Green, ethical, energy issues in the news

edited 12 July 2021 at 10:38AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
6.4K replies 435.8K views
1243244246248249641

Replies

  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
    3.4K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Piddles wrote: »
    For that to happen the government would have to announce a rolling date for the closure of the gas network...[SNIP] That may change the calculation now for people changing clapped out gas boilers..


    Exactly my point, all there has been is vacuous and generalised announcements of aims.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    12.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    The same ole same ole ....... as one funding method fails, just keep looking for another ....... don't consider a change in energy policy.

    New UK nuclear funding model could leave taxpayers liable
    The government will set out plans to resuscitate the UK’s struggling nuclear ambitions with a new scheme which would leave taxpayers liable for rising costs or delays.

    The funding model, expected this week, could help bankroll the multibillion pound plans for a follow-on to EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project in Somerset, which ministers aim to build at the Sizewell site in Suffolk.

    It could also resurrect the dormant plans for a £16bn new nuclear reactor at the Wylfa project in North Wales, which fell apart last year due to the high costs of nuclear construction.

    EDF Energy has claimed the risk to taxpayers of funding its Sizewell B project would be far lower – almost by a fifth – because it is a copy of the same design for build Hinkley Point C.

    Thought it was Sizewell C, but regardless, HPC is a copy of the reactors being built (for decades it seems) in Finland and Flamanville. How many times can the 'well that one was a FOAK, we know what we're doing now' excuse be used?
    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 15 July 2019 at 6:32AM
    Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    12.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 15 July 2019 at 6:32AM
    Here's a weird question. And I'm not nuclear bashing, I'm trying to support RE.

    An argument for nuclear is that much RE generation is variable, and we need predictable reliable baseload generation. Without this, this country, any country can't get to 100% low carbon, or it would be much, much harder.

    But, something troubles me. If the nuclear gen is 100% reliable, and operates 24/7, then doesn't it just reduce the nations demand (effectively) by that nuclear gen. For instance, the UK's demand is around 40GW average, varying from about 20GW (early hours Summer), to about 50-55GW evening Winter peak.

    Let's say we build out 10GW of nuclear, then don't we then move from being a 40GW average, 20-55GW country with nuclear, and effectively become a 30GW average, 10-45GW non nuclear country?

    But the nuclear argument says that a 30GW (10-45GW) country can't go 100% low carbon without nuclear ...... so we have to rollout nuclear ........ see where I'm going with this?

    Doesn't inflexible nuclear, simply change the 'size of the country'? How come the UK with nuclear is fine, but a smaller nation without, isn't?

    [Edit & note - I appreciate that more variable generation means more storage, but the large and growing cost differential between RE gen and nuclear, means that less nuclear equals more savings for storage deployment. So it becomes a circular issue, I think?]


    I wish the government would be more open and start producing papers on nuclear options, and non-nuclear options, and start costing and predicting storage (of all types), otherwise we just get the same ole arguments, over and over explaining how we can't do it without nuclear, but not explaining why not, nor why the 100+ nations that won't be deploying nuclear can (or can't) achieve 100% low carbon.
    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
    12.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Don't mention the tax, I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it!


    Germany Stares Into The Abyss & Sees A Price On Carbon As Inevitable
    The panel of experts proposes a price of between 25 and 50 euros per ton of carbon dioxide emitted. Environment minister Svenja Schulze is in favor of 35 euros as a good place to begin. This would raise the price of gasoline and diesel fuel by about 10 cents per gallon. The lower the initial tariff, however, the sharper the future increases would have to be to make sure Germany reaches its carbon reduction goals on time.
    The bottom line is that fossil fuel companies must be assessed a fee to offset the damage they do to people and the environment, and that fee will make their products less competitive. So be it. If we have any hope of crafting an effective response to the challenge of climate change, such a fee must be part of the plan. But words matter.

    Calling such a fee a tax is guaranteed to generate opposition, so stop calling it that! No one needs to apologize for asking fossil fuel companies to shoulder their fair share, even if it comes 100 years too late.
    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 15 July 2019 at 11:22AM
    PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 Posts
    edited 15 July 2019 at 11:22AM
    ed110220 wrote: »
    Wow, that would be epic! And definitely put more than a crimp in the argument that "the sun doesn't shine at night") as between Europe and China the sun would be shining most of the time.
    .
    Dieter Helm, Professor of energy policy at the University of Oxford, and author of a major government report on to how reduce energy costs whilst reducing emissions:
    At the current rates of growth there will be four Chinas, four Indias and four Africa by 2040
    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    36% of new capacity is from non renewables.

