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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday September 12, @02:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the and-less-radioactive dept.

Energy from offshore wind in the UK will be cheaper than electricity from new nuclear power for the first time.

The cost of subsidies for new offshore wind farms has halved since the last 2015 auction for clean energy projects

Two firms said they were willing to build offshore wind farms for a subsidy of £57.50 per megawatt hour for 2022-23.

This compares with the new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant securing subsidies of £92.50 per megawatt hour.

Nuclear firms said the UK still needed a mix of low-carbon energy, especially for when wind power was not available.

Both nuclear and wind receive subsidies, but for the first time wind is coming to market with less, so providing the same electricity with less cost to the public than nuclear.


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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Gaaark on Tuesday September 12, @02:35PM (11 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @02:35PM (#566746) Homepage Journal

    With the global warming, which is NOT a real thing by the way and no amount of science/reality will convince me otherwise, the winds will probably pick up (but don't ask Floridians about that, they don't know ANYTHING about high winds) and make wind power even more affordable.

    But, probably not. Because there is no global warming.

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Whoever on Tuesday September 12, @02:51PM (23 children)

    by Whoever (4524) on Tuesday September 12, @02:51PM (#566754)

    The "£57.50" isn't a subsidy of that amount. It's a guaranteed price. That's all the wind farm operator will receive.

    Unless, of course, somehow, electricity from other sources is free. That would make it a subsidy. Is electricity from other sources free?

    The summary is a blatant misrepresentation of the article and both Phoenix666 and Fnord666 should be ashamed of themselves (or are they really one person?).

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Tuesday September 12, @03:16PM (12 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @03:16PM (#566764)

      The "£57.50" isn't a subsidy of that amount. It's a guaranteed price. That's all the wind farm operator will receive.

      Guaranteed price on a demand/supply market can act as subsidies, if the price falls lower than that (which is likely, especially with the increase of supply). More or less, that guaranteed RoI, i.e. a safety net for the developer.

      What's also interesting:

      The subsidies, paid from a levy on consumer bills, will run for 15 years - unlike nuclear subsidies for Hinkley C which run for 35 years.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by choose another one on Tuesday September 12, @03:46PM (5 children)

        by choose another one (515) on Tuesday September 12, @03:46PM (#566781)

        > The subsidies, paid from a levy on consumer bills, will run for 15 years - unlike nuclear subsidies for Hinkley C which run for 35 years.

        Experience shows nuke plants last longer. The AGRs in the UK were years late and had many construction problems, but they are all expected to last 35yrs+. The previous generation Magnox reactors (all shutdown now) lasted up to 47yrs I think.

        The wind farm that used to be a landmark (or intrusion on the view, depending on your opinion) from the offices where I worked in the 90s' is now gone. It lasted only 20 yrs in total and for the last few years the turbines stood idle and broken - apparently uneconomic to repair - so energy generation lifespan of 15yrs sounds about right. Good news is that they are relatively easy and quick to decommission and return the landscape to what it was, unlike nuke plants.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by bob_super on Tuesday September 12, @04:58PM (1 child)

          by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday September 12, @04:58PM (#566838)

          I think they expect the newest nukes to work for 60 years.

          It is not impossible that the company/administration managing the wind farm you were looking at, either ran out of money for maintenance (for political reasons, bad management, or because the type of turbine wasn't viable for that place after subsidies expired), or decided to use that money to build more profitable or less ugly power in a different place.
          Nuclear power is still mostly stuck in the 60s (newer tech is barely coming live now), with astronomical new-entrant costs and no real competition. Conversely, wind power tech has gone leaps and bounds in the last ten years, so what made sense building 15 years ago can be only good for the scrapyard today.

