Ernest Bull Article


Ernest Bull says, “I was well aware that the Conservative government had acted to kill off the renewable energy subsidies and FITs. Although I actually thought that they had done a good job at a reasonable cost. After all, in the 10 years or so they have been babbling on about spending £25 Billions on Hinckley Point C, others have quietly got on with it and installed water turbines, wind turbines and solar panels that are now regularly supplying over 26% of Britain’s energy.

But I had never heard of STORs or Short Term Operating Reserves. It seems that they were introduced by Mr Cameron, covertly, just before the May election and as reported in the Guardian on the 5th of May, “Neither the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Grid nor many of the companies involved are keen to provide much information about this shadowy new industry.”

I found out about them when I was recently called to an emergency meeting by Margaret Hickman and Habiq Jama, and it was revealed that my home – by the Lawrence Hill roundabout and already wilting under a surfeit of diesel fumes and particulates – is between two proposed STOR sites less than 1.5 miles apart. One in St Philip’s Marsh and the other in St Werberghs. Each with 48 diesel generating sets. Right in the heart of the poorest, most deprived and most densely populated areas of Bristol. What is more, the company, Plutus Energy, (Plutus the God of Wealth) had, by developing sites of less than 0.5 Hectares, circumvented some of the most critical requirements of our planning regulations. In particular, Air Quality Assessments.

But it gets worse! There is also a formal planning application for another installation of 64 diesel generating sets just two miles away in Lockleaze.

In its application, Plutus state that the generators would only be run for a maximum of 200 hours each year. Typically, an average of 4 hours in any one week. Now, call me a cynic by all means, but are all of those 160 diesel generating sets really intended to produce electricity in meaningful or economic quantities? Or are they there to give friends of the Tory Party a bit of a bung in the form of ”Stand-By” tariffs? OTOH, should plans for Hinckley fall through – as seems very likely – then will those diesels run 24/7 and will we be paying the earth for electricity? Literally!

From the few published details of Plutus Energy’s planning application, those four hours of generation will require fuel deliveries totalling 90,000 Litres of diesel a week. i.e. Collectively, they will use 22,500 Litres per hour.

Burning that much diesel will emit 237,600Kg of CO2. Just a number to most of us, so let me put it into some sort of context.

First Bus Bristol has a fleet of about 700 buses. Each is on the road for about 17 hours a day and uses some 125 Litres of diesel per shift or about 7.35 Litres per hour.

Running those diesel generators will create as much pollution as would be generated by 3,060 buses.

Think! 20 miles of buses, or two lanes full of them all the way from Bristol to Keynsham and two lanes all the way back again. Solid! Nose to tail and all blowing out bucketfuls of harmful pollutants CO2, NOX and particulates.

It beggars belief that anyone would intend to inflict such egregious harm upon a community. Or, to be quite honest, that a city that boasts the title, Green Capital of Europe, would even deign to consider such applications.”