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Renewables just are so cheap, right?

Nesta needs to be abolished:

British homes paid 36p per unit of electricity over the second half of last year, according to recent government figures comparing domestic energy prices internationally. By contrast, UK households pay the ninth lowest gas prices compared to 27 EU countries, at just 8p a unit.

Experts warned the high price of electricity relative to gas is ­deterring consumers from switching to cleaner technologies, such as ditching gas boilers for heat pumps.

OK, so gas is cheaper than ‘leccie. OK.

One reason UK domestic electricity prices are so high is gas. Wholesale electricity prices in the UK are set by the most expensive way of meeting ­demand, which is usually burning gas.

But ‘leccie is expensive because of the high price of gas?

The other key reason is levies, including schemes to help poorer households fit insulation, and carbon taxes are paid via electricity bills, but not gas. Excluding taxes and levies, UK domestic electricity prices would have been 27p.

And also the high price of ‘leccie is because of pig ignorant government policy?

Given that this is the sort of analysis we get from Nesta time to abolish it, no?

11 thoughts on “Renewables just are so cheap, right?”

  1. High energy prices are not just the result of government policy, they are the intention of government policy. And if you want to vote for a different policy, your only choices are worse and even worse.

  2. About 15 years ago I attended a Self-Build Show at Sandown Park. A very well informed man gave a presentation on heating options. His talk included an explanation of the relationship between the prices of gas and electricity (at that time most electricity was gas generated). To generate 1kwh of electricity consumes 4kwh of gas at the power station. Thermodynamic losses in generation and transmission consumed 3kwh on the way from the flame to the socket in your sitting room.
    Ever since the climate alarmists got going, the price relationship between electricity and gas has been all over the place. There is no reason for the ratio to be other than 4. Thermodynamics haven’t changed. Official meddling with prices is to blame. That and the failure to frack.

  3. “ Wholesale electricity prices in the UK are set by the most expensive way of meeting ­demand…”

    That would be Wind, the price of which includes the intermittency cost, which is the cost of having gas generators on constant standby. That is not just the cost of gas but cost of maintaining and operating the plant whilst not being able to sell output for varying periods when Wind power gets priority, and consequently operating the gas turbines in the least efficient way.

    With just gas or coal, nuclear, gas mix as was, there is no intermittency cost – why it was cheaper.

    Intermittency cost also includes the high cost to keep the remaining coal power station in readiness, plus cost of the contracts with various establishments with emergency generators which can be called on to stop grid failure when wind conditions are not right, plus direct subsidies to Wind operators to compensate them when they can supply but demand is not there.

    Quite a lot of ‘pluses’ to Wind power.

    Wind power is like having a BEV with someone driving behind in an ICE car for when the BEV runs out of juice and there is no nearby charger.

  4. Further to JohnB above…

    That’s why I’ve advocated on numerous occasions that, considering the requirements for hot-standby and other backup facilities for “renewables”, it would be more sensible, and a lot more cost-effective, to just take energy from the backup systems and do without the “renewables” altogether.

  5. I don’t think the renewable energy storage problem is as intractable as others seem to think.

    We’ve no end of university press releases about new battery chemistry that will revolutionise storage density, capacity and safety if only their research got a little funding. This is where government investment could really pay off by picking two of these three outcomes – cheap, safe, efficient.

  6. @JoeSmith
    We like technological solutions. What’s your best example of a university press release showing progress in storage density?
    Ideally one where the university currently gets no government funding, as you are implying that they do not receive even a little.

  7. “Joe Smith” is an imbecile.

    There are at least two major industries – EVs and smartphones – currently hamstrung by the physical limitations of rechargeable electrochemical batteries. If there were some ‘magic’ solution that could double their energy density it would be worth $trillions and they’d be all over it. The fact that they aren’t might tell a thinking person something.

  8. @ Bongo

    I’m taking the piss (and missing miserably it seems). University types trying to grift some cash from idiot politicians who don’t know any better.

  9. @JoeSmith

    The battery fantasy is same as fusion: It wiill be here in 10 years – as we’ve been told since 1950s. None of the 1990s miracle batteries have produced anything commercially viable

    Real breakthroughs come from firms seeking pofit. State financed research always influenced by ‘if we succeed, project ends and no more money’

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