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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 Former 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 3
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 4th Sep 15, 5:59 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Some interesting numbers on popularity of renewables v's fracking. Even the Tory voters want wind (guess they shouldn't have voted Tory then!)

    67% of people (62% of Tory voters) are in favour of locally owned renewables. Also 78% want the government to help communities generate their own power and keep the profits ....... yet the government is proposing to slash the FiT subsidy?

    People prefer living near wind turbines to fracking wells – survey

    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 15th Sep 15, 2:14 PM
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    Martyn1981
    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    National Grid CEO: Large Power Stations For Baseload Power Is Outdated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.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 15th Sep 15, 2:43 PM
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    zeupater
    Interesting article and comments from Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid: ...
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    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 ... (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?" .... .... maybe not then, but at least the thought made me smile ...

    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • ed110220
    • By ed110220 15th Sep 15, 9:24 PM
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    ed110220
    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
    • michaels
    • By michaels 15th Sep 15, 9:50 PM
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    michaels
    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
    Originally posted by ed110220
    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?
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 15th Sep 15, 10:18 PM
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    Cardew
    (and this is really sticking the tongue as far as it'll push against the cheek) is, "Cardew, is that you?" .... .... maybe not then, but at least the thought made me smile ...

    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    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?
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 15th Sep 15, 11:22 PM
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    zeupater
    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?
    Originally posted by Cardew
    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
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 16th Sep 15, 7:05 AM
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    Martyn1981
    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
    Originally posted by zeupater
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 16th Sep 15, 7:13 AM
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    Martyn1981
    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
    Originally posted by ed110220
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 16th Sep 15, 7:45 AM
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    Martyn1981
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 12th Nov 15, 7:31 AM
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    Martyn1981
    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 18th Nov 15, 7:12 AM
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    Martyn1981
    UK's coal plants 'to be phased out within 10 years'

    Slightly controversial, not the closing of coal, but the plans to replace with gas and nuclear. Gas because it's CO2 ouput is still too high to meet future targets, and nuclear because renewable costs are now starting to undercut it.

    But, for predictable, rampable generation gas is certainly an improvement on coal. Looking at Gridwatch yesterday, coal generation seems exceptionally low for this time of year, presumably down to the large number of closures this year, and wind has been high for nearly a week.

    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 26th Nov 15, 7:24 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Global emissions nearly stall after a decade of rapid growth, report shows

    Ok, we're not fixing the problem, but we may be close to the point that we stop making it even worse (the supertanker has turned 90d perhaps) ....... good news, I think.

    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.
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 26th Nov 15, 9:57 AM
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    EricMears
    Ok, we're not fixing the problem, but we may be close to the point that we stop making it even worse (the supertanker has turned 90d perhaps) ....... good news, I think.

    Mart.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    If a supertanker were to turn 90deg suddenly, it would almost certainly roll over and sink !
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 26th Nov 15, 2:31 PM
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    Martyn1981
    If a supertanker were to turn 90deg suddenly, it would almost certainly roll over and sink !
    Originally posted by EricMears
    That's one way to stop it! Though I have my doubts about it being green & ethical.

    Doh! Thinking about it, CO2 emissions not going up, isn't the same as a 90d turn, as the amount being emitted is still too large, so, sadly, the tanker is still heading in the wrong direction, it's simply stopped accelerating.

    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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 28th Nov 15, 8:22 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Great toy to play with.
    Stanford University have produced a report outlining an economical shift to 100% renewable energy by 2050:-

    The world could be 100% renewable by 2050

    Researchers from Stanford University have layed out exactly how the planet could forego fossil fuel and nuclear power and adopt renewable energy across the board.

    A new study by Stanford University’s Atmosphere/Energy Program makes the case that the world could be fully powered by renewable energy as early as 2050 by detailing the necessary resources for each country.
    Speaking to innovation news website Co.Exist, Atmosphere/Energy Program director Mark Z. Jacobson said, "These are basically plans showing it's technically and economically feasible to change the energy infrastructure of all of these different countries."

    Jacobson rejected claims that adopting renewable energy to such a wide extent would be too expensive and unreliable. “What this shows is that all these claims are mythical."

    But here's the fun bit, they have produced a very easy to use tool that shows the suggested mix for each country. Just hover over a country to see the mix:-

    100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

    Spoiler alert!

