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swissy_fit

I'm Generally In Favour Of Renewable Energy But...

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How can this ever be economically viable?

How much did this thing cost to build and install?

What will the maintenance costs be?

Don't misunderstand me, I'd be very very happy to be wrong, but it just looks like a white elephant to me.

http://www.goodcleantech.com/2010/08/worlds_largest_tidal_turbine_r.php

World's Largest Tidal Turbine Revealed

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Categories:

Water Power

Tags:

Atlantis Resources, tidal power

AK-1000.jpg

It doesn't get any bigger than this. Scotland's Atlantis Resources has unveiled what is being described as the world's largest tidal turbine: 73 feet tall, 1,300 tons, and with rotors nearly 60 feet across. The AK-1000 as it's known, features two sets of rotors designed to harness both the ebb and flow of flood tides, and that could potentially create enough energy to power 1,000 homes.

"It is one of the harshest environments on the planet," Chief Executive Tim Cornelius told the BBC, discussing Scotland's Pentland Firth. "In order to get a robust turbine we have had to make what we call ultimately the dumbest, simple but most robust turbine you could possibly put in such a harsh environment."

The AK-1000 should also have a minimal impact on marine life: its slow moving blades move only six to eight times per minute. The turbine is currently being sent off for testing in Eday, one of the Orkney islands north of Scotland, before being moved to its permanent location in Pentland Firth.

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How can this ever be economically viable?

How much did this thing cost to build and install?

What will the maintenance costs be?

Don't misunderstand me, I'd be very very happy to be wrong, but it just looks like a white elephant to me.

Well first we could get a handle on the revenue side of the equation - 1000 homes in Scotland x electricity per home.

Anyone?

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Guest X-QUORK

Well first we could get a handle on the revenue side of the equation - 1000 homes in Scotland x electricity per home.

Anyone?

Average leccy bill per month - £50

£600 per household per annum

1000 households = £600k per annum

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Well first we could get a handle on the revenue side of the equation - 1000 homes in Scotland x electricity per home.

Anyone?

I did think about this, it's quite complicated. You have to consider the amount of power generated at the site, the installation of a grid connection for the turbine, then the transmission losses, will this really power 1000 homes after that?

I daresay if the thing works well, doesn't fall to pieces in that harsh environment, doesn't require constant expensive/dangerous maintenance and can be easily duplicated ie install 50 of them not 1 then costs per watt might fall, but I have my doubts, and like I said, I am a fan of renewable energy.

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How can this ever be economically viable?

If the price of fossil fuels becomes high enough and/or this technology can be mass-produced. Or is it a rhetorical question?

How much did this thing cost to build and install?

Dunno ask the manufacturers. Good bit of work for the Scottish dockyards, mind.

What will the maintenance costs be?

Dunno, I guess this is a full-sized prototype so they are going to find out as they use it. Someone has to be first, no? There is another prototype tidal power thing a bit like this in a loch in Northern Ireland. The sooner we can get on top of this sort of tech the better for the UK. It's much more reliable than wind or solar and we have loads of coastline to use.

Don't misunderstand me, I'd be very very happy to be wrong, but it just looks like a white elephant to me.

And people used to say the human body couldn't stand travelling at over 100mph, or what's the point of this interweb thing? You won't know until you try.

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How can this ever be economically viable?

If the price of fossil fuels becomes high enough and/or this technology can be mass-produced. Or is it a rhetorical question?

How much did this thing cost to build and install?

Dunno ask the manufacturers. Good bit of work for the Scottish dockyards, mind.

What will the maintenance costs be?

Dunno, I guess this is a full-sized prototype so they are going to find out as they use it. Someone has to be first, no? There is another prototype tidal power thing a bit like this in a loch in Northern Ireland. The sooner we can get on top of this sort of tech the better for the UK. It's much more reliable than wind or solar and we have loads of coastline to use.

Don't misunderstand me, I'd be very very happy to be wrong, but it just looks like a white elephant to me.

And people used to say the human body couldn't stand travelling at over 100mph, or what's the point of this interweb thing? You won't know until you try.

Thanks, but those responses are a bit simplistic for my taste, very much the green party line. I'd like to see a hard-headed analysis with figures, taking all costs into account. Trouble is, I don't know where to get the figures, the "interweb thingy" may have most information on it, but it's not always accessible unless you know where to look.....

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I know shat all about renewable energy (you'll be delighted to know).

I can't help but feel though, that, if there is a God (see other active thread) he/she/it gave us a massive hint.

The%20Sun.jpg

Sure. Solars day will come, PV will eventually be efficient enough IMO, but we need to find a way of storing the energy before it can be seen as an answer.

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How can this ever be economically viable?

Early attempts at an unproven technology tend to fall short of economically viable. Their real purpose is to build up experience. The computers of 50 years ago didn't exactly pay for themselves, either.

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Thanks, but those responses are a bit simplistic for my taste, very much the green party line. I'd like to see a hard-headed analysis with figures, taking all costs into account. Trouble is, I don't know where to get the figures, the "interweb thingy" may have most information on it, but it's not always accessible unless you know where to look.....

