Hmmm! Think we've had this before,David. I refer you to my reply #118. I repeat,your information on 'alternative energy sources' is way out of date. Some might say it borders on deliberate misinformation. For example,the cost of a VIABLE solar panel,that will generate around 120 Watts,is nowhere near £8,000 - more like £600. To put that into perspective,it would power quite a few TVs. And,as with wind turbines,as the technology improves the price falls. In the not-too-distant future,I foresee all new houses incorporating solar panels. A bank of six would probably produce enough power for an average family home. And small wind turbines will become as common-place as satellite dishes. As I understand it,the technological challenge at the moment is not 'harvesting' the free energy,but storing it. But consider this: In 1984,a friend of mine had one of the first commercially available mobile (cell) phones. The battery for this was the size of two house bricks - and weighed a lot more! How big are they now? Another friend of mine has a farm in France. He has a 12 metre wind turbine on his property that produces all his electric needs,and he actually sells power to the French national grid! 'Necessity is the mother of all invention'?
Reply #201. Jun 08 10, 10:54 AM
Paul, if one £600 panel would power "quite a few TVs," how many panels would you need to run one oven, one washing machine, perhaps a tumble drier, one dishwasher, one water heater, one central heating system - and one television? I looked at solar panels a few years ago, and I can't remember any of the figures I was given, only my conclusion: that breaking even on the expenditure would take about fifty years. |
Kudos to your friend in France for what he's doing with wind energy. Attempts to create wind farms here seem to have been met with objections: they spoil the look of the countryside, they're too noisy, they're inefficient, birds fly into them and die. I suspect that wind turbines won't become commonplace while so many people still reject them.
Reply #202. Jun 08 10, 11:20 AM
A viable technology usually shows rapid progress after it's introduced. Less than fifty tears after the first manned flight, planes were breaking the sound barrier. Or look at computers, cell phones, etc. Those stupid wind turbines have been around for decades, and they are still incredibly expensive, unreliable, noisy and inefficient. If there were a future in wind power or solar power, we'd know it by now. Companies would be popping up all over the place, and huge amounts of capital would be invested in them. Instead, nothing but government subsidized little showcase projects. Solar power and wind power are just pipe dreams. They are needn't at any rate, because global warming has turned out to be nothing more than a hoax.|
Reply #203. Jun 08 10, 11:45 AM
The UK is nearing an energy crisis, and no amount of wind mills or solar panels will stave it off. When you consider how many houses are being built, the numbers of people arriving from other countries and energy hungry gadgets becoming everyday labour saving/entertaining 'neccessities', I imagine it will get worse before it gets better. Clean coal technology has yet to be proven in laerge scale plants yet, some "greens" don't even want to give it a chance to work. They seem to be happier with our electricity supplies being sourced from very cheap Russian gas whilst pushing prices up ever higher which has also increased the huge profits of the power companies.|
When the power crisis does arrive, I just hope I'm not on a life support machine.
Coal prediction 2008 v v
What is amazing about the UK's energy suppliers, who owns them.
E.ON - German conglomerate.
Scottish Power - Iberdola (Spain)
EDF - France.
Three massive companies, from abroad, making massive profits out of the British public. Makes you want to sling up a solar panel on your roof and a wind mill in the garden.
Reply #204. Jun 08 10, 12:33 PM
I know what you mean, BP, BP, BP.|
Reply #205. Jun 08 10, 12:59 PM
Actually, NPower, EDF and EON...|
Reply #206. Jun 08 10, 3:33 PM
Actualy I was talking about the massive company from abroad who makes massive profits who has devastated the Gulf of Mexico and all the people who live there with their oil. British Patroleum.|
Reply #207. Jun 08 10, 4:05 PM
I well remember it Paul but my figures aren't based on any from then but within the last few weeks. The two types were put through their paces in a newspaper, and the £55 a year savings was the latest average figure per unit. Not only did they quote a standard roof solar power at £8,000, a few days later on Watchdog they followed a company selling them for £10,000 and said that was a typical price. As daver says, the progress since the old calculators appeared in the 80s has really got nowhere, especially in comparison to mobile phones and computers. And the TV example is an even better one, someone I know on another site enquired to get a solar panel himself, and asked what he could run from it, and they said a TV, he said, is that the whole time, and they said no, just an hour a day. That was direct from the company themselves and add to that the many countries in the world that have months with very little sunshine like us. In addition green energy worlwide is heavily subsidised from conventional customers otherwise it would cost a lot more.|
This US site agrees with me, the average cost including installation and inverters (whatever they are but clearly vital) is $30-40,000. At any rate the price per watt of both is around 8 times the price of normal energy. The average for solar is $4.80 per watt for example.
