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Gas alert as demand and prices rise
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ziggy12345



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 1235

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

... Thats TROLL A Field...

A reason its low in gas supply is that Statoil always had the choice to send the TROLL A gas to the close by Haltenbaken oil field to maintain reservoir pressure. Recently it decided to do this and reduce supplies to the UK. We have known the shortfall has been coming for 2 years.

Cheers
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peaky2



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just musing here ...

The BBC continues to refer to our current weather as "a cold snap" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8448399.stm). I've noticed that nowhere else in the world apart from the UK experiences these 'snaps' - they seem to just have snow and icy weather. Does anybody know how long a 'snap' actually lasts? Confused
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eatyourveg



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peaky2 wrote:
Just musing here ...

The BBC continues to refer to our current weather as "a cold snap" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8448399.stm). I've noticed that nowhere else in the world apart from the UK experiences these 'snaps' - they seem to just have snow and icy weather. Does anybody know how long a 'snap' actually lasts? Confused


As long as the populace can't find anything more productive to spend their time whinging on about.
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Keepz



Joined: 05 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Times gets it right

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6979982.ece

particularly:

Quote:
Britain is still running because we have Langeled and a host of other bits of infrastructure built over the past five years. Ten billion pounds has been spent on pipelines and terminals to receive natural gas chilled into liquid at minus 160C. Throughout the winter, ships fitted with cryogenic tanks have been arriving at Milford Haven in Wales and the Isle of Grain in Kent to unload cargos of gas from Algeria, Trinidad and Qatar. ExxonMobil’s terminal at Milford Haven is now supplying almost 10 per cent of Britain’s gas.


and

Quote:
During yesterday’s extraordinary chill, while the nation huddled by the gas fire, the wind turbines were motionless. According to the British Wind Energy Association, we have about 4,000 megawatts of wind turbine capacity, representing about 5 per cent of Britain’s installed power generating capacity. But yesterday, in the windless cold of January, our expensive wind turbines provided 0.1 per cent of our electricity.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a gas fire to huddle round but the windfarm at the end of my lane was spinning merrily in a brisk nor-easter yesterday.

Data to prove it: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/em/donna_nook_latest_weather_graphs.html


That reporter ought to get out more.
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Andy Hunt



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scout Moor near me seemed to be going full tilt the other day.
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peaky2



Joined: 20 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hardly news to say that if the wind doesn't blow then wind turbines produce no electricity - I think a 5 year old would know that.

I hope that they print a similar article when it's windy to the effect that "today wind turbines were producing x% of the UK demand with renewable, non-fossil fuelled, climate friendly electricity". Is that 'balance'?

BTW, I love one of the comments "Nuclear is the obvious macro solution - that way we are beholden to no-one." No doubt he believes that we're mining our uranium in Durham Rolling Eyes
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But it was windy yesterday! Average about 25mph gusting to 40mph.
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Keepz



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peaky2 wrote:

I hope that they print a similar article when it's windy to the effect that "today wind turbines were producing x% of the UK demand with renewable, non-fossil fuelled, climate friendly electricity". Is that 'balance'?


No, that's precisely the problem that the Times article identifies. Sometimes the wind fleet will produce very little electricity; sometimes it will produce quite a lot. The former fact means that we do still need fossil fuel fired power stations. The latter fact means that they are less likely to make any money. So the market mechanisms which have delivered lots of lovely gas supply infrastructure to keep gas supply going even in extreme weather conditions, will not work to deliver the electricity generating infrastructure that will be needed to keep electricity supply going on low-wind days if there is a lot of wind capacity on the system. What is the Government going to do about it, that is the question the article poses.
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biffvernon



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes the wind fleet will produce very little electricity is something of a straw man arguement. Nobody is saying that we will have 100% wind power. Nothing like it. It's almost never not windy somewhere in the British Isles so continuity is a matter of how far the grid extends and how easy it is to tranport electricity. A europe-wide HVDC system would make having a larger proportion of wind dpower easier to manage. There's also scope for energy storage to be developed.
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Keepz



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biffvernon wrote:
Sometimes the wind fleet will produce very little electricity is something of a straw man arguement. Nobody is saying that we will have 100% wind power. Nothing like it. It's almost never not windy somewhere in the British Isles so continuity is a matter of how far the grid extends and how easy it is to transport electricity. A europe-wide HVDC system would make having a larger proportion of wind dpower easier to manage. There's also scope for energy storage to be developed.


The problem is not that wind doesn't run at 100%. It's that it runs at anything between less than 10% and more than 80%, sometimes within a few hours, and weather systems may cover the whole of Europe such that low wind in one area may just as easily be matched with low wind as balanced by high wind in other areas.

All sorts of technological approaches are indeed possible, you have identified a few and more flexibility on the demand side is another (as is also being demonstrated by the gas market this week).

