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  • FIRST POST
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 9th Jun 15, 7:25 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news (last 2 weeks)
    • #1
    • 9th Jun 15, 7:25 AM
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news (last 2 weeks) 9th Jun 15 at 7:25 AM
    MSE Insert:

    We've seen some debate on this thread about the relevance of some posts to the topic.

    To ensure the thread remains on topic for forumites wanting to discuss the latest news we're asking that all posts contain a link to the news you're discussing.

    For the purposes of this thread the "news" needs to be within the last two weeks.

    Back to Martyn1981's original post.

    ---

    I thought it might be a good idea to have a thread for posting general news items that may be of interest.

    PV and the 'Solar in the news' thread attract a lot of interest, so here's a thread for all the other goings on.

    Mart.
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 09-10-2018 at 10:41 AM.
    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.
Page 84
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 9th Nov 18, 8:27 AM
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    pile-o-stone
    This news is so startling that I'm sure it can't be right ..... can it?

    Indiana Utility Says Replacing Coal With Renewables Will Save Customers $4 Billion



    Coal - 65% to zero in 10 years - this is not Trump's week!
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Plus you can't put a price on the health benefits of clean energy generation as opposed to burning things.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
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    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 9th Nov 18, 9:43 AM
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    NigeWick
    today's news regarding nuclear does suggest we should be putting more effort into renewables, given how scaleable they are
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Nuclear is getting more and more expensive to start up meaning that renewables which are getting cheaper and cheaper must be the way to go. As we all know, the drawback with renewables is their fluctuation, but, there are methods coming on line to smooth the flow of energy.

    Perhaps one way of discouraging nuclear would be to make its companies pay for decommissioning and storage of the waste.
    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
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 9th Nov 18, 9:48 AM
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    pile-o-stone
    Nuclear is getting more and more expensive to start up meaning that renewables which are getting cheaper and cheaper must be the way to go. As we all know, the drawback with renewables is their fluctuation, but, there are methods coming on line to smooth the flow of energy.
    Originally posted by NigeWick
    Surely it has to be cheaper to invest in offshore wind and storage than to invest in nuclear? It's certainly a lot safer.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
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    • gefnew
    • By gefnew 9th Nov 18, 3:35 PM
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    gefnew
    Hi
    It is not just nuclear power that produces waste, hospitals dentists industrial process submarine etc . some low level radiation some high.
    it has to be stored and looked after until it can be dealt with.
    so do we charge all users of radiation equipment.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 9th Nov 18, 3:36 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Surely it has to be cheaper to invest in offshore wind and storage than to invest in nuclear? It's certainly a lot safer.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    If you include risks, concerns about storage of waste and public opinion, it's got to be a done deal.

    Regarding economics I personally believe that RE and storage is cheaper today, but even if it's not, because of the build times for nuclear we get about 10yrs of cost savings to play with.

    With off-shore wind at £64/MWh (2023 delivery) and HPC at £100/MWh (2028 delivery), I think we can assume a £40/MWh differential for 2028, perhaps more. That's a lot of storage. PV and on-shore wind are probably at around £50/MWh.

    Eos Aurora a US batt manufacturer has reduced its prices and will now accept orders for 2022 at $100/kWh on orders of about 50MWh+. At 5,000 cycles that's a storage cost of $20/MWh of use ($100k / 5,000 cycles). Even allowing a 100% mark up for other storage costs (land, inverters etc etc) that's still only $40/MWh for storage.

    Next step (I think about this stuff too much), if 50% of the RE generation needs storage, with the rest consumed immediately, then the cost of storage spread across all RE is just $20/MWh and way way under the £40/MWh differential we started with.

    All guesses and lots of assumptions, but I suspect RE + storage is cheaper than new nuclear today, and the economics will only improve over the next 10yrs which it will take to build out that new nuclear.

    Hope that makes sense, but don't assume it's right, just postulating.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 9th Nov 18, 3:55 PM
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    Martyn1981
    This news is so startling that I'm sure it can't be right ..... can it?

