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If electricity suppliers can't purchase enough from green sources, it is a clear message to those in business that more need to be added.

It is a pool so to speak. As a consumer you use what you need, the supplier is going to make sure it fills the pool back with mineral water, tap water or from any of source even contaminated.

- Leaf 30 kWh
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It's a matter of scale. Pumped hydro is great for (fairly) predictable peaks but way too small scale to cover for a few days when there's a blocking high and no wind in the winter. That's when storing synth hydrocarbons or, just maybe, Hydrogen, is likely to be required.
It's just too inefficient. The reservoirs could be made larger. H2 manufacturing uses CH4 at the moment. Clean H2 would need electrolysis which is very expensive. We are taking about very large inefficiencies multipled

I would suggest research into inversing radioactive decay for better returns. Then you can bombard Pb soup and get U235 / Pu239

- Leaf 30 kWh
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Sorry that's a lot of questions, but the devil is in the detail with these types of things. But no worries if you don't have time to reply.
No problem. I do have an "all electric" house, and my 9kW of panels (actually 9.72kW nominal - 36x270W - with a 9kW inverter) generate almost as much power over the year as the house uses - about 9000kWh.
But, most of the generation is in the spring and summer, and most of the usage is in the winter. So we very much need a grid connection.

It's a four bedroom bungalow built in 1991, which was built with storage heaters. Before we started upgrading things we used to use up to 28000kWh in a year with a cold winter (and summer!). We added more loft insulation (to the original 100mm of horrible old glass fibre we added another 200+mm of much nicer knauff insulation), replaced the original cheapo double glazing with rotten wooden frames with new alu-clad triple glazing and replaced the original five storage heaters with three air-to-air Daikin "Ururu Sara 7" units using R32 refrigerant, and a Burley Hollywell log burning stove as a backup/supplementary heat source. There are just two of us living here full time, so two of the bedrooms are usually closed off, while the other is my office (which hasn't had a heater fitted for quite a few years, but is warmed by my gaming PC and displays when I'm using it). The doors to the rooms we use tend to stay open so that warm air can get around.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Thanks for getting back to me. That's useful. I am looking into R32 now as the global warming of refrigerants is something that I had been concerned about with this type of unit although I'd not heard of R32 or looked into specific refrigerants. I'll have a look into that later on.
 

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The O/P's point is irrelevant as it it is looking at the wrong thing.

We need as much renewable as we can get, and using a roof for PV is a no-brainer as it uses an area that can't be used for growing crops.
 

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No problem. I do have an "all electric" house, and my 9kW of panels (actually 9.72kW nominal - 36x270W - with a 9kW inverter) generate almost as much power over the year as the house uses - about 9000kWh.
But, most of the generation is in the spring and summer, and most of the usage is in the winter. So we very much need a grid connection.

It's a four bedroom bungalow built in 1991, which was built with storage heaters. Before we started upgrading things we used to use up to 28000kWh in a year with a cold winter (and summer!). We added more loft insulation (to the original 100mm of horrible old glass fibre we added another 200+mm of much nicer knauff insulation), replaced the original cheapo double glazing with rotten wooden frames with new alu-clad triple glazing and replaced the original five storage heaters with three air-to-air Daikin "Ururu Sara 7" units using R32 refrigerant, and a Burley Hollywell log burning stove as a backup/supplementary heat source. There are just two of us living here full time, so two of the bedrooms are usually closed off, while the other is my office (which hasn't had a heater fitted for quite a few years, but is warmed by my gaming PC and displays when I'm using it). The doors to the rooms we use tend to stay open so that warm air can get around.
Hi so you are Net Zero carbon (annualised basis).!

I prefer Good Energys declaration to Ecotricity's green spin. It's a bit like your situation.

But as Tesco say, every little helps.

On the pumped hydro front, there is the opportunity to reduce UK carbon emissions by progressing with several projects. As I've noted before, SSE have a project all set to go but unfortunately government set game rules make it more profitable to import Norwegian power, very little return on this to UK economy and tax returns. Shame!
 

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Err we have pumped storage hydroelectric stations for the very purpose. During low load times, it uses excess energy to pump water that is then used to generate electricity when needed.
Much simpler than manufacturing methane.
The problem with pumped storage is one of scale and location. With the economics, it is unlikely that we would build another Dinorwig when batteries can be installed at places on the grid that require no additional infrastructure and will react much much faster.

Methane storage is useful as it can be scaled up where Dinorwig can't. It can also be raised to a liquid and we already have the strategic storage in place for that.
 

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Thanks for getting back to me. That's useful. I am looking into R32 now as the global warming of refrigerants is something that I had been concerned about with this type of unit although I'd not heard of R32 or looked into specific refrigerants. I'll have a look into that later on.
I suspect all the thinking has been done by others and you now are compelled to go with the green solution.
 

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Slight diversion - most new air-to-air heat pumps (i.e. air conditioning units) until recently used R410A, which was a compromise choice, and a blend of two components, one of which was di-fluoro-methane - also known as R32. They didn't use "just" R32 because it is slightly flammable. However, an R32 system can operate at higher pressure with a smaller volume of refrigerant and with better efficiency than an "equivalent" R410A system.

So the point of mentioning R32 was mostly to say: don't be fobbed off with an older R410A design. There are other very interesting refrigerants such as hydrocarbons and even CO2 that mostly tend to be used for larger industrial systems, but for high efficiency "mini-split" systems R32 was the way to go, at least a couple of years ago. Look at the CoP figures (coefficient of performance) to make sure you get the most efficient system you can afford.
 

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But in the grand scheme of things I'm more concerned about climate change killing millions of people and putting civilization at risk than what Ecotricity's owner does.
Agreed, but there are other companies who offer 100% green electricity who do so without Dale's smear campaigns. The question was about ranking them, so I'm saying the Dale factor puts them at the bottom of the green suppliers.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Agreed, but there are other companies who offer 100% green electricity who do so without Dale's smear campaigns. The question was about ranking them, so I'm saying the Dale factor puts them at the bottom of the green suppliers.
Fair point.
I think it is indeed a negative point about Ecotricity.
Personally I would attach more value to the bills into mills thing they are doing, but I can see where you are coming from.

I actually have Good Energy rather than Ecotricity myself on my house in the UK. The reason is that when I made the decision to switch suppliers Good Energy at the time (2007 or so) was the only 100% renewable supplier, and Ecotricity was not. It's easier to just keep the same supplier now, especially since I am now landlord rather than tenant so a change would involve more hassle.

Sadly, here in Chile there is no such energy supplier so we are stuck with grid electricity unless we buy our own house at some stage, in which case we would probably get solar panels.
 

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Sadly, here in Chile there is no such energy supplier so we are stuck with grid electricity unless we buy our own house at some stage, in which case we would probably get solar panels.
That sounds like a potential business opportunity! Every fancied a change?
 
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