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Renewable Energy & Capitalism
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unst in the Shetlands has had a wind powered hydrogen backed electricity system and fuel cell powered car since 2006 and there is a tidal powered system on Orkney that started last year.

Both these places have very good wind or tidal resources and are at the end of a weak grid connection in the case of Orkney or no connection at all in the case of Unst. So the relative efficiency of hydrogen production and storage is insignificant compared to the costs of a standard grid connection backed up by a fossil fuel source.

Locally sourced Hydrogen to power road transport also has some advantages over imported petrol but I'm not sure whether using straight battery powered vehicles would be better. Possibly not if the hydrogen infrastructure is in place on an island of limited size, although the limited range required of the vehicle mitigates for battery power. It comes down to whether building a fuel cell or battery is better on a cost and environmental basis, I suppose.

It's horses for courses really.
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Potemkin Villager



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
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Location: Narnia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remote islands without grid access have been a fruitful area for developing various innovative off grid renewable energy systems. However they do not generally make these locations significantly more sustainable considering how many goods and materials and financial transfers have to be ferried in from the main land.

Early ( 1980s) systems on Fair Isle and Foula were frequency load controlled without energy storage. The Fair Isle system is set to be significantly up graded to include 2 x 6okW turbines, PV and battery storage.

" The £2.65m investment is for three 60kW wind turbines, a 50kW solar array and lead-acid battery storage of 500 kW hours. According to the project manager Maurice Henderson the summary of costs is the following: £620,705 will be spent on the high-voltage system; £609,435 on the storage; £660,000 on the wind turbines; £125,000 on the solar power; £98,000 on new diesel generators; £192,000 on project management and £345,786 on a contingency fund."


http://grebeproject.eu/2017/08/08/fair-isle-one-uks-remote-inhabited-islands-will-soon-247-supply-electricity/

Thew system on Unst is very interesting, though exceedingly complex, and it's development has led to a spin off commercial activity. These are very small systems on which large amounts of money have been spent to benefit a small number of folk.

A significant slice of the funding for these projects has come from various programmes of the evil European Community. The capitalist market alone would decide that it was not financially feasible for people to live on small islands and force them to relocate to the mainland.
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Last edited by Potemkin Villager on Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Potemkin Villager



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:
I found a few useful links on wind.



German Electricity Production by source



This web site provides an interesting but partial insight into the “Energiewende” project in Germany. For some reason emissions from coal and lignite plant are documented in great detail but there is no information concerning gas fired power stations. This means it is not possible to asses the change in total emissions from electricity production as more wind and solar have been added to the mix

Of course being German they have made a huge cross to bear by wanting to close down all their nukes and keep all their coal and lignite fueled power stations! However so far ity seems that all the renewables added have not lead to closing down of any fossil fueled plant.
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The German decision to close nuclear power stations by 2022 seems to be well supported by most political parties and by the population as a whole. Fair enough - good decisions by their politicians. In their energy transition they do seem to be keeping hold of their coal stations as you say and don't seem to use as much gas as a percentage of total energy supply as the UK or Ireland. According to another page on the very useful Fraunhofer web site they also seem to export a lot of electricity to their neighbours and import much less, a ratio of 1000:1 in the case of German Switzerland.

As for Fair Isle (or was it Foula) I seem to remember they had a system where there was a double supply of electricity, one was guaranteed always on supply for essential household uses, the other was a balancing supply that was intended for storage heaters and water heater loads presumably dependent on the wind speed. I presume this new system will replace this system.
As for European funding I take the point that funding came from there but as the UK certainly is a net contributor to the Euro budget the money
(and indeed all 'European' money spent in the UK) ultimately comes from the UK taxpayer in the end. Whether if the spending was decided by the UK government alone it would have ended up in Fair Isle anyway I could not say.
Whether Theresa May still ends up contributing money to Europe - and getting nothing back, after Brexit will be dependent on her negotiating skills or lack thereof.

I have no objection to the hydrogen scheme on Unst. I don't think it would make sense on the larger UK grid as the excess electricity instead of being stored as hydrogen could probably be better be stored as heat or hot water which is where a lot of domestic electricity ends up anyway. I just don't think hydrogen storage on a massive UK-wide scale is a goer.

I suspect that in a lot of these projects a lot of money gets eaten away in 'consultants' fees and travel and staying a expensive hotels. £1000/kWh storage costs seems a bit much but once you add in shipping, a nice dry shed to keep them in and the like it's probably about on the mark.
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Potemkin Villager



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BritDownUnder wrote:


I suspect that in a lot of these projects a lot of money gets eaten away in 'consultants' fees and travel and staying a expensive hotels. £1000/kWh storage costs seems a bit much but once you add in shipping, a nice dry shed to keep them in and the like it's probably about on the mark.


I thought you would spot that! It really seems quite a Rolls Royce of a project with all the costs seeming just out of this world considering it's capacity! For example, the figure of £660,000 for installing 3off 60 kW wind turbines sounds like nice work if you can get it to me! All the figures leave the housing energy refit programme in Northampton, discussed on another thread, quite in the shade (Ken). I am trying to find out more what is actually happening.

There was a flurry of press releases announcing the funding was in place about a year ago and since then zilch. I think the completion date indicated was September 2018 which might be optimistic for remote projects that in my experience proceed in fits and starts and generally cost at least twice as much and take at least twice as long especially in tough weather regimes where access and construction may only feasible a max of 6 months a year.

I will take much closer look at the Frauenhofer site when I get a chance. It agree it really is a treasure trove of information to inform debate on this forum but I am just too busy busy with many more pressing seasonal projects at the moment. Something for the autumn I think - have to keep remembering you are headed for your midwinter at the moment.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Potemkin Villager wrote:
Remote islands without grid access have been a fruitful area for developing various innovative off grid renewable energy systems. However they do not generally make these locations significantly more sustainable considering how many goods and materials and financial transfers have to be ferried in from the main land........................


These islands have been sustainable for the thousands of years that people have been living there. It is only the expectations of modern life which have made them unsustainable.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There may be some external changes that affect sustainability, such as the excessive harvesting of sealife to feed the totally unstainable salmon farming.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
There may be some external changes that affect sustainability, such as the excessive harvesting of sealife to feed the totally unstainable salmon farming.


True. They would have to sail a lot further and a lot longer to get the same catches as they did 100 years ago.
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