Climate Crisis: Are we doing enough?

matticus

Well-Known Member
What could government do to encourage more small-scale solar?
Is forcing encouraging EV ownership going to be a significant encouragement? (I haven't had the patience/diligence to look at the numbers myself, mea culpa ... )
 

mjr

Active Member
Is forcing encouraging EV ownership going to be a significant encouragement? (I haven't had the patience/diligence to look at the numbers myself, mea culpa ... )
I suspect EVs will encourage solar PV adoption only if a vehicle is at home during the day when the panels are generating electricity from solar, else it needs another battery to cache it until it gets home, which is more cost which means longer payback. Aha, you might say, what about the increased savings from charging the EV from solar instead of the grid? Well, there are already EV-specific smart-metered tariffs which sell 4 hours of off-peak overnight electricity at roughly the Smart Export Guarantee rate, so you may not save much if anything.

This all seems a bit bonkers to me, but at best I think we can conclude that there isn't a clear financial incentive from EV ownership to go solar. Most of the selling I found seemed to be about carbon footprints or similar.

Wind-powered charging might work better overnight, but I think the wind tends to be less overnight on average, and there are more moving parts in a turbine to maintain (so shorter lifespan, typically), so it might not be clear-cut.

And I saw in today's emails that it seems that the current government view of the UK being so reliant on gas (for both domestic heating and electricity generation) is basically "half of the gas is UK gas, so we don't need to change anything." I'm paraphrasing from https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2021-11-24a.353.0

:banghead:
 

mjr

Active Member
Is this a positive step from the Government or another way of squirreling money to those who all ready have it? On the face of it it looks ok but I'm not one of you unwashed Swampy types so not really up to speed with the nitty gritty of climate politics.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59886350
I agree with Craig Bennett, chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, farmer James Robinson and Prof Dave Goulson quoted in that article: we cannot tell because there is still not complete details.

If it is so good, why are gov.uk hiding it? That makes me suspect it is not going to be positive.
 

mudsticks

Legendary Member
Is this a positive step from the Government or another way of squirreling money to those who all ready have it? On the face of it it looks ok but I'm not one of you unwashed Swampy types so not really up to speed with the nitty gritty of climate politics.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59886350

A lot of it is greenwashing.

There's a lot of professed good intentions.

The reality is somewhat different.

I'm both a 'swampy'

And a professional agroecological farmer, who has been involved with post brexit agriculture support campaigning and redesign.
I agree with Craig Bennett, chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, farmer James Robinson and Prof Dave Goulson quoted in that article: we cannot tell because there is still not complete details.

If it is so good, why are gov.uk hiding it? That makes me suspect it is not going to be positive.
The details are not clear..

There are so many contradictions on the system as it's presented.

We could design systems where food is produced alongside good ecological practices...

Some of us have already..
But making these practices mainstream are a way off yet

For example..

Allowing cheap imports from degraded food production systems, such as found in industrial ag in US etc runs contrary to supporting those farmers doing a good job in this country
 

BoldonLad

Old man on a bike. Not a member of a clique.
Location
South Tyneside
Even if the intention is sound, I am sure DEFRA, or whatever it is called now, will manage to cock it up, and, there will be loopholes which allow the money to run into the appropriate pockets.
 

mudsticks

Legendary Member
It's still called defra..

But written all lower case..
Usually

One good thing about brexit was that as a result of us leaving the CAP system of support, hundreds of new (and younger) bods were drafted into the dept.

Many of them are far more open minded to new thinking about ways of working and farming..

What the actual outcomes are remains to be seen

But yes, those with power and money will tend as ever try to to cling onto those things..
 

dutchguylivingintheuk

Active Member
I suspect EVs will encourage solar PV adoption only if a vehicle is at home during the day when the panels are generating electricity from solar, else it needs another battery to cache it until it gets home, which is more cost which means longer payback. Aha, you might say, what about the increased savings from charging the EV from solar instead of the grid? Well, there are already EV-specific smart-metered tariffs which sell 4 hours of off-peak overnight electricity at roughly the Smart Export Guarantee rate, so you may not save much if anything.
Do you have the numbers to prove every uk home on EV panels will provide enough electricity year round, considering the current grid can't handle everyone in an EV and the last time i checked scientist said making all the uk pv still wouldn't provide enough power.(based on the calculated average output)
This all seems a bit bonkers to me, but at best I think we can conclude that there isn't a clear financial incentive from EV ownership to go solar. Most of the selling I found seemed to be about carbon footprints or similar.
think you cancelling the key question, is PV panels the best green electricity option for the uk? If you have a country with a 40 celcius desert everyday it's a different starting point but the climate here is not that warm..
Wind-powered charging might work better overnight, but I think the wind tends to be less overnight on average, and there are more moving parts in a turbine to maintain (so shorter lifespan, typically), so it might not be clear-cut.

And I saw in today's emails that it seems that the current government view of the UK being so reliant on gas (for both domestic heating and electricity generation) is basically "half of the gas is UK gas, so we don't need to change anything." I'm paraphrasing from https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2021-11-24a.353.0

:banghead:
Yeah that's a bit of the summary right now(or how it come acroos the goverment commited to all kind of things so instead of researchng what is the best green power option they just ramble about the known options, call their miljionaire friend to built it and he is on a free holiday again..
But is it really the best option? or just a other forest taken slowly for the bio-mass?
 

mjr

Active Member
Do you have the numbers to prove every uk home on EV panels will provide enough electricity year round, considering the current grid can't handle everyone in an EV and the last time i checked scientist said making all the uk pv still wouldn't provide enough power.(based on the calculated average output)
Not exactly, but it seems achievable from some rough calculations:

UK 2021 installed PV capacity 13.5GW, actual 2020 generation 13TWh.

