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National Power Supply

    Abstract

    THE interim report issued by the Coal Conservation Sub-committee presided over by Lord Haldane will be read with great interest, as it crystallises the considered opinions of eminent engineers. The committee has little difficulty in proving that the present system of electrical power distribution in this country is most uneconomical. If it had all to be done de novo the Committee would divide the country into some sixteen dis tricts. In each district there would be several large inter-connected super-stations for generating electric power, and these would be controlled by a single authority. The sites of these stations would not be chosen, as they too often are at present, mainly to secure that the “rates” pay able on the electric works may come to the local authority working the undertaking, but they would be chosen on the lines laid down by Kelvin in 1878. They would therefore be either near the pit's mouth, where coal dross could be used for working engines of the most economical type, or in places where plenty of condensing water is available, where coal transport is cheap, and where they would be near the centre of gravity of the probable demand; If this were done it is calcu lated that as many as 55,000,000 tons of coal would be saved per annum, a saving that would far more than counterbalance the interest payable on the new capital necessary.

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