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Use of thorium instead of uranium in reactors can allay virtually all public concern over weapons proliferation, radioactive pollution, toxic waste and fuel that is costly and complicated to process. Thorium is the most abundant, most readily available, cleanest and safest energy source on earth; yet it remains unknown by both the public and politicians.  Novel reactor design, the liquid fuel thorium reactor (LFTR), uses thorium fluoride as both coolant and fuel. It has enormous advantages over...
The Scottish government has ambitious plans for spending vast sums of money on huge numbers of wind turbines and experimental wave and tidal energy projects in its bid to make Scotland “the Saudi Arabia of renewables”. But there is a growing realisation among the public that this simply pushes up electricity bills while reducing energy security and making it increasingly likely that the lights will go out.  This might be feasible when it is English consumers who are bearing the brunt, but an...
Jack Ponton - The Scotsman November 2013 It is an article of faith amongst the environmental lobby that wind energy is good, benign and undisruptive, and that obtaining shale gas by hydraulic fracturing or  ‘fracking’ is damaging and disruptive. The claims that ‘fracking’ causes earthquakes, wholesale pollution of watercourses and inflammable tap water are easily dismissed by impartial examination of actual experience. The technique has been in use for decades in the US and to a lesser extent...
The First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, has famously said that he has a vision of Scotland as “the Saudi Arabia of renewables”.  Bluster and bravado aside, what he presumably means, and certainly implies, is that Scotland will make lots of money selling renewable energy to the rest of the world, as Saudi Arabia does with its oil. Whilst it’s an attractive idea, there’s more than a hint of smoke and mirrors about Mr Salmond’s concept of a renewable energy bonanza.  Let's examine the...
There is confusion regarding the review of the commercial and financial arrangements of electricity supply. Whereas generating plant provides energy [MWh], it must in addition provide power capacity [MW] essential to maintain Security of Supply at times of peak demand.  The current market arrangement deals in energy only. So it is not surprising that considerable concern is now being expressed about the ability of this arrangement to deliver sufficient power capacity at times of peak demand and...
There are costs and benefits to everything in life. The costs of wind energy are high and the benefits few. Every country needs a cheap, reliable supply of electricity and wind energy is neither. Cheap-because money spent on expensive electricity is not available to spend on education, health, infrastructure. Cheap- because electricity is essential for heating, cold houses kill every winter. Cheap-because the price of our goods in global markets is underpinned by electricity price. Cheap-...
There is a developing crisis in Scotland's electricity supply, created by the policies of successive UK governments but exacerbated by the Scottish Government. At times there will be a shortage which could lead to power cuts. At others, there will be an excess which cannot be used. This is a consequence of the huge increase in intermittent wind generated electricity. Subsidies make wind power the logical investment for energy companies, while the preference given to it on the grid reduces the...
See Newsletter: Science, safety and prejudice From: Peter Melchett Sent: 23 May 2016 13:18 To: Scientific Alliance Subject: An authoritative new report on GM crops is unlikely to change minds, argues The Scientific Alliance Dear Martin Livermore, You attack the Soil Association's response to a new report on GM crops from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine as being ‘spurious’, but in doing so you come up with a couple of arguments which seem to fly in the face of the...
ABANDONING coal and gas is doing industry no favours, writes Colin Gibson Events in March highlighted the deepening malaise of Britain’s energy industry; our electricity is proving too expensive for heavy industries and the subsidised expansion of intermittent renewables has disrupted supply to the point where cheap, efficient gas generators are forced to operate uneconomically and operators are reluctant to build new capacity. George Osborne seemed to understand in 2011: “I am worried about...
INADEQUATE investment in power generation is leaving us short of capacity to cope, writes Keith Burns On a mild still day last November a serious problem crept up on the UK electricity network. Darkness approached, lights came on and industrial demand stayed high. National Grid declared a “Notification of Inadequate System Margin” in order to bring in more generating capacity. The situation led to the price for extra power rising to 60 times the more usual buy-in price. With our present...

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