Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 88 total)
  • Ecotricity
  • Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    nobody is saying that all electricity production should be from wind.

    Maybe you should try reading the website of your electricity supplier “our ultimate goal is 100% new green electricity sourced from our own turbines.”

    Premier Icon marsdenman
    Free Member

    hydro-electric is the one that makes sense to me, well, in my mind at least…..

    two dams, one above t’other
    drop the water through the turbines
    generate elastictrickery (one for the Terry Pratchett fans…)
    Distribute most of the electric to the grid, store some on site.
    Overnight use the power reserved on site to pump the water back from lower dam……
    and repeat.

    heck – maybe even use the energy of the water as it falls to drive some sort of mechanical system to pump water back up…

    perfect, erm no, drought etc but then no system is infallible..

    Premier Icon Junkyard
    Free Member

    excellent use of selective quoting there Chrism….
    the url address gives a little clue as to what EXACTLY they are talking about

    http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/about/OurFuelMix/

    they are talking about the electricty that Ecotricity supply to their own customers NOT the national grid per se

    Our Fuel Mix
    The UK’s biggest growth in renewables
    Each year our green % goes up as we build more and our brown % goes down as we buy less of that. In just four years we have increased the proportion of wind generated electricity in our mix to over 50% using wind energy we built ourselves.

    We’re set for a 16% increase in our fuel mix this year, but our ultimate goal is 100% new green electricity sourced from our own turbines

    Premier Icon gonefishin
    Free Member

    marsdenman, whilst the sort of pump storage hydro has it’s place as a form of energy storage, it should be noted that it actually consumes electricty.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    but our ultimate goal is 100% new green electricity sourced from our own turbines

    That’s their goal for their own electricity supply. They’re not saying that the entire UK supply should be from wind. Since that would never work and everyone knows that.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    So if it wouldn’t work for the whole of the UK, how come it will work for ecotricity and their customers? I hope you’re stocking up on candles for when they do reach 100%.

    marsdenman appears to have invented perpetual motion.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Full Member

    I don’t think there’s any single renewable energy type that will be able to supply the whole of the UK at present – especially not with our current attitudes to energy use. So what’s wrong with starting off by expanding a proven, comparatively efficient method of energy generation? It sounds like you’re just re-hashing the same tired old “renewable energy is rubbish” arguments that come up on here every so often.

    Of course, if you’re an expert in other types of renewables who finds his work marginalised becuase of the current focus on wind power, I apologise unreservedly…

    Premier Icon Junkyard
    Free Member

    So if it wouldn’t work for the whole of the UK, how come it will work for ecotricity and their customers?

    just read the website they explain it to you or give them a ring and ask…my electricity never runs out as thankfully their is a lot of hot air about 😆

    Premier Icon porterclough
    Free Member

    Chrism – All that has to happen is for ecotricity to supply the same amount of power to the grid (over some period of time) as their customers draw down from the grid over the same period.

    Do you honestly think that if you change electricity or gas supplier they build new wires and pipes to your house?

    Marsdenman, there is a mountain in Wales where they do what you describe, water is pumped uphill using off peak electricity and then during peak periods they let it downhill and put power back onto the grid. Obviously it doesn’t generate any net power that way (in fact it loses some), it just stores energy for when it is needed (the end of eastenders probably) like a big battery.

    Premier Icon tang
    Free Member

    the guy who owns ecotricity lives down the road. he has a merc sl55 amg, rangerover vogue and a host of fast bikes, hes no mug. great company to work for by all accounts(HQ is in my local town). i do also buy electric from them.

    Premier Icon marsdenman
    Free Member

    gonefishin – sorry you lost me on that one – pumping the water back up will consume electricity but that will be electricity that the system itself produced, a small amount surely compared with what can be supplied to the national grid…. kind of a ‘closed loop’ thing. Happy to ackn though that i am not an expert, not at all, just voicing an idea that crops up from time to time in my idle mind….

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    Chrism – All that has to happen is for ecotricity to supply the same amount of power to the grid (over some period of time) as their customers draw down from the grid over the same period.

    Ah, so when they claim 100% renewable they’re actually lying – you get your power from non-renewables when the wind doesn’t blow. Shame the non-renewables you actually rely upon keep burning fuel when you’re getting your energy from the wind, so that they can step in when you need them.

    So what’s wrong with starting off by expanding a proven, comparatively efficient method of energy generation? It sounds like you’re just re-hashing the same tired old “renewable energy is rubbish” arguments that come up on here every so often.

    Nothing wrong with that, just that’s not what ecotricity are doing – wind is only proven if you ignore the complete system, whereby it doesn’t supply anywhere near the amount of power claimed, and still needs conventional power to back it up. I’ve got nothing at all against renewable – it’s just wind power that’s rubbish. If ecotricity was spending their money on research into more useful ways of renewable energy generation instead of windmills I’d switch in a flash.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    The German scheme afaik is designed to encourage renewable energy and also micro-generation to build the industry and technology as much as anything. It’s an incentive for a purpose, not a purely economic tool.

    absolutley correct.

