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Ty Gwyn

Renewable Energy

Is`nt this taking the principals of Green,Carbon Neutral and Renewable a bit to far in the wrong direction?

http://www.worldcoal.com/power/20022015/EU-investigates-state-aid-for-UK-power-plant-1941/
Mistress Rose

I would agree with you Ty Gwyn. There are several subjects in this that I would like to highlight.

We have far too much unmanaged woodland, which is why we are losing woodland birds, animals, flowers and insects.

There are too many deer removing the undergrowth and exacerbating the situation.

It is difficult in the UK to get enough biomass for something as large as a power station. There are just not the woods locally with sufficient 'spare' wood to maintain the supply.

At least this one is going to work on wood pellets. Some proposals are for importing wood chip from places like the States. The Forestry Commission have already raised the issue of potentially importing pests and diseases that way. Pellets are at least a bit less likely to bring these in.

Imo, we need to devolop the use of brash as bio mass. This is usually just left on the ground. Although there are advantages in this, such as making homes for small mammals and birds, and returning nutrients to the soil as it rots, with help from various fungi, bacteria and insects, anyone who has done any forestry will know it makes a lot of itself and can be a potential hazard. At least some used as bio mass would be a great advantage.

Sorry about the minor rant, but this is a subject I feel rather strongly about, working in the woods.
OtleyLad

I'd add that burning anything on such a scale has got to have a negative impact on the environment. Importing fuel is not such a good idea either.
For me sustainable means doing something that you can repeat over a long time period without an adverse effect on the planet.
Wind, wave, hydro and solar are surely the long term sustainable energy solutions.
Tavascarow

I'd add that burning anything on such a scale has got to have a negative impact on the environment. Importing fuel is not such a good idea either.
For me sustainable means doing something that you can repeat over a long time period without an adverse effect on the planet.
Wind, wave, hydro and solar are surely the long term sustainable energy solutions.
I'm fully supportive of small scale generating from wood as long as the source is managed sustainably but this will be burning imported from god knows where IMHO.
Also the farther down this route we go the more landowners will be encouraged not to (as M Rose says) manage their woodlands better but to grub them out entirely & replant with rapid growing coppice monocrops. (again something I'm not a posed too on a small scale).
This would do more damage to woodland species than leaving the woods unmanaged.
Look at the amount of Sitka spruce growing now where we had Birch, Mountain ash & Scots Pine?
Funnily enough planted to provide pit props for the coal mining industry!! Laughing
Ty Gwyn


Look at the amount of Sitka spruce growing now where we had Birch, Mountain ash & Scots Pine?
Funnily enough planted to provide pit props for the coal mining industry!! Laughing


Maybe Chris can confirm,but i believe the Forestry Commission was set up after the 1st WW,due to the disruption of supplies of timber from Norway,
And these Norwegian supplies were needed because the valley sides in South Wales were the Mountain Ash,Birch and Oaks grew had been stripped year`s earlier to go underground.

Talking of sustainabilty,think of all that timber that was used,in 40 million year`s we will have replenished seams of coal,lol.

My initial point with this post was to show the arrogance of calling this system renewable energy and thinking about the whole size of its carbon footprint when compared to burning Yorkshire coal ,the nearest available ,being the Scottish opencasts are being halved in production.
Tavascarow


Look at the amount of Sitka spruce growing now where we had Birch, Mountain ash & Scots Pine?
Funnily enough planted to provide pit props for the coal mining industry!! Laughing

Maybe Chris can confirm,but i believe the Forestry Commission was set up after the 1st WW,due to the disruption of supplies of timber from Norway,
And these Norwegian supplies were needed because the valley sides in South Wales were the Mountain Ash,Birch and Oaks grew had been stripped year`s earlier to go underground.

Talking of sustainabilty,think of all that timber that was used,in 40 million year`s we will have replenished seams of coal,lol.

My initial point with this post was to show the arrogance of calling this system renewable energy and thinking about the whole size of its carbon footprint when compared to burning Yorkshire coal ,the nearest available ,being the Scottish opencasts are being halved in production.
I imagine a fair amount of timber got shipped across the channel to shore up trenches & under trench excavations as well.
I fully support renewables as you know, but like all things they have to be managed properly.
The carbon footprint of even timber pellets shipped from the other side of the world would still be less than from extracted coal, as long as the source is renewable.
Of course if all they do is deforest virgin woodland & carry on till there's none left that's different.
If I had to choose between burning coal & saving the forests or burning the forests & leaving the coal underground I know which I'd choose.
Ideally surplus agricultural land should be growing SRC, & the population should limit their electrical needs. But one has logistical problems & the other is cloud cuckoo land.
Ty Gwyn

My minds not working tonight,what is SRC?

I respect your dislike of coal,in favour of wood burning,but disagree in its carbon footprint being larger than timber from the other side of the world,considering the processes and transport to get it here,

But putting electricity generation by coal aside for a moment,would you or other`s against coal generation be for another type of fuel used for steel production instead of Coking Coal which is the most polluting of coals considering the number of by-products it can produce,and coking coal is not generally used in power stations unless blended with other coals?

The great smog of London was caused by this very coal,not the Anthracite`s and Dry Steams allowed in smokeless zones.
Tavascarow

SRC is short rotation coppice. Fast growing willows & poplars mainly, harvested every 3 to 5 with a machine not dissimilar to a forage harvester.
If you assume the wood pellets are carbon neutral in their own right (which they are if they are grown from a renewable source) their carbon footprint is purely harvesting & shipping.
Harvesting & processing timber above ground has to need less energy than coal from below IMHO, & shipping in bulk carriers isn't excessive either. Big ships on the sea are quite fuel efficient.
Compared to the amounts of carbon stored in coal there's no comparison.
As I said earlier I'm more concerned about environmental impact rather than carbon. The West are very good at hitting targets by exporting the damage to the third world.
We have already lost vast tracts of rainforest for palm oil plantations so we can burn bio-diesel.
Ty Gwyn

The article i linked regarding the wood pellet burning in Lynmouth only mentioned sourcing from the US and Canada,
The wood chip that is proposed[not heard its started as yet] for Drax,is sourced from the swamps of Louisiana and Carolina,i`m wondering what environmental effect this will have removing this vast amount of swamp timber,which i doubt will be re-planted.

