Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 240 total)
  • anothrer nuclear power station cancelled
  • Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Wylfa is cancelled. good news. its about time the plug was pulled completely on this expensive and polluting method of electricity generation. Keep on with the research reactors because the potential is there for it to become useful but current tech simply is not good enough. too unreliable, too polluting, too expensive.

    In other good news – In scotland the use of Wind and PV to make hydrogen to power busses, trains and ferries is going ahead.

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    Hydrogen is a ridiculous fuel for vehicles.

    Incredibly dangerous.

    Needs extremely expensive infrastructure.

    Uses massive amounts of electricity to produce.

    Once you consider the storage system required on a vehicle, has terrible energy density.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I agree TJ, but you’ve just lit the touchpaper…

    I’m still optimistic about tidal and wave in Scotland, or indeed the developments in efficiency such as Microsoft’s underwater server farm in Orkney.

    Vive la revolution.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    but you’ve just lit the touchpaper…

    No way! surely this is non controversial?

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    Even XR can’t agree within them selves about this topic….

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Gubuchal – read up on the Unst project / PURE

    Hydrogen is and has been used to power the island including a car for a decade or more. ( wind, catalyser, fuel cell.) Yes conversion wind ( kinetic) to electricity to hydrogen to electricity to kinetic has losses at every stage – but when your input is cheap to free all you do is build more capacity.

    the real key to renwewables is energy storage. it can be done using hydrogen on a small scale. will it scale up? We are going to try

    Premier Icon gonefishin
    Free Member

    Honestly Nuclear fission is the only currently available solution to provide suitable base load of electrical generation without burning fossil fuels and I say that as someone who works in oil and gas. Yes it is expensive but energy generation requires a mix of solutions, there is no one solution that will solve all the disparate issues with power generation.

    It is far from perfect but it is also not the villain it is often painted to be.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Gonfishing – tidal flow? perfect for baseload.

    Premier Icon theaccountant
    Free Member

    Interesting to note how much of our electricity we import from Europe – much of it coal or nuclear derived

    So when we see reports that we had x number of days without burning coal to generate electricity in the UK it doesn’t give the complete picture

    That said the UK has seen an explosion in the use of wind and solar power, putting us ahead of many European countries in this respect

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Full Member

    A commenter on the FT won the internet yesterday

    Where we’re going we don’t need infrastructure

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    Gonfishing – tidal flow? perfect for baseload.

    No one has managed it yet, on a decent scale. Prototypes only.

    Not saying it’s impossible but the installation of tidal turbines in areas of high current is INCREDIBLY difficult.

    Gubuchal – read up on the Unst project / PURE

    Unst – population 632

    when your input is cheap to free all you do is build more capacity.

    There is nothing “cheap” about wind turbines or tidal turbines.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Full Member

    I love this site.
    https://gridwatch.co.uk/
    There used to be one that showed exactly how much we were importing at any one time but i can’t find it now. Must be getting old…

    Here you go, the dials on the right show where we are getting what from…

    https://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

    Premier Icon gonefishin
    Free Member

    Gonfishing – tidal flow? perfect for baseload.

    Pretty rubbish for base load as it varies literally all the time albeit on a predictable basis. If you are talking barrages then you are talking about very significant damage to the local marine environment. Tidal flow stuff like I believe is installed at Strangford lough are much less damaging but not suitable for all location and only generate 1.2 MW which is fairly paltry.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    gobuchal – compared to nuclear they are cheap – and its almost all capital cost – no or minimal running costs.

    Imagine how good tidal would be ( and its not prototypes only – its now being built at commercial scale) if all the money wasted on nuclear over the last 20 years had been invested in it instead – and if the energy “market” was not rigged so as to make generation in Scotland uneconomic. ( done purely for political reasons)

    Premier Icon hols2
    Free Member

    Honestly Nuclear fission is the only currently available solution to provide suitable base load of electrical generation without burning fossil fuels and I say that as someone who works in oil and gas. Yes it is expensive but energy generation requires a mix of solutions, there is no one solution that will solve all the disparate issues with power generation.

    This is the current reality.

    Also, this is interesting
    Nikola: How to Parlay An Ocean of Lies Into a Partnership With the Largest Auto OEM in America

    Premier Icon ElShalimo
    Free Member

    If we ditch fossil fuels, surely Nuclear is the only currently available option to provide the power we need to meet the residential, commercial and industrial demands?

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Gonfishing Tidal flow not barrages and if you have one station in the sound of Islay and one in the pentland firth you get a lovely smooth baseload capacity as the tides are 4 hours apart. Needs a little smoothing but little enough that its easily done.

    tidal flow is perfect for baseload

    Premier Icon theaccountant
    Free Member

    TJ – I’m intrigued. How is the market “rigged” to make generation in Scotland uneconomic?

