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Topic Title: Cost of 'Renewable' Energy
Topic Summary: Problems in Germany
Created On: 17 October 2012 12:01 PM
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 17 October 2012 12:01 PM
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rogerbryant

Posts: 865
Joined: 19 July 2002

The German dream of no nuclear power doesn't look so easy.

http://phys.org/news/2012-10-g...icity-renewables.html

Best regards

Roger
 17 October 2012 01:13 PM
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MAWilson

Posts: 48
Joined: 22 February 2006

Very interesting article Roy and it shows that policy though popular requires a proper underlying strategy if it is to be implemented. I sometimes scratch my head in wonder at some of the things stated in these articles and reports and I've yet to see proper feasibility studies for the switch over to renewables.

There are serious implications for the super grid which is papered over in the debates and it's really hard (for me at least) to find good info on. Once went to an IET event on wind generation in the UK and the plan for increasing it to 30% of generation. Asked a somewhat pertinent question of the implication to gird frequency as wind generation would increase the harmonics coupled with the increasing digitalisation of homes/offices and got a really woolly answer.

I haven't seen anything about the potential to black start grid with increasing renewable generation either. These practical things should be more discussed.
 17 October 2012 07:51 PM
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iamck

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Joined: 16 September 2001

Planning a public electricity supply system is no job for anyone who does not know what they are doing. Ontario has found that out the hard way. They have more generation that has to be treated as base load than they have base load to supply. The Ontario Independent Sysyem Operator has an excellent paper describing their problem at https://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/pubs/consult/se91/se91-20120808-SBG_Explanation_FPFG.pdf

Iain McKenzie

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iamck
 18 October 2012 09:37 AM
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jarathoon

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Iain,

This document describes some of the mechanics of normal grid operation and shouldn't become a problem in the UK until renewables reach much higher penetrations on the grid; generation assets just have to be taken offgrid when not required, generally the dirtiest coal stations first.

In the case of nuclear power stations which have to keep running all the time, Economy 7 price plans encourage people to use lots of electricity at night when they otherwise would not.

France uses extreme forms of electricity price manipulation to avoid have to turn its inflexible nuclear powers stations on and off all the time.

Electricity price manipulation could be used to cope with variations in renewable power generation as well. The only law is that instantaneous supply must match instantaneous demand, to what degree this balance point can be planned in advance is moot.

At any moment in time the amount of spare generating capacity available to meet peaks in demand will be down to how accurately engineers have predicted future energy demand in past years, as well as the cost and lead times of adding the extra capacity once ordered and also to whether older power stations are scrapped completely or mothballed for occational emergency use etc. etc.

Exactly how the grid operates in terms of supply side vs demand side controls, whether it is a distributed market system or a centralised state controlled system will effect the overall cost to consumers and the profit levels of the generators and so I think bill payers should ultimately have a say on this as well power guru's.

Please don't encourage people to build a system that depends on any one individual or organisation "knowing what they are doing", especially in regard to predicting the future. This is a route to a centally controlled state (on communist or fascist lines) and eventual economic disaster.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 16 November 2012 07:19 AM
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rogerbryant

Posts: 865
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And similar issues in Switzerland:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/bu...asy.html?cid=33959850

Best regards

Roger
 17 November 2012 01:28 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
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Originally posted by: jarathoon
Exactly how the grid operates in terms of supply side vs demand side controls, whether it is a distributed market system or a centralised state controlled system will effect the overall cost to consumers and the profit levels of the generators and so I think bill payers should ultimately have a say on this as well power guru's.

How are 30 million bill payers going to have a say and what will you do if they ask for different things which go in opposite directions? Bill payers already have a say through their government or their MP's and through the choices they make in their lifestyles.
Please don't encourage people to build a system that depends on any one individual or organisation "knowing what they are doing", especially in regard to predicting the future. This is a route to a centally controlled state (on communist or fascist lines) and eventual economic disaster.

Here someone makes a link between communism and fascism as if they are somehow similar. There is no evidence to suggest that a communist states are at anymore risk of eventual economic disaster than democratic states and if we look to recent events it was the democratic states which fostered the greed and over consumption which caused significant economic issues. Let's take a look at Greece who fiddled their books, and were allowed to, in order to join the Euro.....hardly a communist state and yet have an economic disaster.

It is the government who are tasked with trying to predict and plan for the future and they take advice from professional and authoritive sources and it is the same government who then give permissions for building of significant systems and who also put in place controls to oversee them.

When the world economy picks up and the demand for energy increases those who overreacted to Japan's significant nuclear issue will have to backtrack and try to save political face. Fortunately this will not be the British Government who managed to maintain a reasonable perspective all along.

Those who go on about the cost of energy need to start considering the cost of not having enough energy and which can be relied upon to be available when needed.....because those costs will be far greater to our way of life.

Regards.
 19 November 2012 07:28 AM
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rogerbryant

Posts: 865
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This is one of the 'solutions' being used in Japan (quoted from the Swissinfo article above):

"There are places in Japan where there are 180 diesel generators on one big parking lot", says Püttgen, who has visited Japan four times since the Fukushima disaster. That leads to "massive amounts of CO2 emissions", he points out.

Best regards

Roger
 20 November 2012 11:45 AM
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aroscoe

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Nobody mentioned Ireland yet ... that one is emerging!


-------------------------
Dr. Andrew Roscoe

http://personal.strath.ac.uk/andrew.j.roscoe
 22 November 2012 10:36 AM
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westonpa

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Reality returns:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20002801
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19168574

Coal is making a comeback....seems climate change is not such a concern after all.

Regards.
 23 November 2012 05:24 PM
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raftingtara

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Dark cloud eclipses sunny German dream


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 25 November 2012 06:45 PM
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ectophile

Posts: 544
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Originally posted by: westonpa

Reality returns:



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20002801

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19168574



Coal is making a comeback....seems climate change is not such a concern after all.



Regards.


More a case that short-term cost-cutting is more important to both politicians and business owners than the long-term consequences.

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S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
Statistics

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