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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 91
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 11th Jan 19, 7:25 PM
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    zeupater
    ... If that last paragraph is correct and fair, then we really aren't arguing over much at all, and at the end of the day, whilst I believe in people power, just the two of us, don't really matter .....
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Hi

    I'm not going to play the circles game, you can win in your own mind if you want to, even if it means that the risk you're willing to accept is so dire ....

    What's brought me to this conclusion is the above referenced excerpt, the result of which is that the difference between risk mitigation and 'people power' is effectively irrelevant, other than the potential for the avoidable death of a considerable number of people alongside levels of economic chaos that would eclipse the worst imaginable result of brexit, but as you say, 'we aren't arguing over much at all' really .... I'd rather employ decades of experience to identify & manage risk, but then again, I've come across those that have simply kept their fingers crossed & been lucky in the short term ... if the required mitigation measures aren't employed let's all just hope that we're blessed with plenty of luck and everyone else respects our strategy & treats us nicely f it runs out!

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 11th Jan 19, 7:38 PM
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    zeupater
    Waffling on for too long, I missed the breaking news:

    Hitachi set to cancel plans for £16bn nuclear power station in Wales
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Hi

    Of course, that looks like another couple of GW of additional reliance on gas powered backup generation capacity and associated consumption during the transition phase with an almost inevitable increase in the need for strategic gas reserves of whatever kind! .... but if we keep our fingers crossed then we can be assured that the law of 'people power' dictates that everything will be okay! ...

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
    • Coastalwatch
    • By Coastalwatch 11th Jan 19, 8:43 PM
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    Coastalwatch
    Waffling on for too long, I missed the breaking news:

    Hitachi set to cancel plans for £16bn nuclear power station in Wales
    Originally posted by Martyn1981

    I wonder whether that now puts increased pressure on EDF to deliver Sizewell C in ten years time or is it an indication that Nuclear is now to expensive an option to consider however desperate we may eventually become!
    Still it might just force our politicians to take matters seriously and incentivise efforts towards alternative energy forms. After all we've experienced an arms race for decades so perhaps some of those brains could now be deployed on more pressing matters in the shape of renewable energies and storage!


    On your marks, get set....................!
    Last edited by Coastalwatch; 11-01-2019 at 8:46 PM.
    East coast, lat 51.97. 8.26kw SSE, 23° pitch + 0.59kw WSW vertical. Nissan Leaf plus one dirty diesel. Still waiting for V2H and home storage to become available at sensible cost.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 12th Jan 19, 7:00 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Hi

    I'm not going to play the circles game, you can win in your own mind if you want to, even if it means that the risk you're willing to accept is so dire ....

    What's brought me to this conclusion is the above referenced excerpt, the result of which is that the difference between risk mitigation and 'people power' is effectively irrelevant, other than the potential for the avoidable death of a considerable number of people alongside levels of economic chaos that would eclipse the worst imaginable result of brexit, but as you say, 'we aren't arguing over much at all' really .... I'd rather employ decades of experience to identify & manage risk, but then again, I've come across those that have simply kept their fingers crossed & been lucky in the short term ... if the required mitigation measures aren't employed let's all just hope that we're blessed with plenty of luck and everyone else respects our strategy & treats us nicely f it runs out!

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    Just to be clear Z, if you think I'm trying to 'win', then again I apologise for the way my comments may have come across.

    I fully understand that your position is based on risk, and that's why you support this approach.

    Mine is actually the same, but I feel that the fracking route is the greater risk. It really is important to me that you believe me (not my argument but why I'm arguing). I appreciate that you think I've come to the wrong conclusion, and of course you may be right, it's simply my conclusion. But it's one based on my heartfelt believe that fracking is a greater risk.

    This post is not an attempt to argue against you, and claim I'm right, or you are wrong, but on this matter I do think I'm right, and that you are wrong, but realise that you very strongly believe the opposite, which I fully accept. The fact that my position remains the same is not a dismissal of your points of view, they have given me a lot to think about going forward.

    The important thing here I think is that we are both clearly arguing for a position that we both believe best leads to the best outcome. [Apologies for the poor construction there.]

    Sadly, I think my position is heavily biased by my lack of trust in the current government's position following many of its policy decisions on the various matters surrounding this issue. If I thought that the promotion of FF gas mitigation wouldn't suffer from a pro-fracking decision, then I'd be far more accepting of your big picture risk approach.

    [Edit - That may have come out wrong. I'm fully accepting of your approach to risk management, I just meant on this particular issue, if government policies don't themselves mitigate the risk. M.]