Prices are changing the whole time but take away the subsidies and the two alternatives here will probably be abandoned by all but the most determined users. The current closing of the price gap is mainly due to the increased costs being added to fossil fuel to try and tempt customers to the others, which is hardly realistic or fair. If it was so good it would stand on its own.
It's been pretty tough finding the current prices per watt for fossil fuel but the last two articles I read recently were about 8 times higher. I'm also quite sure if they became comparable in price and performance factories worldwide would be happy to use them as well. Another site says that once you go from powering a few villages with wind turbines to whole cities you'd end up using almost as much land as each city took up to provide enough units, plus of course they couldn't function constantly and would still need to be run in tandem with a conventional generator as backup.
I'm surprised no one's mentioned elecrtic cars yet- 100 miles or so maximum range and overnight to charge, fine if you happen to run out of power at home, if not then what? The alternative there is the battery exchange where garages hold stocks of charged batteries they swap over each time. Not as easy as filling up with petrol though. And of course the charging is only provided by whatever the electricity station is using to generate it, and as few currently use much beyond the usual stuff. Plus the mercury and other poisons in the batteries has to be disposed of eventually. All I can conclude is if there ever will be a real alternative it won't be anything we know of now, and if anything has potential I'd look to magnets and water from what I've been finding out.
Reply #208. Jun 08 10, 4:37 PM
I have heard about the grain too. Yes, I think BP has rightfully accepted the blame for this.|
Reply #211. Jun 08 10, 6:26 PM
Even if they employed rubbish contractors, they did choose the contractors. Sad mess. |
Reply #212. Jun 08 10, 6:41 PM
Thanks, Judy. Another miserable story. I would hope that the farmers will be compensated, presumably by the EU, as the suppliers don't seem to think it's important. Otherwise, there's not much point being in the EU. Although, now I think about it... |
Reply #214. Jun 08 10, 7:50 PM
For many of us in the US who see the Gulf situation night after night on the news, it is very disheartening to see our beautiful coasts and marshlands being effected. We often vacation along the coast and enjoy the white beaches and the wildlife. As to whether it would be such a big deal if it were an American company, who can say, but BP has been irresponsible and will need to see this situation through which may take several years. |
Reply #215. Jun 08 10, 10:05 PM
Disgraceful as the BP oil leak is - fact is that almost all with any pension scheme have BP shares in their portfolio and boycotting BP will only make these shares sink and said pension funds suffer greatly.|
Fishermen are being paid $1000+ per day by BP at the moment - far in excess of the dwindling earnings they were making from fishing and the massive drop in the price of shrimp in the face of Asian imports. Also understand that the bay was pretty badly polluted anyway.
Am sure Obama is clapping his hands in glee that this wasnt a US company...
A dreadful ecological disaster but solely caused by man's greed for oil.
Reply #216. Jun 09 10, 2:40 AM
Incidentally, while I am on rant, BP has not been called British Petroleum for over 9 years. It is a multinational company and I understand that 1 in 4 people worldwide have it's shares in their pension portfolio.|
Reply #217. Jun 09 10, 2:43 AM
Personally, I haven't heard many people complaining about BP; they seem to be doing everything they can to stop the leak; Tony Hayward has made a few unfortunate comments that haven't helped though. There is much more resentment towards our government officials, who were slow to react and really haven't responded well to the crisis. As for the genetically modified grain - that seens to be much ado about nothing. GM crops aren't dangerous. I wouldn't have any qualms about eating food made from GM grain. Such products are our best bet to fight world hunger.|
Reply #218. Jun 09 10, 7:32 AM
Daver, while BP is doing everything that they can to stop the oil, every day we are made aware of lies about what is really happening with the oil. It should never have happened in the first place. Woe to all the investors in BP and all the people who have been harmed when BP files for bankruptcy.|
Reply #219. Jun 09 10, 8:36 AM
Sarah Palin did point out that had they been allowed to drill in the Arctic, which would not have been able to explode and leak oil into the sea, they probably would never have dreamed of the offshore drilling but was all that was left. As it was the environmentalists who forced the ban in the Arctic in the first place it shows you can't just shift a problem elsewhere, it just moves it elsewhere and in this case infinitely worse as a result. Environmenalists need oil as much as everyone else, they just don't like it. They also exhale CO2 just as much, go figure.|
Reply #220. Jun 09 10, 8:36 AM
Legal / Conditions of Use