ENERGY MATTERS

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 11 Mar 2017, 12:44

Always tell companies you don't want auto-renewal and make sure don't accidentally tick a box for it. Otherwise they take you for a non-switcher and will very definitely bump up your price next time around. Auto-renewal is a very useful indicator for them!

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 12 Mar 2017, 03:55

I don't renew that way Tiz. I ring them up at Burnley and they search each year for a better offer for me. It just so happens that the best quote has been the same company three years on the trot.
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 13 Mar 2017, 10:08

`New Materials Could Turn Water into the Fuel of the Future: A new materials discovery approach puts solar fuels on the fast track to commercial viability'

Researchers at Caltech and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have—in just two years—nearly doubled the number of materials known to have potential for use in solar fuels. They did so by developing a process that promises to speed the discovery of commercially viable solar fuels that could replace coal, oil, and other fossil fuels. Solar fuels, a dream of clean-energy research, are created using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide (CO2). Researchers are exploring a range of target fuels, from hydrogen gas to liquid hydrocarbons, but producing any of these fuels involves splitting water.

Each water molecule comprises an oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. The hydrogen atoms are extracted and then can be reunited to create highly flammable hydrogen gas or combined with CO2 to create hydrocarbon fuels, creating a plentiful and renewable energy source. The problem, however, is that water molecules do not simply break down when sunlight shines on them—if they did, the oceans would not cover most of the planet. They need a little help from a solar-powered catalyst.

To create practical solar fuels, scientists have been trying to develop low-cost and efficient materials, known as photoanodes, that are capable of splitting water using visible light as an energy source. Over the past four decades, researchers identified only 16 of these photoanode materials. Now, using a new high-throughput method of identifying new materials, a team of researchers led by Caltech's John Gregoire and Berkeley Lab's Jeffrey Neaton and Qimin Yan have found 12 promising new photoanodes.

More here: LINK

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 14 Mar 2017, 04:49

If I understand this correctly it could render fusion obsolete! These pesky scientists!
Trouble builds over the arguments behind burning biomass. Bit like the climate change disputes, the anti biomass camp seem to be gaining the ascendancy.....
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 14 Mar 2017, 11:45

Like burning fossil fuels, biomass still puts out CO2 and if not fully combusted there'll be the nasty particulates too.

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 15 Mar 2017, 05:04

And, even if the carbon sink model of forest growth is correct it will be 60 years before we see any benefit. Recent research has questioned how efficient trees and vegetation are at removing CO2 and producing oxygen.
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 16 Mar 2017, 10:11

Talk of the devil....the debate over this will produce enough energy and hot air to lower emissions!
`Burning wood for energy ignites fierce academic row' LINK
"Scientists on both sides of the Atlantic have become embroiled in a war of words over energy from trees. A recent Chatham House report claimed that burning wood for electricity is worse for the climate than using coal. It sparked a backlash from a group of 125 academics in the field who said the research was deeply flawed. Now supporters of the original study have hit back, saying that to avoid dangerous warming the world needs to plant more trees, not burn them."

This is science in action. Collect evidence, analyse it, debate it. Repeat the process until you get close to a consensus, but remember that you'll never get a 100% consensus, there will always be outliers - and they're important too because they question the consensus.

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 17 Mar 2017, 04:45

As Informed Watchers we have a role as well. We are probably best placed to objectively judge the way the wind is blowing. My impression is that the anti-biomass camp are gradually gaining the ascendancy but it's slow and meanwhile the Planet burns...... We saw exactly the same thing with the debate on Climate Change......
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tripps » 21 Mar 2017, 12:28

Well - I've taken the plunge, and 'switched' suppliers for electricity and gas. Spent the weekend toiling over the numbers - which is not as easy as I thought it might be. You have to estimate what next years figure might be, and guess whether or not the new supplier (Octopus), will increase their prices - though there is a 12 month fix available.

Finally the fact that all their numbers - standing charges and both unit costs - were significantly less than I am currently paying. swung it. Also I've just been told that my electricity from eOn will go up significantly very shortly.

The actual switching was very simple - I had all the account and meter numbers to hand, but they were not needed, just my address and bank details was enough. I have a 14 day cooling off period to call it all off.

