Guardian: solve the UK energy crisis for the long term – store more power

Posted: January 10, 2022 by oldbrew in climate, Energy, government, ideology
Tags: , ,

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‘Four storage solutions to help Britain keep the lights on deep into the future’ says the paper’s sub-heading. But given the puny nature of their suggestions, that looks to be about all they could hope to do. What about actual reliable power for heating, transport, industry, commerce, hospitals, shops, services etc.?
– – –
Soaring energy bills rooted in a global gas supply crunch have focused minds on the age-old problem: how can we better store power? says The Guardian.

Attention has turned to the closure of the Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea in 2017, which left the UK with only enough storage to meet the demand of four to five winter days.

But while gas is being phased out, Britain’s growing reliance on renewables, such as offshore wind and solar, does not solve the problem of intermittency – what happens when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine.

The key to securing enough affordable, low-carbon energy is more storage to make the most of the renewable energy available. A storage boom has been forecast over the coming decade as governments race to meet their climate targets.
. . .
Their four suggestions:
— ‘Gravity’ storage
— Concentrated solar power storage [see below]
— Green hydrogen
— ‘Cryogenic’ batteries

Full article here.
– – –
If anyone finds any or all of these a convincing and/or ‘affordable’ alternative to existing fuels as a storage medium, please explain why.

UPDATE 10/1/22, 7PM (UK)
The Concentrated solar power storage project cited by the Guardian (Crescent Dunes) as an example to follow has already been wound up!

U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey:
‘As a result of alleged misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance, the project failed, and the plant is now nonoperational.’
[Report dated December 09, 2021]

  1. […] Guardian: solve the UK energy crisis for the long term – store more power […]

  2. Gamecock says:

    No point in critiquing their list. It’s not about storage at all. The point of the article is to gas light all into believing that renewable energy is viable.

    “We just need a few storage tricks to tidy it up, and we’ll be fine.”

  3. Curious George says:

    I wonder which of the four suggestions is the most impractical one.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Gravity storage uses more power than it stores, being a variation of pumped storage.

  5. cognog2 says:

    I doubt anyone in the Guardian has the slightest clue what the Thermodynamic Laws are.

  6. JB says:

    Nature has already solved the storage problem. But these people don’t want to use them all.

  7. stpaulchuck says:

    Rube Goldberg was a politician at heart

  8. oldbrew says:

    Crescent Dunes fiasco…

    Guardian 10 Jan 2022 :
    In the heat of the Nevada desert US engineers have already begun pioneering new technology which stores energy generated by renewables as heat. The Crescent Dunes project uses the heat of a vast solar farm, concentrated using mirrors, to heat molten salt to temperatures of up to 560C. The salt is able to maintain this temperature until electricity is needed. Then, the heat is used to run a conventional steam turbine which generates enough electricity to power 75,000 homes long after the sun has set.

    But this press report on December 09, 2021 says:

    U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey [on] the project’s denouement:

    The Crescent Dunes Project brought together numerous Nevadan, Texan, Californian, Delawarean, and Spanish entities and their subsidiaries; the United States Department of Energy; the Nevada Power Company; and hundreds of millions of dollars through a series of contracts and guaranties to fund, construct, and operationalize a solar-thermal power plant in Tonopah, Nevada. As a result of alleged misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance, the project failed, and the plant is now nonoperational. [bold added]
    – – –
    Blog post updated.

    The Guardian even shows a picture of the now-defunct plant.

  9. oldbrew says:

    More on the Crescent Dunes fiasco…

    EDITORIAL: Failed solar project offers warning
    August 9, 2020

    A failed solar plant in Tonopah is a reminder that reality frequently fails to live up to the promises of the green energy hype machine.

    In late July, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it would recuperate $200 million from the failed Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project. The $1 billion solar plant received $737 million in taxpayer loan guarantees in 2011. The project sounded too good to be true.

    It was.
    – – –
    It’s 2022 now and the Guardian is still churning out the green energy hype for this project. Hello?

  10. Gamecock says:

    ‘Then, the heat is used to run a conventional steam turbine which generates enough electricity to power 75,000 homes long after the sun has set.’

    What if they want to watch TV before the sun sets?

    There are 135,000,000 homes in America.

