Am I the only person who’s bemused about what’s happening to the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon? It looks like precisely nothing, though it would be just my luck for a deal to be announced five minutes after I post this article. If that happens, then don’t bother reading the rest!
As far back as July the FT reported that the project’s investors were warning that the delay in making a decision was putting the project at risk. According to Wales Online, a bunch of Swansea councillors met with Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark on 30 October to urge him to speed things up, but two weeks later there have still been no announcements about what is happening. I wondered whether an announcement might have been made at the recent International Tidal Energy Summit earlier this week, but there’s still no news.
I don’t understand why the government couldn’t have given it a definitive unambiguous yes or no several years ago. But I have a theory, and here it is.
Last Wednesday, on Radio 4’s ‘Points of View’ programme, Roger Scruton delivered the most spectacular misreading of the Harry Potter books I've yet heard.
I’ve been thinking of doing it for some time but yesterday’s announcement that Microsoft is buying LinkedIn has finally prompted me to delete my LinkedIn account. I can now proudly boast that I am not a member of any internet-based ‘social network’. Read more
You probably don’t care what I think, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I’m voting to stay in because: Read more
On rereading my previous post, ‘Rebooting marine renewables’, it occurred to me that it is mostly about why the technologies need to be ‘rebooted’, and not about how it should be done. It was already too long by the time I got to that bit and I just wanted to finish it off as quickly as possible. I think, therefore, that it would be worthwhile expanding on this point, as it’s actually the most important part of the whole thing. Read more
Last Monday evening (8 February) I watched an online broadcast of a lecture entitled ‘Marine Renewables – Crossing the Valley of Death’, given at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London by Clare Lavelle, who is head of energy consulting in Scotland for Arup. Before that Clare worked for Pelamis Wave Power and before that for Scottish Power on its wave and tidal projects. Her presentation was very much a statement of the standard wave and tidal narrative that if only the government would spend enough money the technology would succeed. She even name-checked Professor Salter’s conspiracy theory and the one about how the UK lost its world lead in wind energy to the Danes. Read more
DECC's snappily titled Electricity Market Reform: Contract for Difference – Allocation Methodology for Renewable Generation contains two flow charts designed to obscure (sorry, explain) the process of allocating renewables subsidies under the UK’s ‘reformed’ electricity market. These are: Read more