    For the UK it suggests 85% wind and 10% PV.
    Ireland is similar about 83% wind and 12% PV.
    Germany 35% wind and 62% PV (seriously?)
    Spain has a broad mix, 53% solar (PV and CSP), 36% wind, 12% hydro.
    Canada broad mix, 58% wind, 21% PV and 16% hydro.
    US 48% wind and 47% solar.
    Australia 36% wind and 53% solar.
    China is quite dramatic with 64% solar and 29% wind.
    India takes it even further with 77% solar and 20% wind.
    African countries vary a lot, but high solar, even 90% in the Congo.

    Have fun.

    Mart.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 05-12-2015 at 7:29 AM. Reason: Mixed up Canada and US!
    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.
    • Sterlingtimes
    • By Sterlingtimes 28th Nov 15, 10:35 AM
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    Sterlingtimes

    100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

    Spoiler alert!

    For the UK it suggests 85% wind and 10% PV.
    Ireland is similar about 83% wind and 12% PV.
    Germany 35% wind and 62% PV (seriously?)
    Spain has a broad mix, 53% solar (PV and CSP), 36% wind, 12% hydro.
    US broad mix, 58% wind, 21% PV and 16% hydro.
    Australia 36% wind and 53% solar.
    China is quite dramatic with 64% solar and 29% wind.
    India takes it even further with 77% solar and 20% wind.
    African countries vary a lot, but high solar, even 90% in the Congo.

    Have fun.

    Mart.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    The countries with more sun appear to use more PV.
    Solar installed 21 November 2014 > Centre of England > 3,780 Wp > 14 *270 Watt Trina panels > 14 * Enphase micro-inverters > managed by Enlighten Envoy Hub > 19° west of south > 35° pitch > tree shading to east > iBoost > Wattson Anywhere monitoring > Schneider Electric (Drayton) MiGenie smart thermostat.
    • EricMears
    • By EricMears 28th Nov 15, 11:23 AM
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    EricMears
    The countries with more sun appear to use more PV.
    Originally posted by Sterlingtimes
    I don't think those figures relate to what is happening now but to what they suggest ought to happen in the future. Of course suggesting large use of SP in sunny climes makes perfect sense.

    What I don't understand (and don't think Martyn did either) is why they're suggesting such a high %SP for Germany - which has a pretty similar climate to ours. It may seem like 'nit-picking' to highlight one single error but it does suggest a lack of care in preparing report.

    Arguably, the world has always used '100% renewable' energy since even the fossil fuels were derived from sunshine millions of years ago and are being 'renewed' (albeit much too slowly) all the time.
    NE Derbyshire.
    4kWp S Facing 17.5deg slope (dormer roof).
    • Sterlingtimes
    • By Sterlingtimes 28th Nov 15, 11:33 AM
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    Sterlingtimes
    I appreciated that this was a future projection.

    Solar is aligned in hotter climate to powering air conditioning during times of maximum generation. Here, in the UK, solar cannot substitute for winter central heating. Germany does buck the trend and that is probably because of the non-nuclear policy.

    For the UK, I can see the preference for nuclear working alongside a lower solar implementation. Germany would still have a problem with winter energy provision.
    Solar installed 21 November 2014 > Centre of England > 3,780 Wp > 14 *270 Watt Trina panels > 14 * Enphase micro-inverters > managed by Enlighten Envoy Hub > 19° west of south > 35° pitch > tree shading to east > iBoost > Wattson Anywhere monitoring > Schneider Electric (Drayton) MiGenie smart thermostat.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 28th Nov 15, 4:26 PM
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    Martyn1981
    What I don't understand (and don't think Martyn did either) is why they're suggesting such a high %SP for Germany - which has a pretty similar climate to ours. It may seem like 'nit-picking' to highlight one single error but it does suggest a lack of care in preparing report.
    Originally posted by EricMears
    Hi Eric. Only my assumptions, but if the report is correct for Germany, not a typo, then perhaps this relates to the basis of the report which is to set out the most economic solution (not necessarily cheap in Germany's case).

    Looking at the report we see both countries have similar amounts of on-shore wind but the UK also gets a huge amount of off-shore wind, but Germany doesn't have as much available to it, so perhaps that leads to a higher PV rollout if the only option is 100% renewable.

    The million billion trillion dollar question though is storage, how much? In Germany's case this could even mean some sort of inter-seasonal storage, at which point this vastly more expensive.

    [Edit: Quick read of the report and I think it's using hydrogen production as the form of storage. M.]

    Mart.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 28-11-2015 at 4:52 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.
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