The Future of Power Generation in Great Britain

The Future of Power Generation in Great Britain

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Condi

11,709 posts

136 months

Saturday 17th April
quotequote all
PRTVR said:
Again all at a cost to the consumer, I do wonder what planet some people are on, "stick it in your car" I passed through two areas on my bike ride today that were lets say rough, there is no way that the residents will have an electric cars.
your comment really is on a par with " let them eat cake "
It's really not.... If you look at any of the numbers then interconnectors lower costs to the consumers because they allow us to buy cheaper power from the continent. And if they also allow us to export power when it is cheap here, and reduce balancing costs, then I fail to see how that is a bad thing. It is very well known that the more integrated we can make the Grid the cheaper it is. It's rare that it is very windy or very still all across Europe, so moving the power from where it is more readily available to where it is less so is a good thing and reduces costs for everyone involved.

Ref the storage argument, if power is cheap/free/less than free then the cost of producing that hydrogen is low. Obviously not everyone in the next 10 years is going to have an electric car - this isn't something to be fixed overnight, but just like you can buy a petrol car for £500 today, why wouldn't you be able to buy an electric car for £500 in 15 years time?

Gary C said:
But we know that interconnectors are not going to be the total answer. Studies have shown that wind can be insufficient over a very large area such that imports to the UK would not be sufficient just when we needed them (given a large proportion of wind generation and insufficient alternate generation)
It was in reference to wind generators being paid to turn off when there is too much wind, which was the article he linked to.


EDIT - Ref windy stuff, thought this was an interesting video for those who say "China just burn coal" or "USA don't care about renewable power"....

(Best to expand to full screen)


Edited by Condi on Saturday 17th April 23:30

dickymint

19,409 posts

223 months

Saturday 17th April
quotequote all
Condi said:
PRTVR said:
Again all at a cost to the consumer, I do wonder what planet some people are on, "stick it in your car" I passed through two areas on my bike ride today that were lets say rough, there is no way that the residents will have an electric cars.
your comment really is on a par with " let them eat cake "
It's really not.... If you look at any of the numbers then interconnectors lower costs to the consumers because they allow us to buy cheaper power from the continent. And if they also allow us to export power when it is cheap here, and reduce balancing costs, then I fail to see how that is a bad thing. It is very well known that the more integrated we can make the Grid the cheaper it is. It's rare that it is very windy or very still all across Europe, so moving the power from where it is more readily available to where it is less so is a good thing and reduces costs for everyone involved.

Ref the storage argument, if power is cheap/free/less than free then the cost of producing that hydrogen is low. Obviously not everyone in the next 10 years is going to have an electric car - this isn't something to be fixed overnight, but just like you can buy a petrol car for £500 today, why wouldn't you be able to buy an electric car for £500 in 15 years time?

Gary C said:
But we know that interconnectors are not going to be the total answer. Studies have shown that wind can be insufficient over a very large area such that imports to the UK would not be sufficient just when we needed them (given a large proportion of wind generation and insufficient alternate generation)
It was in reference to wind generators being paid to turn off when there is too much wind, which was the article he linked to.

Edited by Condi on Saturday 17th April 20:51
Would that be with or without a knackered battery?

Condi

11,709 posts

136 months

Saturday 17th April
quotequote all
dickymint said:
Would that be with or without a knackered battery?
No more so than any £500 car now would have a knackered engine. BMW give longer warranties on their batteries than their petrol/diesel engines....


Gary C

7,769 posts

144 months

Saturday 17th April
quotequote all
Condi said:
Gary C said:
But we know that interconnectors are not going to be the total answer. Studies have shown that wind can be insufficient over a very large area such that imports to the UK would not be sufficient just when we needed them (given a large proportion of wind generation and insufficient alternate generation)
It was in reference to wind generators being paid to turn off when there is too much wind, which was the article he linked to.

Edited by Condi on Saturday 17th April 20:51
Fair enough.

PRTVR

5,871 posts

186 months

Sunday 18th April
quotequote all
PushedDover said:
So a mix then?

Hank you. That’s what we have been saying - but you can’t argue with the volumes
But a mix is not in the plan, saving the planet is where its at, decarbonisation, politicians of all colours are telling us.

Gary C

7,769 posts

144 months

Sunday 18th April
quotequote all
PRTVR said:
PushedDover said:
So a mix then?