    Global emissions grew at the fastest rate last year since 2011.

    It seems like we need a truly global solution rather quickly.

    Africa could use solar from the deserts of Somalia, Pakistan or Western India. India from Australia. But China, South Korea and Japan? There's the whopping great nothingness of the Pacific Ocean in the way until the deserts of North America 10,000 plus kilometres away. That would make for some interesting geo-politics....
  • edited 15 July 2019 at 12:54PM
    PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 Posts
    edited 15 July 2019 at 12:54PM
    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    The bottom line is that fossil fuel companies must be assessed a fee to offset the damage they do to people and the environment, and that fee will make their products less competitive. So be it.
    That has to come with a fee at the border for imports. Otherwise you're just subsidising the manufacturing of countries with far dirtier production methods, making climate change worse not better. Outsourcing your production to high carbon jurisdictions may make your figures better, but climate change is truly universally global.
    Intervention in the price could exacerbate social problems in society. Low income people spend more of their income on mobility and energy. A higher fuel or fuel price will hit them hard.
    I know we differ here Mart, but I feel the government blew it with trying to call fuel duty rises a green tax ten years ago. The green levy is also a regressive tax as we've discussed. Consumers may be getting more climate change aware, but it's going to take at least a generation for that transition to take place (children becoming voters and older people not being voters anymore - if you get my drift). Time that we don't have. The government's only option now is investments in new technologies to find at least cost neutral carbon friendly alternatives for the voting consumer.
  • GreatApeGreatApe
    4.5K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Piddles wrote: »
    .
    Dieter Helm, Professor of energy policy at the University of Oxford, and author of a major government report on to how reduce energy costs whilst reducing emissions:

    36% of new capacity is from non renewables.

    Global emissions grew at the fastest rate last year since 2011.

    It seems like we need a truly global solution rather quickly.

    Africa could use solar from the deserts of Somalia, Pakistan or Western India. India from Australia. But China, South Korea and Japan? There's the whopping great nothingness of the Pacific Ocean in the way until the deserts of North America 10,000 plus kilometres away. That would make for some interesting geo-politics....



    Long distance wind and or solar won't displace local wind and or solar

    You have not just transmission but also conversion at two ends plus additional losses. But even if all those were solved by cheaper technology the problem of security would make them unviable

    Electricity is point to point (at least for now) which means neither side is going to invest due to the other side of reneging on commitments
  • markinmarkin Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭
    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Here's a weird question. And I'm not nuclear bashing, I'm trying to support RE.

    An argument for nuclear is that much RE generation is variable, and we need predictable reliable baseload generation. Without this, this country, any country can't get to 100% low carbon, or it would be much, much harder.

    But, something troubles me. If the nuclear gen is 100% reliable, and operates 24/7, then doesn't it just reduce the nations demand (effectively) by that nuclear gen. For instance, the UK's demand is around 40GW average, varying from about 20GW (early hours Summer), to about 50-55GW evening Winter peak.

    Let's say we build out 10GW of nuclear, then don't we then move from being a 40GW average, 20-55GW country with nuclear, and effectively become a 30GW average, 10-45GW non nuclear country?

    But the nuclear argument says that a 30GW (10-45GW) country can't go 100% low carbon without nuclear ...... so we have to rollout nuclear ........ see where I'm going with this?

    Doesn't inflexible nuclear, simply change the 'size of the country'? How come the UK with nuclear is fine, but a smaller nation without, isn't?

    [Edit & note - I appreciate that more variable generation means more storage, but the large and growing cost differential between RE gen and nuclear, means that less nuclear equals more savings for storage deployment. So it becomes a circular issue, I think?]


    I wish the government would be more open and start producing papers on nuclear options, and non-nuclear options, and start costing and predicting storage (of all types), otherwise we just get the same ole arguments, over and over explaining how we can't do it without nuclear, but not explaining why not, nor why the 100+ nations that won't be deploying nuclear can (or can't) achieve 100% low carbon.




    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.
     
  • GreatApeGreatApe
    4.5K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Here's a weird question. And I'm not nuclear bashing, I'm trying to support RE.

