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  1. #2471
    Self Defecating The Real Paulus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Digger View Post
    I have just applied for my bus pass. If I can make myself work out where the hell I can go on it I may use the second hand 20,00mile Skoda I just bought a bit less. My last car was an Audi A4 which served me very well from new (imported) for 15 or 16 years.
    It may well be the beginning of something beautiful. Might help you get out more, meet people..

    A bloke I know celebrated getting his bus pass a couple of years ago by making the long journey from his home in Geordie Land to a Rural Cumbrian village by bus. Some 60 miles or so and numerous changes.

    It took him all day and ended up costing 50p or something because his first leg started too early. There were many casualties too. He talked everyone he met to death.

    He still tells the story to passers by and drinkers in the village pup, but not as much as he tells the story about the pilot on his recent trip to Benidorm being the one that lives in the same village and he mentioned him over the PA.

    Jeez, if I heard those stories once...

    Bloody old codgers

  2. #2472
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    Quote Originally Posted by jturner View Post
    Me too. My 9 year old Outback typically reaches 45-50mpg on a usual run but because it is a 2L diesel, and a Subaru diesel at that, it isn't at all green apparently. So I'm killing all of the children with the particulates and exhaust fumes, and the survivors with climate change. If it finally breaks down and dies on me, a hybrid doing ~60mpg without a diesel engine is probably a greener option than another diesel doing ~50mpg but until then...
    Yes the hills do go up and down, regen braking seems like a good idea, the problem is you're lugging several hundred kilos of lithium around all the time. This adds rolling resistance and tyre wear even when you're on the flat. Case in point is the one I posted earlier, it's hilly as fk around here but my bosses fancy 80k hybrid does the same mpg as my ancient truck.

    The hybrid won't actually do any better (I can get 60mpg in my 15 year old 1,9 diesel, cruising at 60mph on the motorway with a reasonable load in it. Might have something to do with the EGR being blocked up with gunk).
    (have a surf round fuelly for real world data from hybrids eg http://www.fuelly.com/car/bmw/activehybrid_3 )

    My opinion on all this complicated crap on engines is that they aren't interested in the environment, they brought all these rules in just because some twat in london got a cough. Sod global warming, you need to buy a 30mpg petrol car every year because your 60mpg diesel might give little tarquin asthma.

    I am a bit of a luddite and stubborn, but think it is not unreasonable to say that reducing CO2 output is more important than urban air quality.

  3. #2473
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WFO View Post
    ...
    I am a bit of a luddite and stubborn, but think it is not unreasonable to say that reducing CO2 output is more important than urban air quality.
    Whilst I agree with you in terms of pure priority (climate change will kill us all, NOx will just kill city types) there are legal air qualities that we don't meet. I have a simple set of answers to the question but they are not "popular" with the oiks. Firstly charge people to drive in cities and make the cost punitive to vehicles that are "bad" in terms of air pollutants. To some extent London is going this route with the ULEZ and the need to have Euro6 diesel if you want to avoid the charges. (I bought a new van for that reason). This is unpopular as a lot of people don't see why they should pay to go Euro6 and think they should be able to kill other people's children with impunity.

    Second public transport including taxis should be required to be powered by a non polluting power source. Electric or gas are easy enough to use for this traffic sector. Thirdly the big lorries need to be more tightly regulated. (Again London is ahead of the field). You are still going to need an artic if the load dictates it but light deliveries can be transshipped to smaller vehicles. This is starting to happen in France quite commonly.

    CO2 is best addressed by renewable non-fossil energy such as wave and wind (big new wind in North Sea this week I think). Combine this with incentive to move domestic heating over to electric (with solar on the property heavily subsidised) and away from gas. More tax on aviation and shipping with much higher regulations on both. Of all the things that there are to look at individual personal transport is the lowest priority (for CO2). I say that because people like their vehicles (as do I) and so it is a hard political target to aim for, plus, if we are honest, a lot of modern life depends upon having access to individual transport of some form or another.

    Imagine also if you could simply persuade the yanks to drive European sized cars with the same sorts of CO2 outputs. Imagine if big stupid 4WD trucks were properly taxed as opposed to being the most tax efficient vehicles for small businesses. Imagine if Labour had had the guts to properly scale VED by CO2 and if the Tory scum had not totally reversed it. There are some easy "wins" if only people actually cared enough. I haven't got all teh answers, no one has, but there are some simple changes that would make a difference quickly and would leave us with a lifestyle that is still incredible. If we do nothing - the current plan - life will soon become intolerable rather than incredible

  4. #2474
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    Combine this with incentive to move domestic heating over to electric (with solar on the property heavily subsidised) and away from gas.
    ????

    Having just spent the best of the last year bringing a property up to meet an energy standard I can can assure there ain't anyway that electric heating is becoming subsidised. It's mains gas all the way - even for those of us in live in rural ares where electric is the only way. And as for solar panels, even any assistance in buying/installing is now a memory (unless you are lucky enough to live in a property that has an EPC rating of 'D' or better and then it's bearly worth it).

