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 REVOLT News 150

1. Fuel cell notes: developments in fuel cell technology and commercialisation will be discussed at the Eighth Grove Fuel Cell Symposium in London, England, on September 24-26, 2003. Find out more at . DTI will launch the UK Fuel Cell Vision, highlighting the benefits to the UK in taking a leading role in fuel cell development and deployment. <  > 

On 10th September, in Brussels, Commission President Romano Prodi presented a Communication on actions towards the launch of a European Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Technology Partnership, steered by an Advisory Council, that will devise a Hydrogen Research Strategic Agenda.
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(Taken from Anglea Ovenston's notes and news@all-energy.)

2. Rosalind Craven of Huby Burn featured on TTTV again on Monday 22.9.03. NG appeared at her locked farm gate and cut the lock to gain entry to start removing the stone tracks. Rosalind had said she would not admit them unless they followed the Rights of Entry Act and therefore had a warrant, but that if they did have a warrant she would open the gate for them. She battles on bravely in her pursuit of legal grounds to refuse entry. Interestingly she distinguishes between access (on which Revolt obtained senior counsel's opinion) and entry (for which there is a Rights of Entry Act 1954 which is amended by the Electricity Act 1989). The Rights of Entry Act requires the electricity company to obtain a warrant if the landowner does not consent, although it seems to apply to a Public Electricity Supplier (which NG is not). Rosalind would argue that it must apply to all statutory undertakers. The warrants under the Rights of Entry Act are limited to 28 days. Clearly NG has not been following this system at all. Rosalind has applied formally to have her appeal against NG's injunction re-opened. She expects a reply by 30.9.03.

3. From D&S Times 19.9.03, NG has started dismantling some pylons on the 275 kV line in Cleveland. A fallen pylon pictured is one that was in the way of the new Lackenby-Picton line. It has to be removed before that new line can be completed. There is a scheme of temporary towers and diversions to dismantle the 275kV line in stages. A NG spokesman was quoted as saying that work to dismantle the old line would not start in its entirety until December, and was expected tom take 12 months.

4. In a letter to the Independent 10.9.03, David Grahame, a former National Grid engineer, writes that while billions of pounds have been spent on the network since privatisation, it has been aimed at increasing the capacity of the network (and hence its profitability) and not its reliability. NG would of course argue with that, as they claim the second Yorkshire line is for reliability (security) purposes, but the reliability and capacity are inter-related. Revolt has argued that the second Yorkshire line (Picton-Shipton) is not necessary either for capacity or reliability, but is intended to support speculative development of yet more surplus generation in the far north. David Grahame makes comparisons with Railtrack.

5. BBC News on Italy's nation-wide black out on Sunday 28.9.03 says the authorities claim it was caused by network failures in France and Switzerland, as Italy relies on imports of electricity. Following two other mayor power failures in Scandinavia and the large black-out in eastern USA and Canada earlier this year, this dramatically illustrates the insecurity of relying on large networks and remote generation. Apart from its obvious vulnerability to terrorists, technical difficulties are bound to cause widespread loss of power. Apparently it took only 4 seconds to knock out virtually all of Italy's power supply, taking most of a day to restore it while in parts it is likely to be much longer. NG has already warned it could happen here this winter, as generating capacity has fallen. The situation is exacerbated by the intermittent nature of wind power, even though wind supplies only a small fraction of electricity supply. The answer is to pipe gas to areas of net demand, to develop distributed generation and CHP progressively to replace large remote power stations, and to balance generation and demand in the regions. Meanwhile, keep your candles handy and try not to be in hospital.

-- Mike O'Carroll


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