    An argument for nuclear is that much RE generation is variable, and we need predictable reliable baseload generation. Without this, this country, any country can't get to 100% low carbon, or it would be much, much harder.

    But, something troubles me. If the nuclear gen is 100% reliable, and operates 24/7, then doesn't it just reduce the nations demand (effectively) by that nuclear gen. For instance, the UK's demand is around 40GW average, varying from about 20GW (early hours Summer), to about 50-55GW evening Winter peak.

    Let's say we build out 10GW of nuclear, then don't we then move from being a 40GW average, 20-55GW country with nuclear, and effectively become a 30GW average, 10-45GW non nuclear country?

    But the nuclear argument says that a 30GW (10-45GW) country can't go 100% low carbon without nuclear ...... so we have to rollout nuclear ........ see where I'm going with this?

    Doesn't inflexible nuclear, simply change the 'size of the country'? How come the UK with nuclear is fine, but a smaller nation without, isn't?

    [Edit & note - I appreciate that more variable generation means more storage, but the large and growing cost differential between RE gen and nuclear, means that less nuclear equals more savings for storage deployment. So it becomes a circular issue, I think?]


    I wish the government would be more open and start producing papers on nuclear options, and non-nuclear options, and start costing and predicting storage (of all types), otherwise we just get the same ole arguments, over and over explaining how we can't do it without nuclear, but not explaining why not, nor why the 100+ nations that won't be deploying nuclear can (or can't) achieve 100% low carbon.



    Firstly nuclear downtime can be scheduled for the lower demand months so if you have a fleet that is 90% CF average then you can be 100% in the winter months 80% in the summer months

    Secondly the lower figure of 20GW demand for the UK is very rare we only get close for a few hours during the summer months

    Thirdly you can have some small level of curtailment which would be acceptable

    Fourthly the UK has some pumped storage and this is being increased effectively by 2.8GW soon by the two 1.4GW links to Norway

    So for instance in the UK you could build out 30GW of nuclear
    That would be 30GW in the winter (6 months) and 24GW in the summer (6 months) to give an average 90% CF

    24GW is still above the current 21GW lows we experience for about 5hours a day
    But add the domestic pumped storage and the 2.8GW to Norway and it's none curtailed

    As such we can see 236.5 TWh can be produced in the UK with virtually no curtailment
    So we can get to 70% nuclear no problems no curtailment
    In fact doing the sums again using more realistic figures we get to 79% nuclear without much curtailment at all and only looking at the Norway interconnectors

    That figure can be increased to 87% if we build two more links to Norway
    Beyond this 87% we get some level of curtailment necessary

    But the figures would be a low of roughly
    21GW domestic
    3GW pumped
    5.6GW to Norway
    29.6GW low
    80% CF in the summer months 100% winter
    Gives a fleet of 37GW into a UK grid

    This 37GW can meet 87% of UK demand
    We would also need 16-20GW of CCGT to fill in the remaining 13%
    That would give us a grid of about 65 grams per kWh
    That is what I'd aim for if we were starting from scratch
    Very efficient very economical

    I wouldn't go beyond that so I'd say 87% nuclear 13% natural gas
    I would only go further if BEVs become popular
    If you assume UK transportation is electrified and it costs 100TWh then you could add 20GW more nuclear capacity again 80% summer 100% winter

    That 57GW of nuclear capacity would be enough for 100% nuclear for electricity and transportion
    So there is your pathway for 100% nuclear
    You would probably still want 5GW of CCGT just in case but they would almost never be used


    So to recap
    UK of today could be 87% nuclear 13% natural gas with 37GW of nuclear capacity with virtually no nuclear curtailment
    UK of future with electrified transportation could be 98-100% nuclear 0-2% NG with no nuclear curtailment and that would be with 57GW nuclear capacity

    So nuclear works just fine upto 100% of electricity and transportation with very little curtailment at all