Hank you. That’s what we have been saying - but you can’t argue with the volumes
But a mix is not in the plan, saving the planet is where its at, decarbonisation, politicians of all colours are telling us.
Yep, a mix of decarbonisation solutions, but still a mix.

Gas will probably hold on for quite a while yet.

PRTVR

5,871 posts

186 months

Sunday 18th April
quotequote all
Condi said:
PRTVR said:
Again all at a cost to the consumer, I do wonder what planet some people are on, "stick it in your car" I passed through two areas on my bike ride today that were lets say rough, there is no way that the residents will have an electric cars.
your comment really is on a par with " let them eat cake "
It's really not.... If you look at any of the numbers then interconnectors lower costs to the consumers because they allow us to buy cheaper power from the continent. And if they also allow us to export power when it is cheap here, and reduce balancing costs, then I fail to see how that is a bad thing. It is very well known that the more integrated we can make the Grid the cheaper it is. It's rare that it is very windy or very still all across Europe, so moving the power from where it is more readily available to where it is less so is a good thing and reduces costs for everyone involved.

Ref the storage argument, if power is cheap/free/less than free then the cost of producing that hydrogen is low. Obviously not everyone in the next 10 years is going to have an electric car - this isn't something to be fixed overnight, but just like you can buy a petrol car for £500 today, why wouldn't you be able to buy an electric car for £500 in 15 years time?
Interconnections work until they don’t, government's may decide to switch them off to protect their own population, as we have witnessed with vaccines, you would need a massive number of turbines not required, to have excess capacity to export to the continent when its required, is that practical, and again who pays for it ?

If we become dependent on the interconnections and in a worse case scenario they are removed what then ?

Electric cars will never be able to be purchased for £500, the manufacturers are locking the battery packs to the cars ,
Insurance companies will be reluctant to cover aftermarket batteries due to the fire risk, the demand worldwide for batteries will maintain a high price for the components required , its never going to be cheap.

Condi

11,709 posts

136 months

Sunday 18th April
quotequote all
PRTVR said:
Interconnections work until they don’t, government's may decide to switch them off to protect their own population, as we have witnessed with vaccines, you would need a massive number of turbines not required, to have excess capacity to export to the continent when its required, is that practical, and again who pays for it ?

If we become dependent on the interconnections and in a worse case scenario they are removed what then ?

Electric cars will never be able to be purchased for £500, the manufacturers are locking the battery packs to the cars ,
Insurance companies will be reluctant to cover aftermarket batteries due to the fire risk, the demand worldwide for batteries will maintain a high price for the components required , its never going to be cheap.
I don't think you get what is being aimed for here.... net zero does not mean no gas, ever. It means that at times when carbon fuels are used (which they will be, at least some of the time, for the foreseeable future) then an equivalent amount is removed, maybe via tree planting, rebuilding of peat lands, whatever. But the key word you have missed is NET. Nobody is stupid enough to think you can power the grid all the time from wind, that obviously isn't practical.


As for your vision into the future of electric cars, do you also do palm readings? Tea leaves? Astrology?

PRTVR said:
But a mix is not in the plan, saving the planet is where its at, decarbonisation, politicians of all colours are telling us.
A mix absolutely is the plan. Its exactly the plan. It is the plan.


EDIT - Just looked on autotrader, the cheapest EV is £3950, which I don't think is too bad really. Even comes with a personalised number plate L66EAF! biggrin

Edited by Condi on Sunday 18th April 07:10

Evanivitch

9,114 posts

87 months

Sunday 18th April
quotequote all
PRTVR said:
PushedDover said:
So a mix then?

Hank you. That’s what we have been saying - but you can’t argue with the volumes
But a mix is not in the plan, saving the planet is where its at, decarbonisation, politicians of all colours are telling us.
And the Future Energy Scenarios are quite clear how NET zero could be achieved without losing thermal generation.

Evanivitch

9,114 posts

87 months

Sunday 18th April
quotequote all
Possibly the most pointless story you'll see on green energy all year. Without any expert input, discussion of on hydro in Wales because "it rains a lot".

Edit with link!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-56744609

Edited by Evanivitch on Sunday 18th April 21:00

PRTVR

5,871 posts

186 months

Sunday 18th April
quotequote all
Evanivitch said:
PRTVR said:
PushedDover said:
So a mix then?