    Here, we banned tungsten bulbs instead

    Well, without wishing to get all gtechnical in a nice discussion, the Renewables Obligation Order came into force on 1 April, bringing into force (among other things) a feed in tariff for micro generation below 3MW.

    So, now we have both the ROC system, and a series of FITs (depending on technologu and output).

    Ecotricity are one of many developers and producers in this country and, while many people decry wind (usually on a nimby basis), the potential of projects like Sheringham Shoal and London Array – not to metion the significant amount of output available through the new Round 3 offshore propjects – means that there is a real possibility of non-carbon sources of electricity positively benefitting the nation.

    But, as many point out, wind is by no means the only solution (though it is the most well established, and best funded). Biomass is growing, and there are increasing numbers of – usually waste wood fuelled – power (and, better still, CHP) plants being commissioned. Anaerobic digestion is also becoming more viable, as are other technologies. including tidal and wave.

    Even if you don’t believe in clean energy, you probably would believe that this is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK (and internationally), and so if you want to make some money, get into it.

    (Oh, and I know onje of the directors at Ecotricity – thoroughly nice chap and, yes, they do give a sh*t about what they’re doing.)

    Premier Icon Junkyard
    Free Member

    No one is saying that wind alone is the solution …HOW MANY TIMES DO WE NEED TO SAY THIS CHRISM?
    It does have limits but its main strength is it is renewable and [relatively]carbon neutral unlike the currently available alternatives at present.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    HOW MANY TIMES DO WE NEED TO SAY THIS CHRISM?

    You can say it as many times as you like. Every time you say it you’re still completely ignoring my point.

    Premier Icon Junkyard
    Free Member

    which is what then?

    Premier Icon ooOOoo
    Free Member

    *wonders how much coal has been burnt to power this thread so far*

    Premier Icon Junkyard
    Free Member

    😀

    Premier Icon gonefishin
    Free Member

    marsdenman the system you are describing would give you more energy out than is being put in.

    If you start with the situation that the upper reservoir is full and the lower one empty. Water flows from the upper to the lower reservoir generating a certain amount of energy. The water in the lower reservoir is then pumped back up to the upper reservoir to return the system to its original state ready to generate more power. This requires energy to be put into the system and thanks to the laws of thermodynamics the amount of energy put in will always be more than you get out. The net effect is that such a system will consume energy.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    which is what then?

    I’ve said it enough times, try reading my posts

    “you get your power from non-renewables when the wind doesn’t blow. Shame the non-renewables you actually rely upon keep burning fuel when you’re getting your energy from the wind, so that they can step in when you need them.”

    “wind is only proven if you ignore the complete system, whereby it doesn’t supply anywhere near the amount of power claimed, and still needs conventional power to back it up.”

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    Chrism – we all know this (as do most people who are interested in such things). The point is that Ecotricity want to reduce carbon emissions NOW by building as many turbines as they can and supplying as much wind power as they can. Ecotricity won’t take 100% of the market, and they realise this – that’s why they want all of THEIR energy to be renewable so that they can maximise the amount of renewable energy on the grid. Most companies want to supply as many people as possible regardless, Ecotricity want as much renewable power as possible. If they did have 100% or even 50% of the market they’d have to re-word that pledge.

    You might find it hard to believe that people who work in the power industry might maybe have thought for more than 2 seconds about it.. but it’s true. There are clever people out there besides you 🙂

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    You might find it hard to believe that people who work in the power industry might maybe have thought for more than 2 seconds about it.

    I’m sure they have, and I’m sure there is money to be made. Whether wind turbines are actually really reducing carbon emissions once you build a sufficiently large amount of them that they’re overwhelming energy storage (which is where we already are) is another matter entirely. The point being that that 100% will be a lie when they get there, as you’ll still be essentially relying on non-renewable power.

    Premier Icon dr_adams
    Free Member

    The water being pumped up hills is very popular… and the energy problem more complex than most people think. I have a few points that are interesting.
    The pumping of water up hills is not a power producer, true, but hydro schemes work on flowing rivers from one height down to another and these are power producers but at the cost of reducing river flows and destorying areas of beauty in some cases.
    The ones where the same water is pumped up and then let to run down is for a very different reason, during the day there is a great demand for power, huge and so all the power stations are all full stretch, during the night this demand is so small as we’re all asleep, as mentioned before you can’t just turn this things on and off it takes hours to warm up and prep these turbines and so what they do is use the night time to pump the water, the cost of pumping it knowing they can draw on it later is worth it considering the cost of having to shut the power down as and when its on demand. This also allows the flow to be levelled out, as the water then gives enough to average out the peaks and drops in the power supply. It is not really a true eco friendly method.

