The Future of Power Generation in Great Britain

The Future of Power Generation in Great Britain

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Discussion

Corvid-2020

1,994 posts

43 months

Sunday 21st February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Before the CNC became a reality and all nuclear sites got armed police, the Springfield's armed guards always looked a bit, err, relaxed smile
Indeed. Though a colleague in the back seat of a car I was lift sharing in to Sellafield in the early 1990s got on site by flashing a pork pie wrapper that looked similar to a yellow 'contractors P4' pass at the time, but with 10,000 people on site every day turning four or five up in cramped Fiestas etc the coppers I'm sure can't really have looked at every face / photo. Though the days they 1-to-1 on everyone you knew it with 2hr plus delays getting onto site.

You are right re Springfields security. I think is was the fluorine in the air that did some strange things to people there. I had two memorable instances.
1) On first time getting my P3 pass to get onto site, I handed over proof of ID. I like a numpty took my pass and forgot to ask for my ID back. I realised a few days later I'd left my driving licence there (I wasn't based at the site, I lived 90 miles away). I rung the pass office and they admitted they'd forgot to give me back my driving licence and despite telling the gate guards on exit what my vehicle was (distinctive Ford Fiesta, totally Barried) to stop me and tell me to go to the pass office to get my DL back, they forgot. So I asked could they send the DL back to me "we could sir, but we don't know your address, oh hold on......".
2) I spent a few months one summer on an odd shift (10pm - 6am, some things needed to be done on backshift). Very few others of the 4,000 on site at the time worked those hours or used the changerooms I did. I turned up at the gatehouse and rummaged in my glovebox for my pass, realising I'd left it in the breast pocket of my site basics in the changeroom the night before. I pulled up to the security at the gate and mentioned if they could take me to building Axxx I'd know exactly where my pass was, or I could give them my locker key and they could go get. The reply was, "Nah, in you go Stan, it is you here, same time every night, though if you'd turned up in a different car, I wouldn't let you in". (Did I mention Barried distinctive Fiesta??????). Four weeks later - the IRA bomb in Warrington, which not near the BNFL HQ, was only a few miles away and the gasworks bomb also fortunately failed, next night at site "Don't ever you fuggiung forget your pass again or disiplinary...".

My first CHP plant at Springfields. Lovely little beast. Loved that starting up and spouting a brown fume of NOx over Blackpool.

Sad to here only 800 on site now. 4,400 when I did my advanced eng apperntiship there 30 years ago.

And today, saw my first electricwindmill take out of a bird near Stanlow refinery. Wind was very gusty so I guess the bird (Black back gull) had no chance, looked like the turbulence from the arm was pushing it away then 'bloooooooop' red mist and a few falling bits of bird.


Gary C

7,649 posts

143 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
Wow

Texas variable rate bill payers are set to get bills of ~£10K for a weeks worth of electricity

Nice.

Condi

11,501 posts

135 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Wow

Texas variable rate bill payers are set to get bills of ~£10K for a weeks worth of electricity

Nice.
Ironic that in the most unregulated energy market, in the state with the largest energy reserves, they cannot keep the lights on when it gets cold.

Maybe when people complain about subsidies here they'll consider what the alternative is if there are no rules. Wind is cheaper than thermal power, but if you don't pay to keep the thermal backup supplies and don't regulate to ensure some security of supply then you end up cold and dark or with a £10,000 bill when something unexpected happens.

All very predictable, the same thing happened in 2011 to a lesser extent but in the "land of the free" they were so against regulation that nobody did anything to prevent a repeat. By all accounts they were very close to a complete grid blackout which would have taken days or weeks to restore power to.

Gary C

7,649 posts

143 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
Condi said:
Gary C said:
Wow

Texas variable rate bill payers are set to get bills of ~£10K for a weeks worth of electricity

Nice.
Ironic that in the most unregulated energy market, in the state with the largest energy reserves, they cannot keep the lights on when it gets cold.

Maybe when people complain about subsidies here they'll consider what the alternative is if there are no rules. Wind is cheaper than thermal power, but if you don't pay to keep the thermal backup supplies and don't regulate to ensure some security of supply then you end up cold and dark or with a £10,000 bill when something unexpected happens.

