Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 9th Jun 15, 7:25 AM
    • 5,679Posts
    • 9,684Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news.
    • #1
    • 9th Jun 15, 7:25 AM
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news. 9th Jun 15 at 7:25 AM
    I thought it might be a good idea to have a thread for posting general news items that may be of interest.

    PV and the 'Solar in the news' thread attract a lot of interest, so here's a thread for all the other goings on.

    Mart.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
Page 32
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 2nd Jul 17, 8:23 AM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Am I going mad(der)?

    This is not a cheap shot at nuclear. Whenever we hear about nuclear, it's promising something great, like HPC, then it arrives (or the contract arrives) and it's a dog.

    So for several years folk having been saying, yeah HPC is a dog, but Thorium or SMR's (small modular reactors) will be wonderful.

    Well Thorium still seems to be going nowhere, but SMR's are getting closer, and here's a sales pitch by Rolls Royce, explaining how great their potential is:

    Small Modular Reactors

    Small Modular Reactors - once in a lifetime opportunity for the UK

    Sounds nice, lots of promise, till some facts and figures jumped out at me:

    The size of the potential global SMR market is approximately 65-85GW by 2035, valued at £250-£400bn.
    With around 350GWp of PV in the world today, and taking capacity factors into account, are they really saying that in 18yrs time, SMR's 'might' generate what PV is generating today (about 1.5% of world leccy demand)? I'd assumed from all the hype, that SMR's were supposed to save the planet.

    From their brochure I note that the export potential for Australia is 2,000MW, so equal to about 10,000MW of PV, roughly what Australia already has today just in roof mounted PV (domestic/commercial).

    Supply power to the grid in a timely manner at lower cost to the taxpayer and consumer, generating electricity that is at least as cheap (per MW) as power generated by today’s large scale reactors – potentially even cheaper when SMRs go into volume production.
    A bit of googling, suggests SMR's could eventually provide leccy at $90/MWh, so approx 3x the cost of on-shore wind and PV contracts being issued in the US today.

    So as I say, am I going mad, I genuinely believed some of the hype about SMR's helping and working alongside RE, but they seem to be in trouble today, compared to just PV (before we bring in the other renewables) and PV has been growing at 40% compounded pa since 2000, with prices expected to halve again in 10yrs, and normal efficiencies to rise from around 17% to 30-35% with the addition of Perovskite (now at 21% in the lab, up from about 1% 5yrs ago).

    I'm quite disappointed about this, as I'm really not sure the UK will want/need them, and I genuinely can't believe there will be an export market anything like the brochure suggests on page 5.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 2nd Jul 17, 10:43 AM
    • 2,253 Posts
    • 3,955 Thanks
    EricMears
    Are SMRs supposed to be a means of generating electricity ?

    Surely their real target should be to replace large diesel engines as fitted to ships etc (they're already used for submarines and a few other naval vessels where cost isn't an issue).
    N Derbyshire.
    4kwp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 2nd Jul 17, 11:41 AM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Are SMRs supposed to be a means of generating electricity ?

    Surely their real target should be to replace large diesel engines as fitted to ships etc (they're already used for submarines and a few other naval vessels where cost isn't an issue).
    Originally posted by EricMears
    Yep, the plan is small modular nuclear generation dotted around the country.

    The technology is based on the units used for submarines and aircraft carriers, but I believe they aren't powerful enough for tankers and big transport ships, which weigh 2-5x more.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 6th Jul 17, 8:12 AM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40372613


    Who'd have thought it?!

    There is also the (low likelihood high impact) risk that one of the Canary Islands collapse and send a tidal wave along the S and W coasts of the UK - is this covered in the design?
    Originally posted by michaels
    The 10yr wait for Hinkley could be a looong 10yrs if off-shore wind goes cheaper in the 3 CfD auctions this year (for delivery in 2021/22).

