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There’s a surge in onshore renewable projects with planning consent just waiting for Government-backed contracts!

There is a surge in capacity of onshore wind and solar projects with planning consent in anticipation of more Government-backed contracts being available later this year.

With public attention focussed on offshore wind the increasing amounts of onshore wind and solar projects awaiting commercial opportunities are being ignored. Yet (on top of those projects already under construction) already there is enough renewable energy projects with planning consent to supply over 3 per cent of UK electricity generation.

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Government rubbishes hydrogen in bid to boost new nuclear power

Doug Parr, Chief Science Officer for Greenpeace, exposes how the Government is using unreasonably pessimistic assumptions about storing renewable energy to bolster the case for its scenarios which involve large amounts of nuclear power and fossil generation with carbon capture and storage

How is UK government continuing to justify continued emphasis on nuclear power development when the cost of renewables has fallen so far? The answer is about the weather – government will point out (although this will not be a shock to most people, or renewables energy experts) that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. In other words, what can manage the gaps in electricity supply when there isn’t enough solar or wind power? We can max out on electrical connection to other countries, demand response and batteries and there’s still a gap. So to fill that ‘gap’ we need some form of long term storage for renewable power.

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100% RUK Hydrogen position statement, version 2

Hydrogen rating
Using green hydrogen efficiently means using it where direct electrification isn’t an option.  Image © Energy Cities

We say Yes to hydrogen for:

  • Decarbonising heavy industry
    Heavy industry requires large amounts of energy, and whilst some industries could be electrified at best this would place significant additional demands on electricity generation and electricity grids, and in many cases is simply not practical or possible. The leading candidate for using hydrogen is the refinement of iron ore into iron for the steel industry, but others including the ceramics and chemicals industries all have a high potential for conversion to hydrogen.
  • Grid-level energy storage
    There is an easy case to be made for using ‘excess output’ from windfarms and other large-scale renewables in remote locations to produce green hydrogen as a form of energy storage. Such sites can also be located in close proximity to ports, where hydrogen-powered shipping could provide a potentially lucrative local market. More localised use of hydrogen as an energy store, however, is far less favourable as the need for and cost of the necessary infrastructure means batteries offer lower costs and greater flexibility
  • Shipping
    Ships do not suffer from the same constraints of the weight and volume of their power sources that apply to other forms of transport, and the co-location of sources of hydrogen with ports means that hydrogen is a more favourable solution than electrification and batteries. In a one hundred percent renewable future it is highly likely that hydrogen will power the vast majority of ships.

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Boost for 100 per cent renewable energy as Centrica goes for hydrogen storage

Centrica has announced that it is talking to the Government about using the UK’s largest natural gas storage facility to store hydrogen.

Although the stated purpose of the negotiations is to discuss the storage of blue rather than green hydrogen, this is nevertheless a good sign for using hydrogen to store renewable energy. That is because the discussions demonstrate the credibility of the hydrogen storage option.

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Seven reasons why the Government’s ideas on balancing renewables don’t make sense

 

In its latest call for evidence on how to balance renewable energy, the Government wants to make windfarms and solar farms be responsible for assuring power delivery all the time. This is something that is not even required of fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. Apparently fixated on this notion, and also that of ending the current system of incentivising renewables through giving the long term contracts guaranteeing to pay them set electricity prices, the Government ignores the most practical options for balancing fluctuating renewables.

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Why nuclear power is a bad way to balance renewable energy

See the YOUTUBE video:

David Toke, Ian Fairlie and Herbert Eppel from 100percentrenewableuk discuss how nuclear power effectively switches off wind and solar power and how a 100percent renewable energy system is much better for the UK than one involving nuclear power

The Government, backed by a lot of public policy reports paid for by pro-nuclear interests, constantly pushes out the view that nuclear power is ‘essential’ to balancing wind and solar power. But what they never mention is the massive waste of renewables that occurs in such a scenario. Under the scenarios planned by the Government nuclear power is paid very high prices to generate power even when there is excess electricity, which pushes renewables to close down. The Government also refuses to undertake serious investigations of how a system that uses excess renewables to create short and long term storage is a much better way of organising our energy needs rather than wasting more money on building nuclear power statitons.

Look at our video which, drawing upon research on the role of nuclear and renewables, discusses these issues.

If you agree the aims of 100percentrenewableuk please join the discussion via our email group.

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100% RUK Hydrogen position statement, version 1

H2

We say Yes to hydrogen for:

  • Energy storage for ‘excess output’ from windfarms and other big renewables in remote locations (BIG YES)
  • Shipping fuel

We say No to hydrogen for:

  • Domestic heating (energy density issue, distribution issues, need for replacement boilers, cost to householders)
  • Anything to do with fossil fuels, CCS or nuclear (for obvious reasons)

We say Maybe hydrogen for:

  • Non-shipping transport – probably mostly freight haulage
  • Industrial uses (steel, cement etc.)

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Cover-up! how consumers will be forced to pay for cost-overruns for Sizewell C construction

In a historic change of policy the Conservatives have  announced that consumers, not EDF, will pay for cost overruns in building Sizewell C. The crucial phrase in the Government’s document on the so-called ‘Regulated Asset Base’ (RAB) model is ‘Cost overruns that were not excluded from the RAB would be shared between investors and consumers through suppliers’ (para 47 page 14). Note: ‘consumers’ means electricity consumers who will have to pay twice for Sizewell C; extra on their bills long before any power is generated and for many years after generation begins. The inclusion of cost overruns on consumers’ bills means that their bills will rocket upwards even before they receive even a single kWh in supply from Sizewell C .

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How regulations designed to suit the gas industry are strangling heat pumps in the UK

The main reason that the UK is falling behind countries like Germany and Denmark in rolling out heat pumps is because building regulations and other regulations are suited to support gas boilers not heat pumps. This claim has been made by a heat pump installer attempting to develop a cheaper heat pump programme.

This contradicts the story emerging from the Environmental Audit Committee which blames high electricity prices relative to gas as being the biggest problem facing the heat pump programme in the UK.

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Consumers to be forced to bail out EDF over failing nuclear reactor

As EDF’s losses on building Hinkley C EPR nuclear plant mount, a leading energy expert says that energy consumers will have to pay twice to pay for a new ‘EPR’ nuclear power plant at Sizewell C. EDF, who is likely to be offered unlimited cash from UK electricity consumers to fund the power plant, is facing a financial meltdown following disastrous cost overruns building other EPRs in Finland and France – and now at Hinkley C as well.
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Ever bigger wind turbines will lead to power price plunge

Ever bigger offshore wind turbines will plunge wind power prices below wholesale power prices. Even as a contract was being announced for GE Renewables to supply 14 MW wind turbines to SSE/Equinor’s Dogger Bank C site, plans were being progressed to test even larger machines, perhaps 20MW by a German research company.

Such turbines could have total blade rotor diameters of around 250 metres.
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Heating bills set for threefold increase to pay for blue hydrogen

Reports suggest that domestic heating bills are likely to soar upwards to around three times their current average rate in order to pay for so-called ‘blue hydrogen’ supplies.

Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas with a large proportion of the carbon dioxide captured and stored. As a technology it is competing for public funding resources with other more efficient low carbon solutions such as heat pumps. The fact that blue hydrogen will be such an expensive solution to decarbonise heating is likely to tip the scales in favour of strategies that place more emphasis on fitting heat pumps to heat buildings.
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Webinar on how and why the Scottish Govt should set a target to achieve 100 per cent of ALL energy from renewables

Click here to watch a video recording of the webinar, held on December 3rd, of our first webinar (held in collaboration with Commonweal), about achieving 100 per cent of ALL Scottish energy from renewable energy.

The recording here comprises the first 45 minutes of the video featuring the main speakers.
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