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Coal being phased out

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Mike Poole21/02/2020 11:47:30
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Headline in the Telegraph today reports coal will become increasingly difficult to source, open fires and wood burning stoves will be more restricted on what they can burn. I wonder if the whole fuel business will fold if they are restricted to anthracite and dry wood. Coal for live steam models burns a tiny amount of fuel in a year but even if an exception were made for certain uses we would rely on a viable extraction and distribution network for it. It seems the push for total electric houses and cars is on. I went to the Screwfix show a few months ago and one interesting item was an electric replacement for a gas boiler, not really a realistic replacement at the moment considering the differential in gas and electric prices but I am sure that will be sorted out. The electricity generation and distribution network is going to need some significant upgrading to heat our homes and charge our vehicles. Will ME be having articles on gas or electric conversions for live steamers.

Mike

Mike

Chris Evans 621/02/2020 11:57:29
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Having a wood stove is one of life's pleasures for me. I've never burnt wet wood, always showing my logs 2 summers before burning. As I read things it is the wet wood and house coal being phased out. I intend to lay in a good stock over the next 12 months.

Bill Davies 221/02/2020 12:39:03
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Electricity from fuel involves conversion costs, which is why it is always about three times dearer than gas, for an equivalent unit of energy. (BTU/hr, anyone?). Without a huge increase in renewable energy, which the current government do not seem to support, or an increase in nuclear, how are we to power homes (and I guess, industry, too) and vehicles?

Not to mention the need to massively increase in the capacity of the Grid, and vehicle charging points. Bill Gates' recent comment about the time taken to charge is an important factor, too.

Looking forward to seeing more battery powered steam engines...

Bill

pgk pgk21/02/2020 12:39:09
1801 forum posts
288 photos

It's not going to be possible to police in the countryside - they'd need to have some police here first.

With my woodlands and hedges with trees there's an almost unlimited supply of wood ..and a load of it in various stages of cut and split in one barn but we avoid using it due to the dust and mess involved.

pgk

not done it yet21/02/2020 12:47:34
4648 forum posts
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electric replacement for a gas boiler

According to electricityinfo.org which provides up to date info on UK generation, coal generated leccy produce about three times as much CO2 per unit generation as does CCGT generation with natural gas. Biofuel produces about a third of the CO2 emissions of CCGT and nuclear about half that of the biomass burners.

Wind, hydro and solar CO2 releases are recorded as zilch, although some would (of course) argue against this.

After the recent spate of world-wide weather-based disasters (including the two recent storms here in the UK) fewer will be speaking out against reducing the amount of CO2 released, by human activity, into the atmosphere.

Coal, for steam generation will be rather more expensive than other forms of heating but small amounts will be mined locally, or imported, for people who run model steam engines and, undoubtedly, for those full sized machines in preservation.

About 3 years ago a fully fullychargedshow video show-cased Ceres Power who demonstrated the possibility of fuel cells for household electricity generation (and heat as well).

The most relevant bit is about 7 minutes into the video **LINK**

If the gas grid were to go to higher (green) hydrogen content, that might be a future domestic development worth looking at.

More HVDC interconnectors are being added all the time and more renewable generation, too - so the grid is being reinforced at the present time. Agreed it is woeful that wind generation is often curtailed due to distribution and other problems.

So, personally, I don’t think conversions will be necessary - but for updated designs for new builds it might be a good move. I would think LPG might be the way to go for this (not a long electric lead or electrified tracks).

JohnF21/02/2020 12:54:00
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Posted by Mike Poole on 21/02/2020 11:47:30:

I went to the Screwfix show a few months ago and one interesting item was an electric replacement for a gas boiler, not really a realistic replacement at the moment considering the differential in gas and electric prices but I am sure that will be sorted out.

Mike

Some years ago I fitted one of these electric combo boilers in a cottage - very small cottage -- for my daughters partner. The boiler was for a closed pressurised system for heating and hot water, it works very well and because the cottage is small, 2 rooms down and one bedroom + bathroom upstairs its quite affordable. The reason for the choice was no gas and no room for an oil tank.

In this situation its fine but I would think hard before fitting a similar system on a normal size family home, it would i guess be expensive to run even though it uses off peak power as far as possible.

Regarding the OP I wonder what will happen to all the bio fuel units that have been fitted in recent time -- many with government incentives !

John

Robert Atkinson 221/02/2020 12:57:10
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Looks like another ill thought out "knee-jerk" reaction to "help" the environment. If cheap wood and coal are restricted there will be even more people burning rubbish like treated wood, painted wood and bonded products like chipboard and MDF producing even more pollution. Wood burners may be a pleasure for some users but may not be for those downwind, especially if they have asthma or other respiratory problems.

Using electricity to directly heat water for a central heating system is just nuts. A air water heat pump is a better option.

If we are going ahead with all this electrification we need a good amount of new nuclear generation capacity for the near and mid term, but no one seems to be doing anything about that. New generation fast reactors that can "burn" part used fuel and stockpiled depleted uranium would be a good option.

Robert G8RPI.

