Monday, June 15, 2009

Reason to be cheerful (for a few sceconds): Renewable supergrid by 2030

Article here about a Renewable Energy European supergrid in place by 2030.

High voltage Direct Current enables electricity to be transmitted long distance without the losses that we get with the present AC grid. The idea is that a vast europe-wide grid will smooth out the intermittency of wind and solar sources.

The cost is trivial by Credit Crunch standards - a mere 1.4 trillion euros over 20 years, which is only a fraction of the investment planned for planet - killing fossil fuels over the same period.

So it is all very possible, very economic, very realistic. All we have to do is to get the decision makers (Prime Ministers, Ministers, Civil Servants &c) to
(a) understand it,
(b) stop letting the coal, gas and nuclear barons pay for their lunches.

(a) is not difficult.
(b) is going to be immensely difficult.

In fact it is going to be so difficult that I now see, on reflection, that the HVDC grid idea is just another utopian, hopelessly unrealistic green dream that is never going to get anywhere, so we all might as well shut up go home and accept the fact that we are all just going to have to die.

Damn. It was such a lovely planet. Pity about the electoral system...


weggis said...

I think you are being just a little over optimistic on (a).

DocRichard said...

Hi Weg

I not you do not think I am being over pessimistic on (b).

They can be helped to understand it. This is a normal part of politics. I know, I've served my time on Woodspring District Council. Despite appearances, Ministers are not completely stupid. They are University educated, most of them, and half their time is spent in being briefed on things.

They can understand it all right. The real problem is getting the [insert common term for illegitimate offspring] to do what needs to be done, rather than doing what the established fossil/nuclear corporations who are pouring money into their back pockets to do.

Excuse me while I bang my forehead repeatedly on the work surface.

weggis said...

Looky here Doc.
I don't like to publicise this but I'm a Fellow of IET, formerly IEE.
A little while back our members website had a poll on Nuclear Energy and "we" came out in favour.

[Bangs head on work surface]

DocRichard said...

E is for Engineers, right?

DocRichard said...

For those who may have wondered what "I not you do not think I am being over pessimistic on (b)" really means, it means that I did not proof read properly.

It should read "I do not think I am being over pessimistic on (b)"

Sorry. This kind of sloppiness is very poor, and I will see to it that it does not happen abgain.

weggis said...

The Institution of Electrical Engineers [IEE] is now the Institution of Engineering and Technology [IET].

DocRichard said...

Well I would have thought they would have noticed there is quite a lot of electrical engineering and technology involved with setting up a super grid, with all the diverse balancing involved. But creating thousands of jobs in spreading photon-sourced electrons around is less sexy than creating a few hundred jobs in making sure that not too many radionuclides escape into the environment.