    Indiana Utility Says Replacing Coal With Renewables Will Save Customers $4 Billion
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Yes I'm odd, it's official - but I still haven't gotten over this news, so I've double checked it and cherry picked some fun extracts:

    Even in Indiana, new renewables are cheaper than existing coal plants

    To replace retiring coal, NIPSCO found that a portfolio of solar, storage, wind and demand management is the most cost effective, along with a small amount of market purchases from the Midcontinent ISO. The utility will file its IRP on Oct. 31.
    + lots of pretty charts.


    This Indiana utility may have just put the final nail in coal's coffin

    After putting a call out for proposals, the utility received more than 90 potential projects from 30 different providers. Instead of natural gas, the analysis called for adding roughly 1,150 megawatts of solar and storage, 160 megawatts of wind as well as lowering demand through energy efficiency, education and incentives.

    "I like to say that we love natural gas, we are a natural gas and an electric provider, but right now after our analysis, the economics don't work," Sistovaris said. "I will say that the projects submitted from those 30 providers gave us some new things to think about."

    Indiana Utility Will Close Coal Units, Transition to Renewables

    The company’s IRP also includes a request to modify its existing electric rates to support its planned changes in power generation. NIPSCO said those changes equate to more than $4 billion in cost savings to customers. The utility said retiring coal units also will reduce its carbon emissions by more than 90% over the next decade.
    OK, I think the story is true.
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 10th Nov 18, 8:51 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Massive rollout of storage planned for Claifornia, including a GWh+ facility. These will help to replace gas peakers.

    California Looks To Stationary Energy Storage As A Solution To Peaker Plants

    The approval of the plan to replace three aging peaker power plants with stationary storage installations by the California Public Utilities Commission is the culmination of an effort by the Commission to encourage PG&E to look to stationary energy storage solutions as alternatives to the aging paradigm of natural gas-fired peaker plants.

    The effort to transition utilities away from natural gas plants and to stationary energy storage supports the broader state-wide push to source 100% of its electricity from zero-emission sources by 2045, which includes adding 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage to the state’s grid by 2020.

    The CPUC approved a plan to install four new stationary energy storage installations in PG&E territory that would see an additional 568 megawatts of new storage being added. The installations are led by an impressive 300 MW/1,200MWh installation by Vistra Energy Corporation that will be the largest battery storage project in the world.
    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.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 10th Nov 18, 3:10 PM
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    michaels
    If you include risks, concerns about storage of waste and public opinion, it's got to be a done deal.

    Regarding economics I personally believe that RE and storage is cheaper today, but even if it's not, because of the build times for nuclear we get about 10yrs of cost savings to play with.

    With off-shore wind at £64/MWh (2023 delivery) and HPC at £100/MWh (2028 delivery), I think we can assume a £40/MWh differential for 2028, perhaps more. That's a lot of storage. PV and on-shore wind are probably at around £50/MWh.

    Eos Aurora a US batt manufacturer has reduced its prices and will now accept orders for 2022 at $100/kWh on orders of about 50MWh+. At 5,000 cycles that's a storage cost of $20/MWh of use ($100k / 5,000 cycles). Even allowing a 100% mark up for other storage costs (land, inverters etc etc) that's still only $40/MWh for storage.

    Next step (I think about this stuff too much), if 50% of the RE generation needs storage, with the rest consumed immediately, then the cost of storage spread across all RE is just $20/MWh and way way under the £40/MWh differential we started with.

    All guesses and lots of assumptions, but I suspect RE + storage is cheaper than new nuclear today, and the economics will only improve over the next 10yrs which it will take to build out that new nuclear.

    Hope that makes sense, but don't assume it's right, just postulating.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    These numbers make sense but currently we are still only talking short term storage not the sort of storage that covers a foggy November. If we don't have nukes does that mean we need more FF generation overall - IE more carbon overall? Does putting a realistic price on the extra CO2 help the economics of nuclear?
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 10th Nov 18, 4:49 PM
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    Martyn1981
    These numbers make sense but currently we are still only talking short term storage not the sort of storage that covers a foggy November. If we don't have nukes does that mean we need more FF generation overall - IE more carbon overall? Does putting a realistic price on the extra CO2 help the economics of nuclear?
    Originally posted by michaels
    No I don't buy that. The argument that RE instead of nukes means more CO2 emissions has never stood up to strong interrogation. And any extra CO2 cost boosts RE long before generation costs get high enough to meet nuclear generation costs.

