Barry Gardiner

Working Hard for Brent North

Barry reacts to abolition of DECC

In response to Theresa May’s decision to abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Labour’s Barry Gardiner said:

We must see this decision in the context of other actions taken by the government.

They axed a world-leading competition for Carbon Capture and Storage, pulling the rug out from under investors at the last minute. They cut all support for the cheapest form of clean energy in onshore wind. They have left a black-hole for clean energy investment beyond 2021, providing no certainty for business.

Since the referendum they have talked up their commitment to our climate obligations. But in fact this government is downgrading action on climate change.

The rhetoric is positive, the actions are overwhelmingly negative.”


commented 2016-08-01 09:04:37 +0100
Due to the unresolved technical problems currently holding up EPR installations in Finland and in France a rapid alternative solution will now be required to provide grid margin and carbon reduction compliance. The solution can also provide free domestic heating.
This email draws attention to the capability of domestic combined heat & power (DCHP) to provide this interim solution pending the more widespread introduction of renewables.
An immediate start can be made on DCHP by providing modest incentives for existing boiler replacements to be made with, for example, EU Energimizer 750 or Dachs mini (q.v.) units followed up by British initiatives to supply single-phase “combi” style units more appropriate to the UK market.
These units provide a thermal output around 20KW for domestic heating when demanded whilst, as a side effect, generating around 7.5KW of electric power at 100% efficiency since there is no heat “loss” either in generation or transmission. Since the average home requires around 2KW annual average heating power then the average generated power would be around 750W which approximates quite closely, by coincidence, to the domestic annual average electricity requirement.
If applied, ultimately to 27million homes this would add an average generating capacity to the grid of 20GW with the advantage that the majority would be contributed in cold weather giving an extra margin at such times of, perhaps, 50GW.
The generation thermal efficiency of the best combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) station is approx 60% with the consequence that replacing 20GW of 60% efficient plant with 100% efficient plant would save 13GW of gas over current technology. This saving comes from reduction in waste heat in power station cooling towers. 2014 gas imports were 54GW so this represents a 24% saving. In fact the saving would be even greater because many current power stations are less efficient than the best CCGT.
The advantages of this approach include:
  • Effectively “free” domestic heating at below Hinkley strike price (7.5p/KWhr)
  • Short lead time to compensate for the delayed recognition of serious EPR problems (immediate benefit, 10yrs to completion)
  • No technology risk, all existing technology
  • No nuclear disposal, hazard, decommissioning or terrorist complications
  • Big opportunity for UK auto and central heating manufacturers, 2million units/yr
  • Employment, around 100,000 jobs, £400million tax revenue
  • Very low capital investment required, – comparable to new small car model production line (cf huge capital cost of Hinkley)
  • Financed by existing boiler routine renewal plus feed-in tariff
  • Smooth transition to hydrogen technology & energy storage from renewables in longer term
  • All participants are guaranteed supply continuity, no blackouts
  • Reduced National carbon footprint, 13GWyrs/yr, 28GTonne CO2e/yr
  • Reduced gas imports: Improved balance of payments ~30Billion £/yr (~6%)
  • Improved supply security
  • Export potential
    The only disadvantage would appear to be the noise generated, 56dBA. Microwave oven at 1ft. Rather more than a current gas boiler
    This magical outcome is possible because domestic CHP allows the redirection of heat waste in power station cooling towers into domestic heating, i.e. it is an efficiency improvement, but of a high order and on a very large scale.

Paul E G Cope 01329289381 07802729086 25 @ PO16 0DG

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