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Is It Time To Consider Renationalising The Energy Industry?

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I was listening to a radio segment this morning about prepay meters and how the poorest members of our society are expected to pay 30% more for their energy costs than those on a direct debit scheme and the projected rise in energy costs.

Up until now I've always thought the markets should be left alone, but with energy security (not just prices) becoming a real issue and the fact that so much of our infrastructure now seems to be in the ownership of foreign corporations - how long will it be before we need to consider renationalising the energy industry and or the other utilities?

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What beggars belief is that we hold 40% of Europe's wind energy but as soon as an enterprising farmer tries to take the initiative the Nimbies give him so much grief he commits suicide!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/155...n-his-land.html

Everyone should buy a wind turbine, invest in energy saving gadgets and try and generate as much of their own power as possible. That's what I plan to do in the future.

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I was listening to a radio segment this morning about prepay meters and how the poorest members of our society are expected to pay 30% more for their energy costs than those on a direct debit scheme and the projected rise in energy costs.

Up until now I've always thought the markets should be left alone, but with energy security (not just prices) becoming a real issue and the fact that so much of our infrastructure now seems to be in the ownership of foreign corporations - how long will it be before we need to consider renationalising the energy industry and or the other utilities?

No.

It's a fine time to denationalise it properly though.

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The public utilities should never have been privatised, apart from British Telecom. Some of them ended up being owned by foreign governments.

Re. wind energy - offshore is the big one - big offshore wind farms are more or less no-go for shipping so they are ideal places to install wave power generators as well, like the Pelamis string of sausages type. Killing two birds with one stone, as it were, plus the occasional bird zapped by the turbine blades too!

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The public utilities should never have been privatised, apart from British Telecom. Some of them ended up being owned by foreign governments.

Re. wind energy - offshore is the big one - big offshore wind farms are more or less no-go for shipping so they are ideal places to install wave power generators as well, like the Pelamis string of sausages type. Killing two birds with one stone, as it were, plus the occasional bird zapped by the turbine blades too!

BT needed a serious, serious kick in the rear, but telecommunications are just as important a part of national infrastructure as roads these days.

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As far as possible yes.

Energy security.

Food security.

Economic security.

Military security.

Without these I'm not entirely sure what a "nation state" is for.

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As far as possible yes.

Energy security.

Food security.

Economic security.

Military security.

Without these I'm not entirely sure what a "nation state" is for.

Here here. Selling off our utilities has left us at the mercy of foreign powers, especially the Russians. So much for Thatcher winning the cold war after all eh! They have us by our short and curly bits..

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As far as possible yes.

Energy security.

Food security.

Economic security.

Military security.

Without these I'm not entirely sure what a "nation state" is for.

Yes we used to have the security of our own energy supply,now it is run by SHORT TERM ECONOMISTS who now don't know what to do to keep the lights on.

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it's always seemed strange to me that it was possible to convince people that selling our assets to people that have been our enemies for decades is a good idea.

or ever to "friendly" foreign nations.

why would you want your food supply/energy supply etc in the hands of a foreign power?

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One of our biggest resources must be coal and we should be looking at extracting that so we are not at the mercy of the Russians who just take the pi$$ as and when they feel like it.

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What beggars belief is that we hold 40% of Europe's wind energy but as soon as an enterprising farmer tries to take the initiative the Nimbies give him so much grief he commits suicide!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/155...n-his-land.html

Everyone should buy a wind turbine, invest in energy saving gadgets and try and generate as much of their own power as possible. That's what I plan to do in the future.

I fail to understand peoples objections to wind turbines. Nothing unsightly about them at all.

Its renewable energy or bust, something people can't comprehend.

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I fail to understand peoples objections to wind turbines. Nothing unsightly about them at all.

Its renewable energy or bust, something people can't comprehend.

No need to nationalise. Just need a little control thats all... god, Labour couldnt organise a p*ss up in a brewery, I dont want them in charge of our nuclear power infrastructure.

All you would need is profit controls, to the extent that in times of significant strife for the country, or if CPI/RPI gets out of control, that profits have to be capped at no more than a certain percentage of turnover.

Problem solved. Cant complain that the shareholders are not making a profit, the government also doesnt have to bail out granny icicles just because flo went and blew all her equity on a stannah stairlift/purple rinse/Royal Carribean Cruise, instead of saving for heating bills.

Edited by mbga9pgf

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As far as possible yes.

Energy security.

Food security.

Economic security.

Military security.

Without these I'm not entirely sure what a "nation state" is for.

Making a government and it's friends rich.

I agree the country desperately needs to get some sense in terms of energy, food and water. The protection of that is also vital.

Jobs would be nice.

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I fail to understand peoples objections to wind turbines. Nothing unsightly about them at all.

Its renewable energy or bust, something people can't comprehend.

People's objections to wind turbines will melt like snow in June as soon as they are hit by astronomical prices - even faster as soon as electricity power cuts start happening because there isn't enough gas for the power stations.

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No need to nationalise. Just need a little control thats all... god, Labour couldnt organise a p*ss up in a brewery, I dont want them in charge of our nuclear power infrastructure.

All you would need is profit controls, to the extent that in times of significant strife for the country, or if CPI/RPI gets out of control, that profits have to be capped at no more than a certain percentage of turnover.

Problem solved. Cant complain that the shareholders are not making a profit, the government also doesnt have to bail out granny icicles just because flo went and blew all her equity on a stannah stairlift/purple rinse/Royal Carribean Cruise, instead of saving for heating bills.

