What should Britain's energy source be?

Watch
Poll: What should our source of energy be?
Renewables (wind, solar and hydroelectric etc) (14)
20.9%
Nuclear (28)
41.79%
Fossil Fuels (4)
5.97%
A mixture of the above (if so specifications would be appreciated) (21)
31.34%
Cylos
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
The recent debate on energy has recently revolved around the proposed fix of prices by Ed Miliband. Ideally leaving that debate to the side, I wanted to see the views of my generation on what the source of our energy should be.

There have been differing arguments from all sides of the political spectrum, with the possibility of energy shortages in the coming years and decades what should we focus on? And why?


Should we use:
  • Renewable energy (wind, solar and hydroelectric etc)
  • Nuclear
  • Fossil fuels ( the potential of tracking)
  • Or a mixture between them
0
reply
mclean
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#2
Report 7 years ago
#2
(Original post by Cylos)
The recent debate on energy has recently revolved around the proposed fix of prices by Ed Miliband. Ideally leaving that debate to the side, I wanted to see the views of my generation on what the source of our energy should be.

There have been differing arguments from all sides of the political spectrum, with the possibility of energy shortages in the coming years and decades what should we focus on? And why?


Should we use:
  • Renewable energy (wind, solar and hydroelectric etc)
  • Nuclear
  • Fossil fuels ( the potential of tracking)
  • Or a mixture between them
Nuclear is:

Cheaper than most renewables,
Cleaner than fossil fuels.

and arguably:

Cleaner than most renewables after factoring in the pollution from PV panel and wind turbine construction.
Cheaper than fossil fuels if we factor in the potential cost of global warming.

In the short term, a mix of renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels is fine. In the long run, however, fossil fuels are going to get far too expensive to burn.

To anyone who thinks we should predominantly use Renewables, just look at what a mess Germany has got itself into doing that.
1
reply
W.sorflaten
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#3
Report 7 years ago
#3
I agree with mclean. Renewable energy on its own is difficult for any country, and definitely for countries with large populations such as the UK. France has done very well thanks to their nuclear energy, I think it'd be a good idea to get a few more of them over here. It's a better alternative to relying on fossil fuels because we all know that will just fail to work out very very soon, and it's better than relying on renewable energy for the time being as technology isn't developed enough for us all to use green energy yet. We need to decrease our usage of fossil fuels - they're too expensive and won't last, and start upping our usage of renewable and nuclear energy. Also, recycling needs to be sorted out here. The UK is awful in that area compared to many of our fellow European countries. More recycling = less need for energy in the first place.
0
reply
chrisawhitmore
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report 7 years ago
#4
Nuclear. Start with conventionals, immediate thorium research and keep our fusion funding up.
0
reply
loveslinus
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#5
Report 7 years ago
#5
I put renewables, but honestly I don't think we'll be ready for them for decades and decades, at least not with our current energy usage. I guess then for the mean time I'd have to choose nuclear, but then that's hardly a short term source - URGHH so complicated! Basically I choose anything that gets us off fossil fuels, with the aim of becoming reliant on renewables at some time in the future.
0
reply
Teaddict
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#6
Report 7 years ago
#6
I am not a fan of the restrictive option you have given us. It is my belief that the United Kingdom is best served by what could be described as a diversified energy matrix. In short, that means we need to draw energy from a variety of sources which should, in my humble opinion, include a variety of renewable technologies and nuclear power.

I am not particularly interested in rehashing my many comments on nuclear power, but if anyone is interested, I recommend that you use the advanced search function to search for my comments on nuclear power.



(Original post by mclean)
and arguably:

Cleaner than most renewables after factoring in the pollution from PV panel and wind turbine construction.
This does ignore the fact that nuclear power also has significant environmental burdens relating to construction and uranium mining.



To anyone who thinks we should predominantly use Renewables, just look at what a mess Germany has got itself into doing that
The problem with most renewables is their inability to provide base load. In conjunction with advancing energy storage techniques, renewables are becoming - rather quickly - useful tools for energy generation. They do not provide base load, however, which means we require technology such as nuclear.
0
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 7 years ago
#7
(Original post by Cylos)
The recent debate on energy has recently revolved around the proposed fix of prices by Ed Miliband. Ideally leaving that debate to the side, I wanted to see the views of my generation on what the source of our energy should be.

