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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
5.3K replies 416.5K views
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  • PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 posts
    GreatApe wrote: »
    The North sea is better place to deploy large scale wind farms
    Is it though? Offshore electricity is, what, 40% more expensive than onshore?
  • PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 posts
    Is that map available with any more granularity? I'd be interested to see if more Mediterranean coastal regions had a resource based on onshore/offshore breezes. Also, in my experience some Alpine valleys have very regular resources due to adiabatic winds.



    Couple of interesting points: the Rhone valley stands out very distinctly and, as you say, Ireland has an embarrassment of riches. What explains the patchwork in Finland - the lakes? - and what mechanism would explain that.
    Funnily enough I did try and find some kind of interactive Google Maps layer, but failed. There must be one somewhere, but probably behind a paywall.

    It does seems counter intuitive in places. I'd expect the hills in the south west of Ireland to have been a good spot, but apparently not. Or the Pyrenees for that matter. Yet Holland and Denmark were better than I expected, and potentially a good source of cheap electricity for Germany and coal guzzling Poland I guess.
  • PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 posts
    New UK nuclear plants could be paid for upfront through energy bills - Consumers face financial burden of future projects even before they are built

    Oh dear, another regressive tax on the poor. If Brexit wasn't enough of a hint to the mandarins in their ivory towers. History tells us it's not going to end well.

    Nuclear had it's chance That chance has now gone, it's time for it just to go away.

    This RAB (Regulated Asset Base) is open for consultation (including consumers) on the gov.uk website should you also wish to offer the government your opinions.
  • GreatApeGreatApe
    4.5K posts
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    Piddles wrote: »
    New UK nuclear plants could be paid for upfront through energy bills - Consumers face financial burden of future projects even before they are built

    Oh dear, another regressive tax on the poor. If Brexit wasn't enough of a hint to the mandarins in their ivory towers. History tells us it's not going to end well.

    Nuclear had it's chance That chance has now gone, it's time for it just to go away.

    This RAB (Regulated Asset Base) is open for consultation (including consumers) on the gov.uk website should you also wish to offer the government your opinions.


    Nuclear has a clear pathway to a deep decarb including the most difficult part which is seasonal heating needs. In a nuclear heavy country like France they could use the waste heat of nuclear which is just dumped into the ocean as a source for district heating.

    But anyway nuclear is not needed in the UK because the UK is not a blank slate we already have existing infrastructure and infrastructure under construction which will already take the UK towards 80% non fossil on the grid

    However nuclear should be considered in the UK and in most of the EU as a potential to solve heating. A nuclear heat only power station is much simpler and smaller than an electricity station.
    You can build them as small as 1MW (enough to heat 500 homes) or as big as 10GW which is enough for 5 million homes. 100% efficient falling to 90% when distribution losses are taken into account. 90% still much better than the 35% of a nuclear power station and grid losses to your socket for electricity

    That was probably nuclear powers trump card. A HUGE sector of energy is heating
    UK uses 335TWH of electricity but closer to 600TWh of heat so almost twice as much Energy is used for heat than is for electricity and perhaps as much as 80% of heating could be done with nuclear district heating.

    First of a kind costs of about 1p/kwh thermal
    Falling to perhaps 0.3p/kWh thermal
    By comparison electricity is 15p/kwh and natural gas 3p a kWh

    So about 90% cheaper than natural gas and 98% cheaper than electricity
    There would of course be distribution costs for the district heating pipes and systems
    But you wouldn't need a gas boiler or to replace and maintain a gas boiler nor would you need an electric tank with distributed heat

    This could certainly be done over a 30 year period to reach the 2050 targets.
    It could even be done over a 10 year period
    Start the reactor construction and the distributed grid construction and turn them on in 2030
    See a huge drop on fossil fuel useage as 85% of all heating done by natural gas is converted to nuclear heat via distributed grids
  • GreatApeGreatApe
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    Piddles wrote: »
    Is it though? Offshore electricity is, what, 40% more expensive than onshore?


    Says who?

    I'm sure it's not a blanket answer

    And offshore costs have a big part of converter stations and lines to get them onshore. Those will last a hundred years so the second third fourth generation of offshore turbines (as they are replaced every 25-30 years) won't have 1/3rd the cost. If the base is also used and just the blades and upper replaced it's perhaps less than half the cost

    Plus offshore can be built bigger and bigger and has higher CF so you can build more into a grid
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • GreatApeGreatApe
    4.5K posts
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    Piddles wrote: »
    Really? This suggests otherwise:
    d41586-018-07666-6_16319564.jpg

    Beyond betting on the right developing technologies that can help the world decarbonise, what happens in the UK is pretty irrelevant compared to the growth elsewhere in the world, isn't it?


    Yes it's baked in it just is going to take some time.
    Especially in the UK 2015-2025 is going to be a rapid decarb decade

    Wind power is already working and will work better yet when the next generation 50-60% CF designs are proven and built out on the early 2020s

    Transport will be regulated to be BEVs and self drive tech will make cars more efficient

    Only seasonal heating needs remain
    That can be solved with nuclear heating grids
    Or with heat pumps and electric tanks fed by offshore wind, hydro, and biomass

    Something like 3% fall per year is achievable which is what the rich world will/has been doing
    China will peak around 2030 and also fall 3% or so thereafter
    India 2040 and then fall 3% or so thereafter
    Africa perhaps 2050 and then 3% or so thereafter....or they can just stay poorer for longer (perhaps another 2 decades) and try develop without going FF heavy first
  • GreatApeGreatApe
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    Really the only question in my mind is seasonal heating. Transport is solved by BEVs, electricity is solved by high capacity wind power and interconnectors and some curtailment and perhaps a little biomass/CCGT

