/ Fracking in Lancashire

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The Lemming - on 06 Oct 2016
It's now happening in my back yard.

Should I be concerned, or accept that I am a guinea pig?
GarethSL on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

How deep are they drilling?
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to GarethSL:

Apparently it'll be horizontal fracking, so not as deep, but the first of its kind in the UK.
ianstevens - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

Concerned. Massive precedent set that the UK Gov can do what they want, where they want, regardless of what local people want.

Plus the fact that rather than extending our fossil fuel based power mix, we should be looking at alternatives with low carbon dioxide emissions and greater sustainability.
3
RyanOsborne - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

> Concerned. Massive precedent set that the UK Gov can do what they want, where they want, regardless of what local people want.

> Plus the fact that rather than extending our fossil fuel based power mix, we should be looking at alternatives with low carbon dioxide emissions and greater sustainability.

Absolutely, I can't see a single positive of this for the population of our country. Quote how May can claim “It’s time to remember the good that government can do.” And then do this the next day is beyond me... Actually, it's not beyond me, it's standard tory behavior to screw the country for the good of your mates:

https://gasdrillinginbalcombe.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/balcombe-mp-appointed-cuadrilla-director-to-g...

The level of corruption is sickening.
2
Sir Chasm - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

> Concerned. Massive precedent set that the UK Gov can do what they want, where they want, regardless of what local people want.

> Plus the fact that rather than extending our fossil fuel based power mix, we should be looking at alternatives with low carbon dioxide emissions and greater sustainability.

If we avoided doing everything "local" people didn't want we wouldn't have any power generation at all.
2
galpinos on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

Mixed thoughts on this.

It seems to be a step in the wrong direction, as we should be moving away from fossil fuels and towards more renewables. However, gas plants are the easiest to turn on/off so the ideal power stations to supplement the inconsistent supply from the renewables that we have and will continue to have in the foreseeable future. They are also quicker to build and could be used in lieu of the old coal stations are very polluting and are all coming to the end of their working lives anyway.

I’ve a few concerns with Caudrilla as well due to their drilling outside of their licenses already within the UK which doesn’t hint at a company that will stay strictly within the rules.
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Bogwalloper - on 06 Oct 2016
pavelk - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

> Concerned. Massive precedent set that the UK Gov can do what they want, where they want, regardless of what local people want.

Is the Government drilling? Or is it a private company doing its business on private land?
8
Phil79 - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

Its fine, honestly....
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/science-technology/only-a-30-chance-of-cthulhu-say-fracking-exper...

Joking aside, if this was near I'd be concerned on at least some levels. Obviously there are well published accounts of the problems this has caused in the US, although that in large part was probably caused by lack of regulation and immature nature of technology, plus cowboy attitudes.

I think things have improved with the drilling and fracking technology itself, and it could probably be used perfectly safety (without negative impacts on local groundwater, etc) although I'm not convinced that adequate oversight has been (or will be) proposed to ensure that is the case.

Its good to see the BGS are at least doing some baseline monitoring of some of this stuff:
http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/groundwater/shaleGas/monitoring/lancashire.html

On a broader level (as others have pointed out), the public are clearly massively against this, and its deeply offensive that the government keep plowing on regardless. Especially when the impacts on reducing energy prices in the Uk will essentially be zero, and it will (I assume, I could be wrong) have a big carbon footprint and stand in direct opposition to our climate change commitments.

Also, there's the issues of traffic, water use, disruption, noise etc that will likely result.

How close are you to the actually drilling site?
1
ianstevens - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> If we avoided doing everything "local" people didn't want we wouldn't have any power generation at all.

Not at all. I'd be perfectly happy if someone decided to build a wind/solar farm outside my house.
1
ianstevens - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to pavelk:

> Is the Government drilling? Or is it a private company doing its business on private land?

Private company, private land. I was more referring to the fact that despite thae fact that planning permission was denied on a local level, the national government can step in and over-rule.
GarethSL on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

What site is it?
Sir Chasm - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

> Not at all. I'd be perfectly happy if someone decided to build a wind/solar farm outside my house.

But I'm also local and wouldn't, so you can't have one.
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Phil79 - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to pavelk:

> Is the Government drilling? Or is it a private company doing its business on private land?

Its a private company (Cuadrilla) doing the drilling, but the planning consent for it have been massively opposed at a local level, and the Local Planning Authority (Lancashire) recommended that the planning for drilling be refused. Cuadrilla then appealed and got the the government to review, and surprise surprise, they have just approved the scheme.

IT all looks a bit too cosy when the ex Cuadrilla Chairman is Lord Browne, senior figure in house of Lords. Also the current government have made it perfectly clear they want shale gas fracking to go ahead in the UK on a large scale.
baron - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:
I'd be more concerned that one day you'll flick the light switch and nothing will happen.
When there is a shortage of electricity it'll be the domestic consumers who are hit first and hardest.
Ask some of the old codgers on here what it was like in the 1970's.
Until this country grasps the nettle and builds new nuclear power stations we'll be teetering on the edge of power outages.
So, cut government funding for renewables (too expensive and unreliable), re-open coal mines (provides jobs in many deprived areas), build new nuclear power stations (provides jobs), stop importing gas and begin large scale fracking.
Problem of energy shortages solved, might be a few environmental issues, but hey I'm sure future generations will deal with them.
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Phil79 - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

> Until this country grasps the nettle and builds new nuclear power stations we'll be teetering on the edge of power outages.