There have been differing arguments from all sides of the political spectrum, with the possibility of energy shortages in the coming years and decades what should we focus on? And why?

Should we use:
  • Renewable energy (wind, solar and hydroelectric etc)
  • Nuclear
  • Fossil fuels ( the potential of tracking)
  • Or a mixture between them
In the long run my belief somewhat depends on technological development (Thorium utility and monochromatic solar cells) so we'd be looking to 2030 but my energy mix would be something like...

50% Thorium Nuclear
25% Solar (Monochromatic cells mean cloud and rain are not issues)
15% Geothermal (this is domestic production, Iceland believes it could export 20% of our energy via their geothermal production)
10% Fossil Fuels (Primarily as a reserve)

I would however still frack the **** out of the UK for the jobs and growth it can generate if we are able to export.

(Original post by chrisawhitmore)
Nuclear. Start with conventionals, immediate thorium research and keep our fusion funding up.
If memory serves are we not involved in trials in Norway and India for Thorium.
0
reply
Teaddict
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#8
Report 7 years ago
#8
(Original post by Rakas21)
50% Thorium Nuclear
25% Solar (Monochromatic cells mean cloud and rain are not issues)
15% Geothermal (this is domestic production, Iceland believes it could export 20% of our energy via their geothermal production)
10% Fossil Fuels (Primarily as a reserve)
Thorium won't be ready by 2030. It just isn't possible. Only a few normal nuclear reactors will be ready by 2030. To expect thorium to be ready by then is insane.

In terms of the numbers you state, where do they come from? On what basis and upon what evidence have you decided that 50% nuclear and 25% solar is necessary?
0
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 7 years ago
#9
(Original post by Teaddict)
Thorium won't be ready by 2030. It just isn't possible. Only a few normal nuclear reactors will be ready by 2030. To expect thorium to be ready by then is insane.

In terms of the numbers you state, where do they come from? On what basis and upon what evidence have you decided that 50% nuclear and 25% solar is necessary?
Fair point.

Neither is necessary per say. The 25% solar came from an article i read some months ago and seemed to suggest that in the UK that would be the maximum proportion of output that monochromatic cells would be able to produce. Japan and France notably had a higher proportion of their energy provided by nuclear so 50% satisfied my desire for a domestic low carbon energy mix (as i don't know the base load i know not if 50% is excessive or not).
0
reply
An Ignorant Duck
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#10
Report 7 years ago
#10
In an ideal world, renewables. But to get there we'll need years of nuclear - the next best thing.
NO fracking. I'd like to have safe water to drink.
0
reply
Snagprophet
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#11
Report 7 years ago
#11
I'd like to see more windmills, more collectors in the sea using the tides. We had a solar panel on our roof which gave us completely free hot water. If every house had this it would be grand. We'll move onto fusion soon but we should get more of what I listed because they'll be around forever.
1
reply
DaveSmith99
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#12
Report 7 years ago
#12
A combination of nuclear and renewable. The industry should be nationalised as well.
0
reply
Camoxide
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#13
Report 7 years ago
#13
%40 Thorium nuclear
%30 Gas
%30 Renewables
0
reply
Teaddict
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#14
Report 7 years ago
#14
(Original post by DaveSmith99)
A combination of nuclear and renewable. The industry should be nationalised as well.
How do you plan on funding this? You are looking at a figure of around £30bn for British Gas and SSE alone. Taking the whole market into public ownership will cost hundreds of billions.
0
reply
MatureStudent36
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#15
Report 7 years ago
#15
(Original post by Cylos)
The recent debate on energy has recently revolved around the proposed fix of prices by Ed Miliband. Ideally leaving that debate to the side, I wanted to see the views of my generation on what the source of our energy should be.

There have been differing arguments from all sides of the political spectrum, with the possibility of energy shortages in the coming years and decades what should we focus on? And why?


Should we use:
  • Renewable energy (wind, solar and hydroelectric etc)
  • Nuclear
  • Fossil fuels ( the potential of tracking)
  • Or a mixture between them
A bit of everything. Not only to mitigate risk I.e if you go for all nuclear and discover a potential design flaw with your reactors you have to shut them all down, if you go for all renewables and its cloudy, not windy etc you loose power output.