    Premier Icon Murray
    Full Member

    Capacity factor i.e. actual energy over name plate or maximum energy (looks like best figures):
    – nuclear 90.4%
    – wind 47.7%
    – hydro 45%
    – photovoltaic 29.1%

    Another link for the USA

    Nuclear is the most reliable energy source.

    It also has the fewest deaths per unit power produced

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    and its almost all capital cost – no or minimal running costs.

    Really? How on earth do you come to that conclusion?

    So you install a huge, high tech, turbine in an offshore location and it has no running costs?

    Or even more complex, you install a tidal turbine UNDERWATER and it has no maintenance costs?

    Have you even considered what is required to get a person to either of those locations to perform even basic planned maintenance?

    Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a future with this tech but it’s not as straight forward as some people think. If you haven’t worked in offshore construction or production of any kind, then you are unlikely to understand how expensive any operation is.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    theaccountant
    Free Member

    TJ – I’m intrigued. How is the market “rigged” to make generation in Scotland uneconomic?

    Access charges I think they are called – to allow generators to connect to the grid. the further you are from london the more you pay to be allowed to put your electricity to the grid. This means that any electricity generated in scotland starts off with a huge disadvantage in the marketplace. Build a generator in the south of england you get subsidised. Build one in Scotland you pay to access the grid.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    gobuchal – offshore wind is half the price of nuclear. Onshore even cheaper.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    TJ – I’m intrigued. How is the market “rigged” to make generation in Scotland uneconomic?

    Probably because Sturgeon needs the oil revenue for the revolution! 🙂

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    gobuchal – offshore wind is half the price of nuclear. Onshore even cheaper.

    So it has no running costs?

    You do realise that the a major reason that offshore wind has become cheaper in the last couple of years is the oil price crash?

    This has meant that huge numbers of offshore vessels are competing for work and the market rates are very low, to the point that they are not viable long term. They are bidding low to get work to simply pay the loans on the vessels and keep ticking over, in the hope that things will get better.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    tidal flow is perfect for baseload

    You’re not an engineer. If you were you would never come out with such statements of certainty. Nothing is ever perfect.

    What is the base load requirement for the UK? How many tidal sites are there? What is their total generating capacity?

    I think the only way out of this mess is a huge change in how society works along with a whole raft of technologies. For example, we could automate our factories to the point where they can stop and start nearly on demand with low workforce. This would let us make our stuff when the sun is shining or wind blowing, and stop when it’s not. That may not work, but that’s the kind of change to working practice we’ll need.

    We might end up with gasometers in towns again only they’ll be full of liquid flow battery reagents storing power, instead of gas.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Molgrips – others have done the calculations. There are the two main sites available for tidal flow. pentland firth and sound of islay. as the tides are 4 hours part on these two sites they are perfect for baseload and the potential capacity -is plenty to provide reliable baseload for the whole of the UK

    Of course there are other ways of reducing baseload and total consumption

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Alex – what are you going to do with the waste – thats the pollution problem along with the huge amounts of concrete used and the fossil fuels required to get the fuel.

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    You’re not an engineer.

    +1

    Part of the problem is that well meaning people, with little or no knowledge of the challenges involved, come out with statements like “tidal flow is perfect”.

    It seems to be a free and unlimited source of energy.

    However, harnessing it on an useful scale is incredibly difficult and complex.

    Personally, I would be looking to build some tidal barrier type systems and just accept it will disrupt the local wildlife.

    Premier Icon theaccountant
    Free Member

    Last summer I went for a fascinating tour round Dinorwig hydro power station (next to Snowdon)

    One of the strange facts was that at the time it used more energy (to pump water back up the mountain) than it generated but was still economically viable because electricity generated (day) was sold for a much higher rate per KWh than the energy used (night)

    Premier Icon alex222
    Free Member

    I am not an expert. It seems that there are experts who have lots of data available for you to look at if you wish. Or you could make statements based on opinion and then not listen/read the opinions of experts. Up to you.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Gobuchal – tidal flow is already providing commercial scale generation. Its proven.

    the accountant – thats not a hydro generator – its a pump storage scheme ie a way of storing energy not generating it

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    plenty to provide reliable baseload for the whole of the UK

    How many turbines would you need to install?

    The only commercial tidal turbine produces 1.2MW for 18 – 20 hrs a day.

    The UK needs between 20GW and 60GW to fulfill demand. Depending on time of year etc.

    So what would be a base?

    along with the huge amounts of concrete used and the fossil fuels required to get the fuel.

    This is also required for offshore wind or tide.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Alex – exactly what I have done. I have been reading and following this for decades. i have seen all the money wasted on nuclear and alternatives starved of investment. despite this tidal flow is now a proven tech capable of being scaled up. Hydrogen storage is proven on small scale – can it be scaled up?