Thats not the only option, far from it. And its expensive. Renewables should be a massive part of the energy mix going forward. Other countries manage it perfectly well. In fact you can even use inter-country grid connections to overcome some of the limitations of area and time specific nature of renewable energy.

> So, cut government funding for renewables (too expensive and unreliable), re-open coal mines (provides jobs in many deprived areas), build new nuclear power stations (provides jobs), stop importing gas and begin large scale fracking.

Fossil fuel gets far more funding and government support than renewables. Why dont we cut that first?

> Problem of energy shortages solved, might be a few environmental issues, but hey I'm sure future generations will deal with them.

Yeah, bollocks to the grand kids, lets crack on and royally f**k the environment. We'll all be dead anyway.
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wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

> we should be looking at alternatives with low carbon dioxide emissions and greater sustainability.

Most of which need responsive fossil backup for now. CCGT - gas burning - is by far the most efficient (least CO2) and cleanest (least pollutants) of the possibilities.

Back in the real world most people don't want their lights going out in a cold winter.
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wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Phil79:

> Renewables should be a massive part of the energy mix going forward.

Why "should"? Renewables have killed more people per kWh that nuclear. They kill more wildlife. They're going to need far more storage than nuclear (hello massive scale mining for lithium).

> In fact you can even use inter-country grid connections to overcome some of the limitations of area and time specific nature of renewable energy.

You can but you'll have to build them first. What we have now is not that, it's not even 5% of that. You're talking about 40 rows of mega pylons marching across France and under the channel and across Kent with a low time utilisation fraction. Cost it up and nuclear starts to look cheap...
Post edited at 12:15
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> If we avoided doing everything "local" people didn't want we wouldn't have any power generation at all.

Quite. You'll find vocal local groups around the country opposed to nuclear, fossil, wind, tidal. About the only one not to have this is rooftop solar. So long as you're not in a twee area where house prices could be threatened, erm sorry conservation area...
Frank the Husky - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming: I've asked theis question of friends of mine who have spent a lifetime or two in geology and they say that as long as it's done within the usual industry prootocols then it's absolutely safe and fine and nothing to worry about. Ignore the uninformed headlines and opinions, and ask someone who knows about geology and mining and you'll get a good answer.

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wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Frank the Husky:

This is what I've heard from people who work in related areas. The problem comes if you have a government unable or unwilling to enforce the relevant laws and codes. I sadly am not hopeful for this with our present government...
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to galpinos:

> Mixed thoughts on this.

> However, gas plants are the easiest to turn on/off so the ideal power stations to supplement the inconsistent supply from the renewables that we have and will continue to have in the foreseeable future.

In the very foreseeable future, smart grids, large-scale energy storage and virtual energy storage will be able to far easier and quicker mitigate spikes in demand than any form of generation. If the government put a fraction as much effort and expense into R&D to enable renewables to function at their most effective as they do pandering to their existing business chums, these technologies would be here before you knew it. The fact that the funding for carbon capture and storage was cut simultaneous to the aggressive pursuit of shale gas just increases my contempt.
1
Jim C - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

How is your house price holding up ?
Jim C - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> I've asked theis question of friends of mine who have spent a lifetime or two in geology and they say that as long as it's done within the usual industry prootocols then it's absolutely safe and fine and nothing to worry about. Ignore the uninformed headlines and opinions, and ask someone who knows about geology and mining and you'll get a good answer.

But is that how the estate agents and their customers see it ?
Jim C - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

I might be more confident if they would build a new Nuclear station to a proven design, with working reference plant and no design concerns.
(But we have got Hinkley instead which is none of the above)
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

> You can but you'll have to build them first. What we have now is not that, it's not even 5% of that. You're talking about 40 rows of mega pylons marching across France and under the channel and across Kent with a low time utilisation fraction. Cost it up and nuclear starts to look cheap...

We currently have HVDC undersea connections with France, The Netherlands and Northern Ireland, with further planned connections with Belgium, Norway, Iceland and Denmark (and Scotland, if that counts). I assume these have been costed up.

1st large scale transmission network-embedded battery storage project looking imminent near Culham, plus trials happening for virtual energy storage systems, which are being helped along as the take up of electric cars gathers pace quicker than anyone expected.

The technology exists, but the political will does not.
Phil79 - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

> Why "should"? Renewables have killed more people per kWh that nuclear. They kill more wildlife. They're going to need far more storage than nuclear (hello massive scale mining for lithium).

I'm quite happy to see more nuclear (although Id like to see it done cheaper and than the current Hinkley C proposals), but I'd like to see less coal (due to CO2 emissions and massive amount of waste) and fossil fuels in general.

I can fully see the need for more gas power stations to plug the gap towards a low carbon energy mix, but I was under the impression that fracking in the UK would supply relatively small amounts of gas anyway. So considering the potential environmental risks, opposition, etc I cant see why its being pushed so aggressively by the government (apart from profit).

Genuine question - how many people die per kwh from renewables? And how?
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> I've asked theis question of friends of mine who have spent a lifetime or two in geology and they say that as long as it's done within the usual industry prootocols then it's absolutely safe and fine and nothing to worry about. Ignore the uninformed headlines and opinions, and ask someone who knows about geology and mining and you'll get a good answer.

I've had this argument with friends who actively campaign against fracking. I think the safety argument is a total distraction from the fact that we should be leaving fossil fuels in the ground and start wondering where the hell, on this windblown, wet island, with more than 12,000km of coastline, we could possibly generate enough useful energy. Oh wait...
Phil79 - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:
> I've had this argument with friends who actively campaign against fracking. I think the safety argument is a total distraction from the fact that we should be leaving fossil fuels in the ground and start wondering where the hell, on this windblown, wet island, with more than 12,000km of coastline, we could possibly generate enough useful energy. Oh wait...