Hank you. That’s what we have been saying - but you can’t argue with the volumes
But a mix is not in the plan, saving the planet is where its at, decarbonisation, politicians of all colours are telling us.
And the Future Energy Scenarios are quite clear how NET zero could be achieved without losing thermal generation.
Do you believe that the carbon reduction plan will stop at the present plan ?
We are still at less than 1gw wind output, France is at 2gw, without 100% backup of renewables we are at the mercy of other governments decisions, we have seen with the vaccine how they can act in the interests of their own population.

We appear to be working on low excess availability of generation capacity, how will we cope if this prolonged lull in wind generation was in the winter with low temperatures and snow on the ground ?

On a more positive note solar has been doing well with all these clear skys and I do believe those responsible for keeping the lights on are covering all the bases, but have they factored in the variability of politicians. hehe

alangla

3,054 posts

146 months

Wednesday 21st April
quotequote all
What's the thoughts on this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56819798 - from reading the text, it seems it's being offered more as a source of inertia rather than any significant storage of power. Workable?

Evanivitch

9,114 posts

87 months

Wednesday 21st April
quotequote all
alangla said:
What's the thoughts on this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56819798 - from reading the text, it seems it's being offered more as a source of inertia rather than any significant storage of power. Workable?
Completely impossible to scale it without huge investment in ground works. Which the backers like to ignore when comparing costs with other storage means. Also unsure the CO2 investment in the steel and/or concrete required to provide mass and structure.

However, it could be used as storage within say a new high rise building, and there are some sites in the UK which could make use of it.

Condi

11,709 posts

136 months

Wednesday 21st April
quotequote all
alangla said:
What's the thoughts on this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56819798 - from reading the text, it seems it's being offered more as a source of inertia rather than any significant storage of power. Workable?
Could be used as a very short term and quick responding source of power I guess. 0 to full power in seconds. The intention is to use old mine workings and tall buildings whereby the "drop" is already in place.

There is lots of money and research going into energy storage and yet the proven and scalable technology of pumped storage is unable to get the same government support as interconnectors get, which is a very odd decision. There are massive pumped storage schemes pretty much ready to go, the energy storage of which hugely eclipses all the batteries built so far in the UK and yet the plans are sat there on the shelf, gathering dust.

Jambo85

2,327 posts

53 months

Wednesday 21st April
quotequote all
alangla said:
What's the thoughts on this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56819798 - from reading the text, it seems it's being offered more as a source of inertia rather than any significant storage of power. Workable?
If Evanivitch will permit me to get my fag packet out again, going back to first principles shows how useless this most likely is. A one ton weight with a fall of 1 km, wouldn't quite "store" 3 kWh of energy. The solar panels on my roof produced 15 kWh of energy today for reference!

Now maybe it would be practical to increase the mass by a couple of orders of magnitude but I'd still venture that something capable of only a few 100 kWh of storage wouldn't be overly useful and it's hard to see how it would ever pay for itself.

eliot

9,417 posts

219 months

Wednesday 21st April
quotequote all
Condi said:
alangla said:
What's the thoughts on this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56819798 - from reading the text, it seems it's being offered more as a source of inertia rather than any significant storage of power. Workable?
Could be used as a very short term and quick responding source of power I guess. 0 to full power in seconds. The intention is to use old mine workings and tall buildings whereby the "drop" is already in place.

There is lots of money and research going into energy storage and yet the proven and scalable technology of pumped storage is unable to get the same government support as interconnectors get, which is a very odd decision. There are massive pumped storage schemes pretty much ready to go, the energy storage of which hugely eclipses all the batteries built so far in the UK and yet the plans are sat there on the shelf, gathering dust.
We just need Elon to "invent" pumped storage, few RGB lights, flashy website, few millennials in an office pointing at a screen - money will pour in.

Evanivitch

9,114 posts

87 months

Wednesday 21st April
quotequote all
Jambo85 said:
alangla said:
What's the thoughts on this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56819798 - from reading the text, it seems it's being offered more as a source of inertia rather than any significant storage of power. Workable?
If Evanivitch will permit me to get my fag packet out again, going back to first principles shows how useless this most likely is. A one ton weight with a fall of 1 km, wouldn't quite "store" 3 kWh of energy. The solar panels on my roof produced 15 kWh of energy today for reference!

Now maybe it would be practical to increase the mass by a couple of orders of magnitude but I'd still venture that something capable of only a few 100 kWh of storage wouldn't be overly useful and it's hard to see how it would ever pay for itself.
Gravitricity are looking at 500 to 5000 tons.

