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Topic Title: Eggborough Coal Station to convert to Biomass, after being sold to Chinese Energy Firm
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Created On: 28 October 2013 01:05 PM
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 28 October 2013 01:05 PM
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jarathoon

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Joined: 05 September 2004

"Chinese firm prepares bid for coal-fired power station" Chinese firm prepares bid for coal-fired power station

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James Arathoon
 28 October 2013 01:08 PM
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jarathoon

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Joined: 05 September 2004

"Chinese firm prepares bid for coal-fired power station"

Chinese firm prepares bid for coal-fired power station


"Chinese energy giant is bidding to acquire a power plant that supplies 4pc of Britain's electricity needs - just days after backing plans for Britain's first new nuclear plant in a generation"


"The plant's current owners are developing plans to convert three of its four units to burn biomass not coal, with a capacity of 1.35GW and at a cost of at least £400m. Converting all four would cost more than £500m.


Last week it emerged Eggborough was one of the projects that had pre-qualified to share in £40bn of infrastructure loan guarantees from the Treasury.


If the plant is converted to run on biomass, it will also be eligible for a long-term subsidy contract from the Government to guarantee its revenues."



According to the new DECC Energy Bill everything gets a supply side subsidy now, apart from firms wanting to develop new cheaper forms of electricity generation based on Generation IV nuclear technologies.


James Arathoon


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James Arathoon
 28 October 2013 05:52 PM
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Bowley

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To be fair biomass is the only economic step that conventional coal plant have in many cases, fitting even more abatement kit, SCR and the like together with the CO2 emission costs just does not stack up economically right now (or ever). CCS for this plant is a non starter of course so its closure or bio! Now there is space for conversion of this type of plant to bio but given that Drax is going that way as well as many others I can't believe that their won't be fuel supply problems, may be I'm wrong there? I cant help feeling that the market has be changed to make the right thing happen to our older coal plant, some kind of cap on bio, and better returns for simply being in reserve, as well as closures? Didcot, 2GW of reasonable plant: a big shame really it could have some kind of reserve role surely, fixed costs would have to be managed of course.
Phil Bowley
 29 October 2013 10:37 AM
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jarathoon

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Originally posted by: Bowley

To be fair biomass is the only economic step that conventional coal plant have in many cases, fitting even more abatement kit, SCR and the like together with the CO2 emission costs just does not stack up economically right now (or ever). CCS for this plant is a non starter of course so its closure or bio! Now there is space for conversion of this type of plant to bio but given that Drax is going that way as well as many others I can't believe that their won't be fuel supply problems, may be I'm wrong there? I cant help feeling that the market has be changed to make the right thing happen to our older coal plant, some kind of cap on bio, and better returns for simply being in reserve, as well as closures? Didcot, 2GW of reasonable plant: a big shame really it could have some kind of reserve role surely, fixed costs would have to be managed of course.

Phil Bowley


At the moment we are getting over half our electricity from coal. As you say we won't be able to get half our electricity from biomass (certainly UK sourced biomass). Imported biomass has high added transport and handling costs and associated CO2 emissions attached. There are also environmental concerns as to where the imported biomass is being sourced from.

We could replace our coal stations (today supplying over half our electricity) with gas ones, but gas is expensive compared with coal at the moment, so bills will go up even faster in the short term to pay for this.

What we need is a gradual transition to new generation methods, that doesn't lead to massive and unnecessarily quick bill rises. The whole point of getting the government involved should be to ease and help manage the process of change. The UK government seems to be following the opposite policy! i.e. they now appear to believe that the main role of government to put up costs much faster and far more aggressively than would be the case in an unmanaged transition.

We appear to be in the fast track process of, not nationalising our generation assets, but what can be called the 'crony-capitalising' of our generation assets. And the costs of crony-capitalism are huge!

It is easy to introduce subsidies, (e.g. agricultural subsidies, energy subsidies), but it is very hard to get rid of them once all the main industry players are hooked on them and can't live without them.

All I am really asking is: Don't we need at least one energy source that isn't subsidied, to give a reference source cost for developing future commercial alternatives?

According to current plans everything will be subsidised. It might be more honest route to simply let the uncommercial parts of the industry go bankrupt and then to nationalise any assets that are still needed in the short to medium term.

