Alternative Energy 2018

Captain Black's picture

"British shale gas companies have said domestic fracking will finally begin in earnest in 2018, after another year passed without serious progress amid strong opposition. Industry figures said next year would be crucial for the sector, as companies start the process of hydraulic fracturing to extract gas trapped underground in shale rock..."

Oh Deer

"Since 2012, Erie County landowners have signed 354 oil/gas leases to 12 different gas developers as of Feb. 2016. They are just waiting for the price of natural gas to recover and fracking companies to move in."

Give em an inch .. .


No seeds were lost  ...



Captain Black's picture

Windmills & Broflakes

"You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same organic and decaying matter as everyone else."

"...The internet is probably the nastiest technological invention in the history of mankind because it does not just kill but tortures poor souls who fall for its charms...

I speak for millions of old folk who find computers alien beings and push button telephone options an abomination invented by grasping executives...

Also in my sights are the politically correct and the dangerous environmental lobby who are still making idiots of politicians..."



""Straight male offended by any feminist or ethnic activity which is not directly designed for him."You can probably think of someone who this may apply to."

Captain Black's picture

Going Green

"The radical proposal envisages an island being built to act as a hub for vast offshore windfarms that would eclipse today’s facilities in scale. Dogger Bank, 125km (78 miles) off the East Yorkshire coast, has been identified as a potentially windy and shallow site."

Thats about the only tuth in that piece of art.

Ah, So ... ;-0

"Drunk tanks provide a safe place for those who have over-indulged to be checked over and sleep it off."

"some observers have raised concerns that if drunk tanks become routine in town centres, they could enable more people to get paralytically drunk."

tis not the local Hilton.

Forget Juicero ;

"There are 2 million people in the 'wibbly wobbly' world who require kidney dialysis every week to clean their blood. This is a time-consuming and cumbersome process, without which the patient dies."

"We’re running out of space and resources to produce enough food to feed the world’s growing population. Vertical farming allows for food production to take place using a tiny fraction of the water and land of conventional agriculture and without the use of pesticides or fertilisers."


"Appalled at the prospect, she scribbled in her customary, blue felt pen on the note: “I am not [double underlined] taking a panda with me. Pandas and politicians are not happy omens! Lord Z knows more about pandas than I do. I am sure he can arrange these things”."

Captain Black's picture

Grain & Groan

"The first-ever shipment of Russian gas to the UK looks likely to head straight back out on another ship, disproving Moscow’s claims that Britain will be reliant on it for supplies this winter.  National Grid confirmed that gas from a Russian field targeted by US sanctions had been delivered by a Russian icebreaker to storage facilities at the Isle of Grain in Kent on Thursday night...

"A spokesperson for National Grid said the gas had not entered the national network of pipelines that supplies homes and businesses...

"The icebreaker set off earlier this month from the  Yaml LNG project in the Russian Arctic, a gas field that is jointly owned by the Russian gas producer Novatek, the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation and the French oil firm Total....

"Ineos, owner of the Forties pipeline system, said this week the crack had been repaired and normal operation would resume “around the new year”.

UK gas prices have since fallen back down to normal levels, and Cox said the real story was not Russian gas but imports from Belgium."


Captain Black's picture

A Cold War Mash

"In the 1980s, the idea of a man-made man became less horror and more science fiction. Now its cyborgs, robots, Prometheus. I would be interested to see if they could de-technologise the story and come up with a new, modern retelling.

"We got Twilight with sexy, sparkly vampires and no-one wants to touch Frankenstein."


"That’s why it is time to renew the vision for the 21st century NHS. We should be optimistic and ambitious about what a national service can achieve. There is no reason why the people of this country should expect anything but the best health service in the world... to stand still is to fall back. That’s why we need to revive reform. The deadlock needs to be broken ... This will tackle the tough questions that politics is struggling to address... After all, I’m a doctor not a politician, and the patient is an NHS that’s in need of help..."

"The Arctic is a region of tremendous strategic importance for global trade and national security... Receding ice adds to the region’s significance.

