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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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  1.  
    https://www.lcp.uk.com/our-viewpoint/2021/09/what-is-causing-the-record-prices-in-the-gb-power-market/

    "The first two weeks of September have seen records shattered in the GB power market day after day, with day ahead prices clearing at £2,500/MWh on Nordpool for Wednesday 15th September, breaking the all-time record set just 24 hours before at £1,750/MWh.”

    "The system is struggling to cope with the swathe of plant on outage and the continual low wind period we find ourselves in, and the market is reacting accordingly.”.
      Screenshot_20210913-205641~2.png
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2021 edited
     
    Good article thanks.

    It all brings to mind all the previously stated logic behind north-south continental-sized electrical distribution to overcome periods of low wind and/or sun in particular areas. Bring back Desertec et al I say.

    https://www.desertec.org/
    https://medium.com/the-future-world/power-for-europe-from-african-deserts-what-happened-to-desertec-8cc5aff359c6
  2.  
    AIUI the whole of Europe are having anticyclonic weather at the moment, no wind anywhere, and the sun sets at roughly the same time, so not much opportunity to move power around. The slightly longer term story is the post-pandemic demand for gas, everywhere, see graph above for steady rise in prices since April.

    Emergency measures in Spain and Italy https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/14/spain-cuts-soaring-energy-prices-with-emergency-measures


    If this happens often enough, in theory it will make multi-day energy storage projects economic. I have no idea how much "enough" is.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2021
     
    Got notice yesterday of price rise from Octopus makes my pv more worthwhile but no mention of increase in my export tariff.
    Read recently of a power link between Norway and UK we would buy from them their hydro and them from us any excess wind generation. Was imminent for coming on stream I gathered.
    Gas prices will keep increasing as Russia needs to fill its reserves which are depleted we have got rid of much of the storage capacity we had so even if Putin would let us have some there is not enough space for it to see us through a bad winter.
    Get knitting the pullovers!!
  3.  
    Related: the trading price of carbon permits have also risen sharply this year, to ~60euro/tonne.

    IIUC, this is the sort of price (if sustained) at which a CCS equipped power station could undercut a non-CCS power station.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenIIUC, this is the sort of price (if sustained) at which a CCS equipped power station could undercut a non-CCS power station.

    I expect that depends on the price of a working carbon capture unit. When I see news that somebody has developed a carbon capture unit that works, is deployable at scale, and is economic, I shall rejoice.

    But I saw in that Grauniad story you posted that Spain is returning some of the extra proceeds of the carbon permit auctions to 'the people'. So maybe there's some sign of a revenue neutral carbon tax evolving naturally, which could only be a good thing IMHO.
  4.  
    The CCC published some price analysis of CCS for the 6th carbon budget, I haven't had time to go find it again.

    I think there are 20+ around the world, so "working and deployable at scale" seems to have been sorted.

    "Economic" is a different story! I suppose it depends on your forecast of the prices of power and of carbon, and on availability of subsidies, and the costs of inaction. TBF that's the same as for wind, PV, nuclear, tidal, hydrogen, batteries, ASHP, EWI, EVs, etc etc etc...

    I haven't seen any pronouncements that the recent energy price hikes are the start of a shift that will enable all of those things, or just a blip!
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenThe CCC published some price analysis of CCS for the 6th carbon budget, I haven't had time to go find it again.

    I think there are 20+ around the world, so "working and deployable at scale" seems to have been sorted.

    According to the IEA there are 21, so I've learned something. However I just picked one of those to look at - Drax - and see "Drax Power Limited operates two pilot bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) facilities at the Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, UK, with plans for commercial-scale capture as of 2027." So that does not meet my definition of working, scalable and economic. But it's not clear whether that's included in their 21 or not. I'll ask them.

