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Author Topic: Aberthaw Power Station and Decarbonisation  (Read 10179 times)
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #120 on: April 03, 2021, 03:58:13 pm »

A new form of liquid asset?  Smiley

Apparently a good bet in a storm.
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TonyK
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« Reply #121 on: April 03, 2021, 04:34:48 pm »

I would very strongly advise against putting any money into any investment scheme that is advertised on line.

Me too. My further research hasn't persuaded me to part with my hard-earned / ill-gotten.

If you have any money to invest, it might be worth considering spending some on your home to reduce energy costs.
Better thermal insulation to reduce heating energy used.
Better and more efficient heating system.
Double glazing.
Grid tied solar panels.
Electric car ?
Electrically assisted bicycle ?

Put aside some money for future replacement of domestic appliances with the most efficient available. The economics of replacing a large appliance that still works correctly are very doubtful. If however you need a new fridge, freezer, washing machine, TV, computer, or other appliance in any case then buy the most energy efficient available.

Whilst I can not speak for your personal circumstances, I have observed many cases in which people regard spending on energy efficiency as an "expense" that might not be afforadable. Putting money into stocks, shares, ISAs and the like is regarded as an investment and is a good thing.
In many cases spending on energy saving gives a much better rate of return than the more usual investments.

As you ask, all of these are in my mind. I bought a new "main" TV last year, which provided us with a "smart" set using a third of the power of the previous model. That has been relegated to another room for occasional use, with the one in place there at the time sold. My 10-year-old desktop PC (upgraded a few times) finally gave up the ghost. It was possibly fixable, but power consumption decided the issue, and I bought a new one. We bought new washing machine and fridge freezer when we moved here 3 years ago. Surprisingly, the best models in terms of energy efficiency weren't the most expensive, and fitted my rudimentary cost-benefit analysis.

The house was planned with the current energy efficiency standards in mind. You can see a lot of glass:


intended to take advantage of sunshine. The bifold window is on the south side, and I have had to open it on a sunny day with snow on the ground. Out of sight on the roof above the balcony is a solar panel, currently powering the entire house, including my PC.



The electric would have been lower, but I put the electric underfloor heating on in two of the bathrooms for a couple of hours in the morning. Lighting is by LED throughout (except for the neon in the garage), the hob is magnetic induction, and I would struggle to fit more insulation in the loft. I fall down on heating and hot water, which come from a beast of a gas boiler in the garage. Downstairs, the heating is underfloor, with each of the four separate areas controlled by its own programmable thermostat. I think you could say that I put my money where my mouth is, unlike in our previous home. We bought that at auction, putting my mouth where my money was.

My bike is purely organically powered. I have a petrol car, which I shall probably keep until either I stop driving or the government offers me cash to change it for electric in a desperate attempt to hit a target, whichever comes first. This past year particularly, my mileage has been pretty negligible, so a change to electric doesn't make financial sense.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 09:52:52 pm by TonyK » Logged

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broadgage
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« Reply #122 on: April 03, 2021, 04:56:57 pm »

Or invest in Bitcoin.  Not so good for the environment though!

And a bubble likely to burst soon. It is the ultimate in speculation for speculation's sake, and could form a new discussion on its own. The energy expended is considerable, said to be around 0.6% of the electricity used in the whole world, or slightly more than Argentina.

Agree, bitcoin might well be a bubble that is about to burst.
The energy used in bitcoin mining is also grounds for concern.
Any holding of bitcoin should be considered a possible preparation for an uncertain future, It MIGHT retain value if sterling became worthless. The main merit of bitcoin is that governments cant print more of it, as they are apt to do with paper money.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
broadgage
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« Reply #123 on: April 03, 2021, 05:05:04 pm »

Or invest in Bitcoin.  Not so good for the environment though!

