Energy saving tips

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Nov 11, 2009
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In 2000 we had 12 fully functional refineries. Today we are down to 6 and a very minor small one. Consequently we no longer have the ability to refine crude oil to meet the current demands. My views are irrelevant but it has to be asked why such reduction in our own refining capability has been allowed? Being dependent on parties outside of the UK is not a good thing in the current world climates.
The only way non economic businesses of national importance can be kept running is by Government intervention, which means the taxpayer funds it. The country has had many years now of cheap domestic and motoring energy because businesses have been allowed to operate in a free market. Our energy costs have been cheaper than most European countries but unfortunately the free market doesn’t go around looking for where the next war is coming from, or if OPEC still plan to restrict output following a pandemic that crashed economies. The good news is that the policy of subsidies for wind, solar and renewable has put the country in a better place than it could have been without that strategy. More of the same will then drive down our reliance on oil and gas from abroad, whoever is the supplier of choice.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We are reaping at least some of them now. At times over recent years all our non-base load power has come from renewables, and as the renewable infrastructure is expanded, that situation will occur more frequently.

We obviously have to react with the times and and acknowledge how actions elsewhere in the international scheme of things will affect us, hence the present surge in energy prices, but the more we can disconnect our reliance on external sources the better.

I haven't researched the impact of loosing some of our refining plants, but I don't think retaining any of those plants would have changed the price hikes of petrol or diesel in the UK, as fundamentally the price of such commodities are driven by the crude prices and even if we needed those refineries to produce our refined products, they would still have to buy the crude.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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We are reaping at least some of them now. At times over recent years all our non-base load power has come from renewables, and as the renewable infrastructure is expanded, that situation will occur more frequently.

We obviously have to react with the times and and acknowledge how actions elsewhere in the international scheme of things will affect us, hence the present surge in energy prices, but the more we can disconnect our reliance on external sources the better.

I haven't researched the impact of loosing some of our refining plants, but I don't think retaining any of those plants would have changed the price hikes of petrol or diesel in the UK, as fundamentally the price of such commodities are driven by the crude prices and even if we needed those refineries to produce our refined products, they would still have to buy the crude.
Good script Prof. Your second paragraph is exactly where we should be as self reliant as possible.

If we had opened the Shetlands and N Sea new oil fields and retained our full ability to refine we may not be having to look at “energy saving tips”. Fossil fuels have had their day but as said before it’s about timing.

Most businesses have Disaster Recovery Plans in the event of a major fire.
As far as I can see the UK has none for what is a serious major crisis in our energy.

If we could be self sufficient wouldn’t we all be laughing😜😜
 
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Jul 23, 2021
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Good script Prof. Your second paragraph is exactly where we should be as self reliant as possible.

If we had opened the Shetlands and N Sea new oil fields and retained our full ability to refine we may not be having to look at “energy saving tips”. Fossil fuels have had their day but as said before it’s about timing.

Most businesses have Disaster Recovery Plans in the event of day a major fire.
As far as I can see the UK has none for what is a serious major crisis in our energy.

If we could be self sufficient wouldn’t we all be laughing😜😜
But the same is true if we had gone all in on wind and solar at the same time. Local energy self sufficiency and security does not have to be fossil based. And that would have made our base cost per kWh lower than for gas or coal.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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But the same is true if we had gone all in on wind and solar at the same time. Local energy self sufficiency and security does not have to be fossil based. And that would have made our base cost per kWh lower than for gas or coal.
Agreed, when do you think that result will be achieved?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Clive
When do you think we will reap those rewards?
It’s already happening with the recent allocation of new licences for offshore wind, and the development of floating wind turbines will reduce installation costs in deeper water and lead to shorter timescales fir installation. Even for increasing UK oil output Shell recently stated five years minimum for the new licence if it’s approved But it wouldn’t address the cost base of our energy as oil and gas are driven by global supply prices.
 
Jul 23, 2021
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Agreed, when do you think that result will be achieved?
If we had started when we started on the planning to convert Drax to biofuel, or the new reactor at Hinckley, we could be more or less done by now…
 
Nov 11, 2009
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If we had started when we started on the planning to convert Drax to biofuel, or the new reactor at Hinckley, we could be more or less done by now…
The commencement of wind power installation predated Drax or Hinckley C. I lived in the South Lakes in the mid 1990s and there were onshore turbines near us in Lowick, and an off shore field in Morecambe Bay was being actively promoted. Now Morecombe Bay has a number of large wind farms and is an interesting area with wind farms, a large gas field and a nuclear power station all in relatively close geographical proximity.