And the factor that a lot seem to miss is,Jobs are exported,but then again the UK Government may think that idle people have a less carbon footprint,i see it as just madness.

And if global warming,climate change is such a big thing,and our directives come from the EU,had`nt someone better point this out to Germany,who is going big time in Lignite power generation,far more polluting than coal.

And like you mentioned earlier about the carbon trading,one has to think Why is the UK Government proposing burning foreign wood in this power station,one reason could be to cover up the pollution from Fracking,
Or am i thinking like a politician.
Mistress Rose

The Forestry Commission was, as you said, set up after WWI John. It was because a combination of using timber for war work, lack of care during the war, the lack of men after the war and change of land ownership caused by death of the owners and their heirs meant that the woodlands were in a bad way as far as timber was concerned.

SRC such as willow or poplar has its downside Tavascarow. It needs fertiliser, is harvested in a very energy intensive way using machines and then needs processing into pellets or chips. This uses a lot more energy than cutting trees with a chainsaw then extracting them and processing them into say logs. As I said before, using the brash from the tops of trees would be far more energy efficient. Producing pellets is a the most energy absorbing method of using wood, without the transport.

There are some jobs that need coal rather than wood. Steel making is one; before coke was used all furnaces were very small as they had to rely on the charcoal that could be made within about 3 miles of them. By using modern transport, this would be less of a problem, but it uses a lot of wood to make charcoal, so I think Ty Gwyn is correct that we cannot rely on wood for everything.

I am also rather concerned about this ' Ideally surplus agricultural land should be growing SRC'. If our agriculture was properly organised, we would be growing more to feed the people of this country rather than importing so much. Also the edges and banks should be kept as grass. It absorbs nutients and stops them nutrifying the woods, downs and heaths, and provides homes for insects which leads to birds etc.
Tavascarow

I believe a lot of systems are going away from pellet to chip & I doubt pellets are actually being considered for this electricity generator. Can't see the need for the additional expense on a furnace this size.
I know in smaller household units chips have caused some problems with clogging.
Yes SRC does benefit from fertilizing, there's plenty of slurry in lagoons all over the land.
The major problem with SRC is getting it to the generator.
Transport over land via articulated lorry is very expensive fiscally (& environmentally) & until that problem is solved, either by building smaller more local generators, or reinstating a decent goods train system it's a no go for most farmers.
Tavascarow

The article i linked regarding the wood pellet burning in Lynmouth only mentioned sourcing from the US and Canada,
The wood chip that is proposed[not heard its started as yet] for Drax,is sourced from the swamps of Louisiana and Carolina,i`m wondering what environmental effect this will have removing this vast amount of swamp timber,which i doubt will be re-planted.

And the factor that a lot seem to miss is,Jobs are exported,but then again the UK Government may think that idle people have a less carbon footprint,i see it as just madness.

And if global warming,climate change is such a big thing,and our directives come from the EU,had`nt someone better point this out to Germany,who is going big time in Lignite power generation,far more polluting than coal.

And like you mentioned earlier about the carbon trading,one has to think Why is the UK Government proposing burning foreign wood in this power station,one reason could be to cover up the pollution from Fracking,
Or am i thinking like a politician. I don't know enough about fracking to comment. & thankfully here it will never be a problem. There's no gas in Granite.
I don't know how many tonnes of wood produces a megawatt of leccy but I imagine we would clear fell the nations forests in a decade or two to keep pace. Importing from abroad where there are vast tracts of forest & fewer people, or as with America, fewer people who will complain, is far easier.
But as you say if the timber isn't replanted, & at a rate that can replace that harvested it's no longer sustainable or carbon neutral, we are just mining the coal of the future.
Ty Gwyn

Read the last post in this link,you may find the figures interesting,
You may still not like coal as a generating fuel,but the area of land needed to grow biomass as an equivalent to coal is eye watering.

http://www.welshcoalmines.co.uk/forum/read.php?4,60922
Tavascarow

Read the last post in this link,you may find the figures interesting,
You may still not like coal as a generating fuel,but the area of land needed to grow biomass as an equivalent to coal is eye watering.

http://www.welshcoalmines.co.uk/forum/read.php?4,60922
Precisely.
The only real answer is to get householders & business to reduce their electricity consumption drastically & I'm not talking low energy light bulbs.
But the sort of things many pensioners & disabled have to do to survive.
Like I said earlier, cloud cuckoo land. People are using more energy now not less. If electric cars take off (not literally) demand goes up again.
Nick

Relax, we will solve it all with fusion, in about 15 years. Tavascarow

What happened to deep drilling to superheat steam?
Camborne school of mines where close to achieving results with that back in the 80s & Maggies government pulled the plug & stopped the money flow. Someone in the world must have followed that one up surely?
Nick

We've sent objects ten billion miles away from Earth, but never drilled more than a few klicks down. Ty Gwyn

Relax, we will solve it all with fusion, in about 15 years.

And in the mean time we have the Con.
Ty Gwyn

What happened to deep drilling to superheat steam?
Camborne school of mines where close to achieving results with that back in the 80s & Maggies government pulled the plug & stopped the money flow. Someone in the world must have followed that one up surely?

