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

edited 9 October 2018 at 10:41AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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  • markinmarkin Forumite
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    The was around 3 days of low wind in feb during the "beast 2".


    Looking at january when the was no wind it hit £155 MWH And when the was plenty of wind at night it hit £12 MWH, we need to store it.



    Its days like this that are the problem 7GW of Coal 1-2GW wind, 4 days of very low wind.

    FmMZq2P.jpg
     
  • edited 16 July 2019 at 1:57AM
    GreatApeGreatApe
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    edited 16 July 2019 at 1:57AM
    markin wrote: »
    Electric heated home are often remote! or they would be on the gas grid, far cheaper than running water pipes.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-energy-demand/uk-power-demand-to-soar-on-plans-to-end-gas-home-heating-research-idUKKCN1R0003


    Plenty in the city too even in zone 1 London
    Also it's not just homes. Lots of shops offices and other buildings have no gas and are electrically heated

    Regarding it being expensive to do District heating for remote homes. Sure they can stick with heat pumps or wood heating or whatever it is they currently have but 85% of the UK is classed as urban so high density this good for distributed heat which could in theory come from the waste heat of nuclear plants or dedicated heat only reactors (about 1/20th the power of a traditional reactor yet heating 200,000 homes)

    Also distributed heat is more than just energy it also take away the capital cost of buying replacing and maintaining a gas boiler which is a significant cost especially for lower energy use homes. The true cost of a gas boiler is probably another £200 on top of your annual gas bill that £200pa paying for maintenance replacement and capital cost of the gas boiler system.

    Almost certainly it would be much cheaper for flats to have communal heating fed by one or two central gas fired boilers (which can be replaced in the future by heat pumps or hybrid boilers or even city wide district heaters. Why have a block of 100 flats all with an individual gas fired boiler when just 3 normal boilers could feed a tank to feed all 100 properties their hot water and heating needs. You reduce boiler cost and maintenance by 97%. It isn't very common because metering heat useage is more difficult than metering gas or electric useage. However it can be done you just measure the flow and temp and do the calculation pretty easy in this digital age.

    In the future instead of gas boiler feeding these 100 flats it could be a heat pump or distant waste heat from nuclear
    5 heat pumps feeding a communal system for 100 flats would be substantially cheaper than 100 heat pumps doing the same.
  • GreatApeGreatApe
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    markin wrote: »
    The was around 3 days of low wind in feb during the "beast 2".

    Looking at january when the was no wind it hit £155 MWH And when the was plenty of wind at night it hit £12 MWH, we need to store it.


    Storage is unnecessary for a start you would be storing coal/gas generated energy and you would be doing so at losses on the charging and discharging and conversion of AC to DC and back to AC

    We are yet to get to periods of 0% fossil fuels in the grid before then storage is a waste both monetarily and ecologically (produce waste to produce batteries)

    But even when we get to periods of 0% fossil fuel in the grid it will probably just be easier to curtail the excess rather than store it or most likely import less via the significant Interconnectors and perhaps even reverse them and export power

    Overall the storage problem isn't a problem for the near future and is mostly solved by next gen higher CF offshore wind turbines. Some quite their next gen models as high as 63% average CF (might be marketing propaganda) if true that reduces variability and the need for storage
  • ed110220ed110220 Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    How about a carbon ration per head? That way 'the poor' could sell some of theirs to the rich? I haven't flown since 2000, but not against it as such, we just need to do less, and find a friendlier way to do it, but imagine selling all those carbon credits ...... then a fortnight in Blackpool!


    PS, did you see this (no pressure, it's just that I think you might have missed it)

    The well known climate scientist James Hansen has suggested a tax and dividend system whereby carbon would be taxed and then the revenue divided up and paid back to everyone. Therefore if you didn't use much you would receive a net payment. Using such a "reward" for low users as well as a "punishment" for high users is a good idea in my opinion.
  • ed110220ed110220 Forumite
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    markin wrote: »
    New nuclear can load follow a lot better, And France has coped perfectly well with matching summer/winter demand.


    Just look at what happened in the "beast from the east" 2, And then imagine it, if we had batteries instead of gas, The was low wind all over Europe, No solar, And if bad seas had meant the LNG tankers could not get the gas to us we would have had power cuts or cold homes, So yes a smaller grid means its easier to build that 7 day battery, or you burn less gas when the wind is low.

    A lot of what ive read and the numbers seem to back it up is that Gas has replaced Coal, not wind or solar, so until we can store that wind and solar we are stuck with Gas.

    When we do get that 7-14 days of storage i think it will be Flow battery's, Ammonia, Compressed Air, Some sort of synth Gas, or thermal with molten salt.