Well it is still a valid argument. I agree it could probably be done safety, but given the current political environment, legislation, oversight, etc already in place, will it be done safety? I'm not convinced.

But yes, the bigger picture is we should be leaving it in the ground anyway.
Post edited at 12:41
kipper12 - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

The same is true of any regulated activity. One can have all the protective laws in place, but without measures to ensure compliance (enforcement is part of the mix) they are just words.

All of us who drive cars are a bigger threat to human health and the environment that any fracking site is!
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Phil79:

Interesting points. I think it's partly keenness to develop the technology. Horizontal fracking could do a lot to get at our vast coal reserves without a large labour force... I really hope we don't end up having to go for the coal due to lack of planning.

> Genuine question - how many people die per kwh from renewables? And how?

Largely construction - a lot of renewables is installed and maintain by working at height which isn't a great part of construction.

Some figures from Forbes here - http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/#717ba27349... - even with the inexcusable case of Chernobyl which has no relevance to UK nuclear power, nuclear is the least lethal form of power generation on the plant.
baron - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Jim C:
Totally agree. Can we get the cost down as well?
drunken monkey - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Except what you do with the huge amount of wastewater that's generated in the process.
drunken monkey - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Phil79:

Financially you could argue to leave it in the ground - Gas is cheap on the world market.
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> We currently have HVDC undersea connections with France, The Netherlands and Northern Ireland, with further planned connections with Belgium, Norway, Iceland and Denmark (and Scotland, if that counts). I assume these have been costed up.

Yes but they're small scale tweaking-at-the-edges localised load balancing, not distributing national scale quantities of energy over national scales.

> The technology exists, but the political will does not.

The technology exists to power the UK with energy beamed down from orbital solar electric platforms. The political will does not exist for the same reason it doesn't exist for your proposal.

They've looked at the costings.

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stevieb - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Phil79:

Historic world statistics for deaths from renewables are bad largely because a single dam in China built in 1951 failed causing 170 000 directly attributable deaths.
Other than that, I assume the casualties from UK wind and solar are usually installers and engineers.
galpinos on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:
If you consider the cost of Olkiluto (€3 billion estimate, €8.5 billion forecast, 9 years late) Flammenville 3 (€3.3 billion estimate, €10.5 billion forecast, , 6 years late) I'm left wondering whether Hinkley C will actually cost the £18billion forecast.
Post edited at 13:02
Lusk - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> .................. with more than 12,000km of coastline ...............

That's a misleading figure if ever there was one.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coastline_paradox

baron - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to galpinos:
If I was a betting man I'd think double that last figure and probably add a few more billions for luck!
ianstevens - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:
> I'd be more concerned that one day you'll flick the light switch and nothing will happen.

I'm more concerned about global climate change and ravaging the natural environment that will significantly alter the way my life works over (hopefully) the next 70-80 years.

> When there is a shortage of electricity it'll be the domestic consumers who are hit first and hardest.

> Ask some of the old codgers on here what it was like in the 1970's.

> Until this country grasps the nettle and builds new nuclear power stations we'll be teetering on the edge of power outages.

> So, cut government funding for renewables (too expensive and unreliable), re-open coal mines (provides jobs in many deprived areas), build new nuclear power stations (provides jobs), stop importing gas and begin large scale fracking.

Or we could fund renewables which are not expensive nor unreliable, I believe your referring to the erratic nature of power supply for certain types such as wind and solar. Tidal barrages and hydropower are remarkably consistent energy sources. The coal mines were closed because of the vast expense required to extract the poor quality of coal that remains. As for the flaws with fracking, some are highlighted above.

> Problem of energy shortages solved, might be a few environmental issues, but hey I'm sure future generations will deal with them.

This is the problem - we need long term solutions now, not in 25 years time when the environment we have is substantially changed. Prevention is better than "cure".
Post edited at 13:14
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

> Or we could fund renewables which are not expensive nor unreliable,

Unicorn poop! Problem solved.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

> Yes but they're small scale tweaking-at-the-edges localised load balancing, not distributing national scale quantities of energy over national scales.

8.8 GW in total of interconnection isn't what I'd call small scale tweaking. Hinkley Point C will (hopefully) supply 3.2 GW.

> The technology exists to power the UK with energy beamed down from orbital solar electric platforms. The political will does not exist for the same reason it doesn't exist for your proposal.

Sorry, you were saying we'd need "40 rows of mega pylons" to achieve useful scale 2-way interconnection with the continent, and I'm saying that we already have an existing 2 GW connection with France alone, and an existing 1 GW connection with The Netherlands.
galpinos on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

It's also somewhat depressing that there isn't a working EPR out there at the moment and this what we will probably be spending £40 billion and also, as the others are looking like being 11 and 13 years in construction, I think the 2025 date is looking pretty suspect too.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Lusk:

> That's a misleading figure if ever there was one.


I'd suggest they don't use the 100km increments from the diagram on the left, as they're bridging a huge amount of inlets which would be most useful from a tidal energy perspective.
Dax H - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

> Concerned. Massive precedent set that the UK Gov can do what they want, where they want, regardless of what local people want.

Now I am not saying you or having a dig at you in anyway but.
Quite a vocal majority on this site have been saying that there never should have been a referendum on the EU because we elect people who are more knowledgeable to make those decisions for us.
The tone of a lot of posts on this thread though is that the government are out of order for not listening to the opinion of the people.
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> 8.8 GW in total of interconnection isn't what I'd call small scale tweaking. Hinkley Point C will (hopefully) supply 3.2 GW.

