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Green, ethical, energy issues in the news (last 2 weeks)

edited 9 October 2018 at 9:41AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
5.3K replies 416.7K views
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  • lstar337lstar337 Forumite
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    It appears the difficulty is how you get the payback for the capital costs involved. Similar to the occasional use gas peak-lopping plant. In both cases you only use them if you have to, and as more renewables come on board you'll get less use!
    True, and as more and more renewables come on board we'll need more and places to 'dump' the excess. Interesting times ahead.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    lstar337 wrote: »
    True, and as more and more renewables come on board we'll need more and places to 'dump' the excess. Interesting times ahead.

    I think that's the most interesting part. I'm loving it watching the news on all the storage progress, whether it's the reduction in cost (from scaling up) of existing technologies, or the development of new ones. Plus of course expect 'the clever people' to come up with loads of uses for very cheap (but intermittent) leccy.
    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.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    New satellite to spot planet-warming industrial methane leaks
    Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the short term, and is responsible for about a fifth of human-caused climate change. The oil and gas industry is to blame for about a third of anthropogenic methane emissions, from fracking and other exploration sites, and from leaky pipelines.

    “Cutting methane emissions from the global oil and gas industry is the single fastest thing we can do to help put the brakes on climate change right now,” said Fred Krupp, EDF president. Only 3% of oil and gas companies currently report quantitative methane emissions, according to EDF. “By providing reliable, fully transparent data on a worldwide scale, MethaneSAT will help transform a serious climate threat into a crucial opportunity,” he said.
    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.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    MP's seem to support the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

    MPs to pressure government on backing for Swansea tidal lagoon project

    It's a tricky one this as the leccy from this scheme will be expensive, but if the technology is proven to work then schemes like the Cardiff lagoon could be built at ten times the size, but half the cost of generation.

    A tidal lagoon package could generate about 10% of the UK's leccy, and whilst it will of course be intermittent, generating 14hrs per day (4 x 3.5hrs), it will be predictable and reliable. And with tides varying around the UK, the package would as a whole be generating for more than 14hrs per day.

    I also feel that lagoons add more than just the value of their generation, as they will hopefully provide aesthetic benefits, perhaps tourism and storm flood protection too.

    I'm not sure it really boils down to this, and £1.3bn is a lot of money but ....... could it be worth a punt?
    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.
  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    MP's seem to support the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

    MPs to pressure government on backing for Swansea tidal lagoon project

    It's a tricky one this as the leccy from this scheme will be expensive, but if the technology is proven to work then schemes like the Cardiff lagoon could be built at ten times the size, but half the cost of generation.

    A tidal lagoon package could generate about 10% of the UK's leccy, and whilst it will of course be intermittent, generating 14hrs per day (4 x 3.5hrs), it will be predictable and reliable. And with tides varying around the UK, the package would as a whole be generating for more than 14hrs per day.

    I also feel that lagoons add more than just the value of their generation, as they will hopefully provide aesthetic benefits, perhaps tourism and storm flood protection too.

    I'm not sure it really boils down to this, and £1.3bn is a lot of money but ....... could it be worth a punt?

    £1.3bn sounds a lot but I wonder how it compares with H Point.
    Going back fifty years I can remember one of our college lecturers saying that if the power of the tide could be harnessed in the mouth of the river Seven then a significant percentage of the nations electricity could be generated there.
    I should think it's got to be worth a punt at least, if you'll pardon the expression.
    Hopefully it won't be another fifty years before it becomes a reality. :T
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
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  • edited 13 April 2018 at 6:26PM
    Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    edited 13 April 2018 at 6:26PM
    £1.3bn sounds a lot but I wonder how it compares with H Point.
    Going back fifty years I can remember one of our college lecturers saying that if the power of the tide could be harnessed in the mouth of the river Seven then a significant percentage of the nations electricity could be generated there.
    I should think it's got to be worth a punt at least, if you'll pardon the expression.
    Hopefully it won't be another fifty years before it becomes a reality. :T

    I think the Severn Tidal Barrage was calculated to generate about 5% of the UK's leccy demand, which is pretty impressive. I'm guessing (using a map and markI eyeball, but i'd say a longer barrage straight up from Minehead would probably trap about 3x the water that the Lavernock/Weston one would.

    Cost wise for comparison, I think the latest cost for building HPC is about £24bn but it keeps changing.

    The Swansea subsidy examples are for quite a lot more than HPC per MWh, (about £160/MWh I think) or a bit less than HPC but for 90yrs not 35yrs. However, you do have to bear in mind how much leccy that subsidy is being upon.

    Swansea is approx 320MW and will have a capacity factor of about 20% (PV is about 11% in the UK), and that compares to HPC with a genarting capacity of 3,200MW and a cf of 92%.

    So we have a generating comparison of:
    Swansea 64MW v's 2,944MW for HPC

    So think of Swansea like the early days of PV, a high subsidy, but a small amount of generation to get the market going.

    Suggestions are that the Lagoon package would cost about the same as PV and on-shore wind per MWh, but those statements were made a couple of years back, and may well have been based on the early CfD's of about £80/MWh ) HPC is now £100/MWh.

    In absolute subsidy terms, using that old £160 figure I seem to recall, and assuming a wholesale price of about £45/MWh for most of the 35yrs (see page 39), then we have the following comparison:-

    Swansea (£160-£45) x (320MW x 20%) x 24hrs x 365days x 35yrs = £2.26bn

    HPC (£100-£45) x (3,200MW x 92%) x 24hrs x 365days x 35yrs = £49.64bn

    But remember the different cost reflects a difference in generation, so in simpler terms, Swansea gets £115 of subsidy per MWh v's £55 for HPC.

