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Offline Northern Sky  
#21 Posted : 13 June 2020 11:32:16(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Location: Leeds W Yorks

Originally Posted by: TimS Go to Quoted Post

 

And I’m not sure we need as much as people think. Look at gas - we have way more generation capacity than is burning at any one time, so that we can cope with surge demand. Most of the last few months has had been hovering between 5 and 20 gw but at full tilt it can generate around 30. The rest of the time there is idle capacity.

Same applies to solar and wind. If you double wind capacity, for example, then on an almost windless summer day you might be generating 4gw instead of 2. On a normal autumn or winter day you’re churning out 20 instead of 10. On a windy day, you switch off some turbines. Now the marginal cost of production is so much lower, it starts to become more economic to build surplus capacity than to build lots of storage. You then just need storage for the rare truly windless days of summer.

Then finally, interconnectors. The bigger the virtual grid across Northern Europe, the less a problem a windless or cloudy day in one area is, and the lord we can tap into French nuclear power on those days too. All potentially cheaper than mass storage.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/09/30/net-zero-carbon-dioxide-emissions-by-2050-requires-a-new-nuclear-power-plant-every-day/#4d90a6c135f7

"Make no mistake, these numbers are sobering.They indicate in readily understandable terms, that the world, and the United States, are not moving towards net zero carbon emissions and in fact, every day, we are moving in the opposite direction."

Online Gandalf The White  
#22 Posted : 13 June 2020 14:22:24(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: David M Porter Go to Quoted Post

 

There is also the question of how all this is going to be paid for. This won't be done for free.

We heard on the news yesterday that the UK economy shrunk by 20.4% in the last couple of months as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and I can see the same thing happening in other countries like this one too. The way I see it, it is probably going to take the economy of both this country and many others around the world to recover from this, so unfortunately the question of affordability is going to arise.

There is nothing wrong in principle with setting challenging goals, but they have to be realistic & financially affordable too.

But the cost of energy from renewables is now cheaper than from any fossil fuel and hugely cheaper than nuclear.  If money is tight then the sensible route is to invest in renewables.

 

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Online Gandalf The White  
#23 Posted : 13 June 2020 14:25:34(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/09/30/net-zero-carbon-dioxide-emissions-by-2050-requires-a-new-nuclear-power-plant-every-day/#4d90a6c135f7

"Make no mistake, these numbers are sobering.They indicate in readily understandable terms, that the world, and the United States, are not moving towards net zero carbon emissions and in fact, every day, we are moving in the opposite direction."

Whixh doesn’t prove it can’t be done; it merely proves that you can’t trust politicians to do what is necessary and that almost all of them out short-term economics ahead of everything else.

That route will, unquestionably, lead to serious (I will refrain from using the word catastrophic) problems in the second half of this century.

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Offline David M Porter  
#24 Posted : 13 June 2020 15:15:15(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

But the cost of energy from renewables is now cheaper than from any fossil fuel and hugely cheaper than nuclear.  If money is tight then the sensible route is to invest in renewables.

 

That may be so, but we would still have the issue that David (DEW) identified earlier of what happens in the wintertime when there isn't an abundance of sunshine (mind you, the same could be said for some occasions in the summertime in this country!) and those days when there isn't enough wind to assist in energy production this way.

Solar and wind would depend very much on the weather playing ball accordingly, and that is never a given with the British climate.

"Sometimes what we accept as the truth may not be the full story".

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet)

Offline David M Porter  
#25 Posted : 13 June 2020 15:21:43(UTC)
David M Porter

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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

Whixh doesn’t prove it can’t be done; it merely proves that you can’t trust politicians to do what is necessary and that almost all of them out short-term economics ahead of everything else.

That route will, unquestionably, lead to serious (I will refrain from using the word catastrophic) problems in the second half of this century.

