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Thought I would give you a ray of sunshine today...







Of course, we are living in unusual times and demand of energy is well down. But nevertheless, who could have predicted this scenario when we first started installing solar panels under the Feed in Tariff and later under the Renewable Obligation. To think, many said solar wouldn't work in the UK and it was just a waste of money. Just think what we could do with a more supportive government, hybrid solar/wind and increasing use of storage! Also bodes well for decarbonising EV charging.
 

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Didn't realise South West and Southern operated their own islanded grid? as implied by those figures.
 

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Didn't realise South West and Southern operated their own islanded grid? as implied by those figures.
I think it's based on the principle of power users drawing power from their nearest sources of generation and then the system operator putting their regional boundaries around it.
 

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What do you mean by "sceptics"? If I was building a house from scratch I'd include solar panels but retrofitting just doesn't make sense for a lot of people. Last time I did the calculations, it worked out that even if I filled my whole roof I'd just about break even over the expected lifetime of the panels, so there wasn't exactly much incentive there. With an EV it may well pay off though.
 

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It does amuse me that 25 years ago, we were all protesting about nuclear waste, and space 1999 warned us about putting it on the moon.
 

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It does amuse me that 25 years ago, we were all protesting about nuclear waste, and space 1999 warned us about putting it on the moon.
What's funnier is that in the last 25 years we have built huge amounts of wind and solar in the UK from a standing start but we still haven't managed to build a single new nuclear power station. In the meantime, the price of renewable energy has fallen to a third of the price of nuclear.

What is our government's answer to this new economic reality? It has decided to try and build a new nuclear power station anyway. Not only that, but we are inviting the Chinese government to build it for us. And despite how much money has gone into nuclear R&D, there is still no solution to nuclear waste. Well, maybe not so funny after all!
 

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Solar still doesn't make sense to retrofit economically.

I think it's a real stretch to claim the current circumstances (low demand, unseasonal weather) as a good example of solar. It's a corner case at best.

If anything, it's showing how inflexible it is and causing headaches for the UK grid balancing (potentially, in extreme circumstances seeing baseload generators switched off).

I certainly want solar to be part of the mix, but it's really not justified for domestic use at this time.
 

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But solar on roofs is very well suited to both the current circumstances and post lock down. Producing power at point of use, reducing stresses on network, putting off required network investment etc.

The Feed in Tariff was hugely successful resulting in around a million solar roofs but it made people over-fixated on return on investment. How many homeowners putting in a new bathroom suite or kitchen spend hours working out a return on investment?
 

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over-fixated on return on investment. How many homeowners putting in a new bathroom suite or kitchen spend hours working out a return on investment?
But one is nice to use and look at, the other is just an ugly slab on the roof.
It's like comparing putting £2,000 in your pension pot or going on holiday.
 

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Solar still doesn't make sense to retrofit economically.

I think it's a real stretch to claim the current circumstances (low demand, unseasonal weather) as a good example of solar. It's a corner case at best.

If anything, it's showing how inflexible it is and causing headaches for the UK grid balancing (potentially, in extreme circumstances seeing baseload generators switched off).

I certainly want solar to be part of the mix, but it's really not justified for domestic use at this time.
There is no such thing as BASELOAD in the UK. Look there are old and inflexible nuclear plants that churn out between 3 and 6.5 GW when they aren't busy cracking irlor refuelling. Everything else is up and down depending on which way the wind is blowing...AND we have become very dependent on electricity imports from France, Belgium etc and currently back in winter by some coal stations. That's so we can drive our electric cars in winter when the sun don't shine. Actually it's not a bad system but it's certainly far from being fossil free.
 

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There is no such thing as BASELOAD in the UK.
On first reading that I thought "WTF is he on about?". But it's an interesting idea actually.
I think there is still a baseload mindset, in the public domain at least (at National Grid I don't know), but I think we do seem to be moving to a more dynamic supply/demand strategy.
 

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Yeah there is no BASELOAD. All the large industrial and commercial loads have their own behind the meter generation or emergency generation or load limitation schemes so they don't get crucified by the triads

The nuclear stuff doesn't really fit anymore, no one will really miss it, it's been slowly falling away, cracking itself to bits.

But we don't need some really decent scale storage, can't keep ducking this one
 

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But one is nice to use and look at, the other is just an ugly slab on the roof.
It's like comparing putting £2,000 in your pension pot or going on holiday.
Ugly? Any "traditionally" beautiful house will be a disaster to live in, energy efficiency wise, and modern housing is just a load of identikit shoeboxes.
 

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We do indeed need more storage and the market is certainly more dynamic! I've got 4kWp solar panels on my ex-council terrace and am also on Agile. I was exporting today until 19.21 as I wasn't cooking, but earlier in the day I was being paid up to 4p a kWh for importing between 13.00 and 16.00, which was a bit difficult as my solar production was so healthy. I tried by having dishwasher, oven, washing machine and electric chainsaw going, but it was only when I'd finished my chores that the electric shower managed to make a decent impact..

Obviously circumstances are a bit different at the moment but negative prices between 09.00 and 16.00 tomorrow shows the impact a reduction in demand and an increase in supply can have. A sector of the population is showing that demand management can have an impact, just as working at home is having an impact on transport pressures. Everybody benefits if people avoid peak usage not just those who can adjust their usage, everybody benefits if fewer people are on the road, not just those who are saving fuel by not driving at all.

When I get an EV (whenever..) I'll be able to take another of those micro-decisions on charging and using it which will be part of the adaptation to new circumstances and the ever increasing installed load of renewables.
 

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But solar on roofs is very well suited to both the current circumstances and post lock down. Producing power at point of use, reducing stresses on network, putting off required network investment etc.
It's doing entirely the opposite. The grid is trying to reduce generation and increase consumption. It switch off gas and wind turbines, it can control interconnects, it can even throttle down nuclear, but it has no control over the domestic solar generation. We're seeing negative market costs, how can it be more obvious?


The Feed in Tariff was hugely successful resulting in around a million solar roofs but it made people over-fixated on return on investment. How many homeowners putting in a new bathroom suite or kitchen spend hours working out a return on investment?
What benefit does a solar roof give except for RoI? Aesthetic? Quality of life? Warm green feeling?

The FiT was very good at taking middle class homeowners money and giving them much, much more back.

And very good any taking working class homeowners roofs, and burdening them with the legal loss of their roof for 20 years and a very small return on their energy usage.
 
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