To date, Arctic governance has been driven through the Arctic Council, created in 1996 by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S. The council has grown to include 13 non-Arctic observer countries, including China, India and Japan. While the council has worked well on matters within its jurisdiction—such as health and the environment—it has no power to enforce agreements, making it incapable of dealing with security matters."

"Six international organisations representing Arctic Indigenous Peoples have permanent participant status."

"Reindeer are thought to be the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light... Some populations of the North American caribou migrate the furthest of any terrestrial mammal, travelling up to 5,000 km (3,100 mi) a year, and covering 1,000,000 km2 (390,000 sq mi). Other populations (e.g., in Europe) have a shorter migration, and some, for example the subspecies R. t. pearsoni and R. t. platyrhynchus (both restricted to islands), are residents that only make local movements."


Benefitz Betty's picture

Rise & Shine

"Why could a woman not publish under her own name? What was life like for women living in the UK in the 19th Century? What circumstances would also give rise to a child being found abandoned in a city in the 18th Century, as Heathcliff was?"

"Angria and the Angrians."

Rolling ...

"2018 offers us both the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the UK, and the 200th anniversary of Emily Bronte's birth, so it feels poignant to begin the year on the topic of prejudice.

Emily Bronte, whose extraordinary novel Wuthering Heights has stirred the world for over 150 years, published her work under an androgynous pseudonym: Ellis Bell..."

Ah, so ...

recycling some olde rubbish ;-0

Mind over matter.

Captain Black's picture

Spot The Dog

"“The group has had two meetings in the Town Hall to date, neither of which was attended by all 6 members.  This has made it difficult to apportion the necessary leg work effectively. It would be easier to fit in with individual requirements if members were there to express them. Our research has been limited to the Rough Sleeper Sweep and a visit by myself to the Salvation Army.

The Rough Sleeper Sweep was invaluable as we saw the partner agencies currently working with SBC in action, and managed to speak to some of those who attended the breakfast at the Rainbow Centre. This has helped us decide who we thought we needed to talk to. Actually meeting with the other agencies has been very difficult due to work commitments and diary clashes.

The second meeting of the group with Andrew Rowe allowed a discussion of what questions we thought needed answering and a very helpful aide memoire was produced by Andrew. It is hoped a standardised approach will ensure consistent and comparable evidence is available for the final analysis of Rough Sleeping in the SBC area. I think it is important that the group maintains a focused approach and does not allow itself to be distracted by hearsay and anecdotal tales.

Further visits will be arranged in the New Year to the necessary agencies and updates provided as and when they are available.”

"Definition of rough sleeping:

Rough sleeping means that you do not have anywhere to sleep in. People bedding down in doorways, cars, derelict buildings, sheds, tents (excluding campsites) or any other place that is not designed and is unsuitable for people to sleep in are classed as sleeping rough."

Benefitz Betty's picture

A Bridge too Far

"Johnson has previously promoted the idea of another Channel Tunnel but is now said to think a bridge could also be possible, telling aides that such feats of engineering have been achieved in Japan..."

"Campaigners have attributed the gulf between estimates and records to a reluctance to self-identify, for fear of discrimination – but the effect has been to make the community invisible...

“Local authorities are quite complacent when it comes to prejudice against Gypsies and Travellers,” says Bennett, describing her experience in setting up a site in Nottinghamshire. “When we applied for our planning permission on our land we had people writing in saying, ‘How are we going to stop these people from breeding?’ And that was allowed to go up on the council’s website.”

"Society should maintain the highest possible expectations of the next generation."


Captain Black's picture

The Flying Pickets

"With 84 per cent of us heating our homes with gas, gas producing nearly half of our electricity and UK industries using it as a vital feedstock, the question is not whether we need gas, but where we source it from. 2017 served to cement this; in December alone we saw three events cause a European gas shortage and subsequent price hike, as Middle Eastern and Russian suppliers scrambled their costly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tankers to meet demand.

But the struggle for already-overstretched UK billpayers, who inevitably end up shouldering the cost, is not the only concern. Shipping our much-needed gas across oceans and continents as LNG requires energy in itself. The gas produced in Qatar must be super-cooled, then loaded, brought thousands of miles to the UK then unloaded and regassified, using an extraordinary amount of energy.