At least that way the political hot potatoe of energy costs and how many people excess deaths are allowed in the winter, is put under direct political control at least cost to the taxpayer and bill payer.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 29 October 2013 01:36 PM
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jarathoon

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According to dukes5_11.xls on the www.gov.uk site

This was the list of large coal/biomass running in May 2013

Output power is first number commissioning date is second number

Drax Power Ltd, Drax, coal/biomass, 3870, 1974, Yorkshire and the Humber
EDF Energy, Cottam, coal, 2008, 1969, East Midlands
EDF Energy, West Burton, coal, 2012, 1967, East Midlands
Eggborough Power Ltd, Eggborough, coal, 1960, 1967, Yorkshire and the Humber
E.On UK, Ratcliffe, coal, 2000, 1968, East Midlands
International Power Ltd, Rugeley, coal, 1006, 1972, West Midlands
Lynemouth Power Ltd (15), Lynemouth, coal, 420, 1972, North East
RWE Npower Plc, Aberthaw B, coal, 1586, 1971, Wales
RWE Npower Plc, Tilbury B, biomass, 750, 1968, East
Thermal (continued), Ferrybridge C, coal/biomass, 1960, 1961, Yorkshire and the Humber
Thermal (continued), Fiddler's Ferry, coal/biomass, 1961, 1971, North West
Thermal (continued), Uskmouth, coal/biomass, 363, 2000, Wales
Thermal:, Longannet, coal, 2304, 1970, Scotland
Sembcorp Utilities (UK) Ltd, Wilton Power Station, gas/coal/oil, 238, 1952, North East

Total Large Coal/Biomass is 22,438 MW (not including Northern Ireland)

How much of this 22GW can realistically run on biomass concurrently?

The total for large combined cycle gas turbine is roughly 30 GW (not including Northern Ireland)

And the total for nuclear is 9.238 GW

The non-wind total generating capacity is listed is 72112.4 MW (Including Northern Ireland)

The wind total generating capacity listed is as 7995.2 MW

Solar is not listed.

The pumped storage is listed as 2828 MW

Interconnector capacity is listed as 4600 MW

The Electricity demand in the last three years has peaked at 60 GW
The Electricity demand in the last three years has been as low as 20 GW

The difference in demand between day and night often reaches 20 GW

This difference will increase in the short term as people search out equipment in their homes and businesses that are using up energy unnecessarily at night, to save on energy bills as they continue to rise.

The government plans to add 16 GW of Nuclear which means the minimum extra to supplement them at night will range from 4GW and 14GW. And the maximum extra will range from 24W to 44GW. Thus the day/night range expected of other generation sources will be 20GW range on a 4GW floor, and 30GW range on a 14GW floor.

We add in the current wind generation and the floor will often be completely lost in summer and halved in winter when the 8GW of wind runs at near full tilt.

This will mean switiching more power stations off completely during the night and then back on during the day. Coal and gas stations are going to become more inefficient and expensive to run with 16GW of inflexible nuclear, given subsidised priority over all other forms of generation as is currently planned.

Demand for electricity is very unlikely to go up substantially with the price set to double or triple in ten years, and may even decrease; so basing estimates on current figures is not unreasonable.

James Arathoon




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James Arathoon
 29 October 2013 04:09 PM
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jarathoon

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Let's think about a regime with effectively zero nuclear. How do we create baseload power?

Assuming 15GW wind is equivalent to 3.2 GW Nuclear, we will need storage to help cater for the day/night demand fluctuations so that other power stations can run in on-off mode with a square wave energy generation pattern.

The storage estimate I gave in the Hinkley Point C thread was 37.5 GWh per 15GW of onshore wind.

I just did some quick and dirty calcs on what 37.5 GWh (75% cycle efficiency) of storage does for a notional total demand curve.

0 , 25 GW , 5 , 0 , 30
1 , 25 GW , 5.5 , 0 , 30.5
2 , 25 GW , 6 , 0 , 31
3 , 25 GW , 6 , 0 , 31
4 , 25 GW , 5 , 0 , 30
5 , 25 GW , 5 , 0 , 30
6 , 28 GW , 4 , 0 , 32
7 , 35 GW , 0 , 0 , 35
8 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
9 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
10 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
11 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
12 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
13 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
14 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
15 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
16 , 40 GW , 0 , -1.5 , 38.5
17 , 41 GW , 0 , -2.625 , 38.375
18 , 42 GW , 0 , -3.75 , 38.25
19 , 43 GW , 0 , -4.5 , 38.5
20 , 42 GW , 0 , -3.75 , 38.25
21 , 38 GW , 0 , 0 , 38
22 , 33 GW , 0 , 0 , 33
23 , 29 GW , 1 , 0 , 30

Total energy demand without storage 841 GWh

Total energy demand with storage 850.375 GWh

Losses 9.375 GWh, which is a daily cost at £55 per MWh of £515,625

And yearly energy cost of £188 million

However we have reduced maximum generation power from 43GW to 38.5.

