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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
5.4K replies 418.6K views
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  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    This is good news, but it still makes me sad:

    Germany Awards 476 Megawatts In Latest Undersubscribed Onshore Wind Auction

    So, despite local permitting issues and an underscribed auction bringing in higher prices than before, we still see on-shore wind at ~£54/MWh. Also PV at ~£42/MWh.

    I strongly believe that if the UK allowed these technologies to bid for a CFD contract, they would come in at around £50/MWh, and end up being net subsidy zero due to similar average wholesale prices. Ho hum!
    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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    NigeWick wrote: »
    Why do you think they're dropping FiT and BEV incentive, and, got rid of the legislation for more efficient buildings?

    Hiya Nige, you might find this recommendation of interest:

    Ban gas boilers in new homes by 2025, says Committee on Climate Change

    It seems to only apply to new builds, not to boiler replacements in existing properties post 2025, but I assume something relating to existing properties will be proposed eventually, or at least put out for consultation.
    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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    Now this is big news, one of the big six actively placing renewables and storage ahead of traditional sources and planning for the future accordingly. :T:beer:
    Scottish Power has said it will invest up to £2bn in green energy, as its chief executive played down concerns about Brexit.
    The energy giant said it was increasing storage capacity at its wind farms and working on its goal of "making electric vehicles possible for everyone".

    Spanish-owned Scottish Power said it would build giant batteries at wind farms to deal with concerns that wind power could be intermittent.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-47368898
    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.
  • CoastalwatchCoastalwatch Forumite
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    News of another Solar and Storage facility underway using bifacial modules and single axis tracking. And all to be purchased by Warrington Council as it seeks to raise some much needed future income.

    Makes a refreshing change from other such administrations who seem to see little further than borrowing huge sums of money to purchase Commercial property then rent out in order to see a future return!
    GRIDSERVE has unveiled that it is to start construction on a 37.4MW solar farm and 27MW battery storage project imminently, in what is being billed as the UK’s most technologically advanced solar farm to date.
    As well as being built without subsidies, the solar farm will be the first in the UK to use bifacial modules and single-axis trackers, indicating two potentially significant trends for the utility-scale market moving forward.
    https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/list
    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.
  • ZarchZarch Forumite
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    17 x 300W panels (5.1kWh) on a 3.68kWh SolarEdge system in Sunny Sheffield.
    4.8kWh Pylontech battery storage system with Lux AC controller
    Creator of the Energy Stats UK website and @energystatsuk Twitter Feed
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  • edited 5 March 2019 at 4:39PM
    zeupaterzeupater Forumite
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    edited 5 March 2019 at 4:39PM
    Zarch wrote: »
    Hi

    :think: .... Odd article really ... the title opens by looking at the UK with "The UK needs a Greener New Deal", yet the content is purely global, effectively looking at issues related to economic growth in countries other than the UK, that is apart from lumping us amongst the 'rich' nations which need to reduce material consumption whilst offering little detail on how this could realistically be achieved whilst maintaining public support ... quite conflicted really!

    In terms of accuracy, you'd have thought that someone from the LSE would have been able to differentiate between the global position and that within the UK, for example,there's a complete disconnect between global energy consumption as reported & what's been happening here within the UK.

    I really do wish that the academic world would hold back on the 'tarring everyone with the same brush' approach so as to maintain an air of intellectual superiority whilst protecting a position of self imposed political correctness ... if the author really wanted to have impact on this issue the anthropological finger would need to be pointed at economies in areas of the world which would have the most anthropologically damaging potential (even though the approach would be non-PC!) and the basic facts employed should suit both the title & the narrative!

    Phew!, such poorly constructed articles do nothing to help the ecological position and the erroneous position taken likely causes more distrust amongst anyone who actually has a clue on the data which would support such claims ... the author should be ashamed enough to reconsider the relationship between the headline & content ... if he wants to help to reinforce ecological opinion & change energy consumption habits within the UK then he should at least write a piece which is researched & targetted at the UK using UK data, not attempt to take the totally lazy approach & simply change the title on a stock article written for global publication & consumption!

    Grrrrr ... :mad:

    HTH
    Z ... :whistle:
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Zarch wrote: »

    Yep, we all need a cleaner deal. perhaps if change happens in the US, the rest of us will follow, but I'm not holding my breath, at least not for two more years, or till the Congressional hearings get up to speed.

    Have to say I was surprised by this part of the article:
    Today the world is producing 8bn more megawatt hours of clean energy each year than in 2000. That’s a lot – enough to power all of Russia. But over exactly the same period, economic growth has caused energy demand to increase by a staggering 48bn megawatt hours. In other words, all that new clean energy we’ve rolled out covers only a small fraction of new demand. That’s why emissions keep rising. It’s like shovelling sand into a hole that just keeps getting bigger.

    I hoped that wasn't true, but sadly it seems it is as comparing (via Wiki) 2000 to 2015, primary energy consumption rose by 50,832TWh (approx that 58bn MWh figure).

