Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 7th Jan 13, 5:36 PM
    • 4,961Posts
    • 6,717Thanks
    zeupater
    Solar ... In the news
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 13, 5:36 PM
    Solar ... In the news 7th Jan 13 at 5:36 PM
    Hi All

    Thought it was about time we had a thread specifically to discuss relevant press articles relating to solar pv & thermal ..... so here goes ...

    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 07-01-2013 at 5:48 PM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
Page 125
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 28th May 19, 5:45 PM
    • 4,023 Posts
    • 2,979 Thanks
    GreatApe
    Aren't any of their nuclear fleet reaching the end of their life? Have they had any success with building new ones?
    Originally posted by michaels

    Also the French will/have realized that closing a nuke will mean they have to build and open a new CCGT just so they can meet winter peak demands. This is why the phase down of nuclear in France has already been pushed back from 2025 to 2035

    The mindless environmentalists while anti nuclear probably wont want new CCGTs built in France

    So the government will have a choice.
    Close the nukes and open CCGTs and see higher emissions plus higher costs
    Keep the nukes going, with no need to build new CCGTs and no increase in emissions

    Now I would say the choice is obvious and easy but then again if the Germans are willing to close nukes and fire up lignite plants who knows maybe the french are willing to close nukes and fire up new CCGT capacity but I dont think so
    Last edited by GreatApe; 28-05-2019 at 5:54 PM.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 28th May 19, 10:16 PM
    • 22,926 Posts
    • 104,782 Thanks
    michaels
    Also the French will/have realized that closing a nuke will mean they have to build and open a new CCGT just so they can meet winter peak demands. This is why the phase down of nuclear in France has already been pushed back from 2025 to 2035

    The mindless environmentalists while anti nuclear probably wont want new CCGTs built in France

    So the government will have a choice.
    Close the nukes and open CCGTs and see higher emissions plus higher costs
    Keep the nukes going, with no need to build new CCGTs and no increase in emissions

    Now I would say the choice is obvious and easy but then again if the Germans are willing to close nukes and fire up lignite plants who knows maybe the french are willing to close nukes and fire up new CCGT capacity but I dont think so
    Originally posted by GreatApe
    Just tying to make up a reason, but if a nuke has a run life of X years might it not make more sense to run it 6 months per year for 2X years and use solar during the other 6 months of each year?
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 29th May 19, 6:43 AM
    • 9,668 Posts
    • 14,564 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    Just tying to make up a reason, but if a nuke has a run life of X years might it not make more sense to run it 6 months per year for 2X years and use solar during the other 6 months of each year?
    Originally posted by michaels
    That sounds reasonable, I think, but the capital cost of building nuclear is vast, and the enormous costs each time their life is extended (after review), so halving their annual output, would also half the income each year, which when you are trying to recover massive embedded costs/investments each time, would actually push the costs up enormously.

    Think of it a bit like investing in a domestic PV or battery system, if you halved the income, you would more than double the payback period due to the increased financing costs - longer to pay back loans (investors) and more interest (on greater outstanding debt) at any point in time.

    The problem with nuclear, as France (and Germany, USA, UK etc) are finding, is that it is simply too expensive now compared to the alternative .... RE. That doesn't mean it is/was a bad idea, as it's low carbon and far less harmful than coal emissions, so v's FF's especially coal it's a better option and (I believe) cheaper when externality costs are included. But v's RE now, it's far too expensive, and far too slow to build.

    Arguments that the choice is a binary one between nuclear and FF's are entirely false. If we choose not to deploy nuclear, then that frees up the monies for investment in RE instead. Looking at the UK, there's a good chance that nuclear may never recover now having stalled at HPC / 3.2GW v's the 16GW target. That doesn't mean we'll have 13GW shortfall, since the nuclear monies can now be targeted at RE instead, and with RE costs around half that of nuclear, we can save a fortune, and rollout the RE generation 10-15yrs sooner than the nuclear gen, thereby reducing FF emissions v's the nuclear option.