Simplistic answers to simplistic questions. My point being you're questions are too open-ended and loaded with cynicism.

I'm no green party supporter, but I realise that in order to get the cold, hard figures to properly cost these sorts of projects, this is exactly what we need to do. At the moment there are too many unknowns and the only way to reliably judge wear'n'tear, actual output etc. is just to build the damn thing and measure it.

If we just keep procrastinating and coming up with excuses not to try it out (but, but, the maintenance will be too costly, what about the sea life? etc.) we'll never get anywhere.

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Simplistic answers to simplistic questions. My point being you're questions are too open-ended and loaded with cynicism.

I'm no green party supporter, but I realise that in order to get the cold, hard figures to properly cost these sorts of projects, this is exactly what we need to do. At the moment there are too many unknowns and the only way to reliably judge wear'n'tear, actual output etc. is just to build the damn thing and measure it.

If we just keep procrastinating and coming up with excuses not to try it out (but, but, the maintenance will be too costly, what about the sea life? etc.) we'll never get anywhere.

How are my questions loaded with cynicism?

Otherwise I agree with your points, I guess even if it fails it can be regarded as money better spent than on supporting bankers.

It would be nice if there was some hope of the energy generated costing(say) no more than double current energy costs.

I can see there being problems in the future if half-time in the England game corresponds with an anticyclone(ie no wind) and the turn of the tide, they'll be arranging television schedules to avoid it!

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Thanks, but those responses are a bit simplistic for my taste, very much the green party line. I'd like to see a hard-headed analysis with figures, taking all costs into account. Trouble is, I don't know where to get the figures, the "interweb thingy" may have most information on it, but it's not always accessible unless you know where to look.....

For the UK in its current position (of slowly increasing energy-vulnerability that hasn't got to the crunch point yet), the advantages of renewable schemes can't be measured by cost-benefit analysis at today's prices. Personally I think the outlook for our future energy security is bleak, and we'd be stupid not to try to mitigate these risks, or only to do so with projects that make sense in today's benign energy environment.

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It would be nice if there was some hope of the energy generated costing(say) no more than double current energy costs.

Indeed that would be nice, but I think choosing that level is optimistic -- given a serious and persistent shortfall, prices will rise by whatever amount is required to destroy the excess demand.

At that point, owners of large-scale renewable schemes will be coining it ... as long as the projects aren't nationalised :ph34r:

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How are my questions loaded with cynicism?

Otherwise I agree with your points, I guess even if it fails it can be regarded as money better spent than on supporting bankers.

It would be nice if there was some hope of the energy generated costing(say) no more than double current energy costs.

I can see there being problems in the future if half-time in the England game corresponds with an anticyclone(ie no wind) and the turn of the tide, they'll be arranging television schedules to avoid it!

I don't mean it personally, it's just the title of the OP and the way the questions were phrased:

"I'm Generally In Favour Of Renewable Energy But..." makes me think of when people start a sentence with "I'm not a racist but..."

How can this ever be economically viable? <-- Why is everything down to pure economics? Energy security is at least as good a value to target, even if financially it is a bit more expensive.

How much did this thing cost to build and install? <-- Open ended. How much does a coal/gas powerstation cost to build/install, how about nuclear or wind or solar or hydroelectric? What's the cost over the whole lifetime? Raw numbers need to used in comparison to other possible solutions to have meaning.

What will the maintenance costs be? <-- Similar to above, but with the added uncertainty that we don't know because it's new. But it's not a completely new tech like, say nuclear fusion, so we at least have a reasonable idea of the challenges.

Don't misunderstand me, I'd be very very happy to be wrong, but it just looks like a white elephant to me. <-- 'White elephant' is quite a provocative term to use; it has many negative connotations. You're also presuming that you're 'right' and it will be too expensive.

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Sure. Solars day will come, PV will eventually be efficient enough IMO, but we need to find a way of storing the energy before it can be seen as an answer.

Water + gravity. Pump it up in the day and let it run down in the evening.

I was under the impression that the swiss were doing this - buying electricity from the European grid when it was cheap and using it to pump water up a hill, and then letting the water drop back down and selling the electricity when it was expensive. Given the waste, I figure daily electricity charges must have a significant daily range.

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Sure. Solars day will come, PV will eventually be efficient enough IMO, but we need to find a way of storing the energy before it can be seen as an answer.

There already are technologies that are coming to market now for storing energy generated by renewables. One is to generate hydrogen gas via an electrolyser. The H2 can be burnt in a fuel cell or a conventional internal combustion engine. These technologies are being trialled commercially now, e.g. Renewable Energy Storage

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Water + gravity. Pump it up in the day and let it run down in the evening.

I was under the impression that the swiss were doing this - buying electricity from the European grid when it was cheap and using it to pump water up a hill, and then letting the water drop back down and selling the electricity when it was expensive. Given the waste, I figure daily electricity charges must have a significant daily range.

