Posted by: bravo22c | 13/02/2010

The Alternate Energy Scam

Got into a bit of a discussion with Ferrand which was in danger of hi-jacking Christina Osborne’s gracious blog ‘Valentine for Engineers,’ for which apologies again, Christina.

The alternate energy industry is nothing but a scheme for hoovering up large amounts of taxpayers’ money and wasting it on projects that are never going to show a return and, moreover, present us with the danger of moving from an economy of abundance to one of scarcity. Since we’ve been there before*,do any of us really want that?

Some of the numbers on alternate power sources.

produces about 0.012 watts per square meter of land. It would take 1 square kilometer of
land to provide enough electricity for about 12 people. Population of UK = about 60 million or so. Divide that by 12= 5 million square km of land needed. Land area of UK: about about 250,000 square KM. That won’t work then.

Biomass: 2,500 square kilometers of prime farmland to produce as much electricity from biomass as from
a single nuclear power plant. To replace just the current 19 plants would therefore require 19 x 2500 = 47, 500 square KM.  This is about 20% of current requirements. Multiply by five and you get 237, 500 square kilometres. Total area of UK farmland = 210,000 square kilometres. Something wrong here, too.

Wind: You need a 770-square-kilometer area to produce as much electricity as a single 1,000 Megawatt plant. Bit better than hydropower or biomass, but you still need (19x%5, see above,) 95 x 770 = 73,150 square kilometres, or about a third of the landmass of the country. Don’t think there’s room for that, either.

Solar: Looks better than any of the above. You would still need an area, (covered in solar panels,) of 12, 500 square KM. Thats about 8 new Londons! (Land area Greater London: 1,623.3 km.) Practical?

Forget Hydrogen, This is a highly volatile element which takes more energy to produce than it delivers at the final point of use. Think about the Hindenburg!

These numbers are all current as of about 2003 and the requirement is only going to increase from the current 400 or so Terrawatt hrs.

*Like, up to about the 15th Century!

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