Jambo85

2,327 posts

53 months

Wednesday 21st April
quotequote all
Evanivitch said:
Jambo85 said:
alangla said:
What's the thoughts on this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56819798 - from reading the text, it seems it's being offered more as a source of inertia rather than any significant storage of power. Workable?
If Evanivitch will permit me to get my fag packet out again, going back to first principles shows how useless this most likely is. A one ton weight with a fall of 1 km, wouldn't quite "store" 3 kWh of energy. The solar panels on my roof produced 15 kWh of energy today for reference!

Now maybe it would be practical to increase the mass by a couple of orders of magnitude but I'd still venture that something capable of only a few 100 kWh of storage wouldn't be overly useful and it's hard to see how it would ever pay for itself.
Gravitricity are looking at 500 to 5000 tons.
So in the region of 1-20 MWh of storage perhaps. It's better than the idea of everyone storing 5 tons of boiling water in their under stair cupboards admittedly smile

Talksteer

3,600 posts

198 months

Wednesday 21st April
quotequote all
Condi said:
alangla said:
What's the thoughts on this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-56819798 - from reading the text, it seems it's being offered more as a source of inertia rather than any significant storage of power. Workable?
Could be used as a very short term and quick responding source of power I guess. 0 to full power in seconds. The intention is to use old mine workings and tall buildings whereby the "drop" is already in place.

There is lots of money and research going into energy storage and yet the proven and scalable technology of pumped storage is unable to get the same government support as interconnectors get, which is a very odd decision. There are massive pumped storage schemes pretty much ready to go, the energy storage of which hugely eclipses all the batteries built so far in the UK and yet the plans are sat there on the shelf, gathering dust.
I would leave them on the shelf to gather dust.

Dinorwig Power Station has 9.1GWh of storage, to put that into battery storage terms Tesla's 4860 battery pilot plant has a 10GWh annual production capacity (it won't actually achieve this as it's capacity factor is low, see being a pilot plant) and would fit in Dinorwigs turbine hall.

The actual scale production plant will have capacity of around 250GWh and will scale up from there.

Annual production of batteries required for all automotive is around 10 TWh and is going to be built out in the next 15 years, if your pumped hydro plant is in the planning stage today you probably won't be built by then.

As a result of Wright's law the likely price of a KWh of storage is in the region of $25-50 in the 2030's. The LCOE of batteries is dependent on how long they last but this is likely to improve over time as will the residual value of said batteries as the battery market becomes more circular.

Automotive is huge, it has chosen lithium batteries it's future power source, as a result the battery market is going to be comparable to the oil industry in size very soon.

This basically means anything which isn't a battery which is storing energy is going to need a massive inherent advantage to get over the technology lockout that batteries will achieve due to automotives scale.

Condi

11,709 posts

136 months

Thursday 22nd April
quotequote all
Not sure I agree, to me battery is simply an intermediary until something better, certainly at grid scale.

Firstly there is about 30GWh of hydro storage in plan.

Then the problem with batteries is they are no good for longer duration storage and generation. Pumped storage can import for hours, even days, and then generate for about the same amount of time. Batteries are generally short duration - 1hr import, 1hr export - as the "storage" part is expensive. Furthermore, due to the way they are currently used, everyone wants to charge their batteries at the same time and then dispatch at the same time too. Okay with 100MW, less so with 10GW.

Batteries have a lifespan of 20 years maybe, probably less. They are put through a lot of cycles - ours are doing about 5 full cycles a day on average, far beyond what a car battery does. They are guaranteed I think for 7 years, but beyond that I expect they'll be a bit knackered, or at least down in storage capacity. Hydro or pumped storage by comparison can work for 30 years with little to no maintenance and the bulk of the infrastructure has a life span of centauries.

Finally water power doesn't require any rare earth minerals, it doesn't have many negative external impacts beyond the immediate area, and is (IMO) a more environmentally friendly form of storage, especially when considered in the context of the differing life expectancy.


The reason why batteries are so popular is they can be bought reasonably cheaply, albeit they have a low energy storage capacity. It is relatively easy to raise £2m for a 50MWh battery, but much harder to raise the funds for a £200m hydro scheme, even if the hydro scheme is cheaper per MWh. I think the future is for batteries to do very short term balancing, synthetic inertia, frequency response etc, which will require at most a couple of GW. Large scale storage will be in the form of "something else", although what that might be is open to debate.

Edited by Condi on Thursday 22 April 00:41