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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here are a couple of interesting videos for your consideration and comment.

The first considers if it is possible to generate all the energy that the UK needs from renewable generation located in the UK and UK waters:


On a more positive note, the second considers whether the UK grid can cope with all cars being EVs:


I'll just comment that it only considers cars, and doesn't include freight transport.
 

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Thanks for sharing! The first video is an eye-opener, plus i love the sense of humour. Since I'm interested in making a business in this domain, the numbers he puts on the slides are like gold in my hands.

The second video, to me, is pointless; he's talking about averages and I believe we know very well that, without storage, averages are pretty much useless. I think it also pretty much ignores that many companies are active during the night just to make use of the energy being generated because generators cannot be stopped; it is a form of energy storage, albeit expensive one (you have to make products, pay higher wages, sell more at lower prices, create environmental problems, mess up people's sleeping patterns).
 

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The TED lecture is 8 years and the principles presented have been aired endlessly in the interim. Good speaker though.
 

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The TED lecture is 8 years and the principles presented have been aired endlessly in the interim. Good speaker though.
Indeed - standard stuff. The late David MacKay who wrote in his classic book "Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air" that there couldn't be a debate about solar v wind v insulation v etc. We need it all and we need it fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the comments. I generally agree.

However, old and standard stuff it may well be. But well worth repeating and, I think, well presented with data, not just beliefs. The key messages are not well known and we need to promote them widely:
  1. It's impossible to provide enough renewable energy (wind, solar and biomass) to meet our current usage. It would require a large fraction of the land area of the UK. Do we cut usage dramatically, or use nuclear, or ...?
  2. The current grid could approximately support running all EVs - exact calculations needed. But what about goods transport?
We get endless discussions on SpeakEV about whether to lease or buy, or comparisons between EVs, or which EVSE to install at home ...

It would be good to give more time to the high level, and very important, issues facing us.

The second video, to me, is pointless; he's talking about averages ...
Bear with Euan. He is an expert on batteries, so I'm sure subsequent videos will cover storage, as he promises. And the averages, whilst not enough, are a reasonable starting point to work from.
 

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The current grid could approximately support running all EVs - exact calculations needed. But what about goods transport?
Don't worry about it. It's not an issue for individuals, but one for the forward thinking and expert Civil Service that we have in this country. :unsure:
On the other hand, perhaps it's time to start looking at having the capability of going off-grid.
 

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  1. It's impossible to provide enough renewable energy (wind, solar and biomass) to meet our current usage. It would require a large fraction of the land area of the UK. Do we cut usage dramatically, or use nuclear, or ...?
We don't provide all our current energy from the UK. So why is that a problem for switching to renewables? It doesn't have to be all from the UK.

There are plenty of desert-like areas who's inhabitants would, presumably, welcome massive investment in solar farms and plants to raise the energy to hydrogen then onto a liquid fuel like methanol. Solar panels can be used with a ~50% coverage, which combined with irrigation could bring impoverished land back into agricultural usage. It would be expensive, but nuclear is very expensive.
 

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Bear with Euan. He is an expert on batteries, so I'm sure subsequent videos will cover storage, as he promises. And the averages, whilst not enough, are a reasonable starting point to work from.
And as if by magic, part 2 of Euan's video.

John.

 
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It's impossible to provide enough renewable energy (wind, solar and biomass) to meet our current usage. It would require a large fraction of the land area of the UK. Do we cut usage dramatically, or use nuclear, or ...?
...left out geothermal...
 

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We've always expanded beyond the land area for energy. Eg, offshore coal mines in Fife., Wytch Farm.

Now large offshore wind turbine arrays
 

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... and in any case, there are a lot of rooftops that use no additional land, and wind turbines can be co-located with farming or ... solar PV.

We've got a long way to go before we run out of land area, so we need to get on, stop arguing and stuff it all in with gay abandon until is starts to hurt. Every panel or wind turbine we install starts generating the day it is commissioned, and that could be an awful lot of generation before anyone gets anything out of new nuclear.