          • (Score: 1, Troll) by choose another one on Wednesday September 13, @01:38PM

            by choose another one (515) on Wednesday September 13, @01:38PM (#567214)

            > It is not impossible that the company/administration managing the wind farm you were looking at, either ran out of money for maintenance

            It is more that they (quite possibly deliberately) let the turbines decay to the point where they would be too expensive to fix, and then applied to replace them (so they had money available) with newer bigger ones (that would get newer bigger subsidies and hence make bigger profits). It was a gamble that failed - I don't think many people were actually against them when they were turning and doing something useful, but once they were ugly broken stumps opposition to them grew, after all what was to stop the new ones becoming even bigger broken ugly stumps in a few more years? Planning permission was refused and they were ordered to removed the old broken ones.

            > Conversely, wind power tech has gone leaps and bounds in the last ten years, so what made sense building 15 years ago can be only good for the scrapyard today.

            So 15yr subsidy makes sense, no sign the improvement is slowing down.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @05:43PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @05:43PM (#566870)

          The best cheapest way to decommission a nuke plant is to bury it where it stands, after blowing up all the really tall shit. And it will leave future archeologists wondering what the ancient mounds and weird purple plants growing on them are.

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by krishnoid on Tuesday September 12, @06:45PM (1 child)

          by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday September 12, @06:45PM (#566909)

          Only problem is that all that used wind won't degrade for another 50 years, and will keep cycling around. I hear that stuff causes birth defects.

          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday September 13, @09:14AM

            by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday September 13, @09:14AM (#567142) Homepage
            Yeah, it's even been used for sonic attacks - did you miss the recent Cuban embassy story?
            --
            I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @04:39PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @04:39PM (#566824)

        Guaranteed price on a demand/supply market can act as subsidies, if the price falls lower than that

        Yes, but unless the market price falls to zero, a guaranteed price of £57.50/MWh is never a subsidy of £57.50/MWh. But the latter is what the summary claims.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Tuesday September 12, @05:07PM (3 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @05:07PM (#566850)

          Yes, but unless the market price falls to zero, a guaranteed price of £57.50/MWh is never a subsidy of £57.50/MWh. But the latter is what the summary claims.

          I think you are unfairly shaming Phoenix666.

          My understanding is: they are now bidding for subsides the UK govt is offering, the bid being not the absolute level of subsidies, but the expected minimum guaranteed price. It wasn't necessarily so in the past, but in this today context, the terminology used is "bidding for subsidies", with the disambiguation considered perhaps evident for the UK-nians. If I'm right, it is not Phoenix666 that instilled a false view of the situation, but BBC itself.

          Checking:

          The figures for offshore wind, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, were revealed as the result of an auction for subsidies, in which the lowest bidder wins.
          ...
          EDF added that energy from new nuclear plants would become cheaper as the market matures, as has happened with offshore wind.
          Eyes will be raised at this suggestion, as nuclear power has already received subsidies since the 1950s.
          ...
          Energy analysts said UK government policy helped to lower the costs by nurturing the fledgling industry, then incentivising it to expand - and then demanding firms should bid in auction for their subsidies.

          I could not find anything in TFA that explicitly says: "the level of subsidies will cover the difference between the selling price and the bid offer".

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by FatPhil on Wednesday September 13, @09:18AM (2 children)

            by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday September 13, @09:18AM (#567143) Homepage
            Yes, this is a BBC wording issue. It's terrible english - it's been businessified, with added weaseling to expedite confusification of the reader, so that the MBA-less masses remain ignorant of what the corporatists in power are doing with the public's money.

            Editors could have made the quoting more quotey, so there's be no confusion, admittedly.
            --
            I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @11:42AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @11:42AM (#567178)

              It's terrible english

              That's not english - it's british.

              • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday September 14, @03:38AM

                by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday September 14, @03:38AM (#567611) Homepage
                it's business/marketting speak, I think the US leads the development of that tongue nowadays.
                --
                I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
      • (Score: 2, Troll) by Thexalon on Tuesday September 12, @06:43PM

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @06:43PM (#566907) Homepage

        I was going to say: Here on the other side of the pond, Americans are still paying for the nuke plants built over 40 years ago. It's partially because the utilities are gouging, as they always do, but it's also that those things are really expensive to operate.