    Premier Icon sl2000
    Full Member

    There are the two main sites available for tidal flow. pentland firth and sound of islay. as the tides are 4 hours part on these two sites they are perfect for baseload and the potential capacity -is plenty to provide reliable baseload for the whole of the UK

    According to http://www.withouthotair.com/c14/page_81.shtml the amount of tidal power in the north sea is 250GW. He suggests we could get 5 kWh per day per person (odd units explained elsewhere in the book) at most from tide. A big contribution but not enough to power the UK once we are entirely electrically powered – he estimates that demand at 125 kWh per day per person.

    I *really* recommend reading this book to anyone with an interest in how we power the UK.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    This is also required for offshore wind or tide.

    wrong. go and read up. the shetland tidal flow is a floating station requiring almost no concrete. 30 different prototypes have been tried and the most promising ones are being scaled up to commercial size. pentland firth and sound of islay are able to provide 20+% of the Uks energy needs IIRC

    Premier Icon gonefishin
    Free Member

    if all the money wasted on nuclear over the last 20 years had been invested in it instead

    We have spent almost no money in the last 20 years in the building of Nuclear power stations. All money pent has been in the operation and decommissioning of plant.

    he pentland firth you get a lovely smooth baseload capacity as the tides are 4 hours apart.

    Then you need to look at tidal currents not high and low tides. Very different things.

    Needs a little smoothing but little enough that its easily done.

    That’s literally the opposite of what baseload means.

    pentland firth and sound of islay are able to provide 20+% of the Uks energy needs IIRC

    I find that claim extremely difficult to believe. Even were we to limit it to electricity needs, rather than energy needs, I’d still be extremely skeptical almost to the point calling it a lie.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    Honestly Nuclear fission is the only currently available solution to provide suitable base load of electrical generation without burning fossil fuels

    “currently” being a key word there. While the problems nuclear offered are very long term (and are problems there are for now no solutions other than to store the problem in the hope there will one day be a solution) the solutions nuclear offer are very short term.

    Before we were worried that fossil fuels were contributing to climate change our more pressing worry was that they’d run out. You can point at one nuclear power plant and say its doing less harm in climate terms than a comparable fossil fuel plant. But if you replaced all the fossil fuel plants with nuclear plants tomorrow – lets say so that every country generated as much power from nuclear as France does… than the globally obtainable fuel for those plants would both get more expensive  and would also run out in a few decades. Nuclear just kicks the can a short distance down the road. Nuclear offers a local solution to rich nations – to feel smug about not burning coal to heat your home even though every object in that home made in fossil fuel powered factories from coal burning nations – but it doesn’t solve any problems in climate terms if its not adopted globally. But if it is adopted globally then the fuel runs out.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    the further you are from london the more you pay to be allowed to put your electricity to the grid

    The further you move power through the grid, the more it costs, both in transmission loss and cost of building the lines. I don’t think it’s political, just distance to point of use.

    The market is, however, rigged very strongly against nuclear. The pricing algorithms reward flexibility, so if you can turn generation off and on quickly, as you can with gas turbines, you can get much higher prices. Nuclear sits as the baseload, always less then demand, and not a good idea to switch it off and on, but still has to work within that pricing structure so they don’t get much for their electricity. Every stage of every safety calculation has to be pessimistic, and in a complex safety case the compounded pessimism means the actual risks are much lower than calculated – but the expensive equipment has to be installed anyway. Even the targets are higher; HSE expects the value of preventing a fatality in nuclear to be double what it is elsewhere. The efforts of anti-nuclear campaigners have succeeded in making the public paranoid about nuclear – witness the panic over the tsunami damage to Fukushima Dai-ichi (no recorded deaths) compared to the tons and villages that were devastated by the same tsunami (about 16,000 deaths).

    Tidal power has potential and I’d like to see it, but it’s not easy. I’m currently looking at tidal generation scheme in Wales. Massively disruptive to the local ecology and recreation use, mainly because they are trying to put it too close inshore.

    the shetland tidal flow is a floating station requiring almost no concrete

    Floating, anchored objects in strong tidal streams are only viable in areas where there’s no shipping, fishing or other boating.

    Premier Icon gobuchul
    Free Member

    wrong. go and read up. the shetland tidal flow is a floating station requiring almost no concrete.

    TJ – what do you think is required to keep that thing in place in a 5 knot current?

    My guess would be heavy steel wires secured to some kind of structure that is secured by piles in the seabed.

    All this required concrete, fuel and a lot of steel for the construction and installation.

    I am not disputing that we need to try and harness this energy but statements that it is already proven is a gross over simplification of the engineering challenges to be overcome.

    The UK has some of the largest tidal ranges in the World and we should take advantage of this.

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