Wednesday 2 July 2014

Putting Off The Evil Day

In Past Horizons there is a vivid article on the subject of the wearing of amulets in the shape of Mjollnir, The Hammer of Thor as a protection against the vicissitudes of life.

As few schoolboys know these days, this is an ancient god of the northern peoples who had a bad temper and went in for thunder, lightning and sundry geophysical events. Wrath, vengeance and energy policy were his speciality.  He was happy to biff any passing giant who upset him.

But after a long flirtation with Christianity and related faiths we now worship celebrities and media personalities.  This is much easier and all we are asked to do is believe, reward them with vast riches and ask no questions.

We are all going to need amulets of a kind soon if a much longer and detailed piece from Energy Matters is correct on the subject of when the lights might go out in the UK. 

Serial short term thinking, hard lobbying by corporate subsidy seekers, shoddy research and thinking and Euro regulation has left us with margins that are too tight for security of supply in the near future.

This is the short item about the archaeology.

This is the hefty item an analysis in detail on the subject of our energy supplies.  CCGTs are Combined Cycle Gas Turbines.

The conclusions are:

The complete unsuitability of CCGTs for the only remaining task they will have in the UK, as so much more wind power becomes installed, is not yet publicly recognised, although there can be no doubt that the generators understand this well enough.

The absence of a willingness to invest in new CCGTs is not just because of the uncertainties of the Electricity Market Reform but is driven by the realisation that CCGTs cannot operate profitably in the market being created by so much wind power having priority on the system.

The high likelihood of a pending, forced write-down of the 30 GW of the UK’s CCGT capacity, with a replacement value in excess of £20 billion that must be spent by 2020 in order to “keep the lights on” when the wind is not blowing, needs the most urgent public recognition.

Technical solutions that are better suited to high wind penetration are being developed but do not yet exist[29]. However, the need for the early replacement of most of the incumbent 30 GW CCGT fleet will produce another financial shock in the market for which neither UK policy makers nor are the public properly prepared.


Does anyone know where I can buy an amulet of Mjollnir, I feel an El Nino or two coming on?


  1. Hang a Mjollnir upside down, it becomes a crucifix, tattoo it on your forearm, if you are a seafarer, it becomes an anchor.

    There must be a tattoo parlour near you...?

  2. Sooner or later this will become widely understood, so finally we might have a grown-up energy debate. By then it will be too late though.