Surely, one of the problems of allowing the corporations 'freedom' is that they have run down fuel stocks so that it is off the books. We are therefore at the mercy of speculators.

The energy companies are exporting in Summer when fuel is at its cheapest (as opposed to storing it) and we then have to buy in Winter when it's expensive.

Do we have a strategic reserve if Uncle Boris decides to turn off the gas tap or somebody suceeds in overthrowing the Al-Saud clan?

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People's objections to wind turbines will melt like snow in June as soon as they are hit by astronomical prices - even faster as soon as electricity power cuts start happening because there isn't enough gas for the power stations.

Like the power cuts that will start happening when the wind doesnt blow?

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I fail to understand peoples objections to wind turbines. Nothing unsightly about them at all.

Its renewable energy or bust, something people can't comprehend.

People talk about how "unsightly" wind turbines are, but seem oblivious to the thousands of electricity pylons that dot our islands' landscape.

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One surefire way to have massive power outages, or balloon costs within the decade is to completely nationalise the power infrastructure. Look what happened in china and soviet russia when food production was completely nationalised - widespread famine. Look at the NHS - massive cost overruns, look at British rail - decades of declining passenger numbers, look at the pathetic attempt at education the school system gives. It goes on and on, nationalisation = complete failure to meet market efficiency and choice with reliability of service.

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People talk about how "unsightly" wind turbines are, but seem oblivious to the thousands of electricity pylons that dot our islands' landscape.

Habituation.

As usual the forumla that expands states control over everything has been expressed in this thread over and over again -

Regulation hasn't worked, let's try regulation.

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Like the power cuts that will start happening when the wind doesnt blow?

True. But there's rather a lot of wind to the west of the British Isles, and I'd personally rather have it there for back-up rather than be dependent on the goodwill of Mother Russia; to say nothing of the numerous European countries further up the pipeline. Norway has made it pretty clear they're not going to be much help.

Wind and wave power are the two things that the UK have still got more of than nearly anywhere else in Europe; and while I'm aware that it's not a complete solution, being able to rely completely on (say) 50% of our own power has to be better than being (?) 90% dependent on other countries in 15 years time (or whatever the timescale is).

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Like the power cuts that will start happening when the wind doesnt blow?

You just have a solar photovoltaic panel as back up and a massive great battery to store the power.

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Surely, one of the problems of allowing the corporations 'freedom' is that they have run down fuel stocks so that it is off the books. We are therefore at the mercy of speculators.

The energy companies are exporting in Summer when fuel is at its cheapest (as opposed to storing it) and we then have to buy in Winter when it's expensive.

Do we have a strategic reserve if Uncle Boris decides to turn off the gas tap or somebody suceeds in overthrowing the Al-Saud clan?

UK is no longer self sufficient in oil, demand for which varies little by season given that only 1.5m UK households now use heating oil. Gas could (and should) be extracted from N Sea in summer for storage to meet winter peak demand but UK only has storage for 13 days' consumption whereas France and Germany have at least 70 days' storage capacity. For past few years not a single planning application for UK storage has been approved - local authorities and 'NIMBYS' vigorously oppose same.

In short UK does not have the facilities to store much gas. Should UK Gov't impose storage facilities on unwilling local authorities or simply 'wait until the lights go out' at which point I suspect many opponents to storage would re-think. Of course construction of necessary infrastructure would then take 3 to 5 years during which time N Sea gas output would decline substantially.

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Yes we used to have the security of our own energy supply,now it is run by SHORT TERM ECONOMISTS who now don't know what to do to keep the lights on.

UK energy security postion is poor...shortly to become dire. Oil and gas output from UK N Sea is in steep, and terminal, decline. In order to maintain BAU imports of both will have to rise rapidly from zero about 4 years ago to between 80% and 90% by 2020. Furthermore supplies will increasingly have to be sourced from Russia and OPEC states with whom UK does not always have good relationships.

UK coal output is limited - I don't have detailed knowledge of coal reserves but understand that it would be extremely expensive and require long lead times to re-establish large scale deep mines in UK. Furthermore UK coal output peaked around 1913 which would indicate the vast majority of easily recoverable coal (that with higher ERoEI) has already been extracted.

Nuclear power takes around 10 years to come online if UK were to start now (and it isn't). In the meantime UK is obligated to decomission substantial proportions of coal and nuclear generating plant in next few years.

Renewable sources of electricity generation are growing from a very tiny base and are not dependable enough to constitute a baseload capability (consider calm midwinter days for example).

The scale of energy imports required to maintain BAU is quite daunting - here's one estimate showing UK cumulative energy import deficit reaching no less than $500bn as early as 2013: A State of Emergency.

In short UK energy security is rapidly draining away but Gov't still believes in 'leaving it to the market'. My view is that while the market solution might work on the energy upswing it will totally break down on the energy downswing upon which UK (and the world) is now embarking. No wonder the long term petroleum geologists and engineers whom I know have been installing wood stoves!

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You just have a solar photovoltaic panel as back up and a massive great battery to store the power.

The only renewable you can realistically use as a 'base-load' in the UK is hydro.

All other renewables are supplementary (they're not even suitable as load-followers).

I really don't think battery support on renewable recharge from solar and wind is viable as for just one household you need an epic amount of battery capacity - You'd probably fair better with a inertial storage flywheel but that's another big and complicated (and dangerous as of 2008) proposition.

I'm not even convinced that wind power is at all viable in it's current form as the MTBF on full-scale turbines seems problematically low.

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  • 401 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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