    135,000,000 ÷ 75,000 = 1,800 X $1 billion = $1,800,000,000,000

    A billion dollars for a plant to intermittently* power 75,000 homes is insane. Something you would only do if you were using someone else’s credit card.

    *Whatever other generation systems are used must still be fully intact to power the homes when solar is NOT available, which occurs EVERY DAY.

  11. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Just how moronic are Graudian writers? And readers?

  12. Coeur de Lion says:

    Was this the huge area of sun panel devastation in the desert shown in Moore’s ‘Planet of the Humans’? Obscene.

  13. Graeme No.3 says:

    Well they aren’t good enough to get jobs with the BBC.

  14. Saighdear says:

    ! ? Storage? I’ve got a couple of old sheds and a large Byre – will that do?
    FFS storage…. it’s NOT STORAGE OF POWER WE WANT – it’s PRODUCTION. Don’t these plonkers ever learn ANYTHING ? In the days of the old EEC, we had Storage of EXCESS Production. In todays mad world we have INSUFFICIENT production of energy when we need it: NO storage problem – it would be consumed directly….. Anyone see “Robertson’s Ramblings” last night? ALL the windmills at idle: Scotland’s other national FLAG – known as the Stuboris Flag!

  15. DB says:

    I don’t suppose anybody at the paper would be aware that you store energy, not power.

    By the way, as part of the Crescent Dunes plant bankruptcy settlement the new owners are supposed to restart the plant.

  16. Joe Public says:

    Typical Grauniad bullshit.

    1. “Attention has turned to the closure of the Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea in 2017, which left the UK with only enough storage to meet the demand of four to five winter days.”

    We’ve approx natural gas storage for about 8 – 10 winter days.

    We’ve ~17,000GWh of conventional storage, ~13,000GWh of LNG storage; there’s ~4,000GWh in Linepack.

    In addition, we’ve direct connections numerous North Sea caverns.

    2. Sure ‘green’ hydrogen can store energy, but the Graun’s silly Jilly Ambrose forgot to mention it takes approx 2GWh of electricity to produce & make transportable 1GWh of energy in hydrogen.

  17. Gamecock says:

    It is Bizarro World, Saighdear. Talk of storage as people die of shortage. Storage is to solve insufficient production.

  18. oldbrew says:

    This article says ‘the once cutting-edge project has been rendered financially obsolete by the plunging costs of photovoltaic solar systems’.

    However the firm that has bought it cheap still expects to make some money out of it.

  19. Stuart Brown says:

    Ambrose hasn’t a clue has she? Along with the inevitable GW to describe storage capacity rather than GWh, we get told that batteries can only store energy for an hour or so, and that technology capable of storing it for longer is the answer. Don’t leave your Tesla parked for too long at Tesco then… Storage only makes money when discharging surely? If you only sell what you’ve stored a couple of times a month because you are storing a couple of weeks worth at a time then the economics are dismal.

    Meanwhile we are going to lose the youngest Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors a couple of years earlier than anticipated, so in 2028 we may be down to just Sizewell B if Hinckley Point C is only a couple of years late.

    “…since Heysham 2, in Lancashire in northwest England, and Torness, in East Lothian in Scotland, started generating electricity in 1988 the two power stations had produced enough energy to power every home in the UK for five years.”

    They only need refuelling about every 18 months – now that’s storage!

  20. pochas94 says:

    I have one!! Capture the CO2 from power plants, convert it to methane, and pump it into a natural gas reservoir.

    “Scientists developed a new method to convert carbon dioxide to methane with an electric field at low temperatures. In comparison to previous methods, this new method can produce any amount of methane whenever necessary. Because methane is a valuable gas which can be used to generate heat and electricity, this method could be exploited to help reduce the use of fossil fuels and prevent global warming.

  21. Saighdear says:

    Just back from a spot of Ploughing – what I can do this now saves me time later in the spring – akin to STORAGE ( work done ) ( physics:- a form of energy – potential , etc etc ) Anyway, anyone cared to look at WIND Production today ? will do an awful lot of good for storage, and the DAKAR – how’s the electric ODDIE doing ? needs a screaming IC motor to recharge it’s batteries mid-race, I believe.

  22. stpaulchuck says:

    pochas94 says:
    January 11, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    OMG!! burning methane => CO2 result!! Oh, the humanity!!

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