That`s already been done up in Durham i believe ,where a new estate is all heated from this source,

The Mine`s were hot up in that area.

And Maggie`s Government also pulled the plug on clean coal technology,developed in the facility in the Cotswolds.
Nick

Relax, we will solve it all with fusion, in about 15 years.

And in the mean time we have the Con.

The what?
Ty Gwyn

I know its late,

Con Fusion?
dpack

lockeed martin recon their 100megw prototype will be on test in 2017 and if it works they will have a commercial version by 2022 and a few others are working on nif styles.

tis plausible that 15 yrs will see working fusion power generation
Falstaff

I'm still struggling to comprehend the utter stupidity of the original proposal !

Squidging various bits of vegetable matter into little pellets, using big machinery made using huge amounts of energy from steel. Then transporting these little pellets hundreds or even thousands of miles across country before piping them into huge ships and driving them 4-5000 miles across an ocean in order to put them into a fire, to heat up some mechanism.

So we're proposing to send millions of pounds out of the country to pay for someone to hoover up, chop up and squidge up these little bits of leaf / straw / twigs into pellets which a machine can digest without clogging up.

At the same time, we have high unemployment (despite what Govt massaged statistics might say) - which we are paying out for as well. We have masses of garden waste, which our council wants us to pay £45 a year to take away and "Dispose of" and much of which goes straight into landfill to become methane. We have masses of organic food waste - which goes straight to landfill and masses of waste straw, our farmers are not allowed to burn any more.

And all the time, under our very feet we have sufficient coal (and gas) to solve all our fuel needs for many decades to come !

The whole of the problem comes from the short -term nature of Govt and the fact that they will just pander to any pressure group they feel have an influence on public opinion and might affect whether they get their own jobs back for another 5 years. !

Tossers !
Mistress Rose

Geothermal has been happily wandering away for over 50 years in some places, just not producing headlines.

Pellets have the advantage that they are less likely to spread pests and diseases than chips. Both chips and pellets can clog; in fact pellets are slightly less likely to than chips.

I agree with you Falstaff that we need to make better use of 'waste' to produce methane and other feedstock for energy production. In fact some power stations are powered by waste, but usually by incineration which is not ideal.

Tavascarow, I am not sure that slurry is the best way to fertilise SRC. It also has the problem of smell and cannot be used in some areas because of the risk of nitration.

If they are finally talking of nuclear fusion working it will be amazing. I learnt about it at school using text books that were printed in 1952, and nothing has really materialised yet.
Nick

I know its late,

Con Fusion?

Ah, right.
Nick

Geothermal has been happily wandering away for over 50 years in some places, just not producing headlines.

Pellets have the advantage that they are less likely to spread pests and diseases than chips. Both chips and pellets can clog; in fact pellets are slightly less likely to than chips.

I agree with you Falstaff that we need to make better use of 'waste' to produce methane and other feedstock for energy production. In fact some power stations are powered by waste, but usually by incineration which is not ideal.

Tavascarow, I am not sure that slurry is the best way to fertilise SRC. It also has the problem of smell and cannot be used in some areas because of the risk of nitration.

If they are finally talking of nuclear fusion working it will be amazing. I learnt about it at school using text books that were printed in 1952, and nothing has really materialised yet.

Pretty sure nuclear fusion works. JET have even managed to contain it for half a second. The guys at Lockheed hope to have a small reactor running in a couple of years.

We just spend almost no money on it.
Treacodactyl

At the same time, we have high unemployment (despite what Govt massaged statistics might say) - which we are paying out for as well. We have masses of garden waste, which our council wants us to pay £45 a year to take away and "Dispose of" and much of which goes straight into landfill to become methane. We have masses of organic food waste - which goes straight to landfill and masses of waste straw, our farmers are not allowed to burn any more.

Does green waste still go to landfill? Landfill gas I believe is where most of our 'green' energy came from and it's a dwindling resource because less green waste is going to landfill.
Falstaff

At the same time, we have high unemployment (despite what Govt massaged statistics might say) - which we are paying out for as well. We have masses of garden waste, which our council wants us to pay £45 a year to take away and "Dispose of" and much of which goes straight into landfill to become methane. We have masses of organic food waste - which goes straight to landfill and masses of waste straw, our farmers are not allowed to burn any more.

Does green waste still go to landfill? Landfill gas I believe is where most of our 'green' energy came from and it's a dwindling resource because less green waste is going to landfill.


Briefly "Garden waste" was put into brown bins as "they" didn't like bonfires and individual compost heaps Evil or Very Mad

Somewhere it was composted and "sold", but has a poor reputation as compost. We then got a new Council Leader who decided that we should pay £45 for "His people" to take away our waste. When pressed "His people" said if we didn't want to pay we should put the garden waste in our "!Black bins" (landfill)

"They" have a similarly joined up policy re "Food waste"

So I'd say 65-80% still goes to landfill - if those 2 are what you mean by "Green waste" - mostly I think, paper and card Does get put in "recycling"

I know methane was vented and burnt from landfill sites and the actual trenching process was quite dangerous, but I never heard of it actually being used in a meaningful way - perhaps I'm mistaken ?
Ty Gwyn

[quote="Mistress Rose:1432222"]

Pellets have the advantage that they are less likely to spread pests and diseases than chips. Both chips and pellets can clog; in fact pellets are slightly less likely to than chips.


I believe its only in the household biomass boilers that Chips are used,

Power stations like Drax ,upon delivery of the wood chips,store these in silos to lower the moisture content before pulverizing the chips to be blown into the furnace.
Mistress Rose

Chips are used for mainly larger buildings like schools, public halls and office buildings John as you need a moderate sized facility for the boilers, augers etc. There are some small scale local heating systems and I have visited one or two.

