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Maybe we are not doomed after all

ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,216
edited October 2019 in The cake stop
Best piece of news in a long time... how long before we become free from the oil addiction?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40198567
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Posts

  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Yeah - all we need is a bit more sun and it to be windier more often - a kind of, um, climate change... :wink:

    Joking aside, it was good to hear this bit of news today.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • Particularly good news re offshore wind as the UK may not be ideal for solar, but it's hard to think of anywhere better suited to generate wind power, and the offshore jobbies don't appear to upset anyone whose view is spoilt.
  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
    Damn! I'm a coalist, the greater the global warming the better the climate for growing cool fruit fruit trees in the UK, peaches, avocados, oranges...
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,288 Lives Here
    Thank you, that did cheer me up a little.
  • big_harvbig_harv Posts: 524
    100% renewables and all electric cars in my lifetime? Maybe, but then I'm not 17 any more.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,216
    Indeed, it seems things happen even without or often despite the politicians. I was very disappointed when they did cut the funding for photovoltaics and research in renewables is underfunded, BUT... it seems we will be getting there after all.

    Independence from oil is the key to sustainability and peace
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 10,985
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • courtmedcourtmed Posts: 177
    Great news
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 16,812
    Portugal ran for about 8 days entirely fossil fuel free last year. Granted they get a bit more sun than us, but I don't think they have any nuclear to supplement output. A target for us? Apparently the cost of installing PV is dropping rapidly, hence the boost in output in spite of falling subsidies.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    1980s BSA 10sp

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,216
    rjsterry wrote:
    Portugal ran for about 8 days entirely fossil fuel free last year. Granted they get a bit more sun than us, but I don't think they have any nuclear to supplement output. A target for us? Apparently the cost of installing PV is dropping rapidly, hence the boost in output in spite of falling subsidies.


    If dye sensitized solar cells become a commercial reality, they might make more sense for northern Europe, as they collect more of the light available on cloudy days. Silicon PV really want sunshine and we don't have much of it
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 9,187
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    Battery technology is the key to many of our renewables challenges
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.

    Hydro electric power stations are thd current batteries.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 16,812
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.
    Used to be, but the cost of that has dropped significantly as well.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    1980s BSA 10sp

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    FocusZing wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.

    Hydro electric power stations are thd current batteries.

    Any idea how efficient this is? Can't imagine it's great.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 9,187
    Battery technology is currently too expensive, but a lot of progress has been made.

    Pumped storage is fine, but there are only 4 in the UK and all were built during nationalisation.

    There are many ideas such as compressed air in salt mines, but they all too uncertain for the private sector.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 9,187
    FocusZing wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.

    Hydro electric power stations are thd current batteries.

    Any idea how efficient this is? Can't imagine it's great.

    Very. 70-80%.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,288 Lives Here
    Caught a bit of a programme with Kryten off Red Dwarf trying to get his village to go solar. Batteries were the key so they could store the excess in quiet times rather than trying to sell any excess back to the national grid. They did show a compressed air battery, but that wasn't considered a viable option.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    edited June 2017
    TheBigBean wrote:
    FocusZing wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.

    Hydro electric power stations are thd current batteries.

    Any idea how efficient this is? Can't imagine it's great.

    Very. 70-80%.

    Really? So the losses in the pump up and the turbine down only lose 20-30%? I'm really surprised - but, yes, Wiki says so.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 9,187
    rjsterry wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.
    Used to be, but the cost of that has dropped significantly as well.

    I disagree. It still requires a healthy subsidy. We will see shortly when CFD round two takes place. Note established technology (onshore and solar) is not allowed to compete which is a great shame.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    veronese68 wrote:
    Caught a bit of a programme with Kryten off Red Dwarf trying to get his village to go solar. Batteries were the key so they could store the excess in quiet times rather than trying to sell any excess back to the national grid. They did show a compressed air battery, but that wasn't considered a viable option.

    Yes - I saw something similar I think with liquified nitrogen or some other atmospheric gas.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 9,187
    TheBigBean wrote:
    FocusZing wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.

    Hydro electric power stations are thd current batteries.

    Any idea how efficient this is? Can't imagine it's great.

