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Sideshoots - associated subjects => The West - but NOT the West's trains => Topic started by: infoman on September 03, 2019, 10:39:54 am



Title: Hinkley point C update
Post by: infoman on September 03, 2019, 10:39:54 am
A jetty has now been built near the construction site,

which will result in a reduction in the amount of large lorrys heading to and from Hinlkey C.


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: TonyK on September 12, 2019, 03:51:32 pm
Now complemented by the world's biggest crane, as reported by the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-somerset-49679073/big-carl-world-s-biggest-crane-starts-work-at-hinkley-point-c)


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 12, 2019, 04:56:52 pm
Now complemented by the world's biggest crane, as reported by the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-somerset-49679073/big-carl-world-s-biggest-crane-starts-work-at-hinkley-point-c)

I got fairly close to it the other week, and can vouch for the fact that it is a whopper. They also claim to have the world's tallest crane on site; but for some reason while they were talking superlatives they didn't mention the fact that they'll be producing the world's most expensive electricity...


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: bignosemac on September 12, 2019, 06:02:46 pm
Said crane will be featuring on BBC Points West this evening, 12tb September 2019.


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: broadgage on September 12, 2019, 07:02:25 pm
Said crane will be featuring on BBC Points West this evening, 12tb September 2019.

It did, interesting viewing. Featured on both the BBC and on ITV.
Certainly impressive, though I remain doubtful about the project on both technical and financial grounds.


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: TonyK on September 12, 2019, 07:47:52 pm
It did, interesting viewing. Featured on both the BBC and on ITV.
Certainly impressive, though I remain doubtful about the project on both technical and financial grounds.

Also, it lacks a buffet.


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: Clan Line on September 12, 2019, 10:03:08 pm
they didn't mention the fact that they'll be producing the world's most expensive electricity...

If it is a fixed price, by the time it's up and running it may well be the cheapest !


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: broadgage on September 13, 2019, 01:44:23 am
It did, interesting viewing. Featured on both the BBC and on ITV.
Certainly impressive, though I remain doubtful about the project on both technical and financial grounds.

Also, it lacks a buffet.

Not so, there is an excellent buffet/self service restaurant in the workers village, to which I have been invited and enjoyed an excellent meal.


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: broadgage on September 13, 2019, 04:46:05 pm
they didn't mention the fact that they'll be producing the world's most expensive electricity...

If it is a fixed price, by the time it's up and running it may well be the cheapest !

AFAIK the price is not truly fixed at the oft quoted 92-50 per MWH, but is "fixed" at 92-50 PLUS INFLATION.
So if the power station opens in 20 years time, the price could be several times that figure due to inflation.
If other energy sources increase in price by the same percentage in the same time interval, then the nuclear electricity would still be much more expensive than the alternatives.

I expect that natural gas, and electricity generated therefrom, will increase in price more rapidly than the general inflation rate.
I expect that wind and solar energy will increase in price by less than the general inflation rate.


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: TonyK on September 13, 2019, 10:22:21 pm
AFAIK the price is not truly fixed at the oft quoted 92-50 per MWH, but is "fixed" at 92-50 PLUS INFLATION.


My understanding also. The whole thing is utterly baffling. That 92.50 per MWH has been described by some as an illegal state subsidy, while 155 per MWH for offshore wind, which was the case in for new plants opening in 2014, 100 per MWH for what few onshore schemes were built and 125 for solar, were not. Now, I'm no Harry Redknapp when it comes to accountancy, but that doesn't seem right. New offshore wind has a much smaller strike price, with two developers agreeing to 57.50 per MWH a couple of years back and thus scooping the pool in the sea, as it were. The next round of auctions is due next year - I think.

The energy suppliers don't get the strike price as a subsidy, but are paid a top-up to it if the wholesale price is lower. If wholesale prices go above the strike price, the companies have to pay the excess to the Low Carbon Contracts Company, which admnisters the scheme. The wholesale price fluctuates widely. At the time the Hinkley price was agreed, it was over 50 per MWH, and had been as high as 90 back in 2008. If it goes back to that by the time Hinkley C opens, then the subsidy will be minimal, and at least partially paid for by the profits of the newest offshore wind operators. The current electricity wholesale price is around 35 pMWH, meaning that practically every renewable energy producer working under a Contract for Difference receives a subsidy.

