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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.
    • #1
    • 9th Jun 15, 7:25 AM
    Green, ethical, energy issues in the news. 9th Jun 15 at 7:25 AM
    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.
    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 61
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 13th Apr 18, 9:19 AM
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    silverwhistle
    As an ex-SSE employee with quite a few shares I keep an eye on their progress (and avoid their tariffs ). I notice they've applied to upgrade the pumped storage scheme at Coire Glas from 600MW to 1500. The increase in renewables gives ever more importance to smoothing out surpluses in supply, and there are other pumped storage schemes being researched and projected.

    It appears the difficulty is how you get the payback for the capital costs involved. Similar to the occasional use gas peak-lopping plant. In both cases you only use them if you have to, and as more renewables come on board you'll get less use!
    • lstar337
    • By lstar337 13th Apr 18, 11:55 AM
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    lstar337
    It appears the difficulty is how you get the payback for the capital costs involved. Similar to the occasional use gas peak-lopping plant. In both cases you only use them if you have to, and as more renewables come on board you'll get less use!
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    True, and as more and more renewables come on board we'll need more and places to 'dump' the excess. Interesting times ahead.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 13th Apr 18, 2:54 PM
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    Martyn1981
    True, and as more and more renewables come on board we'll need more and places to 'dump' the excess. Interesting times ahead.
    Originally posted by lstar337
    I think that's the most interesting part. I'm loving it watching the news on all the storage progress, whether it's the reduction in cost (from scaling up) of existing technologies, or the development of new ones. Plus of course expect 'the clever people' to come up with loads of uses for very cheap (but intermittent) leccy.
    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 13th Apr 18, 2:58 PM
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    Martyn1981
    You can run, but you can't hide!
    New satellite to spot planet-warming industrial methane leaks

    Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the short term, and is responsible for about a fifth of human-caused climate change. The oil and gas industry is to blame for about a third of anthropogenic methane emissions, from fracking and other exploration sites, and from leaky pipelines.

    “Cutting methane emissions from the global oil and gas industry is the single fastest thing we can do to help put the brakes on climate change right now,” said Fred Krupp, EDF president. Only 3% of oil and gas companies currently report quantitative methane emissions, according to EDF. “By providing reliable, fully transparent data on a worldwide scale, MethaneSAT will help transform a serious climate threat into a crucial opportunity,” he said.
    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 13th Apr 18, 3:16 PM
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    Martyn1981
    MP's seem to support the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

    MPs to pressure government on backing for Swansea tidal lagoon project

    It's a tricky one this as the leccy from this scheme will be expensive, but if the technology is proven to work then schemes like the Cardiff lagoon could be built at ten times the size, but half the cost of generation.

    A tidal lagoon package could generate about 10% of the UK's leccy, and whilst it will of course be intermittent, generating 14hrs per day (4 x 3.5hrs), it will be predictable and reliable. And with tides varying around the UK, the package would as a whole be generating for more than 14hrs per day.

    I also feel that lagoons add more than just the value of their generation, as they will hopefully provide aesthetic benefits, perhaps tourism and storm flood protection too.

    I'm not sure it really boils down to this, and £1.3bn is a lot of money but ....... could it be worth a punt?
    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 13th Apr 18, 3:52 PM
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    Coastalwatch
    MP's seem to support the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

    MPs to pressure government on backing for Swansea tidal lagoon project

    It's a tricky one this as the leccy from this scheme will be expensive, but if the technology is proven to work then schemes like the Cardiff lagoon could be built at ten times the size, but half the cost of generation.

    A tidal lagoon package could generate about 10% of the UK's leccy, and whilst it will of course be intermittent, generating 14hrs per day (4 x 3.5hrs), it will be predictable and reliable. And with tides varying around the UK, the package would as a whole be generating for more than 14hrs per day.

    I also feel that lagoons add more than just the value of their generation, as they will hopefully provide aesthetic benefits, perhaps tourism and storm flood protection too.