 
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Jul 23, 2021
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Oh, I agree it started long before Drax or Hinckley C. But not it a way that could be described as “all in”. But the point is not so much “we should have started sooner” (closing the barn door after the horse has bolted is pointless), but more “don’t delay mass rollout any longer”. I.e. let’s learn from our mistakes, and not build another fossil fuel entrenched legacy.

Just by comparison (nuclear, not fossil)Hinckley C is expected to cost £26B, and produce 3.2GW after a 19 year build program (2008 - 2027). Operational life expectancy of 60 years.

The Dogger Bank projects (A,B,C) will produce up to 3.6GW, with Dogger C completing in 2026. Total cost around £9B and a 6 year build program. Operational life expectancy 35 years.
 
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May 7, 2012
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But the same is true if we had gone all in on wind and solar at the same time. Local energy self sufficiency and security does not have to be fossil based. And that would have made our base cost per kWh lower than for gas or coal.
My problem with wind and solar is the the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine. I do feel something more reliable possibly tidal is needed as well.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The technologies available concerning power generation and storage have evolved over the years and consequently its pointless looking back 50 or more years and bemoaning the lack of development of wind and solar then, because we did not have technology to load share, or store excess production so it can be used when production is not sufficient.

We now have the technology to do it. Now we need to invest to make it happen.
Also there are further new developments which might promise even better systems to manage power generation. Just yesterday I saw this

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8sjdOjNxIE
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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My grandson has decided to stick with his BMW 5 PHEV in parallel with a very new 3 series PHEV estate. Even though the bigger car has less electric range of the 3 series he’s decided it is viable. This is because he’s just taken out a new contract that charges around 33 p kwh but gives him a rebate on energy used to charge the two cars. The rebate takes the cost of charging electric used to 5 pence per kwh The charger and smart meter sort out the usages. They don’t use much electric for other purposes so having a slightly higher rate of 33 pence is okay.
 
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Jul 23, 2021
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My problem with wind and solar is the the wind does not always blow and the sun does not always shine. I do feel something more reliable possibly tidal is needed as well.
Also true, but apparently, the gas doesn't always flow either... And its a pretty rare day the the the whole of the British Isles is totally becalmed, with no wind in the North Sea, and no wind off the south coast and no wind off the Hebrides. It's not infrequent that we can use all the electricity we generate via wind in Scotland overnight. Storage is the next challenge, be it in hydrogen, ammonia, pumped water, battery, gravity, or some other new an interesting technology (like EV with vehicle to grid) that allows us to keep and use the excess rather than turn it off or worse - pay to turn it off.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Oh, I agree it started long before Drax or Hinckley C. But not it a way that could be described as “all in”. But the point is not so much “we should have started sooner” (closing the barn door after the horse has bolted is pointless), but more “don’t delay mass rollout any longer”. I.e. let’s learn from our mistakes, and not build another fossil fuel entrenched legacy.

Just by comparison (nuclear, not fossil)Hinckley C is expected to cost £26B, and produce 3.2GW after a 19 year build program (2008 - 2027). Operational life expectancy of 60 years.

The Dogger Bank projects (A,B,C) will produce up to 3.6GW, with Dogger C completing in 2026. Total cost around £9B and a 6 year build program. Operational life expectancy 35 years.
The difference is that a coal/gas/nuclear power station can produce it's rated output 24/7 but wind and solar will only produce a lower average than it's "up to" rated output.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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If we had started when we started on the planning to convert Drax to biofuel, or the new reactor at Hinckley, we could be more or less done by now…
However the majority of the population still cannot afford EVs or even afford to change to a second hand EV to get to back etc. We will be hanging onto our fossil fueled vehicles as long as possible as we have very little option at present and for the foreseeable future. 😢
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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However the majority of the population still cannot afford EVs or even afford to change to a second hand EV to get to back etc. We will be hanging onto our fossil fueled vehicles as long as possible as we have very little option at present and for the foreseeable future. 😢
Surely this thread isn’t just about EVs, but focussing again solely on EV ignores the fact that continued reliance on oil or gas condemns the country to global prices, and supply shocks. Having more electric generated by wind or renewables leads to less use of expensive fossil fuels. It’s still relatively early in the widespread adoption of wind and renewables but even so the installations already generating are cutting our reliance of gas and oil.
 
