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  • FIRST POST
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 7th Jan 13, 4:36 PM
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    zeupater
    Solar ... In the news
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 13, 4:36 PM
    Solar ... In the news 7th Jan 13 at 4:36 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 4:48 PM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
Page 126
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 12th Jun 19, 2:17 PM
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    silverwhistle
    They're replacing the substation near me which I can see from my office window as I type. This is following the outage last week and the use of a generator [less my export contribution :-) ]. If they need to upgrade, for whatever reason, why should I as a low user be obliged to pay an equal amount for upgrades when it is heavier users (or that new housing estate down the road) that are causing the need for investment?


    As an Ebico customer at the moment with zero standing charge I'm quite aware of Zeupater's point, and pay a quite shocking rate per unit which underlines how low users are penalised. The per unit comparison figures the companies are obliged to publish are really quite useless based as they are on some notional average user.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 12th Jun 19, 2:18 PM
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    GreatApe
    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.
    Originally posted by michaels

    There should be 3 different regulated tariffs

    1: The normal tariff as is now which is typically about 15p / unit and quite a low fixed charge

    2: An additional tariff for EVs which should be just the marginal cost of offshore wind power (the fixed grid and business costs already mostly paid for by #1) so about 6p a unit. With smart charging of EVs

    3: An additional tariff for heating which should be just the marginal cost of offshore wind power so lets say 6p a unit. Again like #2 this should be available when the national and local grid capacity has excess which again is pretty much all the time outside of the 100 colder days 4-8pm. If you want/need to heat outside of spare capacity the electricity is charged as #1 which will pay for grid upgrades

    This is needed to electrify heating and transport and in the mid to long term could be 80/20 Wind/CCGT
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 12th Jun 19, 2:26 PM
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    GreatApe
    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.'
    Originally posted by Martyn1981

    because it does not add up

    If electricity costs 5p a unit and 10p in other costs then sure everyone can pay 15p and it works

    but if everyone now uses 50% less what happens? Can we continue paying 15p a unit?

    No because the 10p 'other costs' now spread among half as many units mean the cost to supply you is now 5p + 20p other costs so you need to pay 25p a unit

    So clearly on a national level the biggest factor for cost is the amount of electricity we use.
    If we use less we pay more per unit, if we use more we pay less per unit and this needs to be reflected in the tarriffs

    The two extremes are, all in unit cost, or very high line cost and just marginal electricity costs

    Both have good and bad points.
    Overall you lean towards the all in costs cos it suits you personally and you think it will help residential PV deployment
    I'm in favor of high line cost and 6p marginal cost because that way we can see a rapid switch to electrical heating which is what is required and this could be powered by 6p offshore wind probably at a 80/20 ratio wind/ccgt
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 13th Jun 19, 8:55 AM
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    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.'
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    The argument is that we solar owners still need the infrastructure to get the electricity to our houses, regardless of how much energy is then used. The infrastructure should be maintained equally by everyone who uses it, which is what the standing charge used to be about. If the same set fee, similar to the BT landline charge, is put on everyone's bill and is properly costed so it covers maintenance without a profit aspect, then I think that'd be fair.

    The option if you don't like the idea of maintaining the grid is to get off it, though this would undoubtedly be more expensive than paying a standing charge.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 13th Jun 19, 9:20 AM
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    Martyn1981
    The argument is that we solar owners still need the infrastructure to get the electricity to our houses, regardless of how much energy is then used. The infrastructure should be maintained equally by everyone who uses it, which is what the standing charge used to be about. If the same set fee, similar to the BT landline charge, is put on everyone's bill and is properly costed so it covers maintenance without a profit aspect, then I think that'd be fair.

    The option if you don't like the idea of maintaining the grid is to get off it, though this would undoubtedly be more expensive than paying a standing charge.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    All of the studies done in the US, when trying to ascertain what a fair net metering price should be, found that distributed generation had a very high value since it brought multiple benefits, such as reduced emissions, reduced upgrade costs to the local network, lowered peak demand (from the centralised side) etc etc..

