Green, ethical, energy issues in the news

edited 12 July 2021 at 11:38AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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  • Martyn1981 wrote: »
    I know this'll sound stupid, but I got very excited in 2017 waiting for the results of the last CfD auction for off-shore wind, that's because there were no end of rumours that prices could tumble, maybe even low £70's. Then we got £57.50/MWh and even the most optimistic were gobsmacked.

    Well, now I'm impatiently waiting for the results of this years, opened in May, and expected Septemberish, as the bid caps were lower than that extraordinary price from 2017.

    This article takes it one step further and suggests that we could be close to subsidy free (where the winning bids are near to the average wholesale price).

    At first (by next auction) I thought they didn't mean this one, but I think this sentence:

    confirms that next, means the current one, when the results come out. Excellent news.

    Next UK Renewable Auction Could See End Of Subsidies



    A CFD at average wholesale prices isn't subsidy free because wind will in theory be outputting not at average prices but at what prices are when the wind blows strong which will be below average prices.

    Subsidy free would be no CFD at all

    Likewise UK prices are inflated by the UK carbon tax
    Plus the Interconnectors coming online over the next 4 years (8.2GW worth) will lower UK wholesale prices

    Having said this wind power can and likely will get cheaper especially if the higher CF next gen turbines actually get their quoted 63% CFs
  • ed110220ed110220 Forumite
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    Piddles wrote: »
    Well, that went over my head somewhat....

    But whilst there, I came across:

    Researchers In Switzerland Say Zero Emission Society Will Require Seasonal Energy Storage

    Errrr, maybe this just me, but isn't that blindingly obvious? Anyway, their solution is to run an extension lead to solar farms in southern Italy. But in true GreatApe style, that got me thinking that as High Voltage Direct Current transmission lines have losses of 3% per 1,000km and it's less than 2,000km from the Sahara to the UK as the crow flies, we should fill the desert up with ever so cheap solar and just have a 6% hit in losses. In fact, run the cables in a north easterly direction as we hit peak demand in early evening, the sun is still shining in the source region. No need for storage.

    Bung in these: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48910569 and we can re-green the deserts and suck out all that excess carbon out of the atmosphere.

    I have solved the problem of climate change. You're welcome. I'm expecting a load of Thank Yous and a Nobel Prize.

    This will make these desert countries energy producers leading to stable democratic governments and raising the standard of living of their people. Countries like Algeria, Libya, Iraq, the Middle East. Hang on..............................


    Interesting. I wonder how it compares with the more conventional use of solar to desalinate water which would be to generate electricity from solar PV and then to use it in another process to produce reverse osmosis water (basically water is forced under pressure through a selectively permeable membrane which allows water molecules to pass, but not dissolved salts etc). I've long thought it obvious that the world needs to produce more fresh water in arid sunny countries with energy from the sun. Eg Egypt is running out of water from the Nile, it's gone from the food exporter it was since the time of the Pharaohs to a net importer, living standards are stagnating leading to discontent and mass emigration. If they could produce more water like this it could be a significant part of the solution. Obviously there are plenty of other problems to fix but it should be a big part of the puzzle.
  • Piddles wrote: »
    Well, that went over my head somewhat....

    But whilst there, I came across:

    Researchers In Switzerland Say Zero Emission Society Will Require Seasonal Energy Storage

    Errrr, maybe this just me, but isn't that blindingly obvious? Anyway, their solution is to run an extension lead to solar farms in southern Italy. But in true GreatApe style, that got me thinking that as High Voltage Direct Current transmission lines have losses of 3% per 1,000km and it's less than 2,000km from the Sahara to the UK as the crow flies, we should fill the desert up with ever so cheap solar and just have a 6% hit in losses. In fact, run the cables in a north easterly direction as we hit peak demand in early evening, the sun is still shining in the source region. No need for storage.

    Bung in these: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48910569 and we can re-green the deserts and suck out all that excess carbon out of the atmosphere.

    I have solved the problem of climate change. You're welcome. I'm expecting a load of Thank Yous and a Nobel Prize.

    This will make these desert countries energy producers leading to stable democratic governments and raising the standard of living of their people. Countries like Algeria, Libya, Iraq, the Middle East. Hang on..............................