    Seasonal heating is going to be difficult
    It's mass deployment of heat pumps with grid upgrades and mass deployment of offshore wind and curtailment and backup CCGT power stations or nuclear heating grids. Neither is going to be easy. 40 million heat pumps at £250 billion that last ~15 years and need replacing or 30 heat reactors (100GWt) at £50-100 billion that last 60-100 years

    UK could be pretty low fossil fuel with just 400TWH of non FF electricity and 400TWh of nuclear heat. That would be sufficient for a 95% decarb of transport heating and electricity. No mass batteries or hydrogen needed for seasonal storage you just store it in the highest energy density availing in uranium fuel rods

    Or about 550 TWh of electricity and 200TWh of heat pump heat. Although that isn't a lot more electricity that additional 150TWh load is concentrated around 3 peak winter months meaning the grid has to be able to more or less handle perhaps as much as twice the peak power as the 400TWh case and when the wind don't blow in the winter those heat pumps will have to be powered by dirty biomass or CCGTs

    The nuclear option could offer a summer and winter tariff. 3p a unit for the colder 5 months. 1p a unit for the warmer 7 months. The heating costs I think would be about 0.3p a unit. The distribution costs though would be pretty high in the same way water is 'free' it falls out the sky but it's distribution costs are not free hence average household pays some £400 a year for water in and out.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    11.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Piddles wrote: »
    Is it though? Offshore electricity is, what, 40% more expensive than onshore?

    But don't forget the 'cf'. Predictability and consistency have value too. The UK offshore wind farms generate approx 85% of the time, and the whole fleet 100% of the time.

    Also, there's a chance that off-shore wind generation costs could fall to onshore costs due to the monstrous scale of the WT's. I'm not sure on-shore can get anywhere near those sizes as transporting blades across land is tricky, even with specialised trucks. The Chinese are looking at utilising airships for this purpose, whereas building blades at a port based facility solves the issue. Straight onto transport ships and giant crane ships, whereas the cranes for on-shore have to be transported across land, roads built, and moved for each install, which is 'easy' for a ship crane.

    This new 12MW 'beauty' seems to have a suggested cf of nearly 64% -

    World's mightiest offshore wind turbine nacelle rolls out in France
    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
    11.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Piddles wrote: »
    New UK nuclear plants could be paid for upfront through energy bills - Consumers face financial burden of future projects even before they are built

    Oh dear, another regressive tax on the poor. If Brexit wasn't enough of a hint to the mandarins in their ivory towers. History tells us it's not going to end well.

    Nuclear had it's chance That chance has now gone, it's time for it just to go away.

    This RAB (Regulated Asset Base) is open for consultation (including consumers) on the gov.uk website should you also wish to offer the government your opinions.

    Yep, nuclear would have been a great deployment in the 80/90's, but it seems it can't keep up with the modern world.

    If French nuclear is such a great idea, then why doesn't France build it on the NW coast then sell it to us via interconnectors at market rates ....... after all, it's a great idea isn't it?

    Here's the Guardian version of that story:

    New UK nuclear plants could be paid for upfront by consumers
    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 23 July 2019 at 12:35PM
    GreatApeGreatApe
    4.5K posts
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    edited 23 July 2019 at 12:35PM
    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Yep, nuclear would have been a great deployment in the 80/90's, but it seems it can't keep up with the modern world.

    If French nuclear is such a great idea, then why doesn't France build it on the NW coast then sell it to us via interconnectors at market rates ....... after all, it's a great idea isn't it?

    That is the plan, 4 additional links to France over the next 5 years (two coming online in less than 12 months) so France can export a lot more electricity to the UK from its existing large fleet of nukes on its northern coastal areas.

    France has been exporting significant quantities of electricity to the UK via its north coast nukes for over 3 decades

    3 new links to France are under construction totalling 3.4GW
    Another 2GW link is close to getting finance and start building in 2020 due to complete 2023/2024
    That will increase UK France links to 7.4GW and with a small carbon tax that means summer nights we could be as much as 70% nuclear powered (6.6GW UK nukes 7.4GW french nuclear imports)

    This is actually the main reasons we don't need any additional nuclear in the UK at any price. We already have a low FF grid come 2024 when everything that is under construction is completed.

    As you know I used to be pro nuclear but not anymore not for the UK. Even if nuclear could be done for £40/MWh so below current wholesale costs I'd be anti nuclear in the UK because we don't need nuclear primarily because we will be able to import significant amounts of French nuclear and extend UK nuclear lives. We don't need nuclear for the same reason we don't need tidal or mass PV or mass biomass....the grid is already solved by 2024


    However I would be really pro nuclear district heating
    A single 10GW heating power station would be sufficient to meet 85% of household and other buildings (shops offices factories) space heating needs for an area with a population of about 14 million people. That's all of London and the surrounding areas. 10GW thermal is huge but it's only roughly equal to HPC in thermal output. However probably at 1/4th the cost since its low temp low pressure heat not high temp high pressure heat to then generate electricity. £100/MWh electric is £33/MWh heat but if the plant is 1/4th the cost it's closer to £10/MWh heat and that's first of a kind costs. Half that with government financing costs or learning curves and you are at around £5/MWh (plus distribution costs of course) Could run at about 60% CF year round (100% winter 30% summer 60% average).

    Plus as mentioned elsewhere nuclear waste would no longer be waste but long life heating fuel for district heating. Keep it in the district heating pools for 100+ years let it contribute to heating needs.

    Seems much more sane than building offshore wind farms to generate mass hydrogen in chemical plants to burn in millions of hydrogen boilers to do seasonal heating.
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