        Of course, we could reduce the operating costs if we just let them dump nuclear waste any old which way, but that would create substantial costs for everyone around the plant. I have to admit this one's personal, as I'm about 10 miles downwind and downstream from a nuke plant right now.

        --
        If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday September 12, @05:31PM (8 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @05:31PM (#566864) Journal

      From TFS: "Two firms said they were willing to build offshore wind farms for a subsidy of £57.50 per megawatt hour for 2022-23.

      This compares with the new Hinkley Point C nuclear plant securing subsidies of £92.50 per megawatt hour."

      It's handily there, for your reference, in the summary. The source is the BBC; of course, they are fake news so take that with a grain of salt. Fortunately, you saw right through them and their fake news and have now corrected the record.

      Sadly, you cannot shame me because I have no shame. Just ask my wife when I wear wife-beater t-shirts in public.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tfried on Tuesday September 12, @07:09PM (4 children)

        by tfried (5534) on Tuesday September 12, @07:09PM (#566918)

        Perhaps part of the problem is - yet again - that you insist on writing:

        Phoenix666 writes: <quote>[Some snippet that happens to include a link to the actual source of itself]</quote>

        rather than one of the many simple and unambiguous quotation formats that have been suggested to you, repeatedly. Such as:

        Phoenix666 writes: Found at [source]: <quote>[An actual quote from the source, without any added or removed links]</quote>

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday September 12, @10:05PM (3 children)

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @10:05PM (#566984) Journal

          OK. You get what you get, so don't get upset.

          You're welcome to jump right in and show us all how it's done.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by tfried on Wednesday September 13, @06:27AM (2 children)

            by tfried (5534) on Wednesday September 13, @06:27AM (#567099)

            Sorry for my tone, I guess, it's just that I am having difficulty understanding why you - insist (there, I said it, again) - on your buggy submission format.

            Yes, I do appreciate your submissions. A lot. I am definitely not asking you to stop them, I am not asking you to do creative writing on them, I am not trying to accuse you of plagiarism, I'm pointing out a plain but easy-to-fix bug in your quotation format. Also, yes, I am a leecher wrt SN, I know I am, that is not likely to change, but frankly, I don't see what that has to do with anything. When a user reports a plain bug in my software, "I don't care" may be sometimes make for a valid answer. "Provide a patch" is a valid answer too, where applicable. But "so go write your own software" is ...?

            Ok, why is it a bug? I'll try to explain in baby-steps:
            1. You are starting your submissions with "Phoenix666 writes:", as is relatively standard on SN. The colon indicates that the "what" you write is to follow in a separate sentence, immediately following the colon.
            2. Often this "what" starts with a literal quote, immediately. Which quite simply reads as if it was you writing those words. Consider a plain English example to understand the problem:

            Tfried writes: I am confused!

            Who is confused, here? Tfried, obviously.
            3. Adding quotation marks or quote-markup does not help at all, unfortunately:

            Tfried writes: "I am confused!"

            Tfried writes:

            I am confused!

            Both are totally standard, common place notations for a literal speech authored by Tfried, with no indication that this could be a third-party quote.
            4. Believe it or not, I was honestly mislead by that several times, until I gradually came to learn that in the context of SN, and submissions by Phoenix666, an initial quote should generally by attributed to a third party, and that further the first link inside that quote is not actually part of the quote, but a link to the source. Totally. Not. Obvious. Proper quoting just does not work that way.
            5. Others have pointed out the same problem, repeatedly. But eventually they usually give up on it, just like they give up on telling Arik not to misuse the <code> markup, or on Ethanol to stop trolling.

            A large variety of simple, concise, and unambiguous quotation formats are available. Please don't insist on a plain wrong format just because it's what you've been doing for so long.

            • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday September 13, @02:01PM (1 child)

              by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @02:01PM (#567223) Journal

              The "Phoenix666 writes:" is not something the submitter actually writes. It's hard-coded in the slashcode. Submit it as a change request to TMB and the SN guys who work on the code.

              If it bothers you enough, volunteer to code it and submit it to TMB and the guys who maintain the repository; they're always happy to have help. If others are bothered by it, too, then that's more reason for you to step up and be the change you want to see. It shouldn't be too hard, technically.

