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Offline DEW  
#1 Posted : 09 June 2020 05:39:02(UTC)
DEW

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Location: Chichester 12m. asl

Britain is about to complete 2 months without using coal for electricity generation, and so far this year renewables have generated more electricity (just) than all fossil fuels put together

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52973089

Lots of wind power early on, then lots of solar, plus decrease in demand due to Covid. Very approximately, the mix has been 1/3 each renewables, fossil fuel and nuclear. There is still quite a lot of CO2 as renewables includes burning wood pellets, typically 5% of national power, at Drax power station and of course burning natural gas makes less CO2 than coal but not none.

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

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Online Gandalf The White  
#2 Posted : 09 June 2020 10:41:30(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

Britain is about to complete 2 months without using coal for electricity generation, and so far this year renewables have generated more electricity (just) than all fossil fuels put together

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52973089

Lots of wind power early on, then lots of solar, plus decrease in demand due to Covid. Very approximately, the mix has been 1/3 each renewables, fossil fuel and nuclear. There is still quite a lot of CO2 as renewables includes burning wood pellets, typically 5% of national power, at Drax power station and of course burning natural gas makes less CO2 than coal but not none.

Yes, I heard that on the news this morning.

 

The only thing that jarrs with me is the importing from the USA of wood pellets.  Yes, they're a renewable source but surely we can do better than that?

For all the negativity on display amongst climate change deniers, the investment in clean energy over the last couple of decades has really been a first class lesson in strategic and clear thinking.

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

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Offline four  
#3 Posted : 10 June 2020 07:54:45(UTC)
four

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The BBC really should have chosen a windier day to try to convince us coal had been supplanted by renewables - and avoid mentioning gas.

Online Gandalf The White  
#4 Posted : 10 June 2020 12:44:20(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: four Go to Quoted Post

The BBC really should have chosen a windier day to try to convince us coal had been supplanted by renewables - and avoid mentioning gas.

Yet the story was about how many weeks we had been managing to meet electricity demand without having to switch on any coal-fired stations. The figure of 0% against Coal was a bit of a clue, I think.

Of course we use large quantities of gas to generate our electricity. How were you expecting it to be produced?

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Offline Hickster  
#5 Posted : 10 June 2020 12:59:56(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

Britain is about to complete 2 months without using coal for electricity generation, and so far this year renewables have generated more electricity (just) than all fossil fuels put together

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52973089

Lots of wind power early on, then lots of solar, plus decrease in demand due to Covid. Very approximately, the mix has been 1/3 each renewables, fossil fuel and nuclear. There is still quite a lot of CO2 as renewables includes burning wood pellets, typically 5% of national power, at Drax power station and of course burning natural gas makes less CO2 than coal but not none.

It should be noted that these pellets are imported from the US, and require a significant amount of processing in order to make them work and special storage conditions to prevent them from self combusting.  It's not just chopping up trees into little bits and throwing them into the boiler.

While it's no doubt better than coal, it's a stretch to call it green or even renewable.

Edited by user 10 June 2020 18:03:11(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Somewhere in the Weald AONB
Offline Northern Sky  
#6 Posted : 10 June 2020 13:09:12(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

Yet the story was about how many weeks we had been managing to meet electricity demand without having to switch on any coal-fired stations. The figure of 0% against Coal was a bit of a clue, I think.

Of course we use large quantities of gas to generate our electricity. How were you expecting it to be produced?

Which is why ruling out fracking completely is madness.

Offline Northern Sky  
#7 Posted : 10 June 2020 13:11:35(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Location: Leeds W Yorks

Originally Posted by: Hickster Go to Quoted Post

 

It should be noted that these pellets are imported from the US and require a significant amount of processing in order to make them work and special storage conditions to prevent them from self combusting.  It's not just chopping up trees into little bits and throwing them into the boiler.

While it's no doubt better than coal, it's a stretch to call it green or even renewable.

And of course it has to get shipped across the Atlantic using, you guessed it, fossil fuels.

Intention over outcome again, as long as it ticks a few boxes though.

Online Gandalf The White  
#8 Posted : 10 June 2020 15:46:16(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: Hickster Go to Quoted Post

 

It should be noted that these pellets are imported from the US and require a significant amount of processing in order to make them work and special storage conditions to prevent them from self combusting.  It's not just chopping up trees into little bits and throwing them into the boiler.

While it's no doubt better than coal, it's a stretch to call it green or even renewable.

Yes, agreed - which is why I expressed my disappointment in my earlier post.

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Online Gandalf The White  
#9 Posted : 10 June 2020 15:49:40(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post

 

Which is why ruling out fracking completely is madness.

 

Well, it depends on the rate at which we need to de-carbonise the economy doesn't it?   If the goal is 2050 then investing in fracking is hardly worth the effort and few companies will see a decent return in the time available so the investment becomes unattractive.  Unless you want public sector investment via a state-owned gas operation? 