    I'm not sure it really boils down to this, and £1.3bn is a lot of money but ....... could it be worth a punt?
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    £1.3bn sounds a lot but I wonder how it compares with H Point.
    Going back fifty years I can remember one of our college lecturers saying that if the power of the tide could be harnessed in the mouth of the river Seven then a significant percentage of the nations electricity could be generated there.
    I should think it's got to be worth a punt at least, if you'll pardon the expression.
    Hopefully it won't be another fifty years before it becomes a reality.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 13th Apr 18, 7:23 PM
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    Martyn1981
    £1.3bn sounds a lot but I wonder how it compares with H Point.
    Going back fifty years I can remember one of our college lecturers saying that if the power of the tide could be harnessed in the mouth of the river Seven then a significant percentage of the nations electricity could be generated there.
    I should think it's got to be worth a punt at least, if you'll pardon the expression.
    Hopefully it won't be another fifty years before it becomes a reality.
    Originally posted by Coastalwatch
    I think the Severn Tidal Barrage was calculated to generate about 5% of the UK's leccy demand, which is pretty impressive. I'm guessing (using a map and markI eyeball, but i'd say a longer barrage straight up from Minehead would probably trap about 3x the water that the Lavernock/Weston one would.

    Cost wise for comparison, I think the latest cost for building HPC is about £24bn but it keeps changing.

    The Swansea subsidy examples are for quite a lot more than HPC per MWh, (about £160/MWh I think) or a bit less than HPC but for 90yrs not 35yrs. However, you do have to bear in mind how much leccy that subsidy is being upon.

    Swansea is approx 320MW and will have a capacity factor of about 20% (PV is about 11% in the UK), and that compares to HPC with a genarting capacity of 3,200MW and a cf of 92%.

    So we have a generating comparison of:
    Swansea 64MW v's 2,944MW for HPC

    So think of Swansea like the early days of PV, a high subsidy, but a small amount of generation to get the market going.

    Suggestions are that the Lagoon package would cost about the same as PV and on-shore wind per MWh, but those statements were made a couple of years back, and may well have been based on the early CfD's of about £80/MWh ) HPC is now £100/MWh.

    In absolute subsidy terms, using that old £160 figure I seem to recall, and assuming a wholesale price of about £45/MWh for most of the 35yrs (see page 39), then we have the following comparison:-

    Swansea (£160-£45) x (320MW x 20%) x 24hrs x 365days x 35yrs = £2.26bn

    HPC (£100-£45) x (3,200MW x 92%) x 24hrs x 365days x 35yrs = £49.64bn

    But remember the different cost reflects a difference in generation, so in simpler terms, Swansea gets £115 of subsidy per MWh v's £55 for HPC.

    If Cardiff is built for around £80/MWh, then it would get a per MWh subsidy of about £35.

    Personally, I too think it's well worth a punt, as beyond any learnt lessons from the first small(ish) scheme, there is a genuine and simple mathematical reason why the bigger schemes would be cheaper, if Swansea proves the building techniques:

    - take a circle, it will have a circumference and a volume - next double the circumference, and you will quadruple the volume.

    - the same applies to a semi-circular sea wall, if you double its length (twice the cost), you quadruple the volume of water that is caught.

    - since the sea walls will represent a very large proportion of the costs, going bigger means the cost of generation (per MWh) gets cheaper.

    [Note, I've scribbled this all off the top of my head, so the Swansea figures may differ especially as there has been quite a lot of discussion/negotiations.]


    Edit - Should have also said, the RE toolbox gets stronger as you add more tools to it. Often on here someone will say PV's no good as it doesn't work at night, which is akin to judging a hammer on its ability to saw wood. So the RE toolbox needs a hammer, and a saw etc so that the technologies cross support each other and reduce the peaks and troughs that intermittent renewables obviously have.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 13-04-2018 at 7:26 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 13th Apr 18, 7:38 PM
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    Martyn1981
    When it comes to piles, I suspect 8m wide, 65m long and 800tonnes is pretty eye watering opening.