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Jul 23, 2021
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However the majority of the population still cannot afford EVs or even afford to change to a second hand EV to get to back etc. We will be hanging onto our fossil fueled vehicles as long as possible as we have very little option at present and for the foreseeable future. 😢
Energy generation and oil refining are related, but different topics. But as the uk car and van fleet transitions from ICE to EV, so the need for on shore refining diminishes. At the moment, the EV fleet is still small compared to the ICE fleet, but given the rapid acceleration of EV takeup, lower cost, pre-owned EVs will become available over time, and reduce the load on fossil refining in favour of electricity generation
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Energy generation and oil refining are related, but different topics. But as the uk car and van fleet transitions from ICE to EV, so the need for on shore refining diminishes. At the moment, the EV fleet is still small compared to the ICE fleet, but given the rapid acceleration of EV takeup, lower cost, pre-owned EVs will become available over time, and reduce the load on fossil refining in favour of electricity generation
Maybe but that will take years and in the meantime the population growth is accelerating and even more energy is required. Maybe global warming is not such a bad thing as we would use less power to keep warm in the winters. 😏
 
Jul 23, 2021
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Maybe but that will take years and in the meantime the population growth is accelerating and even more energy is required. Maybe global warming is not such a bad thing as we would use less power to keep warm in the winters. 😏
So what are we talking about, Electricity generation ? or fossil fuel for cars?

According to the ONS, population growth in the UK has been about the same since around 2005, and is predicted to slow (but continue growing).

According to the government stats the UK has been using less energy year on year since peak total energy use in around 2003 (page 10).
Demand for road fuel is also falling after its peak in 2007, and another smaller peak in 2017 (page 22)
Peak electricity generation was in 2005, and has been falling since (page 29) while wind and solar have been increasing strongly since about 2012.
Interestingly, our net import of energy has also been falling since about 2012 (page 12) and the fall strongly correlates with the increase in wind generation.

So
- if we want better energy security(less import), more wind is a good idea.
- if energy use on the road is switching from fossil to electricity, more wind is a good idea.
- if we want lower electricity costs, more wind is a good idea
 
Jul 18, 2017
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So what are we talking about, Electricity generation ? or fossil fuel for cars?

According to the ONS, population growth in the UK has been about the same since around 2005, and is predicted to slow (but continue growing).

According to the government stats the UK has been using less energy year on year since peak total energy use in around 2003 (page 10).
Demand for road fuel is also falling after its peak in 2007, and another smaller peak in 2017 (page 22)
Peak electricity generation was in 2005, and has been falling since (page 29) while wind and solar have been increasing strongly since about 2012.
Interestingly, our net import of energy has also been falling since about 2012 (page 12) and the fall strongly correlates with the increase in wind generation.

So
- if we want better energy security(less import), more wind is a good idea.
- if energy use on the road is switching from fossil to electricity, more wind is a good idea.
- if we want lower electricity costs, more wind is a good idea
I was referring to energy and not fossil fuels. Less wind is a better idea as don't like chasing my wig down the road. Jokes aside in the UK wind like sun is very erratic and cannot be relied on anywhere in the UK.
Anyway who wants more wind farms in the countryside. Certainly not us as they are an obstruction and destroying the look of the countryside.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Obviously there are objectors to wind farms and solar arrays, because of the way they look. They are of course entitled to their own opinions about about that. Personally I prefer them to the looks of conventional power stations and refineries. I also prefer the knowledge the energy they produce is not throwing tons of emissions into the air which causes acid rain and climate change which affects everyone negatively.

I also prefer Solar and wind becasue of the small footprint and support infrastructure they need compared to the footprint of conventional power stations and the miles of train tracks and pipelines, coal mines and slag heaps, or oil/gas wells, massive ships all of which invariably produce emissions, and often pollute the the environment, and become tokens in a game political blackmail and greed.

I do miss Rugeley coal fired power station, becasue it's plume of steam from its cooling towers was always a great landmark when navigating around Cannock Chase with groups of Scouts. I suppose we now need to use compasses instead.
 
Jul 23, 2021
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I do miss Rugeley coal fired power station, becasue it's plume of steam from its cooling towers was always a great landmark when navigating around Cannock Chase with groups of Scouts. I suppose we now need to use compasses instead.
That really made me smile! Thanks for the image Prof!
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Electric Crematoria are now available to the public. They are in hot demand and due to their rarity places need to be booked well in advance🙃 Google It. You can just imagine the epitaph. Clean burn to the very end😎
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Electric Crematoria are now available to the public. They are in hot demand and due to their rarity places need to be booked well in advance🙃 Google It. You can just imagine the epitaph. Clean burn to the very end😎
I suppose you spend a life time getting there:cool:
 

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