Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Classical gas

I get quite irritated by talk of energy shortages and price rises. It was known when North Sea gas first came ashore that it had a finite lifespan. In fact it has lasted a bit longer than 'the experts' said it would. So why the fuck haven't successive governments planned for it?
I suppose the answer to that is easy. Thatcher!

When I was a lad we produced all of our own gas. Town gas it was called. It was made from coal, and the wonderful ventricle-clearing smell of coal tar hung in the air around every gas works. Now I’m not suggesting that we return to those heavily polluted innocent days. But is it that difficult to make gas?

Why aren’t we producing our own natural gas?
Natural gas is essentially methane, and it's all around us emitting from our compost heaps, from rubbish on our land fill sites, from farms and from sewage works. I'm sure that human crap alone would be enough to cook the nation's dinners and that's before we've even scratched the surface of bovine flatulence.

Disposing of all our garden waste, rubbish and shit is a major problem, but it wouldn't be if we treated them like the valuable resources that they are. I suspect that costs involved in developing the technology and setting up the plants is currently what is holding things back, but if the government can rescue the banking industry it can surely subsidise the investment needed for natural gas. Or better still force the energy companies to invest in such projects as with the energy efficiency initiative.

I can't believe that it would be that difficult to return to the days when we were self-sufficient in gas. After all it's not rocket science!