              FWIW, the quoting and linking conventions are congruent with what was standard practice at Slashdot (as in, the link to the source was used to emphasize a point or the thrust of the article by using the text of the excerpt itself), which Soylent grew out of, so it's been done this way more or less for 20 years. It may conflict with editorial practice elsewhere and annoy those used to those conventions, but in online terms it's venerable.

              And since Slashdot held such an influential place in online communities, who's to say it's not the new standard? It annoys the crap out of me that people use "impact" as a transitive verb in any context other than, "to strike something physically and leave a mark, as in, 'the meteor impacted the earth and left a crater,'" and that illiterates cannot, cannot spell 'lose' correctly, as in, 'lose your lunch,' choosing instead the utterly, comically incorrect, 'loose,' but I have to at some level accept that people that know how to do things right are vastly outnumbered by people who don't, and that trying to fight that is a fool's errand. Times change.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 2) by tfried on Wednesday September 13, @02:50PM

                by tfried (5534) on Wednesday September 13, @02:50PM (#567236)

                Look, it is not the "Phoenix666 writes:" that is bothering me. I don't think that's a particularly elegant solution, and in fact, it is the relevant difference that breaking the "green site quotation format", for good. Worst of both worlds, in combination. However it is entirely straight-forward to avoid ambiguous quotes under the constraint of starting with a hard-coded "Submitter writes:". Most (not all) of your co-submitters do.

                The most obvious solution is to simply put something - anything - before the quote, since that makes it clear that yet another level of speech is starting, i.e. it removes the ambiguity that the quote could be attributed to you, directly. If you do not want to think up some introductory words, each time, the easiest solution is to make that something the source info. I.e.:

                Phoenix666 writes:
                From http://where.did.you/find/this [did.you]:

                Whatever you want to quote

                This very simple format is a no-brainer to both the submitter, and the reader. It further avoids making non-obvious modifications to the quote, such as inserting a link. A gazillion variants of this format are possible. Pick the one that you like best.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Whoever on Tuesday September 12, @07:15PM (2 children)

        by Whoever (4524) on Tuesday September 12, @07:15PM (#566921)

        No, it doesn't say that. What it says now (and at the time I posted earlier) is:

        Two firms said they were willing to build offshore wind farms for a guaranteed price of £57.50 per megawatt hour for 2022-23.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday September 12, @10:03PM (1 child)

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @10:03PM (#566983) Journal

          Well I copied & pasted from the article in question. I don't alter copy in any way except to occasionally replace paragraphs with an ellipsis.

          It seems the BBC went back and edited the article in place. It's a web page, not a print edition, so they can do that.

          Please aim your slings and arrows at the Beeb.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @11:23AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @11:23AM (#567173)

            Adding links is an alteration.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday September 12, @05:39PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @05:39PM (#566869) Journal

      BTW Fnord666 and I are not the same person. We do, however, seem to share an affinity for evil. I know that's why I do what I do, because I'm evil [youtu.be]!

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by fraxinus-tree on Tuesday September 12, @02:53PM (2 children)

    by fraxinus-tree (5590) on Tuesday September 12, @02:53PM (#566755)

    Cheaper per kW installed power, cheaper per kWh produced power, cheaper per kWh produced power including balancing expenses?

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @03:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @03:23PM (#566766)

      Cheaper per PR article.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @04:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @04:41PM (#566828)

      Since it is comparing the guaranteed price, it's cheaper per kWh of produced power.

  • (Score: 2) by Snospar on Tuesday September 12, @03:43PM (4 children)

    by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @03:43PM (#566778)

    In the bizarre system of energy production and supply in the UK you can generally only save money if you switch "providers" every year to get the cheapest tariff. This year is the first year in quite a while that I've been unable to switch to a cheap deal and my energy costs will be going up by almost 20%. Presumably this is so I can pay those subsidies that make the Wind power "cheaper". That is not the definition of "cheaper" that I like, generally I would prefer it if "cheaper" was not at the expense of the consumer.

