Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

windfarmwildlife
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Regards Neil

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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thorter wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 18:05

Here is the National Grid generation graph for today.

Image[attachment=0]030321.jpg
Reading round Thorter's post and the graph of todays national grid generation chart, I came across this.

In the news What was to be the Largest Gas Fired Power Station in Europe has been scrapped by Drax.
North Yorkshire power plant Drax drops gas turbine plan

"Catharina Hillenbrand Von Der Neyen, from independent think tank Carbon Tracker, said shelving the plans was "the right investment decision".

"This clearly underlines how power companies are waking up to the reality of the unfavourable economics of new gas plants," she said.
Regards Neil

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Couple of posts from Thorter relevant to this thread.
thorter wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 18:05
Consider if we scrapped one million IC cars, and replacing them with electric. Where is the extra electrical power to run them to come from? Not from wind, solar, hydro or nuclear, which have preferential grid access, and so already run at capacity. Instead, coal or gas generation must increase to fill the demand. This will persist until such times as there is a surplus of “zero carbon” electricity, so not for many years yet.

As regards vehicle manufacture, there would seem to be little in it. Either might be produced using renewable or nuclear energy eventually, but at present the major energy input is fossil for refining and manufacture of (primarily metal) raw materials, and when the batteries are included it is hard to see how electric vehicles can be better than conventional IC cars.

Here is the National Grid generation graph for today. How many electric cars might be charged from wind energy?

Image[attachment=0]030321.jpg
thorter wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 22:07
Unfortunately, there is much wishful thinking in official circles about renewable energy. Achieving so far about 30% renewable electricity is the easy bit. It is much more difficult to understand what happens next. Simply driving coal and gas generation out of business, as things are currently structured, appears very foolhardy, they are the means to keep the grid going. Storage is proposed for this, but how will it work?

For example, large battery storage for wind surpluses sounds simple. Our daily electricity use is about 600 or 700 gigawatt hours. Increase supplies for electric heating to replace gas, factor in electric vehicles (including commercials) and 2 terawatt hours daily generation looks about what we will need. If wind power becomes the dominant generation method, plan for 5 days storage (though 10 to 20 may be necessary), and thus plan for 10 terawatt hours (10 million megawatt hours).

Using the circa 100 megawatt hour Musk large scale battery units, that needs 100,000, and if they have a life of 10 years we need 10,000 per year in perpetuity. That is more than 25 a day to manufacture and install, just for the UK.
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 04 Mar 2021, 09:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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So Wind and Solar plus storage is one wing of the energy generation transmission and distribution mix, and is expanding at a rate of knots. Not just to be "green" but also because it is now cheaper than other energy generation options.

On the Gas front Drax has scrapped its plans for a new Gas power Station
NewcastleFalcon wrote:
03 Mar 2021, 20:23
Reading round Thorter's post and the graph of todays national grid generation chart, I came across this.
In the news What was to be the Largest Gas Fired Power Station in Europe has been scrapped by Drax.
North Yorkshire power plant Drax drops gas turbine plan

"Catharina Hillenbrand Von Der Neyen, from independent think tank Carbon Tracker, said shelving the plans was "the right investment decision".

"This clearly underlines how power companies are waking up to the reality of the unfavourable economics of new gas plants," she said.
and on the Nuclear front
and in Anglesey the proposed Nuclear Power Station has been stalled as Hitachi pulled out, and now Horizon officially pulls the plug on £16bn Wylfa Newydd power station project

in a separate development a hybrid nuclear plant has been proposed.

Wylfa: New hybrid nuclear power plan for Anglesey
Regards Neil

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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As well as being part of the problem for the grid, increasing electric vehicles could be part of the solution. Vehicle to grid is already happening facilitated by smart home chargers, with EV owners able to benefit
https://www.edfenergy.com/electric-cars/vehicle-grid

Vehicle to grid (V2G) charging technology allows participating customers to save or earn money by allowing their EV batteries to store energy and discharge it back to the national grid, or their own buildings, when it’s most needed – for instance at peak demand during the day when usage and costs across the UK are at their highest.
The UK plans to build huge batteries to store renewable energy – but there’s a much cheaper solution

Regards Neil

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by thorter »

Thanks for posting the link to The Conversation. To my mind it merely reinforces my contention of wishful thinking. I spent my career in engineering design, and an initial task in a project was always to make a quick assessment of feasibility.