In turn, importing this gas rather than producing it here in the UK means 10 per cent higher lifecycle emissions for that supply, which given we now import around half our gas, has big implications for our environment, particularly as we take gas from nations with lower standards than our own..."

“There’s a build-up of issues that has gone on for too long and the alarms was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”...

The plant, which sits alongside the river Hull, was granted a permit last year from the Environment Agency to take a maximum of 315,000 tonnes of waste a year, including black-bin “residual” household waste, commercial and industrial waste and waste wood.

A technology called fluidised bed gasification will convert the waste into a gas that turns a turbine to create electricity."

"Its Hip Hangout index collates the number of independent coffee shops, creative industries, vintage shops, vegan cafes, bike shops, art studios and co-working spaces. Areas with large numbers of chains were penalised."

"In a staunch defence of the Northern Powerhouse set up by former Chancellor George Osborne before it was sidelined, Ms Greening said: “I think we need to make sure we never again take our foot off the pedal on ensuring that regions like Yorkshire, and the North more generally, get the investment they need to really play a full role, especially economically, in driving jobs and prosperity in this country.

“There’s talent growing up in every single community around the country. That’s not the problem. The issue is increasingly going to be making sure young people have opportunities on their doorstep.”


Captain Black's picture

Northern Territory & Terajoules

"Standing at East Mereenie number 7 well, Central's operations manager James van Rooyen said because of the geology and where the gas was located, the company did not have to stimulate the rock.

"The simplest analogy is a whole series of steel casings, and the final tubing acts like a straw," he said.

"We effectively drill into the sandstone, we then reduce the pressure at surface, and the natural reservoir pressure drives the hydrocarbon into the steel tubing, and [then] out [again]...

"At this present time, we have no intention of stimulating the reservoirs, because the reservoirs are flowing naturally… nature's done a much better job than we could ever do," he said...

"About 15 terajoules of gas a day is sent through the pipeline from Mereenie.

To put that into perspective, according to Central Petroleum, that's enough gas to supply three towns, about the size of Alice Springs, for the day..."

"If all goes to plan, the site will produce 63 terajoules a day, which is more than the 50 terajoules it was producing at its peak in 2009.

Another hurdle is getting rid of a gas flare that's been burning at Mereenie for 30 years.

According to Central Petroleum, this is because previous companies found the gas needed to be flared as it could not be put to use.

But Mr Cottee said in six months' time, that flare will be gone.

"Technology has moved since [back] then, so it is possible [now] to harvest the LPG [liquefied petroleum gas] and condensate out of it, and co-mingle the condensate with the crude that we're selling."


Captain Qahn's picture

Political Landscaping

""the time is right" for a review, nearly 70 years on from the creation of the first national areas.

It will consider whether to expand England's network of parks as well as areas of outstanding natural beauty... 

According to Mr Gove, the UK's population growth, combined with changes in technology and a decline in some habitats, meant it was time to "look afresh at these landscapes".

"Former government aide and journalist Julian Glover has been appointed to carry it out.

Mr Gove said: "The creation of national parks almost 70 years ago changed the way we view our precious landscapes - helping us all access and enjoy our natural world.

"We want to make sure they are not only conserved, but enhanced for the next generation.

"Are we properly supporting all those who live in, work in, or want to visit these magnificent places? Should we indeed be extended our areas of designated land?"

He added: "I want Julian explicitly to consider, how we can extend and improve the protection we give to other precious landscapes"...

"Mr Glover, who Mr Gove called a "passionate advocate for the countryside", said: "Our protected landscapes are England's finest gems and we owe a huge debt to past generations who had the wisdom to preserve them.

"The system they created has been a strength, but it faces challenges too.

"It is an honour to be asked to find ways to secure them for the future. I can't wait to get started and learn from everyone who shares an interest in making England's landscapes beautiful, diverse and successful."

Margaret Paren, chairwoman of National Parks England said the announcement was "very much welcome" and the organisation intends to "to play a full part".

"The UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson has joined the US in condemning “divisive” German plans to press ahead with the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, arguing it could leave European energy consumers heavily dependent on “a malign Russian state”.

Ah, so ...