    I think you sum it up well about luck. That shouldn't be our fall back, and I think, perhaps, maybe, just about, you may have won me over on the need for fracking if the government doesn't strengthen policies elsewhere - I'm a bit shocked at that realisation, which has literally just come to me. I'm not at all immune to the risk argument you have steadfastly stuck to, I'd just like to see us eliminate/handle that risk in a different way.

    All the best.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 12-01-2019 at 7:53 AM. Reason: Added an edit
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 12th Jan 19, 7:15 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Hi

    Of course, that looks like another couple of GW of additional reliance on gas powered backup generation capacity and associated consumption during the transition phase with an almost inevitable increase in the need for strategic gas reserves of whatever kind! .... but if we keep our fingers crossed then we can be assured that the law of 'people power' dictates that everything will be okay! ...

    HTH
    Z
    Originally posted by zeupater
    It certainly upsets the apple cart, but it might provoke more pro-RE action, with potentially lots of money left over for storage research and development.

    The Government had planned to invest £5bn directly, and I think (if I recall correctly) that could have brought the CfD down to a hoped for £70/MWh(ish). [Edit - Whilst I recall it, I can't find it, but I don't think I remember seeing anything lower(?)]

    So that sort of frees up £5bn during the build out phase and approx £18bn in subsidies.

    Now here comes the good news. The government is hoping to get 2-3GW of new off-shore wind in this years CfD auction from the allocated pot of £60m. Taking cf into account, that would get us approx 1/3 to 1/2 of the generation of Wylfa. Double or triple the off-shore wind pot to match Wylfa (on an annual basis) and we still have virtually all of that £23bn nuclear commitment left over.

    My thoughts, for what they are worth, is that if RE costs keep falling, then there's a strong argument to move away from new nuclear and invest in replacement RE and storage, but the also over-capacity, which if coupled with gas storage for longer term (days not hrs) excess management, might be very useful indeed.

    Something I was asking on Navitron a while back, which you may have picked up on, was the marginal cost of additional gas storage. I know that the investment in electrolysis / fuel cells is high, but enlarging storage capacity through the addition of more 'tanks', is not so bad.

    Timing wise, we may get lucky on this issue as progress moves on nicely (fingers crossed) into the start of the next decade.

    Your point about gas capacity is something I think I included a long time back when experimenting on where the HPC savings could be spent if we went with the 2017 off-shore wind prices v's HPC. The savings would allow for the construction of 3GW of gas capacity (about £1.5-3bn), and so long as we built more RE generation than the equivalent nuclear generation, then on an annual basis gas consumption would fall, but the additional capacity would be there for peaks, with the CAPEX covered by the subsidy savings, and OPEX covered by the leccy sales. Long term I'd hope that the gas fleet would be able to shift away from FF gas too.
    Last edited by Martyn1981; 12-01-2019 at 8:01 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.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 12th Jan 19, 7:22 AM
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    Martyn1981
    I wonder whether that now puts increased pressure on EDF to deliver Sizewell C in ten years time or is it an indication that Nuclear is now to expensive an option to consider however desperate we may eventually become!
    Still it might just force our politicians to take matters seriously and incentivise efforts towards alternative energy forms. After all we've experienced an arms race for decades so perhaps some of those brains could now be deployed on more pressing matters in the shape of renewable energies and storage!


    On your marks, get set....................!
    Originally posted by Coastalwatch
    I've lost track on SC. Last I heard its deployment had been priced into the HPC deal reducing the 2012 baseline price from £92.50/MWh down to £89.50/MWh (£100 in today's money), but that the only figure for SC discussed/mentioned was that it would have to be significantly cheaper than HPC, or something like that.

    I don't know how that stands now with HPC getting ever more expensive, compared to RE that will be deployed by or before its commissioning date, and the failure of Wylfa to find an acceptable price.

    I think I need a total reset on new-new-nuclear as so much has now changed since the HPC decisions of 2012 & 2015. Perhaps there is, or will be, a detailed article that attempts to set out the current position, now that the 'old' position seems to have stalled?
    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 Jan 19, 8:42 AM
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    Martyn1981
    There's so many RE stories now from all over the world that I get a bit swamped, and often just nod to facts and figures that would previously have blown my mind.

    But I thought this article on a large Aussie on-shore windfarm was interesting due to some figures that jumped out at me.

    New Victorian windfarm could provide 10% of state's energy

    That's pretty impressive as a start.