UK average car travels 6000 miles/year, 2017 EV average 4 miles/kWh, 32.7m cars but 2.7m are basically stored (SORNed), so 30m remain, which is 180'000m miles, which is 45'000m kWh = 45TWh

Currently only 2% of UK cars are EVs, so we only need to multiply PV capacity by 4 in the time it takes for EVs to multiply by 50!

think you cancelling the key question, is PV panels the best green electricity option for the uk? If you have a country with a 40 celcius desert everyday it's a different starting point but the climate here is not that warm..
First, and hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but photo-voltaic panels need light (photo) not heat. This isn't about solar heating, although it's often possible to do that in the UK. I'm pretty sure the UK has light so PV works.

Second, deserts aren't actually that great for PV because sand farks everything up.

But more importantly, the question isn't whether PV are the best green electricity option for the UK (because no-one is saying only to build PV and forget all others), but whether it's a useful one: and yes, it is.

I think you have cancelled a key question about your own post: why would anyone want the UK not to have more PV?
 

farfromtheland

Regular AND Goofy
Well there's this -
https://miningwatch.ca/news/2021/11/23/terrible-paradox-green-energy-transition
' The key metals and materials needed for solar panels include steel, aluminum, polysilicon, copper and silver. “BNEF estimates that it takes 10,252 tons of aluminum, 3,380 tons of polysilicon and 18.5 tons of silver to manufacture solar panels with 1GW [gigawatt] capacity.” '

The article also lists resources for lithium ion batteries and wind turbine manufacture, all without the transport costs of huge turbines. I think we need to rethink wind turbines and get back to Victorian age tech windmills and waterwheels, drastically reduce energy for heating and hot water, and re-site industry where there is water power, because even recycling aluminium is dirty work.

Something like this -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryogenic_energy_storage
if sited in conjunction with landfill methane generation, could help to overcome the energy storage at generation downtime problem without batteries. Fixable with a screwdriver apparently, but only practical on an industrial scale.

Solar and windpower as they stand still don't cut it, partly because of the low tarifs on selling domestic power to the grid, partly because of the resources for their widespead manufacture.

I've said it before in the other place, but I reckon we need to use water towers for local power storage, even with 30% power loss up and another 30% down in the turbines, because they are fixable with simple tech and almost totally clean.
 

FishFright

Well-Known Member
Well there's this -
https://miningwatch.ca/news/2021/11/23/terrible-paradox-green-energy-transition
' The key metals and materials needed for solar panels include :laugh:. “BNEF estimates that it takes 10,252 tons of aluminum, 3,380 tons of polysilicon and 18.5 tons of silver to manufacture solar panels with 1GW [gigawatt] capacity.” '

The article also lists resources for lithium ion batteries and wind turbine manufacture, all without the transport costs of huge turbines. I think we need to rethink wind turbines and get back to Victorian age tech windmills and waterwheels, drastically reduce energy for heating and hot water, and re-site industry where there is water power, because even recycling aluminium is dirty work.

Something like this -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryogenic_energy_storage
if sited in conjunction with landfill methane generation, could help to overcome the energy storage at generation downtime problem without batteries. Fixable with a screwdriver apparently, but only practical on an industrial scale.

Solar and windpower as they stand still don't cut it, partly because of the low tarifs on selling domestic power to the grid, partly because of the resources for their widespead manufacture.

I've said it before in the other place, but I reckon we need to use water towers for local power storage, even with 30% power loss up and another 30% down in the turbines, because they are fixable with simple tech and almost totally clean.

Unlike the all the metals etc used in a conventional power station that are wished into existence.
.
These studies that are critical of solar/wind/etc never seem give comparative data for the fossil fuel powered generation industries. But they do manage appear on page one of most search engine results so thats a thing
 

farfromtheland

Regular AND Goofy
Unlike the all the metals etc used in a conventional power station that are wished into existence.
.
These studies that are critical of solar/wind/etc never seem give comparative data for the fossil fuel powered generation industries. But they do manage appear on page one of most search engine results so thats a thing
If I were looking for a quick fix I could have posted a Tesla ad. Much has already been said here about the potential for solar power - and there was a direct question about any problems, so I looked a bit further. Critique from a position of support - I'm not the only person with an engineering background looking at environmental costs of transition to greener power.

Fossil fuel stations already exist in the UK, so that's not a fair comparison here, given that we must not build more. China is another story, but their per capita CO2 production is not as high as comes across from the sum totals usually quoted in western media. Still far too much though, and even though I don't support China's degree of central control politically, in terms of energy transition it does give advantages. I look forward with interest to developments there, as they are ahead in hydrogen cells, and in Africa, where China invests in new plant to get a foot in that door, but that might be better than the debt investment schemes proposed by the west? All new and all interesting.

A point I want to make is that whatever we do, we have to cut down energy use.
“Wind and solar power can allow future generations some of the conveniences we have come to take for granted, but for this to happen within a framework of justice, sustainability and environmental protection, the overdeveloped world must go on an energy diet.”
Disagree with the article by all means, but why?
 

MrGrumpy

Regular
So in summary is it worth adding PV panels to your house? It’s something I’m seriously thinking about but only if I at least break even . I maybe should ask my neighbours around me as they all have panels. See what savings they may be making.
 
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