    The problem with nuclear load following isn't fundamentally technical, it is economic. With a fossil fuel power station, if the demand for electricity drops you stop burning fuel and stop generating electricity, thereby cutting your costs to match the drop in income. With a nuclear power station the cost is basically all in the construction, maintenance and decommissioning which are the same whether you generate electricity all the time or only half the time etc. As nuclear is massively capital expensive, the last thing you want to do is have it sitting idle and not producing electricity. In other words the lower the capacity factor of a nuclear plant, the more expensive it is per MWh.

    This is one of the main reasons France never achieved 100% nuclear electricity, as that would involve building massively expensive reactors that were only used sometimes in winter.
  • pile-o-stonepile-o-stone Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    PS, did you see this (no pressure, it's just that I think you might have missed it)

    Yes, I watched that thanks. It's a depressing thought that we could have 9 billion humans on the planet all craving the sort of lifestyle and food of the West. We'd need several earths for that.

    With global warming reducing the amount of arable land, and with more parts of the earth becoming desperate for water, I simply cannot see us continuing to grow crops to feed animals and continuing to use vast amounts of water it takes to raise them. It's won't be just a case of people voluntarily reducing their animal protein consumption, the meat just won't be there anymore, except for the very rich. TBH, when the rich see how healthy the rest of us become from our plant-based diets, they'll probably give up meat too.

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  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    On the flying front there is a growing movement within Europe of people who have chosen not to fly. I'm not one of them, but haven't flown since 2016 (for a football match!). The one a couple of years before that was an internal flight as the trains to Scotland from the south coast were so, so expensive (and yes, I did try booking in advance!).



    So although I think the carbon ration is not a bad idea we do also need to improve alternative transport and make it a more reasonable cost. For all the talk about democratisation of flying and not excluding people due to cost there are still 22% of people in the UK who have never flown and in any one year a higher proportion than that.


    [Actually, tell a lie, I've recently been for a couple of helicopter flights, so there's my guilt trip.. I enjoy flying, my first scheduled flight was in a DC-3!]
  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
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    It's a depressing thought that we could have 9 billion humans on the planet all craving the sort of lifestyle and food of the West. We'd need several earths for that.
    That is actually incorrect. Permaculture systems could feed more than 11 Billion and are regenerative rather than destructive as current farming is.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
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  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    markin wrote: »
    The was around 3 days of low wind in feb during the "beast 2".


    Looking at january when the was no wind it hit £155 MWH And when the was plenty of wind at night it hit £12 MWH, we need to store it.



    Its days like this that are the problem 7GW of Coal 1-2GW wind, 4 days of very low wind.

    FmMZq2P.jpg

    So we need more RE generation, some short term storage, and bio-gas making use of the existing 25GW of capacity.

    If you still can't see a way passed nuclear, then try breaking the problem down into bite sized parts.

    Can the UK find RE and storage solutions equal to 1.6GW of nuclear generation, if yes, then given that RE and storage have no scaleability issues, we can solve two reactors, or three, or four.

    Or alternatively, if we can't solve any of these problems, then 3-10GW (16GW seems unlikley now that the government, H of L, and economic advisors have said RE is a better/cheaper option) of nuclear will guarantee our energy supply crashes and fails, so we'll need 20GW's or 30GW's or 40GW's ....... tell me when to stop?

    That's why I pointed out that nuclear (non demand following (as that would be economic suicide)) simply makes the UK a smaller leccy nation. If that smaller nation can cope without nuclear, then why can't we?
    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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    ed110220 wrote: »
    The problem with nuclear load following isn't fundamentally technical, it is economic. With a fossil fuel power station, if the demand for electricity drops you stop burning fuel and stop generating electricity, thereby cutting your costs to match the drop in income. With a nuclear power station the cost is basically all in the construction, maintenance and decommissioning which are the same whether you generate electricity all the time or only half the time etc. As nuclear is massively capital expensive, the last thing you want to do is have it sitting idle and not producing electricity. In other words the lower the capacity factor of a nuclear plant, the more expensive it is per MWh.

    This is one of the main reasons France never achieved 100% nuclear electricity, as that would involve building massively expensive reactors that were only used sometimes in winter.

    I think this is well demonstrated by the nuclear industry in the US, who at 99 reactors are currently 'world leaders'.

    Because the leccy generators have to compete for sales, nuclear has to be 'economic'. They have started shutting down some reactors early (before the end of life) because the cost of servicing and refueling them simply can't be recovered against future leccy prices.

    They only have/had four reactors under construction, but two of those were halted mid build a year or so back (despite the $bn's spent) as they realised that on completion they would be un-economic and unable to sell at a profit.

    So 99 ageing reactors and 2 new ones under construction, not looking good for the industry as big bad economics stomps all over it.
    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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