I didn't know they used the chips as dust for places like Drax, but I haven't taken much interest in large scale bio-mass power generation. It certainly makes sense as I believe they do the same with coal. It is the actual importation and storage that is the worry. It is quite possible that pests and diseases can survive in the wood chip and then escape into the surrounding area.

We have quite a lot of old rubbish dumps round here and all the methane is just vented. Green waste is now made into compost here, but people have to pay so much for bags to put it in. I don't think it is supposed to go into the rubbish bin. There was a scheme a little while ago to provide us with plastic compost bins at a reduced price, so home composting is being actively encouraged here.
Ty Gwyn

Yes your correct Chris,it was my poor wording explaining that the power stations pulverize the chips,

I`ve seen these biomass boilers advertised from 30kw upwards,there maybe smaller versions which are pellet fed similar to the coal gravity fed boilers,and as you say the larger chip versions are fed by auger and hence need more spacious accomodation.
Tavascarow

There are, a neighbour has one for their cottage & holiday let.
They don't rate it.
We have had a lot of late night confusion on this thread. When I asked what about geo-thermal I forgot that my near neighbour the Eden project are now in the throws of installing a system.
Ty Gwyn

That is some undertaking Tav,drilling down 2 bore holes 25cm to a depth of 4.5 km and pumping down water,that`s a lot of water,but i presume it will be recycled around through the process. Tavascarow

That is some undertaking Tav,drilling down 2 bore holes 25cm to a depth of 4.5 km and pumping down water,that`s a lot of water,but i presume it will be recycled around through the process.
According to their blurb yes a closed system.
Interesting they claim it will only have a 25 year life span.
Quote:
Will it cool the Earth?

No. The heat extracted from the rock is a minute fraction of the vast heat available in the Earth’s crust. The design life of the plant is 25 years, and after it has closed the heat in the rock will recover, possibly allowing the well to be reused after some decades.
Ty Gwyn

Another interesting point it their blurb was ,`That the rocks may need to be artificially Fractured,

Well i think we all know what that entails,water ,sand and nasty chemicals,surely not with this clean sustainable[for 25yrs] energy.

Considering the depth of Cornish Tin Mines where the rock was granite,this is way below that level,and i have not heard of any drilling to prove granite at 4km depth,
But i know a few Geo`s who may know the answer.
Mistress Rose

The one in Southampton is over a natural hot spot and that seems to have been going happily since the 1960s. I think we are talking about two different types of geothermal. Having a life of 25 years doesn't seem really worth while, especially as it is going to involve fracking and a lot of hassle. Hairyloon

We have masses of garden waste, which our council wants us to pay £45 a year to take away...
So vote in a new council.
Nick

We have masses of garden waste, which our council wants us to pay £45 a year to take away...
So vote in a new council.

Or wonder if being asked for under a quid a week is a bad deal for a service like that. You can't have everything for nothing.
Tavascarow

We have masses of garden waste, which our council wants us to pay £45 a year to take away...
So vote in a new council. Our local council waste collection don't pick up garden waste unless it's in the approved bag (which costs £1.00 & only from them) Similar ploy just a different way of implication.
They don't want you to pay £45.00, they don't want to collect.
They want you to take it to the recycling/composting site or compost it yourself & why not!!
They can't afford to send a separate vehicle around behind the rubbish lorry to collect the few bags of garden waste that might be there.
In most countries you have to pay to have anything taken away. Recyclable or not.
Hairyloon

They want you to take it to the recycling/composting site or compost it yourself & why not!!
I don't know about yours, but our local "recycling" site is not very good. There is generally a big queue of traffic out of the gate and back up the junction in three directions.
There is no excuse for it IMO.
Ty Gwyn

2015 and this is the progress of Renewable Energy in South Wales,

Latest post on Welshcoalmines forum.

The whole energy policy of this country is a mess and has been so for many years. Down the road from me they are constructing a new gas fired remotely operated station (and a second on Garncoch common Swansea) which will both burn (in part Russian gas). They are required because the Welsh Assembly Government wants to cover the whole of Wales in wind turbines which simply are a joke (money making racket for land owners). The WAG also gave permission on the massive gas fired station on the Haven. It is both corrupt and simply insane.
Meanwhile in the third world the farmers are growing more and more biomass and less and less food to feed the people, because there is more money in that crop,what a wonderful world capitalism has created.
Ty Gwyn

Slight correction to the above,
The Garngoch set up is not a Gas site,its a site that will run 28 Diesel generators,
So a bit more Green than first thought,Bio Diesel,lol.
Mistress Rose

I don't see the point in growing crops just for bio-fuel. Using waste from crops is another matter, and is being worked on, but so far it hasn't happened. Tavascarow

I don't see the point in growing crops just for bio-fuel. Using waste from crops is another matter, and is being worked on, but so far it hasn't happened.
Agriculture is overproducing food crops, so why not turn some of that overproduction into energy in one form or another?
Don't see the problem.
The farmer doesn't make any more on the overproduction because prices are lower & would probably welcome alternatives. & more alternative crops would probably benefit biodiversity & soil health.
Less pesticides, break from annual cultivation, I can see a lot of benefits.
I wouldn't want to see huge monocultures of miscanthus or SRC but integrated into the system would be an improvement IMHO.
Ty Gwyn

Are we actually over producing?

Not by the way the price of rolled barley has risen due to scarcity according to my supplier,

Or the importation from France of rolled barley by my previous supplier.

Why not grow Soya for feed instead of Bio fuel?
Cathryn

A large part of the world goes to bed hungry which suggests that agriculture isn't overproducing just being distributed badly. Ty Gwyn

And a large part of that World is growing bio fuel while its people starve. Tavascarow

Ecologist article on the new Drax biomass burner.
Apparently it will only be burning 15% wood pellets, the rest coal.
Ty Gwyn

Interesting article Tav,
Show`s up the energy policy for what it is,a bloody shambles.

