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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Disaggregated Homes: Household energy consumption without major consume...

Disaggregated Homes: Household energy consumption without major consume...: I've already noted that the tumble dryer, washing machine and dishwasher account for a quarter of Alex's energy consumption. However...

Time for a new approach to electricity - how we can solve the energy trilemma together. Introduction

It’s time!
Time to make electricity affordable.
Time to save the planet.
Time to keep the lights on.
If I told you that you could make a significant contribution to doing this without even reducing how much you use, and without any expensive equipment, would you believe me?
Most people probably wouldn’t.
They might say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there must be a catch.
But there isn’t!
In the UK, every winter weekday, from 3 to 8pm, peaking at around 5.30, we use seven large power stations ( 7 Gigawatts) worth of electricity more than we do at any other time. Why? Because some people are coming home from school and from work, and it’s getting dark. Most offices, factories and shops are still working.
But here’s the good news – that peak, which is about 14% above the normal daytime level, can be easily avoided.
If we all shifted our consumption out of the peak by an average of just 350W (3½ bright old fashioned light bulbs) the problem would be solved.
If you ask people in the electricity industry, most of them will tell you that the problem will be solved by smart meters – unfortunately it won’t!
Smart meters in themselves will not switch anything off, much less work out when to delay consumption for specific appliances. They will allow for more complicated time-of-use tariffs in future, which will penalize us for using electricity at peak times, but even these will rely on us to respond by switching things off or delaying them coming on.


Monday, 1 December 2014

How many hospital beds does it cost to provide extra electricity at peak times - or to timeshift it?

Depending on whether you take the EDF or the EU figure, Hinkley C will cost us the consumer/taxpayer between £5000 and £8000 per kilowatt of capacity. To underwrite this, the Government is committing us as taxpayers to a wholesale price guarantee to EDF of £93/MWh, which is 9.3p/unit. To get the corresponding domestic retail price, you can  at least double this figure to 18p.

What are we paying for and are there cheaper ways of getting it?

The 3.2GW capacity of Hinkley C equates to 120 Watts for each UK household.

Timeshifting 120W per household is not onerous. If each of us used delay timers, as fitted to modern appliances, it would very easily eliminate the need for such a power station.

All we need to do is set our dishwasher, tumble drier or washing machine to
come on at around 2-4 am when national demand is at a minimum.

Each of us would then save £600 to £1000 in new capacity costs, at no extra cost to anyone. We just need to remember to buy appliances with delay timers when we come to replace them.

Or do we have a spare £24 billion for the next new power station?  It's over ten times what George Osborne has just promised the NHS as a top-up.

At £255/night, it's 94 million hospital bed nights.

Tell your friends!