Bazyle21/02/2020 13:14:30
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5224 forum posts
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As with the phasing out of petrol cars this is inspired by city dwellers with no thought of those in the countryside who don't have mains gas and busses.
Coal which includes anthracite of course may go but 'manufactured' fuels will be allowed. This might include coke as used in blast furnaces from which the gas and tar producing components have been extracted. Unseasoned wood can still be sold in a minimum lot of 2m3. In the uk logs tend to be sold by a 'load' which is supposedly 1m3 and likely under half a yard solid wood. However it is also governed by what a small trailer/open pickup can carry. A genuine 2m3 would overload most.

The protests will likely cause some more rational approach but meanwhile lots of people will be ripped off by fuel sellers pushing a 'last time buy'.

Currently sitting in front of my very small log burner which has got the living room up to 11C with help of 200W from the dehumidifier. Half a mile outside the village so the smoke won't be affecting anyone.

Edited By Bazyle on 21/02/2020 13:17:51

Circlip21/02/2020 13:17:59
1105 forum posts

Despite all todays pollution, not seen "Yellow smog" since the early sixties in the UK.

 

Regards Ian.

Edited By Circlip on 21/02/2020 13:18:38

Edited By Circlip on 21/02/2020 13:19:02

Dave Halford21/02/2020 13:39:01
753 forum posts
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This looks to me like nothing more than an expansion of the smokeless zone to cover the whole country. Mobile chimneys were exempt from that.

Nigel McBurney 121/02/2020 14:18:42
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What is the point of all this green twaddle there is so much coal being burnt around the world to generate electricity,i read today theres another power plant to be built in europe ,plus hundreds in Asia, we are wasting our time and economiccaly it will cost our country a fortune to go green ,making everything more expensive and the rest of the world will laugh at us for being so stupid in running down our coal power stations,No good relying on natural power ,in the uk water power and wind power failed in the last milenium, and the remaining mills grinding flour ended up with an oil engine keeping the business going. Electric cars will need an awful lot of power to get recharged and no doubt the towrags will in future stop nicking catalytic converters and start thieving cars to get the expensive batteries.The powers that be only think of their cosy flats in citie,and forget about the population in the rest of the country, I burn wood and oil,I dont know any one who burns wet wood ,its the quickest way there is to block up a chimney with a tarry goo,wood needs drying naturally for around five years but it does take up a lot of storage,and effort to saw and split and stack,as for oil I had the contents of my tank stolen so you cannot win.

J Hancock21/02/2020 15:18:37
406 forum posts

Always reassuring to look at GB National Grid during a cold ,wind less day.

Coal still there, producing >6% .

Meanwhile the Vandals are wrecking perfectly good 4GW stations, just in case we need them one day.

Douglas Johnston21/02/2020 15:42:32
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As a matter of interest why is wet wood a problem. I know nothing about wood burning but just wondering where the problem lies. Why does burning wet wood produce more pollution?

Doug

Howard Lewis21/02/2020 16:03:20
3276 forum posts
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A good soundbite for some "right on" politician who is unaware of the ramifications of what they are demanding.

"It works alright in Cheyne Walk Chelsea, so what's the problem?"

It will cause difficulties for all steam users, full scale, or modellers, static or mobile.

The world will have to follow the lead set by Swiss Railways several years ago. They converted a little 0-4-0 shunter to draw current via a pantograph to raise steam in the boiler!

Soon the same folk will be demanding a world wide ban on all diesel engines.

A splendid idea if you are a sailmaker, or know the difference between shrouds, braces and halyards.

Their minds are made up, don't confuse the issue with facts!

Howard

Neil Wyatt21/02/2020 16:09:06
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Posted by Robert Atkinson 2 on 21/02/2020 12:57:10:

Looks like another ill thought out "knee-jerk" reaction to "help" the environment.

Actually they are still the main source of many pollutants.

The rules aren't as shocking as most people seem to think, you'll still be able to burn stove nuts, coke or dried timber.

All they are doing is extending 'smokeless zones' to cover the whole UK.

Neil

Former Member21/02/2020 16:13:08

[This posting has been removed]

Neil Wyatt21/02/2020 16:18:11
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Posted by Howard Lewis on 21/02/2020 16:03:20:

It will cause difficulties for all steam users, full scale, or modellers, static or mobile.

Will it though? Very few people running model live steam locos use house coal.

The small number of specialist suppliers of steam coal should still be able to supply.

Neil

Neil Wyatt21/02/2020 16:22:19
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Posted by J Hancock on 21/02/2020 15:18:37:

Always reassuring to look at GB National Grid during a cold ,wind less day.

Coal still there, producing >6% .

Meanwhile the Vandals are wrecking perfectly good 4GW stations, just in case we need them one day.

Or have a look the other day, a typical overcast February day... and solar was producing more than coal. In fact wind was 37% of the grid and all low-carbon sources (including nuclear) were contributing 70%. While people continue to question the viability fo renewables, they just get on with taking over...

fizzy21/02/2020 16:26:40
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Pendle Steam Boilers are developing an ell electric stationary steam boiler at the moment....doubt it will save the planet though!

Russell Eberhardt21/02/2020 16:36:59
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Posted by Nigel McBurney 1 on 21/02/2020 14:18:42:

What is the point of all this green twaddle

Well, global warming may not affect us old gits too much but I do worry for the future of my grandchildren with the predicted effects of global warming.

Russell

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