It is small scale tweaking though - some is importing, some is exporting, some is sat idle. Right now we are importing about 3% of our total demand. Hinckley C will be 10% of demand.

> Sorry, you were saying we'd need "40 rows of mega pylons" to achieve useful scale 2-way interconnection with the continent,

I did not say that. I said we'd need it to be useful for your suggestion of importing lots of energy in a time of weak renewables locally and a renewable heavy grid.

It's even worse than that because in your scenario most of the time most of the capacity will not be used. High capital cost and erratic use, not know for being cheap...

Given that a cold, dark, windless winter encompasses areas larger than the UK, your quoting local interconnect capacity is even more irrelevant.

> and I'm saying that we already have an existing 2 GW connection with France alone, and an existing 1 GW connection with The Netherlands.

Yes. These are used to even out small scale imbalances and not to deal with a cold dark windless lull lasting a week in winter. Your magical renewables+interconnect idea (edit: Sorry, Phil97's suggestion you chimed into my response on) needs closer to 30 GW of interconnect to somewhere far enough away that the weather isn't correlated. Winter is correlated across a large distance...
Post edited at 13:45
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MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

When did it become my idea? I don't recall commissioning any interconnectors.
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> When did it become my idea? I don't recall commissioning any interconnectors.

Sorry. Phil97's suggestion, my negative view, your disagreement with me which I took as your support of the idea.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

I do disagree with your level of opposition.

Let's go back to what Phil79 actually wrote: "In fact you can even use inter-country grid connections to overcome some of the limitations of area and time specific nature of renewable energy." Where are these references to magic? No one is suggesting that there is one magic wand, possibly apart from you who seem to be dismissing anything other than nuclear, for which we still have to import enriched uranium, and so has its downsides as well.

Why does everything have to be weather related anyway - Norway has huge amounts of hydro and a different demand profile to the UK. Iceland has its geothermal and pretty much 24hr access to solar energy in the summertime. Denmark may have vaguely similar weather to the UK, but their demand profile is different to ours and so the opportunities there are greater than just saying that they're close to us and therefore offer little material benefit.
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L Ripley - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> I do disagree with your level of opposition.

> Let's go back to what Phil79 actually wrote: "In fact you can even use inter-country grid connections to overcome some of the limitations of area and time specific nature of renewable energy." Where are these references to magic? No one is suggesting that there is one magic wand, possibly apart from you who seem to be dismissing anything other than nuclear, for which we still have to import enriched uranium, and so has its downsides as well.

Well said,
L Ripley - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Dax H:
> Now I am not saying you or having a dig at you in anyway but.

> Quite a vocal majority on this site have been saying that there never should have been a referendum on the EU because we elect people who are more knowledgeable to make those decisions for us.

> The tone of a lot of posts on this thread though is that the government are out of order for not listening to the opinion of the people.

It's possible that a vocal majority is wrong ;-) Look into the links between the fracking industry and the Conservative party, and how we need to have moved away from carbon based energy by 2030 (Caroline Lucas on R4 just now), as well as the fact that the 'green case' for fracking is no longer real, and there's the urgency with which Britain needs to meet it's Climate Change Agreement. In many ways, fracking in the UK is a questionable idea.
Post edited at 14:12
jkarran - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

> Until this country grasps the nettle and builds new nuclear power stations we'll be teetering on the edge of power outages.
> So, cut government funding for renewables (too expensive and unreliable), re-open coal mines (provides jobs in many deprived areas), build new nuclear power stations (provides jobs), stop importing gas and begin large scale fracking.
> Problem of energy shortages solved, might be a few environmental issues, but hey I'm sure future generations will deal with them.

This reads like satire.
jk
Phil79 - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

> Sorry. Phil97's suggestion, my negative view, your disagreement with me which I took as your support of the idea.

Just to be clear, my inter-connector remark was in responding to some one who said we should cut renewables, re-open coal mines, build new nuclear, stop importing gas and begin large scale fracking, as we'd soon be looking at the lights going out.

I think expanding nuclear is a great idea (although cost and design issues remain, especially with Hinkly C), but the rest of that statement was wrong.

Not suggesting we should be 100% renewable, but I was more getting at the idea there are ways round intermittent supply issues (i.e. inter-connectors being one that can be rolled out now if needed). I'm sure its not beyond the wit of man to come up with other reliable (and hopefully cost effective) methods of energy storage (I dunno - molten salt, pumped hydro storage, etc etc.)

I guess ultimately I think it's imperative we move to low carbon energy infrastructure, for all the glaringly obvious reasons, and the sooner we push in that direct the better.
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> I do disagree with your level of opposition.

> Let's go back to what Phil79 actually wrote: "In fact you can even use inter-country grid connections to overcome some of the limitations of area and time specific nature of renewable energy." Where are these references to magic?

Their assumption that local interconnectors can overcome the effects of hemispheric scale winter. That's what they've said in rather more wooly and optimistic words (or if they didn't mean that, what they're saying doesn't really matter, bacause this is what matters). If you can't solve winter then renewables aren't going to cut it and we need baseline that's either fossil or nuclear. If we have nuclear baseline why do we need much renewables? We have to stop fossil use.

> No one is suggesting that there is one magic wand, possibly apart from you who seem to be dismissing anything other than nuclear, for which we still have to import enriched uranium, and so has its downsides as well.

We don't have to import enriched uranium. We have enough fuel sat in Windscale for many generations.