"There is nothing ‘authentic’ about claiming they represent our community, neither did they show any ‘humanity’ when they wilfully endangered the work force, police and residents on the night they broke through the compound security fence, climbed the work over rig and lit flares on a live gas well site.

These vagrant protesters are ‘faceless’ to our community as we don’t even recognise them let alone know their names...

"A small number of politicians have openly supported the disruptive actions of the activists and have failed to condemn actions that have been a cause for concern, including disruption of local democratic meetings, targeting and bullying of individuals and local businesses.

Some businesses have had sustained campaigns against them leading to job losses in our community. With elections due next year for Ryedale District councillors, we are now asking which councillors will be supporting the return of the protest camps and the anti-social behaviour of the vagrant protesters?"


Benefitz Betty's picture

Fracking on the Fringe

"WHAT do Brexit, gas, Yorkshire, and Lancashire have in common? Fracking. Having come across Friends of the Earth Europe’s website, I was informed that the ‘frack-war’ was alive and well. Companies are pushing for permits and people are concerned about the health, safety, and environmental aspects of shale gas extraction.

While understandable under different circumstances, I would have expected the Brexit-voting regions to have assumed a more favourable attitude towards fracking. There are a number of reasons for the aforementioned assumption, as well as the assumption that the UK needs fracking.

First, there is a strong climate case for fracking. Second, with Brexit looming, energy security is becoming a big concern. Lastly, fracking has become a lot safer since the last tremor. As a matter of fact, it has become revolutionary


Among the primary concerns of activists and local citizens are environmental concerns. These are two-fold, starting with methane emissions (gas-specific) and secondly with CO2 emissions once the fracked gas is burned. Then there are tremors, but we’ll get to those later.


So what then is the first reason why the UK needs fracking? Paradoxically, it is for its environmental benefits. Since the 1990s, the UK has been hailed as the leader in the coal-to-gas shift. Though unintended at first, the environmental benefits are indisputable.

The UK was the first EU member state to have a coal-free day when all of its electricity came from either nuclear, gas, or renewable sources. However, coal still competes with gas as a base-load capacity mechanism.

In simple terms, this refers to backup energy sources that are used for generating electricity when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Therefore, the UK needs fracking to ensure a consistent supply of gas to its capacity mechanisms to avoid excessive pollution by coal capacity mechanisms (it’s slightly more complicated, but these are the nuts and bolts).

Of course concerns about the impact of methane emissions from the production and transportation of natural gas remain. These, however, become increasingly weak as research progresses. According to Equinor (formerly Statoil), only when peak methane emissions of gas are accounted for are its environmental advantages offset.

Due to the short distance the fracked gas would have to travel from the well to the plant, this is highly unlikely.

While there is no doubt that the environment should be a strong motive for why people should (or should not) support fracking, the other argument is on energy security. It is perhaps the prime argument for fracking. And it is amplified by the one issue, aside from the recent World Cup, that everyone has an opinion on – Brexit.

The UK needs to frack, because otherwise it will face a gas shortage to say the least. And don’t forget the price hike if the UK doesn’t frack.

As it stands, there are currently three EU-UK gas interconnectors and four EU-UK electricity interconnectors ensuring that, if the UK cannot produce a sufficient amount of energy, it can buy energy from EU countries as per the EU’s internal energy market (IEM).

Because energy arrangements have only been mentioned in passing during the Brexit negotiations, it’s uncertain whether the UK will stay as a member of the IEM. If Theresa May’s European Court of Justice red line stays, it won’t. Subsequently, coupled with the closing of Centrica’s Rough Patch gas storage facility, leaving the IEM will impact the UK’s energy security negatively.

The UK could then potentially move on to import American shale (fracked) gas, or continue buying from Europe with added tariffs. Because Asian markets pay a (large) premium on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports and no special energy deal has been forged with the EU, this could easily amount to steep energy price hikes.

We also mustn’t forget fuel poverty – increasing energy prices would definitely not accelerate efforts to combat this.

Therefore, the UK must frack. It is environmentally viable and necessary for energy security. Natural gas emits only half the CO2 of coal and our shale reserves are sufficiently large to meet the UK’s gas demand for decades to come.