If we want achieve a net reduction in generation assets of 4.5 GW for the whole of the year, how much is that worth?

Well £188 million would allow you to pay off a £4.5 billion to be paid off over 40 years at an interest rate of 2.5%, so it appears to be worth more to us than the yearly energy cost. No one seems to be able to build 4.5 GW of generating capacity for £4.5 billion any more. 3 EPR's would be needed to generate at this rate, that's a cool £24 billion.

At £100,000 per MWh 37.5 GWh of storage would cost £3.75 billion

For a 40 year life the enegy storage would need to be able go through around 15,000 charge-discharge cycles before being recycled.

If the storage system can be made with a cycle efficiency of 75%, with high reliability and low maintenance, it would be extremely competitive, with building standard standby generation assets in a capacity market.

The fact we could easily build this level of storage alongside onshore wind turbines, for the same price as a nuclear power station is interesting.

In this example the storage needed for a constant generation output across night and day is around 80 GWh. with peak power output of around 36.25 GW. This save 6.75 GW of generating capacity at an energy cost per day of £1.1 million at £55 per MWh

Not building a total of 4 EPR's would give enough money for a total of 30GW of wind with 75 GWh of storage, and this reduces the need by reserve generation in the capacity market by around 6 GW.

So a spend of £64 billion on wind farms and storage avoids us spending £64 billion on EPR Nuclear stations PLUS £18 billion in capital spend in the capacity market assuming an average spend of £3000 per kW installed.

The capacity factor for wind is greater in winter than summer, so the 30GW of wind is more than equivalent to 4 EPR's during winter. This is great because our maximum power requirements are in winter. The capacity market savings will rise.

I expect the energy experts advising the government to go down the Nuclear route, rather than the onshore wind and storage route, will be able to do the calculations if you ask them kindly enough. Otherwise calculating the added capacity market savings would be good topic for a student project.

http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/~dcurtis/NETA.html

Just eyeballing the data it looks like the capacity factor may rise to between 0.3 and 0.4 in the winter months.

0.2133 average output from 30 GW of wind is 6.4 GW (assumed for investment purposes)
at 0.25 average output from 30 GW of wind is 7.5 GW (excess 1.1 GW)
at 0.3 average output from 30 GW of wind is 9 GW (excess 2.6 GW)
at 0.35 average output from 30 GW of wind is 10.5 GW (excess 4.1 GW)

So in order of magnitude terms there may be a further saving on reserve capacity of between 1.1 and 4.1 GW. (involving a capital cost saving of between £3.3 billion and £12.3 billion [@ £3000 per kW installed])

James Arathoon


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James Arathoon
 29 October 2013 04:45 PM
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jarathoon

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Sorry the sentence above where I refer to £64 billion on wind farms and nuclear power stations should read:


So a spend of £32 billion on 30GW of wind farms and storage avoids us spending £32 billion on 4 EPR Nuclear stations PLUS another £18 billion in capital spend on capacity market assets, assuming an average spend of £3000 per kW installed.

and there could be a further £3.3 billion and £12.3 billion of cost saving on capacity market asset investment because wind capacity factors are greater in winter than summer.

4 Nuclear stations at a cost of £32 billion have to be supported by an extra of between £21 billion and £30 billion of spending in the capacity market, that onshore wind farms plus storage doesn't need.

People tell me all the time that onshore wind is variable so costs more because we have to build all that extra back-up reserve. Well when I add in the necessary energy storage, within the budget given to me by DECC-EDF I see that the complete opposite is true.

Nuclear is getting huge indirect subisdies from spending in the capacity market on this view.

