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Renewable energy and storage issues

(66 Posts)
BungoWomble Thu 27-Oct-16 12:20:07

Since the main problem that is always chucked at those of us who would like to see more renewable energy is the question of energy storage, people might like to know that there are advances being made in that area. Advances are possible with funding.

Tesla is not a mainstream name here, but they are a leader in the production of electric cars, high-end ones with high performance. They're trying to bring the cost down to mid-market range. Tesla is incidentally linked to the SpaceX company, both run by one Elon Musk. Someone give the man a Nobel prize. I wonder what could have been achieved by now if there had been serious political interest.

GardeningWithDynamite Thu 27-Oct-16 12:29:46

We had solar panels fitted about a year ago. Powerwall wasn't available then, otherwise we might have got them and we couldn't wait because the subsidies were about to be cut. We did get ordinary batteries though.

We got a Leaf too (and love it). Sadly a Tesla car is a bit out of the budget.

specialsubject Thu 27-Oct-16 13:02:16

Interesting, thank you. I am waiting for further price drops in panels and batteries, UK power grid getting very fragile now thanks to years of stupid policies and greenwash.

pennycarbonara Thu 27-Oct-16 13:11:35

Good idea to mention this as probably a lot of people won't be aware.

As these technologies improve, something I'm hoping that will become available in the next 18 months or so is a decent range of solar powerbanks that can run plug-in items such as laptops (there's already an abundance for USB devices, but almost no decent ones for other stuff yet. )
It is terrible that so few rental homes have solar, but I'd be very surprised if anything is done to change that under this government.

BungoWomble Thu 27-Oct-16 14:03:22

As a private tenant for 20 years + I think the housing situation is a major obstacle to changing domestic energy over to renewables. Tenants have no control over what energy systems landlords supply, and landlords have little incentive to improve the housing stock at all. For the majority who aspire to be owner-occupiers the expense of housing ensures mortgage costs rather than improvements will take up the majority of budgets. It's another problem that has been allowed to build up for over 30 years with no real thought for the consequences.

Quornflakes Thu 27-Oct-16 15:24:57

Yip they are good developments, I like Elon, but probably out of price range for my life time. Hopefully will be good for my grandchildren. Also my home is heated by gas.

I think we need a massive push to get the coal powered stations shut down.
I saw an excellent interview by Stephen Tindale a few days ago (ex boss of green peace), he explained that the best thing we can do for the environment in the short term is replace coal for shale. I also hope the UK gets started on a tidal lagoon, betting that will take 20 years to build.

HalloToJasonIsaacs Thu 27-Oct-16 15:32:56

I'm unconvinced that pure battery storage will be the answer for the largest scale because it's so often dependent on relatively rare elements. If it is the way though then the obvious answer is to replace the millions of domestic and consumer vehicles which currently use internal combustion engines to ones with electric batteries and use them as a reservoir for a smart grid.

Personally though I think Power to Gas is the answer - using surplus renewable power to store energy in the form of hydrogen or methane, which can then be used in fuel cells in homes or vehicles.

228agreenend Thu 27-Oct-16 15:40:06

I'd love a tesla car but can't afford it.

cdtaylornats Fri 28-Oct-16 22:00:29

Local government could do their bit by insisting new industrial or retail buildings should have to install roof mounted solar panels

BungoWomble Sat 29-Oct-16 17:30:51

I wonder if local government would be allowed to do that, or whether it would be viewed as putting too much red tape in front of business. But it would be good if they could. I know there were plans to put solar panels on top of council houses in some parts of Lancashire, I don't know if they were able to go ahead.

specialsubject Sat 29-Oct-16 19:17:07

Solar makes zero financial sense at the moment - check your epc, you will see that payoff is about a century. That is why you won't find it on rentals.

The payoff for the wind turbine on the roof is even longer... Obvious stupid idea of course.

specialsubject Sat 29-Oct-16 19:18:05

What would make sense is to refuse planning on any UK building that needs aircon and has sealed windows.

cdtaylornats Sun 30-Oct-16 00:14:29

If you made big companies invest in solar I think the unit prices would fall considerably if nothing else because they could get together and ship them in from China en masse.

Costa is trialling it

burdog Mon 28-Nov-16 18:46:06

The national grid is looking into battery storage. There is a project in the pipeline.

LurkingHusband Tue 29-Nov-16 09:48:32

Here's a good site to study if you want to talk UK electricity.

Last night the UK electricity production was flat out, with solar and wind contributing .... 0% (despite the billions spent on them).

You would need a storage capacity of gigawatts to make a dent in that.

Suppermummy02 Tue 29-Nov-16 09:53:20

And that's why we need to get rid of coal powered stations and replace them with shale.

LurkingHusband Tue 29-Nov-16 10:21:24

I also hope the UK gets started on a tidal lagoon

The current max demand in the UK is around 50GW. Unlikely to fall anytime soon.

What proportion of that will a tidal lagoon reliably supply ? 1, 2GW ?

GrumpyOldBag Wed 30-Nov-16 14:16:55

Thanks for posting this OP.

Some large scale battery storage projects are now starting to come through in planning, where there is grid capacity & a grid connection.

I do think the costs will fall dramatically, as they have with solar panels.

We have 2 electric vehicles in our household now - one is a Tesla. Awesome car.

lurkinghusband Wed 30-Nov-16 15:33:42

Some large scale battery storage projects are now starting to come through in planning, where there is grid capacity & a grid connection.

Define "large scale" ...

GrumpyOldBag Wed 30-Nov-16 18:05:53

40 MW and larger.

lurkinghusband Wed 30-Nov-16 18:13:12

40 MW and larger.

How many MWh ? We'd need about 250GWh to allow renewables to make any inroads into current demand (let alone future).

250GWh storage would provide about 10GW (20% of current maximum demand) for a day.

I have a feeling we are nowhere near that ...

GrumpyOldBag Wed 30-Nov-16 18:27:58

Of course not, but you have to start somewhere.

Renewables are now supplying 25% of our electricity - that's a huge increase from a few years' ago.

lurkinghusband Wed 30-Nov-16 22:17:13

Renewables are now supplying 25% of our electricity - that's a huge increase from a few years' ago.

Oh really ?

10% of 39GW currently

GrumpyOldBag Wed 30-Nov-16 22:30:20

25% measured over the course of the year, not at this actual moment.

Government figures.

specialsubject Thu 01-Dec-16 10:08:50

Ah yes, typical UK winter months conditions - cold and still. A wind turbine is zero use in these conditions, and in fact needs diesel to turn it or it jams up.

Good to see that the energy crisis is also the fault of private landlords. Shelter love people that swallow their surveys without asking for evidence.

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