To get 8 kWh/d/p of wind requires a 30-fold increase in wind power
over the installed power in 2008. Britain would have nearly 3 times as
much wind hardware as Germany has now. Installing this much windpower
offshore over a period of 10 years would require roughly 50 jack-up
Getting 3 kWh/d/p from solar photovoltaics requires 6 m2 of 20%-
efficient panels per person. Most south-facing roofs would have to be
completely covered with panels; alternatively, it might be more economical,
and cause less distress to the League for the Preservation of Old Buildings,
to plant many of these panels in the countryside in the traditional
Bavarian manner (figure 6.7, p41).
The waste incineration corresponds to 1 kg per day per person of domes-
tic waste (yielding 0.5 kWh/d/p) and a similar amount of agricultural
waste yielding 0.6 kWh/d/p; the hydroelectricity is 0.2 kWh/d/p,
the same amount as we get from hydro today.
The wave power requires 16 000 Pelamis deep-sea wave devices occu-
pying 830 km of Atlantic coastline (see the map on p73).
The tide power comes from 5 GW of tidal stream installations, a 2 GW
Severn barrage, and 2.5 GW of tidal lagoons, which can serve as pumped
storage systems too.
To get 16 kWh/d/p of nuclear power requires 40 GW of nukes, which
is a roughly four-fold increase of the 2007 nuclear fleet. If we produced
16 kWh/d/p of nuclear power, we’d lie between Belgium, Finland, France
and Sweden, in terms of per-capita production: Belgium and Finland each
produce roughly 12 kWh/d/p; France and Sweden produce 19 kWh/d/p
and 20 kWh/d/p respectively.
To get 16 kWh/d/p of “clean coal” (40 GW), we would have to take the
current fleet of coal stations, which deliver about 30 GW, retrofit carbon-
capture systems to them, which would reduce their output to 22 GW, then
build another 18 GW of new clean-coal stations. This level of coal power
requires an energy input of about 53 kWh/d/p of coal, which is a little big-
ger than the total rate at which we currently burn all fossil fuels at power
stations, and well above the level we estimated as being “sustainable” in
Chapter 23. This rate of consumption of coal is roughly three times the
current rate of coal imports (18 kWh/d/p). If we didn’t reopen UK coal
mines, this plan would have 32% of UK electricity depending on imported
coal. Reopened UK coal mines could deliver an energy input of about
8 kWh/d/p, so either way, the UK would not be self-sufficient for coal.
Do any features of this plan strike you as unreasonable or objectionable?
If so, perhaps one of the next four plans is more to your liking.
Plan N is the “NIMBY” plan, for people who don’t like industrializing the
British countryside with renewable energy facilities, and who don’t want