    Hornsea 1 plants first root

    Hornsea 1 will feature 174 Siemens Gamesa 7MW turbines and is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

    And here's a peak at part of the electrical infrastructure that's needed.

    Danes load first Hornsea 1 topside
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 13-04-2018 at 7:40 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.
    • Coastalwatch
    • By Coastalwatch 13th Apr 18, 10:30 PM
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    Coastalwatch
    When it comes to piles, I suspect 8m wide, 65m long and 800tonnes is pretty eye watering opening.

    Hornsea 1 plants first root




    And here's a peak at part of the electrical infrastructure that's needed.

    Danes load first Hornsea 1 topside
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Wow Martyn, that's quite some pile! I've often wondered how they anchor the turbines to the seabed. A bit like a root canal in the jaw, only on a much larger scale. At 8 metres diameter I struggle to believe it is embedded as a single structure and can only imagine it to be made of smaller sections, similar to how a coffer dam is produced! Even so, quite some foundation.
    And at just 7kw then future turbines will be even larger!
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Apr 18, 7:39 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Wow Martyn, that's quite some pile! I've often wondered how they anchor the turbines to the seabed. A bit like a root canal in the jaw, only on a much larger scale. At 8 metres diameter I struggle to believe it is embedded as a single structure and can only imagine it to be made of smaller sections, similar to how a coffer dam is produced! Even so, quite some foundation.
    And at just 7kw then future turbines will be even larger!
    Originally posted by Coastalwatch
    Yep, imagine the bases for the 12MW WT's when they start to roll out, or is it ship out.

    I stole the articles from a post on the Navitron Forum, where someone did the maths for the bolt holes, and it starts to get 'silly':

    120 holes on a pcd of less than 8m means that the holes are about 200mm apart which suggests, visually, 80mm diameter holes......and a bolt big enough to make your eyes water!
    That's why I affectionately refer to these WT's as monsters.

    PS, call me Mart, I'm too immature to warrant a full name. ;-)
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 14-04-2018 at 7:41 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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Apr 18, 5:14 PM
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    Martyn1981
    I don't know if this will affect anyone directly, but it might be of interest regarding the future of space heating in the UK and the need to move away from FF's.

    This 'call for evidence' is about finding low carbon sources of heating for off-gas-grid properties, during the 2020's.

    A future framework for heat in buildings: call for evidence

    The Clean Growth Strategy presented major policies and plans that will cut the cost of energy, drive economic growth, create high value jobs right across the UK, and improve our quality of life.

    This call for evidence reaffirms that ambition by building on the commitment to phase out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing buildings off the gas grid, during the 2020s. The consultation document explains what we mean by this ambition, and seeks evidence on how we could implement it.

    The heating industry has a vital role to play. It is essential for installers, suppliers and manufacturers in the coal and oil sectors to show leadership. Government will listen to, and work with, our experienced heating experts from all sectors of the industry. Our heating industry must retain its position as a world leader, seeing this process as an opportunity to lead the change that is necessary, and not let the world change without them. Phasing out high carbon fossil fuel heating may be a challenge, but it is also an opportunity for new jobs, new skills, and investment in innovation, as well as greater comfort and convenience for our households and businesses. Moreover, what we do now to decarbonise buildings off the gas grid may pave the way for future decarbonisation of the wider building stock.

    We are seeking evidence from across society, in particular from both consumers and the heat market:

    those using or working with fossil fuels
    those using or working with low carbon alternatives.
    This is essential so that we can explore the options available to take action during the 2020s and build consensus for that action.
    Here is a small section on possible technologies from page 18 of the main document:

    3.3.There are a variety of cleaner technologies that may be suitable for off gas grid properties (both domestic and non-domestic). These include electric heating, heat networks (with a low carbon heat source), bioliquids, biopropane, biomass and hybrids. Most independent commentators suggest that heat pumps are the leading solution for decarbonising properties off the gas grid. The following sections ask for more evidence on these technologies.

