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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthoratomicbisf
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2015 edited
    Given that bulk energy storage is often seen as the holy grail of renewable energy, I was interested to see this study (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/study-indicates-bulk-energy-storage-would-increase-total-u-s-electricity-system-emissions/?WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20150817) that shows that it might not be as simple as that.

    I've long believed that the storage argument is often deployed as nothing more than an argument against renewables, and the task at the moment is for renewables to displace fossil fuel generation when the wind is blowing, the sun shining etc, and only in the future when there is no/little more fossil fuel generation to displace then bulk storage can come into its own.

    Basically they find that in the USA at least, economic grid storage would charge up using coal generation and displace gas generation because of the relative prices of coal and gas, which would obviously not be a good thing!

    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2015
    In the UK coal stations are being shut down due to the cost of all the new regulations etc. Hence we need to build new power stations just to keep the lights on.

    Without storage if we wish to add xMWH of generation to the grid, we have to build xMWH of generation that is dependable, as we need the power when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not out. Additionally we build renewable.

    With storage we may be able to just build the renewable.

    Therefore bulk storages needs to become as cheap as building gas power stations. Once we have enough renewable that there are times when all the gas power stations are shut down, then the saved cost of the gas can also help fund the bulk storage.


    It also costs money to connect a wind farm to the grid, so if bulk storage is built as part of a large wind farm, hence allowing the wind farms connection to be sized for average output rather than peak, the saved connection cost may pay for the storage.


    Some parts of the UK can't meat peak demand without putting in new grid lines, adding bulk storage may avoid the need for the new grid lines.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2015
    Bulk energy storage is one of many means to the end of reducing fossil fuel burning together with, most notably, additional renewable energy, demand reduction and demand management. To look at its effects on its own is as imbecilic as looking at the other approaches alone.
    Localized energy storage will be the key/holy grail to getting renew bales economically viable and weening ourselves off of fossil fuels.

    Dont forget that the energy companies are very happy to be buying oil and gas and then re selling it at a profit.

    They do not have any real incentive to invest in anything that will make energy renewable/cheap.
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2015
    Why would the energy companies be any less happy buying in energy, storing it and then reselling it at a profit. All that is happening is that the storage changes position.

    Coal/Gas (the storage) --> Generation (the power station) --> Delivery (the profit)

    Generation (renewables) --> Batteries (the storage) --> Delivery (the profit)

    I think you will find that thee issue is the cost, not where there primary fuel comes from.
    The economies of scale are different for fossil fuels and renewables.

    Renewables are virtually inexhaustible and there for prices will fall as infrastructure is developed.
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2015
    Was the same for fossil fuel based generation once.

    I would think that with the growth in demand for electricity, a generation company would like an almost inexhaustible power supply. They can just shift the pricing to delivery and QoS rather than generation.
    Generally speaking, electrical generation is best served from a few large plants than many small ones. This keeps the infrastructure costs down. Distributed generation is very costly in just hardware alone, and that is before you start looking at reliability.
    The UK has a fantastically robust electrical grid, it is a national treasure. Really amazes me that something designed in the 1940's is still basically sound.
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