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The demise of UK fossil fuel Power Stations

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Michael Gilligan20/01/2021 10:10:08
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Not sure if this will ever make it back onto iPlayer, but it was surprisingly good viewing:

**LINK**

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000lzmn

Lightweight, but very nicely done.

MichaelG.

Martin 10020/01/2021 16:40:41
274 forum posts
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Posted by Stuw on 18/01/2021 12:16:13:

The coal fired power stations / boilers were inefficient (~ 22%)

There wasn’t a single coal fired power station in the UK operating in 1990 with a thermal efficiency under 30 percent

22% is in the region of sub 60MW units dating from the 1950’s and earlier equipped with chain grate boilers, phased out or permanently mothballed in the early 1980’s

The top performing 500MW and 660MW units at the likes of Drax, Rugeley, and Ratcliffe were all operating between 35 and 37%. Even the very worst of the 500MW units were operating at around 31-33% by the early 1980’s, as were smaller two shifting 120MW units on 160 bar steam conditions.

Robert Atkinson 220/01/2021 18:19:57
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Burning wood pellets produces about 5% MORE CO2 than burning coal (twice as much as gas) not including the energy used to process and dry the pellets or shipping. Leaving the trees growing and absorbing CO2 and burng coal would result in less CO2 in the atmosphere. It's not clear that new trees are being planted at the rate required to replace those cut down., never mind provide future fuel reserves.
Ships only use diesel in coastal waters. Out at sea they use heavy fuel oil typically with high sulphur content.

Robert G8RPI.

Mark Rand20/01/2021 20:50:25
1239 forum posts
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Unfortunately, after a while, trees stop absorbing CO2. Then it gets released, along with a certain amount of methane.

Process is known as rotting...

Burning them releases the CO2 they absorbed while growing. So does burning antediluvian ferns, but they can't be regrown...

Bob McDougall20/01/2021 22:49:32
45 forum posts
280 photos

Visit to Drax in around 2004, I sneaked up to one of the turbine shaft housings and kissed it. Those bearings were smoother than .... well Cold unmoving and very beautiful.

very efficient as pressure differential to current flow converters.

solid state would be nice.

i think most places have realised coal is finite but the solutions differ,

Swindon Honda factory, as a wind turbine manufacturer. (no affiliation )

Hopper20/01/2021 23:24:07
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Posted by Bob McDougall on 20/01/2021 22:49:32:

Visit to Drax in around 2004, I sneaked up to one of the turbine shaft housings and kissed it. Those bearings were smoother than .... well Cold unmoving and very beautiful.

Now that's taking your power station porn very seriously! laugh

Bazyle21/01/2021 11:55:28
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Did anyone else hear the recent Radio 4 program about how trees growing in northern lattittudes is actually worse for the environment and global wrming than the natural grass they displace?
A complex interaction of grass attracting animals that trample the snow preventing it from insulating the soil so allowing the cold to penetrate making deep permafrost so sustaining the snow in summer to reflect more light/heat which has to be balanced against the methane produced by those grazing animals. But still actally better than trees.

Hopper21/01/2021 12:03:37
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Posted by Bazyle on 21/01/2021 11:55:28:

Did anyone else hear the recent Radio 4 program about how trees growing in northern lattittudes is actually worse for the environment and global wrming than the natural grass they displace?
A complex interaction of grass attracting animals that trample the snow preventing it from insulating the soil so allowing the cold to penetrate making deep permafrost so sustaining the snow in summer to reflect more light/heat which has to be balanced against the methane produced by those grazing animals. But still actally better than trees.

Wow that's a delicate balance. Who would have thought? I guess some of those tree-huggers will have to become grass-grabbers.

not done it yet21/01/2021 12:45:32
6736 forum posts
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Where does ‘northern latitudes’ start?

Certainly not (much) of England, while we have the gulf stream maintaining a maritime climate. Scrub might be more like it - unless it is humans, over-running the country, that are making the difference. Snow in summer would also reduce any grasses, thereby reducing the grazing animals.

Without human interference, there would also be much more equatorial forest - not so much grass there, I suppose?

Remember, too, that coal was once trees.

Michael Gilligan21/01/2021 13:06:32
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Posted by not done it yet on 21/01/2021 12:45:32:

Where does ‘northern latitudes’ start?

.

immediately North of the Equator devil

But more realistically : immediately North of the Tropic of Cancer.

MichaelG.

.

Ref. https://www.thoughtco.com/equator-hemisphere-tropic-of-cancer-capricorn-1435089

Edit: __ and ‘High Northern Latitudes’ are apparently >50° N

Ref. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24890614/

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 21/01/2021 13:11:49

not done it yet21/01/2021 14:26:35
6736 forum posts
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But it only refers to ‘northern’ latitudes?😼

Seems as though the programme was fairly much rubbish? Or it was referring to particular latitudes? There is a lot of grass on the savannahs - but not much permafrost in those regions? Is southernmost latitudes were included, there ain’t a lot of much anything down at the Antacric?