I'm a keen proponent of renewables but I'm sick of seeing people throw out platitudes about renewable being "better" without any solid justification and without any understanding of the scale of development required which is likely to exceed the negative consequences of nuclear in terms of cost, deaths and environmental damage.

> Why does everything have to be weather related anyway - Norway has huge amounts of hydro and a different demand profile to the UK. Iceland has its geothermal and pretty much 24hr access to solar energy in the summertime. Denmark may have vaguely similar weather to the UK, but their demand profile is different to ours and so the opportunities there are greater than just saying that they're close to us and therefore offer little material benefit.

Bully for Norway and Iceland. We are not them. Everyone else is left with weather. Can't just take their power - their demand peaks at the same season as ours, and to do so would need far more than a few interconnectors. Losses scale with distance as well and Norway is quite far away.
Post edited at 14:39
1
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Phil79:

I pretty much agree with you on everything you said.

> I'm sure its not beyond the wit of man to come up with other reliable (and hopefully cost effective) methods of energy storage (I dunno - molten salt, pumped hydro storage, etc etc.)

I agree. Rather than storage, deferring use where possible is preferable for efficiency. Intelligent EV charging, intelligent boosting / slowing of heating and cooling systems, pricing centralised compute time accordingly with job scheduling.

Anything that improves storage is also great news for nuclear as it removes the problem of meeting daily variance with a baseload-only system such as fission.

That's day-to-day storage. For seasonal scale renewables there really is little that works apart from industrial scale methane synthesis into the gas grid.
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

Season shmeason - hour to hour, other countries' demand profile don't exactly match ours, and neither our tides or Norway's hydro are dependent on the weather - if a country is producing renewable (or any other) energy in excess of its need, then interconnectors can help with (not solve) bridging gaps between generation and demand in interconnected countries. If a country is producing renewable (or any other) energy in excess of its need off-peak, then virtual energy storage systems will no doubt in a matter of a few years be storing that energy in network embedded storage for release to assist in increasing the amount of low carbon energy being used during spikes in peak demand.

For the record I'd like to see investment in smaller scale, localised or embedded nuclear generation for the short term (100 years or so) at least to hopefully see thorium reactors, truly flexible renewables and/or (hope against hope) nuclear fusion realised.
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Season shmeason ... [etc etc] ...

You've not really looked at much historic weather data or run the numbers have you.

You keep pointing out that a few countries have less weather dependence. That's great. For them. During a continent scale cold spell can Europe really continue with Scandinavian hydro and coastal nations tidal? No, no it can't.

I agree with you on smaller nuclear. We've only got to bridge 25-100 years until viable economical fusion is a reality. Preferably winding down CO2 sooner rather than later.
Post edited at 15:31
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

> You've not really looked at much historic weather data or run the numbers have you.

> You keep pointing out that a few countries have less weather dependence. That's great. For them. During a continent scale cold spell can Europe really continue with Scandinavian hydro and coastal nations tidal? No, no it can't.

Cheeky. In amongst the [etc etc] you'll find I said "interconnectors can help with (not solve) bridging gaps between generation and demand", taking note of what's written in the brackets. I've not seen anyone suggest that interconnectors will do away with the need for steam driven turbines for delivering baseload.

> I agree with you on smaller nuclear. We've only got to bridge 25-100 years until viable economical fusion is a reality. Preferably winding down CO2 sooner rather than later.
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

So you don't have an answer for winter? Then interconnectors don't really do much. Yes they can help shuffle limited amounts of excess and demand around - twiddling at the edges as I called it.

Neither the interconnectors nor the national / continental grids they interconnect, nor even a greatly expanded renewables network are capable of running Europe through a winter.

So they twiddle at the edges in other seasons.

> I've not seen anyone suggest that interconnectors will do away with the need for steam driven turbines for delivering baseload.

So let's spend the money on a Zero Carbon baseload instead... My point has always been then even a massive expansion of our limited scale interconnectors is not a good or viable solution.
Post edited at 15:51
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:

Arg! I never offered a solution to winter. You've successfully won an argument only you were part of.
1
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Arg! I never offered a solution to winter. You've successfully won an argument only you were part of.

You said "the technology exists" in your first post. So what you actually meant was "the technology exists to not solve our problems"?

To be fair I don't think what you've been advocating will cut it any time of year but winter is the clearest case for it not working.

Interconnectors as they are do little more than shuffle relatively small quantities of energy short distances.

You can argue we could build pmore but the same applies to nuclear etc.
Post edited at 16:19
MonkeyPuzzle - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to wintertree:
Yes, the technology exists to "overcome some of the limitations of area and time specific nature of renewable energy", as Phil79 originally said, but you disagreed with because you thought he'd said something different.

Looks like these interconnectors have been built and we and others are planning to build more because they don't really do anything then. Drat.

Post edited at 16:25
Trangia - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

> I'd be more concerned that one day you'll flick the light switch and nothing will happen.

> When there is a shortage of electricity it'll be the domestic consumers who are hit first and hardest.

> Ask some of the old codgers on here what it was like in the 1970's.

> Until this country grasps the nettle and builds new nuclear power stations we'll be teetering on the edge of power outages.

> So, cut government funding for renewables (too expensive and unreliable), re-open coal mines (provides jobs in many deprived areas), build new nuclear power stations (provides jobs), stop importing gas and begin large scale fracking.

> Problem of energy shortages solved, might be a few environmental issues, but hey I'm sure future generations will deal with them.

Well said!

In particular your comment about the 1970s is well made.

