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Cheers - AE

Friday, 10 April 2009

I'll believe it when I see it.

Another one of Gordon Clown's pet projects in trouble here.
The Times has learnt that the European Investment Bank (EIB) is in talks with developers about a financial rescue package for the £3 billion London Array scheme, which is located in the Thames Estuary.
I'm being picky about tenses here, but I think you'll find it's not located anywhere yet.
Planned to be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, it is a project that has strong personal backing from the Prime Minister.
Ahahahaha. Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Ahahahahahahaha.
It's fucked from the very outset then, isn't it?
Gordon Brown wants part of the renewable energy scheme finished before the 2012 Olympics.
Oh great. Got to have the white elephant completed in time for the world to come look at the other white elephant.
The UK desperately needs London Array to fulfil its ambitious target of generating 35 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Pleas for cash to the EIB, the long-term lending bank of the European Union, are a last-ditch attempt to save the project, which has suffered from a number of high-profile companies pulling out and fears over its funding.
The developers have limited the amount they are prepared to fund and, as a result of the credit crunch, banks are reluctant to lend on such large projects.
Even the entry of the EIB may not safeguard the future of the plan to build up to 341 giant offshore windmills generating sufficient electricity to power 750,000 homes.
What the fuck? Has no one at The Times got access to a fucking calculator? It's now Easter 2009, and assuming that they wanted this insanely optimistic scheme complete by the same time in 2012 they'd have just 36 months to do it in if they started tomorrow (which they won't). So even if the finance was magically fixed right now, today, they'd still have to build at a rate of one turbine every three days. Even that assumes that they'd be able to work on it all year round and that winter weather and the occasional storm won't fuck things up, so we should probably say one every two days to be on the safe side. So what are the chances? Not a fucking prayer I reckon. Seriously, if potential investment from Shell and the Middle East has already vanished and the the project hangs on EU funding how much hope is there? By the time fingers are out of arses the rate at which turbines will need to be built to complete the project on schedule will be quite impossible, if it isn't already.

More to the point, if the project was a real goer private investment would be queueing up to put money into it. So doesn't the fact that they're struggling to get the necessary investment for the London Array as well as the fact that there's been a
53% fall in global investment in clean energy between March 2008 and the same month this year
show that these projects simply aren't viable without subsidies? And if they have to be held up with taxpayers money aren't they really the wrong solution to our energy needs?
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