    But it's not all bad news as I note leccy consumption grew by approx 8,000TWh, so roughly the clean energy part, and also I note that in 1973 primary energy was 131% of final energy consumption, whereas in 2015 it was 154% - that suggests to me a growth in in-efficient energy use, probably coal for leccy and transport fuels, like the growth in petrol cars - so there's hope that large wins can be made by cleaning leccy generation, and electrifying transport since 1kWh of RE generation can replace 3kWh's of primary energy from coal, and 1kWh of leccy can replace about 3kWh's of primary energy from petrol (rough guess at 80% efficiency for leccy v's 25% for petrol, though further savings in primary energy may be gained tracing back energy consumed in extracting, refining and distributing the petrol).

    So, basically bad news, but big wins could be coming?
    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.
  • zeupaterzeupater Forumite
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    Hi

    It's also employing a very well adopted accounting ploy for effect ....

    In selecting the period 2000-2015 the comparison includes a majority of years where rapid economic growth occurred in the far-east, but a minority of years where renewable energy was starting to expand along exponential lines ... don't only think solar, wind etc - in the selected period even the generation from the Three Gorges Dam complex (2012) would have only contributed for a quarter of the years!

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • mmmmikeymmmmikey Forumite
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    Hi - hardly qualifies as today's news, but this page I just stumbled on gives you an idea of how much thimgs have changed in 10 years.



    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ethicalman/2009/12/why_micro_wind_turbines_dont.html


    Fast forward to the last few sentences if you don't want to read the whole thing. As I write this, 25% of our power is coming from wind turbines :)
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    mmmmikey wrote: »
    Hi - hardly qualifies as today's news, but this page I just stumbled on gives you an idea of how much thimgs have changed in 10 years.



    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ethicalman/2009/12/why_micro_wind_turbines_dont.html


    Fast forward to the last few sentences if you don't want to read the whole thing. As I write this, 25% of our power is coming from wind turbines :)

    That was interesting, certainly an eye-opener as you point out.

    Sadly micro-wind in urban areas is still largely useless. Not being nasty, just realistic, as I'd love a small WT, and I think most of us (PV'ers or not) can see how this would improve variable generation issues.

    But, some good news. Prof Mackay says it takes 40kWh to drive 50km's, which is fair based on the primary energy in petrol. But with BEV's we are seeing around 6-7km/kWh, so that 40kWh of petrol can be reduced to around 8kWh of leccy.

    Also he seems a little critical of wind potential, but since then we've seen the massive growth in ...... well ...... massive wind turbines, which are more efficient (higher capacity factors) and getting cheaper, almost cheap, now. In fact the UK could meet ten to one hundred times our future and higher leccy needs from UK off-shore waters:

    The UK is the Saudi Arabia of wind energy

    quite a different story to the article statement - "It leads to a dispiriting conclusion. Wind is, at best, only a very partial solution to the problem of how to generate low-carbon energy."


    But my main criticism of Prof Mackay is reserved for his PV comments in his oft quoted (usually by nuclear fans) report 'Without Hot Air." He is extremely critical of PV in the UK, justifying his position with this statement:
    I am sure that photovoltaic panels will become ever cheaper; I’m also sure that solar panels will become ever less energy-intensive to manufac-ture, so their energy yield ratio will improve. But this chapter’s photo-voltaic estimates weren’t constrained by the economic cost of the panels, nor by the energy cost of their manufacture. This chapter was concerned with the maximum conceivable power delivered. Photovoltaic panels with 20% efficiency are already close to the theoretical limit (see this chapter’s endnotes). I’ll be surprised if this chapter’s estimate for roof-based photo-voltaics ever needs a significant upward revision.

    That's a very bold statement, that I've boldened!

    In the chapter you'll find that he (correctly for the time) refers to high efficiency PV as being approx 20% efficient, and 'typical', 'cheap' & 'rooftop' PV as being approx 10% efficient.

    But by 2012+ 250Wp panels were the norm for rooftop installs, and those are around 15% efficient, and now the norm is probably 280-300Wp, or around 17-18% efficient. And whilst they cost more, we already have higher figures for 'normal' efficiency panels of 330Wp+ (20%).

    So the 'expert' drew a line in the sand regarding efficiencies, claiming "no significant revision", but we are already seeing efficiencies 100% higher than he was using. And whilst Perovskite PV was not yet possible when he wrote his book, combined Silicon/Perovskite is already hitting high 20%'s and expected to push into high 30%'s for PV panels that when commercialised will be a similar cost/Wp as 'normal' PV, so 3 to 4 times Prof MacKay's line in the sand.


    Sorry for the diatribe, and attacks on the late Professor, but technology (and falling costs) have improved far more than anyone seems to have expected or even hoped for. We shouldn't get too excited too soon, but reality looks like delivering ever better RE.
    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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