A diverse energy policy also allows the producers not to hold you to ransom. The National Union of Miners realised that this in the 70s and 80s when we were reliant on coal.
0
reply
DaveSmith99
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#16
Report 7 years ago
#16
(Original post by Teaddict)
How do you plan on funding this? You are looking at a figure of around £30bn for British Gas and SSE alone. Taking the whole market into public ownership will cost hundreds of billions.
We could find the money if we wanted to. This governments budget is something like £750bn a year, replacing trident will cost something like £30bn, we have funneled about a trillion into the banking sector, HS2 is going to cost about £30bn.
0
reply
Teaddict
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#17
Report 7 years ago
#17
(Original post by DaveSmith99)
We could find the money if we wanted to. This governments budget is something like £750bn a year, replacing trident will cost something like £30bn, we have funneled about a trillion into the banking sector, HS2 is going to cost about £30bn.
We did not 'funnel' about £1trillion into the banking sector at all. The financial rescue plan has an aggregate total of about £500bn consisting of both loans and guarantees. The Special Liquidity Scheme allowed for £200bn of short term loans to be made available via the Bank of England. The government provided an additional £25bn through the Bank Recapitalisation Fund, and an additional £25bn if need be. This was to be used for market capitalisation of banks. The Government also temporarily underwrited 'eligible' lending between British banks - this loan guarantee was worth around £250bn.


So as we can see, no where near the trillion you quote, and about half is made up of guarantees which is not the same as expenditure.

The major difference between the bank bailouts and the nationalisation of the energy sector is that of necessity. The former was absolutely necessary - so the argument goes - while the latter is not.
0
reply
DaveSmith99
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#18
Report 7 years ago
#18
(Original post by Teaddict)
We did not 'funnel' about £1trillion into the banking sector at all. The financial rescue plan has an aggregate total of about £500bn consisting of both loans and guarantees. The Special Liquidity Scheme allowed for £200bn of short term loans to be made available via the Bank of England. The government provided an additional £25bn through the Bank Recapitalisation Fund, and an additional £25bn if need be. This was to be used for market capitalisation of banks. The Government also temporarily underwrited 'eligible' lending between British banks - this loan guarantee was worth around £250bn.


So as we can see, no where near the trillion you quote, and about half is made up of guarantees which is not the same as expenditure.

The major difference between the bank bailouts and the nationalisation of the energy sector is that of necessity. The former was absolutely necessary - so the argument goes - while the latter is not.
The figure was just off the top of my head, I remember seeing it reported as something like that. All I was doing was trying to show that we could find the money for it if we wanted to.
0
reply
LiamSoissons
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#19
Report 7 years ago
#19
Renewables should be used a lot, but the technology for them to produce enough power just isn't good enough yet.

Nuclear is good too.

Fossil fuels should really be cut down on, otherwise we'll have major problems when they run low.
0
reply
chrisawhitmore
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#20
Report 7 years ago
#20
(Original post by Rakas21)
In the long run my belief somewhat depends on technological development (Thorium utility and monochromatic solar cells) so we'd be looking to 2030 but my energy mix would be something like...

50% Thorium Nuclear
25% Solar (Monochromatic cells mean cloud and rain are not issues)
15% Geothermal (this is domestic production, Iceland believes it could export 20% of our energy via their geothermal production)
10% Fossil Fuels (Primarily as a reserve)

I would however still frack the **** out of the UK for the jobs and growth it can generate if we are able to export.



If memory serves are we not involved in trials in Norway and India for Thorium.
No, we aren't, which is a real shame. It'd be a relatively minor investment or a potentially massive reward.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Feeling behind at school/college? What is the best thing your teachers could to help you catch up?

Extra compulsory independent learning activities (eg, homework tasks) (13)
7.1%
Run extra compulsory lessons or workshops (30)
16.39%
Focus on making the normal lesson time with them as high quality as possible (30)
16.39%
Focus on making the normal learning resources as high quality/accessible as possible (27)
14.75%
Provide extra optional activities, lessons and/or workshops (50)
27.32%
Assess students, decide who needs extra support and focus on these students (33)
18.03%

Watched Threads

View All