Green, ethical, energy issues in the news

edited 12 July 2021 at 11:38AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
6.9K replies 444.2K views
1242243245247248687

Replies

  • PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 Posts
    Martyn1981 wrote: »
    .....so we see the fuel cost is actually smaller than all the delivery and administration costs. So comparing fuel cost differences doesn't really answer the question.
    Presumably gas distribution has similar overheads. Wouldn't one distribution system be cheaper than two?
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    13K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Piddles wrote: »
    Presumably gas distribution has similar overheads. Wouldn't one distribution system be cheaper than two?

    Yes, I'd assume so. The advantage though of using the gas network though, is that it would reduce the capacity needed for the leccy network. So sharing the load, during a very cold spell between leccy for heat pumps and bio-gas for conventional boilers means the existing infrastructure will need less changing.

    Not sure if there is a singular best option tbh, it's one of those things that the more you ponder, the more you appreciate just how complicated it all is.
    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
    13K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Piddles wrote: »
    Fun and fascinating. I wonder if you shouldn't be blogging with all this accumulated knowledge to a far wider audience.

    TBH I'm simply repeating stuff I've read, watched etc.. I'm living life vicariously, and I doubt I could be trusted with any more 'power'. ;)

    Piddles wrote: »
    Wow. That would appear to kill the whole concept completely dead. Yet we're spending £2 billion on the apparently very similar looking one to Norway?

    There are a few differences. Icelink is longer, about 1,000km v's 730km, it's a bit smaller at around 1GW v's 1.4GW, and it's one directional*, in the sense that Iceland doesn't need any leccy from us, whereas the Norway link can export/import.

    Also, depending on the location for the Iceland end of the cable, there may be issues regarding the Mid Atlantic Ridge.

    So I assume, and here I am completely guessing, that all these differences add up to make one viable and valuable, and the other too risky. Icelink seems to have gone cold (boom, boom) as RE prices got cheaper and cheaper, so what looked interesting at £80/MWh may now have simply lost its shine.

    *Technically, no reason the link has to be one directional, but whereas Norway might benefit from cheap UK excess, to restock hydro, or simply sell on at a profit, Iceland doesn't need it, so would only use it as storage (PHS - pumped hydro storage) for the UK. Not sure if that makes sense, but effectively any leccy 'exported' to Iceland, would actually be 'our leccy' not a sale. So really you just have one country interested in buying leccy, and one country interested in selling leccy, rather than two.
    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 14 July 2019 at 12:43AM
    silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
    3.4K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 14 July 2019 at 12:43AM
    Piddles wrote: »
    Presumably gas distribution has similar overheads. Wouldn't one distribution system be cheaper than two?

    My usage of gas is very small due to spare PV heating my water and a log burner, using free wood, in the house doing most of the heating. It makes sense to go with Ebico for both electric and gas due to their zero standing charge tariff but wincingly high unit rates. But it does put into perspective for me the distribution costs.

    Now if my gas boiler were to be condemned what would I do? (There's no reason to believe it might be, this is all scenario building!)

    It might make more sense to go all electric for water and a bit of top up heating? Would it then justify going to one of the time of day tariffs and maybe soak up a bit of cheap direct heating when it is available overnight? What if I eventually get an EV, as I am minded to do?

    The capital cost of a new gas boiler is not that great but when it is used so little it makes it less of an attraction (and resale value is not an issue). The same capital cost argument rules out ASHPs and underfloor heating in a retrofit situation.

    Now my wood-burning makes for a fairly unusual situation, but there is no policy drive at the moment which is driving out gas heating, only my own personal set of circumstances.



    Will government make any policy moves on the matter; they certainly don't seem to be _doing_ much at all at the moment..
  • PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 Posts
    Piddles wrote: »
    ....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 westerly direction as we hit peak demand in early evening, the sun is still shining in the source region. No need for storage.
    The Aussies may be rubbish at cricket, but they think there may be mileage in it (3,800km to be more precise)

    'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar
  • edited 14 July 2019 at 8:10AM
    Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
    13K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 14 July 2019 at 8:10AM
    Piddles wrote: »
    The Aussies may be rubbish at cricket, but they think there may be mileage in it (3,800km to be more precise)

    'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

    Great article. For countries where space limitations apply, Australia has enormous potential for exporting sunlight, such as Japan, Singapore etc.

    Regarding big HVDC projects, lots exist, and going forward, nowhere better to look to than China, who have completed, are building, or are planning HVDC and UHVDC (ultraHVDC) on an epic scale.

    A New Record for the Longest Transmission Link
    A 7,100-MW±600-kV high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) line that runs 2,375 kilometers (km) from new hydropower plants on the Madeira River in the Amazon Basin to major load centers in southeastern Brazil became the world’s longest transmission line this August.

    Record 1,100kV UHVDC power link rolls out in China
    It will be capable of transporting 12,000 megawatts of electricity - the equivalent of 12 large power plants - and is a 50 percent increase in transmission capacity compared to the 800 kV UHVDC links currently in operation. Using the higher voltage will also help extend the transmission distance from around 2,000 km to over 3,000 km.

    and update:

    China’s State Grid Corp Crushes Power Transmission Records
    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.
  • PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 Posts
    That last article touches on it, but I read somewhere that I now can't find that China wants to supply Germany with electricity. Maybe we are seeing a global renewables led grid emerging.
  • ed110220ed110220 Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    Piddles wrote: »
    That last article touches on it, but I read somewhere that I now can't find that China wants to supply Germany with electricity. Maybe we are seeing a global renewables led grid emerging.

    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.

    Taking the most direct route between say Shanghai and Cologne it is is 8902 km across Mongolia, Russia (surprisingly far to the north perhaps, because the Earth is spheroid but deformed to depict it on rectangular maps), Latvia and the Baltic Sea. Perhaps to minimise political issues the best route would be from China to near St Petersburg and then under the Baltic Sea to Germany, in order to avoid the Baltic states and Poland. But obviously there would still be big and perhaps insurmountable problems in getting Europe, Russia and China to work together.
  • edited 15 July 2019 at 4:04PM
    PiddlesPiddles Forumite
    123 Posts
    edited 15 July 2019 at 4:04PM
    Piddles wrote: »
    Presumably gas distribution has similar overheads. Wouldn't one distribution system be cheaper than two?
    Just developing this theme a little further, Ofgem states that the wholesale cost of our gas bill is 39%. Electricity 33%. So, when calculating the break even point of making the transition from natural gas to electric home heating we should adding the most of the remaining 61% for the closure of the network (not all because there would extra costs of beefing up the electicity network - or maybe not with more localised microgeneration).

    For that to happen the government would have to announce a rolling date for the closure of the gas network (has Holland already done this?), say 2025-2035, a bit like it did for the transition from analogue to digital TV. That may change the calculation now for people changing clapped out gas boilers.

    Maybe all that gas piping already underground to 85% of premises could be repurposed for a big rollout for FTTP (fibre to the premises), which could be a significant boost to the economy.
  • markinmarkin Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭
    The UK, France and Spain should crack on with it, using mostly CSP, Many plants already have 8-9hrs of thermal energy storage scaled up we could get power 24hrs

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_solar_thermal_power_stations#Operational

    kpZOrg6.jpg
     
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

NS&I to change Premium Bond prize rate

It will rise to 1.40% from June

MSE News

Compers of the MSE Forum:

Show us the prizes you've won recently

Join the MSE Forum discussion