    So whilst I believe low leccy users (import) should pay less for the cost of the infrastructure, I also feel that small scale distributed generators, bring even more benefits.

    Plus of course PV export has no impact further upstream than the local phase that it is being exported on to nearby consumers.


    The infrastructure should be maintained equally by everyone who uses it, which is what the standing charge used to be about.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    I get this argument, but I also fundamentally disagree with it, hence why I favour the 'petrol forecourt' pricing argument for overheads to be included in the unit price, and thereby reflect usage.

    I don't pay Tesco's, Sainsbury's etc an annual fee for the right to enter their premises and buy something. Instead, all the costs are included in the product itself, as is the case with probably 99% of the different items we buy.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 13-06-2019 at 9:24 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.
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 13th Jun 19, 11:20 AM
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    zeupater
    All of the studies done in the US, when trying to ascertain what a fair net metering price should be, found that distributed generation had a very high value since it brought multiple benefits, such as reduced emissions, reduced upgrade costs to the local network, lowered peak demand (from the centralised side) etc etc..

    So whilst I believe low leccy users (import) should pay less for the cost of the infrastructure, I also feel that small scale distributed generators, bring even more benefits.

    Plus of course PV export has no impact further upstream than the local phase that it is being exported on to nearby consumers.




    I get this argument, but I also fundamentally disagree with it, hence why I favour the 'petrol forecourt' pricing argument for overheads to be included in the unit price, and thereby reflect usage.

    I don't pay Tesco's, Sainsbury's etc an annual fee for the right to enter their premises and buy something. Instead, all the costs are included in the product itself, as is the case with probably 99% of the different items we buy.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Hi

    Totally agree ... distributed generation has a massive impact on the required capacity of the national infrastructure - National Grid accepted this & promoted the benefits years ago. As micro & distributed generation increases it's share of energy provision, the grid infrastructure investment actually falls, so fixed cost reductions should be passed on to consumers through lower standing charges ..... obviously, given enough pressure, the message will eventually get through to the energy sector cartel protector Ofgem ....

    To meet the government's 2050 carbon target, decisions to discourage unnecessary energy use & encourage efficiency measures must be taken, therefore energy pricing must be loaded towards the variable as opposed to fixed .... If energy tariffs were fixed (as in unlimited usage within a period, subject to a fair usage clause) then there'd be no incentive to reduce consumption, whereas removing a fixed element completely is reflected immediately within the unit price, which provides total price transparency to all consumers thus removing the comparison complexity that the industry is allowed (by the regulator!) to hide behind ...

    Forecourt pricing is really the only logical way forward, how long it will take Ofgem & Parliament to realise this is a different story ...

    HTH
    Z
    Last edited by zeupater; 13-06-2019 at 11:25 AM.
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 13th Jun 19, 2:16 PM
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    silverwhistle
    The infrastructure should be maintained equally by everyone who uses it, which is what the standing charge used to be about. .
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone

    No it shouldn't, not if we don't make equal use of it. If everybody were to be rationed to (say) 3kW peak demand, which is in fact the case in Italy unless you pay more, then an equal division of the cost might be equitable. But some people put far greater demands on the system, for which additional costs are incurred, and for that they should pay more.



    Similarly I think we'll eventually end up with mileage pricing for roads. If the demands you make on the road system are not directly reflected in what you spend on fossil fuels if you should get an EV then, ultimately, there will need to be another mechanism to prevent road overcrowding and help replace fuel duty in the government's coffers.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 13th Jun 19, 2:27 PM
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    silverwhistle
    whereas removing a fixed element completely is reflected immediately within the unit price, which provides total price transparency to all consumers thus removing the comparison complexity that the industry is allowed (by the regulator!) to hide behind ...
    Originally posted by zeupater



    Exactly this, and I'd refer anybody interested to my post above and to the EBICO web site, where they can see the impact of standing charges on low users. They will come to the conclusion that ONLY low users would use EBICO's standing charge free tariff, but it would also underline that the same impact is on low users paying standing charges for any supplier.



