Government to do research and development of the means for electricity generation.
Video 3:37 min
The government should do (and fund and own) research into how to generate electricity without destroying the planet.
Then it should go ahead and generate it.
Currently if you go to the government with a good idea about how to generate electricity in a way that doesn’t wreck the planet they say to you (as they have to me) we can’t do anything with it. If it’s a good idea get a commercial company (a British one or more likely a foreign one) to take it on and they we’ll buy it off them with tax payers’ money paying them a hefty profit (again the profit is paid out of taxpayers’ money – future tax payers that is – one’s that are still at primary school in short trousers). Actually the government doesn’t put it with such clarity but that is the basic message!
Well that’s bonkers. We know that electricity generation is something we need to do a lot of and that we will need it for the forseeable future. We know that our power stations are getting old and tired and need to be retired soon to make way for something newer and cleaner. But unfortunately since we built them we have neglected our power station building skills and no longer know how to build a power station. And we certainly haven’t built a nuclear one for some time so we have to call in the French or maybe the Germans or the Chinese to do it for us.
That’s humiliating and wasteful. We ought to get our act together and do the research in our own universities and government funded – and owned – research establishments and then when we have worked out of good way of doing it … built it and run it. We’ve still got some good research scientists here in the UK and we should use them a train lots more. They’d be quite capable of doing the necessary research if we got it organised properly.
HM Government should fund the research and own the intellectual property and then build and run the plants and the nation should benefit. And if any of that is prohibited by the EU then we should change the rules at the EU end.
So research and generating activity should cover the following fields:
Tidal range generation.
Thorium fuelled nuclear power.
Carbon Capture and Storage.
And, actually, I think the same ought to go for other utilities like gas and water and sewerage. Maybe even telephony too even though we have got so used to the intense commercial market for mobile phones. Maybe that’s a step too far but the principle that there are a lot of basic infrastructure activites which we should do in house is a sensible one. It’s not that I am against commerce and there should be plenty for profit-making commerce to do (preferably much of it for export) supported by state provided infrastructure.
Water: we need a national water grid for water supply both domestic, industrial and agricultural – again, in the public domain.