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MG ZS EV
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spotted an article in the Telegraph that the govt is looking at removing the carbon taxes and subsidy levies imposed on ‘dirty’ electricity in order to make it competitive for heating homes. In truth such levies should now be imposed on gas and oil but the poverty lobby would be incensed. It will of course benefit us EV drivers!
 

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Maybe -- So many of us charge on that 5p time of day tarrif that won't go down. Looks like you are too :)

More likely will be a mandate to reduce the price of the standard tarrifs in exchange for a dirtier grid. Not a good outcome as far as I'm concerned.
 

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MG ZS EV
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Maybe -- So many of us charge on that 5p time of day tarrif that won't go down. Looks like you are too :)

More likely will be a mandate to reduce the price of the standard tarrifs in exchange for a dirtier grid. Not a good outcome as far as I'm concerned.
I think you are being pessimistic, firstly 1 GW of offshore wind will become live later this year with another 2 GW over next year. Getting people to adopt heat pumps, which is the government aim won‘t happen overnight, there aren’t enough installers to do the work and the price of gas is a big disincentive. I am hoping to be part of a trial with Octopus after I suggested that there needs to be special tariffs for ashp users to incentivise use away from peak times, ie avoid heating between 07:00 and 10:00 and 12:00 and 13:30 and 16:00 and 19:00. Using heat pumps only becomes difficult for the grid in extremely cold weather when they need to run continuously.

Correction... a second wind farm Triton Knoll will come on stream this year, that makes 2 GW approximately.
 

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I think you are being pessimistic, firstly 1 GW of offshore wind will become live later this year with another 2 GW over next year. Getting people to adopt heat pumps, which is the government aim won‘t happen overnight, there aren’t enough installers to do the work and the price of gas is a big disincentive. I am hoping to be part of a trial with Octopus after I suggested that there needs to be special tariffs for ashp users to incentivise use away from peak times, ie avoid heating between 07:00 and 10:00 and 12:00 and 13:30 and 16:00 and 19:00. Using heat pumps only becomes difficult for the grid in extremely cold weather when they need to run continuously.
As we found out last month, there are major flaws in Carrie’s cunning plan for more wind energy. Firstly, no Government has control over the wind; secondly, you need massive overcapacity to meet demand in light wind situations and, thirdly, you need somewhere to store the surplus energy when the wind does blow. The same argument can be levied at solar. Combine no wind and heavy cloud and we are left relying on fragile nuclear power stations and dirty coal and gas.
 

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MG ZS EV
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As we found out last month, there are major flaws in Carrie’s cunning plan for more wind energy. Firstly, no Government has control over the wind; secondly, you need massive overcapacity to meet demand in light wind situations and, thirdly, you need somewhere to store the surplus energy when the wind does blow. The same argument can be levied at solar. Combine no wind and heavy cloud and we are left relying on fragile nuclear power stations and dirty coal and gas.
Quite true, but already there are pilot plants being developed to turn surplus wind generated electricity into ammonia and hydrogen. So yes we need a big surplus of wind energy and so far the build has been the low hanging fruit. Scotland has the as yet untapped seas out to the west of Orkney, Shetland and Hebrides which tend not to suffer slow wind speeds when an anticyclone sits over the UK. The technology to develop wind farms out there is still in its infancy. Ammonia is interesting not only because it is the base of fertilisers but also a source of fuel for shipping. There is much to develop yet and I don’t share a bleak view on wind power.
 

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As we found out last month, there are major flaws in Carrie’s cunning plan for more wind energy. Firstly, no Government has control over the wind; secondly, you need massive overcapacity to meet demand in light wind situations and, thirdly, you need somewhere to store the surplus energy when the wind does blow. The same argument can be levied at solar. Combine no wind and heavy cloud and we are left relying on fragile nuclear power stations and dirty coal and gas.
Or there needs to be a shift from the current situation where demand drives supply to one where demand is managed to fit the supply. All those extra EVs can be charged at night when there is even now, at times, an excess of generation.
 

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There has been a consensus in the scientific community that has needed to be done for years. Electricity has been signed out for having all taxes and levees added to a unit and gas has pretty much got off scott free. dont quote me on it but the last article I read on the subject seemed to suggest that at least a third of a unit of electricity cost was these such taxes and it’s why it’s 3 times the cost of gas. In order to incentivise the switch, gas has to become less competitive. We’re getting a heat pump installed next month so I would definitely and selfishly welcome this change but the efficiency gained from the heat pump will most likely even the cost out for now.

As for what BoJo says I’ll ignore until something actually happens. Arguably you could put a turbine outside No10 and one on his arse and we’d be self sufficient in wind energy for decades.
 

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As we found out last month, there are major flaws in Carrie’s cunning plan for more wind energy. Firstly, no Government has control over the wind...
Nooooo! How did I not spot the problem? Are you saying that the wind doesn't blow every day, all the time? Now, for god's sake please don't tell me - you're not going to say that the sun doesn't shine for 24 hours every day, all the year round, as well, are you? How could we have been so foolish?

