Green, ethical, energy issues in the news

edited 12 July 2021 at 11:38AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Interesting article and comments from Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid:

    National Grid CEO: Large Power Stations For Baseload Power Is Outdated

    Some extracts:-
    Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid, the company that operates the gas and power transmission networks in the UK and in the northeastern US, believes the idea of large coal-fired or nuclear power stations to be used for baseload power is “outdated”. “From a consumer’s point of view, the solar on the rooftop is going to be the baseload. Centralised power stations will be increasingly used to provide peak demand”, he says, in an exclusive interview for World Energy Focus, a publication of the World Energy Council produced by Energy Post. The chief of National Grid also notes that energy markets “are clearly moving towards much more distributed production and towards microgrids”.
    Nevertheless certain trends that are currently taking place are unmistakable, says Holliday. “The world is clearly moving towards much more distributed electricity production and towards microgrids. The pace of that development is uncertain. That depends on political decisions, regulatory incentives, consumer preferences, technological developments. But the direction is clear.”
    So nuclear power stations will be used to meet peak demand? “If you have nuclear power in the mix, you will have to think about the size of these plants. Today they are enormous. You will need to find a way to get smaller, potentially modular nuclear power plants. I suspect they are going to be associated with fixed demand for businesses rather than household consumers in future, for demand that’s locked in. For small consumers you need flexibility.”

    Mart.
    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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    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    Interesting article and comments from Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid: ...
    Hi

    Well there's a 'turnip for the ducks' from an industry insider, and major one at that - how refreshing ....

    I don't know whether he's come to that conclusion himself, or been reading through these threads ... :D (tongue in cheek, of course) .... how long have we been discussing meeting domestic base-load requirements from micro-generation (&storage) with grid connectivity delivering to meet peak requirements such as a kettle, oven, iron etc .... now, the question which really needs to be asked (and this is really sticking the tongue as far as it'll push against the cheek) is, "Cardew, is that you?" .... :D .... maybe not then, but at least the thought made me smile ... :cool:;)

    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • ed110220ed110220 Forumite
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    It's clear that opposition to wind farms etc is from a fairly small but vocal and influential minority, magnified by the populist media (and I mean populist in the most negative sense of the term), extreme ideologues and fossil fuel interests.

    At the risk of ageism, it is mostly an older, relatively affluent demographic who have the resources, time and skills to get their voices heard.

    Ed
  • michaelsmichaels Forumite
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    ed110220 wrote: »
    It's clear that opposition to wind farms etc is from a fairly small but vocal and influential minority, magnified by the populist media (and I mean populist in the most negative sense of the term), extreme ideologues and fossil fuel interests.

    At the risk of ageism, it is mostly an older, relatively affluent demographic who have the resources, time and skills to get their voices heard.

    Ed

    Although there is the infrasound stuff. I must admit I am more comfortable with fraking - perhaps we could then run a micro turbine at the well head with generation on demand?
    I think....
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    zeupater wrote: »
    (and this is really sticking the tongue as far as it'll push against the cheek) is, "Cardew, is that you?" .... :D .... maybe not then, but at least the thought made me smile ... :cool:;)

    Z

    Remind me again please;)

    1. When is the maximum load on the grid in UK?

    2. How much is solar contributing to that maximum load at that time?

    3. By how much does solar reduce the UK's 'conventional' and Nuclear generation capacity to cope with that maximum demand on the grid?
  • zeupaterzeupater Forumite
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    Cardew wrote: »
    Remind me again please;)

    1. When is the maximum load on the grid in UK?

    2. How much is solar contributing to that maximum load at that time?

    3. By how much does solar reduce the UK's 'conventional' and Nuclear generation capacity to cope with that maximum demand on the grid?
    Hi

    And there was me thinking (with tongue in cheek) that there was a (remote) possibility that two people were one & the same and had experienced a moment of epiphany .... ;)

    Notwithstanding a considerable max demand (peak) power reduction through base-load consumption efficiency improvements (TV, lights etc), probably at a scale equivalent to 10(?) decent capacity nuclear reactors, well the answers to the questions are the same as they've been for some time, but the thing is, alternative forms of generation and various options (including distributed fast reaction generation as mentioned - possibly even district CHP or domestic mCHP) are evolving which raise some doubt over the future relevance, or at least the scale of relevance, of the very questions you pose ..... after all, the article is titled "National Grid CEO: Large Power Stations For Baseload Power Is Outdated", so considering that this is the guy who heads the organisation which is most responsible for keeping the lights on when there is a winter evening 'peak' demand, then he, of all people, possibly has a better understanding of the issues and developments than most ....

    A lot depends on how 'peak' is perceived ... is it the total demand (which fits a 'historical' model) ?, or is it the short-term additional demand above base-load (which matches an evolving 'technology/efficiency' model) ?, which is really the crux of his points in a changing marketplace .... Ah well, interesting article & viewpoint though ....