    Further, on the RE costs being around half of the nuclear costs, that also hits a key metric, that of wholesale leccy prices being approx half that of nuclear, which means reducing subsidy top ups, potentially down to zero. The coming off-shore wind auction hopes to attract half the generation of HPC (approx equal amount of capacity) for £90m v's the £45bn for HPC - half the generation for 1/500th the subsidy support.

    Lastly, the French also face the risk of growing energy shortages thanks to their ageing nuclear fleet. If you recall, a couple of years ago, about half their fleet had to be shutdown due to the number of cracks being found. At that point the UK and other countries had to help out by supplying them with leccy. So in the UK instead of buying 2GW of nuclear leccy excess from France, we had to dial up the coal fleet by 4GW to meet the unplanned shortfall.
    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.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 29th May 19, 11:06 AM
    • 4,023 Posts
    • 2,979 Thanks
    GreatApe
    Just tying to make up a reason, but if a nuke has a run life of X years might it not make more sense to run it 6 months per year for 2X years and use solar during the other 6 months of each year?
    Originally posted by michaels
    First off it would be useful to note that if you had a fleet of 10+ reactors you can run the nukes 100% during the winter and 80% during the summer and get overall 90%+ CF which is useful in that you get more output during the winter and less during the summer. You do this by refueling during the lower demand months

    PV is the opposite you get none in the winter when you need it most, and most in the summer when you need it least (at least for UK/EU grids)

    With regards to running nukes less hours but for more years this would fail on economic grounds. Why build a huge capital infrastructure which has very low fuel costs but high running costs and then run this infrastructure at half capacity?

    If you want to replace nukes in France the most realistic option to replace 1 GW of nuclear capacity is

    1.5 GW of offshore wind ~40% CF
    1.5 GW of solar PV ~11% CF
    1 GW of backup CCGTs at ~20% CF
    Curtailment of the wind/PV during times of excess ~ guesstimate of 10% of wind/pv output curtailed
    Grid investment to move the offshore wind inland

    It does not work without building the 1 GW of backup CCGTs which is why the french pushed back their 2025 nuclear ramp down to 2035. It is also more fossil fuel intensive than just keeping the nukes. And significant more capital intensive than just keeping the nukes

    Sadly the green lobby does not accept that for France doing nothing is the cleanest cheapest option so instead France will be building wind farms and PV farms to just displace marginal nuclear production. The result will be more expensive electricity, more waste and CO2 produced, but the green lobby will get what it actually wants. They then point to ever increasing french electricity prices (due to the pointless digging holes and filling them back up again) and blame it on nuclear

    The French nukes are ok for probably the next 5 years but beyond that if PV/Wind deployment keeps going up and eats nuclear lunch then the nukes will come under more and more pressure (or more likely will need public support) because of all this nonsense

    The french grid is already super clean.
    The green lobby should stop wasting time and resources and making things worse in France
    They should lobby for more efficiency in heating/industry/cars and leave the grid alone why are they fighting a grid that is already 95-100% non fossil fuel
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 29th May 19, 11:18 AM
    • 4,023 Posts
    • 2,979 Thanks
    GreatApe
    That sounds reasonable, I think, but the capital cost of building nuclear is vast, and the enormous costs each time their life is extended (after review), so halving their annual output, would also half the income each year, which when you are trying to recover massive embedded costs/investments each time, would actually push the costs up enormously.

    Think of it a bit like investing in a domestic PV or battery system, if you halved the income, you would more than double the payback period due to the increased financing costs - longer to pay back loans (investors) and more interest (on greater outstanding debt) at any point in time.

    The problem with nuclear, as France (and Germany, USA, UK etc) are finding, is that it is simply too expensive now compared to the alternative .... RE. That doesn't mean it is/was a bad idea, as it's low carbon and far less harmful than coal emissions, so v's FF's especially coal it's a better option and (I believe) cheaper when externality costs are included. But v's RE now, it's far too expensive, and far too slow to build.