    I have PV and can afford my bills easily but it cannot be stressed enough that the current pricing structure is regressive..
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 13th Jun 19, 6:11 PM
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    pile-o-stone
    No it shouldn't, not if we don't make equal use of it. If everybody were to be rationed to (say) 3kW peak demand, which is in fact the case in Italy unless you pay more, then an equal division of the cost might be equitable. But some people put far greater demands on the system, for which additional costs are incurred, and for that they should pay more.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    Taking that argument further you could say that people in rural or sparsely populated communities should pay more because it costs more to supply them due to longer cable runs and greater potential to damage in exposed areas. It starts getting complex if we have to factor in lots of variables, so a fixed fee would probably be cheaper to administer.
    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
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    • JKenH
    • By JKenH 13th Jun 19, 6:55 PM
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    JKenH
    Taking that argument further you could say that people in rural or sparsely populated communities should pay more because it costs more to supply them due to longer cable runs and greater potential to damage in exposed areas
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    ... and people in urban areas who live further from the generation point should also pay more to cover the infrastructure cost of getting the electricity to them. Ditto water and gas users.
    Northern Lincolnshire. 7.8 kWp system, (4.2 kw west facing panels , 3.6 kw east facing), Solis inverters, Solar IBoost water heater, Mitsubishi SRK35ZS-S and SRK20ZS-S Wall Mounted Inverter Heat Pumps
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 13th Jun 19, 7:25 PM
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    zeupater
    Taking that argument further you could say that people in rural or sparsely populated communities should pay more because it costs more to supply them due to longer cable runs and greater potential to damage in exposed areas. It starts getting complex if we have to factor in lots of variables, so a fixed fee would probably be cheaper to administer.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    Hi

    But the variables are all factored in already, as evidenced by different areas having different variable pricing structures as opposed to a single national rate and the maintenance of a regional fixed charge which is supposed to cover the difference in fixed supply costs.

    The issue is that the entire energy sector is vehemently opposed to price transparency because it would drive real competition throughout the industry ... in the tariff simplification exercise a few years back, in order to deliver simplification, transparency & competition, Ofgem should have mandated that both regional price discrepancies & the application of standing charges should cease and that all suppliers should headline their offerings on a straight pence/kWh basis. This would enable all consumers to directly compare all suppliers without knowing all of the variables which can distort the accuracy of comparison websites ...

    ... just think of the savings which could be passed on to all consumers if the suppliers weren't continually paying commission to the comparison sites for handling the complexity that they are so protective of ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Jun 19, 6:05 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Taking that argument further you could say that people in rural or sparsely populated communities should pay more because it costs more to supply them due to longer cable runs and greater potential to damage in exposed areas. It starts getting complex if we have to factor in lots of variables, so a fixed fee would probably be cheaper to administer.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    This already happens.

    Edit - Just to be clear, my main reason for supporting a 'petrol forecourt' price isn't actually about fair distribution of costs - I have no objection to the standing charge on my water bill prior to the metered units, which is actually low.

    My main position is the one that Z and SW have raised, which is the need to make the marginal cost of energy more expensive. A higher unit price will encourage people to reduce waste, it'll encourage energy saving spending as it will give a faster payback on say the 20 more expensive telly that consumes less watts, and it improves the economics of self/distributed generation.