Claim’s without detail are about useless, as are suggestions that it is simply more than about 23 degrees north of the equator.

Edited By not done it yet on 21/01/2021 14:27:43

Michael Gilligan21/01/2021 15:57:21
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Posted by not done it yet on 21/01/2021 14:26:35:

[…]

useless, as are suggestions that it is simply more than about 23 degrees north of the equator.

.

You are really on form, aren’t you !

I answered your specific question accurately, then included two riders by way of trying to help.

MichaelG.

secret

10ba12ba24/01/2022 15:26:17
44 forum posts
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6% of 42 gig demand today is being generated by coal burners. My mates at Ratcliffe and West Burton must be shovelling hard!

H.

Paul Kemp25/01/2022 00:22:01
710 forum posts
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Manufacturers of HVO (a form of bio diesel) claim it’s use provides a reduction in CO2 of around 90%. The claim is based on the CO2 absorbed by the feedstock during its growing phase provides the fuel with negative carbon offset when delivered to the tank for use. All very well but the emissions when burnt are little reduced on normal diesel when burnt in a standard engine providing no little benefit for the local environment.

Now coal we are told is formed from plant life, compressed and heated underground to form coal. What CO2 did the plants that formed the coal absorb during their life? How come coal does not attract the same credit? Bit of a differential in time to process but does HVO lose its credit the older it gets?

Paul.

Samsaranda25/01/2022 10:20:47
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With the very real threat of a war in Eastern Europe and much of Europe dependent on Russian Gas for their energy requirements, and yes we also depend on some Russian gas too, keeping the lights on might be a bit difficult now, if Russia decides to turn off the gas, now that we have demolished a lot of our perfectly serviceable coal fired power stations. I realise that we have to plan for reducing our carbon output but I think keeping our people warm and our economy functioning takes precedence as far as I am concerned. Let’s get over any impending military action then refocus on Climate Change, or am I being too simplistic. Dave W

Ady125/01/2022 10:57:17
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We're lucky that Russia is far far more tolerant than the USA or China

The last time they opened up a front in Cuba we nearly got WW3 and when we rolled up to the Chinese border in Korea we got the Korean war

pgk pgk25/01/2022 11:05:22
2552 forum posts
293 photos

Russia might well use gas leverage on a small country, but never forget that they depend on foreign currency as much as everyone else, and gas is an important source of income. Sabre rattling is one thing, but denying themselves the revenue is a different animal. And of course increasing the price of energy is another way of reducing usage and environmentally beneficial.
Perhaps we should all go towards environmentally friendly warfare: spears, arrows, rocks and kites..

JohnF25/01/2022 11:25:34
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Posted by Samsaranda on 25/01/2022 10:20:47:

With the very real threat of a war in Eastern Europe and much of Europe dependent on Russian Gas for their energy requirements, and yes we also depend on some Russian gas too, keeping the lights on might be a bit difficult now, if Russia decides to turn off the gas, now that we have demolished a lot of our perfectly serviceable coal fired power stations. I realise that we have to plan for reducing our carbon output but I think keeping our people warm and our economy functioning takes precedence as far as I am concerned. Let’s get over any impending military action then refocus on Climate Change, or am I being too simplistic. Dave W

I agree with Dave it is crass stupidity to demolish these power stations -- take them out of service and mothball them is a far better solution until we see what the future holds. We do need to and indeed must clean up our act, stop ravaging our planet of the finite resources and polluting our environment, remember the old kings quote " the world is not ours to do with as we wish we must account to those who come after " or something close !

John

Hopper25/01/2022 11:32:35
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You can buy your gas from anywhere in the world these days. No need for pipelines. They compress it and put it in giant high pressure gas tanker ships and send it whence it is needed. Australia exports all of its gas that way. Massive amounts too. Just a matter of paying the money for shipping...

SillyOldDuffer25/01/2022 12:58:56
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Posted by Hopper on 25/01/2022 11:32:35:

You can buy your gas from anywhere in the world these days. No need for pipelines. They compress it and put it in giant high pressure gas tanker ships and send it whence it is needed. Australia exports all of its gas that way. Massive amounts too. Just a matter of paying the money for shipping...

Being an island miles from anywhere makes ships almost the only way of exporting anything in bulk from Australia. Russia has the opposite problem: it's got hardly any coast-line. And the main customers for Russian gas are Europe and China, both with land borders. In Europe pipelines are usually the best answer.

Working out the cheapest way of moving bulk goods is quite difficult. Road, Rail, Canal, Sea, and Pipelines all have their pros and cons. The China-Europe Rail Link is an interesting example. Much cheaper than air freight, but slower. More expensive than shipping, but much faster. Rail is a useful alternative.

Unfortunately, like Europe's gas pipelines, part of the railway runs through Russia...

Dave

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