    I read this in the weekly carbon commentary newsletter:

    6, Offshore wind. The Dutch asked for zero subsidy bids for new licences in the North Sea. That is, it wants to know whether bidders are capable of funding new offshore wind without any price guarantees. Can they live with wholesale prices of perhaps €40-€50 a megawatt hour? We don’t know whether developers believe this will be possible, but recent Dutch and German experience suggests optimism. In the UK, the chief of the energy regulator talked about getting bids at less than £70/€80 per megawatt hour in the next offshore auction. (This figure isn’t directly comparable to the Dutch figure because the Netherlands pays for the transmission infrastructure centrally). This is perhaps 30% below the figures for contracts signed two years ago.
    I've found this article from Bloomberg:

    U.K. May Get Subsidy-Free Power From Offshore Wind Farms

    The amount of subsidy paid is the difference between the wholesale price of energy and the investment required to make a return on a renewable energy plant. To match Denmark, the Netherlands and excluding grid costs, the U.K. would need to see bids from 60 pounds to 69 pounds a megawatt-hour, said RenewableUK.

    “For it to be shockingly cheap in the way that Denmark and the German auction have been, a price in the 60s would be amazing,” said Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of RenewableUK. “My personal view is that a price in the 70s is not unlikley.”

    Prices for offshore wind in Europe have fallen dramatically in the last half decade and plunged 22 percent in 2016 alone, according to BNEF.
    For clarification, I believe all costs are given in 2012 monies, so comparable to the original £92.50/MWh deal for HPC, not the current inflation adjusted figure of approx £100/MWh.

    Also the off-shore wind contracts have a 15yr subsidy, whereas HPC has a 35yr subsidy. So the RE contracts are more rapidly replaced by later, cheaper deals, hopefully subsidy free.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 6th Jul 17, 10:23 AM
    • 2,253 Posts
    • 3,955 Thanks
    EricMears
    The technology is based on the units used for submarines and aircraft carriers, but I believe they aren't powerful enough for tankers and big transport ships, which weigh 2-5x more.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Aircraft carriers are quite big too. Perhaps not as big as the biggest ore-carriers or container ships but still bigger than most others.

    But a huge ore-carrier wouldn't be limited to one engine; if one nuclear power plant wasn't beefy enough you could consider fitting several.
    N Derbyshire.
    4kwp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 6th Jul 17, 11:15 AM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Aircraft carriers are quite big too. Perhaps not as big as the biggest ore-carriers or container ships but still bigger than most others.

    But a huge ore-carrier wouldn't be limited to one engine; if one nuclear power plant wasn't beefy enough you could consider fitting several.
    Originally posted by EricMears
    Aircraft carriers are quire small combined to supertankers and the giant container ships. Even the giant Nimitz class carriers are only about half the size of the new container ships.

    Container ship size stuck at PananaMax for decades, but then they realised that going far larger was cheaper than the savings from going through the Panama Canal, so they lept in size. And Panama is now building new superlocks to prevent losing all the business.

    Plus military ships naturally carry a lot of security on board preventing the misuse of small nuclear reactors.

    Not trying to be negative, I think SMR's would be a fantastic solution to shipping emissions, so hopefully all such issues can be resolved.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 6th Jul 17, 11:59 AM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 4,501 Thanks
    zeupater
    Aircraft carriers are quite big too. Perhaps not as big as the biggest ore-carriers or container ships but still bigger than most others.

    But a huge ore-carrier wouldn't be limited to one engine; if one nuclear power plant wasn't beefy enough you could consider fitting several.
    Originally posted by EricMears
    Hi

    There are a really couple of major issues to address here ...

    Firstly, nuclear means nuclear, therefore it's very unpopular to many in many countries ... following that basic reality through to a logical conclusion and we find that international bulk and container shipping using nuclear powered vessels would likely be excluded from some countries and their territorial waters. For example, New Zealand have prohibited all nuclear powered vessels from entering their waters since 1984, which considering their remote location and reliance on deep-sea transport would have a significant impact on the investment strategies of shipping companies considering nuclear. On the sub-national scale, there are many port cities and regions around the world that have declared as nuclear free zones and therefore exclude nuclear vessels from docking at their facilities ...

