Down the Docks

July 28, 2006

More Power

Filed under: Environment — ealing @ 12:07 am

In response to my entry on power a couple of months ago, my loyal reader writes:

“[W]hy are you against biomass? I thought it a rather good idea. Secondly, I think there is another promising technology that you’ve not mentioned. Micro-generation. It invloves people generating electricity from their own gas boilers in their houses and then supplying this back to the grid. Apparently, “the grid” in it’s current form is inefficient and this would help a lot. Also, I think it makes individula boilers more efficient.”

Well, the problem with biomass is that every big agricultural player wants to get on the bandwagon, to get a new market for their crops. How are they going to produce these crops? As intensively as possible, of course. Given the scale of the demands we put on fertile land at the moment, I can’t see how trying to replace all of our petrol with output form that land is going to improve things. George Monbiot went into the details in some depth last year. I’m not opposed to making fuel out of left over bits and bobs, such as that which powers the Linköping – Vastervik railway, but large-scale dedicated production would be a disaster.

As for microgeneration, I’m all in favour of it. We should be able to sell excess power back to the national grid, as this would help lower the costs of installing renewable power sources. I’m informed by a lawyer friend that the government have create a regulatory environment that all but precludes this. Shame on them. Microgeneration per se is not on my list because it just means small-scale generation, rather than prescribing the type of generation, such as solar, or MicroCHP. All of the likely power sources are either renewable or boost efficiency, so I’m in favour of them in any case.


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