    If Cardiff is built for around £80/MWh, then it would get a per MWh subsidy of about £35.

    Personally, I too think it's well worth a punt, as beyond any learnt lessons from the first small(ish) scheme, there is a genuine and simple mathematical reason why the bigger schemes would be cheaper, if Swansea proves the building techniques:

    - take a circle, it will have a circumference and a volume - next double the circumference, and you will quadruple the volume.

    - the same applies to a semi-circular sea wall, if you double its length (twice the cost), you quadruple the volume of water that is caught.

    - since the sea walls will represent a very large proportion of the costs, going bigger means the cost of generation (per MWh) gets cheaper.

    [Note, I've scribbled this all off the top of my head, so the Swansea figures may differ especially as there has been quite a lot of discussion/negotiations.]


    Edit - Should have also said, the RE toolbox gets stronger as you add more tools to it. Often on here someone will say PV's no good as it doesn't work at night, which is akin to judging a hammer on its ability to saw wood. So the RE toolbox needs a hammer, and a saw etc so that the technologies cross support each other and reduce the peaks and troughs that intermittent renewables obviously have.
    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.
  • edited 13 April 2018 at 6:40PM
    Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    edited 13 April 2018 at 6:40PM
    When it comes to piles, I suspect 8m wide, 65m long and 800tonnes is pretty eye [STRIKE]watering[/STRIKE] opening.

    Hornsea 1 plants first root
    Hornsea 1 will feature 174 Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines and is scheduled to be completed in 2020.


    And here's a peak at part of the electrical infrastructure that's needed.

    Danes load first Hornsea 1 topside
    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.
  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    When it comes to piles, I suspect 8m wide, 65m long and 800tonnes is pretty eye [STRIKE]watering[/STRIKE] opening.

    Hornsea 1 plants first root




    And here's a peak at part of the electrical infrastructure that's needed.

    Danes load first Hornsea 1 topside

    Wow Martyn, that's quite some pile! I've often wondered how they anchor the turbines to the seabed. A bit like a root canal in the jaw, only on a much larger scale. At 8 metres diameter I struggle to believe it is embedded as a single structure and can only imagine it to be made of smaller sections, similar to how a coffer dam is produced! Even so, quite some foundation.
    And at just 7kw then future turbines will be even larger!
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus Zappi charger and 2 x ASHP's. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
  • edited 14 April 2018 at 6:41AM
    Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    edited 14 April 2018 at 6:41AM
    Wow Martyn, that's quite some pile! I've often wondered how they anchor the turbines to the seabed. A bit like a root canal in the jaw, only on a much larger scale. At 8 metres diameter I struggle to believe it is embedded as a single structure and can only imagine it to be made of smaller sections, similar to how a coffer dam is produced! Even so, quite some foundation.
    And at just 7kw then future turbines will be even larger!

    Yep, imagine the bases for the 12MW WT's when they start to roll out, or is it ship out.

    I stole the articles from a post on the Navitron Forum, where someone did the maths for the bolt holes, and it starts to get 'silly':
    120 holes on a pcd of less than 8m means that the holes are about 200mm apart which suggests, visually, 80mm diameter holes......and a bolt big enough to make your eyes water!

    That's why I affectionately refer to these WT's as monsters.

    PS, call me Mart, I'm too immature to warrant a full name. ;-)
    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.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    I don't know if this will affect anyone directly, but it might be of interest regarding the future of space heating in the UK and the need to move away from FF's.

    This 'call for evidence' is about finding low carbon sources of heating for off-gas-grid properties, during the 2020's.

    A future framework for heat in buildings: call for evidence
    The Clean Growth Strategy presented major policies and plans that will cut the cost of energy, drive economic growth, create high value jobs right across the UK, and improve our quality of life.

    This call for evidence reaffirms that ambition by building on the commitment to phase out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing buildings off the gas grid, during the 2020s. The consultation document explains what we mean by this ambition, and seeks evidence on how we could implement it.

    The heating industry has a vital role to play. It is essential for installers, suppliers and manufacturers in the coal and oil sectors to show leadership. Government will listen to, and work with, our experienced heating experts from all sectors of the industry. Our heating industry must retain its position as a world leader, seeing this process as an opportunity to lead the change that is necessary, and not let the world change without them. Phasing out high carbon fossil fuel heating may be a challenge, but it is also an opportunity for new jobs, new skills, and investment in innovation, as well as greater comfort and convenience for our households and businesses. Moreover, what we do now to decarbonise buildings off the gas grid may pave the way for future decarbonisation of the wider building stock.

    We are seeking evidence from across society, in particular from both consumers and the heat market:

    those using or working with fossil fuels
    those using or working with low carbon alternatives.
    This is essential so that we can explore the options available to take action during the 2020s and build consensus for that action.

    Here is a small section on possible technologies from page 18 of the main document:
    3.3.There are a variety of cleaner technologies that may be suitable for off gas grid properties (both domestic and non-domestic). These include electric heating, heat networks (with a low carbon heat source), bioliquids, biopropane, biomass and hybrids. Most independent commentators suggest that heat pumps are the leading solution for decarbonising properties off the gas grid. The following sections ask for more evidence on these technologies.

    3.4.We are particularly keen to better understand what government can do to reduce barriers to the roll out of those alternatives. Equally, industry can, and must, do more to drive down cost reductions and improve the performance of key technologies. We want to understand how quickly these savings can be realised to drive the sustainable roll out.
    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.
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