|Quiet Revolution wind turbines|
Keeping the lights and heat on
The options for guaranteeing the UK's energy supply for the future was the topic for Graham Goodeve's talk at Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group's meeting last Thursday.
The Government, the fossil fuel industry and renewable energy groups are all looking to the resources that will be needed to provide for the ever increasing demand. Edward Davey, Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has confirmed that we will need a mix of resources.
Coal is the largest resource of fossil fuel. This creates CO2 emissions (a potent contributor to global warming) and there is currently no proven system of storing them - and if stored underground will they stay there?
Known reserves for gas and oil are 60 years and 50 years respectively at the current level of consumption. However there is ever increasing demand. Ten years ago ago the UK was an exporter of energy and now it imports a quarter of our needs with gas coming from Norway, Qatar and the Netherlands.
Graham stressed the need to develop our own resources. We currently produce some oil and gas from shale. The new fracking technique is very contentious and – as members discussed – is only a way of delaying facing up to climate change. It was pointed out that America is a big, sparsely populated country and the gas cannot be readily exported – unlike here where it will be bought by the highest bidder.
Nuclear power stations are currently being phased out. Agreement has not yet been reached over new ones and they will not come on stream for many years. The problems with dealing with decommissioning and waste have not yet been solved.
Fusion is the ultimate answer and work is underway but again could be 30 years down the line.
Renewables could make a huge contribution. We are a windy island surrounded by sea. These forces are infinite. Tidal energy is proven with examples from around the world. The Severn Estuary has the second largest tidal range in the world. There are various options that could be used to capture the energy which could be equivalent to five nuclear power stations!
Hydro electricity is being used in both large and small scale projects such as at Dinorwig and in the Brecon Beacons.
Capturing the energy from wind is again a proven technology used widely around the world. One day in December last year it hit a high of 12.2% in the UK. In 2012 it contributed 8,445 MW (8%) of our electricity. Most production is offshore. It doesn't restrict smaller crafts and marine life thrives.
Geothermal is a huge resource available 24 hours a day. It could produce 20% of the UK's energy needs. There are 'hotspots' around the UK. In Cornwall it is used to heat the Eden Project plus 5,000 homes. In Hampshire it is used to heat public buildings. Oriel y Parc at St Davids uses it to heat the gallery and visitor centre. It can also be used domestically to heat individual homes.
The power of the sun can be captured for heating hot water in the home, schools or business premises. Photo voltaic cells generate electricity. This again can be small scale or solar farms such as at Rhos-y-gilwern.
Graham wondered why we were importing wood for biomass burning when we could re-forest areas such as the Heads of the Valley and other former coal ming areas. Trees were a large part of the landscape in the past and now there is only 5% cover. It would create employment in managing them and provide for greater biodiversity.
All the renewable sources are available and do not endanger our children's future. Also they are free.
Graham was thanked by the Chair for an extremely informative evening – pointing out that we could pursue this topic well into the night.
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|24th May 2013||Life beneath the waves; the beauties and the beasts: A talk by Blaise Bullimore, European Marine Site Officer|
|29th March 2013||The National Trust in Wales - Energy Neutral by 2015: A talk by Paul Southall, NT Environment Advisor|
|1st March 2013||Climate Change and a Sustainable Future: A talk by Peter Davies, Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales|
|25th January 2013||Waste Not Want Not: A talk by Hywel Gibbs, Pembrokeshire County Council Waste Awareness Officer|
|30th November 2012||Array of Hope: A talk by Paul Carter & Kim Daye from RWE Renewables on The Atlantic Array|
|26th October 2012||The Green Deal: A talk by William Silverstone of Silverstone Green Energy|
|28th September 2012||A Fair Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy on PSEEG's renewable energy project|
|14th September 2012||Not a Waste of Time: a visit to Withyhedges Landfill and recycling centre|
|29th June 2012||The Need for a More Sustainable Future: A talk by Geraldine Leach of Transition Narberth|
|1st June 2012||Know your Flood Risk: A talk by Andy Irving, Flood Risk Management Team Leader|
|11th May 2012||The Power of the Sun: A visit to the Solar Farm at Rhosygilwen|
|23rd March 2012||Planting Green Thoughts: A talk by Jo Horsley, Environment Wales Development Officer|
|24th February 2012||The Atlantic Array offshore wind farm: A talk by Robert Thornhill, Development Manager|
|2nd December 2011||Pathfinder Progress: A talk by Peter Willis from the Welsh Government's Pathfinder Programme|
|4th November 2011||The DeltaStream project: A talk by Chris Williams, Development Director of Tidal Energy Ltd.|
|30th September 2011||How Green is my Valley?: A talk by Grenville Ham, Manager of The Green Valleys Project|
|23rd September 2011||PSEEG's visit to Carew Mill with Marten Lewis of the Darwin Centre|
|5th August 2011||The Manner of the Message: A talk by Neil Sefton on communication skills|
|24th June 2011||The Work of the Darwin Centre: A talk by Marten Lewis, manager of the Darwin Centre|
|27th May 2011||Electric Cars – The Road Ahead?: The talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles|
|13th May 2011||Are electric cars the way forward?: A talk by John Lilly of Dragon Electric Vehicles|
|22nd April 2011||Sustainability in Action: A visit to the Science & Technology Park (Technium) in Pembroke Dock|
|1st April 2011||A Revolution in Wind Energy?: A talk by Vaughan Griffiths from Quietrevolution, Pembroke Dock|
|25th February 2011||Preparing for Floods: A talk by Richard Wickes of the Environment Agency|
|14th January 2011||The Way Forward for Wind?: A talk by Steve Hack of Seren Energy|
|12th November 2010||How Green is your Castle?: The National Trust & Global Warming|
|15th October 2010||Challenge of the Rising Sea: The effects on the Pembrokeshire coastline|
|10th August 2010||The beautiful Welsh coastline: Response to possible rising sea levels|
|18th June 2010||Visit to Costain at Canaston Bridge: Not Costing the Earth|
|16th April 2010||Feed in Tariffs: Power to the People|
|12th March 2010||Heat Pumps & Photo Voltaic Panels: Prepare for the Goodlife|
|12th February 2010||Parliamentary Candiates at Green Question Time in Saundersfoot|
|15th January 2010||Weather & Climate: A Question of Energy|
|4th December 2009||Sustainable Community Ventures: Regeneration in Pembrokeshire|
|13th November 2009||Community Initiatives: Sustainable Wales leads by example|
|16th October 2009||Climate Change Challenge for Candidates & Micro-generation with wind turbines|
|2nd October 2009||A Visit to Castle Pill Wind Farm: Quiet blows the wind|
|11th September 2009||Renewable Sustainable Energy: An Energy Survey for South East Pembrokeshire|
|10th July 2009||A talk by Lorraine Dallmeier of Infinergy: Wind Power - Pembrokeshire's Potential|
|12th June 2009||St. Oswald's, Jeffreyston - Pembrokeshire's Beacon of Sustainability|
|24th April 2009||Solar Panels: Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire|
|13th March 2009||Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun|
|13th February 2009||Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?|
|14th November 2008||Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG|
|17th October 2008||PSEEG to become a Registered Charity|