    In the case of HPC, it alone will account for £44bn in subsidies when the equivalent generation from off-shore wind at the latest CfD auction price would cost ~£5bn. And on-shore wind and PV are close to subsidy free.

    Spending on nuclear takes money out of the subsidy pot that could provide storage in the form of overcapacity of cheap RE, short term storage (intra-day) and even chemical storage such as hydrogen or bio-gas which could be used to run gas generation when things are really bad, such as a foggy November. BTW this November has been pretty grey yet we saw near record wind generation a day or so back.

    It's worth pondering the sheer scale of nuclear support / subsidy and then assuming that that money is removed from RE generation and storage. Only then do you see the RE generation cost of more nuclear.

    Lazard's LCOE report is out, and whilst it's using US numbers we see large scale generating costs of:

    PV $36-$46
    On-shore wind $29-$56
    Gas $41-$74
    Nuclear £112-$189

    Also consider the time element. We could spend £10bn's on nuclear and get zero low carbon generation for 10+ years. Or we could spend less money on RE, get more generation, and have some of that low carbon generation hitting our grid in 6-12 months, both from the modular format of developing multiple RE schemes, and the modular format of the individual schemes themselves that mean that some WT's and some PV arrays start generating as soon as that string is complete.
    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.
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 11th Nov 18, 8:27 AM
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    NigeWick
    Surely it has to be cheaper to invest in offshore wind and storage than to invest in nuclear? It's certainly a lot safer.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    Not only a lot safer but more resilient too. Nuclear power station goes down, loss of a lot of generation. Nuclear plant blows up, lots of radiation as well as the loss of generation.

    Wind turbine stops working, loss of s bit of generation.
    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
    • NigeWick
    • By NigeWick 11th Nov 18, 8:31 AM
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    NigeWick
    These numbers make sense but currently we are still only talking short term storage not the sort of storage that covers a foggy November.
    Originally posted by michaels
    Does the wind stop blowing all around the country on a foggy November day?
    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
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 11th Nov 18, 9:23 AM
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    Martyn1981
    These numbers make sense but currently we are still only talking short term storage not the sort of storage that covers a foggy November. If we don't have nukes does that mean we need more FF generation overall - IE more carbon overall? Does putting a realistic price on the extra CO2 help the economics of nuclear?
    Originally posted by michaels
    Further to my earlier reply, I thought it might be interesting to look at the scale of nuclear subsidies/costs again. So taking the HPC example, 3.2GW capacity and approx 2.95GW generation (92% cf) and a subsidy of £45bn, and see what else we could get for the money.

    First let's match the average annual generation with off-shore wind, as I mentioned earlier, so at £64/MWh v's £100/MWh, and 15yrs v's 35yrs, and a wholesale price of £50/MWh we get:

    2,950MW x £14 x 24hrs x 365days x 15yrs = £5.43bn

    Next, that only matches nuclear on an average yearly basis, obviously wind generation will vary across days, weeks, months and years, so let's provide gas generation capacity of 3GW in case the wind stops, so that's approx £3bn for the plant [I won't include gas costs as any generation from the gas plants will be in excess of wind and the annual generation from HPC].

    So we are up to £8.43bn v's £45bn.

    Now, ideally we don't want to burn any gas, so let's add in some on-shore wind and PV to help spread the load. To match HPC (again) we will after allowing for cf need approx (2.95GW / 2) / 11%cf = 13.4GWp of PV and ((2.95GW / 2) / 25%cf = 5.9GW of on-shore wind.

    Both technologies were around £1m/MW to deploy a few years back, but have fallen in costs, so let's go for £0.75m/MW, so an additional 13.4GWp of PV + 5.9GW of wind at £1bn/GW = £19.3bn. [Edit - Oops, that should be "at £0.75bn/GW = £14.5bn.]

    [Note, I'm adding the cost of PV and on-shore wind, despite the subsidy being zero, because we're adding these in purely as a way to support the intermittency issues of RE.]