    Again, given that almost everything we buy has the fixed costs rolled in, standing charges are actually the anomaly, and removing them is no big deal. In fact, only high users would 'suffer', since an average user should see no net change to their bill total, and low users would pay less. So high users would be penalised for using 'too much' leccy, and having a higher impact on the infrastructure.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 14-06-2019 at 6:20 AM. 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.
    • pile-o-stone
    • By pile-o-stone 14th Jun 19, 8:53 AM
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    pile-o-stone
    My main position is the one that Z and SW have raised, which is the need to make the marginal cost of energy more expensive. A higher unit price will encourage people to reduce waste, it'll encourage energy saving spending as it will give a faster payback on say the 20 more expensive telly that consumes less watts, and it improves the economics of self/distributed generation.
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    The problem with this is that it will unfairly hit those who are poorer, who are more likely to live in energy inefficient housing stock and who may be renting and so have no power to improve the property (even if they could afford to). Those on key meters who already have higher bills will be hit with a double whammy.

    I'm assuming that you'd use the monies raised with the increased unit price to help out those people negatively impacted by the increase such as funding energy improvements, rather than allow the energy companies to just pocket the money and make themselves richer.

    The trouble is how do you administer this? Your higher prices won't just hit those on benefits, it will also hit the 'just about managing', young people just starting out in their careers who are already under a burden of trying to pay student loans and save for deposits on high house prices, it'll hit young families who have high child care costs. How do these apply for assistance? Are we to add even more people on the benefit system? You'd have to increase the unit price significantly just to cover the increase in civil service administration to make these additional benefit payments.
    5.18 kWp PV systems (3.68 E/W & 1.5 E).
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    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 14th Jun 19, 11:55 AM
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    silverwhistle
    I was going to agree with Martyn, particularly his last paragraph, and write a post with a similar point to yours about housing standards.


    But they are different issues, and by and large those on benefits are already, perforce, low users. They aren't the ones who will be hit by this and if we are concerned about this issue then we need to deal with those root issues.



    The real problem, as we have seen this week over the Grenfell Tower demonstrations two years on, is that the current government doesn't give a toss about such people.
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 14th Jun 19, 12:10 PM
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    GreatApe
    The problem with this is that it will unfairly hit those who are poorer, who are more likely to live in energy inefficient housing stock and who may be renting and so have no power to improve the property (even if they could afford to). Those on key meters who already have higher bills will be hit with a double whammy.

    I'm assuming that you'd use the monies raised with the increased unit price to help out those people negatively impacted by the increase such as funding energy improvements, rather than allow the energy companies to just pocket the money and make themselves richer.

    The trouble is how do you administer this? Your higher prices won't just hit those on benefits, it will also hit the 'just about managing', young people just starting out in their careers who are already under a burden of trying to pay student loans and save for deposits on high house prices, it'll hit young families who have high child care costs. How do these apply for assistance? Are we to add even more people on the benefit system? You'd have to increase the unit price significantly just to cover the increase in civil service administration to make these additional benefit payments.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone


    Electricity needs to become significantly cheaper to electrify heating and most likely this will be via simple resistance heating. Heat pumps are unlikely to be affordable both upfront and to run (else countries like Norway Sweden would be using heat pumps but instead they use resistance heating)

    So far the UK green costs have been negligible because a lot of the greening has been done by efficiency (eg LED lights and more efficient appliances and things like going from a 300 watt desktop to a 5 watt tablet) which saved money. Likewise although wind mills and PV farms have added to costs, the inter-connectors built and under construction will reduce costs and import mostly green nuclear/hydro power

    But the next stage is going to be costly, there is no cheap way to move away from NG heating to electrical heating and the idea of expensive electricity = good will cripple the conversion of heating from FF to electricity
    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 14th Jun 19, 12:23 PM
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    GreatApe
    The real problem, as we have seen this week over the Grenfell Tower demonstrations two years on, is that the current government doesn't give a toss about such people.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle

    Money doesn't grow on trees

    To spend more on x you need to tax more or spend less elsewhere

    Housing standards for the poor can be improved, so long as you are willing to tax people more to make it happen. We can switch from fossil fuels to green power so long as you are willing for people to pay more for electricity so they have less money to spend on other needs/wants

    Spending other peoples money is easy but there comes a point when other people say hold on a minute and vote in who they assume to be better custodians of their limited finances