Er - I think those clever scientist chappies who invented solar panels and wind generators would have spotted that fairly early on. In fact, if you read up about this the whole development process has been envisaged - we need to cram in more and more renewables until we have over-capacity for the majority of the time, the grid then issues "contracts to use" rather than contracts to generate to companies who can store the excess or turn very cheap electricity into hydrogen and then turn that into liquid fuels like alcohol or ammonia, which we have plenty of storage capacity for. We then use the various storage technologies (e.g. short term batteries, medium term hydrogen, long term ammonia or alcohol). We either get it out of storage, or we import it from areas of the world that can make it cheaper - Australia, or the various desert regions that might jump at the chance of displacing Putin and Sheikh Yer'Money as energy suppliers to the world.

All of this is existing technology - we just need to get on and build it, and our government can be trusted to invest in the necessary infrastructure in time to save the world. Can't they ...?
 

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The side effect of solar and wind is lack of the rotating mass used for frequency control.

There are of course ways around this but they're not cheap.
 

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The solution will of course be all the things mentioned plus projects like the pumped storage at Coire Glas, which will double the existing UK capacity and provide for frequency control and black starts too. Wind of course is steadily increasing in capacity as mentioned above, but turbine size and the expansion of the geographic areas producing will help in lower wind situations. Solar too should be encouraged again at a domestic/user level, as we are the consumers who first started demand management, along with EV owners and both are important educational drivers on energy use . If I had higher mileage I'd be paying more per mile, but currently I make do with solar on granny and occasional top ups when it's cheap to achieve about 1p per mile. As EV penetration increases that could make a significant difference as well..

The steady incremental increase in wind and solar is what is so encouraging. Brian G above has pointed out about this years' and next wind capacity coming on stream. From conception to planning solar is also very fast, and by the time Sizewell C comes on line (whenever that is..) it's going to be very difficult for it to compete even with wind plus storage on price.
 

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I wonder where the policy cost that’s currently put onto the electricity bill will end up instead….
 

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turn very cheap electricity into hydrogen and then turn that into liquid fuels like alcohol or ammonia, which we have plenty of storage capacity for.
Let's take grid average demand as 30GW (let's remember heating isn't a big part of current demand) over 24hrs, so 720GWh a day.

Ammonia has an energy density of 4.2kWh/litre (petrol 9.6).

So even ignoring process efficiencies we'd need something in the region of 171 million litres of ammonia stored to fuel 24hrs demand.

Across crude and refined products (aviation fuel, petro chemicals etc), the UK stores are approx 10 millions litres of products.

So no, we don't have plenty of storage for even a day of it.
 

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Energy storage is vital. There will be a mix of local thermal (advanced storage heaters), battery, pumped hydro and other technologies mentioned here. The winning technologies will be those that cost the least. Anyone have any figures on costs?
But, moving to equalise the cost of heating with electricity and gas is a sensible step. I would say that as I heat with electricity.
 

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We have had extensive storage for methane for decades though some of that has been taken offline in the last few years.
As in months' worth of storage. And methane is the easiest hydrocarbon to synthesise. Ammonia is also interesting, but we don't have the same sort of storage capacity yet.
 

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We have had extensive storage for methane for decades though some of that has been taken offline in the last few years.
As in months' worth of storage. And methane is the easiest hydrocarbon to synthesise. Ammonia is also interesting, but we don't have the same sort of storage capacity yet.
Methane is also a very, very potent green-house gas.

Until fairly recently we had upto 15 days storage, and now more recently it's more like 4-5 days. But that ignores the connectivity (Norway, Belgium and Netherlands) and supply chain we have from the Middle East.

The idea we had months? Not seeing anything that suggests we did, perhaps during town/coal-gas period but then everything was gas powered, including heating, cooking and street lighting, and coal was the primary industrial heating fuel.
 

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I found this article on the practicalities of grid storage interesting. I’m not sure of the provenance of the GWPF so as with everything on the internet, worth doing some research to see if there’s an opposing view to balance it.
 

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I found this article on the practicalities of grid storage interesting. I’m not sure of the provenance of the GWPF so as with everything on the internet, worth doing some research to see if there’s an opposing view to balance it.
I'll take a look at the article, but this was the headline in Bing, so I'll tread cautiously...

The Global Warming Policy Foundation ( GWPF) is a lobby group in the United Kingdom whose stated aims are to challenge "extremely damaging and harmful policies" envisaged by governments to mitigate anthropogenic global warming. The GWPF as well as some of its prominent members have been characterized as promoting climate change denial.
 

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No mention of thermal which is fairly low risk.
 

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Last time I was arguing with people about renewables 20 years ago, I remember that the Engineers had worked out you only had problem once you got to 70% renewables and would need storage.

Strangely no one argues anymore about renewables anymore, bit like people will shut up about EV's and all their short comings in about 18 months time :devilish:
 
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