All that money to build,yet if they burn 50% wood,there is no reason to carbon capture the rest.

That`s nothing more than carbon trading.
Tavascarow

It's window dressing & does very little for the planet.
The way forward is micro & community generating systems.
Allow locals to have shares in wind turbines & solar farms & watch the objections dissolve.
There are many small streams & rivers that with micro hydro could power the majority of homes nearby, as long as people where responsible with their uses.
We don't need new Drax.
Ty Gwyn

Trouble is,we still need a base load,

But just for you,as i do agree on this form of generation locally,
And if it could be done then,then why not now,

https://www.youtube.com/user/RCAHMWales
vegplot


The way forward is micro & community generating systems.
...
We don't need new Drax.

This and this.
Hairyloon

And storage. Mistress Rose

Think that is a rather anti-biased view, but probably correct in essentials. The snipe about Concord suggested to me that it might be rather anti, as a lot was learned in that project.

We need to find better ways of using available biomass such as brash, straw and green waste. Burning some and converting some to methane and other things such as alcohol and precuresers for plastics is the ideal way to go.

If the figures are correct, and the same is being spent on the fiesibiliy study as on government renewable energy development, that is pretty poor value for money and it would be better spend on renewables. We do need to know more about carbon capture, but not spend this much just to see if it will work in one case using a method that is known to be rather dubious.

Agree we need to have some sort of base for electricity generation Ty Gwyn. Using the National Grid, micro generation might lead to chaos, but if the power could generally be used locally it would save a lot of waste in sending it round the system.
OtleyLad

I'm not convinced by the 'base load' argument. It makes sense in a National Grid with a relatively few large-scale power-plants but does the same hold true for a highly de-centralised generation format?

Sure you want fail-safe capacity, but if you have a local mix of solar, wind, hydro, tidal, storage, etc. that will vary across the country then the 'base load' argument is undermined.
Treacodactyl

I'm not convinced by the 'base load' argument.

Probably because you don't understand it. With your list, tidal is not local to many places, on a still night you don't have wind or solar and we currently have little way of storing energy in England. So, you need the base load to be provided by nuclear and fossil fuels and we will need it for year to come.
Tavascarow

I'm not convinced by the 'base load' argument.

Probably because you don't understand it. With your list, tidal is not local to many places, on a still night you don't have wind or solar and we currently have little way of storing energy in England. So, you need the base load to be provided by nuclear and fossil fuels and we will need it for year to come. I agree if you assume current demand & technology but technology is advancing at a rate of knots, & with the right encouragement will advance quicker.
Tesla is about to announce their new battery system that they say will make grid tied homes a thing of the past.
I've no doubt that technology will be very expensive to start with, & way beyond the means of your average downsizer. So was solar PV twenty years ago. But once the system is there inventors & designers will start to work on systems & appliances that fit.
Treacodactyl

I'm not convinced by the 'base load' argument.

Probably because you don't understand it. With your list, tidal is not local to many places, on a still night you don't have wind or solar and we currently have little way of storing energy in England. So, you need the base load to be provided by nuclear and fossil fuels and we will need it for year to come. I agree if you assume current demand & technology but technology is advancing at a rate of knots, & with the right encouragement will advance quicker.
Tesla is about to announce their new battery system that they say will make grid tied homes a thing of the past.
I've no doubt that technology will be very expensive to start with, & way beyond the means of your average downsizer. So was solar PV twenty years ago. But once the system is there inventors & designers will start to work on systems & appliances that fit.

Indeed, and I've been waiting for many years for the promise of good energy storage. We've also been promised better fission and workable fusion as well. Which will come first and what would be better?

If you're saying in 20+ years there will be cheap and plentiful energy storage then great*, until then we'll need something to cover the base load.

*If anyone knows of a fairly cheap off-grid battery solar set-up that's coming to market in the next couple of years please post up details in another thread as I'm looking for something.
Treacodactyl

And thinking about this some more, I've been looking at plug in hybrid cars. Not a sports car or anything large, just a super mini sized thing. To make the investment worth while it would have to cover at least 100 miles on the battery and there still isn't anything about that fits the bill. The Prius has been around for 18 years and what progress has been made? Hairyloon

The Prius has been around for 18 years and what progress has been made?
Shed loads more charging stations.
Tavascarow

And thinking about this some more, I've been looking at plug in hybrid cars. Not a sports car or anything large, just a super mini sized thing. To make the investment worth while it would have to cover at least 100 miles on the battery and there still isn't anything about that fits the bill. The Prius has been around for 18 years and what progress has been made? Progress is slow because the big money is still in oil & with regards to renewable electricity generation coal & nuclear.
People are starting to lobby large investors to get out of fossil fuels & it's starting to have an impact.
If investment & pension funds refuse to put their money into existing technology then we will see a difference, & at a much more rapid rate IMHO.
Graham Hyde

How much is electricity in the UK now for the private consumer? dpack

Ecologist article on the new Drax biomass burner.
Apparently it will only be burning 15% wood pellets, the rest coal.

better than coal and molybdenum infested pet coke . Twisted Evil Mad Mad

if they want to sue me they can try but i will win Cool
Treacodactyl

The Prius has been around for 18 years and what progress has been made?
Shed loads more charging stations.

Laughing Rather pointless if your hybrid can't be plugged in. And general grid charging points will increase the base load requirement.