Most contributors to this thread are too young to have any concept of what it was like to have lived and tried to carry on with "normal" life during the power outages. At least in the 1970s most houses had alternative methods of heating ie open fires. That's no longer the case. Imagine trying to endure cold winter's nights with no heating? Particularly for the very young, the elderly and the sick?

Imagine how unsafe our streets and pavements would be with no street lighting coupled with the huge increase in traffic since the 1970s?

Imagine several days a week when factories and other work places had to shut down due to lack of power?
1
wintertree - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Yes, the technology exists to "overcome some of the limitations of area and time specific nature of renewable energy", as Phil79 originally said, but you disagreed with because you thought he'd said something different.

They don't overcome the important area and time specific limitations of renewables - the limitations being what prevents them from scaling to a major source of energy. The other limitations don't matter when you're considering renewables having more than a minor role.

They balance load over medium scale distance and increase usage efficiency of plant by exploiting time zone differences. They'll enable small scale balancing of more renewable generation but it doesn't scale as renewables take over baseload.

For large scale renewable the deployment isn't there, just like it isn't with fission. You can't hand-wave interconnectors as a solution and more or less than fusion. Both have big capital costs once you factor everything else in. I'm not sure why you've been arguing with this rather obvious point.

If semethng can't scale to baseload is it helping or just diverting attention and funding from a real solution?

> Looks like these interconnectors have been built and we and others are planning to build more because they don't really do anything then. Drat.

They do lots. I've never said otherwise. Some existing long before renewables. What do they do? Bridge national grids with different voltages, frequencies of phases. With more renewables nibbling at the edges of our load they'll do more to help that.

It doesn't scale to a significant fraction of our energy all the time.

Edit: to close the circle to where I came in. Because renewables are unpredictably intermittent we need a responsive backup to them. The least worst option for that is gas. As renewables take over more of our supply we will need more CCGT to act as reserve. That means more gas. If doing so allows renewables to displace other more dirty and less efficient fossil fuels it's a net win.
Post edited at 17:14
Dave Cumberland - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to GarethSL:

Fraccing has been going on for 70 years, onshore it can only happen below 1000 metres and nowhere near the surface. It's probably safer than many industrial processes like nuclear power, nuclear reprocessing, farming, water distribution, chemical production, clear-felled forest harvesting.
2
Gerry_Doncaster - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to RyanOsborne:

> it's standard tory behavior to screw the country for the good of your mates:

Spot on. The reason behind this decision by the Tories is quite simply "chaps like us can make a few bob out of it, old boy". As long as there's no fracking in the Tory heartland of the leafy shires down South (which there definitely won't be) , they can see nothing but positives in it. Absolute disgrace all round and a kick in the teeth for democracy.



3
baron - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
Not much point drilling for gas where there isn't any.
2
Dave Cumberland - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> Fraccing has been going on for 70 years, onshore it can only happen below 1000 metres and nowhere near the surface. It's probably safer than many industrial processes like nuclear power, nuclear reprocessing, farming, water distribution, chemical production, clear-felled forest harvesting.

It's probably also worth noting that despite the possible minor local earthquakes caused by Cuadrilla in Lancashire when they fracced (and then everything was stopped), the evidence is not conclusive. Bear in mind Morecambe Bay and the main basin bounding faults near to where Cuadrilla drilled is a highly tectonically active environment - there are many natural earthquakes. The whole area was exhumed (uplifted) almost 10,000 feet in the Tertiary and at the present day, the whole basin and basin margin is still adjusting. We will never know.
DC
Andy DB on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

Not really true the Weald basin under Kent, Surry, Sussex and Hampshire is probably quite a good shale gas target. In fact, there are already some conventional wells http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36069751

Just have to see if the politicians are brave enough to allow fracking on their doorstep in the home counties.
baron - on 06 Oct 2016
In reply to Andy DB:
Isn't this article about oil production?
1
Andy DB on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to baron:

Yes technically the well in the bbc article is producing oil (although if we are getting really picky all hydrocarbon well will produce water oil and gas in various proportions).

However, without this turning into petroleum geology class, what it does show is that there is a hydrocarbon system that has reached the required conditions to have oil and (almost certainly) gas present. Therefore the source rocks of the oil at gatwick is likely to contain both oil and gas reserves that might be able to be produced in economic quantities by fracking . If your really interested here is the DEC / BGS report https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/313701/BGS_DECC_JurassicWe...
Jim Fraser - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

I have been on two fracking sites elsewhere in Europe and both were beautifully built with well-thought-out access, clean concrete-surfaced sites, well-placed earth banks to minimise the visual impact and noise transmission, and no sign of animosity locally. The operator was a well-known oil company with decades of drilling experience around the world. They were pursuing the highest standards for their navigational data to ensure the most accurate possible drilling. Every aspect of these sites made me ask myself "What is the problem with fracking?"

My American colleague could hardly believe his eyes. In forty years he had never seen a drill site like these.

If you look at reality TV shows, you will see that most of them are American. That's because American incompetence is boundless and their cock-ups make excellent television. Reality TV of equivalent European industry normally wouldn't get past the pilot episode because it would be boringly competent. As with fracking, American experience is not representative of what happens in Europe.

There are two things that do worry me about British fracking.

1. Some f***in' idiots went and elected a Tory government. Tories and industry? Well, not a good mix. They can't do this stuff.