    3.4.We are particularly keen to better understand what government can do to reduce barriers to the roll out of those alternatives. Equally, industry can, and must, do more to drive down cost reductions and improve the performance of key technologies. We want to understand how quickly these savings can be realised to drive the sustainable roll out.
    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 17th Apr 18, 1:18 PM
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    Martyn1981
    Wind is doing well today, and coal is at zero again.

    Live generation data from the Great Britain electricity grid

    as at 1.17pm we have coal at zero, gas at 10.4GW, nuclear at 6.7GW, wind at 12.5GW, and solar at 5.3GW.
    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.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 17th Apr 18, 4:00 PM
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    silverwhistle
    as at 1.17pm we have coal at zero, gas at 10.4GW, nuclear at 6.7GW, wind at 12.5GW, and solar at 5.3GW
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    and a full tank of hot water stored in my immersion tank. How much solar and wind is embedded and not recorded?
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 18th Apr 18, 6:43 AM
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    Martyn1981
    and a full tank of hot water stored in my immersion tank. How much solar and wind is embedded and not recorded?
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    On that site, all wind and solar is shown. The embedded wind is estimated, and according to Gridwatch, which doesn't show it, you need to add another 30%. As far as I'm aware, all PV is embedded, that's to say it's on the 'low voltage grid', the Distribution Network, not the high voltage grid, transmission grid, managed by The National Grid.

    The embedded wind and solar is estimated, but I'd expect it to be pretty accurate as there's enough of both to use averages from the sample sites to estimate the whole.

    Quick look at the two sites and Gridwatch has wind at 6.46GW, so add 30% = 8.4GW, and Energy Numbers has wind at 8.2GW, so reasonably similar.
    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 Apr 18, 7:18 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Phew! That was close.

    Looks like RE got cheap enough, just soon enough to start heading off Indian thermal generation before it accelerated out of control.

    Net additions of coal are falling, and RE is accelerating. Expect CO2 emissions from India to rise (as their per capita levels are extremely low), but by far, far less than was feared just a few years ago.

    India Added More Solar & Wind In 2017 Than Coal-Based Capacity

    Perhaps for the first time ever, India added more renewable renewable energy capacity in a calendar year than coal-based capacity. One of the fastest growing renewable energy markets achieved this feat last year.

    According to government data, India added 12.8 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity against just 4 gigawatts of net coal-based power capacity added in 2017. Renewable energy dominated the new capacity added in India with a massive share of 66%, up from 42% in 2016. Coal-based power capacity had a share of 21% in the new net capacity added, down from 54% in 2016.

    India Had Coal-Free Power Capacity Addition During 8 Months In 2017

    India probably witnessed the greenest stretch of its power sector last year in terms of new capacity added. No thermal power capacity was added in 8 of the 12 months last year in India.

    India managed to add coal-based power capacity in only 4 of the 12 months last calendar year. In six months, India actually retired coal-based power capacity, leading to a net reduction in installed coal-based capacity during those months. Overall, India added 7,115 megawatts of coal-based power capacity and retired 3,111 megawatts of capacity in 2017 — a net capacity addition of 4,004 megawatts during the entire year.
    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 Apr 18, 12:45 PM
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    Martyn1981
    A nice brief feel-good story / update.

    Political Shenanigans Got You Down? These 5 Global Trends Are Positively Changing The World Right Now

    Reading, seeing, watching, or listening to what passes off as news these days can inevitably bring a sense of doom, uncertainty, and fear (FUD) that some politicians love to bathe in to justify their middlemen role and push whatever pet project they have for their business buddies. But there is also good quality news out there if you let independent journalists communicate what they know best, fields they master for the purpose of bringing more light to important matters.

    5 Trends That Will Give You Faith In Humanity
    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 Apr 18, 5:16 PM
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    Martyn1981
    This is a good read, it shows how much more we need to do, but there are lots of benefits. We certainly need to start moving away from FF's as fast as possible now.