    Like it or not, the average person does not want to pay more in taxes or pay higher prices so that someone 'poor' can live in a better house while they have to live a life of fewer goods and services to fund this

    Why even have government in the mix. Team up with 5 other not poor households on your street and Go find someone poor on your street and offer to lag their loft and build them an extension via your own funds as a gift to them. If you dont want to do it directly why do you want it done indirectly?
    • 1961Nick
    • By 1961Nick 14th Jun 19, 12:25 PM
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    1961Nick

    But the next stage is going to be costly, there is no cheap way to move away from NG heating to electrical heating and the idea of expensive electricity = good will cripple the conversion of heating from FF to electricity
    Originally posted by GreatApe
    How about installing more windmills & solar farms & using the surplus energy to produce hydrogen?
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    • GreatApe
    • By GreatApe 14th Jun 19, 1:14 PM
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    GreatApe
    How about installing more windmills & solar farms & using the surplus energy to produce hydrogen?
    Originally posted by 1961Nick
    It makes no economic sense whatsoever and while costs can improve we cant beat the laws of thermodynamics. You dont turn high grade fuel (electricity) to low grade fuel (chemical).

    We can do electrical heating. Offshore wind farms in the UK get about 50% CF in the winter months and spread out over the UK correlation might be 75% so about 65% of heating can be provided via direct electrical heating of homes/businesses via offshore wind power

    The other 35% of heating will have to be covered by biomass/nuclear/interconnector-imports/pumped-hydro and yes keeping NG in the mix

    If EVs become successful then maybe this 65:35 ratio could be closer to 70:30 ratio

    This remaining 30% of heating is going to be very difficult to solve

    Perhaps biomass fired power stations fitted with CCS (which would be negative carbon) (possible but unlikely imo)

    Or perhaps homes/offices that are willing to be curtailed (ie accept ~30% of the winter days you have no or limited heating) but get offered a cheaper rate (Quite likely)

    Or perhaps build solar farms in the world where output correlates to demand, that would mean for the uk we would need to import solar from somewhere in the southern hemisphere so lots of output during the uk winter. We would need 50GW+ link to the southern hemisphere and something like 100GW capacity of PV down there with also big batteries. (I dont think this is at all likely!)

    Or yes hydrogen production to fill in this 30% gap (extremely unlikely and will be costly very costly)
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Jun 19, 1:16 PM
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    Martyn1981
    I'm assuming that you'd use the monies raised with the increased unit price
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    There would be no monies raised, in fact, a higher unit price would hopefully reduce total demand, and therefore total revenue/expenditure.
    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 14th Jun 19, 1:24 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Your higher prices won't just hit those on benefits, it will also hit the 'just about managing', young people just starting out in their careers who are already under a burden of trying to pay student loans and save for deposits on high house prices, it'll hit young families who have high child care costs. How do these apply for assistance? Are we to add even more people on the benefit system? You'd have to increase the unit price significantly just to cover the increase in civil service administration to make these additional benefit payments.
    Originally posted by pile-o-stone
    My higher prices? On average bills would stay the same, but those using less, would pay less.

    All of your post is based on you not understanding what it is being proposed, and then trying to suggest it somehow impacts on the poorer among us.


    If you didn't like that idea of mine, then you'll hate this one - put the VAT rate up from 5% to 20%, as we need to encourage a reduction in energy consumption, and an increased take up of energy saving, insulation, reduced waste etc.

    In that case (and I have detailed this before, so you can check), I'd ring fence the 15% additional VAT and use it to fund energy saving, insulation etc, and help those in fuel poverty. I'd suggest that we could very quickly reduce everyone's energy consumption by 15%, thereby avoiding any net bill increase, and reduce CO2 emissions too.

    It might be favourable to have some sort of reduced VAT rate for the low carbon element of the energy provided, so someone on a 100% green leccy tariff would remain on 5%, or even less.
    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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