    Secondly, and probably more importantly, is the fact that deep-sea transport is both a cheap and relatively carbon-efficient solution for trade. A few years ago it used to be said that the carbon footprint of transporting goods by car (or delivery by van) from a local source was far greater than the total transport from the Far-East, so where's the imperative for concentrating investment on something which has a relatively low ecological impact, surely lower hanging fruit should take priority. Keeping the cost of transport down is imperative in a competitive shipping market, that's why container ships are becoming larger: more goods: same crew: less fuel/tonne ... yet these massive ships can be built & brought into service for around £800/tonne which would resolve to £160-£200million each ... now for the crunch - the USN operated nuclear powered aircraft carriers have two reactors, each costing ~$200million, so allowing for the lower speed requirements but at least double the displacement it would be reasonable to conclude that a nuclear powered container ship would cost at least 3x that of a conventional powered vessel.

    Not saying it's impossible ... just extremely improbable considering that it would almost certainly result in financial suicide for the leading-edge company who tries ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 6th Jul 17, 12:16 PM
    • 3,659 Posts
    • 4,501 Thanks
    zeupater
    Yep, the plan is small modular nuclear generation dotted around the country ...
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Hi

    I've seen this raised many time before and believe it to be no more than a door to door nuclear-salesman's banter.

    No matter what the size of the reactor, it's nuclear, therefore it's nuclear, therefore it's nuclear ... and aren't there serious security issues around nuclear?: isn't security important? ... Okay, point made in a flippant way, but in reality it means that small reactors won't be distributed (/dotted) around the grid in anywhere near the way that is being suggested, it's likely that current and decommissioned plant sites with existing grid infrastructure will simply have a new role, hosting not one or two reactors in massive halls, but maybe ten or a dozen smaller units on reasonably sized secure & hardened buildings in close proximity ....

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 10th Jul 17, 5:22 PM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Cheap Solar & Wind Energy Means US Will Meet Paris Targets Despite Trump

    “Numerous key markets recently reached an inflection point where renewables have become the cheapest form of new power generation, a dynamic we see spreading to nearly every country we cover by 2020,” the report says.

    “Renewable power will be the cheapest new entrant in most markets, in our view, and we assess emissions rate of change profiles over near (2020) and longer (2025) time frames.”
    The 800lb economics gorilla has changed sides, looks like the game is over. And who said PV wasn't a good idea?
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 11th Jul 17, 3:33 PM
    • 19,106 Posts
    • 87,639 Thanks
    michaels
    Cheap Solar & Wind Energy Means US Will Meet Paris Targets Despite Trump



    The 800lb economics gorilla has changed sides, looks like the game is over. And who said PV wasn't a good idea?
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    So what do we expect?
    1) More Spanish style 'PV is stealing sunshine' laws?
    2) EDF charging for Hinkley C output on a minimum price basis looking like a very wise move on their part and suicidal for the UK power consumer....
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 18th Jul 17, 12:05 PM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Solar and wind do not harm US grid, draft DoE report states

    The deployment of renewables does not have a negative impact on the grid, according to a draft of the report commissioned by US energy secretary Rick Perry.

    The leaked incomplete version of the study has been reported by Bloomberg and Reuters with the latter making it publicly available. Perry had asked for clarity on whether the loss of baseload generation sources was driving up prices.

    The draft deflates this concern.

    “One of the benefits of renewable energy is that it can serve as a hedge for more volatile fossil-fuelled generation. Many customers seek a steady bill payment because it’s easier to budget for and manage than a bill that varies by month. To the degree that renewable energy stabilizes the cost of an overall energy portfolio (or even just a customer’s bill), that affects perceived affordability.”