What I'm after would be a car with a decent capacity battery that could be charged from a home solar array. It would reduce the need for a base load, or at least not raise it.
Tavascarow

And thinking about this some more, I've been looking at plug in hybrid cars. Not a sports car or anything large, just a super mini sized thing. To make the investment worth while it would have to cover at least 100 miles on the battery and there still isn't anything about that fits the bill. The Prius has been around for 18 years and what progress has been made? Progress is slow because the big money is still in oil & with regards to renewable electricity generation coal & nuclear.
People are starting to lobby large investors to get out of fossil fuels & it's starting to have an impact.
If investment & pension funds refuse to put their money into existing technology then we will see a difference, & at a much more rapid rate IMHO. A few links I've picked up recently.
UN back fossil fuel divestment.
Students occupy Oxford university in fossil fuel divestment protest
Guardian petition recieves 60,000 signatures.
Not just in the UK. One good thing about George & Daves freeing up of pension pots is we might be able to convince some that for the sakes of their Grandkids they need to invest them ethically.
Ty Gwyn

Food for thought,

Ed Davy`s backing of the Deinvestment is a worrying point,

Unless your happy for the fracking boom to take over.
Tavascarow

Last time I checked shale gas was a fossil fuel. Ty Gwyn

Maybe Ed Davy thinks different,

Have you read his comments?

Asked whether it was compatible to issue these kinds of warnings and yet give short-term subsidies to keep coal plants open, support fracking and continue to give tax breaks to North Sea oil companies, Davey said coal had to be treated more urgently than oil or gas even though, for energy security reasons, the UK needed some coal-fired power plants for the very short term.

“I have been clear that coal assets are very risky but you are not going to get rid of cars and gas heating systems overnight and so we are going to need quite a lot of oil and gas. The question is would you like that to come from Russia and Qatar or locally where it is well regulated, gives us jobs and provides tax revenues.”
OtleyLad

I'm not convinced by the 'base load' argument.

Probably because you don't understand it. With your list, tidal is not local to many places, on a still night you don't have wind or solar and we currently have little way of storing energy in England. So, you need the base load to be provided by nuclear and fossil fuels and we will need it for year to come.

You can't dismiss this so easily. I specifically said the mix would vary across the country. Tidal would be very useful for some generation - we're surrounded by tidal waters after all (and not everything has to be done on a large scale); wind & solar can clearly be used more widely. Solar thermal is underused too.
We've barely touched hydro and pumped storage in the UK as well, but there is a grwoing interest in small scale hydro projects. It's true that electricity storage is in its infancy but we should be looking at long term solutions - not putting off their development because they don't work now.
Nuclear is no longer a viable option (see the Hinkley mess).
So in the short term maybe we have to keep burning stuff - but fossil fuels should be seen as a stop-gap within a longer term strategy to be rid of them as quickly as possible.
Treacodactyl

I'm not convinced by the 'base load' argument.

Probably because you don't understand it. With your list, tidal is not local to many places, on a still night you don't have wind or solar and we currently have little way of storing energy in England. So, you need the base load to be provided by nuclear and fossil fuels and we will need it for year to come.

You can't dismiss this so easily. I specifically said the mix would vary across the country. Tidal would be very useful for some generation - we're surrounded by tidal waters after all (and not everything has to be done on a large scale); wind & solar can clearly be used more widely. Solar thermal is underused too.
We've barely touched hydro and pumped storage in the UK as well, but there is a grwoing interest in small scale hydro projects. It's true that electricity storage is in its infancy but we should be looking at long term solutions - not putting off their development because they don't work now.
Nuclear is no longer a viable option (see the Hinkley mess).
So in the short term maybe we have to keep burning stuff - but fossil fuels should be seen as a stop-gap within a longer term strategy to be rid of them as quickly as possible.

So in the short term, i.e. 20 years or so, we still need a base load provided by nuclear and fossil fuels. Of course we could reduce the need for this if everyone cut back their usage but no one really wants to.
Mistress Rose

Ty Gwyn, I have never understood why gas and oil are better than coal either, especially as we have good reserves of coal. Oil can contain just as much sulphur as coal after all.

Otley Lad, as you say, methods of production of electricity will vary depending on where in the country you are. Round here, tidal is an option, but hydro isn't as our hills are dry and the coastal plain flat. Some areas, such as flat parts of the midlands have a real problem though; few hills, no tidal power, inconsistant wind and sun.

Battery development has come on a long way in the last 40 years, but there is still a problem with storing large quantities of electricity. It also has to be remembered that storage and long distance transport are inefficient as there will be power loss.
Tavascarow

Ty Gwyn, I have never understood why gas and oil are better than coal either, especially as we have good reserves of coal. Oil can contain just as much sulphur as coal after all.

Otley Lad, as you say, methods of production of electricity will vary depending on where in the country you are. Round here, tidal is an option, but hydro isn't as our hills are dry and the coastal plain flat. Some areas, such as flat parts of the midlands have a real problem though; few hills, no tidal power, inconsistant wind and sun.

Battery development has come on a long way in the last 40 years, but there is still a problem with storing large quantities of electricity. It also has to be remembered that storage and long distance transport are inefficient as there will be power loss. Gas is cleaner burning. Less particulates, virtually zero sulphur & nitrogen compounds. It produces no more or less CO2 though. Hairyloon

It also has to be remembered that storage and long distance transport are inefficient as there will be power loss.
Power loss is pretty small really: it's proportional to the inverse square of the voltage and they run at, what? 100,000 volts.

A far more significant waste is the heat loss from the power stations: they have to losew a lot of heat, but why don't they put it to some good use? CHP plants are few and far between.
Hairyloon

Gas... produces no more or less CO2 though.
Marginally less CO2: methane has more hydrogen than higher hydrocarbons.
vegplot

Battery development has come on a long way in the last 40 years, but there is still a problem with storing large quantities of electricity. It also has to be remembered that storage and long distance transport are inefficient as there will be power loss.