    (There are of course very few actual energy "providers" in the UK, the energy companies are just a massive billing system scam designed to make profit at all costs.)

    • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Tuesday September 12, @04:08PM (3 children)

      by fritsd (4586) on Tuesday September 12, @04:08PM (#566798) Journal

      You live in a time of transition.

      You can either suffer a bit so that proper and timely investments into the new infrastructure are done, or you can stick with the old infrastructure, and have a sharp transition (i.e. "crisis") when it becomes untenable.

      Even energy companies are not large enough to carry this burden by themselves (AND they're very experienced at off-loading it to their customers, anyway).

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Snospar on Tuesday September 12, @04:16PM (1 child)

        by Snospar (5366) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @04:16PM (#566803)

        No, I live in a time where evil money grabbing bastards are encouraged to gouge their customers and get away with it.

        The energy companies are making record profits [theguardian.com] while claiming that all the money is invested in "Green" energy or paid to the government in taxes. The figures show otherwise.

        Worst of all, with their complex multi-tariff billing schemes they are overcharging customers over £1.4 billion every year - how nice of them as we transition our savings into their wallets.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday September 12, @05:43PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @05:43PM (#566871) Journal

          They know the centralized party is coming to an end. Bond rating agencies downrated their debt a couple years ago, because the built infrastructure that was always the foundation of their monopoly is expensive to maintain and will turn into a millstone around their necks as customers disconnect from the grid, or worse, start to produce a surplus that the utilities have to buy.

          If you can, it would be wise to go off-grid sooner rather than later to avoid becoming the guy who's gouged to maintain company profits amid a shrinking pool of customers.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday September 13, @10:59AM

        by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday September 13, @10:59AM (#567167) Homepage
        There are businesses that are willing to give you money now for you to use to build something which will turn a profit later. Bank or venture capitalist, the choice is yours.
        --
        I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Tuesday September 12, @03:46PM (4 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @03:46PM (#566782) Homepage Journal

    Much better than with Ontario Hydro (One):
    the mismanagement of OH is still being paid for. Bad decisions, mismanagement and huge bonuses to same management: our Hydro bills still (last i looked) show 'debt repayment' to pay back for that mismanagement and 'bonuses'.

    Idiots should not be able to get bonuses.

    --
    --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @03:54PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @03:54PM (#566789)

      the mismanagement of OH is still being paid for. Bad decisions, mismanagement and huge bonuses to same management: our Hydro bills still (last i looked) show 'debt repayment' to pay back for that mismanagement and 'bonuses'.

      The debt retirement charge has been gone on residential hydro bills in Ontario for more than a year now (almost 2 years), and the plan is for it to be removed across the board in 2018.

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday September 12, @04:55PM (2 children)

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @04:55PM (#566836) Homepage Journal

        Except:
        Wynne.

        Shit happened.

        --
        --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @05:11PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @05:11PM (#566851)

          Except:
          Wynne.

          Shit happened.

          There is no "except".

          The DRC is gone for residential accounts since January 1, 2016. This is a fact.

          The DRC is scheduled to be gone for all accounts as of April 1, 2018. There is no reason to believe that this won't happen exactly as planned. Wynne isn't going to fuck that up right before the election.

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday September 14, @10:22AM

            by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 14, @10:22AM (#567719) Homepage Journal

            Except:

            http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/toronto/ontario-hydro-price-plan-kathleen-wynne-1.4006021 [www.cbc.ca]

            "The plan would keep electricity rates at or below the rate of inflation over the next four years, but government officials said they can't predict the size of the electricity rate increases after that period."

            "NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns said: "The bill will come due another day and it will be a very big bill." "

            Except:
            Wynne.
            Shit happened.

            --
            --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by pTamok on Tuesday September 12, @07:43PM (3 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Tuesday September 12, @07:43PM (#566935)

    Its all very well that wind-generated electrical power is cheaper than nuclear generated electrical power, but what happens when the wind doesn't blow?