The various strike prices are published in the  CfD register (https://www.lowcarboncontracts.uk/cfds?title=&technology_type=All&applicant_name=&comm_date_from=&target_comm_date_to=&unique_id=&agreement_type=All&field_cfd_strikeprice=All&allocation_round=All&page=0) which I looked at for the first time an hour ago. Inflation means that Hinkley C is now at a price of 101.99 pMWH. That sounds a lot until you remember that it will not be paid anything until it actually produces electricity. More expensive plants exist - there are a number of offshore wind farms working at a strike price of 170.03 pMWH. This means that for every megawatt hour they produce, they are paid 35 by the electricity companies and 135 in subsidy. Hinkley C, with its "illegal state subsidy", is positively cheap in comparison. There are other technologies -  Drax biomass power station has a strike price of 113.65. It burns around 7.5 million tonnes of biomass annually, most of it wood pellets imported from the US and Canada, a quantity that would require some 12,000 km2 of forest to sustain, and which doesn't sound particularly green to me. There are still new onshore windfarms popping up, mainly in Scotland, with strike prices around 93.

The highest proportion of our electricity is produced by combined cycle gas turbines these days, and the low price of gas is what is keeping wholesale electricity prices down. We produce just under half of our gas, import around 47% from Norway and Europe, and import around a tenth as liquefied natural gas from Qatar. A high electricity price would benefit government greatly, as it would reduce the subsidies, but that wouldn't help us consumers much. Solar was excluded from the last round of contracts for difference, possibly bevcause it is now seen as cheap enough to manage on its own. Onshore wind doesn't produce the volumes seen at sea and annoys people in the areas where it is sited. Both types require constant maintenance, offshore much more so. The design life of a 100 metre wind turbine is 25 years, but few will make it that far, usually becoming uneconomic to repair by 17 years. The power output is variable, so is not to be depended upon for the base load, formerly provided by coal. Nuclear power stations run best at full power, producing a much flatter graph than wind, and still working in the dark, unlike solar. Hinkley C has a planned operational  life of 60 years. Hinkley B has been running for 43 years so far.

For the future, it looks like more nuclear is on the way for base load, with wind and solar backed up by CCGT supplying most of the rest, unless someone comes up with a new technology that works. New homes are built to a higher standard of energy efficiency, but there are still millions of draughty old ones. That needs a proper plan to sort it out, and there shouldn't be an incandescent light bulb shining anywhere. But the whole issue of energy policy is a total dog's breakfast, and we seem a lot less prepared for the future than a lot of other countries, although we have practically ended coal-fired generation. That is in contrast to America, where a quarter of electricity is produced by coal, or Germany, at around 40%. China is reported to be building two new coal-fired plants per month.

The rush to renewable energy has had unintended consequences. The BBC news (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49567197) reported today on the rise of sulphur hexafluoride - SF6 - in the atmosphere. This is used in electrical switch gear to suppress arcing and prevent fires, and the rise of relatively small scale power generators has meant a big rise in its use. It leaks occasionally, is thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and doesn't degrade. As we solve one problem, so we cause another.
.



Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: broadgage on September 29, 2019, 12:28:38 pm
The cost of Hinkley C has increased by another few billion partly due to "ground conditions more challenging than expected" and the planned opening has been delayed.

The extra costs should fall entirely upon the backers of this project. I have a cynical suspicion that some way will be found to bail the project out with public money.

Living in the general area, I have observed a new road sign "twinned with Fukushima" Which I suspect to be not official. A bit like the "Twinned with Atlantis" signs that appeared during the bad flooding of a few years ago.


Title: Re: Hinkley point C update
Post by: broadgage on September 29, 2019, 03:04:16 pm
Road sign.

https://www.deviantart.com/peteharlow/art/Somerset-twinned-with-Atlantis-713690861 (https://www.deviantart.com/peteharlow/art/Somerset-twinned-with-Atlantis-713690861)



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