2. The big boys, who we can be sure know how to drill, are nowhere in this. I suspect they've seen the animosity expressed in the UK and given it a body swerve? Plenty of other European sites to do. So who are Caudrilla? Small fry.
1
Toerag - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

On the subject of interconnectors, there's a new one being planned between France and the UK via Alderney, ostensibly to pick up tidal power on the way. In reality it's being built to ship 'green' power from France's hydro and nuclear stations to the UK to help with CO2 targets.
http://www.fablink.net/
drunken monkey - on 07 Oct 2016
wbo - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to Jim Frase
The big boys aren't in this as the economics are horrible and it's a good way to tie up a bunch of cApital with no return on investment with the perilous mix of poor profitability and politik.

The technical parts of modeling the subsurface and getting the drilling right are pretty trivial compared to that.


malk - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> 1. Some f***in' idiots went and elected a Tory government. Tories and industry? Well, not a good mix. They can't do this stuff.

'greenest government ever'
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jul/19/george-osborne-tax-break-fracking-shale-environment
kevin stephens - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to malk:

In purest terms Margaret Thatcher was the UK's greenest ever Prime Minister for shutting down the coal industry. Electricity produced from gas (fracked or otherwise) produces only half the CO2 produced by coal generated electricity.
johang - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

There are two fairly significant points to be made within this discussion, and apologies to DC, this is not directed at him.

1. The UK should be moving away from carbon-based electricity generation, as mentioned multiple times previously within this thread. The technologies are out there, and it may be surprising how much electricity is generated by photovoltaics, even on an overcast winter's day. There's also wind generation (which I know is intermittent), and hydro-generation and storage -- hydro can take on many guises, and to limit one's view purely to huge damns would be a little restrictive.
My step mother has done a lot of work (read - has a PhD in) micro-hydroelectrical generation, which, with the large number of rivers/brooks within this country, seems like a no-brainer. Of course, there will be environmental impacts associated, just to cut the pedants off before they get started, but it brings something to the mix.
It would also be silly to discount tidal generation - we live on a island - but the funding for research toward these technologies has recently been cut. Plus advances within the PV industry and energy storage, blah blah blah.

2. http://www.solid-earth-discuss.net/se-2015-134/ gives interesting reading. The main point is that the Bowland Basin has not been geologically surveyed with sufficient detail, and therefore fracking is currently a risky idea. It also states that the earthquake in Lancashire WAS caused by drilling directly through a small, but not insignificant, fault line.

Anyway TL;DR - fracking in Lancashire is a bad idea, and should not be happening.

Oh, and local electricity generation is also a good idea, but I'm not a power engineer so I can't profess any expertise in the subject...
muppetfilter - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

What should concern us more is that our north sea rigs are being allowed to fall to bits through a lack of maintenance yet fracking is being pursued with a rabid abandon.

I wouldnt mind so much if the leases had been retained by the state and at least we would profit as a nation.
kevin stephens - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to johang:

> There are two fairly significant points to be made within this discussion, and apologies to DC, this is not directed at him.

> 1. The UK should be moving away from carbon-based electricity generation, as mentioned multiple times previously within this thread. The technologies are out there, and it may be surprising how much electricity is generated by photovoltaics, even on an overcast winter's day. There's also wind generation (which I know is intermittent), and hydro-generation and storage -- hydro can take on many guises, and to limit one's view purely to huge damns would be a little restrictive.

Renewables are a continuing success in the UK but it is impossible for them to be the only solution because they cannot provide electricity at all times, the gap must be filled by other sources. Pump storage is nice but even a scheme the size of Dinorwic can only work on marginal peaks, eg brewing up during the ad break in Coronation Street. Batteries cannot store enough electricity to make a difference, simply due to the laws of physics and chemistry. The cleanest way to fill the gap is gas fired power stations , which emit half the CO2 of coal fired generation for the same electrical output. If you invest in expensive nuclear you may as well leave it on full output all the time as it costs just the same to sit idle (unlike a gas station). In summary RENEWABLE ELECTRICTY GENERTION CAN ONLY WORK WITH THE SUPPORT OF GAS.

We also use gas for all sorts of things, like heating homes with ultra efficient condensing boilers, maybe we should convert all the heating to wood burners? Lots of lorries on the roads, replace the UK's food crops with biomass forests and get all our food from imports?

As the North sea runs out of gas we can import it of course - US fracking (not our problem and who cares if the US regulations and monitoring is far slacker than in the UK?) Tankered in from the middle east oil states, supporting those wonderfully democratic and liberal regimes?



> My step mother has done a lot of work (read - has a PhD in) micro-hydroelectrical generation, which, with the large number of rivers/brooks within this country, seems like a no-brainer. Of course, there will be environmental impacts associated, just to cut the pedants off before they get started, but it brings something to the mix.

Except this has been looked at by many people and does not stand up economically, even with the subsidies available (that make wind power economical)

> It would also be silly to discount tidal generation - we live on a island - but the funding for research toward these technologies has recently been cut. Plus advances within the PV industry and energy storage, blah blah blah.

Again needs gas to fill the gaps

> 2. http://www.solid-earth-discuss.net/se-2015-134/ gives interesting reading. The main point is that the Bowland Basin has not been geologically surveyed with sufficient detail, and therefore fracking is currently a risky idea. It also states that the earthquake in Lancashire WAS caused by drilling directly through a small, but not insignificant, fault line.

Maybe you should broaden your net when researching to get a more objective view? By Earthquake maybe you mean minor tremor, like the many I experienced in Lancashire before fracking . Maybe you haven't read of the extensive seismic monitoring that will be part of the current fracking proposals?

> Anyway TL;DR - fracking in Lancashire is a bad idea, and should not be happening.

> Oh, and local electricity generation is also a good idea, but I'm not a power engineer so I can't profess any expertise in the subject...