All very predictable, the same thing happened in 2011 to a lesser extent but in the "land of the free" they were so against regulation that nobody did anything to prevent a repeat. By all accounts they were very close to a complete grid blackout which would have taken days or weeks to restore power to.
Yes, a blackout would have been a salutary lesson and they were 'seconds away' !

I get the impression it won't change much though, even with several dead.

Jambo85

2,287 posts

52 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
Having stood beside a wee petrol genny when a kettle is switched on, it makes me wonder what a fully wound up CCGT gen set does when a whole city is switched back on, and how that is managed... Can anyone explain?

I guess from my EE days that it's probably possible to work out how much energy you have in the flywheels between the maximum and minimum acceptable frequencies so if you spin up to say 50.5 Hz and tolerate a drop to 49.5 Hz, and how big an area of houses you can safely switch back on to not drop below that frequency in the time it would take the generators to increase their output to match?

PushedDover

3,247 posts

17 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Condi said:
Gary C said:
Wow

Texas variable rate bill payers are set to get bills of ~£10K for a weeks worth of electricity

Nice.
Ironic that in the most unregulated energy market, in the state with the largest energy reserves, they cannot keep the lights on when it gets cold.

Maybe when people complain about subsidies here they'll consider what the alternative is if there are no rules. Wind is cheaper than thermal power, but if you don't pay to keep the thermal backup supplies and don't regulate to ensure some security of supply then you end up cold and dark or with a £10,000 bill when something unexpected happens.

All very predictable, the same thing happened in 2011 to a lesser extent but in the "land of the free" they were so against regulation that nobody did anything to prevent a repeat. By all accounts they were very close to a complete grid blackout which would have taken days or weeks to restore power to.
Yes, a blackout would have been a salutary lesson and they were 'seconds away' !

I get the impression it won't change much though, even with several dead.
I was listening to the subject on the Americast podcast. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000sbgc

Listen the State House Representative Tony Tinderholt in it. Mind Boggling defending the current situation.

Gary C

7,649 posts

143 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
PushedDover said:
Gary C said:
Condi said:
Gary C said:
Wow

Texas variable rate bill payers are set to get bills of ~£10K for a weeks worth of electricity

Nice.
Ironic that in the most unregulated energy market, in the state with the largest energy reserves, they cannot keep the lights on when it gets cold.

Maybe when people complain about subsidies here they'll consider what the alternative is if there are no rules. Wind is cheaper than thermal power, but if you don't pay to keep the thermal backup supplies and don't regulate to ensure some security of supply then you end up cold and dark or with a £10,000 bill when something unexpected happens.

All very predictable, the same thing happened in 2011 to a lesser extent but in the "land of the free" they were so against regulation that nobody did anything to prevent a repeat. By all accounts they were very close to a complete grid blackout which would have taken days or weeks to restore power to.
Yes, a blackout would have been a salutary lesson and they were 'seconds away' !

I get the impression it won't change much though, even with several dead.
I was listening to the subject on the Americast podcast. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000sbgc

Listen the State House Representative Tony Tinderholt in it. Mind Boggling defending the current situation.
And Texas runs an isolated grid (though still big) just to avoid Federal interference , hope they feel stupid now.

PushedDover

3,247 posts

17 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
And Texas runs an isolated grid (though still big) just to avoid Federal interference , hope they feel stupid now.
Listen to the Podcast. Not one bit !

Gary C

7,649 posts

143 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
PushedDover said:
Gary C said:
And Texas runs an isolated grid (though still big) just to avoid Federal interference , hope they feel stupid now.
Listen to the Podcast. Not one bit !
laugh

Condi

11,501 posts

135 months

Monday 22nd February
quotequote all
Jambo85 said:
Having stood beside a wee petrol genny when a kettle is switched on, it makes me wonder what a fully wound up CCGT gen set does when a whole city is switched back on, and how that is managed... Can anyone explain?
Slowly.

Tbh I'm not entirely sure how they would do it. You can start "islands" relatively easily, so you could bring bring Scotland, bring back SE England, bring back the West Midlands/Manchester for example in a matter of days or hours. The hard part is connecting them all together so they run on the same frequency again and in phase. National Grid will have plan. And they don't just "turn on a whole city", it would be carefully managed via turning back on smaller areas so you bring generation and demand up together.

take-good-care-of-the-forest-dewey

1,175 posts

19 months

Tuesday 23rd February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
Condi said:
Gary C said:
Wow

Texas variable rate bill payers are set to get bills of ~£10K for a weeks worth of electricity

Nice.
Ironic that in the most unregulated energy market, in the state with the largest energy reserves, they cannot keep the lights on when it gets cold.