Such a scheme would lead to a narrowing of the peak/off-peak spread, perhaps even to the point that it makes the scheme uneconomic to operate. eg UK baseload is currently trading at £39, the overnights at £32 (www.bmreports.com). You'd struggle to make much given the inefficiencies of water pumping with those prices. You also have to worry about times like the summer of 2006 when aircon demand was sky high and the reservoirs were running out of water.

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Such a scheme would lead to a narrowing of the peak/off-peak spread, perhaps even to the point that it makes the scheme uneconomic to operate. eg UK baseload is currently trading at £39, the overnights at £32 (www.bmreports.com). You'd struggle to make much given the inefficiencies of water pumping with those prices. You also have to worry about times like the summer of 2006 when aircon demand was sky high and the reservoirs were running out of water.

I presume this isn't the main business of the Swiss, just an option that they exercise when it is profitable.

What I was saying is that we have methods of storing power. They may be inefficient, but they do exist and must lie within the extremes of market price variability as it now stands. If solar ever became really cheap, then there are already ways of storing the power produced during the day for use in the evening without resorting to carbon nanotubules or what ever, especially if it was deemed to be part of the national infrastructure, rather than relying on the market. It doesn't matter if the storage is grossly inefficient, if the source electricity generation is cheap. Add in differential day and night time tariffs and you are cooking with gas...err... :unsure:

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Have a listen to this interview linked to this post

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=149248&view=findpost&p=2673006

He hits many nails on the head and also presents some hard hitting non mainstream facts on renewable energy. I liked it that much I bought his book after listening to him.

Thanks for the heads up, I'll read that, I've ordered the book (from the excellent national library).

This lengthy review is almost an executive summary:

review of his book

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Yes a very interesting read no doubt, a good weekend not spent with my family, not vey sustainable for me.. The credit for the original posting should go to PP.

Getting it from the library is a sign of a canny man, well done.

I am also a canny lad, but in this case I don’t mind buying from him, I bought another book at the same time. Just think if we didn't have the level of energy abundance that we do I may not have been able to get this on line, from the US. I mean how many windmills would it take to get the book to me ?

Without straying too far OT , the nuclear question is also fuelled, excuse the pun, with intrigue and allegations of market fixing over the years. Are we now entering an era where the market controllers have now got sufficient ownership of nuclear fuel sources, plant devlopement, generation and transmission ownership that they will now eventually allow it to very slowly start to phase in at the expense of their existing carbon monopolies?

I am one quarter Scottish.

I also ordered the book to be sent to my local library - this service only costs S$1.55 which without getting the calculator out is less than the petrol cost of going to the other branch to get it myself and I will also combine the trip there with other chores.

I think we will get more used to making these kind of calculations.

As to nuclear, I wrote an essay for A level physics and nuclear was the only sensible conclusion to be drawn. Nothing much has changed in the intervening 20 odd years to change my mind. And as you say, the vested status quo won't roll over until they are ready and we are a long way from running out of fossil fuels - read The Age of Oil which reminds the reader of all the previous alarms over energy security.

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Water + gravity. Pump it up in the day and let it run down in the evening.

I was under the impression that the swiss were doing this - buying electricity from the European grid when it was cheap and using it to pump water up a hill, and then letting the water drop back down and selling the electricity when it was expensive. Given the waste, I figure daily electricity charges must have a significant daily range.

How many Welsh valleys would you have to flood to make that one work then?

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Water + gravity. Pump it up in the day and let it run down in the evening.

I was under the impression that the swiss were doing this - buying electricity from the European grid when it was cheap and using it to pump water up a hill, and then letting the water drop back down and selling the electricity when it was expensive. Given the waste, I figure daily electricity charges must have a significant daily range.

This is actually very efficient I believe when the benefits of quick response to surges in demand are considered.

However you are forgetting that the UK isn't blessed with a large number of steep-sided uninhabited valleys that no-one will mind using for this. Quite the opposite in fact.

Ironically one of the countries with very large fossil fuel reserves (Norway) are superbly placed for this as well. They have a number of fiords which could be developed to act as enormous batteries, they are considering it I believe. (They're just a little bit more into thinking ahead than the British :rolleyes: )

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I know shat all about renewable energy (you'll be delighted to know).

I can't help but feel though, that, if there is a God (see other active thread) he/she/it gave us a massive hint.

The%20Sun.jpg

I'm not an expert on this but I have the feeling that wind turbines in average provide with much more energy than solar panels do... Maybe someone have the figures.

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I'm not an expert on this but I have the feeling that wind turbines in average provide with much more energy than solar panels do... Maybe someone have the figures.

Big giant turbines do, but the little turbines people put on their roof to show they are eco are a complete waste of money, PV is much better for inland small scale urban installations.

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I'm not an expert on this but I have the feeling that wind turbines in average provide with much more energy than solar panels do... Maybe someone have the figures.

I guess my point was not about the current capability but the potential.

'We need energy, lots of energy, has anybody seen any energy'?

'What about that massive burning ball of gas slamming the earth with ten thousand times the amount of energy we consume in solar radiation"?

"Uh, Where"?

Probably very naive, but it does make me wonder how we have come so far without figuring something more successful out to convert the suns power.

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  • 149 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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