    The managing director of a company that plans to construct Victoria’s largest windfarm says the project will supply enough power to replace up to a third of the generation of the decommissioned Hazelwood power station at less than $50/MWh.
    Approx £28/MWh is also very impressive.

    “If you put that into the context of electricity market prices from Victoria which for the past two years have hovered around $80 to $120 per MW/h, you can see the significance of this project for driving down electricity prices for all Victorians.”
    Aus$50 v's $80-$120 is, dare I say that word again, impressive!

    “At $50/MWh — just 5 cents per kWh — the Golden Plains windfarm will produce power for less than the market cost of fuel alone for many coal and all gas power stations,” he said.
    Well that's damned (sorry) impressive.


    Lastly, for a country with an enormous CO2/capita, and a less than supportive government when it comes to RE/AGW, the people and states are doing a lot of impr great work.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 13th Jan 19, 8:55 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Missed this one completely - if nuclear power isn't the economical solution for the country that gets more (as a %) of it's leccy from nuclear than any other, then how does that bode for the rest of us?

    Bloomberg - France Would Save $44.5 Billion by Betting on Renewable Energy, Agency Says

    France will save 39 billion euros ($44.5 billion) if it refrains from building 15 new nuclear plants by 2060, and bets instead on renewable energy sources to replace its all its aging atomic facilities, a government agency said.

    France should spend 1.28 trillion euros over the next four decades, mostly on clean power production and storage capacities, networks, and imports, according to a report from the country’s environment ministry. If it does this, France would progressively shut down its 58 atomic plants and renewable energy would comprise 95 percent of its electricity output by 2060, up from 17 percent last year.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • michaels
    • By michaels 13th Jan 19, 8:21 PM
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    michaels
    Missed this one completely - if nuclear power isn't the economical solution for the country that gets more (as a %) of it's leccy from nuclear than any other, then how does that bode for the rest of us?

    Bloomberg - France Would Save $44.5 Billion by Betting on Renewable Energy, Agency Says
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Hmm - so we are all going to use leccy imports as a fall back...can't see any problem with that....
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Jan 19, 7:30 AM
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    Martyn1981
    An item from this weeks Carbon Commentary:

    8, Direct air capture of CO2 (DAC). Two important events in the last few weeks. Carbon Engineering in Canada announced an investment from two oil majors, Chevron and Occidental (no figures provided). Climeworks in Zurich said it would be supplying captured CO2 from a new facility to a Coca-Cola bottling plant for use in fizzy water. Much scepticism remains about the future of extracting CO2 directly from air with many commentators stating that it theoretically ought to be much easier, and cheaper, to capture it from flue gas. Most of the evidence today, however, suggests that DAC will end up cheaper than CCS from exhaust gases. Carbon Engineering says that its CO2 will cost less than $100 a tonne at scale and this figure uses what I think are very high figures for the crucial input: the price of the heat to drive off the CO2 from the absorbent chemicals. The company claims that it then produces a gasoline substitute from electrolysed hydrogen and captured CO2 for ‘about 20%’ more than from fossil fuels today. Hydrogen is the dominant cost of making a synthetic fuel and as electrolysis from renewables continues to fall in price, H2 will become cheaper, eventually making fossil fuels uncompetitive. This is early days but Carbon Engineering and Climeworks are probably the two most important global companies in the fight to get to zero emissions as fast as possible.
    So some promising news/progress on a way to catch and store atmospheric CO2, or to produce fuel for tougher to solve transport problems (aircraft and long distance shipping).
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • michaels
    • By michaels 14th Jan 19, 10:11 AM
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    michaels
    An item from this weeks Carbon Commentary:



    So some promising news/progress on a way to catch and store atmospheric CO2, or to produce fuel for tougher to solve transport problems (aircraft and long distance shipping).
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    If you produce a fuel that is purely made from hydrogen, carbon and oxygen then can it be burned 100% clean or will there always be NO and contaminants released?

    I am thinking that if the fuel is 'produced' using RE then when you do burn it rather than looking for max efficiency you could instead look for min harmful emissions so perhaps lower temps and pressures than the current cycles that produce NOs?
    Cool heads and compromise
    • Zarch
    • By Zarch 14th Jan 19, 10:18 AM
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    Zarch
    Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/jan/14/on-the-charge-why-batteries-are-the-future-of-clean-energy
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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 14th Jan 19, 12:33 PM
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    Martyn1981
    The sort of news/progress that makes one smile.