.............this may be worth considering as an investment too, I believe we have an authority on the subject amongst us!  Wink

https://www.taylor.pt/us/buy-port-wine/buying-advice/buying-port-as-an-investment#:~:text=Investment%20in%20Vintage%20Port%20becomes%20particularly%20attractive%20when,in%20stocks%20and%20bonds%20look%20risky%20or%20volatile.

If you were thinking of me, I certainly enjoy the odd glass of port, but would NOT recommend it as an investment.
Vintage port tends to increase in value, but the market is limited, and declines entirely possible.
Enough port to be a worthwhile investment is also very bulky and vulnerable to theft, fire, flood and other perils. If you pay a port shipper, a wine merchant, or other third party to store and insure it, this costs money.

There is also some risk of fraud.

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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #124 on: April 03, 2021, 07:22:37 pm »


If you were thinking of me, I certainly enjoy the odd glass of port, but would NOT recommend it as an investment.
Vintage port tends to increase in value, but the market is limited, and declines entirely possible.
Enough port to be a worthwhile investment is also very bulky and vulnerable to theft, fire, flood and other perils. If you pay a port shipper, a wine merchant, or other third party to store and insure it, this costs money.

There is also some risk of fraud.

I find it doesn't keep. Not in my house, anyway.
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broadgage
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« Reply #125 on: April 03, 2021, 07:42:12 pm »

And becomes more perishable in lockdown, I found.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
broadgage
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« Reply #126 on: April 03, 2021, 08:52:34 pm »

And BTW (by the way), Tonyk, I admire your house.
I dislike most new homes, considering cheap ones to be ugly little rabbit hutches, and expensive new homes to be fake "ye olde" or giant rabbit hutches.

Yours looks to me like a good modern design, not an ugly block, and not pretending to be old.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #127 on: April 03, 2021, 09:47:41 pm »

And becomes more perishable in lockdown, I found.

The angels seem to take a bigger share.  Grin To be honest, I didn't replace the last bottle to mysteriously drain. Lockdown has been very sober. I have probably drunk less alcohol since 17 March 2020 than I drank on 17 March 2020.

And BTW (by the way), Tonyk, I admire your house.
I dislike most new homes, considering cheap ones to be ugly little rabbit hutches, and expensive new homes to be fake "ye olde" or giant rabbit hutches.

Yours looks to me like a good modern design, not an ugly block, and not pretending to be old.


Thank you, we rather like it. This happened after we had sworn never to buy a new house, but the view from the bedroom seduced us. We are still not regretting it. This may come as a surprise to anyone who assumed I was typing rubbish in a bedsit.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 09:54:46 pm by TonyK » Logged

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broadgage
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« Reply #128 on: April 03, 2021, 11:34:51 pm »

I think that we have previously seen your house, the picture looked very familiar, but I had forfotton about it until this thread.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #129 on: April 04, 2021, 12:56:26 pm »

Sometimes, I have myself at a disadvantage. The point is, though, that all of the things you listed for homes are somewhere in the current building regs, and all new houses have to have energy efficiency designed into them, just as cars do. The next major step comes in 2025, when gas boilers will no longer be an option for new houses. Air source was considered for mine, but discounted partly on cost, partly because the technology isn't grown up yet. The solar panel (with feed-in tariff) will pay for itself in about 10 years, but air source heating would not. Either would have achieved the necessary efficiency rating to pass the building regs test, and the architect opted for the cheapest. I have a family member looking to build a home in the next few years, so I will find out more about air or ground pumps soon.

Houses last longer than cars, meaning that natural wastage alone won't achieve transformation of the nation's housing stock. I read in yesterday's paper that new policies will make mortgages harder to come by for older houses that do not come up to scratch, beginning with buy-to-let. Landlords will not be able to rent to tenants any property without a rating of C or above, which will make for a significant uplift in standards. As a landlord, I think this is wonderful news, having met this standard already for many years, but some will have serious money to lay out.