    second point, when i worked at an electricity distribution company, i remember there was talk about having regional blackouts in areas, even to the point that the building we were working in was to run on diesel genny for a weekend and they were going to shutdown power to some areas, during this i was told the grid runs at 97% of its capacity and during this time two main power stations were down due to health and safety breaches…

    of all the power produced in this country around 7-8% of it is from renewable energy (taken from uni lecture notes) and of that 75% of it is from biomass, wind, solar and hydro are great but they are pointless, they will never be able to provide for our needs truely they can assist but they will never manage it, the only way we can ensure future generations true supply is to invest in nuclear and to look into improving this technology as i believe the current nuclear fuel supply is about 70 years (unless they can get a way to use the rest of the uranium)
    So wind farms and tidal energy really don’t make a huge difference,

    A lot of companies looked at wave generators and the like originally and decided not to invest as they were not economically viable and it is only due to the huge grants in this field that makes such projects possible,

    I don’t think we should be flippent but i do feel we are chasing a false hope here, even at best these devices will never provide the needed power.

    Premier Icon ooOOoo
    Free Member

    Why can’t we just take responsibility, and control what we “need”?
    But no, the only solution people ever come up with is more Brute Force Engineering.
    Did the Romans “need” nuclear power?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    The point being that that 100% will be a lie

    Mate, honestly, you need to read posts a little more carefully.

    They’re not trying to supply 100% of the UK market with wind power. That’s not possible, and they know it. So why do you keep telling us what we know?

    They are trying to supply their customers with 100% wind power, so that consequently a larger percentage of the total power consumed can be from wind. Can I make it any clearer?

    As for the viability of wind – the wind does blow, they do turn, and they generate power. They are economically viable as far as I know. So what’s the problem? Nimbies aside, of course.

    Premier Icon muggomagic
    Full Member

    Well I’m charging my iPhone while surfing the net, and listening to the radio. All via electricity produced from biomass.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    Mate, honestly, you need to read posts a little more carefully.

    Actually, I think you do. You could try the bit just after what you quoted for a start “as you’ll still be essentially relying on non-renewable power.” the “you” being ecotricity customers. What I’m saying if you could actually manage to read my posts properly is that it’s not possible for them to supply ecotricity customers with 100% wind power. Have I made that clear enough for you?

    As for the viability of wind – the wind does blow, they do turn, and they generate power. They are economically viable as far as I know. So what’s the problem?

    As I keep pointing out, again and again, but you seem incapable of reading, that the wind doesn’t always blow, and unless you want to crack out the candles when that happens, you have to keep just as much conventional generating capacity as you had before you built any windmills. You don’t just turn that capacity on and off like a tap (hence the original need for pumped storage). Economically viable due to huge subsidies and distortion of the market.

    Well I’m charging my iPhone while surfing the net, and listening to the radio. All via electricity produced from biomass.

    Well done that man – at least somebody is using a practical form of renewable energy.

    Premier Icon muggomagic
    Full Member

    I work in a biomass energy plant. We are currently generating just over 1MW (due to one line being down) we generally produce between 3.5 – 4.5 MW. We burn mainly waste wood from skips that would otherwise end up in landfill. So IMO it’s a win win. Less waste going to landfill and using it to make electricity.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    it’s not possible for them to supply ecotricity customers with 100% wind power

    Why not? If their customers are say 2% of the population, they could receive 100% of power aggregated over time from wind turbines…

    that the wind doesn’t always blow, and unless you want to crack out the candles when that happens, you have to keep just as much conventional generating capacity

    Maybe I have read it and understood it, and am trying to counter the point (I don’t know why people get so insulting on forums when having discussions.. I’m actually a very clever bloke and am pretty good at reading and understanding). The wind is pretty much always blowing somewhere, especially out at sea (as I mentioned). You would perhaps still need a full range of power generating options when available wind poiwer is low including wave, nuclear, coal, gas etc but you would not need to drive them as hard when the wind IS blowing and hence be able to save fuel etc. If you used lots of different renewable energy sources then pretty much you would be able to cover power demand most of the time. There are also plans (afaik) to extend our links with the continental power grids on the basis that there’ll always be power being generated somewhere.

    That’s why people keep talking about the energy mix – they are looking for ways to generate power from lots of different renewable sources that will cover what we need. Most people are quite capable of realising that if there’s no wind then there’ll be no wind generated power. That’s why the clever folk out there (there are some really) are working on how to make the system work. After all, the people that sell electricity don’t want the lights going out any more than their customers.

    So you see, I did understand your point that there need to be other sources besides wind.

    PS did you really think I needed to be told that it’s not always windy? I mean really? Not just in a grumpy frosty STW argument kind of way?