It is likely battery storage will be dispersed i.e. local storage on a per property or small local community. Tesla is actively working towards this. I don't know whether this will scale but there's no reason why it shouldn't.
Hairyloon

Flywheel technology looks promising. Graham Hyde



A far more significant waste is the heat loss from the power stations: they have to losew a lot of heat, but why don't they put it to some good use? CHP plants are few and far between.

I was involved in a number of these CHP plants way back when there was a tax/grant incentive. Is that not the case now?
Hairyloon

There is a FIT incentive for micro-CHP, but neither of the MCS registered boilermakers answered their email when I made enquiries.
Maybe I should hassle DeFRA again...
Ty Gwyn

Gas is cleaner burning. Less particulates, virtually zero sulphur & nitrogen compounds. It produces no more or less CO2 though.[/quote]

But its Fracked Gas that Ed Davy is talking about.
Graham Hyde

How about this story about global oil policy.
I was based in the Middle East, working as the General Manager for the largest American M&E company in both Kuwait and in Qatar. The General Manager position in the Middle East means head of the company in that country. I had a combined workforce of about 2.5k.
It was the time America was looking for an alternative source to the Middle East for oil. They had picked Libya and were trying to do a PR job on Gaddafi, family visits to Disney World Paris, politicians sitting in a tent with him in the middle of a desert. You remember those pictures?
Well, I had a visit from two Texans, one a mayor of a city in Texas, the other an owner of a private bank. They had letters of introduction from the White House, photos of them both with both Bushes, formal and informal photos at BBQ's and the like.
They wanted me to set up a branch of the company in Libya, I could choose which ever contracts I wanted and they would be awarded unconditionally. They wanted for publicity, this large American corporation to be seen working for and in Libya. Wanted me to sit in a tent in the desert. One of these jokers was wearing an antique Rolex which I commented on. He immediately tried to presented this to me as a gift. Worth about £15k. That ended the meeting for me but I often wondered what those UK Politians accepted for sitting in that tent.
tahir

How about this story about global oil policy.
I was based in the Middle East, working as the General Manager for the largest American M&E company in both Kuwait and in Qatar. The General Manager position in the Middle East means head of the company in that country. I had a combined workforce of about 2.5k.
It was the time America was looking for an alternative source to the Middle East for oil. They had picked Libya and were trying to do a PR job on Gaddafi, family visits to Disney World Paris, politicians sitting in a tent with him in the middle of a desert. You remember those pictures?
Well, I had a visit from two Texans, one a mayor of a city in Texas, the other an owner of a private bank. They had letters of introduction from the White House, photos of them both with both Bushes, formal and informal photos at BBQ's and the like.
They wanted me to set up a branch of the company in Libya, I could choose which ever contracts I wanted and they would be awarded unconditionally. They wanted for publicity, this large American corporation to be seen working for and in Libya. Wanted me to sit in a tent in the desert. One of these jokers was wearing an antique Rolex which I commented on. He immediately tried to presented this to me as a gift. Worth about £15k. That ended the meeting for me but I often wondered what those UK Politians accepted for sitting in that tent.

Kind of sums up the western desire to imposing democracy, wherever it suits them.
Hairyloon

Kind of sums up the western desire to imposing "democracy", wherever it suits them.
Slight correction there for you...
Tavascarow

Gas is cleaner burning. Less particulates, virtually zero sulphur & nitrogen compounds. It produces no more or less CO2 though.

But its Fracked Gas that Ed Davy is talking about.[/quote] I know & no doubt members of his not so near family & friends have share options, but once it's out the ground it's no different to north sea, Kuwaiti or Russian gas as far as combustion is concerned. I know the potential damage it could do in extraction, especially to aquifers but it's not my call.
I am doing my best to reduce the amount of energy I use & most of the objectors to wind farms, fracked gas, nuclear & all the other alternatives should be to, their argument would carry more gravitas if they did IMHO.
Ty Gwyn

Its not my call either Tav,
But i see Ed Davy`s backing of the Deinvestment of fossil fuels as hypocritical when he is in favour of fracked gas,

I believe your Green Party is opposed to fracking.
Mistress Rose

Gas is possibly cleaner in the burn, but as has been pointed out, fracked gas has all sorts of other problems and gas from Russia has all sorts of political problems.

Whichever form of storage you choose you will have losses. The best way of getting the most out of any energy source that has to be burnt is to use it direct; even using it to make electricity means it is far less efficient. I looked up the figures for the amount of carbon dioxide produced to heat by various methods and was amazed to find that grid electricity was the worst. The only advantage with things like electric cars is that the carbon dioxide etc. is produced somewhere else so doesn't build up in the cities. Unless of course it is from a renewable energy source like solar, wind or tidal power.
Tavascarow

With corporate energy we are stuck in the dark ages. My sentiments entirely, as I said earlier in this thread.
Let people buy into local renewable generation & watch objections vanish & also the power hold the big six have over all of us.
Falstaff

".... public and co-operative ownership of energy infrastructure under participative democratic control.....>"

I love that phraseology Cool

Er - what does it mean exactly ?

So who is supposed to pay for the compensation to the owners ?

I'd rather not thank you - but you please be my guest, if you can afford it ! Rolling Eyes
Tavascarow

".... public and co-operative ownership of energy infrastructure under participative democratic control.....>"

I love that phraseology Cool

Er - what does it mean exactly ?

So who is supposed to pay for the compensation to the owners ?