    Wikipedia also has the rather depressing summary "Despite carbon capture increasingly appearing in policymakers' proposals to address climate change,[11] existing CCS technologies have significant shortcomings that limit their ability to reduce or negate carbon emissions; current CCS processes are usually less economical than renewable sources of energy[12][13] and most remain unproven at scale.[14] Opponents also point out that many CCS projects have failed to deliver on promised emissions reductions. [15]"

    So I don't think the issues are sorted. Thanks for making me go take another look.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2021
     
    No idea if they are correct but these guys seem quite confident about new and retrofit CCS https://hynet.co.uk/about/
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeSep 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: philedgeNo idea if they are correct but these guys seem quite confident about new and retrofit CCS https://hynet.co.uk/about/

    Yes, but that's a plan for a rosy future, not a delivered working system today. So I'm still waiting ....
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Near the bottom of the linked page theres a downloadable CCS fact sheet that says

    "CCS is a proven technology
    that can capture up to 95%
    of CO2 emissions produced in
    industrial processes."

    I dont know if that is correct and theres no references given.
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Posted By: djhGood article thanks.

    It all brings to mind all the previously stated logic behind north-south continental-sized electrical distribution to overcome periods of low wind and/or sun in particular areas. Bring back Desertec et al I say.

    https://www.desertec.org/" rel="nofollow" >https://www.desertec.org/
    https://medium.com/the-future-world/power-for-europe-from-african-deserts-what-happened-to-desertec-8cc5aff359c6" rel="nofollow" >https://medium.com/the-future-world/power-for-europe-from-african-deserts-what-happened-to-desertec-8cc5aff359c6


    I still think that this is inevitable. The Medium article is great, and I can see why the first attempt failed, but I'd be amazed if North Africa isn't exporting significant amounts of solar generated electricit to Europe within a decade.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Posted By: GarethCI still think that this is inevitable. ... I'd be amazed if North Africa isn't exporting significant amounts of solar generated electricit to Europe within a decade.
    I do hope you're right. It seems sensible in so many ways to me.
  5.  
    Certainly seems like an opportunity! Similar to how windy rainy places in NW Europe could be selling electricity to their neighbours.

    Just to remember that the recent mega price spikes were around 8pm BST, which was later than sunset in most of North Africa. So we'd better hope that someone along the chain can store the electricity for us, molten salts or otherwise. And that the ’emergency measures’ in Spain and Italy don't grab it all before it gets up here! Guess we'll need to pay a good price for that, especially if we aren't regular customers.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    I heard somewhere think it was on TV a few weeks ago some commentary that it was not a good idea to put vast arrays of solar panels covering dessert area the panels being mostly black would cause a considerable rise in local temperature compared to not having them, as the sand would reflect the heat. Notwithstanding also solar pv efficiency drops with increase in temperature.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenCertainly seems like an opportunity! Similar to how windy rainy places in NW Europe could be selling electricity to their neighbours.

    The main point is that distribution over distances of several thousand miles N-S can even out low points and mean the average or better is more often the case. For solar of course a single E-W cable of sufficient capacity and length could give a near 100% guarantee.
  6.  
    Spain is 2000km South of me, but we seem to be having an electricity shortage at the same time as them.

    When it's the evening peak in UK, it would always be daylight somewhere in the Americas, so the solar cable(s) would ideally be transatlantic. In turn, the Americas would need to buy their evening peak from further West again - from China perhaps, or Australia?

    Or, share power between Shetland and Libya in the form of hydrogen or its derivatives, and then it doesn't matter what time they arrive - less energy efficient but perhaps less capital investment?
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTime7 days ago
     
    Posted By: revorI heard somewhere think it was on TV a few weeks ago some commentary that it was not a good idea to put vast arrays of solar panels covering dessert area the panels being mostly black would cause a considerable rise in local temperature compared to not having them, as the sand would reflect the heat.
    I suspect that's just FUD. By my back-of-the-envelope calculation the amount of PV area in southern Spain which would be needed to supply the EU-28's energy (all energy, not just what's currently electricity) needs would be only about 4 times the region's road area. Sure, roads contribute to urban heat islands but I've yet to hear an argument that we should pull up all the roads to achieve some cooling.

    https://edavies.me.uk/2018/01/primary-final/

    Posted By: djhFor solar of course a single E-W cable of sufficient capacity and length could give a near 100% guarantee.
    Yep, we need the mother of all ring mains - all the way round the northern hemisphere with spurs off to Cape Town and Punta Arenas. No, I'm not sure if I'm joking either.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime7 days ago edited
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenSpain is 2000km South of me, but we seem to be having an electricity shortage at the same time as them.