But first distinguish between present grid connected batteries, whose only purpose is to add synthetic inertia to stabilise the grid in the face of increasing random fluctuations due to wind and solar, and the major storage needed to tide us over days when they produce very little. For the latter scenario if we want to eliminate fossil generation, we will need more than ten terawatt hours, perhaps much more - with the proviso that large nuclear deployment might just about be possible, but the window of opportunity for that is rapidly closing.

So how much storage could cars provide? A quick basis to calculate the resource might be 50kwh per vehicle and 20 million cars, so one terawatt hour total. Note that a necessary adjunct would be at least 20 million charging stations. In practice, willingness to participation in the scheme would limit available capacity, so I suggest at best 0.2 terawatt hour might be the available, which is quite irrelevant in comparison with what would be needed.

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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thorter wrote:
04 Mar 2021, 18:43
..................In practice, willingness to participation in the scheme would limit available capacity, .....................
I totally agree with your argument there Thorter with particular reference to the point above. One issue that is too often ignored by the planners these days is the real world!! Unfortunately there will always be a segment of the population who will not be willing to carry out their role within the grand scheme. Thus any planning calculations for any V2G type system must begin with research into the actual achievable participation which could be expected. Sadly, a bit like the Brexit referendum, the people who will be affected by any such schemes in reality, are not the same people who may participate in any pre project research so it becomes exceedingly precarious to make predictions for requirements over a generation or two long operational construction period. :(

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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Another issue to skew the predictions - The Conversation article reckons there's about 31.5M cars on the road today, presumably they're reckoning on that staying more or less constant as people move over to BEVs. What happens if outright car ownership starts to rapidly decline as people either find they don't need to own their own cars with a 'work from home, get everything delivered' lifestyle, or 'car hailing apps' start to cater for lots of people's transport needs ?

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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NewcastleFalcon wrote:
04 Mar 2021, 11:09
As well as being part of the problem for the grid, increasing electric vehicles could be part of the solution. Vehicle to grid is already happening facilitated by smart home chargers, with EV owners able to benefit
https://www.edfenergy.com/electric-cars/vehicle-grid

Vehicle to grid (V2G) charging technology allows participating customers to save or earn money by allowing their EV batteries to store energy and discharge it back to the national grid, or their own buildings, when it’s most needed – for instance at peak demand during the day when usage and costs across the UK are at their highest.

Regards Neil
Hmmmmm.... that statement could easily be overlooked. Are they referring to their costs being higher, or ours ? Is this where Smart meters will come into their own where they'll be able to charge higher rates at variable peak times ?

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

It is difficult to work out who is in charge of such weighty matters of ensuring that the UK energy generation and supply can cope with a major transition to wind/solar + battery storage nuclear; with continuing gas in the transition; and an electrification of transport/ domestic heating etc. (eventually and not 2030 when the pie chart for electric v ICE cars will still show a greater slice for ICE).

Surely there's a document somewhere, and someone following through to make sure it happens, and projects commissioned for new assets to bring it about.

If anyone finds anything relevant please post it up!

I think at best the approach is letting the commercial operators have a lot of freedom, and try not to put too many planning /licencing stumbling blocks in their way and just let them get on with it, and provide what they can as quickly as they can. Looks like they can't make new gas plants pay or bolt on enough carbon capture and storage to green them up. On the nuclear side, we have of course lost any ability we once had to build nuclear power plants, and EDF and their Chinese design partners appear to struggle to build them too. Somewhere in the thread Rolls Royce were developing "little ones" but I haven't dug round to see what the latest on that one is.

