When the outlook is cloudy — 16 Comments

  1. Grandad,
    And China? Rolling power cuts. Go figure;
    “Rules imposed by Beijing as it attempts to make the country carbon neutral by 2060 have seen coal production slow, even as the country still relies on coal for more than half of its power.
    And as electricity demand has risen, the price of coal has been pushed up.”

    • It seems that a combination of the Virus panic the Warble Gloaming panic is driving us all over the cliff. Happy days?

      I notice one reason given for the European shortage of power – “weak output from the region’s windmills and solar farms”!

  2. Data Centres really really hate power interruptions. Even short ones. I used to work for B*g Bl** in the UK. One afternoon, Southern Electric treated Portsmouth to a 1 second power outage. The office lights came back on after 1 second. The first of the online services that were knocked over came back several hours later. The last of them, several hours after that.

    • Obviously. Any interruption to power will case a reboot. And with a data farm the is the added complication of synchronising all the devices That takes time.

  3. You only need to be about 10 years old and with an IQ also in double digits to realise that many of the coldest days, when power demand is at its highest for essential heating, are those frost-laden days when there is absolutely no friggin wind, hence the pointless windmills will remain static, generating zero energy to unfreeze our unmentionables. Aside from nuclear and hydro, there is no feasible base-load generating capacity other than by fossil fuels.
    Of course, we could in response all go back to burning logs or any other combustible material, as we did back in the 1950s, then where would their precious carbon-neutrality be? At least with professional power stations, you can manage and largely clean the exhaust (if you actually believe that’s really necessary).
    The periodic Ice Ages tell us that climate change is a natural phenomenon which mankind is impotent to affect – not unlike a current volcanic eruption on La Palma, spewing more uncontrollable ‘greenhouse gases’ into the atmosphere than a year’s worth of lovely electric. Makes you think.

    • I have seen suggestions that the Greater Thunderbird be chucked into the La Palma volcano to appease the Gods. A bit harsh, but worth a try?

      • Well, you can be fairly certain that she is a virgin. (Well, would you? Even with two large double thickness paper bags?)
        Always a plus when sacrificing to the angry sky gods.

  4. Over here in the Oregon high desert country we have a vast number of those damned windfarms (as if calling them farms makes them acceptable). We live on a high ridge with what once was a fantastic view. Now, whatever direction we look we see windmills. The worst part is that all the power generated (and I mean 100%) goes to Idaho and California. We get our power from the dams on the Columbia River.

    The thing that pisses me off most about them is that we have several migratory flyways through here and a sizeable number of these birds don’t make it through the farms.

    • Ireland depends a lot on tourism. The most spectacular scenery [in my opinion and excluding Wicklow] is down the west coast. This is promoted heavily abroad. Yet it is difficult to find a scene now that doesn’t include a forest of those damned windmills. They are everywhere and a complete eyesore, and that’s leaving aside the damage they do to wildlife.

      At least Wicklow has escaped for the moment as the mountains are a National Park. We still have a massive off-shore farm though.

  5. I can remember the power shortages of 1947 and 1953 as well as the Miners strike in 1974. How any Government of any persuasion can allow a western country to fall short of power is beyond me.At least in the previous time we could light a fire in the living room to heat one room and even cook, but how many houses now have a fireplace.Any deaths which occur this winter due to the cold are entirely due to Politicians stupidity.

    • Just about everything relies on electricity now. In the old days, at least the phones worked but those days are long gone so now we would have to rely on mobiles, assuming the network isn’t affected of course.

      Here at the Manor we have a standby bottle gas heater, a two ring camping stove and oodles of candles, torches and an oil lamp. We used to suffer frequent cuts due to a dodgy supply line up from the main areas. They replaced that line a few years ago but we still have everything on standby and ready.

  6. I work for a company whose switchgears only purpose is to make sure the electricity stays on no matter what. Even if the entire country is black the data centers will just turn on the generators and watch thousands of litres of diesel go up into the sky, to keep it green. However all of that’s little more than a footnote since data centers currently only draw 11-12% of demand and the 70% figure they’re spouting is about as scientifically arrived at as any other figures they published when the sheep need to be distracted from the reality that they sat on their hands when they needed to plan ahead.

    • They are quite open about the 12% current usage and also it’s no secret that they want a lot more server farms to be built. To put things in context I heard somewhere that the European average is around 3%. Let some other countries take some of the burden!

      It also occurred to me that those farms would make a perfect target in any future international conflict. A few nuclear strikes would cripple the Interwebs and industry/infrastructure?

      • Not to mention the havoc caused in the pipe tobacco supply chain. We have no proper tobacco shops within a hundred miles, I have to order online.

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