However I am not qualified enough (in terms of experience) to apply for the DECC electricity market modelling jobs advertised on this website.

http://jobs.theiet.org/jobs/en...?contextType=featured

"You will be working in a cross-disciplinary team charged with developing and implementing a work programme to quality and assure the full suite of analytical models used across DECC in the formulation of strategies and policies and in the setting of levies and tariffs. The team will be expected to develop and prioritise a work programme and identify business-critical models which may need improvement/upgrading and design, specify and procure specialist support where required to address issues identified. You will need to work alongside other disciplines, economists, operational researchers, statisticians, and social scientists to develop an optimal and cost-effective work programme. We are looking for system modelling engineers with track record in several of the following areas:
.Power system planning or power system modelling
.Other energy system planning/modelling e.g. whole systems, built environment, utility modelling, development of techno-economic models
.Experience in:
?o specifying and implementing system modelling software packages and/or large bespoke models
?o the development and quality assurance of engineering datasets
?o specifying. procuring and managing software development specialist expertise, and/or technical consultants
?o development of analytical models either in a technical context or in more generic technical/economic and management information modelling

All posts are offered on a permanent basis, and we offer an attractive benefits package. Applicants will also be expected to undergo security clearance."


But then again these modelling engineers are not being employed to question government policy so that savings of billions of pounds can be identified.

James Arathoon

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James Arathoon
 18 November 2013 03:54 PM
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jarathoon

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...plant-in-8-years.html

"Steag GmbH started Germany's first new power plant fueled by hard coal in eight years, allowing the generator and energy trader to take advantage of near record-low coal prices that have widened profit margins.

The 725-megawatt Walsum-10 plant, located near Dortmund in the western part of the country, began electricity output today, the Essen-based company said in an e-mailed statement. It will probably start commercial operations later in the year after "optimization works and testing," it said.

The plant is the first new hard-coal-fired generator in Europe's biggest power market since 2005. It marks the start of Germany's biggest new-build program for hard coal stations since its liberalization in 1998. Ten new hard-coal power stations, or 7,985 megawatts, are scheduled to start producing electricity in the next two years, according to information from German grid regulator Bundesnetzagentur and operators."


If we save carbon by insulating more houses, we can build some more coal stations that from 2035 onwards can be converted to fourth generation molten salt nuclear stations.

Politicians have decided to design our new energy systems, when they know nothing of engineering or economics. Instead they should be just limiting themselves to broad brush policy objectives, like empowering engineers to find innovative new ways of reducing our carbon footprint gradually in the most sensible and cost effective ways possible.



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James Arathoon
 18 November 2013 04:20 PM
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jarathoon

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I should have mentioned that coal is providing around 50% of our energy at night at the moment and holding at above 35% during the day.

http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

I think it better to put up with the excess pollution from coal stations for a few more years yet, while we engineer a cost-effective and reliable replacement. If we don't energy prices will continue to rocket, and large numbers of people will not be able to heat their homes properly resulting in thousands of extra winter deaths.

I did not come into this profession to collude and remain quite when ends up government planning to kill off the poorest and most vulnerable people in society because that is how the elite and powerful incumbents have decided our collective carbon footprint will be reduced.

I am now politely telling the elite political classes to back off now (back off now) before this issue becomes one for the street.

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James Arathoon
 18 November 2013 04:32 PM
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jarathoon

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The above should read..


I did not come into this profession to collude and remain quite when government ends up planning to kill off the poorest and most vulnerable people in society because that is how the elite and powerful incumbents have decided our collective carbon footprint will be reduced.

managed to get the "ends up" in the wrong place somehow.

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James Arathoon
 21 November 2013 07:48 AM
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jencam

Posts: 608
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Originally posted by: jarathoon
All I am really asking is: Don't we need at least one energy source that isn't subsidied, to give a reference source cost for developing future commercial alternatives?


You make a very good point. Energy suppliers were traditionally profit making enterprises that did not rely on continual government subsidies.
 21 November 2013 05:01 PM
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kengreen

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James,

I'm really sorry but I can't make out which of you is winning. :-)

Ken Green
 21 November 2013 07:04 PM
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Zuiko

Posts: 521
Joined: 14 September 2010

Originally posted by: jencam
Energy suppliers were traditionally profit making enterprises that did not rely on continual government subsidies.


What do you mean traditionally?

Pre-nationalization?
Public ownership?
Post-nationalization?

The distribution networks are stressed to the limitis due to (several) decades of neglect. No wonder the Tories flogged it off - it would have cost billions to fix - billions they hoped the private companies would cough-up.
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