    So now we are at £22.9bn v's £45bn

    At this point we now have twice the annual generation of HPC, plus we have the gas generation to match HPC again on stand by if needed, and we have £22.1bn in change to pay for interconnectors to make the nations grid more robust, and short term storage for some of the peak generation periods, and for longer term storage such as hydrogen/methane production which ideally would be used to fuel the gas generation back up 'gennies' if needed.

    I hope this has been fun, and apologise for waffling and thinking out loud, but perhaps that's the downside of the "just asking questions" tactic - the answers might strengthen the argument more than the questions can undermine it?
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 11-11-2018 at 5:07 PM. Reason: Added an edit
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 11th Nov 18, 9:47 AM
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    Martyn1981
    BTW this November has been pretty grey yet we saw near record wind generation a day or so back.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Correction, apparently 9th November saw a new wind generation record of 14.5GW.
    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.
    • Coastalwatch
    • By Coastalwatch 11th Nov 18, 1:19 PM
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    Coastalwatch
    Correction, apparently 9th November saw a new wind generation record of 14.5GW.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Just to compliment the growing energies being generated by renewable sources, rapidly expanding storage facilities appear to be under development. Two of which are detailed in the link below.
    Once complete these will assist in supporting the grid in terms of storing excesses(when demand is low) and then, almost instantly, being brought on stream at times of peak demand. It may mean that the dependency and frequency of gas powered Peaker Plants being fired up will be marginally reduced.
    When compared to grid demands of GW's of power then in themselves they are not huge storage facilities, but it would appear that Mart's vision of growing storage facilities are beginning to take shape. Not only that but all based upon investment and subsequent returns expected from it without subsidy from the government or you and I.

    I wonder if any of those organisations seemingly threatened by the growing renewable industies have taken the opportunity to divert any funds across?

    Gresham House has raised £100 million to drive its energy storage fund onto the London Stock Exchange, half the amount planned last month but enough to progress plans to acquire a 70MW seed portfolio......
    .....The net proceeds of the issue are to be used to acquire 70MW of operational batteries, previously developed by Gresham House New Energy and Noriker Power, for a consideration of £57.22 million.
    It will then set out to invest in an exclusive portfolio of projects, which last month consisted of 132MW combined capacity across four projects, ranging from 5MW to 49MW, however this has since risen to 182MW........
    https://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/news/gresham_house_raises_100_million_for_energy_storag e_fund_to_enter_stock_exc
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 11th Nov 18, 6:16 PM
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    Martyn1981

    Spending on nuclear takes money out of the subsidy pot that could provide storage in the form of overcapacity of cheap RE, short term storage (intra-day) and even chemical storage such as hydrogen or bio-gas which could be used to run gas generation when things are really bad, such as a foggy November. BTW this November has been pretty grey yet we saw near record wind generation a day or so back.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    I thought these items from this week's Carbon Commentary fitted in quite well with this conversation since they show the possibilities of longer term storage and the reality regarding the argument that "RE will lead to more gas generation":-

    1, Hydrogen into gas networks. A one year UK experiment will see hydrogen injected into the natural gas grid on the campus of a university. Most EU states allow some H2 to be added but none more than about 12%. Keele University will be allowed to take that up to 20% by volume (3% by mass) after a survey of the safety of appliances on campus. Hydrogen will be provided by an ITM electrolyser. At current average UK wholesale prices, the electrolyser will be generating hydrogen at approximately £70/MWh (€80/€90) compared to the wholesale gas price of about £23 (€26/$30). However high winds last night (8/9th November) brought the electricity price down to a level for three hours that would have made conversion of power to gas economically rational.

