Saturday, July 22, 2006


The Energy Review

In the quest to bridge the energy gap, there is a choice between two energy systems:
centralised or decentralised.

A centralised system is what we currently have with energy produced at a huge power station which is then transported across the country.Using this system, two thirds of all energy generated in our nuclear, coal and gas fuelled power stations is lost as waste heat.Of the total energy going into a power station, a staggering 61.5% is lost as waste heat at the power station itself, for example in the cooling tower. Another 3.5% is lost along the transmission lines. Finally, 13% is lost through inefficient use, for example in the home.

A decentralised system is a system that captures that "waste" heat and distributes it to local buildings or city districts by producing electricity close to where it is used and using Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants. Renewable technologies such as wind farms, solar power and energy from greener fuels such as biomass can also be used successfully in this system. It is also possible for consumers to become producers using this system by having solar panels or wind turbines. The idea is that people take more responsibility for the energy that they use.
The good news is that these decentralised systems are already in place and working well. The entire city of Rotterdam runs on decentralised energy, as does over 50% of Denmark. Across Europe major cities such as Malmö, Copenhagen and Helsinki have all adopted decentralised energy on a large scale. In fact, worldwide, decentralised energy systems are generating more energy than nuclear power stations.

Nuclear Power technically produces less CO2 emissions but it provides 20% of our electricity but this only represents 3.6% of the UK's energy use. A a new generation of power stations would only cut our CO2 emissions by 4%. This doesn't even take into account the cost, dnager and impact that the extremely toxic waste products have.

For those of you that want to take action click here to make your feelings known. There is also Write to But please do express how you feel about it...

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