I'd rather not thank you - but you please be my guest, if you can afford it ! Rolling Eyes Well in my humble opinion public means owned by the public ie. as it was when we where children, state owned.
Where we compensated when it was taken & sold?
Cooperative means cooperatively owned between the customers & the producers.
Participative democratic control means the customer or consumer has a say in the running of said, ie. pricing & tariff setting & types of generating.
Obviously you have that to a lesser extent as a shareholder but your few thousand quid doesn't stack up against the big investors.
Big money looks out for big money & screw the rest (& the planet it seems).
I'm assuming your last question is who compensates the big six if we take our business elsewhere?
If so I think it says more about your interests financially than the future of the planet as far as I'm concerned.
& regardless of that in business it isn't the norm to compensate one technology when it becomes obsolete.
Quite the opposite in fact the smart money leaves a long time before it becomes obsolete when its stock still has some value.
That's business.
& all said without bold lettering or overuse of rolling eyes emoticons.
Which I'm sure you don't mean it too but comes across as very condescending, if you don't mind me saying.
Falstaff

Firstly I am not a shareholder in any energy company, but there are such, who have paid out their own money for shares in the normal capitalist way.

It is not right or legal to remove their rights in governing the companies without fair and reasonable compensation.

So who do you suggest pays them ?

As I said I am not wanting to do that - but if you have the money, please be my guest !

Otherwise explain please your proposals ?
Tavascarow

I suggest no one pays them.
Business doesn't work that way.
Where the banks shareholders compensated when their stocks went from hero to virtually zero in 2008?
No of course not.
As I said earlier the smart money leaves whilst the stock still has some value.
If investors see the future is micro generation that's where they will invest.
If investors see a companies systems are creaking & about to collapse through lack of investment in infrastructure, or under investment in new technology the smart ones will move their money.
What we have at the moment (in this sector) is a group of six companies who run a whole industry like a monopoly with scant regard for their customers, the environment or I dare say their own future.
As an example & comparison, like the way IBM was behaving just before Windows came onto the scene?
They are behaving that way because no one has the money to set up a vast system like theirs in competition.
But if you let communities generate their own power, as windows did by selling their software to IBM (& everyone else) instead of building computers in competition. You destroy that monopoly & create a much more stable infrastructure which also happens to be better for the planet.
Now Windows stock is worth how much in comparison to IBM?
Where IBM shareholders compensated?
Ty Gwyn

[quote="Falstaff:1435592"]

It is not right or legal to remove their rights in governing the companies without fair and reasonable compensation.

So who do you suggest pays them ?

In the case of Nationalisation of the Mines in 1947 the Government paid off the old coal owners,from some calculations,more than the industry was worth,
And sold what was left well below market value to its cronies,

But this is not nationalisation proped up by the Government and its not all British companies that have to be purchased,
Will the foreign companies want to lose their cash cows?
Falstaff

Firstly I am not a shareholder in any energy company, but there are such, who have paid out their own money for shares in the normal capitalist way.

It is not right or legal to remove their rights in governing the companies without fair and reasonable compensation.

So who do you suggest pays them ?

As I said I am not wanting to do that - but if you have the money, please be my guest !

Otherwise explain please your proposals ?

Well I've read what you've written but I'm still at a loss to understand where this "Brave new Company" is to come from ?

Are you saying that some random civil servants are going to start up an energy company in competition ? Shocked
Falstaff

Firstly I am not a shareholder in any energy company, but there are such, who have paid out their own money for shares in the normal capitalist way.

It is not right or legal to remove their rights in governing the companies without fair and reasonable compensation.

So who do you suggest pays them ?

As I said I am not wanting to do that - but if you have the money, please be my guest !

Otherwise explain please your proposals ?

Well I've read what you've written but I'm still at a loss to understand where this "Brave new Company" is to come from ?

Are you saying that some random civil servants are going to start up an energy company in competition ? Shocked
Tavascarow

Micro-generation.
Communities generating their own power.
Towns & villages with their own systems.
Instead of vast power stations & a creaking distribution system, small renewable systems all over the country.
You can still use the grid to distribute surplus.
We don't have to buy EDF & the other five out we just make them obsolete.
We are doing it already with rooftop solar & FITs just step it up a notch.
It's already happening, renewable energy is about the fastest growing market out there.
The only thing that's missing is the community involvement.
As I said twice earlier in this thread allow people to buy in to local generation (wind, solar & hydro), have a share of the profit, or profit through cheaper tariffs & watch their objections dissolve.
& AFAIK legislation is changing to allow more public involvement.
Until recently generators weren't allowed to offer cheaper tariffs to locals effected by primarily wind turbines. I heard that's changing soon.
Hairyloon

The problem we have is that all of the micro-generators on the grid have to operate through the big energy companies. What we need to do is to find a way through the regulations such that the micro-generators can trade more freely.
Why can I not buy some of your surplus electricity?
Mistress Rose

I think it is a bit more complicated than that Taviscarow, but like the idea. According to the Treasury, the utilities weren't making any profits, but I have a strong feeling that was to do with how it was accounted. Since they have been sold off there has been a lot less government income, and even less now they have franchised off the east coast main line, which was making a nice profit.

There is still the problem of base load. Getting someone to organise who and how power will be generated needs to be sorted out regardless of whether we use micro or macro power generation.
Treacodactyl

What law is stopping say me selling electricity to my neighbour? Tavascarow

The problem we have is that all of the micro-generators on the grid have to operate through the big energy companies. What we need to do is to find a way through the regulations such that the micro-generators can trade more freely.
Why can I not buy some of your surplus electricity?
The big six are generators bar one which is the National Grid. & I thought, but can't find any figures that the public through the state still own a big chunk of that. Maybe not a majority share holder but one of major influence, I might be wrong.
All of the power being generated now by the smaller solar & wind generators is mainly being sold by smaller companies not EDF powergen et al. So there is no problem with selling into the grid. The only problem has been community involvement.
That legislation is or was being changed.
Tavascarow

The perfect spot for the worlds biggest windfarm. dpack

for wind it does seem ideal.
moving water has a thousand times more energy per cubic meter at the same speed

searching for the location by name might lead to confusion Laughing
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