The Anonymous Widower

Amber Rudd Puts Onshore Wind Out Of Its Misery

I don’t like onshore wind farms so I was pleased to see this announcement by Amber Rudd on the BBC, which is titled Earlier end to subsidies for new UK onshore wind farms.

Onshore wind blights the countryside and you have to use a lot of subsidy to make a development viable.

But, I mainly don’t like the concept of wind power, because it is too mechanical, as opposed to solar, where you put up a panel and its control system and you get electricity.

Solar’s other big advantage is just emerging and that is the ability to link it to an intelligent battery such as the Tesla Powerwall to provide an independent power system for a building or something remote that needs good clean energy.

In a few years time, I predict that all new houses will have solar panels on the roof and the next generation of storage battery in the garage. Coupled with increases in insulation quality, I also think, we’ll see the likes of Barratt advertising houses with no external gas and only a stand-by  electricity connection, for use on the dullest days.

The big energy companies won’t like it! But surely this is the sign of a good idea?

My energy usage isn’t high, but when the solar/battery powerplant drops in price sufficiently, I’ll fit one!

June 18, 2015 - Posted by | World | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. In agree about wind power; the density of air is too low to provide any useful output without making massive machines. Wind is also unreliable, as we get no electricity when the wind doesn’t blow. Water is better, and it would be good to use our rivers to provide micro-generation in the country. Quite a small river will generate in excess of 100kW using small plant with very little impact on the surroundings. Larger rivers could produce much more. Wave power could provide much more. These schemes however won’t make much impact on the overall demand, and the real benefit comes from using less power. We need to fully insulate our houses and stop wasting money on unnecessary lighting (offices when empty, street lights on motorways, etc.) One of the problems with the current (no pun intended) methods of power storage is that they have limited storage, limited life, and recycling issues. Why don’t we spend more money on developing graphene (http://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/explore/the-applications/energy/) instead of trying to find fairy dust? Currently the cost of the Tesla battery is far too high. It stores only 30p of electricity for a cost of £3,000, so by getting electricity at half price it would take nearly 55 years to recover the cost (compared with £144,000 return if invested), or if the electricity is free, only just over 27 years. Neither is financially attractive. I looked at electricity storage a couple of years ago for the Eco Lodges in Clophill, and bay far the cheapest solution was lead acid batteries (as used in fork lift trucks) as they hold a lot of power at the lowest cost per kWh stored. The charger/inverter electronics to charge them and provide 230 VAC from them has been around for a long time and can be linked to solar panels, wind generators, and diesel generators (for emergency), as required. The Tesla system offers nothing new, other than volume production of lithium batteries, a packaged product, and the marketing to get the volume sales necessary to generate the sales volume.

    Comment by John Wright | June 18, 2015 | Reply

  2. I agree with a lot of what you say.

    The Tesla battery will be looked at in a few years time, as something that was a toy. Big companies like Panasonic are getting involved and I suspect that one will come up with an affordable solution, that combines a whole spectrum of technologies.

    As we know, and have seen in the fifty yers since we left University, electronics get cheaper and cheaper and solar panels and batteries will follow the same route. So when a solar/battery/whatever system becomes cheaper to buy and run than my current energy deal, I might buy one.

    Comment by AnonW | June 18, 2015 | Reply


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