  5. #2475
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.P. View Post
    ????

    Having just spent the best of the last year bringing a property up to meet an energy standard I can can assure there ain't anyway that electric heating is becoming subsidised. It's mains gas all the way - even for those of us in live in rural ares where electric is the only way. And as for solar panels, even any assistance in buying/installing is now a memory (unless you are lucky enough to live in a property that has an EPC rating of 'D' or better and then it's bearly worth it).
    Just had a quick look at solar for my property - even allowing for the maximum size of installation (4KW) and based on the Energy Saving Trust calculations, I would never break even with an approx install cost of of 5970 and a return of approx 4300 (out until 6pm most days). If that is the case for me with a large roof, I can only imagine how poor the return might be for a smaller roof. I would imagine that situation is replicated for most people (certainly north of the border) who will never reach break even due to work patterns and reduced generation due to location.

  6. #2476
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.P. View Post
    ...
    Having just spent the best of the last year bringing a property up to meet an energy standard I can can assure there ain't anyway that electric heating is becoming subsidised. It's mains gas all the way - even for those of us in live in rural ares where electric is the only way. And as for solar panels, even any assistance in buying/installing is now a memory (unless you are lucky enough to live in a property that has an EPC rating of 'D' or better and then it's bearly worth it).
    Yes, Rip Off Britain. The gas comes from the Middle East and is about as unsound environmentally as it is possible to be. It is utter madness to use it to heat houses. Electricity could be generated by renewable but is mostly generated by imported gas. The idiot government took away the incentive for solar and destroyed businesses in the process. They really couldn't try harder to fail.

    Add to this many new build are not meeting the insulation and other criteria. Not to mention the idiot planning that puts stuff on flood plains..

    So very very much could be done at little or no cost (or even a cost reduction) but the interests of the big fossil fuel companies always outweighs the interests of the environment and the domestic householder. Throw in the fact that we import a lot of energy that we could generate ourselves and the resultant balance of payments deficit and the energy policy of the last thirty years is totally insane. Oddly the public reaction to this catastrophe seems to be to bitch about the EU and low energy light bulbs. There really is no hope for some people.

  7. #2477
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    Yes, Rip Off Britain. The gas comes from the Middle East and is about as unsound environmentally as it is possible to be. It is utter madness to use it to heat houses. Electricity could be generated by renewable but is mostly generated by imported gas. The idiot government took away the incentive for solar and destroyed businesses in the process. They really couldn't try harder to fail.

    Add to this many new build are not meeting the insulation and other criteria. Not to mention the idiot planning that puts stuff on flood plains..

    So very very much could be done at little or no cost (or even a cost reduction) but the interests of the big fossil fuel companies always outweighs the interests of the environment and the domestic householder. Throw in the fact that we import a lot of energy that we could generate ourselves and the resultant balance of payments deficit and the energy policy of the last thirty years is totally insane. Oddly the public reaction to this catastrophe seems to be to bitch about the EU and low energy light bulbs. There really is no hope for some people.
    I sat through a long seminar about sustainability in construction not too long ago which basically boiled down to the fact that realistically the only value for money option was highly insulating properties. If thought about properly, it can be only slightly more expensive than an average property but need virtually no heating. We as a nation are currently cheating ourselves with gas is being sold more cheaply than electricity which really is just kicking the can further down the road.

    Compare this with the approach that is being popularised such as renewable which struggle due to high initial costs and low incentive by way of FIT. If uptake was on a larger scale with better chance of return on investment, the number of large scale generation plants would potentially be reduced along with the "unclean" energy consumption that entails. If the government (whichever flavour is in place at that point in time) really want green credentials, funding developments in manufacture, supply, installation & tariffs that promote micro-generation to the point of ensuring that a large majority can actually achieve break even or even profit from it would be a good way to ensure the seismic shift in attitudes to it that are required.

  8. #2478
    Established TDF Member Chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilwood View Post
    I sat through a long seminar about sustainability in construction not too long ago which basically boiled down to the fact that realistically the only value for money option was highly insulating properties. If thought about properly, it can be only slightly more expensive than an average property but need virtually no heating. We as a nation are currently cheating ourselves with gas is being sold more cheaply than electricity which really is just kicking the can further down the road.
    Yes, very much so. A friend has a new build (Luxembourg) and he needs virtually no fuel to keep the whole house warm. Even in the deep winters over there his heating bill is a fraction of what the typical UK property is. In fairness the house was not cheap but it is a lovely place and the whole house is warm and comfortable with just a tiny heater in the middle of the property.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neilwood View Post
    Compare this with the approach that is being popularised such as renewable which struggle due to high initial costs and low incentive by way of FIT. If uptake was on a larger scale with better chance of return on investment, the number of large scale generation plants would potentially be reduced along with the "unclean" energy consumption that entails. If the government (whichever flavour is in place at that point in time) really want green credentials, funding developments in manufacture, supply, installation & tariffs that promote micro-generation to the point of ensuring that a large majority can actually achieve break even or even profit from it would be a good way to ensure the seismic shift in attitudes to it that are required.
    Let's be fair the government don't care about the ecosystem and neither does the average person. Renewables are the only way forward but you are right they are not promoted or incentivised in any way. The current policy is buy imported gas or electricity and try to get the best possible price on the imports. All is wonderful until there is a problem - either the supply is interrupted or the price changes dramatically (for example when the pound collapses after Brexit).

