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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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  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Looks like Lazards is confirming what has been seen more and more in RE contracts pricing more recently, all over the World:

    Solar Costs & Wind Costs So Low They’re Cheaper Than *Existing* Coal & Nuclear — Lazard LCOE Report
    A brief decade held considerable cost-efficiency gains in wind and solar. These sustainable technologies are now more cost-effective than any other power generation technologies in general, according to Lazard. Solar and wind technologies simply make more sense.

    Further, this analysis excludes subsidies. Solar and wind aren’t just cost-effective when subsidized — they’re cost-effective when not subsidized despite more than a century of fossil fuel subsidies.
    Solar and wind became cheaper than competing new-build power plants years ago. What the latest report shows is that they have actually gotten so cheap that they are now competing with existing coal and nuclear power plants. In other words, new wind and solar farms can be cheaper than continuing to get power from existing coal and nuclear power plants. Here are some LCOE ranges for different technologies:

    Utility-scale thin-film solar: $32–42/MWh
    Wind: $28–54/MWh
    Existing nuclear (midpoint of marginal cost): $29/MWh
    Existing coal (midpoint of marginal cost): $33/MWh
    New coal: $66–152/MWh
    New nuclear: $118–192/MWh
    New gas combined cycle: $44–68/MWh
    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.
  • joefizzjoefizz Forumite
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    So, again, I dismiss your side issue, and bring the discussion back to the main issue of RE v's nuclear.


    Again Martyn, with respect thats your issue, not mine.
    You really do have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the UK grid works, but more importantly a fundamental misunderstanding of the drivers of how and why the uk grid works like it does and the physical issues going forward.

    Ive explained in other threads about sitting in last year on a conference entirely about energy storage and the flexible grid, perhaps I didnt really understand the issues they raised ;-)


    Its not a question of REs vs nuclear, thats your side issue argument and its not really an argument for the uk grid. Im against nuclear power full stop but in certain countries to provide the level of service required given the geography alone I recognise that its a necessary evil until we get a better solution.
    Look at the maps of installed uk wind farms and see where the big gap is.... see why they want to put nuclear power stations there. Thats the issue.



    All this other talk fundamentally ignores now you power greater london given the geography and demands. Cities and growth for decades have been based around available power. Power stations built near supplies of power (sea, coastal, ports, hydro) to power the locality. More power built, more growth in that area.
    The problem moving forward is that unless you do a US and just leave those areas to rot you still have to power them to the current extent and those areas may not be in the best places for renewables, so effectively you are moving from a grid based around concentrated power generation distributed to the areas that need power most to a more distributed supply in areas that typically dont have the population density/industry that require a bulky grid.



    So please, I will ask you like I have done in other threads, can you simply explain to me how in the next 5-10 years we can power greater london and the south of England on REs, where they will be sited, what upgrades to the grid are required to transmit from other locations etc etc.
    Im not disagreeing with you at all on the theory, the theory is the easy bit.

    Thats the issue, its not cost, its not mwh or build or whatever. Show me where you can install enough wind/solar capacity and I'll forward it on to the network planners so they can implement it.
  • edited 23 November 2019 at 12:56PM
    Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    edited 23 November 2019 at 12:56PM
    Joe, once again you seem to be trying to change course.

    You ask about 5-10yrs from now, that means zero new nuclear being commissioned, only HPC which is already on the books, and the start of the old nuclear fleet being shutdown.

    So your question, timeline etc is irrelevant in a nuclear v's RE discussion, which this was and is.

    Regarding the location of power generation, I think that's also thin ice, since RE can be deployed all across the UK, whereas I don't expect to see any new nuclear powerstations in central London, so that 'issue' also appears to be a strawman.

    I'm almost convinced that you didn't, possibly still don't, understand what was being discussed regarding RE, storage and hydrogen, since you raised the issue of producing H2 from FF gas, which is not in any way, shape or form what has, is, or will be meant by longer term RE storage/back up on here.


    There are no scaleability issues with RE at all. I appreciate that there are storage issues, which will have to be deployed and expanded in time, but these options already exist and are already being deployed on a small scale all over the World.

    Even generating the equivalent of the UK's leccy demand from just PV (something nobody intends to do) would only require ~2% of England, a figure roughly covered today by golf courses and golfing associated land. And that's based on older 250Wp panel technology, not the 2-2.5x more efficient PV coming down the line.