    4, Gas ‘peaker’ plants. The rise of renewables was expected to produce a surge in the sales of small gas turbines, used for responding rapidly to power shortages. Recent results from GE, the world’s leader in gas turbines, show just how wrong this assumption was. The company has sold only 9 units worldwide so far this year, down from well over 40 in 2017. The market is now less than half what GE was predicting in April 2018. The whole global gas turbine market is sharply contracting but the rate of decline is fastest in the sector that was expected to be the most resilient. Instead, battery installations are growing more rapidly than forecast.
    Quick thought - the viability of longer term but less efficient forms of storage when prices fall has a secondary benefit, since it helps to buoy up the minimum price that renewables can expect to sell at when supply is high and demand is low. This will almost certainly help them to reach economic viability, though we mustn't forget that storage also reduces the max price that RE can sell at since it will step in when a profit can be made. The result should be some flattening out of prices, that's too say the peaks and troughs will be less extreme ...... I think?
    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.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 11th Nov 18, 10:24 PM
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    michaels
    Quick thought - the viability of longer term but less efficient forms of storage when prices fall has a secondary benefit, since it helps to buoy up the minimum price that renewables can expect to sell at when supply is high and demand is low. This will almost certainly help them to reach economic viability, though we mustn't forget that storage also reduces the max price that RE can sell at since it will step in when a profit can be made. The result should be some flattening out of prices, that's too say the peaks and troughs will be less extreme ...... I think?
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Makes sense to me - think on a personal level, fitting a battery store would allow arbitrage between peak and off peak prices (for example on the Octopus time of day spot tariff) but if everyone tried to do this peak demand would be lower and so command a lower price and off-peak demand higher.
    Cool heads and compromise
    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 12th Nov 18, 8:52 AM
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    ASavvyBuyer
    Makes sense to me - think on a personal level, fitting a battery store would allow arbitrage between peak and off peak prices (for example on the Octopus time of day spot tariff) but if everyone tried to do this peak demand would be lower and so command a lower price and off-peak demand higher.
    Originally posted by michaels

    However, for a home battery, you need to consider that for every kWh you put into the battery costs an extra 5 to 10p (depending on the fully installed cost of the battery) on top of the off-peak rate you pay for it. Therefore, for example, if the off peak rate is 7.5p/kWh and the battery cost per unit is 7.5p/kWh, you are not actually making a saving on the average peak rate of 15p/kWh.
    Rhondda Cynon Taf, 4kWp, W roof, 30° pitch, 16 x 8.33 Eternity 250w E+10 panels, Solar Edge SE4000-16A Inverter + P300 Optimisers. Inst Aug 2015.
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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Nov 18, 1:36 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Lots of wind:

    Scottish Wind Delivers Equivalent Of 98% Of Country’s October Electricity Demand

    “What a month October proved to be, with wind powering on average 98 per cent of Scotland’s entire electricity demand for the month, and exceeding our total demand for a staggering 16 out of 31 days,” said Dr Sam Gardner, acting director at WWF Scotland.

    So, gonna need some storage:

    Energy Storage Is A $1.2 Trillion Global Investment Opportunity & Is Soaring In The UK

    This is vitally apparent in the United Kingdom which, according to a report published by renewable energy trade body RenewableUK and the country’s Solar Trade Association, has all but exploded in size over the past seven years. Specifically, the report shows that planning applications in the UK have soared from 2 MW in 2012 to 6,874 MW in 2018.
    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.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 14th Nov 18, 1:51 PM
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    michaels
    However, for a home battery, you need to consider that for every kWh you put into the battery costs an extra 5 to 10p (depending on the fully installed cost of the battery) on top of the off-peak rate you pay for it. Therefore, for example, if the off peak rate is 7.5p/kWh and the battery cost per unit is 7.5p/kWh, you are not actually making a saving on the average peak rate of 15p/kWh.
    Originally posted by ASavvyBuyer
    I was more thinking if you faced this sort of time of day price curve:

    https://octopus.energy/agile/

    then if you could use storage to timeshift any usage between 14:30 and 22:30 you might be quids in.
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Nov 18, 6:21 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Bristol seems to pop up in quite a lot of news articles, particularly PPA PV deals operated by the Council, so this news makes sense:

    Bristol plans to become carbon neutral by 2030

    Bristol has declared a “climate emergency”, with the council unanimously backing a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 in an effort to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown.

    The motion put forward by Green party councillor Carla Denyer and passed on Tuesday means the city has the most ambitious emissions targets of the UK’s core cities group – with radical policy implications in the coming years.

    The move was triggered by a UN report last month which said the world has just 12 years left to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown.

    Denyer said: “This is a fantastic day for Bristol and I’m delighted the council will be bringing forward its target for making the city carbon neutral by 2030.
    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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