Gransnet forums


The real problem with emission free energy supply.

(18 Posts)
M0nica Fri 02-Aug-19 22:28:53

Currently, (22.10, 2 August) only 12% of the power we are using comes from renewable sources. With no wind, wind power is currently supplying only 2% , solar 0%, pumped power 2%. The other 8% comes from biomass (wood and other crops grown for power production), which produces CO2, but is considered renewable because it can be regrown hmm.

In other circumstances - daylight, when the wind is blowing - wind and solar can produce 40% plus of our power.

How do we deal with this enormous variation and meet power demand at all times. An all electric world may require us to at least quadruple current power production.

I assume both government and environmental groups must have put their minds to this problem, but everything I have read, whether from fFriends of the Earth or more official sourcesis remarkably woolly and full of possibilities and guesses of whamay be possible.

If the need to convert is so urgent, and I think it is, why has no-one come out with clear costed plans and a timetable for implementation.

Gonegirl Fri 02-Aug-19 22:38:22

Nuclear. Obviously. Until fission finally gets its act together.

Gonegirl Fri 02-Aug-19 22:42:21

I got that round the wrong way. We already have nuclear fission. It's fusion that is supposed to be the future. Apparently.

Gonegirl Fri 02-Aug-19 22:46:23


Daisymae Sat 03-Aug-19 08:35:18

I think that no government will take sufficient action to make the changes needed. In the end I feel that the planet will have the last word.

M0nica Sat 03-Aug-19 11:39:55

Most environmentalists are completely against the use of nuclear power and Germany is decommisioning all its nuclear power stations.

What I really want to know is how FofE, ER etc etc would realistically deal with the situation. As I said, there document on the topic is wonderfully woolly and full of ifs, buts and mays.

I just cannot see how climate change can be dealt with in the short to ridiculously short timetables set, if we do not have a clear plan about the measures needed, an implementation plans, forecasts of future electricity demands and clear plans to provide it on a robust 365/24/7 basis. Changes needed in house design, retro fit insulation, product development and to repeat it ad nauseam, clear implementation plans.

All of these to be peer reviewed and in the public domain.

Gonegirl Sat 03-Aug-19 12:09:44

all about nuclear fusion here

Totally different from the nuclear fission we use at the moment. No waste for one thing.

At the present time nuclear power plants are the only realistic option.

Gonegirl Sat 03-Aug-19 12:18:01

more batteries needed for sustainable electricity storage

I'm sure they are working on it, all over the place.

Gonegirl Sat 03-Aug-19 12:18:55

Just getting more batteries out there for electric cars would be huge.

JackyB Sat 03-Aug-19 12:22:50

One important factor is to reduce the demand.

We make our own electricity with PV panels on the roof. It works well and is virtually free if we only run the heavy users such as dishwasher and washing machine in daylight hours. When there is not enough light, we can top up from the grid.

This is quite common in Germany and is also viable for large institutions such as hospitals and hotels because they have more roof space.

If it were introduced more all over the world, it would reduce the demand on central power stations and reduce emissions tremendously.

Gonegirl Sat 03-Aug-19 12:32:09

It looks so ugly though. I will not have those panels on my roof.

Imagine if all the cottages in English villages had them on their roofs! Awful.

M0nica Sun 04-Aug-19 01:31:17

Unfortunately bigger batteries are still bulky and if you make them too high storage there is a fire risk. Remember the problems Samsung had when their high performance phone batteries kept bursting into flames, several of thes on aircraft.

I am all for nuclear power, unfortunately the government expects the market to provide the solution. perhaps they culd trap all the hot air emenating from cabinet minsters.

EllanVannin Sun 04-Aug-19 08:45:54

There's enough food waste in this country to keep power stations supplied and running by turning it into electricity.

M0nica Sun 04-Aug-19 18:10:31

Sorry, Ellen, There isn't.

Jacky solar panels are all very well when you live in a house and have a roof orintatedthe right way, but many people live in flats, or in houses whose roof orientation makes solar power generation impossible.

grizzlybear27 Sun 04-Aug-19 18:16:15

We have changed to biomass and solar. We power our house and sell any extra to the grid. We use batteries to store the solar power, to run everything after dark. Our electric bill was £17.85 for the last quarter.

M0nica Sun 04-Aug-19 20:26:53

Biomass is now not considered an environmentally friendly form of fuel. The particulates arising from burning wood, whether as logs or pellets is a health hazard that can damge health.

The government was thinking of passing a law banning the use of wood burning stoves and their like in urban environments.

Gonegirl Sun 04-Aug-19 20:37:47

There are no plans to ban wood burners.

If you live in a smoke controlled area your stove must be Cleanburn, and DEFRA approved. So long as a Cleanburn stove is installed by a qualified installer and is maintained and run properly, emissions will be very low.

M0nica Sun 04-Aug-19 20:47:42

No, but there was talk that it might be considered, especially in London where air quality is so poor.