    Well 2000 km isn't 'several thousand miles' but I'm just remembering a paper I saw several years ago that was showing that wind turbines in the US south together with more wind turbines in the US north could greatly stabilise the power available. I expect there are weather conditions that can span such distances but ordinarily they don't was the take home message. HVDC transmission is the key, of course, and that seems to be ever so slowly gaining acceptance.

    When it's the evening peak in UK, it would always be daylight somewhere in the Americas, so the solar cable(s) would ideally be transatlantic. In turn, the Americas would need to buy their evening peak from further West again - from China perhaps, or Australia?

    Yes, you've got the idea :bigsmile: A wire all the way round the equator, much as Ed describes. Alternatively you could look at solar power in orbit and some form of downlink. If Musk gets to live long enough we may see it. Or maybe he'll just drill a tunnel all the way around the world, controlled using thought control by monkeys. Who knows.

    Or, share power between Shetland and Libya in the form of hydrogen or its derivatives, and then it doesn't matter what time they arrive - less energy efficient but perhaps less capital investment?

    Energy storage is definitely a necessary part of the landscape. Whether hydrogen is an important part of that isn't yet clear to me at least. There's too much FUD in the space.
  7.  
    Don't think that means what you think....

    https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/fud#scots
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime6 days ago
     
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    I'm quite liking this expensive electricity brouhaha. Back in April I signed up for part-ownership of a wind turbine that's being built. As part of that deal I had to change my electricity supplier from Bulb (who are now seeking a loan because of the electricity prices, so moderately pleased to no longer be a customer), to Coop/Octopus (who have been on the TV saying their supplies are hedged so no worries) and as part of that move I chose a fixed price tariff for the first time in my life. So I can watch all the kerfuffle as a disinterested observer for now. Then today to top it all off I've had an email explaining that due to the increase in wholesale prices I'm going to be getting twice the discount I was expecting as 'reward' for funding the wind turbine. Happy day :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime2 days ago edited
     
    Incidentally, there's a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSZgoFyuHC8 that sums up my thoughts about carbon capture systems quite well. :devil:
  8.  
    You're in line for a windfall tax, then.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/sep/22/windfall-tax-on-firms-profiting-from-gas-price-rises-an-option-says-minister

    I hope Octopus and Bulb survive this, it would be a pity to go back to the "Big Six" utility companies. Their hedges are only any use if their counterparty is able to honour them.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTime2 days ago
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenYou're in line for a windfall tax, then.
    Perhaps, we'll have to see. I won't jump up and down in outrage if so.

    I hope Octopus and Bulb survive this
    Me too.

    Their hedges are only any use if their counterparty is able to honour them.
    That's true of course, but is there anything to suggest they're in doubt? I haven't seen anything yet.
  9.  
    Some people claiming Brexit is creating the higher prices in the UK due to us not being in the EU bulk trading group.
    Any truth in this ?
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    Posted By: jamesingramSome people claiming Brexit is creating the higher prices in the UK due to us not being in the EU bulk trading group.
    Any truth in this ?


    No.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTime19 hours ago
     
  10.  
    Interview on the radio with the MD of one of the failed energy companies. He said they had fully hedged the supply for all their customers' existing deals, however each week thousands of customers were coming to the end of their contract term and rolling onto a new one. Because the retail price cap is now well below the wholesale futures price, they were unable to hedge these new deals, could see no way through the winter, so had to shut. He thought all the other companies would be similarly unable to hedge so will be depending on their financial reserves.
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