The whole issue for me is that national governments, or at least the vast majority of them, are always going to put their own national interests before the those of the rest of the world. Therein lies the problem. Even if we in the UK manage to reach net-zero carbon by 2050 or sooner than that, what are the chances of countries like the US, Russia, China and India, to name a few, following suit? If I was a betting man, I would say the chances of that happening are not that great at all.

Unfortunately, we cannot decide who runs the rest of the world and how other countries are run, much as some people may wish we could.

Edited by user 14 June 2020 08:23:49(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"Sometimes what we accept as the truth may not be the full story".

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet)

Offline Saint Snow  
#26 Posted : 13 June 2020 22:05:16(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

There’s nothing wrong with setting demanding goals: it has seen some remarkable progress, such as putting men on the moon.

 

The reality is that we don’t have a choice; you’ve got teenage children so you ought to be as aware as anyone of the risks to their futures if we just keep trashing the planet.

 

LOL!

Without the link I'd meant to add, my post reads so very, very different to what I'd intended

Here's what I was referring to with 'Had to check this wasn't 1st April. As it is, I will just admire their optimism.':

 

 

https://www.insidermedia.com/news/north-west/approval-lined-up-for-salford-solar-farm

 

"Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich."

Martin

Home: St Helens (26m asl) Work: Manchester (75m asl)

A TWO addict since 14/12/01

Offline Saint Snow  
#27 Posted : 13 June 2020 22:14:02(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: TimS Go to Quoted Post

 

And I’m not sure we need as much as people think. Look at gas - we have way more generation capacity than is burning at any one time, so that we can cope with surge demand. Most of the last few months has had been hovering between 5 and 20 gw but at full tilt it can generate around 30. The rest of the time there is idle capacity.

Same applies to solar and wind. If you double wind capacity, for example, then on an almost windless summer day you might be generating 4gw instead of 2. On a normal autumn or winter day you’re churning out 20 instead of 10. On a windy day, you switch off some turbines. Now the marginal cost of production is so much lower, it starts to become more economic to build surplus capacity than to build lots of storage. You then just need storage for the rare truly windless days of summer.

Then finally, interconnectors. The bigger the virtual grid across Northern Europe, the less a problem a windless or cloudy day in one area is, and the lord we can tap into French nuclear power on those days too. All potentially cheaper than mass storage.

 

Ideally, we'd have a system where renewables (augmented by existing nuclear capacity) was the predominant generating method, with gas as a backstop for when renewables weren't feasible.

The problem we have is the fragmented nature and private ownership of our power generation industry. This stops there being an overall generation policy that can be strategically controlled centrally to vary the respective sources at any one time.

For example, gas power stations are an expensive asset. Why should a private company that has invested in the building of such an asset be forced to only use it sporadically, when renewable generation is reduced? If they were in public ownership & control, we could dictate the generating mix to suit society not shareholders.

"Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich."

Martin

Home: St Helens (26m asl) Work: Manchester (75m asl)

A TWO addict since 14/12/01

Online Gandalf The White  
#28 Posted : 13 June 2020 22:32:01(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: Saint Snow Go to Quoted Post

 

 

LOL!

Without the link I'd meant to add, my post reads so very, very different to what I'd intended

Here's what I was referring to with 'Had to check this wasn't 1st April. As it is, I will just admire their optimism.':

 

 

https://www.insidermedia.com/news/north-west/approval-lined-up-for-salford-solar-farm

 

Yes, indeed - LOL ++

interesting article and demonstrates how the game has changed. Maybe even NS will shift his position just a little.

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Online four  
#29 Posted : 14 June 2020 19:35:47(UTC)
four

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Joined: 07/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 20,221
Location: N.Y.Moors

Can anyone work out the the cost per kw/hr for this.

I think there's about 10,000 turbines now.

(Evening 14th June)

Offline Northern Sky  
#30 Posted : 14 June 2020 21:52:53(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Joined: 16/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 4,988
Location: Leeds W Yorks

Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

Yes, indeed - LOL ++

interesting article and demonstrates how the game has changed. Maybe even NS will shift his position just a little.