Maybe when people complain about subsidies here they'll consider what the alternative is if there are no rules. Wind is cheaper than thermal power, but if you don't pay to keep the thermal backup supplies and don't regulate to ensure some security of supply then you end up cold and dark or with a £10,000 bill when something unexpected happens.

All very predictable, the same thing happened in 2011 to a lesser extent but in the "land of the free" they were so against regulation that nobody did anything to prevent a repeat. By all accounts they were very close to a complete grid blackout which would have taken days or weeks to restore power to.
Yes, a blackout would have been a salutary lesson and they were 'seconds away' !

I get the impression it won't change much though, even with several dead.
It would be interesting to see the effects of a Carrington level CME given the fragility exhibited.

Statically we're due another biggie.

Gary C

7,649 posts

143 months

Tuesday 23rd February
quotequote all
Condi said:
Jambo85 said:
Having stood beside a wee petrol genny when a kettle is switched on, it makes me wonder what a fully wound up CCGT gen set does when a whole city is switched back on, and how that is managed... Can anyone explain?
Slowly.

Tbh I'm not entirely sure how they would do it. You can start "islands" relatively easily, so you could bring bring Scotland, bring back SE England, bring back the West Midlands/Manchester for example in a matter of days or hours. The hard part is connecting them all together so they run on the same frequency again and in phase. National Grid will have plan. And they don't just "turn on a whole city", it would be carefully managed via turning back on smaller areas so you bring generation and demand up together.
We were designed originally to run islanded, but it was never commissioned. Simpler to get one black start capable station up and supplying a load, then energise a line to another unit to synchronise to rather than trying to sync two loaded islands I would have thought.
But its not something we can do, so we don't have any plans available for it.

Synching a generator is 'interesting'. I once did it about 12 degrees out because of equipment faults and apparently it was like being hit by a sonic boom in the turbine hall, three years later we opened up the unit to find we had hit and cracked one of the main bearings wink

QuantumTokoloshi

4,050 posts

181 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
silentbrown said:
I suspect it's still "buttery newables".
I prefer plain, thanks.

Renewables, due to their inability to respond to demand, tied to perverse incentives away from fossil or nuclear, add in poor decisions, leaves people without lights, heating or power in - 20 degrees, hello Texas. When the focus is CO2 reduction, not reliable, cheap and if possible clean power provision for the economy, ultimately ends with people freezing to death in winter. It is remarkable that the Australian and now Texan outages, are all connected to large scale renewables mis-managment. Germany is fortunate to have France next door, and Russia nearby, energiewende leading the way, but rely on French nukes and Russian gas to actually keep the lights on. The UK could learn from that.

Hubris is fine, till the board goes dead.





Countdown

30,240 posts

160 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
QuantumTokoloshi said:
I prefer plain, thanks.

Renewables, due to their inability to respond to demand, tied to perverse incentives away from fossil or nuclear, add in poor decisions, leaves people without lights, heating or power in - 20 degrees, hello Texas. When the focus is CO2 reduction, not reliable, cheap and if possible clean power provision for the economy, ultimately ends with people freezing to death in winter. It is remarkable that the Australian and now Texan outages, are all connected to large scale renewables mis-managment. Germany is fortunate to have France next door, and Russia nearby, energiewende leading the way, but rely on French nukes and Russian gas to actually keep the lights on. The UK could learn from that.
Hasn't this already been debunked about a million times? If the issue was with renewables (which provide 20% of Texas' energy) where were all the other sources of energy?


tangerine_sedge

2,409 posts

182 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
QuantumTokoloshi said:
silentbrown said:
I suspect it's still "buttery newables".
I prefer plain, thanks.