    Arguments that the choice is a binary one between nuclear and FF's are entirely false. If we choose not to deploy nuclear, then that frees up the monies for investment in RE instead. Looking at the UK, there's a good chance that nuclear may never recover now having stalled at HPC / 3.2GW v's the 16GW target. That doesn't mean we'll have 13GW shortfall, since the nuclear monies can now be targeted at RE instead, and with RE costs around half that of nuclear, we can save a fortune, and rollout the RE generation 10-15yrs sooner than the nuclear gen, thereby reducing FF emissions v's the nuclear option.

    Further, on the RE costs being around half of the nuclear costs, that also hits a key metric, that of wholesale leccy prices being approx half that of nuclear, which means reducing subsidy top ups, potentially down to zero. The coming off-shore wind auction hopes to attract half the generation of HPC (approx equal amount of capacity) for £90m v's the £45bn for HPC - half the generation for 1/500th the subsidy support.

    Lastly, the French also face the risk of growing energy shortages thanks to their ageing nuclear fleet. If you recall, a couple of years ago, about half their fleet had to be shutdown due to the number of cracks being found. At that point the UK and other countries had to help out by supplying them with leccy. So in the UK instead of buying 2GW of nuclear leccy excess from France, we had to dial up the coal fleet by 4GW to meet the unplanned shortfall.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981


    Mostly nonsense

    Solar and wind power are not equal to thermal output
    They can not guarantee supply when it is needed which is non negotiable

    So it is not a simple picture of well wind power costs x and new nuclear costs y per MWH
    MWHs are important but so is the ability to keep the grid up in fact that is much more critical

    The actual cost is nuclear vs a mix of Solar + wind and CCGT to fill in the gaps.
    And likely also significant additional grid lines to move offshore wind to french inland

    This is why France abandoned its 2025 target to shift away from nuclear.
    They dont want to build CCGTs and burn more NG which would be required to close its nuclear fleet

    If the French wanted to shut down 60GW of nuclear they have no choice but to build 60GW of CCGTs. This is required to meet winter demand when solar output is zero and when wind can be close to zero for a week or more. A weeks worth of electrical storage in batteries is impossible not only would it bankrupt the country but it would be such a huge quantity of batteries that building them and commissioning them would create vast amounts of CO2 and pollution

    Why fight the french grid when it is one of the cleanest in the world?
    Deploy that capital and manpower in cleaning up the german grid
    Or use that capital and manpower in improving french heating/industry/transport efficiency
    Last edited by GreatApe; 29-05-2019 at 12:06 PM.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 29th May 19, 12:35 PM
    • 4,023 Posts
    • 2,979 Thanks
    GreatApe
    BTW I accept new nuclear is dead vs offshore-wind/pv/CCGT-backup assuming offshore wind can be built for £2.6/watt solar for £1/watt and CCGT for £0.7/watt you could have a mix of those technologies at a price point around £50-60/MWh assuming 30 year life 3.75% interest and 30% O&M costs

    The only question is how far you can go. Upto 60% of the grid should be fine maybe upto 75% is doable beyond that you get more & more curtailment but even 75% would be an amazing achievement a grid 75% Wind/PV and 25% NG is a good grid

    France could do the same, replace its nuclear portion with 75% Offshore-Wind/PV 25% NG
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 5th Jun 19, 1:42 PM
    • 2,739 Posts
    • 4,126 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/05/home-solar-panel-installations-fall-by-94-as-subsidies-cut


    Who'd have guessed it?


    Instead, officials confirmed that new solar installations would be expected to give their unused clean power to energy companies for free.
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 5th Jun 19, 2:07 PM
    • 1,133 Posts
    • 3,696 Thanks
    1961Nick
    It's fair to assume that everything that would normally have been installed in May was completed by the end of April...which no doubt was a bumper month.

    It'll probably be July before we have any idea what the post-FIT adoption of solar panels is.
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 5th Jun 19, 2:33 PM
    • 2,739 Posts
    • 4,126 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    True, but unless you can use all the power it really doesn't make economic sense, so we know the figures will be very low.


