Dear Orkney News,
The ever worsening energy price/supply crisis has intensified the debate on the energy mix requirements of our modern society. Even with efficiency measures, it is clear that our energy requirements are on an upward trajectory. Added to this is the priority of reducing, and ultimately eliminating our greenhouse gas emissions, in order to tackle the climate crisis.
So how do we balance these priorities at the lowest cost and environmental impact? My advice would be to call the Engineers.
If you want to provide a mass transport link across a major river, you would call in the Engineers, tell them what you wanted to move back and forth across the river, then leave them to work out and report back with the most cost efficient solution. My belief is that we need to follow this route to supply our short, medium and long-term energy needs.
A list of energy requirements given to engineers might be as follows:
(1) One hundred percent of the energy supply for the UK will be from zero carbon systems located within the UK.
(2) The generation, storage and delivery systems will be reusable/recyclable to reduce the lifetime costs and environmental impact of systems.
(3) Zero carbon power systems capable of replacing all the internal combustion engine and gas turbine systems currently utilised in the UK, with particular regard to eliminating air, water and noise pollution.
I would contend that the above list of requirements could already be met by technology which is currently available for deployment. The real sticking point is the fear in the political arena of facing down the incumbents in the UK power and energy delivery industries. If, as is my preference, Scotland was to choose independence, then Scotland could apply the above mentioned criteria, and at a much faster rate, as Scotland is already further down the energy decarbonisation route than the UK as a whole.
Jon Southerington, Orkney