    That leaves only heating to be solved which is the most difficult of all the problems by quite a margin. But nuclear also has a potential solutions here. Nuclear heat only Reactors
    Something like a 400MW thermal reactor (roughly 1/10th of the heat of a single EPR reactor) feeding a District heating system of 200,000 homes (a city of half a million people)
    Those reactors would only be on 6 months of the year so running at 50% CF
    But they would be cheap. Hinckley point c is more than 20x the heat output and costs £20 billion
    So a first order guess is these will cost £1 billion for a 0.4GW thermal version
    But hinkley is a electricity production facility this is heat only which means you don't need about two thirds of the power station bits and bobs so reduce the cost by two thirds and You are at something like less than £330m for 400MW heat only reactor with say 50 year design life and 4% interest with 10% loss in the district heating....you get to just under 1penny per kwH. If we say 50% again is used for upkeep and wages you have 1.5p per kWh if used for 6 months of the year 1p per kWh if used 9 months of the year (some palaces eg Scotland need heat almost all year and many people would like to have higher temp or on for more days of the year but cost limits them here the marginal cost is close to zero so we could have warmer homes for more of the year at little to no additional cost. But let's just go with the 1.5p/kWh of heat as a direct comparison to today. We also need to build and pay for district heating which I don't know how much that would cost but district heating systems do exist in Iceland Norway even some areas of Germany so it can't be unaffordable and dense UK would possibly be cheaper per property.

    So it's 1.5p + distribution cost
    By comparison today we pay 3-4p for natural gas and burn it at about 80% efficiency so really we are paying 4-5p a unit. We are also paying for expensive boilers while distributed heat is just a pump in your house so no need to pay £1,500 every 15 years to replace your boiler effectively that adds another penny to the current gas system. So we realistically pay some 5-6p a unit for heat under today's system Vs 1.5p + distribution for nuclear heat realtor + distributed heat system. I think it's likely this will come out to less than the current system

    This is potentially a huge sector for nuclear and perhaps instead of designing nukes for electricity they should have first been used for district heating. But back then (1950-1960 when the nukes were being designed and thought of) few homes had heating we just accepted cold homes so there was no market for heating.



    So there you go mart
    A 100% affordable effective nuclear world
    Electricity Transport and heating


    Oh and the last element of nuclear heat only reactors we could just use the waste heat from reactors rather than build nuclear heat only reactors. Nuclear heat only reactors could be used for nations that don't have nuclear power stations. So 6 months of the year the reactors divert their waste heat to the sea as they currently do. And for 6 months of the year they divert it to district heating systems. The cost of this waste heat would be very low so instead of 1.5p/KWh calculated above it might only be 1/10th of that since it is literally thrown away right now (although the thermal efficiency of the electricity side would be reduced as the cold sink would be 60 centigrade district heating rather than 15 centigrade ocean/river so there is a small hit there


    Having said all this which is very pro nuclear
    I don't think or expect the UK to junk all its investments and go nuclear
    We are already on a path to deep decarb in the electricity sector so there is no point turning back now

    Maybe Nuclear for district heating for the uk is possible
    But even that is extremely unlikely
    The above is just to show how a near total nuclear world would be feasible
    The UK will be a mix of 80% wind/PV/green-imports and 20% NG which is ok
  • GreatApeGreatApe
    4.5K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    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.




    Mart is wrong he is doing his best to be anti nuclear by assuming a static baseload throughout the year (which is wrong as you can refuel the reactors in the lower demand months so instead of 90% average you can have 80% summer 100% winter) plus he uses the absolute low demand periods and assumes we have zero pumped storage and zero links to Norway (we have pumped storage and two links to Norway are being built)

    Nuclear works just fine
    France works because it 'curtails nuclear' and over invested in nukes

    The UK could do 37GW nuclear (France has 63GW) and get to 87% nuclear 13% NG
    Or if BEVs happen the UK could go to 57GW nuclear and become 98-100% nuclear and 0-2% NAT gas

    Build District heating and use the nuclear waste heat for seasonal heating for 6 months of the year and you get towards 100% nuclear for transportation heating and electricity. maybe 1-3% NAT gas. All achieved with as little as 57GW of nuclear power

    There is no clear path to close to 100% decarb with wind/pv
    But there is a path towards 80% which in my books is good enough so I'm ok with a windy UK path rather than a nuke path

    Although the French should keep their nukes and build District hearting from the waste heat
    They would be a good example of 100% nuclear country if they built out district heating and if BEVs replaced oil cars. They wouldn't even need to build any more nukes just divert some of the waste nuclear heat from going to the ocean to instead going to french homes offices shops. Likewise charge their BEVs overnight and on weekends. Their existing fleet of nuclear plants could get them towards 100% nuclear.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Martin's debt costs masterclass

Eg, balance transfer up to 35 mths at 0%

MSE News

£80 GHD Original IV Styler

Via MSE Blagged code (norm £109)

MSE Deals