    The UK also has, for all intents and purposes, unlimited off-shore wind potential, as it alone could generate around 10-100x our future needs, and the London Array is kinda, sorta ..... near greater London is it not. Also are you aware of HVDC links both international and national?


    So, you said the issue of RE v's nuclear wasn't one of economics, but I'll repeat, with RE + (RE + storage) able to do anything and everything that nuclear can, but cheaper, quicker, cleaner and with public support, the issue is of course economics, and nobody would choose to pay more for nuclear when it loses to RE/storage completely now.
    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.
  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
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    joefizz wrote: »
    Look at the maps of installed uk wind farms and see where the big gap is.... see why they want to put nuclear power stations there. Thats the issue.
    I must be a bit thick. Please explain, if we can import electricity from France, why can't we shift wind/solar/battery electricity around this country?
    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
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    I must be a bit thick. Please explain, if we can import electricity from France, why can't we shift wind/solar/battery electricity around this country?

    The electricity from (new) Wylfa would flow downhill to London, but French leccy gets stuck in the middle of the Channel due to the dip in the cable.

    There may also be communication problems with the electrons due to language differences, but it might be argued that the French speak clearer English than the Welsh! ;)
    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.
  • 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
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    I must be a bit thick. Please explain, if we can import electricity from France, why can't we shift wind/solar/battery electricity around this country?


    We can but it requires more investment

    For instance Scotland was saturated so two new HVDC cables from Scotland to Wales/England has to be built for billions. This is an additional cost we will all need to pay

    Likewise we need lots of additional interconntors to be able to integrate these renewables variable power. Again this is an additional cost

    Finally realise the national grid is more akin to lots of regional grids with some interconnection there isn't infinite capacity to move power. For instance sometimes you might have parts of Germany exporting to France and parts of Germany importing from France at the same time due to local grid constraints

    Overall for the grid the easiest option would have been to replace existing coal locations with nukes. Same wires same industrialised areas. Whereas wind farms in new places need new lines hence why Germany has seen things slow down as locals don't want new lines


    Also re the imports from France they are controllable so we don't overload the local points.
    While the wind you just have to turn them down or off but keep paying for them if you ask them to curtail
  • GreatApeGreatApe
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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Joe, once again you seem to be trying to change course.

    You ask about 5-10yrs from now, that means zero new nuclear being commissioned, only HPC which is already on the books, and the start of the old nuclear fleet being shutdown.

    So your question, timeline etc is irrelevant in a nuclear v's RE discussion, which this was and is.

    Regarding the location of power generation, I think that's also thin ice, since RE can be deployed all across the UK, whereas I don't expect to see any new nuclear powerstations in central London, so that 'issue' also appears to be a strawman.

    I'm almost convinced that you didn't, possibly still don't, understand what was being discussed regarding RE, storage and hydrogen, since you raised the issue of producing H2 from FF gas, which is not in any way, shape or form what has, is, or will be meant by longer term RE storage/back up on here.

    There are no scaleability issues with RE at all. I appreciate that there are storage issues, which will have to be deployed and expanded in time, but these options already exist and are already being deployed on a small scale all over the World.

    Even generating the equivalent of the UK's leccy demand from just PV (something nobody intends to do) would only require ~2% of England, a figure roughly covered today by golf courses and golfing associated land. And that's based on older 250Wp panel technology, not the 2-2.5x more efficient PV coming down the line.

    The UK also has, for all intents and purposes, unlimited off-shore wind potential, as it alone could generate around 10-100x our future needs, and the London Array is kinda, sorta ..... near greater London is it not. Also are you aware of HVDC links both international and national?

    So, you said the issue of RE v's nuclear wasn't one of economics, but I'll repeat, with RE + (RE + storage) able to do anything and everything that nuclear can, but cheaper, quicker, cleaner and with public support, the issue is of course economics, and nobody would choose to pay more for nuclear when it loses to RE/storage completely now.



    It's not nuclear Vs wind/PV

    It is nuclear Vs CCGTs and the latter has won the race since 1990 when they become legal to use

    No nuclear will be built not because of wind, no nuclear will be build because CCGTs are so compelling

    And CCGTs can and are built up inside cities there is one I used to drive past most days in North London for instance


    Regarding wind Vs nuclear why fight that fight?
    Why not concentrate on building standards efficiency standards and public transportation and low cost electric transport like e scooters. The grid is fixed anyways. Two more interconntors come online in 2 and 8 months time. More nuclear imports at very affordable prices
  • GreatApeGreatApe
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    I must be a bit thick. Please explain, if we can import electricity from France, why can't we shift wind/solar/battery electricity around this country?
    joefizz wrote: »
    Again Martyn, with respect thats your issue, not mine.
    You really do have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the UK grid works, but more importantly a fundamental misunderstanding of the drivers of how and why the uk grid works like it does and the physical issues going forward.

