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Existing Energy Infrastructure? Ick.

January 17, 2011

Well, the good news is that it’s not just our government that’s blind to the potential for new energy sources coming from the same infrastructure we’ve already got.  We tend to forget that there’s been a lot of money spent on building plants that can burn coal or gas to produce electricity.  In fact, we’re pretty darn good at generating power that way.  But we’re running out of all those precious coal and natural gas resources, right?  Um, no.  Here’s an example from the UK that says it’s mostly just us forgetting the resources are there.

“The Government apparently cannot find space in several hundred pages of their energy national policy statements to acknowledge the existence of this potentially game-changing development. Gas is now cheap, the price having decoupled from the oil price, and it is going to be accessible in many countries worldwide, not least in Europe. “It emits 50 per cent to 70 per cent less carbon than coal, with the result that when the previous ‘dash for gas’ took place in the 1990s and gas to some extent took over from coal, our power station carbon emissions fell overall by some 30 per cent.”

Indeed, and what’s not to like?

“What is the point of persisting with ever-rising subsidies for wind power in order to meet renewable energy targets when abundant, cheap and relatively CO2-clean gas is available?” asked the Scottish peer.

Oh, you mean the gas that’s just under our feet?  No, that’s no good.  Let’s put up a solar array!  And it’s not that we’ve noticed that there’s tons of potential gas deposits in the UK as indicated by peat bogs, geologic surveys, and the like:

In response, Lord Jonathan Marland, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DECC, said: “We welcome shale gas, of course; if it reduces the price of gas, that will be fantastic. There are no signs as yet that the Americans are going to supply it to the outside world, as they are intending at the moment to keep it within their own country, but anything that reduces the price of gas will be of great benefit.”

Yea, we Americans are going to keep it all for ourselves… in the ground where it’s nice and safe.  Okay, that’s a bit unfair, as we do have energy companies (is it fair to call them oil companies anymore?) pushing to get shale gas and other deep gas deposits out of the ground and into the energy system.  Wading through all the red tape is the problem.  The developed world is apparently awash with fuel sources, but refuses to acknowledge that they could be tapped to help solve our energy needs.  Here’s a great quote in the article from a senior member of the energy commission in the UK.

“The argument is over. There is no point in arguing,” he insisted. “If you do not believe in climate change, you must just accept the population argument and the changes that will be needed to reserve and conserve the resources that we have,” he said.

Did you catch that?  Either climate change is real, or there are too many people.  Or it’s Tuesday.  Whatever, nope, can’t drill… we need to put in a wind generator.

And some wonder why the skeptics among them won’t listen to their arguments?  Perhaps it’s becuase they don’t have any.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2011 9:56 am

    Don’t forget how lovely it is in the environment when people have to resort to burning wood. Talk about a pollutant….

  2. January 17, 2011 9:07 am

    The sad aspect of this from an environmental standpoint is the result that catastrophists have upon pollution. By blocking every possibility of building new coal plants (that dramatically reduce pollution and emit basically CO2), they force the old, heavily polluting coal plants to remain in operation.

    The rationale that “CO2 is pollution” makes them blind to real problems.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

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