Daily archives: January 18, 2006

micro generation in New Scientist

Two truncated pieces in the New Scientist (you need premium membership to see the full versions) show the way that energy policy should be going. The rooftop power revolution and Editorial: A generator in every home. Somebody find the recent UK government report that estimates that such microgeneration could supply 25 per cent of the country’s electricity by 2050 and make sure the Energy Secretary reads it.

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Nuclear power no use

A recent poll found that 54% of people would support nucler power if it could stop global warming. The crucial word there is if. There are a lot of things that people would do if there were a guaranteed pay off. More importantly, and the part that Blair will ignore, 78% felt that renewable sources were more important in the fight against climate change, and 76% thought reducing energy through lifestyle changes and energy efficiency was better.

Far better, [Dr Kevin Anderson, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester] believed, was a policy which sought significant emission reductions through greater efficiency.

“Why are we still selling fridges with a B, C, D, and E ratings? An A-rated fridge is a standard and you set it. You make sure all new buildings are well built with very high energy efficiency.

“You inform industry that standards will be incrementally increased so that they have market signals. You tell car manufacturers, for example, that to sell a car on a UK forecourt by 2010, it must meet a minimum fuel economy.”

Which is pretty much what the Liberal Democrats say, making them still the most sensible political party no matter what they did to Charles Kennedy.

[Environment spokesman Norman Baker] said: “A new generation of nuclear power stations should not be part of the future UK energy mix.

“Nuclear power is hopelessly uneconomic and the commissioning of a new generation would effectively result in a nuclear tax on every household to pay for them.

“A new generation of nuclear power stations would generate vast quantities of nuclear waste and divert essential funding away from energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy.”

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'Better insulation could save £120'

Millions of British homes do not have enough insulation to cope during cold spells, a new survey has shown.

Householders prefer to crank up their thermostats to keep themselves warm.

This wastes an estimated £1.5 billion and produces 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Rather than wasting time and money trying to relaunch nuclear power Blair should call for an initiative to fix this problem and cut energy consumption in general. Prevention is better than cure, remember. If the country’s using less energy then it can afford to get its electricity from more sustainable sources.

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