I'm all for renewables Gandalf and would love the UK to become net zero asap. My concerns are firstly can renewables provide the energy we need and should they do so, what would the environmental impact in terms of land use be?

There are many hopeful projects coming into view and I think our best strategy would be to invest far more into the research and development of these technologies. 

Offline DEW  
#31 Posted : 15 June 2020 06:05:38(UTC)
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Location: Chichester 12m. asl

Originally Posted by: TimS Go to Quoted Post

 

And I’m not sure we need as much as people think. Look at gas - we have way more generation capacity than is burning at any one time, so that we can cope with surge demand. Most of the last few months has had been hovering between 5 and 20 gw but at full tilt it can generate around 30. The rest of the time there is idle capacity.

Same applies to solar and wind. If you double wind capacity, for example, then on an almost windless summer day you might be generating 4gw instead of 2. On a normal autumn or winter day you’re churning out 20 instead of 10. On a windy day, you switch off some turbines. Now the marginal cost of production is so much lower, it starts to become more economic to build surplus capacity than to build lots of storage. You then just need storage for the rare truly windless days of summer.

Then finally, interconnectors. The bigger the virtual grid across Northern Europe, the less a problem a windless or cloudy day in one area is, and the lord we can tap into French nuclear power on those days too. All potentially cheaper than mass storage.

A bigger virtual grid certainly mitigates the problem to an extent - but you still get weather days on which there is a large winter HP across Europe, and solar is only available for an effective 6 hours a day. The generating authorities will have done their sums, whereas I'm only speaking from impression, but they will have had to take into account the complete disaster resulting from a failure to supply an increasingly electricity-based economy. 

I worked through the 3-day week in the 1970s and it wasn't fun but it was survivable with a bit of improvisation e.g. marking homework by the light of a camping gas lamp. But these days the Internet and phone communications would be out, retail transactions would be impossible, and modern gas heating depends on electrical controls. So gas power stations will be kept in readiness, at least until we have had 5 years of uninterrupted renewables and the beancounters decide they are a drain on the nation's finance. Sod's Law will then dictate the weather for the following winter ...

But maybe interconnectors to Norway offer the possibility of pumped storage, with the co-operation of the Norwegians, to provide large amounts of instant power.

It has been observed that less snow falls here than any other place of equal extent in the kingdom, occasioned by the shelter of the hills and the warmth of the sea breezes - Alexander Hay, Guide to Chichester, 1805
Online Gandalf The White  
#32 Posted : 15 June 2020 21:37:13(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

 

I'm all for renewables Gandalf and would love the UK to become net zero asap. My concerns are firstly can renewables provide the energy we need and should they do so, what would the environmental impact in terms of land use be?

There are many hopeful projects coming into view and I think our best strategy would be to invest far more into the research and development of these technologies. 

I recall a speaker at a conference saying “It isn’t sound simply to extrapolate from the status quo”.

Having seen a piece of research (modelling) that is part of the next IPCC report (which says errors in previous cloud modelling have underestimated warming) we don’t have the luxury of aiming for 2050.  This needs a back-to-basics rethink about how much energy we need to use as much as how we produce it.

If we replicate the energy efficiency of modern homes across the entire housing stock ( and offices, warehouses, factories and so on) we need less energy.

Then we need, as I’ve said, battery storage to sit alongside renewables.  I’ve just bought a secondhand Leaf: it’s parked outside with 40kw of battery storage.  For many homes that’s several days’ worth.  My brother has invested in a Powerwall to go with his solar panels.   It can be done: we have the technology but not the vision or determination.

And yes, I know we need the likes of China and the US on the same journey - but that’s not a reason for inactivity: what’s wrong with providing global leadership?

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Offline Roger Parsons  
#33 Posted : 16 June 2020 06:45:45(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

I recall a speaker at a conference saying “It isn’t sound simply to extrapolate from the status quo”.

