That renewables revolution

So there\’s this island in Denmark that\’s gone all renewable. In fact, they\’ve got a negative carbon footprint (they export energy you see). There is, however, one small problem.

And it should also be noted that the island\’s transformation has come at a price: roughly 420m kroner – about £40m – that includes money from the Danish government, the EU, local businessmen and individual members of collectives. Thus the Samso revolution cost around £10,000 per islander, although a good chunk has come from each person\’s own pockets. Nevertheless, if you multiply that sum by 60m – the population of Great Britain – you get a figure of around £600bn as the cost of bringing a similar revolution to Britain. It is utterly impractical, of course – a point happily acknowledged by Soren.

Given that the damage done by the UK\’s emission (some 500 million tonnes at €35 a tonne if we are to believe the official figures) is some €17.5 billion a year we\’ve thus got a payback time of 34 years….and the turbines etc have a shorter life than that.

Sorry, it doesn\’t work.

9 thoughts on “That renewables revolution”

  1. With economies of scale and the inevitable march of technological progress, won’t wind turbines become cheaper to install, more efficient and last longer as they are rolled out across the nation?

  2. Let’s wait until windmills are cheap and efficient before “they are rolled out across the nation”. So far the results seen in the US, Spain, Denmark and Germany don’t look too promising. Personally I don’t think windmills will ever become a practical solution.

  3. You could put up 60,000,000 windmills in the UK. The fact is, there are some days when there is no wind across the whole country (and most of Europe too).

    On winter days like that we either accept the deaths that will result or we use fossil fuels.

    There are also days when there is no wind for periods of time, so you need the fossil fuels for then also.

    As we don’t know which days will have continuous wind and which won’t, we need the power stations running all the time.

    But let’s put those windmills up anyway. If it costs a lot, we will feel virtuous.

  4. “With economies of scale and the inevitable march of technological progress, won’t wind turbines become cheaper to install, more efficient and last longer as they are rolled out across the nation?” No; the problem is that the energy in wind is just too dilute ever to be economic. That’s that. Try waves, if you must.

  5. They are useless in very windy weather too. We have a wind farm nearby, and they have to shut the turbines down when the windspeed rises above a safe limit.

  6. £600 billion is about the same as is getting pumped into the financial system to keep it afloat, because it doesn’t work. If we spent that much on greening the grid, we might at least have something to show for it.

  7. “If we spent that much on greening the grid, we might at least have something to show for it.”

    Ah ok, so I guess keeping the possibilities to run businesses and allow people to buy homes to live in does not qualify as “something to show for it”.

    One can definitely discuss the methods used to keep the financial system afloat but the importance of doing so must be above any discussion…

  8. it’s the financial system itself which has made houses so expensive that people can no longer afford them. Keeping it going is just prolonging the stupidity.

    Gee, and there I was thinking housing was so expensive because the Government doesn’t let anyone build new stock. Thanks for pointing that out!

    Umm, any suggestions for how we exchange goods and services after we destroy the financial system, per your advice? Barter? Confiscation by the well-armed?

    You pretty much seem to have a lock on prolonging stupidity yourself, so I wouldn’t worry about other people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *