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Stallard12

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Just say'in.  Our gas is now $1.90 gall, which I think is about 38 p a liter - thanks fracking !    Fracking has made the US pretty much independent in oil and gas production.  There have been multiple private and government investigations searching for adverse effects and none have been found.  This is backed up by the fact that there is not one proven case of pollution or water table contamination recorded in the US.   All opponents are merely political alarmists.

Please consider this in your response, if any, I am a mechanical engineer (retired), with 50 years experience in petro chemical major project management ( now cowboy and rancher !), who has been personally involved in these studies.  Don't let these penny ante activists idiots succeed.

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I doubt fracking will ever succeed in the UK as it did in the states due mainly to the difference in public opinion on climate change. Yes we saw the burning water and dead cows and some of the scare stuff obviously rubbed off on our politicians who then set totally impossible seismic targets for the industry.

But leaving aside all the rights, wrongs and technicalities of fracking, we’re being told (and probably right) that burning gas, just like burning petrol, is something we need to move away from, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to develop a new technology for something with no real future. So, we’re being told that the future (if there is to be one) is going to be all electric with no burning of fossil fuels. I doubt anything we do on our small island will solve the world’s problems, but if nothing else it should help improve the air quality in our local towns and cities.  

Fracking could bring the down the cost of petrol and a bag of coal but it’s all a bit pointless if we don’t need either. The country is trying to get us to pay good money buying cleaner cars but that won't happen if we keep reducing the cost of the dirty fuels.

 

Bill 😊

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Oh dear. We should move away from heating homes with gas and that means we don't need fracking does it?

So here are some thoughts on the practicality of that - For existing buildings there is not often space for ground sourced heat pumps so air source heat pumps, with all the attendant noise, will be needed. The Coefficient of Performance is about 3 for such devices and the current domestic heating load goes up to 170 Gigawatts. That means that the extra electrical generation capacity which is in serious trouble at 50GW needs to increase by 60GW, more than double. A point that the eco-warriors always forget is that the renewable systems are unreliable and last year in the UK the use of renewable supply was a record but the amount of total renewable supply capacity (nameplate capacity) was ten times the actual supplied electricity. It is massively inefficient. When they compare costs it is always false, they compare the nameplate capacity cost, with no back-up capacity in the even of a windless night, against the equivalent spinning thermal capacity. The politicians feel they have to follow the media story, because that is what it is.

Now the problem that comes next is the hot water that comes out of the heat pump is at not likely to be at 70 degrees C, the design temperature for radiator based heating installations. The pumps work better down at 35 degrees. So for most people they need to locate a heat pump where it will not keep them awake and change the boiler as well as changing the radiators for larger ones or changing to underfloor heating. (Obviously a cinch in homes with a ground floor on a concrete raft!) Then there will need to be better insulation added.

Sorry Bill but the idea that the necessary changes to 30 million homes can be done at such a speed and in synchronism with doubling the grid's generation capacity, so as to avoid fracking, is laughable. The time taken to build that capacity and in the wind power the locations offshore for what would need to be around three times the desired output would be such a large undertaking that it is going to take decades. The current promises are risible as are the politicians that spout them and the green morons who know full well that their plans will kill millions.

We need fracking and we need it soon to stop Putin making us freeze to death. Fortunately as Stallard will know and others do not, the law in the US is changing to allow America to export its natural gas and we have additional capacity which we cannot currently use to accept the gas because tankers get diverted to Japan for higher prices. However the facilities in the US are planned for the Eastern seaboard to make it cheaper for the US to export to us than to Japan because the ships turn round faster. You may all be more grateful for fracking sooner than you think.

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I think my best policy is to buy a couple of exercise bikes with dynamos attached. Mrs Davy & myself can then keep warm while powering a couple of 6 volt bulbs.

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Just as well our old friend Geoff Settle isn’t around these days otherwise he’d probably be suggesting we all live in cardboard boxes heated by a candle.😁

Oh dear indeed, it looks like Confused is preaching to the already converted again. Just so that you know I’m no eco warrior or environmentalist, I rinse my plastic milk bottle and recycle them and that’s about as far as it goes. What I am though is realistic, enough to recognise that change is happening and nothing that you or I can say or do will have any effect on things once the governments decide on a course of action.

Like you I was all in favour of fracking given the fragility of our supply situation and its reliance on gas from places like Russia. And I had no doubts that any UK fracking would be done under much tighter controls than in the US. But if the government’s long-term plan is to phase out the use of fossil fuels like domestic gas then you must question the logic of continuing to expanding it.

Nothing is going to happen that quickly and fortunately, for now we do have enough gas reserves to cover a short-term disaster. Changing every home to use heat-pump technology would as you say, probably take 20 years but that’ll also allow ample time for the none-fossil renewables to grow to match the increasing needs. And by this time of course, 100% of cars will be battery powered and able to feed in nearly 2,000 gigawatt hours of power making our grid far more resilient than it is now.

It’s all very complex and we can all throw in numbers to suite our own arguments but at the end of the day, the government has set out its plan and It might well be expensive but is probably the best route. Fracking would give me cheaper petrol for my none-eco V8 but it’d also remove the incentive to change and you can’t beat a bit of urgency to get things done.

 

Bill 😊

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But the fracking is needed for the status quo not expanding anything. I worry that incentives that require the poor to pay more are not a great plan so I am not in favour at all. The numbers I used were from the people who promote air source heat pumps so I was trying to be fair. However you I didn't include electric cars which make it worse I think. Peak demand on the grid is before cars have docked and also before they have charged up so assuming they will act as a big battery may not be reliable.

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The status quo is what it is now. If fracking’s allowed and prices fell dramatically as in the US, do you think it would only be used for increased security or would everyone want a piece of the action? Nobody’s being forced into installing solar panels or heat pumps. A few crazies might do it to save the planet, but the majority will be those who see it as a way of making or saving money and It’s the exactly the same thing with electric cars.

So, in a way, the rich (albeit with government assistance) are the main ones currently paying for the changes but longer term we need to do something to help the less fortunate afford the high costs of home generated power and energy reduction. I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of businesses lining up cash in on government grants so one idea might be to create a nationalised industry to produce and install systems that people can afford.

As for the electric cars, they will put more demand on the system but it’s going to be a gradual increase over many years so renewables and energy reduction must continue to match this growth. The good thing though is that given we already have feed-in technology, every additional car adds stability to our grid. Apparently, the average car only spends less than 10% moving and as far as I understand, the tech is intelligent enough know when it’s best to charge and when it’s best to feed back (sell) to the grid so we just have to hope the programmers get this bit right. The current UK peak demand is 75GW so with cars and heat pumps lets guess at a new peak of 200GW. This means that if only 1 in ten cars were connected, in theory we could turn off every power station in the country and still be ok. Here’s a link that shows how this could work.

https://www.bbc.co.uk › news › science-environment-48530488 › the-sola...

 

Bill 😊

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So what is the average daily sunshine figures for that place compared to say the uk?

How long does the battery last before it is past it's best for use?

How much doe sit cost to replace the battery pack when it doe get past it's best? and what happens to the old batteries?

No mention of any of that....🤔

 

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12 hours ago, Bill said:

The status quo is what it is now. If fracking’s allowed and prices fell dramatically as in the US, do you think it would only be used for increased security or would everyone want a piece of the action? Nobody’s being forced into installing solar panels or heat pumps. A few crazies might do it to save the planet, but the majority will be those who see it as a way of making or saving money and It’s the exactly the same thing with electric cars.

So, in a way, the rich (albeit with government assistance) are the main ones currently paying for the changes but longer term we need to do something to help the less fortunate afford the high costs of home generated power and energy reduction. I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of businesses lining up cash in on government grants so one idea might be to create a nationalised industry to produce and install systems that people can afford.

As for the electric cars, they will put more demand on the system but it’s going to be a gradual increase over many years so renewables and energy reduction must continue to match this growth. The good thing though is that given we already have feed-in technology, every additional car adds stability to our grid. Apparently, the average car only spends less than 10% moving and as far as I understand, the tech is intelligent enough know when it’s best to charge and when it’s best to feed back (sell) to the grid so we just have to hope the programmers get this bit right. The current UK peak demand is 75GW so with cars and heat pumps lets guess at a new peak of 200GW. This means that if only 1 in ten cars were connected, in theory we could turn off every power station in the country and still be ok. Here’s a link that shows how this could work.

https://www.bbc.co.uk › news › science-environment-48530488 › the-sola...

 

Bill 😊

I give up. I told you the heating load was predicted by the protagonists to be a peak of 170GW, Ofgem says current maximum demand is approx. 62 GW. Cars are extra and I have no idea how much to add for them. However you say anyone can make up number and promptly do exactly that. We will eventually have to change as Gas runs out but doing it faster than necessary diverts money, including tax receipts, from other projects and services. Using renewables costs significantly more than nuclear or thermal systems because of the extra capacity needed to be installed to guarantee supply. When supporters compare costs of say solar they compare nameplate capacity when the Grid can only rely on 10% of that capacity so the correct comparison is ten lots of solar costed against one lot of spinning generation. Of course the poor will pay more in running costs.

The stupid error in the BBC thinking on cars is that the 90% not on the move is not all spent tethered to mains points. The cost of reinforcing the grid to cope with the supply topology being the opposite to what it was designed for is very expensive. It could also be completely avoided by using nuclear.

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Whoops you did say heat pumps would eventually use an additional peak of 170GW which added to our none heat use, would probably take us to nearer 250/300GW. The additional load for the cars would be difficult to guess at but in theory they shouldn’t be using anything at peak times as at that point they would be feeding back into the grid. But however we play with the numbers, one thing looks certain and that’s by 2050 we’ll all be driving electric cars with 2,000GW of capacity available to the grid. This will happen whether we frack or not or build new nuclear stations.

In answer to Sid's question, I think most electric car manufactures today offer to replace any battery that drops below 75% efficiency within 8/9 years. The actual replacement cost would be high, but a whole new industry is evolving to use the still good batteries for storing grid energy, so it’ll be a case of trading in rather than just replacing them. Over time, it’s probable that used batteries will feed in more power than the actual cars on the road.

 

Bill 😊

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One thing we can be sure of is the man or woman in the street will bear the generous cost of providing any facilities. 

Is there no scope for fitting solar panels on cars to provide their power, because not all houses are suitable to provide power points? I live in a terraced house & most neighbours still have 2 or 3 cars & many a time you can't park where you want to.

It all sounds a great idea but how practical are electric cars really ?

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Your right, we don’t get owt for nowt so we all end up paying for cleaner air and a supply that doesn’t fail every few days. Nobodies being forced to but all electric cars (yet) but with all the major manufactures moving that way it won’t be long before we don’t have a choice. I’d like to think that the brunt of the cost will be born by the initial purchasers and that prices with volume production will fall for us peasants.

I don’t think it works like that Davy because the amounts of panels you’d need would be crazy, not that we have that much sunshine anyway. On some cars, they do offer solar roofs which might help maintain the charge slightly but It’d take about a week to charge a flat battery in full sunshine. I’ve read the reviews and the consensus is that it’s more a gimmick that’s not worth anything like what they charge (pardon the pun) 😊

It’s not without it’s problems, especially when there’s several cars and no drive to park in but things will have to change. Have you been on the new market car park and seen the number of electric charging points? I’m more likely to become disabled before I change to electric so Warrington council might be more forward thinking than we give them credit for when they allocated so many disabled spaces. :)

Bill :)

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