Having seen a piece of research (modelling) that is part of the next IPCC report (which says errors in previous cloud modelling have underestimated warming) we don’t have the luxury of aiming for 2050.  This needs a back-to-basics rethink about how much energy we need to use as much as how we produce it.

If we replicate the energy efficiency of modern homes across the entire housing stock ( and offices, warehouses, factories and so on) we need less energy.

Then we need, as I’ve said, battery storage to sit alongside renewables.  I’ve just bought a secondhand Leaf: it’s parked outside with 40kw of battery storage.  For many homes that’s several days’ worth.  My brother has invested in a Powerwall to go with his solar panels.   It can be done: we have the technology but not the vision or determination.

And yes, I know we need the likes of China and the US on the same journey - but that’s not a reason for inactivity: what’s wrong with providing global leadership?

This interests me a lot, Gandalf - storage is a vital counterpart to renewable power generation. I have been wondering about getting a car which would allow us to do this and would be interested in knowing a bit more of what you have done and what you learned in the process.

With regard to oil and gas - economical usage needs to increase too - our roads are pounded by speeding gas guzzlers where a little restraint would save a lot. This is no time to squander petrochemicals. Petroleum, like archaeology, is safe where it is, underground.

R.

RogerP

West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire

No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".

Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)

Offline David M Porter  
#34 Posted : 16 June 2020 08:42:14(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

And yes, I know we need the likes of China and the US on the same journey - but that’s not a reason for inactivity: what’s wrong with providing global leadership?

The issue is that unless the likes of those two countries, plus Russia as another example, get fully on board wrt cutting emissions, then whatever the likes of the UK and most western European countries do in this area will always be undermined somewhat by the US, China and Russia.

There is nothing in any way wrong with the UK providing some leadership, that is entirely right and proper. However, what we really need is the most polluting countries such as the ones named above to show that leadership too, since they are the most culpable. The emissions that the UK has been responsible for over time have been a pretty small fraction of those from the aforementioned countries. That is not surprising, as the UK is very much smaller than those countries with a much smaller population. Unfortunately, while we can certainly encourage the governments of those countries to get fully on board, we cannot instruct them what to do. This leads back to the issue I raised in one of my posts on Saturday.

 

"Sometimes what we accept as the truth may not be the full story".

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet)

Offline Northern Sky  
#35 Posted : 16 June 2020 08:49:38(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Location: Leeds W Yorks

Originally Posted by: David M Porter Go to Quoted Post

 

The issue is that unless the likes of those two countries, plus Russia as another example, get fully on board wrt cutting emissions, then whatever the likes of the UK and most western European countries do in this area will always be undermined somewhat by the US, China and Russia.

There is nothing in any way wrong with the UK providing some leadership, that is entirely right and proper. However, what we really need is the most polluting countries such as the ones named above to show that leadership too, since they are the most culpable. The emissions that the UK has been responsible for over time have been a pretty small fraction of those from the aforementioned countries. That is not surprising, as the UK is very much smaller than those countries with a much smaller population. Unfortunately, while we can certainly encourage the governments of those countries to get fully on board, we cannot instruct them what to do. This leads back to the issue I raised in one of my posts on Saturday.

 

I think the key to it David is making clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels. If we can lead the way in developing the means to do that then other countries will quickly follow.

I don't think we have any chance of stopping countries increasing energy use and if using fossil fuels is the cheapest way to do it, that is what will happen.

Offline David M Porter  
#36 Posted : 16 June 2020 09:00:35(UTC)
David M Porter

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Location: Lenzie, Kirkintilloch, Glasgow

Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

 

I think the key to it David is making clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels. If we can lead the way in developing the means to do that then other countries will quickly follow.

I don't think we have any chance of stopping countries increasing energy use and if using fossil fuels is the cheapest way to do it, that is what will happen.

Agreed.

"Sometimes what we accept as the truth may not be the full story".

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet)

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