TV. Then if you go on holiday your settings get saved without leaving the TV plugged in. Not sure how this would work for recording programs, but the Skybox could have the programmer linked to a power up and power down for just the programs needed.
Perhaps it would just be socially responsible to use a leisure battery and a small camping solar panel for charging all our gizmos rather than leaving them plugged into the wall. I think power monkey do something that means you can use solar to power on the go.
We we have to get better at conserving energy as well as making more that is sustainable and cheaper.
Besides if we all want electric cars within the next ten years we will have to come up with some joined up thinking on energy storage.
I think it would be very cool to use solar panels to charge the car, then use the car battery at night to backup the house electrics. I am sure some appliances could work on DC, like the fridge and freezer.
Yes I found a few companies making DC solar refrigerators. Sundanzer in Australia for one. Also the benefit of a brushless motor is that it is quiet! These fridges and freezers seem to use a fraction of the energy of a regular aaa rated fridge too. These are built as chest type fridges and freezers, however For the sake of superb energy savings and great performance of the chest type fridge it's something we could get used to. An American company make them as uprights as well. Expensive because they are not mainstream, but cost would come down by demand.
Honda are making a converter that they are planning to sell with their electric cars. This can convert the DC from the battery back to AC and it makes no noise. It can deliver up to 9KW back to the house.
This means with a lot of electric cars plugged in and a smart energy chip that monitors how much energy is being 'swapped' either back to the grid or needed for car charging, We could actually use all the car batteries in a super link storage that supplements solar and wind renewables. This would even out the peaks and troughs.
we could use the green power system, where buying green power from other people's solar that they can't use during the day to charge up the car battery, then plugging it in overnight to supplement grid networks.
Obviously the use of the owners car battery has to be taken into account, so the object would be to get cheaper energy that is sustainable from renewables, while still being able to drive your car on electricity. The government are currently offering grants for electric and PHEV cars, so with this, and a scheme for using the battery as backup, and offsets to cost of charging, I would allow my battery to go on grid.
There needs to be more efficiency in charging the car too as charging off AC wastes electricity converting it to the batteries. There are modular batteries that hook onto solar panels. Also if you generate the power yourself, I doubt it would get wasted, as with all the lovely technology available, motion sensors on room lights, and an educated joined up thinking on reducing household energy consumption perhaps we can reduce the load on our power stations.
Denmark are getting into using biogas plants in a big way to serve local areas that are farming cows. The technology is reliable, relatively quick to build, deals with household food waste and slurry, so alleviates landfill, polluted water, spreading untreated farm slurry causing a buildup of nitrates, and I also think the fiber content can be used as pellets for biomas heating.
They have educated the public to carefully separate any food waste, and this is picked up on a separate collection for the digester, in a biodegradable paper bag.
I am thinking about all the tons of food waste from farms that don't make it to the supermarket. This would help farmers a lot if there was some value to the crops that just get dumped right now.
Seaweed can be processed in digesters too, so any beach cleaning can become more profitable instead of just dumping the seaweed back at the low water line on holiday beaches.
With human waste separated and going through one system and non human bio matter going through another there is no contamination. The end product of the bio waste is sterilised and can then be used as fertiliser that has a much lower impact on the environment than raw slurry.
The Farmer drops off a load of untreated slurry and gets treated manure in exchange. They don't have to store it. It's just worth looking into for rural, and semi rural areas to deal with waste.
win win all round in my opinion.
Many French households are now converting to pellet stoves. They are considered environmentally friendly and I assume could use the pellets from the bio plants as fuel. I wonder if there could be a way to make a biomass boiler produce some electricity when it runs in winter for household use.
Yup, the Austrians have coupled a sterling engine to a pellet stove and called it Pellematic. It puts out rather a lot of heat running at full capacity to produce 24kw per day on continuous mode, but the technology is here, and the possibility of reducing the heat output and increasing the electricity dump only a few models away I suspect.
Just enough to keep about 10kw of extra home battery backup. (And the car charged of course)!
We have just got to build new homes with centralised heating and energy distribution on estates using this kind of technology and alleviate this insane idea that all the power we want has to come from huge power stations.
Speaking of which the Drax power station near Selby has been converted to biomass which are imported pellets from America. I wonder if farms could pellet up their animal waste and ship it to Drax and try running one of the turbines on dried cow dung!
The thought of importing wood chips from Canada is ludicrous. With proper Eco management we could re invest in growing trees for Pollarding for Biomass. Create lots of work, and manage our countryside in a more holistic way. This would benefit the environment, and re stabilise our ecology. Perhaps with the right planting it will also help to reduce flooding which has now become a big problem in the UK where old land management skills have been abandoned.