Comments by David Thorpe Subscribe

On Wind Energy CO2 Emissions Reductions are Overstated

I know all that, you've said it before. You're repeating yourself. I do read what you write. I like especially the paragraph on energy efficiency. But please answer my question.

July 24, 2012    View Comment    

On Wind Energy CO2 Emissions Reductions are Overstated


Why do you keep repeating things that other commentators have debunked? Your incapacity to listen, learn and develop your argument does you little credit.


July 24, 2012    View Comment    

On EU to impose new rules that will cut driving cost by 25%

It's the high gas price that's made them more expensive. That's the point of efficiency. It saves money.

June 15, 2012    View Comment    

On EU to impose new rules that will cut driving cost by 25%

Er, no, Jeff. The opposite is the idea. By making cars cheaper to run you make them less the purview of the rich.

June 15, 2012    View Comment    

On Will UK Will Exceed Its Carbon Reduction Targets? Part 1

Hands up! I admit it! However - I wrote the article on! I'm its News Editor, and have been for 12 years. Energy and Environmental Management magazine publishes for the UK market. The Energy Collective editors deem that some of the material I write should be viewed by the audience of this website, which is predominantly American, so readers can get a flavour of what is happening in the UK and Europe.

December 12, 2011    View Comment    

On Dalai Lama: Look At Nuclear Energy Holistically

What really strikes me about some of the comments on this site is their complacency, and lack of confidence. 

Geoffrey, read my book Solar Technology and Alexis Madrigal's Powering the Dream. Both give part of the history of sustainable energy technologies.

For example, the first solar power station was built in 1913. Solar power was used in the 1880s to make ice and print a newspaper.

If this planet had not possessed such huge reserves of fossil fuels, human ingenuity being what it is, we would have developed renewable energy technologies much faster than we have done. And we would have learned to do more with less energy. And we would have avoided the numerous conflicts over access to fossil fuel reserves that have cost millions of lives over the last hundred years, beginning with WW1, which was partly about just such access, and which led to the formation of modern Iraq.

The Dalai Lama, much as I love him, is misinformed on this issue.

November 11, 2011    View Comment    

On Weightman Warns Nuclear Industry To Do More Research

The 38 recommendations made by Weightman may be minor compared to the situation in Fukushima which prompted his survey and which is the justification for the picture used (and which references the Sellafield - then Windscale - disaster of the '50s in which contaminated milk had to be thrown away).

But they are not minor in an absolute sense. If they were, why would the UK's Energy Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday have called the UK nuclear policy "a runner to be the most expensive failure of post-war British policy-making"?

It is this legacy which Weightman and others are having to deal with.

The cost of dealing with this existing situation - mostly waste management - is huge - almost half of DECC's budget, and about £1000 per UK individual.

It is good that this is happening. The safety record of UK nuclear reactors is reasonable.

But it means that there are further delays and costs associated with new build. Not srprising that companies are pulling out. My prediction is that, if we're lucky, only one new build will happen. It will go over budget, ovr schedule, do nothing to help us meet 2020 carbon reduction targets.

Too little, too late, too expensive, too risky, too compromising for future generations.

Nothing irrational about that.

October 14, 2011    View Comment    

On Weightman Warns Nuclear Industry To Do More Research


There is a catalogue of concerns which Weightman lists which indicate that much more work is to be done before any new build nuclear can gain planning permission, and which existing plants must also address.

This is regardless of what Greenpeace says.

The headlines which the report garnered in the mainstream press belie the small print.

Weightman told his political masters what they wanted to hear in the headlines but then alerted them that there is plenty of work to be done - which the organisation he heads up, the ONR, will be given more public and private money to do.

Any other way of telling the message would not have got this result for him. Job done!


October 12, 2011    View Comment    

On Political Will Prevents the Dawning of the Long-Predicted Solar Age

Re grid parity for PV : General Electric’s Chief Engineer has predicted grid parity in sunny parts of the US, including California, by around 2015. In Germany, it has been predicted to happen even sooner. Strictly speaking, grid parity does not involve subsidies – it depends on (i) installed cost per Wp, (ii) level of solar radiation and (iii) price for electricity the customer is paying the utility.
Keep it simple. Once grid parity is achieved then subsidies are withdrawn.


September 2, 2011    View Comment    

On Political Will Prevents the Dawning of the Long-Predicted Solar Age

WT, You are shooting at chimeras. I never suggested that PVs alone should power the whole world. Maybe you should read my book before producing such irrelevant misinformation.

Solar is approaching grid parity in pany parts of the world. PV is not the only solar tech. My money is particularly on concentrating solar collectors (thermal power) using Fresnel lenses. There is even a power station in Australia which powers boilers from both coal and solar.

The Desertec project, which envisages large areas of CSP near the coastlines of north African countries connected to a supergrid linking al of Europe, north Africa and the Middle East is a very interesting proposal that has the backing of the EU. CSP by the way is being used successfully in tandem with molten salt storage.

August 29, 2011    View Comment    

On World's First Complete Electric Vehicle Charging Network Launched

Hey Willem, thanks for being so sharp. Here's what happened.

Every morning in two hours or so I  have to research and write a 1000 word news piece as editor of Energy and Environmental Management magazine. Some of this gets syndicated through to this site, and this story was one of them. That particular day my editor sent me Ecotricity's press release and asked me to cover it. Normally when I do something like that, I add a few other bits and pieces that I unearth. That day, I did talk to someone at Ecotricity on tjhe phone, and added their comment, rephrased their words in the press release, etc.

But in addition it was my first day on holiday. As a freelancer, I even have to work on holiday. I am camping at a festival in South Wales. I had a nightmare of a morning trying to find a way to get online and meet my deadline, driving miles to several villages and several cafes and bars buying coffees only to discover their wifi didn't work. So I could do no further research online. I could only use the info I had been sent. When i finally had finished it, a pub had opened which someone told me had wifi. I found it, bought a drink, logged in and was able to finally send the piece off. Phew!

Yes, that piece is not my best work. But it is true and a great story people nedto know about.

I've since been here a week and have successfully figured out how to use my Android phone to make a wi-fi hotspot through which I can log on with my MacBook, both charged by the solar panels on site, and research, write and submit my stories as normal, to the best of the ability in the time available for which I am paid, every weekday morning, and what's more in the middle of a field surrounded by great music!

August 2, 2011    View Comment