Anorak | We’re all getting diesel generators to beat climate change – WTF!

We’re all getting diesel generators to beat climate change – WTF!

by | 3rd, July 2013

THIS has to be the most insane side effect of the hysteria over climate change yet: we’re all supposed to kit ourselves out with diesel generators:

NHS hospitals are being asked to cut their power demand from the National Grid as part of a government attempt to stave off power blackouts, which the energy watchdog Ofgem warns could arrive as early as 2015.

According to one energy company, four hospitals have already signed up to a deal under which they will reduce demand at peak times by using diesel-fired generators.

The aim of all this renewable energy stuff is of course to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Diesel generators are extraordinarily inefficient methods of generating electricity with respect to their carbon emissions. This is thus really, really, not going to help reduce emissions.

However, the reason it’s being advocated is because when we add more renewables to the grid we reduce our ability to match demand to supply. The sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow. But people do want to be able to boil a kettle at the ad break in Corrie. The more renewables we add to the grid the less we’re able to spin up the generators to boil those jkettles: or, more importantly, keep the lights on in the hospital’s A&E department.

So what we’re actually doing is what has been happening in Germany. As the reliability of the grid falls (and minor changes in voltage are still a real problem: we don’t actually need blackouts to destory vast amounts of very expensive machinery) companies are installing their own generators. Those generators being, from those carbon emissions points, vastly more inefficient than the old coal plants we’re replacing with renewables.

In short, we’re not actually reducing emissions at all: we might well be increasing them. This isn’t, to put it mildly, a good idea.

Posted: 3rd, July 2013 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink