Thursday, 31 March 2011

Talking Cr*p Again - Dung-Power Wins Over Sun Power

Some light relief on the energy front before we plunge back into the serious stuff ...

Back in August we noted the DECC obsession with manure,
otherwise known as anaerobic digestion (AD), or turning the brown stuff into electricity. Well, Crapper Huhne is a LibDem ...

"We want to exploit as much as is economically possible of the 100 million tonnes of manures [and] sewage"

This oozes directly from a commitment to "promote a huge increase" in AD, contained in the Coalition Agreement - which for a very short document, contained an incongruous amount of highly detailed energy policy - indicative of a long-seated, nay, anal fixation. We can lay this squarely at the door of Tory junior energy minister Greg Barker.

Barker it was who (according to the Register of Members' Interests) received a donation while in opposition from Summerleaze, a firm specialising in AD. And he hasn't let them down. As a minister he has chaired the Anaerobic Digestion Round Table: "anaerobic digestion ticks all the boxes", he gushes.

And in this month's review of feed-in tariffs that reduced the amount of subsidy to solar power, the Treasury opened the sluice-gates for AD: the amount of filthy lucre on offer to AD projects was increased.

Raw politics - like pigs in muck. We're paying through the nose for this obsession: does something smell around here ? We're being dumped on ...

ND

18 comments:

Bill Quango MP said...

Did you see the biomass one?

http://www.thebioenergysite.com/articles/885/eu-biofuel-target-not-achievable

Grandpa Quango has been trying to make fuel from Caribbean sugar cane viable for about a decade.
Its viable at $200 barrel Grandpa!

Edindie said...

"Barker it was who (according to the Register of Members' Interests) received a donation while in opposition from Summerleaze, a firm specialising in AD. And he hasn't let them down."

The Government falling foul of its new bribery and corruption laws perhaps?

Nick Drew said...

foul's the word, Edindie !

Mr Q, if photo-voltaics can be subsidised, surely a man of your Parliamentary talents can fix a suitable feed-in tariff for Grandpa ?

Anonymous said...

Nick, the HoC & HoL produce so much effluent that they could probably power up the HoP and they could even sell the residue (left after processing) to Westminster Council as a good fertiliser, which could be used to pay mps and lords expenses, there must be plenty of unused space under the HoP for the equipment, also get rid of the booze sellers for more space, they are there to administer the country, not spend their time boozing ;-)

Timbo614 said...

Smell?
Who's been eating fish?...

Blue Eyes said...

Brilliant post! Or should I say "shit post!"?

Nick Drew said...

anon - please address your comments to Mr Quango MP

BE - please address the first half of your comments to me ...

Timbo - I am sure if you apply politely to Mr Huhne he will invent a fish-in tariff for you

Dick Shonery said...

One small step for mankind; one huge step towards a turd world country, a description which is already beginning to fit the UK.

Timbo614 said...

>> fix a suitable feed-in tariff for Grandpa ?

You can't go using grandpa(s) as fuel! Can you? Maybe if they are not FIT enough :))

Electro-Kevin said...

They had this technology on Skodas about twenty five years ago. Turdo chargers

Nick Drew said...

Dick, Timbo, EK - tough crowd tonite!

Steven_L said...

Maybe we could all chip in and buy an MP of our own?

Nick Drew said...

at C@W we already have (+:

fat use he was on the North Sea windfall tax, ask CU )+:

Anonymous said...

The basic problem with dung power, indeed any biomass power is regulatory. Farmers have shedloads of dung and raw biomass that they could turn into methane, the only problem is that goldplated laws and self-financing inspection bodies want outrageously huge fees for allowing the farm digestors to operate.

Without the fees, anaerobic digestors are just about viable; with the H & S fees, they aren't.

Nick Drew said...

anon - you may be right but I haven't heard it put that way before

my understanding - garnered from last year's Arup report - was that it is the low energy density of dung, rotting crops etc: which means that you need to (a) collect very large quantities in one place, with attendant & relatively significant transportation costs (b) build hard-standing for the heavily motorized operations on the site of the AD equipment, again with a price-tag

these additional costs seem to be prohibitive

I don't doubt regulatory costs can also be some sort of final straw (sorry, couldn't resist that...)

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