Utility companies move into battery storage, not nuclear

Our Local Enterprise Partnership still puts all OUR eggs in the Hinkley C basket (case).

“Britain’s switch to greener energy will take another significant step forward this week with the opening of an industrial-scale battery site in Sheffield.

E.ON said the facility, which is next to an existing power plant and has the equivalent capacity of half a million phone batteries, marked a milestone in its efforts to develop storage for electricity from windfarms, nuclear reactors and gas power stations.

The plant, housed in four shipping containers, is the type of project hailed by the business secretary, Greg Clark, as crucial to transforming the UK’s energy system and making it greener.

At 10MW, the Blackburn Meadows battery is one of the biggest in Britain so far, but will soon be eclipsed by much larger plants.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, is building a 49MW facility on the site of a former power station in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, while EDF Energy is working on one of the same size at its West Burton gas power station in Nottinghamshire.

David Topping, the director of business, heat and power solutions at E.ON, said: “This is a milestone for E.ON in the new energy world and an important recognition of the enormous potential for battery solutions in the UK.”

The utility-scale batteries are being built in response to a request from National Grid, the owner of Britain’s power transmission network, for contracts to help it keep electricity supply and demand in balance, which is posing an increasing challenge for the grid as more intermittent wind and solar comes online. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/09/uk-first-mega-battery-plant-come-online-sheffield-eon-renewable-energy

Saving people’s lives is costing the NHS too much money

So, it isn’t young immigrants straining our NHS – it’s overweight/diabetic/smoking/drinking (often older ) people whose lives we save!

Now there’s a conundrum.

“Researchers tracked 10 million hospital admissions for acute events, such as heart attacks or strokes, over a decade.

They found that around 37 per cent of the subsequent rise in emergency admissions was among those whose life had previously been saved, thanks to advances in cardiac care.

The improvements saved an extra 4.04 lives per 100 admissions, but also resulted in an additional 7.72 emergency admissions in the next year, from those who would previously not have been expected to survive.

The results, published in Health Services Research, found “the survival effect” caused around 426,000 extra emergency admissions annually by 2012. …”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/10/nhs-left-straining-seams-amid-soaring-heart-attack-survival/

When is enough, enough?

Owl says: “social care beds” … what exactly are they? Residential homes? Nursing homes? Community hospital beds? Whatever they are – Cornwall doesn’t have enough of them.

So, how do they measure “enough”? Certainly in Devon our Clinical Commissioning Group doesn’t do numbers, so we will be hard-pressed to know if Devon has too much, enough, not quite enough, critically few or “disastrously dangerous” levels of anything measurable.

“The Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) calling on Cornwall’s health and social care managers to have “courage” to radically overhaul services.

The CQC points to the county having less social care beds than other comparable parts of the country.

In its annual report, the CQC says the system is “straining at the seams” because of increasing numbers of frailer pensioners and people with long term complex conditions.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-41509465