As you said earlier, you can invest to save money, even if you don't care about the environmental impacts. Retrofitting underfloor heating is never going to be easy, although if you have other floor problems to solve, it's worth a look. Similarly, swapping a modern gas boiler in good working order for air source heating makes no sense on the economic front, but is worthy of consideration if a change needs to be made. Solar power isn't for everyone, and much was done in the early rush that has come back to bite homeowners. It takes quite a few years to recoup the investment, especially with the reduced incentives from the public purse. The quick cheap fixes in your helpful list should be pushed harder, though. LED lighting has improved immensely in quality and in price, and bulbs of all shapes are available from the likes of Dunelm at prices that can be recouped in a low number of years. I don't know the current situation, but a few years ago, rood insulation was being practically given away at the shops. There are subtler things - an acquaintance found out only after having a smart electric meter fitted that a fridge-freezer that he didn't know was malfunctioning was responsible for a lot of his electricity bill. The replacement paid for itself quickly - and that's the ultimate incentive. If you can work out the cost of something over its probable lifetime, the benefits become suddenly clear.
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broadgage
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« Reply #130 on: April 04, 2021, 03:15:21 pm »

In the specific case of heat pumps, I would say that this technology shows much promise but is not yet mature.

Grid connected PV is already worthwhile in many cases.
Domestic sized wind turbines are only worthwhile in particularly windy locations, or when utilty power is not available.

LED lamps are now the norm, I keep thinking that my home is all LED, until I find another incandescent in some seldom used light.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
broadgage
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« Reply #131 on: April 07, 2021, 03:46:21 am »

UK (United Kingdom) electricity supply over Easter was "the greenest yet" due to reduced load and plenty of wind and sun.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56657299

Splendid news, but before any undue optimism breaks out, do remember that this refers only to ELECTRICITY and does not include petrol and diesel fuel for transport, nor does it include natural gas, oil, and coal for domestic heating.
Ptogress in these sectors is tather less impressive.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #132 on: April 07, 2021, 02:35:40 pm »

Domestic sized wind turbines are only worthwhile in particularly windy locations, or when utilty power is not available.


Some years ago, a pub on Blackpool's seafront to advantage of the famous "breeze" and then generous incentives to fit four domestic wind turbines on poles on the four corners of his outside smoking and boozing area (beer garden would not be appropriate). It was as well that he was paid for his electricity, because on windy days, he had few customers, even fewer after some were spattered with bits of minced seagull. I haven't been past there since 2017, at which time two remained, with one working as I presume it was intended to, and one oscillating alarmingly because of a couple of missing blades. The noise is similar to the airport. If you have seen Crocodile Dundee II, you will wonder why indigenous Australians haven't answered the call to help.
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TonyK
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« Reply #133 on: April 07, 2021, 02:50:12 pm »

Splendid news, but before any undue optimism breaks out, do remember that this refers only to ELECTRICITY and does not include petrol and diesel fuel for transport, nor does it include natural gas, oil, and coal for domestic heating.

Very much my point over a period of time. I have read that use of electricity accounts for only about 20-25% of energy use across Britain. So when we hear that half of all power used was generated by renewables, we should read that as meaning about 10 to 15%.

On the good news front - fusion power is now only 10 years away. It has been only 10 years away since I was old enough to watch Tomorrows World and understand what Raymond Baxter was talking about. This time, the auguries are a little better, with actual building work going on for a full scale demonstration, that will hopefully achieve a net gain in power. I suppose that one day someone will think of a better way of turning heat into electricity than a steam turbine.

HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) has found a use for old wind turbine blades, using slices of them instead of rebar in concrete structures. Not the track slab, I hasten to add, nor anything else safety critical, but it will at least delay their passage to landfill.

A steel company is pioneering the use of old car tyres in the blast furnace instead of coke, so solving two dilemmas with one solution. Another is looking to use graphene recovered from waste, but I have forgotten the details of how.
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broadgage
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« Reply #134 on: April 07, 2021, 04:17:55 pm »

Back in the good old days, when I was but a nipper, fusion power was THIRTY years in the future, so it seems to be getting closer.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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