    With the advent of smart meters there may be opportunity for innovative tariffs but there's going to be a hiatus during which all the installation firms involved on the domestic side are going to go pop. The party for small businesses my *rse.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 5th Jun 19, 3:30 PM
    • 22,926 Posts
    • 104,782 Thanks
    michaels
    There is mention that households with PV will pay more for their electricity in future.

    Does anyone have any info re this?

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/dec/18/energy-bills-ofgem-national-grid
    Cool heads and compromise
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 5th Jun 19, 3:59 PM
    • 1,133 Posts
    • 3,696 Thanks
    1961Nick
    There is mention that households with PV will pay more for their electricity in future.

    Does anyone have any info re this?

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/dec/18/energy-bills-ofgem-national-grid
    Originally posted by michaels
    If energy is so lucrative, can someone tell me why all these small energy firms are going into liquidation?

    All the talk about future regulation & nationalisation has already reduced market caps by 40% or so. That increases the cost of borrowing as credit ratings are lowered & ultimately affects future investment. How long before one of the big 6 enter a CVA?
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 9th Jun 19, 1:48 PM
    • 2,739 Posts
    • 4,126 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/09/energy-firms-buy-electricity-from-household-rooftop-solar-panels


    So not until January 2020, long enough to cause the collapse of all the small installers following the 94% drop in installations (or whatever much lower percentage it settles down at).
    • michaels
    • By michaels 9th Jun 19, 6:01 PM
    • 22,926 Posts
    • 104,782 Thanks
    michaels
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/09/energy-firms-buy-electricity-from-household-rooftop-solar-panels


    So not until January 2020, long enough to cause the collapse of all the small installers following the 94% drop in installations (or whatever much lower percentage it settles down at).
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Surely any installs now should still qualify for whatever scheme comes in in Jan even if there are no payments until next year. I would have thought those already on fit should also be allowed to switch to selling to the grid if the economics were better.
    Last edited by michaels; 09-06-2019 at 8:17 PM.
    Cool heads and compromise
    • KevinG
    • By KevinG 9th Jun 19, 6:17 PM
    • 1,585 Posts
    • 4,661 Thanks
    KevinG
    Surely any installs now should still qualify from whatever scheme comes in in Jan even if there are no payments until next year. I would have thought those already on fit should also be allowed to switch to selling to the grid if the economics were better.
    Originally posted by michaels
    Correct on both counts.
    Baxi Ecogen 24/1.0 Micro-CHP boiler installed Oct-2010; 2kWp Solar PV - 10*200W Kioto, SMA Sunny Boy 2000HF, SSE facing, some shading in winter, 37° pitch, installed Jun-2011, inverter replaced Sep-2017.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 12th Jun 19, 7:39 AM
    • 9,668 Posts
    • 14,564 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    I was watching some news on You-tube, and mention was made of this recently announced giant Spanish PV farm.

    The point that was made was the price, €300m for 590MW, so a cost of approx 50c/kWp - edit 50c/Wp. Incredible, and getting better all the time.

    Europe’s largest solar plant unveiled amid Spanish renewable rebirth
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 12-06-2019 at 1:25 PM.
    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.
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 12th Jun 19, 8:01 AM
    • 1,133 Posts
    • 3,696 Thanks
    1961Nick
    I was watching some news on You-tube, and mention was made of this recently announced giant Spanish PV farm.

    The point that was made was the price, €300m for 590MW, so a cost of approx 50c/kWp. Incredible, and getting better all the time.

    Europe’s largest solar plant unveiled amid Spanish renewable rebirth
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Shouldn't that be €500/kWp....or 50c/Wp?
    4kWp (black/black) - Sofar Inverter - SSE(141°) - 30° pitch - North Lincs
    Installed June 2013 - PVGIS = 3400

    Sofar ME3000SP Inverter & 5 x Pylontech US2000B Plus Batteries - 12kWh
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 12th Jun 19, 9:11 AM
    • 305 Posts
    • 489 Thanks
    pile-o-stone
    There is mention that households with PV will pay more for their electricity in future.

