An engineering guru I know installed a home wind turbine, three solar panels and an underground heat-pump system. Several years later the solar panels far exceed both wind and heat pump in energy return/output. Fuel cells and solar are the way forward – the government needs to incentivise development and adoption of this technology.
Sid McFarland, Cheltenham
I read that 99.9% of the Earth’s mass is above 100u02daC. If this is correct, then we should be drilling for free energy rather than expensive oil.
Dr Stephen Prior, London
Tidal – it happens twice a day and not even King Canute could stop it. But not free-standing turbines – new systems need civil engineering to channel the flow and maximise the benefit.
Edwin Smith, Marlow
Nuclear fusion – if the partners (the world’s largest economies) can ever be bothered to fund it.
Simon Dodd, Whetstone, Leicester
None of them. Renewables are only likely to make a small contribution to Britain’s energy needs. Renewables are a nice idea but they are not likely to solve our problems.
Ian Marks, Rugby
The Earth’s innards hold a massive store of heat. It is ever present, with none of the availability issues associated with other renewables. The technical challenges include several kilometres of rock and harsh working environments. It needs skilled people – and investors need to be convinced that it is plausible.
Scott Williams, Aldermaston
Water has shown itself as a good source of energy and was used extensively in Britain during (and prior to) the 19th century. Britain’s network of rivers and streams could again provide a valuable source of clean energy. Energy from water can be produced on a commercial scale or as part of smaller “community” power schemes. It will be primarily planning restrictions that need to be overcome in order to realise this.
Simon Daniels, Gateshead
We must consider all means of power generation, including micro-generation, with tax benefits to encourage non fossil-fuel power generation. Excessive project timescales must be resolved by courageous compulsory purchase and simplified planning application, based on sound technical and commercial principles.
Stephen Rees, Stockport
Nuclear, with the biggest hurdles to overcome: unforeseen events, storage and processing of waste, and overcoming public misconception.
Olivier Ming, Chester
The biggest problem is wasted energy. With stronger regulations and more stringent targets, industry would be more willing to find energy efficiencies within their processes. This is as important as renewable technologies.
Iggy Pont Lezica, Reading
Distributed biogas production and grid injection has the potential to displace a proportion of natural gas as a primary fuel. This would allow us to meet our need to replace large power infrastructure before the lights go out. Higher dependency
on gas would require additional natural gas storage and liquefied natural gas infrastructure, but this would be a snip compared to the standby power capacity required for a comparable share of intermittent renewables.
Sam Cockerill, York