Or you could avoid creating the problem in the first place, by not trying - at vast cost - to force an unrealistically large proportion of wind onto the system and instead creating the commercial incentive for the market itself to find the best way of simultaneously delivering secure energy supplies and reducing carbon outputs.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are idiots to keep spending billions on new energy sources without spending an equal amount on reducing our energy requirements. We could provide more jobs in building insulation than we could ever get from power supply by instituting a program of super-insulation for our buildings.

The trouble is, that would be recessionary, as it would reduce the amount of money we would be spending in the medium to long term and would not be good for big business. It would also be a significant admission by government that growth is not always good.
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Adam1



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keepz wrote:
peaky2 wrote:

I hope that they print a similar article when it's windy to the effect that "today wind turbines were producing x% of the UK demand with renewable, non-fossil fuelled, climate friendly electricity". Is that 'balance'?


No, that's precisely the problem that the Times article identifies. Sometimes the wind fleet will produce very little electricity; sometimes it will produce quite a lot. The former fact means that we do still need fossil fuel fired power stations. The latter fact means that they are less likely to make any money. So the market mechanisms which have delivered lots of lovely gas supply infrastructure to keep gas supply going even in extreme weather conditions, will not work to deliver the electricity generating infrastructure that will be needed to keep electricity supply going on low-wind days if there is a lot of wind capacity on the system. What is the Government going to do about it, that is the question the article poses.


You can't extrapolate the variability of the current UK wind generating infrastructure with a future where we have built turbines in- and off-shore all the way from the Channel Islands to Shetland to fully exploit the resource. A much more geographically distributed system will have less variability than the current very limited one does. The whole of the UK and surrounding seas are seldom/never completely becalmed.

There are many other ways to manage variability other than running lots of fossil fuel powered stations, for instance:

1) build a grid based on more than just one type of renewable; wind is as we all know just one of the family of renewables

2) expand the network of HVDC interconnectors between the European countries

3) build more storage in the UK and in neighbouring countries using all the available technologies, pumped storage, hydrogen fuel cells, various battery technologies

4) manage demand to match supply (both the absolute capacity and the variability)

5) learn to live with, say, 95% grid availability rather than near 100% - essential users could be protected with UPS/backup

If we were doing all the above and more, we would still need some fossil fuel stations but it would be a transitional thing, with overall use of FFs dropping off hugely over the coming decades.
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Keepz



Joined: 05 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam1 wrote:


You can't extrapolate the variability of the current UK wind generating infrastructure with a future where we have built turbines in- and off-shore all the way from the Channel Islands to Shetland to fully exploit the resource. A much more geographically distributed system will have less variability than the current very limited one does. The whole of the UK and surrounding seas are seldom/never completely becalmed.

There are many other ways to manage variability other than running lots of fossil fuel powered stations, for instance:

1) build a grid based on more than just one type of renewable; wind is as we all know just one of the family of renewables

2) expand the network of HVDC interconnectors between the European countries

3) build more storage in the UK and in neighbouring countries using all the available technologies, pumped storage, hydrogen fuel cells, various battery technologies

4) manage demand to match supply (both the absolute capacity and the variability)

5) learn to live with, say, 95% grid availability rather than near 100% - essential users could be protected with UPS/backup

If we were doing all the above and more, we would still need some fossil fuel stations but it would be a transitional thing, with overall use of FFs dropping off hugely over the coming decades.


but all this misses the point of the Times article, which was to ask how is all this to be made to happen - and paid for?

The investment in gas supply infrastructure from which we are now benefiting was made because the capitalist bastards saw an opportunity to make money and they took it, just as the Government's market-based approach assumed, because that's what they do.

In a world where there is a large slice of cheap or even free electricity generation it will be much more uncertain that if you invest in manageable, reliable means of compensating for the variability of wind, you will make money out of it - so the necessary investment may well not come from the market.

Your point about geographical diversity - yes, but only up to a point. It's easy to build the second wind farm a long way from the first, and the third, but sooner or later you run out of places that are a long way from all the existing sites such that the 2174th windfarm will have to be built close to, and therefore its output will be correlated with, at least some of the other 2173. And while it is true that there is never no wind anywhere, particularly in Europe as a whole, it is also true that there is sometimes very little wind anywhere and sometimes a lot of wind everywhere.
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Andy Hunt



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keepz wrote:
In a world where there is a large slice of cheap or even free electricity generation it will be much more uncertain that if you invest in manageable, reliable means of compensating for the variability of wind, you will make money out of it - so the necessary investment may well not come from the market.


Why not? Unless you are saying that the wind will blow more reliably in the future, isn't the market for compensating for wind power unreliability fairly guaranteed? And isn't the guarantee of a massive build of wind power also guaranteeing the size of a future market for unreliability compensation?

Sounds like a venture capitalist's dream come true!!

And as that is the case, isn't it the job of the market to figure out the most efficient and cost-effective way of doing it, in order to make it profitable?

You can't just pick and choose where your free market argument should or shouldn't apply Keepz.
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