I've had solar PV since 2011 and it is truly remarkable - it is amazing how we adapt when we can see free energy. It's been a mediocre day but we've done 2 loads of washing and had the car on charge for an hour, all at very low cost, and we should be pretty close to having a tankful of hot water.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Now large offshore wind turbine arrays
... stop arguing and stuff it all in with gay abandon until is starts to hurt. Every panel or wind turbine we install starts generating the day it is commissioned, ...
Totally agree with both of you. But please watch the first video and then comment. It already allows for wind farms. It says that we don't have enough renewables even if we cover, say, half of the UK and most of our coastal waters with biomass (well, forget that), wind farms and PV. So we have to get on with it. (Geothermal is another option. Heat pumps are part of the reduction in energy usage.) But that is NOT sufficient.

I'm not arguing here - just saying that more is needed.
 

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"The earth's geothermal resources are theoretically more than adequate to supply humanity's energy needs, but only a very small fraction may be profitably exploited."

"the break–even price is 0.04–0.10 € per kW·h."


...so the reason they can't be "profitably expoited" presently is energy pricing is based on the availability of sources that either release CO2 or produce radioactive waste. If these sources were outlawed, energy pricing would increase likely leading to profitable exploitation of geothermal.

The problem is folks would rather have lower prices and higher pollution rather than higher prices and lower pollution.
 

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Very simple to achieve 100% renewables, we just need to pay more for our electricity. As always, there is a financial balance. Nuclear energy is not renewable but uses very small resources and has unlimited potential.
 

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Very simple to achieve 100% renewables, we just need to pay more for our electricity. As always, there is a financial balance. Nuclear energy is not renewable but uses very small resources and has unlimited potential.
 

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"Nuclear power plants routinely and accidentally release tritium into the air and water as a gas (HT) or as water (HTO or 3HOH). No economically feasible technology exists to filter tritium from a nuclear power plant’s gaseous and liquid emissions to the environment. Therefore, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not require that it be filtered."

"Tritium emits radioactive beta particles. Once tritium is inhaled or swallowed, its beta particles can bombard cells. If a particle zaps a DNA molecule in a cell, it can cause a mutation."


"In 2003, the average PWR released about 700 curies of tritium in liquid effluents and the average BWR released about 30 curies of tritium in liquid effluents."

 

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"In 2003, the average PWR released about 700 curies of tritium in liquid effluents and the average BWR released about 30 curies of tritium in liquid effluents."
"Tritium emits radioactive beta particles. Once tritium is inhaled or swallowed, its beta particles can bombard cells. If a particle zaps a DNA molecule in a cell, it can cause a mutation."
How does this compare to background radiation levels?
 

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"Nuclear power plants routinely and accidentally release tritium into the air and water as a gas (HT) or as water (HTO or 3HOH). No economically feasible technology exists to filter tritium from a nuclear power plant’s gaseous and liquid emissions to the environment. Therefore, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not require that it be filtered."

"Tritium emits radioactive beta particles. Once tritium is inhaled or swallowed, its beta particles can bombard cells. If a particle zaps a DNA molecule in a cell, it can cause a mutation."


"In 2003, the average PWR released about 700 curies of tritium in liquid effluents and the average BWR released about 30 curies of tritium in liquid effluents."

So, you copied that directly of the NIRS website, an organisation opposed to nuclear power. Not biased or anything? There are high levels of naturally occurring radiation and of tritium in many parts of the world. Suggest you avoid them.
 

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Tritium is also naturally occurring...
So is arsenic, but it's still better not to increase the levels by human activity.

Anyway, the esteemed professor died four years ago, but not sure he ever acknowledged the changes going on. LED lights, appliance efficiencies, larger wind turbines (particularly offshore), increased efficiencies of solar panels and so forth. Purely on cost these days renewables win (even including storage). so I'd prefer we continue on those lines. If in the future we are still desperate for power we can try fision/fusion...
 
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