Renewables, due to their inability to respond to demand, tied to perverse incentives away from fossil or nuclear, add in poor decisions, leaves people without lights, heating or power in - 20 degrees, hello Texas. When the focus is CO2 reduction, not reliable, cheap and if possible clean power provision for the economy, ultimately ends with people freezing to death in winter. It is remarkable that the Australian and now Texan outages, are all connected to large scale renewables mis-managment. Germany is fortunate to have France next door, and Russia nearby, energiewende leading the way, but rely on French nukes and Russian gas to actually keep the lights on. The UK could learn from that.

Hubris is fine, till the board goes dead.
Absolute hogwash. All forms of power generation in Texas suffered some failure. This was primarily due to incompetence and penny pinching.

The demand for cheap power/profits smashed headlong into a once in a ten year weather occurence.

robinessex

9,168 posts

145 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Isn't the point that the emphasis by governments and authorities worldwide to SHIFT TO RENEWABLES? a bad move. Then, sure as eggs are eggs, at some time in the future, it will all go pear-shaped again. Texas is an example, although it wasn't solely due to having renewables, just poor planning.

Evanivitch

8,790 posts

86 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
QuantumTokoloshi said:
I prefer plain, thanks.

Renewables, due to their inability to respond to demand, tied to perverse incentives away from fossil or nuclear, add in poor decisions, leaves people without lights, heating or power in - 20 degrees, hello Texas. When the focus is CO2 reduction, not reliable, cheap and if possible clean power provision for the economy, ultimately ends with people freezing to death in winter. It is remarkable that the Australian and now Texan outages, are all connected to large scale renewables mis-managment. Germany is fortunate to have France next door, and Russia nearby, energiewende leading the way, but rely on French nukes and Russian gas to actually keep the lights on. The UK could learn from that.

Hubris is fine, till the board goes dead.
laugh You haven't listened to a word anyone has said. Why come onto a discussion forum if you're not willing to discuss!

rscott

11,687 posts

155 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
robinessex said:
Isn't the point that the emphasis by governments and authorities worldwide to SHIFT TO RENEWABLES? a bad move. Then, sure as eggs are eggs, at some time in the future, it will all go pear-shaped again. Texas is an example, although it wasn't solely due to having renewables, just poor planning.
That may be the point QuantumTokoloshi is trying to make, but he's basing it on utterly inaccurate statements which have been proven to be false multiple times and seems completely unable to accept that fact.

Texas was nothing to do with having renewables, it was entirely down to piss poor planning. All the forms of power generation (be they renewable or not) which failed there are working in far more extreme weather conditions without issue, because they've been properly implemented.

Gary C

7,649 posts

143 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
robinessex said:
Isn't the point that the emphasis by governments and authorities worldwide to SHIFT TO RENEWABLES? a bad move. Then, sure as eggs are eggs, at some time in the future, it will all go pear-shaped again. Texas is an example, although it wasn't solely due to having renewables, just poor planning.
I think there is a risk that that could happen but it is nowhere near as sure as eggs are eggs. Certainly, in many places in the world, grids have been unstable even with 100% fossil fuel so the problem is not really the source, its the planning and investment (or lack thereof).

UK position ?, its quite good at the moment, but losing the last remaining coal stations and the AGR's within 10 years will leave a bit of a none wind/solar hole that needs filling.

Still, its worth noting that not one coal station has been shutdown due to CO2 emissions (though if the large combustion plant directive hadn't been in force maybe they would have been)

CraigyMc

12,219 posts

200 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
Gary C said:
robinessex said:
Isn't the point that the emphasis by governments and authorities worldwide to SHIFT TO RENEWABLES? a bad move. Then, sure as eggs are eggs, at some time in the future, it will all go pear-shaped again. Texas is an example, although it wasn't solely due to having renewables, just poor planning.
I think there is a risk that that could happen but it is nowhere near as sure as eggs are eggs. Certainly, in many places in the world, grids have been unstable even with 100% fossil fuel so the problem is not really the source, its the planning and investment (or lack thereof).

UK position ?, its quite good at the moment, but losing the last remaining coal stations and the AGR's within 10 years will leave a bit of a none wind/solar hole that needs filling.

Still, its worth noting that not one coal station has been shutdown due to CO2 emissions (though if the large combustion plant directive hadn't been in force maybe they would have been)
Several of the coal stations still exist, as standby. In other words, it's possible to both shut them down and not be caught short.
Google "supplemental balancing reserve (SBR)".