    Yes a world super grid is one solution to the intermittent problem however it's quite unlike as we wouldn't want to be dependent on one country. With oil and now with gas it's tradeable so of for whatever reason say Iran is !!!!ed with us we just buy from Saudi and whoever Saudi was Gona sell to buys from Iran. Not possible with a fixed line into a fixed country or two

    But the EU is lucky because offshore wind power produces more in the winter than the summer
    40% CF overall but 30% summer 50% winter

    What this means is if the EU had say 100GW of wind power we would get 30GW average summer 50GW average winter so more output when more is needed

    Also Norway while not a total solution can be a partial solution to the UK perhaps as much as 10GW of seasonal storage

    Most realistic of all is that we don't phase out Natural gas for a long time say 20+ years which gives us a lot of time to come up with ideas. Perhaps someone will figure out a cheap effective way to insulate homes and other buildings so the seasonal heating demand peak isn't so great
  • zeupaterzeupater Forumite
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    Piddles wrote: »
    ... This will make these desert countries energy producers leading to stable democratic governments and raising the standard of living of their people. Countries like Algeria, Libya, Iraq, the Middle East. Hang on..............................
    Hi

    Nail, head & whack come to mind, but I think that's what you were conveying anyway! .... :cool:

    Storage (and more importantly, strategic storage) really does need to be addressed if emissions reductions are to be taken seriously and that's the case even if long term schedulable renewable energy sources such as tidal or tidal flow solutions are introduced into the mix.

    Not addressing this basic issue simply results in continued use of carbon based generation capacity to balance supply to demand even when a short-term shortfall occurs ... but then again, wouldn't maintaining the status quo suit the business model of a large slice of the UK's energy provision sector?! ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    B)
  • PiddlesPiddles Forumite
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    GreatApe wrote: »
    But the EU is lucky because offshore wind power produces more in the winter than the summer
    40% CF overall but 30% summer 50% winter
    CF?

    Presumably the Sahara sun is more reliable than the North Sea wind?
  • Piddles wrote: »
    CF?

    Presumably the Sahara sun is more reliable than the North Sea wind?


    CF short hand for capacity factor

    The Sahara sun produces more in our summer and less in our winter as it is the northern hemisphere, not what we want for seasonal heating

    Also any HVDC lines will only operate at 25-30% of capacity (0 during the night 100% during noon average 25-30%). Maybe this can be increased to 50% with batteries but that gets expensive

    Offshore wind is more realistic
    Current technology means a 1GW offshore wind farm produces at 50% CF during the cold months
    Spread them widely around the UK and you might have 75% correlation which means you will have the ability to meet about 67% of your heating needs allow a little curtailment and you get up towards 70-75% with the remainder being natural gas

    Also we are looking at a figure of at least 50GW of electricity to meet seasonal and that's assuming heat pumps. So it's not 1 HVDC line to the Sahara it's more like 50 lines probably looking at a cost of £50-100 billion and the majority spent in another country. And some 200GW of solar PV to feed the line and some 1,000GWh of batteries to store that solar you are getting towards £400 billion for that mega project most of it spent in another country with added security risk..... We would achieve roughly the same amount of energy building 100GW of offshore wind power at closer to half that price and without the risk of relying on another country
  • zeupater wrote: »
    Hi

    Nail, head & whack come to mind, but I think that's what you were conveying anyway! .... :cool:

    Storage (and more importantly, strategic storage) really does need to be addressed if emissions reductions are to be taken seriously and that's the case even if long term schedulable renewable energy sources such as tidal or tidal flow solutions are introduced into the mix.

    Not addressing this basic issue simply results in continued use of carbon based generation capacity to balance supply to demand even when a short-term shortfall occurs ... but then again, wouldn't maintaining the status quo suit the business model of a large slice of the UK's energy provision sector?! ...


    Its more likely you'd accept a cold home/office/shop than to pay for the cost of 100% clean seasonal storage

    You can have a mix of clean and dirty at a high but acceptable price though
    Something like 70% offshore wind 30% dirty biomass for seasonal heating
    Probably biomass far away in a power stations than in your home so as to save the neighborhood from the oh so dangerous wood burning fumes......
  • edited 11 July 2019 at 4:52PM
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    edited 11 July 2019 at 4:52PM
    GreatApe wrote: »
    The Sahara sun produces more in our summer and less in our winter as it is the northern hemisphere, not what we want for seasonal heating
    That's not what I remember when I crossed it (twice), unless things have changed since.... Plus I can tell you that that place is very, very, very empty. You could put PVs in there to satisfy the world's entire energy demand and no one would notice! :rotfl:

    Sunshine hours in January: Sahara 290, London 60.

    You guys will probably tell me otherwise, but wouldn't that be cheap enough to displace the single most carbon intensive element of UK's emissions: natural gas for home heating?
  • PiddlesPiddles Forumite
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    Piddles wrote: »
    Plus I can tell you that that place is very, very, very empty. You could put PVs in there to satisfy the world's entire energy demand and no one would notice! :rotfl:
    It can damn windy to. On-shore wind with zero NIMBY factor!
  • Small Nuclear power for district heating

    I don't think it's at all likely in the UK but it is a great idea for rapidly growing countries like China/India
    In China they build 50 million new homes each year so could add district heating powered by low cost heat only Reactors. They can transition to heating via biomass or wind power at some point in the future so the district heating can still be used if a better solution of found

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/12/chinas-super-low-cost-heat-only-nuclear-plants.html

    These reactors are much smaller and much less complex (obviously since your not generating electricity just low temp heat)
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