    On the BBC Radio 4 'Today' programme, when this topic was discussed, the spokesperson for the wind-power industry said they were very good at predicting the wind - getting it right 95% of the time a day in advance...but was curiously silent on how shortfalls in electrical power production would be managed. Nuclear is useful because it is on 'all the time', even when the wind doesn't blow, or at night when solar cells don't generate a great deal of power. Because nuclear offers a higher continuous availability, it can command a price premium; as can gas-fired power stations, which can fill in the gaps of renewable energy shortfalls.

    And, no-one has invented 'grid-scale' electrical power storage batteries yet. Plenty are trying, and it will be great if such a technology can be engineered, but until it is, if you want reliable low-emissions electrical power generation, nuclear has to be part of the mix, with the exception of Norway.

    Why is Norway an exception? Well, die to a lucky accident of topography, they have rather a lot of hydro-electric generation capacity. So on a windless, cloudless night in mid-winter, they simply use hydro. Everyone else can choose to burn fossil fuels, or use nuclear.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by NewNic on Tuesday September 12, @09:49PM

      by NewNic (6420) on Tuesday September 12, @09:49PM (#566973)

      The interesting thing about wind in the United Kingdom is that somewhere, it's windy, almost always.

      So, while an individual turbine may produce power 30% (or whatever) the time, there is wind power available almost all the time. The UK is a small country and it's not too difficult to manage a grid that covers the entire country.

      The real issue with renewables in the UK (as I see it) is counting wood pellets as renewable. Apart from all the fossil fuel used transporting the wood pellets to the UK, it's not at all clear that the trees that were cut down to produce the pellets are being regrown at the same rate.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday September 13, @12:46AM

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday September 13, @12:46AM (#567028)

      Just a pedant note: All power sources are intermittent, and you always need grid backup, renewables or not.

      Nuclear isn't always on. It goes down for months at a time, and someone has to carefully plan how to deal with the shortfall (in small countries with few reactors. France/US always have a few refuiling on a rolling schedule).
      Worse, it takes one (big) mistake to get a nuke to suddenly scram. Someone gets yelled at, a thick report gets written, activists get water-cannoned, and two weeks later, you're back at full blast. But in the meantime, the grid instantly lost a GigaWatt and nobody saw it coming, no forecast, nothing. It you suddenly lose five windmills to unforecasted failures, 'tis but a scratch in comparison.

      Yes, nuclear is the king of baseload stability. But let's not act as if the only threat to grid stability worth planning for is because panels don't like thick clouds.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:33PM (#567212)

      so baseload? predicted baseload? so what happens to the nuke plant if for some theoretical reason people don't use all the baseload? atoms get split for nothing and accumulate as 10'000 year waste nevertheless?
      i think the problem is that renewable are trying to compete on a level playing field instead of a uphill battle:
      we don't need solar and wind to replace conventional powerplants but rather they have to OVERTAKE them at least 200 percent.
      there needs to be at least 200 percent of TOO MUCH renewables .. and then we step into the future where we get the sort of technology that takes the excess energy and converts it into something useful and storable (like "fake plastic wood" :] ).

      i just stumbled across this the other day; in some european country they use excess renewable energy and create some sort of gas that they pipe into the gas-grid. the gas-grid in effect functions like a big gas cylinder. the resulting burnable gas is supposedly safe and can be used just like the previous gas to create heat ...

      of course someone will lose but "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday September 12, @07:46PM (1 child)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @07:46PM (#566937) Homepage Journal

    Britain, if you're listening, I hope you're able to stop this. The wind and the nuclear. Let me tell you, you live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Beautiful, beautiful country. STUNNING! But wind turbines are ruining the beauty of parts of your country. You go to Brussels. I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything was so beautiful. It's like living in a hellhole right now. Where’s the outcry? And where are the birds? Wind farms are killing millions of birds. It's like a meat grinder. And the nuclear. You're putting in foreign nuclear. China and France, you had many, many wars with them. Terrible, horrible enemies of Britain. And they're putting their nuclear in your country. This could be one of the great Trojan horses. Not a smart move. It's smart for them. It's not smart for you. You voted to Brexit, you voted to take back your country. With a huge, huge majority. Very smart move! Like when the American people voted for me. But you're being scammed. You've got to take back your country from the wind scammers. From the nuclear scammers. Take it back, or be LOSERS! 🇺🇸

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by NewNic on Tuesday September 12, @09:56PM

      by NewNic (6420) on Tuesday September 12, @09:56PM (#566975)

      Suck it Donald.