    IRENA: Renewables can account for up to two-thirds of total energy use, and 85% of power generation by 2050

    Meanwhile, procrastination to embark on energy transformation is seen as the key risk, and early action to channel investments in the right energy technologies is believed to be critical to reduce the scale of stranded assets.

    The roadmap currently anticipates up to $11 trillion of stranded energy assets by 2050 !!!8211; a value that could double if action is further delayed.
    Costs, investments, jobs

    Clearly, energy transformation would be cost intensive, but savings from reduced air pollution, better health and lower environmental damage would far outweigh these costs.

    According to IRENA, the additional costs of the comprehensive, long-term energy transition would amount to $1.7 trillion annually in 2050, while savings in these three areas alone would average $6 trillion annually by 2050.
    Another key benefit of the energy transition would be the employment boost in the energy sector. The report finds that while 7.4 million jobs in fossil fuels will be lost by 2050, 19 million new jobs will be created in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and grid enhancement and energy flexibility, for a net gain of 11.6 million jobs.

    !!!8220;Transformation will not only support climate objectives, it will support positive social and economic outcomes all over the world, lifting millions out of energy poverty, increasing energy independence and stimulating sustainable job growth,!!!8221; said Amin, addressing the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue.
    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 19th Apr 18, 3:09 AM
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    GreatApe
    The jobs argument is an easy one

    If the renewables cost more there will be more jobs if the renewables cost less there will be fewer jobs.

    Seeing as how the argument is that solar and wind is going to undercut coal and gas that can't be true alongside more jobs.

    Basically the claim of more jobs + cheaper energy can't add up.
    • Exiled Tyke
    • By Exiled Tyke 19th Apr 18, 6:56 AM
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    Exiled Tyke
    The jobs argument is an easy one

    If the renewables cost more there will be more jobs if the renewables cost less there will be fewer jobs.

    Seeing as how the argument is that solar and wind is going to undercut coal and gas that can't be true alongside more jobs.

    Basically the claim of more jobs + cheaper energy can't add up.
    Originally posted by GreatApe
    Yes it can. With RE a larger proportion of the jobs are involved with creating generating capability: assets for the long term. So when the consumer spends money in the RE their money goes towards long term generation. With coal production a larger proportion of the jobs are extracting to consumable itself: the coal. So consumers have to continually buy to suffice their need.

    But again we digress. Martyn's post wasn't about RE v coal, merely pointing out that as jobs in the coal sector are going RE is creating some. We don't want to get drawn into a debate on this again when the board is for Green Energy in the news,
    Install 28th Nov 15, 3.3kW, (11x300LG), SolarEdge, SW. W Yorks.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 19th Apr 18, 7:17 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Yes it can. With RE a larger proportion of the jobs are involved with creating generating capability: assets for the long term. So when the consumer spends money in the RE their money goes towards long term generation. With coal production a larger proportion of the jobs are extracting to consumable itself: the coal. So consumers have to continually buy to suffice their need.

    But again we digress. Martyn's post wasn't about RE v coal, merely pointing out that as jobs in the coal sector are going RE is creating some. We don't want to get drawn into a debate on this again when the board is for Green Energy in the news,
    Originally posted by Exiled Tyke
    Yep, I think you've nailed it. For energy (and everything else) there are two costs:
    CAPEX (capital expenditure) - to build the thing.
    OPEX (operating expenditure) - to run the thing.

    RE generation has very high CAPEX, as a lot of money and labour, goes into building and installing them (nuclear is similar). But RE then has low OPEX as the fuel is 'free'.*

    For coal, gas etc, the OPEX is high, with fuel representing the majority of the unit cost, but interestingly, the fuel source doesn't provide that many jobs as it's highly mechanised.

    So one of the biggest pluses for RE is the fact that it is highly labour intensive, and as the article clearly points out, means a net increase in employment, which is good news, great news, unless you work for the FF industry.

    *Whilst RE has a generic 'low OPEX', it still differs between technologies, so wind has far greater maintenance costs than PV, but wind also has a higher capacity factor / load factor, hence why per MWh costs come out similar(ish).
    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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