Public anxiety over fracking is by no means ‘scaremongering’, as a certain CEO has called it. It is very much warranted, as the only experience the UK has had was a negative one. It entailed an earthquake measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale. However, research has moved on, and fracking should be given a chance.

Given Brexit, fracking must be seriously considered if UK wishes to retain its energy security – how else will people comment on the success/failure of Brexit and share videos of our World Cup heroes if no one will be able to charge their phone due to an energy shortage?

Samuel Ribansky is politics graduate from the University of Sheffield. He specialises in European affairs."

"Astronomers describe the twelfth new Jovian moon as an “oddball”."

Benefitz Betty's picture

Tic Tac Toe

"ForePower Ltd has applied for planning permission to build a “Small Scale Electricity Generation Plant for the Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR)” at land at Queen Margaret’s Industrial Estate.

It also wants to build a Battery Energy Storage System(BESS) on another part of the site.

It was granted permission last year for both but has now revised the layout of the scheme, in particular, the access.

The planning application states: “The sites would produce low carbon electricity that would help support the local grid in the area and would support keeping the lights on and industry operational at all times in the local area with the location chosen due to its proximity to the local electricity distribution network and access, if required to the gas distribution system.

“The development could generate up to two new jobs for field service engineers, as well as employment for the construction contractors and their employees.

The increase of generators in the area would also create employment opportunities for asset managers and operational managers which is the creation of high skilled employment opportunities.”

The National Grid calls on STOR facilities in periods of high demand.

However, there are currently fewer than 1 STOR calls a day, meaning the facility is likely to be lightly used.

The applicant adds that when operating the site will not generate “any noise of emissions.”

Benefitz Betty's picture


"...Today, four cables – known as interconnectors – between the UK and Ireland, France and the Netherlands have a capacity of 4GW, providing around 6% of Britain’s power supplies. However, with 11 new connections linking the UK and other European countries either under construction or mooted by developers, imports could provide more than a fifth of the country’s electricity needs by 2025..."

"National Grid’s dual role as builder of interconnectors and manager of balancing electricity supplies has also raised questions about its vested interests. “I wouldn’t say there is conflict of interest, but there is potential,...”

"The company is not ruling out more radical ideas, including interconnectors for a Dutch-backed island in the North Sea surrounded by windfarms. Butterworth said: “It’s just something we need to take a good, hard look at. It’s not crazy. You’ve got to sometimes push the boundary.”

It couldn't happen here...

Captain Black's picture

A Democratic Bypass

Captain Black's picture

Jack of All Trades

"Third Energy wants to use the technique at an existing well in Kirby Misperton, but is still waiting for formal approval from the government.

The company was given local planning permission in 2016 to begin drilling there.

But before that can start, the firm must under Environment Agency regulations complete water quality monitoring, which means fracking is now unlikely to begin at the site this year.

In a Third Energy statement, the firm says: "We will resume all monitoring in accordance with our permits and planning permissions prior to recommencement of the frack operations.

"At this stage we don't have dates as to when this will be because of uncertainty as to the availability of the frac spread to return to Kirby Misperton, in addition to achieving final consent.

"We will communicate with the local community when we can be more definite on timings," it adds..."

"Third Energy, which has been waiting nearly a year for a government consent to frack, admitted their departure was due to the KM8 project being in limbo.

“As the hydraulic fracturing programme and further development is currently delayed, with resulting low levels of activity, the company has accepted the directors’ resignations,” a spokesperson said.

Russell Scott, a member of anti-fracking group Frack Free Ryedale, said: “It is no surprise these two directors are retreating from what is clearly a company in meltdown.”

"Debris flying in the wind could endanger life, journeys are likely to be disrupted an there could be power cuts, it said."

"Since 2007, the oil and gas industry has lost $280 billion betting on the shale boom, which has been made possible by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and Wall Street financing, and these companies are still borrowing heavily. But even as the industry struggles to recoup costs — much less profits — by continuing to borrow and drill, the great promise of the shale revolution is also threatened by another specter: declining production at each well."

Yawwwn ...

Ah so ... ;-0