Revolt News 135
ITEMS 9 and 10 are the most timely or urgent - see below.
1. An article "Still in the dark ages", Sunday Telegraph 3.11.02, looks at the widespread loss of power in England and Wales due to storms the previous weekend. Some 18,000 homes remained without power six days after the storms. "Why can't we have underground cables?" they ask. The main reason is cost, but it didn't stop the burying of a line previously on 70 foot pylons in Michael Heseltine's home village of Thenford in Oxfordshire! Likewise Lord Marlesford, when a director of Eastern Electricity, had cables buried in 39 conservation areas, starting with his own village of Marlseford in Suffolk! At least he is still pressing the question for others, though he says it is not realistic for 400kV cables. He will be challenging Energy Minister Brian Wilson's investigation of the crisis.
2. The loss of power, as always, was not due to the national grid (which is very secure), but to lower voltage distribution lines failing in the storms. NG has said that underground cables are insecure, but that is by reference to avoidable damage by building or road works. NG's answer to security is to build yet more overhead lines!
3. A group of 18 scientists claim, in Science 1.11.02, that "none of today's technologies will control climate change and meet the world's energy needs". Those needs, including electricity, heat and transport, are already around 12TW and project to 30TW by 2050 (reported also in New Scientist 9.11.02). Wind power is particularly limited, given its unreliability. The net result is a harvest of only a few kW per acre (of the order of 1MW per square km). The article says about 10% of the earth's land surface would be needed for biomass production of current total energy needs, which by my calculation implies about 10MW per sq km, although some UK schemes are nearer 1MW per sq km. So, as we knew, renewable energy sources will only make a small impact on energy needs, and a diverse range of energy sources is important.
4. From the DEFRA magazine Energy & Environmental Management Nov/Dec 02:
(a) Dr Eoin Lees, chief exec of the Energy Saving Trust, says "more than 5 million homes, 750 schools, 200 hospitals and 80 universities could be connected to community heating schemes which would prove cost-effective at the Treasury's 6% discount rate".
(b) EU Commissioner Loyola de Palacio has launched the High Level Group for
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology to push the technology towards commercial use.
5. Item passed on by Maureen Asbury of Trentham action group:
from an article by Tom Brooks <firstname.lastname@example.org> in the November 13, 2002 issue, on page six, of the Cherokee Ledger. Residents concerned about the growth of high-voltage electrical transmission lines stretching across Cherokee County are calling for a one-year moratorium of the power grid's construction. If the county passes such a moratorium, it would join other northern Georgia communities that have challenged the development of the new lines. Counties that have adopted moratoria against large power line construction include Cobb, Fulton, Dawson and Rabun.
6. Sister Jean Fargher writes to thank Richard Gill for the collection from the bonfire at Alne which has been received on behalf of the Friends of St Monica's. Despite the atrocious weather, the sum of £117.22 was collected. Sister Fargher said "What a dreadful night for a bonfire, so much preparation and hard work goes into organising such an event, and despite the heavy rains the fire burned well and we enjoyed the fireworks."
7. Notes from webmaster Rik Royall: From a bit of surfing Balfour know how to take down pylons: http://www.24sevennet.co.uk/press/2001/190101.html Legal threat to police radio network: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/uk_news/england/2511773.stm
8. From an article by Paul Brown, environment correspondent, The Guardian Saturday November 23, 2002. "Vast areas of the shallow sea round the UK were earmarked for the expansion of wind power yesterday by the government - theoretically enough to provide power for the whole country three times over. There is room for thousands of turbines in three areas in the Thames Estuary, the Wash, and along the west coast from the Solway Firth down the coast to north Wales. Further areas can be designated by the devolved Scottish and Welsh assemblies." Actually wind power cannot provide for even one home on a reliable basis and must be backed up by conventional continuous power. However misconceived, these developments are at least south of York and will reduce the need for the North Yorkshire power line.
9. National Grid's application for summary judgement against Rosalind Craven is due to be heard in the High Court at Leeds, Chancery Division, on Tuesday and Wednesday 3 & 4 Dec next week starting at 10.30. As NG has failed (so far) to answer the reasonable questions she has put to them, it does seem that, in reason at least, NG might lose its application. That would be an amazing triumph for a very brave individual standing alone against a corporate giant.
10. A report on the survey of landowners will be sent at the same time as this message in a separate circulation as a Word file, since it contains tables. The message header will be revolt news135A. The survey shows mixed responses, reflecting mixed experiences, and seems to be a fair representation of opinion. The report is audited by Peter Edmonds, NFU Group Secretary, who made a number of checks and stated the opinion that it was objective, fair and balanced and the report was accurate. It covers the 30 returns received up to 25.11.02. Since then 3 more have been received. Only 5 of 33 respondents were satisfied on all aspects, whereas 12 were dissatisfied on all aspects of whom 7 were very dissatisfied on all aspects. The report includes all the comments received, though they are not attributed. Further returns would still be welcome from landowners who have not yet done so.
Survey as Word document
Survey as PDF document