    £1bn Scottish energy link completed under budget
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 14th Jan 19, 2:25 PM
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    silverwhistle
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jan/13/salt-caverns-double-uk-gas-stores-cold-snaps-beast-from-the-east


    The government has rebuffed previous calls to support new gas storage, saying the fact supplies did not run out last winter showed the market was working.



    But Gras said she was frustrated by that approach to storage and the government risked being complacent. “They tend to think because gas has worked for decades it will go on working,” she said.


    That was no longer guaranteed because so much storage had been closed, Gras added.

    If I recall last year they implemented interruptible supplies for certain large consumers. There was also talk that the market mechanism didn't work in that gas was retained on the continent in spite of better prices over here.



    But the government's attitude to strategy or risk is one of the reasons why I don't think fracking is the answer. It's a private company response to making a profit and not part of any wider plan for energy security. If the companies involved were posting massive bonds against potential long term damage in our densely populated nation I might be slightly more relaxed about the development, but in their absence it appears once again that it's private profit against public risk again.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 15th Jan 19, 8:42 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Article on cheaper hydrogen production from RE.

    Note though that due to efficiencies, you need super cheap RE, like PV in the sunniest locations, but it's also a way to make use of cheap (excess) RE generation when there's 'a bit too much' and prices drop.

    How Low Cost Wind & Solar Push The Market For Renewable Hydrogen

    Natural gas gets a lot of credit for toppling coal out of first place for power generation in the US, but gas stakeholders might want to put that celebratory champagne back on ice for a while. Wind and solar already beat natural gas on price in some parts of the US grid, a trend that is likely to spread. On top of that, renewable hydrogen could quickly replace natural gas in two other major markets, fuel and fertilizer production — with an assist from wind and solar power.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 15th Jan 19, 11:47 AM
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    Martyn1981
    Big, large, long, impressive are just some of the adjectives I could use ....... but wouldn't do it justice:

    China’s State Grid Corp Crushes Power Transmission Records

    12GW's
    50,000,000 homes
    3,293kms
    equal to 25,000 coal trains

    perhaps, very big?
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • ed110220
    • By ed110220 15th Jan 19, 7:26 PM
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    ed110220
    Big, large, long, impressive are just some of the adjectives I could use ....... but wouldn't do it justice:

    China’s State Grid Corp Crushes Power Transmission Records

    12GW's
    50,000,000 homes
    3,293kms
    equal to 25,000 coal trains

    perhaps, very big?
    Originally posted by Martyn1981
    Wow, that's impressive! In UK and European terms that's equivalent to more than a third of GB average demand over a distance as far as from London to the Volga or the western border of Kazakhstan.
    • Martyn1981
    • By Martyn1981 16th Jan 19, 7:53 AM
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    Martyn1981
    More great news:

    Report: Renewables to overtake fossil fuels in UK energy mix in 2020

    If current trends continue, the market analyst predicts growing renewable power sources such as wind and solar will generate 121.3TWh or electricity over the calendar year of 2020, pushing ahead of declining coal and gas-fired power sources with a forecasted 105.6TWh of generation.

    It would mean that, for the first time, more of the UK's electricity would be provided by renewables than any other aggregated power source, including fossil fuels, nuclear, and interconnectors, according to yesterday's report.

    The forecast assumes current trends of declining fossil fuel generation and rising renewables generation continue at the same annual rate. In 2018, coal and gas fired power stations produced a combined 130.9TWh, a 6.7 per cent fall from the previous year's 140.3TWh, the report states. Meanwhile, renewable sources delivered 95.9TWh last year, rising 15.2 per cent from 2017 - a strong performance bolstered by the UK's increasing offshore wind capacity.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

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    • ASavvyBuyer
    • By ASavvyBuyer 16th Jan 19, 9:08 AM
    • 973 Posts
    • 2,843 Thanks
    ASavvyBuyer
    Even more great news:
    Electric Cars Are Cleaner Even When Powered by Coal
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    • zeupater
    • By zeupater 16th Jan 19, 12:47 PM
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    zeupater
    Originally posted by ASavvyBuyer
    Hi

    I'm astounded that it's taken so long for an article to appear that states this .... years ago this very issue was raised when discussing ICE vehicle CO2 & particulate emissions in London as opposed to coal powered generation of the energy to power London EVs within London itself .... I seem to remember that someone living in London who was pro-coal generation and anti-EV/renewables didn't like the idea of cleaning the environment that way, preferring the cheap coal generation he supported to be located over-the-horizon, a particularly strong example of nimbyism!

    HTH
    Z
    "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit. " ...... Aristotle
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