Regards Neil

PS The odd image keeps the thread interesting here's the Rolls Royce little nuclear power plant...looks a bit like the sage gateshead :-D

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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My first thought was that it was an Atomic Sage :)

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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bobins wrote:
29 Dec 2020, 21:08
My main concern with the direction of travel towards 'all electric' is that we are at the mercy of price controls to modify behaviour. In an open market, if you knew the price of electricity was only going to go ever upwards with the intention of regulating your use of it via taxation or consumption regulation, you could say: "Stuff that for a game of soldiers, I'm going to use a different form of heating". If your (and the wider population's) choice is limited to electricity, .......or electricity, .......or electricity - then you've been got by the 'short and curlies'. 8-[
You still have insulation and airtightness. We all do. Most houses in the UK (unless they are newer than about 2005) can have their heating load reduced by 80 or 90% with a decent retrofit. Then you barely need any heating - just the really cold days, and a very small heater will do the trick so you don't need to spend 15 grand on a heat pump. I've done mine (and fortuitously finished in Oct2020, just in time to be working from home all winter. Pretty dramatic improvement. Needed to put the fire (or boilder) on for an hour or two when it's below freezing and the sun doesn't shine, but otherwise it stays at a steady 18-20C.

It's not cheap doing this, and it makes a mess, but it seems to me that fixing the building is a much better long-term plan than everyone putting in 12kW of heat pump, which you'll pay to run for the rest of the life of the building. It's cost us about 25 grand in a typical 1960s 3-bed detached house (120m2). That's 3G windows, EWI, IWI, airtightness, MVHR, woodburner. Mostly DIY (with help from window-fitters and renderers). I've also done solar thermal and PV but that's FIT so cost negative money (about -£13,000 over 20 years) which just confuses the issue.

We've not quite achieved EnerPhit (passivehouse retrofit) but it's bloody close and should reach that level when I get round to insulating the floor too (think I might have a year off first :-). We'll probably fit a 2kW heat pump eventually too, but you can't buy a GSHP smaller than 3kW yet so I'm not rushing.

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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NewcastleFalcon wrote:
04 Mar 2021, 20:05
Surely there's a document somewhere, and someone following through to make sure it happens, and projects commissioned for new assets to bring it about. If anyone finds anything relevant please post it up!
National Grid published a pretty good report "2020 Future Energy Scenarios" a year or so ago: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/news/in ... -scenarios
And the Institute of Engineers publish a lotof technical stuff, including this: "Special Issue:New Trends in the Planning of Distribution Network with High Penetration of Renewables and Flexible Loads" https://ietresearch.onlinelibrary.wiley ... 2018/12/20
Obviously other organisations have taken a stab at working out what the future grid looks like too, but I take the above two a bit more seriously than Greenpeace and similar outfits.

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

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bobins wrote:
04 Mar 2021, 19:02
Another issue to skew the predictions - The Conversation article reckons there's about 31.5M cars on the road today, presumably they're reckoning on that staying more or less constant as people move over to BEVs. What happens if outright car ownership starts to rapidly decline as people either find they don't need to own their own cars with a 'work from home, get everything delivered' lifestyle, or 'car hailing apps' start to cater for lots of people's transport needs ?
It's extremely difficult to meet our emissions targets _without_ a dramatic drop in mileage and probably ownership too, just because each car is a few tonnes of emissions, and the 96% of the time not-used aspect make them an incredibly inefficient use of resources (money, material, and space). Certainly if you do the sums for Cambridgeshire+Peterborough (which has a particularly large fraction of its emissions from transport) we have to halve transport emissions in a decade to stay on track for 1.5C. That's radical stuff, especially as they are still rising, and the councils don't really want to hear it yet. Most other places in the UK probably aren't quite as constrained as that. Summary in this post: https://carbonneutralcambridge.org/cnc- ... port-plan/

We have become wildly over-dependent on cars in this country, and of course it's quite hard to unwind all that, because people end up living a long way from work, shops and pubs left villages a long time ago, the bus system has been completely run down and fragmented, and active travel has been given nothing but lip-service for decades. Some of that is changing, but it's extremely difficult to change fast, although as the pandemic has proved, you _can_ if you just decide to - it's not as impossible as everyone thought.

This talk from Julian Allwood about what Zero Carbon by 2050 actually _means_ for the UK in practical terms is fascinating, and has some particularly good info I've not seen before on rates of infrastructure change and rates of social change achieved in recent decades for various things. The take-home is that there are limits, but social change is more than twice as fast as infrastructure change, so we should use that knowledge when designing policy:

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Re: Energy Matters Global and Domestic

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

New Teesside plant to build giant GE wind blades

At least some of the gubbins for the expansion of UK wind power will be manufactured here. More of the same please.

Regards Neil