Friday, 8 January 2010

The Coldest Night, The Energy Gap, Then We Zoomed To Norwich!


TBTE 08/01/10 or more accurately 'the road to the beach this evening'!

We took advantage during this current icy blast, of a break in the snow this afternoon to get artistandtartist jnr. back to university, so the three of us got in the car and zoomed up to Norwich. I was very apprehensive and almost didn't go as driving conditions have been lately described as 'treacherous' on the news, fortunately the snow didn't start again until we were almost home. We talked for the whole journey about loads of interesting stuff...not just the driving conditions, although the current weather did seem to be the dominant theme.
Now this raised the thorny issue of the current fragility of our energy supply, it seems that we really are down to the wire when it comes to our supply of energy, and this situation has simply been waiting in the wings until we experience a prolonged 'cold snap'. Now if we add to the equation all the new build housing thats been springing up were really heaping on the pressure to an energy supply that's already frankly at full stretch. The really big dilemma for us in the U.K. at the moment seems to me to be how to bridge the gap that will inevitably widen between getting our renewable sources of energy on stream and when our own fossil fuel resources run out (about 15 years I think is a reasonable estimate). And thus reduce our reliance on buying in large amounts of our energy from other nations who may whimsically jack the price up...or worse still, turn off the tap completely. At this point in time (several people on Mersea will hate me for saying this) nuclear generators seem to be looking a more attractive solution than they did twenty years back. I'd much prefer that there were a more user friendly alternative, but I'm not at this point persuaded that renewables will come close to filling our energy gap.
Now all of this kind of dovetails into another thread of our conversation we had today about Transition Culture and its pro's & cons, and I intend to get on my soapbox about this subject soon too, when time will allow.

4 comments:

BanksyBoy said...

ah, I don't feel so lonely now on the nuclear front... well said! More to rap about when we get a moment :-)

Glad trip went ok. PB

Sam Norton said...

It's possible I'll write a long spiel about nuclear some time this week - I'm not sure Bradwell Mk2 is the answer, but a lot of people are avoiding the question.
BTW I think 15 years is optimistic.

Are you curious about me? said...

Hi Maggie and James

It's been cold here in Wivenhoe too,tried to get to Brightlingsea yesterday the bus came down Tenpenny Hill sideways, needless to say turned around and came home.

I'm not sure if your mad or brave traveling to Norwich, take care, both of you.

As for the energy, we visited a friend yesterday, Norman and I in 5 layers of clothing, two pairs of socks, hats, scarves, gloves, you get the picture and my friend walking around her 'huge' house in a tea shirt...... words failed me... It felt like a sauna.

Back home we only took off the coat, hats etc. Our heating just ticking over, to take the chill off of the place.

We ALL need to think about the amount of energy we are using!!! And wear more layers.

There is only one problem, I do feel like a michelin man, and it would be nice to put my arms by my sides...

All the best to you both for the New Year and thank you for the link.

Julie

James and Maggie said...

Sam...you're absolutely right, people are avoiding the question, the elephant in the room, if you will. I look forward to your 'spiel' on the subject.

Banksy... you're not alone on this one, I was very anti nuclear about ten years ago, things are looking very different now we have all the facts about CO2.

Julie... lovely to hear from you, glad you're keeping warm, happy new year to you and yours.