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UK Gas and Electricity Crisis Imminent

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by clv101, 1 Jan 2006.

  1. clv101

    Capodecina

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    Back in August I wrote this: UK Gas and Electricity Crisis Looming about how this winter we faced real difficulties with our gas supply. After the Christmas week I now think problems are imminent. Maybe the end of this week if the forecasts are reasonably accurate. I've written this: It was cold, will it be cold when it matters? about the current situation. I'll be amazed if we make it through this winter without the most significant energy problems we've seen in more than a decade.
     
  2. daz

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    Do you think the media is down-playing the effect on the UK (at least in the short term, next 3 months) or do you think they are simply being more realistic?

    In my opinion, it won't happen this year.
     
  3. Errol

    Wise Guy

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    What is the name of the girl in your sig again ?
     
  4. Loki

    Asus Rep

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    Certainly from a business perspective it is not being played down in the business pages of the broadsheets. I work for a Global Chemical and Gases company and trust me it is not being played down at all. Our Bill for Summer 2005-Summer 2006 is estimated to rise by an extra £9million in the UK alone.

    The cost of power has also had a huge effect on the availability of CO2 in the UK. You may scoff at CO2 as an unimportant product but it goes unseen in pretty much every aspect of life from Hospitals, Food Packaging and preperation, Water preparation and treatment Mass use in UK manuacturing, Helps put fizz in your drinks such as Beer and Canned Drinks. Even used on a mass basis by the licensing trade, Makes Dry Ice for the transportation of Blood and Samples throughout the UK also used for chilling food for the Airline industry Anyway there are three plants that mass produce CO2. A few weeks
    ago one closed down over night and another gave three months notice of closure. This left one production site in the UK. The reason for the others closure ? The cost and availability of power
     
  5. daz

    Capodecina

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    How many people read the business pages of broadsheets though?

    Based on mainstream press that the majority of the country reads or watches (tabloids, TV news) you wouldn't realise there was anything wrong at all... which is really quite worrying.

    Errol, the girl in my signature is called Alizée. :)
     
  6. Sharknose

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  7. anarchist

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  8. Spud21

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    From what i remember, the cost to the companies wasn't the big issue, the oil companies could all afford now to start withdrawing oil from these oil sands, but the cost of extraction and refinement would mean that the cost of the oil gathered would be massive and would push oil prices very high, and make it unfeasable for consumers due to cost. Iirc that was the problem not that the companies can't afford to extract it, just to make any money on it the cost of oil would be unfeasibly high.
     
  9. clv101

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    Good article, it mentioned conventional oil peak back in 2004:
    I was talking to someone about this article today, they made the point that "Its the easy oil that counts. We have already started to scrape the bottom of the barrel - although the scrapings are still pretty good at the minute.

    Heavy sour oil is harder (and therefore costlier) to get out of the ground and to refine. It's one step closer to going back to coal. The decline in quality of fossil fuels is well underway, even if quantity is still up there."


    Notice the article doesn’t mention time scales or extraction rates from oil sands - this is a problem, even looking out of 2020 the extraction rates are low. The current process also needs an awful lot of natural gas and fresh water, both limiting factors. At the end of the day sure it will help but it won't offset the decline in conventional oil.
     
  10. anarchist

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    I notice David Cameron in the Metro today (not my usual read - it just happened to be on the train!) saying that he knows that oil is running out and that we need to switch to alternative energy or risk not being able to use cars at all in the near future <or something along those lines>. Not that I'm a Tory voter, but it's nice to at least hear a party leader saying such things :)
     
  11. conundrum

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    Oil and/or tar sands require a lot of energy in to get some energy out plus the fact that it is done with natural gas (a limited resource in the area) and water. Shell have recently proposed or undertaken a large scale project to be able to improve tar sands extraction but it is not a easy thing to do.

    As for the new Tory Leader, well you are right it does make a change but even so Oil provides 40 % of the worlds energy and 90 % of transport and at the present time there is no viable replacement for it. The only way there will be is if there is not lot of work done on alternatives and much better funded research.

    Tis a mess to be sure but hey the markets will find a way (not).
     
  12. anarchist

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    You forgot to add the standard "in it's infinite and mysterious wisdom" ;)
     
  13. anarchist

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  14. PlacidCasual

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    I’ve argueed it on this forums several times. In a period between nuclear fusion being a viable energy source and a declining fossil fuel source (whether that is through wishing to prevent emissions or declining availability) bio fuel should be a viable option. Genetically engineered crops designed to provide high yields per acre could be used as direct fuel for thermal cycle power stations or brewed and distilled for internal combustion engine use or maybe even fuel cells. This would be carbon neutral as equal amounts of carbon are removed from the atmosphere as are released.
    Additionally it would have the benefit of returning some work to the farmers of this country who are leaving land fallow or are over producing for subsidies despite the food having no market. Our food production is so efficient now that we can sustain ourselves easily especially if we move to a lower meat diet which is less efficient with land area.

    I’m all for bio fuel.
     
  15. anarchist

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    Me too - in theory - but I did read that oil is required (in the form of fertilisers and pesticides etc.) to make the biofuels in the first place so not entirely sure it's going to solve the problem.
     
  16. conundrum

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    Bio fuel cannot yield the fuel levels (amount) or density of fossil fuel that we now use. Sure we can reduce the size of our cars but when it comes to freight and flight we have a problem.

    Some of the other possible fossil fuel replacements require some serious funding in order to become viable.
     
  17. clv101

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    That's easy, just move less stuff around and fly less. Do we really need to import apples from New Zealand or have several overseas holidays a year?
     
  18. conundrum

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    Globalisation says yes but I would say no personally but it aint up to me but the powers that be and they seem to want to go for globalisation but little do they know of the impending fuel crisis that is surely to come this century. Seems to me that we have no real alternatives to Oil at the present time and ethenol based products should not be touted as a solution as it cannot in the same way that Oil currently is.
     
  19. anarchist

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    Of course it's up to us. If people didn't by apples from new zealand then they wouldn't fly them from there - and the same applies to all products we consume.
     
  20. conundrum

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    People buy what is cost effective and it is a shame that apples shipped from NZ appear to be able to compete against apples grown at home price wise. This goes for lots of other goods too. There are many factors involved but not enough people care about where their food comes from or where it is produced to make a massive difference. This has been well documented in recent years.