So that would be a lesser impact on local communities than a fracking well?

Dave Cumberland - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to johang:

>1. The UK should be moving away from carbon-based electricity generation, as mentioned multiple times previously within this thread

Many believe, and the data support the interpretation that Carbon may have eff all to do with anything that we should be concerned about, in fact the natural variation and any increase in Carbon can only be a good thing.
4
kevin stephens - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Many?? Which many are you referring to?
Dave Cumberland - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to muppetfilter:

> I wouldnt mind so much if the leases had been retained by the state and at least we would profit as a nation.

The leases are owned, offered and taxed by the state, that's why the US fraccing model will never work in the UK (notwithstanding the paucity of planning permissions, horizontal drilling equipment and fraccing crews).
DC
Dave Cumberland - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Many?? Which many are you referring to?

The many who take an independent view, do not belong to the "blob", do not have their noses firmly in the "green" research budget troughs, or get subsidies for unreliable energy etc etc., the grauniad, the BBC, etc etc
We won't get into the climate debate. too big, but the data simply do not support what IPCC models and all the sky-is-falling-in flat-earth loonies have been saying.
The threats are simply not materialising or being proved - go look at the data.
4
kevin stephens - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland: ah you mean the US coal lobby!

1
wbo - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to kevin stephens: I'd be very interested to see that paper. And yes, I am technically qualified

kevin stephens - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to wbo:

> In reply to Jim Frase

> The big boys aren't in this as the economics are horrible and it's a good way to tie up a bunch of cApital with no return on investment with the perilous mix of poor profitability and politik.

> The technical parts of modeling the subsurface and getting the drilling right are pretty trivial compared to that.

Yes this is one thing that puzzles me. With the world awash with cheap gas for the foreseeable future it's hard to understand the financial thinking Cuadrilla's investment - I guess they're playing the (very) long game?
coombsy - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

Definitely concerned. If we continue to try and meet the growing demand for energy, rather than look at ways in which we can reduce the amount of energy used by consumers, we just invite energy companiesbig businessgovt. to search for ways to meet that demand.
We live in a world of plenty. If we continue to demand the level of luxury we feel we are entitled to, are we able to leave resources for our grand/great grandchildren to survive adequately and see their great grandchildren able to do the same?
Frack? No. Nuclear power? No.
Spend the projected £18 billion for Hinkley Pt. on raising of awareness of the consequences of our consumption on our offspring, encouraging all to cut back/switch off/want less, & in the meantime create a plan focussed on sustainability to benefit future generations.
Are we all so bound up in our own lives that we can't conceive of a time existing outside our own lifespan?
We must learn to behave responsibly for those yet to come.
1
wbo - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to kevin stephens:
I don't know where they're getting there cash but assuming they're borrowing it, and given the prices, the model is to develop it to some extent and sell it. Their risk is that they just get bogged down, bleeding money
Lusk - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to coombsy:

> If we continue to try and meet the growing demand for energy

If you look at the figures online, UK demand for electricity has been falling for the last 10 years or so, despite an ever increasing population. We're going in right direction, people getting more aware, more lower energy products ...

The Zero Carbon wonderland isn't going to happen overnight, but we're going in the right direction.
Coal generation is virtually non-existent these days and will be gone completely within 10 years.
girlymonkey - on 07 Oct 2016
aln - on 07 Oct 2016
In reply to kevin stephens:

Ah right Maggie the green warrior shutting down the coal industry. The profitable British one using quality coal. How's the unregulated Chinese coal market doing these days?
3
kevin stephens - on 08 Oct 2016
In reply to aln:
No idea but then we don't import coal from China apart from a small amount of anthracite, But why let hard facts get in the way of political dogma?
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/556211/ET_2.4.xls
MargieB - on 08 Oct 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
Don't know if would call what I experienced in Preston as a "minor" effect on my Mum's house. I woke to the full movement of her house to the very foundations and I thought that it would cause structural problems. That place was sold after her death but really that was never like anything I experienced in my chilldhood and was due to fracking exploration. Sad too see they have ignored public feeling.
Post edited at 09:09
Alasdair Fulton - on 08 Oct 2016
In reply to aln:

> Ah right Maggie the green warrior shutting down the coal industry. The profitable British one using quality coal. How's the unregulated Chinese coal market doing these days?

Well, actually, they're full steam ahead with wind and nuclear in an attempt to improve air quality problems.

In fact, most of the new coal stations are barely being used. They kept building them, but they are only running at about 50% capacity.

They also now have 145GW of wind capacity, the most of any country in the world.
Lusk - on 09 Oct 2016
In reply to .............

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off-duty - on 09 Oct 2016
In reply to Lusk:

> In reply to .............

> We can all start cutting our electricity usage right now!, by using this remarkable product ...


>

Wow. Just wow. Good find!
Jimbocz - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to Lusk:

Everyone should go and look at that link- it's a gel you apply to your fuse box that saves electricity!
wbo - on 10 Oct 2016
In reply to Jimbocz:

Can I replace my magnets with this? They both claim to align electron flow? Then I can put the magnets on my car exhaust to reduce petrol consumption
ads.ukclimbing.com
rocksol - on 17 Oct 2016
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

The advertising standards agency have warned friends of earth to stop publishing untrue false facts. Less than 2% of objections came from local Lancs folk, but mainly from green lobby groups, to put a different perspective on it See The Times comment today 18th
Pursued by a bear - on 17 Oct 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

I suggest we investigate a way of heating our homes using all the hot air generated in discussions of this sort.

T.

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