    Ive explained in other threads about sitting in last year on a conference entirely about energy storage and the flexible grid, perhaps I didnt really understand the issues they raised ;-)


    Its not a question of REs vs nuclear, thats your side issue argument and its not really an argument for the uk grid. Im against nuclear power full stop but in certain countries to provide the level of service required given the geography alone I recognise that its a necessary evil until we get a better solution.
    Look at the maps of installed uk wind farms and see where the big gap is.... see why they want to put nuclear power stations there. Thats the issue.



    All this other talk fundamentally ignores now you power greater london given the geography and demands. Cities and growth for decades have been based around available power. Power stations built near supplies of power (sea, coastal, ports, hydro) to power the locality. More power built, more growth in that area.
    The problem moving forward is that unless you do a US and just leave those areas to rot you still have to power them to the current extent and those areas may not be in the best places for renewables, so effectively you are moving from a grid based around concentrated power generation distributed to the areas that need power most to a more distributed supply in areas that typically dont have the population density/industry that require a bulky grid.



    So please, I will ask you like I have done in other threads, can you simply explain to me how in the next 5-10 years we can power greater london and the south of England on REs, where they will be sited, what upgrades to the grid are required to transmit from other locations etc etc.
    Im not disagreeing with you at all on the theory, the theory is the easy bit.

    Thats the issue, its not cost, its not mwh or build or whatever. Show me where you can install enough wind/solar capacity and I'll forward it on to the network planners so they can implement it.



    There isn't an issue of guaranteeing supply because CCGTs are so capable and if required the old coal sites can (and some have and will be) converted to CCGTs

    Wind farms will be offshore and yes there will need to be some new lines and links these will be built

    In the medium term we also expected to import a lot of energy from France and rEU and most of that are links in the south and south east

    Overall the grid gets too much debate it's mostly solved in the UK
    Need to move to heating homes transport cement bricks steel cows farming etc
  • GreatApeGreatApe
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    ABrass wrote: »
    Nuclear isnt a good supplement for RE power. It has to run at full pelt to make sense and doesn't adjust up or down at all well, they run at ~100% or nothing. So if there's no wind or sun for a week then you still get the fraction of the power nuclear provides but it can't step up to fill in more.

    Load shedding and cracking hydrogen makes a lot more sense. If there's surplus RE then crack hydrogen. If it's about right then stop cracking and if there's insufficient then burn the hydrogen you created earlier for more power.


    Nuclear can ramp
    It doesn't need 100% capacity to work it all depends on price
    If you allow the industry to build nukes in 4-5 years at food prices it works well
    Otherwise it doesn't work even at 100% capacity

    There is a pathway to do 95% nuclear nation
    For the future UK 450TWh of nuclear would be sufficient for electricity and electrified transport
    And the waste heat can be used to heat homes

    This would be a huge investment but it's a workable full solution to a very deep decarb

    While wind farms and solar panels are not yet close
    Not only do you need closer to 700TWh of electricity rather than 450TWh + waste heat.
    But you need a much much bigger grid upgrades and this often isn't easy see the German slowdowns as people don't want new power lines NIMBY. You need much more interconntors. You need much more seasonal variation. You need a huge mass deployment of heat pumps. You need a huge increase in building efficiency. You need huge quantities of storage which doesn't exist in economic forms today. You need so many things to go right


    But this point doesn't matter
    The simple fact is climate change isn't much of a problem so the world will go half renewables half fossil and at some point AI will allow fill renewables
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    @ GA.

    I've no idea what you are posting/saying, however, you are a self declared AGW denier, and have also repeatedly claimed that the health impacts from FF emissions, especially coal burning are false or over-rated. Your views on energy production, especially regarding coal, shalegas and nuclear are all now behind the curve both environmentally and economically, so provide nothing constructive to this thread, only disruption.

    You will also be aware that a significant number of people have placed you on ignore to reduce disruption on green and ethical threads, and G&E is clearly something you don't side with.

    So, since there is now a thread for 'alternative' green views, set up by those that would like to discuss, support, enjoy your views and opinions, would it not be polite of you to post on there now, and leave this thread to those of us interested in G&E energy news.

    Thank you.
    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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