Ah, how I love snark!

And the hubris which comes with it:

Coal, gas and nuclear generation do not need any storage.

We really would be seriously pissed off if all coal, gas and nuclear released all of their energy in one go at one moment. So they do require storage – storage that we generally refer to as “fuel”.

22 thoughts on “Ah, how I love snark!”

  1. If sufficient storage to cover shortfalls for a time, does a gas turbine need to be running on standby (which uses up some gas) rather than switched off for a time and only brought onto standby and then into power generation when needed?

    Nuclear is more a base load.

  2. @Martin, with combined cycle gas, the direct gen part can be spun up quickly, it’s getting the conventional hot-water-based gen running off the hot exaust gases back up that takes ages.

    And with the thermal mass of water in the system, it’s a massive waste of energy to be turning that off and firing it back up again.

  3. The electricity produced using coal, gas or nuclear does not need to be stored, since the coal, gas, uranium (or whatever) is a store of energy.
    Unlike the electricity produced by wind or solar, where absent electricity storage most goes to waste.

  4. Electric bikes and cars still need to be plugged in, but there’s no evidence of how much that little charge costs…

  5. AEP doing yet another FUD number on conventional energy business. The battery stuff is fantasy for all but a few labs at the moment and he damned well knows it.

    just rubbish

    Meanwhile …. that inconvenient OCO-2 precision CO2 mapping satellite has raised more questions than answers – so much so – that NASA are simply sitting on the observations which comprehensively contradict their modelling predictions…. oh dear…

  6. Almost all rotating shaft generating systems need to be kept rotating when not being used for generating, as otherwise the weight of the shaft bends it out of shape. It’s like with closing a coal mine and maintaining the tunnels and props, which means you can re-open it, and closing a mine and not maintaining the tunnels and props, which means it’s just a hole in the ground.

  7. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    I like AEP – he never nailed the Clintons with Whitewater, but it was entertaining stuff and I saved myself a heap of money by not investing when he predicted the crash of 2007-8 – but he is pretty of-beam on his energy predictions.

    But watching the cycling has made me think. If we still had slavery, would we need windmills ?

  8. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    we don’t need windmills… numerate green gurus have time and again acknowledged that fact. The battery bullshit is a diversion.

    The anointing of simply any “renewable” energy with high moral purpose enabling any half baked twerpery to predate public / communal funds has gotten beyond stupid.

    Quite how / why AEP is such a shill for renewables remains unexplained as he seems to have given up honest reportage and rigorous analysis for plain old advocacy.

    Anybody know why he’s so active ?

  9. typical combined cycle deck is two 250Mw gas turbines firing exhaust heat into a single 300 Mw steam turbine.

    From a dead stop, about 10 minutes to bring the gas turbines up to full, about 90 minutes for the steam turbine to ramp up to full, (but usefull power coming from the steam turbine after about 30 minutes). yes, the very long shafts have to be kept rotating, thats done with a jack screw, not by burning gas or spinning on steam.

    If the turbines have run in the past 12 hours, residual heat allows the whole deck to come up in 45 minutes.

  10. Tony C – so would say a few hours stored energy from whatever sources save any gas by not having the turbines ready to assume load as demand rises?

  11. 10 minutes worth of gas on the spin up,, and maybe delay the start from hour ending 7 to hour ending 8. we used to burn about 200,000 ft of LNG (LNG is why we didnt think decatherns) in 12 hrs, so, not much savings.

    wind is too intermittent (and small) to do pump storage. some clever tech for wind or run of the river hydro (i.e non dammed lake) power might eliminate the need for under one minute “quick start” or the, (reboot from total blackout) “black start” 15 Mw and under capacity gensets

  12. Nuclear is a little different, the fuel gets “consumed” whether the plant is running or not, and in fact if it is in a plant or processed, the decay takes place (albeit slower when not concentrated and running a decay chain).

    Coal and Gas, the fuel is the store, hence we don’t need to store it; it is already stored. Within reason Gas or coal can last more or less indefinitely before use though there is a storage cost.

    And windpower can as far as I understand be run effectively in tandem in a system with significant Hydro even if damned hydro as hydro output can be varied very quickly to match wind variation. That is as long as the dams have the capacity to store the unused water for later use; that does put limitations on the system. Two places where that set up exists and is in use are Norway and New Zealand. That allows NZ to use a reasonable fraction of the windpower generated.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    The problem isn’t the ability of the generating companies to produce electricity as and when it’s needed, it’s having the tools in the box to deliver.

    Three day general weather forecasts are reasonably accurate to the degree the generating companies need, and five day ones aren’t that bad. Wind forecasts up to 48 hours are accurate to a point on the Beaufort scale, with reasonably accurate gust speeds.

    They even study TV and sporting schedules so they can have the fastest methods of production ready to go at half time or the end of a dramatic East Enders.

    As anyone who reads Nick Drew over at [email protected] will know, the real problem is that successive spineless politicians haven’t given them the tools, and now they need to rely on expensive diesel generators.

  14. It’s also hubris to intentionally misunderstand for the purpose of snark – he’s clearly talking about the generated electricity, not the fuel that’s been around “in storage” for millions to billions of years.

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