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Oh dear. I was going to comment and add something, but there are some people who just don’t get renewable energy or the energy crisis facing the UK, so I don’t want to get drawn into an argument.
    .
    I may return to the thread when we all have our rolling power-cuts across the UK in the next few winters, or when the £billions of subsidy the nuclear lot will have needs repaying.
    .

    Premier Icon muggomagic
    Full Member

    The way I think it works is that any electricity that the wind turbines produce gets exported to the grid. So ecotricity’s customers do not recieve electricity solely produced by wind. So there is no more of a chance of their lights going out as npower or powergen customers. What I believe they are doing is the more profit they make they are making more wind farms. Therefore increase the amount of “green energy” they produce and customers they can supply

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    Why not? If their customers are say 2% of the population, they could receive 100% of power aggregated over time from wind turbines…

    Only if you have sufficient energy storage capacity – and we don’t. Otherwise you’re getting some of your energy from conventional power stations, which are burning more fuel than if you didn’t exist.

    did you really think I needed to be told that it’s not always windy?

    Given what you wrote earlier in your own post, but seem to have forgotten about already, yes.

    The wind is pretty much always blowing somewhere, especially out at sea (as I mentioned).

    Is “pretty much” a different way of saying “almost”? As I mentioned before, that’s almost good enough.

    If you used lots of different renewable energy sources then pretty much you would be able to cover power demand most of the time. There are also plans (afaik) to extend our links with the continental power grids on the basis that there’ll always be power being generated somewhere.

    Good. Lets have lots of different renewable energy sources. Just let none of them be wind. Meanwhile if we import energy from the continent, most of that would surely be French nuclear?

    Premier Icon mountaincarrot
    Free Member

    Diving in here.. I 100% approve of Ecotricity and I buy my electricity from them.

    So there.

    There are also several really promising ways of storing energy which are up and coming, and there are much better ways than we have now of distributing it. I believe unless we ramp up production, and encourage much more investment, then none of this will get the backing it deserves either.

    Premier Icon porterclough
    Free Member

    Chrism – read the bit you quoted again. You are ignoring the phrase “over time”.

    You are also confusing capacity with loading. Yes, we still need the capacity in other forms but they don’t have to be consuming as much fuel when the wind blows if there are also wind turbines.

    That said, we also need to build 10 or 20 nuclear reactors as well, and we need to start building immediately. Show me a nuclear only electricity tariff and I would sign up.

    Premier Icon Dave
    Free Member

    and have the reactor close to where you live….

    Premier Icon porterclough
    Free Member

    I’d rather live near a nuclear power station than a coal one. Less radiation for a start.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Free Member

    Only if you have sufficient energy storage capacity – and we don’t. Otherwise you’re getting some of your energy from conventional power stations, which are burning more fuel than if you didn’t exist.

    You missed the word ‘aggregate’ there.

    If you really think I’m so stupid as to not understand that it’s not always windy, why don’t you give me a call and we’ll talk about it. I’m really not an imbecile. I’m all for a discussion of the subject, but can we leave out the abuse please?

    You don’t need to re-iterate the same stuff over and over again. Yes, we know that wind is inconsistent but we’re trying to make our point that we (and a lot of other industry folk) think that it can be a useful option. You seem to think that because we don’t agree with you that means we’re idiots who can’t read a post. But that’s debate – we are presenting reasoning to show why we disagree.

    Oh and yes, currently most of the traffic on the cross channel HVDC link is French nuclear power, but in the future that need not be the case. What we need along with loads more diverse renewable sources INCLUDING wind is a comprehensive grid allowing energy to be transported around Europe from where it can be generated renewably to where it’s used. We’re a long way from that tho.

    Premier Icon Iand
    Free Member

    If you really want to know where green generation is going you need to look at this Februarys white paper (yeah I know BORING!)and see where the gov. are putting ROC (Renewables Obligation Certificates) Credits for renewable power generation.
    Also if you are having difficulty sleeping due to worrying about how your electricty is produced, it`ll help there too. yawn!

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    You missed the word ‘aggregate’ there.

    No, just ignored the fact that you want to get your electricity by conventional means when the wind isn’t blowing and then replace it when the wind is, because you’re ignoring that it doesn’t work that way unless you have sufficient storage capacity. The conventional stations still have to be kept running even when you’re generating by wind so they can step in when you aren’t.

    If you really think I’m so stupid as to not understand that it’s not always windy

    I don’t, but you seem to think I’m stupid enough to ignore when you attempt to use the idea that it is to support the use of wind power. You can’t have it both ways. Shall we just drop the “The wind is pretty much always blowing somewhere” line now?

    You don’t need to re-iterate the same stuff over and over again.

    Well you do seem to keep ignoring the points I make. If you want to have a debate, try directly addressing them.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Full Member

    chrism, if we agree with you, will you go away?

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