* Posts by scatter

114 posts • joined 29 May 2009


Gov confirms plans for Sky box in charge of your house


It's very easy to put a sinister spin on this...

But think about it for a moment. In normal operation, demand management works by reducing demand within certain parameters defined by the houselder or the device - they're not going to shut down your fridge completely but they may defer its cycle kicking in for 5 or 10 minutes to smooth the load.

In the extreme case of a catastrophic supply failure such as a black out, if end users can be shut down remotely and then progressively brought back online, you can restore power much more quickly.

What's the benefit of demand management to you the householder? By smoothing out demand, less plant is required to generate our electricity at peak times (very inefficient, very expensive). It also enables a much higher penetration of renewables on the grid (something Lewis is very scared of). This will keep costs down and allow for a much more flexible, diverse electricity supply.

Spain 'goes 50% wind powered' - in the small hours


So on the one hand...

...we have Orlowski criticising climate scientists for reporting the outcomes of their research, labelling them as doom-saying thermageddon merchants; while on the other hand we have Lewis Page claiming that high penetration renewables would result in the destruction of "modern society and remaking all of humanity as medieval (or if we're really lucky, 18th-century) eco-peasants".

This should be comedy gold, but sadly it isn't.

At least we've witnessed a small step towards balance and editorial credibility with the acknolwedgement of the reality of human induced climate change from The Register. Unfotunately you also demonstrate a disturbing readiness to condemn the developing world to abject poverty in order to maintain your precious, high energy consumption way of life.

If you think that adaptation to climate change will cost us less than overhauling our energy infrastructure you are very, very badly mistaken and you should seriously do some more research.

Globo-renewables all electric future touted again


@ Paul 4

There are excellent reasons to doubt why this could be achieved with nuclear power.

Do you believe the nuclear industry's costings? They have consistently shown to be woefully optimistic and the industry just can't survive without government subsidies and bailouts. I can recommend this paper if you're interested in reading more about the economics of the nuclear industry:


Even in its wettest of wet dreams, the nuclear industry isn't considering anything like 10,000 nukes.

On the other hand we will ultimately be able to draw on geothermal; energy, onshore, offshore and high altitude wind, solar thermal (both for electricity generation and hot water) and solar pv, tidal, wave, hydro, OTEC, biomass, biogas and liquid bioufuels for heating and electricity generation via CHP. All of these are rapidly scalable, something that nuclear power is most definitely not.

And this is just supply side. What the nuclear boosters such as Lewis can't get their heads around is that energy efficiency is the natural first step. It's far far easier and cheaper to cut demand than it is to install supply.


10,000 nukes?

This article is satire isn't it?



The only reason why the economics of nuclear power appear to be better than renewables is because the industry hasn't internalised the life cycle costs.

Prehistoric titanic-snake jungles laughed at global warming


To Lu

The whole point of a blog is for the readers to be able to feed back to the writers and engage in discussion. If a blog is peddling a distorted view of an issue such as this, I feed back.

If you don't like it, don't fucking read the comments!

It's not that difficult.

Grow up


It's also worth noting...

...that paleontologists haven't discovered evidence that the dinosaurs engaged in the widespread systematic destruction of the jungle so the "we're going to be ok" insinuation of this article is particularly misplaced.



Some jungles will exist on earth in a 3-5 degree warmer future. Well that's ok then no need to worry.

Liquid electrocar batteries could be replaced at pumps


"Turn lecky..."

"Turn lecky (from nuclear/fusion asap) into petrol & stop wasting time inventing new e-cars."

Eh? Convert it into petrol and throw 70% of its energy content away as heat?

Boffins: Give up on CO2 cuts, only geoengineering can work


Strange that you've reported this but...

not reported the Royal Society's findings. The Register is so one sided in the climate change / energy debate it's quite astounding!

Here is the first recommendations from the RS report:

"1.1 Parties to the UNFCCC should make increased efforts towards mitigating and adapting to climate change and, in particular to agreeing to global emissions reductions of at least 50% of 1990 levels by 2050 and more thereafter. Nothing now known about geoengineering options gives any reason to diminish these efforts."


Windfarm Britain means (very) expensive electricity



I glossed over the description of the commissioning organisations on the first page of the article :)


Of course fossil fuels and nukes...

are going to be oh so cheap in 2030....

No mention of electric vehicles at all. These will be essential because they'll be able to soak up off peak electricity, store it and potentially drop some of it back onto the grid when needed. They'll certainly be able to offer grid services currently, and expensively, supplied by fossil fuel generators. What about demand management? No mention either.

I know it's a summary report but they quickly dismiss interconnectors (in 1 page!) stating "in our experience if interconnectors remove price differentials between markets, the commercial case for building them can be challenging".

Challenging? Is that really a significant obstacle? Governments could step in and build them. HVDC interconnectors are exactly what are needed across the whole of Europe and into North Africa.

I respect Poyry's work a lot but on cursory inspection this one seems to have some gaps. I'd like to see the full version. Just out of interest, does anyone know who commissioned this report?

UK climate change funding cut by 25%


Bush fires & Priuses

@John Angelico. Sorry to break this to you but those bush fires are due to plants burning; those plants were recently growing and removed an equal amount of CO2 from the atmosphere over the last few years as they have returned. Humans are adding new CO2 (geologically speaking) to the atmosphere. This is the problem.

@Anonymous Coward. Please don't cite (knowingly or not) the widely discredited dust to dust report re Priuses. Just go and attempt to read it - I guarantee a headache in fairly short order. This was no life cycle assessment.

Prof: Global windfarm could power entire human race


Why the assumption of American energy consumption?

I don’t get this haughty renewables/sustainability/green bashing that goes on in The Register. What’s your agenda? Or is it simply oh so fashionable and yawn-inducing libertarian contrarianism? Either way it’s wide of the mark most of the time.

“If everyone on Earth aspires one day to live at the sort of level Americans do now”

You’re conflating energy consumption with quality of life. They are not the same thing and your analysis is flawed and discredited by the assumption that in order for the world to have a high quality of life we’ll have to raise average energy consumption to that of the US.

Sure there is a very strong correlation between quality of life and energy consumption *at the moment* but to assume that these measures won’t decouple in the coming decades is absolutely wrong. 2kW as a global average is much more credible and most importantly sustainable. This equates to 18MWh per person per year, 20% of US consumption, attainable by the West and a huge boost to the developing world.

E-cars are a dangerous myth, says top boffin


Unfortunately Pike's analysis is flawed

But hey ho, nothing like someone sounding off about something they don't really understand, eh Andrew?

Pike misleadingly uses the extra-urban drive cycle fuel consumption to compare against EVs when the first wave of EVs are going to be commuter vehicles. They completely outshine combustion engine vehicles in the urban and combined cycles. The CO2 emissions from EVs already beats all but the very best internal combustion engine vehicles and it will only get better as the grid decarbonises.

And get this - the entire energy consumption for a whole year's worth of driving an electric car can be generated by a UK-based domestic scale PV system (~2,250kWh). You'd need to eat quite a lot of chips to be able to run your car off home made fuel.

The fact is that the necessary cuts in transport emissions will be impossible without the electrification of road transport. Sticking to combustion engine vehicles could produce maybe a 30% to 40% reduction *at the very most* and that was if the manufacturers pulled out all the stops and everyone downsized as much as possible.

By the way, why are you allowed to use the Register as a propaganda platform for your rants against action on climate change? Where's the opportunity to respond to these often poorly researched diatribes? e.g.


It's really quite pathetic and it discredits the whole website.



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