Will the lights go out this winter?
Posted on 28 October 2014
At first glance the government’s suggestion that manufacturers change their working patterns in order to cut down on their energy use seems like a reasonable idea.
Ministers are set to back up their call for a shift to night-time working with a financial sweetner, although no details have yet been released as to how such an incentive would be paid and on what basis.
But how easy it would be for plants to swap around their working schedules to fit with the government’s plan is hard to say. Some factories, though by no means all, already work several lines 24/7, five days a week. There’s not a lot of slack available, basically.
The government also said businesses should look to generate their own power, presumably by having a bunch of workers on their tea break pedalling furiously on cycling machines hooked up to their manufacturing equipment.
I don’t think many people are taking the threat of energy blackouts seriously. I’m not privy to the ‘stocks and supplies’ situation among the power companies and the National Grid, but maybe we are facing the sort of thing we experienced in the early 1970s, when the lights – and everything else – went out and we played Monopoly by oil lamp.
The energy secretary, Ed Davey, is rebutting the suggestion that because the UK is facing a series of blackouts this winter, but some see this as a distinct possibility.
Meanwhile the recent fire at the Didcot B power station caused considerable consternation, taking out hundreds of thousands of home’s worth of power in a single – albeit massive – blaze.
It was a reminder of what could befall the country if things got worse and will embolden those who want to see shale gas exploration and ultimately extraction speeded up, along with the UK’s nuclear power programme.
Lest we forget, governments are not omnipotent. What those in power – if you’ll pardon the pun – must not do is to allow the country’s energy concerns morph into a crisis.
Contingency plans such as moving to night-time working may sound a bit amateurish, but they are at least a step in the right direction.
Comments:Send us your thoughts on this blog
20 October 2014
16 October 2014
9 October 2014
7 October 2014
3 October 2014
30 September 2014
25 September 2014
22 September 2014
MOST POPULAR STORIES
MOST E-MAILED STORIES
Contact editorial |
Contact advertising |
Features List 2014 |
End Markets: Automotive | Packaging | Construction | Medical | Consumer Products | Rubber
Processes: Injection moulding | Blow moulding | Extrusion | Thermoforming
Supplier News: Machinery | Materials | Recycling | Moulds | Design
Polymer Prices: LME prices | Market outlooks | Resin selector
Industry Issues: Environment | Regulation Competitiveness
Plastics Knowledge: Knowledge Bank
Comment: Champ Chat | Editorials | Business features
People: Movers & Shakers
PRW Business Directory: Directory
Classifieds: Jobs | Classifieds
View: Mobile | Desktop
Industry Awards: Industry Awards
Advertise with PRW
Subscribe: PRW print | E-mail products
List Rental: List Rental
Crain Communications: Crain Communications | Crain Publications