Discussion Forum
Power in the valley

From Julie Cockburn
Tuesday, 8 January 2008

We all know we've got to find new sources of power urgently - I've just heard on the news that there are plans to create more nuclear reactors - no thanks.

How about going back to old sources of power and using the waterpower in the valley. The old infrastructure is still there, the dams and channels could be cleared out and modern turbines could make use of our fast flowing rivers and streams.

Yes it would need investment, but it's clean power, and would be a lot cheaper than a reactor. We know what happens when it's decommissioned. It just goes back to nature, wild and beautiful. I think it could be done without destroying our valleys.

Posted by Blaize Davies
Friday, 18 January 2008

I totally agree. I would have thought there was enough expertise and good will here as well to draw on to see how feasible this would be.

From Cllr Joanna Beacroft Mitchell
Friday, 18 January 2008

You may be interested in the organisation on the link below - a social enterprise currently working on locally owned water power generation.


They recently applied to be the Community Foundation project of the year, but unfortunately because they are not currently operating in Calderdale we couldn't choose them - would love to see them get something going in Calderdale soon !

Posted by Rev Tony Buglass
Friday, 18 January 2008

I've followed this debate with very mixed feelings. I was always one of those who argued against nuclear power because of the problem of waste disposal, etc. I have also argued in favour of renewables, and I think many of the objections to windfarms are no more than nimbyism. I have also argued for tidal power - the moon never goes away, the water always moves, a constant and free source of energy. But then conservationists tell me that will affect the environment...

My problem is understanding how we balance the energy books without nuclear energy. Our power usage is a lot more than it was when I was a kid, and household appliances didn't include computers on broadband and a TV in most rooms. That isn't going to reduce until power cuts force it upon us. Hydro sounds great, but how much energy will it develop? I'm watching the Calder gush past our back garden - how many homes will it really power? How many turbines can it drive before grinding to a locked up series of puddles?

My heart is with you, but my head won't stop asking awkward questions.

Posted by Pat McCarthy
Saturday, 19 January 2008

Tony, according to Friends of the Earth, nuclear "emits as much as much CO2 over the whole life-cycle from fuel mining to waste management and decommissioning as a modern gas-fired power plant". And Greenpeace UK states "Even the most optimistic estimates suggest that a new generation of nuclear powers stations will only reduce our emissions by four per cent by 2024: far too little, far too late, to stop global warming or address the predicted energy gap." We have already spent billions on this white elephant. And billions more are needed to clear up the mess from the first generation of nuclear power stations. It is expensive, dangerous and unnecesary.

And there is still no agreed solution to what to do with the waste, our legacy for hundreds of generations. There is also the question of secrecy and security necessary to prevent terrorist attacks.

To many nuclear is a comfortable, technology is the answer kind of solution, but we need to wake up to the reality that something far more radical is going to be necessary to save the planet. And there's still little sign that the Government is going to do anything other than occasionally talk the talk. Here's four simple measures which might start changing things.

  1. Invest in insulation and energy saving measures (bringing a far greater carbon saving than nukes ever could).

  2. Force energy companies to give a reduction to customers opting for green tariffs.

  3. Make it possible for all consumers to sell electricity to the national grid. This could help kickstart a microgeneration revolution.

  4. Provide subsidies for renewable energy generation, no matter what the size of the investment. These latter measures would of course mean that areas like the Upper Calder Valley could profit from our natural resources like water in the way we did at the start of the industrial revolution.