Wish me luck . :smile:
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 22 Mar 2017, 03:21

Great minds think alike.... I haven't changed supplier but BG offered me free leccy on Sunday plus a price cap until May 2018. I reckon prices are going to go up so I made the change.
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 22 Mar 2017, 09:47

We don't have any gas supply in our village and it's hardly worthwhile changing electricity supplier for the amount we use. We just make sure we're on the lowest EDF deal. We get our oil from a big local syndicate which has a good discount from the standard price.
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It looks like the shift away from coal in China and India is being driven less by CO2 concerns and more by smog (China) and lack of funds (India)...
`Plans for coal-fired power plants drop by almost half in 2016' LINK
"Twenty-sixteen saw a "dramatic" decline in the number of coal-fired power stations in pre-construction globally. The authors of a new study say there was a 48% fall in planned coal units, with a 62% drop in construction starts. The report, from several green campaign groups, claims changing policies and economic conditions in China and India were behind the decline. However, the coal industry argues the fuel will remain essential to economic growth in Asia for decades to come..."

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 23 Mar 2017, 04:50

I saw that report as well Tiz. Despite the decrease there will still be a good market for Australian coal......
Funny isn't it that as we become more and more preoccupied with Brexit Hinkley Point drops from view.... Last I heard the project was in deep trouble and not finalised.
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 23 Mar 2017, 11:02

It hasn't dropped from view here. The major road works in Bridgwater are in full swing. Some of the local traders on the retail estates have seen their sales halved and they are unsure about their future.

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 24 Mar 2017, 05:49

Good! Someone should be watching what is happening. I suspect we will get an update from Old Sparky in PE shortly, he is usually on the ball!
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 01 Apr 2017, 10:25

`First concrete poured at Hinkley C nuclear power plant' LINK

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 02 Apr 2017, 02:28

Will the foreign workers have any problems getting work permits?
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tizer » 02 Apr 2017, 09:30

Anyone from outside Somerset will need a special permit....only joking, haha! They'll probably all be French or Chinese holding permits signed in advance years ago with the signature of someone called G. Osborne.

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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 05 Apr 2017, 04:35

News this morning that I am now on a fixed tariff with BG until May 2018 and also free leccy on Sundays from 9AM until 5PM. I'm not sure whether the fixed tariff is an improvement but I'm expecting energy charges to rise. I reckon that by doing my washing and forward planned cooking on a Sunday I can make that pay. We shall see......
I like the fact that they warn me that if I start doing the washing for the whole street or start a restaurant in my front room they will review my agreement!
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Tripps » 05 Apr 2017, 09:53

Well today is switch over day. I have sent final readings to the new supplier, (that's how it's done), and had mail from both previous suppliers saying they're sorry to see me go - It's encouraging to see that they are aware of the situation.
Everything still works - I am now in the clutches of 'Octopus'. :smile:
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 06 Apr 2017, 02:47

Good luck with it David. I am very suspicious of all these sites encouraging us to compare and switch suppliers of everything. They are not charities! someone somewhere is paying......
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Pluggy » 06 Apr 2017, 20:03

The comparison sites agree kickbacks with the suppliers for each customer they send their way. The customer ultimately pays of course. If the supplier doesn't want to pay the kickbacks, they don't get listed on the comparison site. Simples......
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 07 Apr 2017, 03:01

Everything has a price.....
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 11 Apr 2017, 05:29

Some disappointing news this morning, Westinghouse are filing for bankruptcy after losing heavily on 4 nuclear plants they are building in America. They are owned by Toshiba who are trying to make up the £6billion shortfall and also looking to sell Westinghouse. Problem is that Toshiba/Westinghouse are the main contractors for the proposed new nuclear plant at Moorside near Sellafield which is supposed to be about the same size as Hinkley Point. This prospect is now looking very unlikely particularly as the design of the 3 reactors at Moorside is the same as the 4 in the States that are causing the problem.
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Stanley » 22 Apr 2017, 04:48

THIS is worth reading. A red letter day. The first time in the modern era with no electricity generation from coal. This is good but of course we are still churning out CO2 from other sources and energy policy is in tatters. It may be that salvation can come form things like decreased consumption by more efficient use of the power. There are encouraging signs that even allowing for reduced economic activity electricity demand is falling as a component of modern life.
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Re: ENERGY MATTERS

Post by Wendyf » 05 May 2017, 12:52

We have been looking at the figures for our solar panels, installed less than 6 years ago just before the original feed in tariff was cut in late November 2011. The installation cost £8,800 and up to the last meter reading on 21st March we have been paid £8,313. That doesn't take into account all the free electric we have used ourselves...a worthwhile investment! Never thought we would get this far without the government changing its mind about the tariff though.

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