    Does anyone have any info re this?

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/dec/18/energy-bills-ofgem-national-grid
    Originally posted by michaels
    The issue is that people with solar are not paying their fair share for the maintenance of the grid due to their low energy bills. I wonder if people lowering their bills by fitting low energy consumer goods and using washing lines will also be hit? I guess not as it's not as easy to find them. This reminds me of the government push for us to all have diesel cars, which are then targeted as public enemy number one. We are then all encouraged to fit solar and we'll then be punished for doing it.

    In the end I think we'll end up with a BT/landline type of situation where there is a fixed fee on everyone's bill for maintaining the grid.

    I do wonder though if people with electric cars will be expected to pay more for their electric line rental.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
    Solar iBoost+ to two immersion heaters on 300L thermal store.
    Vegan household with 100% composted food waste
    Mini orchard planted and vegetable allotment created.
    • michaels
    • By michaels 12th Jun 19, 11:48 AM
    • 22,926 Posts
    • 104,782 Thanks
    michaels
    The issue is that people with solar are not paying their fair share for the maintenance of the grid due to their low energy bills. I wonder if people lowering their bills by fitting low energy consumer goods and using washing lines will also be hit? I guess not as it's not as easy to find them. This reminds me of the government push for us to all have diesel cars, which are then targeted as public enemy number one. We are then all encouraged to fit solar and we'll then be punished for doing it.

    In the end I think we'll end up with a BT/landline type of situation where there is a fixed fee on everyone's bill for maintaining the grid.

    I do wonder though if people with electric cars will be expected to pay more for their electric line rental.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    Economically it makes sense to separate fixed and variable costs but that is very unpopular on fairness grounds as poor low users appear to pay much more and on environmental grounds as margins cost unit pricing may well encourage greater use.

    They will need to tax electric cars somehow to make up for the loss of fuel duty.
    Cool heads and compromise
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 12th Jun 19, 12:00 PM
    • 4,961 Posts
    • 6,717 Thanks
    zeupater
    The issue is that people with solar are not paying their fair share for the maintenance of the grid due to their low energy bills. I wonder if people lowering their bills by fitting low energy consumer goods and using washing lines will also be hit? I guess not as it's not as easy to find them. This reminds me of the government push for us to all have diesel cars, which are then targeted as public enemy number one. We are then all encouraged to fit solar and we'll then be punished for doing it.

    In the end I think we'll end up with a BT/landline type of situation where there is a fixed fee on everyone's bill for maintaining the grid.

    I do wonder though if people with electric cars will be expected to pay more for their electric line rental.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    Hi

    ... "... situation where there is a fixed fee on everyone's bill for maintaining the grid." ?? .... but that's the reasoning behind the argument for maintaining the standing charge, yet the industry doesn't really seem to understand as evidenced by the wide variance in standing charges, not only between suppliers, but also between offerings from the same supplier ...

    If the standing charge represented a 'honest' view of the fixed cost element within a bill then there'd be little variance, so as the issue is one caused & supported by Ofgem in the billing 'simplification' changes a few years ago (the ones where all customers were considered too stupid to understand basic tiered tariffs but not too stupid to necessitate the most straightforward & transparent solution - No Standing Charge!) it's really down to the regulator under their own mandate to ensure that the fixed cost billing elements don't include profit or any variable costs ... but, in line with their history of ongoing incompetence, they don't ....

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 12th Jun 19, 1:28 PM
    • 9,668 Posts
    • 14,564 Thanks
    Martyn1981
    The issue is that people with solar are not paying their fair share for the maintenance of the grid due to their low energy bills.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    If they are using the grid less, then why should they pay the same as a high user.

    Less leccy - less payments, surely that is 'paying their fair share.'
    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.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,967Posts Today

7,816Users online

Martin's Twitter