European Energy Independence

uppi

Deity
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Feb 2, 2007
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5,651
It seems like the UK gov has decided that it will not be solar energy. Perhaps it will compete too well against the tory darling of Sizewell C.

Solar farm plans refused at highest rate for five years in Great Britain

Solar farms are being refused planning permission in Great Britain at the highest rate in five years, analysis has found, with projects which would have cut £100m off annual electricity bills turned down in the past 18 months.​
Planning permission for 23 solar farms was refused across England, Wales and Scotland between January 2021 and July 2022, which could have produced enough renewable energy to power an estimated 147,000 homes annually, according to analysis of government figures by the planning and development consultancy Turley.​
The refusals have jumped significantly since the start of 2021 – the research found only four projects were refused planning permission during 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined.​
Of the 27 declined solar farms between 2019 and 2022, 19 are in Conservative constituencies. Four were in Labour constituencies, three in Scottish National party constituencies, and one in a Liberal Democrat constituency.​
There are fears such refusals could increase further as the Tory leadership contenders, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, have made disparaging comments about solar farms.​
Analysts at the thinktank Green Alliance said the rejected projects were large solar farms at an average of about 30MW each, which may account for the planning refusals as it is easier to get smaller farms approved.​
However, it added that this should not be a reason to refuse planning permission, as larger solar farms could cut bills further.​
Dustin Benton, the policy director at Green Alliance, said: “We should be building as much cheap, clean energy as we can to reduce people’s energy bills and cut our reliance on Russian gas. This additional solar power generation, if it displaced gas, would have saved over £100m per year in wholesale energy costs.”​
“By integrating solar panels into fields, even farmers on high-grade land can continue to grow crops at the same time as enjoying the steady income from solar panels.”​
If Truss proceeds with her plans to crack down on solar farms she would be going against the government’s energy security strategy published this spring.​
The strategy set out ambitions of generating 70GW of energy from solar technology by 2035. It also promises to consult on amending planning rules to strengthen policy in favour of development on non-protected land, as well as supporting solar that is co-located with other functions such as agriculture and established energy infrastructure.​
Unfortunately, the article (despite talking about "rates") is silent about how many permission applications there were. Is this 1%, 10% or 90% of the total projects?
 

Nick723

Prince
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Mar 6, 2020
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Any Dutch people - what are your thoughts on reopening Groningen? It would seem this is one big lever Europe can pull to lower gas dependence.
 

innonimatu

the resident Cassandra
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Dec 4, 2006
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14,773
This post has aged well 😀
What, a supplier refusing to sell to those who refuse to pay? Or outright stole the supplier's property?
Who could have anticipated that? Apparently not those who did it. How unreasonable of the supplier, they should simply give away their stuff?

One sould not complain of others for one's own stupid acts.

The army of windmills really is hideous. I mean, they'll come, and they'll require access roads to match the size of the incoming fiberglass blades. Solar is uglier though, that either takes the sunfall of whatever growing things were there, or need to be placed where there were no growing things to supplant. Urban and suburban environments seem target rich for solar in a way they aren't for wind.
Wind turbines have a kind of beauty. Imo they quickly become as picturesque as the old windmills. The roads necessary to build and service them need not be large, nor permanent. And they're cheap!
There is no rational reason not to spread these generators around. Where it is windy they're by far the best solution to get "clean" and cheap energy. With very few continued encumbrances to far away suppliers. Parts for service (they do malfunction occasionally) but any median industrialized country can produce that stuff if there's a will to.

@Samson I suspect that placing these generators out in the sea makes them needlessly expensive and harder to service. Most likely also cut their operational like considerably. But if that's where the wind is and one needs to roll out more, go for it.

Solar is more resource intensive and there is no hope of scaling them out as fast as wind.
 

Farm Boy

Useless, useless.
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
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24,174
Decrepit 70s architecture is a sort of pretty, too. But what was there before it was built out is vastly superior. Ah, but nothing is free.
 

innonimatu

the resident Cassandra
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
14,773
Decrepit 70s architecture is a sort of pretty, too. But what was there before it was built out is vastly superior. Ah, but nothing is free.

When these generators get dismantled, past their useful life, what is left there is a big chunk of concrete embedded on the ground (not really visible), like a rocky patch. In terms of environmental scaring I think those are the least harmful power source we can be building. The metal all can be recycled. The blades have moved from part wood to synthetic and fiber and are a problem, but they're mostly inert and can be buried and forgotten.

Solar panels I fear will prove toxic to recycle, meaning fewer incentives to do it and as a result they'll be left to break apart, scatter and litter large areas.
Nuclear power, no one has a good way to decommission the old plants, to the point where some are kept running more to postpone the problem of decommissioning than because the energy is worth it with all the extra investment needed to extend use for a few more years.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
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England
It seems like the UK gov has decided that it will not be solar energy.

I read the article. It contains the following statement.

“By integrating solar panels into fields, even farmers on high-grade land can continue
to grow crops at the same time as enjoying the steady income from solar panels.”

Yes, they can grow crops on fields not used for solar panels, but not underneath the solar panels.
It is really quite a dishonest statement, and the Guardian ought to know better than to just echo it.

High-grade land ought to be used to grow food, solar panels ought to be put on land with poor soils.
 

MrCynical

Deity
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Oct 30, 2005
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The Dreaming Spires
The Guardian does unfortunately tend to put their narrative ahead of numbers and facts. That whole article fails to consider that if you increase the number of proposed solar schemes, you're going to increase the number of proposals that get rejected. Take any collection of designs, and you're going to have some percentage that aren't well thought out, or otherwise are unacceptable. As usual, we're missing the half of the info required of how many practical schemes were accepted, which is required for this to actually mean anything.

And the idea of "integrating solar panels into fields" isn't the concept of someone who's put any practical thought into this. We are not short of land that's used for marginal animal grazing, if that. Solar power in general is a good idea, but that doesn't mean anything involving solar is automatically a sane plan (glares at all "solar panels in roads" schemes...).
 

AdamCrock

Polish Pudding
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
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5,992
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Edgar Allan Poe-Landia
How about in Our succesive wisdom we deny fossil fuel at all. Oil tankers Will be nuked and obliterated.

It would not b s practical huh?
 

r16

not deity
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
10,021
board and sink them . That way it is more horrible . Do not let people put ideas in your mind in your periods of vulnerability .
 
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