Monday, October 31, 2011

Shale Gas

A good article by David Rose in the Daily Mail here:

This is a quote from the article, about a shale gas plant costing £500 million, at Hoo St Werburgh in Kent, that will produce 1000MW, enough to power a quarter of the homes in London. It is compared to the 217 turbines of the London Array, the world's biggest offshore wind farm.

"Covering 90 square miles, this too will have the capacity to generate 1GW (one billion watts). The turbines’ construction has been priced at £2 billion, four times as much as the Kentish gas plant, although this does not include the cost – perhaps a further £500 million – of connecting them to the National Grid, via 300 miles of undersea high-voltage cables.

Without the labyrinthine system of ‘green’ taxes and Government subsidies known as the Renewables Obligation, which is already adding an estimated £100 to the cost of every British household’s electricity bill, and an average 20 per cent to the charges paid by businesses, the wind farm could never be built, because it would be hopelessly uneconomic.

As well as being more expensive, the turbines will not last nearly as long: about 20 years, half the time of the gas-fired power station. A gas plant, moreover, will produce electricity 24 hours day; the turbines won’t. British windmills can be expected to generate power only 27 per cent of the time. That figure falls to just ten per cent in the calm conditions of a bitter Arctic high, such as that which covered the entire UK, causing record low temperatures, for several weeks last December."

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