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    zeupater wrote: »
    A lot depends on how 'peak' is perceived ... is it the total demand (which fits a 'historical' model) ?, or is it the short-term additional demand above base-load (which matches an evolving 'technology/efficiency' model) ?, which is really the crux of his points in a changing marketplace .... Ah well, interesting article & viewpoint though ....

    HTH
    Z

    I thought it was a bit of an eye-opener too ...... unless you've had your eyes firmly shut, and your hands over your ears for the last 5 to 10 years.

    Regarding the perception of 'peak', I'd say it is the block of demand from 7am to 7pm, to which PV contributes in its role as a demand reducer / FF reducer / CO2 reducer.

    Cardew's fascination with the GMT 5pm to 7pm slot is probably just a diversion to maintain criticism, since PV has already ticked all the boxes (works, predictable, popular, almost cheap etc).

    The evening peak argument almost suggests that he'd be happy with PV if it only generated from 5pm to 7pm for 6 months of the year, rather than an average of 10 to 11 hours for 12 months of the year ...... but then, if it did do that, I'm sure a different criticism would be raised instead!

    Have to ask, did you ever think things could change this fast? Somewhere in the distant past I'm sure I said that PV would never catch on-shore wind (in the UK), but it's done that already. And whilst I thought PV could match a level playing field cost of about £80/MWh, I'm also pretty sure that I said it couldn't get cheap enough to go subsidy free, which would be around £50/MWh. I'm now seriously doubting that view, and never been happier.

    Looking at the generating costs of gas, the figures seem to suggest that 75% of the cost is fuel related. Costs have fallen recently (due to the oil price) but will probably go back up, but at ~£80/MWh (when I read it), that means that gas back-up costs £20/MWh. If on-shore wind and PV get down to £60/MWh, then that suggests to me, that they are matching gas (with storage) if you bend the term storage to include gas plant costs on stand by ..... sound fair, or too much of a stretch?

    I think I'm suggesting a reversal of an old suggestion which was that all FF generators had to build X amount of renewables generation. Flip it, and demand that all renewable generators also have to build X amount of gas generation ...... then attempt to use it as little as possible.

    A recent article posed a variant on this argument:

    Energy analyst says that for same price as Hinkley Point C, providing 3,200MW of capacity, almost 50,000MW of gas-fired power capacity could be built

    But I appreciate that the cost of building Hinkley C also includes a lot of the generation cost too.

    Mart.
    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: »
    It's clear that opposition to wind farms etc is from a fairly small but vocal and influential minority, magnified by the populist media (and I mean populist in the most negative sense of the term), extreme ideologues and fossil fuel interests.

    At the risk of ageism, it is mostly an older, relatively affluent demographic who have the resources, time and skills to get their voices heard.

    Ed

    Weirdly I think many of the renewables forums have members who are, shall we say, a little older. Yet I'd agree with you that opposition/acceptance of wind (and PV) does seem to split the ages. I assume it's simply the way we are wired to be nervous, or even scared of change, just in case that 'different thing' over there is something that might want to hump, kill or eat us (and not necessarily in that order.)

    On-shore wind is in serious trouble going forward. The ROC subsidy is ending, and earlier than expected, and the CfD auctions are now on hold, and even then, the government has hinted that on-shore wind might not be permitted to bid. Current govt policy is many shades of crazy all stuffed into the same bag.

    Mart.
    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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    UK drops out of top 10 renewable energy ranking for first time
    The UK has dropped out of the top ten of a respected international league table on renewable energy for the first time since it began 12 years ago.

    In its quarterly report published on Wednesday, EY said the new Conservative government had sentenced the renewable energy industry to “death by a thousand cuts” and investor confidence in the sector had collapsed because of policy changes over the summer.

    An EY energy analyst said that “investors are scratching their heads” to understand the government’s policy changes in recent months, putting at risk the UK’s reputation as a “safe harbour” for investment. When the last rankings were published in June, the UK was sat in 8th place, but it has now dropped to 11th.

    Some environmentalists have described the period since the election of the Conservative government in May as the worst for environmental policy in decades.

    Mart.
    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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    In case anyone has been following the news about the UK renewables targets:

    UK: Energy Secretary comes clean about missing renewable energy target
    Proponents of renewable energy have lambasted the Energy Secretary Amber Rudd and the Conservative government for "willfully hiding" the expected shortfall from public scrutiny while cutting support for solar and wind subsidies.

    U.K. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd admitted on Tuesday that the country’s government did not have the “right policies” to meet its renewable energy target.

    Speaking before a Parliamentary Committee, Rudd confirmed that the U.K. would miss the European Union-mandated requirement of a 15% share of renewables in the country’s energy consumption by 2020, according to a report by Huffington Post UK. “We don’t have the right policies, particularly in transport and heat in order to make those 2020 target,” Rudd said.

    The admission followed the leak of an Oct. 29 letter she wrote to a number of fellow cabinet officials warning that the U.K. was set to miss its goal and added that the “absence of a credible plan” to meet the target could lead to fines from the EU Court of Justice and a judicial review.

    Mart.
    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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