    In order to meet our CO2 commitments the halfwit government has bought a huge nuclear power plant that generates the most expensive electricity in the world. For the next 100 years you and I will pay through the nose to make a fat profit for the French company EDF which is part owned by the French state and for the Chinese financiers (which is the Chinese state). At the same time the UK state will continue to fail and you and I will pay huge taxes to cover the abject failure that is Brexit, the total inability of the Tories to balance the books and the fallout from the 2008 bank fraud. Whilst we are paying for this you can look forward to a huge bill for cleaning up the oceans and finding a solution to the problem of landfill and plastic waste. To add to this phenomenal bill you can also look forward to the cost of dealing with climate change that has been ignored by all the previous governments. Garbon capture will make gas generated electricity very expensive, maybe two or three times the price of renewable which - as you rightly point out - we failed to invest in.

    Our only real hope, both as a country and as a species, is if nuclear fusion works. If it does of course the UK will be back of the queue as it has failed to invest into the technology - one which China now leads the world on. Failing this the other option is geo-engineering and someone (you) will have to pay for that.

    Since the thread is about the EU it is a good point to consider if any of this is improved by our "going it alone" or if there was any benefit to cooperating with our neighbours both in terms of energy production and distribution. It appears to me that leaving the EU at this critical time is bonkers if viewed solely from an energy perspective. But then it is a stupid idea at all levels really. One clear advantage is of course we will be able to ignore all the EU emission and CO2 nonsense and poison our children and become once again "the dirty man of Europe". Makes you proud doesn't it?

  9. #2479
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    Quote Originally Posted by F.P. View Post
    ????

    Having just spent the best of the last year bringing a property up to meet an energy standard I can can assure there ain't anyway that electric heating is becoming subsidised. It's mains gas all the way - even for those of us in live in rural ares where electric is the only way. And as for solar panels, even any assistance in buying/installing is now a memory (unless you are lucky enough to live in a property that has an EPC rating of 'D' or better and then it's bearly worth it).
    Quote Originally Posted by Neilwood View Post
    Just had a quick look at solar for my property - even allowing for the maximum size of installation (4KW) and based on the Energy Saving Trust calculations, I would never break even with an approx install cost of of 5970 and a return of approx 4300 (out until 6pm most days). If that is the case for me with a large roof, I can only imagine how poor the return might be for a smaller roof. I would imagine that situation is replicated for most people (certainly north of the border) who will never reach break even due to work patterns and reduced generation due to location.
    So I've looked into this fairly extensively, and the one way you can use electricity to effectively heat a UK property is through the use of a ground-source heat pump for the heating, and solar thermal for topping up the hot water. I already opted for Solar PV, but for this system to function as off-grid as possible I would also need on-site battery storage in future.

    I was lucky with the Solar PV and got the high Feed In Tariff (FIT), but at the time I was looking to upgrade the heating there was no FIT for Ground Source or Solar Thermal... however, there is a new FIT for both: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-incentive-rhi

    It's not easy by any means, it would involve me digging up the garden, pulling up all the floors, replacing the water cylinder, and a new solar install on the roof. But the important thing is the government is incentivizing this kind of installation, over and above anything mandated by the EU.

    I just hope they put an incentive in for battery storage in the future, it's not economical right now, but the benefits for the householder and the government are huge.

    Edit: I'm right with Chris on Hinkley Point though, that was a monumentally stupid deal.
    Last edited by ManualOverride; 13-02-2019 at 07:27 PM.

  10. #2480
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    MO, we are renewables installers, but work with gas, oil, lpg, direct electric along with PV, heat pumps (ground and air), biomass boilers (chip, pellet, log) and solid fuel.

    It's a big subject but some highlights:

    In passive builds (less than 15w/sqm) we have heated the house and the hot water with a couple of 3kw immersions, MVHR and PV/Tesla, the latter are not essential but great if the budget allows.
    PV can be used like solar thermal, if linked to the immersion via a diverting relay (Immersun or similar) we don't/won't install solar thermal because it makes no sense if PV will fit on roof and contribute to water and other electrical consumption.
    Heat pumps are our favoured off gas option, but doesnt have to be a ground source, air source are a fraction of the cost and almost as efficient with inverter drives on the fans and compressors. They are not dissimilar to air con units but do require oversized rads (as do GSHP's).
    The RHI (grant) will cover around 110% of a GSHP install on a domestic and 85% on an ASHP.
    Heat pumps are about the same run cost as natural gas once you factor in the efficiency.
    With the software on the Tesla batteries we have seen that most/avergae PV installations have been exporting circa 80% not the deemed 50% that you get paid (a reduced tariff) for.


 

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