      The UK is going to build an offshore wind farm near one of your golf courses. Hooray for the wind farm master race!

  • (Score: 2) by Entropy on Tuesday September 12, @09:20PM (10 children)

    by Entropy (4228) on Tuesday September 12, @09:20PM (#566962)

    We all talk about wind/wave power as free. There is free power, of course: Solar radiation that would normally be reflected out into space. But wind power? Our planet is a delicate ecosystem that circulates heat and energy around the globe in what are very much like giant rivers.

    We tap into these currents by tapping into wind power. Of course, this only starts to matter when we do it at a large scale, but what starts happening when we disrupt these giant currents? What happens when we dam a river of wind, and it diverts to a new path changing the global climate?

    The reason for Irma intensification was the El Nino cycle was disrupted by a climate that was not sufficiently hot to support it.(not too hot!) What unexpected things will happen as we construct huge wind power farms?

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @09:27PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @09:27PM (#566966)

      Entropy will increase duh!

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday September 12, @09:56PM (1 child)

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @09:56PM (#566974) Homepage

        Earth isn't and never has been a closed system, so it does not necessarily work that way.

        --
        If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:25PM (#567191)

          I think you missed a joke there. Look at who was the original poster.

    • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Tuesday September 12, @10:03PM (6 children)

      by NewNic (6420) on Tuesday September 12, @10:03PM (#566981)

      Are you serious?

      Weather is affected by wind, yes. But wind in the upper atmosphere. Turbines tap into a tiny amount of the energy in the planet's wind and at very low altitude. It's never going to affect climate.

      How about tidal power? Shouldn't you be worrying about the effect of harnessing the tides on the moon's orbit?

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday September 13, @12:52AM (2 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday September 13, @12:52AM (#567030)

        Let's make it simpler for simple people: Any single one of the mountain peaks I can see from my window, pick any one, has more impact on the global wind patterns than all the windmills built by all humans since the dawn of time.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:27PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:27PM (#567192)

          On the other hand, nobody is currently planning to build new mountains.

          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday September 13, @04:22PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday September 13, @04:22PM (#567271)

            Hopefully not. Gone past planning for a while, and my Lair is now in the final stages.

      • (Score: 2) by Entropy on Wednesday September 13, @12:03PM (1 child)

        by Entropy (4228) on Wednesday September 13, @12:03PM (#567185)
        • (Score: 1, Troll) by NewNic on Wednesday September 13, @06:30PM

          by NewNic (6420) on Wednesday September 13, @06:30PM (#567364)

          Firstly, the Telegraph routinely features editorials that deny man-made climate change. It's not a credible source for anything relating to climate.

          Secondly, the measured effects described in the article are purely local. Any suggestion of a wider change is speculation, not based on measurement.

          But the killer point in that article is:

          However Prof Zhou pointed out the most extreme changes were just at night and the overall changes may be smaller.

          Also, it is much smaller than the estimated change caused by other factors such as man made global warming.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday September 13, @02:03PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @02:03PM (#567225) Journal

        OMG is the moon falling?

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by Aiwendil on Wednesday September 13, @07:50AM

    by Aiwendil (531) on Wednesday September 13, @07:50AM (#567125) Journal

    If we are using HPC as a benchmark then nuclear is cheaper than nuclear...

    For pretty much any following plant they either expect the CfD to be lower (Sizewell C, or even HPC if they build Sizewell C) or significantly lower (all other).

    And for sake of comparison: Rosatom is delivering VVER (Hanhikivi-1) to the Finns for about 50e/MWh (45gbp, 60usd)

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