Most of the renewable methods are pretty promising. The arguments in this thread against (that they are currently uneconomic) only make sense if you take a very narrow timeframe.
Most existing methods of generating power have been uneconomic at some point or another. The only thing which stops wind or tidal generation (for example) being very cost effective right now is the high unit cost - which will improve over the next five to ten years as more units are built and more people buy green energy.
This works on a global scale so the companies which are investing in this technology and expertise will win whether it takes off quickly in this country or in other countries. Small scale solar has a big future in India for example, where it can reach isolated places without the need for large capital expenditure on extending their national grid.
Bear in mind when comparing costs (i.e. pence per KWH) that most of the cost for nuclear power (for example) has yet to be passed on to the consumer - the massive decommisioning costs and waste storage costs to come, will have to be borne by us taxpayers for many many years.
Red bus, you are absolutely correct that there are high costs of decommissioning power stations yet to be incurred.
That does not mean that we should either:
1. Use so-called green energy whilst it is still in its embryonic and uneconomic and un-green stage; nor
2. Use more energy to recycle an object than is saved through its being recycled. The extra fuel to power the aeroplane to take those batteries to the Netherlands is more than enough to outweigh the benefit from recycling!
The thing which should stop on-shore windfarms is aesthetics. No 'green' can surely rationally argue that areas of outstanding natural beauty deserve to become windfarms in the interests of 'progress'.
Similarly British solar panels should currently be stopped by the weather.
mapmaker, i am not making a point about batteries (?) it is not even specifically about 'green' energy.
My point is actually about the decreasing costs of technology. For you to say that we shouldn't be investing in renewable sources of energy because they are too costly now is like those (now failed) IT companies not investing in the pc market a few decades ago because each unit was (then) too costly.
To be blunt - Markets are created by a vision of the future, not just today's Balance sheet.
Sometimes it doesn't work (internet investment anyone?) and sometimes it does - the oil companies which are making money now were risky investments in the 1920's.
But you don't have to believe me - global investment in renewable energy sources is growing fast - and British companies are investing too.
This is my point - that what one person calls embryonic and uneconomic another one calls a business opportunity. Not the sort of argument you would expect from a Green perhaps...?