L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

16 April 2009 Blog Home : April 2009 : Permalink

Scotch Non-Nuclear Hot Air

As anyone who reads this blog must be aware my opinion of Her Majesty's Goevrnment is about as low as it gets. Yet every now and again I read something that makes me realize that, in some respects, ZANU Labour are not actually as bad as it is possible to get. Take, for example, the numbskulls of the Scottish National Party (and if you do, please throw them into Loch Ness attached to large heavy boulders).

ZANU Labour have, after a decade or more of dodging the question, finally realized that the UK really really needs to build some new Nuclear power stations unless the country wants to suffer Iraqi style rolling blackouts. Unfortunately, as the Torygraph reports, the SNP disagree:

Despite energy matters being reserved to Westminster, SNP ministers have vowed to use their control over planning applications to block any proposals for new atomic plants in Scotland.

The Government yesterday published a shortlist of 11 potential sites for new nuclear stations, but were forced to include only England and Wales....

The SNP wants wind and wave power instead:

Mr Salmond has insisted that Scotland can generate far more energy than it needs, and export the excess, thanks to a massive expansion in power from renewable sources.

Twenty wind and tidal farms have been given the go-ahead since he came to power, and green energy now accounts for about a fifth of the country's electricity needs.

One assumes that one of the wind farms has been installed in the Scottish Parliament building to capture all their hot air - though oddly this is not mentioned. Going on the official numbers here, that 20% is mostly made up of hydroelectric power which isn't either wind or tidal power. However there's no point in telling the SNP that:

Mr Salmond highlighted 500 jobs created over the past few weeks building offshore wind farms.

He said: "These are actual jobs which are being created now in technologies which are being deployed now and technologies where Scotland has a huge substantial, natural advantage as opposed to nuclear technologies where Scotland has no advantage whatsoever."

Let me start with the 500 jobs. These jobs will be over in about 3 years when the wind farms have been built. At least I hope they will be. Or is the idea to put a scot at the bottom of each wind generator to turn it around on those days when there isn't enough wind?

Now let's look at the advantage thing and point out how stupid this is by analagy.

Q: You have contestants A and B. A can run faster than B over a 10km race. If you want to send a message to London from Edinburgh carried by one of them, which one do you choose?
A: Which ever one is the faster driver.

Perhaps Scotland has a competive natural adbabtage when it comes to renewable technologies but somehow I'm highly skeptical that these technologies can replace the 80% non-renewable electrical generation capability. And in that case if, as the SNP seem to be, sincere believers in reducing CO2 then you might want to consider nuclear power (which generates no CO2) as an alternative to coal, oil and gas which are the alternatives.

It seems to me that the Scotch deserve to get their independence and the rest of the UK can laugh at them as they collapse into third world chaos. The only problem is we'd have to put a fence across the border to stop them coming south once they realize they don't have any money, any energy or any exports people want apart from whisky* ...

*OK that's a bit unfair there are other things that Scotland make that others want.