Why isn't electricity cheaper?


that’s when they start phasing out cars altogether. powering 2 million EVs would require 8 GW (not counting the reserve) of more juice, that’s over 100% increase in electricity generation capacity.

I conclude that it wont be an EV for everyone in the audience. The good news is that there will a socket from which to power your noise cancelling headphones on the electric bus.


Does anyone have any figures for miles powered by petrol/diesel so we can talk about the daily (peak) requirement and how that might be spread?


Road traffic volumes, - The CSO. Lots of good data.
cso.ie/en/releasesandpublication … icvolumes/

Mileage by fuel type, and trip purpose, UK stats, also interesting.
gov.uk/government/statistic … -occupancy


Start here. Their links to SEAI are broken but you can download the 2017 SEAI Energy in Ireland report from the link on this page. You can see transport sector energy use in tonne of oil equivalent (toe). They give conversions to Joules. Transport is more than cars of course. You can get number of cars and car average mileage. If you get numbers for average EV miles per kW and allow for transmission and charging losses you should be able to convert to electricity demand. SEAI also gives numbers separately for road freight activity. Happy crunching.


irishtimes.com/business/tra … -1.3415933

VW’s Golf GTE (plug in hybrid) getting decent reviews
I think mist Irish people would be more comfortable with this before an all-electric; especially in familiar shape of a Golf. How ironic that VW’s diesels have done so much for it


The speed with which manufacturers are dropping diesels makes me think that:
(a) It is impossible to build a diesel that can meet the emission standards that are needed to ensure public health (particularly in an urban environment) without cheating
(b) Everybody was cheating and is hoping that nobody will bother looking at their previous history since they’ve stopped making them.

I suspect they may be right on (b) but in this country we have a particularly nasty legacy of private and public vehicles with very large diesel engines that will continue to pollute our lungs for many years to come. Hopefully the EU will come to our rescue and ban the damn things, equally hopefully our politicians will not spend any taxpayers money on funding the move away from diesel.


I’m not one given to naive optimism, but I’ve said before I expect that nuclear fusion will be developed sooner rather than later. There are half a dozen commercially funded efforts, not to mention public research projects and, contrary to popular belief, they are actually making progress. The latest announcement is one worth keeping an eye on. MIT’s compact tokamak research made considerable strides before it was defunded in 2016. Now, in conjunction with an MIT spin-off company and $50m of investment from Italy’s ENI (yes, the oil company) they have launched their SPARC program to create a new type of high-temperature superconducting magnet within three years.

Success would mean small-scale (about one sixtieth the physical size of ITER) reactors in the 100-200 MW range, suitable for municipal applications. If the magnets work, they say its about seven years (from now) to a working 100 MW prototype reactor and twice that to commercialisation. One of the interesting things about this project is its lack of novelty – it is the same tokamak design that scientists think is the most likely route to commercial fusion, just with a smaller radius of curvature due to the stronger magnets, and a consequent ten-fold increase in power density. First wall and energy extraction issues are no different to those already in the pipeline for ITER. MIT article here.

This guy is leading the new spin-off company, though the vid is from early 2016 before MIT’s previous effort ended:

I should mention that Tokamak Energy in the UK has a similar program for compact tokamak fusion using HTS magnets, and have obtained a number of patents. Their timeline is similar if not even more aggressive. They also grew out of a publicly funded research environment, at JET. As of now, they are not as well funded as the MIT spin-off.


Has anyone does the maths on using PV with an Air to Water heat pump (with accumulator)? Seems possibly a more reliable (no water pipes) alternative to Solar Tubes for DHW (hot water + possible UFH). My brother is building and the roof direction isn’t optimal for sun so he’s thinking of putting the PV on a garden shed etc. In the depths of winter you can rely on the grid for effecient DHW.


Saudis are planning a solar plant on a truly unprecedented scale … more than a hundred times bigger than the worlds’s current largest.

forbes.com/sites/rrapier/20 … ar-future/


Which I guess we’ve all contributed to financially right?


I suppose they’ve realised that it makes more sense to power air conditioning from solar than to burn up loads of oil that they could otherwise sell.


ElectricIreland break down your residential bill
29% Cost of raw material (gas, oil, …)
28% Transmission
10% Generation
14% EI supplier costs
12% Vat
7% PSO tax


Eirgrid begins Ireland-France interconnector surveys

rte.ie/news/munster/2018/05 … connector/


ft.com/content/fa755eec-67e … cfcfb08c11

World’s first liquid air energy storage plant opens near Manchester
Pilsworth unit suits age of renewable energy by acting as giant rechargeable battery

eu.mhps.com/en/liquid-air-en … orage.html

about 70% efficiency


That’s quite good, pumped water storage for example has an efficiency of between 70 to 80% but the main thing is it can store a significant amount of energy and can be located almost anywhere.


Will be awesome if it actually achieves 70%. Their first prototype was 15%. The efficiency depends on the cycle rate because you buffer some of the heat exchange between cooling and reheating in a reservoir. Also requires a source of otherwise waste heat at over 100 degrees, so probably not true that it can easily be deployed anywhere. But still sounds promising.



Yeah, 70% doesn’t sound great but when electricity is almost free at night it’s acceptable. Anyone have the chart of prices per hour. I thought Chicken P posted something ages ago


Key ‘step forward’ in cutting cost of removing CO2 from air - bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44396781

And it’s byproduct is liquid fuel, ICE isn’t dead yet


Reduction in renewable power levy could cut €213m from bills

irishtimes.com/business/ene … -1.3522996


Latest Solar PV contracts to charge 2.6 - 3 cents / kwh.

reneweconomy.com.au/warren-buff … lar-95208/

A modern natural gas plant generates it for 3 cents / kWh. How long before all other fossil fuel forms of generating elicrtcity are made economically obsolete?

Not sure to put this in the Tesla or Peak Oil thread.