Monday, December 14, 2009

Visions for Renewables

The European Investment Bank brought four organizations to conference whose renewables projects they had been helping. It was strange to hear bankers being praised in this day and age, but it happened in the Victor Borge Room at 3 o/c today.

DONG which is the Danish Energy company building a lot of our offshore wind projects including the magnificent London Array (that is set to supply electricity to electricity to 25% of London's population. Its Managing Director enthused about their plan to turn around their work.

At the moment 85% of the energy they produce is fossil fuelled and 15% is renewables. The MD thinks that in 30 year they can turn that round completely to 85% renewables! The first half will be the easy bit, he said, and we can do that in 10. The second half is more difficult and we'll need another 20.

Most of the energy will be windpower, whose production is volatile and unstable. So, he said brightly, we'll have to store it. We can store it in batteries. We can make these batteries large, put wheels on them and hey presto, cars!

This will all cost a great deal of money because we can't make cars when people can't charge them easily or get them repaired.

But my dream, he said, is that Denmark develops this new type of transport and we then give it to the Developing world. It would be similar to the way the Developing world developed its phone network. The old world put copper cables in the ground. The Developing skipped all that and went straight to mobile masts. They could go straight to electric cars as well.

He was serious.