 

 

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Offline four  
#10 Posted : 10 June 2020 17:44:37(UTC)
four

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Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

 

Well, it depends on the rate at which we need to de-carbonise the economy doesn't it?   

 


Magikal green think will sort it.

Online Gandalf The White  
#11 Posted : 11 June 2020 06:53:12(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: four Go to Quoted Post


Magikal green think will sort it.

Whilst Neanderthal thinking won’t 

 

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Offline Northern Sky  
#12 Posted : 11 June 2020 08:27:12(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Location: Leeds W Yorks

Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

 

Well, it depends on the rate at which we need to de-carbonise the economy doesn't it?   If the goal is 2050 then investing in fracking is hardly worth the effort and few companies will see a decent return in the time available so the investment becomes unattractive.  Unless you want public sector investment via a state-owned gas operation? 

 

 

Well that's the question isn't it? If we are to be net zero by 2050 we have to establish how that's going to happen. How will the energy production be achieved and what will be the consequences of that? Are we going to invest in nuclear - in which case we need to get a move on - or are we dramatically going to increase solar/wind/tidal energy. If so what will the environmental consequences be in terms of land use, because as it stands the land use required by solar/wind to produce the shortfall would be massive.

Hopefully with much greater investment renewables can be improved and made more efficient with less impact but I think gas (and producing our own rather than relying on imports) would be a cleaner way to bridge that gap until renewables catch up. 

Offline Saint Snow  
#13 Posted : 12 June 2020 11:03:07(UTC)
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Had to check this wasn't 1st April.

As it is, I will just admire their optimism.

"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 TimS  
#14 Posted : 12 June 2020 22:36:56(UTC)
TimS

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Location: Brockley

I’ve been following the generation mix daily for the last couple of years on https://grid.energynumbers.info/

The fact is the proportion of renewable generation has soared. Absolutely soared, even in the last 12 months. Even in a period when nuclear generation has been in decline. It really won’t take much to eliminate most fossil fuel generation, including gas. Just a bit more generation capacity and a bit more storage. Electricity is going to be 100% green before long. And electricity demand has been falling year on year due to increasing energy efficiency standards.

The bigger issue is the rest of the economy. We are a long way off decarbonising home heating, transport and industry.

Brockley, South East London 30m asl
Offline DEW  
#15 Posted : 13 June 2020 05:50:39(UTC)
DEW

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Location: Chichester 12m. asl

Originally Posted by: TimS Go to Quoted Post
I’ve been following the generation mix daily for the last couple of years on https://grid.energynumbers.info/

The fact is the proportion of renewable generation has soared. Absolutely soared, even in the last 12 months. Even in a period when nuclear generation has been in decline. It really won’t take much to eliminate most fossil fuel generation, including gas. Just a bit more generation capacity and a bit more storage. Electricity is going to be 100% green before long. And electricity demand has been falling year on year due to increasing energy efficiency standards.

The bigger issue is the rest of the economy. We are a long way off decarbonising home heating, transport and industry.

IMO a LOT more storage (or backup generating capacity). You still have to plan for those windless and cold high pressure days in winter, even if in recent years they seem to have been less common.

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  
#16 Posted : 13 June 2020 07:05:45(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: Saint Snow Go to Quoted Post

Had to check this wasn't 1st April.

As it is, I will just admire their optimism.

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.

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Online Gandalf The White  
#17 Posted : 13 June 2020 07:10:08(UTC)
Gandalf The White

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

 

IMO a LOT more storage (or backup generating capacity). You still have to plan for those windless and cold high pressure days in winter, even if in recent years they seem to have been less common.

Yes, but it’s not unachievable.  A mix of storage in homes, communities and businesses, supported by micro generation and smart systems.

 

Location: South Cambridgeshire

130 metres ASL

52.0N 0.1E

Offline David M Porter  
#18 Posted : 13 June 2020 08:56:00(UTC)
David M Porter

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post

 

IMO a LOT more storage (or backup generating capacity). You still have to plan for those windless and cold high pressure days in winter, even if in recent years they seem to have been less common.

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.

Edited by user 13 June 2020 09:02:21(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet)

Offline Devonian  
#19 Posted : 13 June 2020 09:31:31(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.

I suspect energy usage has also fallen off the same cliff - so, proportionately, nothing has much changed. Except we probably have excess generation capacity atm and renewables get ever cheaper...

"When it takes nearly 900,000 votes to elect one party’s MP, and just 26,000 for another, you know something is deeply wrong."

The electoral reform society, 14,12,19

Online TimS  
#20 Posted : 13 June 2020 09:33:37(UTC)
TimS

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Location: Brockley

Originally Posted by: Gandalf The White Go to Quoted Post

 

Yes, but it’s not unachievable.  A mix of storage in homes, communities and businesses, supported by micro generation and smart systems.

 

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.

Brockley, South East London 30m asl
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