The news that yesterday,…
(new bad guy?) Russia (aka Putin Inc), Iran (axis of evil?) and (our friend?) Qatar have decided to collude together like OPEC to drive up gas prices (sorry, control the market in a uniform way beneficial to suppliers and consumers),
…should be seen as a masterful stroke of luck to free ourselves from the hegemony of foreign energy control.
Sorry about the heavy dose of sarcastic irony above, but it really is true. It’s up to us!
Now that the UK government has shown it’s willing to spend billions of our quids ensuring the gambling bankers get their bonuses, it should now also show it’s willingness to invest NOW in alternative energy sources and divest NOW our reliance on dodgy places.
And NOT those stupid Wind Farms!
The only way to satisfy our energy needs is to harness the power of the ocean that we most fortuitously sit in. Simple schoolboy physics says so, not me! It’s all in the equation for kinetic energy that defines how much “energy” something that’s moving actually has relative to something else – like the ground we sit on!
These are some base specs for air and water from Wikipedia.
Look at air.
Density and Mass: 1.2 kg/m³
Average wind speeds.~5-6 m/s (not as much as what you’d think, eh?)
Now look at water:
Density and mass: ~1000 kg/m³
Average water speeds: ~1-2 m/s (about right, I suppose)
Consider the difference between being smacked in the face with a cubic metre of air and a cubic metre of water both travelling at walking speed…..ouch!
The actual speeds of the air and the sea are very variable. The tides, on the other hand are very predictable, but, it’s estimated the UK only has about 5% of it’s energy needs sat there in the twice daily tides we experience.
But for the sea, tides aren’t the only resource. We are all familiar with the crashing waves of winter and the pleasing waves of summer. This is a constant but variable resource. But compare it to the wind.
It has about the same sort of speed but is >800 times heavier!
If we plug these numbers into the formula for Kinetic Energy, because the average speeds of air and water are about the same, it means that for each cubic metre of water hitting our wave energy device, it has the potential to extract over 800 times the energy that our wind energy extraction device can get from each cubic metre of air!.
Or to put it another way, the machinery we’d need would be an awful lot smaller and an awful lot less visually intrusive.
As an aside, the comment from an EU spokesperson was just bluster and totally without validity in a free world of independent states. Here’s what was said in the Telegraph article at the bottom;
The European commission has pledged to fight the creation of any organisation that could restrict competition. “The European commission feels that energy supplies have to be sold in a free market,” a spokesman said.
Exactly how they intend to fight isn’t made clear. The truth is that Russia, Iran and Qatar are independent sovereign states, mostly with substantial arsenals of weapons that they have previously demonstrated their willingness to use. In fact the EU, and anyone else for that matter, can do fuck all and they know it.