    It also backs existing studies that claim “significantly higher levels of renewable energy can be integrated without any compromise of system reliability”. It then lists numerous examples from various regions and US states where renewable penetration has risen above 30%. A parallel report by clean energy advocates had similar findings in June.

    In April, Perry requested the wide-ranging review to assess the impact of renewables on the grid and whether they had contributed to accelerated retirement of coal power generation. The draft identifies a number of minor factors but is clear that the main trigger for coal retirements has been market forces, not environmental regulations or subsidies for renewables.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 20th Jul 17, 4:23 PM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Coal provided just 2% of UK power in H1 2017

    Just five years after meeting 40% of U.K.’s electricity supply, data from Imperial College London shows that coal only met 2% of the country’s power needs in the first half of the year.
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 21st Jul 17, 4:57 PM
    • 19,106 Posts
    • 87,639 Thanks
    michaels
    Kyoto-tastic - and to think everyone thought the tories weren't green
    Cool heads and compromise
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 22nd Jul 17, 11:13 AM
    • 2,681 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    NigeWick
    Kyoto-tastic - and to think everyone thought the tories weren't green
    Originally posted by michaels
    They aren't. However, businesses are profit oriented and as costs of renewables come down they'll follow the money. This government has no idea of how fast things are changing and think £Millions will do a lot for our future when individual companies abroad are spending $Billions on R&D to bring products to market.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 24th Jul 17, 7:46 AM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Looks like change is a-coming:

    Electricity shake-up could save consumers 'up to £40bn'

    Drop in wind energy costs adds pressure for government rethink
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • rugbyleaguesmate
    • By rugbyleaguesmate 24th Jul 17, 8:28 AM
    • 241 Posts
    • 1,350 Thanks
    rugbyleaguesmate
    Hi Martyn headline news........can't find any details yet tho.
    6.72kw Pv Ja Solar 280w * 24 panels, Solar Edge inverter, South facing no shading.
    South Lake District, delightful view of Morecambe Bay. Not Saving up for a battery too expensive

    July Solar target 769kw
    • JimLad
    • By JimLad 24th Jul 17, 8:37 AM
    • 894 Posts
    • 1,484 Thanks
    JimLad
    All very promising, but no details on what they are actually going to do
    Mortgage Free 22/03/17. Now expecting a Baby girl in August!
    MissWillow is my OH!
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 24th Jul 17, 8:58 AM
    • 5,679 Posts
    • 9,684 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Hiya folks, yep no news yet but should be fun! Apologies for more nuclear bashing, but this is going to be a tough decade for any government whilst webuild out Hinkley Point C at twice the cost of supporting wind and PV. If the off-shore contracts this year are even close to the rumours then it all gets a bit sticky!

    I can't believe how fast things have changed since 2012 (HPC deal).
    Just 'call me Mart'. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
    • Exiled Tyke
    • By Exiled Tyke 24th Jul 17, 10:00 AM
    • 219 Posts
    • 781 Thanks
    Exiled Tyke
    Looks like pure stupidity on the part of the government. They've embraced this far too late (if they really have embraced it - we ned to see the details). The need to go down this path could have been anticipated years ago: certainly during the time Hinkley Point was being considered. And of course in the end, it is the tax payers and consumer who will end up paying
    Install 28th Nov 15, 3.3kW, (11x300LG), SolarEdge, SW. W Yorks.
    • legoman62
    • By legoman62 24th Jul 17, 1:36 PM
    • 2,078 Posts
    • 10,544 Thanks
    legoman62
    Tesco will have them in next year!
    Http://news.sky.com/story/246m-government-drive-to-make-uk-leader-in-battery-technology-10959431
    E Coast. 16 Sanyo Hit 250s.4kWp SMA 3.8kWp inverter. SW roof. 28° pitch.
    Minimal shade. Nov 2011 install. N.E Lincs Coast. Hybrid car
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

316Posts Today

4,411Users online

Martin's Twitter