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Coming shortage of UK generating capacity?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reduction in electricity demand is generally welcome, but as suggested above, may not continue.

Energy used for lighting has declined significantly due to greater lamp efficiency.
To produce 800 lumens of light takes about
75 watts with a single coil tungsten lamp. (1950)
60 watts with a coiled coil tungsten lamp. (1970)
12 watts with a CFL. (1990)
8 watts with a basic LED lamp (2000)
4 watts with the very best available LED lamp. (2020?)

Such gains wont continue, no lamp can exceed 100% efficiency which is about 300 to 350 lumens per watt.

Other improvements have been achieved by use of switched mode power supplies, electronic lamp ballasts, more efficient electric motors, and a shift towards lower energy refrigeration.

Further progress is possible, but is unlikely to be rapid.

Some claimed gains may be largely illusory as with vacuum cleaners, space heaters and the like.

Peak indicated demand last winter was about 50.4 GW IIRC and I expect broadly similar figures in future years as increased efficiency standards are roughly offset by more households, a move towards electric heating, and more electric vehicles.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is not a large part in the reduction in electrical consumption due to a decline in manufacturing in the UK? The electricity not used in the UK is instead used in a factory in China or Indonesia and is probably generated via coal.
If you were to have a revival in UK manufacturing it would undoubtedly be done with a high percentage of robots and other automation all run by electricity or hydraulic pressure generated by electric pumps. The only savings would be from the robots not needing well lighted areas to work in.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, some of the reduction is indeed due to exporting manufacturing jobs and the related energy use.
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fuzzy



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Electric domestic heating is the knife edge which the gov is too stupid/corrupt to deal with. Natural gas, which has been corruptly wasted for electricity generation, is uniquely useful for domestic heating. Once cheap methane is no longer an option, we will be forced to use electric heating. This is a situation the UK has never tried. When the cities grew, there was coal for space heating and 'town gas' for cooking and lighting. When we change to all electric, we will forced into a sudden massive electric shortage. I can see a crash nuclear program appearing.
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Potemkin Villager



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody should try proposing a nuclear power station with combined heat an power scheme on the banks of the Thames not far from Westminster.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Potemkin Villager wrote:
Somebody should try proposing a nuclear power station with combined heat an power scheme on the banks of the Thames not far from Westminster.
What to do with the heat in the summer would be the question.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RenewableCandy wrote:
The Venerable Beeb report that energy efficiency has had a greater impact on elecricity demand than renewables have:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46741346

Quote:
The new analysis of government figures comes from the environmental analysis website Carbon Brief.

Its author says EU product standards on light bulbs, fridges, vacuum cleaners and other appliances have played a substantial part in reducing energy demand.

Provisional calculations show that electricity generation in the UK peaked around 2005. But generation per person is now back down to the level of 1984 (around 5 megawatt hours per capita).


Of course, they neglect to say that efficiency gains will taper off, whereas renewables can (at least in theory) keep on growing. They also mention EU standards...


The Beeb like to support the Remain campaign wherever they can unfortunately.

Getting back on thread, as the saying goes, "Negawatts are cheaper than Megawatts", so going for less rather than new generation should always come first.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
Potemkin Villager wrote:
Somebody should try proposing a nuclear power station with combined heat an power scheme on the banks of the Thames not far from Westminster.
What to do with the heat in the summer would be the question.


I think that there is a touch of irony/sarcasm/British humour in that comment, VT. The inhabitants of London would never tolerate a nuke anywhere near their city to provide the electricity that they so profligately use.

I have been suggesting for quite some time that our national nuclear waste repository should sited be in the extensive clay layers beneath London so that the residual heat could be used to heat the city during the winter. No one seems very keen on the idea, unfortunately.
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careful_eugene



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:

I have been suggesting for quite some time that our national nuclear waste repository should sited be in the extensive clay layers beneath London so that the residual heat could be used to heat the city during the winter. No one seems very keen on the idea, unfortunately.

Unfortunately you can't switch it off, have you been on the tube in summer?
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very aware of the NIMBY syndrome but decided to ignore the shot and speak to the practicalities.( a bit sarcastic in itself) The most useful use of waste heat is to heat buildings in winter but that requires close proximity.
Might we in some point in the future find the niceties of placing nuke plants in other peoples yards have to be abandoned for the practicality of needing to scavenge every BTU of heat from any energy source available?
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Potemkin Villager



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe not so much NIMBY as NIAMCOANL (not in a marginal constituency or anywhere near London). I remember large scale chp being promoted in the 70s and 80s to reduce emissions from UK coal fired power stations but never gaining much traction.

Indeed the problem is that CHP is heat demand led and not electrical demand led. I believe the Soviet Union, with a more cavalier attitude to radiation risk and public opinion built a number of concerns with a high constant heat demand around some of their nukes (including horticulture).
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The position looks interesting with regards to next week, which is reliably forecast to be much colder.

Figures at present are
demand----------42
CCGT-------------20.7
Nuclear-----------5
Coal--------------3.6
Wind--------------8.5

If demand reaches 50 next week, entirely foreseeable in cold weather, then the margin looks very tight.

Another 4 is probably available from coal, and another 4 from CCGT should be available, which at first sight looks sufficient.

If however the wind drops and only produces 2.5, then that leaves another 6 to find.
being optimistic
5 more from coal
5 more from CCGT
1.5 more from hydro and pumped storage
0.5 more OCGT.
2 More from imports

14 extra hopefully available.

To meet another 8 of foreseeable demand AND a possible reduction in wind of 6.
Just about enough, provided that the French can spare us 2, despite the severe weather in France, AND provided that wind does not drop below 2.5 AND provided that nothing breaks.

We will probably muddle through as we usually do, but it looks very tight for the beginning of next week.
Unless of course it remains windy in which case we will be fine.

All figures in GW, rounded, and as shewn on Gridwatch.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saved by the wind ! twice.

Last Friday evening the margin of available capacity versus demand looked very tight, but the wind increased more or less as the evening peak load approached and all was well.
Last night (21/01/2019) the position was very similar was a potential shortfall being averted by an increase in wind for the evening peak.

We even exported to France.

Today the load is high but not exceptional and with a modest 2Gw from solar and a few Gw from wind we are again exporting to France.
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Potemkin Villager



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:


Last Friday evening the margin of available capacity versus demand looked very tight, but the wind increased more or less as the evening peak load approached and all was well.
Last night (21/01/2019) the position was very similar was a potential shortfall being averted by an increase in wind for the evening peak.



This was very fortuitous and of course could not be relied on!

Various commentators in the msm have been discussing the effect of the potential loss of low carbon base load nuclear plant in the event replacements for near end of life plant are not constructed as is currently likely.

One comment was that "base load is so 20th century" and the suggestion made that renewables and energy storage could do away with base load plant all together.

I wonder how that one would work?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The likely abandonment of new build nuclear is of little near term concern since it would not have produced any power for some years if built.

In the longer term, managing a grid system without nuclear of fossil fuel base load plant will be a considerable challenge. Not insurmountable though, options include.

More pumped storage schemes.
Limited FF burning at times of low renewable input.
Limited biofuel use at times of limited renewable input.
Increase capacity at existing hydroelectric dams. 500Mw for six hours a day is much more useful than 125Mw 24/7. 1000Mw for nearly 1,000 hours a year would be better still.
Shift more consumption to times of relatively plentiful supply by selective pricing. EV charging, and bulk water heating and large air conditioning schemes are ideal loads.
More interconnectors, especially to Norway with its plentiful hydroelectric power.
Grid scale battery storage is starting to look attractive following recent advances.
Tidal power is more controllable than other renewables.
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