The official opening yesterday of the £160 million Glendoe hydro power station in the hills above Loch Ness coincided with an announcement from Scottish and Southern Energy that it intends to create two new hydro schemes in the Great Glen.
This is excellent news for those of us who believe that real effort should be made to ensure much more use of renewable sources of energy are used. Although we don't yet know any of the details of the proposed Great Glen schemes, projects like this are important if we are to make a real switch to greener energy.
These new hydro schemes should be seen alongside the development of other forms of greener energy. I have blogged before (here, here and here) about the potential contribution which renewable sources can make to Britain's energy requirements.
The development of wave and tidal power (still in their infancy, but with potential to deliver very significant amounts of energy), together with contributions from solar power, offshore wind farms and geothermal, between them have the capacity to deliver a huge amount of Britain's energy requirements within the next few decades.
The question thus arises as to why we should bother investing in new nuclear fission power stations. As I've highlighted before, nuclear power is not renewable, it still produces significant amounts of waste to which the only 'solution' is burial for a few thousand years until we've worked out what to do with it, it's quite an expensive way of generating power and it's not even that good at reducing carbon emissions.
In answer to my own question, with the big energy firms investing ever more sums in renewable energy schemes, I don't see that we do need nuclear fission power. I have no problem with research continuing into nuclear fusion power, but at the moment that's very far from being a viable source of power. And until that happens, our focus should be on developing renewable sources of energy - not going down the failed route of nuclear fission power.
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