    Very. 70-80%.

    Really? So the losses in the pump up and the turbine down only lose 20-30%? I'm really surprised - but, yes, Wiki says so.

    I'm not an engineer, but yes. The trouble with it is that it needs natural geography. I did the calculations once to see how much water I would need to store to power a house during the night and it was absurd. From memory something something like 27m cube dropping 1m.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    TheBigBean wrote:
    I'm not an engineer, but yes. The trouble with it is that it needs natural geography. I did the calculations once to see how much water I would need to store to power a house during the night and it was absurd. From memory something something like 27m cube dropping 1m.

    Yup - it's all about head (isn't everything in life :wink:) and with all of these things, scale is everything. I looked at getting a wind turbine for my house in Scotland but it would have taken over 20 years to pay for itself even though we had near constant wind.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 16,812
    veronese68 wrote:
    Caught a bit of a programme with Kryten off Red Dwarf trying to get his village to go solar. Batteries were the key so they could store the excess in quiet times rather than trying to sell any excess back to the national grid. They did show a compressed air battery, but that wasn't considered a viable option.

    Yes - I saw something similar I think with liquified nitrogen or some other atmospheric gas.
    Robert Llewellyn. He does a regular YouTube vlog on all things renewable/electric called Fully Charged.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    1980s BSA 10sp

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
    edited June 2017
    I have always been interest in solar panels since being a kid and going to Epcot where some buildings were covered in them. Parents bought me a small panel and motor there.

    They are awful in the shade and really need direct sunlight. Also the way the individual cells are connected, if you cover just one it knocks down the whole panel array. Stll brilliant though. China currently have the largest solar floating park as expected.
  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
    Bath Uni have created cellulode degradable micro beads used in cleaning products...Great idea achieved, to a current and future problem.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    TheBigBean wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    FocusZing wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The main piece of the jigsaw that is missing is storage.

    Offshore wind is poor value and should be discouraged.

    Onshore wind used to be the cheapest form of renewable, but solar is now giving it a run for its money.

    Don't be surprised if someone builds a subsidy free solar or wind farm in the UK very soon.

    Hydro electric power stations are thd current batteries.

    Any idea how efficient this is? Can't imagine it's great.

    Very. 70-80%.

    Really? So the losses in the pump up and the turbine down only lose 20-30%? I'm really surprised - but, yes, Wiki says so.

    I'm not an engineer, but yes. The trouble with it is that it needs natural geography. I did the calculations once to see how much water I would need to store to power a house during the night and it was absurd. From memory something something like 27m cube dropping 1m.

    Must be other ways to store energy... (starts thinking of stuff). My first thought was to use the energy to split water, then later re-combine using a fuel cell. This must have been thought of. How about a massive flywheel? I suppose ideally you would want a process that takes CO2 from the atmosphere + water and makes a hydrocarbon. In the future we could shove any excess down dried up oil wells.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 9,187
    There are lots of storage ideas. A flywheel is one of them, but it needs to be in a vacuum and can only really be small scale.

    Also, there are many aspects of storage. There is the frequency stuff which is less than 1s, then pumped hydro which is 1s-4s, peak shifting (hours) and long-term to cover cold low pressure spells.

    Technology is one of the problems, but the structure of the energy market really doesn't help. The private sector needs some sort of long term commitment. At the moment, if you take energy from the grid (consumer) and then supply it back (generator) you get to pay for the grid costs, so there is a huge spread for being energy neutral.
  • FocusZingFocusZing Posts: 4,416
    Cheap cable super conductors would also greatly help with grid supply loss.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    TheBigBean wrote:
    I'm not an engineer, but yes. The trouble with it is that it needs natural geography. I did the calculations once to see how much water I would need to store to power a house during the night and it was absurd. From memory something something like 27m cube dropping 1m.

    Yup - it's all about head (isn't everything in life :wink:) and with all of these things, scale is everything. I looked at getting a wind turbine for my house in Scotland but it would have taken over 20 years to pay for itself even though we had near constant wind.

    Really? I thought with smaller scale wind turbines the number of years to repay cost were in the single figures..
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
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